Monday, 30 December 2013

Public benefit records

A pre-crunch, eleventh hour frenzy has been orchestrated by the CEO/MoG/BDH with extra form filling and a cranked up programme of prayer meetings.

I've not yet heard if a similar form has been sent out to collate details of detriment and harm caused.

All adult members are forced to complete this form and return to National GHQ for collation on a weekly basis:


  1. Tacky would be an understatement. Legalistic for the HEB would be I guess the norm. Talk about pressure to perform - not out of a grateful heart but to keep the leaders off your back. I'm reminded of:

    Matthew 6: 1-4.

    6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


    Luke 16: 13 - 14

    13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
    14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

    (Both from the NIV)

    But then, as many of us believe they are a cult and not a church, do they apply Bible truths to their lives anyway?

  2. Surely the Charity Commission will see that this is an attempt to collate possible charitable acts by INDIVIDUALS and not the TRUSTS. If the trusts were carrying out charitable deeds themselves then the Trustees would have no difficulty in reporting on this to the Charity Commission, just as Trustees of Churches and Charities have to do on an annual basis without any difficulty. The Trustees of my church do not audit the charitable deeds of our members - they have no need as church premises are used by youth and other groups and all people are free to attend our services and benefit from our hospitality and pastoral care, not just members.

    1. Anonymous 30 December 2013 12:05
      You are absolutely right. I think Hales and his flunkies have missed the point. It's only the charity organised events that are for Public Benefit, the things individuals do is their private concern. But, when you run a cult, you think you own the people and their every waking moment, so I can see how they got so confused.

  3. For a man that has managed to amass millions of dollars - he's one pretty stupid individual.

    I like the idea of a similar form being available so that each and every one of us that have been hurt and damaged by the actions of the Hales Exclusive Brethren (re-branded as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) can list the ways in which we have been tortured.

  4. Ruddy bloomin' Pharisees!

  5. Anonymous time 14:11 - we do have a kind of audit! My research - which had to be halted but is going to start up again soon. Though it is mostly a tick box exercise there is space to tell your stories. I am also running a separate study in which I interview people. Anyone interested can contact me on research at themyttons.co.uk - replace the word "at" with '@' and remove the spaces. (this stops the internet email trolls!)

  6. Thanks for your research in this area Jill - I already answered your survey.

  7. In my view, this 'Public Benefit Record' is a shameful document. I'm assuming that it's the English PBCC's way of gathering evidence to assist lawyers in their negotiations with the Charity Commission. I imagine the Brethren are embarrassed at the document's exposure here.

    Calculating philanthropy falls far short of charity, which at its truest involves partnership and connectivity between giver and recipient.

    The PBCC's purpose is separation. Brethren members who complete this form every week are forbidden to have active, loving and committed normal relationships with non-Exclusive Brethren people. Put simply, they are not allowed to love their neighbour as themselves, so it's likely that their charitable activity since June 2012 has been undertaken with the purpose of gaining charitable status for their Preston Down Trust.

    1. Joan,

      Their 'charitable' activity since June 2012 does seem to be related to gaining charitable status for their Preston Down Trust, but also remember that this case is a test case for more than 200 others. So it's not just a matter of a single EB meeting hall in Cornwall, but could be the much larger matter of all EB meeting halls in the UK. This is why they are suddenly giving to worldlie charities, filming it, recording it, advertising it, and making sure that everyone can see it. It's a small price to pay if it convinces the CC. But the rest of us know that it only started in 2012 and will stop as soon as it is no longer needed. Personally, I don't care if they give to charity or not, I just want my family back.

  8. Anonymous time 20:10 - you have just expressed the wish of so many, thousands of people possibly. We "just want our family back". I don't think the CC are taken in but the EB are putting them in a difficult position. Those who are taken in are the group of MPs who have been lobbied successfully by the EB.

  9. I remember the EB care meetings on Saturday mornings, month after month. We allocated about $3000 to various causes. The money all went to EB causes and would typically be something like this....

    $500 to The Lord's Servant for his services to the saints (varied monthly amount was recommended so as not to look like payment for services).
    $800 to Aukland for their new meeting room building.
    $1000 to the fighting fund to cover expenses fighting the charity commisioners in the UK.
    $200 to Christchurch meeting room repairs after quake.
    $150 each to our brothers Mr xxxxx xxxxx for their levitical services to the saints.
    etc, etc.

  10. I did a rough calculation when I was in the EB and estimated that if other cities were giving the same amount of money as we were, then JHS was probably earning about GBP1,000,000 per year in 'gifts'. We were asked to vary the amount to prevent it appearing like a salary, so I presume it was untaxed. My guess is that BDH has refined this revenue stream and has arranged it so that he and his family receive a lot more than JHS ever did.