A correctly edited version of the below document is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4fla0l7tbbbeu0j/ASSEMBLY%20MEETING%20WBH%20%20JSH%20October%201965%20%281%29.doc?dl=0
An alternative heading to this would be OBEDIENCE TO A SUPERIOR WISDOM' - the global reintroduction of the Hales Commercial System and the whitewashing of Brethren history by Bruce D. Hales.
The current world leader of the Exclusive Brethren or PBCC, Bruce D. Hales, has been at pains for much of his recent tenure, to airbrush the history surrounding his family and the era in which they overstepped the mark so extraordinarily as they sought to take over Brethren lives and involve themselves in their businesses.
Bruce D. Hales said it didn't happen, that the Brethren were wrong at the time, that they didn't get it and that his father and uncle needed to be exonerated for their crimes against the church and the people in it. But the following document details in extraordinary detail what really happened in their own words. And not just about the system itself but their general rude and un-Christian behaviour.
Much has been said of late about this latest Global Commercial System that takes up so much of the PBCC Brethren's time and focus. The sad thing is that when it all came to a climactic head in 1965, when certain 'brothers' stood up and proclaimed that this was not right - the detail and the truth were both lost in the ensuing years. Indeed, many Brethren heavyweights today would not have been born when this took place.
To paraphrase this debacle, two young men in Sydney and their cohorts which included Alan Gadsden in Melbourne and others, decided to get involved in people's businesses and demanded to know what people were worth and how they ran their enterprises. They ridiculed people in church - standing them up and demanding all sorts of personal and fiscal information in public for the entire assembly to hear and witness. As one who attended several of these sessions with the Hales Brothers in full swing, I was as a teenager, astounded by the very rudeness of these men's demands and their approach to finding out what they wanted to know.
There was the added 'thing' at the time - as we all know, anyone who speaks against a Man of God, is assured of 'being shown the door'. But both Bruce Hales Senior and his brother John were mildly contemptuous of their leader of that day if their remarks are anything to go by. JSH said on more than one occasion '“don’t quote Mr. Taylor to me”! And his Brother Bruce said that 'Taylor needs to listen to him."
It was an onslaught that had never been witnessed before and effectively reduced their church meetings to something resembling a coliseum. A circus. People sat on the edge of their seats praying fervently that they would not be 'picked on'. But the Hales were not interested in the rank and file Peebs - they wanted to identify every man who had money, who had a business and what they were doing with it. And they did so with all manner of underhanded methods including putting 'their' people into businesses, literally as spies, with a regular reporting brief back to the Hales'.
They were grubby times and this had little to do with what their church should have been about. They had crossed a line in scripture - and in the context of any church operation, in that they went from saving souls to exploiting people. And today it has all been reintroduced and reinvigorated with their son and nephew taking their blueprint for a commercial system all the way through from introduction to completion in 10 short years.
The Hales brothers believed that without money - you have no power. W.B. Hales said at that time about their leader of the day - their man of God - "even a Taylor will deteriorate with nothing to do all day, you haven’t got any power."
Maybe the Brethren will learn much about that time and what was said by whom. The thought processes and actions are quite astonishing in some cases - but this will refute much that has been said of late within the church about the truth of the matter. Because - here it is - in black and white. This is not a fabrication or tissue of lies dreamt up by disaffected people. It is here in their own words. Recorded as it happened. By them.
Remember that many people suffered dreadfully, losing their families and everything they owned in the aftermath of this awful passage of Brethren history, which then, and now, is something that the Hales don't give a fig about. They just want their history in it expunged. It's a big read - but very enlightening.
OUTLINE OF ISSUES AT
SYDNEY ASSEMBLY MEETING
W.B.HALES & J.S.HALES
Mr. Patton introduces the matter stating that it is one of the worst things we have had to deal with since the revival.
J.P.They are in a party and there would be a party of which they form the core. There has been. …(indistinct)….. out to wreck the revival, and it emphasizes the necessity of there being a thorough enquiry to see what the devil is getting at. Thorough enquiry has been proceeding and there should be enough now to establish and tell the brethren in view of a righteous judgment being arrived at and pronounced to the assembly. As the matter has been raised, what the brethren know has been prominent in the exercise has been the matter of the introduction into the assembly of the spirit of commerce and things pertaining to it. The scriptural basis of a judgment of this would be John 2: 16-17 “make not my house a house of merchandise.”
The thing began a few years ago in a certain way in certain activities which might be called “work”, and then as it developed it crystalised into a doctrine, a system of meetings, one relating to the other ------ Newcastle, Maitland, Tamworth, Armidale and other places, the idea of which was to be perfected here and launched on the world, that is the local assemblies all over the world. Examples of this were many, the way the thing was working, particularly in Canberra and Barbados. There are very many examples of it.
