- Andre CoxGeneral Andre Cox, World Head of the Salvation Army
- James CondonCommissioner James Condon, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory
- Peter FarthingMajor Peter Farthing, Royal Commission Response Coordinator
- David Godkin
- Liz Cruickshank
- Bruce Harmer
Give Justice to Lewis Blayse and His Family & Other Salvo Victims
Dear General André Cox, Salvation Army World Head:
Lewis Blayse was taken from his family as a baby. After years in and out of institutions, he ended up in the now notorious Salvation Army Alkira / Indooroopilly Boys Home. Here, in this hell hole staffed by now notorious and sadistic paedophiles, Victor Bennett and Laurence Wilson, and other monsters, he suffered and witnessed severe abuses. These were made even more damaging because he was already institutionalised from such a young age.
The abuses Lewis suffered left him totally and permanently disabled. Later in life, he referred to his "psychological death" as a result of what happened to him. Lewis had incredible potential. He was never able to realise his potential, and lived a lifetime of poverty and deprivation. In his own words, "the Salvation Army ruined my life, and doomed me to not only have to fill in a lifetime with nothing much to formally think about, or have the dignity of employment, but also doomed me, and my family, to continuous poverty."
Lewis attempted to achieve justice from the Salvation Army, but never succeeded. As an adult, he first told the Salvation Army of abuses at Alkira in the 1990s. When he attempted to achieve justice through legal channels, the Salvation Army threw up the Statute of Limitations as a defence. The Salvation Army was presented with evidence of his total and permanent disability by a world expert in PTSD, but did nothing to help him.
It was only because of the negative public attention the Salvation Army received after the airing of the ABC program "The Homies" in 2003 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2003/20030818_homies/) that anything happened. Lewis received the ridiculous sum of $30,000, which he accepted largely because his teeth were so rotten he needed to have surgery to have them removed.
For years, Lewis felt helpless to get a better result from the Salvation Army, particularly after the Army rebounded and regained lost popularity following the airing of "The Homies". And because later, after the Salvation Army had obtained his Deed of Release, the Salvation Army turned a deaf ear to Lewis's family's pleas for more help. The Salvation Army was finished playing 'nice'. Prior to Lewis's death early in 2014, however, he felt there was a chance again for justice, because the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses was active, and the Salvation Army was again in the spotlight.
Lewis died before justice could be achieved. His eldest child, Aletha Blayse, is pursuing the Salvation Army for the justice that should have been given to Lewis but was not. In so doing, she hopes to establish a precedent that will flow on to other victims of the Salvation Army and help ameliorate the suffering of the Army's 1000s of victims and their families.
In signing this petition, you give your support to Lewis’s daughter, Aletha, in her call for justice for her father and his family. In signing this petition, you convey that your trust in the Salvation Army has been broken. In signing this petition, you support the idea that a start to re-establishing your shattered trust in the Salvation Army, the Salvation Army should make full reparation for the loss of Lewis’s Blayse’s potential and a lifetime of poverty and suffering and the damage done to his family in a manner that satisfies his surviving family. And that you also want the Salvation Army to do the same for its other victims.
In signing this petition, you are helping to reach the goal of seeing victims and their families properly cared for. You're also expressing to the Salvation Army that until such time as this happens, you won’t be giving the Salvation Army another cent of your hard-earned money, and that you'll direct your charitable donations elsewhere.
In signing this petition, you're also indicating that you'll be considering asking your local elected representative why your tax dollars should keep going to the Salvation Army too.
In signing this petition, you're also indicating that at every opportunity, you'll be telling friends, family, work colleagues, and others about what the Salvation Army has done to people like Lewis and his family and the atrocities outlined in the articles on the White Shield Appeal (www.whiteshieldappeal.org) website.
In signing this petition, you're also indicating that next year, when the Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal doorknockers come asking for money, you'll be turning them away, and placing a sign on your door telling Salvation Army doorknockers to turn around and go away (http://whiteshieldappeal.org/2014-red-shield-appeal/). And that you'll be encouraging everyone you know to do the same.
The Salvation Army simply can't destroy lives and then run from the consequences. It just needs to do the right thing!! It needs what Aletha has asked for in relation to her family. It needs to do what must be done for victims and their families. People are suffering needlessly!
What is wrong with the Salvation Army? What it is doing to the people it's harmed is so radically different from what the Salvation Army claims to stand for, it's staggering. The cruelty inflicted upon children and the ongoing cruelty of the Army's responses to its victims stands completely counter to all that the Salvation Army says about itself.
In signing this petition, you're showing that you don't want to hear about another victim dying before achieving justice. And that you don't want feel that people continue to suffer because the Salvation Army can't find it in its heart to do the right thing by them.
- General Andre Cox, World Head of the Salvation Army
- Commissioner James Condon, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory
- Major Peter Farthing, Royal Commission Response Coordinator
- David Godkin
- Liz Cruickshank
- Bruce Harmer
I have signed the petition set up by Lewis Blayse's daughter, Aletha Blayse, and support her call for justice for Lewis Blayse and his family because I'm extremely angry at how they've been treated by the Salvation Army. Do the right bloody thing! How hard can it be?
Aletha Blayse started this petition with a single signature, and now has 532 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.