Brent Detwiler's Tweets
Search

 Subscribe by Email

Friday
Mar022018

New & Indisputable Evidence Proves P.J. Smyth Knew All About Father’s Violent Beating of Boys – He & Pastors Continue to Deceive Covenant Life Church Despite My Appeals

Six-months ago, I received a $100 donation via PayPal with this message from Andy Morse, the victim who suffered most because of John Smyth’s incessant and horrific beatings.  

August 25, 2017 

Hi Brent, 

Many thanks for writing about P.J. Smyth and the John Smyth abuse and taking part in the discussion.  We (John Smyth survivors) think you might be interested to see the messages and short videos we have posted on https://twitter.com/AndyMorseUK which reflect some or our opinions on the Church and Justin Welby. 

Best wishes,

Andy (Morse) 

PS – The man in the silhouette Ch 4 News & Daily Telegraph interviews – no longer anonymous.

Andy was thanking me for the article I wrote six-months earlier. 

Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth Deceives Covenant Life Church About Knowledge of John Smyth’s Violent Beating of Boys
Friday, March 3, 2017 at 6:52AM

I had no idea Andy was reading my material.  I wrote him back.  I had so many questions for him.  Here is an excerpt. 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: 25 August 2017 22:21
To: Andy Morse 
Subject: Great to Hear from You!

Hi Andy,

It is so good to hear from you!  Thanks for letting me know about the videos and the upcoming article!  I just posted on my FB page.

I know you are getting ready for bed [in England] and I am getting ready to eat so I’ll write again tomorrow.  I have so many questions for you.

Just one for the moment.  Are you “the man in silhouette” in this story by Cathy [Newman]? …

In closing, your note and gift were a wonderful surprise and a great blessing.  Thank you, brother!  Finally, it is so good to see you and many other victims taking a stand.  I admire your courage and conviction.  It is making a big difference in the UK and other parts of the world.

Love in Christ,

Brent 

Andy responded with an invitation to ask any questions I’d like.  No subject was off limits.  That led to extensive interaction with him, Mark Stibbe and Andrew Graystone – the three most knowledgeable individuals regarding the violent beating of young men and boys by John Smyth.  Mark Stibbe was also a victim of Smyth.     

From: Andy Morse 
Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2017 1:41 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: Great to Hear from You!

Hi Brent, 

Likewise!  Thanks for sending that all through [Andy is referring to evidence I sent him].  Much appreciated and I have distributed among the Smyth victims that I am most in touch with. 

Yes, please feel free to ask us any questions that you would like.  No subject is off limits.  We are quite comfortable with everything so any topic around the Smyth abuse or cover-up.  Or what we call the ‘neglect’ of Smyth victims.  I agree with you that the South African church do appear to have acted much more responsibly than the Anglican one! 

And yes, that’s me in the silhouetted interview.  I’m not anonymous any more (phew, quite a relief, anonymity brings its own burdens) so I’ve attached the picture that I took with Cathy Newman of Ch4 News afterwards.  Although other UK tv and newspapers have covered the story, Ch4 News are doing the best job.  And they have more to come.

Best wishes, 

Andy

Andy refers to “the silhouetted interview.”  That is a reference to the heart breaking anonymous interview he did for investigative reporter, Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News in the United Kingdom.  She and her team did a six-month investigation of John Smyth and his beating of 22 young men in the UK.  It had been covered up for 35 years.  She exposed it.  

Her riveting TV report on February 2, 2017, featured Andy, Mark and Archbishop John Welty from the Church of England.  It also included Andrew and Richard Gittins (another victim).  The highlight was Cathy’s courageous open-air confrontation of John Smyth.  It was extraordinary!  You can watch it here

The following night, Cathy did a follow up report.  Andrew was featured for the work he did investigating the cover up in United Kingdom.  Cathy also interviewed Rocky Leander, one of the boys in Zimbabwe who was a victim of Smyth after Symth fled England.  She also covered the death of Guide Nyachuru in Zimbabwe for which Smyth was arrested on the count of culpable homicide.   You can watch part two here.

When the story broke about John Smyth’s horrendous beating of young men in the UK and boys in Zimbabwe, P.J. Smyth sorely deceived Covenant Life Church when he told them he had no knowledge of any abuse allegations against his father and no recollection of any events surrounding those abuse allegations.  That included no recollection of his father’s arrest, prosecution and trial for crimes related to those very allegations. 

For those who may not know, P.J. is the lead pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  He replaced Joshua Harris who replaced C.J. Mahaney.  John Smyth is P.J.’s father.   Here is his famous father’s biography.

John Smyth
Biography

John and Anne were married in 1968. They have 4 grown up children and 7 grandchildren.

John was educated in the UK and Canada and gained MA and LLB degrees at the University of Cambridge.

He was called to the Bar in 1965 and practiced as a Barrister (Advocate) for 19 years [1964-1984].  In 1978 he was appointed a part-time judge, and in 1979 Queen’s Counsel.

In 1984 John and Anne moved with their family to Zimbabwe to do mission work.  After two years with African Enterprise they founded Zambesi Ministries which they directed for the next 15 years until John reached 60.

Anne and John now make their home in Cape Town.  John is available as a consultant in constitutional law and serves Doctors for Life International and the Justice Alliance of South Africa.

 

A Final Appeal to P.J. Symth and the Covenant Life Pastors

Over the past six months, I have been provided additional evidence from Andy Morse, Mark Stibbe and Andrew Graystone that irrefutably proves P.J. knew all about his father’s violent beating of boys.  I am genuinely sorry for Covenant Life Church.  Once again, you have been betrayed by your lead pastor, staff pastors, and non-staff pastors.  

Two weeks ago, I wrote them about the new evidence and appealed for their repentance one final time.  I copied former CLC pastors and the current CLC staff.  

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:02 AM
To: P.J. Smyth; Robin Boisvert; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Will Laing; Jamie Leach; Adam Malcolm; Mark Mitchell; Kevin Rogers; Greg Somerville; Bob Schickler; Dave Brown; David Finch; Tim Harvey; Todd Keeler; Chris Kinsinger; John Leconte; Bo Lotinsky; Jose Troche; Steve Wyzga
Cc: [Former CLC Pastors, Current CLC Staff]
Subject: A Final Appeal to P.J. Smyth & CLC Pastors

A year ago, I sent you four letters regarding P.J.’s lying about having no knowledge of his father’s crimes.  You can find them below.  You were unresponsive to my appeals and joined P.J. in covering up his most certain and extensive knowledge of his father’s horrendous beatings of boys and young men.   

As a last resort, I wrote Bo [a former close friend] but to no avail.  He too was unresponsive.

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2017 8:02 AM
To: Bo Lotinsky
Subject: P.J.

More evidence has come out since I sent my fourth letter.  It is impossible for P.J. to claim he can’t remember the meeting in 93 and didn’t know about the allegations against his father.  He certainly did.  Please honor the Lord and deal with P.J.  He has deceived you and CLC.  There are no repressed memories only manipulative lies.  That is the grievous truth.  I wish it were not so.  This will only lead to more disillusionment in the hearts of God’s people.  The longer you allow it to go on the worse it will be for Christ’s sheep.  

This matter is not resolved in the eyes of the Lord.

Hebrews 3:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

What I told Bo is true.  More evidence has come out.  There is only one way forward if you care about Christ’s sheep.

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

P.J., you have concealed your sin.  A preaching series on Forty: Forward Together will not result in CLC prospering.  I don’t see how you can remain as the lead pastor given the seriousness of your sin, but I am confident the Lord will show you mercy if you confess your deceit and renounce your lying.  The same is true for the rest of you, whether staff or non-staff pastors.   

Therefore, please set aside your selfish ambition and put the interests of God’s people first.  Behind your deception is the evil desire to preserve your reputation even if that means misleading and manipulating those dear souls that follow you. 

Confessing your sins will be disillusioning for CLC members but the disillusionment will be greater if the Lord uncovers and lays bare the extent of your corruption. 

I’d encourage you to read through Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth Deceives Covenant Life Church About Knowledge of John Smyth’s Violent Beating of Boys and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you.

For years, I have tried to help you men do what is right in the sight of the Lord.  That has always been my goal and aspiration.  The same is true now.  Please contact me over the next couple of weeks to affirm your willingness to proceed with humility and transparency.  

I have copied former pastors at Covenant Life and current staff hoping they will encourage you to obey the Lord.  This is proper given the many times I have come to you in private. 

I have heard from no one.  They are proceeding with the cover up.  Therefore, I present the following evidence to the members of Covenant Life Church with an appeal to reprove and remove your pastors.  They have all been complicit in hiding the truth from you.    

