The Plymouth Brethren structure in the UK, starts with circa 15,000 members. Whose members live in an ecosystem where there is a restriction on contact with non brethren (worldly) people.
The structure means that members work in brethren owned businesses or attend brethren operated schools. The income to fund this ecosystem is driven by the members & their companies. It is a male dominated environment, where the owners & management of the companies and the different charities are brethren men. The women tend to work in non management admin roles, as non paid volunteers for the charities and raise children.
It is heavily reliant on Charitable status with the central business support, meeting rooms, schools, shops all being structured either as a charity or the trading arm of a charity.
PBCC UK STRUCTURE
The brethren members companies fund UBT, the members buy their shopping from Campus & Co, which in turn fund OneSchool (the brethren schools). The members donate to fund the costs of the meeting rooms. It is a commercial structure with the aim of being a self funding ecosystem.
The cost to run the meeting rooms & schools is circa £75 million per year. The brethren use a charity called the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) to assist as evidence of public benefit, which in turn helps them keep their charitable status. The RRT is mainly funded by the brethren charity called the Grace Trust. In financials terms the amount given back to non brethren is circa £1.5 million a year, the charitable status to the brethren is worth approximately £20 million to £40 million a year.
It is a controversial sect, we would say it certainly meets the criteria of a cult. Members are born into the brethren, and brought up in a brethren environment, which restricts access to the wider world. Ex members tell stories of abuse, coercive control, dependency on anti depressants & alcohol and the constant breaking up of families. They report that there are controls on the internet, travel, where they work & live, they are not allowed television or radio. The structure shows misogynistic tendencies with only the men as trustees of church, meeting rooms & brethren charities, women are often non paid labourers in shops & for the RRT.
The brethren are not permitted to work as nurses, doctors, police, firefighters. They can't work as civil servants or attend universities in person. In our opinion the brethren leadership control members, closing them off to the world and do not contribute to greater good of our society, yet use our system for their own financial benefit.