Campus ban on ‘brainwash’ cult
The Mail on Sunday (UK), 22 January 1989.
By Will Bennett
Student fears as militant church spreads
A religious cult accused of brainwashing members and breaking up families has been banned from recruiting at two universities.
This week the Central London Church of Christ faces expulsion from a third because of rising disgust at its methods. The militant evangelical organisation already has 1,000 members in London and is expanding to other parts of Britain.
The cult, a branch of the American-based Boston Church of Christ, demands total obedience and regards members’ families as a thread to its hold on them. The sect believes its members are the only true Christians, tells them their cash donations are directly proportional to their love for God and has persuaded 400 people to live in sect houses.
It has been banned from students’ unions from both the London School of Economics and King’s College, London and this week there will be a similar vote on expulsion at Birmingham University. Tomorrow Thames Television’s Reporting London programme will expose the way the church sucks vulnerable and idealistic young people into its ranks.
Its recruiters specialise in offering instant friendship to people who are away from home for the first time and alone in a big city. But a senior member of the church, John Partington, replied: “We don’t demand anything that Jesus doesn’t command. Committment to Jesus is everything.”
The sect has already spread to the Midlands, where it calls itself the Central Birmingham Church of Christ. Its next targets are Manchester, Bristol, Leicester and Cardiff.