 

The Coltart Report on John Smyth - 1993

On October 19, 1993, David Coltart, considered the premier civil rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, wrote a 24-page evidentiary report on behalf of seven victims of John Smyth’s beatings.  It contains an introduction, a body composed of 67 paragraphs, and a conclusion.  It conclusively proves P.J.’s knowledge of allegations against his father and participation in events concerning his father.  The formal title is “Report on Mr John Smyth and Zambezi Ministries.”  It is commonly referred to as “The Coltart Report.”

I have typed up portions relevant to P.J. Smyth below and added links, explanatory notes, and underlining for emphasis.  You can find the original report here

Report on Mr John Smyth and Zambezi Ministries
Introduction 

Zambezi Ministries is a Christian Organisation, headed by Mr John Smyth, which, inter allia [among other things], conducts Christian camps, called Zambezi Holidays, at Ruzawi School near Marondera.  In May 1993 several parents of Christian Brothers College school for boys, who had attended camps at Ruzawi School conducted by Mr Smyth in April 1993, complained to several Christian Ministers in Bulawayo regarding severe beatings received by the boys on camps, compulsory skinny dipping, nude trampolining and allegations of Mr Smyth walking around in the nude at bedtime and at shower time in front of the boys. 

The Christian Ministers approached, Reverend Brian Anderson of the Baptist Church Bulawayo, Reverend Peter Mackenzie of the Bulawayo Christian Centre, Reverend Ray Pountney, of the Baptist Church Bulawayo and Headmaster [Principal] of Petra Primary School and Reverend Ian Spence of the Bulawayo Presbyterian Church, were already aware of allegations levelled against Mr Smyth over the past few years by Christian leaders in Mashonaland.  They were of the opinion that complaints made to the Zambezi Ministries Board and Mr Smyth had seemingly been ignored.  As a result, and having been asked to do so by the parents of the school boys, they approached [the law firm] Messrs Webb, Low and Barry, Legal Practitioners, of Bulawayo, for advice.  This document is a summary of evidence gathered by Messrs Webb, Low and Barry, the abovementioned Christian Ministers and other Christian leaders since May 1993. 

[Note: This group began their investigation in May 1993.  Their report was published in October 1993.]

36. In December 1992 a boy [Guide Nyachuru] drowned on a Zambezi Ministries camp whilst skinning dipping at night.  It was not noticed that he was absent until the following morning when his body was found. 

[Note: This “drowning” is still being investigated.  John Smyth was charged with culpable homicide in Guide’s death.] 

37. In April 1993 several Christian Brothers College school boys went on camps conducted by Zambezi Ministries at Ruzawi School between April the 14th and 21st and April the 23rd and 30th.  Shortly after the first camp ended the mother of one boy [Stella Leanders] observed that her son [Rocky Leanders] had severe bruising on his buttocks.  On the 27th April 1993 the boy was examined by a Doctor B MacAullay, M.B. CH.B. who in a report dated the 28th May 1993 observed: “on examination I found a large, old bruise 12cm x 12cm on the left buttock.  The bruise was about one week old”. 

[Note: P.J. Smyth attended this camp and observed this beating by his father according to Stella Leanders.  More later.]

38. Some of the parents of Christian Brothers boys who had attended the camp met and approached their respective Christian Ministers.  As a result, and as explained in the introduction above, the parents and the Christian Ministers approached, and thereafter took legal advice from, Messrs Webb, Low and Barry on the 26th May 1993.  On the 27th May 1993 Mr David Coltart, a partner in Messrs Webb, Low and Barry, contacted David Fletcher in Oxford and the Canon Ruston report was sent to him by facsimile.

[Note: “The Canon Ruston report” was done by Rev. Mark Ruston.  Canon is an honorary title.  Ruston was an Anglican priest at Holy Sepulchre Church (aka The Round Church) in Cambridge, England.  He was commissioned to investigate John Smyth on behalf David Fletcher and the Iwerne Trust after Andy Morse, one of Smyth’s victims, attempted suicide in 1982.  You can read Andy’s heartbreaking story in his own words here.  Ruston learned that 22 boys and young men were criminally beaten.  The evidentiary report was presented to the Iwerne Trustees in March 1982.  P.J. was told about its horrific contents in June 1993.  More later.]     

39. Mr Coltart then asked the parents of the seven Christian Brothers College boys involved to record statements from their son individually.  It was stressed that there should be no discussion regarding the matter with other parents or boys so as to prevent collusion. 

[Note: More than seven boys were beaten but these seven from Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe came forward and provided evidence to be used to stop John Smyth.  “College” is the equivalent of high school in the US.] 

40. The statements recorded from the boys revealed that the following had occurred during the April camps: 

(i) compulsory [i.e., mandatory] swimming in the nude;

(ii) Mr Smyth frequently walked around the boys dormitory in the nude and showered in the nude with the boys;

(iii) frequent, and sometimes severe, beatings were administered to all of the boys who recorded statements;

(iv) boys frequently jumped on a trampoline in the nude, an activity described as “flappy jumping”;

(v) boys were ordered to sleep without any underpants on and on one occasion one boy was ordered to take off his underpants because it was said “(they were) too tight, inhibiting the development of my sexual organs”;

(vi) Mr Smyth gave a talk about masturbation and after the talk came to one boy in particular and asked him what he thought, how many times did the boy masturbate, what did he masturbate with and did he do it with clean thoughts.

[Note: P.J. attended at least one of these camps in April 1993.  He was well-acquainted with the lewd behavior and severe beatings.  All those attending participated in the nudity, observed the nakedness, and knew about the beatings.  It was common knowledge.]

41. Having collected the statements from the various boys, Messrs Webb, Low and Barry were asked to advise the parents of the boys involved what action could be taken against Mr Smyth.  The parents were advised that on the face of it, Mr Smyth was guilty of assault and crimen injuria and that the incidents could be reported to the Police for criminal prosecution.  The parents were also advised that action could be taken in terms of Section 14 of the Immigration Act to have Mr Smyth deported.  While some of the parents were keen to institute criminal proceedings against Mr Smyth some of the other parents were fearful of the consequences and many were concerned about the ramifications for the christian church. 

[Note: Later, David Coltart, the top human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, also advised John Smyth and P.J. that John was “guilty of assault and crimen injuria” for which he could be prosecuted and deported.  Crimen injuria is the act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another.”  Some parents were “fearful of the consequences” if they pressed charges.  John Smyth was known for his anger and vindictiveness.  They feared retaliation in many different forms.  They were also concerned for the reputation of the Christian church if the well-known Smyth and his well-known Christian camp were exposed.]

42. As a result Messrs Webb, Low and Barry were instructed to write to Mr Smyth setting out the allegations and inviting him to respond to them.  On the 23rd June 1993 Messrs Webb, Low and Barry wrote to Mr Smyth stating, inter alia [among other things]: 

[Note: This letter to John Smyth “setting out the allegations” of which P.J. remembers none, was sent on June 23.  Six days later, P.J. would meet with David Coltart, his father, and the Bulawayo ministers(i.e., pastors) to discuss these allegations of a “serious nature.”]

(i) because of the serious nature of the allegations (which were set out in brief), Mr Smyth should begiven an opportunity to respond;

[Note: All the allegations were of a serious nature.  P.J. told Covenant Life Church he doesn’t remember any of them.]

(ii) the parents and Christian Ministers involved were cognizant of the devastating consequences a criminal trial would have on the boys, their parents and the christian church in Zimbabwe;

(iii) that because of the serious nature of the allegations, and because of the information received from the United Kingdom, it was believed his camps should be brought to a halt in fear of long term damage that could be done through them to the Christian church and other boys and young men;

[Note: “The information received from the United Kingdom” is a reference to the Canon Ruston Report mentioned above.  This report was “Strictly Confidential” because it cataloged the vicious and brutal beating of boys and young men in the UK from 1978-1982 before the Smyth family fled to Zimbabwe in 1984.  You can read it here.

(iv) Mr Smyth was encouraged to meet with Mr. Coltart and the Christian Ministers. 

[Note: Smyth agreed to meet with Coltart in private five days later.]

