Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Faith that serves

A series of interesting well presented booklets specifically designed to mislead the general public.


  1. All occupations now prohibited.

    1. Anonymous12 February 2014 10:11
      this is absolutely correct,i just don't understand how these examples are used knowing full well the brethren would never be allowed to pursue these careers now!!! the hypocrisy is stunning.

    2. I don't think we could say all occupations are prohibited.
      Some occupations would conflict with meeting times and even upset the day to day family routine.
      It also partly depends on what people put value on and there is no doubt the EB value the traditional family.

      Justin Case

    3. Even where an occupation is permitted, it probably has to take place within an EB company; accountancy, for instance. If the EB value the traditional family, why do they go to great lengths to wreck it?? Oh BTW the traditional family doesn't have alcohol at the centre, every day of the week, and especially on the Sabbath.

      Justin Time

    4. "All occupations now prohibited" means not that all occupations are prohibited, but that all the occupations lauded in the brochure are now prohibited. These people were fortunate to gain decent careers before 1959 and to hang on as their options were steadily narrowed from then on until it became pretty much impossible to work for anyone other than a Peeb business. I am grateful I managed to escape during the 70's before my employment prospects were completely wrecked. A curtailed education coupled to a Peeb (technology free) company CV might have sabotaged me completely.


  2. Are any women featured in this document?

  3. No significant careers from the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s or now? Perhaps because the brethren are no longer allowed to be public servants, or have professional careers.

  4. They could have mentioned Elsie Widdowson, FRS and Companion of Honour. Here is what Roger Stott wrote about her on the day when her obituary was published in the Guardian.

    Here’s an odd little story

    When I was local in Cambridge (1957-1960 and 1962-5) there was a single sister in the meeting there called Elsie Widdowson. We knew that she was a nutritionist and that she worked in a department of the university. She never spoke about her work. She wasn’t an extrovert and although she always seemed pleasant enough there was nothing to indicate that she was anyone ‘out of the ordinary’. (Well, no one is really ordinary, but you know what I mean.) How wrong we were.

    Four years ago I was invited to a dinner at Kings College, Cambridge. This was for ‘ex members of the Brethren who had been at Cambridge University’ and it was organised by Ian Barter, Derek Shorthouse and Michael Gillingham. There were about 35 of us there. It was a splendid occasion and I met a number of people that I had known well but hadn’t seen for years. Elsie Widdowson was the guest of honour and I learned for the first time that she was immensely distinguished in her field and that she and a Professor McCance were credited with having laid the foundation for modern nutritional science in their work during World War 2. I had some conversation with her but she was much more interested in asking after my children than in talking about her work.

    Elsie died on June 14 and there is a half page obituary in today’s Guardian. It begins by saying:

    In the scientific analysis of food, in nutrition and, in particular, the relationship between diet before and after birth and its effects on development, the quiet, unassuming but amazingly energetic Elsie Widdowson, who has died aged 93, was a giant. She joined the late Professor R.A.McCance in 1933 at his invitation . . . The outcome was as momentous for science as for the two scientists. Widdowson’s laboratory skills and experimental perception augmented McCance’s research armoury. Their joint recognition that nutritional tables then in worldwide use were substantially wrong cemented a highly creative partnership that lasted for sixty years. Within a decade they revolutionised the way the world assessed nutritional values, how it investigated problems of dietary deficiencies and how mammalian development was perceived.
    [end of Guardian quotation]

    And so on, across six columns. The McCance/Widdowson ‘food composition tables’ became the world standard and Elsie was one of the main scientists consulted on the dietary policy for the survivors of the German concentration camps. There is no reference to her family or her Brethren connection. Towards the end the obituary says: ‘Her energy was prodigious, her humour abundant and her precision of thought undiminished to the end.’ She continued to produce fresh work and insight until she retired at the age of 76.

    She was made a fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 69 and a Companion of Honour (one of the highest awards in Britain) at the age of 86. She continued her research interests from her home near Cambridge right up to the age of 94. Shortly before her death she was especially delighted to see work begin on a new building named in her honour. The Elsie Widdowson Laboratory will be the new home of MRC Human Nutrition Research (HNR) in Cambridge.

    I think she left the Brethren during the Sixties. It seems to me to be an interesting comment on the Brethren (and I certainly take this to myself) that we had a scientist of world stature in the Cambridge meeting and that almost all of us were completely unaware of the fact. That while we were banging on about ‘separation from the world’ there was this quiet unobtrusive ‘sister’ who was actually changing it for the better and saving thousands of lives (especially of children) all over the world. And saying nothing about it. Almost a parable really.

    1. Pity Bruce Hales didn't discuss his nutrition

  5. I wish it was true that Brethren businesses were all 0 days beyond payment terms. They're not.

  6. Also Jessie Crosland, née Raven, university lecturer, author and authority on medieval French literature.

    1. Yes, Jessie is a good example to cite. She was a daughter of F. E. Raven, and her books on French mediaeval literature have been used for generations as standard university textbooks.

      F. E. Raven’s other three daughters did pretty well too. Alice was a barrister, Mary taught English and Edith taught Maths.

      Samuel Tregelles, William Kelly and Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton were EB scholars of a rare calible, and more recently Hubert Penson was famous too in several remarkable ways. But sadly, as others have pointed out, all the greatest and noblest accomplishments of Exclusive Brethren are a long time in the past. The sect has gone steeply downhill intellectually, morally and numerically since about 1960.

