We are expecting an update from the JFCT soon on their proposed redress scheme, ahead of this we wanted to let people know the wish list we sent the JFCT solicitors on the 21-06-20. Following consultations and legal advice, this is an outline of what we requested to be included in the new JFCT redress scheme.
JFSA Wish List
for the New Lambeth style JFCT Redress Scheme
Each claimant to be given legal representation by Hudgells solicitors, paid for by the scheme. For those requiring a psychological report this to be a joint psychiatrist with BLM, with the costs covered by the scheme.
2.Who can Claim
Ex-members, ex-residents, current residents if under 18 and visitors (current or historic) of the Jesus Fellowship Community Trust (JFCT), venues and meeting places, who feel they have been harmed whilst part of the JFCT.
3.Who cannot Claim
Current members are excluded from redress. Current members are defined as those that are entitled to JFCT apportionment and/or re-settlement payments. Ex members who had been or would have been removed from JFCT community houses for ‘safeguarding reasons’. We understand the criteria for this to be 3 or more disclosures of abuse against them.
Claimants will be believed, and their statements will be taken as proof they were harmed within the parameters of the scheme. If BLM feel the details in the claim do not verify in themselves that the claimant fits the criteria, a reference may be supplied, eg. from a fellow survivor, family member, ex member or current member.
Statutes of limitations will not be used by BLM against any of the claims brought through the scheme.
6.Burden of Proof
A claimant’s statement will be believed, with no requirements of proof required for abuse suffered. BLM will not deny or call into question the truth of the claimant’s statement. Any other evidence such as psychiatrist report, witness statement, prescribed medicines or psychiatrist assessment etc. will help affirm the account, but it is not necessary to have these to make a claim.
Any claimant who has made a civil claim – whether successful or not – can access the scheme. Any payment already received will act as a part payment of their final settlement.
All claimants are not restricted from making a civil claim before or after accessing this scheme, but BLM may bring any new claims within the scheme if agreed.
The harm’s way payment and the insurers contribution to the compensation payment will be paid to Hudgells within 7 days of the offer being accepted. The balance of the compensation payment owed by the JFCT will then be paid within 30 days of the offer being accepted. If the JFCT do not have sufficient funds, a statement of account will be supplied to the claimant showing an expected payment date, monthly interest will be applied at 5% APR, with monthly statements supplied. If the total amount outstanding is not paid within 12 months from the date the offer was accepted, Hudgells will seek to recover the outstanding amount, plus any reasonable costs incurred, from the members of the JFCT as of 20/06/20. They will be jointly and severally liable.
9.In Harms Way Payment
There will be an in harms way payment which will reflect the harm done within the unique setting of the JFCT. We believe this comes outside of the insurers contract and so will be covered entirely by the JFCT.
This will be graded by whether a claimant was a minor or an adult at the time and the duration. This will be a simple opt in or out, to reflect that some people believe they were not affected during their time within the JFCT and therefore would not want to claim within this tariff. No details will be required to be given, as it is accepted that all of the abuses included were prevalent within the JFCT setting.
This will be on a sliding scale with payments for adults and children graded depending on the duration.
The Harms way payment covers the harm caused due to life within the JFCT, which included the following;
- Subject to milieux control in the form of use of loaded language used in worship/teachings/literature to reinforce extreme teachings, difference between the JA and other religious institutions, the rest of the ‘world’. This way was the only way.
- Every other religion, religious belief was most definitely preached against.
- Constantly living in fear of hell, Satan and eternal damnation. Satan referred to in almost every congregational meeting.
- Unhealthy preaching – anything relating to desires/sex/needs/bodily functions demonised during sermons.
- No access to outside agencies for support with depression or other medical conditions – due to GP practice owned & run by JA.
- News/newspapers being censored by leadership, some houses were not allowed them at all. No TV’s/radios etc.
- Instructed how to vote.
- Being spied on/reported on to leadership by any and all around you – resulting in being shamed/punished resulting in loss of trust in relationships, hypervigilance, paranoia, isolation of the individual.
- Leadership being above the law, all subject to God’s law, and therefore leadership able to enforce any punishment/forgiveness as they saw fit.
- Women in particular were forced into subjugation – forced to wear skirts, nothing that would be seen as having commonality/equality with men.
- Specific derogatory wording used to define women (i.e. Jezebel/Eveish).
- Leader’s wives automatically had higher status than other women.
- The JF was very secretive and there was a failure to make proper reports. The culture strongly encouraged people to ‘Protect the Kingdom’ and ‘forgive’ perpetrators. Resulting in many reports/ serious complaints/ safeguarding concerns not being dealt with in the proper way, often with the victim being blamed for ‘destroying’ the ‘kingdom’.