We can speak of things that we know that happened at Canberra, our brother Mr. Emtage of Barbados was humiliated and really held up to ridicule and we have already been told by the same brother who was humiliated at Malvern Hill. Much entered into those meetings at Canberra, which may come under another heading, particularly, that of party activities as to how the meetings were arranged and how invitations went out, as to how brothers were directed to do certain things, which are almost a perfect example of party operations. The brethren will be free, subject o the Spirit being in control, to speak including the two men who are immediately in mind. We have a responsibility before God to be clear in everything we do or say. Devonport was another example of this thing. Our brother Mr. W.B.Hales, just before the meeting was due to start went out having told the local brethren to alter the seating arrangements. At these meetings a brother was told to stand up and state what was his net worth, then there was a general order given for all these net worth, people who exceeded a certain amount were told to stand up and detailed questions were asked as to the state of the flocks. That was Devonport. Brisbane, we have already been told how father and son were closely questioned about their business relationships and how humiliation entered into that, I refer to our brother Hislop, Mr. Harry, in relation to him, all the employees of R.S.Harry who had mortgages on their homes were told to stand up. Quite a large number did, about 14 or 15. Mr. Harry was asked was he prepared to discharge all these mortgages, which he undertook to do. Other things of a similar nature were brought into those meetings. Bendigo, three months back, our brother Archie Prince’s business matters in relation to his sons were freely discussed and he also was directed to do certain things. At the same meetings our brother Mervyn Sheppard was given a job in another brother’s business, he was to start at once. Mr. Angus Quick was also asked what he was worth. At the Barbados amongst many other things, Mr. Daniel Pienaar, Mr. Kenneth Rosenbury and Mr. Cecil Kennard were asked to stand up and were brought forward as samples of successful businessmen. Men who could handle big operations, (Mr. Pienarr) He is a man who controls some 150 shops so he is a good assemblyman on that account, that is the inference.
Under this heading, we have last week spoken of how the thing has been in evidence in this City and one feature should be especially drawn attention to, that is how the introduction of so called management control has operated to the breaking down of the divinely instituted relationships. Young men have been installed in prominent positions in one business and maybe others. They were told that they were to report direct to one of these two men W.B.B or J.S.H. Those reports including movements of their employer.
D.J.MWhat brothers would confirm that Mr. Patton?
J.P.Robert Reid and Harold Tchappet.
J.PYou were asked to report to one of these two men. Now Robert Reid will you speak?
R.R.When I was taken on by the firm, it was clearly said before us all that I was to report to Mr. Bruce Hales on everything that took place. It was not specifically said that this related to the employers. Another time I was told personally that the report should take the form of, firstly, Political matters, which related to the personnel, the management, and anything that took place within the political sphere. Secondly, on things that were not done through the whole procedure on the requirements that I had to do. Three were times I was asked -------. I never specifically reported on the movements of my employers except in a few instances regarding changes in the business early this year when I was asked to do so, but when I did report, in the minority of cases, I would say, there were questions asked as to what the employers were doing following instructions given by Mr. Hales.
J.P.There were some questions asked as to what they were doing.
R.R.Yes. One example was that they were told that they should not be inside the building, they should be out selling, and I was specifically asked were they doing that.
J.P.Does that satisfy your question Dr. Martin? Also in this connection not only were business matters brought into the assembly, but what could be legitimately arranged meetings to speak of business matters but were colored by what pertained to the assembly. Reference as made to the assembly and persons were good assembly men. One such was a meeting in our brother Alex McDonald’s premises and some of the things said there should be known to the brethren because they had a distinct bearing on the whole matter. These are some extracts by W.B.Hales at the sales meeting of Metal Protectives Company on 2nd September, 1965… (as follows) –
Reference to sales meeting at Metal Protectives Pty Ltd on 2nd September 1965. Owner Mr. Alec McDonald.
W.B.H.You are really getting at the very essence of our strength compared to places like Melbourne or London or New York or anywhere else I know of. We have more men in Sydney than I know anywhere else who I know are operating in their own rights. That is, men who are prepared to put the whole of their career or livelihood in a risk venture. The fellow that can do anything and everything is a very resourceful man. He can be ruthless, can you follow this? Because he knows he can do anything and he expects everybody else to do everything. The key to an assembly is men who know how to venture out into the unknown, know how to measure the risks they are taking, and they just have that grip and perseverance that accompanies their almost blind faith that what they are doing is right and they will prove it is right. This is the same in the assembly; this is what you just can’t duplicate just by imitating. This where we get Paul Devenish or Dean Mills who are good enough fellows but they are trying to put on an act in the meetings that same as John and I don, it does not work. The reason it does not work is that they have never had their backs up against the wall and had to do or had to be right when everybody else is wrong. All our victories here are victories that we have had to snatch from defeat. You know when everybody has been against us, Jim Taylor and all thrown in. Can you follow? Were you to ask Jim Taylor to come along and tell you to sell your business and got rid of all your labour, that is no gospel for the future. How are we going to get on in future if everybody who employs people is going to sell his business? (To Mr. Emptage). Can you follow what I am saying?
There were further references to Mr. Taylors, saying some years ago “sell ---sell --- sell” but he has certainly had to put his brakes on now he sees this other angle, which is what we have had here. Man has power to satisfy all his basic needs in life, do you agree Mr. Emptage.
WBHEven a “Taylor” will deteriorate with nothing to do all day, you haven’t got any power.
J.P.It is well to know all these things because what we want is to just stage facts, we can have our own judgement.
W.B.H.It is no gospel at all, while Mr. Taylor realized all this and where we came I, we said “look, this doesn’t seem right because we have to live, he is 65 and we are 35, we have to provide for the testimony you see.
