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16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:57 am
by abishag
At the end of my bed on the wall -there is a photograph. It is of a pretty young woman - I think she is 23 or 24. The year, I'm pretty sure, is 1933. It could have been taken yesterday. Fresh faced and blooming with promise in her nurses uniform, an Anglican from a God fearing household, she smiles down on me each day and has done so for the past 16,607 days. Sadly, I barely know her and even have trouble bringing her to mind. I know I should remember her.

She is my mother.

And for 16,607 days I have been saddened by her fading memory and thought about her. A day does not go past when I don't give her a thought. A day does not go past when I think - if only- or what if. What if she had gone on to be a 'normal' person. And not a Peeb. My whole life would have been different. It may have been normal.

Sadly she was taken away from me by force while I was still a teenager. By the force of a so-called church, which determined that if I did not adhere and become a 'broken man' and agree to their overbearing terms, I should lose my birthright. I should lose the right to even know my parents or to see them ever again. My last dissolving recollections, dulled by the passage of 16,607 days, are now so faint I can scarcely bring them to mind. And that bothers me dreadfully.

I remember the fateful day quite clearly. The day she packed my small cardboard suitcase and placed it at the door. One change of clothes. No money. No photographs. No possessions of note. A toothbrush and one change of clothes was all I went with. And I'm sure it broke her heart. It sure did mine. See- the trouble was- I had not actually done anything wrong. I just wanted a chance to get a decent job and make a life. The church had taken my chance at a real education. This was newly prohibited by a North Dakotan farmer who was their leader of the day and hated 'smart' people. He 'pissed on degrees'. His words - not mine. A bad thing you would think - to forcibly take away a person's right to improving their knowledge. (Not that it affected Bruce Hales. He was allowed to study accounting by his father.)

Mind you I had been fighting that one for years. Every time I picked up a book that was not 'ministry' it was snatched out of my hand and the religious ravings of one of their long dead elders was put in my hands by replacement, by my father. One was called Raven. He was ravin' alright. I didn't get the point. When you live and breathe the hypocritical, cruel world of Brethrenism, you tend not to see any hidden potential for Christianity underscoring it. As a result, I didn't truly get my hands on any worthwhile knowledge until I left the Brethren.

Which brings me to the latest development from the Brethren and of course it's a threat. About what people are reading. And saying. This was highlighted by my friend in the UK recently on his blog. Hales has with his army of legal wordsmiths, which gives the PR boys a breather I suppose, come up with a new page long Copyright threat which he now gives reasons for.

Basically, it's an arse covering exercise again, because we obviously don't understand the circumstances or 'language' of the ministry and have obviously been twisting its real meaning in the past. Put simply, we don't understand the context and what we read will not make sense to us.

As Hales and his Bible trust say " Any reader who has acquired this material who is not a member of the Brethren community should not assume that their interpretation of the ministry is an accurate reflection of the doctrine of the church or the views of the individual speaker. "

What! These people are saying things in the church that are not accurate or a reflection of the doctrine! Then Mister Hales, why the bloody hell are you printing it? I like the way he puts it onto us. The great unwashed and departed. WE may not understand. We bloody well DO understand. Your words are not that hard to cobble together that we cannot see beyond them. As we have proven countless times in raking over your ramblings for any signs of sanity or Christian reason. So what Hales is saying here is this. Let him tell it:

"This is helpful ministry for the saints. It is intended for the benefit of members of the PBCC. As a result, it may contain language and expressions rooted in scripture and scriptural principle, the meaning and intent of which may vary from their common usage."

So their 'language' about the bible, departs from common usage language used around the globe. The bible is not that fiercely complicated Mister Hales. It is written in basic understandable English these days. What you are saying is, that the Brethren leaders have twisted and distorted it to a point where it no longer retains its original meaning. Hence this cutting yourself off from humanity- the exact opposite of what Christ himself did.