43. On the 28th June 1993 Mr Smyth met with Mr Coltart at the [law] offices of Messrs Webb, Low and Barry.  Responding to the allegations contained in the letter Mr Smyth:

(i) admitted that all boys were asked to swim in the nude at night but denied that they were ordered to do so;

(ii) did not respond to the allegation of walking around in the nude;

(iii) admitted that boys were beaten but stated that was the only way to control an otherwise relaxed camp and that much of it was done in fun;

(iv) admitted that boys had trampolined in the nude but denied that he had ordered them to do it and said that it had happened when the boys came back from a swim and that his junior leaders were involved; he only observed the practice from a distance;

(v) admitted that boys had slept in the nude and said that the reason was because one parent sometime back had complained that boys sleeping next to his son smelled and since then the boys had been ordered not to wear underpants;

(vi) denied that there had been detailed discussions/questioning regarding masturbation although he admitted talking to the boys in general terms and said that some boys had spoken to him privately on their own initiative;

(vii) admitted that what had happened in the United Kingdom was wrong (Mr Smyth appeared to be aware of the Ruston report) and said that he had received medical treatment and that he had suffered a “breakdown” at that time when this happened.

[Note: John Smyth is an accomplished liar.  His response to the allegations brought by seven Zimbabwe victims contained nothing but denials, evasions, excuses, and lies.  Even worse, he blamed his violent beating of boys and young men in the UK on a supposed breakdown he suffered.  What despicable deception!  His beating of over 20 individuals involved tens of thousands of “strokes” with garden canes (e.g. “a very stiff bamboo cane with a towelling grip made for it” according to one victim) in a garden shed over a 4-year period.  One of the victims, put it this way.  “The beating was very painful and one’s buttocks were very raw and bleeding by the end.  Sitting down was not immediately possible.  We used to wear absorbent medicated pads under our under-clothes to keep the blood from leaking and to provide a cushion for our sore behinds.” (cf., paragraph 7)]

44. On the 29th June 1993 Mr Smyth attended a meeting at the offices of Messrs Webb, Low and Barry which was also attended by his son Mr P J Smyth, Reverend Peter MacKenzie, Reverend Ian Spence, Reverend Chris Hingley (the Anglican Chaplain at Whitestone Primary School, Bulawayo), Reverend Brian Anderson and Mr Mark Kluckow (the National Director of Youth for Christ Zimbabwe).  Responding to the specific allegations contained in the letter Mr Smyth: 

[Note: This was an extremely important meeting set up for the express purpose of discussing “the specific allegations contained in the letter to Mr Smyth.”  P.J. attended this extraordinary meeting!  He had just graduated from Cape Town University in South Africa and married his wife Ashleigh, two weeks later.  He and she would soon begin teaching at Falcon College (high school) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  This crucial meeting was held at the law office of David Coltart in Bulawayo.  Coltart presented the evidence found in the written statements from the seven victims.  The meeting was also attended by five prominent pastors and leaders.  These men were caring for the victims and had done interviews with the victims.  They too made the case against John Smyth.  P.J. heard the grim accounts and learned about the devastating impact the beatings had on these boys in the presence of his father.  And yet, P.J. doesn’t remember any of it!  He told Covenant Life Church he had absolutely no recollection of this interaction.  When provided documented evidence of his attendance, he still could not recall anything about the meeting!  This extraordinary lie told Covenant Life Church by P.J. Smyth rivals any lie told by John Smyth!  No 22-year-old son ever forgets a meeting with his father and about his father where a nationally renowned lawyer and five esteemed Christian leaders present hard core evidence of crimes for which his father could be prosecuted and deported.] 

(i) confirmed the points he had made to Mr Coltart the day before; 

(ii) admitted taking photographs of boys showering on camps for promotional purposes but said that he had only taken photographs from the shoulders upwards (new information); 

(iii) denied the allegation of walking through dormitories in the nude; 

(iv) said that possibly somebody else had caused the severe bruising suffered by the one Christian Brothers College boy (this was after the medical report had been read out to him). 

[Note: No one else beat boys in Zambezi Ministries.  This is an audacious lie.  The boy referred to is Rocky Leanders.  He was interviewed by Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News in the UK.  You can watch the interview here starting at the 2:43 mark.  Coltart “read out” the medical report.  That is, the documented evidence of physical abuse.  Again, P.J. claims no remembrance of this exchange.]

45. Mr Smyth asked that the allegations contained in the Ruston report should not be read out in front of his son as it was a “Board matter”.  He stated that whilst what he did in the United Kingdom was wrong and he had received treatment, people like David Fletcher were probably “jealous” of his successful work in Zimbabwe.

[Note: The medical report was read out in front of P.J. but John Smyth asked that “the Ruston report” not be read out in front of P.J. because it was a “Board matter.”  This is a reference to the Board of Trustees for Iwerne Trust in the UK.  The Trust raised money for John Smyth.  They commissioned the “Strictly Confidential” report by Mark Ruston after Andy Morse gave up hope of stopping Smyth and attempted suicide. 

David Coltart planned to read out the detailed evidence contained in the Ruston Report.  For example,   

“I [Mark Ruston] have now talked at length to thirteen of the twenty-two young men. …  These [beatings] were technically all criminal offenses under the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861, Sec.47. … The scale and severity of the practice was horrific.  Five of the 13 I have seen were in it only for a short time.  Between them they had 12 beatings and about 650 strokes.  The other 8 received about 14,000 strokes: 2 of them having some 8,000 strokes over the three years.  The others were involved for one year or 18 months.  8 spoke of bleeding on most occasions (‘I could feel the blood splattering on my legs’ – ‘I was bleeding for 3½ weeks’ ‘I fainted sometime after a severe beating’).  I have seen bruised and scored buttocks, some two-and-a-half months after the beating.” 

Coltart agreed to not read aloud the entire report but he did cover the general contents of the report.  One of the pastors in this meeting (who wishes to remain anonymous), told blogger, Todd Wilhelm, “We brought up general allegations of what he had done in the UK and totally specific allegations of what we had been told he had done in Zimbabwe.”  What the pastors from Bulawayo were “told” is a reference to the many interviews they did with the boys who were violently beaten.  P.J. first denied all knowledge of all allegations by anyone, at any time, in any place, and under any circumstance to CLC on February 4, 2017.  Later, he denied all recollection of all allegations by anyone, at any time, in any place, and under any circumstance to CLC on February 12. 

Once again you see the deceit of John Smyth at work.  He didn’t want P.J. to hear the Ruston Report so he claimed it was a “Board matter.”  He also lied.  He did not receive professional treatment for his sociopathic behavior.  He received treatment for a sleep disorder and prescribed sleeping pills.  Lastly, he sought to discredit David Fletcher who replaced him as head of the Trust after he was exposed.  Smyth was angry and resentful of Fletcher.]  

46. At the conclusion of the meeting held on the 29th June 1993 Mr Smyth agreed that those present should meet with the Board of Zambezi Ministries.  The Christian Ministers present advised that if needs be the Bulawayo Churches involved were prepared to fly the Board members to Bulawayo so that the issue could be discussed in full.  The meeting concluded with an agreement that as Mr Smyth was staying in Bulawayo that week, as a matter of urgency, members of the Zambezi Ministry Board would fly to Bulawayo [from Harare].  The meeting concluded at 1:00 p.m.  At 2:30 p.m. on the 29th June 1993 Mr Smyth telephoned Mr Coltart to advise that he was returning to Harare and that it would not be possible for him to remain in Bulawayo.  As a result of this information the Chairman of the Zambezi Ministries Board, Mr Richard Johnson, was contacted direct and invited to come to Bulawayo.  Mr Johnson declined the request as he said he was too busy.

[Note: John Smyth “agreed that those present” (i.e., David Coltart, four prominent pastors from Bulawayo, the National Director for Youth for Christ, and P.J) should meet with his Board.  The Board members would fly from Harare to Bulawayo “as a matter of urgency” “so that the issue could be discussed in full.”  P.J. was centrally involved in this discussion, negotiation, and agreement but he doesn’t remember any of it per his remarks to Covenant Life Church.  Ninety minutes after this agreement was made, John Smyth broke his word claiming, “it would not be possible” to remain in Bulawayo.  The Chairman of the Board also refused to meet.  He was “too busy.”  This plan to keep the Zambezi Ministry Board from hearing the evidence was conceived between 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm.  Of all the people in the world, John Smyth chose to have P.J., and P.J. alone, by his side to hear the evidence against him.  P.J. was his singular confidant and counselor at this time.  No one had ever heard all the evidence P.J. heard did during this meeting.  He says he doesn’t remember any of it.]  

