Saturday, 15 February 2014

A recently unearthed document of significant global importance


  1. I'm concerned about Leonardo J Octavianus and have been thinking about the distressing ad hominem attack in his contribution timed at 13.51 yesterday. It was a posting that seemed to indicate that L J O had snapped.

    Leonardo J Octavianus has tussled with me in this blog and I've sometimes been surprised at his condescending tone towards me. It seemed odd to me that someone who declared that he was not a member of the PBCC should write like that. No-one else of my non-Brethren acquaintanceship would patronise me in that way.

    Yesterday, however, Leonardo J Octavianus referred to some "likeminded" people and that made me wonder whether he was in fact a member of the PBCC. I can't tell for certain, of course.

    Perhaps - and this is just conjecture on my part - L J O and his likeminded friends were in some way responsible for the production of the 'Free to Serve' brochure. It clearly involved a lot of time and hard work to write, assemble and have printed a document of that kind. It seems unlikely that the production team ever passed it in front of non-Brethren to review because an outsider would have immediately picked up the fact that in places it made the PBCC seem out of touch - unaware, for example, that ordinary people act in a neighbourly way every day of their lives and don't think twice about it.

    If L J O did have anything to do with this document, he might have felt gutted at our reaction to it, but instead of learning from all this he chose to opt for a personal, bullying attack.

    Only last week a senior member of the UK PBCC sneered at me in a letter to me and I'm trying to take that on the cheek. What comes over to me and mine in all these situations is that the isolationism which the PBCC's practice of separation has engendered makes it immensely difficult to have a fair, honest and open discussion with them and their associates. I worry lest it also makes them unwell.

  2. Joan - Thank you for your kind concern.
    I have nothing to do with anything the PBCC prints or publishes by the way.

    However, you can be assured my most recent posts have been candid for good reason.. As I recall in my comment to you a few weeks back, I felt your imagination was a little over active about the current lives of the PBCC.
    Indeed, you claim to have known these excellent people well since the 1940's, so therefore it would make sense not to speak badly of them. You are also aware the PBCC made a definite movement away from the world's system from about 1960 onwards and this is still being maintained currently.
    This means you have not been able to have those close ties with the PBCC since that time. It may not be well understood or accepted, but there it is.
    It is my understanding, the brethren have been very helpful to you over the years and also completely transparent about their beliefs. Those beliefs are not up for debate Joan.
    They are what they are - Unshakable conviction. Nobody has demanded you or I accept these beliefs or become a member of the PBCC church.
    Instead of getting yourself in a terrible tangle with those who don't help, go and attend one of their meetings. You will soon realise just how splendid these people still are. Those qualities you found in the 1940's / 50 are undiminished. These people really are something special. However they don't claim to be better.

    However, there is a website contact and trustee telephone numbers, if you or anyone else are genuinely interested to go along and see just who these people are. I'm not surprised if someone has written/replied to you in a candid way, if you insist on the brethren seeing things your way.
    Don't like it, then just do what you feel it right before God and be content with the place he has set you in. Just because the PBCC are different or even out of place, it is not a license for obnoxious people to say whatever they like.

    Rev has already exposed his ill intent on numerous other blogs and even if he has managed to pull the wool over your eyes Joan, he hasn't succeeded with others who know him a lot better. He whole spirit is against Christ and anything that represents him. A frightening position to be in.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

    1. 'This means you have not been able to have those close ties with the PBCC since that time. It may not be well understood or accepted, but there it is.'

      Fine. So six weeks after the PBCC agreed to change, nothing has, or is likely to happen. So off we go to the Charity Commission to report it, as they have requested. The Brethren generally are having the wool pulled over their eyes about the requirement to change. I continue to await an apology from the PBCC who hounded and chased people away from an ex-members funeral. Yes, an ex-member. Is that 'splendid' and 'something special' too? Get real LJO, there are people hurting really badly from the way the PBCC have behaved and you should respect that.

    2. L. J. Octavianus,

      If you had studied the Brethren a little more, or compared them with others, I doubt that you would say, “The PBCC made a definite movement away from the world's system from about 1960 onwards and this is still being maintained currently.” I don’t believe they did anything of the sort. The system they built beginning about 1960 seems to me every bit as worldly as most worldly systems, and more worldly in the values that it promotes than any other church I have experience of. You can easily see this just by reading their ministry. They are separate, of course, just like many insular religious bodies, but they are not separate from the world. I think they are just as much part of the world’s system as most organisations, both religious and secular.

      You say, “Those beliefs are not up for debate . . .”
      If beliefs are soundly based, nothing can be lost by debating them. You can do nothing against the truth. The only beliefs not up for debate are fragile ones that cannot stand up to honest scrutiny. Refusal to debate beliefs is one of the hallmarks of a closed mind.

