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Ash's Statement to ABC's Australian Story

Statement to Australian Story: April 13, 2008.

I am offended by Kate and Nick's decision to lie about the Jesus Christians community, and to present them as a cult. I have never been prevented by the Jesus Christians from visiting my mother or stepfather. I never left any note saying that I couldn't visit my parents, and in fact after I joined the Jesus Christians, I visited my mother and stepfather as soon as they had returned from Africa, and I was in Sydney, which was around one month after I joined.

I continued to visit my parents regularly, even making trips to Sydney from Melbourne for the sole purpose of visiting them. Then, three years after I had joined, I raised with them the idea of donating a kidney. There was strong opposition, and so I pushed strongly for them to agree to a visit with Dave and Cherry, so that Dave could answer any questions about kidney donations that they might have. I felt that they were not listening to me, but that if they took the time to listen to Dave, they would not only see that he was not pressuring me to donate, but also that he had a great deal of knowledge about the ins and outs of live unrelated organ donations. In response to that request, I was told that I could not come and visit, and Kate asked me to return the key to her house, preferably by mail.

This was the start of some serious problems in our relationship, and during that time Dave and I both recieved some very hateful emails from Kate and Nick, along with being made the subjects of a nasty website campaign by the two of them.

It is both unfair and hurtful for her to have portrayed me as the one who was cutting her off over the past year. It is true that I have had little interest in visiting her while she has continued to oppose my rights as an adult, but I have repeatedly made it clear that I am available for visits from Kate, and yet she has only bothered to visit me twice in the past year. She seems to have put far more effort into cultivating a good relationship with angry ex-members of the Jesus Christians than she has put into cultivating a good relationship with me.

It is a shame that a simple act of love has been construed as evil just because it was done against the wishes of my parents. I would like to have a good relationship with Kate, but even now there is considerable confusion as to whether she actually respects my right to disagree with her, or whether she feels that she was coerced into dropping her campaign against the donation.
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