47. On the 30th June 1993 Mr Coltart was contacted by Mr Smyth’s lawyer, Mr T [Tim] Tanser of Messrs Scanlen and Holderness, of Harare, who asked that the allegations be sent to him.  As a result Mr Coltart drafted a synopsis of the allegations annexed hereto marked “Annexure ‘A’ against Mr John Smyth and these were sent to Messrs Scanlen and Holderness by facsimile on the 2nd July 1993.  On the 5th July 1993 the Ruston report was made available to Mr Tanser.  On the same day Mr Tanser telephoned Mr Coltart on behalf of Mr Smyth advising that he had been instructed that:

[Note: John Smyth immediately hires a lawyer, Tim Tanser, who contacts David Coltart the following day.  Tanser “asked that the allegations” made the day before “be sent to him.”  Coltart had already written “Mr Smyth setting out the allegations” on June 23.  He undertakes to write again and sends Tanser “a synopsis of the allegations” on July 2.  Coltart also sends him the Ruston Report on July 5.] 

(i) the Ruston report was exaggerated and false;

[Note: The “synopsis” covered John Smyth’s criminal activity in Zimbabwe pertaining to seven boys during two camps.  The “Ruston report” cataloged his criminal activity in the UK over 4 years.  On June 28, he told David Coltart what he did in the UK was “wrong.”  On June 29, he told Coltart, the five Bulawayo leaders, and P.J, what he did in the UK was “wrong” (see above).  Now, on July 5, he says through his attorney, “the Ruston report was exaggerated and false.”  In other words, it was embellished and untrue even though it was written by a close friend (Mark Ruston) on behalf of close friends (the Board members raising money for him).  Symth, a lawyer himself, is building a legal defense with the help of his personal lawyer and P.J.]

(ii) the Bulawayo Ministers should be careful as they may face a defamation action;

[Note: This was a threat to silence the Bulawayo pastors.]

(iii) all future dealing should be between Mr Tanser and Mr Coltart.

[Note: An attempt to cut off all contact with John and P.J. Smyth.]

55. On the 28th July 1993 Rev Anderson, Rev Spence, Rev Pountney, Rev Hingley, Rev MacKenzie [the Bulawayo pastors] and Mr Kluckow [National Director of Youth for Christ] flew to Harare and met with Mr Johnson, Mr Griffiths Malaba, Mr Martin Tracey, Mrs Gill Tracey (all members of the Zambezi Ministries Board), Reverent Tim Neill, Mr David Vincent and Mr Jamie Coleman.  At the meeting it was agreed that the allegations levelled against Mr Smyth were not in dispute; what was in dispute was the interpretation of those actions.  The Bulawayo Ministers attached the following interpretation to the facts, namely:

[Note: I have skipped over paragraphs 48-54.  It is now July 28 and the Bulawayo pastors have finally prevailed in getting a meeting with members of John Smyth’s Board.  David Coltart, Tim Tanser, John Smyth and P.J. Smyth are not in attendance.  It is extremely important to note all 13 participants agreed “that the allegations levelled Mr Smyth were not in dispute.”  They were affirmed as “facts.” Those factual allegations were the same ones P.J. heard a month earlier on June 29.  That is, “excessive beatings,” “excessive insistence of nudity of the campers,” and “excessive nudity on the part of Mr Smyth.” 

(i) Excessive beatings were a manifestation of sexual sadism;

[Note: Sexual sadism is “the condition of experiencing sexual arousal in response to the extreme pain, suffering or humiliation of others.”]

(ii) Excessive insistence of nudity of the campers was a manifestation of voyeurism;

[Note: Voyeurism is “the practice of gaining sexual pleasure from watching others when they are naked.”]

(iii) The excessive nudity on the part of Mr Smyth was a manifestation of exhibitionism;

[Note: Exhibitionism is “a mental condition characterized by the compulsion to display one’s genitals in public.”]

(iv) These were all “paraphilia” (sexual deviations) and abnormal, or maladaptive, and could have extremely dangerous long term effects on those involved (the boys). 

[Note: Paraphilia is “a condition characterized by abnormal sexual desires, typically involving extreme or dangerous activities.”]

56. The Zambezi Ministries Board disagreed strongly with these interpretations whilst conceding that Mr Smyth did have an unusual ministry style.  In conclusion it was agreed by all that it was possible [underling is Coltart’s] that Mr Smyth had a psychological problem.

[Note: Like everyone involved in the process, P.J. was well-aware of all these allegations including sexual sadism, voyeurism, and exhibitionism.  The Board later denied Smyth had any psychological problems contrary to the findings of two highly regarded clinical psychologist on October 5 and 12 who studied the evidence.  They “recommended strongly” that Smyth “should immediately desist from work with young people” (cf. paragraphs 65-66).]

[End of quotes from the Coltart Report]

Soon after this recommendation to “immediately desist,” David Coltart finalized and sent out his report on October 19 “to all those concerned.”  For instance, the 20 plus individuals mentioned by name in the report.  In addition, the report was sent to the parents of the seven Bulawayo boys for whom it was done.  The report was also sent to principals (aka headmasters) at-large whose school boys attended the Zambesi Ministry camps where the abuse occurred.  They were told, “Headmasters should stop Mr Smyth from coming to their schools [to recruit for the camps] and should terminate contact with Mr Smyth” (cf., Conclusion 3. (vi)).  At this time, P.J. and his wife, Ashleigh, taught high school in Bulawayo.  The principal of their school would have received the report. 

With this as a backdrop, P.J. claims no knowledge or memory of the extraordinary Ruston Report about the UK, the Coltart Report about the UK (paragraphs 1-13) and Zimbabwe (paragraphs 14-67) or any of these happenings.  Nor does his wife.

In addition to the Ruston Report and the Coltart Report, I have received a large amount of material in the form of charts, timelines, and interviews, contained in an Investigative Report.  Below, you will find an abridged “Timeline for Zimbabwe” with 39 entries.  The unabridged timeline has 175 entries.  

I’ve selected those most relevant to this post.   Approximately half of the information in the timeline parallels that found in the Coltart Report.  The other half is new and extremely important.  What I have included begins in December 1991 and ends in October 1997 – a span of nearly six years. 

 

The Timeline for Zimbabwe in Investigative Report

1991
December - Reports of nudity and beating on camp increases. 

1992
August - Further reports of nudity and beatings

15 December - Guide Nyachuru dies sometime between 10pm and 8am.

[Note: John Smyth was arrested for culpable homicide in his death.] 

1993
14-21 April - S [John Smyth] commits assault on 5 boys [from Bulawayo]

May - Bulawayo pastors commission report from David Coltart.  David Fletcher sends Coltart the Ruston Report

23 June - Coltart writes to JS instructing him to cease the camps 

28 June - JS meets Coltart at the offices of Webb, Low and Barry in Bulawayo.  Smyth is defensive.  It emerges that he has seen MR [the Mark Ruston Report]

29 June am - Further meeting at Coltart’s office, attended by JS and PJ [P.J. Smyth], and also Peteram Mackenzie, Ian Spence, Chris Hingley, Brian Anderson, Mark Klockow (ZYFC).  Makes a further admission of taking photos of young boys naked.  He asks that the MRR [Mark Ruston Report] should not be read in front of PJ.         

29 June am - JS makes a statement, witnessed by Tim Tanser.

[Note: This was an official statement by John Smyth regarding the allegations made against him in the meeting.  It was notarized by his lawyer, Tim Tanser.  For example, his statement “That possibly somebody else had caused the severe bruising suffered by the one Christian Brothers College boy” (cf. paragraph 44 (iv) in the Coltart Report).]

29 June am - PJ makes a statement to Tim Tanser corroborating what happened at the meeting.  Board of ZM [Zambezi Ministries] agree to fly to Bulawayo to meet those present.

[Note: P.J. also makes an official statement to Tanser “corroborating what happened at the meeting.”  These self-serving statements from father and son were made to be used later in a possible lawsuit against the Bulawayo pastors, etc.  P.J. supported his father’s deceitful denials and gave a prejudicial account of what was alleged and decided in the meeting.  P.J. would have received a copy of his formal statement from Tanser.  He doesn’t remember doing any of this per his own denials to CLC.]

29 June pm - JS says that he is not staying in Bulawayo for the meeting, but returning to Harare.  Richard Johnson is invited to come to Bulawayo anyway, but says he is too busy.

30 June - Tim Tanser…contacts David Coltart to ask for a copy of the allegations.

2 July - Coltart sends Tim Tanser a draft of the allegations.

5 July - Coltart sends Tim Tanser the Ruston Report. Later, Tim Tanser sends a reply denying TRR [The Ruston Report], and threatening the Bulawayo ministers with action for defamation.

