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Friday, 16 September 2016

The Traveller's Guide to the Cruel Galaxy of the Exclusive Brethren.

Let's get a few things quite straight. 

 

The Exclusive Brethren /Plymouth Brethren Christian Church are a spiteful, at times hateful, vindictive, deluded, ignorant and very cruel bunch of people. A big statement - but quite true in every instance. And they do what they do in the name of religion. In the name of Christianity. Which makes  their stance and mindset all the more bewildering for those who have suffered from their crueltyBut to date, no one in any position of power has managed to deliver a blow to their quite evil and self- serving dominion and domination of so many subjugated souls. 

 

Their rank and file are fundamentally crippled by any ability to think for themselves. They must toe the line of their self elected master (read leader or elect- vessel here) or suffer the same rejection as those they have banished from their midst. They live in fear of expulsion and the gates of hell, which they believe is a destination, waiting for them unless they conform to this rigid code of religion. 

 

Religion in fact is perhaps the wrong word. Conform to the 'system' they generate themselves, which they try and match to a line of scripture- often completely wrongly - to support their 'position'. Funnily enough these are two words that are used with some regularity in the PBCC. System and Position. They call their entire church 'The Position'. With 40,000 odd souls all assuming it. The don't like anything threatening the 'position' These very words I am writing here, would be described as 'an attack on the position'.  Basically they don't like a word said against them. 

 

Pointing out lines of the bible as complete fact or truth is a very dangerous thing. The same thing goes for the Koran. We see people plucking lines from the Koran these days which results in others getting their heads chopped off. Some of them hate all non-Muslims with an ardency that would see every one of them killed without a second thought. And the bible in fact contradicts itself also, with its throw away lines. I mean - compare lines like 'an eye for an eye' with Moses' commandment - 'Thou shalt not kill". See what I mean. One says do it - the other says don't. So you need to add something called common sense. And moderate interpretation.

 

The trouble with the Brethren as they call themselves, is that they are perpetually deluded. They are on a constant vigil for evil which abounds at every turn, the devil himself waiting in disguise to penetrate them at any opportunity. From without and within. They can be presented with facts, but they don't want to know. They form an often hasty and misinformedopinion and it is therefore right. Except of course that it is very often wrong. But they will fight you tooth and nail if you don't go along with their take on it. 

 

Trouble is, one of their leaders got particular, reading things into what the bible said in an idle moment. And the worst thing he did was to completely forcibly separate the Brethren from the world itself. Which flies in the face of the very basis of Christianity. They see themselves as an entirely separate group of human beings, only dovetailing into the world when they need money from worldly customers or governments. They see all non- Brethren as potentially evil beings and do not 'mix' with them. They call it 'separation.' And it is perhaps their core principle these days. 

 

Of all their edicts, and there have been thousands of them, separation is the one that has caused the most angst among them. And great gnashing of teeth. And many, many wrecked and heartbroken families. It all happened in 1959 and many did not recover from it. If you had relatives outside the 'Church', and many did, you were forbidden from ever seeing or communicating with them again. Do it and they threw you out with the loss of everything you held dear. Thousands left at that time - unable to conform with this cruel demand. 

 

To understand the Brethren - you must first understand the hierarchical system. All churches have leaders - be they pulpit-thumping modern evangelists intent on making a buck,or Archbishops with a 400 year heritage or a humble missionary head intent on spreading the word of God and providing a sanctuary of careThe Brethren have a self-elected Man of God or Elect vessel, which is a bit of a misnomer in that no one actually formally elected them. There have been several Brits in the role - the church being started in the UK in the early 1800's as a breakaway group from the Anglican Church and while it could legitimately call itself a church back then, it became a cult in 1959 with the separation statute. 

 

The Brethren number only 40,000 odd people, made up of small assemblies spread throughout a fair chunk of this earth. In some countries there are just a handful of them. In others they abound at every turn, like New Zealand and Australia. The United States have pockets of them from coast to coast. And Canada too. There is a handful in France and Italy, Sweden, Germany and Holland. The UK fairly bristles with them although their numbers were decimated in the early 1970's by something called 'Aberdeen'. Here, the Man of God himself was found in a compromising situation and those that saw it and disseminated the information were labelled as evil.Then they said it actually was all part of a plan to root them out. And root them out they did in their thousands in the UK.

