Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Working for the Brethren? Not the smartest idea!

I don't care what their feel good videos say.  Working for the Brethren of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (Peebsis not a good idea for anybody who is not one of them. Further, it is not even good for some of the Brethren themselves if their family does not own the business. 


I've just watched a video on You Tube of a Brethren company in the UK and they love to showcase their glittery workplace which is festooned with more gadgets and up to date IT baubles than you can poke a stick at. They are all doing it now. They all sound so wonderfully 'worldly' and integrated with 'worldly' marketing practices.


This particular mob I watched several videos on, producesenvelopes and make the claim that they are the biggest in Europe and maybe even,  the world.  And what do they put their success down to? As their managing director, turning the lights on for a 6am start says,  'Their wonderful staff!'


Of course - you can pick the Brethren employees against the worldly ones, because they stand out like Maltese Terriers at a Pit Bull convention. Anyone with sideburns or a moustache or a beard is immediately recognisable as being a non-'Peeb'. Any lady with earrings or a slightly shorter skirt or short hair is most certainly not one of them. 


And here's the thing. Sure you can work for them, but your contract and your tenure will always be prejudiced towards their own type. I mean by that that they are all family owned businesses and no 'outside' share holding or 'power job' by a 'worldly person' is allowed. So their relatives, their family members and their church members are always going to get a look in a long time before you do. 


If you have delusional plans of advancement in your professional life, abandon them now because it will never happen as it does with normal businesses, with any Brethren run concern. They cannot have worldly people taking over positions in the direct line of management of any of their businesses. That represents an unclean 'yoke' to them. And trust me brother, you don't want to be yoked with these turkeys. 


I know about this through bitter personal experience. I was one of them once. If your dad or at least a close relative does not own the business, you are probably screwed as well. Because one day, a son or nephew or an uncle or someone,is going to be shuffled in right over the top of you regardless of your years of unstinting service and loyalty.  Sure - it happens in the world as well but there at least you have a fighting chance. With the Brethren you have absolutely none


When it comes to morning tea time and lunchtime - prepare to enter into a world that you thought had long since disappeared from the face of the earth. Apartheid. Segregation. Separation - whatever you want to call it. This will leave your head spinning as to its fairness and political correctness in this day and age. They won't eat with you or socialise with you. Enter the staff canteen and prepare to eat with your own kind. Sit with them and they will stand up and leave you to it. It is illegal for them to eat with you and if you think you can turn them around with a quick drink after work - forget it. That is a sin punishable by automatic disfellowship and the loss of everything they hold dear. In fact they would get the sack as well for such a transgression.


To be fair to them,  they don't make the rulesBut such a transgression would result in them ending up in a dark place (to them) - with you! And then they'd have to get the sack because they cannot work for a Brethren business, despite doing nothing wrong professionally if they were once one of them. With me so far?  


So if you still want to go ahead with employment in a Brethren owned company, prepare to work for an organisation where you are a person who will always be beneath them and will never be accepted, no matter how good a job you do for them. You will automatically be a sort of pariah, which they will smile at and say 'Good Morning' to, but will never ever really mean it. 


The Brethren have had separation drilled into them now for nearly 60 years. In 1959 the decree was made that they MUST separate from the world and its peoples. It is unthinkable that this strange un-Christian rule will ever be reversed today. Too much has been lost through it, including thousands of their own people back in the 1960's who had families 'on the outside'. If you did not immediately cut off all contact with them, you were thrown out. Did I mention that these people call themselves Christians? No matter. But when they cut themselves off from the world, because everyone in it is evil and 'unclean', (except for them of course)that meant that they would never assimilate again with normal people. Like everyone else in the world does or tries to do


They might be human beings just like you,  but they are special human beings because they are the 'chosen ones' and you my friend sadly - are not!  So your position in their business might sound 'normal' but it is anything but. You are a toiler, a contributor, a money maker, a worker - but you are not really part of the business. Once your daily purpose is fulfilled, they wash their hands of you in more ways than you think. And they would rid themselves of you in a heartbeat without one single thought for you or your feelings if they had to


Today, Brethren owned businesses are a lot more savvy and modern in their operating methods than they were in my day. But then again,  only a bit over 15 years ago, it was illegal for them to own a computer or even a facsimile machine. They regarded the World Wide Web as a 'pipeline of filth' which is what their leader called it, and even an electronic garage door opener could get you thrown out on your ear if you had one of them. They destroyed families over some members who got interested in computers, which the world had embraced some 20 years beforehand, shall we say a little too early for their head honcho. Of course, he is a big businessman too and employs 'Worldly people'. So he could see that without computers and technology, the Brethren were going to be left behind like the Amish people if they didn't get their act together.