[Note: First, it is impossible to deny the accounting of physical abuse in the Ruston Report.  Second, people who are guilty (e.g., John Smyth) often use the threat of a lawsuit to silence those with the truth (e.g. the ministers) especially when people lack the financial resources to make their case in court against their oppressors.  That is a great injustice.  P.J. had to know about this strategy.  That is, condemn the Ruston Report and scare the Bulawayo pastors.  More than know about it, he probably helped conceive it and carry it out with his father.] 

7 July - Coltart receives a fax from Dave Pope saying that Jonathan Brooks will be writing to explain why they resigned. 

8 July - Coltart receives from Jonathan Brooks the ZM (Canada) report and other documents.  Janet Brooks calls Coltart by phone to say she thinks JS needs help.

[Note: Janet Brooks is John Smyth’s sister and P.J.’s aunt.  She is married to Jonathan Brooks.  Jonathan and Janet resigned from the UK board in 1989 when they discovered his severe beating of boys.  The board raised money for Smyth.  So did other board members in the UK including Christopher Smyth.  He was John’s brother and P.J.’s uncle.   Four years after they resigned, they were still trying to stop their brother/brother-in-law.  They all told him, he needed professional help and should stop working with youth.  He did not listen to them.  While P.J. is defending his dad, his uncles and aunts are trying to get him to resign and get psychological help.  P.J. claims no knowledge of their concerns, opposition, or involvement over the past 18 years.]  

10 July - Tim Tanser meets with Coltart, David Cunningham and Chris Hingley.  He formally denies all allegations, on behalf of JS and ZM [Zambezi Ministries]. 

20 July - Tim Tanser sends a fax to David Coltart saying JS had lost his appeal for permanent residence [in Zimbabwe], and had been instructed to leave the country.

[Note: The government decided to deport John Smyth because of his alleged crimes.]

20 July - Coltart phones Tanser to say that JS leaving makes no difference to his unsuitability to work with children.

[Note: Coltart makes clear Smyth should not work with children anywhere in the world.  He implies he will not drop the matter wherever he goes.]

21 July - Tanser phones Coltart to say that the board of ZM were not prepared to meet the Bulawayo pastors, by [but] Jamie Colman was coming to Zim [Zimbabwe] soon, and he might meet them.

24 July - Jamie Colman meets Coltart, Anderson, Hingley, Spence, Pountney, Kluckow and two parents at Petra School, Bulawayo.  He admits the substance of the allegations, but says they are justified as part of discipleship.

28 July - Bulawayo pastors fly to Harare to meet the board of Zambesi Ministries and Jamie Colman.  They agreed the facts were not in dispute.  ZM trustees agree to limit nudity and beatings at camps. 

30 July - Smyth writes to parents of campers justifying nudity and beatings on camp.

1994
February - Coltart tells PJ that Minister Dabengwa will deport JS or get charges filed against him.  PJ visits JS to report on his meeting with Coltart

[Note: Minister Dabengwa is the Minister of Home Affairs.  Among other responsibilities, he is in charge of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Department of Immigration Control. This is a Secretary or Cabinet level position in US terminology.  The upper echelons of the Zimbabwe government are involved in the case against John Smyth. 

David Coltart meets with P.J. to tell him his father will be deported or charged with crimes.  Coltart and P.J. live in Bulawayo.  John Smyth lives in Harare which is 5 hours northeast of Bulawayo.  P.J. flies or drives to tell his dad about these frightening developments.  It is remarkable that Coltart delivers this dire news to P.J., not his father or his father’s lawyer.  From my perspective, this shows the extent of P.J.’s involvement, not just knowledge.  Coltart uses P.J. as the conduit to relay this important information.  Per his oral and written statements to CLC, P.J. doesn’t remember the involvement of Minister Dabengwa, his meeting with Coltart or his visit to his father.  The truth be told, there is every reason to believe P.J. was intimately involved in the entire process from his first meeting with Coltart in July 1993 to this meeting in February 1994 and thereafter.]  

1 June - Honey and Blanckenberg forward the Coltart dossier to Attorney General 

[Note: Things are heating up.  The esteemed law firm, Honey and Blanckenberg is hired to help the government make its case against Smyth.  They send “the Coltart dossier” or collection of documents (i.e. evidence) to the Attorney General, Patrick Chinamasa.  He was the chief prosecutor in Zimbabwe like our Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is in the US. 

10 June - Attorney-General writes to Honey and Blanckenberg indicating that the evidence of the five boys will be adequate for prosecution.

[Note: The Attorney General reviews the evidence in the Coltart dossier and concludes there is probable cause for prosecution.]

10 August - Alan Colonetti makes an affidavit

17 November - Byron Hickman makes affidavit 

19 December - JS delivers first statement to Attorney-General.  JS summoned to Minister Dabengwa and warned he is being investigated. 

1995
14 February - Rocky Leanders makes affidavit

[Note: Alan Colonetti, Byron Hickman, and Rocky Leanders are three of the boys from the elite Christian Brothers College (i.e., a private boarding school for high schoolers) in Bulawayo that were violently beaten by John Smyth.  Byron and Rocky are cousins.  They stated P.J. was present when they were beaten by his father in April 1993.  The material in their affidavits is the same material covered with P.J. in June 1993.]

12 June - Mrs Zindi (Acting DPP) writes to new DPP recommending prosecution on Crimen Injuria and investigation of Guide’s death

[Note: DPP stands for Director of Public Prosecutions.  This person works for the Attorney General.  She too recommends prosecution on Crimen Injuria (e.g. the physical assault of boys) and an investigation into Guide Nyachuru’s mysterious drowning death.]

8 November - Honey and Blanckenberg submit evidence from Doctor Macaullay who had examined the victims of beating. 

[Note: This is the same medical doctor who is mentioned above in paragraph 37 of the Coltart Report.  His report regarding Rocky Leander was read out to P.J. at the June 29, 1993 meeting.]

1996
29 March - Honey and Blanckenberg write to DPP asking when and if JS will be prosecuted

[Note: 21 months have gone by since the Attorney General said there was enough evidence for prosecution and nine months since the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions recommended a prosecution and investigation.]

1997
15 Sepember - JS arrested and placed on remand at Harare Magistrates Court. 

[Note: Remand means “to imprison someone who’s been arrested until they go to trial.”] 

13 October - Trial opens in Harare Supreme Court Case number SC680/97

[Note: P.J. doesn’t remember anything about his father’s arrest, imprisonment or trial.]

[End of quotes from Investigative Report]

Over four years have gone by since P.J. initially heard the crimen injuria allegations of nudity (voyeurism), nakedness (exhibitionisms), and violent beatings (sexual sadism) from David Coltart and the Bulawayo pastors which was based upon the verbal and written testimony of at least seven victims, five of which pressed charges.  It is now October 13, 1997 and a trial finally begins using the same evidence presented to P.J. on June 29, 1993.  It has been a long legal process, but nothing has changed.  The subject matter is the same with one exception.  The charge of culpable homicide in the death of Guide Nyachuru has been added.  This statement from a legal document connects the dots. 

“The applicant [John Smyth], who ran several youth camps in Zimbabwe, was charged with culpable homicide as the result of the drowning of a 16-year-old boy at one of the camps in December 1992.  He was in addition charged with five counts of crimen injuria arising from his alleged conduct at the same camp during April 1993.  The applicant was arrested on 15 September 1997 and taken to a magistrate for initial remand.” (Smyth v Ushewokunze and Anor – ZLR 544 w in the 1997 edition of The Zimbabwe Law Reports)

John Smyth is referred to as the “applicant” because he applied to get the case dismissed after his arrest.  Remember, he was a barrister, part-time judge, and Queen’s Counsel in England.  Nevertheless, P.J.’s father was tried before the Harare Supreme Court for unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of minors, physical assault, and the unlawful killing of a human being.  Somehow all of this escaped P.J.’s notice! 

And by the way, he and Ashleigh moved from Bulawayo to Harare in 1997 to start River of Life Church.  They were living in the same city as P.J.’s father when, or immediately after, he was arrested, jailed and put on trial.  Regardless, P.J. doesn’t know anything about these monumental events!  Or maybe he knew and forgot!  Or maybe he showed up at the trial to aid his father but repressed the memory because the trauma was so great!   That is what the Covenant Life pastors would have you believe per their duplicitous explanation to the church.  A combination of a flaw memory and repressed memories. 

 

P.J. Smyth’s Open Letter to Covenant Life Church 

In my March 3, 2017 post, Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth Deceives Covenant Life Church About Knowledge of John Smyth’s Violent Beating of Boys, I carefully examined all the deceitful statements put out by P.J. and the Covenant Life pastors.  I also included the four private letters I sent them.  Those letters were filled with evidence and appeals to act with integrity.  I’d recommend people go back and read the post because it contains important analysis and information I am not going to restate here. 

