Saturday, 25 January 2014

Freaks of nurture

Are PBCC members freaks of nurture?

Reports on a daily basis from those inside the Hales exclusive brethren high demand cult would lend support to this hypothesis.


  1. I don’t know whether that picture is supposed to be symbolic of someone in two minds, struggling to reconcile two contradictory worldviews. B. D. H. tells the flock one thing while their five senses tell them something different, and it is difficult to believe both at once. This stressful mental state is sometimes called cognitive dissonance.

    I knew a brother who believed in evolution when he was discussing birds and their relationships, but didn’t believe in evolution when he was preaching. That must have been a bit of a strain.

    I have known many brethren who believed it was wrong to tell lies, but felt it was all right if it was in defence of “the position” or if it was done by their leaders.

    I have known many Brethren who believed adulterous behaviour, abusive language, sexual assault, drunkenness and lying were all wrong, but also believed that Jim Taylor was “a pure man.”

    Now we have the prospect of lots of brethren who believe the Preston Down statement of Faith in Practice, and also believe the past ministry of “these great men.” Therein lies a new source of cognitive dissonance that could create new, acute stresses for them.

  2. The thing about cognitive dissonance is that often the person concerned does not recognise it, does not know why they are feeling so stressed and torn. To recognise it we need to be sufficiently self aware and reflective - not attributes that the HEB show. There are so many dissonant beliefs - for example "I am worthless, I cannot do good or if I do it is the holy spirit working through me not anything from me" and at the same time "we are the chosen ones, the saved, the elite". I remember that well.

  3. "The man who sexually abused me as a child, but lied about it, sits opposite me in the Supper mtg every Sunday morning........ yet I have to separate from my kind nonEB next-door neighbour because she is sinful and impure (well, actually it's because she's not a Brethren, but I don't quite tell myself that's the reason, out loud)."

    Dissonance upon dissonance. And they wonder why I get migraines....

    1. You are not alone, Pip. A disturbingly large number of people have said they were sexually abused as Brethren children. Some of them have suffered lasting emotional scars.

      This poses two quite different problems for you. First, there is the stress of having to meet your abuser regularly, while remembering what he did to you. If this is affecting your health then talking about it with a professional counsellor might help. Your doctor could put you in touch with one.

      The other problem is that your abuser is probably not alone either. There are probably many like him and some of them will have easy access to children, who have a right to be protected. Exposure of their crimes is the most effective deterrent, and it allows precautions to be taken to prevent further crimes. It does not always result in prosecution and punishment, but it does deter and it does protect.

      If victims decide to disclose the abuse, their disclosure should be to a responsible professional such as a doctor, a teacher or a police officer. Such people will know what to do. Past experience indicates that Brethren “priests” have sometimes handled such disclosures extremely badly and done all the wrong things. In any case, they are not the appropriate people to be handling such a problem. They do not have the necessary training and skills.

  4. Ah Pip- you are coming to the same bottom line as I did all those years ago. These people that sit opposite you are in part- fraudsters and liars. They are hypocrites. They pretend to be your brothers and sisters - but they have dark hearts. And these are the Brethren you are supposed to feel privileged to be among. I think not.