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Friday, 7 March 2014

Press Complaints Commission adjudicate on PBCC Wilton Park school debacle


Click here for link to PCC site;http://www.pcc.org.uk/news/index.html?article=ODg0NQ==

And here for the Daily Mail article; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265258/Probe-strict-Christian-sect-school-shut-girl-pupil-37-days-making-Facebook-page.html

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COMPLAINANT NAME:
Adjudication - Wilton Park School v The Mail on Sunday

CLAUSES NOTED: 6

PUBLICATION: The Mail on Sunday

COMPLAINT:

Wilton Park School complained to the Press Complaints Commission through solicitors, on its own behalf and on behalf of seventeen pupils at the School, that an article headlined "Probe into strict Christian sect school that ‘shut up' girl pupil for 37 days....for making Facebook page", published by The Mail on Sunday on 20 January 2013, breached Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The complaint was not upheld.

The article reported that the School, which is run by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (also known as the Exclusive Brethren), was under investigation by Wiltshire County Council, police and the Department for Education following allegations of child cruelty made by a former teacher. The teacher had compiled a "dossier" of allegations, including that six pupils had been "confined to their homes and forbidden to have any communication with anyone outside their close families", a practice known as "shutting up", after they were discovered to have set up a Facebook page. The School did not accept any misconduct, but the day after the article was published it closed for four weeks in the middle of term because of a "breakdown of trust between staff and pupils". The following month, the School was informed that the investigation had been closed with a "unanimous agreement" by all participants that no further enquiries would be undertaken and that the safeguarding concerns were unfounded.

The School said that the report had caused serious intrusion into the education of its pupils, particularly in light of the closure, which it directly attributed to the press coverage. The parents of seventeen pupils confirmed that the School was complaining with their consent, and said their children had lost trust in their teachers as a result of the coverage, and that they had been left anxious and were now behind in their work.The School provided analysis by a former Ofsted inspector to demonstrate that pupils' education had been impaired, and said future pupils would also be affected because funds spent on handling the consequences would not be available for educational purposes. The School contended that any intrusion caused by the publication of the report was "unnecessary", in the terms of Clause 6, because the publication of the allegations at this time had been "unnecessary": if they were true, the investigation would uphold them, and the outcome could then be reported appropriately. Alternatively, if they were untrue, no legitimate purpose was served by publicising them, and indeed the subsequent investigation had shown they were wholly false.

The newspaper did not accept that the complaint engaged Clause 6, as it had not named or identified individual pupils. While photographs of pupils had accompanied the article, their faces were pixelated. It defended its report as an accurate account of serious allegations, which had included the School's position. While it had concluded that there were no safeguarding issues, the Council had acknowledged that the dossier "did raise concerns that needed to be further explored, with enquiries being conducted and concluded as expeditiously as possible" and formally classified it as a "whistleblowing" letter.

The newspaper noted that the School had first raised concerns about the coverage in January 2013, before discontinuing correspondence until March 2013. After a further delay, it had resumed correspondence in August 2013; and again in November 2013. While it did not accept any breach of the Code, it offered to publish an update in print and online noting the outcome of the investigation.

The School's correspondence had been delayed because its focus had been in recovering from the damage inflicted by the report. It requested reimbursement by the newspaper of the costs of the closure and related expenses, estimated to be £176,205, along with its legal costsIt considered that because the newspaper had referred to a public interest in the publication of the allegations, it should be required by the PCC to demonstrate that it reasonably believed that publication would be in the public interest and how, and with whom, that was established before publication.

DECISION: 
Not Upheld

ADJUDICATION: 

The School contended that no legitimate public interest can be served by publishing the details of whistleblowing allegations before they have been investigated by appropriate authorities. The Commission rejected this position. When handled responsibly, the publication of such information performs an important function, allowing the public to scrutinise the claims and the procedures being employed to investigate them. It also enables members of the public to contribute relevant information to the inquiries that might otherwise have been unavailable. With regard to this case in particular, the Commission was of the view that parents of current and potential pupils at the school were entitled to be made aware of the whistleblower's claims and that an enquiry was under way.

Clause 6 (i) states that "young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion". While any upset caused to pupils by the publication of the report was regrettable, it is inevitable that the free circulation of information will on occasion lead to consequences that are, in themselves, undesirable. The newspaper's report had accurately set out the nature and origin of the allegations, and the School's response had been included in the report. The newspaper had also taken steps to ensure that its coverage would not pose a gratuitous intrusion into the lives of individual pupils at the School, including by pixelating an accompanying image. Responsibility for the subsequent temporary closure lay with the School; for the Commission to rule that as a consequence of this subsequent decision, publication of an otherwise legitimate report had posed an "unnecessary" intrusion - and thus aprima facie breach of Clause 6 - would create a serious chilling effect on reporting of matters in the public interest. There was no breach of the Code.

Nonetheless, once the newspaper was notified of the outcome of the investigation it was required to update its readers on this matter. This update should now be published to avoid misleading readers.

DATE PUBLISHED: 
25/02/2014



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46 comments:

  1. Good job! I am heartily SICK of the Hales Exclusive Brethren/PBCC trying to scapegoat their own poorly-thought-through actions onto outsiders.

    That description covers the above Press Complaint they made.... but a much greater travesty of that so-called Christian group's erroneous blame-laying habit, is the thousands of cases worldwide of what they fondly call "assembly discipline". Due to HEB/PBCC separation dogma, this causes ex-members' family and other relationships with those in the group, to be damaged to the point of ruination. The Brethren then try to blame ex-members for having "an unforgiving spirit" when any of those thousands of desperately hurting people - YOU try pretending your family are dead while living; it's a decades-long curse I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy - dares to raise the fact of this trauma in public. Even when we PRIVATELY raised it with our HEB relatives, they threw the "unforgiving" label at us... all the while denying any sort of decent social interaction between the 'in' family and the 'out'.

    The degree of psychological twistedness caused by 55 years of Excl Breth insularity and separation since 1959, reminds me of totalitarian regimes such as the Nazis and communist Russia. Believe me, it hurts when it's your own ex-friends & family who pass you by on the opposite side of the road pretending they don't know you. Dead while living - it's a ghastly concept to be practised by a so-called Christian Church. Lying through your teeth so constantly, to the point where you don't even recognise your own personal dishonesty, is a horrifying thing to practise under the label of "doing God's work".

