F Rosa Rubicondior: Jesus Army Cult of Sexual, Physical and Psychological Abuse.

Saturday 15 August 2020

Jesus Army Cult of Sexual, Physical and Psychological Abuse.

Left to right, Mike Farrant, Huw Lewis, Ian Callard, John Campbell and Mick Haines.
The 'Apostolic Five'.
Jesus Army abuse 'covered-up by church leaders', report claims - BBC News

The Northampton-based, child-abusing Jesus Army that I wrote about in May, 2019, is back in the news again.

According to this BBC report, the five surviving members of the now-disbanded Jesus Army cult were found to have colluded with sexual offenders by the way they handled complaints. This was the finding of an inquiry commissioned by the cult itself in 2017 when it decided to disband after a haemorrhage of members due to a deluge of complaints of sexual, physical and psychological abuse by the cult's leaders.

Ten people from the cult have since been convicted of sex offences.

The report concerns the behaviour of the so-called 'Apostolic Five' - the five senior men who ran the cult, named by the BBC as Mike Farrant, Huw Lewis, Ian Callard, John Campbell and Mick Haines. Mick Haines became the cult's principle leader following the death of its founder, Noel Staton in 2009.

The report by independent investigator, Vicki Lawson-Brown said that women were regarded as subservient to men and treated as domestic servants. This placed them and their children at high risk of abuse. There was also a culture of victim-blaming and reinstating disgraced leaders. In one case, a convicted paedophile was allowed to continue in his role as an 'elder' by Stanton, a position in which he continued to abuse, until 2016 when the local social services threatened to intervene.

Lawson-Brown's report recommends further investigation into allegations of sexual, spiritual and financial abuses as well as "inappropriate punishment" of children.

According to the BBC:

New Creation Hall. Birthplace of the Jesus Army cult.
The Jesus Army, or Jesus Fellowship as it was formally known, was an ultra-evangelical sect, founded in a small chapel in the Northamptonshire village of Bugbrooke in 1969.

It attracted thousands of members, from homeless drug addicts to devout Christian families, many of whom lived together in close-knit, rural communes.

Members were put to work on the church's farms or businesses and forced to hand over money and possessions.

Surviving members have described an intense, bullying regime, in which children were severely disciplined and forced to sit through long worship sessions involving speaking in tongues and exorcisms.

In 2019 the BBC exposed allegations of abuse on a "prolific scale" including rapes, "brainwashing" and the brutal or sexualised beating of young children by groups of men.

Forty-three people who were active in the Church have been named as alleged perpetrators, including founder and firebrand, Noel Stanton.

After his death in 2009, the Church handed "disclosures" of sexual offences against Mr Stanton and others to police.

In 2017 the five senior leaders known as the Apostolic Group were asked to step down, pending an inquiry into the cover-up of abuse allegations.


One woman, who asked not to be named, said Mr Farrant, who was known as "Rockfast," ignored her claims in 2006 that an active church elder had sexually assaulted children in the 1980s.


Mr Campbell, known as "Perceptive", was the church's official spokesman, its head of safeguarding and the elder of Festal Grange in Pattishall.

It emerged that a gardener who was employed at the Grange was a convicted paedophile who went on to assault three boys in the cellar over a seven-year period.

The cult is currently disposing of tens of millions of pounds worth of property in and around Northampton. It is anticipated that the money will be used to compensate some of the 800 alleged victims of the cult, who have formed the Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association.

Given the 2015 finding that over 30% of pastors and Christian clerics have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, these abuses can be expected wherever these characters are in positions of power and authority over others in these sorts of religious cults.

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