View Full Version : Is anyone familiar with 'The Exclusive Brethren' religious order?


Recruitguru
10-11-2006, 07:52
I have had dealings on both a personal level and a business level. I found them different to say the least. I would be interested in reading your views, good or bad!!

hagardriley
10-11-2006, 22:35
I have had dealings on both a personal level and a business level. I found them different to say the least. I would be interested in reading your views, good or bad!!

Not had any dealings with this group but I have had a fair few with the 'Plymouth Brethren'. Now they can be 'interesting' to do business with.

Mandem
11-11-2006, 14:00
I too have had dealings with Plymouth Brethern, I don't know how they stay in business with no computers, mobile phones, radios etc. I can't understand why doing without things like that help their religion.
I was watching the 7/7 atrocities on the television, when one chap who is a Brethern came into my office to ask what was happening, and he actually averted his eyes from the television screen!!!

hagardriley
11-11-2006, 20:10
I too have had dealings with Plymouth Brethern, I don't know how they stay in business with no computers, mobile phones, radios etc. I can't understand why doing without things like that help their religion.
I was watching the 7/7 atrocities on the television, when one chap who is a Brethern came into my office to ask what was happening, and he actually averted his eyes from the television screen!!!

The strange thing is that they only seem to do without technology in their personal lives. I have, on occasion, bought goods from a business which is owned by two families who are Plymouth Brethren and on every occasion the invoice has been computerised. When I remarked on this, the reply was that without a computerised stock control system it would be impossible to run the business. Likewise, they will use a mobile for business and for emergencies and don't seem to have a problem obtaining cash from an ATM.

One thing which I can definitely say in their favour is that when you complete a job for them the bill is settled immediately. No arguing, no hassle and no attempt at bartering in an attempt to chip a bit off the agreed price, unlike a certain religion I could mention.

Recruitguru
20-11-2006, 10:25
They have computerised invoices and statements, however, they are not created by themselves or anyone in their employ. They can have fax machines on site aswell as computers but they cannot own or physically use them. The people who do are self employed or contractors who should be supplying an invoice for all hours and or services worked.

What about this then; their kids. They go to a normal school upto the age of say 10-11, then they go to a specially run school for EB children.
What about the kids life after talking with other kids about television programmes and news and games etc. The poor b------s must have a terrible time, being picked on 'cause they can't talk about TV progs etc.
What life is this in this modern age?
The other funny thing is they (adults) all look the same..............

NEKRO138
20-11-2006, 10:57
These sound like Taylor exclusive Plymouth Brethrens. Most Plymouth Brethrens have no problems using computers.

Recruitguru
20-11-2006, 14:51
Yeah, i think Taylor was one of, or the original founder. What was his philosophy?
Why is it that if one of the flock leave the bretheren, they loose everything including their own kids???
What is wrong with these people? What effect would such a wrench on young children have??

Mandem
21-11-2006, 19:53
The very strict order of the Plymouth Brethern are called Darbyites. Don't know why.
The ones I knew never used computers, perhaps people in their employ did it for them.

sooz22
21-11-2006, 19:55
My OH used to work for plymouth brethrens and found it very hard to adapt to their lifestyle. He wasnt allowed to eat in front of them and had to stop lunch if they came into the room he was eating in.

My dads house used to belong to PB too. He had to have all the modcons installed when he moved in!!!

hagardriley
21-11-2006, 22:29
What about this then; their kids. They go to a normal school upto the age of say 10-11, then they go to a specially run school for EB children.
What about the kids life after talking with other kids about television programmes and news and games etc. The poor b------s must have a terrible time, being picked on 'cause they can't talk about TV progs etc.
What life is this in this modern age?
The other funny thing is they (adults) all look the same..............

I doubt that the kids get much of a chance to mix with others who are not of their 'persuation'. They are dropped off at school and only allowed to go in at the very last minute, collected at lunchtime and taken to a brethren house to be fed, and collected immediately after school, to only mix thereafter with their own kind until bed time. :huh: :suspect: :loopy:

As for the adults all looking the same, this seems to be particularly true of their womenfolk who all wear that funny little hairband/headscarf type of thing and have the skirt to an exact few centimetres above the ankle.

