What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

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Peter W Harrison
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:46 am

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by Peter W Harrison » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:20 pm


In 1960 I resided in London for 6 months. This was my ‘over-seas experience’. I was local at Rochford Street meeting which meant I was local with Percy and Ruth Lyon. I was then 23 and had always taken my Christian upbringing seriously. I wanted my life to be regulated by God’s word, and for me this meant ‘conviction before action’.

At that time JTJr, who was not at all popular with UK brethren, was increasingly asserting authority in a way which implied that he was the ‘Elect vessel’, divinely chosen for this moment in the Recovery. He asserted his authority in his rulings on ‘separation’. G.R.Cowell counter-ministered a more moderate approach. This stirred the wrath of JTJr, and GRC was soon after put out the fellowship.

JTJr rapidly developed a reputation for the ‘gift of administration’. He was revered for having resolved many longstanding local conflicts and feuds. Brethren accepted that ‘the Lord had laid his hand’ on JTJr to purify the assembly in preparation for the imminent rapture. The question remained, deep beneath the surface, whether his power was a divinely bestowed gift or natural ability honed by his day to day experiences. Over the years, his responses and frequent directives, viewed in hindsight, exhibited increasing reliance on his authority and on his increasing abuse of power, which culminated in the ridiculous disaster of Aberdeen, where so many brethren showed that they had completely lost their capacity for rational and moral discernment.

I was deeply disturbed by JTJr’s approach in the 60s which in essence was that one must practice the truth, and conviction will follow; which in turn implied that ‘the truth’ was what was ministered in the meetings where he presided. This was a profound change around for me but I concluded that I could not continue in the fellowship unless I converted. I sensed that my parents and everyone else I knew, were going through the same agonies but it wasn’t safe to talk about it because this would be an indication to others in the fellowship, of a serious moral defect which then would endanger ones privileged position in ‘the recovery’. One could end up in darkness and moreover if these dreadful doubts were not thoroughly judged one might share the dreaded fate of Judas. With these thoughts flooding through my mind I joined the ranks of enthusiastic promoters of the new order. I felt mostly safe for many years but gradually legitimate doubt prevailed and in 1982, Brethren decided (correctly) that I was not ‘one of them’. (They jacked up a false accusation to achieve their ends.) My wife an four (minor aged) sons, remained loyal to the fellowship.

I am now in my 81st year yet these events are unforgettable; yet when you ask those in the fellowship for their recollections they typically will claim they can’t remember. My explanation for this is that due to their implicit trust in their leader they shunned thinking morally; the conscience not being involved becomes dulled, and cultish structures consequently become established. Memory becomes an embarrassment. I personally contributed to this whole sickening scenario by not having the courage to speak up, and by submitting to mind control.

My consequent search for meaning in life is ongoing and challenging, without the crippling element of induced fear.
Last edited by Peter W Harrison on Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Erect Vessel
Posts: 533
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:19 am
Location: Not la la land

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by The Erect Vessel » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:04 am

Thank you for writing your experience Mr Peter Harrison which while different to mine, in so many ways was just the same.

What struck me more than anything else as the blinkers were slowly lifting from my brainwashed eyes, was that I could plainly see that they had two standards, and when I quietly and gently pointed this out - irrefutably - they got so angry. The two priests got that mad angry, that on the next visit they swapped one of them for a new one as they realised that the one 'sacked' priest had really lost it.

Of course I was completely wrong, as they have a million and one standards, depending on whether Bruce can make more money then a 'standard' is swapped, modified or dropped, on the whim of 'The Lord turning a corner'. (That of course is despite the fact that The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever')

Utter crooks masquerading as a Church!

+ Totally brainwashed blind followers.

Poor souls (that is the ordinary rank and file card carrying members).

I have no sympathy for the head honchos.

Posts: 2830
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by fisherman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:59 am

Well said...I am not the slightest impressed by Bruce's millions,billions,whatever-who cares?..you come into this world with nothing in your hand and you take nothing out.Its all 'Monopoly money' anyway- it all goes back in the box at the end of the game,all the cash and all the realestate.....fortunes built on the tears of countless broken lives and marriages ripped apart by these ego driven charltans masquerading as 'Christians '....they have neither mercy nor compassion for their victims,sacrificed on the alter of EB self serving pride,the most unchristian like people I have ever met..followers of the meek and lowly,unpretentious Jesus?not a chance!..who knows how many people seeing through their their hypocricy and duplicity walked away saying 'if that's Christianity,I want nothing to do with it'( it wasn't and I want nothing to do with it either,and like many others ,only discovered 'real Christianity' AFTER I left the EB)

While I do have some empathy for the poor deluded souls 'born into fellowship'( no personal convictions required) ,' tossed and carried about by any wind of doctrine'( Ephesians 4:14) brainwashed and fearful of the reprisals meted out to anyone who dares stand up to them but to the purpetrators of this travesty I can do no better than quote another fisherman in Acts 8:23 ' Take your money and go to hell'

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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:11 pm

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by charles » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:35 pm

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church is an opponent like no other, they are full of contradictions, they are unusual. They say they are a mainstream Christian church, but separation from the world, including all other Christians who are not of the PBCC, is their major belief. Mainstream Christian Churches understand what forgiveness means, but the PBCC rarely forgives members who have left them. A mainstream Christian Church wouldn't assist in breaking up someone's family, and certainly wouldn't write into their rules of membership that if someone is excommunicated from the church they have to vacate their family home. But in practice this is what happens to brethren of the PBCC. I won't pursue this further because we all know and have experienced the Hales Exclusive Brethren rules and weird ways. You wouldn't think an ex member would be afraid of their old church but I was - for about 15 years. I used to travel home from work regularly at 10 in the evening on the ferry, along with the EBs who had been to their weekly 'interchange meeting'. My mother (an EB) could be sitting opposite me, after the first flicker of recognition she would ignore me; the local leader would look at me as if I were a cockroach, a pest who should be exterminated. His look was full of sarcasm suggesting that he would like to tread on me. But in time things changed.

What is under discussion is why don't Ex EBs write their experiences and treatment received at the hands of the Hales EBs on this site or other sites where they could be read by the public. I agree that it would be helpful if they did but I know of three Ex Brethren who would not have dreamt of going public with their experiences. The first one was an EB brother I had known since we were teenagers. He married in the 1960s and had a wife, children and his own business. Around 1996 he was withdrawn from for sheltering in a church from bad weather, ice and snow, whilst a service was in progress. I contacted him and we had a few phone conversations and he told me what had happened to him, he had lost everything. I eventually asked him why didn't he write a few comments on the ex-brethren website about how he had been treated and his answer was, 'You don't kick a box when your children are in it.'

The second ExEb I knew who suffered abominable treatment at their hands was a friend I used to work with. He had married the boss's daughter, had three children, a job and a house. He was put out 40 years ago over a raked-up charge, consequently losing everything and he was on his own. The first ten years out were hard but he eventually found happiness again after re-marrying. I last saw him over 10 years ago and he talked and talked about his life. He kept saying, 'I don't want to become bitter.' Both he and his wife have now both died. He never contributed anything to PeebsNet because it would have jeopardised what contact he had with his children in the Hales EBs. He wouldn't have anything to do with writing a witness statement to the Charity Commission in 2012.

Lastly, thirty years ago my Hales EB parents-in-law provided a home for their young grandchildren, youngest was 7, after the parents had been withdrawn from, again on a trumped up charge. We knew about it first in 1992. This totally changed my perception of those brethren. This news left us flabbergasted, we almost needed counselling and talked about it with a church pastor and his wife. The pastor's wife said to me, 'Any organisation that assists in breaking up a Christian marriage is Satanic.' I felt strongly and still feel this way that the destruction by the EBs of my relatives' family was the depths of wickedness, the EBs having effectively stolen the children. But my relatives will not have anything to do with writing publicly about their experience, even though they have written details of the events as they took place. They have a bit of contact with some of their children and they want to keep this contact.

It was in 1976 that the BBC made a TV programme about the Symington EBs following on from the 1974 Andover, Roger Paynes murder of his family. We had been out of the EBs less than a year and I recorded it on an audio tape recorder. James Christie, father of Garth (from Leeds UK) featured in the film and his cousin, Jill Knight, the then MP for Edgbaston, had quite a lot to say about how her cousin, James, had been excommunicated and how he never saw his teenage child / children who had stayed in the brethren. As the film came to an end she said, 'All we can do is shine a bit of light on these brethren and their activities'. That was in 1976, the invention of the Internet makes this easier to do. I agree with Abishag that it would be good if more people who had been harmed by the Hales EBs spoke up, but there probably are reasons why they don't.

The Questioner
Posts: 955
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 am

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by The Questioner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:34 pm

One of the oddities, however, is how ex-EB are very vocal on the public Facebook page which gives their name but still refuse to give any evidence, even when they could have done so anonymously.

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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by fisherman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:54 pm

'Refuse to give evidence'-Not surprising...the fear of retribution runs deep. All cults use fear to control people and the EB are masters at it ,fear of losing their salvation,fear of 'dying out of fellowship' ,fear of going to another church, fear of losng their friends,fear that if they give evidence the EB will take it out on their relatives still in.They're not nice guys

What ExEB don't realise is as long as they are afraid,the EB still control them.This is why scripture describes is as a 'yoke of bondage'

The Questioner
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 am

Re: What is wrong with ex-Peebs!

Post by The Questioner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:09 am

No fisherman. I wrote they are explicit on a public face book page where their name is shown.But tHey could as I understand have given their evidence anonymously. There would have been no retribution.

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