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January 02, 2013


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And remember folks, the EB lackey here is saying things like this to promote the idea that the EB are beneficial to the public and not led by delusional and dedicated tax avoiders.


I never realised the Charity Commission had associations with extremist groups and money from this source was being used for this purpose. It didn't take long to un-earth that did it? There'll be silence in the court on this one!!!!



I'd say John Handel has been far more sanctimonious and patronising elsewhere - say on Third Sector's website and the TES website where he addresses Suzie as 'dear' and other such epithets.

Clearly separated from the real non-sexist world :-)


A controlling tone, an attitude of hypocritical smugness, I guess this must be a more 'official' exclusive brethren commentator.

Mr Handel it is surprising that it is that face you wish the public to associate with the rebranded EB.

John Handel

Hello Suzie

You still around?
I did ask you on another blog to fall out with Paul Flynn and I thought you had agreed there. Hum I feel rather upset at all this negative stuff, has anyone got any positive things to say about the Brethren?
I have but it is certainly not worth posting them here.
There has been no 'conning' by the PBCC as far as I know.
MP's can see that for themselves.
Speak again Suzie.


I'm sure there are more charities than that - quite apart from each meeting hall etc.

How about CENTRAL G H TRUST which had income of over £1million and claimed nearly £1/4 million in Gift Aid on top of that to help build EB Meeting Halls that year.


"The Charity Commission acted entirely properly in refusing charitable status to the EB"

Of course they haven't refused all charitable status to the EB, merely to The Preston Down Trust which has charge of a meeting hall in Devon.

The charity commission decision may have an impact on other closed, locked and barred to the general public meeting halls, but it has no impact on The Focus Learning Trust, the EB "charity" that is behind their 39 schools in the UK which I believe is ultimately controlled by the EB's The Grace Trust which is charity that deals with many tens of millions of pounds.

These EB schools which are effectively intended to isolate the children of EB members from British society and to aid in keeping them from mixing with their age peers and preventing them from being exposed to any non EB ideas, which leaves one worried about their capability to provide a decent education in science and technology and of course with their attitude towards third level education can only stunt their overall educational achievement and severely impact their futures.

Unfortunately as with private schools, even limited education is seen as being worthy of charitable status even when in the case of EB schools the other options are almost all for a greater level of education.

Paul Flynn

I share your judgement, Huw. This Michael is a lobbyist. My role on Select Committees over 25 years is to reveal the truth and expose falsehoods without fear or favour. I have no bias against EB but I am provoked by lobbyists who seek to deceive.

EB will rue the day they courted publicity and popularity. They will lose their case because it is based on pressure not reason. They have created a backlash by former members whose family lives have been damaged by EB extremism. The Charity Commission acted entirely properly in refusing charitable status to the EB.


Ok Michael,
Let's start with this statement of yours,
"I defend religious freedom and have taken the time and trouble to investigate what this is all about."

Exactly how does, not getting a special tax exemption impact on religious freedom?

Unless your argument is that not paying taxes is a core tenet of their belief, your argument makes no sense whatsoever.

Lastly you came out with
"whather in fact all you have is a personal agenda against the EB's"

I wouldn't call it a personal agenda, and I had no agenda whatsoever relating to them until last week, I hadn't even heard of them until late last year when they started making a fuss about not being granted this specific tax exemption.

Even then I didn't care about them.
If you check, you'll find a posted a comment back in December where the underlying message is that they are being tiresome and dull
Frankly I thought, they'd just put their heads down, make a more meaningful pretense at providing public access once a week for half an hour and about a year down the road reapply for the tax exemption and get it because for some ridiculous reason, that would be considered to be of some public good.
But they kept posting on and on until finally I paid some attention, at which point I found out that there was lots and lots of evidence from newspaper reports, television documentaries, etc., about how they behave and none of their behaviour as an organisation was in any way commendable.

They treat the general public badly, they treat women badly, they treat children badly, they treat members who have minor disagreements with them badly.
They use their tax exempt status to boost their business and that their accountant leader is a multimillionaire who controls far too much of their lives and their expenditure of income with the threat of losing access to their family or friends whether they are young or old, male or female.

