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The Jeremy Kyle Show


Note: Footage of the show can be found at the bottom of this page!

Recently we did the filming for the Jeremy Kyle show (ITV, Granada, England), called "Dangerous Cults, or Religious Communities?"

We will make some comments now (before we forget all that happened), which, we hope, will both prepare people for what they are likely to see when the show is broadcast (probably in mid to late December, 2007), and better inform people if they google our site AFTER the broadcast. 


The Title: "Dangerous Cults, or Religious Communities?"

We were hopeful that the title could be taken to say that, while there may be some dangerous cults (e.g. Jonestown), not all religious communities should necessarily be labelled as such. Sadly, that was NOT the way it came across. Instead, the public was fed a huge dose of the cult-buster lie that every group they label a cult is, indeed, dangerous. And, sadly, the groups they might label cults would include virtually all religious communities, and a great many other new religious movements as well.

Graham Baldwin, a cult-buster (He prefers to call himself an "exit counsellor".) tells us that there are 1,000 such groups in the UK alone! That figure in itself should cause a thinking person to question whether this guy is for real. You will, of course, never get a list of those 1,000 groups, because the number is apparently just a figure he has pulled out of the air.

It appears that, even with our own group, Graham only ever knows what he reads in the newspapers and/or what he is told by angry friends, relatives, or ex-members who contact him (Bernie Sheridan, in particular). Graham, like so many cult-busters, has a set formula that he uses for tearing apart any group he wishes to attack (meaning any group that he is paid to condemn). He accuses the leaders of being able to control people's minds, tells parents to either accuse their children of false crimes (like he did to Bernie Sheridan; see The Kyri Saga) so the police will arrest them, or to report their child as having been abducted, as he also did with Bernie, and with several other parents since then. Of course, organising media events where he can compare the target groups with the Children of God or Jonestown, is also important, as happened in the Jeremy Kyle Show. The pattern rarely varies from this, no matter which one of the supposed 1,000 groups he is attacking at any one time. Shockingly simplistic, but worse still, it's shockingly successful.

Cherry mistakenly confused Graham with the other cult buster on the show, Ian Howarth, by trying to comment on his web site. Graham accused her of lying, and boasted that he doesn't even have a web site. He's a pretty secretive (and unaccountable) guy, who appears to be little more than a private investigator who used to work for Army Intelligence, but who raises a lot of money from churches and other sources (as a registered "charity" believe it or not) to support his so-called war on 1,000 unnamed organisations that he says exist in the U.K. for the purpose of destroying the world as we know it, and the lives of thousands, if not millions of people a la Jonestown!

So anyway...

The First Episode

The show is spread over two days, although both episodes were filmed in the same day. We were told that the first day would be dedicated completely to discussing some groups unrelated to ourselves, and that there would be no links between those groups and ourselves. On that basis, they said, we would not be needed for (and, indeed, were strictly forbidden from attending) that session; and we would be given no right of reply to what would appear on the first day. Nevertheless, after a protest from ourselves (Golly, we sure can be a nuisance!), we were allowed to watch the first episode from a TV room located in the studio.

At this stage we don't know how much editing may be applied to clean up the repeated references to ourselves on that first day, including use of the name Jesus Christians and use of my own name (Dave McKay). So much for their assurances, and for our rights at Granada TV!

There was a meeting between ourselves, the producers, and Jeremy Kyle during the break between the two shows, in which we were able to get a written agreement from them that they would delete one particular line, which appeared right after the shocking episode on the Peoples Temple community in Jonestown, Guyana, where more than 900 people were murdered or committed suicide. Jeremy had said, "Tomorrow we will be interviewing the leader of one such group here in the U.K." The producers tried to tell us that this did not imply any bias on Jeremy's part and that it did nothing to slander us, and Jeremy fought hard to leave it just like it was, telling us that we should take his word for it privately that he was trying to give us fair treatment! Yeah, pull the other leg now!

There were many similar references to us as "such an organisation" throughout that first episode. However, we have been assured that they will make up for that by arbitrarily selecting clips from what we say on day two to be used in their promotions before and during the first episode, which will, in their opinion, amount to our "right of reply". Yeah, sure... again! In other words, Jeremy Kyle states categorically that we are a group on a par with Jonestown, and we are shown saying, "No we aren't" and that represents fair play (if we are even lucky enough to have them choose such a statement, and not something from us that might be taken to imply even more support for the lie they tried so hard to get across during that first episode!)

