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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 12:40 pm 
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In the Days of Rain. A daughter. A father. A cult.

A personal memoir by Rebecca Stott, an ex-member of the Exclusive Brethren, due to be published on 1st June.

This substantial book, running almost to 400 pages, describes the lives and loves of several generations of one Brethren family. The postman has just delivered a printed copy to my door, but I have read earlier draft versions and was highly impressed. It reminded me in some ways of The Thorn Birds. I shall comment more when I have read the final version.

The book is particularly well written, and that alone suggests that it will be widely read and therefore influential. Rebecca is a Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing, and is already an accomplished and acclaimed author of both fiction and non-fiction. I thought her novel Ghostwalk was brilliant, breaking new ground in the development of its genre.

I believe In the Days of Rain will be a cited as a primary source of social history for many years in future, just as Gosse’s Father and Son is still frequently cited today for the picture if gives of a Brethren family.

The horror story that Exclusive Brethrenism became is illustrated by a first-hand description of how it affected Rebecca’s nearest and dearest, but she has avoided pejorative and judgmental language, because the facts alone are damning enough.

I shall content myself meanwhile by quoting what it says on the dust-cover. The front cover quotes Olivia Laing’s review:
Quote:
Beautiful, dizzying, terrifying, [it] maps the unnerving hinterland where faith becomes cruelty and devotion turns into disaster. A brave, frightening and strangely hopeful book.

Inside the flap there is a summary:
Quote:
As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying, he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect, the Exclusive Brethren. Yet each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of shameful memories and could not go on.

The Brethren were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-Brethren books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca's father, like her grandfather, had been an influential Brethren Minister: he preached in the 'Iron Room' of their meeting houses and made choices that would eventually come to haunt him.

Rebecca was born into the Brethren, yet as an intelligent, enquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father had been asking them too, and that the faultline between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him.

In this book Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the Brethren, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away. It is a moving, at times shocking, and deeply personal exploration of the damage done by religious fundamentalism, as well as a passionate plea for the importance of freedom of speech and thought.

And on the back cover we have the verdict of Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus.
Quote:
By rights Rebecca Stott's memoir ought to be a horror story. But while the historian in her is merciless in exposing cruelties and corruption, Rebecca the child also lights up the book, so passionate and imaginative that it helps explain how she survived, and - even more miraculous - found the compassion and understanding to do justice to the story of her father and the painful family life he created.


Last edited by Ian McKay on Mon May 15, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Thanks for this information. I look forward to reading the book.

Do you know if this family are related to the well known Anglican vicar and evangelical called John Stott. I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that Time magazine in 2005 reckoned that he was one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 5:31 pm 
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No, I don’t think anyone knows of a family connection between Rebecca and John Stott. If there is any connection it must be a distant one. Rebecca’s father was Roger and Roger’s father was Robert Stott, a prominent leader and a trustee of the Stow Hill Depot. Roger’s sister Christine married Michael Welch, son of A. J. E. Welch, another prominent leader and trustee of the Stow Hill Depot. All these withdrew from Jim Taylor and his supporters in 1970.

Roger was a regular contributor of informative and thought-provoking articles on Peebs.net, and was well known among the ex-EB community. Some of his writings are now available in the Library Section of WikiPeebia. See http://wikipeebia.com/roger-m-stott/


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:25 am 
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Location: Snidey
Thanks for the heads up on what looks to be an interesting read. I've ordered my kindle copy although have to wait until 1st June to receive it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:32 pm
Posts: 248
I had a lunch meeting wuth him and his wife a French from Perth Australia.

He said that we were either born Christian or Pagan, l the former and he the latter . We discussed this to a high extent and l was quite stunned, and wondered what l had met. The degree of accepted duplicity was staggering,

I still often remember this meeting and do truly wonder what l was on the edge of. He mentioned by name several ex peebs who l knew and told me that l would NEVER be accepted into any ex peeb system, group or environment.

This says a lot.

Maybe l sign off for good?

_________________
PETER F


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 2:30 pm 
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Posts: 2435
I hope to read it....the interesting thing is while the brethren will inevitably condemn it as 'all lies' ( before they even read it) from what I have seen ALL of these accounts tend to corroborate each other even though they are from diferent authors in diferent places who never even met each other...quite a coincidence for something that is denounced as 'all lies' ( they NEVER deal with specific irrefutable incidents)

We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have taken the time and effort and no small expense to document and publish their stories for the record , recognizing that while the EB are a tiny insignificant cult, what happened was very significant in the lives of the victims of this repressive group that claims to be 'The Church' but in actual deed bears no semblance to the meek and lowly Jesus of the gospels

The other thing I find most fascinating is that ALL of these books, not just about the EB,but other similar cults ALSO have so much in common it's hard to diferentuate which cult is being discussed..and like the brethren,also denounced as 'all lies' by 'disaffected former members' who are 'very bitter' ...pretty feeble,I'd say...


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 2:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:10 pm
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fisherman wrote:
I hope to read it....the interesting thing is while the brethren will inevitably condemn it as 'all lies' ( before they even read it)


???!!! Whath!!??

Fisherman, Fisherman.my H meter is going ballistic. I am sure you will judge my posts splintering, my logic ill and my manner isms, but... You will be hard pressed to discover hypocrisy in my statements, and you won't find me faulting or judging yours. Not me.

Judging is one thing, pre judging is another. But who ever heard of pre-judging the presumed pre judgement of an unpublished work by presumed readers presumed illiterate, presumed to be pre disposed to pass pre- judgement upon a work pre-presumed evil without evidence? Really. Who ever heard of such?

Ahh, my friend, the h meter is truly going wild. In other words, if the brethren hypocrisy is a chocolate cake, yours is several layers thick. Truly astonishing I allow. What flavor is the frosting on top? In between?

How sweet it is.

Anyway, keep casteing.

You post, I splinter, others read.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 2:36 am 
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I remember talking to Ngaire Thomas about her book 'Behind Closed Doors' and the attempts the brethren made to try and dissuade her from publishing it,they even demanded(unsuccessfully) to see the manuscript before she published. It...the threats, cajoling , intimidation,see they don't LIKE their nefarious actions put out in print for all to read it so a preemptive strike of 'all lies'*is understandable...that of course was what they said about the notes and transcripts of the Aberdeen meetings...condemned as ' all lies, 'tampered with' even before they saw it....

* I recall this being said about anything deemed 'negative' about the brethrens actions,we didn't DARE admit something might have gone dreadfully wrong...it HAD to be 'all lies' and I believe this was the way they justified telling the brethren not to listen to anybody, not to read anything ,or even open mail,because it was 'all lies'.The moment somebody was 'out' a well organized smear campaign kicked in to discredit them..


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:48 pm 
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Thanks for the heads up Ian. Great to see another memoir being released, especially from such a respected writer. I hope Rebecca's story reaches a wide audience and I too am very much looking forward to my Kindle version being delivered on 1st June.


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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 7:58 am 
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An extract of Rebecca’s book is published in today’s Mail Online at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/art ... -evil.html

It begins,
Quote:
No one would have guessed that I had been raised in a Christian fundamentalist sect, or that my father and grandfather were ministering brothers in one of the most reclusive and savage Protestant groups in British history.


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