 

In each assembly, they have a pecking order. Just like the Jews and the Catholics. They are not all equal. There are those that are called 'prominent' brothers who sit down the front and do all the talking. Then there are those who have not been able to absorb their doctrine as profoundly as the ones down the front. So they dread talking if we are being honest here. Simply they don't have the confidence or knowledge to consistently say the right thing. So they sit well back near the womenfolk and shut up most of the time. And it is not just a knowledge of the bible that will do it for you as it does not get much of a look in these days.  It is a knowledge of what the current leader is saying and your promotion of it. Compliance with the leader is paramount. The Man of God is supreme and he gathers his supporters and sycophants around him in an ever tightening and confidential inner circle. 

 

Then there are the ones who hate the prominent ones, often simply because they are prominent and live for the day,internalising their contempt, when they can see them shown up or discredited. Which they often are. The Brethren love a fall from grace more than any other human being. It only takes a misguided word to bring someone down. Of course full blown adultery or mixing with 'Worldlies' or some other non- conformity will get you the boot in a heartbeat.  But many, many former prominent brothers were thrown out because other prominent brothers saw them as a threat to their own prominence. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase - "It's a jungle in there!" It is.

 

Sure there are expulsions from their midst that are entirely justified. Where real evil has taken place. They now know about the evils of child molesters for example.  Where in the 1950's and 60's they glossed over such things and ignored the children. Today their gilded cage has been rattled by several cases where the Brethren perpetrators of these horrendous crimes have been jailed for their sin. But they steadfastly resist doing anything decent for their victims by way of counselling or compensation. In the 1960's they regarded the children abused by their paedophiles as having contributed to their own misadventure according to one who knows. So they have a long way to go before they are forced to follow a more appropriate response, like the Catholics are now forced to do. 

 

Many people are thrown out because they are simply perceived as being non- compliant. They call this wilfulness. And they don't like it. They don't like people who are 'individuals'. They like conformity. 

 

Sadly, their leader of the 1970's era was a humble farmer although he was worth millions - so perhaps humble is not the right word. He was rolling in it. And for some strange reason he harboured a hatred of people with University degrees,probably because he did not have the parental support orinclination to undertake a college education himselfMany grass roots people see educated people, as being a threat to their own survival. So when he took over the reins of the PBCC, he outlawed it! No more further education. If you have degrees- 'piss on them.' were his exact words. 

 

Had he had a little foresight, dare I say divine input, he could have seen the result. Today we see it. For more than two generations, not one of them has attended a university. So their remaining doctors, and dentists, and lawyers and teachers and scientists are now all either very old or very dead. And they have to rely on 'Worldly' people for professional services. They don't like that much. But an edict is an edict.  

 

The Brethren actually must work for each other. I mean by that, that you are not allowed to have a 'Worldly' job. They have no public servants. They cannot be lawyers or doctors any more. Which is a pity. Once they had some brilliant ones. The trouble with working for them is that unless your dad owns the business, you are probably going nowhere in life. Beholden to them on all levels. They like that. I think it's called submission. They like submission. 

 

They say their wives are 'subject'. Which means they do as they are told and lay low. The only thing they let them do in the context of the church is give out a hymn number for everyone to sing. Hardly rocket science. So if you happen to be a brilliantly clever woman, which some of them would begiven the normal opportunities, you have nowhere to exercise your ambition. Your job is to get married, have lots of babies and be subject. They actually wear a 'token' or full blown scarf on their heads to signify that submission. They say it is because they are in the sight of God of course like a Latin Catholic's mantilla. 

 

Funny that such rules don't apply to the men. Although they too stand out because they must wear white shirts and long pants. You'll never see one in a T-Shirt and shorts. Something in the Old Testament that said "God takes no pleasure from seeing the legs of a man." He must take pleasure from the legs of a woman however,  because they are not allowed to wear trousers or jeans. Do it and you will end up out with the adulterers and paedophiles. It's that simple. 