One man appears on the first episode with his face blocked out, talking about how his daughter joined a group in India and married a member of that group. It appears that she had been a member of the group for a few years before the decision to go to India, where she married soon after she arrived. However, he says that he cannot name the group, because there would be some kind of unspecified injury to himself or his daughter if he did. The implication is very strong that the daughter has been kidnapped, and that there is a threat of harm to her if he says anything to or about this sinister group. It has the effect of convincing the public that there really are kidnapped hostages being held by all of these 1,000 goups. I've seen this same stunt played out before on the media, also under the tutelage of someone of the likes of Graham Baldwin.

We discovered for ourselves, from one of the producers, that the group the man's daughter actually joined was the Sai Baba community, based in Bangalore, India. I do not know of any incidents of anyone either in or out of that group being injured because of parents either making contact with or complaining about their sons or daughters joining it. So it was unfair of the TV station to build up this false fear in the minds of the viewers as a way of escaping legal accountability for the slurs being cast on the Sai Baba movement, which enjoys widespread popular support in India, largely because of its work with the underprivileged.

Our supporters know of our very serious disagreements with the teachings of the Children of God ("The Family"), and especially about our disagreements with their former practice of religious prostitution and their present practice of wife-swapping. However, Jeremy Kyle stated that the Children of God teach that adults having sex with children represent, in the eyes of the Children of God ("The Family"), the ultimate proof of their faith in God, something which no one in the world has, to my knowledge, ever even hinted at before. (Sexual abuse of children definitely has occurred in that movement, and there is room for criticism of what little has been done to curb it, but Jeremy's statement was claiming that it is openly and officially encouraged. We pointed this out to the producers, and so they MAY edit that bit of slander out before it goes to air. Nevertheless, it does reflect on Jeremy's integrity and/or his intelligence.)

What bothers us with so much discussion of extreme religious groups is that the media doesn't seem content with the facts (even when the facts in themselves can be quite shocking), but rather it depends on exaggerations and (in our case) guilt by association, in order to out-do one another in terms of sensationalism. While it would have been quite interesting to talk about what the Jesus Christians actually believe, the whole two episodes were relying on efforts to link us, instead, with the Children of God and Jonestown through little more than name-calling.

Liesel

The first episode ends with a lengthy statement by Liesel Appel, the mother of Annette, a former member of our community. Liesel appeared on the Jon Ronson video ("Kidneys for Jesus") so many years ago, saying similar lies to what she trotted out again on the Jeremy Kyle show.

Annette herself left the Jesus Christian community a few years ago (after having risen from novice to leader of the entire U.S. team in just three years), and she sent a note to the producers saying that she did not want to be a part of the show. So, while Liesel's daughter and grandchildren have been in the community, are now out of the community, and are not complaining, the producers were forced to rely on this distraught grandmother still crying and complaining about the fact that her restaurant business went bust when her daughter left to join the Jesus Christians some five years ago. The reason the business went bust, as explained by Annette to ourselves, was because Annette had been forced to work twelve to sixteen hours a day managing the restaurant while her children raised themselves, and while she was being paid for only 36 hours a week. Understandably, Liesel could not find anyone else willing to accept those terms. But you can be sure that Annette is DEFINITELY not back working for Liesel now that she is living on her own with her two children!

We were not told until the day before the filming that Liesel would be one of the people to appear, and we were not allowed to bring any notes with us onto the stage. All of this seemed calculated to put us at a disadvantage in answering questions or producing evidence. So even now we have to rely on our memory with regard to what Liesel actually said in the first day's broadcast, and the facts as we remember them from Annette's time with us. Nevertheless, there was hardly a line in Liesel's entire statement that was true, and the producers made no effort to verify anything... whereas they did what they could to thwart us from being able to locate documentation to prove otherwise.

One of the lies that Liesel told was that she was never allowed to visit Annette, and she never knew where Annette was. We announced to the producers after hearing that statement that we just happened to have one of the people present with us who was a member of the community at a time when Liesel took her grandchildren on outings (twice) as well as visiting with Annette and sharing with others in the community for several hours at a time. We said that he would be in the studio audience during the second episode, so that he could talk firsthand about Liesel's outings with her daughter and grandchildren to a concert one day and to watch a movie (Shrek) on another day. Here was a wonderful opportunity to challenge at least one clear lie in what Liesel said.