      You say the Brethren don't claim to be better. But they often do. They frequently use the term “the saints” to refer specifically to themselves, not to others. We see many times in their ministry “We are the church,” and “Only we are the church.” They make countless claims of having special light that other churches don’t have. They claim that they provide the only clean place that the Lord can come to, and they make many similar extravagant claims.

      If that is a clean place, I wouldn’t like to see a dirty one. I sometimes used to come out of the meeting feeling I had just been morally defiled.

    3. Ian,
      Well, if you are happy and really content with the church you go to and your beliefs, why are you discontent with the beliefs of L J Octavianus or the PBCC? Has there been a complaint against you for not attending their church? Your view kind of falls down flat.

      Just curious that's all

    4. My main discontent is not primarily with the beliefs of the PBCC in themselves. Some of their beliefs are soundly based, beneficial and admirable; others are demonstrably false and harmful. My concern is more with the behaviour associated with these beliefs, including the leaders’ controlling and dictatorial behaviour towards their own followers, and the followers’ blind, slavish obedience to the leaders. False beliefs may or may not be a cause of the bad behaviour, but they are often used in an attempt to justify it. Also, some of their beliefs are an essential part of the mechanism for controlling people, and that it another reason why I think it would be an excellent idea to undermine them.

      I would like to see the people set free. If they could make their own decisions instead of having another man’s decisions imposed upon them, I think they would do it better and become happier, wiser, healthier, better behaved, better educated, more spiritual, and they could live more productive and fulfilling lives, just as Brethren did several generations ago. When I say productive, I don’t just mean earning money: I also mean being creative and helping to solve the problems that afflict the human race.

    5. 'Has there been a complaint against you for not attending their church? '

      Interesting point, anonymous. We actually encountered this while we were still members of this organisation. We had numerous complaints made against us for non-attendance of PBCC church meetings. The reason being that my wife suffers very badly with epilepsy and was not in a fit state to attend. let alone leave the house and get in a car. There was no compassion shown, no understanding of the condition, no support from close family and no let up in the evening phone calls asking where we were. It's one of several reasons that we left, made all the more galling by reading recent PBCC family letters to Westminster saying ' we will do anything to help anybody'. No you won't. Tried, tested and proven

      If there is a more heartless organisation in existence today, I would be most surprised..

  3. LJO are you for real? Why are you trying to deceive people into thinking you are not a part of the Hales Exclusive Brethren when every word you write is verbatim what you would expect from a HEB. We call it HEB speak and we can recognize it a mile away. I think the bible is very clear about deceivers - have you checked it out lately?

  4. 'Where deceiver ne'er can enter, sin-soiled feet have never trod'

    That can't have been written about a PBBC meeting hall!

  5. Dear Mr Octavianus

    I am pleased that you are able to communicate freely - albeit controversially - on these pages. This is more than is offered to anyone attempting to make comment on your own PBCC blog.

  6. Oh come on, Leonardo J Octavianus, cut the crap and stop winding up decent people like Joan. We know you're only spouting this nonsense in HEB speak to raise the blood pressure of people here, and while spoofing can be very funny I'm afraid your type is not - just insensitive and offensive. Give it a break and go and do something useful - like giving a firefighter a sandwich.

  7. Leonardo J Octavianus - I've now read your piece of 16 February 2014 12:28 and have made a copy of it.

    I'd like to clear up one matter. More than a year ago I sought an opportunity to attend a PBCC meeting. Two problems arose from this request. First, I was asked to wear a dress and I don't own a dress. Sorting that out involved a day trip from London to Leeds to chat to Fiona and Garth Christie about the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 22:5. Garth hadn’t been aware of the difference between the Hebrew 'ish' and 'geber' and he agreed that I could wear my own clothes to any Brethren meeting I attended.

    Next, I contacted a trustee of our local PBCC meeting room to arrange to attend a Bible Study. The gentleman concerned seemed perplexed and told me that the meetings weren’t for Bible Study and that on the only evening that I was free to attend the subject would be a consideration of the ministry of "our leaders". A senior member of the PBCC confirmed to me in person that the Brethren don't study the Bible.

    I’m happy to attend a meeting, but in a very busy life (wife, mother, grandmother, neighbour, friend, student and teacher) I have to prioritise. I would always make time to study the Bible with the Brethren, however, and the trustee kindly said he would inform me if they ever decided to undertake systematic Bible study in our local meeting room.

  8. Brilliant, Joan! I have been wondering why the one or two PBCC members who comment on these blogs, from time to time, under various guises, lie about their affiliation. Is it, as Anon 13.13 mentions, they are just spoofs who could not care less about anything, except taunting genuine Christians; or, on a more serious note, perhaps they enjoy undermining Christian commentators, and others, by pretending to be PBCC sympathisers (denomination withheld). On a more sinister note; their attitude, unchristian and vindictive behaviour towards other commentators is evidence for the CC that they are people without compassion or empathy for any others who might disagree with them, are critical of their methods or have been hurt and damaged by them. I hope the administrators of this blog are able to preserve copies of these responses and submit to the CC as evidence of a lack of compliance to satisfy the need for public benefit.


  9. Joan thank you-
    To prioritise is the key word that summarises your response very well.
    It's something we all have to do from time to time.
    Life is full of things we need or want to do, but at the end of the day, we have to decide which is of true value. The things of this life consume our time, but don't always profit.

    I don't speak for the PBCC, but I when I do notice a post that is particularly obnoxious or untruthful, I'm not slow to respond. I think you have been misled by some of the less genuine people on here, which is a pity. Some have no intention of doing good and are out to misrepresent who the brethren are.

    If you are happy to attend a meeting, then be free to do so. I think the PBCC would only be too pleased to see you. However, It has to be said -
    God's house is where no evil thing can enter and so you need to respect that and understand why proud or obnoxious people are not permitted at any time.
    To come in a state of genuine need or wanting help is when God's house IS available. Contrary to popular opinion - People can't come in any old how or do as they please. You go to a club or institution in your local town and you will find it does have conditions to go inside. How much rather then we respect the house of God? Just something for us to consider.
    I'm sure you have no intention to force your point of view on the brethren, but they are perfectly within their rights to run their own affairs as they see fit.

    Moreover, Christianity is not about a set of rules exactly, it has much more to do with the spirit of the truth or law and Christian conscience. Our country has long had a provision for conscience, which has been hard won, over many centuries of suffering by those who had the conviction and courage to stand true.
    Hope this has cleared-up any doubts about who the brethren are.

    The brethren do have your best interests at heart.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

    1. LJO does have an unusual style of writing, but it's certainly makes me sit up and take notice. Joan should take note - bless.
      As much as I find those comments amazing, they do have an air of authority. Where does that authority come from?
      Rev is also a fairly able writer, but unfortunately, most of his words are of no factual content. (See Robert's response to Rev regarding the CI)
      It's very easy to see why Rev quickly disappears when LJO comments on his posts.

      Justin Time

    2. OOOH! Maybe LJO is the Man of God Bruce Hales gracing us with his presence! How thankful we would be for the humility and guidance.

      Me and my pals have a little Bingo game we play, so when Mr Bruce can't remember whether it was '64 or'72, or 91 even, usually one of us ends up claiming a full house. It's such jolly fun.

      R Slicker

    3. Is that really Justin Time, or is it Justin Error, or Justin Windup, or Justin Nonsense? Aren't they all the same person?

    4. Actually, Rev is the one who produces all the facts. Saliavious Octavious, or whatever pseudonym is currently in use, is the one who enjoys being obnoxious to Christians, and others, and produces all the bluster. Rev doesn't "disappear" he is already commenting elsewhere. After all, you cannot continually debate, using logic, facts and reason with folk so bigoted and prejudiced as the Exclusive (PBCC Ltd) members who comment here. The more pleasant members, who are sadly enslaved by the system, wouldn't even find their way to this site. Oh, by the way, the "authority", as you put it, is honed on years of reclining in a sedentary stupor listening to, and repeating, the same repetitious and tortured language construction; but then you probably know that...

      Mrs Octavious

    5. Just a quick postscript to Leonardo J Octavianus' comment to me on February 16 12.28.

      He wrote, "I'm not surprised if someone has written/replied to you in a candid way, if you insist on the brethren seeing things your way."

      I value diversity of views and practice, but there are two things I do insist on in my contact with PBCC members. The first is that the quintessence of the Christian faith is love - Jesus taught that his followers should love God, love their neighbour as themselves and love their enemies.

      Second, I insist that neither my husband nor I are sexually immoral or greedy people, idolaters, revilers, drunkards or robbers, and therefore we don't deserve to be treated as unsuitable table companions by our Hales Exclusive Brethren acquaintances.