J.P.I would just comment here that all this is done in the name of the testimony; it makes it very very serious indeed, because it has all been done on the basis of scripture. For instance, we start off “my Father works hitherto and I work” and “that’s the basis of what you need developed into a meeting of economics with a chairman conducting it”. This was Barbados. Mr. Taylor said that this was one of the most serious parts of it, was the deceptive angles of it being linked with scripture. There are other things that could be said here, bearing on what might be the unnecessary crudeness with which certain pictures were being brought forward. Pictures to illustrate certain facts such as “I have only been dragged in here feet first you know like a baby that comes the wrong way”. Now the brethren have heard that kind of thing over and over again. This is a business meeting, but you can see how necessary it is for it to be brought in here.
W.B.H. Continues “People won’t be forever writing to Jim Taylor or somebody else like him to ask him every conceivable question, 90% of the things he has answered, people ought to be able to answer themselves. We never ask him a question about Sydney. The last 5 years he has never been asked a single question about any matter. The only thing is that he asks questions thinking that we may be wrong and then he goes away satisfied that they are right – we thought they are right.”
J.P.I think the brethren here have been deluded in believing that these men have been in constant touch with Mr. Taylor and know his mind. He has emphasized that that is not so.
W.B.H.There is no company in scripture that is more organized than Paul and his company, so that what has happened over the last few years is that the Levitesor the priests or the elders or whatever you like to call them all over the world, are very much dovetailed together than they ever were before. Nobody, I doubt whether even Paul had such a grasp of the details of brethren’s affairs as a few of us are having today. Do you understand this? The details of assemblies, meeting rooms and hall costs, and yet-----in a relatively few minds, what has been disbursed.
J.P.I again make the point, brethren, that bringing of business matters here, you see how what should legitimately be a business meeting, is just interwoven all the time with reference to the assembly, showing how much the two ideas are mixed up in their minds.
W.B.H.“This is the connection between Christ’s headship and sonship, you look at the Son, the Son can operate on His own, He does not need any directions at all, He is free, He is God manifest in flesh. Every one of us should look as if we are almost as powerful as God in everything we do, but the secret is between the Son and the Head.
J.P.Brethren, more things might be said which show a strong line of infidelity or what is infidel in character is intermingles with this line of thinking.
D.J.M.W.B.H says towards the end “how the Lord ties the assembly up and while ever Mr. Taylor is giving all sorts of little minute rules to everybody, the Lord hasn’t really got control of the Assembly, Mr. Taylor has and he hasn’t either because he only relies on your childhood subjection. When you can go to the Lord and think the way Mr. Taylor thinks, then you are as near to the Lord as Mr. Taylor is. You know when you are right and you don’t have to ask him, and even if he thinks you are wrong you are going to prove to him that you are right, that is the principle of the twelve, is that clear now? And that is really what we are aiming at. You ask me about dividing it, we cannot. This thing must be run by somebody who really believes in it.
FINISH OF REFERENCE TO BUSINESS MEETING
AT ALEX MCDONALD’S FACTORY.
J.P.You had some concern Dr. Teiffel about something that was said in this connection at another place.
E.S.T.I had concerns as to whether there were seeds of infidelity in the line of things that was proceeding, and enquiries brought to light the summary of a conversation that was held on 24th September, at Firth Avenue, our brother Mr.Bruce was present and the question was “how one knows the mind of go about a matter, the answer is ‘by obedience to a superior wisdom, then you do not make a mistake. By continually deriving from a superior wisdom you go up and up, you are continually searching round for someone from whom to derive superior wisdom. As you progress you go up and up deriving superior wisdom from another source. Finally you are in a position where you cannot find a person to drive this from. How then do you know the mind of God? By being in this position of obedience to a superior wisdom, what is there superior to you to derive from – God, God in Christ but you have it as being in this condition of being in obedience to a superior wisdom. You have the mind of god, and what you think is what is what God thinks, your mind is god’s mind, a man almost becomes God. You cannot say that a man is God, but a man almost becomes infinite wisdom. You can find out the mind of go in yourself by reference to the inner logic of the matter. You first decide what to do, is it right? If so, explore all avenues and decide what is the best. Is the finance available? Will it make a profit etc.? In this way you arrive at the mind of God about a matter.
I have brought this forward because it has the elements of infidelity about it.
D.J.M.Who confirms that?
K.S.Mr. Robert Reid, Harold Tchappet, Dr. Martin, these are brothers who drew this up, and there were other brothers from other cities present.
J.P.Think of the effect on minds that have been formed against known minds. Think also of the word in Acts, unlearned and ignorant men.
DISHONESTY IN MINISTRY
J.P.I would secondly draw attention to what has been described as “dishonesty in ministry”. It may have come in in many ways, but I refer particularly to what transpired in 1962 in July at Southampton. Certain things had happened here particularly in the matter of Andrew Scoular and that household, the way we handled the matter brought very prominently under the eyes of the press, this was just about a week before the meetings held with our brother John Mason in the Town Hall, which caused such a furor which the brethren will remember. I can recall our brother then telling me very definitely, that the line of thinking with regard to children in this City was quite wrong, and he almost put it verbatim and his words were almost identical with Mr. Taylor at the Southampton meetings, as to the creational rights of father and mother, that is, both persons being equal. Mr. Taylor’s ministry clearly shows that what we had been thinking and saying and putting into practice was wrong. Some of us felt that, that it would be simple to accept adjustment, but our two brothers here with another came back and said “we will not accept adjustment” there has been no adjustment and proceeded forcefully to minister on that line. That is, they knew they were doing what was wrong, it was not as if they misunderstood it, they know it. I have spoken of that as “dishonesty” and they have both acknowledged it as such, and all can see what a handle to the enemy that would give. Protests were made against it, and I myself felt very distressed. Our brother knew I refused it and in Canberra I was told in the presence of a large number of brethren I was opposing the truth. I never accepted that, sought to see him, to go into matters but he would not see me.
