PRIME Minister Scott Morrison needs to walk in the shoes of a child sex survivor to know why a push for Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston to attend a White House last year, and refusal to acknowledge those attempts until Tuesday, is deeply troubling, said Swansea abuse survivor Brett Sengstock.
"It's troubling he takes such a distant view of it. I think he doesn't give a rat's bum to tell you the truth," said Mr Sengstock, who gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about being sexually abused by Mr Houston's father Frank.
In a radio interview on Tuesday Mr Morrison did not deny he knew Brian Houston was the subject of a NSW Police investigation when Mr Houston's name was put forward to attend the dinner with President Donald Trump last year.
"They're not things I follow closely," Mr Morrison said, before repeating that Hillsong was a "very large, very well attended, well supported" church in Australia that was "very well known" in America.
"It's so well known that Brian was actually at the White House a few months after I was. So the president obviously didn't have an issue with it, and I think that's where the matter rests," Mr Morrison said.
But Mr Sengstock said the matter can't rest while the police investigation continue, and while Mr Morrison appeared to dismiss the investigation and focus on the status and reputation of Hillsong and Mr Houston.
"The police investigation doesn't mean anything to him but it means a lot to me and other survivors," Mr Sengstock said.
In the interview Mr Morrison was not challenged about the royal commission finding that Brian Houston dealt personally with child sex allegations about his father in 1999 and 2000 and sent a $10,000 cheque to Mr Sengstock without advising advising the church's national executive.
Frank Houston was allowed to "publicly resign, without damage to his reputation or the reputation of Hillsong Church", the royal commission found.
"Despite Pastor Brian Houston's evidence that he had no doubt that his father's conduct was criminal, he made no attempt to report his father to the police at the time the confession was made to him," the commission said.
Hillsong also did not report allegations about Frank Houston to the Commission for Children and Young People, which wrote to the church in August, 2000 that "it is important to remember that any completed relevant disciplinary proceedings must be reported" to the commission, including matters from the previous five years that covered the Frank Houston allegations.
Mr Sengstock said he believed Mr Morrison confirmed the White House invitation after months of dismissing reports as gossip, because "he was probably covering his backside".
"Sooner or later something was going to leak. I think there's a reason for it but I'm not privy to what it is. It stinks really," Mr Sengstock said.
He broke his public silence in October only a few months after the church Brian Houston founded slammed the door on compensation.
"There was no Christ in how they treated me," said Mr Sengstock about Australian Christian Churches and its most prominent entity, the Hillsong Church.
"I think Hillsong is nothing but a business," said Mr Sengstock.
He is seeking compensation through the National Redress Scheme, which Australian Christian Churches recently joined, but was recently advised his case was "very complicated".
Australian Christian Churches avoided paying compensation because the then New Zealand-based Frank Houston first sexually abused Brett Sengstock in 1969 during a short Australian visit to preach for the Foursquare pentecostal Christian movement. He stayed with the Sengstock family.
"My claim was lost on a technicality," Mr Sengstock said. "It was never disputed that Frank Houston sexually abused me."
Lawyers for Australian Christian Churches denied liability because although Frank Houston was leader of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s, he was not in that capacity during the Australian visit. Assemblies of God became Australian Christian Churches in 2007.
Mr Sengstock said Scott Morrison's strong and public support for Brian Houston and Hillsong paid no regard for survivors of abuse.
"My opinion of him is pretty low. He got up on stage with Brian Houston in July last year to attend the Waterloo church, which is Frank's church, when the church was slamming the door on me," he said.
Mr Morrison acknowledged on Tuesday that "people have chased this round and round for months" after he refused to confirm the original report in the Wall Street Journal in October.
"At the end of the day what's important is the relationship we have with the United States and it's never been better," Mr Morrison said.
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