Tuesday, 19 September 2017

PBCC Address books

I have a full set of these including the UK one if anyone is wanting to reach out to a Hales or even an estranged family member-


  1. Horrified to see those email addresses. So sad to see how far from the Lord some have strayed.

  2. Let's be honest. If ever there was or is a 'pipeline of filth' it is the internet. TV and radio have nothing on the internet in terms of illegality, terrorism, pornography, blasphemy, trolling......

    So why do the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church embrace it, yet continue to have issues with other forms of transmissions?

    Just because there is money to be made? That's exactly where Judas saw his opportunity.

    1. trolling......

      Does that include trolling brethren bible verses

    2. Application of the term troll is subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. Like any pejorative term, it can be used as an ad hominem attack, suggesting a negative motivation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

  3. Now this subject has been raised, we are minded to impress upon all PBCC members that if you are accessing BBC pipelines of filth on your devices, even if under the duvet, you are required to be in possession of a TV licence. These address books will prove useful in identifying possible misdemeanours. Such may expect a visit by the collection agency at an unspecified time. Punushments include confiscation of equipment, substantial fines and/or imprisonment. Membership of the Rapid Relief Team will not be regarded as cause for leniency.

    BBC Licence Enforcement

    1. In the UK, the legal requirement for a TV licence applies not only to BBC broadcasts, but to any TV broadcasts that you watch or receive, irrespective of how they are transmitted (terrestrial, satellite, cable or the internet) and irrespective of what equipment you use to view or record them (TV sets, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray or VHS recorders.)

      However, it is misleading to refer to these communication channels as pipelines of filth. They are pipelines of everything that can be digitized, not primarily filth, but mainly knowledge, wisdom, art, science, drama, music, poetry, religion, history, geography, literature and politics.

      You may encounter some filth too, but in my experience it is never as corrupting as the toxic ideas that you are exposed to in the meetings, because on the TV or the internet there is no pressure to accept and agree with what you see and hear. You can take it or leave it, and form your own judgment of it. Not so in the meetings.

    2. Exactly Ian.Its still up to people to decide what they look at.Anyway sex is discussed in scripture

  4. A good point regarding TV licencing, often overlooked, since it is the BBC who tend to publicise the enforcement, in the UK, at least. Presumably, other countries covered by these address books will also have licence requirements and enforcement.

    As Anon 10.05 comments the main filth pipelines are to be found on the internet, this being more readily available to the PBCC member than TV or radio; but, as mentioned, that's where the money is - the PBCC always follow the money.

    However, the last edition of BBC 4 "Gardeners' Question Time" I heard was full of sexual innuendo concerning pollination and so on. In view if the repression of sex education in PBCC schools and homes, I can see there might be an exercise concerning exposure to such conduits of contamination.

    Would this link, in some way?

    This comment is published for the benefit of all mankind; any attempt to reproduce it will result in being taken to the ckeaners, metaphorically speaking, by the best lawyers tax avoidance can buy.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I expect that many of the Brethren in these address books would prefer not to have their addresses and email addresses made public, so we should respect their privacy in most cases, but the address books are valuable sources for demographic analysis, which need not invade anyone’s privacy.

    Along with other data sources, they could allow us to estimate population sizes, meeting room numbers, birth rates, death rates, excommunication rates, migration rates, family tree structures, extent of inbreeding, and overall population growth rates.

    Other facts that appear in them from time to time are records of meeting rooms closing or new ones opening, young people living in the homes of Brethren who are not their parents (most commonly because their parents are withdrawn from) and the frequency of occurrence of twins.

    For a start, I have been looking at the address books for continental Europe (which does not include the UK or Ireland). The most striking fact is the high birth rate. In the 21 calendar years from 1994 to 2014 inclusive, out of a European Brethren population of 2748 in the 2015 Address book, there were 949 live births. This gives a birth rate of 16.4 births per thousand Brethren per annum, which is considerably more than the 10.3 births per annum per thousand of the general European population.

    The implications are startling when you consider the differences between birth rates and death rates. It is this difference that determines the population growth rate. We don’t know the death rate among the Brethren but we can probably assume it is similar to that of the general population in the same countries.

    Using that assumption, we can say that in the eight European countries where Brethren live, i.e. Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, the difference between birth rate and death rate estimated by a simple average of the eight, is 0.65 per thousand of the general population per annum but 5.29 per thousand Brethren per annum, which is 8 times as great. This suggests that the Brethren European population will grow at 8 times the rate of the general European population.

    There is also the excommunication rate, of course, but that is pretty small by comparison if Bouma’s unpublished 2006 paper based on the brethren’s own survey is to be believed.

    A difference between birth and death rates of that size implies that the Brethren population, at least in Europe, will grow at a rate of about 0.529 per cent per annum. That is rather less than the change in the total number of households listed in the 2014 and 2015 address books. Between these two dates, the number of households listed in Europe increased from 766 to 781, an increase of about 2 per cent.

    This growth rate of 0.529 per cent per annum, like any exponential growth rate, is not sustainable indefinitely, so we know that it will stop at some stage.

    Among the 949 births there were nine pairs of twins and no triplets. That is a normal rate for a population that does not use fertility drugs or other forms of assisted fertility.

    There were no particular years or particular months of the year when birth rates were significantly higher than usual. 2005 was a bumper year and October was a favourite month, but both were within the range of random variation to be expected.

    The 949 babies born during these 21 years had only 143 different surnames, suggesting that there is a rather small gene pool.

  7. A most interesting statistical analysis, Ian.
    Many churches would be delighted to achieve growth figures of this magnitude. However no church that I am aware of would expect such growth to be achieved solely through breeding. There has been a policy for a number of years to move families from one part of the country to another. I am also aware of some movement to other countries, this no doubt to enlarge the gene pool.
    It is almost certain however that the increase in the Exclusive Brethren population has not been achieved through persons joining their cult from the outside world. There has also been small degree of haemorrhaging in the EB mainly by young people. This makes the growth in the EB population even more remarkable

  8. Gary D. Bouma, a professor of sociology, wrote in May 2006, “The Exclusive Brethren Survey discovered that of 10,222 children born into Exclusive Brethren families, 9,789 or 95.8% continue in fellowship.”

    He didn’t say how long they continue in fellowship. I expect he means they were still in fellowship at the time the survey was conducted, but they might leave at a later date. A favourite age for leaving is in the early 20s because that is the time when pressure to get married begins to be applied. Nor did he say how the data were collected and verified. If it was by questionnaire, there might have been some under-reporting of escapees.

    The rate of escape from the EB is hard to model or represent statistically, because it is erratic and unpredictable. It is usually only a trickle, punctuated by the occasional gush. Every time there is a split or a crisis, and there have been many of these, the population remaining with any particular branch drops suddenly. Substantial numbers left during the ministry of FER and JT, usually blaming doctrinal error. Huge numbers left around 1960 and many again in 1970. Quite a number were expelled during Symington’s purges. There are probably more ex-EB members than current EB members. So the long-term average rate of escape may be much higher than Bouma says, possibly even high enough to exceed the birth rate. Only time will tell.

    I haven’t tried to estimate migration rates, because these will not affect the rate of change of global population size, which is one of the main factors that determines whether the evils of Exclusive Brethrenism are here to stay. That is an important question. Should we just hope the sect will die a natural death, or should we be actively trying to rescue its members or protect them from slavish oppression?

    1. I wrote to Mr Bouma a few years ago asking some of the questions you have posed. I also offered to help him by providing my first hand experience of events, dates, and numbers for leavers that I had witnessed during my lifetime.

      I suggested that his report was very likely painting a picture that was highly innaccurate, even possibly underquoting the number of members who had been 'withdraw from' by a factor of ten.

      I also suggested that it was important that he makes sure his report is accurate because to publish a report that suggests that the EB is a traditional, benign church could delay the truth emerging that it is actually an abusive cult that destroys family relationships, thus prolonging the suffering.


    2. I assume that you, like me, are referring to the paper titled THE BRETHREN: An Investigation into Marriage and Family Relations Among the Exclusive Brethren in Australia, by Gary D Bouma, BA, BD, MA, PhD, Professor of Sociology UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific Monash University, 18 May 2006.

      That paper appears to be based mainly on information supplied by the Brethren, and it was probably commissioned by the Brethren, though it contains no acknowledgement of that. As far as I know it has never been published or subjected to peer review.

      Was Professor Bouma able to answer your questions?

    3. Yes, that is the paper I was referring to. I never received a reply.


    4. Ian I thought it had been published - which is how i got a copy. But will need to check that.

  9. You are correct ian - I assumed incorrectly that it was a published paper. Eileen Barker cites it though as
    Bouma, Gary D. 2006. “The Brethren: An Investigation into Marriage and Family Relations Among the Exclusive Brethren in Australia” (unpublished MS)

    That says it all really - he has a number of publications and would have published this had he felt it was worthwhile. There is however a lot wrong with this paper.

  10. anyway you could make those books available online in PDF format ?