    2. But sadly, as others have pointed out, all the greatest and noblest accomplishments of Exclusive Brethren are a long time in the past.

      The sect has gone steeply downhill intellectually, morally and numerically since about 1960 ....rather obviously... funny wot no university edumacation does...make you ask silly questions..

  7. Oh for goodness sake, I wasn't even allowed to train as a NURSE when I left school as an EB girl in 1983... much less use my considerable God-given brain for anything more academic or heroic. What an absolute crock of shite those booklets are - they are so far from telling the whole story (let alone even the TRUTH - see Anon comment 13:56) they are just nauseaficating. Bruce D Hales you need to come clean about the per$onality cult you run... it is no more a Christian church than I am Mother Theresa. The Brethren have been taught to become adept at peddling untruths - perfidious to the core. Jesus wept.

    1. So true. I sought to be a pilot though this was not permitted. Second thought was to be an accountant yet this was forbidden as university study was required.

  8. This kind of crap published by the HEB makes me physically feel ill. If they were truly such wonderful people they would not be breaking up families they way they do. Add me to the list of people who have not heard from their family members trapped in the HEB in over 10 years.

  9. What a bunch of hypocrites... The bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Instead of loving their own financial prosperity, why cant they spend some of their love on the families they break, rip and tear apart?..

  10. funny how they have highlighted Ron Davis and his BEM!!
    not all its cracked up to be.he was local with me in Bath and had to leave the Admiralty i believe under threat of expulsion [from the brethren] and i believe never collected his award. He was also instrumental in shutting me up at the age of 15 and then having me ejected from the family home the day i turned 16.

    1. My older brother was kicked out of the family home at age 15 with no money, and no place to go. Their cruelty is beyond measure and I have no idea how they live with their conscience.

  11. Whoever in the UK wrote this hypocritical book is a liability to the PBCC and should be disciplined for bringing the fellowship into disrepute.

    Fancy highlighting Alan Ker!

  12. These booklets are ludicrous. Around the late 1970's the HEBs decided that even if you passed your 11plus exam, grammar schools were no longer to be attended. Come 5th year, no one had the option to stay on at school. Tech was allowed for further education, but definitely not A levels. Most of us just gave up and had to enter the family business. What a waste of talent and resources. Nearly forty years later I feel this intellectual restriction has led to so many closed and unquestioning minds. So sad.

  13. Alan Ker, ALAN KER, surely not the Alan Ker that was happy for Jim Taylor Jnr to bonk his wife at the Aberdeen three day meetings.
    Cant imagine Broose trying to throw his leg over anything now.
    That was a good practice to give up Broose. Now try the booze

    1. Alan Ker, brethren pimp. John Elliott ( two T's if I'm not sadly mistaken) had enormous input into Techniclean's janitorial chemical cleaning formulations, now I believe also owned by a Ker junior. John Elliott was excused having rowdy children to his house for breaks, so nothing got spilled, spoiled or broken in his palatial Beaconsfield home. Others of us were not so lucky.

  14. Oh boy, they really were drinking their beliefs when they came up with this one! As for Alan Ker and Castrol/BP, my brother got a job at BP after leaving school in the sixties and they saw potential in him and wanted to send him to night school to train him up – of course it turned out to be Wednesday night so it clashed with the city reading and the brethren said no. So he had to decline and BP dumped him. End of potential career. That’s the real story of oil-based brethren, none of that Ker rubbish. This makes my blood boil.

  15. Very nice -
    All looks factual and if it helps promote their charitable status further, why not?
    Many other mainstream churches like the PBCC also print material to make them relevant to modern day congregations and help increase membership.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

    1. Leonardo J Octavianus - I'm a member of a mainstream church and it's true that booklets introducing an individual church and its activities are usually available at the back of church buildings. The emphasis is on information and welcome so that any visitor can get a feel of what goes on and know that they're invited to participate if they want to.

      This booklet isn't like that. The extracts at the head of this thread show that the UK PBCC honours men who once had careers where their work was publicly acknowledged. The author doesn't admit, however, that since the leadership of James Taylor Jnr (1959-1970) university education and careers in the public service, or for non-Brethren commercial or industrial concerns, have been forbidden. (Bruce D Hales considers that higher education is "narrowing".)

      The Charity Commission in England knows full well the career and educational limits placed on PBCC members. They're unlikely to accept that featuring job opportunities that were open to Brethren half a century ago, but which are now forbidden, promotes the PBCC's charitable status in 2014.

      BTW, are you descended from Julius Caesar?

    2. Joan, your three paragraphs sum up the situation very well

      Rather than actually providing information and answering those unasked questions that some might have, these documents actually raise more questions & suspicions.

      Here are some points to ponder,

      1. Why does this so called evidence appear so “historical” ?

      2. What happened to the “Faith that Serves” after 1970 ?

      3. Why have PBCC/EB not been allowed to be Doctors, Nurses, Firemen, Policemen, Teachers, Solicitors, etc

      4. Appearing to draw a continuous link from the historical “Faith that Serves” (which is tenuous anyway and appears to stop in the early 1970’s), to the current Rapid Relief Team (RRT), which only formed in 2012/13, just leaves a huge chasm between 1970 and 2012, what were the PBCC/EB doing during that period ?

      5. In the Charity Commission report of Jan 2014 the PBCC/EB tried to wriggle out of responsibility for Harm and Detriment by saying it was “Historic” – as per this quote

      “90. In making its representations PDT indicated that some of the allegations must be of an historic nature but did acknowledge past mistakes..”

      To imply that Harm and Detriment might just be “historic” and by further implication give the impression that Harm and Detriment might not actually be current, was at its mildest very disingenuous and not truthful, because as we all know families are still divided even today 2014.

      Now, we have the PBCC/EB trying to use the “historic” strategy again but this time using old “historic” information to give a completely false impression of themselves, in order to provide a ‘halo’ effect on their current position and branding. The lack of clarity, hypocrisy and whitewash is stunning for what is supposed to be a so called Christian Church !

      6. It is true that a good number in the Exclusive Brethren, under the leadership of James Taylor Senior, served in the NCC’s (Non Combatant Core), during WW2, many, like relatives on both side of our family, gained medals for bravery. Yet these relatives would certainly NOT support the PBCC/EB as it is today, for they had realised it was unbiblical and left soon after the 1970 division !

      7. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) did not exisit prior to 2012

      8. I haven’t had time to go through all the ministry links I have but here is a small flavour of what the PBCC/EB are actually taught –

      1958-60 - Occupations: Diverse yokes Company Secretaries ... an unequal yolk in its very title. If a person did not register, he is not in the body corporate, if he did, he is in the body corporate by his own act; architects, banks, chemists, dentists, doctors, opticians, solicitors. JTaylor, Vol L2, L3 pages 128,255, 321,327, 12,15,2, 8

      1963 Some brethren have received honours from the world, would they do it again? .... what an honour it is to be amongst the brethren. J Taylor Vol 20 P 388

      1975 Professional employment. Set ourselves to overcome everything professional. That's doctors, lawyers, school teachers and nurses. J Symington Vol 27 Page 32

      1987 Homes, business, families, kept to a certain simple, obscure, hidden small restricted way of life. J Hales, Vol 176 page 243

      Spoil the Egyptians as quick and as fast as you can and leave them alone. Bruce Hales Vol 10 Page 68 (My Note – Egyptians are all those outside the PBCC/EB)

      These are all quotes from previous and current universal leaders of the PBCC/EB, sometimes called "Man of God", or MOG, or "Our Paul", none of these quotes sound very "Charitable", or wanting to be "Faith that Serves", or "Public Spirited" !!

    3. I remember Daniel Hales when interviewed by Peter Goers denied that the scripture about spoiling the Egyptians was commonly used by the Brethren. So your quotation about spoiling the Egyptians as quick and as fast as you can is interesting, Brother Rev. On the same page BDH says that the world is there for us to use up.

      Elsewhere he says, “Spoil the Egyptians, legitimately, early in life, show a few others how to do it, then put it behind you,” (Vol. 42 page 56); “Spoil the Egyptians, then get on with the work of the Lord,” (Vol. 57 page 224); and “Spoil the Egyptians, charge the highest possible price,” Vol. 27 page 145).

      Once upon a time, long, long ago, the foremost thought among Brethren about non-Brethren was, “How can we convey the love of God to them?” Around the mid-1960s this was replaced by, “How can we get our hands on their money?”

  16. So what about the 43,997 other brethren who have contributed absolutely nothing? Where's their write up?

    1. Have a look up your arse. It might be there.

    2. You're absolutely right! I had a look and there it was. Evidence that in fact there were no 'these great men' but a string of cruel, sick individuals. JTJr was not only an alcoholic womaniser but apparently was happy to shag small boys as well. Luckily I had departed before JHS' and JSH's reign but I take great delight in asking current peebs how many furniture salesmen have made the richest Australian's list. I'm so sorry for you faithful disciples who have had to kowtow to these fraudsters for the last 50 years or so. How can you ever admit it to yourselves now, get out and start again? I'm sure you realise how you have been conned, but I really don't know how you will deal with this. My heart goes out to you.


    3. Boo hoo

  17. The hypocrisy of blending a picture of troops fighting and the RRT is truly breath taking. HEB member Joe Macmullan was jailed in the first world war for refusing to fight for his country and in doing so paved the way for further generations of HEB to dodge combat by claiming to be conscientious objectors.

    Funny how they now fight tooth and nail for everything!

    When will they learn that the law of the land applies to them too?

  18. The Law of the land, especially in Western nations, also makes provision for conscience and this doesn't only apply to the taking up of arms.
    Seems to have been conveniently overlooked by some of the discontents on here.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

    1. It is true that the laws in Europe, USA, Australia and NZ make provision for conscience, but only up to a point. The laws do not allow you on the basis of conscience to use emotional and psychological abuse to enforce obedience to religious rules, or to disobey court orders, or to obtain money from your followers by false pretences, or to use registered charities mainly to avoid tax, or to bribe potential court witnesses, or to plan cyber-attacks on web sites that you disapprove of, or to commit perjury, or to intimidate journalists by a dangerous car-chase, or to persuade victims of sexual abuse to keep quiet, or to gain unauthorised access to computer information, or to discriminate between different employees on the basis of their religion.

      There is good evidence that Brethren have done most of these things in defence of “the position” and there are credible allegations that they have done them all.

