Friday, 12 September 2014

Same story, different language

 Same story, different language. Translated from a newspaper in Sweden.

Sect companies in Smalandsstenar. Photographer: Tomas Burman

The children are isolated within the sect in Småland

... That women are not allowed to have higher positions than men in the workplace:
"This is not true. Women is a partner in our business and women thus gives instructions to the employees of the companies. Many companies have young women leadership positions. Fact, over 30 percent of all women who are members of the Christian Church Plymouth Brethren is the owner and manager of business. "
... That critics call Laboraskolan for "taxpayer-funded brainwashing"
"Laboraskolan is a non-denominational, public and open private school which, under the same conditions as other municipal and independent schools, conducts a quality education in accordance with the national policy documents."
Today's Labor ... tasks to children, mostly boys, start working early with the dangerous and heavy tasks:
"This was new to us and we have a hard time believing. At our company, and our knowledge of other businesses owned by members of the Church, we follow the Swedish labor law in its entirety and have strict rules that everyone who has dangerous and heavy duties, shall be qualified and trained for the work. "
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Plymouth Brethren sect has built an empire - with tightly controlled members and industry activity.
In Smalandsstenar they run since 2007, a harshly criticized independent school.But there are also specialist hostile companies, with a turnover of SEK 678 million. One of those who left the sect tells for the first time about how boys start work early - and are encouraged to drink alcohol.
- It's their way of managing their anxiety, says defector John for the day.

It was not a matter of course that the school that currently reside in a yellow painted school building in Långaryd outside Smalandsstenar would get the boot. After School reform in the 1990s was frikyrkosekten Plymouth Brethren one of the candidates to get start with school. But when the National Agency processed documents filed in March 2000 rejected the application.
The movement did not give up and applied again to get start secondary school in Långaryd. There were denials, appeals, rejection again and a further appeal. Eventually they got right in the county court.
2007 began the first students trained at Laboraskolan. Today, elementary school and industrial school.
Laboraskolan describes itself as the Independent School anywhere in many ways: it is funded by taxpayers, it is officially open to everyone and the school administration argues that education looks like at other schools.
Critics paint a very different picture of the activities of the school.
- I see the school as a tax-financed brainwashing.Laws passed by the Swedish Parliament does not apply to these students. This with equal worth ... does not apply to these students, says Jakob Widström, ombudsman at National Federation of Teachers to Work Day.
Schools Inspectorate, which shall ensure that the school follows the Education Act and the curriculum, has at its audits criticized shortcomings in the objectivity and comprehensiveness, that teaching is controlled too much by the children's parents - and to educate 
n should not have followed Equality Plan.

The former headmaster Kjell Flower has repeatedly stated that the purpose of schooling is actually isolating the children and prevent them from contacting children who are not members of the sect.
Now he tells Today's Work:
- Allowing the school helps the state to transfer sect culture to another generation.
But school management turns off the criticism - and answer the Day Labor reporter Marcus Derland.
"Our kids are excited and happy. They are goal-oriented and community-oriented. They socialize not only with their peers, but are also committed to provide assistance to young and old in different contexts. Admittedly, we apply a certain amount of privacy given the social entertainment scene, but otherwise our children a great community involvement, " writes lead in a comment.
The closed frikyrkosekten was established in Ireland in the 1800s with the Christian faith as the basis.It has subsequently been split into several factions, where the part described as more conservative is reported to have about 46 000 members worldwide. The leader Bruce Hayles found in Australia.
Plymouth Brethren described as a fundamentalist sect that isolates the members from the community, and in which women are subordinate to men. Among the rules are that girls should not wear trousers, contraception and abortion are prohibited from requiring a permit to move to another city, and none of the members will celebrate Christmas or holidays.
When the rest of the population goes to the polls this weekend may Plymouth Brethren members do not participate - they do not vote in general elections.
And those members who work in the sect's business empire is not always the same rights as other workers.

Today's work has in its audit surveyed 38 Swedish companies that may be associated with the Plymouth Brethren. The most recent annual reports of the companies show that total profits before tax amounted to over 40 million and sales were SEK 678 million.
In an area outside Smalandsstenar located several companies spread out over a typical industrial site. Here is a company that manufactures plastic products for healthcare, a company that manufactures pallets, a blind manufacturers and other companies that manufacture fencing and gates.
The companies do not apply the same rules often apply to other companies, employees testify about.According to Today's Work dares employees not join a trade union, which is rejected by the representatives of the Plymouth Brethren.
"Because of our faith, so are we not contract involving membership with either the employers' association, union, interest groups or clubs, but every day we make ordinary commercial contract between two parties. However, we are sure to provide good conditions of pay and insurance that equals or exceeds collective agreement, " writes representatives of the companies in a comment to the day.
400 Plymouth Brethren members of the conservative majority in Sweden - mainly in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Smalandsstenar, Ljungby and Helsingborg.
Today's work has met John, who is one of those who managed to break away and start a new life - far away from the harsh rules. He wants society to take responsibility for the children who grow up in the Plymouth Brethren. He argues that it is impossible to understand how a sect that is sealed, manipulative and where the leaders differ on good and evil members can carry on with school.
- The school should be a safe haven for all children. It is not Laboraskolan, he says.
In the interview, he describes how his own childhood and growing up, until he was 22 years, marked by constant control. As a 14-year-old, he started working as a machinist in the family business.
- Of course it was a form of child labor we performed. But it was not under duress. We thought it was funny. We went to school just because it's the law, says John in the interview.
John became the doubt that he really belonged in the sect increasingly stronger with the years.Finally came the turning point.
In summer 2006, he went to his room and packed his things. He had already secretly signed a contract on your own apartment.
- I regret that I can not be pulled out of high school. But it did not. Only when I had a personal finances, a network and a residence, it became possible, he says to the day's work.

A cult interfering with politics