Whenever I go in Sainsburys or Tesco at Abbeydale I amuse myself by seeing how many of the women I can spot. They all seem to shop at these two, perhaps it's because their place of worship/meeting room is just round the corner halfway up Carter Knowle Road. Once you know the 'uniform' they are as easy to spot as someone wearing a bourka or a face veil. :nod: :lol:

Mr Goose
22-11-2006, 08:01
I used to have (in about 1991) a news clipping about the "Exclusive Brethren" on my office wall.

The headline was "Jesus Didn't Use a Computer" - the brethren were not allowing their kids to go to IT classes at school.... and yes, there defense was "Jesus didnt use one" :confused:

The editorial pointed out the Jesus didnt speak english, use toilet paper or a flush toilet..... :cool:

cgksheff
22-11-2006, 09:23
The very strict order of the Plymouth Brethern are called Darbyites. Don't know why.


John Nelson Darby

One of the original group which later became the 'Brethren' in the 1830's.

purple_frog
22-11-2006, 09:38
What about the kids life after talking with other kids about television programmes and news and games etc. The poor b------s must have a terrible time, being picked on 'cause they can't talk about TV progs etc.
What life is this in this modern age?

I'm not specifically talking in relation to these religions here, but how sad for modern society if the above were true! One of my best friends (a right laugh, mad as a hatter and up for anything) had no access to a telly or computer until she moved out of home to go to uni, and it never did her any harm! Just encouraged her creative and intellectual sides, and fostered her love for books. She missed out in no way when socialising with others or interacting with peers. TV and computer games really aren't the be all and end all!

Her only slight regret is that she now can't join in on the "oh! do you remember that cartoon that was on a 4 on a friday before our swiomming class?! what was the theme tune?" type conversations!

But of course, being totally separated from all technology and from technology users would be completely different thing ...

BasilRathbon
22-11-2006, 10:03
I've never had any dealings with the Plymouth Brethren but I did once go and see Plymouth Argyle....

Mr Goose
22-11-2006, 12:07
I'm not specifically talking in relation to these religions here, but how sad for modern society if the above were true! One of my best friends (a right laugh, mad as a hatter and up for anything) had no access to a telly or computer until she moved out of home to go to uni, and it never did her any harm! "Just encouraged her creative and intellectual sides, and fostered her love for books. She missed out in no way when socialising with others or interacting with peers. TV and computer games really aren't the be all and end all!

...

Not wanting to honk about my normal pet arguements.... honk.... but this is actually a serious issue

People tend to look at anti-modernity groups (like the Aimish) and see them with a degree of warmth - ie they are quaint because of their old fashioned ways.

However, all these cults are actually about control - the Aimish stop their kids having access to modern skills - eg IT use and education much beyond the absolute basics as a CONTROL - ie if kids are unable to function in the world "out there" they are much less likely to leave the cult. :rant:

Recruitguru
24-11-2006, 08:41
However, all these cults are actually about control - the Aimish stop their kids having access to modern skills - eg IT use and education much beyond the absolute basics as a CONTROL - ie if kids are unable to function in the world "out there" they are much less likely to leave the cult. :rant:

I have to agree, you are dead right they do control. But who gets all the wealth, I am aware that they pay **** loads towards the church and the committment is unswaying.
I am going to say something that may not be quite PC.
Are they trying to breed a pure race?
The reason for this is I was once told by a high ranking member in the South Yorks area that anyone is welcome to marry into or join the Breterhen, but they must walk the walk and talk the talk.
Anyone got any thoughts???

Mandem
24-11-2006, 09:17
John Nelson Darby

One of the original group which later became the 'Brethren' in the 1830's.
Thanks for that my curiosity is now sated.:thumbsup:

Mandem
24-11-2006, 09:18
The ones I knew were all South African, and had shed loads of kids. They treated their staff as if they were servants, a throw back to their South African days when they actually had servants.

Recruitguru
24-11-2006, 09:20
The ones I know are from SA also. All live in the Millhouses, Beauchief areas. How do you them ?

Mandem
24-11-2006, 14:12
They had a firm selling hospital supplies next door to where I worked. Sold out to a firm from Manchester, think they also had an office supplies place near Herries Road.