    6. Joan - Your 4th paragraph is mostly likely to be 100% true of you and of course there are many other people who live very good lives.
      However, Jesus did not come to save those that claim to be righteous, good or proud. I think you may have overlooked or ignored what the PBCC have said to you. As I said before, they have your best interests at heart.
      We cannot pick and choose what may suit us, but rather be obedient to his word through whoever it may come. We know the right way, but are really we prepared for what it may cost? That's a real challenge for all of us to consider and then act on..
      It really depends on whether you are going to give the Lord your all or whether you are going to hold something back?
      A healthy question, I'm sure you will agree.
      See in the gospels- That young man said to Jesus - "All these things have I kept from my youth" Jesus looked on him and loved him. Jesus answered and said -"One thing lackest thou. Go and sell whatever thou hast and come follow me, taking up the cross" and so on. The young man went away sad at the word. It has been said, he may have to stand before the Great White Throne, if he had died in his sins. In light of there being such a terrible place, it would be timely therefore to warn those here who mock God and lay charges against his saints.

      In other words Joan - None of us are without defect or need, but do I recognise that I am poor, blind, wretched and naked before God?
      There are some like Demas who loved the present age. He left Paul for the wide road that leads to sorrow and destruction. Do I love what the world has to offer me or and I going to give it up for Christ's sake and suffer along with the people of God? Do you not know the bible teaches us our righteousness is like filthy rags?
      Joan - we may have great knowledge, kindness, be good parents, upstanding citizens, be charitable and apparently in need of nothing, but Jesus would say -"One thing thou lackest" The PBCC do not think they are better than us or anyone else. It is rather they desire to keep themselves and their families from the worst aspects of this world's system and preserve the traditional family unit.
      We therefore should not impose our will on them or make demands they see things our way, but rather give up our pride and self will for Jesus Christ's sake. Following Jesus means being misunderstood and mocked. If we suffer with Christ, we will also reign with him.

      If follow Rev and Co, it will not bring clarity of mind, peace with God or conviction. There are some who will have to stand before God speechless and admit their treachery against his people.
      Grace doesn't run out, but time does. Listen to what the brethren say to you and apply it without holding anything back. God's heart is to bless us, you and your family. Look to Christ and away from self -
      He didn't do his own will, but submitted to the will of his Father.
      We likewise have no right to claim we are doing just fine, but rather allow God to further his work in us. He started a work in you Joan, I have no doubt about that. If God starts a work in us, he will complete it.

      Leonardo J Octavianus

    7. Leonardo J Octavianus - my husband and I would like to invite you to lunch with us, either in our home or in a restaurant in London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

      Ask Fiona and Garth Christie for our telephone number and we'll be pleased to make an arrangement with you.

    8. Joan - I would definitely accept your kind invitation.

      However, I'm away on business at least to mid June.
      I have never met Garth and Fiona, so I would not be able to contact them. I'm not actually a member of the PBCC, although I do have an extended family there. I also have a lot of family outside that group.

      My main concern right now is that you first clarify your position regarding those who have ill intentions against the PBCC. Needless to say - It has been made abundantly clear that such false charges leveled against the brethren will be ultimately taken issue with.

      My lifestyle very much conforms to this world as I have to accept where God has set me. Nevertheless, I can see that the brethren are an honourable and excellent people with whom God is pleased with.
      It is my conviction you are not opposed, but have become disheartened and now led away by people who were once in the PBCC, yet have become enemies of the cross of Christ. I follow your posts with genuine interest and care. Even though I can be blunt or candid, there is love behind it. The word hurts us at times, but as we have to do with the most high God, we can be sure he has us in his hand and will not leave us in distress or in want. If God be for us, who can be against us?

      I will keep your invite in mind Joan and hope that this may come about in due course. Last, but not least, ask God to make your path plain.
      The Lord uttered those beautiful, yet searching words -
      "I am the way, the truth and the life. Those words, if taken on board fully, leaves us with no link with this world's fallen state of affairs. Remember - "We are not our own, but have been bought with a price"

      Leonardo J Octavianus

    9. Hello LJO,

      Your recent post of 12:49 today interests me. You quote “We therefore should not impose our will on them or make demands they see things our way, but rather give up our pride and self will for Jesus Christ's sake. Following Jesus means being misunderstood and mocked. If we suffer with Christ, we will also reign with him”

      This assumes that the Exclusive Brethren are right. I wholeheartedly do not believe they are. Neither theologically, morally, nor sociologically.
      You imply it’s the Exclusive Brethren way, or ‘on your way’. May I encourage you to spend some time reading your Bible and consider their teachings against what the Bible clearly says. I trust you will find it enlightening.

    10. One man's 'business could equal one Her Majesty's pleasure! We are all aware of the PBCC's propensity for poking their noses into everything, this blog included. We understand several have recently poked theirs into the Prison Service. It could even explain Leonardo's extended business trip and his claim that he is non-PBCC as they always withdraw from their jail bound members in their moment of need.
      That's charitable compassion for you.