    Back to the failed press complaint by PBCC: I hope those Wilton Park schoolkids have had the nouse to buy themselves nonUBT mobile devices on which they can have Facebook a/cs or whatever takes their fancy. The level of control exerted by the leadership of the PBCC cult is horrifying, in this day and age. Keep your eyes wide open to the good things in the outside world, kids. xx

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  2. This comment is spot on. What's very interesting is they try to say it was the children who raised the issue of a breakdown of trust. They have previously tried to say it was the teachers who said this. In fact it was the trustees of the school who first referred to a breakdown of trust. Pants on fire? Absolutely no doubt about that but the HEB exist in a perpetual state of trouser inferno do they not?

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  3. Oh dear.....even when the Exclusive Brethren think they're right, they're wrong.

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  4. An overview,

    - When the allegations were made against a Focus School (Wilton Park School), operated by PBCC / Exclusive Brethren and those allegations were exposed in the Daily Mail, the Wilton Park School and the corporate PBCC / EB, issued rebuttal statements of the claims made

    - An investigation takes place resulting in no charges being brought and the matter is closed, but Wilton Park School, presumably with backing and support from the corporate PBCC / EB, complains to the Press Complaints Commission about the article, after an assessment the PCC does not uphold the complaint

    - However the PCC requests the Daily Mail update their readers on the issues saying “This update should now be published to avoid misleading readers”

    Thoughts to ponder,

    - What about some of the misleading, and some would say totally fictitious, claims in the press statements of both Wilton Park School and the corporate PBCC / EB, should they (the PBCC / EB), not issue an update, correction and apology “to avoid misleading readers” !

    A reminder of a statement in the Press Releases - “Christian sect school” The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church is a mainstream Christian Church holding substantially the same doctrines as the Church of England. The PBCC is not a sect but is structured and operates on common Christian ground as taught by Holy Scripture which is available for all Christians”

    - Those who know who the PBCC / EB really are and what they practice, know this statement to be utterly misleading.

    - This statement is also proven to be factually incorrect if persons read the Charity Commission Report of Jan 2014, which describes practices, doctrines, detriment and harm, ‘Not’ found in ‘Any’ “mainstream christian church” nor in the “Church of England” nor in “Holy Scripture” !

    - The corporate PBCC / EB press release was signed by key UK figures – Peter Trevvett, Garth Christie, Graham Reiner, John Rich, Julian Aris, Bruce Hazell & Keith Birch. That press release contained this statement – “We have seen the statement from the Wilton Park Trustees ‘COMMENTS ON ARTICLE IN THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 20TH JANUARY 2013’ and as informed of the witnessed facts we unequivocally support everything contained therein”

    - So key figures endorsed a press release containing disgraceful misrepresentation about the PBCC / EB ! An update should now be published to issue a correction and apology to “to avoid misleading readers” !

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  5. I am not entirely sure why the PBCC dislike the term "sect". I thought minor denominations could be so described. It is not a pejorative term, as such, and more flattering than the term "cult". To say that the PBCC is structured as The Church of England, or even the larger denominations, such as the Methodists, and so on, is a little fanciful.

    #notapublicbenefit

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  6. “The PBCC is not a sect.”

    Words fail me! You might as well say the Ku Klux Klan are not racist, or the Mafia are not criminal, or the Taliban are not militant.

    The Hales Brethren ministry is riddled with blatant examples of sectarianism. I could quote dozens of extreme examples. I don’t know any church more sectarian than they are, in thought, word and deed.

    And their ministry also contains many passages that would horrify and disgust the Church of England. Don’t let them pretend that they have any resemblance to mainstream Christian churches, or even mainstream parts of the Brethren movement.

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  7. What's really disturbing is that mainstream churches are not challenging the. In the contrary the evangelicals seem to be falling over themselves to accommodate the HEB and accept their assertion that an attack on the HEB is tantamount to an attack on Christianity. Their stance is not only intellectually feeble but also morally bankrupt.

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    Replies
    1. Anon 8 March 2014 17:58,

      I understand what you mean, but I haven’t seen such a grim picture myself.

      It is true the Christian Institute supported the PBCC / EB soon after they rebranded from Exclusive Brethren to PBCC, which happened after the infamous Charity Commission 7th June 2012 letter refusing Charity Status to the Preston Down Trust.

      I understand the Evangelical Alliance was involved with the Charity Commission in the later stages to help draw up the new Trust Deeds and “Faith in Practice” docs.

      However, I haven’t seen any corporate mainstream Christian church come out in support of the PBCC / EB, such as Baptists, Independent Evangelical Churches, the FIEC, Methodists, Church of Scotland, Church of England, Church of Wales, EMW, Pentecostals, The Assemblies of God, or any of the many others. If you have information to the contrary then please let us know.

      Neither the CI nor EA represent any particular Christian denomination. The CI is supposed to be a Christian based pressure group. It has a rather dubious image amongst some Christians, I spoke to a church elder a few months ago and while he was horrified and disgusted at the false teaching & harmful unchristian actions of the PBCC / EB, he seemed unsurprised the CI had “got the wrong end of the stick” and went on to say they “often get cases out of context” !

      Others may think different, but I agree with your first comment that “mainstream churches are not challenging” enough. To me, there appears too much of a laissez-faire attitude to challenging false teaching & harmful unchristian actions. That apparent lack of challenging is a gift to persons who think the Christian Church in its entirety is in a mess as it doesn’t seem to effectively deal with false teaching and harmful unchristian actions by people or churches. In some ways the PBCC / EB have sadly proven that point !, but then maybe the silence also speaks volumes !

      Its interesting to note the only Christian Church group that I know of that did publicly & corporately distance themselves from the PBCC / EB were the Open Brethren represented by the “Partnership” group, who had to correct the deliberate confusion being spread around by the rebranding and pr of the EB to PBCC !

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    2. "What's really disturbing is that mainstream churches are not challenging"

      Mainstream churches are all busy being seen doing other charity work though.While their groups are being seen feeding the poor.And are busy taking care of other areas of need

      Then who the hell really bothers to care that a number of lives are being lived divided by religion.

      And lately the exclusive brethren have now also adopted the same ploy


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    3. The senior bishop of the the C of E to whom the PBCC applied for support wrote back that he could be of no help to them.

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    4. Did the same bishop of the C and E also care to write to the charity commission and pledge to support them. And did they care to write to politicians to express their feelings there as well.

      Or did they choose to cover all bases. By remaining silent

      Its all very fine telling cult members that you wont offer them any support. But what is to be gained by that. If no information or support is being offered to those people actively trying to change matters either. For how is the charity commission supposed to even gauge what such people are likely to be thinking about this sort of situation. Do mainstream church folk really expect that the charity commissioners could some how develop some sort of divine form of supernatural knowledge. Or something

      People like Brother Rev are quite free to continually choose to bury their heads in the sand. Suggesting people like me might use these situations like a gift. Making it seem like we have no base for our claims

      The exclusive brethren will make the same type of claims too. For its just far easier denying things , than opening ones eyes to reality.

      If these Christians honestly care about matters. Maybe Brother Rev might like to explain how come this situation, and a number of other situations much like it, has been allowed such total freedom to continue onward for so many generations.How could this have happened, if its true that these mainstream christian folk had always been very busy taking such great interest and concern in this ongoing un Christian practice.

      People like myself see it like it looks. We don't go to churches where other Christians gather together to pat each other on the back. Preferring to lay full blame entirely on some small cult alone. Like as if its these cults who are so powerful as to be totally in control of matters.

      Of course its far easier to blame a cult. That it is for one to care to accept that other people might have also cared to get a little more involved

      People like Rev would maybe might like to blame the exclusive brethren for the steady decline within Christianity as a whole too. After all they need to believe that their own sacred cow remains totally blameless. Meanwhile their faith still continues on the steady decline. And to people like Brother Rev,only everyone else but those among their own is ever to blame for any of it

      This closed minded thinking is truly the biggest gift toward the demise of Christianity.Because while these people continue to cry foul on people like me whom try to open their eyes to it. All the while Christianity is continually being brought into ill repute.

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    5. The Bishop who said he could not help probably knew that it would be improper to try to influence the Charity Commission or the Tribunal by political pressure, or by any method other than providing first-hand evidence, which he probably did not possess. I am sure the Judge must have taken a very dim view of the Brethren’s political campaigning, and would have frowned on any attempt by a Bishop or by MPs to exert their influence on the decision.

      You speak about the “steady decline” and “the demise” of Christianity. There has certainly been a steady decline in the countries where the Hales Brethren live, but there is no decline on a global scale. It is estimated that the world population of Christians has recently been increasing by about 70,000 per day.

      The increase is particularly rapid in Africa and China, where there are no Hales Brethren, so I don’t think they can take any of the credit for its growth and spread there. I suppose, on the other hand, they might have contributed to some of the decline of Christianity in Europe, North America and Australia, because they have given a lot of people an unfavourable impression of what Christianity is. Some of the teachings and practices characteristic of Brethren are regularly cited by influential secular critics to show how harmful and false some forms of religion can be.

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    6. I suggest that most churches are unaware of the PBCC. They're simply not on the radar. Maybe the big denominations have some inkling about them, but for most of us it's a question of "who?". I know. I've had these conversations.

      But meanwhile, contrary to you assertion, the church worldwide, and amazingly the church in the UK is in significant growth. This may not always be in the established and formalised denominations, but even the CofE declare their churches are growing.

      The 'new churches' especially are seeing growth. Based on evangelical, bible believing doctrines, simply placed in a contemporary and Spirit filled context.

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    7. Yes Ian, Christianity is on the rise in places like Africa and China.In places of extreme need where people remain very vulnerable. More or less anywhere where people are being forced to agree to convert, due to lack of availability of other options. And if the eb went into those places also, it wouldn't surprise me so much either ,if there were also plenty of people there whom would also agree to join their exclusive group as well.Such is the situation.
      But that's for now. While no better choices exist. Let us wait and see what happens in time to come, once the Christian band wagon has dished up its traditional recipe for division abuse and ongoing harm.

      Because that's what occurred back here over these generations past.People here are not busy dumping Christianity in droves , for no good reason.

      And when it happens in these other places. Then lets also see if those folk also someday find themselves living within a bind.Having many different groups of Christians surrounding them , none of whom care to take action against ongoing harm.Unless its something to do with problems existing within their own group.

      Then we can revisit your idea that Christianity is actually thriving. Rather than taking a nose dive into disgrace and decline. Which im willing to wager it most surely will do , should people like yourself continue to far prefer to turn a blind eye to these real ongoing problems that continue to exist. Problems that wont be likely to just disappear in China or Africa or anywhere else either ,when it still hasn't even been addressed in places back here. Problems don't tend to suddenly disappear, simply because Christians have found new ground rich in so many poor vulnerable needy people. Do you think ?

      Its entirely up to you if you decide to declare that the general decline within Christianity, is been due to the existence of the exclusive brethren within these areas . But i'm more than willing to wager that quite likely this declaration may be very ill informed. I'm even prepared to suggest that such claims do remind me of claims id also expect from some staunch exclusive brethren members. Who also often remain stubborn and unwilling to dare admit matters that to many stick out like a sore thumb.And much to their groups own loss and continued destruction too. But still that's about our freedom of opinion. Which is something i would also never care to try and refuse.Because for all i know, your opinion might be valid.

      Traditionally Christians have not minded trying to influence people of power in regards to a number of matters.Yet suddenly when its about influence within their own church circles. There has always been people like yourself jumping out to claim such influences need to be deemed improper. I feel such thoughts seem to contain a large pungent whiff of double standards.I find such excuses little better, than ongoing excuses i see continually displayed by exclusive brethren.

      With all due respect Ian .In my mind . It seems to me that its very little wonder these separation issues still continue within the 20th century. Having existed and having already continually caused harm to so many generations past. Surely its what would be expected, when people remain unwilling to address real issues.Far preferring to duck and dive. Much like the same crime that exclusive brethren are often continually being accused of. I mean imagine if Islamist's took the same stand. Suggesting it improper to influence any wayward Islamist groups. Would that seem proper to you. Maybe groups of Islamist's could create the same type of excuses too. In claiming it was somebody else problem. Leaving it up to secular bodies to try dealing with. Thus removing themselves from any need to get involved.

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    8. Hello Anonymous 9 March 2014 21:43. It was me that said churches are growing, not Ian, though any superficial study will show they are. Here's one to get you started.

      http://www.churchnewspaper.com/26119/archives

      Be blessed.

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    9. Hi Theophilus 10 march 2014 08:34

      Have a read of Barney Barrens comment on that study you cited.And remember it was written 2012 as well.

      If exclusive brethren migrated from Africa to England.Or from Australia to England.They could claim that their churches in England had a rise in membership there too.Or if many more exclusive brethren decided to leave the brethren church , a number would join another non eb church.And this would also create a rise in membership for some. And so on

      Ian had discussed this issue as well.You can see what he said in the second paragraph. Not that i was wanting to ignore and disregard what you said.

      Ian didn't reply to me as to whether he thought its proper for groups of Islamist's to care to speak out against actions of another Islamist group.I was interested to hear what he thought. Because people claim its improper for Christians to do so. Almost as if Christians want to run a special club. Yet if you look on the internet you will see Christians demanding the Islamist groups should care to do so. And a number surely have been quite prepared to do so.Lately Christians have been demanding that more people should speak out and care about Christians being persecuted and killed by Islamist extremist's. Yet very few Christian groups seem to care to demand that Christian extremists should need to change.

      Ian doesn't seem keen to reply.Exclusive Brethren often don't bother to reply either. Why ?

      What do you think. Do you think its a bit of a double standard? to expect Islamist to help police Islam. But not Christians.

      Do you think this should help Christianity grow. Or might it help it continue to decline

      What would ? Jesus do. Rev tells us that there is many real Christians outside the eb. Does this mean Rev is saying ? that Jesus would also disregard the ongoing Christian faith abuses,and would be inclined to take little action too

      Would Jesus be pleased to be compared to those that Rev calls real Christians.If you think so .Then why did Jesus throw out the money changers. Was he acting un Christian at the time

      So far the only thing i ever got from Christian blessings.Was heartbreak

      But thanks anyway Theophilus. And all the best to you too

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    10. Anonymous of 11 March 2014 09:33 wrote,

      “Ian didn't reply to me as to whether he thought its proper for groups of Islamist's to care to speak out against actions of another Islamist group. I was interested to hear what he thought. Because people claim its improper for Christians to do so.”

      It is entirely proper for anyone of any faith or belief to speak out against harmful practices and harmful ideas, religious or not. Those who contribute regularly to this and similar forums have done just that for many years. Without the great reformers of the 18th and 19th Centuries speaking out boldly we would still have slavery in the UK and lots of other social evils too.

      What I described as improper was for someone like a bishop or an MP to try to influence the Charity Commission or the Tribunal by any means apart from providing first-hand evidence. That is because the verdict has to be based on evidence and law, not on political pressure or political expediency or popularity. If, like most bishops, he doesn’t have personal first-hand evidence, he must take his concerns somewhere else, not to the Commission and especially not to the Tribunal Judge.

      But you are right when you say that some people think it is basically wrong to criticise the Hales Brethren or other faith groups. Several times on this blog and Richard Stay’s blog I have noticed people saying this. I do not agree with them. Neither did Jesus. Neither did Paul. It is a crazy notion. Any group that claims exemption from scrutiny and criticism is deeply suspect as far as I am concerned. Those who claim such exemption are also wildly unrealistic, because they are claiming something they have absolutely no chance of getting.

      You mention the possibility of Islamists helping to police Islam. You may be cheered to read an article in today’s Times that describes how Islamists are doing just that in the UK. Many young radical Islamists who want to go and fight Islamist wars are being reported to the UK police by their own families. The author thinks this readiness to cooperate with the police has depended on the trust engendered by the all-female leadership in Britain’s anti-terrorist police team.

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    11. Hi Anonymous 11 March 2014 09:33

      I wish I could answer all your questions, but I can't. The link I used was an example of many stories that the church in the Western world, in addition to the church in the third world is still growing. If we were to believe the doom and gloom merchants, like the Exclusive Brethren, it would be a very sad day for the church.

      If I assume my experience is commonplace, then our experience of new birth/people coming to know Jesus for themselves which is at least happening most months is being replicated elsewhere in the Western world. Certainly numerous reports are told, but these may not be formalised into published documents. This is in addition to transferees of course, which will always happen.

      For me the term 'Christian Extremist' is an oxymoron. I cannot readily identify those who have had a genuine encounter with Jesus in such terms. Nominal Christians, people born in so-called Christian countries or areas of a country, maybe. But for me, the transforming power of Jesus in my life has completely changed me.

      I think most churches remain unaware of the impact of cults, odd sects, faith abusers etc. No one church can cover all the bases of possible involvement and ministry.. Maybe the big denominations could in a centralised basis? I think mostly people are concerned with doing good in other ways. The tiny worldwide membership of the EB, and their rebranded and confusing new name are well below the radar of most church and non-churched people. The EB are big and important in their own eyes, but no-one else's.

      Sorry I cannot contribute more than that.

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    12. Hi Ian 11 March 2014 10:30

      Thanks for the reply. I think it quite important that Christians become more prepared to make it clear about how they feel about this.Too many still rather take no stand. More or less allowing themselves to look like they could have taken a stand,on either side of the debate.Sitting on the fence.This is not been helpful.It's been extremely unhelpful

      But its easier to deal with.And so many lower level exclusive brethren find out how it makes their life easier too.Christians worldwide choosing? the easy road

      If its improper for Bishops to try and influence authorities.Then maybe the same rule should apply? to many other issues.Gay marriage. Euthanasia and so on

      And one would hope that Bishops were not involved in trying to influence authorities in regards to having freedom of religion imposed.Because as you said it should need to be guided by evidence

      Many Christians like to provide the excuse that Exclusive brethren cult are just not so well known enough.As if this is excusable .I wonder would they find it just as excusable, if instead it was famine or peoples other needs that were being overlooked ,and not so well known about. Or would they decide that this was due to their own lack of interest.That way learning something from the situation.

      I find too many Christians can be slippery as eels.Then the same people may like to accuse the cults of acting in this manner.And this they see as quite fine

      Good on the Islamist s you describe.And may a few more Christian adopt the same practices too,rather than too many just trying to blame everyone else for all that has come to pass ,than themselves.Maybe we need to accept a lot more, that all human are imperfect.And so we all have contributed to the situations we live with.This then makes it far easier for everyone to accept being wrong.






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    13. Theophilus11 March 2014 10:41

      No worries. Some question are not easy. But many times when i ask these hard question of Christians.They seem to prefer to tell me to go away.I see it happen sometimes even on ex eb sites

      So thank you for not doing that.I can retain some respect for you and your kindness and honesty

      Im glad your Christianity helps you.That's a good thing.But let me just add that some people find yoga practice helps them.And even Taliban can find peace in their faith before going to bomb people. In all cases these people meditate on certain matters.This helps them all remove their unhappy thoughts.And so a number of Exclusive Brethren will gladly relate how they can find peace in meditating on the ministry of Bruce Hales.

      If Churches were unaware of how much hunger there was in Africa.Then would this be a good enough excuse in your mind

      You see feeding hungry people makes Christianity seem lovely. While caring about cult abuse brings much shame that it hasn't been addressed much earlier. Do ? you agree

      I'm not trying to be mean or nasty. Sometimes ? these sorts of dirty linen need to be discussed. Or how else can things change

      I really don't hate Christians.Hate hurts the hater. But i simply cant yet say i totally love the way too many Christian are. Its just so extra hard not to feel any hate, when you, and many others too, have all being left hurting year after year.So then who is to blame for existence of such hatred.

      These questions may be hard to answer. But if there is no freedom to at least express them freely.How else? does one get people thinking more about it. Specially among those people whom may be meditating on other things that is far more wonderful to think of. Like eternity in heaven. Rather than the here and now.

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    14. Anonymous 11 March 2014 12:10

      I'm sorry you have been hurt, and maybe damaged by the Exclusive Brethren. I'm not surprised, maybe posters to this and other sites are clearly still carrying their pain. It looks like the HEB leadership have a lot to deal with when they do meet Christ face to face.

      Without being glib, I do believe Christians are work in progress. Some have made more progress than others, some still exhibit 'unfortunate' character traits and behaviours. The church I've joined myself to emphasises the grace of God, the empowering of the Holy Spirit and the preaching and declaration of God's word to bring about change in the lives of visitors and members. For me to walk away from legalism was truly wonderful!

      You are right: The issue of faith-abuse does seem to be left to specialist groups rather than the church corporate. But then, the church corporate is a nebulous entity, with a wide range in what is meant by the term 'church'. It tends to be the evangelicals with a clear understanding of the Bible who lead this charge against deceit and repression, while others get on with proclaiming the good news and doing good in Jesus' name. But as I've said before about the HEB in particular. Who? Most know of the Open Brethren, rumours have informed some of the closed/exclusive brethren, but the EB have done such a good job about keeping themselves to themselves, very little is known or is up to date about them. So sadly, I think most Christians have a clue about this little group. They're not significant, and certainly no-one knows about their delusions of grandeur.

      In it all, God remains the same: Yesterday, today and forever as a loving father with wide open arms looking for reconciliation with his children - like the prodigal son story. Full of grace and mercy. So far removed from cultic legalism.

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    15. Hello Anonymous 11 March 2014 12:10

      You say “You see feeding hungry people makes Christianity seem lovely. While caring about cult abuse brings much shame that it hasn't been addressed much earlier. Do ? you agree”

      I do not agree. The mission of the church is broad and global. No one congregation can fulfil all functions. My experience is that those who perceive a specific calling find like minded people and work out these good purposes together. So some will feed the poor, some will preach the Gospel, some will denounce cults and faith abusers.

      I understand that on leaving a faith-abused system that nothing else seems so big or so significant. I also think the church is coming to terms with abuse issues and facing the shame and embarrassment and pain surrounding this. It seems however, the Exclusive Brethren are not yet ready/still living in cloud-cuckoo land.

      On that thought, I’d suggest genuine Christians outside the doom and despair, vale of tears brigade like the EB’s are very much living in the here and now, not sitting back and waiting for heaven. Because they’re in the here and now, they’re involved with humanitarian good works to alleviate suffering in the here and now.

      I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by the EB. Today’s posting about JND speaks volumes about the introverted self righteous route they’ve followed. Believe me, that’s not real Christianity.

      Be blessed.

      Delete
    16. But the ongoing church abuses have been ongoing for many generations Theophilus. While for generations Church folk have obviously made a real point of making sure human hunger and other problems are known about widely, and then that those within their congregations have made sure to go out and take prompt action.

      Ongoing church abuse has been ongoing in a number of church groups as well.Not only the Exclusive Brethren .Of course some instances may still have been far worse, than others are. However abuse has been far more widespread than it should be .

      Its no less horrid that certain people are born into faith abuse. Than it is that certain people are born into hunger.Each are born into something they don't control. In fact at least hungry people, can say they still have the company, and love, of their families. And obviously they can rest more easy, that help is far more likely to come to help relieve their hunger too.

      If the Jews had been left to suffer under Hitler. For many generations.Would you try and claim that their Jewish familys were just inclined to feel that "nothing else seems so big or so significant" to them either.

      Or would you be? more prepared to just accept it were a church failing. That they had sadly been allowed to continue suffering in silence, so long.

      I still say church congregations surely must have intended to not give ongoing church abuse, so much attention Theophilus. In the very least, pastors and elders, cant have been so bothered, to care to bring news of this ongoing abuse, to the attention of members of their congregations.There is no other better way to explain it.

      For news of this kind of abuse has even been reported worldwide in many newspapers ,and over radio and even through news reports on TV.For a long time already.

      All it would take is for one pastor or church elder , to decide how it were very important, that other church leaders should also need to be promptly advised as well, of what had been ongoing for generations.

      Then many church groups would have all been aware.

      So it has little to do with me thinking nothing else seeming so big or significant. It seems a little unfair of you to even suggest this. When churches have obviously been extremely slow, to care to take action to help appease the great suffering that has been going on .

      Very few people are left to continually go hungry for whole generations.Are they. So your judgement of me seems quite wrong.You try to make my thoughts seem self centered. When truth is my thoughts are connected to observing downfalls, that exist within members of church gatherings. Whom say they love all Gods people,and do honestly care

      I understand why it might not be real easy to accept, of groups that i'm sure people will hold dearly. But that doesn't prove how i'm wrong.

      Problems are not solved by finding excuses. If they were , then the exclusive brethren would also have ways to overlook problems that exist within their group too. And they do try to do this. Any great wonder? when other theists groups, will also be experience to try to do the same

      Delete
    17. Anonymous 13 March 2014 12:03

      As I said in my first response to you, I cannot answer all your questions.

      There are Christians concerned about faith abuse/cults. They're doing what they can. Others do other things. No-one can do everything.

      Sorry if you thought my assessment was unfair, so many ex-EB seem hurt, it's almost a given.

      Delete
  8. If it's a fact that the Evangelical Alliance helped the Charity Commission draw up the new Trust Deed and 'Faith in Practice' documents, that may explain something that has been puzzling me this year.

    As I read it, the requirement to deal with all people compassionately, openly, honestly and fairly, and not vindictively nor maliciously, represents a substantial change for the PBCC. For 55 years these Exclusive Brethren have been used to separating from people outside their own group because they believed them to be 'worldlies', 'unclean associations' or 'spiritual fornicators'. In very many cases that kind of judgement was unfair and dishonest, if not malicious and vindictive.

    Now that they have signed up to treating people positively, it's reasonable to expect a complete change of attitude towards non-Brethren people; but it doesn't seem that the PBCC has yet come to terms with the new arrangements. Perhaps this is because the specific requirement to treat all others with compassion, openly, honestly, fairly and not vindictively nor maliciously did not originate with the PBCC but was written for them by the Charity Commission with the help of the Evangelical Alliance.

    I know that the PBCC was delighted because they thought the matter was settled in January. One member wrote to me commenting gratefully that it was all over, but when I wrote back asking for a meeting to discuss how the changes required by the Charity Commission affected me and my husband (who worship in the Anglican tradition and have never been part of any Brethren group) I received a reply which said that such a meeting wouldn't be possible in the near future.

    I am in touch with ten PBCC individuals and have written about the Charity Commission's requirement of change to nine of them. So far, no-one has taken up what I've said. Maybe because the PBCC didn't itself generate the changes required in the Charity Commission's document, they haven't yet begun to work out what dealing with all people with compassion, fairly, honestly, openly and not maliciously nor vindictively must mean for them.

    I have waited for more than half a century for these Brethren to treat people fairly as, in my experience, they did in the 1940s and 1950s. I'll now need to be patient a little longer while the Brethren work out how to change their behaviour in order to comply with the Variation of the Trust Deed to which they have given their assent.

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  9. Joan, The grass always looks greener on the other side.
    Have you been sipping away at Rev's acidic Mulberry wine again at unholy communion?

    Don't allow his question evasive rambling to lead you away.





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  10. I would simply suggest the other churches are aware of the PBCC, but they maybe don't want to be disturbed in their comfort zones. Tea and biscuits on a hazy lazy Sunday afternoon is all very tame, lukewarm and delightful, but where is the real gospel or salt of the Word? Christendom springs to mind when the word churches is used. So little of Christ and so watered down.
    I'm so thankful for the authentic preachings of the PBCC. My heart leaps with joy every time I see these people, whether it be cutting my lawn, giving me a helping hand with my shopping or simply to see their open and happy faces beaming at me in the high street. The little kids often wave at me when they are on their way to their local gospel hall. I think they are really lovely and they really do live their faith. I just think they are really good people and we must support them.

    Christianity in action makes so much difference to the community and so they are a big asset. Crime, anti-social behaviour and vandalism just vanish whenever these people are around.

    Anne Cohen

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    Replies
    1. In a way it's funny, the stereotypical PBCC view of what other churches are. Is their experience so blinkered and restricted they do not realise the great weight of Christian activity in the world today to alleviate suffering?

      The incidental involvement of the PBCC in the life of the outside community, for the benefit of humanity is surely welcome, though incidental it really is.

      The wider church is currently involved in projects amongst others:

      To stop sex-trafficking and slavery

      To feed and clothe the homeless

      To run winter night shelters for the homeless

      To provide clean potable water in poor countries

      To run Food Banks for the poor and destitute

      To run Money Advice Centres for those fiscally challenged

      To run Counselling Centres for the hurt and confused

      To run Social Companies to benefit the local community

      To run Hospices for the terminally ill

      To run Drug Rehabilitation Centres

      To run Charity Shops

      To provide in all means for victims of disasters

      The list could go on. And of course preach the Gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ!

      Delete
    2. Anne

      Sorry to be suspicious but are you Leonardo J Octavianus, Robert, John, MP, John Handel, Joesphf, etc in disguise?

      In your 1st para, what you speak of and the manner in which you speak of it, shows someone who has never been to a service in a Bible following Christian Church outside of the Exclusive Brethren PBCC. Your description is so divorced from truth and reality that your clearly just spouting prejudices heard in the PBCC

      I’ve been to many different Christian churches, aside from my local assembly, such as (Evangelical, Baptist, C of E, Open Brethren, etc) and have not heard a “very tame, lukewarm” service, but have heard “real gospel & salt of the Word” and afterwards enjoyed tea and biscuits in fellowship with other Christians in Christ’s Body and interested non believers. Where do you find information to justify the sweeping assumption of “so little of Christ and so watered down” ?, because that is such balderdash. To give a small illustration here is a “Statement of Faith” from one of those Churches mention above. Please read its Christian truth.

      Copy

      We accept the Holy Scriptures, as originally given, as the infallible Word of God, of divine inspiration. Recognising them as our sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, we believe the doctrines taught therein, including in particular the following:

      1. We believe in the only true and living God, the Holy Trinity of Divine Persons in perfect unity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of whom is co equal and co eternal, and sovereign in creation, providence and redemption.

