One of the Brethren's fellow cults preaches the same hatred for the world.
I don't know how many of you have seen Shirley Phelps - the daughter of the foul mouthed pseudo Baptist Preacher and former head of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, on various mediums, spouting her hate filled, conflicting and very strangely derived messages that bundles God hating everything from Gays to American Soldiers and even the victims of Australian bushfires.
But I reacquainted myself with this vile hypocrite on You Tube the other day. And it got me to thinking, how different are these religious truth manglers from the Exclusive or Plymouth Brethren? The truth is, they are remarkably similar - if only for their apparent blatant hypocrisy. If you do something they don't like, they will hound you to accept their idea of hell and ruin your life for it. But if they do it too - it's OK.
Take Shirley Phelps. A woman so strident in her hatred of the pleasures of the flesh that she knows every minute biblical quote on the subject and screams it at people all over America while holding up gaudy signs about God hating everything.She's fixated with sex based sin. Especially Gays. Or Fags as Fred Phelps called them. "God hates fornicators" she screamsinto her megaphone. But - if you dig a little deeper you will find out that Shirley herself is the mother of an illegitimate son and having married within her tiny church, which is so small it is almost mandatory to interbreed - she then went on to have eleven kids in total. Now call me old fashioned - but eleven kids don't just arrive on your doorstep. You have to do an awful lot of horizontal tangos to get them. Not that this matters to Shirley. She can fornicate all she likes - but she will preach at you that you cannot.
Of course Fred Phelps was vile on almost every level. He's dead now thank God! Cruel to his wife and kids and his brainwashed congregation, he is so full of fire and brimstone,that it obviously started to alter his sanity. The man was a bully. He beat his wife according to Shirley's brother and belted his children into submission throughout their young lives. That's what the fire and brimstone brigade do. They subdue you through brutality, both verbal and in Fred's case, physically. And all in the name of religion. And here's another similarity. They both hate the world. Both camps state emphatically - that they hate the world. And they are not of the world. And that they are the only true church.
So if I was comparing the two brands of hate mongers, would I find any real similarity? You would have to say that Symington was a bully at times. And John Hales. And his brother Bruce for that matter. And Taylor Junior became a bully in later life too. Deriding his congregation and using vile words to describe them. Just like Fred Phelps did. Of course they will say, just like the Brethren, that their leaders were full of love and compassion. Try telling that to the thousands they have wronged.
But as you do on You Tube - I got to watching some of the older stories on the Peebs. And they have now embraced the internet. The 'pipeline of filth' as they used to call it. They now post their own contrived propaganda videos of happy families doing worldly things to appear 'normal'. As an ex-Peeb who like thousands, was booted for nothing much with the loss of everything I held dear, I found this remarkably offensive. As offensive as I find the hypocrisy of the Phelps.
First we had the young Brethren kids walking down the surf beach with the latest competition surfboards under their arms. Followed by the fully kitted out BMX riders undertaking a professional course, before descending on their mother in the kitchen, who is preparing dinner with her recently cut hair. Which led to their friends coming round to dinner where they all drank wine and toasted each other like real worldly people. Now I lost count at the time as to how many of these singular acts would have gotten you thrown out on your ear in my day with the loss of your family and everything else for life. The hypocrisy was breathtaking. Then we have the 'worldly' people they have roped in to provide testimonials about how 'nice' and 'normal' they are. Like the school teacher who bangs on about the Brethren children while one plays Claire De Lune behind her. I can remember someone very close to me being taken to task in their church for his love of classical music. I can remember family members being banned from being in a school orchestra which partially ruined their lives. I suppose the woman's dependency on them for a job had nothing to do with it?
So let's recap on the sins here, that yesterday, would have totally wrecked your life.
And the final similarity has got to do with this ridiculous notion that they, like the Westboro Baptist Church, are the only true church despite being pitifully small in numbers. Truth is, they both love and hog the publicity whenever they can get it. Both have remarkably active PR machines belting out sanitised messages of normality. They even invite Mayors to their preaching's and nibbles. I wonder how those Mayors would go at one of their ministry meetings watching a family torn to shreds.
But if you want to see some of the real truth about the Brethren - it's all there on You Tube. They hang themselves with their own actions and words. Their real 'normality' is on display too and not just the sanitised versions that they would have us believe is true.
But with all cults, their congregations are not all filled with control goons filled with hellfire threats and their sycophants. The Westboro Baptist Church has enquiring minds too in the congregation and kids are leaving in droves. They don't ever get to see their families again either. Just like the Brethren.But the chance to be really normal and not be harassed for it, is just too overpowering.