Exclusive Brethren victims urged to complain

Prime Minister Helen Clark says she is concerned about claims of sexual abuse within the Exclusive Brethren Church and is urging victims to go to the police.

A former church member has revealed to One News how the abuse was covered up for several decades.

The Exclusive Brethren Church sets its own rules and deals with those who break them in its own way.

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But claims some teenagers and children were sexually abused by other church members has caused alarm at the highest levels .

“It’s important that sexual predators are brought to justice,” Clark says. “I’m always concerned by claims of sexual abuse and cover-ups of it.”

Philippa, a former member of the church, says that abuse was occurring up until nine years ago.

And she is not the only one.

Exclusive Brethren

Many of the Exclusive Brethren movement’s teachings and practices are abusive to such and extend that this movement can rightly be labeled as an abusive church, and possibly even as a cult of Christianity

One News has spoken to a former member who says he was abused as a child. He doesn’t want to dredge up his past, but does want to confirm that what Philippa told One News, about abuse within the Exclusive Brethren, is true.

Police say they will only investigate claims if a complaint is laid.

Police Minister Annette King says she understands there could be some sensitivities, but nobody in any organisation is above the law.

“And if people have issues they ought to go to the police, I’m urging them to go to the police.”

It is not just abuse they may be interested in.

Like the former head of the church in Australia, Philippa says she once carried large sums of money overseas.

“I was handed five or six envelopes just a couple of nights before I left and told these were gifts for various men. I do recall feeling slightly uncomfortable. I didn’t carry them in my handbag, I stuffed them in between my clothes,” she says.

She doesn’t deny what she did was illegal.

Right now though, it is sexual abuse allegations police want to know about.

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, TVNZ - TV New Zealand, Oct. 10, 2006, ttp://tvnz.co.nz/

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday October 10, 2006.
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