Plymouth Brethren - Christian Religion or Secret Sect? (2013 article)

A Brethren Meeting Room, Bedford Rd, Houghton Regis

UPDATE 21 Nov 2013

A couple more comments added last night. If you don't have time to read all this, try this 4 minute youtube video

Please Sign This Petition!

== To save time, skip over this 8th April blog to read the Comments =======

Despite claiming a basic allowance for being a member of Central Bedfordshire Council, and another for being the "Executive Member for External Affairs", a post no one seems able to explain, Tory Councillor Richard Stay still finds time to post many blog posts almost exclusively about the The Exclusive Brethren.

To look through Cllr Stay's blog you could easily surmise that he is a man obsessed by the Exclusive Brethren. 

"Executive Member for External Affairs" is a role that does seem to have been created after he lost his position as leader of the council. "its so obvious that Cllr Richard Stay is a man of talent otherwise Central Bedfordshire Council wouldn’t have created a "job" at public expense when he failed for the second time to get the top job as Council Leader." wrote the Caddington Village News last year.

Exclusive Brethren, for all my passing interest can gleam from Richard's blabberings, is that it's a sinister religious sect with devious ways of defrauding the tax payer, with a bunch of people painted as crooks looking to line their own pockets through wealth creation. That, and the fact that members of the Brethren are trolling Richard's blog on a regular basis. (Oh, I do love trolls!)

Have you been affected by the Exclusive Brethren? Should the Charity Commission be looking into the question of whether the EB should retain their charity status and the tax concessions this brings them?

Does the EB destroy families? Tell me what you think.


Since starting to read Richard Stay's Blogs, its been quite a learning curve for me. I have received a steady stream of anecdotes, so many, and so varied that their authenticity could  not possibly be called into question. Read them below. And keep them coming.

UPDATE January 2016.
The premises are being sold.


  1. Alan
    An interesting perspective, given that this is a campaign strongly & actively involving senior Lib Dems!!
    Plus your own colleagues in Houghton Regis!
    Are you suggesting that this is worthy cause for tax payers money.

  2. The intrigue deepens! I await your further posts with even more expectations of revelations! Go for it!

  3. Richard Stay is doing an invaluable job in exposing a cult which has been tearing families apart for decades. This has been done at public expense, as the Exclusive Brethren has charity status. It is time this was withdrawn.

  4. ExEB members here in New Zealand and Australia (and throughout the world) hail Richard Stay as a brave man who has had the courage to expose this awful sect which deprived me personally of my wife, infant son and family home. Exclusive Brethren bullies have got away with this cruelty (which they euphemistically call 'assembly discipline') for decades and are, at last, as a new generation of victims emerge, being held to account. Concurrent with this exposure is the development of the Exclusive Brethren as sophisticated, business orientated gurus hiding behind a plethora of questionable trusts hitching a ride on taxpayer-funded benefits. Keep up the good work Richard - you have the antichrist well and truly pissed off!!

  5. As a former member of the EBCC I speak on behalf of many people who's lives have been ruined by this cult, my mother died an alcoholic aged 60 trying unsuccessfully to leave, my brother also died an alcoholic after leaving them, and being forced against his will to have any contact with his children. If you spent some time looking at the family's that have been destroyed by them it would run ino hundreds or even thousands. So before you have a dig at Richard Stay, I suggest you pull your head out of he sand and face a few hard truths

  6. The EB cult, now of course called Plymouth Brethren Christian Church is responsible for breaking up families, my own one of many. The doctrines that are enforced upon persons from birth are horrific to the outside world and in many cases covered up even to the point of breaking the law. Apparently if a serious crime is committed but the police haven't yet heard of it, letting your priest know completely absolves the perpetrator from all blame, even in the eyes of the law. What Richard Stay does is outstanding and I really wish more of you MP's would wake up to the facts of the evil operating in God's name right under your eyes. There are many online resources showing what happens within, it really is scary stuff!

  7. I can't get in to visit an Exclusive Brethren church, they will only allow it by long prior appointment, they have to vet you and you may not pass the vetting procedure. They are not interested in bringing souls to Christ. I know by fact that they do everything possible to make it difficult for outsiders to attend.

    As a 'Place of Public Worship' they get exemption from rates, and claim back money from the Charity Commission. This is not right - Is it??

  8. Dear Mr Winter,

    I suffered at the cruel hands of the exclusive brethren. For doing things that most people do everyday I was excommunicated, loosing over night, my job, my house, my parents, friends, wife and my 2 year old son. Under their rules, as I am excommunicated, I will never see my son again. Is this fair?

    Mr Stay has done and is doing a magnificent job in helping people and exposing this cult for what it is.

    His dedication and tireless work is much appreciated.

  9. Thank you Mr Winter for providing us with this opportunity of telling our stories.

    My family were expelled from the Exclusive Brethren because my father refused to obey their orders to give up his job as a teacher and go to work for an EB business. From that day to this I have never heard from any of my relatives and former friends in the EB, and only found out that my grandparents had died by contacting the Registrar in the area where they lived.

    In my view there is no way they should continue to be accorded charity status.

  10. How would one go about initiating a enquiry into this cult. I think this is urgently needed, especially for all the hundreds young people who are trapped in this brain washing cult, who have no basic human rights, like being able to attend university or even have a facebook page. Can anybody advise how this should be approached?

  11. Like Mysteria, I am grateful to Alan Winter for giving us a chance to have a say. I have the impression that Alan perhaps didn't know much about the Exclusive Brethren before Richard Stay started his blog, and I'm not surprised because the hallmark of this cult is secrecy. How then can they be "for the public benefit", which is what is required for them to retain charity status?

    I have never been in the EB myself, but ancestors of mine were and I have joined some of the forums which are mainly for ex-members in order to find out about about the EB. The stories I have read about their cruel treatment of members who fail to toe the line has shocked me.

  12. Hi there,

    I was raised in the Exclusive Brethren in New Zealand. The control was suffocating, and I was given no choice in the direction my life was to take. I came out as gay to church elders as a teenager, and they spent several years trying to "change" me. I was told I was possessed by demons, I was prayed over, and finally sent to live under the eye of the world leader in Australia, where I was prescribed a chemical castration drug by a church doctor.

    When I stood up to the priests at the age of 19 and told them I believed they were wrong, I was excommunicated. My parents threw me out of their home, I lost my job, and every person I knew abruptly cut me off. That was in 2009. I spoke out against the Exclusive Brethren after leaving, and was threatened, stalked and harassed. A subsequent court case returned a guilty verdict for intimidating behaviour. The doctor who drugged me was also found guilty, and has been barred from practising as a GP.

    The control this so-called church exerts over its members is heartless and cruel. I haven't seen my parents or siblings for more than four years now, and if the church is allowed to continue its reign of terror it's likely I'll live the rest of my life without seeing them again.

  13. Hi Alan,
    I am from Montreal and am in the midst of a divorce which entails determining custody for my 5 children and where they go to school. From day 1 I have had to fight tooth and nail to even have the slightest access to my kids. My ex wife (brethren) declared under oath that she wished that our kids would have no contact whatsoever with me. Recently I have come into possession of secret documents that make it crystal clear what I have suspected all along - that it is not the children's interests that matter whatsoever in this case, it is the universal priesthood of the brethren that are orchestrating and handling my family case, directing and making decisions to ultimately deny me all access to my children. My ex has very little say and the children have even less. I have it all in black and white. I have faced 2 of the persons (local elders here in Montreal, Randall Cowie and Derek Cowie - owners of Ranger Design) named in my evidence with questions as to why they are doing this. They did not deny anything, but rather evaded the questions and closed the discussion. These people have blood on their hands. It is high time that the child abuse, child manipulation and parental alienation stop.

  14. Like Craig, I was raised in the Exclusive Brethren in New Zealand. As a youth life was relatively normal by worldly comparison, though this changed dramatically through the 1970's.Under the rule of James Taylor jr. the rules applied to the members mounted each week. Life evolved from a normal childhood into a cult. Families were being torn apart as those who dared ask a question were thrown out and categorically denied access to their loved ones.

    I was married with two children in 1989 when I made a 'call for help'. Their action was to withdraw from me without ever asking why the route chosen was embarked on. My wife stayed in the house and was told to move out of my bedroom, by the 'priests', three weeks after me being withdrawn from. She did this though stayed in the house, sleeping in another bedroom, for another twelve months.

    After communication with members of the church whilst I was at work, she was provided a brethren house to move into and took the two children with her. Access to the children was recipe for financial and emotional disaster with the knowledge that the church pools resources universally, since the sixties, to fight those who seek access.

    To date, no member of the Exclusive Brethren church has enquired of me why I did take a route they choose not to agree with. With this lack of seeing and support for those who become 'widows for the truth', there has been no social contact with my children since. One is married now and has two children of her own though have seen one of them for ten minutes.

    Question is well to be raised and an inquiry is overdue challenging their right to charitable status when splitting families is such a non issue for this heartless cult.

  15. Thank God people like Richard Stay are prepared to speak out against the evil abuses of the Exclusive Brethren (newly renamed in late 2012 as Plymouth Brethren Christian Church). I left their group, which I believe to be a cult nearly a quarter of a century ago, after a lifetime of abuse and mistreatment at their hands and still they see cause to make me suffer for making a free choice to not continue to live this way as an adult. I am not allowed to have free communication with my own blood family who remain members, my family are not allowed to have me stay with them or to eat with them, and they are taught that I am "lost", "unsaved" even "evil" for becoming a born again Christian in another denomination. I still remember my father saying on my choosing to leave, that he was praying I would be killed before I had a chance to sin!! And to have my own mother refuse to even say hello to me in the local supermarket, caused a lot of trauma in a young person, which I spent years struggling to overcome. I have helped with the rescue of other abused young ones leaving this group and have been totally appalled with the amount of suffering that this "church" creates in the name of God and I believe Jesus weeps at the abuses perpetrated by them. I also believe it is our duty as concerned citizens to publicize this... especially anyone claiming to follow God, as he is a God of mercy & justice.

    I can also draw your attention to this current petition, which some members who have left are too afraid to even sign, although they fully support it, as they believe from past experience, that their families in "the brethren" would be forced into further torment if they added their names as they wish to do.

  16. If you would like to hear the voices of some of those who have lost their families because of this group, watch this moving video set to music. It is only 4 minutes long.

  17. The recent decision by the Charity Commission can be read here;


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