Reinhard & Alf

After having said at the beginning that they could only find room for two Jesus Christians in the studio audience, the producers retracted that at the last minute and said that NO Jesus Christians would be allowed in the audience. We were forced to threaten a complete boycott unless they kept their word, and they finally agreed to let Reinhard and Alf sit in the audience. This was agreed upon before we even knew that Liesel would be appearing. So then, when we told the producers between shows that Reinhard was there and he could testify to the fact that Liesel had lied, they passed this on to Liesel, and she told them that she was pulling out... that she would not appear unless Reinhard was removed!

The producers came to us and asked Reinhard to "do the right thing" and leave, to appease Liesel! He refused, of course, and so then they APPARENTLY went back and assured Liesel that, if she would come on the stage, Reinhard would never be allowed to speak, and so she agreed to appear. Of course they did not tell us that, and so when I pointed out during the show, that Reinhard was there, Jeremy said something like, "We'll get back to him later," but, of course, he never did! Instead, the mood swung to arguments that I was just saying that everyone was telling lies, because I was not willing to do the Christian and loving thing, which was to confess that the sheer weight of numbers in that studio who believed that I was evil should have been enough to even convince ME that they must all be telling the truth.

From their seats in the audience, btw, Reinhard and Alf were able to see that the audience had been cued to clap each time some planted clappers at the front and to the side (out of camera shot) clapped. (Reinhard and Alf were not allowed to enter the studio along with the other members of the audience, so we do not know what other briefing they were given, but they had the feeling as they were led to their seats later, that the audience knew they were the dreaded Jesus Christians, and that there were many dirty looks from other members of the audience who would turn around and look at them from time to time throughout the show.)

Unthinking Robots

Cherry and I were the first to go on the stage, and I am told that there were a few boos right from the start, though I was too distracted at the time to notice. (So much for claims by the producers, however, that the audience would have no advance information about who we were, and that they would not have seen anything of the first day's filming, thus making the audience totally unbiased at the start.)

In that first segment, I was able to get my best chance at talking without interruption, although Jeremy wanted to make it go his way right from the start. I just ignored his line of questioning and went straight into the deep concerns that I myself had felt when I had first read books about Jonestown as well as the Children of God. I explained that, like many of the people who had been hurt by those two movements, I wanted to find answers that did not lead to an over-reaction to all groups bearing some similarities to them.

One of the ex-members who spoke in the first session (I think it was Krystina, the ex-COG) had said that they thought the key factor which led to abuse within religious groups was when members failed to think for themselves. That was what I had come up with too, many years before, and so I have put a lot of effort into encouraging members of the Jesus Christians to think for themselves. The problem is that the cult-busters use this to say that people should only question the groups and leaders that THEY (the cult-busters) tell them to question, but that they should never ever question the cult-busters themselves... or anyone supporting the cult-busters. Can you see how this does not attack the real problem? And how it only shifts blind faith in one leader to blind faith in another?

It was interesting as the filming progressed, to see how the entire studio audience (and, in particular, the anti-Jesus Christian guests who had been brought there), exemplified exactly that quality, whether it was responding like robots to the cue clappers or slotting in with whatever they sensed that Jeremy (their new guru) wanted them to believe. If Jeremy (or Graham Baldwin) wanted them to believe that the Jesus Christians were "another such group", then they did not need any further evidence. They would obediently agree that they had seen all the evidence they needed to convince them that they should also become willing participants in the whole lynch mob mentality.

As I mentioned with the incident regarding Liesel, they had all heard enough that they should have known that Liesel was lying, since even Liesel herself began to change her story as the filming progressed, to allow for the fact that she HAD indeed visited the community (although she wanted to suggest that WE were the liars because we counted it as two visits, whereas she considered the two outings and the hours of discussion at our base in L.A. to be only one, since they both took place during her one trip to California from Florida).

This is only one example of many opportunities for members of the audience to have been able to sense something funny was going on, and to have started to question those conducting the attack on ourselves... if, in fact, they had been people who were able to think for themselves... questioning what was being dished up to them... not just by me and other JCs (as Jeremy and others would have wanted), but by Jeremy and his guests as well.

