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The Exclusive Brethren Excellent overview by the BBC.
Based on more than two years of research, this comprehensive study uncovers the lesser-known facts behind one of history’s most enigmatic and influential Christian sects.
Documenting their emergence onto the Australian political stage in 2004, this investigation shows how the Exclusive Brethren made their presence known through enormous contributions to conservative campaigns, assiduously lobbying politicians and maintaining a close relationship with the prime minister—all without casting a vote themselves.
This examination delves deeper into the group's past, revealing the Brethren’s 19th-century origins in the United Kingdom, their fractious history, their extraordinary use of scripture to control members and dissidents, and their lucrative business and financial arrangements. Numerous questions are explored, such as What exactly was their interest in politics? Why did their activism suddenly blossom almost simultaneously across the world? and How did a group whose values are detached from those of most Australians infiltrate the highest office in the land? A fascinating tale of power exercised across several continents, this is also a moving story of damaged lives, broken families, and anger that stretches back decades.
Imagine a life without television, music or freedom; imagine every minute of your spare time being spent attending church; imagine growing up believing swimming pools, cinemas and dancing were evil.
For members of the Exclusive Brethren, a strict religious sect, constraints such as these are normal. No member is allowed to eat in the same room as a worldly person, they are forbidden from owning a pet and they are restricted from socialising with anyone outside of the Exclusive Brethren. Most members are so isolated within the sect that they cant even imagine a life on the outside. But not all members can live such a controlled existence.
Once David Tchappat had a taste of the real world as a teenager, there was no going back despite the fact he knew he would be cruelly ostracised from his family, friends and the only life he had known.
Elusive Exclusive Brethren [Transcript] of the Background Briefing broadcast by ABC Radio National (Australia) on Apr. 30, 2006.
The Exclusive Brethren [MP3] Hack reporter Steve Cannane presents this radio report [MP3] on the Exclusive Brethren's involvement in Australian politics. Broadcast Mar. 16, 2006.
The Exclusive Brethren are a religious group who forbids their members from voting... but are taking out ads in the Tasmanian newspapers telling non believers how to vote. 'Rob' told Steve Cannane that the exclusive brethren talking about the greens destroying the social fabric was the ultimate in hypocrisy. He claims that the Exclusive Brethren destroys people and families, have no respect for women and absolute contempt for anyone not in their religious group, and do all this while enjoying the benefit of charitable status from our government.
Exclusive Brethren news tracker & news archive. Latest items:
The Exclusive Brethren Christian Fellowship (Pro) Promising to provide an "Open documentary of their life and faith," this site claims to be the only site endorsed by the Exclusive Brethren. This is ironic, because among the activities forbidden for members of the movement are such things as watching television, listening to the radio, reading newspapers and using computers and the internet. The web site appears to be an attempt to counter the flow of negative publicity surrounding the Exclusive Brethren (example: "The Brethren sent us to Hell")
Members are not allowed to have televisions or radios and they are forbidden from using the internet, because the book of Revelation tells them that the devil is "the prince with the power of the air". Although some run computer businesses, the technology is frowned upon for private use because it has the power to employ the satanic number 666.
- Source: Secretive sect softens ban on outside contact, The Guardian, March 15, 2003
Peebs.net (Contra) This web site deals with the Exclusive Brethren from a critical perspective.
Peebs.Net is a website that endeavors to investigate and report the Truth behind the Exclusive Brethren, a group of so-called Christians, and by so doing, help break the chains and break down the barriers that prevent us from seeing our families, friends and loved ones, trapped in what many are calling a bona fide Cult.
Our mission is to educate the media and help those who have left and those who wish to leave a vicious regime that is causing increasing concern world-wide. [...]
Within this site you will find explanations, stories, history and Exclusive Brethren memorabilia ranging from the quaint to the shocking.
My Brethren (Pro and Contra) "History and Ministry of the 'Exclusive Brethren' (so-called). This site rightly bills itself as the "[p]remier resource for their origin, progress and testimony 1827-1959 on". The site's objectives are stated as follows:
'My Brethren' deals mainly – but not exclusively – with the history and ministry of JND, JBS, FER, CAC, JT, GRC
- and others who were in practical fellowship with them – for the years c. 1827 to 1959.
- Inquiries regarding developments after 1959 have led to the inclusion of subsequent history.
- Some post-1959 ministry had already been included, and this practice will be continued.
• Some negative features can't be avoided, but my intent is to present a positive and comprehensive outline of the history and ministry of the recovery of the truth.
Despite ongoing external and internal attacks, from 1827 onwards, a continuing spiritual ministry opened up many precious truths –
- influencing the lives of the brethren and leading to a deeper apprehension of the Lord's Supper and the enrichment of the service of God.
- Decline – as with every previous testimony – allowed the emergence in 1959 of a legal party which caused havoc and much suffering among the brethren
- 'My Brethren' calls for a return to our spiritual heritage, to the Scriptural principles, practices and teachings of former years and to the acceptance of personal responsibility for the maintenance of the truth in our days.
The main objective of this site therefore is to
- reach out to my brethren who have been damaged, disillusioned or discarded by the legal system which first emerged in 1959, and continues to dominate many to this day,
- to recall them to their spiritual birthright – the rich heritage of former years; to encourage them to take possession of it –
- nd to my brethren in the various connections resulting from the 1959 and 1970 crises, who seek to walk in the light and in truth,
- that we might humble ourselves before the Lord for our part – active or passive – in the shameful happenings and sorrow-ful scatterings which have taken place in our times.
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