D.J.M.Both have said they know they were wrong. Mr. Bruce said that at Southampton, he saw that he was wrong but his pride did not allow him to acknowledge it. Mr. John also saw that he was wrong and that there was need of adjustment.
J.P.Did you have something else that might come under this heading?
D.J.M.There were things said that slighted Mr. Taylor, they could be brought in here. I had a ring from Mr. Glyne Hunt at the request of Mr. Taylor. When Mr.John Hales left for the Barbados recently, before leaving his house he said to Mr. Emtage and Mr. Leslie Corben that he would not go to Barbados unless they got rid of all domestic servants not breaking bread. Brethren replied that Mr. J. Taylor Junior said in Jamaica that it was all right to have these servants as long as they did not sleep in the house. Mr. Hales replied “don’t quote Mr.Taylor to me”. Mr. Richard Emtage had said this and MR Corben and I heard them say it and my son Richard. The thing is established on witness. Mr.John Hales said, that was said; he said they were speaking in light vain, nevertheless he said it. It is a reflection on Mr. Taylor “don’t quote Mr. Taylor to me”. Mr. John acknowledges that. He also said when he got to New York he was to ring them up to see whether they had complied with the conditions regarding servants. Our brother forgot, he didn’t ring. A more sorrowful thing was said by Mr. John, this was said in Barbados in Mr. Keith Hunt’s house who told me this today and also Mr. Glynne Hunt, they were both present …… They asked Mr. John how they were getting on with the holy kiss and how Mr. Bruce was getting on with it. Mr. John said, “the holy kiss was just another American gimmick”. They also said in this conversation from Barbados, Mr. Lionel Emtage spoke to me and Mr. Douglas Pile, that they were present with Mr. W.B. Hales in a home just opposite Mr. J Taylor Jnr. Mr. W.B.H said this, he made some statement and this was his remark, that “his father-in-law would say something but he had better listen to me”. The brethren would feel the slight on Mr. Taylor in these remarks. Perhaps I should also mention matters that came up in the meetings, it may not seem of great moment but Mr. Taylor wished it to be mentioned. Mr. John was speaking about 1 Corinthians 11 v 33; as to waiting for one another, and he remarked that you may wait for a person who is late, but not habitually, but you may wait. Mr. J T jnr’s comment was “this is against the ministry of J.T on ‘when the hour was come’.” The meaning of that verse is that you wait for persons of spiritual weight.
I should say too that I have had several rings from Glasgow as to the meetings there in April of this year with Mr. W.B.Hales. Most of this my son Richard can witness to. There are two matters he can’t witness to but they have both been acknowledged to by the two brothers present. What troubled the brethren at these meetings at Glasgow was the way brethren were humiliated. Mr. George Patton was twice rebuked about a matter that had been settled 3 months before and he was greatly humiliated. The Civil Service was belittled with reflection on Mr. John Mason and Mr. W.R.Mason. Mr. Taylor said that no reflection should be thrown on the Civil Service. Then he said that a brother who went from one locality to another was spoken of as a “little tyrant”. Mr. Bruce remembers saying that. What I am now to say is what grieved the brethren in Glasgow. Our brother Mr. Terry Snr who has departed to be with Christ about 6 weeks ago and was well into his eighties. Our brother was humiliated and rebuked for putting his wife in a mental home before she died 20 years ago. Mr. W.B.H. said, “No-one in Australia would do such a thing and that the brother should have remained at home from his work and looked after his wife. Mr. Hales went on to say in the meetings that many wrong judgments had followed in Glasgow because of Mr. Terry’s being wrong in regard of this matter, and that the lead he had given I Glasgow because of this, was wrong. Mr. J Taylor jnr said he was right in putting his wife into a mental home and the brethren in Glasgow felt that Mr. Terry did right and this aged man was humbled about it and humiliated. Then there was the collection that was taken up for the Paris meeting room. Fourteen brothers were named and told what to give. Mr. Bradford was told to give 200 pounds. He felt that this was not the right way to collect money. The collections was introduced by Mr. W.B.H who said that he and Mr. John would give 500 pounds each. They both confirm this. If I am saying anything that is not accurate, I hope I will be corrected. I was told in Scotland in my recent visit there, by more than one person who said how affecting it was that this collections was started by this very generous gesture by these two brothers that they would give 500 pounds each. Mr. John said the other night that he did not give 500 pounds for that collection. What the brethren feel and Mr.Taylor feels was that how wrong it was to carry out a collection like that. In the homes the conversation was lawless and anti-Christian. In Mr. Bradford’s son’s home, they provided a meal for Mr. W.B. & J.S. Hales and Mr.Bradford’s son’s wife was told “your mother is the most miserable woman in Glasgow – your house will take you to hell and your children will be corrupted.” Young Mr. Bradford was told “every time your father-in-law tries to give you something, spit in his face, fight with your father-in-law every time he comes, and make it so unpleasant that you won’t be able to sit down and have a meal with him. If your father-in-law gave away some of his money he might become spiritual.” This was all said at table before 18 brethren including some from Germany and France. Mr. Bradford said he bought his 80-year-old house at a bargain price and paid for it in cash. He borrowed 1,000pds from his father-in-law to make it livable, and this has been paid back. Mr. W.B.H said it was unrighteous to take his money. The father and mother-in-law are Mr. & Mrs. David Lawry and both are breaking bread.