So if you have some years in your career left to serve, do yourself a favour. Don't be mesmerised by the glittering LED lit facades and LED screens promoting their services and their free lunches and their wares in their fancy new business premises. Sure they might give you a job, but you will never advance much - if at all. Sure you might be good at what you do. But because you are not 'one of them', you will never advance or be recognised like 'one of them' will be. And that's simply because you my friend are a 'worldly' person and that is a brand to them, that is not many rungs above the devil himself when it comes down to it


Don't say you weren't warned if you do decide to work for them. But at very least, read very carefully the contract they put before you. 



  1. Many business and workplaces in the UK encourage and facilitate further educational and learning opportunities for their employees. For example, they promote apprenticeships, sponsor degree and advanced degree and professional qualifications and they may boost opportunities to learn foreign languages. Often they make provision for time off to study, sometimes by agreeing to flexible hours of work. Someone I know recently successfully completed a PhD while working full-time in a key position in a national organisation. This was possible because her employers agreed she could fit ten days‘ work into nine days, which freed up a Friday every fortnight to supplement her research and the writing of the dissertation which she was doing in her own time in the evenings and at weekends. It’s considered an advantage to have a recognisably well-qualified work force, not least because it lends credibility to an organisation.

    Do the PBCC/Exclusive Brethren businesses assist their staff in pursuing accredited courses of further education?

    1. AS I understand it they are not allowed to go to go university.. they might encounter reality... or for that matter study normal 3A levels in the sciences. the only Ph.D they would be allowed to study would be in deception but certainly not in Chemistry Physics and Biology... god forbid they might have to learn about kilfelters syndrome. They certainly aren't allowed to study in anything except on how to make money..... but in another way .... they aren't allowed to be members of the world but more than happy to accept the money they make from it

  2. You only have to ask yourself whether Joseph and his junior employee Jesus's carpentry business was 'possibly the biggest in Nazareth' let alone the world, to see just how far the PBCC have strayed from real Christianity. Going off at a slight tangent many, many years ago, they find themselves in a lonely place. Far from being the 'mainstream church' they publicly profess to be, the PBCC has evolved into a hybrid organisation like no other, where members are entangled in a web of misplaced pride, professed material wealth, family connections, but having sadly never personally experienced that transformation in life of finding salvation in Jesus. Preferring to be micro-managed by an ambitious family who saw the commercial possibilities offered by a group of people frightened into submission and subjection by lifetimes spent in a 'Stasi-like' regime where no one can be trusted, least of all your organisation-overseen marriage partner.

  3. There was a recent Employment Tribunal case involving an EB printing company in the UK where a non-EB employee successfully argued that he had been treated less favourably than his EB colleagues.
    The EB employees had been granted pay increases after marriage which disadvantaged the non-EB employee who was carrying out similar work.
    The EB employer learned to their cost that equality legislation applies to them.

  4. EB (PBCC) employers will also seek to impose on employees' private lives. I know of one example where a salesman was threatened with dismissal unless he married his co-habitating partner. The issue was resolved because he eventually lost the job through long term illness. As he earned the Brethren company a lot of money the threat was never actually carried out. Financial gain will usually have the edge over scruples within the EB(PBCC).

  5. It can also work against you working for a Peeb. I remember one case where the business owner got the boot and all of his Brethren employees got the flick from their jobs as a result of his excommunication, while the worldly people got to keep theirs. Now that's a bummer. Of course if you sued - quite legitimately - the Brethren would have withdrawn from these people as well. So you can't exactly win working for the Brethren.

  6. I knew of one such case, the business owner was excommunicated and his Brethren employee had to leave as he wasn't allowed to work there. He ended up tramping the streets looking for a job. No wonder the EB hate Unions❗

  7. Those working for the EB in their schools suffer particularly with issues ranging from zero job security as a result of the ever changing whims of Focus, to students and parents thinking that they can do whatever they like because they pay your wages or their Grandad is CEO. Career sucicide!

  8. A tribunal has found that a County Antrim firm discriminated against an employee because he was not a member of the Brethren religious community.
    Gavin Connolly, 30, from Newtownabbey, took a case against printing and merchandising company Oakdene Services.
    The Fair Employment Tribunal found the firm unlawfully discriminated against him on grounds of religious belief and that he had been unfairly dismissed.
    Mr Connolly was awarded £15,618 compensation.


