"Salvation Army victim vows to tell all"
- Category: Salvation Army
- Created: Wednesday, 29 January 2014 23:30
- Written by Joanne McCarthy - Newcastle Herald
GRAHAM Rundle was seven when he was first raped at a Salvation Army boys' home in South Australia and placed in a "lock-up", 18 when he first tried to commit suicide, 48 when he turned to the Salvos for justice, and 58 when he comprehensively beat them.
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He is now 61 and ready to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse after angrily rejecting the Salvation Army's apology this week for horrific abuse at its NSW and Queensland homes.
"They're bastards," he said.
"I was repeatedly raped as a child in the 1960s but they abused me again in a different way when I reported it as an adult, and they didn't have to do that.
"I want to give evidence in public. I want to be named. I want people to know what the bastards were like then, and what they're like now. They did everything in their power to get rid of me."
Mr Rundle, of Bucketty, was known by a number at Eden Park boys' home.
Within weeks of arriving he was brutally raped by Salvation Army officer William Ellis, who raped little boys during private Bible readings or at his mother's home, and beat them in a savage fury when he was finished.
Mr Rundle was repeatedly placed overnight in Eden Park's "lock-up", described in court as a "6 feet by 8 feet room with no power and windows".
""I want to give evidence in public. I want to be named. I want people to know what the bastards were like then, and what they're like now. They did everything in their power to get rid of me." - Graham Rundle"
Mr Rundle expects a public hearing into the Salvation Army's South Australian homes that will hear evidence in the next few months about how the "lock-up" was particularly used with Aboriginal boys "to break their spirit".
William Ellis was jailed for a minimum 12 years in 2009 after an extraordinary trial in which he repeatedly collapsed and was taken to hospital by ambulance, and shrieked hysterically, refusing to leave the courtroom after he was found guilty.
Mr Rundle's struggle for compensation was just as dramatic, and included a NSW Supreme Court judge and three NSW Court of Appeal judges describing evidence from two solicitors representing the Church as "misleading", "disingenuous" and "worrying".
In December 2012 the office of Victorian Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie confirmed he had "brought charges against [the solicitors] in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, alleging professional misconduct in respect of affidavits sworn by them and filed in a proceeding in NSW".
The charges were withdrawn when the solicitors provided "new information" on the eve of a public hearing, although Mr Rundle was not advised. The commissioner told the Newcastle Herald he could not disclose the "new information".
"The Catholic Church has had the shit kicked out of it and I don't have a problem with that, but the Salvos have got away with it until now," Mr Rundle said.
"Their attitude with me was 'Get rid of this bastard and the rest will follow', and it was only when Ellis was convicted that they changed their tune."
By late 2012 the Salvation Army had more than 60 outstanding claims against it from former Eden Park children.
While evidence about the Salvation Army this week was upsetting and confronting, the royal commission was "so, so important", Mr Rundle said.
"They won't be able to hide any more. It will be there in black and white. When I'd tell people it was the Salvos who did these things to me they'd say: 'Oh really? I find that hard to believe'.
"Now people will have to believe." (Source : http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2055442/salvation-army-victim-vows-to-tell-all/?cs=2452)