Another two damning articles in the Times and a letter
Today’s Times has two more articles by Mostrous and Kenber giving further grounds for serious concern about the Exclusive Brethren, and a letter about them from Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations.
The first article has the headline
Private-school sect ‘took £½m state cash in deal with colleges’
It describes how a Focus school had an arrangement with Barnet and Southgate College to get Government cash for merely enrolling some of their students at the College. It says,
Leaked documents suggest that the pupils continued to be taught the same lessons by Brethren-employed teachers. Barnet College appeared to have no involvement in teaching the pupils beyond conducting “lesson observations”.
The second, much longer article describes some of the bizarre policies at Focus schools. The headline is
The class that was scared of biology. ‘They thought it was linked to the Devil’
The article describes an extraordinary degree of censorship of teaching materials, amounting to the removal of several important topics from the curriculum and an entirely inadequate treatment of other important topics. It also describes extraordinary and disturbing aspects of the ethos and culture within Focus schools. It is based on the testimony of eight former teachers.
Eight former teachers at Brethren schools, most of whom left in the past two years, variously claim they were required to use science textbooks with pages ripped out, that boys and girls were prevented from talking to one another outside class and that bullying, racism and homophobia were endemic.
“They were scared of biology,” the teacher, who has since left, claimed. “They were very negative when you mentioned it. They associated it with the devil.” She claims that she was instructed to remove large numbers of pages from textbooks.
“There were things removed from everything I taught. They took out everything to do with sexual reproduction, including hormones, fertility, birth control, and removed anything to with evolution.”
A male teacher at another Brethren school, who left in 2013, made similar claims. “Anything that showed the Earth as being 4 billion years old was removed or glued together,” he said. The same thing happened with pages about contraception while “anything that showed gay relationships as being normal was defaced in that way as well”.
Teachers and former members who spoke to The Times, however, claimed that Brethren children were often intolerant of anyone who was different from their own largely white, Anglo-Saxon community.
When one teacher put on a DVD clip which happened to feature a black woman, she claims the pupils “all started making monkey noises and saying that black people were a different species. I was told that we couldn’t discipline [them]”.
Another former staff member, who taught science, claimed: “They don’t see anything wrong with saying black people are going to hell.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “If any evidence is presented to us that a school is not keeping children safe from the risks posed by intolerant views, it will be investigated.”
Most of the former staff who spoke to The Times said their abiding memory of Brethren schools was one of the sadness they felt for the wasted promise of many pupils. One said: “I just feel sorry for them because there is no out — they’re not equipped with the skills and the ones who leave, it’s so difficult for them.”
Here also is the text of a letter to the Editor.
[Letter to The Times]
Last updated at 8:15PM, March 20 2015
Sir, The logic of the argument advanced by the chairman of the Charity Commission defending his organisation’s decision to award charitable status for the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (letter, Mar 19) does not withstand scrutiny.
William Shawcross asserts that the commission was “the first public authority to put on record the ‘detriment and harm’ caused by the doctrines and practices of the Brethren”. He then states that, after concessions, it registered various Brethren organisations as charities. Awarding charitable status to these bodies under any circumstances means that they can claim Gift Aid, which boosts the resources of the very organisations the commission previously found caused “detriment and harm”.
The reality of the matter is that the commission has taken a positive decision to facilitate the Brethren’s existence. A full explanation of the process and the individuals involved in granting this “harmful” organisation charitable status must follow.
Sir Stephen Bubb
Chief executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
Two more embarrassing articles about the Exclusive Brethren have appeared in today’s Times (Wednesday 18th March 2015). The first one is again the work of Alexi Mostrous and Billy Kenber. Here are some extracts from them.
On page 7 we have this. You can access the start of the article at
Inquiry at sect schools that banned books
The funding of British faith schools run by an extreme religious sect is under investigation by the taxman over multi-million pound gift aid claims, The Times has learnt.
. . .
