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Controversies


Whether it is burning money, walking through the desert, donating kidneys or free work campaigns, the Jesus Christians have been involved in one sort of controversy or another since the group was founded in the early 1980s. Controversy seems part and parcel of getting the world's attention about serious issues.  However, in more recent years a darker, more sinister tone has coloured media reports about the Jesus Christians.  Allegations of kidnappings, accusations of being a cult and of brainwashing people have been continually mentioned in headlines about the group.

One critic who appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show listed negative publicity as the prime evidence against the Jesus Christians. Despite the fact that Jesus himself received negative publicity, many people are quick to judge the Jesus Christians based on what they read in the tabloid headlines.

This collection of controversial media reports about the Jesus Christians shows a pattern that has developed over the years, in particular since 1999.

It was in that year that 19 year old Kyri Sheridan had decided to come travelling with the Jesus Christians.  His mother, Bernadette Sheridan, later told us that she contacted a U.K. cult-buster by the name of Graham Baldwin, who suggested that she report to police that her son had robbed things from her, so that Kyri could be arrested and taken away from the Jesus Christians.  Bernadette was outraged, but did agree to tell the police that her son was missing.

When Kyri showed up at the police station to prove he was not in any danger, Bernadette, who was waiting for him there, refused to let him go and ended up being arrested herself for literally biting a police officer. 

Graham Baldwin has been a key figure in the hate campaign against the Jesus Christians over the years.  You will notice his name coming up frequently throughout this collection of controversial media reports.

A year later, in June 2000, Graham Baldwin sold a story to the Express newspaper accusing The Jesus Christians of having kidnapped 16 year old Bobby Kelly.  By convincing his legal guardian that she would never see Bobby again unless she co-operated with him, Graham managed to get Bobby's grandmother to sign her custody rights away and make Bobby a ward of State by saying that he was completely incorrigible, an action for which she deeply begged Bobby's forgiveness later.  Graham Baldwin also succeeded in getting an injunction put on the media so that they could not report our side of the story while he continued to slander us.  Bobby was eventually found staying at a holiday resort next to a Hampshire forest, and no kidnapping charges were ever laid.  However the false claims made by the media were never retracted.

The Bobby Kelly story was later used as proof that we had a "history of kidnapping".  A few years later, in Kenya, we were accused once more of kidnapping, but this time the "victim" was 27 year old journalist Betty Njoroge and her seven year old son.  Betty produced a video stating that she was not kidnapped and that the whole corrupt campaign against the Jesus Christians there was a plot by her wealthy father to get her and her son back under his control.  Two of our members were arrested by corrupt police, who illegally held Roland without bail for several days while they tried to use him as bait to get Betty to give herself up to her father.

Roland was held in custody for over 20 days, during which time he contracted tuberculosis due to the harsh conditions of local Kenyan jails.  All kidnapping charges were eventually dropped, since nothing of the kind ever took place.

The negative publicity generated by such false claims through the media (and through hate sites such as the Rick Ross forum in the U.S.) later influenced a family in Long Beach, California, to brutally attack one of our members almost to death when their son, Joe Johnson, came home with two Jesus Christians to explain his decision to work with the group.  The inaction of the Long Beach Police Department, and the apparent lack of remorse on behalf of the Johnson family led us to stage a mock trial against the sins which the family had committed.  At the conclusion of the trial some of us took several lashes from a whip as a symbolic punishment for what the Johnsons had done.

Graham BaldwinThe Jeremy Kyle Show (in the United Kingdom) attempted to bring much of this together in a show that was supposedly an attempt to consider the case against us and whether or not we were a "cult".  Unfortunately, the distortions, bias and outright lies that permeate much of the media in general, were also evident at The Jeremy Kyle Show, where Graham Baldwin, amongst other things, claimed he had nothing to do with the hate campaign against us.

Enter this world of controversy and excitement as you read through the articles, watch the videos, hear the interviews and learn our side of the story.  The truth is there for all who want to see it.


The Kyri Saga: Learn what happened when 19 year old Kyri Sheridan decided to join the Jesus Christians.  This story, which involves car chases, unscrupulous bank procedures, bizarre police practices, a mother working undercover in disguise, and Graham Baldwin is not only fascinating, but one of the key factors in subsequent controversial media reports about the Jesus Christians.

Cult Kidnap Boy: One of the biggest media events to involve the Jesus Christians revolves around kidnap allegations relating to 16 year old Bobby Kelly from the U.K.  Learn what led to the classic front page headlines, who was involved, and how it all ended, in this collection of media reports, articles, radio interviews and videos.

Kenyan Kidnapping Charges: Taking blood from humans and replacing it with animal blood were amongst some of the more bizarre accusations leveled against the Jesus Christians in this African campaign against us.  A rich father, corrupt police, and international pressure all played a part in this episode of Jesus Christian controversial history.

The Whipping Trial: Attempting to kill someone is hardly something you would think police would turn a blind eye to.  However, once the little "c" word is mentioned, all kinds of injustices can take place.  Apparently, being accused of being a cult denies Jesus Christian members a right to justice and fair play.  Watch the video of the actual attack, a video which the police chose to ignore; view the Fox News Reports that distorted and omitted the facts; and read the outrageous lies used against us in court (including talk of "levitating", believe it or not!)  This ongoing saga, featuring our most controversial action to date, the "whipping trial", is the sort of stuff that movies are made from.

The Jeremy Kyle Show: Experience what happened when the Jesus Christians were invited to share their side of the story on television.  Hear the very best evidence that our critics were able to produce against us (with international help from the media and other sources) and then decide for yourself whether the Jesus Christians are the evil perverted cult Jeremy and company tried to make us out to be, or just a group of people trying to follow the teachings of Jesus.
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