 

So the majority of them live in fear of expulsion. If they are expelled from the church they lose the lot. Their wives or husbands, their children, their jobs and their extended family. The shock of that has sent many to commit suicide. Sadly it's a fact! So their cruelty is compounded by this God-like, life-changing decision making. They have fought dozens of men through the courts who have tried to reconnect with their children following their own ejection and in today's world, few courts will not allow reasonable access for a father to see his children. But the Brethren go one better. They simply move the kids away or brainwash them into thinking that their parent is evil. It's a bit hard to see a kid who doesn't want to see you.  I know of many men who have not seen their children since they were very small and they have since grown and had families of their own. So 'cruel' and very 'vindictive' rings true again.

 

To understand the Brethren fully is a massive undertaking in both history and an understanding of their hundreds of edicts that have the consequence of wrecked lives for thousands of people over the past 50 years in particular.  

 

But their world is changing. Funnily enough it was the World Wide Web and the internet that has done it. And this too has left a trail of wreckage that has destroyed lives. If you said you wanted a computer for your business in the 1990's, that's all you had to do to get thrown out from their midst again with the mandatory loss of everything you held dear to you. Those that tinkered with computers and mobile phones were excommunicated on the spot without their families

 

And then curiously, the Man of God himself realised that you simply cannot run a business without these things today. So he made it alright to do so. As long as you bought your computer with its modified software from him. He made millions from the deal. But did he bring back those that had pre-empted his decision, particularly now that it was OK to have these things? No. They are cast into the outer darkness and remain so for 'moving ahead of the Lord.' It's a fickle world in there.  

 

The main thing that distinguishes this group though is the enormity of their human rights abuses. They destroy families. They destroy lives. They pretend to be a Church although you cannot just walk into theirs like any other church. Try taking communion with the Brethren. You won't get past the padlocked metal gates. Evil is without and they like to keep it that way. 

 

They get around this seemingly un-Christian attitude recently, by allowing people to come into their car parks and have a sandwich or hot dog on special  'get-to-see-us days', which are an attempt at sanitising their cruel regime. In truth they want you to get the impression that they too are 'normal' but they are not and never will be without a huge change in the very way they function and see the world. And that would involve changing the very rules by which they live.

 

Their unashamed hypocrisy is highlighted by their own website where you see happy families flying kites and frolicking on beaches (fully clad of course), which they used to throw people out for not so long ago. And wreck their families.  Beaches and tourism were banned. Even today, tourism is banned along with a long list of things that might threaten their sovereignty and complete control over their adherents.     

 

Sadly, because there are only 40,000 of them and the lives they wreck only account for 10 - 20,000 thousand souls, getting any responsible body or individual to take issue with them is proving to be a most difficult thing to do. For politicians, there are no votes in it. For Human Rights organisations, there are much bigger fish to fry.  So for their victims, there is little hope of any change to their current situation, except to keep telling people their story with the hope that it will galvanise someone in a position of authority to do something positive about it. 

 

To date, no one in such a position has managed to deliver a significant blow to them. Many thought the Charities Commissioners in countries around the world might take issue with their inhumanity, when their practices were being considered against their demands for tax relief. But they did not. The Brethren are very good at PR these days. Hence the BBQ's I mentioned. But it is all smoke and mirrors. How can you say you are 'normal' when you are one of the cruellest and most totally deluded bodies of people on this earth 

 

And so they continue to get away with their cruelty to people. And if you are one of those people you live with the knowledge that you have relatives out there you have never met or even heard of. Many young people have left for little more sometimes, that utter disillusionment. And they then go through life never seeing their parents or siblings again with a sadness in their core that never heaps.  They are disinherited and no assistance is given to them ever again. They refute this but they lie. 

 

There are thousands of parents out there, mainly men although there have been women as well, who have children they have not seen in decades having been told their parent is 'evil' because they were thrown out of the Brethren. They have grandchildren they will never ever see or know. Most try and rebuild their lives but it's hard to live with something like that. 