    2. Leonardo J Octavianus ? - somebody's been reading too many Asterix books!

    3. Leonardo J Octavianus

      I understand the provision for conscience in respect of taking up arms and fully understand those who wish to be pacifists or conscientious objectors, likewise also those who wish to serve doing something, but not actual fighting, such as the NCC’s

      However, please can you clarify what you mean by “provision for conscience and this doesn't only apply to the taking up of arms” ? You make the oblique reference but then don’t fully explain it.

      - What else does it apply to ?

      - Where does this “conscience” come from ?

      - Is this “conscience” Biblical, if so where is it from ?

      - Is this “conscience” from Ministry, if so where ?

      - How come the PBCC/EB are quick to claim freedom of conscience when it suits to justify getting away with harmful practices, yet don’t allow freedom of conscience to their own members ?

      - Why is it that members of the PBCC/EB who do exercise their own conscience, (such as choosing a different Christian Church, or choosing to have full university education, or careers in public service, etc,), are then subject to punitive measures such as, being withdrawn from as an iniquitous person and cast out of the group as a worldlie ?

    4. Leonardo, do you believe that Alan Ker's wife was naked in bed with JT Jnr in Aberdeen 1970, even though JT Jnr denied it?

      I struggle to understand why Mrs Ker, under oath in court, said that she was. In your opinion, Leonardo, who was lying? They can't both be right.

    5. The PBCC/Hales Exclusive Brethren shouldn't be allowed to use the "conscience" as an excuse because by their despicable actions including breaking up of families they have shown that their moral compass is completely off. Mainstream - LOL NOT EVEN CLOSE

      Please add to the above list - brainwashing children into despising their parent who has used their God given conscience to leave the HEB in their dust.

    6. Leonardo

      Do the UK PBCC make provision for conscience?
      What happens when an individual's conscience says 'God is right and the PBCC wrong' ?

      Justin Case

  19. Dear Mr Octavianus

    The purpose of these booklets is stated as being to 'dispel some of the misapprehensions that exist,' a sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, more puzzles arise. The picture given is of people who work in public service or do highly qualified graduate jobs and the clear message is that these are good things. Perhaps, Mr Ocatvianus, you would let us know why you appear to have stopped your people from following such useful occupations.

  20. Kindly excuse a quick aside from the main purpose of this thread.

    I can recommend a book about Eva Crane, Elsie Widdowson's clever and delightful younger sister. Readers will see that Eva left the Brethren, but she retained close and loving contact with her Brethren family, including of course Elsie.

    The book is called "Eva Crane: Bee Scientist 1912-2007", edited by Penelope Walker and Richard Jones, and it's well illustrated. You may find it on Google Books.

    Incidentally, Elsie and Eva both achieved Bachelor's and Master's degrees and completed PhD theses. This makes me wonder how many young women and men from Exclusive Brethren families in the UK were similarly well educated before James Taylor Jnr's directives about university education.

    1. Joan wrote, “This makes me wonder how many young women and men from Exclusive Brethren families in the UK were similarly well educated before James Taylor Jnr's directives about university education.”

      A lot of them were. The founding members and supporters of the Brethren movement in the 19th Century included a high proportion of well educated men. Samuel Tregelles, William Kelly, Edward Cronin, John Darby, Anthony Groves, F. W. Grant and Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton all come to mind.

      I well remember that in the 1940s and 1950s there was still a tradition of and a respect for scholarship among the Exclusives. When I was 17 years old, which was a common age for university entrance in Scotland, only about 5 per cent of the general Scottish population in my age group went to university, but from my personal recollection far more than 5 per cent of young Brethren had gone to university, including nearly all of my older brother’s Brethren friends, both men and women. At least 35 had been educated at the University of Cambridge, and presumably a comparable number at Oxford. During the 1940s and 1950s many of the Brethren strongly approved of education, often expressing admiration or pleasure in the academic achievements of their young people, both in the arts and in the sciences.

      This positive attitude to learning all changed radically in the early 1960s. Jim Taylor and his successors did everything in their power to stamp out scholarship and to discredit intellectuals. But then, so did Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, Adolph Hitler, Juan Carlos Onganía and many other dictators, probably all for the same reasons.

      The anti-intellectual, anti-scholarship campaigns that EB leaders inflicted on their followers is to my mind one of their most destructive and wicked policies, second only to the carnage they inflicted on families. Sorry to use such emotive words, but I do feel very strongly about it. I would be inhuman if I did not. For most of the victims the damage will never be undone.

    2. Also, eminent naturalist Philip Henry Gosse. He had problems with Darwin's evolutionary ideas, of course!


    3. It's not just damaging to the individual brethren, but to all of mankind. So many scientific discoveries could have been made. Instead people have been deprived of the chance make a positive contribution in life and been effectively enslaved by the brethren leadership.

  21. Anonymous13 February 2014 19:43

    Yes, Philip Henry Gosse was indeed an eminent naturalist and one of the Exclusive Brethren, but he severely damaged his reputation by writing a book called Omphalos, proposing one of the most ridiculous ideas ever to come out of fundamentalism. It certainly didn’t come out of science.

    His reputation suffered further after his death when his son, Edmund Gosse, wrote a book called Father and Son, which depicted Philip as a despotic father.

