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Homosexuality: Exclusive Brethren exposed as liars

Homosexuality: Exclusive Brethren exposed as liars

The Exclusive Brethren Church in Australia has denied that it is ‘resolutely anti-gay’, even though it mistreats its gay members, and has launched numerous political campaigns against the rights of LGBT people starting over a decade ago.

According to The Canberra Times, reports have surfaced that the cash-rich separatist religious cult, which donates secretly to the Liberal Party, has “virulently anti-gay” attitudes.

But articles exposing the cult prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, above, to say:

I’ve got no criticisms or complaints about that organisation … As you know, everybody is free to make political contributions.

In a statement to Fairfax Media, the Liberal-linked Sydney public relations firm Wells Haslem, which represents the church, denied it’s client was anti-gay, saying: The Brethren’s PR representative, Benjamin Haslem said:

It is not. The Church has never campaigned against LGBTI individuals or communities. The Church would appreciate [it] if you could amend our article so it is accurate.

However, Fairfax Media has obtained a number of internal documents that show this is a downright lie.

The Exclusive Brethren leader Bruce D Hales said in a meeting in his Sydney office in January 2006 that homosexuality was:

Unnatural against the anatomy.

In the meeting, with a young girl who had been sexually abused by the man she was staying with, Hales was discouraging her from leaving the church and going to live with her gay father. He told her:

God created man for the woman and the woman for man, not man for man and woman for woman.

Also in 2006, Hales’ brother, Daniel, told Fairfax Media:

When I was a boy, homosexuals went to jail.

In 2009, Bruce Hales sent a gay 18-year-old Brethren member, Craig Hoyle, to a Sydney-based Brethren doctor. In a later complaint to the medical board, Hoyle quoted Hales saying:

There’s medication you can go on for these things.

Hoyle said Hales had told him:

To never accept myself for who I was, and to always battle against my sexuality.

Craig Hoyle, left, and disgraced Brethren doctor Mark Craddock in a video that exposed the cult in 2015. The video shows cult members intimidating the filmmakers.

Craig Hoyle, left, and disgraced Brethren doctor Mark Craddock in a video that exposed the cult in 2015. The video shows cult members intimidating the filmmakers.

The doctor he was referred to, Mark Craddock, a radiologist, prescribed a potent drug called Cyprostat, which shuts off the supply of testosterone in the male body and is typically used to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer – or in some cases to chemically castrate “sexual deviants”. Craddock was later banned from practicing as a GP over his actions.

Hoyle said:

Over the past few years I have been contacted by a number of current and former Brethren members who are gay, describing similar treatment at the hands of the church. There is no doubt in my mind that the Brethren attitude toward homosexuality has not changed in any meaningful way.

As for Wells Haslem’s claim that the Brethren had not “campaigned” against LGBTI people, this is also a lie.

In the 2004 Federal election, the Brethren arranged, through the Liberal Party, to book a series of anti-Green advertising campaigns. Among the advertisements was a statement that transgender rights would:

Ruin families and societies.

The Brethren’s anti-gay campaigns have also gone global, in a number of jurisdictions contemplating legislating for gay marriage.

In January 2005, the church’s senior leaders in Canada wrote an “urgent memo” to the cult’s members on a proposed same-gender marriage bill. It said:

Preventing the passage of this bill is absolutely critical.

Gay marriage would mean, among other things, that:

Gay persons will flood Canada from all over the world, with disastrous social results.

The Brethren campaigned in the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law change relating to gays in the American military in 1993, Canada Same-Sex Marriage law in 2005, and the Illinois Civil Unions legislation in 2007. Their claims included that gay people were incapable of controlling their sexual urges, spread disease, and contributed to the moral collapse of society.

When former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard – who was close to the Brethren – legislated in 2004 to define marriage for the first time as between a man and a woman, Exclusive Brethren members were present in Parliament every day of the debate.

Former Greens Leader Bob Brown called on Turnbull to send back donations to the Liberals from members of the Exclusive Brethren. Brown said that, during a meeting in his office in Parliament House in 2006:

The cult’s elders warned me … that I should read Romans I in which St Paul advises that homosexual men ‘are deserving of death’. They came with advice that I and my partner Paul Thomas were destined for ‘a lake of fire’.

Melbourne-based elder Richard Garrett had told then Senator Brown that same-sex marriage would:

Destroy society. We repel it because it’s against God’s word. People get themselves so perverted and they just can’t think morally.

In the public relations firm’s statement, Brethren representative Benjamin Haslem also wrote that the Plymouth (or Exclusive Brethren) has never been responsible for “covering up child sex abuse”.

13 responses to “Homosexuality: Exclusive Brethren exposed as liars”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Who’d have ever thought that the Exclusive Brethren would ever have a PR representative? Bruce Hales has absolutely transformed the image of the Brethren, but no one should be taken in; they remain the same at heart.

    http://www.plymouthbrethrenchristianchurch.org/

    Notice all the emphasis on community work and relief work, but we know that this is not what they are really about.

  2. barriejohn says:

    Rapid Relief Team:

    http://www.rapidreliefteam.org/

    “Serving people with care & compassion in times of need.”

    Brethren in the PBCC believe that what they call God’s principle of unity is achieved by separating from and excluding that which they consider evil. As a result, open means of communication such as television, radio, and the internet are banned for members. The Brethren reserve all social activities for those with whom they celebrate the Lord’s Supper, excluding even family who are not members of the sect. Such activities include eating, drinking and entertainment, as well as club and professional memberships, directorships, shares and health insurance. Eating in restaurants and staying at hotels are also avoided.(Wikipedia, with link to The Exclusive Brethren Christian Fellowship)

    At one time they wouldn’t answer to the names “Plymouth Brethren” or “Exclusive Brethren”, calling themselves “Christians” or “Believers”. How times have changed!

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Forty men and women who had worked at Auschwitz were put on trial in 1947 for war crimes. One was acquitted, ten were sent to prison for a finite time, eight were sent to prison for life, and twenty-one were hung by the neck until dead. Among their crimes were involuntary castration of men who had no medical condition necessitating castration.

    Every day Mr. Bruce Hales and Mr. Mark Craddock walk this earth as free men, not in prison, not swinging from a rope, I would like each of them to consider whether it is just that they are free or whether it was unjust that the Nazis were punished. Their crimes of castration were the same: should Mr. Hales and Mr. Craddock be hung, or should the Nazis have been forgiven?

  4. Stephen Mynett says:

    Trevor, also worth thinking about the “crimes” of Alan Turing, the genius who helped crack the Enigma code only to be shat on by the society he helped save.

  5. Peterat says:

    Barrie: it appears you have a”bone” to pick with them!

  6. Broga says:

    @Stephen Mynett : It must be a huge regret to any decent person that Alan Turing, who saved so many lives by his genius, was treated so shamefully. If you made a list of the people who did most to help win the war against the Nazis then Alan Turing would be in the topmost rank.

    In terms of individual contributions, as compared to those whose efforts depended on armies, I can think of no one who made a greater contribution than Alan Turing.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Peterat: I was not actually involved with the Exclusives, but I knew a number who were. The degree of control and dehumanization is unbelievable.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_Brethren

  8. AgentCormac says:

    The very fact that they call themselves ‘Exclusives’ tells you everything you need to know about their arrogance. Having said which, I have a funny feeling barriejohn is now going to correct me by saying the name derives from the fact that they exclude themselves from the rest of society or something, rather than they see themselves as beng all ‘holier than thou’ exclusive. barriejohn?

  9. tonye says:

    @Stephen Mynett, Broga,

    Thankfully, in very recent times, there has been a reappraisal of Turing, with modern eyes.

    Whilst his life was all too short, at least he is now, finally, getting the respect and recognition he deserved.

  10. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Spot on!

    These words: “withdraw,” “separate” and “with those” are key to the fellowship. They believe that common social activities involve fellowship. These include:
    – eating and drinking: (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    – memberships: directorships, associations, clubs, life assurance, shares or stock in public companies, health plans, etc: (2 Corinthians 6:14)

    – entertainment: (2 Timothy 2:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:17).

    Consequently, as a matter of conscience, their social activities and links described as the fellowship and are reserved exclusively for those with whom they eat the Lords Supper.

    “Be not diversely yoked with unbelievers, for what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? or what fellowship of light with darkness?… Wherefore come out from the midst of them, and be separated, saith the Lord, and touch not what is unclean, and I will receive you; and I will be to you for a Father, and ye shall be to me for sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

    http://web.archive.org/web/20061017183345/http://www.theexclusivebrethren.com/index-2.asp

    (My emphasis)

  11. CoastalMaineBird says:

    Not a cult…. not a cult… not a cult… this is NOT A CULT…

  12. Brummie says:

    Alan Turing deserves to be the face on UK banknotes.

  13. Robster says:

    I have a reverend of some sort from this mob of grotesque bigots living next door to my same sex partner and me. We’ve been here 13 years, in that time, Les the bigot has never had the manners to refer to either of us by our names, even though we offer him that accommodation. He and his chained to the sink wifely chattel took it upon themselves to fill our mail box with Jesus “news”papers and associated nonsense, it too numerous letters to get them to stop it. Les the bigot asked the partner and I to refer to him as “reverend”, which we refuse to do, pointedly. This does lead to entertaining moments as Les the bigot self immolates. I think the problem is, they’re not exclusive enough, perhaps exclusion from human contact would be a better approach.