Sunday, 3 July 2016

Hales Exclusive Brethren and Alcohol

Here's a letter from the late Caleb Furze son Peter to his sister and brother in law, heavy drinking amongst the PBCC cult is rife.


  1. Within 15 months of writing this letter he was dead. Another victim of PBCC's over indulgence in alcohol. At least he never killed innocent people by driving in that state.

  2. How sad! As children we used to know Caleb Furze, on family holidays in Cornwall. That was when alcohol was not consumed among the Brethren. We used to go out on the fishing boats. So terrible that these people were sucked into evil by the alcoholic Taylor and his successors.

    Let the current breed of Exclusive Brethren hang their heads in shame at the descent into lawlessness and depravity into which they have descended.

    Happy memories, tainted by the hellish activities of those who came after.

    Old Salt

  3. It is disingenuous for the Exclusive Brethren to state that the consumption of alcohol was NEVER encouraged amongst the Exclusive Brethren.
    During a visit to England in the mid 1960s Bruce Hales (the present leader's uncle) was in a house at the same time as a teenager who is now my wife. There were quite a number of other young people present and WBH and other senior EB leaders actively encouraged those same young people (some of whom were under age) to drink whisky. The teenager who is now my wife refused and was derided for abstaining.
    I have also personal knowledge of persons in the Exclusive Brethren who died prematurely as a direct consequence of drinking to excess. More recently when I spoke to a group of young men who were engaged in "street preaching" one acknowledged that his mother was undergoing treatment for alcoholism.
    I challenge any member of the Exclusive Brethren to deny that there is a drinking culture in the sect. It was approved of by James Taylor senior, became almost obligatory under the leadership of James Taylor junior and one has only to observe members of the sect leaving supermarkets to be aware that alcohol drinking is now the norm.

  4. In the 1960s the consumption of alcohol was strongly encouraged, sometimes even coerced. Those who didn’t want it were often ridiculed or accused of opposing Jim Taylor and failing to exercise their Christian liberty. Mr A. J. Gardiner when so accused said in his characteristically gentle but incisive way, “I exercise my Christian liberty by saying no thank you.” Those who had not been seen indulging were sometimes challenged about it. One brother who challenged my father in this way demanded that he should not only drink whisky, but also like it.

    In the printed ministry, JTJr frequently spoke appreciatively of whisky, and sometimes J. H. Symington did too.

    As far as I know, the subsequent ministry has condoned regular use of alcohol, but has not actively promoted it, and has occasionally warned against overindulgence. But the heavy drinking culture has continued to make itself apparent in several different ways: supermarket trollies packed with liquor, frequent reports of Brethren seeking help to overcome alcoholism, and children arriving at school with hangovers. We also have strong confirmation in the eyewitness accounts of recent escapees.

    It is clear how alcohol became the recreational drug of choice rather than tobacco or cocaine or anything else. Two of the past leaders could not function without it, so for the sake of their reputations an attempt was made to misrepresent a medical problem as a virtue. Let us just be thankful that unbridled lust was not similarly encouraged for the same purpose.

  5. A popular PBCC sound bite 'If you are free with the spirit, the Spirit will be free with you'.

    Surely that is blasphemy?

  6. So what? Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding. Another hyped-up blog which doesn't represent the sober and pleasant disposition of the peebs I know. Just take a stroll onto Britain's streets after dark and you will find lots of people fighting, binge drinking themselves to death, having sex on the pavements, spitting, swearing, puking, urinating in shop doorways and even turning to violent crime. Suddenly the peebs seem rather nice in comparison to that shameful stuff.

    Pinch of salt needed?

    1. “Just take a stroll onto Britain's streets after dark and you will find lots of people fighting, binge drinking themselves to death, having sex on the pavements, spitting, swearing, puking, urinating in shop doorways and even turning to violent crime.”

      Where exactly you have seen all this wild debauchery? I have often taken a stroll on Britain’s streets after dark, and although my city has not the best reputation for genteel behaviour, I have never in my long life seen most of the things in your list. Possibly they occur, but they must be rarer than you say, or else I have been uncommonly fortunate.

      The Brethren have a long tradition of exaggerating the evils of the world outside their enclave, but most non-brethren could teach them a thing or two about good behaviour.

    2. Anon 4 July 2016 11:16 You sum up just how much the Brethren ( only peebs call themselves peebs, by the way) and their apologists care. Peter was my brother.