And this is one of the observations that I made with regard to my studies of the Jonestown tragedy: Throughout the years leading up to them being trapped in the jungle with a madman, MOST of them had seen hundreds of warning signs that something was seriously wrong. But they chose to ignore the warnings and to go with the majority, simply because it was easier that way. It may be that just those warnings signs in themselves would not have been enough for some, and certainly the children involved had no choice. I still don't have answers for how to avoid that much happening in any group, and neither does anyone else. But free thought amongst those who are old enough to think for themselves does seem to be the most important first line protection against such abuses. It's just that cult-busters are definitely NOT the champions of free thought that they claim to be.

For example, it bothered me that the ex-member of the Children of God who was sexually abused from the time that she was two and a half years old said that she does not blame her parents; instead she blames the leadership of the Children of God. Yes, blame the leaders for sure. But blame the parents too! What kind of parents allow their children to be sexually abused? And if we excuse her parents for doing that, then we excuse thousands of other parents belonging to any number of other religious communities (including our own) for individual responsibility. In essence this actually HELPS corrupt leaders, because it tells their followers that they don't NEED to think about the consequences of their actions; they can just run to Graham Baldwin when they tire of membership in a corrupt group, and he will justify them on the grounds that they were brainwashed.

Brainwashed?

Terms like brainwashing and mind control were hurled at me throughout the show without any serious attempt to examine what they meant. We sent plenty of information to Jeremy and his researchers to indicate that reputable psychologists and other genuine experts on new religious movements (whom people like Graham Baldwin call "cult apologists" because they do not paint everyone with the same brush) do not recognise such a thing as brainwashing, and that mind control, if it exists at all, is most seriously taught and practiced in the military. Graham Baldwin, the so-called "cult expert" on the show, received his training in military intelligence! In fact, mind control is pretty much what "exit counselling" is all about!

Not one scrap of evidence was given to support claims that the Jesus Christians brainwash people, if, indeed, some kind of mind control had taken place in our community. Instead, we had an angry grandmother, an emotionally unstable young man who spent somewhere between fifteen minutes and an hour with one of our communities five years ago, and an ex-member who refused to appear in person, and who has not seen us for more than 23 years, all telling the audience to trust them, that they know what they are saying when they testify that we are all brainwashed.

NOTE: I often point out that if I am capable of controlling someone's mind, then I have been a colossal failure at using it, because our membership has stayed pretty much constantly between 25 and 30 members for about 25 years! Why aren't we luring more people into our trap if, indeed, we have such a trap?

More on Liesel

Liesel was able to come on-stage on both the first and the second episodes, thus making her more or less the key witness around which the entire link between us and Jonestown could be forged. And what a forgery it was! Ha!

I shared on air about Liesel's two grand-children seeing her in the car outside the flat in Dallas, and running inside to tell Annette that she was there. They then sat expectantly waiting to hear a knock at the door, but no knock ensued. When they looked out later, she had fled. Liesel claims that she had knocked at every door and received no answer. It's possible that she somehow missed our flat, but she did not miss our landlord, because she made a complaint to him, saying that there was a dangerous cult living in the flat, and she told him exactly which flat. She now says that we later "fled", when she is the one who had us chased out! (Can you see why we were hesitant to give her our home address in the first place?)

Obviously she needed to have an apartment number to make that complaint. So she knew exactly which door to knock on (or which porch to camp on if, indeed, we were refusing to answer the door, or if we were out), but she did not do that. Nor did she fly home and write a letter to Annette telling about how upset she was that she had missed us. Instead, she wrote a letter that sounded chillingly like a stalker, as she bragged to her own daughter of having traced all of Annette's footsteps, to her bank, to her landlord, to the spots where she distributed, etc. It was full of evidence that she knew exactly where Annette and the children had been, and yet she never bothered to approach any of them. This is not a picture of a distraught grandmother; it is a picture of an angry employer trying to get revenge on an employee who dared to leave her... letting that employee know that she will be tracked, no matter where she goes to escape Liesel's overpowering influence.

Liesel repeated the lie that she started in the Jon Ronson documentary, which was that Annette had just suddenly and mysteriously "vanished". In fact, she had known for months, that Annette was corresponding with us. Annette gave Liesel a full month's notice about leaving the job, and let her know when the bus that she and the children would be catching to Dallas, would be leaving. But Liesel was so angry that she was losing her restaurant manager, that she refused to go to the station to see them off. "Just vanished?" No way!

