Judgment has been entered in High Court claim no. BL-2017-000101 against the Defendant Laurence Roy Moffitt (a.k.a. Laurie Moffitt) for copyright infringement, misuse of private information and breach of confidence in respect of the address books containing the names and addresses of the members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church. Permanent injunctions have been granted. Mr Moffitt has been ordered to pay damages and to pay the Claimants’ legal costs on the indemnity basis.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Cult / Hales Exclusive Brethren Cult
starts defamation against The Age
After being on the receiving end of almost a decade of adverse coverage by a reporter at The Age, a small Christian Church has launched defamation proceedings and released a letter to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon that raises questions about the newspaper’s methods.
Plymouth Brethren Christian Church launched the proceedings after Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend magazine published a cover story last month alleging a cover-up of sexual abuse within the church.
The church is suing Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd, The Age Company Pty Ltd and The Age’s investigations editor, Michael Bachelard, who has written more than 50 articles about the church as well as a book.
Statements of claim filed last week in the NSW Supreme Court indicate the church is effectively daring Fairfax to prove it engaged in an institutional cover-up of child sexual abuse.
This is where the decentralised structure of the Plymouth Brethren, formerly known as the Exclusive Brethren, could complicate the task confronting Fairfax Media. This church says it has no clergy and consists of autonomous assemblies.
On April 29, long before the Good Weekend article appeared, church elder Lloyd Grimshaw wrote to Mr Falloon outlining his concerns about Bachelard, who has been writing about the Brethren for almost a decade.
Mr Grimshaw was tired of having his church, which has 40,000 members internationally, referred to as a cult or a sect. He was concerned that Bachelard “is not interested in reporting the truth about our small conservative Christian church”. He told The Australian his church comprised assemblies, or congregations — each of which is an unincorporated association “and autonomous in their functions”.
“It does not have clergy, religious brothers or sisters or any appointed ministers,” Mr Grimshaw said. “Instead, the PBCC is essentially comprised of families who come together in local congregations known as ‘assemblies’ to worship together,” he said.
Court documents show the plaintiff in this case, a company known as Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) Christian Church, claims Bachelard’s cover story conveyed four separate imputations of wrongdoing — all of which relate to the church as an institution, not individuals.
But while the Brethren has no clergy, it does have a public relations man.
Much of Bachelard’s article concerned the role of Tony McCorkill, a former spokesman for the church, and the instructions the PR man was said to have received from the church’s Sydney-based global leader, Bruce Hales.
If the case goes to court, the evidence of Mr McCorkill, who was brought in after sex abuse cases came to light, could be crucial.
As well as damages and interest, the Brethren wants the Good Weekend article removed from Fairfax websites and an order that would permanently prevent Fairfax and Bachelard from publishing any imputations that are upheld in court.
Here's a recent photo of Bruce D Hales Cult leader, condoner of kidnap, family destroyer, coverer of sexual abuse, gay hater and tax avoider attempting to portray himself as a fatherly mainstream Church leader:
In reality this awful man who is responsible for so many atrocities is better portrayed here: