Once upon a time there was a sailor who longed for power and to have a boat to control and be the master of, he looked around and found a small group of other sailors in an old house who had been talking about owning a boat for years, but talk was all they did.
He roared up on his motorbike and announced that he was sent from the king, specially anointed and that he had seen a vision of a grand boat, and that boat was called Zion.
He persuaded the sailors in the house to put all their money in a tea pot and give it to him so he could go and buy his big boat for them all to share.
He called himself captain and proudly lowered the plank so the sailors could board and admire what their money had bought. In gold letters painted on the side, Zion was launched.
They sailed the high seas with many adventures and at each port, special teams would go out, find the vulnerable and infirm and bring them back to the boat, promising that if they worked for free and sacrificed they would all end up at the end of the world dancing and rejoicing with the king.
The captain soon realised that to keep his growing crew under control he needed men who would do his bidding and ensure his word was law, he chose all of the young men and gave them special badges and called them lieutenants, these badges meant that they could not be questioned, they would be served by the women of the ship in all their wants and they would uphold the captains discipline.
Anyone who disagreed with the captain was chastised and put ashore destitute and penniless and told the king now hates them and they would never see the worlds edge.
As more and more children were born upon the ship it was decided that they must be beaten and abused and used as slaves and not allowed to be children, they became the captains experiment.
Some of the lieutenants took a liking to children and some of the young woman and decided to use them for their own pleasure, initially there was murmurings amongst the other lieutenants that the king would not like this if he found out, but others said, if he did they would lose their beautiful ship, so they decided preserving the ship was far more important than seeing justice done for these little children, so bad lieutenants were just moved to other parts of the ship to abuse different children.
The ship was so large that some compartments were very much cut off from the rest of the ship, here the treachery was less, but nobody questioned anything for fear of being left stranded. The nearer to the ships captain you lived, the more perverted and abusive and controlling the regime.
Now it came to pass that the old sea captain became very ill, and he called his lieutenants to him and chose from amongst their number a group of apostles to continue his work. He made them swear allegiance to him and to his regime and told all the crew members to worship them and follow them where ever they led them.
Unfortunately for some of these apostles, some of the old crew who had been abandoned over the years had begun to tell their story and the principle of the port threatened to take away their ship unless they admitted to all the wrong and abusive things they had done over the years. Cleverly they managed to confess in secret and the worst offenders were given their own boats, loaded with a lifetimes supply of food and water and towed from the back of the main ship, the crew members left on the ship felt very sorry for the way their beloved lieutenants had been treated and often sent them letters of admiration.
Now things got even worse for the top lieutenants, though they were not the worst abusers they had turned a blind eye to the years of abuse suffered by the children and regularly beat them, the port authorities came again and said you must step down whilst we investigate your behaviour, cleverly the top lieutenants got expensive lawyers, paid for by the Slave labour of the crew and ensured the crew were not allowed to hear of their crimes.
In their place, the crew chose 10 from amongst their own to lead them forward, now was their chance to put things right, now was their chance to discover the truth, whatever the cost and shout it from the rooftops, now was the chance to find the scared and abused children and make it right, now was the chance to find the people they had abandoned destitute and make it right, now was their chance for the king to be glorified. But they were scared, what if they were implicated, what if the crew knew the reality of what they had been a part of and loved, how would they cope with the knowledge they had thrown their lives away and been lied to and abused and controlled, what if the crew left, who would man the glorious golden ship, what if the ship was taken and broken up to make things right, would that be too much a cost, would it not be easier to pay a few people, hide behind the lip service of protecting the victims, or maybe it would be easier to do nothing, and hope it all goes away.
Today those 10 men and women are writing the next chapter, they have the quill in their hands and can compose the future, how will this sorry story end, will they be brave, compassionate, righteous? Will they stand up for the abused, will they stand up to the abusers? The strength is there, if they will only find it, the compassion is there if they dig deep, the righteous anger is there to over come their fears, dig deep my friends and let history show that you stood, shoulder to shoulder and did what is right, you did what is good and you did what is true.