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Source : 22/06/1989 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Every viewer to whom I have spoken about the Anglia documentary on the Bugbrooke Jesus Army (June 15) has expressed amazement at the over-generous presentation of a sect which is fast becoming notorious as one of the most dangerous cults in the country, despite its pious claims.

The programme barely scratched the surface of the many justifiable areas of concern. Ther was, for instance, no mention of the parents and families who have suffered heartbreaking alienation and tragedy. Or of the problems imposed on Northampton's already over-stretched welfare and police services by vulnerable youngsters who are trawled from inner cities, and who run away, homeless and penniless, and terrified of being found again by the Jesus People. Who is monitoring the situation?

Following recent recruiting campaigns in Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, church leaders, including the Bishop of Birmingham, have issued Press warnings about the Jesus Army, and worried Church of Scotland leaders have started a file on them. A courageous young Glaswegian who admitted to being homosexual with the Aids virus, published part of the diary kept during his stay in Northampton with the Jesus People, who told him they could cure his Aids!

At the end of a week, he wrote: 'I'm glad that I went, if only because it taught me how badly affected you can become. Religion should be a personal choice and based on free will, not fear and coercion.'