I decided to get in touch with my friend Louis Theroux this week, to ask about his rap — commonly known as “Jiggle jiggle, I like it when you wiggle” — going viral 14 years after he’d first laid down those iconic verses.
But first — a few quick Arise Church updates.
There’s been a video update from the external review, Pathfinding, which you can watch here. In short, Charlotte Cummings says 190 people have “engaged in the review” so far, which closes public submissions on May 12.
She also says “Throughout this process, we have communicated openly with the New Zealand Police, and have had independent legal advice.”
I find myself wondering what John Cameron thinks of all this. What his brother Brent thinks. According to the leaked internal Arise memo, John intends to simply return to his role once the review is over.
My inbox filled with anger after I published that memo.
A sign appeared overnight on a motorway leading to one of Arise’s many campuses.
People are pissed.
I emailed the Arise Board about that leaked memo: I wanted to give them the opportunity to clarify the information it contained, and who sent it.
Had John Cameron gone rogue and ghost written the thing, or was it Board sanctioned? I expected the Board to actually want to respond to this one, but as usual they replied with a series of “we can’t talk about it”, before accusing me of a series of “errors” (that I’d never actually made).
I detail their emails to me separately here, as they’re just so weird.
Many Arise Church leaders appear to have gone private on social media. I haven’t come across any who acknowledge any of Webworm’s reporting — or the wider reporting about the abuse at Arise.
The closest I’ve come to seeing anyone referencing reality in any way was a post Ben Kendrew, the pastor who took over from Brent Cameron in Christchurch:
“THROUGH THICK AND THIN” it was titled. It appeared to be an appreciation post for Ben’s wife (also an Arise pastor) and went on to say “In every season, and we’ve had some doozies, I’m with you”.
I thought of all the hideous stories I’ve been reporting over the last month. I thought of the other hideous stories (documented in about 100 emails) I can’t report yet for various reasons, which now live rent free in my head — and in the reality of those who sent them to me.
That anger that’s been under my skin for the last month rippled, and I posted this underneath like a stupid little troll. I couldn’t help it:
“What a doozie.”
Ben Kendrew responded by locking his comments, and adding a PS at the end: “Apologies to anyone who thought I was making light of any situation.”
It’s not exactly a big surprise having someone in leadership at Arise responding by making other people out to be the idiots. Stupid dummies, us. Plausible deniability is Arise’s game, and they play it well. John Cameron has taught them well.