Time I Spent with Laniet and Arawa

Laniet

I was in the same class as Laniet from the start of High School and became a close friend in 1990 and we would walk to school together.  We did this from 1990 until Laniet left school in 1992, more or less every day, and so I got to know her very well.

Laniet seemed to be troubled by something. She was always detached.  At one stage she stopped doing PE and a teacher came to see me and said “Can you try talking to Laniet”.  She asked twice and I felt I had to do something.    Laniet and I used to sit in an old shed on the way to school and smoke cigarettes.  Sometimes other kids were there and sometimes we would see her crying in a defeatist manner.  I would ask her if she was alright and she would say “I'm okay”.  The conversations got deeper and deeper over time and she came out with little bits in answer to my questions.  I asked if someone was hurting her.  I would say to her “I know someone is hurting you. I can tell”.  She would acknowledge she was listening but wouldn't answer.  I got her into a dialogue.  “Is it someone in the family?” No answer. “Is it your father?”.  “No” she said. She did say that her mother and David were in a sect.  “What is a sect?”, I asked.  “It is a religious belief or cult“, she said.  So I asked her “What is she doing that makes you so upset?”.  Her answer was something like “She makes me do things I don't want to do.” “What sort of things I asked her?” Laniet said “They make me do weird things…read things I don’t understand”, Laniet went on to say, “David and mum are trying to get rid of my father because of these weird things they are believing in. It is because of this that they don’t want him around”. I asked “Doesn’t your mother love him anymore?”, and she said “No, its not that, its what she believes in that this decision has been made  Dad has done nothing wrong. He is a beautiful person and I don't want him to go. They are isolating him from the family and I don’t understand why? He has done nothing to deserve it”. “What about Arawa?”, I asked.  Laniet replied “She doesn't care.”  “What about Stephen?”, I asked.  “He's too young to understand what going on” she said, “its just mum and David doing this”.

Day after day tears kept coming.  I knew it was more than what she had previously said that was affecting her and I repeatedly asked “What Is hurting you? “.  Because I had had similar experiences in the past I said to Laniet “I know someone is molesting you”. One day while we were in the shed and we were the only ones there, she just came out with it:  “ It's David! It's David! It's David!”.  She was angry that I had got it out of her. She said it three times and went into a state of fear. “I'm so scared”  she said “You need to get away from there” I said.  “We need to get you out of there”. “I'm going to get you out of there”. She said “I can't”. I said “why?”. She said “Because no-one can find out about this”. I said “I have a friend whose parents will have you, I will ask her now and you can go there, no questions asked. You have to run away from there Laniet”. She said “No-one can find out anything”. I said “I won't even tell my friend why you need somewhere to stay”.

Later that same day I spoke to my friend, and arranged to have Laniet stay with her family, My friend then went home that night and asked her Mum and the next day she returned and said she can stay rather than go back to her home at Every Street. My friend was aware that Laniet was running away from home but no details of why were told to her, I had to tell my friend that no-one is to know she is there and my friend agreed.  At the end of school that day Laniet went home and packed some things and walked to my friend's place.  She stayed there for about two weeks and I remember her being happy and rejuvenated. Her family didn't know where she was but eventually David caught up with her at school.   After that happened, Laniet told me that she had to go back home, and that it would be okay.  I was once again concerned for her wellbeing, naturally.

After she returned back to her home my contact with her diminished.  She attended school for about two weeks and then ran away.  I met her some time later in the street and she appeared very happy.  She had a cell phone which was unusual because back in those days mobile phones were thousands of dollars to purchase and too much for a young person at that time. She was in a hurry and walking with a much older man.  I had already heard shocking rumours of what she was doing and I felt I had lost her after this interaction.  I felt she was off on a tangent and her happiness was fake. I was very worried about her at that point.  She stressed to me she was happy and in her mind freedom from Every Street was happiness, whatever the price she had to pay for her freedom. 

Arawa

Some time early in 1994 I was at a movie theatre waiting to be picked up, when Arawa, Laniet's older sister arrived.  Arawa insisted that I come home with her because she told me she didn't want to be alone in the car with David.  I had to cancel my own ride home in order to meet her request.  I asked why she needed me and she said that David is controlling and manipulative.  She said that she hadn't been out with her friends for months because David always tagged along and made sure that he drove the car and went out as well.  She didn’t want him to go out with her, so it got to the point that she just chose not to go out any more or see her friends because it was beyond her control.  On this occasion, while Arawa saw her friends, David went to a movie.  Arawa said tonight for example I waited till the last minute to say I was going out and David was reading a book, as soon as I said “I'm going out now”, he said “Wait, I am coming also”. I sat in the car with Arawa for about 10 minutes before David came out of the theatre while she told me all about the strange things her older brother did to control her actions.  When we arrived at my place.  I dropped my ring in the car.  After a few moments David started getting agitated and said “Don't worry about it lets go”. Fortunately I found the ring but I felt his presence was weirdly impatient and intimidating, telling me that he doesn’t have time for me to look for it something that would naturally take seconds to find. Arawa was about 18 or 19 at this stage. David was always putting himself in my relationship with Laniet and I always found it odd. Especially because Laniet and Arawa were now young adults and did not want their older brother intruding on their private life.

Author name witheld.

Editor's Note

This story is just hearsay. No conclusion should be drawn from this testimony, or promoted as fact on any public platform.

Hearsay cuts both ways. Robin Bain had his reputation slandered and David Bain gained a Not Guilty verdict in the retrial largely as a result of testimony of an untested witness whose original affidavit, prepared in 1995 for the original trial, was read by the judge in the 2009 retrial after the witness, Dean Cottle, failed to turn up for court for a second time.  Given those circumstances, there should be no expectation for the person who told the story above to be tested in front of the Bain Defense or anyone else. The Bain Defense continue to publicize their own hearsay testimony in public arenas like Close Up and talkback radio in an attempt to establish it as representing the truth. Other people's testimonies suggest that they may well be wrong.

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