Saturday, July 01, 2006

Exclusive Brethren expose: Weekend Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald this weekend includes a significant feature on the Exclusive Brethren church's recent political activities in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand. The pattern in each country appears the same:
  • an anonymous group publishes its support for right/conservative politics/politicians in the last few weeks before an election
  • the focus is on homosexuality, environmentalism, and neo-classical economic policy
  • despite media enquiries, the true identity of the group is obscured and not clearly identifiable on the propoganda
  • eventually, the group is identified as being members of the Exclusive Brethren but the church claims no role and the activities are described as being down to individuals.
In Australia, the beneficiaries are the Liberal party and John Howard in particular; the targets were Bob Brown, leader of the Greens, and a gay man. In NZ, it was Brash that received the Exclusive Bretheren's support also at the expense of the Greens.


Meta[+]Analysis said...

Dodgy Dodgy Hypocrites

backin15 said...

Quite. What I find so frustrating is the cloying pretense of innocence and wisdom when really this is simply a cult with an ultra conservative agenda.

Anonymous said...

In my view, the Brethren are immoral. What is holy about slander and hiding behind false identities and non-existent addresses? Whatever happened to christian 'values'?

proud2bkiwi said...

It's hard to say what impact the Brethren had in New Zealand. I think it is possible some "mainstream" voters were turned off National by them.

The smear campagin they ran against the Greens has been seen as a key reason for the drop in the Green party vote, but actually the most likely contributing factor was Winston Peters and Peter Dunne pledging to support the party with the most seats post-election.

Centre-left voters would have wanted to make sure Labour was the biggest party, so would have resisted any temptation to go with the Greens.

As a result of their election antics, Brethren has become almost like a swear word around parliament. Difficult to know just how much that resonates with the public though...

backin15 said...

I have to say I agree that you have to question the morality of at least those involved directly in the production of the material. I simply don't believe their argument that they're trying to stay off the radar - its every citizen's right to engage in politics, but to obscure who you are raises serious questions, in my mind, about your real intent.

p2bk: What makes you say their antics made NZF and UF pledge to support the major party?

proud2bkiwi said...

Sorry. The point I was trying to make, although not very clearly, was that the fall in the Green vote was more to do with UF and NZF pledging to support the biggest party, and not so much to do with the EB smear campaign.

backin15 said...

p2bk: you mean Labour votes were pulled back from the Greens?