Former Exclusive Brethren members hit with dawn raids, legal suits after speaking out against the secretive Christian sect


August 9, 2020

By Bevan Hurley

Braden Simmons awoke to a knock at the door. Outside were lawyers and investigators with a court order to search his home.

A former Exclusive Brethren who was once told to drink rat poison by the church’s Supreme Leader is one of several former members fighting legal action after speaking out against the church. Bevan Hurley reports.

On June 30 this year, Braden Simmons attended an informal session with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

He would later tell friends he was there to share his story about his mental struggles during his time as an Exclusive Brethren, and in particular an incident involving the church’s Supreme Leader Bruce Hales, a man who is looked on by members as the embodiment of the Holy Spirit on earth.

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