Recruitguru
24-11-2006, 14:40
Dale Office Supplies is the co on herries Road and the health supply company (not from S.A) are called Blue Diamond in the Neepsend area.
Others are Northern maps at Orgreave, Silverhill Staionary at Heeley and Inter-Hatch off Derbyshire lane.

purple_frog
24-11-2006, 14:54
Not wanting to honk about my normal pet arguements.... honk.... but this is actually a serious issue

People tend to look at anti-modernity groups (like the Aimish) and see them with a degree of warmth - ie they are quaint because of their old fashioned ways.

However, all these cults are actually about control - the Aimish stop their kids having access to modern skills - eg IT use and education much beyond the absolute basics as a CONTROL - ie if kids are unable to function in the world "out there" they are much less likely to leave the cult. :rant:

Sorry for causing your rant...

My gripe was with whomever it was that said a lack of telly or computer games would alienate kids, and my comment was that this would be a sad state of affairs if it were true, before mentioning a close friend of mine's situation. My problem was with the "we need all these things in the modern world in order to fit in" attitute conveyed in the comment to which I was responding - but I clearly stated that this was unrelated to any religiious group.

The friend I mentioned simply grew up in a household where the parents refused to let their kids waste their lives, instead focused on expanding their minds, creativity, sense of excitement, and individuality. Religion and "anti-modernity" played no role.... So, while I take your point where power and control are concerned, you read FAAAAAR too much into my post!

Recruitguru
04-12-2006, 09:42
I fully take your comments on, but Mr. Goose has hit the nail on the head. These groups seem to instil fear into their offspring and paint the false picture that everything out with the group is bad or evil.
Why can't the world have one religion, HUMANISM, this would ensure that everybody was given the same opportunity. Treat others like you would treat yourself!!

Mr Goose
04-12-2006, 11:25
I fully take your comments on, but Mr. Goose has hit the nail on the head. These groups seem to instil fear into their offspring and paint the false picture that everything out with the group is bad or evil.
Why can't the world have one religion, HUMANISM, this would ensure that everybody was given the same opportunity. Treat others like you would treat yourself!!

Honk Honk!

We even have a Sheffield Humanist Society - google it if you are interested!

Mr Goose
04-12-2006, 11:29
Here is the link...

http://www.sheffieldhumanists.org.uk/

Mr Goose
04-12-2006, 11:56
and the national group -

http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/

Phanerothyme
04-12-2006, 13:25
question for humanists - how can you be a 'free thinker' and also state that you reject the supernatural?

HUMANISM, this would ensure that everybody was given the same opportunity. Treat others like you would treat yourself!!
Unless you are a masochist.

Mr Goose
04-12-2006, 13:35
question for humanists - how can you be a 'free thinker' and also state that you reject the supernatural?
.

Its because you need to have some degree of selectivity - if ANY evidence EVER came along for ANY supernatural activity I would be interested.

However - the list of supernatiral beliefs is very long - unicorns, ghosts, tarot cards, UFO's, crop circles, ESP, crystal twiddling etc - that is in addition to the approximate 2,500 gods "formally" worshipped in human history.

Being a "Freethinker" is having an open mind, but not having an open mind to the degree where your brain falls out

(I forget who said that first)

Phanerothyme
04-12-2006, 14:12
It's a good gag.

So it would be more correct to say "discriminating thinker" on the website perhaps?

Presumably the appearance of God on earth would cause the Humanist Society to disband?

mikeG
04-12-2006, 16:52
I have a relative who takes her religion very seriously. What her 'church' is I don't know. Her son is employed , presumably as a Minister, with them and is provided with a £18/20,000 car. Money seems no object. Televisions in the house are forbidden. It may be similar to the Plymouth/Exclusive Brethren so I'll do a bit more digging. I know I could ask her but they do go to great pains to avoid talking about their beliefs.

upinwath
04-12-2006, 18:05
I have had dealing with Plymouth Brethern even doing some of their data crunching for them.
Had quite a sweet deal running for a while with them.
They didn't have TV, believed in the value of being nice to people and were 100% in business.

All values that I like and try to stay with myself.

Mr Goose
05-12-2006, 07:30
So it would be more correct to say "discriminating thinker" on the website perhaps?

Presumably the appearance of God on earth would cause the Humanist Society to disband?

I would say "thinking free of dogma" - ie one of the central thrusts of Humanism is to evaluate moral decisions in light of evidence, rather than religious tradition. Hence humanists argue for issues like the right to die with dignity etc.

