David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

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David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by Admin » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:39 pm

Daily Mail (UK)

January 12, 1999

The strictures of a bizarre religious sect drove a man to his death 15 years ago. Monica Porter recalls the case of David Beech, undone by a packet of cigarettes.

THE inquest into the death of a member of the ultra-strict religious sect, the Exclusive Brethren, ruled that he committed suicide because of the 'guilty secret' he harboured.

David Beech, 48, had been furtively smoking for 20 years, despite the habit being banned by the Brethren's rules.

When his wife found a packet of cigarettes in the airing cupboard at home, she reported him to the cult's leaders.

As punishment, the couple and their three children were temporarily banned from the sect's close-knit social life. Friendship with 'outsiders' was forbidden by the Brethren, and the Beeches' exile led to the breakdown of their marriage.

Beech left his home in Cheadle, near Manchester, to stay with two former sect members, David Shorto and his wife Eunice. But after a year of mounting depression, he killed himself by putting his head on a railway line.

Mrs. Shorto told the inquest at Stockport how he read and reread a text on the evils of smoking by formere Brethren leader Jim Taylor. It said smoking 'brings in what smoke is -- darkness and blackness. It is filthy and against the spirit of God'.

"The poor man was driven to desperation,' she concluded.

The Shortos said Beech had once been a 'witty, lively man who liked performing George Formby songs to entertain his friends'.

Beech's wife Diana denied that it was pressure from the sect which led to his suicide. 'He simply felt that he hae been deceitful and could not continue.'

The Brethren is still making pronouncements against our various 'sins'. In recent years, the 10,000-strong cult branded computer technology 'the work of the Devil' and banned members' children from using computers at school lest they be corrupted by their 'satanic influence'.
This is a subject of which we have personal knowledge. Not long after we left the EB in the early 1980s we had a phone call from David Beech, a brother formerly local with us in Manchester, UK. He had been withdrawn from for telling lies. He had smoked an occasional illicit cigarette, his wife found a half-used packet in a cupboard and I believe he had denied it was his, so he had to leave.

He came to live with us and was tolerably happy on and off, but pined for his wife and three children. When he contacted the priests to say he was truly sorry and to express full repentance they replied that they hadn't in mind to review his case at present. This went on for months and Dave became more and more depressed; they had been such a happy and united family, very musical and full of fun.

Eventually he tried to end his own life by taking an overdose of medication. This attempt had a mildly amusing ending as my wife Eunicé went to wake him up, having missed him. He peered groggily at her and didn't seem to know who she was. Later he confided that he thought he had died and that she was an angel, so Eunicé commiserated with him that he must have been terribly disappointed that it was only her after all!

Dave was taken to hospital and recovered for a while but was held in the p**ch**tric ward (**s inserted to get around the problem of having this reply accepted, the site apparently doesn't like the P word) which he found very humiliating. Finally, late one night he drove to the railway line behind his old home in Gatley where he and his wife had raised their children and laid his head on the rail. The note he left in his car directed the police to us and I had to identify his battered body.

This was clearly a case of cruelty by the Manchester EBs at this time. He had committed no great crime, was sorry for his deception and should have been allowed to rejoin his family. They showed little remorse though and behaved in an unfeeling way at his burial. Dave Beech is yet another person who suffered so badly from EB practises that he committed suicide.
Death Certificate of David Etchello Beech

Registered: Stockport

Date and place of death: December 1st, 1983, Railway line, Gatley

Cause of death: Traumatic decapitation - Suicide.
Brother David’s secret sin
By Andrew Russell

A Member of a strict religious sect could not live with the shame he brought on his family and himself.

David Beech, 47, died with his head on a railway line after leaving his wife and three children in the care of the Exclusive Brethren community.

The sin that drove him to suicide was . . . smoking cigarettes, an inquest heard yesterday at Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Smoking is strictly against the rules of the Brethren and in the nights before his death, Mr Beech constantly reread a passage from one of their books. It said: ‘Smoking brings in what smoke is, darkness and blackness; it is filthy. It affects the breath; it is against the spirit of God.’

Mr Beech had been a secret smoker for 20 years when his wife, Diana, found a packet of cigarettes in the airing cupboard of her home in Marrick Close, Cheadle.

She reported him to the Brethren’s leaders, who decided that the family should be barred from the cult’s closeknit social life and daily meetings for two weeks.

The pain of being apart from the religious community which forbids any friendships with ‘outsiders’ led Mr Beech to leave his family so they could return to the only friends they knew.

While his 45-year –old wife and their children, Simon, Bobby, and Gilly, were welcomed back, he went to stay with a friend and former member of the brethren, Mr David Shorto, at his home in Abingdon Road, Bramhall.

Mr Shorto’s wife Eunice, also anexile from they Brethren, said Mr Beech spent ‘night after night’ reading the passage about smoking. ‘He said how wicked he was and how he wished he had never smoked. The poor Man was driven to desperation.’

Members of the Exclusive Brethren crowded the courtroom yesterday as Mrs Beech told coroner Mr peter Revington how her husband became ‘deceitful’ in July 1982. ‘One of the things he did was smoke secretly.

‘He left the sect entirely of his own accord, without pressure from me or anyone. He said he wanted to be with God.’

Mrs Beech, who did not take the oath but affirmed her evidence, said her husband wrote to her from hospital after taking an overdose of tablets, but she did not go to see him.

‘Some members of our meeting told me they would go. They were supervisors who thought they could help him.’

The jury returned a suicide verdict after Mr Revington told them: ‘It is not your duty to examine other people’s beliefs. Our country allows people to practise their religion as they think best.

After the hearing, Mr Shorto said: ‘When you are in the Brethren, you have no other friends so being banned from meetings is like being under house arrest.
Think outside of the box, create your own path in life. “You laugh at me because I am different; I laugh because you are all the same.”
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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by Nottachurch » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:37 pm

Have the Brethren expressed any remorse over the situation they put this man in, David Shorto? For that matter, have they ever apologised to you & your wife for what you each had to deal with?

If so, exactly what changes have the Brethren put in place in their disciplinary procedures, to try to stop such a dreadful situation recurring? I am not aware of any - there are still thousands of families split apart because of nonsense EB 'separatist' dogma (or worse, outright lies), and the consequences of this psychological trauma and loss are far-reaching.

The HEB today bear a heavy burden, looking at all the deaths on this thread... and as far as I'm aware, they have made NO attempt to shoulder their responsibility in these matters. Worse, they have caused further trauma by mounting a complete 'takeover bid' when exEB die, organising funerals in typically exclusive separatist insensitive fashion, muscling out nonEB or exEB friends/family who may wish to attend.

The church of my birth makes me sick on these occasions. Rest in Peace all troubled souls; the Brethren cannot hurt you any more.

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by Brother Rev » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:52 pm

A PBCC (Exclusive Brethren) Park Bench, found today on Gatley Hill Park, Gatley, Stockport, less than a mile from where David Beech committed suicide on the railway line near Gatley Station.

David Beech committed suicide because he couldn’t bear the prospect of his family being broken up because of EB separation policies.

There has never been a public apology and clearly the brethren have no conscience or guilt because if they had they would not have placed this bench in shameless self promotion.

At the very least the brethren could have inscribed the plaque –

“Donated by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in Memory of David Beech - We are Sorry”

Where is the compassion, love & christianity that the PBCC (Exclusive Brethren), signed up to in the Charity Commission agreement of Jan 2014 ?
The distinction between cult and religion lies squarely in how those leaving or those wanting to leave are treated

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by fisherman » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:55 am

'Shameless self promotion' is something the EB/PBCC is really really good at....

Just wondering ,is this what their high priced Public Relations spin doctors tell them to do?

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by Garfield » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:34 pm

Is having a cigarette any worse than a belly full of scotch, especially on an airplane? then annoying all the other passengers with drunken behavior.

Apparently that's OK, why? Because the "great man" thought scotch was OK. So that is the accepted answer, no further questions allowed.

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by Nottachurch » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:20 pm

Only in a cult or a totalitarian state, Garfield.

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by intrepid » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:47 pm

Dr. Stollery (who was JTJr's boyhood chum) used to tell the story of how he and JTJr used to walk downtown during summer vacation (when JTSr was away on tour) to go to the movies and JTJr used to smoke all the way there and back! As well JTJr had a brother Allen who smoked his entire life and was never dealt with!!

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by twotimothytwo » Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:27 pm

Look out for OneSmokus's new range of E-Cigarettes!

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by fisherman » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:41 pm

The EB/PBCC criteria for what is and what isn't 'evil'makes very little sense* and does not stand up to any normal rationale.Not even 'searching the scriptures to see if these things are so 'as the Bereans did much help in deciphering what ever passing whim or notion the leaders dreamed up,although that did not deter them in the slightest from imposing their egotistical wills on the brethren,where questions were not allowed.

While smoking is without any doubt a proven health hazard,I fail to understand why it should be deemed a 'sin'any more than any other health hazard such as obesity or failing to excercise. The only answer I ever got when asking on what basis smoking was a sin was that it was a 'sin against the Holy Spirit,because it contaminated the breath'to which I then asked if eating Limburger cheese or garlic was also a sin...but like most things in the EB/PBCC,using your God given brain is denounced as 'natural reasoning','obedience' is what is required...and when the edict was quietly dropped,as most of them were,you didn't ask why,either.

What is even harder to understand is how the EB/PBCC can completely ignore the many scriptural admonitions about drinking to excess ,or even pronounce teetotism as a 'sin',and yet at the same time pronounce someone smoking as an 'evil person,unfit for christian fellowship'

* possably the epitome of utterly rediculous EB/PBCC rules was the now denied ban on garage door openers(Daniel Hales publicly stated it was 'just another myth surrounding the brethren,I'm afraid')or cell phones,computers,eating food 'not prepared by holy hands',greeting one another with the infamous 'holy kiss' ,men wearing shorts,sharing a sewer pipe with the 'world',radio communication,fasting on the sabbath(drinking whisky was exempt)and that's just a few that come to mind.In fact the biggest problem with trying to explain EB/PBCC rules to outsiders is they are so completely far fetched,they look at you funny,no one believes anyone could be that stupid....

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Re: David Beech - Gatley, UK - Dec 1983 - Suicide

Post by fisherman » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:37 pm

the beloved brethren are masters at 'blowing smoke'....just ask them about why they changed their name from 'exclusive brethren' to 'PBCC' or try to say they are a 'gospel hall'?and where did their new found charitable 'good works'(that they trumpet from the housetops with newspaper ads,paid for by brethren business's)come from?
But if you really want to have some fun,ask them if they still reguard Jim Symington as one of 'These Great Men'(Divinely Appointed,of course) ....and if they believe that 'none of his words fell to the ground'?(you might mention the ban on men wearing shorts,garage door openers,computors and cell phones)
Now watch out for the smoke.....

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