 

The question is, how can a group like this, exist in a world that knows so much better? How can these human rights crimes be committed in Westernised countries without anyone turning a hair. Sure there are bigger issues to fix, greater wars to wage and examples of extreme cruelty to address. There always will be if history is to be acknowledged. But there are also quite evil organisations like the PBCC or Exclusive Brethren who have been ruining people's lives for decades without the fear of any retribution at all.  The question is also when will somebody who can hold people to account for such things - actually do something about it? 

 

Today you actually have something to have a go at them about. For example, they set up their own Government supported schools for their own children so that they are not  contaminated by the world. N'worldly' kids are allowed to attend their schools. In Australia these schools get more funding than traditional private schools. And yet these schools will never turn out a child that will go to a university if that child remains in the church. They will never learn about things like evolution or sex education so they understand the responsibilities and dangers of the topic. Now will they ever be allowed to be involved in sporting activities after they leave school. Let alone consider a career in such things. 

 

They pay no rates on their hundreds of churches (they call them halls) and yet they ban the public from attending their services. They go as far as to lock the gates on the huge metal fences which surround each of these buildings once they have all gone inside. No church in the free world does that. You cannot take communion with them. If push comes to shove and you have been cleared by a committee of elders, they might let you into a gospel preaching - but nothing else. But if you do finally get in with an enormous amount of perseverance, your every move will be watched and you must sit right at the back of the room. 

 

As they are a seriously cashed up organisation (much of their instruction and direction is about making money) they will throw millions at any court case that takes action against them. They use teams of the best lawyers and they crush any opponent that threatens them. Even if they don't win , they will send you broke fighting them. 

 

Perhaps that's it. They love crushing people. Their adversaries. Their own if the don't like what they say or do. And especially, people who have left them. The 'Opposers'. And even Governments if they can get away with it.  They make donations and lobby political parties they like so that they are kind to them (despite not being allowed to vote.)

 

So it seems they are untouchable. Until someone, somewhere takes a deeper look into the cruel and greedy world that is the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church. And maybe does something about it. There are a thousand or more people who would love to tell their sad story to the right person.

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for that eloquent and heartfelt article.

    Here are just a few little points in the interests of strict accuracy.
    1. When the knackered computers were sold to brethren at grossly inflated prices, the money did not go to the Elect Vessel, at least not directly. He was not the vendor. Some of his underlings were.
    2. The children at Brethren schools do learn a little about evolution, at least those who take biology classes, but they are told it is only a false theory. Most of the evidence for it is withheld from them.
    3. A very few non-Brethren people have occasionally been allowed to attend meetings other than the gospel preaching. They included some politicians and academics that might have been useful to the brethren because of their influence.
    4. A very few non-brethren children have attended Brethren schools. Well, at least one child, whose mother taught at the school.

    Apart from these points, I think the article is remarkably well informed and perceptive.

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  2. Ian,

    I will concede point one although - Hales underlings work for him - so the money ends up with him anyway.

    2. I think my point about evolution not being taught (properly)probably stands. I think it curious that their worldly teachers who have studied biology must think it very strange that they are directed to down sell the facts.

    3. Any Brethren church service where outsiders are allowed in, are either for visiting council men and women - or others who have say in their ambitions and are I imagine staged for that purpose. People off the street would not be allowed to come to the 'supper' or a ministry meeting or perhaps even a prayer meeting.

    4. I only know of one case where a worldly child attended because their parent was a teacher at the school. That did not last for long at all. So apart from that they have no worldly students.

    I do try to be factual with these things. Sure the Brethren discount any criticism out of hand without even considering things honestly- but I'd like them to at least see that we try to be very clear and honest in our criticism of their actions. They tell lies. We don't. Thanks Ian.

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    1. http://www.radio4all.net/files/tony@cultureshop.org.uk/2149-1-Dialect24June2015.mp3 Audio report of a couple who got in for part of a meeting after turning up unannounced.

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    2. The description of a visit to a Brethren meeting runs for about 19 minutes and begins about 24 minutes from the start of the recording.