      2. We believe in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is holy, righteous, full of grace, mercy, compassion and love. In his infinite love he sent forth the Son, that the world through him might be saved.

      3. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, whose true humanity and full deity were mysteriously and really joined in the unity of his divine Person. We believe in his virgin birth, in his perfect life and teaching, in his substitutionary, atoning death on the cross, where he triumphed over Satan, sin and death, in his bodily resurrection and his ascension into heaven, where he now sits in glory at the right hand of God.

      4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, whose work is indispensable to regenerate the sinner, to lead him to repentance, to give him faith in Christ, to sanctify the believer in this present life and to fit him to enjoy fellowship with God. For spiritual power and effectiveness his ministry is essential to the individual Christian and to the Church.

      5. We believe that as a result of the Fall all men are sinful by nature. Sin pollutes and controls them, infects every part of their being, renders them guilty in the sight of a holy God, and subject to the penalty which, in his wrath and condemnation, he has decreed against it.

      6. We believe that through faith (and only faith) in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose death was a perfect oblation and satisfaction for our sins, the sinner is freely justified by God, who, instead of reckoning to us our sins, reckons Christ's righteousness to our account. Salvation is therefore by grace and not by human merit.

      7. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return personally, visibly and gloriously to this earth, to receive his saints to himself and to be seen of all men. As the righteous Judge, he will divide all men into two, and only two, categories - the saved and the lost. Those whose faith is in Christ will be saved eternally, and will enter into the joy of their Lord, sharing with him his inheritance in heaven. The unbelieving will be condemned by him to hell, where eternally they will be punished for their sins under the righteous judgment of God.

      End

      Anne Cohen
      Now you have read the above, please tell us all where in the above is evidence of “very tame, lukewarm”, “so little of Christ and so watered down”, lack of “real gospel & salt of the Word” ?

      Delete
    3. It's so transparent. Who would know of this blog, who would actively seek it out purely on the basis that the local peeblets wave at you? Only a member, LJO, John Handel and his mates, that's who.

      C'mon guys, stop playing games.

      And may I say, the PBCC are only famous and well own in their own backyard/imaginations.

      Delete
    4. I'd say with absolute unshakeable conviction -
      A statement of faith without the presence of the holy spirit and the work of God is dead. A notion of a clergyman is dead too.
      All that lukewarmness is about to be spewed out of the mouth of a holy and righteous God.
      It will all be cast into and burnt in the fire of his judgement.
      Will not the judge of all the earth do right?

      Anne - Your statement is one of truth.
      Thank you for your clarity of thinking and support to the PBCC.
      They believe in the living God who is soon to come on clouds of glory.
      He will be the judge of every work of good and evil.
      Are each one of us prepared to be changed today or are we going to be found still in sin when he comes? Today is the day of grace, but are we certain of our eternal destiny and will it be with the Lord Jesus or the devil and his followers?

      An uncompromising message to all who despise and persecute -
      Traitors do not have peace with their creator and no eternal life with Jesus Christ. Do you not fear God or are you determined to go on and attack these excellent people with whom he has found his delight?

      Why do ye always resist the holy spirit?

      Leonardo J Octavianus.

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    5. Yes, Leonardo. Why do you?

      Delete
    6. There we have it ! The true beliefs of the PBCC Exclusive Brethren being publicly aired by LJO !

      The Charity Commission, the Evangelical Alliance, the Christian Institute, the rest of the Christian Church will be astonished, appalled, horrified and shocked to read it.

      What LJO is saying is that –

      a. The statement of faith quoted above by 10th March 11:32, is without the “presence of the holy spirit” or the “work of God” and is "dead"

      Response - glib assumptions & no supporting evidence, dismissal of written Christian truths therefore scornful of the work of God. How can something be “without the work of God” & "dead", when it describes in detail, core fundamental Christian truths which can be supported by the Holy Scriptures !, to say such things, is to dismiss the Christian Faith !

      b. That a “clergyman”, presumably a vicar, pastor, elder, deacon, etc is “dead”.

      Response – parroting out a “mans ideas” and putting them above Gods Word in Holy Scripture, for, Scripture describes such positions and gives detailed requirements for the qualifications of such in the Apostle Paul’s ministry

      c. That assumption, prejudice, ignorance and sweeping statements with no discernment, are “Truth”

      d. The PBCC Exclusive Brethren is the only Christian Church that “believe in the living God who is soon to come on clouds of glory”, the only place without “sin”, the only place to offer the Gospel of the “day of grace”, “eternal destiny” and the “Lord Jesus”. The rest, are with the “devil and his followers"

      Response – to believe such nonsense shows how far from Christian truth, as expressed in Holy Scripture, the PBCC Exclusive Brethren have fallen, it also shows no comprehension of - the Body of Christ, the saving work of Jesus, the fall of Adam, man in the flesh. It does illustrate pure sectarianism & self righteous spiritual pride, two things which Jesus hated

      e. If persons speak out about the PBCC Exclusive Brethren, or reject the group, they are “despising” and “persecuting” the Gospel, they are “Traitors”, they have “no peace with their creator and no eternal life with Jesus Christ” and “Don’t fear God”

      Response – the PBCC thinks it is “The Church”, a simple delusion of grandeur not found in Holy Scripture and an idea destroyed by the PBCC own behaviours (JT Junior 1970). It does illustrate pure sectarianism & self righteous spiritual pride, two things which Jesus hated. Convenient to forget also that many who speak out, or voice horror at PBCC actions in private conversations, are genuine true Christians saved by the Blood of Christ

      f. The PBCC Exclusive Brethren are “excellent people with whom he has found his delight” and are the sole representation of the “Holy Spirit”

      Response – glib assumptions with no evidence but self righteousness spiritual pride all of which Jesus hated. Christ would not find delight in or allow His Holy Spirit to be a part of –

      - Separation from the rest of the Body of Christ (all other Christians & Churches)
      - Refusal to eat, drink, worship, fellowship with any other Christian
      - Saying that James Taylor Junior, former leader (an alcoholic womaniser found in bed with another mans wife in 1970 ), was a “pure man” and “our beloved”
      - Dividing of Husband and Wife
      - Dividing and separation of families Children, Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Mothers, Fathers, etc

      LJO, Christ would not find “delight” in or allow His Holy Spirit to be part of these things, because they are all from “Man” and not found in Holy Scripture

      LJO, do you realise you have just contradicted much of the glossy fluffy pr spin put out by the PBCC in the last 2 years !

