Source : Distributed by The Prayerforce Fellowship 1985
In the Community's introductory booklet the following statement is made:
'We uphold the sanctity of Christina marriage and the integrity of Christian family life and we seek to ensure that children are brought up in the 'discipline and nurture of the Lord'. Some members recognise our calling to celibacy.'
At best their statement is misleading. At worst it is a pitiful lie. It has been our experience that almost all young men and women are under pressure, begged and/or bullied to remain single (i.e. celibate for life). Marriage is taught as being inferior to celibacy and is referred to as a 'lower way'.
For those who have been allowed to marry there is considerable restraint upon their domestic life. Sexual relationships within marriage are considered to be so potentially unhealthy that the 'official' policy of the Community is for couples, from the earliest days of wedlock, to sleep apart in single beds. Some couples are put under extreme pressure to conform to this unwritten rile. Contraception is 'officially' prohibited.
The women have no significant choice in the selection of a partner except the right to say no to an unwanted courtship, though it has not been unknown for a 'sister' to be put under pressure to marry against her desire in the church's interest.
For men it is often a long an humiliating process, often drawn out over several years, before their desire to enter into a courtship will be approved by the Community leadership. Many requests are turned down. If an unapproved courtship involves two people who are mutually aware of each other's love they may be totally forbidden 'ever' to have 'any' form of contact. Engaged couples who join the Community are expected to separate and in common with 'all' other men and women are not allowed to display or talk of affection for one another without the critical approval of the Eldership. Only men over 25 may expect to be allowed to marry.
Family life is not what the Community would have the outside world believe. Children within the Community are virtually prohibited from forming close friendships with children outside the fellowship. They are kept away from many social activities at school such as extra-curricular sport and drams. They are indoctrinated from the tenderest years and live under the expectation that if, by the age of 18 they have not accepted the Community's lifestyle they will have to leave their homes and parents. One Baptised 17 year old, who has been brought up in the Community expressed a fear of leaving. 'I cannot leave because I'm afraid of what would happen if I died in the process.' She later said, 'I know that if I left my family and friends would turn against me.'
Noel Stanton emphasises that the teaching of Jesus Christ brings a 'sword between families,' and therefore the relationship between the Community members and their natural families (Christian or Otherwise) often change accordingly. Family members outside the Community often claim that their loved ones within the Community have been cold and distant albeit that a formal communication and contact has been maintained.