Elitism, bitterness and stash: The Exiles exposed

‘Wealth and Friends: Why choose?’

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In a bizarre imitation falling far short of the Bullingdon, there is a group who call themselves The Exiles at Durham.

When they’re not watching Riot Club, dreaming of smashing up restaurants with the Bullingdon boys, the secret organisation claim to control night clubs and flash black and gold business cards emblazoned with classic quotes like: “Nobody apologises after sex as good as I do.”

First exposed in 2012, the group at Josephine Butler college, who act under the auspices of various sporting groups, can now be detailed.

Members anonymously told The Tab that they “controlled the night clubs in Durham,” while a Butler student claimed The Exiles were only open to those with rich parents and a private-education, or a “good breeding.”

Josephine Butler, founded in just 2006, attracts the most amount of state educated students of main campus Durham. The Exiles, however, come from some of the grandest schools in the country including Dulwich, Sherborne, Oundle and Eton.

An alumni member explained the group’s name to The Tab: “They applied to the Bailey, and mostly Hatfield, and were exiled to Butler.”

Indeed their group’s motto WHBNWL is on their very own business cards. It means ‘Without Home But Not Without Love,’ although Exiles strongly deny that meaning, suggesting that the acronym remains a secret.

The Exiles claim to their friends: “We began by founding the sporting clubs in Butler,” despite membership no longer hinging on being part of the college’s First ARFC. Last year the team was reduced in sporting prowess, only dominating the Darts C Team.

New members are selected based on background. A letter is posted through fresher’s private letter boxes after The Exiles confirm that they’ve attended a first rate school.

“They add you to Facebook chats so you can see the shit they’ve said about other freshers,” a first year told The Tab. He continued: “Its just like Mean Girls, they want you to know exactly what they think about people in the college.”

Apparent lists of ‘cool’ and ‘uncool’ are supposedly circulated to members before a formal letter is sent out.

Modelled on Oxbridge dining societies, but without personality or prestige, The Exiles are the most obvious “secret” society in Durham. The group mirrors The Tab exposure of another such group at Castle, called Only Cool People Allowed. Their activities included photographing other freshers and sending the photos to rate their attractiveness.

The Exiles are meant to be well connected and well suited. A Butler third-year told The Tab: “They have stash from some fancy tailor. They have everything from slippers, cricket caps and a striped blazer.

“They also wear odd-socks when they go on the lash to show who they are, but also because it show how disjointed they are away from the Bailey.”

Embarrassingly, the group founded around their collective rejection, they have a  chat up line used extensively on the uni’s skiing trip, Palatinalps. Going up to girls, The Exiles often ask “Do you know how wealthy I am?”

In comparison to the PM’s actions during his student days, The Exiles have fallen way short. No reports suggest illegality, nor have any local establishments reported the place being trashed by stripy blazer wearing Butler students.

The group welcome ex-members back twice a year to strengthen Exile links. Yet despite being  petulant and a membership based on old schools, The Exiles are dull.

One member posted on Instagram that Charles Kuralt, the famed journalist, was not an Exile. They claimed that choosing between friendship and wealth identified Charles “as clearly not an exile.”

Rich, wealthy and popular The Exiles are actually simply a bunch of rich kids who need a club to feel better about their own bitterness.

Members of The Exiles and Butler college were contacted but no one was available for comment.