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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:28 am 
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Posts: 6
I say 2011...it's an approximate date, it could have been a year or so each way. The public declaration of loyalty happened at least twice between May '03 and the time I left. Any who didn't speak the first time were 'followed up' with a phone call and given a second opportunity to declare their loyalty at another meeting. It was also a condition of going on any organised trip overseas - you would have a visit from an elder and would have to specifically declare your loyalty to the Letter.

As to everyone knowing everyone else was lying - the whole Brethren worldview depends on BDH being infallible, so I suppose many would have 'pinned their faith' (a well used Brethren phrase, which deserves a thread of its own!) on those around them having rationalised the paradox here. I suppose you could add an Emperor's New Clothes allegory to all of the other acts of dissonance: there's huge group pressure not to point out any hypocrisy when all around you are happy to swear agreement. Even now I can remember the sense of fear and isolation I felt in that meeting, because my instinct was to smile or laugh when the obsolete rules were read out and..nobody else was smiling. These rules were the direct word of the Man of God and to laugh or question anything he said or did would put you under immediate suspicion, if it didn't mean instant excommunication.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:14 pm
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Would love to see a copy of that letter posted for all to see!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:46 am
Posts: 125
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Dear Fisherman, (re 29,10,17)

Your are showing yourself (along with others) to be groping in darkness with your futile attempts of critically evaluating the HEB (Holy Exclusive Brethren) fellowship. You seem to have forgotten that the mind of man is incapable of apprehending the subtleties of ‘the things of God’.

You foolishly expect that they will be jolted by evidence of internal inconsistencies such as internet being the devils territory 10 years ago, while today UTB can help in this frontier, so essential for commercial success. Inconsistencies and contradictions cease to have significance once one grasps the incontrovertible reality that the Man of God is always right and he alone therefore has the right change what has gone before. This relieves one of the the burden of thinking morally, and it solves every problem (until things go wrong and you are obliged to take the blame).

You stumble in thinking negatively about ‘none of his words fall to the ground’ - well of course they don’t ‘fall to the ground’, they are all immediately sucked up by brethren as food - stupid.

As for things being ‘carved in stone’, we would have to agree that, that was knocked on the head 2 1/2 Millenia ago by Isaiah - we and they have moved on, so things are much more fluid and organic - they can ‘turn corners’ with ease. Moving on from the ‘stone age’ is admirable but our former brethren don’t appear to latch onto any valid role model, settling instead for what falls well short of the “Bride of Christ”; which, as you often remind us, one would reasonably expect to have Christlike characteristics.

Yes, the PBCC is a remarkable organisation of preprogrammed minds having identifiable cult characteristics, but then why continue to expect them to respond rationally to our challenges when this is something quite outside their programmed mindset. This is hard for a rational mind to accept. OK, we shouldn’t give up hope that some might become enlightened. And so we keep writing because it has a therapeutic effect on ourselves and we reasonably expect that it will eventually be in some way effective.

I have been searching my mind to see if I can come up up with anything we have, as common ground on which we can communicate, with those former brethren we are trying to connect with. So far I have not been able to come up with anything. In areas such as compassion, empathy, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, righteousness, family relationships, honour or any of the biblical lists of Christian ethical conduct, they remain aloof and separate with their protective Teflon separation film which they instinctively exude. You just can’t get through to them on such topics. I know that I could step through the Teflon barrier to become one of them but this would require that I pretend to believe their lies and adopt their cultish constraints - No way!!

Does anyone have helpful insights?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:06 am 
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm
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I cannot disagree with your reasoning as to the appearent futility of awakening some vestige of latent conscience in the Eb,except for one factor-many of us while appearing to be obedient unquestionably members of the EB were wrestling with our conscience over the travesties of seeing families and marriages broken up, plus the appearent disregard for any scripture that was clearly at variance from what was being currently stressed amongst us...this added to the blatent hypocricy and chopping and changing of edicts that were forced upon us one week,then abandoned the next, was not sitting well, although to the outsider,we appeared to be unconcerned...that process went on for 10 years * before we finally hit the tipping point,and it is for that reason, I still have hope that there may yet be something that will happen

* talking to others,this 'incubation' period appears to be far more the rule than the exception before people actually have the courage of their convictions to say ' enough is enough'


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 am
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Errr


Last edited by The Questioner on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 am
Posts: 891
I don't think that the EB will reform. They may reinvent as they already have. They may well make changes in their regulatory system. Refirm and real change would be admitting wrong. They don't do that and have invented a system for dismissing claims that what they do now turns on its head what they once did (and punished people over). They explain away their inconsistencies by speaking of 'the Lord turning corners' and, as I remember, not using 'past mininisty against current ministry' or of hearing the 'current voice of the Spirit' and other empty cliches.

Individuals will ,of course, continue to leave but I cannot see the EB changing. Added to this we are now on the second generation of EB school educated people.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Location: Omnipresent
Quote:
Added to this we are now on the second generation of EB school educated people


With the word 'education' used in its widest possible sense here!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm
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I agree that a mass reform movement within the EB while possible is unlikely, most of these aberrant cults either implode ( i.e. when their 'divinely appointed' leader cuts and runs,generally after having milked the flock for everything they can get)or die through attrition as seen in typical 'closed' fellowships.

More likely is individuals coming to their senses and leaving,either alone or in small groups and it is to those I believe we need to stay in touch if for no other reason than to counteract the smear campaigns that the EB use to discredit people.Unfortionately people who leave the main group,but still clinging to the past ,still under the influence that they have some special'light' often stay within small groups ( i.e..Rention/Frost variations)where they soldier on thinking they are 'faithful' rather than finding fellowship in existing churches (looking back, this was our experiance,and in retrospect,we would have been better off making a clean break,but on the other hand were probably not ready to,we had no idea what a 'normal' church was)

Still others*leave ,but go nowhere and that I find sad,still under the influence of the EB 'separation' false doctrine and deprive themselves of Christian fellowship( I know of several individuals who spent up to 30 years living alone in 'separation' desperately trying to achieve their goal of 'dying in fellowship'-what a waste,although it makes great 'object lessons ' for the EB to keep people in line ...)

*please note- I am not directing my comments to people who have no spiritual convictions and never did but found themselves 'in fellowship' simply by being 'born into it',although even there,a number of people leaving the EB,later did have a spiritual conviction,which is unlikely while remaining in the EB.(rather than rejoicing, nothing outrages the EB more than an individual telling their former brethren they have come to know the Lord)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:19 am
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Location: Snidey
When I left the peebs, for the first little while - I think it was the combination of brainwashing and embarrassment realising how duped I had been, when someone said to me (another expeeb) that he thought the whole thing was rotten all the way back to JND, and I remember being a little defensive about that - 'really? JND?' was what I said.

Of course many years later now I totally agree with him, and without a shadow of doubt and rather perfectly put by Michael Bachelard in his book - It was and always has been a Culture of Separation.

JND would likely be classified nowadays as suffering from Aspergers, which carries with it the curse of very poor social awareness and very low social skills with zero conscience when it comes to pursuing some task or other. The drastic effects of brutal separation on families through generations is one of the main things that hurt our feelings so badly, especially when it is wrapped in the garbage of being faithful to The Lord and other crazy excuses, such as out of context lines arbitrarily taken from the bible, itself meddled with old hairy jowls himself JND.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:01 am 
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I have long believed the Achilles heel of brethren was not so much an individual but how they were set up right from the get go ,EB have no plurality of leadership(whatever JND was or wasn't he would have shared the role with others and probably be valued for his academic ability leaving administration to others ) ,no protocols of qualifications, no elders or accountability ,then add no local autonomy which means no checks and balances, and no firewalls to contain damage...it wasn't 'if' but 'when' and how bad it would be...

If brethren HAD of been set up with these provisions,when a leader went off on a tangent,first line of defence would be the elders, then other local leaders could step in and local autonomy would contain damage to that locality rather than be world wide..Nor would there be a'universal fellowship' which proved to be low hanging fruit for an unscrupulous leader to milk the flock. The brethren were ripe for the plucking...

ps....JTjr and probably his father JT wouldn't have got to first base -didn't even qualify for the job( one of Pauls qualications for oversight was not being given to alcohol...) same for Symington and the Hales don't even make the short list-sorry about that(Getting drunk and loving money automatically disqualifies-if you 'follow Pauls ministry ')Too bad the brethren didn't stick with FERs teaching that 'there could be no such thing as a 'special fellowship within a fellowship' and 'the Assembly INCLUDED all true believers' ...would have spared us a lot of grief ,we might have remained being simple believers gathering to the name of the lord and maybe not becoming a cult.No money in it of course( and BDH would still be selling used office furniture ,living in a modest tract house ,driving a van and not flying around in his personal biz jet)


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