Instead, I want to provide a brief analysis of P.J.’s Open Letter to Covenant Life Church on February 4, 2017 and his subsequent Update on February 22, 2017. 

Open Letter from PJ Smyth
Date: February 4, 2017
Author: PJ Smyth 

Since the release of my brief statement on Thursday [Feb 2, 2017], there have been enquiries about what I knew and when.

I want to say again how deeply troubling it is to hear the media reports about my father, and my heart and prayers go out to anyone who has experienced suffering in this situation.

During the time we lived in the UK, I was in boarding school from the age of 8 to 13.  When I was home I never saw or heard anything that led me to suspect my father was engaged in the activities alleged.  I had a happy childhood at home, and my father disciplined me in a manner consistent with the laws and cultural trends of the UK at the time, not in a manner alleged in the recent reports.

We moved to Zimbabwe when I was 13.  My father told me that he felt called out of the legal profession into full-time Christian work.  I attended a number of Zambesi Holidays camps [age 15-18 in 1986-1989] and I was never aware of any abuse.  During the early 1990s when I was studying in South Africa [age 18-22 in 1989-1993], I was aware that a delegation of pastors and parents insisted that my father and the Board of Zambesi Holidays make adjustments to camp life, which they did.  I was not involved with those interactions.  I do clearly remember the tragic drowning of a fellow camper one year [Dec 15, 1992].  It was devastating to his family and to all of us who knew him.

In my twenties [1991-1999], I gradually became aware that there had been issues surrounding my father’s ministry in the UK.  Nothing specific, but I remember hearing some of my parent’s friends say things like, “… of course those were difficult years for your Dad.”  However, I assumed that it was something relatively minor and it never occurred to me to press my father for detail.

I believe that the civil authorities are given by God to help protect against wrong-doing.  I am firmly committed to reporting any form of child abuse to the authorities.  These are horrific allegations, and if proven true it is right that my father face justice.

Sincerely,
PJ Smyth 

Paragraph 1

“Since the release of my brief statement on Thursday [Feb 2, 2017], there have been enquiries about what I knew and when.”

Analysis

The story broke on Wednesday, February 1.  P.J. made a brief statement on Thursday, February 2 in which he left out all reference to what happened in Zimbabwe.  He was forced to expand his statement twice because the news media was covering far more than he was addressing.

P.J.’s answer to “what I knew and when” is extraordinary for its lying and deceit.  He makes no mention of anything covered above.  He pretends to be completely ignorant of all the allegations against his father being reported by the news media.  He claims to have learned about them only when the story broke.

Paragraph 2

"I want to say again how deeply troubling it is to hear the media reports about my father, and my heart and prayers go out to anyone who has experienced suffering in this situation.”

Analysis 

In paragraph two, he pretends to be shocked.  He wants us to believe this is all news to him!  Yet, “the media reports” by Channel 4 News, BBC News, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post, et al. were based on three things – the Ruston Report, the Coltart Report and the testimony of victims.  The content of the reporting was not new to P.J. in the least bit.  He is hearing what he heard from 1993-1997 (and beyond). 

Even worse, he pretends to be empathetic.  It is “deeply troubling” and his “heart and prayers” go out to those who “experienced suffering.”  P.J. defended his father in the 1990’s for the very things reported by the news media.  He was not at all troubled when he observed the violent beating of Rocky Leanders, Jason Leanders, and Bryan Hickman in April 1993.  Or when he heard the medical reports of physical abuse read out in June 1993.  Or when the psychological reports of harm to boys were presented in September and October 1993.  Honestly, there is no evidence his heart and prayers went out to anyone his father beat and abused.  Just the opposite, P.J. supported his father’s “excessive physical discipline” of boys in the nude.]  

Paragraph 3

“During the time we lived in the UK, I was in boarding school from the age of 8 to 13.  When I was home I never saw or heard anything that led me to suspect my father was engaged in the activities alleged.  I had a happy childhood at home, and my father disciplined me in a manner consistent with the laws and cultural trends of the UK at the time, not in a manner alleged in the recent reports.”

Analysis

I think P.J.’s claim in paragraph three is technically true from the age of 8 to 13 (i.e. 1979-1984) but it is otherwise altogether deceptive.  P.J. gives the false impression he never heard about the “the activities alleged” that occurred in the UK until reported by Channel 4 News UK in February 2017.  We know for a fact he heard about the allegations in the meeting with David Coltart and the pastors in June 1993 and he read about them in the Coltart Report a few months later.

Paragraph 4

“We moved to Zimbabwe when I was 13.  My father told me that he felt called out of the legal profession into full-time Christian work.  I attended a number of Zambesi Holidays camps [during high school] and I was never aware of any abuse.  During the early 1990s when I was studying in South Africa, I was aware that a delegation of pastors and parents insisted that my father and the Board of Zambesi Holidays make adjustments to camp life, which they did.  I was not involved with those interactions.  I do clearly remember the tragic drowning of a fellow camper one year [Dec 15, 1992].  It was devastating to his family and to all of us who knew him."

Analysis

In paragraph four, P.J. turns his attention to his high school years in Zimbabwe and his university years in South Africa.  They are neighboring countries.  It is possible, P.J. wasn’t aware of any abuse when he attended the camps during his high school years from 1986 to 1989.  The Coltart Report says, “During 1991 the incidents of nudity and beatings on Zambezi Ministries camps increased” (cf. paragraph 33).  Coltart doesn’t say they started in 1991 but that they increased. 

P.J. also attended the camps during his university years from 1989-1993.  From at least 1991 to 1993, he was well-aware of the abuse occurring during the camps.  It is a well-known fact the boys talked about their beatings, their compulsory nakedness, and John Smith’s exhibitionism with one another.  The nakedness and the beatings occurred in groups.  None of this was private.  Furthermore, P.J. observed the beating of Rocky Leanders, Jason Leanders, and Bryon Hickman in April 1993.  P.J. denies all knowledge of such abuse.   

After this April 1993 camp, P.J. returned to Cape Town University in South Africa to finish up his senior year.   The following month, he was made “aware” the Bulawayo pastors and parents were insisting on change.  This is the ONLY thing he remembers from his 20 years in Zimbabwe.  He never heard about any allegations of abuse.

“I was aware that a delegation of pastors and parents insisted that my father and the Board of Zambesi Holidays make adjustments to camp life, which they did.  I was not involved with those interactions.” 

Here is what David Coltart said in his introduction to his report. 

“In May 1993 several parents of Christian Brothers College school for boys, who had attended camps at Ruzawi School conducted by Mr Smyth in April 1993, complained to several Christian Ministers in Bulawayo regarding severe beatings received by the boys on camps, compulsory skinning dipping, nude trampolining and allegations of Mr Smyth walking around in the nude at bedtime and at shower time in front of the boys.” 

P.J. participated in the April camp.  He became “aware” that pastors and parents were insisting on change in May.  And after graduation and marriage, he participated in a meeting to discuss this change in June.  

Lastly, P.J. recalls the “the tragic drowning of a fellow camper.”  He was in attendance.  This is a reference to Guide Nyachuru.  His death occurred on December 15, 1992.  By the way, many victims of John Smyth do not refer to themselves as survivors.  They do this in honor of Guide who did not survive.  P.J. claims he was “devastated” because he “knew him” but I was told by an investigator, “Well, by all accounts, P.J. knew him for a maximum of four hours.”    

The Smyth’s have always presented Guides’ death as an accident but there is evidence it was a homicide.  That evidence could be made public in the future.  Here is an excerpt from a major news outlet in Africa.  Guide’s body was found naked. 

Mail & Guardian: Africa’s Best Read
Christian crusader in teen abuse scandal
Niren Tolsi 02 Feb 2017 15:30 

He [John Smyth] was charged with the culpable homicide of 16-year-old Guide Nyachuru at one of the Zambesi Ministries’ summer camps held in Marondera in December 1992.  Nyachuru’s naked body was found in the Ruzawi School pool — questions still hang over the circumstances surrounding his drowning.  Smyth has always maintained it was a tragic accident. 

Paragraph 5 

"In my twenties, I gradually became aware that there had been issues surrounding my father’s ministry in the UK.  Nothing specific, but I remember hearing some of my parent’s friends say things like, “… of course those were difficult years for your Dad.”  However, I assumed that it was something relatively minor and it never occurred to me to press my father for detail."

