It seems the Exclusive Brethren of our fair hamlet have caused a bit of a ruckus with their grandiose plans for an 800 seat stadium in Blakely road, replete with 160 parking spots, MCG style security lights and God knows what else, all slap bang in the middle of a quiet suburban street full of retirees looking forward to whiling away their twilight years tending the roses in peace and solitude.
(to object to the development see below for instructions)
So here at Atheists Anonymous we thought it was time to shine a light on this dark and secretive cult:
According to the contemporary bible Wikipedia, the Plymouth Brethren sect was founded way back in1829, when it split from the Church of England, which in turn split from the Catholic Church way, way back in 1534. Subsequently the Exclusive Brethren split from the Open Brethren in 1868…….and so it goes on…..and on and on. The sect has been splitting and occasionally re-uniting ever since, not unlike your modern day rock band or bogan marriage. Every split is based on evermore pedantic reinterpretations of some esoteric phrase in the old testament, and every split from the mother church produces an ever more fundamentalist offspring.
The seventh leader of the sect is Australian businessman Bruce Hales, a paunchy office furniture salesman from Sydney, (hardly Messiah material, you would think) The supreme leader is referred to as ‘The Elect Vessel’. (whatever that means. Apparently the idea is to fill the vessel with doubloons) Young Bruce took over from his father John, as is the norm with your dynastic cult. He will rule for life, or until he dies, which ever comes first.
Bruce has ultimate control over how the Brethren dress, wear their hair and do their make-up, with whom they eat and whom they marry, where they live, where their children go to school and what entertainment they seek.
In 1960 the brethren took a lurch to the right more extreme than anyone thought possible, a position more fundamentalist than even the Taliban would contemplate. Then leader James Taylor Junior, an alcoholic businessman from Brooklyn New York, enforced the principal of ‘separation.’ Under this doctrine members were forbidden from socializing, eating, living or fraternizing with non-members. This lead to a period of cruel upheaval as followers scrambled to comply. Families were ripped down the middle.
“As a child growing up in Invercargill, my grandma told me about how, when the rule came in that sect members shouldn’t have pets as they represented an emotional bond that could come between you and your God, she had to go and drown her pet cat in the river.”
– X-brethren member Craig Hoyle.
Kevin Rudd has labeled the brethren “an extremist cult [that] breaks up families”. He has called them other things too. None of which can be repeated in public.
Wikipedia states: ‘the Exclusive Brethren can be categorized as a cult because of its policy of separating itself from other orthodox denominations and because it prohibits radio and television, limits the use of computers and discourages socializing with people outside the movement.’ Members are directed to keep separate from the ‘impurities of the world’. (that’s us)
They are not allowed to attend university, but are expected to take up a career in business. In fact no other pursuit is sanctioned. Want to become an artist or a musician, a writer or a movie star, forget about it! You can join the family firm and think yourself lucky……..and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Brethren shun mainstream society and modern technology as evil. They are not allowed to go to the movies, or set eyes on a television, let alone mobile phones or computers. Of course all the most severe prohibitions are reserved for women, who are not allowed to cut their hair or even look in the mirror. Pets are banned as they are a distraction from God. (l agree, some cats act like they are God) Church must be attended every day by everyone, and four times a day on Sundays!
By now no doubt you are asking: “Where do l sign up?”
Children belong primarily to the Church, not to their nuclear family. So if you leave, all access to your children, partner, friends and relatives ceases immediately. After existing only inside the cult, any reference to your stay on earth is permanently erased from the records. Officially, you no longer exist!
ln February this year ex-Brethren member Craig Hoyle wrote a really moving piece about his experience as a gay man in the cult on a website in New Zealand.* John says cult members are taught to believe: ” we are the ones, God’s chosen people”, chillingly, “there are no others.”
He describes the cult as: ‘a group of people that operate in a hierarchical system where the members sell their minds to the hierarchy.’
The leaders encourage their minions to think of themselves as saints,
and to have “utter hatred” for the outside world.
They are called Exclusive Brethren, not as you might assume, because they run some sort of exclusive club like Mar el Lago, but because they are Hell-bent on excluding evil from their lives, and we, the rest of the world, are that evil personified. That is why women are forbidden from fraternizing with the outside world, where as men can associate with non-believers for business purposes only, in order to make money off them. However, current Elect Vessel Mr Hales (whose vessel is filling up quiet nicely we are told) has recommended followers treat non-Brethren business people with contempt, to avoid contamination.
“We went to work in businesses owned by Brethren; we socialized with Brethren; saw them at church every night, and enjoyed the benefits of a life fully provided. The expectation was that you would buy a house, marry a Brethren girl, settle down and raise a Brethren family, and the cycle would rinse and repeat. It used
to be a fringe, but it has developed into a very dangerous cult.”
– Craig Hoyle -7th generation member, who escaped in 2009.
Now it is time to delve into the murkier side of the operation:
As you may well be aware, cult members are forbidden from voting, while the high muck-a-mucks are up to their necks in politics, lobbying strenuously for their fundamentalist agenda amongst their very good friends in the highest echelons of the Liberal Party. They reserve a special detestation for the Greens, spending big money to try and thwart them at every turn, whilst praying night and day for their ruination. They seem to detest the Greens almost as much as the devil himself. l do believe they are convinced that the devil is a paid up member of the party.
This is all part of a move into mainstream politics by Pentecostal sects all around the world: See Scott Morrison and his entourage on the front bench, for example. Personally, l usually have no truck with conspiracy theories, but it seems patently obvious that the Evangelicals are seeking Christian World Government no less. Heaven forbid!
The cult has been described as a business masquerading as a religion, but they could equally be seen as a religion masquerading as business. The business is there to support the religion, and the religion as there to support the business: What we call in biology a symbiotic relationship.
There are about 15,000 members here in Australia, but you wouldn’t know it. They like to maintain a very low profile, insinuating themselves into quiet, remote little towns dotted around the country, not making any fuss, just minding their own business. Once embedded they disappear from sight, applying their trade behind locked doors, currying favor anonymously.
So what on earth are they doing in this vibrant, switched on, progressive, cosmopolitan community you may well ask. Well, when they first arrived long, long ago, in the dark ages, this place was quite quiet, quite remote and dare l say it, not exactly ahead of its time.
The Brethren also like to play an active role in local politics, so l wouldn’t be at all surprised if they have stitched up some sort of understanding with certain members of our local council in order to get this project over the line. For all we know, the entire council could be closet members of the cult. But l must admit l have no concrete evidence of this what-so-ever, just putting the idea into your heads to dwell upon.
l have also heard, and this is a scoop! They are known to have their own exclusive supermarket, exclusively for exclusive types, where they can shop freely without fear of contamination from the ungodly. Rumor has it this secret shop is somewhere on Diamond Gully road, but l can tell you no more, under pain of death!
Now, alas and alack, we come to more unsavory revelations.
We are talking child sexual abuse. What is it about religions and children? I guess secret societies tend to have a lot of secrets, and the Brethren are no exception.
Our lawyers, and there is a phalanx of them l can assure you, have advised us to tread very carefully here, as the Brethren are renowned as an overly litigious bunch. (Fortunately, they are forbidden from having any contact with the outside world so they should have no idea about this article – please don’t tell them)
So we will leave it as an open question.
How common is sexual abuse amongst the Brethren?
It’s impossible to tell. UK-based psychologist Jill Mytton – who was born into the Brethren but left in 1960 when she was 16 – recently surveyed former worldwide members of the Church and found 27% of a large sample of 264 reported being sexually abused as children. The Brethren robustly rejects her findings, calling them “a witch hunt under the guise of scientific research”
lf you want to decide for yourself you can read a harrowing account of what really goes on behind those locked doors HERE, but l am warning you: It is not for the faint hearted!
To object to this development follow these instructions carefully:
The application to build the stadium in Blakeley Rd. will be decided this Tuesday 15th, so if you want to lodge an objection, you had better get cracking!
The planning department has recommended the plan go ahead, but that does not make it a fait accomply, our councilors have the final say.
To see the councils deliberations on this proposal go
HERE Then scroll down to section 9.2.1. PLANNING APPLICATION – 83-85 BLAKELEY ROAD CASTLEMAINE
If you want to lodge an objection on line you can spend 2 hours trying to find a way, like l did, or you could just give up before you start. l recomend the later, but if relish a challenge and you do find a chink in their armor please let me know.
ACurrant Affair Exposes the Brethren insinuating themselves into an unsuspecting community in THIS video clip. With a cameo appearance by our very own urban planner Professor Butt. He explains; it is not only legal to insert a church into the middle of a quiet residential street, you don’t even need a planning permit. Where as if l want to put up an art work on a public wall l must wade through several layers of bureaucracy just to get a foot in the door. If only l had God on my side.
*To hear Craig Hoyle’s graphic description of his escape go HERE
To get all the juicy gossip on the Brethren and their shenanigans go HERE
To read their version of the truth go to Plymouth Brethren Christian Church
Conversations with Richard Fidler -talking to David Millikan – Cult Buster!
The Nature of Belief – Natsha Mitchel talks to Margaret Werteim, David Milikan and Max Coldheart (unfortunate name, especially for a therapist)
If you want to escape a cult go HERE
If you want to start a cult go HERE