    I would encourage all employees of UK PBCC owned companies to look at this judgement very carefully and act accordingly. Judging by recent postings made on employment websites, discrimination within PBCC companies is still very much alive and kicking.

    Tolpuddle Barter

  9. I have heard that since this case, UBT have offered webinars and training courses in how to effectively move on staff who may pose problems such as the above, before they get to tribunal stage. I've also seen first hand how some who have attended such courses, have used what they have learned to great effect.

  10. Their system makes it an impossibility for worldly workers to have the same status as Brethren workers. This is why they should not employ worldly people. You cannot have two sets of standards and an instated system where the 'worldlies' are not valued the same at the Brethren workers. It can never work! And this is screamingly apparent in their schools as well where there is always a Brethren heavy keeping a watchful eye on proceedings lest a teacher start talking about something they shouldn't, like evolution or sex ed. If you live by the Brethren code- you cannot mix worldly people up in it as they are not bound by the same delusions or restricted (enforced) thinking.

  11. Posted 2 Days ago.

    'I have been working at Universal Business Team full-time (More than a year)
    The free food and drink is a bonus but that does not make a great employer
    When you read the reviews on here it’s hard not to think that the bad ones come across wrong but they do have a point. UBT and FLT are run by the Plymouth Brethren, for all intents and purposes they are just like a Scientology group, closed off to the outside world, looking down on people and finding ways to make themselves rich. When you come to work here you are asked to be respectful of their faith, however that door does not swing both ways. People are rejected from jobs for being gay or having beards and once they don't like you are paid off and shown the door. Their management team struggles with any kind of organisational skills and it’s not surprising given the lack of education they have received. If you are a none community member you are seen as an outsider and treated as such. It does not matter how hard you work, community members are the only ones to reap the rewards.
    Show Less
    Advice to Management
    Listen to your employees, remember you hire people outside of the community for a reason, because you lack the skills sets so how about you treat these people with a little more respect and dignity. Don't take none community members for granted. It’s the 21st century, stop being sexist and prejudiced.


  12. Question: If the owner/manager of an EB business hired an outsider to do a specialized job, and then discovered when he started work, that he was an out and out Christian who loved to speak about the Lord to all.

    What would they do? They couldn't brand him as "unclean".

    1. Phil T
      I have spoken with a few EBs (in the street but not in a work environment) and I find some of them seem embarrassed when you speak to them about the Lord. During one conversation I had with an EB male in his 40s he said you seem to know the scriptures better than me. Wishing to keep the conversation going I simply said that I met with other Christians who had much better bible knowledge than I did. What I felt like saying was that the EBs had deserted the scriptures and put so called ministry in its place.
      The EB seem to consider people who have left "the position" and joined another Christian church are worse than those who leave and don't want anything to do with Christianity, sometimes because they think EB behaviour is typical of what Christianity is about.
      In this regard the attitude of the EB seems somewhat perverse. In Acts 10 Peter had to revise his thinking as to what was clean and unclean but I wouldn't hold my breath that the EB are about to do the same.

  13. Phil - obviously the devil has gotten to you in ways you are not aware of. Worldly Christians are not real Christians Phil and will never have a place in the House of God. Have they taught you nothing? The only real Christians in the world today are the 'saints' and you - having turned your back on Christ and them - are destined for darkness which is where they do and will dwell - and very probably the gates of Hades. Heavens Above Phil - why do you think they go through this separation and total exclusion from this vile world. The only thing they can countenance is the acceptance of the world's money.That's not 'unclean' but the people handing it over - ARE! Forgive Phil T for he knows not what he says.....

  14. Well, he would prophetise with the worldly ones whilst the EB would profit in their inner sanctum discussing sales. Nothing new in that!

    Reject Vessel

  15. Nothing further from the truth...I work for the PBCC. Good pay,free lunches, big bonus, free bible and Sat and Sun off. I suggest an over active imagination is at work here.

  16. Anonymous- 21:20 - so what are your chances for a real management job with them? And do you eat your lunch with them? I think your imagination might be the over-stimulated organ here pal. As a person they don't really care about you - just what you can deliver them.

  17. Anon 21.20

    Looks like your bonus could be even bigger!

    I did not realise that over active imaginations were a prerequisite of working for UBT Church of Hales; however, this commodity seems to be in abundance if you read the reviews in the *Glassdoor*.

