Update your Cookie Settings to use this feature.
Click 'Allow All' or just activate the 'Targeting Cookies'
By continuing you accept Avaaz's Privacy Policy which explains how your data can be used and how it is secured.
Got it
We use cookies to analyse how visitors use this website and to help us provide you the best possible experience. View our Cookie Policy.
Exclusive Brethren now PBCC have been forced to make an agreement to change their harmful practices to obtain Charity Status in the UK

Exclusive Brethren now PBCC have been forced to make an agreement to change their harmful practices to obtain Charity Status in the UK

285 have signed. Let's get to  300
285 Supporters


Complete your signature

By continuing you agree to receive Avaaz emails. Our Privacy Policy will protect your data and explains how it can be used. You can unsubscribe at any time.
This petition has been created by Suzie B. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Suzie B.
started this petition to
Office of the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights
We believe that the recent decision by the UK Charity Commission in not allowing the PBCC/EB to have Charity Status without them agreeing to stop harmful and detrimental practices towards members and ex-members, including making their new Core Doctrine and Faith in Practice documents, binding on the individual Church trust deeds. These outline the new ways in which the PBCC/EB agree to act, which will make it in essence, easier for members to leave this group and less easy for them to be totally shunned after leaving - the PBCC/EB have also agreed to even help people who choose to leave. There has also been mention of members Human Rights being taken into account, in these documents, which is a huge win.

We believe this sets a precedent for a new standard elsewhere in the world in this group, and those with concerns will be ensuring that voices for change are heard across the world. Whether or not these changes actually end up being implemented or not remains to be seen, but so far they have at least agreed legally to make them in their UK trusts/meeting halls, so this is no small win, and the fight will continue to see all members freed from being held in imprisoning conditions in a religious cult without freedom to leave.

Thank you for all for your voices, we would not have achieved this without you! There has been a monitoring system set up to report abuses of this new agreement, and be rest assured, that if the PBCC/EB does not comply with the legal brief, we will not hesitate to re-activate this petition and once again appeal directly to the International Human Rights Council.

Thank you again for your support - it means a lot to the victims. These people now have a platform to seek redress for the harm and detriment caused to them, due to this judgement and decision handed down by the Commission.

Please help the wives being raped by their husbands, the children being terribly abused and also those who are just too scared to lose everything (including their whole family), to escape... this "church" is so powerful and so rich, they sue those who make complaints about them, including newspapers & TV stations. If you believe they should not be above the law, please sign this petition.

And if you ask, so why should I care about this? Please spare a thought for the helpless women and children and other victims...

The newly named group called the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (or PBCC), previously called Exclusive Brethren (EB) for many years, have around 46,000 members around the world, and many struggle to escape the abuse and tight controls of this closed and isolated religious sect. If they do succeed, those leaving are usually forced to lose their homes, jobs and their families. In many cases, those who manage to escape have suffered awful abuses in the group and the threat of losing everything, including children, is the lesser of two evils. They feel like they have NO choice left...

The bad publicity this group has been subjected over the years has been largely as they appear to use mind control methods such as controlling the lives and environment of their members, preventing them having contact with the world outside, and if a member ever chooses to leave this Church, they know that they will lose everything they have, so they often feel compelled to stay, even if this means being abused for the rest of their life, as they simply do not feel strong enough to stand up to the mental anguish of leaving and the physical pain of having to lose all of their own family too.

Hardly anyone chooses to become a member of the PBCC/EB Church; most are born in it and made a member without choice, while still an infant. Then, on exercising their choice on religious freedom later on in life, or to escape abuses, they are faced with a terrible decision, either lose all their family and everything they have ever known to leave, or stay and adopt all the beliefs and practices of the Church, whether or not they believe them, and even accept the abuse as an ongoing part of life. This is as the group practice “separation” (keeping apart) from all those who are not members.

We do not call this a real choice, or freedom of conscience and religion. If members to leave and then speak out against any abuse or being prevented from exercising of their freedom, they are usually punished by preventing them speaking to their family and some have also been threatened legally, for speaking to the media. Many of the victims have now contacted me to say they are too terrified of this group's influence, to even put their names to this petition...

See more news clips taken by news reporters here:
(Search Exclusive Brethren on YouTube for a collection of clips)

This PBCC/EB group’s charter is their doctrine of separation from evil which they have interpreted to mean total separation from "the world", which requires them to refrain from socializing, eating or drinking with any person not in the group, including their own family members and even Christians from other Churches. This practice can lead to all sorts of cruel and inhuman treatment of members, such as parents being compelled to throw their children out on the street with nothing, or children being forcibly taken from parents for no reason other than their beliefs being different to group doctrine.

Members themselves are not allowed social media, TV or Radio, and they are also not allowed to attend University, which is another way they are controlled. They were previously also not allowed computers, email or cellphones, but more recently they have been allowed “Church controlled” and only “Church Owned Company” devices and access to computers, email and cellphones, all of which are kept under strict controls by the group; but they are still not allowed open access to the Worldwide Web. They are not allowed to develop or maintain friendships with non-members.