      Delete
    7. Bro-Rev, I presume? A good answer. LJO's attitude above is indeed sectarian, divisive and at variance from the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I find it very sad, but it does reveal the heart of the matter.

      Delete
    8. Rev - In a nutshell
      if you reject Paul's ministry it means you have rejected everything in the Holy Bible, including Christ. See here - You use scripture to justify yourself, rather than allowing it to change you.
      Do you know there is such a thing as wresting the scriptures to your own destruction? You self will is at work and you are actively opposed to what is good and right in the sight of God. Why do you always resist the Holy Spirit?

      No contractions Rev - Just truth to be accepted if your self will is surrendered to the will of your God. We have today, such is the wonderful grace of God. Don't despise that grace. Rather get down on your knees and own you are a vile, guilty sinner and find the Lord by your side and ready to save to the uttermost.

      Leonardo J Octavianus

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    9. Leonardo,

      Those are a lot of implausible accusations directed at Rev, but you have not given a single reason given for believing any of them, not a single example to show he is guilty of any of these things. This is becoming a habit, and it is a pretty futile habit. You might as well accuse him of being the real murderer of J. F. Kennedy. Without a grain of evidence, such accusations carry no more weight than vulgar abuse, and no more respectability either.

      It would be more profitable to discuss the points he has raised, rather than pretend to know anything about his moral state.

      Delete
    10. Leonardo: Where does Bro-Rev reject Pauls' ministry. I can only see his scholarly use of the Bible as supporting the Holy Canon. Please elucidate. (By Paul I assume you really mean the Biblical Apostle Paul). Maybe instead of ranting you could provide line by line Biblical justification for *your* diatribe from 10 March 2014 13:40?

      Delete
    11. Leonardo,

      The vindictive spirit of your pen condemns you. When did you last get down on your knees?

      Delete
    12. Leonardo,

      I don't understand why rejecting Paul's ministry means rejecting everything in the Holy Bible. I do not have your gifted talent for exposition, but I thought Paul was just one of many early Christians; albeit, rather more active and vocal than many. Do not some Christians consider that Christianity, in it's purest form, existed before Paul's ministry? Also, while you are at it, could you explain, please, how you know that God has found his delight in the Exclusive Brethren ( PBCC). How is this delight manifest and what is it about this sect that delights God so much?

      Enquirer

      I look forward to your reply and do hope that I have not aroused your wrath by posing these thoughts.

      Delete
  11. I wonder if Anne Cohen might clarify one or two points for me:

    1. How do EB/PBCC people know what happens in non-EB/PBCC churches?
    2. Did the EB/PBCC really invent being nice to people a mere couple of years ago or has this gone on with others, both church and non-church people down the centuries?
    3. Can you supply some independent evidence that crime, anti-social behaviour and vandalism vanishes when these people are around?

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  12. Another question for Anne Cohen
    How many services have you attended outside of the EB/PBCC on which to base your assertion of "very tame, lukewarm"?

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  13. Anne Cohen? A fine, Jewish name but sounds more like the old wooden John Handel, to me, in one of his many theatrical disguises. What a wonderful pastiche of imagery ...The whirl of the lawnmower, as the Rapid Relief Team cut the lawn, the sipping of tea under the old panama hats. The ruddy faces of the little ones waving from their people carriers as they race to their Control Centres. Clearly, a thwarted talent! Ms Cohen should be writing a nice "Suburban Notes" column for a weekly gazette; However, in the short term, I do recommend he/she takes a little more water with it; or, maybe, try the tea, instead.

    Now, in the absence of the Excruciating Brethren (PBCC Ltd) having a presence in my village, I must turn out for my vigilante patrol to halt the local crime wave!

    Leonard Cohen (no relation)

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  14. When I read Leonardo J Octavianus's contribution above I remembered what the apostle Paul wrote in the middle of the first century AD:

    "... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (The Letter to the Galatians 5:22)

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  15. One has to wonder what Leo J is on. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were made available to all and we all saw black turn to white, night turn to day, evil turned to good. (We might even see BDH as a humble Christian leader!) What a great world it would seem! Please share your secret, pal!

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  16. Enquirer asks "How is this delight manifest and what is it about this sect that delights God so much?"

    It's that they don't wear shorts, as they know God does not take delight in the legs of a man. Put on a paid of longs and - wham! You're God's favourite for life.

    RLS

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  17. Free school shut down over ‘prejudiced’ Christian views

    According to an article by Greg Hurst, Education Editor, in today’s Times, a UK newspaper (20 Jan 2015)

    "A Christian free school is to be closed after inspectors said that its pupils risked developing prejudiced views against other faiths."

    "The Durham Free School had already been warned to improve its governance and financial management by the Department for Education. A DfE source said that the decision was related to all-round failings highlighted by the Ofsted inspection, not just weaknesses linked to its Christian ethos.

    Inspectors made several references, though, to links between the school’s religious mission and failings. They accused governors of hiring staff based on their religious credentials rather than their teaching ability and said that children risked becoming prejudiced towards other religions. “The curriculum does not help students to understand fundamental British values or prepare them well for life in modern Britain,” their report said."

    'For example, until very recently the religious studies curriculum was too narrow and did not give students enough opportunities to learn about different faiths and beliefs. Consequently, students’ understanding of different faiths and beliefs is sketchy, with some holding prejudiced views which are not challenged.”"

    You can read the full article at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/education/article4328367.ece

    You can read the OFSTED report at http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/files/2448202/urn/140005.pdf

    This precedent helps to define what OFSTED regards as unacceptable in UK schools. One conclusion we can take from it is that the Brethren schools would have no chance of receiving Government funding unless the Brethren actively renounce the extreme sectarianism that has been relentlessly drummed into them for more than 50 years, and let their schools help their children to adopt a completely different outlook.

    In the process, the more perceptive children could hardly fail to realise that there is something very wrong in the ministries of JTJr, JHS, JSH and BDH.

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