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Exclusive Brethren
Bob Brown 'vilified' Exclusive Brethren
August 27, 2008

THE Exclusive Brethren has accused Australian Greens leader Bob Brown of vilifying its church and members.

Senator Brown yesterday urged the Upper House to conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the activities of the Exclusive Brethren sect, saying it had prevented thousands of young Australians proceeding to tertiary education.

But Exclusive Brethren spokesman Daniel Hales said Senator Brown's attempt to refer the church to the Senate's community affairs committee was based on a "fictional account" of the group's activities.

"Senator Brown's remarks in the Senate were characterised by many factual inaccuracies," Mr Hales said in a statement.

The Greens leader suggested the inquiry should examine $10 million in government payments to five Exclusive Brethren schools throughout Australia, even though they had a total of just 2000 students.

Brethren schools received funding in the same way as other non-government schools, Mr Hales said.

"Church members, their businesses and schools are subject to exactly the same regulations, laws and scrutiny by government agencies, tribunals and courts as other Australian individuals, businesses and schools.

"We obey the law scrupulously."

The Brethren called on Senator Brown to stop vilifying the church and it members.

The sect was embroiled in controversy before last year's federal election, when it was alleged it was campaigning for then-environment minister Malcolm Turnbull in his marginal seat of Wentworth in Sydney's east.

Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.
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