Baptist Institutions Allegedly Promoted Corporal Punishment Against Children and Became “Accomplices” violence by Pastor Claude Guillot while remaining silent, support victims in the wake of their collective action.
The class action against Pastor Claude Guillot, the Baptist Churches of Victoriaville and Quebec as well as their provincial association took a new step yesterday with the filing of the originating application.
A new co-petitioner is now leading this class action, which has been going on for four years (see other text below).
In the thirty-page document of which we have obtained a copy, the plaintiffs accuse the Baptist institutions of having been informed as early as the 1980s of the abuses perpetrated by Pastor Guillot, without denouncing him.
This silence would have allowed him to continue and aggravate his punishments to the children he had under his responsibility, the victims argue.
Worse, these organizations are said to have “taught and promoted dangerous educational methods”, including corporal punishment of children with a blunt object, allege the applicants, who report a “ drift» which took root within the evangelical Baptist movement.
« […] This drift has made this environment a dangerous place for children where an aggressor has been protected by institutions of this movement, to the detriment of the children who themselves deserved to be protected”, can we read in the originating application.
This document also allows you to learn more about Claude Guillot's journey within the Baptist movement.
He was first supervisor of the Baptist church-school La Bonne Semence, in Victoriaville, in 1982. In this establishment, the “educational methods” authorized included “all kinds of corporal punishment, including beating of wooden paddles on children of all ages, including some preschoolers”.
In May 1984, Claude Guillot was reportedly fired because he was deemed “too extreme by the Church of Victoriaville”. No one would have denounced the abuses of Guillot, who instead joined the ranks of the Chauveau Church, in Quebec, in 1985. Four years later, he joined the Quebec-East Church, where he was ordained pastor in 1992. .
In the fall of 1999, Guillot and Québec-Est would have set up a church-school, at the home of the pastor. The monk taught young faithful, some of them being boarders.
The physical corrections and the consequences would have been severe there, however. Among other things, Claude Guillot could hit young people, in addition to exercising control over their sleep and the amount of water and food consumed.
The authorities put an end to the activities of this clandestine school in 2015.
They each claim $2M
The co-plaintiffs are now each seeking $2 million, in addition to “substantial” compensation to the other members of the group for the damages and suffering suffered.
Note that the allegations made in the originating application have not yet been proven in court, within the framework of the class action .
Criminally, however, the 71-year-old religious was found guilty last April of 18 counts of having imposed corporal punishment on five young people he was to educate, in Quebec and Victoriaville. , between 1982 and 2014. He is awaiting his sentence.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ORIGINATING APPLICATION
“The complacency, silence and negligence of these institutions allowed the abuses of the defendant Claude Guillot […] on children to occur, continue and escalate, causing serious harm to abused children.”
“That Guillot was considered too extreme by the Victoriaville Church, when it itself advocated hitting children as young as 8 months, illustrates well the fanatical and dangerous character of Guillot and makes it possible to consider the horror that children entrusted to it over the years were able to live.
“By its silence and its inaction, the Victoriaville Church was complicit in the abuses committed by Guillot and allowed these abuses to continues towards other children, notably in Quebec.
“The abuses of which the members of the group were victims in Quebec were done in view, with the knowledge and with the approval of the members of the Quebec-East Church, of which Guillot was the president. “
< p>“The Quebec-East Church has never reported to the competent authorities the abuses of which the members of the group have been victims. [She] was complicit in the abuses committed by Guillot and allowed these abuses to continue against the children. ”
“This culture of silence promotes the protection of abusers, to the detriment of victim of the group, in this case minor children. »
“Despite this knowledge of the child abuse, the Association gave Guillot its blessing and a status of power by ordaining him pastor of the Quebec-East Church thus allowing the abuse to continue and to grow. worsen, to the detriment of the child members of the group. »
Finally released from the appeal after months of waiting
Josh Seanosky, victim of the pastor Guillot
It took nine months for Josh Seanosky to finally step down from his role as co-plaintiff in the class action against Pastor Claude Guillot, which has already been stretching for four years.
< p>In the wake of our revelations surrounding the shortcomings of the judicial system, our Bureau of Investigation exposed last June the story of Josh Seanosky, who since 2018 has been leading the class action against Pastor Guillot and three Baptist organizations.
At the same time, the one who was abused by Claude Guillot from 2001 to 2014 has also been involved in the criminal case for seven years.
Convicted last April of having imposed physical and psychological abuse on young people he had to educate, the pastor is still awaiting his sentence.
Disillusioned by the long delays and dissatisfied with the turn the class action was taking, Josh Seanosky asked last fall to withdraw from this proceeding.
The motions have been filed. And the court finally gave it the green light yesterday.
Another man, who claims to have suffered physical and psychological abuse in addition to sexual harassment from Guillot, takes over.
He attended the school-church of Quebec, where he was a boarder from 2004 to 2014, according to the originating application.
He joins the second
co-applicant, who, according to the originating application, was the subject of “systematic and repeated physical attacks” of the pastor in the 1980s, at La Bonne Semence school in Victoriaville, when he was between 4 and 6 years old.
< p>Freed from collective action, Josh Seanosky has not yet finished with justice.
The young father of the family personally served notice yesterday on Claude Guillot as well as a dozen leaders, administrators and Baptist associations for the sum of $5 million.
He maintains that the abuse imposed for 13 years by the pastor had the effect of “reducing him to a state of extreme distress and helplessness” with deterioration of his “psychic, emotional and behavioral” functions, reads the letter, of which we obtained a copy.
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