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Source : 06/03/1982 Northampton Post

Certain of the comments in last week's article concerning the Jesus Fellowship Baptist Church require a comment.

You quote the offending tape as talking of 'brainwashing techniques': there are no such techniques. Members make their own decisions, and act in a responsible and mature manner.

Membership is voluntary and most members work in normal jobs outside the Community. The speakers on the tape, including the so-called ex-elder, were never members of the Community, and have ceased to have direct contact with us several years ago.

They are typical of those who leave successful churches with grievances. The comment that a helicopter is needed to 'get people out' is patently ridiculous.

The Jesus Fellowship Baptist Church has no desire to take the Pastor responsible for the tape to court. It simply expects him to propagate truth and not falsehood.

In spite of his hostility to us, our attitude towards him is one of forgiveness. The 'children' he talks of are all adults and have made adult decisions to join the Community.

Most members have excellent relationships with their parents. We recognise that some relatives may still have legitimate concerns, and we are always open to talk to them about these.

A number of Impartial Christian leaders, both locally and nationally, are also ready to speak to genuine enquirers on behalf of the community.

Archdeacon Marsh has never visited the Community. He did not accept our invitation to last October's Open Day for the clergy.

It is not that there was no time for questions on that occasion. The leaders of the Church were available for several hours afterwards to answer questions; and many who attended found it a very helpful occasion.

If any of your readers care to contact us we would be more than willing to answer enquiries.

David Hawker,

Jesus Fellowship Baptist Church