Sunday, 17 July 2016

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Cult / Hales Exclusive Brethren Cult starts defamation against The Age

After being on the receiving end of almost a decade of adverse coverage by a reporter at The Age, a small Christian Church has launched defamation proceedings and released a letter to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon that raises questions about the newspaper’s methods.

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church launched the proceedings after Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend magazine published a cover story last month alleging a cover-up of sexual abuse within the church.

The church is suing Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd, The Age Company Pty Ltd and The Age’s investigations editor, Michael Bachelard, who has written more than 50 articles about the church as well as a book.

Statements of claim filed last week in the NSW Supreme Court indicate the church is effectively daring Fairfax to prove it engaged in an institutional cover-up of child sexual abuse.

This is where the decentralised structure of the Plymouth Brethren, formerly known as the Exclusive Brethren, could complicate the task confronting Fairfax Media. This church says it has no clergy and consists of autonomous assemblies.

On April 29, long before the Good Weekend article appeared, church elder Lloyd Grimshaw wrote to Mr Falloon outlining his concerns about Bachelard, who has been writing about the Brethren for almost a decade.

Mr Grimshaw was tired of having his church, which has 40,000 members internationally, referred to as a cult or a sect. He was concerned that Bachelard “is not interested in reporting the truth about our small conservative Christian church”. He told The Australian his church comprised assemblies, or congregations — each of which is an unincorporated association “and autonomous in their functions”.

“It does not have clergy, religious brothers or sisters or any appointed ministers,” Mr Grimshaw said. “Instead, the PBCC is essentially comprised of families who come together in local congregations known as ‘assemblies’ to worship together,” he said.

Court documents show the plaintiff in this case, a company known as Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) Christian Church, claims Bachelard’s cover story conveyed four separate imputations of wrongdoing — all of which relate to the church as an institution, not individuals.

But while the Brethren has no clergy, it does have a public relations man.

Much of Bachelard’s article concerned the role of Tony McCorkill, a former spokesman for the church, and the instructions the PR man was said to have received from the church’s Sydney-based global leader, Bruce Hales.

If the case goes to court, the evidence of Mr McCorkill, who was brought in after sex abuse cases came to light, could be crucial.

As well as damages and interest, the Brethren wants the Good Weekend article removed from Fairfax websites and an order that would permanently prevent Fairfax and Bachelard from publishing any imputations that are upheld in court.

Here's a recent photo of Bruce D Hales Cult leader, condoner of kidnap, family destroyer, coverer of sexual abuse, gay hater and tax avoider attempting to portray himself as a fatherly mainstream Church leader:

In reality this awful man who is responsible for so many atrocities is better portrayed here:


  1. The defence of the PBCC on grounds of decentralization is not valid. Just look at this letter of 2014 where 2 members speak on behalf of the entire organisation.

  2. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously 1 Peter 2:23

    Compare with the behaviour of the litigious Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Ltd who claim to represent Jesus Christ.

  3. Wow- autonomous assemblies! That's a new one. So Bruce has no control over these self administrating groups of Peebs and Tony McC didn't go to NZ to 'sort out' the latest child abuse cases at the behest of BDH? Even though I heard the tape. I hope they lose. They compound their lies.

  4. During the exclusive brethren review.While us ex eb were having renewed contact with members of our eb families.There was phone calls constantly being made back and forth between Bruce Hales and certain members of the eb hierarchy.So as to report on the progress,while also asking Bruce Hales for his guidance. Plenty of phone records will help to prove that

  5. Is it just a coincidence then, that each of these 'unincorporated associations' collect vast amounts of money on a regular basis and give it to BDH?

    How does each meeting check that it keeps the same standard of fellowship as it's neighbour, enabling them to eat with each other?

    The Hughes Travel Trust? Does that only arrange trips for the Hughes Gospel Hall Trust?

    Do the Bible and Gospel Trust provide different ministry for each Trust?

    Why does someone from a UK Trust have to ask BDH's permission to get married?

    Whose idea were the photo books?

    Why would everyone in a particular trust decide to move house and join another trust, all at the same time?

    They have really overstepped the mark on this one. There is a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

  6. Typical Peebs. Fight the newspaper - but help the victims of child abuse within their 'autonomous' groups ?? (The whole basis of the Good Weekend story). Nevah!! Shows where their heart is. I heard a rumour today from their adversary - or exposer -that basically translates as "Bring it on! There's just too much evidence and too many victims." But they'll lie their asses off as usual.

  7. I have the sense that the PBCC doesn't understand that churches institutionally are at long last facing up to the issue of abuse in their midst, whether the offences are historical or current. It would redound much more favourably on these Exclusive Brethren if, rather than suing, they admitted abuse of all kinds within their worldwide group and set up mechanisms for supporting and helping victims and survivors.

    I wrote these two paragraphs expressing my concerns on this blog about a month ago:

    "Bruce D Hales and the various national leaders of the PBCC might find it useful to look online at the Church of England's document 'Reporting concerns and finding support'.

    At last, the issue of abuse is being properly confronted by mainstream churches. It's a learning curve for them, but most churches are facing up to doing the work involved so that victims and survivors are believed and supported. I would expect the PBCC to act accordingly."

  8. Defamation suits are a high-risk strategy. During the court hearings, all the Brethren’s dirty laundry may be hung out in public, including a lot of dirty laundry that the leaders don’t yet know about. This could become very messy indeed.

