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. In Dargaville, the businessmen give the impression they're in the dark about the masterplan. Ale nie wielu jest takich ludzi! "We made it our own fun." I think there's a little bit of scaremongering going on. Strength and Unity. Vaughan Thomas spoke to TVNZ’s Breakfast about learning how to use things like the internet and TV remotes. 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. 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. 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. * 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. They are not allowed to form friendships with people outside the church, who are known as 'worldlies'. 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). 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. * Firms clustered in around 40 towns and cities, mostly provincial centres A few years ago a review prompted a round of visits to ex-members. "They apologised for the way they'd been treating us. But there were no "worldly" friends over to play, no going to the worldly kids' parties, no overnight school camps, no inter-school sports. Bruce Hales, also known as the Elect Vessel and … * An internal memo sent to Brethren worldwide leaked to One News talks about setting up an umbrella group code-named National Office Assist. You can only take people as they treat you." 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. The group has its origins in Exclusive Brethren, a Plymouth Brethren group, itself a branch of the Open Brethren. Welcome to the Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand . A measure of their influence - and the working tolerance they've won - is the wariness locals show about saying anything bad of them. "You'd get a new dress and you'd have to get the perfect scarf to match it, and the right shape. Burnside Wairakei Road Bible Church, 392 Wairakei Road, Burnside, Christchurch The majority of local Exclusive Brethren live in Wellington’s northern corridor. One, for 25 years a manager of an engineering firm, who speaks only on the condition of anonymity, openly expresses a sense of persecution. "They tend to spend their lives trying to get around rules while trying to keep their noses clean." New Zealand's Exclusive Brethren, who number fewer than 2000, operate about 800 small businesses, according to a political pamphlet they released in 2002. What's behind it all will come out in time. For him, too, the forced distancing from his parents hurt the most. Life as an Exclusive Brethren had its good sides. An estimated 5000 of those are Exclusive, with 40,000 worldwide. An Exclusive Brethren member has … 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'." 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. The ones that do, or buck against too many of the fellowship's numerous proscriptions, leave. They are distinguished from the Open Brethren from whom they separated in 1848. 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. 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" "A lot of guys, they've got a perception out here it's just one big orgy. 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 Exclusive Brethren member has failed to have convictions for repeatedly raping and assaulting his son overturned by the Supreme Court. 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 I had a whole drawer of Richard Allan and Liberty Silk scarves." And representations of Brethren women as oppressed are "rubbish. They only say, cryptically: "We've nothing to hide and nothing to parade." "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." We are a community of over 50,000 members across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Americas (including the Caribbean) and the UK. The Exclusive Brethren are a subset of the Christian evangelical movement generally described as the Plymouth Brethren. Those that leave become completely cut off from their families and friends remaining within the church — with often traumatic, and sometimes tragic, results. Remembers Adrian: "Once you were out, you started to question it." I've kept in touch so the kids know them. *Their names have been changed to protect their identities. The Exclusive Brethren are an Evangelical Protestant Christian church distinct from the Christian or Open Brethren. They ban technology. Now 53, he's in his second marriage and runs a cartage business in his hometown, Christchurch. 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". 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. 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. I don't think this is part of Jesus' plan as we know from the parable of the Lost Sheep (Matt 18: 10-14). Exclusive Brethren man's convictions for raping, assaulting son stand stuff.co.nz - JONO GALUSZKA. The Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand is the name by which churches in the Open Brethren movement in New Zealand are publicly known. "It was very strange coming out," says Diana. 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). We're an easy target. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) is an influential Christian sect led by Australian businessman Bruce Hales. The marriage relationship is very much a partnership. The main gospel hall in Dargaville resembles a converted factory, with narrow frosted windows on one side only. Translated courtesy of Google: This is very good news!! With no TV or stereo, most kids learnt to play instruments and played together. Assemblies By Region . They see young single people often "going off the rails" after leaving the church. Even their churches are typically windowless. We're just simple Christians, normal people, we look after our own and go about our business, don't hurt anyone." It was 2015, and the then 25-year-old Exclusive Brethren had only known life inside the closed confines of the church. "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)." The truth always does." Unauthorised use of an Exclusive Brethren directory. Meanwhile, the political storm around the Exclusive Brethren intensifies. Minding their business * Fewer than 2000 Exclusive Brethren New Zealanders In the United States and Sweden, Brethren political activism has come to light. Samoan Ekalesia Au Uso Kerisiano Samoa, 78 Stanmore Road, Linwood, Christchurch Mr L Lui, 78 Stanmore Road, Linwood, Christchurch 8011 Phone: (03) 388 3909. Such a pity though that there didn't seem to be much in the way of locals especially Catholics there. Since 2003 an Exclusive Brethren trust has set up 15 year 7-12 schools here, teaching about 1000 children. With the caveats of the above, there are essentially six defining features of any given brethren congregations. Adrian is cynical about the Brethren culture. The PBCC was established in the early nineteenth century. Says Diana: "To this day my parents are heartbroken, because they can't have anything to do with us. 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. "We are accused of being secretive; it's more that we want to keep our heads down and live according to our convictions. They say people stay in fellowship because of ignorance, fear, family and finances. 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). They believe the rules have been relaxed since their time in the fold. "Going out with people you've never met before - a whole different culture." Diana was drinking whisky with her family from age 13. The girls were fiercely competitive about their scarves. 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. Phone: (03) 348 5507 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rcc.co.nz. But eventually the constant monitoring by other Brethren and having to account for their actions got too much. * Around 800 mainly small private businesses Diana: "I had a great family life, I loved Mum and Dad and my brothers." They're all free, just like you". It's the same in 40 towns around the country, from Gisborne to Cust. 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. He's organising a reunion for "ex-peebs" next Easter, and is expecting 150. 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. We believe the Holy Bible provides each of us with invaluable guidance to every aspect of life. Meanwhile, ex-Brethrens here and overseas are telling of the pain of being shunned by family still in the church. My kids don't know their grandparents as grandparents. Those are tough stories about survival of the human spirit, against all odds. 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. The multi-millionaire son of Exclusive Brethren world leader Bruce D. Hales has been accused of assaulting a man on a public street outside the religious leader's mansion in … I was at the 1988 Lay... 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Exclusive Brethren Vernon Suckling, manager of Trax Equipment, says: "The way we're promoted is certainly not the way we feel we are. The couple maintain a faith in God but don't go to any church. 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. 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. Exclusive Brethren member shopping at Woolworths Dargaville. Exclusive Brethren boss in New Zealand – National Party leaders keep distance Sunday March 18, 2007 Exclusive Brethren While National Party leader John Key further distances his party from the Exclusive Brethren, the controversial sect has been hosting a rare visit from its world leader. Once the couple went to the beach with some other young families and took a portable stereo, which got them temporarily banned from church. The sect has members in countries across the world but the largest fellowships are found in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and North America. Together they employ at least 60 people, either Brethren or Christian. In New Zealand, they waged a campaign worth more than $500,000 attacking Labour. Some Brethren so… "Most girls were there to check out the guys rather than listen to the word of God. We were there and what a joyful affirmation of life it was. Northland Auckland Waikato Thames, Coromandel & Bay of Plenty East Coast North Island 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. Though their businesses bring them into daily contact with non-Brethrens, Brethren rules forbid socialising with "worldly" outsiders. Two young girls who left recently are pregnant already," says Adrian. * Business types include farm machinery, agriculture, horticulture, orchards, vineyards, office furniture and trades I don't know, we have enough friends of our own." When the Herald on Sunday approached Dargaville Brethren businessmen to set the record straight about their way of life, most politely dismissed us. 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. Their halls are concealed behind high walls and the buildings … Most work in Exclusive Brethren businesses, so leaving means losing their job. The Exclusive Brethren was founded in … Helen Clark's calling for Don Brash to step down as National Party leader because of his now-renounced relations with Exclusive Brethren lobbyists. "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." steward's trust. Members of the Exclusive Brethren church are encouraged to have large families. The Fellowship complained to Television New Zealand Ltd that the programmes breached a This is called ''doing yourself out of a job'. 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're allowed to talk to us now," says Adrian. To bardzo dobra wiadomość!! So at first pass, hardly the Machiavellian, freakish, hostile weirdos you might expect from all the reports. His alleged wrongdoing? You'll find most of them are really happy in their role." They're highly regarded in business circles. New Zealand's Exclusive Brethren, who number fewer than 2000, operate about 800 small businesses, according to a political pamphlet they released in 2002. 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. "There were real pissheads in there: they drink heaps, it's the only thing you're allowed to do." Obviously I wasn't a good Brethren girl, but back then I'd never have dreamt of leaving." 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. Like Cambridge couple Diana and Adrian* who left the Exclusive Brethren 16 years ago after realising they couldn't live a lie. The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church was established in the early nineteenth century in Plymouth, southern England. Three-day religious conventions were a teen dating ground (that's where Diana, who grew up in Palmerston North, met Cambridge local Adrian). Anyone prepared to commit to these beliefs and way of life is welcome to join our Church. Dargaville also has a well-established Brethren community with a big business presence. While we don't have fellowship and eat with them, we still appreciate they're genuine people." But there aren't many people like that! 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. Almost everyone I talked to on the day was from Napier. The supreme leader of the Exclusive Brethren church has flown in to New Zealand on a private jet, sources say. He says, "We think women have a major role: to be a Godly influence on their husbands and families. Denied tertiary education and IT-illiterate, they're ill-equipped for many jobs in the outside world. Known as fair, honest employers and reliable, skilful tradesmen. 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. I think they expected we'd go back and were surprised when we didn't. According to the Evangelical publication, Operation World, there are 202 Brethren congregations in New Zealand with 16,164 in regular attendance (including children). According to Statistics New Zealand there were 20,406 Brethren in New Zealand in 2001. "You don't get someone blaming Presbyterians when someone who has a Presbyterian association does something. 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 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. They make you angry, but they also give hope. New Zealand 'They're not acting like a church': Injured guard fell in Exclusive Brethren hole. 14 Jul, 2019 11:06 PM 4 minutes to read. There'll be a dinner and dance, a "mystery day" and lots of socialising - "certainly not religious, just a fun weekend". A resource for the Christian Brethren Church in New Zealand. There are about 8,000 Exclusive Brethren in scattered communities around New Zealand. 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. Yes, we rely on the State for co-funding our 237 Catholic schools. brethren.org.nz. 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. 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. Graeme Hubbard left the Exclusive Brethren at 21. Says one, his smile like a plea: "We don't want to get into a media conflict. Two trials in the Palmerston North District Court were required to find an Exclusive Brethren man guilty of sexually abusing his son. We urge you to wait. The Exclusive Brethren are now divided into a number of groups, most of which differ on minor points of doctrine or practice. 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… However, their children live quite separate lives from other New Zealand children. Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and even Kaitaia! Women must wear their hair long and down, and headscarves in public. We don't look down on other Christians because they don't live like us. What about university or professional careers? 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