    I suppose some of his behaviour and ideas might today be regarded as bordering on madness, but they were not as harmful as the shameful EBism of the late 20th and 21st Centuries, and he must be credited with the fact that he did a lot of useful, genuine, scholarly work.

  22. He fitted into his time as a scholar with an equal artistic talent for illustrating his work. I wonder whether he was so much more despotic than the average Victorian, of strong religious beliefs, of any denomination? Edmund had the ability to place the relationship on record. Philip Henry certainly suffered by fighting a rearguard action against the emerging science of his time. In all events, the link between him and the PBCC Ltd is long gone. No doubt, he would be aghast at the evolution of this sect/cult.


  23. From the PBCC document we glean that ' Overall pay including wider community members is above UK average'. Yes, that will be because PBCC members are paid considerably more to do the same job as 'wider community members'. ( Wider community members is the new PR suggested term for what the PBCC used to call 'worldlies', ie non PBCC).

    We also read that the average trading period of PBCC businesses is 27 years, 3x longer than the general UK average. That fact is very odd, as almost every time I check a PBCC company on Duedil, it tells me a completely different story.

    .........I could list 1000's more. Not a single one anywhere near 27 years old.

    1. That statement is ambiguous. “Overall pay including wider community members is above UK average.” Does that mean the average pay of all employees combined is above the UK average, or does it mean the average pay is above average for the EB and non-EB employees calculated separately?

      Another interesting question is how does the pay of non-EB employees compare with that of EB employees? If there is any discrimination on the basis of religion, that would be illegal. Also, do EB employees get part of their pay in the form of supermarket vouchers? There are several legal implications associated with that too.

  24. Copious amounts of mud being thrown at the PBCC, but none seems to stick.
    It makes me think that God is seeing these splendid people through these times, regardless of all the hostility. I feel that God is with them.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

    1. Leonardo J Octavianus, Clearly you haven’t read the Charity Commission report, or you wouldn’t be making such statements. Here are some quotes -

      “91. Having fully considered all of the available evidence albeit untested by cross examination, the Commission concluded, on balance, that there were elements of detriment and harm which emanated from doctrine and practices of the Brethren and which had a negative impact on the wider community as well as individuals. In particular the nature and impact of the Disciplinary Practices and the impact of the doctrines and practices on those who leave and on children within the PBCC may have consequences for society”

      “92. The Commission considered that there is evidence to support the view that there are elements of detriment and harm which are in real danger of outweighing public benefit……… The most serious detriment and harm related, in the Commission’s view, to the allegations of the treatment of ex-Brethren and to the Disciplinary Practices. The Commission asked that the PBCC address these issues, which they were willing to do.”

      Leonardo J Octavianus, instead of making such a fallacious post, please can you answer the genuine detail and questions put to you from my post at 13 February 2014 16:09

      Thank you

    2. Leonardo/Mr Brethie/Granny/Other pseudonym

      It's not a case of mud sticking or not, rather it shining a light into darkness. Darkness must flee. Truth will tell. Judgement will be done. " If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God." PS. Get your hair cut!

    3. Hello Mr Octavious-Tosh-Handel-Trewett et al - all in one, and one in all

      I think there have been some very interesting comments here from some excellent, informed commentators such as Joan, Rev, Ian and others. You seem to have your head buried deeply in the sand and are ignoring matters of fact and public record. The PBCC Ltd is a profoundly tarnished organisation and that is why there is spin, in a failed attempt, to refute this sorry state of affairs. They (you) are, quite reasonably, the target of criticism, or mud slinging, as you call it. I am not quite sure why you refer to members (yourself?) as "splendid people". I am sure there are some reasonable folk remaining within the ranks - but, splendour? How is it manifest? There appear to be recorded shortcomings among members, ranging from illegality, immoral behaviour, alcohol abuse, misinformation, hypocrisy, greed and unchristian behaviour - and that's just among the hierarchy and enforcers. Now, nobody is perfect, but please do not paint the ethos of the PBCC as that of simplicity, purity, blame free and profoundly Christian. From other blogs, and here on this page, I note comments such as those from Anon 6.24/2.34. I do hope that this is not representative of the PBCC, but, if so, it is not very encouraging.


    4. It`s very hard to believe that a group that call themselves a mainstream Christian religion would be trying to rest on their laurels when a review of their actions has determined that the elements of detriment and harm are in danger of outweighing their public benefit. Are these people just thick or what?

    5. Rev - Thank you for your kind words.
      Yes you touched on a valid point. The key word is - "Evidence"
      It is interesting to note the cc considered all the "available evidence" in a most thorough way and the PBCC were found to be genuine.
      This why on balance, the cc conceded the charity status of the PBCC should be maintained.
      We should bear in mind, no charity on Earth is without defect, but if the main aim of such an organisation is of benefit to the public, there is no basis to withdraw public funding. I feel these people really are splendid as evident in their way of life. They are also a very valuable asset to society in this day of moral decline.

      Assumptions or gossip about the PBCC are not evidence, so my advice to you Rev is to be factual and not try to mislead.

      Leonardo J Octavianus

    6. Hello ...Leornard /Peter/John, et al....If you don't withdraw you head soon, you will surely suffocate! Now, would love to hear in what ways these people are "splendid as evident in their way of life". I am sure there are some decent, albeit, rather suppressed folk there, but could you please let us know in what ways their "splendour" outshines that of others? I note the CC imply that the scales were almost evenly balanced between detriment and benefit. That suggests that benefit was just about zero. Now, if someone goes to court, on a criminal charge, and on very fine balance, against the evidence, is pronounced "innocent", he is not, necessarily, a splendid fellow. Rather, someone who may have been rather lucky on that occasion.