All this comes from the exodus of Brethren publications literally flowing over the border into the hands of people not qualified to understand their content. Despite us having a better grasp of the English language and literature in general than most Peebs I would add. He doesn't want us looking at and criticizing the confused muck of his diatribes or chortling at the retorts of his sycophants. Because as we know, much of it just doesn't make sense. It 'differs from common usage'. See.

He then exhorts the Brethren - 'those issued with (sold) ministry books must agree that they will not disclose the content of the work (?) to anyone who is not a member of the Brethren.' This will help avoid misinterpretation by those outside.

So I look at my trusty Index of all the crap Hales has talked about over the past 15 years and it seems I may have gotten it all wrong. When he says things like "we must develop an utter hatred for the world' we must have been misinterpreting this to mean that they hate the world. Silly us.

So then they go on to imply how they will sue us and instigate unrelenting legal action against us etc. etc. in the event that we blow the whistle by using their words against them. On the grounds that we don't understand them. Or will twist their meaning.

It proves one thing. You cannot take them at their word. But then again, you never could. It's generally the case with snake oil salesmen and cult leaders. Blokes who have been maintaining that they are the direct link to God have been saying this stuff for generations. No one understands what I say and what I mean - except me.

(As the copyright itself did not have a copyright, not being part of the actual 'ministry', I feel it fair to share snippets of it with you.)

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:10 am
by abishag
I meant to say , I'd like to see this explanation of Hales stand up in a court of law. I'm pretty sure, when push came to shove, that their words are crystal clear. As Hales loves to repeat his words (a bit like another so-called leader in Washington), I'm sure the legal system would not be accepting the argument that the real meaning cannot be understood by those 'in the world'. Either way - I'm keeping my Hales Thesaurus handy in case they ever do go legal on us. By his words will he be judged.

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:46 am
by Ian McKay
For those not familiar with the extended copyright declaration that Abishag refers to, you can read it on Laurie Moffitt’s blog at ... UNSET%255D

The page that Laurie has displayed is cleverly composed and it contains elements of truth, but its net effect is misleading. I believe it is intended to conceal the real reason for the Brethren’s secrecy.

It is true that the brethren use a lot of words with a meaning different from and sometimes almost the opposite of their normal meaning, but in most instances the Brethren’s meaning is very far from being “rooted in scripture” as the page alleges.

For instance, to most people and to the authors of the New Testament, “testimony” implies something outgoing, so “the testimony” is a misleading choice of name for the Brethren’s own little secret society, the main public effect of which has been to discredit Christianity by pretending to represent it. “The recovery” is an equally misleading name for a line of religious development that is largely a modern invention. It is not a recovery of anything that existed in the past. The word “recovery” does not occur in the Darby bible, and does not occur with that meaning in any of Darby’s writings. Even that usage of the word is a modern invention, like the religion it refers to.

In Brethren parlance, “The Truth” refers to the Brethren’s copyrighted secret brand of falsehood and fantasy; “separation from evil” often means separation from goodness; “ministering” often means demanding; “priest” means policeman; “loving your enemies” sometimes equates to “suing the bastards;” “a pure man” means someone who sleeps with someone else’s wife, lies about it, uses abusive, sexist and racist language in church accompanied by lavatorial humour, consumes large volumes of whisky, brags about the brethren’s wives he has “had,” demands money from his followers and claims the right to beat their wives.

Most of these terms with Orwellian meanings are loaded words with usages that appear designed to deceive readers into thinking Exclusive Brethrenism is a respectable system of teachings and practices. “The world” means any human institution or activity outside of Brethrenism, a usage that glosses over the fact that Exclusive Brethrenism is in every sense part of the world, and its values are more worldly than those of any mainstream church I know of.

Half-way down the page there is a valid point about respecting personal privacy. It is true that sometimes the printed ministry refers to personal details that people would prefer to keep private, such as crises of faith, sexual indiscretions, illegal or unjust deeds, deliberate deceit, abuses of power, financial affairs or mental illness, and it is usually best not to reveal the identities of such people when we quote passages of ministry, especially if the person involved is young and vulnerable.

However, the paragraph about personal privacy reeks of hypocrisy. If the Brethren’s concern were genuinely about personal privacy, they would not have printed the details in the first place and distributed them to tens of thousands of readers. Let me ask those who remember life among the Brethren: if you had some personal events or facts that you would rather keep private, what kind of exposure would embarrass you the most, having them revealed to tens of thousands of religiously judgmental readers, many of whom know you personally, or to a few non-Brethren who have probably never heard of you? Which is the greater invasion of privacy?

So what is the real reason for the Brethren’s culture of secrecy? Why do they warn their members not to let outsiders see their printed ministry? Why do they make it difficult for non-members to attend most of their meetings? Why do they brand as traitors those who reveal to outsiders the proceedings of their meetings?

These questions are easy to answer. You only need to read a representative sample of Brethren ministry of the last 50 years, and ask yourself: If I had produced stuff as bad as this, would I want the public to know about it?

These books are crammed with ridiculous interpretations of scripture, extravagant adulation of “these great men,” sweeping denigration of all other cultures, pompous self-aggrandisement, pretentious empty claims, extreme sectarianism, opaque, incomprehensible prose, woolly waffle, mindless, worn-out slogans, and relentless repetition of the need for strict separation and total unconditional obedience to the current leadership. A few volumes of the Taylor and Symington eras are also replete with mindless, drunken babbling and profane buffoonery.

It all leaves a sad impression of a private club marked by base values, spiritual darkness, intellectual poverty, oppressive control and monumental arrogance. No wonder they want to keep it secret.

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:50 am
by The Questioner
The basis for which this charity gets its government support is that its existence is for the benefit of the general public and mankind.

Hales contradicts this, it seems. ... spel-trust

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:19 pm
by Ian McKay
The Bible and Gospel Trust allows bibles and the ministry of early leaders to be sold or given to non-Exclusives; it was only from the time of JTJr that most of the ministry became strictly secret.

Selling the early ministry is of questionable public benefit, because the Kingston Gospel Trust already supplies it to anyone that wants it but I suppose the BGT policy of withholding later ministry from the general public has the benefit of protecting the general public from a lot of toxic ideas. Does that count as a public benefit, or am I stretching the definition?

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:36 pm
by The Questioner
The reality is that the general public and humankind will not give a fig about ministry, early or recent.

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:58 pm
by Ian McKay
The general public are unlikely to read or benefit from any Exclusive Brethren ministry of the last 100 years or more, but there is a ready appetite for the more enlightened ministry of mainstream leaders. Books by John M. Frame, C. S. Lewis, Desmond Tutu, John C. Polkinghorne, Nicholas Thomas Wright and many others sell very well.

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:04 pm
by The Questioner
They sell well and are written in language which is rarely ambiguous. Hales is, in effect, saying that the bible should be kept from people other than the brethren because it will not be understood. The reality is that it is Hales and his predecessors who have twisted its meaning.

Most modern enlightened theologians encourage debate.

Re: 16,607 days and the threats still keep coming.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:44 pm
by fisherman
The very fact the EB refuse to enguage in debate is just another red flag they are a cult, but I really don't blame them because they look really foolish when they do( I suggest that's why they hire professionals to speak for them) Daniel Hales made a complete ass of himself trying to defend brethren policy,claiming the ban on garage for openers was 'just another myth surrounding the brethren,I'm afraid'.You'll notice he didn't do that again.....

I suggest they are so used to holding the upper hand they are most uncomfortable when the tables are turned and THEY are put of the spot.'Just accept it ' doesn't win points in a public debate....

'The bible should be kept from people other than the brethren'.....Deja vue...that was precisely the reason the RC church refused to accept the bible translated into the common language of the day, English, on the grounds that the priests were the only ones to interpret scripture because the common people might get it wrong....