At the end of my bed on the wall -there is a photograph. It is of a pretty young woman - I think she is 23 or 24. The year, I'm pretty sure, is 1933. It could have been taken yesterday. Fresh faced and blooming with promise in her nurses uniform, an Anglican from a God fearing household, she smiles down on me each day and has done so for the past 16,607 days. Sadly, I barely know her and even have trouble bringing her to mind. I know I should remember her.
She is my mother.
And for 16,607 days I have been saddened by her fading memory and thought about her. A day does not go past when I don't give her a thought. A day does not go past when I think - if only- or what if. What if she had gone on to be a 'normal' person. And not a Peeb. My whole life would have been different. It may have been normal.
Sadly she was taken away from me by force while I was still a teenager. By the force of a so-called church, which determined that if I did not adhere and become a 'broken man' and agree to their overbearing terms, I should lose my birthright. I should lose the right to even know my parents or to see them ever again. My last dissolving recollections, dulled by the passage of 16,607 days, are now so faint I can scarcely bring them to mind. And that bothers me dreadfully.
I remember the fateful day quite clearly. The day she packed my small cardboard suitcase and placed it at the door. One change of clothes. No money. No photographs. No possessions of note. A toothbrush and one change of clothes was all I went with. And I'm sure it broke her heart. It sure did mine. See- the trouble was- I had not actually done anything wrong. I just wanted a chance to get a decent job and make a life. The church had taken my chance at a real education. This was newly prohibited by a North Dakotan farmer who was their leader of the day and hated 'smart' people. He 'pissed on degrees'. His words - not mine. A bad thing you would think - to forcibly take away a person's right to improving their knowledge. (Not that it affected Bruce Hales. He was allowed to study accounting by his father.)
Mind you I had been fighting that one for years. Every time I picked up a book that was not 'ministry' it was snatched out of my hand and the religious ravings of one of their long dead elders was put in my hands by replacement, by my father. One was called Raven. He was ravin' alright. I didn't get the point. When you live and breathe the hypocritical, cruel world of Brethrenism, you tend not to see any hidden potential for Christianity underscoring it. As a result, I didn't truly get my hands on any worthwhile knowledge until I left the Brethren.
Which brings me to the latest development from the Brethren and of course it's a threat. About what people are reading. And saying. This was highlighted by my friend in the UK recently on his blog. Hales has with his army of legal wordsmiths, which gives the PR boys a breather I suppose, come up with a new page long Copyright threat which he now gives reasons for.
Basically, it's an arse covering exercise again, because we obviously don't understand the circumstances or 'language' of the ministry and have obviously been twisting its real meaning in the past. Put simply, we don't understand the context and what we read will not make sense to us.
As Hales and his Bible trust say " Any reader who has acquired this material who is not a member of the Brethren community should not assume that their interpretation of the ministry is an accurate reflection of the doctrine of the church or the views of the individual speaker. "
What! These people are saying things in the church that are not accurate or a reflection of the doctrine! Then Mister Hales, why the bloody hell are you printing it? I like the way he puts it onto us. The great unwashed and departed. WE may not understand. We bloody well DO understand. Your words are not that hard to cobble together that we cannot see beyond them. As we have proven countless times in raking over your ramblings for any signs of sanity or Christian reason. So what Hales is saying here is this. Let him tell it:
"This is helpful ministry for the saints. It is intended for the benefit of members of the PBCC. As a result, it may contain language and expressions rooted in scripture and scriptural principle, the meaning and intent of which may vary from their common usage."
So their 'language' about the bible, departs from common usage language used around the globe. The bible is not that fiercely complicated Mister Hales. It is written in basic understandable English these days. What you are saying is, that the Brethren leaders have twisted and distorted it to a point where it no longer retains its original meaning. Hence this cutting yourself off from humanity- the exact opposite of what Christ himself did.
All this comes from the exodus of Brethren publications literally flowing over the border into the hands of people not qualified to understand their content. Despite us having a better grasp of the English language and literature in general than most Peebs I would add. He doesn't want us looking at and criticizing the confused muck of his diatribes or chortling at the retorts of his sycophants. Because as we know, much of it just doesn't make sense. It 'differs from common usage'. See.
He then exhorts the Brethren - 'those issued with (sold) ministry books must agree that they will not disclose the content of the work (?) to anyone who is not a member of the Brethren.' This will help avoid misinterpretation by those outside.
So I look at my trusty Index of all the crap Hales has talked about over the past 15 years and it seems I may have gotten it all wrong. When he says things like "we must develop an utter hatred for the world' we must have been misinterpreting this to mean that they hate the world. Silly us.
So then they go on to imply how they will sue us and instigate unrelenting legal action against us etc. etc. in the event that we blow the whistle by using their words against them. On the grounds that we don't understand them. Or will twist their meaning.
It proves one thing. You cannot take them at their word. But then again, you never could. It's generally the case with snake oil salesmen and cult leaders. Blokes who have been maintaining that they are the direct link to God have been saying this stuff for generations. No one understands what I say and what I mean - except me.
(As the copyright itself did not have a copyright, not being part of the actual 'ministry', I feel it fair to share snippets of it with you.)
Sunday, 17 September 2017
Threats From Bruce D Hales's Hollow Gutless Treacherous Merry Team of Enforcers