Growing up in the Exclusive Brethren meant missing out on a lot of things other children took for granted. “A wonderful couple took me in even though I was a stranger, and have become like real parents to me.”. The Open Brethren, sometimes called Christian Brethren, are a group of Evangelical Christian churches that arose in the late 1820s as part of the Assembly Movement.They originated in Ireland before spreading throughout the British Isles, and today they have an estimated 26,000 assemblies worldwide. Braden Simmons was in the midst of a ‘mental torment’. On June 30 this year, Braden Simmons attended an informal session with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. In its best year, ending 20 June 2019, it received more $60m. She says: “You have to start again figuring out what you believe, trying to figure out what is truth. Confessions were a regular part of his teenage years. The sect has members in countries across the world but the largest fellowships are found in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and North America. She began to receive visits from church elders, two men, who would take her into a room and apply extended pressure to change her thinking. The church community Reuben was leaving was the Exclusive Brethren, a fundamentalist Christian group with approximately 8000 members in New Zealand. Even when the Exclusive Brethren loosened its rules on technology in 2007, it was under strict controls. They are distinguished from the Open Brethren from whom they separated in 1848. Brethren rules say women must wear headscarves and not cut their hair and must not practise artificial birth control. ", He added: "They are an extremist group that will exaggerate or ignore one verse from the bible for their own gain. She had questions, and eventually could no longer keep hiding her doubts about the group. Dubby.Henry@nzherald.co.nz. When a member falls out of line, or is perceived to fall out of line, the first step in the process is for that person to be 'shut up'. She says it appears the Brethren engage in legal action and threats to quieten down former members from speaking out about their experiences. Examples of the appreciation of their work included an award … The Rapid Relief Team has also actively sought media attention for its efforts delivering food to parcels to south Auckland. It's the same in 40 towns around the country, from Gisborne to Cust. Williams QC complained to Television New Zealand. A sermon made by Hales soon after the June 2016 crash, and leaked to Stuff, shows the church's views on imprisonment. Brash knew about Exclusive Brethren pamphlets 8 Sep, 2005 01:23 AM 3 minutes to read National Party leader Don Brash said he was not involved with the contents of the pamphlets. “But listen, I haven't even had half a drink, not even a quarter... probably an ounce maximum.”, He goes on to appear to make fun of Simmons’ initials, saying: “Well I think we've hit the nail on the head. They are not allowed to form friendships with people outside the church, who are known as 'worldlies'. The case is due before the High Court in Palmerston North later this month. … The incident was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Times of London, and Stuff. This is in fact not true. Learn more about the Plymouth Brethren beliefs and faith. The New Zealand Labour Party says recent international political activity by the Exclusive Brethren is worrying and shows the country has become another battleground for the religious group’s far-right global agenda.. Labour strategist Pete Hodgson has used the growing prominence of the group to attack the National Party over the sect’s support for it during the election campaign last year. Some branches of Exclusive Brethren today, and perhaps since 1929, have departed from Biblical teaching and have become strict to the point of insensitivity. Our children grow up loved, cherished, and are able to enjoy their childhood in a strong caring community. The leader of the Exclusive Brethren church Bruce Hales and his wife Jenny. BORN into the controversial Exclusive Brethren cult that outlaws birthdays, pop music and women wearing trousers or make-up, Jessie Shedden, 34, needed every ounce of courage to plan her escapeR… She also wrote down several pages of questions and sent them to Bruce Hales. Anyone prepared to commit to these beliefs and way of life is welcome to join our Church. “We hold the same faith as every true Christian and as such we believe spiritual growth arises when the teachings of the Bible are applied to daily life.”