  9. I agree, Ian. As per usual this will go all the way to the court door, where the PBCC will be keen to settle as quickly and quietly as possible. The Age may well end up with a sizable sum after all the posturing.

  10. Me thinks the peebs will win hands down. The Aussie media is similar to the UK in its cheap stories and low life reporters. It is a mark of our times. The truth means nothing to the media because all they care about is sales

  11. To PBCC member 19.08

    Well, in this particular instance, the truth of the stories in the media can be substantiated by hundreds of intercontinental witnesses, so do not count your chickens prematurely.

    This will be a wonderful opportunity for those who have been damaged by the cult to counter sue as the revelations are made public. I suspect, however, that the Exclusive Brethren (PBCC) will scuttle away at the last minute.

    Incidentally, where are the *former members* et al who have been telling us that we shouldn't hold grudges and only God can judge etc etc; not much faith in divine judgement shown here by employing lawyers in worldly courts.

    Humbug & Hypocrisy (incorporating Johnnie Walker)

    Acting in the matter of the PBCC v.The World

  12. Perhaps you could tell us Anonymous 18 July at 19.08 what "autonomous in their functions" means when applied to Exclusive Brethren local assemblies.
    The word autonomous means self governing, independent, not subject to control from outside.Anyone with even a little knowledge of the Exclusive Brethren knows that they are closely controlled by the "Universal Leader" and have very little if any autonomy.
    Has Mr Hales resigned his position or is he simply trying to distance himself from the muck that is about to hit the fan?
    James Taylor Senior ministered on the position of the nearest meeting in relation to "assembly judgements" in one place applying elsewhere. Has Mr Grimshaw conveniently overlooked this. This is a further attempt by the Exclusive Brethren to masquerade as something they are not. They are not the same as the Open Brethren who do operate autonomy in the operation of their local churches.
    Sorry Anonymous, it would have been more accurate for you to conclude by saying "the truth means nothing to Exclusive Brethren because all they care about is money".

  13. You know, I'm convinced the pro-peeb writers that contribute here frequently are not peebs at all, but outsiders paid to contribute. This is because I've never seen one defend Bruce Hales, despite all the bait that is put out there. I'm sure real peebs would jump to his defence immediately while the remote writers are told to stick to stories and quotes and never mention the boss.


    1. ' I'm sure real peebs would jump to his defence immediately'

      Well after being a Peeb myself for 32 wasted years of my life, I don't agree. Within hours of BDH 'hitting a snag', they'd run the other way and suck up to the next ambitious wannabe. Seen it all before, done it, but have since thrown the tee shirt away.

      Et tu, Bruce?

    2. I really think all this stuff about the Peebs is the result of over over lively imaginations and spending too long down at your local boozer, or watching too many low life soaps on TV. Also very clear the media are just another prime example of something which loves a lie. The whole thing is by its very nature, against Christian values.
      Never have been the type to attend meetings 7 days a week, but if that makes them bad people, I think you guys need to take a big reality check.

  14. So you would say Anonymous 20 July at 09.56 that the Exclusive Brethren are just normal mainstream Christians who uphold Christian values. Perhaps you could identify other Christian denominations that sue everyone who dares to publish articles that challenge their activities and behaviour.
    In Philippians 4 verse 5 the Apostle Paul writes "let your gentleness (J N Darby adds the footnote - not insisting on one's rights) be known of all men. Perhaps the man the EB consider to be the present day Paul could pay a little more attention to what the original Paul says.
    By the way it is probably unwise to introduce the subject of alcohol consumption into any debate about the EB. It is almost a test of fellowship in the EB to be able to demonstrate your ability to be a boozer hence the disproportionate number of people in the cult with alcohol problems.

  15. I think that it is actually a good thing that the Exclusives have decided to sue. They are used to getting their own way and have been able to buy very capable legal minds to this end. But they will not win this one. There is a truly vast quantity of evidence behind what was reported that had not yet surfaced or entered the public domain. This, IMO, will be their downfall.


  16. In the matter of the Devon Preston Down Trust v.the CC, it wasn't just the PDT *elders* and trustees involved, but the whole of the *church* from BDH down. He was mentioned in transcripts as the *CEO* and the *Northamptonshire team* were congratulated for bringing Peter Bone MP and others on side.

    There is so much evidence of a centrally controlled, authoritarian organisation: plus the EB (PBCC) satisfy most legal definitions of a cult. I suspect this challenge will quietly evaporate

    Humbug, Hypocrisy, Taylor & Ker
    Religious affairs dept.

    (We lie, on your behalf, for cash)

  17. Humbug,Hypocrisy,Taylors and Kers
    Paper Boys, Molestors, Gulley and Furse
    Wannabe Businessmen Christie and Hales
    Rich, Magahy, the Rule was from Wales

    Boyman sold paint and Paynter he moved
    Lloyd lost the big job, by Hales he was screwed
    Marsh got demoted, not very tall
    Unlike Siderfin inspector at school.

    Mr Grim Loydshaw has much to say
    We're all autonomous, hate anyone gay
    Tony McCorkell got close to the boss
    Bruce will regret it, another loss.

    Don't forget Pollard, barbara codes and that
    Arsenic, rat poison and cyprostat
    Old Darby would turn in his grave if he saw
    What has become of his exclusive flaw.

  18. Literary scribe at 24 July 20:13

    Glad you found creative inspiration from such a humble (humbug) source. Très amusant!

    pp Hypocrisy & Humbug