But Joy Harris, 63, revealed the most devastating aspect of her ordeal was being shunned by her own son – an Independent Baptist pastor like his Dad – because he blamed her for his father’s evil actions.
“I’m totally heartbroken. He hasn’t even let me see his children, because I have to repent first.”
Speaking in a 60 Minutes exclusive, the Cairns grandmother said she had been raped up to seven time a day by her husband, Pastor Larry Harris.
“He thought the more times a day he could have it, the more of a man he was. He would get up to 6, 7 times a day and he didn’t care if it caused me pain,” she told reporter Liam Bartlett.
Pastor Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of rape in Queensland in January, however Joy will seek to have him charged in New South Wales, where the majority of abuse allegedly occurred, when he is released.
Joy told Bartlett any sense of justice will be forever overshadowed because her son Kevin, who leads the Illawarra Community Baptist Church in Dapto, has turned his back on her for speaking out against the church.
“[Kevin thinks] I’m just as guilty as a rapist, my rapist. I’m wrong; I’m displeasing God.”
In an explosive interview with 60 Minutes, which saw Kevin Harris storm out, he admitted he believed there was, “disobedience to the Lord on both parts.”
“I believe my father is guilty, but he has expressed his remorse and his repentance,” Kevin Harris said, whose breakaway church has no connection to the mainstream Australian Baptist Ministries.
It’s a stance that put Kevin Harris at odds with not only his mother, but also his own brother Jason, who quit the church in 2006 due to their fanatical beliefs.
“We didn’t realise it at the time completely, but she was a sex slave,” he told Bartlett.
Detective Sergeant Brendan Young led the investigation into Pastor Larry Harris and tells Bartlett he was appalled by what he uncovered.
“It was sexual assault, it was rapes, it was deprivation of liberty, look it was disgusting to be honest,” Det. Sgt Young said.
Joy told Bartlett Kevin’s views are widespread throughout the Independent Baptist movement and she’s determined to lend her voice to those unable to speak out against them, and expose the sinister doctrine being openly preached in small suburban churches scattered around Australia.’ http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/07/23/21/17/wife-of-preacher-reveals-horrific-torture-at-hands-of-her-husband
This is not a defense of Larry Harris or any man (saved or unsaved) that commits violence against a woman. However, this 60 Minutes story left a LOT of unanswered questions. For instance, when will Sixty Minutes to do a story on Islam and their treatment of women? Another is, did any of the seven children in the Harris home know these rapes were occurring while they were growing up? Also, why did Joy not call the police while she and Larry were in the states for those six years of counseling? Why did she not make the counselor aware of the fact that Larry had not changed but was continuing to rape her? Why, did she wait until they were back in Australia to call the police? This is not blaming the ‘victim’ but just asking some questions that need to be answered!
It seems like Sixty Minutes in this story is painting all independent Baptists as ‘radical’, ‘fanatical’, and preaching ‘sinister doctrine’. One wonders if the producers of 60 Minutes did ANY research into church history and especially the independent Baptist movement?
If they had they would have found that the English pastor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, also known as the Prince of Preachers, pulled his church out of the Baptist Union (a mainline denomination) and became independent due to the Union’s theological liberalism. Only another theological liberal or an unsaved person would have said Spurgeon was a radical, fanatical or preached sinister doctrine!
I do not know what went on in the home of Larry and Joy Harris but Sixty Minutes owes independent Baptists around the world an apology for painting all of them with the same brush!