      Regarding moral decline, you appear to have a sand filled, dare I say, bigoted notion of what is going on in the lives of ordinary folk; no great moral decline, in most cases, just getting on with their lives, earning a crust, paying taxes and bringing up children. If you want something a little more Christian based, why not go out and meet some of the young people at evangelical gatherings. You will find happy, open young people, not repressed with indoctrination, limited education and life opportunities. No moral decline to be seen. Contrarily, I wonder if moral decline might be detected within the PBCC Ltd, over the decades, where families have been broken up, young people ejected from their homes, evidence of improper and immoral behaviour, lack of compassion, avarice and alcoholism.


    7. Leonardo J Octavianus (15 February 2014 09:05)

      Please explain the following,

      - Where exactly have I not been factual and where exactly have I been misleading in either my post of 14 February 2014 13:57 (where I quote extracts from the actual Jan 2014 Charity Commission Report), or in any other of my posts ?

      - You still haven’t answered the questions put to you in my post of 13 February 2014 16:09, yet you have time to make your further post of 15 February 2014 09:05 !, please could you answer the detail and questions put in my post of 13 February 2014 16:09.

      - You say “Assumptions or gossip about the PBCC are not evidence”. Why do you make that statement ?. I have not made assumptions or gossip about the PBCC aka Exclusive Brethren, as my posts are based on facts easily substantiated through documents, court reports, letters, the PBCC/EB’s own internal documents and published ministry, experiences of those who leave, actual recordings of meetings, the very practices & doctrines of the PBCC/EB, the Harm & Detriment caused by the PBCC/EB, comments from members of the PBCC/EB on websites such as this, and many other sources of evidence. In particular, my post of 14 February 2014 13:57 (to which you reply with your comment about assumptions & gossip), quotes from the Charity Commission Jan 2014 report, so that’s hardly “assumptions or gossip” is it. In fact the CC report sates -

      “87. The Commission now had a substantial body of evidence from ex-members of the PBCC and others which highlighted the problems they experienced in particular, on leaving the community and continuing family relationships”

      Waiting your reply

    8. Rev -
      I and some others who are like minded, have been aware of your posts and find them particularly obnoxious, hateful against God and full of deceit. Your whole bent is to mislead as many as you can.
      There is nothing genuine about your statements, let alone the details.
      That renders them unfit for further consideration. I don't even want to touch on such an evil thing.

      However, I will say this without reservation -
      You have become an enemy of the cross of Christ.

      Leonardo J Octavianus

    9. 'I and some others who are like minded'

      Yeah, the Exclusive Brethren. Oh how they squeal. We are under no aluzions as to who you are.

    10. Brother Rev - take heart. Leonardo J Octavianus has now revealed his true character, as well as that of 'some others who are like minded', and it's shocking to read.

      It seems that some associated with this group of Exclusive Brethren are responding in a way which plainly isn't open, honest or fair, and which some readers may identify as malicious and vindictive.

      The Charity Commission's requirements are being disregarded.

    11. Leonardo J Octavianus,

      In your post of 15 February 2014 13:51 you will need to be far more specific before any objective observer could take you seriously or attempt to understand you post. What exactly is there about Rev’s posts that is obnoxious, hateful against God, deceitful, misleading, not genuine, unfit for consideration, evil, or against the Cross of Christ? Unless you specify what you are talking about, these statements of yours will only be seen as attempts to shoot the messenger instead of replying to the message. It gives the impression, rightly or wrongly, that you are unable to reply to the message.

    12. So Mr Octavianus, you feel God is with them.
      Have you considered Satan's Realm?

      Two things I have observed of the PBCC
      - They are very arrogant
      - They decieve

      I learnt
      - God sets himself against the proud and
      - a title of Satan is The Deceiver

      Perhaps you'd be so good as to reconsider your knowledge and amend your statement


    13. Anon 16:37
      Those two things are not characteristic of the a church.
      Furthermore, there is a distinct difference between arrogance
      and conviction or confidence.
      Yes indeed - God sets himself against the proud.
      Arrogance is linked to pride and occupation of self.
      Again those things are not characteristic of these people.
      I have no doubt God will see these people through to the day of Jesus Christ. I recall the words of a young family man to the media, after he left the position in 1970. "The brethren are an excellent people"
      Many who have left over the years have clung to the central message of Jesus. To forgive our fellow man, as Christ has also forgiven us.

      As I man abundantly clear to Rev and Co, this means a vindictive or obnoxious spirit against the PBCC or any other Christian group is wholly unacceptable. Satan's realm will be filled with obnoxious, treacherous and vindictive spirits. Walk away from these kinds of people and you will start to view those excellent people (the brethren) in a totally different light. I speak from real experience.

      Leonardo J Octavianus

    14. LJO, would you please stop treating us like idiots. Just be honest and own up that you are a fully paid up member of the recently rebranded PBCC. You speak like one, reason like one, judge like one and as they say if it walks like a duck........................