This is all totally consistent with the fact that Annette refused to appear on the show, and with Liesel's own admission that she went to Dallas to track Annette down. How did she know that Annette and her children were in Dallas if, in fact, Annette "just vanished". She had regular mail contact with Annette (both snail mail and email) from the day Annette left the restaurant. All of that goes against the lie that she was spreading about Annette just vanishing and Liesel not being able to contact her.

Graham

Roland and Susan had been looking forward to the show as a chance to set at least part of the British public straight on what had really happened with regard to Bobby Kelly six or seven years ago. (See Cult Kidnap Boy) They had a list of points that they were hoping to make, but despite extreme effort by them and myself to get those points out, the many interruptions from Jeremy, Graham, and others, made it virtually impossible.

They did manage to point out that Bobby was NEVER kidnapped (and that they were never charged with kidnapping him). But they wanted to describe how Graham Baldwin had featured in the false kidnapping charge, the destruction of Bobby's family, and the manipulation of the media both before and after Bobby was taken into custody.

I've heard that army intelligence officers are even taught how to pass lie detector tests. Indeed, I was impressed at how confidently Graham had maintained that he had nothing at all to do with the Bobby Kelly story, when, in fact, another British journalist (who is hardly a Jesus Christian supporter) told us that he had discovered in his research that Graham was on a retainer with the Daily Express, the newspaper that just coincidentally had a three-page spread, complete with art and supporting stories, on the streets and in people's homes before the police had even found the time to act on a court decision (brought about by Graham Baldwin's lawyer convincing the court that Bobby Kelly was in extreme physical danger unless they allowed the media to print Bobby's name, his photo, and warnings that he had been kidnapped by a dangerous cult). It's true that Graham is careful to keep his name out of the limelight (apart from quotes from himself in the article that he put together along with Alex Hendry, from the Express), by getting his lawyer to appear in court and refer to him only as an expert witness, and by getting David Whitehouse, Bobby's Anglican youth pastor, to deal with Bobby's grandmother, convincing her that she needed to sign papers making Bobby a ward of the state, and especially not to tell Bobby that she wanted him to return home, lest he come home (which he most certainly would have done if she had asked) and ruin the whole "kidnapping" story!

Bobby's grandmother has since apologised both to Bobby and to ourselves for believing what David Whitehouse had told her, but once she signed the papers, stating (falsely) that Bobby was incorrigible, she could not reverse it. The family had been destroyed permanently, and it was not the Jesus Christians who had done it.

Graham Baldwin would have made a fortune on the material he provided for the Daily Express scoop. Another journalist told us that such a story is worth about eight pounds a WORD! And there were three pages of words that Graham had only to share with Alex Hendry.

The Walkout

But, as I said, very little of this was ever allowed through Jeremy's constant interruptions. What had been promised to us as a chance to explain what happened, kept turning into a nit-picking interrogation from Jeremy. At one point, he became obsessed with demanding a yes or no answer from ME about whether or not I knew where Bobby was when the police were looking for him. What a stupid question, considering that I was half a world away, in Australia, at the time, and things were changing from moment to moment. What Roland and Susan were trying to say was that it didn't really MATTER whether we knew where he was or not. He was not kidnapped.

Because of the frustration with Jeremy shaking his finger in my face and demanding that I answer his questions with a yes or no, I decided to ask a question of my own. I stood to my feet and mimicked Jeremy's style when I asked him to tell me, yes or no, whether he ever called his first wife, Kirsty, a slut. (Kirsty had been quoted in the Sunday Mail just a few days earlier with regard to Jeremy's tendency to lie, feign illness, steal money from her, and call her a slut.) Jeremy was speechless.

His answer, as I recall, after some moments of embarrassment, was that he was the one to ask the questions, and not me, because the people came to see him and not to see me.

That was the opportunity that I was hoping for. I knew that Roland and Sue were in a better position to challenge Graham Baldwin on the Bobby Kelly fiasco than myself (because they were actually present in England when it all happened), and yet, while I was on the stage, everyone was having too much fun attacking me to listen to Roland and Sue.