Reference to this conversation in the house was made in the meetings. Mr.Bradford spoke to me and Mr. Bradford Jnr and his wife spoke to me on the phone and my son heard this. Brethren feel that the principles were “rebuke not an elder sharply”, many brethren were rebuked. The matter of Mr. Terry they feel very much. I think that should conclude the matters at Glasgow.
J.P.Perhaps we should speak of the party. I was not at Canberra but it has been testified to what the meetings were arranged on the Tuesday of the week in which they were held. W.B.H. and J.S.H and another brother directed up to about 80% of the invitations. During the course of these meetings, these brothers rang Will Sievwright of Perth and Jack Pearson of Adelaide who were at Canberra and told them to get the Adelaide and Perth surpluses and give them to A.F.Gadsden, and that was done.
D.J.M.Just to make this a little clearer, the arrangement of those meetings, these three men practically arranged them and the two brothers here, acknowledged it. Mr. John said it was an outright party action. During those meetings the brothers from Adelaide and Perth were told to come to a certain house and give those surpluses to Mr. Gadsden - that they would be taken to New York. Mr. Pearson said to his shame he did it.
J.P.They were to be taken to New York? That raises the question of the handling of monies. The facts are very clear, and in connection with which, one of these brothers who was there, Mr. John Hales has acknowledged deception and lying to Mr. Taylor. As to how far we can speak I would be governed by you, Mr. Lance Hills because of possible complications.
L.S.H.I think it would be wise Mr. P to restrict it as much as you can, I can’t say anything apart from that. There could be complications if certain matters were gone into in detail, but I don’t want to stand in the way of what the Lord would have us do.
J.P.Well, I have said that Mr. W.B.H was not in America, but he was fully cognizant of what was moving, and in connection of these surpluses which were to be taken to New York and all the monies were, Mr. John Hales has acknowledged that he deceived and lied to Mr. Taylor. I don’t know Dr. M, Mr. Pridham, Mr. Reddel how far we can give the brethren details.
D.J.M.I think if we say that we must establish it.
J.P.I am just saying what he has acknowledged.
D.J.M.Well, that may be enough. What do brethren think - as it has been acknowledged.
R.H.PI would think it should be made clear that certain money was borrowed with intention of repayment out of future assembly surpluses, there were certain monies did not go where it was intended to go.
J.P.I think that could be said. That monies were borrowed, all from various brothers to be repaid out of future assembly surpluses. Money was taken to New York; Mr. Taylor was told, “This was private giving”. It was in no way private giving.
R.H.P.Acts 11 was referred to Mr. P.
J.P. I think the brethren will have got the point of that, have you Mr. Deayton? Brethren have not been told here. This has happened so often. Mr. Taylor said that the secret working of this would have to be judged.
R.S.A.The brethren from whom the money was borrowed had no idea that it was to be repaid from assembly funds.
J.P. They did not know.
R.S.A.No it was not told the brethren here.
F.R.H.The simple facts are, that the surpluses that were given for the purpose that they were intended went to that purpose up ‘til the month of July. When Mr.W.B.H went to New York that particular surplus that was intended to go to the usual purpose, I was instructed or told by Mr. J.S.Hales to give that to Mr. W.B.H to take to New York. I raised an objection, but I was told that it was quite in order. The same thing applied to the August surplus, and the September was taken by the brothers that went overseas. I might say that I feel my shame in regard to that and the monetary side has been met, that is the money has now been put to the purpose for which was intended.
D.J.M.That July amount Mr. Frank, did it go into the trust account.
D.J.M.It did not go in and then come out?
F.R.H.No. Nor did the August or September. I feel this matter very much brethren, and I accept responsibility for it.
A.K.S.Do you think Mr. Patton, it would be right to ask Mr. W.B.Hales what happened to that first amount of money, 1200 pounds or so, what he did with it?
J.P.It has already intimated that these brothers are free to speak. I was just going to ask the brethren generally to indicate the principle of the thing in hand. What do you say Mr. Stead?
E.W.S.Yes, Mr. Patton, it is quite clear to me.
J.P.Mr. Hickson is it clear to you?
J.P.Mr. Herbert Fookes, is it clear to you?
J.P.Were you going to speak Bruce.
L.S.H.The fact is that the saints here determined that the money was to be used for a certain purpose and that was defeated without the brethren knowing it. It was misapplied.
D.J.M.I think Mr. John did say at one care meeting that the money was to be given to Mr. Heaney for the Lord’s work, but he acknowledges that in the minds of the brethren would believe that it went to that fund - Mr. Heaney had - and there was deception in that.