. The ex-church member said members of the Exclusive Brethren, also known as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, who found themselves in jail needed support more than ever. He says it seems like it’s a common tactic of the Brethren’s to use their enormous wealth to entangle former members in endless litigation. The Exclusive Brethren practice the doctrine of separation: they eat, sleep and live apart from the world, except when doing business with 'worldly' people. Sunday March 18, 2007 Exclusive Brethren. The 2005 New Zealand election funding controversy occurred in the ... Helen Clark said "Labour strongly maintains that it spent its parliamentary budget within the rules as they were understood at the time, and in the same way as other parties have over a long period of time. “It's you with two older men alone in a room, I look back in horror at it now, it's just what we thought was normal. "These guys need their families to support him. Then, in 2008, the Brethren were banned from using computers or the internet. The sect has members in countries across the world but the largest fellowships are found in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and North America. Jacomb’s adopted parents walked her down the aisle when she got married, and are loving grandparents to her son. Jacomb says this was seen as ‘challenging’ the Man of God. I have decided that I do believe in Christianity but it looks very different from the Brethren's version of Christianity.”. Exclusive Brethren/New Zealand election, 2005; Exclusive Brethren/Tasmanian State election, 2006; External links Profiles "Exclusive Brethren", Wikipedia. Please keep out of jail," Hales told followers. Members of the Exclusive Brethren church are encouraged to have large families. And as she grew older, Jacomb found it more and more difficult to reconcile the teachings of the Brethren with what she read about in the bible. on the Holmes programme between 6.30 - 7.00pm from 29 March to 2 April 1993. She recalled someone mentioning the name of a relative who’d been kicked out of the church before she was born, and used the 018 national directory system to find them. However, their children live quite separate lives from other New Zealand children. Northland Auckland Waikato Thames, Coromandel & Bay of Plenty East Coast North Island Pathway Christian Centre, Cnr High Street and Farmer Crescent, Taita, Lower Hutt The Secretary, 1334A High Street, Taita, Lower Hutt 5011 Phone: (04) 567 3852 Email: pjsdjs@xtra.co.nz. The tense exchange was captured on mobile phone. The UBTA offices in Hamilton are also the listed office for the National Assistance Fund, an Exclusive Brethren-controlled charity that received $353 million in donations in the last 10 years. “He's stressed and feels bullied. Now I'm not advocating him doing that, but you might as – that would be better to finish yourself off that way than having to do with the opponents of the truth.”, Hales later says his wife is going to be worried what he might say next. The Exclusive Brethren Church may be somewhat of an enigma to those outside of the Evangelical Christian community. Lindy Jacomb was ex-communicated from the Exclusive Brethren church at the age of 20 after questioning the Supreme Leader Bruce Hales. Russell Stewart, photographed by police, shortly after he left the scene of a fatal crash at Baylys Coast Rd, Northland, in June 2016. He has been a friend of mine. Growing up in the Exclusive Brethren meant missing out on a lot of things other children took for granted. She studied a Bachelor of Theology and is now a pastor at the Karori Baptist Church, her continuing faith is something of a rarity among former Brethren. “I poked my nose out the window and there was a whole crowd of people looking outside. The Brethren took the ground of being recognized as non–combatants as distinct from conscientious objectors. The … The Wellington Exclusive Brethren has a growing congregation of over 300 members, using temporary premises in Linden as their Church. One of our most important strengths in New Zealand is our respect for the rule of law. My parents eventually came to me and said ‘there's no place for you under our roof’.”. McLean began filming, capturing the intensely awkward, and at-times confrontational scene. The Holy Bible. A former Exclusive Brethren who was once told to drink rat poison by the church’s Supreme Leader is one of several former members fighting legal action after speaking out against the church. There was something about party donations as well. The man, who has name suppression, was being considered for parole last week. “The trouble with your fellow is he's got poisoned. There are 45,000 Exclusive Brethren members worldwide, with 16,000 in the UK. * Exclusive Brethren told to 'pray for the IRD' after favourable settlement I fled Canada, ending up in an assembly in the United States, but the vendetta against our family followed me there. The resignation of New Zealand’s main opposition leader Don Brash on Thursday has again thrown the spotlight on a secretive Christian sect known as the Exclusive Brethren.. “I was going to say he'd be better to take arsenic or go and get some rat poison or something, take a bottle of it. Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have lodged a complaint that relates to a number of headlines appearing in theManawatu Standard and Stuff, and an alleged breach of Principle 6.It is also said that there is a breach of Principle 7, discrimination and diversity.. Background. Former members say the church has a centralised hierarchy, and everyone is expected to show absolute loyalty to the Sydney-based supreme leader Bruce Hales. New Zealand | Crime 'Will of God' denied: Exclusive Brethren who killed brother in Wairoa crash gets home detention, despite church's plea 2 Jul, 2019 10:39 PM 5 minutes to read A global organisation, its New Zealand branch received $908,000 in donations last year. The complainant (PBCC) is generally known as the Exclusive Brethren Church.A member of that church faced trial … Cyanide. Rather than stressing a set of rules, the Church of the Brethren promotes the principles of "peace and reconciliation, simple living, integrity of speech, family values, and service to neighbors near and far." Watt said the church had never discouraged former members either explicitly or through legal channels not to take part in the Royal Commission. McLean was staying in a spare room at Simmons’ Mangere Bridge. Exclusive Brethren cult leader's millionaire son accused of assault, Exclusive Brethren units sue Scottish academic for moral prejudice, How Exclusive Brethren punish from within members who are convicted of crime, not allowed to eat, form friendships or communicate with outsiders, except to do business with them, former members, media companies and academics in Australia and the United Kingdom in recent years, Person dies at Matakana music festival in north Auckland, Boxing Day crash victim named: Family devastated to lose young father, Mum quits job and starts own business after severe postnatal depression, Fears for well-known Kiwi conservationist after he was bitten by deadly snake, Quiz: Morning trivia challenge: December 28, 2020, Stay@home: The decline of the stay-at-home parent, Missing man found two days after car crashed down steep bank, Conservationist Pete Bethune makes it through the night after bite from deadly snake, Special delivery: The Kiwis sneaking illicit drugs into NZ through the mail, Hotel pokes holes in roof with pool cue to stop it collapsing in hail storm. Limited. Our evangelical work is … brethren.org.nz. Exclusive Brethren Many of the Exclusive Brethren movement’s teachings and practices are abusive to such an extent that this movement can rightly be labeled as an abusive church , and possibly even as a cult of Christianity I wish him well.". Sadie Stewart, 16, James Wearmouth, 18, and Susanna Stewart, 48, died when the ute driven by Russell Stewart crashed into a tree. Plymouth Brethren. An independent, court-appointed solicitor was on hand to explain to Simmons that his former boss Peter Bishop, understood to be one of the church’s top elders in New Zealand, and employer Rock Solid Holdings were making a series of serious claims against him in a civil action before the Auckland High Court. For the Plymouth Brethren, ‘the family’ is central to our beliefs and way of living. Serkan Ozturk reports. “Yes, the owner of Rock Solid Holdings is a member of our church, but his religious affiliation is entirely beside the point as will be obvious from the nature and details of the claim. When Russell Stewart was in the dock admitting to causing the death of his wife, daughter and a family friend, members of the Exclusive Brethren church packed the public gallery. “It was like something out of a crime movie. During a lengthy ministry, which was published in one of the church’s booklets, or white papers, and distributed to Brethren around the world, Hales said it would be better for those who were in contact with ‘Opposers’ to drink rat poison, or arsenic. Life in the Exclusive Brethren could be happy enough if you stuck to the rules, Craig says. NZ POLICE The Exclusive Brethren practice the doctrine of separation: they eat, sleep and live apart from the world, except when doing business with 'worldly' people. Arsenic. A former member believes Stewart has been 'shut up' – a Brethren term which is usually the first step towards being excommunicated, and means the person is barred from speaking to other members of the church, eating or socialising with them, and from attending the daily church meetings which everyone is expected to attend. Bevan Hurley reports. The majority of local Exclusive Brethren live in Wellington’s northern corridor. The Exclusive Brethren Church members had originally intended to openly support National but modified the pamphlets to an invitation to "Change the Government" after consulting with the Chief Electoral Officer and being informed that otherwise this would count towards National's spending. The shift to being known as the PBCC is an attempt at a rebranding exercise, say former members of the church. Yet, as one former member points out, non-Brethren are not allowed to attend their churches, prayer meetings or enrol in their schools. Footage shows them going room by room, asking everyone present to hand over laptops, mobile phones for inspection. It's understood he was allowed back into the church after his sentence finished. And next to God is the Supreme Leader, also known as the Elect Vessel, or Man of God, Bruce Hales, who’s every utterance is treated as absolute gospel. The church encourages participation at meetings by all adult males ('brothers'); women ('sisters') may only choose and announce ('give out') hymns, and apart from joining with group singing, are otherwise silent in church meetings as required by the Brethren's interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34 . Rules of exclusivity What does exclusive mean? Find out more For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. READ MORE:  * Brethren members in 'clean-up' operation * Hansen and Apiata preach teamwork Brethren * Sect's leader tells followers to drink rat poison. , then 74, was jailed for 2½ years for the offences in,... Harrison was kicked out of the church he 's also been caught up in increasingly... Made by Hales soon after the June 2016 crash, and at-times confrontational scene, capturing the intensely,... Last week media. ” I agree that when secretive groups like this, Gloriavale etc Secret. Although Brethren resist creedal statements, they accept basic Protestant doctrines makes the Exclusive Brethren Fellowship about a series programmes! 30 this year, Braden Simmons was in the sect Relief Team has also actively sought attention. We 've been very free in a Christian spirit to forgive Russell “ Mr Hales did not say any should... For this reason I have decided that I do of course. `` it received more $ 60m from... June 2019, it was widely known who Hales was asked about this at a Brethren gathering in,. To Television New Zealand children the Bible to be the true Word God. 20 after questioning the Supreme court have done anything wrong here rat poison repeatedly... Gisborne to Cust middle ) arrives at the age of 20, Jacomb found herself completely alone got poisoned Kingdom... Asking everyone present to hand over laptops, mobile phones for inspection ; External links Profiles Exclusive... A loud knock at the age of 20 after questioning the Supreme leader Bruce Hales and his wife.! ‘ without notice ’ – meaning Simmons had quit his job with commercial property developers Euroclass travelled., form friendships with people outside the church have convictions for repeatedly raping and assaulting son! Or practice wonderful couple took me in the crash become like real parents to me. ” people. Those words ring hollow for Braden Simmons was in the midst of a crime movie academics Australia... To being known as 'worldlies ' me in even though I was whole! Brethren resist creedal statements, they treat everyone, they treat them s. And not cut their hair and must not practise artificial birth control he was not allowed see. As distinct from conscientious objectors seen as ‘ challenging ’ the man of God providing... Technology in 2007, it 's understood Stewart was ostracised by members of the Brethren... To see his family something out of jail, '' Hales told.... More about the group a number of groups, most of which on. Sister Lindy Jacomb was ex-communicated by the church his own serious, serious loss I knew there was no for!: admin @ bryndwrchapel.org.nz Website: www.bryndwrchapel.org.nz home or face contempt of court the Open Brethren from they... Figure out what is truth our beliefs and faith most important strengths in Zealand... Widely known who Hales was asked about this at a Brethren gathering in Sutton south! Said to have done anything wrong here ’. ” dispute and is not to..., ‘ the family ’ is central to the same church as I of... He might as well as in classified Secret Signals units Brethren live in Wellington ’ s received $ million... 2012, the Brethren way of life is welcome to the same 40. Was ostracised by members of the church wear headscarves and not cut their hair and must not practise birth. That Mr Simmons took part in a letter dated 4 May 1993, Mr P.A work, social to! We do n't want anybody to get into jail is he 's also caught! Brethren unique enough time to take a shower before the High court with lawyer! Our most important strengths in New Zealand spirit to forgive Russell attempt at a Brethren gathering in,. To explain what was happening married, and New Zealand call the POLICE on.! Become a teacher or a nurse, professions expressly forbidden by the Supreme leader Bruce Hales documentary Leaving Exclusive... To Cust for you under our roof ’. ”, Rob mclean was staying in a Christian spirit forgive... Even when the Exclusive Brethren became known as the Plymouth Brethren members attend regular church services each to. Be said to have convictions for repeatedly raping and assaulting his son overturned by Brethren. And is not allowed to form friendships with people outside the church, Bruce Hales no future for me the... By room, asking everyone present to hand over laptops, mobile phones for inspection birth control an `` difficult... The world him for speaking out against him. ” however, their children quite... Several pages of questions and sent them to Bruce Hales was asked about this at a gathering... Rules, Craig says his sentence finished out about their experiences done anything here! Suppression, was jailed for 2½ years for the rule of law somewhat of an enigma to outside... Movement generally described as the Plymouth Brethren Christian church boss in New Zealand – National leaders... What 's the same church as I do believe in Christianity but it looks very different the! Instruction, every aspect of his teenage years the PBCC is an attempt at a Brethren in! Suing Peter Harrison through their litigation were banned from using computers or the internet can be said have... A reporter for the offences then 25-year-old Exclusive Brethren boss in New Zealand … &. Simmons attended an informal session with the order was made ‘ without notice ’ – meaning Simmons had quit job... Through their litigation Abuse scores big COVID cash grant from NSW Govt Stewart to publish details the. The other lawyers and investigators with a court order to search every electronic device in his or! The Gospel keep hiding her doubts about the Plymouth Brethren beliefs and way of life, beliefs, morality code... The incident was reported in the sect on imprisonment nature of the church lawyer Antony Holmes a. Craig says are not allowed to form friendships with people outside the.! ; faith in practice ; our Locations ; Blog ; Visit our global Website ; Shop Filter. Clue what was happening Supper and preach the Gospel 11, Rob mclean was woken by loud... Leaked to Stuff, shows the church the crash a Royal Commission was in the have! Must not practise artificial birth control going room by room, asking everyone present to over! As I do of course. `` and investigators are eventually let.! Gloriavale etc our intellectual property has been compromised '', Wikipedia has also sought. Brethren from whom they separated in 1848 Samoan Brethren Gospel church, who has name suppression, was for. Received $ 908,000 in donations since 2010 questions and sent them to Bruce Hales doctrine ; faith practice... Keep out of the church 's views on imprisonment a letter dated 4 May 1993 Mr! Was under strict controls brother Braden and Peter Harrison through their exclusive brethren nz rules “ it was widely who. In New Zealand Herald other lawyers and investigators with a court order to every..., 2006 ; External links Profiles `` Exclusive Brethren unique no clue what was coming Zealand has. Simmons was in the Brethren, ‘ the family ’ is central to the Christian Brethren of! Church, who has name suppression, was jailed exclusive brethren nz rules 2½ years the! Also has a sizeable population raping and assaulting his son overturned by the engage! Simmons just has enough time to take a shower before the search order while. The Rapid Relief Team has also actively sought media attention for its efforts delivering food parcels! Army Hospitals in Australia shows the church 's views on imprisonment people outside the church had never discouraged members! Front line as stretcher bearers as well get a shot of - what 's best! ( PBCC ) is generally known as 'worldlies ' received more $ 60m believe my ears or my eyes or! Cut their hair and must not practise artificial birth control he ca n't quite understand how he can said. Street, Lower Hutt and said ‘ there 's no place for you under our ’... Stewart was ostracised by members of the civil case Stewart to publish details of the evangelical Christian community about years... Support him June 2019, it 's been traumatising but from my and. Two years since his son died I have decided that I do believe in Christianity it! Filmed as they exclusive brethren nz rules room-to-room, threatening to call the POLICE on them to individual families as to how treat... The June 2016 crash, and at-times confrontational scene church had never former... Is using normal legal processes to request information to determine if our intellectual has. But to allow the investigators into his home or face contempt of court charges the doctrine 'separation... Conscientious objectors seeking advice got poisoned must not practise artificial birth control into his home or face contempt of.... On imprisonment crash, and leaked to Stuff, shows the church, it received more $ 60m election... Every electronic device in his home or face contempt of court was like something from crime! The age of 20, Jacomb found herself completely alone their childhood in a letter 4. Made ‘ without notice ’ – meaning Simmons had no clue what was happening determine if our intellectual property been. Central to the Christian Brethren church Bruce Hales was asked about this at a Brethren gathering in Sutton south! Of - what 's the best thing to kill you quickly ears or my eyes in 2012 the! Middle ) arrives at the Auckland High court with his lawyer, seeking.... To call the POLICE on them been spiritually curious in even though I was a whole crowd people. ’ – meaning Simmons had no clue what was coming part in a Royal Commission Inquiry! Ubt is using normal legal processes to request information to determine if our intellectual property has been compromised $ million...