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  Home :: 2007 September :: No GCC complaints yet OPP Police reviewing online allegations$rec=23819

No GCC complaints yet OPP Police reviewing online allegations

An Anglican bishop reviewingallegations of cult practices and abuse at Grenville Christian Collegehas been advising former students who believe they were the victims ofcriminal acts to file formal complaints with police, said a seniorofficial for the diocese.

It's the latest twist in theunfolding drama involving the now-defunct Christian college mired inscandal since it suddenly shut its doors in August.

"On a couple of occasions whenBishop (George) Bruce heard their stories, he said that if they felttheir experience violated the criminal code of Canada, he suggestedthey go to the OPP," said Wayne Varley, diocesan executive officer withthe Anglican Diocese of Ontario.

Meanwhile, the OntarioProvincial Police confirmed they are reviewing allegations against theschool made in the media and on Internet chatrooms.

"We're reviewing what has beenreported on in the media," said OPP spokesman Sgt. Kristine Rae.However, she said there is no formal police investigation to datebecause there have been no official complaints filed with theauthorities.

Varley would not say how manystudents and teachers Bishop Bruce has met with during his inquiry orreveal the nature of their allegations.

However, he emphasized in atelephone interview from the diocese's Kingston offices the bishop isnot influencing any of the former students to file criminal complaintsto the police.

"He left it totally up to the students," Varley said, noting the bishop's inquiry is focused on canon law.

"We continue to honour the process of inquiry."

Bishop Bruce has been receivingwritten and oral complaints from former students and teachers over thepast two weeks alleging cult practices, physical, and psychologicalabuse.

The inquiry should be completed on Oct.1.

It has been reported that thecomplaints revolve around two Anglican priests connected with theschool but Varley has refused to identify them or release specificdetails about the allegations against the clergy.

Former students at the schoolhave alleged in the media bizarre disciplinary practices at the school,including physical and psychological abuse. Some have claimed therewere so-called "light sessions" in which staff members hauled them outof bed at night to shine bright lights in their eyes and call themsinners.

The church is following theprocedure laid out under canon 35 that covers complaints anddiscipline. Under canon 35, Bruce will meet with the complainants andthen must inform anyone against whom those complaints have been lodgedof the allegations and allow them a response. If there is a finding ofmisconduct, penalties range from a reprimand to suspension to removalfrom office.

School officials blamed itsclosure last month on dwindling enrollment, saying it was socash-strapped that it could not have remained open for another year.

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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia