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Source : 08/07/1989 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Jesus people founder and leader Noel Stanton is surely joking when he suggests (July 4) that Northamptonshire folk are 'rather proud' of his set-up which, in reality, is fast bringing the names of Northampton and Bugbrooke into such disrepute.

Some years ago, the Chronicle and Echo described this exclusive sect as the wealthiest organisation in the county, and further comments again raise the question of its enormous wealth and property.

Yet Mr Stanton claims they are not well off! Certainly, individual members have no private resources, despite potential recruits having been told that they will become millionaires if the join. They will have no real control over the millions which pour into the Community Trust Fund, via the huge business empire, and the residential condition that members hand over all their property and possessions, as well as salaries, wages and welfare benefits.

Doubtless, Mr Stanton is ready with the usual pious platitudes re the 'voluntary' acceptance of the 'common purse,' but many ex-members have testified that they had no real understanding of what they were getting involved with, until it was too late, and then experienced great difficulty in escaping the clutches of this doctrinaire system. It is high time that an independent assessment was made of the claim 'help' in the long term.

Jesus People elder John Campbell's vitriolic letter (June 30) mirrors an equally abusive and inaccurate one in a Hertfordshire newspaper, from their solicitor elder. Both reflect strangely on a supposedly Christian organisation, unless they have something to hide. The other sad letter (June 30) typifies very many others in my thick files. How can we possibly be proud of an organisation which causes such misery and heartbreak in the name of 'evangelism'?