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Other abusers in Smyth’s circle, say Titus critics

24 April 2020

FURTHER incidents of abuse by people associated with the Iwerne evangelistic camps has been alleged.

Two weeks ago, the Titus Trust, which took over the running of the camps from the disbanded Iwerne Trust, announced that it had reached a settlement with three survivors of abuse by John Smyth, the former chairman of the Iwerne Trust, who died in 2018 (News, 9 April). The abuse, which involved savage beatings, took place away from the camps in the 1970s and ’80s.

At the time of the announcement earlier this month, a statement by survivors described the apology that accompanied it as “limited”. A further statement, issued last weekend by Andrew Graystone on behalf of survivors of Smyth’s abuse, who number “in excess of 110”, went into greater detail about these limits.

The three claimants were given no prior warning of the Titus Trust statement, it says. None has received any pastoral care from the trust. Although the trust’s statement mentions two completed reviews of its practices, no details have been released.

Mr Graystone’s statement says: “In addition to the well-publicised abuse by John Smyth, there have been at least four other corroborated instances of abuse against boys and young men by members of the Iwerne network. Others are under investigation.”

It concludes: “Victims of John Smyth continue to believe that the Titus Trust should close.”


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