Nayler, James

Nayler, James

Nayler, James, 1617?-1660, English Quaker leader. He served in the parliamentary army during the English civil war. In 1651 he became a Quaker and a disciple of George Fox, but gradually gathered a band of followers about himself. In 1656 he rode into Bristol, his followers crying "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel." Nayler's explanation that his disciples were worshiping the "Christ within him" rather than himself did not prevent a parliamentary trial (1656). He was sentenced to be pilloried, whipped, branded, and imprisoned. Nayler was author of a number of well-written religious pamphlets; his collected works were published in 1716.
The James Nayler Foundation is a registered mental health charity borne out of the publicity surrounding the work of founder and central figure Dr. Bob Johnson during his time as consultant psychiatrist to the Special Unit in Parkhurst Prison. Dr. Johnson's principal idea and the source of much of the controversy was his belief in a cure for personality disorders evolved through a complex talking cure and eschewing psychiatric medications.

The Foundation was started in June 1997 as a non-profit making company, launched with individual donations of approximately £4,000. It was registered as a charity in the following year. Its aims, as registered with the Charities Commission, are as follows:

  • To advance the education of the public in the causes and treatment of Personality and Conduct Disorders.
  • To relieve the need, hardship or distress of persons suffering from Personality and Conduct Disorders, their family and friends and others affected by the behaviour of such persons.

The Foundation is named after Quaker James Nayler.

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