So I announced that, since the people had not come to see me, I would take a break, and I walked off the stage. In the wings, I was able to watch the others on a TV monitor as they sought to break through the wall of abuse, and it did seem to me that Jeremy and others were slowed down considerably because they all wanted to believe that Cherry, Rols, and Sue were victims of an evil monster (me), and now they were being forced to attack the victims, rather than listen to them. Their unwillingness to listen to any explanation was becoming more clear by my absence.

The Mock Trial

I can't remember if it happened before or after the walkout, but at some point, Jeremy challenged me about the mock trial that we had in Long Beach just over a year ago. (See The Whipping Trial) I think this is when we all tried going silent, as a protest against him interrupting us whenever we spoke. Obviously, if he could not get us to speak, there wasn't going to be much of a show, even though he did not want us to have long enough to explain anything that could not be explained in thirty seconds or less.

When Jeremy had it clear in his own mind (or perhaps when the producers had it clear and told him to shut up through the ear piece that they use to guide him), I finally had a clear run for what must have been a whole minute, and the words just came out quickly enough to explain what we had hoped to achieve through the trial in Long Beach. We could have said much more, but it was, for me, the highlight of the show... if only they don't delete it in the final cut!

Brian

While I was in the wings, the producers were jabbering in my ear about going back out on the stage. I kept saying things like, "Don't worry; I will eventually. I just want to watch how the others handle this."

"Go back and help Cherry," one of them said. "You don't want to leave her there on her own!"

Actually, apart from the slip with regard to Graham's web site, Cherry was doing just fine. It was a chance for the audience to see that she and the others did not need me to pull strings or speak on their behalf. If there's anything that Jesus Christians learn very quickly, it's how to think for themselves.

But eventually, the producers said, "Brian is out there waiting. He's our last guest. We brought him here at your request. He won't come out on the stage unless you're out there."

I strongly doubted that, as I knew Brian well enough to know that he was not going to throw away his ten minutes of fame for anything. But I did want to meet him in person, since he is the guy who has promised that he would dedicate a good portion of his life to "taking me out". He has said that I am worse than a mass murderer and a serial rapist. And all on the basis of less than an hour with some of our members in Dallas, five years ago. Brian and I have never met, partially because I would not want to give him a chance to make good on his promises about taking me out. But I did want to meet him face to face in a safe environment, so that he could see that I am not the monster that he has been told I am by his prompters at the Rick Ross forum.

Brian suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's not his fault. And so I don't say this to discredit him as a person. But I have often shared with Brian through email and through our forum, that he needs to recognise this tendency toward becoming obsessed with saving the world, and question his own motives rather than totally give in to obsessions which seem to lack rational support, and which seem to be almost totally destructive.

Brian's whiny voice, and sweat-covered face did not augur well for his testimony, but, apart from that, he did a reasonable job of just stating his claims without going over the top as has happened so often in the past, on internet forums. He rattled off a few complaints, most of which I cannot remember now. The main one, as I recall, was just his blanket claim that I brainwash people. That was all it took for the audience to embrace him as a reliable witness. After all, the guy spent a few minutes in one of our communities in Dallas, and that is all they needed to believe that the people in that community were all acting under direct instructions from me, way over in Australia.

Brian had often told his story, over on the Rick Ross forum, and it features a description of Susan as a brainwashed zombie, unable or unwilling to communicate with him, filled with fear, half-starved, and almost catatonic, in Brian's estimation. What he didn't know was that Sue, who was visiting Dallas from the UK at the time, was on her way to donate a kidney in Wisconsin, and in the "Kidneys for Jesus" documentary by Jon Ronson, the exact opposite opinion was given of Sue at that exact same time. She was, in Ronson's opinion, a seasoned trouper, highly articulate, well-informed with regard to her decision, and able to take on the toughest opponents of her right to donate altruistically. In fact, about that same time, a bio-ethics conference was being held at a university in Boston, and a specialist surgeon reported how his email communications with Sue had changed his own thinking on altruistic donations. He speaks in the "Kidneys for Jesus" documentary about the powerful arguments Sue gave to convince him that altruistic donations should be allowed, if not encouraged.

But, hey, Brian was saying what the audience wanted to hear, and so he was warmly received. If he said Sue was a brainwashed zombie, then a brainwashed zombie is what Sue must have been, even though she was right there on the stage for them to judge for themselves, if they had half an interest in the truth.

