"Brainwash" sect enlists Elgar for its Prom debut

The Daily Telegraph (London)/May 31, 1994
By Damian Thompson
Religious Affairs Correspondent

The Royal Albert Hall was filled with the sound of Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory yesterday as Britain's most controversial Christian sect staged its version of the Last Night of the Proms.

Two thousand members of the London Church of Christ, which is banned from several universities after allegations of brainwashing, sang an arrangement of Elgar's anthem, renamed Lord of Hope and Glory, in a morale-boosting exercise to prepare the ground for a recruitment campaign this summer.

Leaders of the sect were greeted with ecstatic whoops as they boasted of their success in hiring Britain's most celebrated concert hall, which seats 4,000, for their "Harvest for the World" celebration.

However, yesterday's event was not an unqualified success. The audience, swelled by the odd Bank Holiday tourist persuaded to come in for a "free concert" was no bigger than that at the most poorly-attended Prom.

Outside, meanwhile, former members of the Church regaled onlookers with tales of broken families and brainwashing techniques.

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