Abuse 'only' in Aust, Salvos' victim told

A former resident of a boys home told a royal commission hearing that brutality was endemic. (AAP)

A man who was abused in a Salvation Army home has accused the religious group of lying and deceiving care leavers.

A man brutalised in a boys' home says he was told by the global head of the Salvation Army that abuse only happened in Australia.

Jim Luthy, president of Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), told a royal commission hearing he wrote in 2010 to Shaw Clifton, then general of the army based in London, suggesting he issue a worldwide apology to abuse victims.

Mr Luthy did so because the Pope was apologising for abuse by Catholic clergy at the time and he thought the Salvationists should as well.

"I think it was pretty crook when you have got to ask for your own apology", said Mr Luthy.

He said Mr Clifton responded with "abuse only happened in Australia, nowhere else".

Mr Luthy said it too was "an abuse statement" and a bit rich because there were complaints of abuse in New Zealand at the time.

The Salvation Army did make a public apology to Australian abuse victims and in it Mr Clifton thanked Mr Luthy for initiating the request.

Mr Luthy is giving evidence on the second week of a hearing into how the Salvation Army responded to abuse complaints from former residents of their homes.

On Thursday, he said he constantly tried to build bridges with the Salvation Army from the time he first reported the abuse he suffered while a resident at Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn, NSW.

"I constantly thought we had arrived, (built a bridge) but I feel we were lied to and deceived."

He told of broken promises and the army's failure to take disciplinary action against certain officers who were alleged abusers.

Mr Luthy said he took it as a personal affront that the Salvation Army talked about regaining trust in "the brand", because it implied he was an end product.

"I am not a product. I am a person."

He said he was particularly offended when he heard one army officer talk to a woman who had been in care and joke about abuse.

"I am deeply offended and distressed ... some people find it is a bit of a joke."

Mr Luthy concluded by referring to a biblical quote used regularly by the army: "Let justice run down like water and enlightenment like a mighty stream."

"I decided to check it out ... the prophet Amos was talking about a corrupt church, religious group who were unethical in their behaviour and judgment was about to fall on them," he said.

"I think that was a prophetic statement," he said.

Source AAP

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