So, now I am paying attention, and now I am aware that they are not just an organisation that does not qualify for tax exempt status, despite the incredibly low bar there is to qualify for same.
I am ware that they are in fact an organisation that is of no benefit to society and of actual harm to it's own members

Of course my view is only based on actual facts, about what they actually do, unlike yours which is apparently based on fanciful notions that run against all the facts that are available to anyone.
So they are now a known untrustworthy and harmful organisation, a financial scam that ensnares people on the promise of religion just like scientologists and even that as far as I am concerned they are free to do.

But when children enter into the equation, have their lives stunted, their education incomplete and twisted and their adult lives permanently affected by bizarre and outrageous cults, I become sympathetic.
Children don't get to make a choice about the environment they grow up in, and when that environment is genuinely harmful, especially when there is no good reason for it to be so and when their emotional attachments are used as cudgels to force conformity or be cast adrift then an organisation like that, doesn't get to just be ignored, it gets to be opposed.

I wouldn't call it a personal agenda, I think you'll find that the more the public become aware of the existence of the EB, you'll find the reaction of the general public to be revulsion at the twisted teachings and the cruel treatment of their own members all capped off with abhorrence at the lengths they will take to avoid paying the taxes they should be paying.

However, if as a shill for them, you wish to call it a personal agenda, then feel free.

John J. Jones

I strongly commend Michael Batchelard's book, "Behind The Exclusive Brethren" to your readership. It really is amazing how the E.B.s have changed tack over the years. Their self appointed "ELECT VESSELS" give us a different versions of what they claim is "The Will of God" . I thnought that "God is the SAME YESTERDAY; TODAY AND FOREVER". But the current joker in the pack, Bruce Hales, tells a different story to that of his forebears; and has in fact changed his own mind over the years on the matter of COMPUTERS and MOBILE PHONES. Furthermore not so long ago, according to this CULT, long hair and long skirts were a MUST for any E.B. female member.Now according to Hales God's WILL has changed,and their hair and their skirts are getting shorter by the day!
This inconsistency has more to do with MIND CONTROL than it has to do with "GOD's WILL".
Michael Batchelard attempted to attend an E.B. service and was not allowed in; they even employed a couple of "Heavies" to make sure he did not get in. I personally tried to attend a service by phoning one of the telephone numbers on their notice board, and was told I would have to be interviewed by two of their preists. So how can they claim their "CHURCHES" are "PUBLIC PLACES OF WORSHIP"; and in such circumstances why should they be allowed Council Tax exemption and other concessions. ?

Michael Waterson


You're right. I am no disinterested observer, and I am not a member of the EB and have no intention of becoming one.I dont earn a dim for what I do.

I defend religious freedom and have taken the time and trouble to investigate what this is all about. My findings about the EB's and their work in charity was enlightening and heartening. This country needs a lot more of it.

The subject of Muslims is no 'diversion of attention'. It is a serious question that will help to determine whether people like you and Mr Flynn are able to reason morally or whather in fact all you have is a personal agenda against the EB's.

The truth will prevail. Its time we got some straight answers.


Secondly Michael, and this is really the issue, the EB need to just pay their taxes.
It shouldn't really be a problem for them, it is after all, biblical.



It's really hard to tell if you simple minded or just so alienated from the truth that you cannot tell what your responses tell everyone about you.

You are clearly no disinterested observer, so you are either a member of the EB pretending not to be or you are someone being paid to do a PR job.
Now I have no love for paid lobbyists or shills as they have no moral standards but they do at least have some professional standards and tend to be good at their paid work. That pretty much means that you have to be a dishonest member of the EB trying to pass yourself off as one or more people.
Crying, look over there Muslims! Is a truly pathetic way to divert attention.

Why don't you take this opportunity to start telling the truth?

Most people who belong to a religion aren't so ashamed of it that they pretend not to belong to it.

Michael Waterson


Mr Flynn's still not answering NoFatwahere.

Lets see what he has to say...


Michael, no one is hedging, people are ignoring a rather obvious attempt to distract attention from the issue.

Although why you'd think that pointing out that lots of other groups can easily pass the incredibly low bar to attain tax exempt status as a religious charity but that same low bar is apparently a cliff for the exclusive brethren is somehow helpful to your argument is beyond you.

Incidentally, your continued additions pretty much indicate you are not the disinterested observer that you purported to be. So are you a member? Or are you just paid to attempt some kind of PR campaign for this bizarre cult.

Imagine a religious organisation that can't manage to allow for the public to attend any acts of public worship but still wants tax exempt status?
One has to ask why?
They aren't spending any money or resources for the public good, even with the incredibly loose definition of good that would encompass access to the public for half an hour once a week.

The leadership is incredibly wealthy and the organisation can afford to expend large amounts of money on lobbying and attempting to influence both elections and governments.

They don't believe in providing their children with third level education and women aren't so much as allowed to speak during their "acts" of worship.

The exclusive brethren aren't just of no good to the general public they are actually harmful to their own members, especially the people who had no choice in the matter, the people who've grown up in those unfortunate circumstances with these controlling and abusive people.



English Exclusive Brethren investigated here


Michael Waterson

Mr Flynn,

Please answer NoFatwahere.

You seem to be hedging this one and your colleagues dont like the question either.

Paul Flynn

When will the penny drop for the EB and their PR spinners? I was inert on the subject before their raised their heads. I was certainly not prejudiced against them or even aware of them. Now I am greatly concerned about the damage they do to family life and possible tax avoidance schemes as suggested by a former member.
When will they realise that they have stirred up a hornets nest that may well sting them badly?


Got to love the attempt to distract people with anti-islamic sentiment. Not exactly slick PR more like cack-handed, amateur nonsense.

Those who feel drawn (or are paid) to run interference for the bizarre exclusive brethren tax avoiding sect, do you not realise that every post you make,
makes more people aware of exactly what type of organisation the ex-Exclusive brethren now calling themselves Plymouth brethren are.

The more you post, the more people find out about the scams and schemes that the tax avoidance is all about, as with UBT.

The more you post the more people find out about the bizarre and crazy rules that are inflicted on the idiot membership and more importantly the damage being done to the children of said idiot members.

The more you post the more people find out about the one person who controls the organisation, Bruce Hales and his wealth.

If you wish your organisation to survive, I suggest to you that you stop drawing attention to it.

Currently you are acting like an incredibly stupid embezzler asking people to check his books. The very last thing you want is for the general public to focus on your organisation.


The best description of which seems to be a low rent version of scientology and at least that was started as a joke (probably).

John Handel

Paul Flynn

I am shocked at the post by NoFatwaHere.
This Islamic thing.
Can you answer it?
I am most concerned, never thought of it before.

Gordon Martin

The "positive" comments on this site are likely written by their expensive public relations firm in Sydney, JacksonPR. The Exclusives have used this company for 2 or 3 years. It was previously "Jackson-Wells" Whilst the Brethren blab on about "separation from evil" their companions on the JPR website include a tobacco company and Scientology (Australia)! So Brits, your "charitable" funding money to the EBs is no doubt funding this current barrage of PR!

Gordon Martin

Even the Pope has less power over his flock than does the so-called "Man of God" of the Exclusive Brethren! And in my opinion the Pope is a greater Christian than the "MoG". As far as I'm concerned the EBs can stand on their heads whilst praying. The real damage they do is breaking up families and suppressing the individual's conscience in favour of dictatorial and corporate rule. Just ask those thousands of individuals who've been cut off from their children & spouses!


"In my district and the surrounding area the PB's do a heck of a lot of charitable work. When i looked into it i found this also extended to all parts of the world." - Michael Waterson

Great, I'm sure you will point out some actual evidence of this, until then, it's so much waffle. Apart from that though, whatever they might do elsewhere and there doesn't seem to be evidence of them doing any good anywhere but lots for them doing harm, the issue is not about generalities but the specifics of one place, Devon.

The Preston Down Trust was unable to offer any evidence of such works to the Charity Commission, it wasn't even able to pass the incredibly low bar of facilitating meaningful access to to public for public worship which is why it lost it's charitable status.

'The Charity Commission has said that its refusal of the application for charitable status by the Preston Down Trust, a Plymouth Brethren congregation in Devon, was based on the church's doctrine of separation from the rest of society and on "insufficient evidence of meaningful access to public worship".'



Michael Waterson,

We’re not stupid. We spotted the slick PR machine crank up; the flurry of charitable acts appear out of nowhere; the name change to more publically acceptable one, all just after this whole sorry mess went public. That’s right, just at the same time as the Charity Commissioners denied the Exclusive Brethren charitable status. Strange co-incidence that?

So, no it’s not about giving, giving, giving. Do you really believe we’re that gullible to think this exclusive and reclusive self serving sect has had a sudden change of heart to become outward looking and concerned with the people it was previously told to hate?

Rather, more and more of us are becoming concerned about the harm done to members and ex-members (the public) by the policy of (non-scriptural) extreme separation which prevents ex-Exclusive Brethren from seeing children, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, grand-parents etc who remain in the Exclusive Brethren.

It also prevents members of the public from even sharing the most basic of human relationships such as a cup of tea together as that would defile them.

Do I want my tax supporting this system. Clearly NO!

Michael Waterson

Dear Readers,

Forgive me for repeating myself but its not without point!

You need to and find out the facts for yourself.

In my district and the surrounding area the PB's do a heck of a lot of charitable work. When i looked into it i found this also extended to all parts of the world.

You really need to find out for yourself.

Mr Flynn still needs to answer NoFatwahere


"Charity is about giving and this is exactly what the PB's do " - Michael Waterson

You lack serious credibility on this, the charities commission had no axe to grind but had no evidence of any giving or even any less obvious public benefit.
When we turn to other people and other nations for evidence one way or the other we see the same pattern across the board, the Plymouth Brethren ex-Exclusive Brethren have no reputation or evidence for giving anything at all to anyone.

The side effect of checking their lack of charity is to find out about everything else they get up to and we find that whole hosts of voices speak about them from ex members up to leaders of countries, and none of it is positive.
That Peter Rudd (Australian PM 2007 to 2010) spoke of them saying “I believe this is an extremist cult and sect … I also believe that it breaks up families” is not something most people would know about unless they did a search on them and until they started fussing about one hall losing charitable status due to not providing even the tiniest amount of public good, never mind actual charity the vast majority of people were not even aware this pathetic cult even existed.

It would be in their best interests to skulk away, if not they'll be burnt by the light.

Michael Waterson

Dear Readers,

You can find out the truth about the PB's ( or whatever they call themselves) and judge it for yourself by contacting the PB's directly and attending one of their services. If HuwOS would genuinely like to resolve his issues he should contact the PB's as well and sort out his misunderstandings and differences. Any genuine Christian would want to resolve these differences.

Having said all that its got nothing to do with Charitable status! Charity is about giving and this is exactly what the PB's do and a heck of alot of it from what i have seen. Go and find out for yourself.


"This issue is about Charitable status - giving, giving, giving, not about personal dislikes of doctrine."

Yes it is about charitable status and the fact that the ex-exclusive now plymouth brethren haven't give, give, given but have been take, take, taking tax exempt status on the false pretence that they perform some general good.
As it happens, the facts have caught up with them, their lack of charitable acts has been exposed and they have subsequently lost their tax exempt status.

If not for their efforts to try and politically force the charity commission to ignore the facts and re-instate their tax exempt status, most people would still be blissfully unaware of the lunacy that passes for doctrines held, the disgraceful behaviour they show towards each other and the execrable attitude to the rest of the world amongst this small band of tax avoiding pseudo-christians

Let them pay their share of taxes and skulk back into the shadows they've been hiding in all these years rather than drawing any more attention to themselves and their dishonest and abominable behaviour.

Michael Waterson


HuwOS would seems to be like Mr Flynn -prejudiced against the PB and not able or willing to take a balanced view.

This issue is about Charitable status - giving, giving, giving, not about personal dislikes of doctrine.

You can find out the truth about the PB's ( or whatever they call themselves) and judge it for yourself by contacting the PB directly and attending one of their services. I reckon HuwOS should get in contact with the PB's as well and sort out his differences.


Points 1 and 2 are simple

1 is that the Plymouth Brethren formerly called the Exclusive Brethren do not meet any reasonable criteria to be accorded charitable status.

The attention they are drawing to themselves from the temper tantrum they then went on are leading to

2. The fact that not only do most people agree that they (the Plymouth Brethren) are not deserving of charitable status but the recognition that their beliefs and behaviours are far from being of some general good and in fact, are repugnant to most people of any religious belief or none.

The more lies, half truths, misleading claims or simple repetition of dreary, banal and inane arguments that are made by or on behalf of the ex-exclusive brethren in the hope of regaining their holy grail of tax avoidance, the more the general public, who have until recently been completely unaware of the existence of that bizarre little self serving pseudo-christian sect, come to be aware of them and to form a negative opinion of them.

Michael Waterson


Please re read my posting dated January 5th 2013 at 9.57pm and note points 1-3.

Mr Flynn and Ad simply confirm points 1 & 2.

The point made by NoFatwaHere is alarming and will be interesting to see what Mr Flynn has to say.


Michael Waterson: 'Note, he was 1 of 6 MP's that voted 'no' against 166 MP's that voted 'yes' on an issue discussed on this matter.'

It would not matter if twice the number of MPs were against Paul Flynn's position. Whats right is right.

And what is this whole argument about? We have heard the truth from numerous contributors who are former members of the EB. Who grew up inside the EB and have suffered greatly in numerous ways. These accounts cannot simply be ignored.

Paul Flynn

Not a word of truth in two claims Mr Waterson. I am not prejudiced against any creed and I did NOT vote against the idiotic ten minute rule bill.
But I am against a group preaching falsehoods for their the financial advantage of their sect,


Mr Flynn
I am intrigued why you and Suzie have joined forces to (to quote her words) "hurt" the Plymouth brethren unyet you don't seem to have anything to say about the Islamic Charities in England.
Are you aware that many Islamic Charities registered in England send money to extremists and terrorist organisations abroad? And the mosque where Anwar al-Awlaki and Abu Qatada lectured is still a charity. What do you feel about that please?

Michael Waterson

Mr Flynn is a member of parliament and there to equally represent government for the good of all.

People following this debate need to be aware of the following facts:-

1. This issue is about Charitable status not about doctrine.
2. Mr Flynn is prejudiced against the PB and is not able or willing to take a balanced view. Note, he was 1 of 6 MP's that voted 'no' against 166 MP's that voted 'yes' on an issue discussed on this matter.
3.Following reading all the bloggs etc around this debate you can find out the truth and judge it for yourself by contacting the PB directly and attending one of their services.

I am now enlightened and recommend the process to any genuinely interested parties.

Paul Flynn

Great to hear from you.

I am certainly not alone. We may be close to having a majority of the select committee. At our last meeting we split on party lines and the Chairman cast his vote for us. He is getting fed up with the antics of Halfon and Elphick who are trivialising the work of the committee.

Your contribution has been a breath of fresh air. Please keep up the good work. You are welcome to drop into parliament for a cup of tea and a chat if you are in the area anytime.

Suzie Best

Gosh, Thanks Paul, what can I say! I am honoured to be able to help the hurting in this way. There are so many victims that I personally know and in compiling evidence (not accusations) regarding this insidious cult and its practices, I have come across so many more heartbreaking events catalogued in a raft of court cases and news articles, that I could no longer remain silent in my seeking of justice for these suffering people.

Your support and vice versa will be remembered always by us, thankyou.

BTW, I also don't know, if you yet realize I paid you a huge compliment on the TS Website recently, when someone (probably EB) claimed you stood alone on your view of them, I compared you to Jesus who also often stood alone in His view of the world and in His condemnation of Religious Leaders, so you are in good company!

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