    Just to get you started, here are a few words and phrases: childish, infantile, poor management, poor education, cult, arrogant, two tier, segregationist, them and us, prejudice, incoherence, unfair, bias etc etc..

    I do grant, however, that in general food and drink is readily available (the EB/PBCC) were never ones to short-change their stomachs. I assume the spirit was kept in the inner sanctum, if you catch my drift.

    Hope this helps

  18. Public health warning!

    Cult members, or brownie point lackies, have bombed the *Glasshouse* reviews recently, so you have to dig a little deeper for more authentic material.

    1. For the sake of the young can you point me to the "Glasshouse" please. You never know it might be educational!

    2. Beloved 14.41

      Just google *Glassdoor* go to reviews for *Unispace*.
      Problem is you have to register after a couple of pages so you only get uninterrupted view of PBCC over active inaginations. However, here are a couple of comments from the archive:

      There are underlying currents of politics that are completely crazy.

      Childish behaviour from grown adults is astonishing and has to be seen to be believed.

      They treat the women in the organisation in an extremely subservient manner.....literally.

      There tends to be a higher pay scale for people within the religious organisation.

      Etc etc

      Hope this helps

      PR Unicon

    3. Many thanks

    4. P.S. Actually negative reviews more correctly refer to the Universal Business Team rather than Unispace; both are EB systems, however.

      Apologies for the error.


  19. Anonymous - 21:20

    If you're going to repeatedly troll in here at least have the intelligence to try and make it less obvious. You are the same fuckwit who always talks about "over active imaginations", and you still can't decide whether there should be a space after a comma or not (there should).

  20. Gosh - I hope Anonymous 21.20 is not one of the chosen ones. But going by the language- he just might be. I say he - because no woman I know, would talk like that. Methinks he is the real troll here. What a shame it descends to this. The product, dare I say - of an under-active imagination.

    1. You're the same idiot troll as before: here you can't decide whether there should be a space on either side of a hyphen or not (there should). What's it feel like to be so stupid?

  21. Over active imaginations now trolling the employment reviews. The same awesome enthusiasm as for the Vapid Release Team. All pros and no cons (except the authors, that is).



    1. Usual story in glassdoor. We point things out and the PBCC immediately overreact by posting twice on the same day. They are so bloody naive. Same story with google maps the other day.

  22. Of course I can put an immediate stop to this by simply publishing what Hales himself says about worldly employees. In his own words so that they cannot complain about taking things out of context.

  23. "Nothing further from the truth...I work for the PBCC. Good pay,free lunches, big bonus, free bible and Sat and Sun off"

    So do I (in a way). I am a taxpayer.

    (I don't get a free bible though. Bummer).

  24. I worked for a PBCC company for 6 months. I am an expert in my field and was recruited because they simply did not have anyone within their ranks with the skills to understand why the move to a new site they thought would hugely improve their productivity had actually caused the opposite.

    Despite quickly identifying their problem it proved impossible to implement a solution because if any PBCC member of staff proposed an alternative view to any change I wanted to make the owners always sided with their own kind.

    Over the 6 months I became very aware how differently I was treated to the PBCC staff. I was supposedly a senior manager (my whole team where non PBCC) but the lowest of PBCC staff where paid more than me. I was staggered to discover that 18 year old staff in customer services where earning more than me, some were earning upwards of £50k!!!

    Every PBCC member of staff had a company car from day 1 and I was told I would have to work 12 months before qualifying.

    Additionally I experienced the attitudes of the PBCC to outsiders - racism, homophobia, xenophobia, poor treatment of women, failure to follow the law.

    After 6 months I negotiated a pay off to leave using the information I had gathered regarding their use of illegal foreign labour as a lever.

    Prior to joining this business I had no knowledge of the PBCC but after 6 months working with them and seeing how they treat outsiders I learned just how wicked they truly are.

    I can understand how some people may say they enjoy working for them but in my experience they are people in low level roles who are willing to accept or turn a blind eye to the PBCC behaviour

    1. Discrimination between employees on the basis of their religion is illegal in most developed countries, but that is exactly what you have described.

  25. The use of illegal foreign labour and discrimination between employees based upon their religion is also illegal.
    If your information is accurate it would seem this company is using cheap labour to earn their profit. I would question if an 18 year old member of the EB working in customer services who would inevitably have limited experience and education would add £50K to the value of any business.