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  3. "The question is, how can a group like this, exist in a world that knows so much better? How can these human rights crimes be committed in Westernised countries without anyone turning a hair. "

    Well i feel it has to do with silly notion,that religious liberation, might somehow also help to bring forth freedom of religion

    Next thing,perhaps some folk may also like to argue that Syrian folk will never get to experience their own freedom either.Unless all Syria folk remain liberated enough so as to freely practice all their own beliefs as well too

    Sadly liberty doesn't necessarily always lead toward freedom

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    1. In other words, freedom of religion has become an excuse to suppress freedom. Freedom to enslave is an awful irony. Fortunately the umbrella called freedom of religion has been gradually shrinking as more and more harmful religious practices are being discouraged or outlawed. It is a slow process, but it is going in the right direction. I wrote an article about this at http://wikipeebia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=564

      The logical conclusion is that oppressive groups like the HEB have no long-term future in their present form. They might drag on for another hundred years, but in the end they will either reform, evaporate or implode.

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    2. Yes Ian.They hijacked it and have used it for an excuse to suppress.Would you say Ian that our society have allow for a kind of negative liberty as apposed to positive liberty kind.

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    3. I don’t think modern populations in developed countries condone harmful religious freedoms in preference to harmless or beneficial religious freedoms, but they have often failed to recognise the difference, especially in the USA, where you can get away with just about any kind of fraud so long as you give it a religious veneer. But in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia the authorities are getting wise to the abuses of religion and are gradually putting in place legislation and administrative measures to protect the victims.

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    4. Thanks Ian.Liberty is not always quite as straight forward as it at first seem to sound.Consider these kind of thing as an example http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberty-positive-negative/

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    5. Liberty is an interesting subject.Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfhQhdA-zss

      Negative liberty - freedom from outside interference - "I am no ones slave" - natural right

      Positive liberty - freedom to act upon ones will- "I am my own master" - entitlement

      This is how i see the situation.If our liberty is the positive type liberty,then we would be entitled to religious liberty.In other words ,the brethren would not have been allowed to regulate our liberty away

      However if our society is based more on negative type liberty.Then we are no longer entitled to religious liberty.But we will find religious liberty, naturally, whenever situations will allow for it

      So considering that.Im not sure i can completely agree with Ian's conclusion in regard to whether modern populations condone harmful religious freedoms

      We might also argue that most eb dont tend to condone harm. Maybe its true that most eb really dont purposely intend to condone harm

      However i still dont see how ignorance can ever be claimed as being an actual excuse. Specially if people are guilty of not caring to fully consider the implication



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  4. Reading the article at the head of this thread has been heartbreaking, and although I’ve never been a member of any Brethren group its contents tally with my own very sad experience of the Taylor Jnr/Symington/Hales Exclusive Brethren since the early 1960s.

    I try to be hopeful that one day soon Bruce D Hales will admit the mistakes and cruelties of the past fifty-six years and ensure that in future he and his followers no longer treat people dismissively. It will be a huge task, but it’s what he should do if he expects to be credited as a Christian leader.

    When I protested recently to a member of the PBCC that my husband and I are not the unclean, sexually immoral, greedy, idolatrous, reviling, inebriated, thieving people that James Taylor Jnr depicted when he advised his followers to separate from non-Exclusive Brethren people, the Hales Exclusive Brethren person with whom I was having this conversation assured me that he didn’t think either my husband or I fitted those categories. I felt that was progress. Now I want to know - if it is the case that ordinary women and men in the PBCC understand that non-Exclusive Brethren people aren’t iniquitous in those ways - why do they treat ‘non-community’ outsiders as ‘unclean associations’? Why do they behave so cruelly and why do they tolerate the appalling reputation they have gained over the past half century? Why don’t they stand up in the meeting and say, “We’ve got it all wrong, our Christian duty is to love our neighbour as ourself”?

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  5. What rediculous drivel. The reason the brethren stand firm and shine out like a beacon in an evil world is because Mr Bruce has Gods full support and protects his flock from evil outsiders who would seek to undermine there faithfulness to the Lord. The Lords work must be done first even if that means we have to give up family who seek to defile us.