If "god" did appear on earth (I assume you are talking christian) we would have to see what he had to say on a number of issues. If, as in the OT, he came out with promotions of vindictive violence, homophobia and a misery for women, then there would still be a role for the humanist soc!!!

However, as in my last post, there are a lot of other silly things that "could" hapen if you took heed of some peolples beliefs - they include

* The alien shape changing reptiles that make up the power groups like the Queen and Prince Charles unmask themselves

* Odin, Thor, Zeus or any of the 1000's of hindu and south american gods could turn up

* NASA scientists could discover "The Planet of the Clangers" :love:

Honk!

Phanerothyme
05-12-2006, 11:12
I would say "thinking free of dogma" - ie one of the central thrusts of Humanism is to evaluate moral decisions in light of evidence, rather than religious tradition. Hence humanists argue for issues like the right to die with dignity etc.

If "god" did appear on earth (I assume you are talking christian)


I'm talking about a supreme being. Presumably the possibility that one exists is ruled out by the Humanist Soc - but is it a supernatural concept?

We would have to see what he had to say on a number of issues. If, as in the OT, he came out with promotions of vindictive violence, homophobia and a misery for women, then there would still be a role for the humanist soc!!!


If god did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him

Mr Goose
05-12-2006, 13:02
I'm talking about a supreme being. Presumably the possibility that one exists is ruled out by the Humanist Soc - but is it a supernatural concept?

A "supreme being" sounds very much like a supernatural concept - i.e. it is used to signify some unknown force that, for reasons unknown decided to create the universe (by methods unknown).

The trouble I have with this is pretty much logical.. what was this being doing BEFORE it created the universe? What made it decide to create the universe? What created this being?

Answers like "it existed outside space and time" are pretty much like giving answers to children like

Q: "Why does the sun shine"
A: "It just does"

I think a naturalistic answer to this sort of question is far more satidfying (and fun) (and more mind expanding) :confused:

plekhanov
05-12-2006, 13:12
I'm talking about a supreme being. Presumably the possibility that one exists is ruled out by the Humanist Soc - but is it a supernatural concept?
Of course itís a supernatural concept, unless of course you can explain how a supreme being could exist within the laws of nature as we understand them.

Anyway the possibility that anything exists isn't 'ruled out' by humanists and given sound evidence that one did exist humanists would accept the existence of a supreme being. However there is no such evidence and the probability that a supreme being does exist is so low that to all intents and purposes it is perfectly rational to act as if there is no supreme being.

Phanerothyme
05-12-2006, 13:41
Of course itís a supernatural concept, unless of course you can explain how a supreme being could exist within the laws of nature as we understand them.
One would imagine that any supreme being could create the laws of nature to suit them. It certainly wouldn't do for a supreme being to create a universe where they couldn't exist. That would show a remarkable lack of planning.

A supreme being is not necessarily unknowable, is it?

Mr Goose
05-12-2006, 14:20
One would imagine that any supreme being could create the laws of nature to suit them. It certainly wouldn't do for a supreme being to create a universe where they couldn't exist. That would show a remarkable lack of planning.
A supreme being is not necessarily unknowable, is it?


The trouble is that the universe is hugely, deeply, random beyond what human understanding hinted at until the 20th C, both at the massive and quantum level.

Also, cosmologists can now model what happened just after the big bang.. that is 0.0000000001 of a second after the big bang. There is little room in the arguement for an inteligent being in the picture.

It is a case of don't add further unknowns (eg gods, space unicorns, clangers) to the picture to complicate the unknowns already there....

plekhanov
05-12-2006, 14:40
One would imagine that any supreme being could create the laws of nature to suit them. It certainly wouldn't do for a supreme being to create a universe where they couldn't exist. That would show a remarkable lack of planning.

A supreme being is not necessarily unknowable, is it?
Throughout history humans have claimed that numerous supreme beings exist so far as Iím aware all of them were supernatural and there is not a shred of evidence that any of them exist.

If however you can conceive of how a supreme being can exist within the laws of nature by all means explain to us how such a thing could be possible, if you have any evidence that this natural supreme being exists then feel free to present that as well.

Until you (or anybody else) does so all the evidence available to us suggests that a supreme being is so extraordinarily improbable that we can safely say with a high degree of certainty that no such being exists.

