THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS....
I found the exchange below very enlightening, because one of the things that shocked me out of my comfortable hereditary "faith" in the EBs was their willingness to lie to "outsiders". I had assumed that this was a sin of the lower ranks, and not officially sanctioned - until October 2008 when Daniel Hales gave a radio interview, the transcript of which was widely but covertly circulated amongst EBs. We later heard that BDH was very angry that the transcript had been "leaked" - I wonder if even he was a bit shocked at the blatent lies his brother was so glibly putting out.
Where did BDH say it's fine to lie to your 'enemies'?
This was said publicly during a reading by a Coventry brother who had been with BDH. I thought it was said publicly by BDH but this brother was likely to have been in the house with BDH, therefore hearing many things not actually said in public by BDH. But the brother was quite free to reiterate BDH's statement in public when back in the UK.
I have found the transcript online, and cut and pasted below some excerpts containing statements by Daniel Hales that anyone inside the EBs would know are utterly false.
PG: Led by your brother.
DH: Led by… Each assembly is totally autonomous; each assembly has its own meetings and its own responsibilities.
PG: Garage door openers were disallowed at one point, because they use radio waves?
DH: That’s one of the many myths, Peter, I’m afraid.
DH: Unfortunately because we’ve tended to live to ourselves, live quietly and not seek to justify ourselves, there’s been some terrible malicious slanderous malevolent things said about us. That’s why I’m talking to you.
PG: Thank you. Daniel Hales from the Exclusive Brethren here on the evening show 891ABC. The Exclusive Brethren began to advertise politically in 2004, in that election. Now, you don’t vote, as is your right; you’re excluded from voting on religious grounds. Many would find this strange, Daniel, that whilst you don’t want to directly influence the democratic process with a vote which is every Australian’s right, you still want to influence the process in a ‘paid’ way.
DH: Thank you Peter for that opportunity to clear up another myth! The church itself is not involved in any advertisements, any political work, political activity, of any side, of any party, at all.
PG: But members are?
DH: Individual members act on their own individual rights within the law, to do what any individual member would feel right to do. As would my friends in the local Baptist church: they would do various political things - that isn’t labeled against the church!
PG: But is it approved, by the church?
DH: It’s not anything to do with the church.
PG: So your brother had no knowledge of these advertisements?
DH: My brother did not instigate, set on, or have anything to do with the advertisements…
PG: But did he know about them?
DH: I don’t know what he knew and what he didn’t know, Peter.
PG: Did you? Do you approve of them?
DH: I don’t know of them. I knew one or two individuals had… after the event I knew they’d gone to the trouble of putting a little ad in the paper or do something; I said that was their own morals, that was their own exercise, that was their independent right and I couldn’t adjudicate on that, Peter.
PG: Now it’s alleged - not just by him but by others - that women have a lesser role in your church. For example: in their work, they can’t have authority over men; they can’t speak in your church services. Is this true, Daniel?
DH: Not at all, Peter.
DH: No, no, no, they wouldn’t learn too much! Not at all - it would just draw them apart, from the lifestyle to which they’ve been accustomed. And, I add, if they want to make that decision that would be totally their decision. If one of my children had decided he wanted to go to university, I would care for him, and nurture it, and I would hover round him; he would ever be my son, they would ever be my daughter.
PG: But he wouldn’t be excommunicated?
DH: He wouldn’t be excommunicated for going to university, no, but he would gradually find himself being drawn away and he probably would not want to continue with the two lifestyles.
PG; What about the doctrine of excommunication, Daniel Hales? People are excommunicated from your church and people are shut up, aren't they?
DH: People are suspended from membership, certainly, if they've committed some crime or there was something in the eyes of the law or for some reason there was ..um.
PG: Or they offended rules of the church?
DH: Normally, they wouldn't – I'm passing my mind back over Sydney, because once again, Peter, the churches are autonomous, every assembly, small or large looks after its own matters .
*What Id like to add here, Peter, is that when people make a conscious decision, especially young people, to leave our church, they don't want to come back next week to Sunday lunch and bring their new friends to meet mom and dad. That's chosen (?). .
PG: But what if they do?
DH: They would gladly meet them but what I'm saying is what they are doing is when they are going away from it is they're wanting to get life in the fast lane, they're wanting the high life, their wanting a completely different lifestyle. It's not until 20 or 30 years later that they cast a nostalgic look over their shoulder.
PG: Can you explain the concept of spoiling the Egyptians, Daniel Hales?
DH: (Chuckling) I did hear from someone else that that had come up in one radio interview, but that's a very obscure reference from the bible, as you probably know, relating to our Jewish brethren when they left Egypt thousands of years ago. I don't think I've ever been to a bible reading or listened to a sermon in all my years amongst the brethren at which that verse, that text, has been read, Peter.
PG: Did you ever meet the Prime Minister, John Howard?
DH: I've never met the Prime Minister, no.
PG: Your brother has.
DH: I met him maybe 10 or 15 years ago when he was not even a leader of the opposition. I'm in his electorate – I live in Bennelong and I met him on the hustlings (he really says hustlings!) as any one of tens of thousands of people might.
PG: You were sorry to see him go?
DH: No, no, I thought it was time for a change, Peter, time for a change.