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    1. First a spell and grammar check for our HEB educated contributor -
      "ridiculous" is the correct spelling.
      "their faithfulness to the Lord". "there" is a place.
      I have considered what what you have said but find you have not produced any supporting evidence.
      How do the HEB stand out like a beacon in an evil world when they seek to distance themselves from everyone and everything outside of their fellowship.I would suggest over 99% of the world do not even know the HEB exists!
      In addition to the valid question posed by Joan could you please let us know how "giving up family who seek to defile us" applies to family members who are Christians and have left the Exclusive Brethren because of the evil they have condoned? e.g. the language and conduct of James Taylor junior in 1970.

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    2. But the brethren stand firm and shine out like a beacon only in their own perception. In anyone else’s perception they waver erratically, invent arbitrary rules and scrap them at will, and stand out as the darkest blot in the history of the Brethren movement.

      To say that Mr Bruce has God’s full support casts a dreadful slur on God. People who respect Christian values find it offensive when you attach God’s name to the Brethren’s sordid little system. Please don’t do it.

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    3. Since your post appears to be a response to Joan’s, is Joan among those that you refer to as “evil outsiders” or people “who seek to defile us”? I would like to be clear about what you are implying.

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  6. Many of the unclean attributes that Joan outlines above could easily fit some PBCC members.

    Anon 04.37..... there speaks the rediculous (sic) drivel of the mindless indoctrinated.

    Can't say I have noticed a shining beacon emulating from Mr Bruce and his sheep. Rather, bad news relating to drunken excess, tragic, mindless deaths, shoddy construction practices, child abuse, tax avoidance, misinformation, inequality in the workplace, undercover political lobbying, kidnapping etc etc.

    The beacon is tarnished, no longer shines and is an eyesore.

    Illuminator

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  7. They defile themselves! I was never molested in the world - but I was in the Brethren. I was never treated badly in the world compared with the way they treated me in the Brethren. Poor misguided, brainwashed fools that they are. Hypocrites to the last man. Every whacko pseudo religious group does the same thing of course. Keep their little flock separated from 'evil' people (who know better). Which of course is anti-Christian. I even doubt they ARE Christian anymore.

    I wonder what would happen if the 'evil' people they hate so much -stopped doing business with them??

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  8. Just while I think of it - how does the Peeb know that 'Mister Bruce has God's full support"? Did he see the memo? The email? The parchment? The tablet? Anyone can make stuff up.Question - Do other denominations get God's support too? Perhaps our Brother can answer that one for me as well.

    Yours- Confused.

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  9. As I've said before, I reckon posts like Anon's of 04:37 are spoofs. OK they might be funny on the face of it but look at the stress/raised blood pressure they cause amongst those here who take them to heart.

    My reasoning is thus: I've never managed to get anyone to come out and mention Bruce Hales, let alone defend him, in print on this site - I have tried to get this response many times but no one has risen to the bait. I do believe genuine peeb contributors (if there at any, and more likely paid peeb-lookalike contributors) are under strict instructions not to rave about the boss but just present a 'simple Christians' front, just like they do if they accept visitors into the Gospel preaching.

    Just my take - I'm not a psychologist, just an observer of what makes people tick!

    RLS

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  10. RLS - your take on it sounds reasonable but you are forgetting one small thing my friend. BDH would have banned Peebs from looking at sites such as this as they are full of 'attacks on the position'. He does not encourage debate on any level and particularly with evil ex-Peebs. So it would be strictly forbidden for them to look/interact/ debate here. However - no windup merchant would couch his words in the way a Peeb does as you see above - they do have their own language and most of us have been away from it for so long now we have forgotten the lingo. Don't worry - it's some web-happy Peeb trolling through the night - defending the indefensible. If he put his name to it BDH would be all over him like a rash.

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  11. The language employed by Anon 19 September 2016 at 04:37 does not look like it comes from an insider, but from an outsider attempting to re-create what one of them might say. Difficult to say which dock he is fishing from for sure.

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