At one point Brian gave quite a good introduction to a point that he was trying to make, about how we need to do what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, and judge whether a person is a "true prophet" or a "false prophet" on the basis of their "fruit". Brian concluded, however that, because there have been so many negative media reports about the Jesus Christians, then it proves that we are false prophets. In other words, he believes (contrary to quite a detailed description that Jesus gives about true prophets being persecuted and false prophets being popular) that popularity is the sign of a true prophet, and if there is a lynch mob forming, that is enough proof to convince him that he needs to join the crowd.

I asked whether or not Jesus himself ever got "bad press", and Brian was sharp as a tack.

"But YOU're not JESUS, Dave!" he shouted back, and the audience broke into yet another orchestrated outburst of applause. Brian later reported that this was his "proudest moment".

It is sad that not only Brian, but everyone sitting in that studio, apart from the members of the Jesus Christians, was not able to see the error in his logic. Is it wrong for Christians to study the life and teachings of Jesus to find principles that should work in ordering our lives today? Does it prove that one has messianic delusions if they do this? Of course not.

I could just as easily have said, "But Brian, you're not Napoleon either!" and it would have had as much relevance. The problem, however, is that I would not have had a hired mob to applaud such a stupid statement.

You can be sure that this exchange will be a highlight of the entire show, and it pretty well sums up the extent of the logic used to condemn us, i.e. because we try to follow Jesus' example, we are deluded fanatics, claiming to be the Messiah.
Lack of Evidence
I want to call on everyone who views that show to ask themselves: "What hard evidence was produced to show that the Jesus Christians are "just such an organisation" as the People's Temple (the group led by Jim Jones, that was murdered and/or committed mass suicide in Guyana about forty years ago). What evidence was produced to indicate that I am a monster who is worse than a mass murderer and a serial rapist?

Fortunately, today, public lynchings are pretty well outlawed in England. However, a British judge was recently quoted in the press as saying that he feels Jeremy Kyle's style of television presenting should be outlawed on the grounds that it is a form of "bear-baiting". But bear-baiting is popular. The media (and especially the British media) knows that it sells papers, ups the ratings, and increases their popularity. So they do it at the expense of any who are foolish enough to let themselves be interviewed.
So why did we do it?
The obvious question is that, with our extensive media experience, why did we consent to appearing on the Jeremy Kyle show. The answer is because about five minutes of truth is all it takes to blow away many hours of lies, but only if your audience is intelligent enough to listen critically.

Yeah, sure, the mentality of Jeremy Kyle's viewing audience has often been questioned. Sure, there are a lot of unthinking zombies who tune in. But Jeremy Kyle is the sort of presenter that a lot of thinking people "love to hate" as well. I cannot believe that the entire audience of 1.4 million viewers is not able to see through what he does, and in particular, through what he was doing with us.

We took with us to the studios, a young woman who had been visiting with us in the week before the show. She listened to all that was being said throughout the two episodes of the show, and two days after the filming was over, far from being scared off, she announced that she wanted to join our community. The sheer lunacy of the attack seemed to be the final proof that what we are doing is consistent with what Jesus taught and did.

I believe this is also consistent with what the Apostle Paul called "the foolishness of the cross". The "cross" refers to more than just the cross on which Jesus died. He set us an example, and he wants us to take up our crosses and follow him. So what is the foolishness of the cross? It is the belief that even in our darkest hour, when the verdict has gone against us, when the crowd has had its way, when we have been cruelly and unfairly attacked, the message of love and forgiveness will still get through... maybe not to the masses, but to those who count... the people who are able to think for themselves.

We did not set up this show (apart from our request for Brian to be allowed to participate). This show had been set up by David Lowe, a Quaker private investigator in Australia, as part of a supposedly international "summit" by people from around the world who are angry with the Jesus Christians for one reason or another. But we rejoiced on hearing of it. We thanked the producers (most sincerely) at the end of it. We asked for Brian to be able to appear and be heard. We did this because we know that the more they fight us, the more they will reveal their own irrationality, and the more they will make people question why the Jesus Christians rate such unwarranted hatred and abuse.

