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Source : 10/11/1988 Daventry Weekly Express

A national religious leader has denied claims that he is a supporter of the Jesus Fellowship, and would advise anyone against joining them.

Rev Clive Calver, head of the Evangelical Alliance, believes that his words were twisted in an article written by the group's spokeswoman, Liz Donovan.

And he said that the Fellowship then contacted him personally to apologise for what they had done.

The story was submitted to this paper by Liz Donovan and carried, word for word, two weeks ago.

It quoted Rev Calver voicing his support for the Fellowship.

But the religious leader is anxious to set the record straight, and tell the people of Daventry that he was totally misquoted by the Fellowship. 'I have been taken completely out of context,' he said.

He added that he is receiving countless complaints about the group from local clergy, and said that he would not advise anyone to join. 'I could not advise people to get into the Fellowship until it is accepted by local churches,' he said.

The Fellowship story came in the light of our front page report about the claims of a 20-year-old man, who left one of their households after seven weeks because he was feeling brainwashed and suicidal.

It has sparked off an outcry from local clergymen, who are also anxious to advise people against joining what they consider to be a dangerous cult.

Rev Graham Johnson said: 'The Fellowship are a cult led by one man. I would ware anyone not to join them.'

And Rev Michael Eden said: 'They are a dangerous organisation, especially as they are putting themselves across as a church.'

On the question of whether or not the group are a cult, Rev Calver said: 'I could not say that they are, because I am not close enough, but they certainly run all the dangers attached to a cult or sect.'

But he added that the Alliance has carried out investigations into the Fellowship. 'We found them having a single-mindedness of approach that inferred directive leadership to a strong degree,' he said.

Rev Calver added that the Evangelical Alliance asked the Fellowship, who were members of the body, for their resignation in February,1986.

In response to the remarks and claims contained in the report spokeswoman Liz Donovan said she would reply next week.