Mar 16, 2016

TV lifestyle star Rosemary Stanton's dark childhood in secretive Exclusive Brethren religious sect

The Daily Telegraph
March 15, 2016


Rosemary Stanton opens up on her childhood in the 'Brethren'
Rosemary Stanton opens up on her childhood in the 'Brethren'
TV nutritionist and lifestyle star Rosemary Stanton has revealed the lasting trauma of growing up in a secretive religious sect, the Exclusive Brethren.

Dr Stanton said that 40 years after escaping she still had trouble looking in the mirror from being told vanity was a sin and being banned to play with other children.

“I had been brought up in this very strict religious sect,” Dr Stanton told A Current Affair.’It’s really wrong to subject children to that.’

She finally fled the sect that had controlled her young life when she was 20, along with her sister and eventually her whole family.

Dr Stanton first came to prominence in 1972 when she was handpicked by Ita Buttrose to write a monthly health and nutrition column in Cleo magazine.

From there she went on to appear on every morning and daytime television program in the country - becoming a household name.

But had it not been for her childhood spent in the Plymouth Christian Brethren Church, more commonly now known as the Exclusive Brethren, she might have become a sport star or doctor instead.

“I had been brought up in this very strict religious sect,” Dr Stanton told A Current Affair.

“You weren’t supposed to go to concerts, you couldn’t be in school plays.”

Growing up, Dr Stanton and her siblings were not allowed to play with other children.

“It was a very exclusive group, we weren’t supposed to have anything to do with other people,” she said.

“We weren’t supposed to read books, we didn’t have make-up, we had to have long hair, we weren’t allowed to wear boys clothes like jeans or long pants or any of those sorts of things.”

The Stanton family did not even own a television.

Like so many others who are different at school, she was bullied. But not just by students.

“We had some teachers who seemed to think that we were these odd strange little religious children and they sort of treated us differently,” she said.

“I felt robbed and cheated. At 17, I was told I couldn’t go to uni. Girls in that sect can’t go to uni in case they’re put in a position above men.’

Eventually, at age 20, she decided it was time to leave the sect that had controlled her life.

“I had made the decision to leave, my sister had made the decision to leave. But when it actually came to the crunch, the whole family decided to leave,” she said.

“To this day, I think anybody who treats a child differently because of their parents’ beliefs needs to take a long hard look at themselves.”

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/tv-lifestyle-star-rosemary-stantons-dark-childhood-in-secretive-exclusive-brethren-religious-sect/news-story/f793e7701714b1d6e0d0154f60298bc7

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