Rem.I can recall that being said by Mr. John at the time, but I was aware that the brethren would understand that it went for a specific purpose.
J.P.Did you want Mr. Hales to answer about the specific amount Mr. Smith?
A.K.S.I think it could be left, the point as to deception has been conveyed so perhaps we could leave that.
W.B.H.(makes some unrecorded explanations regarding what was done with the money he took to New York. Mr. Patton asked to whom was it given. W.B.H says “to brethren”. J.P “to what brethren?” A.K.S. asks, “You have no documentation of that? We are dependent entirely on you, your word that you did what we may say charitable things with it.” J.P. asks, “you gave certain specific brothers here and there – specific amounts didn’t you? Why did you do that”? W.B.H says he distributed it to brothers in connection with meeting rooms and housing.
F.R.H.Just to be fair, Mr. John Hales assured me that this money would be used for similar purposes but my point was that it was not for the purpose for which the brethren really knew that the money was given for. That is, it would be used for charitable purposes, which apparently it was, but it was not the purpose for which the brethren really understood here.
J.P.There was an amount given to a brother in Plainfield, would that be for the purpose that you had in mind 1,000 pounds.
A.K.S.That was from other money.
J.P.Good, that settles that. There is a matter now you want to speak of (to J.S.H.)
J.S.H.I was only going to say Dr. M; I have no hesitation in saying that the action was unrighteous and deceitful.
J.P.There is now the matter of the treatment of persons. What has been said as from Glasgow would be a sample of it, carried from this City to other parts of the world. Whilst we have the specific details, other places could have been spoken of too, but there has been the injurious speaking and damage done to persons here. It is felt that that should be reviewed.
D.J.M.Mr. Crutcher would possibly be an outstanding example of that in the carrying out of his duties at the depot, he has been subject to very violent speaking and Mr. Crutcher told me that sometimes Mr. Bruce Hales would call his wife in and she went away and manifestly showed her distress at it. Our brother has been spoken to in a way most unbecoming for a believer to speak. The use of violent language and others have had the same experience. I think one thing should be mentioned is what took place at Council Bluffs. Mr. John says that if anything presses on his conscience as to treatment of persons it is what took place in the house of a brother and sister there. Mr. Bruce and he were there. A sister was told that the devil was in her or she was the devil and Mr. Bruce ordered her out of the house. Mr. Bruce acknowledges this. She twice tried to speak and was not allowed to speak. It was not their house they were in, they were in another person’s house but she was ordered out. That is so Mr. John?
J.S.H.I would think both of us ordered her out of the house Dr. Martin. I can’t just remember exactly what was said but there is no question that she was linked with the devil. I told you that the way she was spoken to was a way, which no creature of God should be spoken to.
J.P.That would be an extreme example, but there have been many here spoken to in a way which no creature of God should be spoken to, right here.
D.J.M.Mr. Bruce spoke to me last night just as Mr. John has, in similar strain.
W.B.H.I feel utterly ashamed the way I have spoken to so many, including Dick Pridham, Adrian Nuttall and many others, Eric Sanderson, David Trimmer, utterly wicked to bring up a person’s history against them when it has been covered by the blood. Also the whole Chappell family, it is utterly wrong.
A.K.S.Brethren will know that Mr. W.B.Hales as been a trustee of the depotfor some years, I think since 1961 when the activities of it became greatly increased and there was a much bigger flow of business through it in the way of ministry, but about 1962 he opened a separate private account with a sister who was then an employee of the depot, into which he put monies of his own for the purpose of purchasing technical books, which were bought on the depot order form for the purpose of obtaining the trading discount. This did not implicate the depot at all except that it involved the use of its order forms. Mostly, cash was paid for these books whether bought locally or from overseas. In July 1964 Mr. Crutcher was brought into the depot as manager and he carried on much the same practice through two separate accounts. By January this year, these technical books were beginning to be paid for by depot funds. It might be remarked that it was never the intention of the depot to handle this kind of books. The purpose of the depot was to handle only ministry. By March of this year most of these books were being paid for by the depot, that is, they were ordered and paid for in the ordinary way by the depot. All this was according to instructions by Mr. W.B.Hales. During 1964 there was only 148 pounds worth of these books purchased but during this year, 2,380 pounds worth of these technical books have in fact been purchased and paid for by the depot. Also there has been large quantities of business stationary. That is not stationary intended for the depot, but stationary intended for the operation of businesses in connection with the consulting practices, also time study material. There is over 1,000 pounds worth of such material been ordered and purchased by the depot through the depot account. Early this year, sales films worth over 800 pounds were purchased; all these things were never intended to be connected with the depot. During this year, a plane was chartered for a particular purpose for a one-day tour with overseas visitors or various western meetings and farms, which has become known as the “western air conference”. The whole expenses of that were 325 pounds and was paid for by the depot. Brethren may keep those things in their minds;we want to refer now to this separate account, known as the “E.L.Crutcher & W.B.Hales clearing account”. This account was used for the clearing of certain private cheques, which was quite all right, it was also used as a trading account to buy and sell other of these technical books. These were technical books, which were never brought into the depot at all. They were bought and sold on this separate account, that account never had any depot money in it at all. Now the other account, “E.L.Crutcher Trust Account” became finally a deposit account into which monies were put from the sale of technical books owned by the depot. That is, technical books were purchased by the depot, paid for by depot funds, and then sold. When sold, they were sold without an invoice and without a receipt, and the money received was put into this separate deposit account. When this Western Air Conference was conducted, 170 pounds of the expenses was collected in fares from various persons who participated. That 170 pounds was also paid into this account. That western trip was paid for by the depot, but what money was collected was paid into this separate account. There was also another account operated which was used as a deposit account for gifts received by the depot, so that certain monies received as gifts to the depot were not in fact paid into the depot proper account but were paid into a third separate account which was in the name of a sister. The object of this practice was to draw money away from the depot into separate private accounts in order to use it, not for misappropriation, but to use it in a different way to that intended by the depot. None of this money has been taken and used for private things. The whole intention was to draw money away from the depot so that it could be used in view of a different arrangement. It may be said that office furniture owned by the depot…it should be said that there were two or three centres where stock of the depot was kept due to the fact that the present building is not large enough, and there was office furniture in these places. Some of this office furniture was installed in Mr. W.B.Hales’ house. His intention always was to pay for it, and at one stage did give a gift to Mr. Crutcher amounting to 250 pounds, stated to be part payment for the furniture and books. The value of the furniture was 374 pounds. All these amounts have been sorted out and placed under appropriate headings and Mr. Hales has in fact met it all in cash. There is nothing outstanding at all including some amounts sent overseas which I will now refer to.