    15. Joan, Thank you for your comments,

      Leonardo J Octavianus, That kind of personal attack just shows how rattled and worried the PBCC /Exclusive Brethren are by the persistent shinning light of truth.

      It’s perhaps fortunate we have many years of experience of Exclusive Brethren and “you and your like minded” attempts at intimidation and discrediting have been seen before, so the shocking vindictiveness and nasty utterly baseless attacks lose their impact. Do you not realise, by responding in the way you have, you reinforce and confirm the Harm & Detriment evidence stacked up against the Brethren.

      When the thin façade of gloss veneer is stripped away from PBCC/Exclusive Brethren uncovering the real harmful practices, false teaching, unbiblical and unchristian actions, deceit and exposing the deliberate obfuscation and misleading half truths then the responses from Mr Leonardo J Octavianus and his “like minded” are sadly, very predictable and to be expected.

      Leonardo J Octavianus – You say – “There is nothing genuine about your statements, let alone the details. That renders them unfit for further consideration. I don't even want to touch on such an evil thing”

      Readers of this blog will find that very revealing, as I quote from the Jan 2014 Charity Commission Report in my comments. Are you therefore saying that the CC Report is “nothing genuine” in general and in “detail” and “unfit for further consideration” and “an evil thing” !

      The Charity Commission will be extremely interested in your comments.

      Please clarify ?

    16. Leonardo J Octavianus,

      In your reply to me on 15 Feb 2014 09:05 you close your post with “be factual and not try to mislead” yet your post is full of misleading half truths, misinformation and falsehoods !

      You say,
      “It is interesting to note the cc considered all the "available evidence" in a most thorough way and the PBCC were found to be genuine. This why on balance, the cc conceded the charity status of the PBCC should be maintained”

      Here is a breakdown of the Jan 2014 CC Report, using actual quotes, so therefore from a genuine perspective and not misleading, or full of half truths. The report can be read on the Charity Commissions website, so members of the public who read your comments about it can check them out against the actual report, to see if you are telling the truth !

      I have split it into 2 posts to make it clearer to read

      Part 1

      - “82. Detriment and harm (or disbenefit) is considered to be an aspect of public benefit in the first sense. Notwithstanding clear benefit arising from the purposes of an organisation, where these are outweighed by detriment or harm to the community by pursuing its purposes, then the public benefit requirement will not be met”

      NOTE – This is the basis for the Public Benefit test which the PBCC/Exclusive Brethren had to pass

      - “87. The Commission now had a substantial body of evidence from ex-members of the PBCC and others which highlighted the problems they experienced in particular, on leaving the community and continuing family relationships. The Commission was particularly keen to ensure these issues were addressed by the PBCC. Some of the examples put forward were historical, but others were of a more contemporary nature”

      NOTE – The CC says “substantial body of evidence” and “The Commission was particularly keen to ensure these issues were addressed by the PBCC”. This doesn’t sound like the genuine and benign organisation that Leonardo implies

      - “91. Having fully considered all of the available evidence albeit untested by cross examination, the Commission concluded, on balance, that there were elements of detriment and harm which emanated from doctrine and practices of the Brethren and which had a negative impact on the wider community as well as individuals”

      NOTE – The CC says “fully considered all of the available evidence” and “concluded, on balance, that there were elements of detriment and harm”. The CC certainly did not consider the PBCC/Exclusive Brethren to be genuine or benign as Leonardo implies

      - “92. The Commission considered that there is evidence to support the view that there are elements of detriment and harm which are in real danger of outweighing public benefit”

      NOTE – The CC said “there is evidence to support the view” and “elements of detriment and harm which are in real danger of outweighing public benefit”. That evidence must have been stark, to come to such a damming conclusion and its clear the PBCC/EB came within a whisker of losing their case altogether !.

      Part 2 to follow

    17. Part 2

      - “92..The Commission asked that the PBCC address these issues, which they were willing to do.”

      NOTE – It was the Charity Commission that requested the PBCC/EB to “address these issues”, if there were no issues to address and the CC had to concede defeat (which is what Leonardo misleadingly tries to imply), then why did the CC have to ask the PBCC/EB to “address these issues ?. Furthermore, it was the PBCC/EB who had to comply with the CC

      - “93. The Commission noted PDT’s proposals to overcome these issues by: amending its Trust Deed, clearly setting out its principles and practices and in particular that its Disciplinary Practices and its dealings with former members would be mitigated by compassion. The Deed of Variation incorporating Faith in Practice ensures that the principles and practices are integral to the trusts, the congregation subscribe to principles that demonstrate charitable intent, and are binding on the trustees who uphold such principles when administering the meeting halls”

      NOTE – Its the PBCC/Exclusive Brethren who conceded to the Charity Commission, by making changes. The PBCC put forward “proposals to overcome these issues”

      - “96. The Commission concluded that the revised statement by the PDT of its doctrines and practices, in particular its interrelation with the wider community, was essential in enabling the Commission to accept the PDT for registration as a charity for the public benefit. Accordingly, the Commission agreed that it would register the PDT on the basis of the attached draft Deed of Variation which incorporates as part of the trust purposes the Schedules containing (i) a Statement of Core Doctrine of the Brethren and (ii) Faith in Practice.”

      NOTE – The CC Says “revised statement by the PDT of its doctrines and practices, in particular……..was essential in enabling the Commission to accept the PDT for registration” and “Commission agreed that it would register the PDT on the basis of the attached draft Deed of Variation” Its quite clear from reading the report it is the PBCC/Exclusive Brethren who have been forced to make changes.

