International Public Affairs Desk for The Family International
In light of the recent reports regarding the case of Nathaniel Enright, who was found guilty by the court in Australia of numerous sexual offenses, TFI wishes to state the following:
Nathaniel Enright was born to a former TFI member and resided within TFI communities until he was 16 years of age. According to his statements at court, Nathaniel departed the movement in 1996.
TFI does not condone in any way the acts for which Enright was prosecuted. Our position on such actions is that they are morally wrong and detrimental, as well as a sin in the eyes of God.
The Family International has a zero tolerance policy in regards to the abuse of minors (for the most recent articulation of this policy, see http://tficharter.com/en/child-protection-policy/ ). The movement will immediately expel and excommunicate any member deemed guilty of physically or sexually abusive behavior towards children. Members are advised to conduct themselves in conformance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which they live and to cooperate with the justice system of the land.
TFI’s policy for the protection of minors was adopted in 1986, when Enright was 6 years old. The organization acknowledges with regret that prior to the adoption of this policy, cases occurred where minors were exposed to sexually inappropriate behavior between 1978 and 1986. This was addressed in 1986 when any sexual contact between an adult and minor was officially banned and, subsequently in 1989 declared an excommunicable offense. This policy has remained unchanged for over two decades, and the Family’s Charter (first published in 1995), reaffirms this standard.
Extensive jurisprudence exists regarding children of TFI members in Australia that clearly demonstrates that Enright’s claims are unfounded. Intensive investigations were conducted of Family communal homes and children in 1992, as a result of raids whereby over a hundred children were taken into temporary care and subjected to intensive physical and psychological evaluations. The end result was that all children were returned to their homes and court reports stated that not a single child manifested any signs of abusive treatment of any kind. In fact, a number of the children subjected to the investigation in Sydney were awarded damages, rumored to have been in the millions, for the harm they suffered. (For a summary of these proceedings, see http://www.cesnur.org/testi/TheFamily/australia.htm)
It is a matter of grave concern to all who believe in the moral imperative of protecting minors that the court accepted a psychological evaluation that would seem to justify serious sex offenses against numerous minors, based on unsubstantiated claims. If Mr. Enright is indeed guilty as charged, one can only hope that counseling is being provided to ensure his rehabilitation and to avoid other minors being harmed.