This level of secrecy and control leaves members very vulnerable to abuses by those in positions of power. It also means their ability to access outside ideas and freedoms, including understanding different perspectives on life, the learned processes of self-evaluation and free thinking are all curtailed.

There are numerous accounts of members being awfully abused - emotionally, intellectually, physically and sexually, and even being medicated as a form of control; the group denies this happening, even though its members have been convicted of these crimes.

See more here:



Former members have described feeling trapped by fear and guilt, and having to subscribe to the “assembly conscience” and group judgment rather than being free to exercise individual thought and conscience; if they choose to not participate in the Church they have been bought up in, they are cut off from any normal relationships with their family for making this choice, often they lose their houses, jobs and lifelong friends in the process.

Church members are also prevented from joining any membership organization including Trade Unions and sports or leisure activity teams, they are not allowed to choose to fight for their own country, or join any Christian Association, Rotary, Police, Ambulance Service or Firefighters etc., to become teachers, or to attend University. Group members are also not allowed to own buildings with non-members and their buildings are not even allowed to share a wall with non-members buildings. PBCC/EB members are also required to work for only those within their own group, which hugely curtails their freedom to choose a career path which suits them.

There are also accounts of girls being told to marry someone, yet other girls being prevented from even marrying anyone due to illness (having had engagements broken off by the church) and more young people being told they can't marry for racial reasons.

All of these things contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Main Articles that are being violated listed as below):

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 15

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence...

Article 16

Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21
1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.

Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment...
2. – N/A
3. – N/A
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection
of his interests.

Article 26
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. – N/A

Article 27
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. – N/A

Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Solution: If we can get this matter before the Human Rights Commission, these victims will have a real chance to have their abuses heard and for all those trapped in this group to finally be freed and to be able to exercise choices as to how they live.

The power and control of this group is overwhelming. Questioning of the Church doctrines is frowned on and many have been kicked out of the group for doing just this and losing all that they had, except their own lives; although there are even accounts of some of them committing suicide due to the pressures put on them by this group.

See more here:

They also have member only private schools, which the children must attend. This further restricts social interaction with the outside world and the exploration of other ideas, as the Church School Trustees have to approve all material taught to children and if they fail to do so, they are summarily dismissed by the Church run Schools. Teachers even have to promise that they will discourage children from attending University.

See more here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10642209


None of this promotes individual freedom, and we believe this is potentially very harmful to all adherents, as they have no way of evaluating what they are being told. Cultic Studies researchers describe such control requiring complete conformation as undue negative influence or mind control. This group also practice all 8 of the Lifton Criteria (1989) that lists 8 ways of group thought control.

This PBCC/EB group is listed with many cult watch and cultic studies organizations. When people leave the consequences are enormous involving loss of jobs, friends (their entire social network), the structure of their lives, and they lose any family left in the group.

This means that children can no longer see their parents and parents can no longer see their children despite court orders insisting on access. Stories of forced separation in marriages and the resultant divorce of couples are common. In some cases children have been taken from parents who have left and are lodged with other brethren members, even against the children’s own will, which we believe is harmful to the family unit and also to the children’s overall well-being.

See more here:




Many of the Church branches are already registered as charities and they are seeking charitable status for more of them, but we do not believe this is in the public interest. In an attempt to convince the world that their group is just another normal Christian Church, their newly created name and website boasts of their “family” life. But behind this façade lie different stories, stories of pain, distress and suffering over families lost. One young gay man in the PBCC/EB was chemically castrated; thankfully the doctor who did this has been struck off, but this kind of thing from any religious group, let alone a Charity, is abhorrent.

See more here:


(Some links no longer current & some link to Church authorized sites)

Some former members of this PBCC/EB group, on publishing accounts of how they have been mistreated by this Church or after submitting witness statements against this group in current cases of law have since been sent letters by lawyers representing this PBCC/EB Brethren group in an effort to discredit and intimidate them. Many of these are too scared to speak out. This is the extreme extent that the PBCC/EB group will go, to protect their own interests, we believe this is not acceptable in our world.

If you wish to know more about PBCC/EB group, the websites provided can provide you with information. Don’t just believe what we say, do your research and really look behind what is there, and look past all the lovely images and accounts that the group themselves portray in all of their own PR, as there are many heartbreaking and true accounts of suffering by survivors behind the façade of happy families and what they call “normal” Christian values. The victims really need YOUR help. We can help free the women and children and other victims from a life of abuse and imprisonment of the mind, but only if we alert the authorities.

This is truly an international problem as the Exclusive Brethren (now called Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) are currently in these countries: New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, France, Germany, Holland, Jamaica, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. If you have real concerns about this group after researching more about their practices, please make a submission to your Elected Parliamentary Representatives, as we believe curtailing of individual freedoms by religious groups should be stopped and NOW!

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to H.L. Pierce, Apr. 6, 1859

Please join in signing and giving your support to concerns about this group, as we take this petition to the” Complaint Procedure Unit of the Human Rights Council Branch”.

Posted: 1 August 2013 (Updated: 14 April 2015)