Before their 18th birthday a child experienced all/many of the following;
- Forced to live 24/7 extreme schedule of worship, social outreach, travel throughout the UK to fulfil the leadership vision – children expected to partake in long marches, evangelism, schedule of long (3-4 hr) meetings throughout the week, in all weather conditions!
- Loss of ‘parent’/’parenting unit’ when growing up in community household due to responsibilities loaded on the parents & living with lots of other adults (you’ve already said about being subjected to discipline by anyone – even visitors/people off the streets etc.) – this also meant that parents often had no idea what was going on with their children (being stalked/molested/abused/disciplined/groomed).
- In most households living/sleeping arrangements were shared so all adults had all/ full access to children
- The JF teaching was to physically discipline children to ‘break their will’, with a ‘rod’ of some kind – this could be a bamboo stick, wooden ruler, hairbrush, wooden spoon, wooden clothes hanger etc. This discipline was insisted upon by household leaders or other adult members of the house and often carried out by other adults other than the parents.
- Due to the JF’s secretive, ‘protect the kingdom’ culture, many safeguarding concerns were not dealt with correctly and serious risks continued to live in community households putting more children at risk.
- Children often had no one to trust or to advocate for them.
- Children expected to be seen and not heard – children were a distraction from godly duties – therefore they were inherently something to be squashed/disciplined/demonised/controlled. Due to this culture children were unlikely to be believed.
- Forced to join membership of the JA at 15/16 with public baptism & forced to give commitment to JA via specific wording in front of whole congregation as witnesses (and this bit I think needs to be highlighted elsewhere – the spoken word of ‘covenant’) – no other option other than being rejected and being made destitute/homeless (i.e. cast out/no-where to go/no money/no experience of how to cope in the world especially financially etc.).
- Being denied/forced to give up soft toys/toys/games/personal items as children/babies – complete lack of developmental/educational stimuli.
- Physical/medical conditions being ignored/invalidated by parents/carers and being told you would be ‘healed’ and if you weren’t healed it was God’s punishment on you. Having to live with pain condition rather than seeking help from medical professionals to help manage.
- Due to living in close contact/dormitories with homeless/alcoholics/drug users & addicts/paedophiles etc. children grew up with a very high & unhealthy tolerance for ‘needy’ and ‘unhealthy’ relationships, and resulting in nightmares and fear for security/safety.
- Not allowed any friendships outside of the Jesus Army.
- Not allowed to eat/socialise at school leading to complete social ostracisation.
- No access to anything competitive/sport related/extracurricular activities all denied.
- Education being actively discouraged/demonised – therefore unable to fulfil potential/talents/career desires.
- Complete & utter denial of self (any talents/desires/needs/possessions etc.) being part of the transition to being as singular & committed to god and the JA cause/cult as possible, affecting positive affirmation & development of children (basically stopping the normal/healthy development of children to succeed etc.) – not sure where this one should sit!!
- Girls in particular, denied any friendships/relationships with boys (and closed down/moved community house/ if indeed a friendship/relationship did develop).
- Children being below women in the order of submission.
- Hardship of being expected to sleep on hard floors under a chair on a coat all year around during long congregational or national meetings.
- Neglectful diet – not allowed items of food which would aid development, growth – food provided was often without any or much nutritional value or not suitable to sell. (For example, infested dried fruit, substandard fresh food.)
- No access to sun cream.
- Child labour – expected farm work; picking fruit/potatoes, mailing of religious literature etc. in all weathers/time of day for many hours at a time.
- Subjected to exorcisms of themselves or others around them which could be extremely violent and distressing.
- Children being forced to give up single bedroom or a shared room with siblings to sleep in an area/dormitory shared with other single men/women (respectively) where the parents were not allowed into/parent’s choice overridden.
- Birthdays not celebrated.
The following abuses will also be included within this tariff.
