Saturday, 1 March 2014

Recent comment

Joan has left a new comment on your post "House of Lords 27/2/14": 

Dear Anonymous 28 February 2014 18:07 - I think you may have misread what I wrote:

"I would very much like to inform the Chair of the Charity Commission, William Shawcross, and Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of Parliament's Public Administration Select Committee, that this group of Exclusive Brethren is changing."

I was expressing the hope that I might [one day] be able to tell William Shawcross and Bernard Jenkin MP that this group is changing. In fact, all I could tell them today is that I'm unhappy about the way these Brethren are treating me at the moment. It doesn't in the least accord with their commitment in the variation of the Preston Down trust deed.

I'm getting the impression that the Brethren's belief that the Charity Commission matter has been resolved (I have that in writing from a member) has meant that they're no longer striving to represent themselves as people who act for others' benefit. 

I've been astonished at the abusive way some of their supporters have written on this blog this year. As well, my individual attempts to establish positive relationships with various members are being ignored and I have even been smeared (in writing) as someone who has acted to undermine Christianity. 

For the record, I am in touch with two senior members of the Brethren who are unfailingly courteous. I wish that all Brethren would take a leaf out of their book and understand that withdrawal from 'adikia' (= iniquity in the Brethren's charter verse 2 Timothy 2:19) simply means that they mustn't commit illegal or unjust acts. 

The Brethren's main responsibility is to love God, love their neighbour as themselves and to love their enemy, and it would be great to be able report to Mr Shawcross and Mr Jenkin that that is happening.

But I'm repeating myself - please excuse me, readers of this blog! 


  1. I would ike to state once again that I see no recent change in attitude within the PBCC. I phone my family once a month to see how they are, I have been doing this for maybe 7 years now. Once a month is fine with them, and I sense they are grateful that I do this, but a couple of times recently I have phoned more often than once a month, and I definitelty get the feeling that I am overstepping the mark. A second phone call in close proximity to a previous one is not greeted with the same warmth and once I have said what I want to say there is then no small talk. Obviously keeping separation is still very much in their minds. The CC case is now being brushed under the carpet. When I raised the CC decision with my family in January, I was told that the CC had no option other than to back down as the outcome would affect so many other churches. At that stage the full document had not been read by my family, and there seemed to be no desire to do so. I have not raised the issue since, as I know the subject will be firmly changed. Very sad, I would so love a normal family relationship with my close family, after being ostracised for over 30 years. The awful thing is that the current situation is more upsetting than the 'no contact' rules that existed for so many years. During that time, I got on with my life in many respects, and put my family to the back of my mind, although the hurt was always there. You see, I did not leave, I got 'put out' for having a radio. During the last 10 years, after the review by the PBCC of historical cases, there has been limited contact. This in many ways is mental torture, as the whole saga cannot be forgotten. Not that I want to forget, but it is much more to the fore of my mind. Now in recent months, I was really finally hoping for some change in the separation policy. My close family members are now in their 80's, so how much time do I have left for a normal family life. The answer is probably none, not because of the age of my family, but because I dont think anything IS going to change. Even if it did, the hurt of 30 years of being 'shunned' would be very hard to forget. It not only affects me, but also my children, all who have grown up with no grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. At least my children had the opportunity to go to university and choose their own careers, which is more than I had.

  2. To add to Anon's ( 9.27) poignant comment, it should be noted that even this "freedom" to phone on a regular basis is not one necessarily enjoyed by many. It depends very much on individual circumstances and sentiment. There are those who dare not make contact in case the phone is put down. There are PBCC members who can be contacted, but only in certain "safe" times, or by special arrangement (rather like being in a resistance movement). Of course, in this example, the element of hypocrisy is present as members are acting against the expectations of their local enforcers who are concerned that the ship of separation does not spring any leaks. After all, covert, or illicit, phone calls, may lead to covert or illicit visits; subsequently, the sorry ship may begin to flounder. I understand that many outside family had no substantive or permanent "gain", after the review; if they did not rejoin the group, they were simply dropped again.

    The eating matter and the ramifications of separation define the strict parameters of the group, maintaining the power and financial base of the leaders and principal enforcers.