Phanerothyme
05-12-2006, 19:38
Throughout history humans have claimed that numerous supreme beings exist so far as Iím aware all of them were supernatural and there is not a shred of evidence that any of them exist.

What would constitute evidence?

plekhanov
05-12-2006, 19:55
What would constitute evidence?
Well that would very much depend on the nature of the supreme being in question wouldn't it.

A good starting point might be the existence of something in the universe which could not possibly have been produced through the working of natural forces

Phanerothyme
05-12-2006, 20:15
Well that would very much depend on the nature of the supreme being in question wouldn't it.

Indeed it would - are there different types?

A good starting point might be the existence of something in the universe which could not possibly have been produced through the working of natural forces

I think a better starting point might be the existence of a universe. What natural forces could bring it into being?

Is it possible that a natural force and a supreme being could be one and the same?

plekhanov
05-12-2006, 20:32
Indeed it would - are there different types?
Well people certainly seem to believe in a variety of supreme beings.

I think a better starting point might be the existence of a universe.
Why?

What natural forces could bring it into being?
The maths involved is completely beyond my level but there seems to be a consensus amongst scientists that the universe could have come into being through the working of natural forces.

In contrast to the best of my knowledge nobody has ever ever could up with a viable way in which a supreme being capable of creating the universe could come into being through the working of natural forces.

Is it possible that a natural force and a supreme being could be one and the same?
In what way?

Phanerothyme
06-12-2006, 00:29
Well people certainly seem to believe in a variety of supreme beings.

so there's some anecdotal evidence then? Interesting.

Why?

Because this universe did come into existence, in my limited understanding of it. Also because it is probable that this is not the only one (again in my limited understanding of the subject)

The maths involved is completely beyond my level but there seems to be a consensus amongst scientists that the universe could have come into being through the working of natural forces.

Again, my understanding differs. I thought the natural forces themselves were forged in the big bang, i.e. after it came into being.

In contrast to the best of my knowledge nobody has ever ever could up with a viable way in which a supreme being capable of creating the universe could come into being through the working of natural forces.

Well asking anyone to come up with a mechanism by which the supreme being itself could spontaneously emerge through the workings of natural forces, resident only in a universe it is yet to create, is a pretty tall order - you must admit.

purdyamos
06-12-2006, 00:41
Its because you need to have some degree of selectivity - if ANY evidence EVER came along for ANY supernatural activity I would be interested.

However - the list of supernatiral beliefs is very long - unicorns, ghosts, tarot cards, UFO's, crop circles, ESP, crystal twiddling etc - that is in addition to the approximate 2,500 gods "formally" worshipped in human history.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Being a "Freethinker" is having an open mind, but not having an open mind to the degree where your brain falls out

(I forget who said that first)[/

Dr Joan Borysenko (I didn't know that either, but felt duty bound to look it up!)

plekhanov
06-12-2006, 00:55
so there's some anecdotal evidence then? Interesting.
Surely you are aware that there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from theists the world over claiming to have personal experience of a variety of supreme beings.

Because this universe did come into existence, in my limited understanding of it. Also because it is probable that this is not the only one (again in my limited understanding of the subject)
And why should any of that lead you to think there's a supreme being?

Again, my understanding differs. I thought the natural forces themselves were forged in the big bang, i.e. after it came into being.
That doesn't mean that the big bang itself wasn't a natural event.

Well asking anyone to come up with a mechanism by which the supreme being itself could spontaneously emerge through the workings of natural forces, resident only in a universe it is yet to create, is a pretty tall order - you must admit.
That's rather my point, we know the natural workings of the universe can create very complex things like us from the simplest of beginnings through a process of evolution through natural selection. In contrast we are aware of no way in which a necessarily extraordinarily complex 'supreme being' both willing and able to create the universe could have come into existence.

Mr Goose
06-12-2006, 08:07
Again, my understanding differs. I thought the natural forces themselves were forged in the big bang, i.e. after it came into being.
.


I often mention this book - but here is the full title

"Coming of Age in the Milky Way"
Timothy Ferris

Its about the development of ideas of what the universe is, "Aristotle to the Big Bang". While its a pop science book, it is no light read. But, it is really well written.. and it makes the best attempts I have read to explain how quantum stuff, Einstien, Hawkings etc all fit together..