During this year a draft for 1200 pounds was sent to New York under the heading of “free distribution to New York”. That was given to a brother in New York, whilst it did not designate what for, it just said “free distribution” but it would be understood to be free distribution of ministry. That would be within the scope of the depot. It was intended or given to be used for the purchase of more technical books in New York for distribution in the aid of businesses and knowledge over there. We understand that that money is now available to be returned. That money has also been met by Mr. W.B.Hales. The depot here has a large surplus in Stow Hill in view of pre-payments of ministry of a very large credit. Due to a drop in price after the arrangements were made there became a surplus credit of several thousand pounds to be held in Stow Hill. 1,725 pounds of that surplus credit was arranged to be drawn out and be paid into a brother’s private account in London. Most of that has been distributed by Mr. Hales. 500 pounds sterling of it was given to help for the Paris meeting room. 300 pounds sterling of it has been distributed in view of the purchase of technical books in England. We have no record of what happened to the balance except that 170 pounds is still in that private account. (W.B.H. says he now has a full record.)….. To W.B.H “Have you a full record for which it was used?” W.B.H. “Yes”.
Brethren will remember that a legal seminar was referred to as having been conducted in this City; the expenses of that seminar were met by the depot. That is, all the expenses incurred were paid by the depot. That amounted to 483 pounds and that has been met by another brother privately to relieve the depot. I would like to ask Mr. W.B.Hales whether that 500 pounds from the amount in the private account in London was in fact the 500 pounds that has been referred to to-day as the amount he gave in another place to the Paris meeting room or are they separate amounts?
W.B.HI have paid for that amount for the Paris meeting room and I think I have paid for other monies for the Paris meeting room, I am not sure. My reason for all that, the arrangements, were utterly wrong, the reason for them was …(indistinct)…. Would like to have fellowship with the depot, the funds of the depot had built up for use for the purchase of premises. It was discovered at the end of last year that the depot under the trustees could not own premises, so that all these funds had been kept ready for that purpose, but it was still utterly wrong, it was utterly disobedient. What should have been done was just to accept the fact that we could not buy this premises, cut the price of the books and stop the funds coming in and I repudiate the whole thing.
A.K.S.The basis of putting the monies from the depot into separate accounts would be unrighteous, would it not?
W.B.H.Yes, it contravened the trust deed.
A.K.S.It would be unrighteous wouldn’t it?
W.B.H.Yes, that’s what I have said. I have explained the reason Mr. Smith, is that right?
J.P.Is there anything more now to be said? Has the ground been covered Dr.Martin?
D.J.M. The matter I should have said from the Barbados, came to me this morning from Mr. Glynne and Mr. Keith Hunt that in the meetings in the Barbados, Mr.John Hales said that “when a brother was working hard and laying down his life for the brethren, his wife would have to be a widow and his children orphans.”
This is confirmed by Mr. Colin Williams. Mr. Taylor’s comment in Nostrand Ave was “this is of the devil”. Mr. John also said in those meetings that the effectiveness of a minister is measured by the demands made on the brethren. Mr. Taylor takes exception to that. Mr. Braden said that was said in Newcastle also.
J.P.Also in the minds of the brethren would be business brought into the assembly even on Lord’s day at Canberra after the supper there was a business meeting arranged to discuss certain things. That continued, I understand, up to the time of the reading.
C de J.I can only refer to what was stated as an intention, so that everything should be fair as to the books that were purchased. I was told when questioning about the matter, I was told that it was the intention for these books in the long run to be paid for.
J.P.I think that covers all the matters we should speak of in care Dr. Martin. If our brothers have anything to say we would make way for it.
D.J.M.As to what has been said, is it fair and just?
W.B.H.Quite fair and just Dr. Martin. Much more, I could say.
D.J.M.Could you say the same Mr. John?
J.S.H.As to the matters that involve myself Dr. Martin, they are more than fair.
D.J.M.Brethren will see three is a difference. The mastermind in the whole thing has been Mr. W.B.Hales. As to the spirit of commerce, they have both been in it and the propagation of it as ministry and doctrine, they have both been in it very actively, and in the party activities, when it comes to depot matters, Mr.John has not been in that, he knew practically nothing of it. That section would be Mr. Bruce’s responsibility.
J.P.As to the matters generally, Mr. John has told us that his brother Bruce’s word was the Lord’s word to him. Do you go with all that has been said Mr.Alan Braden?
AWHB Yes I certainly do Mr. Patton.
J.P.Do you think the assembly conscience has been fully carried?
AWHB Well I can speak for myself and my conscience is engaged.
E.L.CThere is one thing that you thought should be mentioned Dr. Martin; it came up at the Detroit meetings in the presence of our brother Mr. Taylor, that Mr.W.B.Hales had said to Mr. Will McKillop, that if he came to Australia he would be crucified. Mr. Keith Smith and I spoke to Mr. Bruce about this and Mr. Bruce can say what he said to us.
W.B.H.It was not a threat, it was a statement of what would happen, if he came to Australia in the frame of mind he was then in. But then he was right and I was wrong. That was at Council Bluffs. It was a wicked statement.
R.T.B.Mr. Patton, I would mention the matter of the business meeting at Canberra after the Lord’s Supper, just so that the brethren should know exactly what happened as far as I can remember. Certain matters regarding a brother and his family who have a business in Canberra were discussed in his home, as far as I remember for about 20 minutes before we went to the reading. Mr. Bruce Hales did say he did not want to know any details about the business. The discussion was just particularly about the son of the brother whose house we were in.
W.B.H.It was utterly cruel.
R.T.B.I believe that was right MR Hales but I just wanted the brethren to know as to it having been called a business meeting.
D.J.MWould the matters that would engage our conscience be:
1. The spirit of commerce which both have propagated extensively in ministry;
2. Dishonesty in ministry as regards Southampton and things which Mr. John has said in Barbados which were not the truth in regard of ministry.
3. Party activity, they have both been active in this.
4. Injurious speaking they have both had part but particularly Mr. W.B.Hales. Mr. John has been present at times and has not rebuked it, but Mr. Bruce has been by far the more prominent.
5. Depot matters they rest with Mr. W.B.Hales.
6. Our brother Mr. John was untruthful and he lied to Mr. Taylor as to money. Would that cover the matters Mr. Patton?
J.S.H.I think it should be added Dr. Martin that there has really been a rebellion against the voice of the Spirit, that is what I am conscious of.
D.J.M.I think that is so, I should have mentioned too what should engage us, is the slighting of Mr. Taylor. Mr. John has said that for some years he has not read the green books. I asked him was it because you thought your ministry was equal? He said “no” but he thought his brother Bruce’s was as valuable. It is very clear the Lord’s controversy is as to where he has placed the leadership.
J.S.H.What I tried to convey Dr. Martin was that I found I had lost my taste for Mr.Taylor’s ministry and I found after the rebellion in 1962 that I was not deriving my supply from the current voice of the Spirit and these things that I have said and come out with I have been deriving from another source.
W.B.HJust after the Southampton meetings in which I so dishonestly refused the adjustment of the Lord, I believe that’s when Satan got control of my mind and brought back through my mind all that I thought I had abandoned. Within six months of that, certain of the bigger businesses amongst us came to me. I knew that Mr. Taylor had advised them, Mr. Heaney, Mr. Harry and others to sell their businesses. I believe now, Dr. Martin, to be an act of rebellion, I allowed a sort of plausible explanation as to the difficulty of selling, to find another way, which was not the Spirit’s way and the Lord has been resentful of it. The whole of this line of things stems from that.
D.J.M.Which really is that you have quarreled with sovereignty in the leadership, which the Lord has placed universally.
W.B.H.And therefore usurped the Lord’s place including in homes and in the assembly.
D.J.M.Mr. Bruce has said to me and he would say it here, that he has taken the place of Christ. We would have to say that is so.
W.B.H.I told you the other night Dr. Martin, it is rebellion. It is as divination, such words “is as” is idolatry, is just overwhelming in its horror.
D.J.M.Should we proceed into assembly brethren?
J.P.Yes. I think the Lord has clearly helped us and guided us to one point. The matter has been intelligent as to facts, intelligent as to principles involved, our conscience engaged. Would you think Mr. Reddel we should have a scriptural basis. We have 1 Corinthians 5. I believe what has been clearly outlined allows the word “being such”.
R.C.R.I believe that is the truth Mr. Patton and there is no alternative as to what we must judge.
J.P. So that I would judge, and I believe I would speak for all the brethren, that we have had exposed in no uncertain way the most extreme wickedness with which we have ever had to do and that we have no alternative as acting in the fear of the Lord in saying that we can longer walk with our brother Mr. Bruce Hales, and also as we have been able to rightly separate where there has been a lesser degree of responsibility in some matters, still in the main these two men are one, and we would also as conveying the Lord’s mind and His feelings at this time we must also say that we withdraw from Mr. John Hales. I would ask all the brethren to say “Amen”.