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Source : 22/04/1989 Independent Magazine

We believe that in William Dalrymple's article 'The Jesus People' (8 April) he endeavoured to present a fair picture of the Jesus Fellowship Church as he encountered it, but it should be borne in mind that such visits by outsiders are carefully orchestrated and can present a distorted picture.

For every parent who feels that their child has benefited from involvement with the Jesus People, we believe there are more who bitterly regret their children's decision and the effects of them. We most certainly do.

From the time our 21-year-old son and his young wife first became involved, our hitherto happy relationship with them was marred by their changed attitudes. We could sense our son's frustrations with the lack of suitable employment in the area after leaving a steady job. It was obvious that the glowing picture of community life presented to him on his first visits had not become his later experience. We suspected that the various moves he was called upon to make resulted from what was deemed to be his 'rebellious' nature. On one occasion he admitted to hating the place, but had clearly been conditioned to believe that he would be dammed if he went back on his covenant.

In January 1982 he had to begin the travel daily to Milton Keynes, 23 miles distant on the busy A5, to attend a training course. Because no other means of transport could be provided for him, he, a very nervous and totally untrained rider, had to undertake these journeys on a motorcycle, in darkness and completely unsuitable and dangerous weather conditions. On the fourth day he lost control on black ice met his death under a lorry. The coroner's verdict of accidental death could not be questioned but, knowing our son's lifelong aversion to all things mechanical, we shall always suspect that he had been subjected to some psychological pressure to overcome his 'lack of faith' in God's protection - for that is how any expressed fear would have been viewed.