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PBCC RESPONSE to ACA – Joy Nason Program 26.08.15

 PBCC Response to ACA Joy Nason Program 26.08.15

ALLEGATION RESPONSE
1. “When Joy Nason walked out of the Exclusive Brethren she was cut off forever from many members of her family including her mum and dad” After Joy voluntarily left the Brethren nearly 50 years ago, she was visited by family members and had contact with her Mother.  It was her action and decision to separate from her family.  Joy has made infrequent contact with family members since.  Any contact with Joy has been at the individual discretion of family members.
2. “She was denied access to her own mother’s funeral. Her mother and her father were denied access to each other for the final years of their lives”. This was a family matter entirely and no direction from the Brethren was given. Joys’ parents were separated by their own decision and were not denied access by the Brethren.
3. “This former insider speaks out detailing allegations about this cult’s cruel practice of forced family separation”. This is a false distortion of facts. Joy’s false claims are without foundation and made in circumstances where she has had virtually nothing to do with the Church for over 45 years.
4. ”the Brethren forced her parents to separate, how she was banned from attending her own mother’s funeral and she details disturbing allegations of cover ups of child sexual abuse within the Brethren”.

False. The Brethren did not force her parents to separate.Joy was not banned from her mothers’ funeral but rather the family situation was respected. Any arrangements in this regard were a family matter.

Child sexual abuse is abhorrent to Brethren.

5. “As this mega-wealthy cult continues to make millions tax free”. This is false. The Church does not own or operate any businesses whatsoever and Brethren pay taxes in exactly the same ways and at the same rates as non-brethren members of the wider community.
6. “This secret community say they want nothing to do with the rest of society, yet they continue to milk as much money from the Australian public as they can. Through government grants, their charitable tax free status and welfare claims” These are totally false allegations. Brethren members interact daily with the wider community through school, shopping, business, neighbourly interaction, charitable activities and many other ways and such behaviours described have never been condoned by the Brethren.
7. ”Does the Exclusive Brethren think that they’re better or more superior to the rest of society?” Absolutely not.
8. “We weren’t allowed to have any fiction and that included nursery rhymes and we had bonfire in the back garden and I’m sure many of the Exclusive Brethren at that time had similar bonfires. Wind in the Willows, Enid Blyton, The Famous Five, they would have all gone up in smoke”. This is nonsense. Many Brethren families, especially those with younger children would have books similar or the same as those referred to on their bookshelves.
9. “I call that kind of system a cult and I think the Exclusive Brethren is a cult”. The Plymouth Brethren are not a cult. Established for over 180 years, the Brethren are a mainstream Christian Church that has more than 300 autonomous assemblies in 18 countries around the world and whose members extensively engage with the wider community on a daily basis.
10. “So the strict rule came down that Brethren were no longer allowed to associate with non-Brethren, even members of their own family”. See point 6 above.
11. “The Brethren wouldn’t allow Joy any contact”. False.
12. “Joy Nason was treated appallingly by the Brethren and unfortunately it’s how people who leave the Brethren are generally treated”. False.   Joy separated herself from the Brethren completely and chose another lifestyle away from her family.  Appropriate care and consideration is available to people who leave the Brethren.
13. “Mr Hales receives millions of dollars in tax free donations from his followers” Another totally false allegation.
14. “When Joy’s mother died Brethren refused to allow her to attend the funeral” “They told me I’m not allowed to go to the funeral service, I’m not allowed to go to the cemetery”. See points 2 & 4 above.
15. “Craig Stewart knows Joy’s pain. He too was kicked out of the Brethren and he too claims he wasn’t allowed to attend his own mother’s funeral”

Craig chose not to attend church for many months before making his decision to pursue a different lifestyle to that in which he was brought up by his parents, and had lived with his wife and family for 55 years.

Craig’s father invited him to the burial service, without reference to anyone outside the family, on the understanding that he show respect. Craig emailed and advised his father he would not be attending.

© Copyright Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) Christian Church Ltd 2015

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