      Leonardo J Octavianus, to conclude,

      From the evidence of the report detailed above, the PBCC/EB were found to cause harm and detriment. When under scrutiny of the Public Benefit test, the CC concluded any positive public benefit of the PBCC/EB was close to being outweighed by evidence of Harm and Detriment. The CC requested PBCC/EB address this imbalance which the PBCC/EB were willing to do. As a result it was the PBCC/EB that had to concede to the Charity Commission by introducing changes to trust deeds and creating a new “faith in practice” document, which outlined changes to doctrine practices.

      Its clear if the PBCC / EB had not made the required changes then the CC would have had difficulty in allowing Charitable Status, for the Commission says in the report –

      - “96. The Commission concluded that the revised statement by the PDT of its doctrines and practices, in particular its interrelation with the wider community, was “ESSENTIAL” in enabling the Commission to accept the PDT for registration as a charity for the public benefit. Accordingly, the Commission agreed that it would register the PDT on “THE BASIS OF THE ATTACHED” draft Deed of Variation which incorporates as part of the trust purposes the Schedules containing (i) a Statement of Core Doctrine of the Brethren and (ii) Faith in Practice.”

      (Note – my capitals for emphasis)

      To put forward the spin that the CC had to concede to the PBCC, is a complete gross misrepresentation and distortion of the facts. Facts which are available for all the public to see in the CC Report.

  25. Leonardo J Octavianus - as already mentioned on this blog, I had positive experiences of this group of Exclusive Brethren in the 1940s and 1950s. The brethren I knew then were splendid people, but that all changed when James Taylor Jnr became leader in 1959 and Brethren were no longer free to love their neighbour as themselves.

    Nevertheless, long ago I was treated well by the Brethren I knew. In particular, one person in the Brethren showed me hospitality and solidarity when I was sixteen and my mother was dying lingeringly of a terrible disease. I've never forgotten that kindness. Here, specially for you, is a quote which expresses some of my feelings when I think about how that Brethren person modelled good behaviour in those far-off days:

    Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem
    testa diu.

    Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BC) Poet Laureate to Augustus Caius Octavianus, from Book 1.2 lines 69-70 of his Epistles.

  26. Is this Brethren brochure printed correctly? Should the title not be “Faith that severs”?

  27. Lots of HEB had decent jobs until the 'pension scheme matter' or 'issue' came up. Not allowed to have money taken out of wage packet by employer to put with disbelievers money into investments. Unequal yoke, you know. Brethren money is different from everybody else's in many ways. Some of it is transported in a clandestine manner to other countries in manilla envelopes. Some of it finds it's way to illegally supporting election campaigns in other countries. Some of it gets additional gift aid of 25%. Some of it gets wasted shutting critical websites down. Some of it is used to try and bribe people not to talk. A lot of it goes on expensive lawyers, when the bible is quite specific about such things. Until 2012, NONE of it went to any other charity than their own, as that was Jim Taylor's own directive. One wonders just how much Brethren money lines the pockets of Diageo and Pernod Ricard, the big Scotch Whisky owners.

    Whatalotta Dosh

    1. The PBHC Ltd (Plymouth Brethren Holding Company) even have their own envelope business - Blakes Envelopes, Yeovil. They are able to supply to your own money movement requirements. This is a Barter enterprise, of course; apparently, this exciting enterprise started in a Barter bedroom!

      Jiffy Bagge


      How can Blake Envelopes do anything, when according to the above information the company is dormant and not trading?

      Manilla I Scream

    3. Hi Manilla....will see if you are on FB! This is a real blow, re Blakes Envelopes, as I checked the site and was so impressed that I was going to send an order to cover money movements for the purposes of electing various right wing, homophobic, business orientated, knee jerk politicians around the globe. Might have to pay, through the nose, at WHS, now. Still, can offset against tax so no big deal, really.

      Bruce Hazel

    4. Spelt Hazell actually, not Hazel :)


    5. #Egonface

      You seem to be very well informed how I spell my name - are you confusing me with someone else ??

      Bruce Hazel-Twigg (I don't normally use the hyphenated part)

    6. Agreed. And I Scream is actually spelt ice cream.


  28. It wasn't long ago that the HEB insisted to Mr J Weightman that there was no connection between the church and business.

    Then we catch sight of a caption in 'Faith that Serves' saying ' Brethren's specialist packaging company in East Yorkshire'.

    Would someone care to explain?


    For anyone wanting the truth about John Elliott ( two T's!). There appear to be about a quarter of the patents the PBCC document is claiming.


    For the lowdown on JT Jnr's bedtime entertainment manager ( Scottish Division).

  31. There was a tall fellow from Harrow
    Whose wife had a man in a barrow
    So constricted was she, she damaged her knee
    Couldn't move, and was chilled to the marrow!


  32. There was a sinner from Pinner
    Who liked the Man of God in her
    So naked was she and so horny was he
    They managed it twice before dinner


  33. Have you seen the toast rack?
    How did you know I was Alan Ker?

  34. Where have I heard that name Kerr before? Wasn't he involved in a major split with the church in 1970? I remember a certain reading in which Kerr and the then church leader made some very defiling comments about Song of Songs!