    3. Anon 4 July 2016 11:16

      The scenes you describe are not the normal behaviour of these people, but their behaviour after too much alcohol. Just like JT Jr. This excess of alcohol is probably due to illness and you Peebs need to stop despising them and draw alongside them to bring help in

      As to the pleasant disposition of the Peebs try these 3 things and let me know if you still feel they seem rather nice -

      1) Insist they all stop taking alcohol immediately for an indefinite period, including at special meetings, and also the leader
      2) Point out some of the wrong teachings of the leader and the system
      3) Ask why they are deceitful, and when they deny it, persist in telling them


    4. To "Pinch of salt needed"
      There are people known as Street Pastors who are present on Britain's streets after dark to offer help to vulnerable persons who may have imbibed too much alcohol or may be in need of support. I know someone who engages in such pastoral activity on Saturday nights and generally their help is appreciated by those who avail of it.
      However I have not heard of the EB RRT being involved in such caring charitable good work. I am sure if they had been involved we would would have heard of it being trumpeted on the PBCC website. However it is more likely that RRT team members would be involved in their own binge drinking at that time unless of course they were early to bed in anticipation of such activity on Sunday between and after their visits to their indoctrination centres.
      Sundays do seem to be a popular boozing day for members of the Exclusive Brethren, including some who are still at school and arrive at class on Mondays still the worse for wear.Teachers have verified this. Not many "worldies" would allow their children to arrive at school in such a state.

  7. Clearly, 11.16, you must spend a lot of time being a voyeur in cities after dark; the scene from Dante's Inferno is not one that most would recognise. Apart from that, of course, you can always rely on the EB (PBCC) to paint the darkest picture of the world thus discounting 99.9% of average folk.

    I would say that such average people seem rather nice compared to the 0.1% extremists of society, such the PBCC, who break up families, contribute little to society, take from the public purse, have a culture of alcoholism, are guilty of abuse (in some cases) cruelty and even kidnapping.

    Regarding the marriage at Cana, Jesus didn't actually turn water into wine, it is allegorical; the guests thought all the good wine had been consumed, before the inferior, as was the custom; however the point that Jesus may be making is that good things are yet to come, as in His person.

    Furthermore, we are not told that having turned water into wine, the guests became drunk then piled into cars to race off to the next meeting! If you follow the bible so literally, then maybe The PBCC should only be drinking wine rather than whisky, Special Brew, and the like.

    I hope this helps.

    1. Dante's Inferno..Could that be Hell itself?
      Actually some areas have become more like classic scenes from Beer Street & Gin Lane by William Hogarth (1750/1) So sad that some people have lost any sense of God and those norms of society which our nation once had a deep regard for. Yes Jesus did actually turn water into wine, although maybe not in your less authentic watered-down version of the bible.

  8. 18.00

    Such a pity that the UK has chosen to depart from the civilising influence of the EU; am I right in thinking that Brexit was the choice of the non-voting PBCC? The scenes from Hogarth, that you depict, are not normally seen in European cities.

    Jesus was a teacher, rather than a magician; as such, allegory was an educational aid.


    1. Anon at 18.49
      So Jesus didn't really raise Lazarus from the dead????. It was only an allegory?

    2. 08.33

      Exactly: the gospel of John was written by a Christian, but not the disciple, John. The account of the raising of Lazaras is only to be found here, therefore it is extremely unlikely that such an historical event should be omitted by other writers.

      The account records a popular tradition, or may be a sequel to the story of Lazaras and the rich man. The story illustrates the opposition to Christianity at the end of the first century, Christian era; even though Lazaras came, as it were, from the dead, those in opposition are still not persuaded.

      Lazaras, though spiritually dead, is receptive to the love of God made manifest in the person of Jesus.


    3. Anaon 08:33 I think you are a bit confused or have been led up the garden path. The death and raising of Lazarus has been recorded in considerable detail and this includes witnesses. Moreover, his sister mentions to Jesus that he had been dead four days and that he stank.
      I think you are not a Christian at all, but rather someone who is opposed to the truth.

    4. Anything to divert from the subject of this thread. Obfuscation is the Brethren's first weapon of choice. Change the subject, muddy the waters, play with words.

      Wake up ! Brethren are literally dying for a drink. Not only are they dying, some are also killing innocent outsiders by driving whilst drunk, even going to prison for it. Brethren kids have Dads in rehab, some of them too are attending school under the influence.

      When I was a child, strong drink (if there was any) gathered dust in the pantry, used for medicinal purposes as the Apostle Paul suggested.