(in harms way/ childhood environmental impact/ Household Challenges – only specific to children)
|A child’s wellbeing is impaired and their care needs (physical &/or psychological) are not met. In a child, neglect is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health |
or development. Neglect can be deliberate or can occur as a result of not understanding what someone’s needs are.Eg: Before 18th birthday an individual experienced one or some of the following while residing in a JF community house: exposure to abuse of others; witnessing abuse of family members; living with people with addiction, mental health issues, criminals or violent individuals. This could be in the form of:Exposing child to potential sexual harm – eg: living with known or confessed paedophilesExcluding parents from child’s bedroomExposing child to danger where they are unable to protect themselvesDenial/ forced – food / drink as punishmentFailure to provide adequate supervision No safeguarding measures or checks and children told to obey ALL adults Failure to provide child with life skills for living outside of the community.Inequity between families (eg: rules did not apply in the same way to all)Deconstruction of the immediate family unit in favour of caring brothers/sisters/subjugation to all adultsChild labour· Thrown out of family home before 18th birthday with no help, or finances
|Institutional Abuse/ Organisational abuse||The mistreatment of a person by a regime or individuals within an institution. It can occur through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect, or poor professional practice or ill-treatment, significant control of individual’s behaviour. The church as an institution is not exempt from perpetrating institutional abuse. This could be in the form of:Toxic culture, thought control, thought reform, brainwashingSuppression of selfMystical manipulation Angry/ shouting and threats of hell if you don’t follow the church’s directionAnything outside of church direction is ‘out of the spirit’ – eg: can’t have your own beliefsDiscouraged to seek support outside of the groupControl over who you can see or speak toMultiple and lengthy meetingsThought control/ emotional rollercoasterAnyone outside of group unworthy/ unspiritual/ worldly/ evilSpecial mission/ vision/ the ‘only’ way is pursued at all costs to build the kingdomMain leader/s deemed ‘prophets’ and what they said was law and came from god, any contradiction/ questioning is discouraged or preached against.Interpretation of events to explain god’s judgement/ blessing (eg: illness, tragedy, job)Deprived of self-expression and autonomyDoctrine over personPersonal experiences subordinate to the ‘truth’ held by the group (eg: abuse disclosure discouraged for the sake of the kingdom)Strive for perfection defined by leadersLack of boundaries encouraged in ‘sharing all ‘sins’Special language – dulling one’s ability to think critically· Constant busyness|
|Radicalisation||The process that moves a person to legitimise their support for or use of violence. The promise of an ideology which gives purpose and belonging. Can take place over a long-time period or happen quickly. The person may not understand that they have been radicalised.e.g. isolation from family and friends, disrespectful attitude towards outsiders, unwillingness or inability to express one’s own views, adoption of radical religious positions that undermine and exclude the wider Christian faith.|
This will be a tariff based on common law which will include personal injury claims including, but not exclusive to; sexual (including child exploitation), physical, psychological and emotional abuse.
This will be on a sliding scale. This will be paid on top of the In Harm’s Way Payment and will be covered by both the insurers and the JFCT.
The following details some areas to be included, but is not an exclusive list;
|Psychological/Emotional Abuse (Emotional/Spiritual / Control /coercion/ manipulation/ bullying)||The use of threats, fear or power gained by another’s position, to invalidate the person’s independent wishes can create very real emotional and psychological stress. In children, it can cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development.e.g. When an individual inflicts a behaviour on another individual including bullying, inappropriate use of power, intimidation, manipulation and gaslighting, resulting in psychological trauma. This can be in the form of:Control of:|
(NB: Control was often in the form of discipleship from leaders/ caring brothers or sisters/ shepherds)DietClothingTransport (unable to leave eg: refused money for busses, lifts, access to a car)ActivitiesEducationMedia/ informationFriends – denied friendships within the church that were deemed ‘unhealthy/ soulish’. Friends outside of church – described as ‘worldly’Relationships with opposite sexRelationships with same sex (renouncing of gay relationships)Natural family tiesMarriages – eg: preaching against contraception. Single beds for married people· Health – eg: ‘embracing’ your healing by coming off prescribed medication Coercion:Forced discipleshipPressure to conformThreat of exclusionStrong encouragement/ cultural status to be celibate (celibacy was the ‘highest way’)· Often ‘delivered’ in the form of words of knowledge, or pre-emoted by ‘the Lord says’, prophesy, Manipulation/Bullying:Always tired eg: from many church duties as well as full time workPublic humiliation – eg: when don’t agree, or conform or displays of natural behaviour such as teenage interest in girls/boysHarassmentIsolationThreat of excommunicationUnreasonable and organised withdrawal of services or supportNo means to leave· Threats of eternal damnation if you did leave Spiritual Abuse/ Mystical manipulation:The inappropriate use of religious belief or practice.Coercion and control of one individual by another by any means.The abuse of trust or misuse of power by someone in a position of spiritual authority (such as a minister or in a discipleship/pastoral role).The person experiences spiritual abuse as a deeply emotional personal attack.Pressure to speak in tongues (eg: teaching that said it is a sign of being ‘filled with the spirit’)Coercive control and manipulation e.g. unwanted Wisdom pictures, Words of knowledge intrusive or forced healing and deliverance ministries or rituals. Requirements for secrecy and silence, with isolation from others external to the abuse context, (eg: Discouraged from seeking support outside of church)The misuse of Scripture, the authority of leadership or penitential discipline, (eg: the requirement to be obedient to a husband or leader who was sometimes the abuser).Enforced accountability and pressure to conform.Oppressive teaching.· Censorship of decision making.The denial of the right to faith or the opportunity to grow in the knowledge and love of God.
|Discriminatory Abuse||The inappropriate treatment of a person because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality or disability. This could be in the form of:All male leadership structureMen promoted with no experience or training and expected to perform Gender specific tasks: eg: Women expected to perform all the domestic duties in spite of other duties they hadPower struggles: within leadership and domestic environments eg: leader’s wives automatically had higher status.Submission – in spite of personal beliefs.Women seen as second class and not as important as men eg: men served first at dinner times, men made decisions/ had final word on decisions.Women shamed and blamed for ‘stumbling/ tempting men just by being women. Women told to wear skirts/ dressesMale leadership led to unequal relationship in marriageFemale single parents excluded from decision making about their own children.· Male leaders made decisions: all had to ‘check out’ activities- from the mundane to important – and leaders had final word on what you did.Women couldn’t drive if a man was in the car and strictly forbidden to drive minibuses|
|Domestic Abuse||Any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults or young people, who are or have been intimate partners, family members or extended family members (including caring brothers and sisters and shepherd), regardless of age, gender or sexuality or social status. It can encompass, but is not limited to, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident. More frequently it consists of repeated and often escalating patterns of controlling behaviour, abuse and fear.|
|Modern Slavery||The illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Includes human trafficking, where people are moved from one place to another into a situation of exploitation, using deception, coercion and violence. e.g. exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain This could be in the form of expectation to:Working for no pay to profit lifestyle or businessesUnpaid work eg: on farm, packing shed/warehouse Domestic servitudeAlso:ExploitationFailure to provide NINo breaks or holiday|
|Physical Abuse||To inflict pain, physical injury, impairment or suffering. e.g. Any intentional act causing injury or trauma through bodily contact. This could be in the form of: Mistreatment of a child by an adult – Rodding/inappropriate discipline by parent or other Unreasonable restraintViolence or threat of violenceCommon assault – manhandling, overpowering, intimidationABH/ GBH· Forced imprisonmentDomestic violence|
|Sexual Abuse||For a child – forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities. For an adult – Any non-consenting sexual act or behaviour.e.g. These include molestation, uninvited nakedness and unwanted sexual stimulation and intimacy.No one should enter a sexual relationship with someone for whom they have pastoral responsibility or hold a Position of Trust.|
|Child Sexual Exploitation||A type of sexual abuse.The child is given gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities.The tricking or grooming of children to believe they are in a loving and consensual relationship. Can be both in person or online. The child may not understand that they have been abused. They may seem to be condoning or even encouraging the abusive behaviour.|
This will be a tariff based on common law which will include claims for the effects of the abuse suffered, including, but not restricted to loss of earnings and opportunity. This may be supported by a report from the joint psychiatrist.
This will be on a sliding scale. This will be paid on top of the In Harm’s Way Payment and the Abuse Payment and will be covered by both the insurers and the JFCT.
Any claims that go higher than the above thresholds will be handled as civil claims but within the scheme with the same burden of proof and lack of limitations.
We suggest the following process but will happily take advice on alternatives that may be more appropriate.
All applicants will apply to the scheme online, this process will be handled exclusively by BLM and Hudgells. They will be assigned a reference number and will be supplied with a claim pack and will be given Hudgells contact details. In acknowledgement of the existing registration process, all claimants who have previously registered will be contacted directly by the existing scheme Project Manager to seek authorisation to pass their details to Hudgells.
At no point will the JFCT be given the details of anyone applying to the scheme, unless BLM and Hudgells have reason to believe that the claimant may not have participated in life within the JFCT, and a satisfactory reference cannot be obtained. Only then, and with the express permission of the claimant will confirmation be sought through the safeguarding lead of the JFCT, who will be bound by a confidentiality agreement.
The claimant will arrange a mutual time for Hudgells to take their statement. This statement will be written up and sent as a letter of claim to BLM along with any other evidence deemed appropriate. If further information is required, Hudgells will liaise with their client. BLM will score the claim against the relevant tariffs and come back to Hudgells with an offer. If this offer is accepted by the claimant the payments will be made as per the schedule.
The scheme will be open for new applicants for a period of two years from the launch date of the scheme.
The scheme in its entirety, including the tariffs will be published on the redress website, which will be run by a person appointed by BLM and Hudgells.
The scheme will be advertised nationally in newspapers and on social media, a budget of £20,000 will be set aside for this. This will be managed by a competent person appointed by BLM and Hudgells, and paid for within the scheme.
There will be an Appeals panel made up of a senior judge and two solicitors, all appeals will be handled by them. This will be fully funded through the scheme.