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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Mrs Anna Joy Napthine (nee Brock) took her life on 25th August 1981. The cause of death was recorded as hanging, and the Coroner concluded that she killed herself.

She was found by her husband Peter when he returned to the family home in London, UK, after he had been out to the park with their two little children, Rebecca and Gary.

Anna was at the time under Exclusive Brethren ʽassembly disciplineʼ.

She had confessed to a sin some years before, for which she was forgiven although not withdrawn from. However in 1981 the EB leader of the day, J.H.Symington, put forward new teaching on 1 Cor 5:11-13, requiring that the assembly be ʽclearedʼ of all such matters. Anna and hundreds like her in the EB worldwide, had to be confronted with their sin all over again, and be withdrawn from for the statutory minimum, seven days. It was expected that Anna would be restored to fellowship after a week, but her case went on for some time longer, until she took her life.

The London Brethren buried her, and attended the Coronerʼs inquest which was held on 9 September 1981.

Anna was known to be vulnerable; she suffered with a nervous condition. According to the Police she was not on any medication at the time of her death.


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I was in the EB from birth (1965) to 1984, when I was withdrawn from at the age of 19. When I was 15 a local sister was withdrawn from for something that had already been 'cleared' years before but had to be dealt with under the new JHS (1 Cor 5) 7 day doctrine. She had 2 young kids and a history of mental ill health. After a few weeks we heard the news that she had taken her life.

I have often wondered if I should present myself to the police as someone who played a part in the events that led to her death. It may sound twisted, but I would like to hear your thoughts. I was 15 and knew the family quite well. The peebs have told me that they believe that she would still be alive if they had not treated her so badly.


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For an explanation of the context of this story, I refer you to the '7 Day Matters' thread in the General Archive. For those who do not have access to this area of the forums, I submit the following explanation. The basis for this monstrous imposition (and inquisition) was the 'Law of Leprosy" in Leviticus 13:


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2.When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:

3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

4 If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days




In about 1982, as a result of an edict from the leader, Jim Symington, people were 'withdrawn from' for 7 days despite their age, health, or the fact that they had formerly repented. Some of these elderly brethren had to revisit the sins of their childhood. When we heard that this 'purge' had been set on, people got excited. It was like the roar of the crowd in the Amphitheatre. Some would be thrown to the lions. The telephones ran hot with gossip. This was the most hateful incident I know of and I believe that if Heaven could have wept, the earth would have suffered another deluge.

Offenders were 'confined' for 7 days and the sins of the past were publicly announced. The repented were temporarily removed for past evils. And it left a 'stain' after the 7 days. Old men who were formerly evangelistic were prevented from preaching. Families were exposed to the knowledge of dreadful and shocking incidents such as incestuous incidents that had been better left forgotten. I understand now that some incidences should have been better referred to the police.



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The “seven day matter” was a new edict from Symington. Any, and, I mean any, sexual misconduct that a person had been involved in must be publicly confessed and that person had to be shut-up for at least seven days. If the priest didn’t like someone, this gave him the power to leave that person shut-up for a longer period while he, the priest, investigated the matter further. If the person had children or a spouse they were taken away for as long as the person was shut-up.

In my city I observed parents being exposed in front of their children. In one case an older couple who had been married for fifty years were exposed in front of all their grandchildren. Apparently they had slept together just prior to their marriage.

Others who had confessed their sin privately years ago, now had their confidentially exposed. In my city alone over fifty people were shut-up during this purge.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:43 am 
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Sent in by a patron:

Quoted elsewhere from Vol.127 p.4 (Neche, 2Jan80) ~
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J.H.S. I have the strongest conviction that the Lord has moved in closer in the connection of the purging of local assemblies. I don't think any local assembly is going to escape, nor do I think any single person is going to escape. Dreadful features of compromise have happened over what we call the holiday season,—Christmas parties involving strong drink and compromise, blatant compromise in business connections. In Sydney alone, more than twenty have been withdrawn from. And in many other places, compromise has been met, and persons have been withdrawn from. Now you may reason that Mr. Jim wouldn't have done this. He wouldn't allow us to deal with young persons in their teens unless it was 1 Corinthians 5, or something equivalent. But I am assured that if he were with us now, he'd be with us in what's proceeding. The Lord has moved in on us. There's still time to get adjusted, but if we refuse adjustment at this point, it could go on to the end. I would hope not, but I'm very fearful of that very end for persons I've had to do with.


Hmmmff, JHS was a prophet after all, in the most ghastly of self-fulfilling ways. Just over a year and a half after he 'ministered' the above to the saints worldwide, Mrs Anna Napthine took her own life when left under discipline by the London UK priests, who were acting presumably under orders from JHS on one of his 'clean & clear' purges. An utter tragedy, and something which sits on the conscience of some ex-Brethren (formerly Brethren) who knew about it at the time, to this day. One can only assume the way Mrs Napthine's life and death were handled, is NOT on the consciences of current Brethren, as they have done nothing to clear things up with all those involved, despite several reminders on the subject. Why would a self-described Christian Church even need reminding they should sort out their culpability and gross mishandling of a case like this... let alone the need to somehow radically change their hierarchical modus operandi to ensure such dreadful 'priestly' activities can never again be sanctioned by the church (or the silenced-by-fear local members thereof, by default)?

It is completely shocking that a so-called Christian group can leave this woman's blood crying from the ground for over 33years... as far as I'm aware, the police haven't the slightest clue as to the possible depth of the EB church's culpability in Anna's death. Same applies to several other suicides mentioned in this forum.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:49 am 
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Thank you for this JHS quotation. It is of great assistance to me in a current project. It demonstrates the JHS advocated in effect the mental abuse of children making such requirements of people in their teens who were victims not offenders.

Many, many thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:36 pm 
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I was told that JHS was reputed to say''it was an attack on the priesthood'' on being advised a young woman under ''discipline'' had committed suicide .What was said to Cain is still true-''their blood crys out from the ground''

In spite of the terrible effects of this heretical doctrine had on countless individuals and familes-some of whom never recovered,possably the greatest sin of all was that by resurecting old long confessed and forgiven sins that the scriptures says the Lord FORGETS[Hebrews 8:12].,it denegrates the precious cleansing power of Christs shed blood on the cross-he died for ALL of our sins,past,present and FUTURE.

Just WHO did JHS,or anyone else think they were to deny the truth of Divine grace?There was an ''attack''alright-but not on the so called EB ''priesthood''-the attack was on the very essence of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.Once again we have yet another clear example of the EB's ''authoritative ministry'' being completely at variance with what the scriptures teach us.

I openly challange any EB reading this to denounce such teachings as false doctrine and what Paul told the Galatians was a ''diferent gospel''-and to have nothing to do with people who would ''bring them again into bondage''[Galatians 3:1]What terrible bondage our brethren have been brought into....by ''wolves in sheeps clothing who shall arise from among your own selves, not sparing the flock''-[Acts 20]and thats the ''Pauls ministry'' that the EB claim to follow,but don't...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Does anyone have a photograph of Anna they could send in? docs@wikipeebia.com please if you do.

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