Analysis

“In my twenties” covers the years 1991-1999.  P.J. learned about general allegations of his father’s abuse in the UK from David Coltart at the June 29, 1993 meeting in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  P.J. also learned about specific allegations of abuse in the UK from the Coltart Report which was issued on October 19, 1993.  For example, this information found in paragraphs 5 and 7. 

5. The report compiled by Canon Ruston gives the following details: beatings for masturbation, pride and undisclosed “falls” were administered.  Eight men spoke of bleeding on most occasions.  There was one attempted suicide.  “Training beatings” of some 75 strokes were introduced.  One man was beaten every 4/5 days one vacation.  Semi-nakedness gave way to complete nakedness “for humility”.  For a training session a man undressed himself; for “falls” he was undressed by Mr Smyth. 

7. He showed the young man biblical texts to support his assertion that help could be given by Mr Smyth beating the young man.  The young man was told not to tell others about it as it was open to misinterpretation.  The young man had his first beating that weekend, “probably about 20 or 30 strokes from a very stiff bamboo cane” which “even had a towelling grip made for it”.  The beatings took place in the special shed.  The young man removed all his clothes save for a t-shirt. … “The beating was very painful and one’s buttocks were very raw and bleeding by the end.  Sitting down was not immediately possible.  We used to wear absorbent medicated pads under our under-clothes to keep the blood from leaking and to provide a cushion for our sore behinds.”

This is the testimony of Richard Gittins.  Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News UK interviewed him.  You can listen to it here.  It runs from the 7:58-9:05 mark. 

P.J. claims he “gradually” became aware of “issues” (but not these allegations) when he overheard “some of my parent’s friends” mention “difficult years for your Dad” in the UK.  He remembers these inconsequential comments, but he doesn’t remember the momentous comments (and reporting) by David Coltart and the Bulawayo pastors.  At least it’s good to know he remembers something!  I was getting concerned he totally lost his mind – or memory.  

But unfortunately, what he remembered caused him no concern.  P.J. assumed the issues and difficulties were relatively minor.  So minor, “it never occurred to me to press my father for detail.”  I wondered what he thought when his father “asked that the allegations contained in the Ruston report should not be read out in front of his son” (The Coltart Report, paragraph 45).  I wonder if it “occurred to him to press his father for details” after the meeting.  We’ll never know.  Why?  Because he doesn’t remember anything about the meeting!  

Nor does he remember any comments by his aunts and uncles – Jonathan and Janet Brooks, Christopher and Jayne Smyth – who resigned from the Zambesi Ministries UK in 1989 when they demanded he stop working with youth after learning of his obscene behavior and violent beating boys and young men. 

Paragraph 6 

“I believe that the civil authorities are given by God to help protect against wrong-doing.  I am firmly committed to reporting any form of child abuse to the authorities.  These are horrific allegations, and if proven true it is right that my father face justice.”

Analysis

P.J. worked against the prosecution of his father in Zimbabwe for these “horrific allegations.”  In fact, he observed the severe beating of boys like Rocky Leander.

Cathy Newman interviewed Rocky for her TV report.  He talked about witnessing one or two beatings that resulted in the breaking of a table tennis bat.  P.J. was part of this group and witnessed the same.

Channel 4 – Cathy Newman
‘Ungodly crime?’: part 2
February 3, 2107

Minutes 2:43-3:32 [total segment 1:57-3:45]

Cathy: Three days into the camp, Rocky says Smyth introduced strict discipline on what was supposed to be a holiday.  Rocky says he beat boys with a table tennis bat if they misbehaved.  At first it was only a couple of blows.  But he says it quickly escalated. 

Rocky: On one or two occasions, and certainly, not on me, but witnessed by me, John broke a table tennis bat administrating the punishments.  And you have got to whack a 15-year old pretty hard to break the handle off of a wooden table tennis bat. 

Cathy: So you saw that happening?

Rocky: Definitely

Cathy: When Rocky’s mother [Stellar Leander] saw the bruises on her sons [Rocky and Jason] she contacted a lawyer [David Coltart]. 

Stellar Leander was interviewed by a different investigator in July 2017.  Here what she told the person.

“Rocky and Jason both went on camp, and so did their cousin Byron Hickman.  He was 13.  Rocky had his 15th birthday on the camp in April 1993.  They always went on Christian camps, and they loved them – until this one.  When I went to pick them up after this camp they had deadpan faces.  There was no joy in them.  I knew something bad had happened. …

“The boys told me that JS [John Smyth] had been really aggressive.  They told me they went on a boat trip with him, and they were all made to strip naked.  They told me that JS came into the dormitories every night naked, just to draw the curtains. 

“When Rocky told me what had happened I asked him to show me the bruising on his backside.  It was terrible.  I showed it to a doctor [Dr. MacAullay] too.  So I went to Dave Coltart, with Rocky, Jason, Henry Olonga and Nkosi [both victims]. 

“The boys say that when they were beaten, PJ Smyth was there too.

“PJ Smyth went to teach at Falcon College [high school] for a couple of years.  My youngest son Lloyd remembers him there.” 

Remember, the medical report by Dr. MacAullay was read out to P.J. in detail at the June 29, 1993 meeting between him, his father, David Coltart, the National Director of Youth for Christ, and four Bulawayo pastors including Chris Hingley.  This report concerned the beating of Rocky Leander which P.J. observed.  He doesn’t recall any of it. 

I mention Chris Hingley because he is the pastor who emailed P.J. two days after he wrote this “Open Letter.”  So did Cathy Newman from Channel 4 News UK.  They both knew he was lying. 

In fact, Hingley had written this comment on Todd Wilhelm’s blog, Thou Art the Man.

Thou Art the Man
Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 1:38 PM

 I am a pastor in Zimbabwe who met PJ Smyth at his request to discuss the allegations against his father.  He was certainly aware of the issues.  How can I contact you in confidence? 

Hingley refers to a meeting with P.J. at P.J.’s request.  This was not the June 1993 meeting.  This was a later meeting between Hingley, P.J. and his wife Ashleigh in 1994 to “discuss the allegations” because “he was certainty aware of the issues.” 

Hingley was interviewed by an investigator in June and July 2017.  This is what he told the person about this meeting.

“I met PJ and Ashley (sic) on their initiative in 1994.  PJ didn’t accept all the allegations.  But he did accept that JS [John Smyth] wasn’t a fit person to run camps.” 

P.J. did not “accept all the allegations” being made against his father by Coltart, aunts and uncles, medical professionals, and the pastors.  Here is what they were asserting.

(i) Excessive beatings were a manifestation of sexual sadism;

(ii) Excessive insistence of nudity of the campers was a manifestation of voyeurism;
 
(iii) The excessive nudity on the part of Mr Smyth was a manifestation of exhibitionism;
 
(iv) These were all “paraphilia” (sexual deviations) and abnormal, or maladaptive, and could have extremely dangerous long term effects on those involved (the boys).

P.J. was fully aware of all the allegations against his father but he was trying to persuade men like Chris Hingley they were not true.

P.J. has also refused to speak out in public and call upon his father to return to the United Kingdom to face justice.  He has remained silent even though victims of his father have asked him to take a stand and help them.  Cathy Newman has also asked him to do an interview for Channel 4 News UK but he has refused.

And further, he has shown no personal care or concern for the victims.  For example, Andy Morse even though Andy was a close family friend and the god-parent of P.J.’s sister, Fiona (Smyth) Rugg.   

After P.J. was exposed for his obvious lying and deceit, he added this amendment.

Open Letter from PJ Smyth
Date: February 4, 2017
Author: PJ Smyth

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 22: Since writing this I have realized that it is not strictly accurate to say, “I was not involved with those interactions” and I am sorry for the confusion this has caused.  I was seeking to write in a timely way what I remembered, but my memory was flawed.  The Covenant Life elders have commented here. —PJ Smyth 

At a question and answer session, he also told members of Covenant Life he only remembered what David Coltart’s law office looked like even after he talked to some of the Bulawayo pastors like Chris Hingley.

“Pastors from Zimbabwe emailed to remind him about a meeting he was at in 1993 concerning problems regarding his father, but even after talking with them last week he only remembers what the building looked like, not the content of the discussions.  So he’s trying to figure out how to be transparent while realizing to his dismay that he’s forgotten significant things. … Otherwise his credibility will always be in question.”  

I covered this outlandish “update” and claim he could not remember “the content of the discussions” at length in Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth Deceives Covenant Life Church About Knowledge of John Smyth’s Violent Beating of Boys

In my first letter to the CLC pastors, I said I’d not be surprised if more evidence came out.  That was based upon my confidence in the justice and faithfulness of God.