Revenue & Customs is examining whether the Brethren have wrongly claimed thousands of tax rebates on parental donations that help fund their schools’ £30 million-a-year operation. If HMRC finds against the single Brethren school under investigation, tax relief of up to £4 million a year across all the sect’s schools could be at risk.
. . .
The Times can also reveal that Brethren schools secretly introduced school fees four years ago, despite claiming in brochures and accounts filed with the Charity Commission that its schools were free. The fees, which parents were told were obligatory, were recorded as “voluntary income” in an arrangement that will raise further questions about the schools’ financial structure.
A 2011 letter announcing the introduction of yearly “fees” of £1,500 per child stated that fees were “an essential principle of righteousness in our administration” and that “an invoice will be issued direct from the individual schools shortly”.
Parents at one school were later warned that “fees should be regarded as an obligation in the same way as paying your electricity and other household bills”. Yet accounts filed by the school trusts said they were “non-fee paying”.
. . .
The spokesman said that in 2011 “a modest sum” had been requested from parents. It was initially described as a fee but subsequently changed to “parental contribution” on legal advice.
Although schools can claim gift aid on “voluntary contributions”, a Brethren spokesman insisted that no school had claimed tax relief on this element of funding. He accepted, however, that tax inspectors had questioned gift aid claims made on donations from parents.
“Such issues as there have been derive from uncertainty about the correct application of the rules,” he said. “Other faith schools are also currently being investigated by HMRC over gift aid.”
Then on page 27 we have the first of the leading Editorial Articles. You can access the start of it at
Brethren in the Spotlight
A Christian sect took no prisoners in its fight for charitable status. For the sake of the whole voluntary sector, the Charity Commission must stand up to it.
. . .
The Exclusive Brethren boast only 17,000 followers in Britain but their battle for charitable status is a vital test case for the voluntary sector. It should have brought clarity on the responsibilities of charities in general and private faith schools in particular. Instead it has yielded confusion on policy and extraordinary threats aimed at the commission’s chairman, William Shawcross. Evidence has emerged of serious emotional suffering among the sect’s present and former members, of unacceptable censorship at Brethren-run schools, and of tax breaks worth millions for an organisation that funnels cash to its leader in Australia.
. . .
A Times investigation has established that when the Charity Commission decided not to grant the Exclusive Brethren’s application for charitable status subject to appeal, the sect fought back with a campaign of ferocious intimidation. Mr Hales advised that “extreme pressure” be applied on Mr Shawcross. He urged underlings to “go for the jugular”. Commission staff were followed by sect members, who also sent the commission more than 3,000 letters and lobbied MPs relentlessly at constituency surgeries.
Yesterday Sir Stephen Bubb, the head of Britain’s largest charity leaders’ association, called on Mr Shawcross to explain why the sect was granted charitable status last year. It is a good question. As we have reported, more than 200 MPs wrote to the commission or otherwise helped the sect, and five wrote direct to the principal judge of the charity tribunal. She rebuked them for their inappropriate intervention, but something worked. Instead of airing the case in public, the commission struck a deal behind closed doors.
MPs may have been persuaded that the sect was a fringe but blameless church entitled to their support. Spokesmen insist it is just that and deny all wrongdoing. Inspectors of the sect’s 34 British schools have on the whole given them positive reports. Yet ex-members speak of strict rules against contact with outsiders and harsh discipline for those who break them. Former teachers describe school buses segregated by gender, casual classroom racism and textbooks with pages on evolution, fossil fuels and sexual reproduction torn out or glued together.
The sect denies the claims, but they are far too serious to be swept under a quango’s carpet.
. . .
The commission must re-examine its 2014 decision without fear, favour or obfuscation. HMRC must scrutinise the sect’s accounts anew to establish whether the tax relief of £13 million a year that it enjoys is truly warranted. And Ofsted should show more interest in the sect’s schools, whose inspections are outsourced to a private contractor that has raised no concerns about a curriculum that appears to many former teachers to endorse creationism and teach evolution as no more than a theory.
