A cult by any other name is still a cult and this so-called religion fits the bill. This group caught my attention when an article came across my news feed about a religious group running its own school in the U.K. that was trying to get charity tax status. The article at the Daily Mail was talking about some of the harsh rules that these kids live under and some of the penalties for infraction of these rules. One teenaged girl was shut up (placed in solitary home confinement) for 37 days, just for making a Facebook page. Students at the school, as well as all parishioners, are not allowed to use the internet, watch television, read the newspapers or use cell phones to contact anyone outside the faith. They call us Worldlies and they are not even allowed to share a meal with us, even family members that are not of the "church". Like many cults, if you leave the fold, you are excommunicated and forbidden contact with any one inside, including spouse, parents or children. And like most cults, excommunication is less about rehabilitation and more about punishment as this short video shows:
The Exclusive Brethren is a worldwide organization, with 43,000 members. Australian Bruce Hales is its world leader and "Elect Vessel". The conservative Christian sect has been extremely controversial in Australia because of allegations it tried to influence politicians despite its members being exempt from voting, reports the Herald Sun. There is evidence in some recent court case that the church is being investigated for human trafficking, assault and sexual assault. Some are even claiming murder although that has not yet been proven in court. If you have the time, please watch the following documentaries.
The nextDocumentary deals a little more with the policy of Shutting Up, which is a type of involuntary imprisonment. It also has a few of the priest on to defend and explain the actions of the church.
Be warned, this is a dangerous cult. Thank you for reading.