We have been fairly honest about declaring that our critics play right into our hands by telling bigger and bigger lies about us. And we have been fairly honest about the fact that their use of the media to attack us actually helps our cause. And still they do it. The more the masses hear their lies, the more individuals there are going to be (you know, those rare people who are able to think for themselves) who will come and check us out. In this age of Google and web sites, people searching for the sites that damn us are eventually going to come to ours and see for themselves. We can't lose. Either we get our message out through clear sailing (if they have the good sense to say nothing), or we get it out through the shenanigans of the lynch mob itself.

Malcolm

Oh yeah, almost forgot! The producers read out a letter from Malcolm Wrest, a former member of the Jesus Christians, at some stage. I guess it was supposed to be their master stroke. After all, unlike Brian and Liesel, Malcolm had actually been a member for some three or four years.

After weeks of telling me that they would let me know who was going to be present as soon as they knew, and that they would let me know what issues would be raised before the show started, they told me on the night before the filming session, that they had a letter from Malcolm, but that I would not be allowed to see its contents until it was actually read out on air. Why do you suppose they did that? Wasn't it because they did not have much faith in whatever was written in that letter to actually achieve anything in their attempts to discredit us?

So when Jeremy pulled out Malcolm's letter, I announced (before I ever heard a word that Malcolm had written) that I was not going to respond without notice, that if Malcolm was allowed the luxury of writing a letter with lots of time to research and think about it, and to present it without interruption on the show (while hiding his face from the public), then I too would prepare a written statement after the filming stopped, and that could be read out later as my response. Jeremy accepted; however, I would not be surprised if he deletes Malcolm's letter AND my response, because the letter was really a fizzer.

You see, about the only things I can even recall now from that letter was that Malcolm said that we once played a game (something like "Simon Says") where I said, "Simon says, bark like a dog," and he also said that he can assure the public that kidney donations by Jesus Christians are given under coercion from myself.

If I could only have looked decades ahead, of course, I would never have played such a silly game. But the one fact that casts overwhelming doubt on Malcolm's overall testimony is that the last time he ever saw me was almost a quarter of a century ago. The first Jesus Christians to have donated kidneys, did so about five years ago, almost twenty years after Malcolm left the group. Consequently, BRIAN's testimony would have to be seen as more reliable than Malcolm's. In 25 years, there must be dozens of people who have left the Jesus Christians, who could have been produced as more reliable witnesses against us than Malcolm. David Lowe claims to have located sixty of them, and Brian says that every one of them has only negative things to say about me. So where are they? There are very few groups on earth that could boast a record of a quarter of a century without a single disillusioned ex-member willing to publicly criticise it. But that seems to be the Jesus Christian claim to fame.

When Malcolm left the group in anger, so many years ago, he said that he did not have anything that he could nail the group on, but that he was going to keep at it until he did. We did not hear from him for 22 years. And then, last year, he discovered the Rick Ross forum, where angry ex-members of any number of groups (Rick claims to know 500 more than Graham, with his list set at 1,500 cults) were being coached in building up a case based only on their own competition to see who could use the most damning names for the leaders of the groups that they had left. Brian, with his mass murderer charges had to be the overall winner, but Malcolm created fantasy after fantasy about me being Idi Amin, Hitler, and various other famous dictators, in order to achieve a very close second to Brian. The two of them whip up one another with hatred, but do not have a skerrick of evidence between them.

Malcolm himself would say things on the Rick Ross forum like, "I have fond memories of my time with David, who came across as a caring person at the time; but that is a very different David to what he has become."

So, as I said at the beginning of this very long statement, the whole case rested on a guy who hasn't seen us for nearly a quarter of a century (and who was too frightened to appear on the show himself), another guy who spent less than an hour visiting one of our communities, and a grandmother whose business collapsed when her daughter joined the group, but whose daughter is no longer in the Jesus Christians, and who did not want to appear on the show in support of the stuff her mother was saying, anyway.

Really, Jeremy! The members of the Jonestown tragedy were almost all killed off, and yet I'm sure I could find more bonafide witnesses to testify against them even today than what you came up with as your witnesses in warning the world about the terrible Jesus Christians, who are all still alive and well today!
Below is footage from The Jeremy Kyle Show.  We have broken it up into smaller segments.  Just scroll down and press play on the segment you would like to watch.

PART ONE:
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PART TWO:
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PART THREE:
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PART FOUR:
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