Part 3 of our exclusive series unveiling the close ties between the child protection charity Bravehearts and the institutions that for decades sexually abused children, concealed the crimes of the perpetrators, vilified victims and actively sought to deny them the right of redress.
Robert Molhoek is the State Member of Parliament for the seat of Southport.
He is also a director of Bravehearts, and the former chairman of the board of the charity. Molhoek is at the same time an elder of the Metro Church, an Assembly of God spin-off that is an affiliated member of the Australian Christian Churches, the umbrella organisation for the group of churches whose members speak in tongues, compulsorily donate (tithe) 10% of their income to the church, and believe every word of the bible to be literally true.
A number of members of the church – I do not include Molhoek among them – also appear to believe that molesting children in a practice sanctioned by God, because more than 15% of the case studies examining institutional sexual abuse – RAPE – of children have focused on that perpetrated within, or by members of, the Australian Christian Churches and affiliated Pentecostal Churches.
The number of members of these churches whose crimes have been examined in the case studies is even larger as many of the hearings – Case Study 18 for example – have focused on more than one abuser. That one was a ripper, and included a look at the pedophile who founded the Hillsong Church and his son and successor who concealed his crimes (see below); a Pentecostal school that continued to allow a teacher control over kids in the classroom despite knowing that he was abusing them;
Prior to his election to the Queensland Parliament – the House of Broken Dreams – Molhoek was a Gold Coast City Councilor, and in 2008 made an unsuccessful tilt for the mayoralty. At the same time he was a director of several Christian enterprises, and had particularly close links to the Hillsong Church; so close in fact that church elders donated tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign, and shouted him a $2800 accommodation package to attend a happy clapping retreat run by the church in Sydney.
Hillsong – the heavyweight champion of attracting huge numbers of happy clappers to their services and persuading them to hand over even huger sums of cash, and thus the envy of Pentecostal churches across the globe – grew out of the Sydney Christian Life Church which a self-confessed pedophile named Frank Houston founded in 1983, and is led by the kiddy fiddler’s son Brian Houston, a man who the Royal Commission found had done his damnedest to cast a cloak of silence over his father’s crimes, paying off the victims after tying them up in a confidentiality agreement and failing to report his father’s rapes to the police.
Ever the loyal son, Brian Houston even allowed his good old Dad to continue attending a central coast Hillsong branch full of kids, on the proviso that papa promised to change the habits of a lifetime and not touch them up, or sing in the young one’s ear the family’s favorite tune made famous by their Auntie Whitney.
Rob Molhoek is bonza mates with his current church pastor Garry Mac (real name Garry McDonald) too, so much so that he saluted the Metro Church’s chief happy clapper and tithe extractor in his maiden speech to the House of Broken Dreams, naming him as a mentor and a great friend.
It was no surprise that the former Bravehearts chairman of the board mentioned Pastor Garry Mac, because the good man of the lord loves kids too. In fact he loves them so much that he wants to grab them in a half-nelson, lift them from under the scrotum, pile drive them into the mat and then, using all their body weight by sitting astride the young tacker, force them into submission. Pastor Garry promises that blokes who can do this are guaranteed to get the old girl’s juices flowing, and their sex life will improve out of sight.
I kid you not: it’s number four in the Pastor’s online homily ‘Top Ten Sex Positions’, just after ‘The Credit Card Handover’ and immediately before ‘The Lunge’. I wonder if Bravehearts are planning to embrace the great man’s 21st century Christian Creed and perhaps enshrine it as the Fourth Pier of child sexual abuse prevention?
I want to make it clear that I am not accusing Robert Molhoek of anything but good intentions when it comes to his role at Bravehearts, but the fact is that if you lie down with dogs you get fleas, and Molhoek must have plenty.
Bravehearts can’t afford to have any fleas in its tent if it seriously aspires to win the trust and respect of abuse victims. It, like all child protection charities, needs to be squeaky clean and as transparent as freshly cleaned glass.
The reality though is that Bravehearts is anything but. The organisations finances are as clear as mud, its patrons have unacceptably close links to the institutions where children were for many decades – in some cases, centuries – sexually abused and treated like carnal chattels; and its board is stacked with directors who are linked to the same and more institutional abusers. It’s a disgrace that this has been allowed to occur, and its a disgrace that it is allowed to continue while the people of Queensland and Australia are funding the organisation.
Despite the gargantuan weight of evidence to the contrary – including the findings of the Royal Commission – Hetty Johnston adamently proclaims that it wasn’t the institutions fault that innocent children were raped, sodomised, beaten and abused throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.
Given what you now know about the people who run Bravehearts, is it any wonder?
Blind Freddy can see that the rapes and abuses could not have continued for so many years – for generations – if the institutions weren’t at the very least tacitly allowing these crimes against children to be perpetrated, and then covering them up and protecting the rapists when their evil deeds threatened to come to light. It is so bloody obvious that it smacks you in the face, yet Hetty Johnston inexplicably claims that it ain’t so.
What on earth is this woman doing presenting herself as the face of child protection? What are we doing believing her? What hope does any abused kid have of healing when the woman who touts herself as their protector can’t see the wood from the trees?
It was the institutions Hetty.
It still is.