One, for 25 years a manager of an engineering firm, who speaks only on the condition of anonymity, openly expresses a sense of persecution. Unauthorised use of an Exclusive Brethren directory. His alleged wrongdoing? A shell company of that name has already been set up here, reportedly to help the church hire its own without relying on "worldly people" Now in their early 40s with four children and a playground business, the couple had been married four years and already had two children when they left. I don't think this is part of Jesus' plan as we know from the parable of the Lost Sheep (Matt 18: 10-14). Anti-clericalism and/or anti-churchism, the rejection of the concept of membership in a congregation, celebration of a weekly ceremony commemorating the Lord's death, separation of roles for men and women in the meeting and outside the meeting, absolutely non professionalization of ministers (there are no ministers per the proper definition of the term) and the rejection of charismatic gifts (cess… "Most girls were there to check out the guys rather than listen to the word of God. In another case, an 83-year-old Palmerston North man is fighting an application to the High Court by the Exclusive Brethren’s commercial arm Universal Business Team, or UBT, seeking access to his records and emails. NZ POLICE The scene of a crash in which three members of the Exclusive Brethren church died in Baylys Coast Rd, Northland in June in 2016. Meanwhile, the political storm around the Exclusive Brethren intensifies. But there were no "worldly" friends over to play, no going to the worldly kids' parties, no overnight school camps, no inter-school sports. The PBCC was established in the early nineteenth century. We're just simple Christians, normal people, we look after our own and go about our business, don't hurt anyone." The Exclusive Brethren was founded in … Leaving the Exclusive Brethren - This Inside New Zealand documentary examines the experiences of four former members of the Exclusive Brethren, a fundamentalist Christian sect which shuns contact with the outside world. Like most ex-Brethren - they call themselves ex-peebs (short for people of the Exclusive Brethren) - the hardest thing has been losing family from their lives. If our kids were to see my husband's parents in the street, they'd say 'Hello', and 30 seconds later it would be 'I best be on my way'." Most work in Exclusive Brethren businesses, so leaving means losing their job. Brethren run at least 12 firms in Dargaville - mostly in trade and farm supplies - many clustered in an industrial complex on the town's southern edge. The Fellowship complained to Television New Zealand Ltd that the programmes breached a He says, "We think women have a major role: to be a Godly influence on their husbands and families. In another case, an 83-year-old Palmerston North man is fighting an application to the High Court by the Exclusive Brethren’s commercial arm CathNews NZ Pacific Home Yes, we rely on the State for co-funding our 237 Catholic schools. Their halls are concealed behind high walls and the buildings … A private detective has admitted he was hired by the Exclusive Brethren religious sect to dig dirt on Labour MPs including New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, and her husband.. On Thursday, private investigator Wayne Idour was still denying he’d been hired by the sect to tail Clark and her husband as part of the group’s campaign to unseat the Labour government. They observe "separation from evil", which according to the official Exclusive Brethren website also compels them to "shun the conduits of evil communications: television, the radio and the internet" (newspapers are OK). The majority of local Exclusive Brethren live in Wellington’s northern corridor. They are distinguished from the Open Brethren from whom they separated in 1848. I think there's a little bit of scaremongering going on. Welcome to the Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand . So at first pass, hardly the Machiavellian, freakish, hostile weirdos you might expect from all the reports. What about university or professional careers? According to the Evangelical publication, Operation World, there are 202 Brethren congregations in New Zealand with 16,164 in regular attendance (including children). A few years ago a review prompted a round of visits to ex-members. "We made it our own fun." They ban technology. My kids don't know their grandparents as grandparents. Long before Exclusive Brethren men hired a private investigator to dig dirt on the Prime Minister and other Labour politicians, before Brethren tried to pressure several political parties into a National-led coalition, before the so-called "Secret Seven" Brethren businessmen put almost $1 million into anti-Labour and anti-Green pamphlet campaigns at last year's election, members of this fundamental Christian fellowship have been part of the commercial fabric of this town, and the wider Kaipara district. * Firms clustered in around 40 towns and cities, mostly provincial centres When the Herald on Sunday approached Dargaville Brethren businessmen to set the record straight about their way of life, most politely dismissed us. Remembers Adrian: "Once you were out, you started to question it." We are a community of over 50,000 members across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Americas (including the Caribbean) and the UK. Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and even Kaitaia! Minding their business * Fewer than 2000 Exclusive Brethren New Zealanders "There were real pissheads in there: they drink heaps, it's the only thing you're allowed to do." Says one happy Anglican employee of a Brethren business: "They've got their beliefs, that's fine. "Ordinary Exclusive Brethren would still retain a view held deeply for many generations that they have nothing to do with the world, regard it as defiled, so would be disgusted with (the political activism)." 14 Jul, 2019 11:06 PM 4 minutes to read. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) is an influential Christian sect led by Australian businessman Bruce Hales. You can only take people as they treat you." But eventually the constant monitoring by other Brethren and having to account for their actions got too much. I feel sorry for my kids and my parents. With the caveats of the above, there are essentially six defining features of any given brethren congregations. For him, too, the forced distancing from his parents hurt the most. In Dargaville, the businessmen give the impression they're in the dark about the masterplan. "Going out with people you've never met before - a whole different culture." Such a pity though that there didn't seem to be much in the way of locals especially Catholics there. Almost everyone I talked to on the day was from Napier. Northland Auckland Waikato Thames, Coromandel & Bay of Plenty East Coast North Island In both Australia and New Zealand, Open Brethren have been embarrassed by negative publicity surrounding the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, a hardline branch of the Exclusive Brethren (and the only Exclusive group to exist in significant numbers in either country), which some defectors have accused of being a cult. "They apologised for the way they'd been treating us. Denied tertiary education and IT-illiterate, they're ill-equipped for many jobs in the outside world. * An internal memo sent to Brethren worldwide leaked to One News talks about setting up an umbrella group code-named National Office Assist. We don't look down on other Christians because they don't live like us. Some Brethren so… What's behind it all will come out in time. "I got on very well with my father, and I was never there in the years you want to be there, when they get old and you want to do their lawns." It's very sad to see these small communities losing reasonable access to the Mass with the reality being that many parishioners will no longer attend Mass on Sundays. Now 53, he's in his second marriage and runs a cartage business in his hometown, Christchurch. I don't know, we have enough friends of our own." Known as fair, honest employers and reliable, skilful tradesmen. We believe the Holy Bible provides each of us with invaluable guidance to every aspect of life. Those are tough stories about survival of the human spirit, against all odds. Phone: (03) 348 5507 Email: admin@rcc.co.nz Website: www.rcc.co.nz. They are not allowed to form friendships with people outside the church, who are known as 'worldlies'. They say people stay in fellowship because of ignorance, fear, family and finances. Like Cambridge couple Diana and Adrian* who left the Exclusive Brethren 16 years ago after realising they couldn't live a lie. "We had to cover up things that weren't bad." They're all free, just like you". Samoan Ekalesia Au Uso Kerisiano Samoa, 78 Stanmore Road, Linwood, Christchurch Mr L Lui, 78 Stanmore Road, Linwood, Christchurch 8011 Phone: (03) 388 3909. They're highly regarded in business circles. However, their children live quite separate lives from other New Zealand children. It's the same in 40 towns around the country, from Gisborne to Cust. Massey religious history expert Peter Lineham believes the political campaigns are part of a masterplan orchestrated by the powerful, rich Sydney-based world leader Bruce Hales, implemented here by a select group of Brethren businessmen. An Exclusive Brethren member has … Assemblies By Region . New Zealand there are at present at least 6,000 Exclusive Brethren, which is about three times their estimated numbers in 2006, although exact figures are not available. "If you understood the way they were brought up, we've got everything that we need in the fellowship, and they don't need to do that so it doesn't really come up, because they don't want to, really." Brethren can't vote but are encouraged "to express a moral viewpoint of legislation" to politicians, and to pray for the guidance of "right Government which is clearly of God". An estimated 5000 of those are Exclusive, with 40,000 worldwide. Across the Tasman, we've seen exposes of strong Exclusive Brethren financial backing in John Howard's re-election and allegations of past money-smuggling and child sexual abuse cover-ups. The Plymouth Brethren believe the Holy Bible is the true Word of God and we believe we are each called upon to live a life in accordance with its instructions. The ones that do, or buck against too many of the fellowship's numerous proscriptions, leave. Translated courtesy of Google: This is very good news!! Once the couple went to the beach with some other young families and took a portable stereo, which got them temporarily banned from church. I've kept in touch so the kids know them. "A lot of guys, they've got a perception out here it's just one big orgy. "You don't get someone blaming Presbyterians when someone who has a Presbyterian association does something. But there aren't many people like that! We urge you to wait. Some broke the rules, sneaking to the neighbours to watch TV, stayed up drinking Saturday nights and showed up at Sunday's 6am prayer meeting with a thick tongue and splitting headache. In the United States and Sweden, Brethren political activism has come to light. Exclusive Brethren man's convictions for raping, assaulting son stand stuff.co.nz - JONO GALUSZKA. It was 2015, and the then 25-year-old Exclusive Brethren had only known life inside the closed confines of the church. This week the New Zealand Presbyterian Church voted to ban anyone in a sexual relationship outside marriage from its leadership roles (though 35 per cent voted against the ban). Diana was drinking whisky with her family from age 13. The Exclusive Brethren are now divided into a number of groups, most of which differ on minor points of doctrine or practice. The marriage relationship is very much a partnership. According to Statistics New Zealand there were 20,406 Brethren in New Zealand in 2001. But if the pricetag of this funding is that we need to teach things that are contrary to our special character and that our schools are barely distinguishable from State Schools - then it is a price too high. Ale nie wielu jest takich ludzi! Says one, his smile like a plea: "We don't want to get into a media conflict. An Exclusive Brethren member has failed to have convictions for repeatedly raping and assaulting his son overturned by the Supreme Court. What clinched it for them was realising they "could never say to our children 'we can't have you in the house', like our parents said to us". We were there and what a joyful affirmation of life it was. Some aspects of the activities of the Exclusive Brethren Christian Fellowship were examined in a series of items on TV One's Holmes programme broadcast between 6.30–7.00pm each evening from 29 March to 2 April 1993. Helen Clark's calling for Don Brash to step down as National Party leader because of his now-renounced relations with Exclusive Brethren lobbyists. "It was very strange coming out," says Diana. New Zealand's Exclusive Brethren, who number fewer than 2000, operate about 800 small businesses, according to a political pamphlet they released in 2002. Diana: "I had a great family life, I loved Mum and Dad and my brothers." You'll find most of them are really happy in their role." Though their businesses bring them into daily contact with non-Brethrens, Brethren rules forbid socialising with "worldly" outsiders. The Green Party's demanding the group loses its exemption from labour laws requiring union access to work sites, since the cosying up to political parties makes a mockery of the basis for that exemption - finding association with any outside organisation unconscionable. Together they employ at least 60 people, either Brethren or Christian. "We are accused of being secretive; it's more that we want to keep our heads down and live according to our convictions. A rural service town of 4500, the country's kumara capital has a Four Square, RSA, stores with names like Molly's Fashions and Lynley's Lingerie & Linen, a surf shop and one panini-serving cafe for the cool crowd. Strength and Unity. In New Zealand, they waged a campaign worth more than $500,000 attacking Labour. Graeme Hubbard left the Exclusive Brethren at 21. I had a whole drawer of Richard Allan and Liberty Silk scarves." The schools teach around 1000 year 7-12 students, and get glowing ERO reports, Slip blocks part of SH1 between Christchurch and Kaikōura, New 'day zero' Covid-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries, Person in critical condition after being run over by tractor, Police 'pull over' 2-year-old driving her new toy car down suburban street, Pete Bethune describes 'excruciating' pain after deadly snake bite, New 'day zero' tests for Covid-19 returnees from higher risk countries. brethren.org.nz. And representations of Brethren women as oppressed are "rubbish. Those that leave become completely cut off from their families and friends remaining within the church — with often traumatic, and sometimes tragic, results. The Exclusive Brethren are an Evangelical Protestant Christian church distinct from the Christian or Open Brethren. This week, former teachers at Brethren-run schools claimed the schools heavily censored reading material, ripping out chapters on reproduction from science texts, and dictated every aspect of the children's lives. Vaughan Thomas spoke to TVNZ’s Breakfast about learning how to use things like the internet and TV remotes. A resource for the Christian Brethren Church in New Zealand. We're an easy target. Liberal, Green and gay communities worry about yet another attack on gains in social policy over recent years, while mainstream Christian churches swing towards moral conservatism. There'll be a dinner and dance, a "mystery day" and lots of socialising - "certainly not religious, just a fun weekend". Obviously I wasn't a good Brethren girl, but back then I'd never have dreamt of leaving." "You'd get a new dress and you'd have to get the perfect scarf to match it, and the right shape. The main gospel hall in Dargaville resembles a converted factory, with narrow frosted windows on one side only. I was at the 1988 Lay... 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With no TV or stereo, most kids learnt to play instruments and played together. The Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand is the name by which churches in the Open Brethren movement in New Zealand are publicly known. Meanwhile, ex-Brethrens here and overseas are telling of the pain of being shunned by family still in the church. They see young single people often "going off the rails" after leaving the church. It is not a denomination in the organizational sense, but a loose network of like-minded autonomous local churches, or "assemblies", as Brethren churches are generally known. New Zealand's Exclusive Brethren, who number fewer than 2000, operate about 800 small businesses, according to a political pamphlet they released in 2002. They only say, cryptically: "We've nothing to hide and nothing to parade." December 8, 2020, Royal Commission seeks information from faith-based…, Small steps toward a normal life in Pasifika youth court, Cardinal George Pell's final opportunity in court nears. Bruce Hales, also known as the Elect Vessel and … This is called ''doing yourself out of a job'. They believe the rules have been relaxed since their time in the fold. Members of the Exclusive Brethren church are encouraged to have large families. There are two main motivations thought to be behind Brethren-backed political campaigns: promoting parties whose policies are closest to Brethren values (anti-gay rights, pro-traditional family, privatisation and decentralisation), thus delaying the "Rapture", when Jesus Christ is expected to descend and take away true believers; and, the more worldly theory of promoting parties with business-friendly policies to further Brethren's own business interests. Even their churches are typically windowless. * A national trust, run by three of the Secret Seven who bankrolled the anti-government pamphlets last year, now operates 15 regional campuses under the umbrella of Westmount School. * Around 800 mainly small private businesses The sect has members in countries across the world but the largest fellowships are found in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and North America. Picture / Doug Sherring, Dargaville couldn't be further from the Beehive, where revelations of Exclusive Brethren political lobbying and espionage are fuelling Parliament's running dog-fight. Other rules ban public entertainment, novels, eating with outsiders, university, membership of other organisations, shorts or ties for men, mobile phones and PCs (allowed to use them for business but not own them). I think they expected we'd go back and were surprised when we didn't. Says Diana: "To this day my parents are heartbroken, because they can't have anything to do with us. Burnside Wairakei Road Bible Church, 392 Wairakei Road, Burnside, Christchurch The supreme leader of the Exclusive Brethren church has flown in to New Zealand on a private jet, sources say. A measure of their influence - and the working tolerance they've won - is the wariness locals show about saying anything bad of them. Unispace is a global office design firm which was founded in 2010, has more than 400 employees and operations in 18 countries, according to the company's website. The Exclusive Brethren are a subset of the Christian evangelical movement generally described as the Plymouth Brethren. Adrian is cynical about the Brethren culture. They're allowed to talk to us now," says Adrian. The girls were fiercely competitive about their scarves. Two young girls who left recently are pregnant already," says Adrian. To bardzo dobra wiadomość!! *Their names have been changed to protect their identities. The couple maintain a faith in God but don't go to any church. Anyone prepared to commit to these beliefs and way of life is welcome to join our Church. On their rules against mixing socially with outsiders, he says: "We are believers and don't need to go out with people who might not even be Christians. They make you angry, but they also give hope. The group has its origins in Exclusive Brethren, a Plymouth Brethren group, itself a branch of the Open Brethren. On another panel in another room, young activists speak about their legal battles against their abusive churches - one Jehovah's Witness, the other Exclusive Brethren. "They tend to spend their lives trying to get around rules while trying to keep their noses clean." Three-day religious conventions were a teen dating ground (that's where Diana, who grew up in Palmerston North, met Cambridge local Adrian). The Exclusive Brethren spent an undisclosed sum on a pro-John Howard, anti-Greens campaign at the Federal election in Australia in 2004 and have since been involved in elections in New Zealand, Tasmania and Sweden. Since 2003 an Exclusive Brethren trust has set up 15 year 7-12 schools here, teaching about 1000 children. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church was established in the early nineteenth century in Plymouth, southern England. The Exclusive Brethren is the name given (by outsiders) to those among the so-called Plymouth Brethren who, in the mid-nineteenth century, joined John Nelson Darby ( 1800-82) in forming a Christian fellowship which they believed to be based on strict biblical principles. * Business types include farm machinery, agriculture, horticulture, orchards, vineyards, office furniture and trades Life as an Exclusive Brethren had its good sides. Exclusive Brethren Vernon Suckling, manager of Trax Equipment, says: "The way we're promoted is certainly not the way we feel we are. Two trials in the Palmerston North District Court were required to find an Exclusive Brethren man guilty of sexually abusing his son. New Zealand 'They're not acting like a church': Injured guard fell in Exclusive Brethren hole. There are about 8,000 Exclusive Brethren in scattered communities around New Zealand. Dargaville also has a well-established Brethren community with a big business presence. Exclusive Brethren member shopping at Woolworths Dargaville. Women must wear their hair long and down, and headscarves in public. The truth always does." While we don't have fellowship and eat with them, we still appreciate they're genuine people." The multi-millionaire son of Exclusive Brethren world leader Bruce D. 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