      1 Timothy 5:23

    5. 5 July at 18.44
      If you re-read my 08.33 contribution more carefully you will notice a series of question marks. These question the suggestion made on 4 July at 18.49 with which I fundamentally disagree. I am a Christian and believe Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead physically. Jesus was not just a teacher (certainly not a magician) but was the Son of God.
      However I have no wish to divert from the subject of this thread which is to highlight the futile attempt of the Exclusive Brethren to deny they never encouraged the consumption of alcohol.
      There is irrefutable evidence that drinking whiskey was almost compulsory amongst the EBs. I understand John Hales made a forlorn attempt to reduce the consumption of alcohol but all the present day evidence points to drinking being an indispensable component of EB culture.

    6. Anon 22:50 You have scuttled your own ship by admitting you are questioning the validity of scripture. I suggest you make up your mind whether you are a believer or not? Right now you are contradicting yourself. Better luck next time :)

    7. Anonymous 9 July at 19.55
      Please re-read my contributions at 08.33 on 5 July paying particular attention to the question marks and 22.50 on 8 July and identify for me where I have questioned the validity of scripture.
      At the same time perhaps you would care to comment on my statement that drinking of alcoholic beverages is an indispensable component of EB culture. After all that is the topic this thread is discussing.

  9. 18.44

    You can think what you will, I don't suppose there can be many groups who have been *led up the garden path* so successfully as the followers of assorted Exclusive Brethren leaders.

    Regarding Lazaras, the topic came about because of the ludicrous excuse for EB alcoholism in the supposition that water was changed into wine. Even if, by a miracle, it was transformed, it hardly justifies EB behaviour.

    If one is telling a story, it may be embellished as much as necessary in the telling; this includes personae dramatis and imagery.

    I did not say I was a Christian, and would not be so arrogant as to judge that which is true, or not. I merely presented another point of view.

    I hope this helps.


    1. Exactly 18:44 - As a non Christian, your point of view on the Bible is 100% pointless and thus of no consequence to the truth. No conviction means you are not qualified to make comment.

    2. Anonymous 19.46 - 9 July
      As a Christian I do not agree with the views expressed by Anon 5 July at 14.06 and 20.07. Nevertheless he/she is perfectly entitled to make comment. This is a public forum and unlike the PBCC website all views expressed in a reasonable manner are acceptable here.
      Many non Christians comment upon the bible and other Christian books and are perfectly entitled to do so in a free society.
      I personally disagree with many of the views expressed by the Exclusive Brethren and which they claim are based upon the bible.
      It is however interesting that none of the apologists for the EB have sought to dispute the fact that there is heavy drinking in the sect.

    3. I didn't say I was a non Christian either; I was merely questioning the miracle of water into wine as an excuse for PBCC alcoholism; this is quite absurd! However, as a non alcoholic, perhaps I am not qualified to make comment!


  10. 18.44

    Please accept my apologies if my comment appears twice.

    Regarding being led up the garden path, I do believe assorted Exclusive Brethren leaders have been doing this to their sheep for decades.

    Regarding Lazaras, if you are going to tell a story, of course it contains dramatis personae and imagery.

    I didn't assume the mantle of Christianity, so the suggestion that I am opposed to the *truth* is purely your perception.

    Finally, unlike the Exclusive Brethren, I am not arrogant, nor wise enough, to claim the truth.

    Previously 14.50 (your comment was addressed to yourself)

  11. A letter that Charles Darwin wrote at the end of his life to J W C Fegan (whose family had been Brethren) may be of interest to readers of this thread. You can find it in the collection called the Darwin Correspondence Project at the University of Cambridge.

    Dear Mr. Fegan,

    You ought not to have to write to me for permission to use the Reading Room. You have far more right to it than we have, for your services have done more for the village in a few months than all our efforts for many years. We have never been able to reclaim a drunkard, but through your services I do not know that there is a drunkard left in the village.

    Now may I have the pleasure of handing the Reading Room over to you? Perhaps, if we should want it some night for a special purpose, you will be good enough to let us use it.

    Yours sincerely, | Charles Darwin.

  12. For new readers, it might be worth pointing out that the Brethren of Darwin's day were not known for alcoholism, but rather more for their learning; furthermore they probably took tea with their non brethren relatives and friends. They would be spinning like gyroscopes if they knew what had followed down the decades.

    The current crop of Brethren are also inclined to a spot of spinning, with the aim of fleecing the public purse and duping local authorities for the erection of buidings of dubious merit with provision for the attachment of marquees for alcoholic beverages (who's driving home?)

    See, the thread has now come full circle!

    *One for the Road*