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November 23, 2012


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Russell Williams

You are wrong Jane, not all chose to leave but are withdrawn from for following their own conscience, or for me, it was refusing to have a world leader that was an adulterer with solid evidence that would stand up in any court of law.Some are withdrawn from for being a threat to some leader and they want him out of the way due to the respect he may command or superior knowledge of the Bible.
It is a cult, nevertheless, I would advise most to not leave as it means loss of family job or inheritance. Unless they are desiring to become missionaries or have a wide circle of family outside and a spiritual network, they would be better to stay in fellowship. Dreadful things happen to those who leave for a worldly life that ends in depression and total failure after the first burst of fun and imagined freedom doon runs out.

Alasdair Baxter.

There was a case where a girl was awarded a good honours degree at Aberdeen University but she refused to graduate because that entailed joining the General Council of the university and by being a member of the General Council, she would be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers". Please, does anyone know where I can find details of this case?

Charles Wudy

Hi Charles,
I received this and simply ask that you pass it ON because the letter is extremely interesting to anyone seeking SALVATION - T


Somehow I easily managed to put up a website in Yuku for Exclusive Brethren, maybe because I was put on admin on another Yuku website a women prison minister in the States.....not many read it, but I know from feedback from other people who have left Exclusives, some have.....here is your article I put up

Kind Regards,
Your brother-Stephen.

A letter to the Exclusive Brethren, from a man that unlike the Brethren, is truly separate from iniq...
A letter to the Exclusive Brethren, from a man that unlike the Brethren, is truly separate from iniquity...even if it means to going to jail.

View on plymouthbrethrenbeyondcult.yuku.com Preview by Yahoo

Please click on link at top of page


1970. I was 6.
I lost my grandmother who couldn't believe what JT Junior had done.
For a 6 year old boy to be told his grandmother who doted on him was not allowed to see him ever again this was highly distressing.

It changed me at school. I stopped caring. I misbehaved. I was taken to see a specialist and with my parents asked what was wrong.
How could I say the real reason and set my mum crying again?

My mum and dad went with the non 'Jimite' or 'Taylorite' group. And two years later in 1972 they had a further split. My folks went with the 'Rentonites' departing from the iniquity again.

Back in 1970, dad had a lot of ministry books, these were letters, addresses and other meetings held with various former 'leaders' for want of a better word. As a small boy with usually jammy fingers, I wasn't allowed to touch them. Dad had built a large collection up of these books, and more recently some green backed books, featuring meetings etc., involving JT Junior.

After someone lent dad an old reel to reel player with a recording of JT Junior on it and the split happened starting at Aberdeen, dad lit a bonfire and started throwing these previously 'holy books' as I called them, on the fire. I managed to persuade him to give me the covers, and used them for running my toy cars on.

Maybe it was the combination of realising that the brethren split up my family and that heretofore out of bounds 'holy books' could just as easily be slung on a fire that was to lose a lot of my faith.

After a terrible teenage period following leaving school, which for me was where I felt more with friends, I left the brethren by the simple act of going to a disco, and meeting someone who was to become a girlfriend the same night.

One thing that hit me as I walked into that 'worldly' place was a song being played.... An Innocent Man.


John Handel makes great play about the "Exclusive Brethren's" adherence to scripture; to "The Inspired Word of God". I wonder if he knows that there are over forty different branches of "The Brethren" (including the Taylor/HalesCult) who all claim to be THE ONES adhering to the "TRUTH". There are The Kellyites, The Glanterns,The Peculiar People: The Needed Truth; The House of God etc.etc.. The list is almost endless, and all sever themselves from each other as "Meeting according to the Pattern". It would be a joke, if it was not such a tragedy. They would all do well to research How We Got Our Bible ? and the vital part that Emperor Constantine;The Council of Nicea a.d.225, and subsequently St Jerome played in throwing out thousands of original manuscripts THEY considered uninspired, which eventually led to the creation of the eighty books that still form part of the R.C.Church's Bible. We have 66 books; the difference being that in the early 1600's we threw out the fourteen books that form the Apochrapha. So when these cults talk about adhering the "The Inspired Word of God",and that "All Scripture is Given By Inspiration of God"; are they talking about the Bible before The Council of Nicea, and St Jerome got their hands on those "Inspired" documents; or the resulting product of that censorship, which gave us the King James Authorise Version ?. You pays your money and takes your pick.

John Jones

I understand that there over forty breakaway groups formerly attached to the Plymouth Brethren, and they all claim to be "THE only people conforming to The Word of God". Sad AIN'T IT ESPECIALLY when you consider that Jesus said, "This ONE commandment(Just one ) I give you, that you LOVE one another". All these cults start off with ONE man claiming to be "The Elect Vessel" or "The mouth piece of God". This allows him to step outside the Word of God, From that point on, anything goes!


I have been closely associated with this CULT for over fifty years and know first hand the misery they have caused. They already FALSELY (in my judgement ) claim substantial tax concessions as "REGISTERED PLACES OF PUBLIC WORSHIP",when in fact they have always done all they can to discourage the PUBLIC from attending their services. These concessions together with their Charitable Status should come under serious review; if not withdrawn. I object as a tax payer, to subsidising their activities, when they give back so little in return to a public they consider "EVIL"

John Jones

Prior to their loss of Charitable Status the Exclusive Brethren did nothing that could be remotely described as of Public Benefit. Since their loss od Status they have embarked on massive programme of good works, and reportedly spent £2million quid lobbying ("Unregenerate members of our "EVIL" society) M.P.s to regain their C/Status. Their Status has now been granted, but not before the Commission imposed some pretty radical conditions, to which the PRESTON DOWN TRUST has agreed. They are already in breach of at least one of those conditions. namely easier access to their services for members of the public. Their Notice Boards still read "Well DISPOSED members of the public are invited to a service at ( a most inconvenient time of ) 5 p.m.But such WELL DISPOSED persons are asked to phone up before hand to ascertain availability of seats. This is a cynial ploy to put folk off. Their local "Church" seats 500 people and their normal congregation is approx 125.Thus CULT needs close and stringent watching and any breaches should be reported
to the Charities Commission PO Box 1227, Liverpool L69 3UG or Baroness Berridge / The GHouse of Lords, Westminster

Paul Flynn

Thanks you Emma Jane.

I am familiar with this account of Hale's Exclusive Brethern as an extreme solinter cult of Plymouth Brethen. Their money-no-object lobbying has conned many gullible MPs. The truth will out.

Emma Jane

May I just throw a note of caution into the screaming and outrage?

The Exclusive Brethren here are being confused by everyone including the reporters of the item in question with the Raven - Taylor Hale Break away.

Exclusive Brethren today reject the extreme views of this group, most having broken away from them after witnessing the appalling and hypocritical behaviour of Taylor jnr. in Aberdeen.

Today the 'Exclusive Brethren' as we choose to call them agree with most other 'Plymouth Brethren' in not having an established 'leader' of their faith.

None of the groups associated with Open or Exclusive Brethren sanction anything that the Raven- Taylor Hale group say or do.

Please get your facts right before you start pouring your misinformed outrage on small groups of people who whether we like it not, have the right to believe what they wish.

Me? I am the daughter of an ex Exclusive Brethren member. He was somewhat heartened when Taylor's actions caused most of his family to take a considered step away from the Taylorites. For one thing, I got to meet my Granny.

Contrary to popular belief. The Exclusives for the most part, unlike the Taylorites, do allow contact with family outside the faith. We were not allowed to break bread at the Lord's supper with them or attend meetings but none of us cared a whit about that. We were allowed to visit now and then for lunch or supper and we even spent the night on one occasion.

They came to see us too. I won't say the visits were fun or happy. Granny kept spouting scripture and trying to convert my Mum and reclaim her 'lost' son. But we did get to see them and meet assorted cousins and aunties and uncles. It was not all bad. They were, setting aside the rigid, fear mongering faith, surprisingly warm, kind and generous.

Suffice to say the Exclusive Brethren have rejected most of the teachings of their former leaders harking back as far as Taylor Snr. They still accept a lot of Raven's teachings and like all Plymouth Brthren think the sun shone out of Darby's backside.

The group being featured in this report are not Exclusive Brethren. They are Taylorites.

anil amarlapudi

Presently your saying we following the truth but so many people they don't no the truth, if u r assembly not preach the truth how they knows the truth, and your saying join the childrens in brothern school. How can possible in India. And another point you are saying "and work is restricted to brethren businesses" in India possible this thing. What your saying please send the bible scripture evidence.

John J. Jones

We all have to ask oursselves "What would Jesus Do? What would he do when confronted with a social outcast at Sychars Well. He sat and talked with her, and shared a drink with her. What did he do when confronted with an officer in the most barbaric army in the world ? He commended him for his faith. "I have not seen such great faith, no, not in all Israel" he said.He loved PEOPLE ! He loved the WORLD that Bruce Hales tells his followers to hate with "UTTER HATRED". Next door to the E.B. church in my home town their is an ABBEY FIELD home for the elderly ! What do the E.B. church do for those old folk ? .......ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ! They never visit them, or try to assist the HOme in any way ! They completely ignore them ! And they are upset because they have been denied CHARITABLE STATUS ? They should never get CHARITABLE STATUS, because they do not show any charity to folk outside their membership, even when people in need LIVE NEXT DOOR TO THEM !!

John J. Jones

I saw a report where the "Elect Vesssel" (Joke) who having once denounced Computers as "Pipelines of Evil" changed his mind, and started producing them himself; and according to one account, charging about 1500 dollars more for his version, than Soni charge for the eqivalent computer. By all accounts he justified this by saying that "God keeps turning so many corners I can't keep up with Him!" How intelligent people can swallow this rubbish is beyond my ken. Another report states that he has claimed that when people are close to him they are as close to Jesus Christ as they will ever be in this life ! I don't know how true this all is, but if it is true; My God what a load of tripe; but I guess it is all paying off well financially, so in his books it's all justified. He should remember that he, like the rest of us will one day stand before God to give account of himself. He may fool 46,000 souls, but he will not hoodwink God. All WIll be laid bare!

John J. Jones

I note that the bully boys of the E.Bs are taking legal action against the inadequately funded Alan Robertson, who has accused their former leader, Jim Taylor (he of the married woman in the Aberdeen bed episode) of anally raping him, but they don't seem so keen to take on the Mail on Sunday, or the Daily Mail, for their report on the school at Wilton, which they also claim is untrue ! This speaks volumes, and begs the question WHY ? I think I know the answer. To take on the Fleet street giants could open a whole can of worms for this oppressive CULT " And they do not want that at any time,and certainly not with their appeal to the Charites Commission pending. Like all BULLIES they are also Cowards ! There is no way their Charitable Status should be reinstated; there is NOTHING CHARITABLE.........or Christian about them, and I strongly resent tax payers money( my money ) supporting a CULT that has caused so much pain. Some one ought also to look at the legitimacy of their claim for Council Tax exemption as a "PUBLIC" place of worship. They do not want members of the public being able to just stroll into any one of their services, as is the case with every other REGISTERED PUBLIC PLACE of WORSHIP. They withdraw from us because according to almighty Bruce Hales.........we are EVIL, and he has exhorted his flock to UTTERLY HATE THE WORLD.......... and thats us. So why should they expect us who are EVIL to fund their activities by way of Tax breaks and concessions ? It's time a campaign was launched to stop this farce; this false claim !

Paul Flynn

None of Mr Alan Hart's claims are true in my opinion because they are in confliect with the testimony given by former and present member of the Exclusive Brethren given to me. In the interest of an open debate I print Mr Hart's letter with a health warning that they are probably prepared by PR people

Alan Hart

Wilton Park School
This statement has been prepared by the Trustees of Wilton Park School who legally affirm its accuracy having investigated all the facts.
 The Mail on Sunday has published a defamatory and erroneous article which is a serious distortion of the facts which we emphatically and categorically deny as being both false and prejudicial.
 At the time of writing (Tuesday 22nd January 2013 0900 hours) Wilton Park School has received no notification or advice of any impending investigation by the Wiltshire County Council, the Department of Education, the Police or any other agency
 The headline ‘Christian sect school that ‘shut up’ girl pupil’ portrays the biased and inaccurate character of the entire article: it is completely untrue to suggest that this government registered and accredited school in any way acted upon directions or instructions from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.
“Christian sect school” The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church is a mainstream Christian Church holding substantially the same doctrines as the Church of England. The PBCC is not a sect but is structured and operates on common Christian ground as taught by Holy Scripture which is available for all Christians.
“Yesterday a local education authority confirmed it was investigating allegations of child cruelty and failures to teach the National Curriculum at…Wilton Park School”
Wilton Park School has not received any notice or advice of any investigation whatsoever. Teaching at Wilton Park School is based on the National Curriculum and is completely open to unfettered inspection by relevant Government Authorities at all times.
“The only girl was shut up for the longest number of days…”
 The ‘only’ girl was never ‘shut up’ and the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church congregation in her parish have never taken any action restricting her activities.
 The girl’s father was going through a difficult time and the girl’s agreed wish was to stay at home with her mother in support of the household.
 This was done with the full knowledge of the school, and the school provided educational resources and support so that she could do her schoolwork at home temporarily
 It is unconceivable that a national newspaper should denigrate a school that was showing support and care for a family that was going through a difficult time
“… boys and girls, aged 16 to 18, are subjected to gender segregation at all times” This allegation appears next to a picture (two boys and a girl talking to each other) and is both completely false and damningly unbelievable. Boys and girls are taught together in the same classrooms and participate together in extracurricular projects and excursions. Nor are they restricted in any way as regards appropriate social contact. This preposterous allegation is clearly intended to ridicule our very treasured young people who enjoy and cherish very active lives as youthful members of our community.
“Laptops are considered instruments of evil” this is completely untrue. Laptops are found in nearly all Plymouth Brethren homes and businesses and are used in all Plymouth Brethren Schools. Computers and mobile phones used by Brethren members have restrictions to prevent access to the unrestricted, immoral and contemptible filth and corruption that we regard as evil and which is so readily available on these electronic devices.
“Liaisons and relationships between pupils are prohibited and monitored using CCTV” use of CCTV show our commitment to Child Protection and school security. According to an independent study last year, more than 2000 secondary schools and academies used 47,806 cctv cameras in total, including 26,887 inside school buildings. Wilton Park School is hardly unusual in this.
“Pupils seldom play any competitive sport” this is another falsehood. Pupils play football, hockey, cricket, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, tennis and other competitive games. They enjoy competitions between houses within a school and also compete in carnivals between schools.
“The Exclusive Brethren … formed in 1848. In that year they broke off from the much larger Plymouth Brethren… founded in 1832” The Mail on Sunday cannot even get basic historical facts right, which can be found in any encyclopaedia. The Brethren originated in Dublin in 1827, after J.N.Darby with others separated from the Established Church. In 1848 there was a division and some members set up other churches also known as “Brethren”. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and the other “Brethren” continue to hold JND’s teachings. The “Exclusive Brethren” name was ascribed to the PBCC by the press in the late 1950s.
 Wilton Park is an excellent school with a fine record
 The latest School Inspection report praises Wilton Park’s provision for its pupils’ wellbeing and makes no adverse comments about the school at all – see:
 Teaching is almost entirely by non-Brethren professional staff and is based on the National Curriculum
 Examination results are significantly above the national average
 Wilton Park School is committed to child protection and has a Child Protection Policy which is made freely available
 Two Designated Persons are trained to deal with any issues that may arise and to liaise as required with the relevant agencies
 One of the school trustees has overall responsibility to ensure that all legislation and directives are complied with
 Use of CCTV shows Wilton Park’s commitment to school security and child protection
+44 (0)20 8391 7620

John J. Jones

I would like to respond to RUTH, January 22.
In last Sunday's "Mail on Sunday"( Jan 20th.)there is a report by one of their journalists, reporting on a POLICE and Education Authority's investigation into Child Abuse at the Exclusive Brethren School at Wilton, near Salsbury, Wilts. Ruth's account of what happened in her case seems to establish that the E.B.s are not as careful as they should be, when teaching children. It will be interesting to see what are the results of this POLICE investigation at thier school in Wiltshire


"Exclusive Brethren members seek to separate themselves from the evil of the world as much as possible."


They chose to separate themselves from those who do not agree with them. They separate from me as I do not agree with their teaching on separation. But they chose to WELCOME BACK a man that has a criminal record for child abuse. Is this man one who has changed his ways? NO! This man is still in denial, and still under the recomendation that the police know where he is, and the professional advice that he should NEVER (life long) be allowed alone with children. His crimes were predatory rather than oportunistic. But if he can say that "these great men are pure", then he is welcomed back. Not only that, he is allowed to drive the minibus that takes these kids to school. Really? YES!. Any normal school has to perform criminal checks on such people to ensure the safety of children. NOT SO THE EB. They can FORGIVE the criminal and place their children at risk. I am so thankful that I am free of this cult and that my children have protection. I hope that the children who are still in there are given the same protection.


John J. Jones

The "CHARGE" I refer to in my earlier blog is on page 35 of Michael Batchelard's book, "Behind the Exclusive Brethren!

John J. Jones

Do read Michael Batchelard's book, "Behind The Exclusive Brethren". His account of how any new "ELECTED VESSEL" ia appointed is unbelievebale. The infighting and back biting and intrigue ( If Batchelard is right ) would make The House of Commons seem like a congregation of the innocents. Then there is the way each appointee changes God's Will, to suit his own ends, borders on the blasphemous. How intelligent men and women can be sucked in by this bunch baffles me.
I would welcome some indiction of the action the E.B.s propose taking against Michael Batchelard for such a scandalous charge if they are NOT true ?. Their silence could be taken as confirmation that Batchelard's story is true ? Enlighten us E.B.s please !

John J. Jones

John Handel in his blog Dec. 19th; questions our right/ability to challenge E.B teaching and practice seeing that all they believe is supported by scripture. Clearly John Handel is not too well acquainted with scripture, and I would ask him to read my communication of Jan 3rd and 4th. in which I question E.B. teaching on a number of issues, and support my challenge with numerous scriptures. There is absolutley no scriptural basis for refusing to eat or drink with other believers, or indeed with non christians. On the contrary Jesus,who Peter says is our example, ate and drank with publicans and sinners. Do please read my submissions of Jan 3rd; and 4th; and then tell me that the E.B.s are right in the stances they take John Handel. John J.

Norman Reid

I have worked for an EB company for over 20 years and have generally found (with 1 or 2 miserable exceptions) them to be fair, courteous and kind. But if you were to ask me if they deserve charitable status I would categorically say "no" - for the moment. If and when, they can come up with some proof that they were doing charitable deeds before the last few months then it puts the situation into a slightly new light. Anyone who even for a short time, looks at the history of these people will see that they change their minds on various beliefs very suddenly (the use of IT, fax machines, mobile phones etc that were once a "pipeline of filth" but 6 months later were acceptable) but one thing they CAN'T change is their history, recent or otherwise. It strikes me as odd that there seems to be little evidence showing good deeds 5, 10, 15 years ago. They have undoubtedly caused much suffering across the World with their belief system and they should be held accountable for this. I have my doubts as to whether the "rank and file" exclusive brethren member has knowledge of these misdemeanors or can even understand what is happening but I guess, such is life when you're brought up in such a sheltered environment.

John J. Jones

An ommission in my latest blogg.

One quote should have read 1 Corinthinas 1.

John J. Jones

If there is one thing that stands out in the life of Christ, it is the universality of his message. Confronted with an officer in the most barbaric army in the world, a Roman centurian, he commended the man for his faith, and said to the crowd, "I have not seen such great faith, no, not in all Israel". Matt. 8. 10;
In John 4. 7; we read of Jesus having a drink of water with a social and religious outcast; and when his disciples started to develop an EXCLUSIVE attiude, he rebuked them. Matt. 9. 38 to 41.
Then right through his ministry we see him EATING AND DRINKING with social; religious and political, outcasts. Read:- Matt. 9.10-11; Matt. 21.31; mark 2.16; Luke 5. 30; Luke 7.34; Luke 18.13; and many more.
Now in 1 Peter 2.21; we read that Jesus is our example, and we are told to walk in his footsteps. So will some one please tell me how the Exclusive Brethren, who claim to adhere so strictly to scripture, can justify their stance on eating and drinking with "outsiders". Is Bruce Hayles their "example", or Christ ?
Then when we come to their seperation from other believers, how can they justify their stance in the light of 1 Cor. 12-14.
It seems to me that with every CULT, they must first promote ONE man as "AN ELECT VESSEL", or God's mouth piece, "qualified" to declare the latest version of God's Will. From that point on they can justify anything. Once we depart from scripture, anything is possible, including the denial of "The Body of Christ".

John J. Jones

Two years ago there appeared a report in the Plymouth Herald of a Bible Study session attended by over 500 people at the E.B. Church in Brest Road. This newspaper report sparked some interest from Christians of other denominations. Impressed by the large congregation of 500 people, several tried to gain access to the "Church". The church notice board displayed no times of services, but folk interested were invited to phone one of two telephone numbers. According to letters to The Plymouth Herald, several readers phoned those numbers to enquire the times of their services. They were asked for their own telepnone numbers, and told that two of their preists would have to interview them before they could attend. So much for that "Church" being a PUBLIC PLACE of Worship! I challenged one of their local leaders, Hugh Leisching about this, and he said that a service is held every sunday at 5.p.m. which IS open to the public. Why then is this service not shown on their Notice Board ? He told me if I would care to let him know when I wished to attend, he would meet me there ! Why should I need to do that if this 5.p.m. service is open to the public ? This "CHURCH" is NOT a PUBLIC PLACE of WORSHIP in the accepted usage of that term, and therefore should NOT be entitled to ther rates exemptions attached to a genuine PUBLIC PLACE of WORSHIP ! I had a friend in the 1940's belonging to the old Darbyites. I attended their services and he came to mine ( with the OPEN BRETHREN) When Big Jim Taylor took over and introduced new teaching on "SEPERATION", my friend was told to have nothing further to do with me. I met him forty years later, and he told me a horror story of appalling censorship and interference in his life. He claimed that since the Taylors took over the E.B.'s operated on the three "F"s. Faith, Finance and Fear. You embraced their FAITH; then all you FINANCES have to be arranged through the cult; then came the FEAR. You could not move because they had you by the short ends.
Amongst many absurd things he told me was that their houses had to be detached, and their DRAINS must not be linked to their neighbours! The men folk could not wear TIES because the Bible says, "Here we have no earthly ties!". Stupid, absurd this may be, but it is all part of the process of controlling people's lives,and characteristic of any CULT. It is a CULT pure and simply and should not allowed local rates exemption or charitable status from where I am standing.I have listened to the 1970 tapes of Jim Taylor juniour, and the foul language is unbelieveable. Some 8000 members left the E.B.s after that disgusting episode, and six months later, according to the record on line, Jim Taylor died of Alcoholic poisioning.
My heart bleeds for the many lovely people I know belong to this cult. They are trapped from birth, and step out of line at their peril, as the experience of my old friend sadly confirms.


JosephF - "If I see this guy again I will get him in touch with the CC!"

Surely there must be more folk in cardboard city that you can ask, not just one crying ex-convict? After all, this man has devoted many years to "these homeless down-and-outs"... or "people", as my sort like to call them.

After a lifetime of spreading hope and sandwiches, has this "genuine Christian" really only got one person's gratitude to show for it?

He must be giving out the worst food, ever.

Paul Flynn

Thank you.

Paul Flynn

01633 262348/02072193478/ 07887925699

Twitter: @paulflynnmp



John Handel

I see on Third Sector you question which name is referred to regarding the Exclusive Brethren/Plymouth Brethren Christina Church and why is the name important?

The Plymouth Brethren name goes back many centuries after founding by John Darby. Sadly Darby was a divisive man and led the first schism which divided the Brethren movement into open and closed groups. The open group has had many luminaries over the centuries including the like of George Muller, FF Bruce, WE Vines, Thomas Barnardo, and many others. This open group is also referred to as Christian Brethren.

The other group, the closed or exclusive group did as the name suggests and looked inward rather than outward. For the current Exclusive Brethren (many schisms later, and even more exclusive over the centuries) to now put on the publically respected clothing of the Open/Christian Brethren can be seen at the best as obfuscation, or at the worst, deception to attempt to convince the public that they’re the good guys and have been for centuries.

Sad really.

For info on the Open/Christian Brethren see here:


They remain socially involved evangelical church.

Paul Forshaw

A damaging factor in the public debate on the subject of “Plymouth brethren” is that the name “Plymouth brethren” does not imply “exclusive brethren” only. Whatever historic shared origins there may have been, today there is a very clear boundary between the Bruce Hales led “exclusive brethren” and all other groups and in discussing them it is really important to realise this and to be clear which group is referred to. This has arisen because the original brethren never named themselves. It was a matter of principle to avoid creating a sect with a separate identity to the biblical “body of Christ”, but this has always caused a lot of confusion and continues to do so.
I am a member of the Church of England and have no axe to grind for the “open brethren” or other groups effected, other than a concern for the life and mission of fellow Christians. However to tar them with the same brush as the exclusives is destructive. Whatever the attitude to the world of the “exclusive brethren” is, as with the law, they seem to be pretty worldly where the use of public relations consultants is concerned and I would hazard a guess that adding to the confusion and fogging the boundaries is a policy down to their advisers. An example of this is that It is only in recent years that the term “gospel hall” has been used by the exclusives. In the past “gospel halls” were always “open brethren”.
So please always make it clear which group you are referring to.

David Shayler

John Handel
As you profess to know the facts about Albert Rimmers case, could you tell us how many years to the nearest year he was withdrawn from ( excommunicated by the EB / PBCC ) for?
He to my knowledge was maligned ignored and thought ill of by this cult and indeed his own brainwashed family for over 40 years and was reinstated purely for his wealth as has been the case of so many other wealthy elderly ex EB


Craig Jones

Jesus does indeed speak about the world hating Him. But never does He or His Father speak about the Godhead hating the world. Quite the contrary.

John 3:16 Darby Translation

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.

Just because the world hated Him it did not stop and does not stop Him still loving the world. Is this your reverse interpretation another dodgy proof-text taken out of context and mangled?


John Handel:

History is never a precise science. People do say what they want to/are told to say as well as what truly happened. Police witness statements are clear evidence of this. The circumstances around the Aberdeen event can also be considered - such as the latest and probably greatest schism in Exclusive Brethren history which followed this debacle. Something happened for such a traumatic change. The history writers on balance support the view that JT Jr was drunk and abusive:

A contemporaneous record of the events included a sound recording of John Taylor Juniors appalling language can be found here:


Certainly the style and the language used by Mr Taylor in *a church meeting* is far from what I would expect or consider acceptable from a church member and especially that of the worldwide 'Man of God'/Leader. Maybe if you study this you'll realise where the truth really is?

John Handel

David Shayler

Got the facts alright, he did spend some of his time not with the brethren but he died amongst the brethren one of the happiest guys to be met. Tells its own story.
That does not mean I think they are the best bunch to be part of, but it shows where this true Christian wanted to end his days.
Yes the facts are absolutely correct about 1970 Jim Taylor, spent a long time checking that out and they stand.


John Handel - you made me laugh! Trying to apply Assembly out-of-context dodgy doctrine on Christians outside of the EB who can read the Bible for themselves. How many more 'proof texts' like these are used?

You don't really believe that verse is a catch all for all who disagree with the leadership do you?

David Shayler

Re John Handel's post 14/12/12
I happen to know the late motor dealers family personally and closely he was summarily excommunicated by the Exclusive brethren shortly after the event you mention his family were then torn apart by the EB in every possible way are you fully aware of all the facts?


There is possibly nothing less edifying than one lot of pseudochristians disputing with another lot of pseudochristians in an effort to get,maintain or reinstate some special treatment from government.
They're even worse than smokers against the ban on smoking in public places and who would have thought that any group could be more dreary, monotonous and pompous than them.

craig jones

Mr Flynn,
I have been a pretty dedicated Bible student in my time and it seems to me the Plymouth Brethren are being given a hard time in your blogs because they have been told by their leaders to ‘hate the world’. You quote above in 2.6 the statement made about the world and hating it. Well, you may be interested to know that there are nearly 80 references to ‘the world’ in John’s gospel and the Lord Himself speaks about the world hating Him (chapter 15). Seems to me what’s happening here is that the Plymouth Brethren are being attacked because they are actually trying to live their lives by the Scriptures!

john handel

One Loaf

Sure Brian will be able to help you.
I was not saying you were contentious for asking the questions just it seemed to me that to reason out what the Brethren believe and stand for, may be like 2 Peter 3 v16.
That is not what I want to be guilty of.
So I leave this where it is. Thanks.

One Loaf

John Handel, @ December 19, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Not “Contentious” John, no not at all, seeking to understand the Scriptural position of the Exclusive Brethren, they claim to be Christian so seeking to understand them is perfectly reasonable and a position supported by Scripture.

Acts 17 v2 “And according to Paul's custom he went in among them, and on three sabbaths reasoned with them from the scriptures” – Was that reasoning deemed “Contentious” ??, was the searching the Scriptures that the Bereans did, deemed “Contentious” ??

1 John 4 v1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, if they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” – How can matters be proved unless conversation, reasoning and searching takes place. This is not “Contentious” is it ??

Would you label a person attending one of the “Open Hour and Free Food” sessions that are being set up at certain Exclusive Brethren Meeting Rooms, as “Contentious”, if they enquired about and discussed the doctrines of the Exclusive Brethren ??

I don’t know if your aware but a key representative of the Exclusive Brethren, Garth Christie gave evidence to the UK Parliament and stated that “the Brethren welcomed scrutiny” !!

Surely, understanding the Scriptural position of the Exclusive Brethren, when they make such great claims to be “Christian” is proper scrutiny ?? If a person claims to be a “Christian” but then cant support their practices from Scripture, that should be a warning to all about the foundation and basis of their practices !

Christian Blessings


So Brian, which "Plymouth Brethren" meeting room did you go to? Have you got the address?

john handel

Well One Loaf,
Certainly no veiled threats.
I suppose we could argue scripture if you wish but I was going by 1 Corinthians 11 v 16. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
So no point in arguing with you sir.
As for what you call the 1970 issue, I am not waiting for you to come back to me as the truth is established. You cannot improve on witnesses who were there at the time. Enough said for me.

One Loaf

John Handel says “I am surprised you are so outspoken. Better go steady I reckon”

Wow, is that some sort of veiled threat ??

John - Re your post @ “December 14, 2012 at 09:29 AM” I will respond to your “position” on James Taylor Junior and the 1970 issue in due course.

John - Re My response to Brian @ “December 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM” I am sure Brian can answer for himself. However, I will respond to your view on that post

John Handel says “questioning a lot of things the brethren hold to even though they are quoting scripture at every turn”

John, I am a Christian and would love to know the Scriptures used to justify the points mentioned in my post of “December 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM”. That’s why I asked the question. If the Brethren have quoted Scripture “at every turn” as you suggest, then please tell us all what those Scriptures are ??

John Handel says “Now, be sensible, you and me do not understand the scriptures like they do, and we would be foolish to think we could argue the principles they hold to supported by scripture”

John, you have no idea of my level of understanding of Scripture, that is a very presumptuous statement. If the Exclusive Brethren have a superior understanding of Scripture as you so imply, then they should be “shouting it from the rooftops” and all the more reason to respond with Biblical Scripture to my post at “December 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM”, especially as the group claim to be “Christian”

John Handel says “Surely we can leave their beliefs to them like we leave the Mormons to what they believe and the Jehovah’s Witnesses to what they believe etc. etc.”

John, why are you comparing the Exclusive Brethren to these groups which are known Sectarian groups and sometimes compared to “Cults” ?. I am surprised. From the PR of the Exclusive Brethren, I understood the group to be Christian and whose sole guide is the Bible, is it not ?. The groups you mention all have “Books” and “Teachings” which are “Additional” to the Bible ! The Mormons have the "Book of Mormon" and the JW's "The Watchtower". Or are you suggesting that the Excluisve Brethren have additional teachings that they also follow ??

John Handel says “Why should Brian go and look into all these answers for you?”

John, The Holy Scriptures teaches in 1 Peter 3 v15 “and [be] always prepared to [give] an answer [to] every one that asks you to give an account of the hope that [is] in you”

I will prayerfully wait for a Christian Scriptural response to my post @ “December 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM”

Ps John, I will respond to your comments re James Taylor Junior in 1970 soon, be patient

john handel

One Loaf

Posting below is for your attention.

john handel

See my posting of December 14, 2012 at 09:29 AM
I knocked you back on the untruths you were telling about a leader of the brethren from 1970 and I notice you then shut up about them.
Then you come back on a different attack at this Brian chap, questioning a lot of things the brethren hold to even though they are quoting scripture at every turn. Risky to say the least on your part.
Now, be sensible, you and me do not understand the scriptures like they do, and we would be foolish to think we could argue the principles they hold to supported by scripture. Surely we can leave their beliefs to them like we leave the Mormons to what they believe and the Jehovah’s Witnesses to what they believe etc. etc.
Why should Brian go and look into all these answers for you? I spent a long time and much effort to look into the 1970 truth and now can see you are still on the offensive. Slow up old chap.
I know a lot of these Christians and they do not attack other denominations so if you believe, act like a Christian and treat others as you would be treated yourself.
I am surprised you are so outspoken. Better go steady I reckon.

One Loaf

Brian states "I am a Christian person myself and that is what these people represent."

That being the case -

1. Why do they teach that members can not mix or fellowship with other Christians

2. Why do they teach that members can not eat or drink with non members, even other Christians

3. Why do they teach that members must "Withdraw" and "Separate" from members who excercise religious freedom and choose to go to another "Christian" church to worship Christ Jesus

4. Why do they teach that if a member leaves, the rest of the family still inside the Brethren should cut off links with that person, "even if the person who leaves is remains a Christian"

5. Why do they teach that "all other Christian Churches" are in error and not true Christians - hence "Separation"

Brian - If, to quote you again "these people represent Christians", why are they practicing any of the above points. None of those are taught in the Bible !!

I am a Christian and I dont want any group that practices the above points representing Christianity. Christians should follow the Bible and non of the above points are authorised in the Bible !


It appears too that a lot of people do know who they are. I have a book here which one of the members gave to me on visiting the church called ‘Living our beliefs’. It clearly states that one of the names of this group has been ‘Exclusive Brethren’ and they now call themselves Plymouth Brethren Christian Church’. It helps to get your facts right first, this is on published material from the church.
When I attended a church service they had a gallery where any member of the public could sit. They welcomed me; I had no problem getting in. The service I attended was a ‘gospel preaching’ at 5.00 in the afternoon. Where you get the idea from that these people are a ‘cult’ is nonsensical, I am a Christian person myself and that is what these people represent.
Get your facts right and inquire from them first before saying things that aren’t true. Go to a service and find out for yourself.


It appears that a lot of people don't know exactly who the Exclusive Brethren are. They are NOT Plymouth Brethren. The use of the word "Plymouth" is just an attempt by them to hide who they really are. In fact, navigating to theexclusivebrethren.com will just take you to their newly created website (falsely called the "Plymouth Brethren" Christian Church).

There are about 46,000 Exclusive Brethren worldwide, but over 1,000,000 Open Brethren.

Handing sandwiches to firemen to show their "charity" is just deceitful. They would not sit down with ex-Brethren (even if they are family members) to eat sandwiches. They are not allowed to share a cup of tea with former members of their cult.

EB meeting rooms are NOT public meeting rooms, as anyone who has tried to get into one will well know. Their meetings are very early in the morning (6 am) and if you phone one of the numbers on their notice board you will likely get hung up on.

The EB are not charitable in any sense of the word and I hope their appeal to the Charity Tribunal is struck down.


The comment by DG 'I suspect the "outreach work" and "spreading the Gospel" is nothing but proselytizing' is a bit of a slap in the face for some of these people who devote their lives to helping others outside their congregation.

One example is a man I used to see regularly preaching in downtown Harlow of all places in my course of work. Being curious as a Christian myself I asked him more about his work. He preaches most days of the week, on his own, all round the more disadvantaged areas of north London. One of his regular rounds is to get among the 'cardboard city' community around Westminster where he would speak to these homeless down-and-outs about basic Christianity, giving them hope, as well as handing out food at the same time. He offered to take me with him; I didn't go but my colleague did and witnessed this first hand. What I did see was an ex-convict with his arm around him, in tears while he told him of salvation available.

To a genuine Christian there is nothing more charitable than this - this is the essence of public benefit.

If I see this guy again I will get him in touch with the CC!

john handel

One Loaf
Re: your post to me 9th Dec 12.43.
I have spent some time on this so that I can answer your statement accurately “you don’t disagree with the truth of my posting made 8th Dec @10.55” not knowing the details before, having now found out the answer.
I have personally spoken to the family of the gentleman (who died at 96 in February this year) who actually provided the plane and flew with James Taylor in 1970 to Aberdeen, and looked after him every day he was in the north of England and in Scotland. He was part of the brethren, a very large car dealer in Chorley, nr Preston Lancs. Rolls Royce and Bentley were amongst his specialities! He was a very colourful character, besides being an excellent horseman, a rider with the Holcombe Hunt, Lancashire, was also trained in martial arts. His favourite story of 1970 was about a person who attempted to physically attack Mr Taylor, he jumped to his defence and warned the person that if they were to attack Mr Taylor, they would have to attack him first, and he had a certificate in martial arts and he would put them on the floor with two broken arms within three seconds and they would have a job to get up! The man was reported to have ‘buzzed off’! He called this ‘Practical Christianity’!
This same gentleman’s witness regarding Mr Taylor was he was a straight pure man, great company and excellent sense of humour. He always went out of his way to tell the truth to anybody saying different. He felt so many lies were spread around by persons who were actually proved later to be questionable themselves, he had to do all he could to clear Taylors name. He was not guilty of any of the scandal or alcoholic statements you have repeated.
This same Chorley man always said “you will always accuse someone strongly of what you are guilty of yourself”. Profound statement.
So I can now say with authority that I completely disagree with your ‘facts’, they are false.
No doubt One Loaf you would not have been told about this and I am not personally having a go at you about what you said as the same incorrect information has been spread ever since 1970 it would appear, all these years later it still comes up. I would recommend you do some more homework rather than state things which can be so easily proved as incorrect. I found the family members quite easily so see how you go.


@ Brian "My message to them is 'keep doing good things'"

Well, *my* message to them is '*start* doing good things, if you wish to be considered a charity'

Handing out sarnies that one time does not cut the mustard, if you'll pardon the pun.

As for not revealing my identity - I never do so online. I'm part of the generation that was brought up to be very cautious of revealing personal details to complete strangers. And a person's name and address has no bearinng on debate anyway, unless they have an undeclared interest.

One Loaf

Dave Allen posted on 9th Dec @ 7.36

Which website are you referring to, I would like to verify and clarify if what you say is true, please let us know which website you are referring to ?


Boy, I've never seen anything like this before, I've been on blog sites plenty of times about many things but this is personal, messy stuff being raked up by people not even prepared to reveal their identity. Stand up and be counted. What has this got to do with an organisation doing charity things applying for charitable status? I am disgraced at Mr Flynn allowing such trash on his 'so called' reputable website. If people do charitable things what's the problem? Who wants to know about all their leaders and personal gripes against them? I have noticed that often when people speak out so strongly against others their facts are one sided and are led by a wave of lies and discontent. Let's concentrate on the issue at hand. People like this blow their cover very quickly and when dealing with law and principals these details have no relevance. I hope in the light of this slander and personal rubbish that these people get this status. My message to them is 'keep doing good things'

Dave Allen

Some one has raised the question of hate websites who vilify the Plymouth Brethren, inferring these don't exist. Well I've done more research and they certainly do! There is a notorious website which has as its sole aim to denigrate these Christian people. Go on there and look back through the reams of informaton and postings. Its a bitter dark place full of anti-Christian vitriol. Leave well alone I say, and judge people for who they really are.

One Loaf

John Handle

Reposting a post already made and already commented on does not add to, or contribute to debate, so I assume that by your non response you don’t disagree with the truth of my posting made at 8th Dec @ 10.55.

john handel

All I meant by your name being funny, was that it seemed an unusual name in line with other negative postings for example:
The posting I have copied below was responded to by Willyou................off!
No Christian would speak like that!
Here is the posting again...............
I am increasingly interested in this battle the Brethren are engaged in with the Charity Commission, and even more so with their opposition who say they were once within the Brethren community.
I have made an increasingly in depth study, visited their schools, visited their Gospel Halls, and find they represent "clean living" Christians whose influence in any community could only be a benefit to all. What humans are affected by is influence, we are formed by it. So if you were surrounded by persons who are committed to having nothing to do with evil or loose living, committed to marriage, insist on integrity in every relationship, take an interest in others outside their own walk of life, are kind, compassionate and caring, have a very low rate of divorce compared with the general population, then anybody would be affected and formed by the influence and would appreciate the standard of life was high as being in proximity to them.
So I am sure, most would agree they are examples of good citizens, good neighbours etc.
Now clearly some have left them and speak very negatively about their way of life, but I know so many persons who have never known the brethren, who have fallen out, divorced, fought, attacked or otherwise left each other’s company and would never so a good word about the opposite party. In fact would sue their own flesh and blood and would choose if possible to never meet them again!
So I cannot see why the CC should take this into account when deciding if they should keep their charitable status. It is baffling. They are a public benefit, but because they are being heavily attacked by a small number of grieved persons, then it could cancel out the benefit. Most would be able to see this does not make sense.
Just look at some of the negative postings on here and ask why that should be

So why not consider this for a while?
Why speak like that?

One Loaf

John Handle says “and find they represent "clean living" Christians whose influence in any community could only be a benefit to all. What humans are affected by is influence, we are formed by it. So if you were surrounded by persons who are committed to having nothing to do with evil or loose living”

Just seeking to bring fact into the debate.

That description is a revealing one, when we are discussing the Exclusive Brethren. The same Exclusive Brethren who had a previous “Universal Leader” called James Taylor Junior. The same group who revere James Taylor Junior as “Our Beloved” and keep his Green coloured Ministry books on the bookshelves of their homes.

This is the same James Taylor Junior who caused the scandal at “Aberdeen, UK” in 1970, when we was caught in bed with another mans wife. Don’t think I am trying to cause trouble, this is fact. The same James Taylor Junior who was a confirmed Alcoholic and who midway through his leadership of the Exclusive Brethren had to be admitted to a drying out clinic in 1964/5.

The events of 1970 caused the biggest schism in the Exclusive Brethren movement, with those remaining in the group agreeing to remain loyal to James Taylor Junior, therefore by implication in agreement with his behaviour, his teachings and his love of “Alcohol”. This was the same James Taylor Junior who brought in “The Eating Ministry” in the early 1960’s which meant that members of the Exclusive Brethren could no longer eat or drink with “outsiders” or “relatives”, even if they were Christians !

There is no need to take my word for it. Information about James Taylor Junior and his “influence” over the Exclusive Brethren and their ongoing and future doctrines, can be found all over the “Internet”.

Google “James Taylor Junior, Exclusive Brethren” and you can read all about what I have said. To help, here are some web address references




O, and John Handle, My name is not “funny” it is taken from the Scripture reference in 1 Corinthians 10 Verse 17 “Because we, [being] many, are one loaf, one body; for we all partake of that one loaf”

That reference means, that although there are different churches / assemblies, they all contain Christians. Although we are in different churches we are all part of the One Fellowship of Christians, the fellowship of God’s Son, Christ Jesus. This is just as it was at the time of the Apostle Paul, the “Church” at Corinth was formed from lots of small local churches / assemblies. Any church separating itself from these principles is on dodgy ground, especially if it refuses to allow its members to eat and fellowship with other Christians.

john handel

One loaf,

As you say worthy and commendable.
Enough said?
I have never noticed they reckon they are better than other Christians just to set the record straight!
I have spent a lot of time with them, in business and otherwise. Your statements are rather out of line with what I have found.
Reckon you need to cease your very strong statements under a funny name and speak to them face to face to settle your differences.
Why not give it a try?
Anything to lose?

One Loaf

Posted by JC “Why not concentrate your efforts promoting peace and goodwill amongst men; this is the season for it."

This quote is taken from JC in a post 4 down from this. He has posted exactly the same comments word for word in other internet forums under the name James Crowd.

It is highly ironic and hypocritical for a supporter of the Hales Exclusive Brethren to allude to Christmas in this manner, as a way of trying to belittle those exposing what the Hales Exclusive Brethren actually practice and the damage their practices do to personal and family relationships and other Christians

Why,, well , because the Hales Exclusive Brethren don’t believe in celebrating Christmas, they don’t have any special Christian services at Christmas, they don’t allow the Nativity scene to be enacted, they don’t sing Christmas Carols, they don’t promote peace and goodwill amongst men because they don’t have any Christian outreach during the Christmas season.

The Hales Exclusive Brethren say they follow the Bible, but what they haven’t yet admitted to is that they also follow the teachings of previous “Universal Leaders”. They read the Bible through the interpretations and teachings of these previous and current "leaders". These teachings are in the form of written word (or Ministry), and it is treated as “Authoritative”, on the same level as the Holy Scripture, as these leaders are called “Men of God”.

This “Ministry” is written in vast volumes of books which take pride of place on the bookshelves of the households of the Exclusive Brethren, a different colour for each leaders books. The Exclusive Brethren are taught and believe that it is these leaders who “recovered the truth”, of the Church and the Bible. Leaders such as JN Darby, FE Raven, JB Stoney, James Taylor Senior, James Taylor Jnr, Symington and the current leader Bruce Hales.

One of these leaders, James Taylor Senior, talks about Christmas in a very derogatory way in Ministry

JT Volume 57 Page 142
"We have no word as regards the date of the actual birth of Christ; we are told where it happened, but the date is not stressed at all. A supposed day is now taken on and made something of; it is a convenient name for men and their religious pretensions, that is all. It is most solemn to have to say that. But "without the camp" is all outside of that; that is simply Jerusalem as the centre of religion, human religion. Christendom has dropped down to the level of human religion, beside heathendom, Mohammedanism and Judaism. This is a most solemn thing, but it is a fact; God would say things to us about that too. But the apostle says, "Let us go forth to him without the camp, bearing his reproach: for we have not here an abiding city, but we seek the coming one"."

There is inherent in this extract a condescending and belittling attitude to other Christians. There is also an inherent feeling of the Exclusive Brethren’s superiority, in that they think they are better than other Christians, or other religions.

Just thought I would set the record straight

Its all very well for the Exclusive Brethren to suddenly start carrying out lots of PR driven Charity acts, (which in themselves are worthy and commendable), however, when they are done by a group which continues to cause immense damage to family relationships, and Christian relationships, then these ostentatious acts ring rather hollow and hypocritical.


Is that the only example you have of public benefit? Not a very good show for an organisation that's been around for more than a century - also, I note it's dated after this kerfuffle over charity status started.

Where's the evidence for reaching out to the disadvantaged? Surely such work would have brought the Brethren into contact with social workers, other religious groups, community leaders... all people who would be able to speak out on the Brethren's behalf.

Where are the testimonials from the people they've helped? We have an internet forum comment from Brian W, who's yet to confirm if he is a member. But why aren't the poor and disadvantaged people that they've helped writing to their MPs, making the case for charity status?

I suspect it's because these people simply do not exist. I suspect the "outreach work" and "spreading the Gospel" is nothing but proselytizing, and I am very sure that the harm done by denying its young and vulnerable members a university eductation is far more of a detriment to society than they can make up for by any number of hot food giveaways.

john handel

Because if they do something to help the community at their own cost, that is a benefit whatever I personally may think. Ask anybody in the street, help the fire brigade at your own cost as stated earlier, of course it benefits the community.
Cannot be successfully argued against.
There will always be some persons that I myself will not want to associate with, so why not let them be as normal persons?


The promotion of good values can be of public benefit, but since these Brethren are separate from the public - and I respect their right to be so - how can they possibly be "of public benefit"?

By their very nature, they do not associate with the public, except on their own, very narrow terms.

It's also very alarming (and possibly very telling) that certain persons on this thread are seeking to shame other posters into silence by calling criticism of the Brethen "atrocious", "narrow-minded" and implying that speaking against them is un-christian behaviour.

In this day and age (thankfully), if you make a claim on the public purse, you open yourself up for public scrutiny. Ask any MP who survived the expenses scandal if you don't believe me.


Wherever the Plymouth or Exclusive Brethren are mentioned in the Media the blogs start up, it’s noticeable that the same bunch of wolves are waiting to pounce.
I am also surprised that a respected MP should allow such trash on his website
I meet some of these Brethren in business; I find them trustworthy, honest, and good to deal with.
Apparently there are around 44,000 of these Brethren Worldwide. In any large organization there will be some bad eggs, look at what happened in the Catholic Church recently, do we condemn the whole Catholic Church because of it. We don’t post comments about the Jews because some are more orthodox than others.
I sympathize with you guys if you feel badly let down by these persons, have you ever approached them man to man and asked if you can sort out your differences?
To conduct such a public tirade against fellow Christians, whatever your differences, is very narrow minded.
Why not concentrate your efforts promoting peace and goodwill amongst men; this is the season for it.
The promotion of religion has to be a public benefit, these persons deserve charitable status the same as any Christian Church


For a group of Christians who are applying for Charitable status to be publically maligned, pulled apart and slandered because of their visibility to the public during the process is atrocious.
In a Christian country where persons have the right to religion I am appalled. I have recently seen one of these books that the church has done with details of their benefits to society and would recommend to all that they see for themselves what this community is doing to support people in need. They use their own time and resource; I’m not interested in all this other stuff, just take these people for what they really are. At least some people are showing what they can do for some of us in need.

john handel

Look, I have seen them, know them and cannot see what difference the name makes.

They are what I have quoted below. If they wish to call themselves Exclusive or otherwise, it does not change their public benefit.

They are Christians and that is a benefit to have around.

Wilja Bugarova

People who are praising the good work the Exclusive Brethren (who have been using the name "Plymouth Brethren" in the last few weeks) do for others should be aware they have been doing this in the UK only since the question of their right to charity status was questionned in the summer of 2012.

john handel

I am increasingly interested in this battle the Brethren are engaged in with the Charity Commission, and even more so with their opposition who say they were once within the Brethren community.
I have made an increasingly in depth study, visited their schools, visited their Gospel Halls, and find they represent "clean living" Christians whose influence in any community could only be a benefit to all. What humans are affected by is influence, we are formed by it. So if you were surrounded by persons who are committed to having nothing to do with evil or loose living, committed to marriage, insist on integrity in every relationship, take an interest in others outside their own walk of life, are kind, compassionate and caring, have a very low rate of divorce compared with the general population, then anybody would be affected and formed by the influence and would appreciate the standard of life was high as being in proximity to them.
So I am sure, most would agree they are examples of good citizens, good neighbours etc.
Now clearly some have left them and speak very negatively about their way of life, but I know so many persons who have never known the brethren, who have fallen out, divorced, fought, attacked or otherwise left each other’s company and would never so a good word about the opposite party. In fact would sue their own flesh and blood and would choose if possible to never meet them again!
So I cannot see why the CC should take this into account when deciding if they should keep their charitable status. It is baffling. They are a public benefit, but because they are being heavily attacked by a small number of grieved persons, then it could cancel out the benefit. Most would be able to see this does not make sense.
Just look at some of the negative postings on here and ask why that should be.


Intelligent people err on the side of caution and research topics they know nothing about. Some people here display their sheer ignorance by making statements about something they know nothing about. If I was to say my neighbours are Christians therefore they are Anglicans, you would tell me they could be part of any other denomination. Plymouth Brethren are varied and the Exclusive Brethren is who we are discussing here who have chosen only recently to hide behind the open Plymouth Brethren name to confuse you all. They have succeeded. Please do your research. Information is at our fingertips now. We don't bellieve every hoax email we get; try being a little more discerning about other matters in life.

Mark Elliott

My father was excommunicated by the Exclusive Brethren in 1988/89, yet when he died in 1994 they turned up in force at his burial, chased mourners away from the graveside and left a bewildered undertaker wondering whatever he had been employed for. We returned to the cemetery after the Exclusive Brethren had left, so that my Dad's partner could lay her flowers on his grave.

Their behaviour was thoughtless, heartless and I have doubts about it's legality.

Just what was the point of withdrawing fellowship from him and then acting like this ?

One Loaf

“Scott” thank you for your powerful testimony, I would urge you to contact the relevant authorities or speak to Jill Mytton who is conducting research into the psychological impact on people of their experiences within the Brethren. Or send your personal experience to the Charity Commission who are asking for testimony and evidence from former members. You are in our prayers

“Raymond” says “Every person has a right to a belief and we should respect that right however strange it feels to you or me”

“Michael Waterson” says “Christians from differing demoninations have the right to follow and practice their belief with freedom of conscience”

Commentators who make such comments are either forgetting to mention the facts or have never been inside the Exclusive Brethren ! It is a fact that the vast majority of the Brethren have been “born into the assembly”. Families could have whole extended family inside the Brethren. It is very rare that members join from “outside”. This is why families are so large, it keeps up the numbers.

Children born into the brethren have no personal choice nor can they make properly informed decisions. Starting to “Take the Lord’s Supper” is the Exclusive Brethrens membership ticket. There isn’t even the requirement of a confession of faith by those taking the Bread and Cup at the Lords Table in Communion, as babes and young toddlers are encouraged and allowed to take the “elements”. This means that Children automatically are “in fellowship” and become members.

When inside, you are not allowed to have freedom of personal conscience, because you have to conform to group norms, you grow up from a baby, “soaking up” the brethrens doctrines. By the time you are old enough to make conscious decisions and informed choices, it’s too late, you’re a member and have to be “subject” and submissive” or pay the consequences.

If you feel that biblically it’s correct to have Fellowship and Communion with other Christians in other churches (which it is), you can’t do that, you can’t exercise personal conscience and freedom of belief, you just have to conform, so you deny your own conscience. If your conscience says its OK to have a meal with relatives and family not in the brethren, or a meal with non Christians, (which according to scripture it is), you cant do that, you have to conform to the group norms or your at risk of being “withdrawn from”, so you deny your own conscience and give up your religious freedom rights

No one has said that the Exclusive Brethren are not free to believe and practice what they like, they are and I will defend that right myself !. The problem and the hypocrisy is that the Exclusive Brethren won’t allow “their members” to enjoy and practice freedom of religion, religious practice or exercise personal conscience without incurring punitive measures, intimidation and fear.

So, when a persons conscience and understanding of Biblical teaching tells them they should leave the group, or you've just had enough and want to leave, or you just want to go to another church, you can’t without enduring huge psychological pressure, intimidation, scare tactics, fear and potential loss of family, house, job, children and spouse.

No other genuine Christian church operates in that way ! No other genuine Christian church declares that someone who has left them has “turned their back on Jesus” and is now “iniquitous”, just because they have exercised personal conscience and gone to another Christian church !, that practice and behaviour is not what is taught in the Bible is it !. In fact the Bible directly warns against such behaviour and practice !.

Elizabeth Burke

Dear Scott: What you have described is really terrible and I do hope and pray that you will have much happiness in your future life. However, perhaps you need counselling (if you haven't had it already) - and should still go to the police about it as others might be at risk from the same people or others there. My prayers are with you.


Homophobic elements should be eradicated.



Homophobic elements should be eradicated.

Elizabeth Burke

I had read just one book by an ex-Exclusive Brethren member, when I discovered that there were many more individuals out there who have written about the heartache they have faced on being denied access to their loved ones. The Lord Jesus Christ, whom this organisation claims to follow, ate and had conversations with sinners and publicans. Having read the Bible many times for myself, I fail to understand where the Exclusive Brethren are coming from doctrinally. As for the changing of their name from 'Exclusive Brethren' to 'Plymouth Brethren Christian Church,' this is quite clearly a desperate measure taken in an effort to maintain Charity Status.

One Loaf

Jane says “It is not true to say the Brethren split families - when individuals chose to leave they are free to do so, and this does happen I believe from time to time.”

Yes they are free to leave, but not without consequences and punitive measures. Such as loosing Spouse, Children, Family, Job, House, Relatives. This happens even if you leave to go to another Christian Church. No genuine Christian church behaves like that !

Surely a leavers basic human rights and religious freedoms should be respected ?

My mother has not properly seen her sister, or had a meal, or cup of tea with her for over 30 years. Why is that ?, My mother is a Christian and does not even have a TV.

Thats nothing whatever to do with "seperation from evil". Its simply because Exclusive Brethren have been taught through the written ministry of successive leaders that they must separate from anyone “not with them" as everybody else, even other Christians, are "in the world", "worldly" and "iniquitous"

Even when my Auntie does engage with the rest of the family it has only been at funerals. However, it’s only to stand separate from the rest of the family, away to one side at the graveside, not even talking to anyone and chaperoned by “priests” from the Exclusive Brethren. At my granddads funeral the Exclusive Brethren side of the family turned up after the graveside service and had there own service !! that’s not the Christianity I know as taught in the Bible.

If you research and read up on what the "recovery of the truth" means and what previous leaders such as James Taylor Snr and James Taylor Jnr taught the brethren, it all becomes very clear what they follow and practice.

Dave Allen says “Plymouth Brethren are not everyone's cup of tea but have attracted attention from hate websites etc and people accept these without checking if true”

1. They are not Plymouth Brethren but they are Exclusive Brethren under a disguise, which only came into existence publicly in their new website on the 8th Nov 2012. Prior to that, they had been known as Exclusive Brethren ever since the 1848 division in the Plymouth Brethren. It was this division which created two distinct groups , the Exclusive / Closed Brethren and the Open Brethren. None of this fact has been mentioned by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in their new website, its just glossed over.

2. What hate websites are you referring to ?I dont know of any hate websites about the Exclusive Brethren, I do know websites which have consistently revealved documented truth and news from inside the closed group.


Important point - Baroneess Berridge's own family is split! Her parents were in the Exclusive Brethren currently led by Bruce Hales but left before she was born. But she can't see the relatives left in.

Jane you need to face facts - and you need to make sure you are referring to the same group as me. There are so many different groups of brethren - some called Exclusive Brethren and some called the Plymouth Brethren. The group being talked about here, called themselves the Exclusive Brethren until earlier this month when they changed their name.

Everyone should do the research before sounding off on here

Mark Watson

There is nothing more basic than the truth. Nobody has any issue with whether they allow TV or not, that is such a minor thing. I cannot change my past, but i have told the truth regarding seperation. There is no way that can be classed as slander. It is a true fact, with plenty of witnesses. Unless you have actually been a member, you have no idea of what has gone on and what goes on inside their closed quarters. Enough said.


The Brethren are being slandered for things that are simply not true. A brethren family on our road send their children to the local state primary school.
And who are we to say they are wrong for not having a TV’s because of their beliefs?
Every person has a right to a belief and we should respect that right however strange it feels to you or me.

Michael Waterson

Its time we got back to basics here. Stop the one sided, abusive, maligned and spiteful stuff.

Christianity has been the greatest single source of stability in our society for hundreds of years. Christianity is charitable by definition.

Christians from differing demoninations have the right to follow and practice their belief with freedom of conscience.

Paul Flynn

This correspondence proves that the PASC Select Committee were ill-informed when we interviewed members of the sect. They are not being persecuted. All that is happening is the the subsidy of charity status from public funds would no longer be available to them. Groups that separate themselves from society deny themselves the advantages of a coherent community.


For all those who try to say that the Exclusive Brethren don't break up families, look no further than this expose from Australia.


There are plenty of other examples readily available.

I challenge you to refute this.


Thank you Mr. Flynn for your very accurate blog.

I would love to see the proof from the persons commenting above that shows the exclusives have ever provided financial or even moral support for anyone outside their membership - over 30 years in that group and it never happened so unless the Lord has turned another corner, I would bet the farm that it still is not happening.

Their supposed good works towards people outside their membership like handing out a few sandwiches on a few occasions does not change who they are and what they have done for years.

Their meeting halls have not been open for anyone to attend, there is no genuine care for anyone outside their membership and they have caused extensive heartache for many many people.

Have your freedom of religion - just do not expect charitable status when you are in no way a charity.

Mark Watson

It would appear to me that some of the comments supporting the Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) come from people who have not been members. There is no attack on the Brethren, simply and inside viewpoint of what actually goes on. A True Christian would never deny a parent to have contact and associate with their partner or children and vice versa. A True Christian would never throw one of their members out in the street, without a dime, without anyplace to live. A True Christian would sit by and allow family members to be heartbroken, some even to the point where they have committed suicide, and do nothing about it. A True Christian would not differentiate between their ex-members and those who have never been members (whom they state in their preachings are of the world and are unclean) when supposedly undertaking charitable works. A True Christian would never turn their back on another human being. A True Christian would not deny a person whether ex-member or not full access to all meetings held in their "churches". A True Christian would always assist with charitable doings, not suddenly change their ways when their charitable status is challenged, and have one rule for never been members, and a different rule for ex-members. A True Christian would never do any of the above things mentioned. Yet the Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren offshoot) does all of that stated above. Therefore can one not see that ex-members are not attacking, they are simply stating the truth about the happenings. If the Brethren are True Christians and are changing their ways, then they will forgo and no longer continue to practice those things stated above. Cast out "withdrawn from" or "shut up" children would now be permitted to freely socialise and interact with their parents and siblings (and vice versa) that are still in the religion. Husbands and wives who have been separated would be permitted to continue as husband and wife and carry out all associated duties, loving, caring and intimacy. Ex-members, and any member of the public would be welcomed at any time into their "churches", and gates would not be locked to deny entry. They would feed and assist those they have cast out that are homeless and penniless. They would never turn their back on any human being, regardless of walk of life. But no, they are not doing these things. People like myself are simply stating true facts. If I wanted to attack, then I would publicly publish the full details of the persecution, abuse, and wrongdoings that my family suffered at the hand of this organisation. But I won't do that, I accept that they have their beliefs, that they are entitled to practice their beliefs, but not in a manner that creates a false impression to those of the "world" who have never been members, while still turning their backs on those whom they have cast aside. Do people understand now?

john handel

Jane, I fully agree with you. Everyone needs to look at www.hertsad.co.uk Read the report on the Brethren assisting the firefighters. True Christian work. Fine people and a great benefit to all around.
Why attack them? Do you all agree with their efforts to assist us all?


Minority religious groups being persecuted - what's new? The Plymouth Brethren are no strangers to being attacked by people that have grudges against them. A shame that a small minority are allowed to mount such a vitriolic attack against these people who do so much for the community.


"they've helped me, supported me and financially helped me when in need.."

I assume you're a member then, since they're not allowed to have contact with you otherwise?

And denying them charitable status is hardly "target[ting] with such avengence", is it? Nobody's banning them from living however they want - they just have to pay tax like everyone else.

Brian W

Lets get the truth about these people. I've lived close to this community for years, they've helped me, supported me and financially helped me when in need, I can only say this is hatred of a minority who have helped people and continue to do so. They live by principal, so what..they hold to what is called separation, what's wrong with them being separate, that's there right, why target with such avengence a minority who continue to help communities and people like me in them. I admire people that hold to right principals, they don't cause trouble, leave them alone...

David Shayler

For an informed view on this cult that divided my family look at www.peebs.net

Especially the memorial pages

Mark Watson

My apologies, it just came across that the implication was that disgruntled ex-Salvation army members do not accuse the organisation of wrecking lives, so why should "disgruntled" ex-Brethren members do the same. As I have Aspergers, I read things in their literal sense, however, I did not have my hackles up, I was merely pointing out why. My apologies if it came across the wrong way.


It's very likely, DG that your response to Jane was understood by everyone but Mark.

He would probably do better, to read what people write a little more carefully to avoid getting his hackles up and baring his teeth at people who are on the same side.

Mark Watson

D.G. said "You never see disgruntled ex-members of the Salvation Army accusing the organisation of wrecking lives though, do you?"

Well that would be because the Salvation Army don't wreck lives. Unless you have been in the brethren, you would not know what has really happened in there. At least my comment comes from personal experience.


Jane, I am a former member of these Exclusive Brethren and I am certainly not disgruntled! I resent being classed as that by the Exclusive Brethren. I just have never seen them reach out to the disadvantaged except to their own disadvantaged!!

Arthur Boyt

I was a zealous member of the exclusives but was 'withdrawn from' in 1976 accused of having said something disrespectful about a local leader. My wife decided to 'stay in' in the hope that we could sit it out and I could get back in. She was made to leave me, I was asked to get a legal separation and was allowed to have no contact with her whatsoever. I obliged in the hope that it would increase my chance of getting back. I wrote several letters to her, to which I had no reply. I appealed to her to come out and join me as I was not allowed back. I waylaid her to talk to her, but she got in her car and drove away. Eventually, after 16 years I got a divorce. Ten years later they came and told me I should not have been put out. I have since written to her, but she asked someone else to reply. Here is a case (and there were many like me) where the exclusives were the cause of a divided house.


You never see disgruntled ex-members of the Salvation Army accusing the organisation of wrecking lives though, do you?

Mark Watson

From Australia. Although I have been out of the "Exclusive Brethren" (The current one led by Hales)since 1976, I admire Baroness Berridge for telling the truth. What Baroness Berridge described is what I went through. I did not leave of my own accord, I was kicked out. I was excommunicated from my parents and brothers, and any attempt to contact them was denied. If they saw me in the main street they would look away. My father had cancer and when he passed in 1979, I found out when I made a call to the local elect, and was told I was not allowed to attend the funeral as I would be trespassing. I did not find out where my father was buried until Mum and my brothers quit in late 1980. The Brethren do split families, as regardless of whether one is kicked out or leaves of their own accord, they are not free to associate with their loved ones who remain in the assembly. To this day, I am yet to see any evidence of the Brethren reaching out to the disadvantaged, and am yet to see any evidence of them undertaking any real charity work here in Australia. many ex-members of the Brethren are disgruntled for a good reason, for many have been severely disadvantaged by the actions of the Brethren and have been treated like lepers. They have certainly not been treated in any Christian like manner whatsoever.

Uncle Gaggsy

They have also funded large scale, far right advertising on both moral issues and funded their own advertising during general elections backing (indirectly) John Howard's Liberal party, not that seperated from being active in the political scene is it????? This has happened in both Australia and New Zealand over the last few decades! remove these evil cultists from charitable status = a good days work ;)
A Plaidi in Oz.

Dave Allen

Plymouth Brethren are not everyone's cup of tea but have attracted attention from hate websites etc and people accept these without checking if true.Religious minority churches are susceptible to being unfairly attacked - what's new? Apparently the Charity Commission have decided to try and remove their status as a Charity, whatever next from an old Christian Church that people have known for years.


Baroness Berridge is entitled to her views but I believe she has been mislead by disgruntled ex members of the Plymouth Brethren. It is not true to say the Brethren split families - when individuals chose to leave they are free to do so, and this does happen I believe from time to time. Surely their basic human rights should be respected at least as to the type of house they live in, who they eat with, no TV Radio etc. Does this really negate all the community work they do in reaching out to the disadvantaged and spreading the Gospel message?

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