From: Brent Detwiler [mailto:abrentdetwiler@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2017 4:52 PM
To: P.J. Smyth; Robin Boisvert; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Jamie Leach; Adam Malcolm; Mark Mitchell; Kevin Rogers; Greg Somerville; Bob Schickler; Dave Brown; David Finch; Tim Harvey; Todd Keeler; Chris Kinsinger; John Leconte; Bo Lotinsky; Jose Troche; Steve Wyzga
Subject: Deceptive Statement on UK Media Reports 

I’ve been at this a long time.  I’ve seen leaders in CLC and SGM repeatedly lie and deceive.  I will not be surprised if evidence comes out in the future that proves you are lying.  I hope that is not the case, but if it is, now is the time to be honest with the CLC elders.  If you cover up further, your demise is certain and extraordinary harm will come to the church.

In my fourth letter to the CLC pastors, I asked them to come clean.  They knew P.J. was guilty of lying and deceit.  They had the Coltart Report and other documentation.  I asked them to release it to the church.  Of course, they kept the incriminating evidence it contained from the members.  Just like they did in the reports given by Lars Liebeler and Mark Mitchell in October 2014 regarding the conspiracy to commit and cover up the sexual abuse of children.

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:16 PM
To: P.J. Smyth; Robin Boisvert; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Jamie Leach; Adam Malcolm; Mark Mitchell; Kevin Rogers; Greg Somerville; Bob Schickler; Dave Brown; David Finch; Tim Harvey; Todd Keeler; Chris Kinsinger; John Leconte; Bo Lotinsky; Jose Troche; Steve Wyzga
Subject: P.J. and the Zimbabwe Pastors

This sounds all too familiar.  Withholding and misrepresenting information instead of sharing information because it is incriminating.  You need to let CLC have all the information you received from the Zimbabwe pastors.  They obviously contacted P.J. because they know he lied to CLC in his “Open Letter from PJ Smyth” on Feb 4 when he wrote, “I attended a number of Zambesi Holidays camps and I was never aware of any abuse.” 

Instead of coming clean they joined P.J. in the amnesia defense.  Here is what executive pastor Mark Mitchell wrote CLC on February 22, 2017. 

“Based on multiple discussions and the review of relevant documents, the elders concur with PJ that his open letter was inaccurate in stating that he “was not involved with those interactions.”  However, we also believe PJ was seeking to communicate honestly and in a timely way what he remembered.  We believe he acted in good faith but his recollection of these earlier events was flawed.”

According to P.J., “what he remembered” was nothing!  According to P.J., his “recollection of…events” was zero!  

P.J. and the elders (i.e. pastors) blamed this blackout on a “flawed” memory.  No, no, no!  If you believe his account, his memory was not flawed, it was totally obliterated!  Like he was in a coma for four years.  

And this supposed “flawed” memory was the reason, “It is not strictly accurate to say, ‘I was not involved with those interactions’” and “his open letter was inaccurate.”  Only a fool would believe that considering the overwhelming evidence.   

In summary, here are a few of the things P.J. totally forgot.  It is far from exhaustive. 

  • He forgot he was in the all-important June 29, 1993 meeting.  He forgot he was the only one there to defend his father at his father’s request.   
  • He forgot he was with the premier civil rights lawyer in Zimbabwe and meeting in his law office.  He forgot he was with five distinguished Christian leaders who were making their case against his father.  
  • He forgot all the criminal allegations made by David Coltart and the evidentiary documents he presented including seven written statements from boys that were beaten in Zimbabwe.  
  • He forgot being told about the horrid allegations of violent abuse referenced in the Ruston Report pertaining to 22 boys and young men in the UK.  
  • He forgot the anguished accounts of physical abuse and crimen injuria presented by the five Christian leaders from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe which were based upon their interviewing of 8-10 boys.  
  • He forgot the medical report read out to him regarding the severe beating of Rock Leanders which he watched his father inflict two months earlier.  
  • Altogether, he forgot the allegations of “excessive beatings,” “excessive insistence of nudity of the campers,” and “excessive nudity on the part of Mr Smyth” brought up in the meeting.  
  • He likewise forgot the discussion, negotiation and decision reached for the Zambesi Board in Harare to fly to Bulawayo to meet with him, his father, Coltart and the five Christian leaders.  He also forgot he and his father vacated the agreement 90 minutes later so the Board would not hear the evidence. 
  • P.J. also forgot he and his father met with his father’s lawyer, Tim Tanser, immediately after the June 29, 1993 meeting concluded and made official statements of record. 
  • He forgot reading the 24-page Coltart Report when it was sent out on October 19, 1993 to “all those concerned.”  
  • He forgot his one on one meeting with David Coltart in February 1994, when Coltart told him that Minister Dabengwa, the high-ranking Minister of Home Affairs, was going to deport his father or get criminal charges filed against him. 
  • He forgot traveling from Bulawayo to Harare to tell his father about his meeting with Coltart and plans for his deportation or arrest by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Department of Immigration Control. 
  • He forgot the meeting he and his wife requested with Chris Hingley in 1994 to discuss the allegations of sexual sadism, voyeurism, and exhibitionism against his father. 
  • He forgot his father’s arrest on September 15, 1997 and remand at Harare’s Magistrate Court for crimen injuria and culpable homicide.    
  • He forgot his father’s trial before the Harare Supreme Court which began on October 13, 1997.

These are just a FEW of things P.J. forgot!  The list is much, much, much longer!  P.J. was his father’s confidante.  He was his father’s counselor.  He was his father’s advocate.  He was involved in the entire process.   

The reader should scan the Investigative Report to get a feel for the sheer volume of events and people about which P.J. remembers absolutely nothing!  Of course, P.J.’s “flawed memory” defense is nothing but a total and complete hoax! 

Given the conspiracy to commit and cover up the sexual abuse of children from which Covenant Life Church was trying to recover, I doubt P.J. would have been hired in December 2015 if he and Ashleigh had been honest with the Search Committee, pastors and members.  They hid this information, or if they shared this information, the Search Committee and pastors hid it from the members. 

In any case, P.J. and Ashleigh knew all about the excessive beatings, excessive insistence of nudity, and excessive nakedness.  They knew all about the allegations of sexual sadism, voyeurism, and exhibitionism.  They also knew these were the very reasons for John Smyth’s arrest and trial.  

P.J. was 22 in 1993.  He was 26 in 1997.  That is the time period covered above.  No one that age forgets these things.  Would you forget these kinds of allegations against your father?  Would you forget your father was arrested and put on trial for these abuses and perversions?  

P.J. was not, nor were the pastors, “seeking to communicate honestly” or in “good faith” in their statements to Covenant Life Church a year ago.  They were seeking to deceive the members of Covenant Life Church and it worked.  People really believed P.J.’s memory was flawed.  It is hard to overstate the horrendous nature of their deceptive plan.  

It is the same thing they have done in the past regarding the conspiracy to commit and cover up the sexual abuse of children.  Read these two posts for hard core proof. 

C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church & the Conspiracy to Cover-up the Sexual Abuse of Children
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 12:42PM 

Brent Detwiler’s Factual Rebuttal of Covenant Life Church Apologist 
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 2:47PM 

And everyone should read the statement put out yesterday by Rachael Denhollander in Response to Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc.  She reproves them for their utterly unfounded condemnation of her and summarizes the evidence against them.  Based upon the evidence, she again calls for an independent investigation.  It is an extremely important statement! 

If the pastors at Covenant Life Church were submitted to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, and the authority of Scripture, they would voluntarily resign immediately.  Instead, there is every reason to believe they will continue to deceive and attempt to move forward in their plans for greatness with a new name, new membership, and new movement called Advance.  

If so, every member must appeal for their repentance and ask for their resignations.  If P.J. and the pastors don’t resign and come clean, I’d recommend people leave and populate godly churches or start new ones.  And for the sake of Christ, warn others about their excessive duplicity. 

Related Posts

P.J. Smyth & Mark Mitchell Refuse to Answer Question at Members’ Meeting About Reliable Witnesses Calling P.J. a Liar for Denying Knowledge of Father’s Violent Beating of Boys
Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 5:38PM

My Letters to the Apostolic Leaders of Advance and NewfrontiersAsking Them to Remove P.J. Smyth from Leadership in Their Global Ministries
Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:47PM

Please Help Financially   

My efforts are designed to help Christians judge righteously, think biblically, and live courageously.  Your financial support makes that possible.  Please consider a gift today at BrentDetwiler.com.  Thank you! 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend