Source : 18/09/1982 Northampton Chronicle and Echo
A father will always remember a long, lonely vigil by his daughter's side the night it seemed she might throw herself in front of a speeding express train.
He ran after her when she flounced out of the family's Northamptonshire home after a row and joined her where she sat, partway down the steep embankment of a dangerous main line.
Disturbed every few minutes by the roar of passing trains, he spoke to her for an hour-and-a-half and finally persuaded her home.
'What she would have done I don't know, but it was just a question of talking quietly to her,' he said. 'I was scared to death, I will tell you that. That's why it will stick in my memory.'
His graduate daughter, whom we shall call Jane, cannot now remember a thing about the episode, but he will always associate it with a harrowing four-year battle to get her away from the Jesus Fellowship.
He asked that the real names of himself and his daughter should not be revealed. Although happily married and no longer in Northampton, Jane (28) still has nightmares about the Fellowship and talks in her sleep, he said.
And he added: 'She has always got this fear they will find her.'
Jane's father admitted to me there were no 'concrete' allegations he could make against the Fellowship. But following the experience with their daughter and knowing of other Jesus recruits, both he and his wife had very strong reservations about the group.
Jane first had contact with the Fellowship when she helped to break its influence over one of her friends, but a year later, in 1975, a male friend got her involved in it personally and she started attending meetings.
'She would come in from a service and you could see she looked very happy, but it was a false happiness,' said the mother, who quickly noticed a change in her daughter's manner. 'The smile was not real and she looked far away.'
Then a university student, she would spend as much time as possible with the Fellowship, often without her parents' knowledge. The parents became increasingly concerned and following the deaths of two Fellowship members started a private campaign to get her out.
Rows between daughter and parents followed in the next two years and the disturbing railway embankment incident happened. The fact that this incident has since been erased from Jane's memory has convinced the father as to the troubled state of her mind at the time.
But by 1978 the Fellowship's 'hold' on their daughter appeared to be waning and the break came the following year after she had met her husband-to-be, who had nothing to do with the church.
For their success in keeping their daughter out of the group, the parents thank the strength of family ties. The father added: 'The Fellowship seem to have this idea that members must split away from their parents and away from their influence, unless they are of the same opinion - that's what we were fighting all the time.'
Elder Mr. David Hawker commented: 'Our understanding is that this un-named young woman was never a member of the community and was subjected to pressure from parents to prevent her attending meetings.'