A free society should be comfortable with eccentricity, but not with charitable status misused as a cover for cult-like oppression.
If you want to read the entire articles and yesterday’s whole pages of articles, you can buy a 30-day subscription to the On-Line Edition of The Times for £1.
PBCC response to Times Article March 2015
1. £13M Tax break The headline suggests that the Charity Commission decision secured all tax reliefs for all Brethren charities. This is nonsense, as the Commission decision only related to the gospel hall trusts. The charitable status of other charities administered by the community was never in doubt.
2. The charity regulator secured tax breaks for PBCC worth millions per year The Charity Commission decision concerned the gospel hall trusts. By the article’s own estimation, the gift aid reclaims made by the hall trusts is £125,000 for construction, and “Unknown” for upkeep. Rating relief (claimed by the article to be worth £3m) does not depend upon registration with the Charity Commission, as it is granted by local authorities to places of public religious worship, and has nothing to do with charitable status. The charity regulator secured tax breaks” is also wrong. Tax breaks are determined by HMRC, which can (and does) take its own view.
3. PBCC ‘shun outsiders’ This is untrue, as a multitude of our non-brethren friends in business, schools and local communities would confirm
4. “Strict disciplinary practices” PBCC disciplinary practices follow the teachings of the Bible, as outlined in Schedule 2 ‘Faith in Practice’, -approved by the Charity Commission. Discipline is rare, and used only as a last resort.
5. Brethren lobbying campaign PBCC members support whatever Government is in power and make use of their democratic right to approach MPs or Peers about any issues of concern. There is nothing illegal about individuals choosing to help MPs, for example by distributing leaflets.
6. ‘Cult’ accusation The PBCC is a mainstream Christian church.
7. Brethren life restricted & controlled PBCC members find their lives to be full, varied and rewarding.
8. Travel is limited PBCC members travel widely, often overseas, for Church, family, business and educational reasons.
9. STI data collection The PBCC does not undertake such surveys.
10. Large cash reserves for ‘end of world’ This is complete nonsense.
11. ‘Rapture’ in 2022 The Lord Jesus said “ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25: 13
12. Hewitt family shut up for ‘unauthorized’ computer This is false.
13. The ‘money trail’ diagram This diagram is a misrepresentation including many inaccurate estimations, assumptions and spurious claims. The Gospel Hall Trusts are recognised by the Valuation Office Agency as public places of religious worship and are therefore (like all public places of religious worship such as synagogues and churches) entitled to claim relief from liability on non-domestic rates. This relief is not linked to their charitable status.
14. 340 windowless meeting rooms across the country with security gates We protect our Gospel Halls, which have been paid for entirely by our members. Many Brethren Gospel Halls do have windows. For example, Blackborough End Meeting Hall. Kings Lynn.
15. The Brethren believe the rest of the world is evil Like millions of other parents, PBCC parents want to protect their young people from damaging influences.
16. Children move out of homes when parents shut up Shutting up is rare. It is the choice of the parents if their children move to family or friends. If older teenagers decide to move out temporarily it would be at their own prerogative and with the full consent of the parents.
17. Following CC decision, ‘nothing has changed’ Nothing has changed in Holy Scripture, nor will it ever change, but there has been a renewed committal and putting into practise of fairness and compassion.
18. The 76 slide presentation This was done by an individual member and did not meet with general approval.
19. Letter read out about helping Conservatives False. No such letter was read out.
20. ‘secretive Christian sect’ The PBCC website gives details of our services and beliefs.
21. Exclusive Brethren struck a deal with the Charity Commission’ False. The Charity Commission reached their decision independently after careful investigation and examination of all the evidence
22. brethren have lived in secretive communities, isolating themselves from the rest of society. False. PBCC members live in ordinary residential areas and interact with society in business and other areas
Some excerpts on what appears to be an excellent article on the PBCC:
Inside the secretive and strict Plymouth Brethren sect in Manitoba
The Plymouth Brethren discourage interaction between their followers and outsiders, and the church encompasses all aspects of social and professional life for its members. Critics say it has gone from being a Christian sect to full-blown cult.
STONEWALL — Quietly, and out of earshot of Winnipeg, Stonewall had its own mini “British Invasion” a decade ago.
Newcomers from England started to descend on this town just north of Winnipeg that has historically been a limestone quarry and agricultural service centre. They bought homes, started businesses, built a church — all the usual stuff.
There are a remarkable number of Brethren-owned family businesses in Manitoba for a religious sect of just 450 members.
The Free Press counted at least 25 small businesses, and there are undoubtedly more. It’s not clear why members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church are so successful in business. That companies can receive interest-free loans through Brethren might be part of the answer.
Business is a big part of being a Brethren today. Virtually all Brethren work for companies owned by Brethren families. However, PBCC doctrine stipulates that companies stay small.
Winnipeg companies owned by Brethren members include Acure Medical Equipment, Officescape, and Central Dental Supply Ltd., all owned by John Haldane; Applifast Inc.; Insign Architectural Signage; Chemwest Supply; Van Extras; FRS Group Inc.; Superb Sprinkler Service; Acure Safety; Insta-Foil Specialties; Acculift Airmax Inc; Excel Interiors; Meditek; Western Enivronmental Canada, and NP2 (an advertising agency).
In Stonewall, Brethren own at least half the industrial park off Highway 67. Like elsewhere, they do not belong to the local chamber of commerce because that is forbidden. Stonewall companies include Accent Group; Mitybilt Products Inc; Paragon Securities; Arrow Specialties; Lakeland Group and Universal Business Team.
Woodlands-area companies include Northstar Enterprises and Arrow Farmquip, and North American Rail Products Inc. is next door in Argyle.
It was Taylor Jr. who introduced the hard-line doctrine of separateness, starting with banning members from eating and socializing with non-members.
The rules included everything from banning men from wearing shorts (thy naked, spindly legs are an abomination, presumably) to who should take out the garbage (that falleth to the husband, naturally).
Exclusive Brethren Don’ts
Click to Expand
- Don’t cut your hair (female)
- Don’t have facial hair or long hair (male)
- Don’t wear shorts (female & male)
- Don’t wear trousers (female)
- Don’t wear make-up (female)
- Don’t wear any other colour of shirt than white on Sunday (male)
- Don’t smoke, chew tobacco or chew gum
- Don’t use or own radios or television
- Don’t go to the movies, theatres, shows or concerts
- Don’t eat in a restaurant or go to bars or pubs
- Don’t own a computer, digital camera, mobile phone, cd player or MP3 player that is not purchased from the EB
- Don’t read books written by immoral authors, or novels unless they are approved by the EB
- Don’t own remote-controlled toys or any electronic gaming system
- Don’t listen to pre-recorded music by non-EB
- Don’t live on a farm
- Don’t have in-ground swimming pools at the home
- Don’t rent or own condos, apartments or a house that is joined at any wall
- Don’t share sewers or driveways with neighbours
- Don’t have pets
- Don’t go to the beach unless it is not crowded
- Don’t have a heart transplant
- Don’t watch firework displays
- Don’t be employed by non-EB
- Don’t work in non-EB homes
- Don’t rent space or anything to non-EB
- Don’t own shares of non-EB company
- Don’t go to non-EB schools if there is an EB school in your city
- Don’t belong to a professional association (nurses, lawyers, etc), union, or any other outside organization
- Don’t sell products that you cannot use (cigarettes, contraception)
- Don’t stay in a hotel or motel
- Don’t vote or run for public office
- Don’t go to university
- Don’t have a cup of tea or eat with your non EB neighbours, parents, siblings or children
- Don’t have friends outside of the EB
- Don’t kiss or date before marriage
- Don’t plan to marry unless you have permission
- Don’t be gay or lesbian
- Don’t marry outside of the EB, or outside of your race
- Don’t divorce unless for fornication
- Don’t use contraception (no matter how many children you have)
- Don’t have an abortion
- Don’t be involved in competitive organized sports
- Don’t visit graves of the deceased often
- Don’t miss daily church meetings
- Don’t question EB rules
Just in from a source who wishes to remain anonymous:
Here is an information pack sent to people applying for a teaching job at a Focus School. Most of it was printed in 2007. The last few pages illustrate the restrictions on education imposed by the Focus Trust. Page 15 dictates how to teach evolution. Page 16 shows that the New AQA Science: GCSE Science A Student Book by Jim Breithaupt was the only recommended Science course for September 2011, but it was censored by having some pages removed before delivery to the schools.
“Pages 50 – 53 deal with hormone control and fertility and should be REMOVED
Page 58 – REMOVE
Pages 66 and 67 deal with drugs and should be REMOVED
Pages 70 and 71 also deal with drug addiction and should be REMOVED
Pages 122 to 129 deal with evolution and can stay in with caution
Pages 300 and 301 deal with the Big Bang theory and can stay in with a caution.”
There is no explanation for the objection to page 58. It must have been something unmentionable.
Since pages are two-sided, their removal takes away some pages that are needed, so these are provided separately on a CD.
I am told by a teacher that in other books pages are removed that refer to reproduction, fossil fuels, the ages of rocks, redshifts and radiocarbon dating methods.
Is there no limit to what is coming out of the PBCC currently? Quoting from this review:
Society for the Study of the History of the Brethren Movement in Germany In 1995 historians of the Brethren assemblies in Germany met together to found a society for the study of the history of the Brethren Movement (Arbeitskreis Geschichte der Brüderbewegung).
The aims of this society are:
a. running an archive with documents from the Brethren-Movement in Germany,
b. publishing literature in the field of Brethren-History and
c. organizing conferences on topics related to the history of the brethren.
Members of the society belong to the different wings of the German Brethren-movement. They are teachers of the Bible-Institute Wiedenest in the Rhineland and individuals interesting in the research of the Brethren Movement. The society meets two times a year.
The archive is located at the Bible-Institute Wiedenest in the city Bergneustadt, near Cologne. It contains books and pamphlets, mainly written by members of the assemblies in Germany. In addition there are more special sections in the library of the Institute, which are relevant for research, for example the Erich-Sauer-Archive, a special collection of Brethren journals, some files with letters and material on the Brethren in the Third-Reich etc. The archive is open for the public
The Society functions as editor of a special series of books on the Brethren history. The books are published by
Jota-Publishing House in Hammerbrücke, Germany (www.jota-publikationen.de).
In the last years we organized two conferences, both at the Bible-Institute at Wiedenest. One conference in 1998 in memory of Erich Sauer, well-known lecturer at Wiedenest and author of many books, the other in 2000 in memory of John Nelson Darby. In fall 2003 we were involved at a larger conference in Dillenburg in memory of the 150th anniversary of the German Brethren Movement. In 2005 we host the BAHN-conference.
The Brethren Movement in Germany starts in 1853 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. Some earlier assemblies in the area of Dillenburg and Rhineland later joined this exclusive wing of the movement, which became the largest brethren group in Germany. This movement became well known by its own bible-translation, the „Elberfelder-Bibel“, edited by John Nelson Darby, Carl Brockhaus and Julius Anton v. Poseck, who later emigrated to England. The beginning of the „Open-Brethren-Movement“ is not easy to date because there were many forerunners in the field of „alliance-assemblies“, who later joined the „Open Brethren“. They were assemblies in Berlin, Dresden and Bad Homburg. The 1905-founded Bible-Institute in Berlin (since 1919 at Wiedenest) became a centre of the movement. In 1937 the Nazi-regiment closed the exclusive brethren assemblies in Germany. In the same year – under the pressure of the regime – the exclusive assemblies were reopened again und joined together with the open brethren assemblies in the „Bundfreikirchlicher Christen“. In 1942 they founded together with the Baptists the „Bund Evangelisch Freikirchlicher Gemeinden“, meanwhile some assemblies meet in hidden secret outside this union.
After the war more than half of the brethren assemblies left the union with the Baptists and created the „Freie Brüdergruppe“, others joined with the „secret-brethren“ of the Nazi-time to found the new group of the Exclusive Brethren.
For more information see
http://www.bruedergeschichte.de or contact Dr. Stephan Holthaus
. See also www.bruederbewegung.de
SUMMARY OF THE DECISION OF THE CHARITY COMMISSON FOR ENGLAND AND WALES
MADE ON 3 JANUARY 2014
APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AS A CHARITY BY
THE PRESTON DOWN TRUST
The issue before the Commission
1. The Commission considered an application by the Preston Down Trust (PDT), a Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) meeting hall, for registration as a charity. In reaching its determination, the Commission considered whether PDT is charitable as being an organisation:
(i) established for the advancement of religion; and
(ii) if so, whether it is established for the public benefit.
2. PDT made an application to be entered onto the register of charities in February 2009, which was refused by the Commission in June 2012 on the grounds that PDT had not demonstrated that it had sufficient beneficial impact on the wider community to meet the public benefit requirement to be a charity.
3. PDT appealed to the Charity Tribunal and the Horsforth Gospel Hall Trust (registered charity number 700960), a PBCC with identical objects, joined the appeal. A stay in the proceedings was requested by PDT, with a view to saving further significant legal costs. The parties agreed, with the consent of the Tribunal and support of the Attorney General ,to the stay to see whether there was an alternative way to deal with the issues outside of the Tribunal process.
4. The Commission looked at the matter afresh as the Tribunal would have done and took into account evidence which was not available to the Commission when it refused to register PDT in June 2012. In doing so it considered and reviewed the relevant law and the full legal and factual case and comprehensive supporting documents (including expert and other evidence) which had been put to it by PDT and others. .
5. The Commission concluded that it is prepared to register PDT on the basis of an application for registration based on revised trusts set out in a Deed of Variation presented to the Commission and annexed to the Commission’s decision document. The Deed of Variation varies the existing trust deed by declaring new trusts which contain, as an integral part of the trusts, declarations of the core religious doctrine and practice of faith of the PBCC.
6. The Commission considered the charitable status of PDT on the basis of the revised trusts. Following adoption of the Deed of Variation, the Commission is
satisfied that PDT is established for exclusively charitable purposes for public benefit and can be entered onto the register of charities. The Deed of Variation provides a framework for the future administration of the trusts in a way which is charitable and which is binding on the trustees.
7. On the basis of the revised trusts and evidence available to it, the Commission is satisfied that PDT is an organisation established for the advancement of the Christian religion in accordance with the declarations of the core religious doctrine and practice of faith of the PBCC.
8. The Commission examined the nature of the religious practices of PDT and whether they confer a benefit. On the evidence, the Commission determined that the doctrine of separation from evil, which is central to the beliefs and practices of PDT and the PBCC, resulted in (i) both a moral and physical separation from the wider community and (ii) limited interaction between the Brethren and the wider public. In addition, the Commission had regard to the disciplinary practices carried out by the PBCC which gave rise to allegations of detriment and harm.
9. Full and detailed evidence of public benefit arising from the practices of PDT was presented by PDT. Some of this evidence was new and additional to that presented prior to June 2012. It showed an organisation which was evolving and increasing its level of engagement with the public. The Commission also considered evidence from members of the public who wished to make representations and did not support the application for registration of PDT as a charity.
10. The Commission considered whether there is a genuine openness of worship to the public including the nature and level of participation in the services by the public. The evidence showed that all services are open to non-members except Holy Communion services which are ordinarily restricted to PBCC members and very occasionally attended by non-members with the consent of the congregation. However, there was evidence that it would be very rare for a non-member to attend the meeting halls and that some people had not found it easy to access services.
11. The level of engagement with the wider community was assessed because the law requires that public benefit for a religious charity is determined by the extent to which its moral and ethical teaching impacts upon the community leading to the betterment of society.
12. Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, the Commission concluded that the PBCC has a beneficial impact through its instruction and edification of the public in a Christian way of life by:
providing the public with access to worship. The public have an opportunity to attend and to participate to some extent in services. The requirement to be a well disposed person and adhere to their dress code does not prohibit public attendance and is common to some other religions;
engaging in street preaching which involves distribution of religious publications and spreading the word of God; and
engaging to a certain extent in the wider community, including through disaster relief work, encouragement of charitable giving and living out Christian beliefs in the community.
13. The Commission considered whether the benefits are conferred upon the public or a sufficient section of the public. There was some evidence that the PBCC are inwardly and strongly focussed on their nuclear and extended families (in so far as they are members of the community) and on their local meeting halls and wider PBCC fellowship. The Commission considered that the evidence, on balance, may tend to suggest that PDT operates predominantly rather than exclusively for the benefit of its members. However, it concluded, that in law this was not necessarily fatal to charitable status where there was engagement with the wider community.
14. Evidence relating to allegations of detriment, harm or disbenefit was presented to the Commission following its decision in June 2012 and considered by it in the context of assessing public benefit. The allegations related to:
The nature of the doctrine and practices of the PBCC generally
The nature and impact of its disciplinary practices
The impact of the doctrine and practices on those who leave the PBCC
The impact of the doctrine and practices on children within the PBCC.
Further detail is contained within the decision document.
15. The Commission concluded, on balance, that there were elements of detriment and harm which emanated from the doctrine and practices of the PBCC and which had a negative impact on the wider community as well as individuals so as to present a real danger of outweighing public benefit. In particular, the nature and impact of the disciplinary practices and the impact of the doctrine and practices on those who leave and on children within the PBCC may have consequences for society.
16. The PBCC acknowledged past mistakes, demonstrated a willingness to make amends and proposed to address these issues by amending its trust deed, clearly setting out its doctrine and practices, including highlighting the concept of showing compassion to others. The Commission was satisfied that the doctrine and practices are integral to the trusts; these demonstrate charitable intent and are binding on the trustees when administering the meeting hall. The Commission was further satisfied that it is able to regulate against these trusts.
17. The Commission concluded that the revised statement by the PDT of its doctrines and practices, in particular its interrelation with the wider community, was essential in enabling the Commission to accept the PDT for registration as a charity for the public benefit. Accordingly, the Commission agreed that it would register the PDT on the basis of the attached draft Deed of Variation which incorporates as part of the trust purposes the Schedules containing (i) a Statement of Core Doctrine of the Brethren and (ii) Faith in Practice.
18. The decision is made on the facts of the case in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
19. This is a summary of the decision; the full decision should be referred to for the complete reasons, terms and effects.
Well simply put, we get fed up with censorship. If the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church has nothing to hide, then why delete all posts from a) certain members that have left, b) delete all posts on their site that disagree with their way of thinking, c) delete posts that question the morals and path of their beloved man of god, Bruce Hales?
This Blog is here to repost all of their posts with all copyright acknowledged to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church just to see if the comment on here and the ones on there match. The following posting rules apply, as with all blogs open to the public:
Please be civil– we will remove anything that: Is considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others Is racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable Contains swear words or other language likely to offend Breaks the law, condones or encourage unlawful activity or which could endanger the safety or well-being of others Impersonates someone else advertises products or services.
Click the above image to have your say without censorship.
Update: Within 24 hours of this site being created, we had over 280 views and many comments. Clearly there was a need for righting the wrongs this church has caused over the years.