  10. Leonardo, as a Brethren aficionado can you tell me whether at any stage I will be body searched, be forced to remove my shoes and socks, or have my ball point pen dismantled before being allowed into a PBCC gospel hall?

    I understand this has already happened with existing members of the PBCC.

    You say that 'God's house is where no evil thing can enter '. 74-year-old Clive Allen Petrie, was found guilty in Nelson of nine counts of indecently assaulting girls under 12 and one of inducing a girl under 12 to do an indecent act on him. The case involved four girls, three in the 1950s and 60s, and the fourth in the 1980s.
    All through that time he was attending 'God's House' in Nelson New Zealand.

    Please explain.

  11. Leonardo, why do you think of the Meeting Halls as the house of God? That's a very old testament/old covenant concept which Jesus did away with by his life, death and resurrection. Remember, it was while He was on the cross that Father tore the temple of the curtain in two from top to bottom making access to the Godhead free and available outside of any set meeting place or meeting time. Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be alongside us at all times. So sorry I cannot see justification to regard any place as special, holy, sacrosanct in any way.

  12. Leonardo J Octavianus

    You state above: "Hope this has cleared-up any doubts about who the brethren are."
    Most of us on here know exactly who the brethren are. We were brethren once and most of us have relatives who still are. Joan may be an exception to this, but I'm sure she still knows who the brethren are. I'm certain most of our relatives are still "splendid people". Unfortunately the brethren leaders are about as far from splendid as it is possible to get. It is to get the splendid people free from the oppression of their leaders that websites like this have come about. Do not make the mistake of confusing brethren dogma with the word of God. There was a parting of the ways many years ago.


  13. Yes. In fact, the problem the Old Testament prophets identified in ancient Israel was its tendency to think of God's demands as being cultic and to ignore his demands on its lifestyle: 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-17; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-25; Micah 6:6-8.

    Jesus was firmly in that tradition. Like Hosea, he desired "steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings".

    And here's what Amos said:

    “I hate, I despise your festivals,
  and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,
 I will not accept them; 
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
 I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs;
 I will not listen to the melody of your harps. 
But let justice roll down like waters,
 and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

    1. You have listed quite a collection of scriptures denouncing sacrifices and rituals (1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-17; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-25; Micah 6:6-8.) There is also Psalm 51:16 “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering”; Proverbs 21:3 “To exercise justice and judgment is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice.” And Hosea 8:13 “They sacrifice flesh [for] the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; Jehovah hath no delight in them.”

      It seems that in ancient Israel, priests generally approved of sacrifices and rituals, whereas prophets often didn’t. The prophets were more concerned with righteousness, justice and loving-kindness. Amos put it rather beautifully.

  14. I think I've suddenly twigged, Leonardo, why there seems to be some discussion at cross purposes here. If instead of using terms like 'God' you used what you really meant ('BDH') then there'd be less exception taken to your comments. We all know there's nothing Christian left about the brethren, their being a simple money-focussed cult now, and your making comments about them as though they are still a Christian organisation is quite simply offensive to actual Christians, such as many on this site.

  15. That unhappy Roman, Leonardo Salavious Octavious, under various guises, has been persecuting Christians on this, and other comments boards, for some considerable time. Fortunately, they, the persecuted, are not deterred; soldiering on with postings that hold firm against the slings and arrows of outrageous bigotry.

    1. It is of course the prerogative of anyone who posts comments in this blog to choose the name they write under, yet, ever since Leonardo J Octavianus started posting under that name, in inconditional support of the Exclusive Brethren, despite all the available evidence, I wondered why he chose that particular name ?

      This info might be some insight

      Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, ruling from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD. At birth he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius (or Octavian) between his birth in 63 until his posthumous adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Upon his adoption by Caesar, he took Caesar's name and become Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards. Though he quickly dropped "Octavianus" from his name and his contemporaries referred to him as "Caesar" during this period, historians refer to him as Octavian between 44 BC and 27 BC

      The Roman rulers were very cruel, believing in slavery, torture and indiscriminate killing. The Romans did not invent crucifixion, but they used it extensively to terrorize their subjects. It was into the time of the Roman Empire that Jesus was born. Caesar Augustus worshiped the pagan Roman gods, but even worse, he allowed himself to be worshiped as a living god

      Its quite revealing isn’t it,

      It says much about the true character of the Exclusive Brethren also known as Plymouth Brethren Christian Church after 2012.

      One Loaf

    2. Great explanation One Loaf. However, I expect it's more prosaic. He's probably just Len who drives a Skoda Octavia! (With the radio disconnected!)