After reading it - you must have a level of brainwashing faith to believe in the NEED for supernatural agents!

(There is quite a good chapter on Darwin as well, but it is a little light,and obv written by a non bioligist)

Mr Space Goose

Heeley tyke
16-04-2007, 01:00
Hagardriley said,
"Typhoo may have put the 'T' in Britain, but I'm having doubts about what they put in Saturday."

Or. for that matter, what they put in Scunthorpe, Penistone or Derwentwater!!!

Wayneo 1
24-03-2011, 09:06
Hi,

A few years ago I went to work for a family of Plymouth Brethren at Their business at rotherham. I was basically employed to run a simple computer system for them as they, themselves could not use computers. I aslo worked in their warehouse.

To us outsiders, there ways do seem rather odd and maybe a little intimidating, they kept their belifs to themselves and didnt at any time push their belifs on you. but in all honesty, i found them to be very nice people to work for. I remember starting their a few weeks before xmas and had just been made redundant, to my surprise they gave me a £200 binus ontop of my wage.

They are also very much family oriented people and look after eachother as well as people who they are associated with.

Obviously not speaking for the entire movement but the Bretren that I met were fantsatic.

Darth Vader
24-03-2011, 13:32
To be honest, I don't think I've ever heard of them, until just seeing this thread you revived.

Other people seem to say similar things about the 'brethren' being good to work with.

I was interested that one poster said you can see all the women in Tesco and Sainsburys Abbeydale and can immediately identify them, as easily as a woman in a burqha. Are these the women and girls I've seen, wearing white head coverings, usually with long dark hair in Tesco?

carosio
24-03-2011, 13:49
Presumably the appearance of God on earth would cause the Humanist Society to disband?

He did, in the guise of Jesus, as most Christians believe.

mj.scuba
24-03-2011, 13:57
To be honest, I don't think I've ever heard of them, until just seeing this thread you revived.

Other people seem to say similar things about the 'brethren' being good to work with.

I was interested that one poster said you can see all the women in Tesco and Sainsburys Abbeydale and can immediately identify them, as easily as a woman in a burqha. Are these the women and girls I've seen, wearing white head coverings, usually with long dark hair in Tesco?

No that was just the meat counter :hihi:

Phanerothyme
24-03-2011, 14:02
He did, in the guise of Jesus, as most Christians believe.

I think you'll find that the Humanist society was formed slightly less than two thousand years after that alleged event. So I doubt they were in a position to disband.

Darth Vader
24-03-2011, 14:42
No that was just the meat counter :hihi:

:hihi::hihi: Very drole.

Phanerothyme
24-03-2011, 16:08
I often mention this book - but here is the full title

"Coming of Age in the Milky Way"
Timothy Ferris

Its about the development of ideas of what the universe is, "Aristotle to the Big Bang". While its a pop science book, it is no light read. But, it is really well written.. and it makes the best attempts I have read to explain how quantum stuff, Einstien, Hawkings etc all fit together..

After reading it - you must have a level of brainwashing faith to believe in the NEED for supernatural agents!

(There is quite a good chapter on Darwin as well, but it is a little light,and obv written by a non bioligist)

Mr Space Goose

My preferred tome on the subject is "The Road to Reality" by Roger Penrose.

Kit Walker
12-11-2012, 09:32
If anyone is still interested, I am familiar. I've met quite a few and they're great people. They do now use computers and mobile phones (strictly for business only) because it is impossible to conduct modern business without them. TV is entertainment, so they will never allow that. They have a website now to answer any questions you may have: plymouthbrethrenchristianchurch(dot)org
(I can't add a url, because this is my first post, so add a dot where it is needed.)

Regardless of what people may say about it, not having television or radio or entertainment is not detrimental to a good life. What it does mean is that they are generally very talented and have multiple skills because they do not spend time simply being entertained by movies or radio and actually learn to do things themselves, for instance playing musical instruments, and there appears to not be any addiction to video games! Who can say that's not a big bonus? Also generally intelligent as to any kind of academic subject.

They are all pretty well informed on major developments in the world, such as elections and conflicts, but as for any kind of celebrity news or such, no interest.

If you're looking for any other info, the website I mentioned above has it all and there is a place where you can send a message or question and have it replied to. In general, they are very friendly and do not mind any kind of questioning, so if you have a question, go ahead and ask.