Title: Pamphletgate and the Nats Credit: Craig Young Comment Saturday 10th September 2005 - 12:00pm1126310400 Article: 903 Rights
What are the implications of the disclosure that the Exclusive Brethren are the source of anti-Green and anti-Labour pamphlets? The Exclusive Brethren have attracted controversy in New Zealand and the United States for their authoritarian male dominated leadership and membership. Ironically, for a 'family values' outfit, they've been slammed for breaking up families and marriages between members and ex-members. They campaigned for George W.Bush at last year's US Presidential Election, and against Canadian same-sex marriage laws in July 2005. According to Wikipedia, they're also supporters of the 'homeschooling' movement. Is it a coincidence that Palmerston North homeschoolers Craig and Barbara Smith run "Family Integrity" (a pro-belting group opposed to Section 59 Repeal) and "Christian News," which backs all three fundamentalist parties? Furthermore, in April 2002, current United Future List MP Bernie Ogilvy attended a North Shore (Akld) homeschoolers conference on 'worldviews.' National may not be officially involved with these pamphlets, but who stands to benefit in the event that people believe these lies and half-truths about Labour and the Greens...? Just as seriously, the Exclusive Brethren believe in the imminence of the end of the world and Second Coming, supposedly to be accomplished through use of nuclear weapons, so they'd probably also support opponents of our country's antinuclear legislation. On TVNZ's Breakfast, ex-Nat President Michelle Boag vacuously compared these anonymous Exclusive Brethren pamphlets to Council of Trade Union and PSA pro-union pamphlets that supported centre-left parties. At least they have their organisational affiliation on those pamphlets, unlike the Exclusive Brethren anti-left ones. Why isn't it against electoral law to do this, and shouldn't it be? Exactly why should a right-wing American fundamentalist sect be allowed to get away with subverting our country's domestic policies? Only the most craven gay Tory apparatchik would still consider voting for National after revelations about its extremist Exclusive Brethren liaisons. We now discover that National parliamentary leaders and candidates have met sect members and found common ground against LGBT rights. This right-wing sect has targeted LGBT communities in one "Concerned Christians" pamphlet, alleging that Labour intends to introduce inclusive adoption law reform, transgender rights legislation and hate speech bans after any election victory. This isn't the first time they've done this either. Earlier this year, they similarly attacked Canadian same-sex marriage legislation. According to the current sect leader, Bruce Hales, the end of the world would be near if George W.Bush and Australia's John Howard weren't re-elected. This raises some disquieting questions about whether or not these hardcore fundamentalists are trying to sabotage our nuclear-free legislation...because they believe in divine sanction for the use of nuclear weapons in the Middle East? They may be providing personnel support for National alone, but it is not enough for the party to point at Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, the PSA and Council of Trade Unions and state that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. At least those interest groups are honest about their organisational affiliations, while the Exclusive Brethren aren't, or about their ultimate objectives. Or perhaps, about whether or not wealthy US funding sources are directing money toward them for this campaign? This may not be illegal under electoral law, buit shouldn't it be? If I were the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, I'd put a stop to this through requiring compulsory disclosure of organisational affiliation on any future campaign materials after this election is over. As for National, one only hopes that it will experience a well-deserved backlash. And as for their Exclusive Brethren mates, they should remember the old adage, 'turnabout is fair play.' Recommended Reading: Wikipedia: Exclusive Brethren BBC Religious Affairs: Brethren BBC News: Sect Leaves Psychiatric Problems (20.05.00) Books: David Barrett: The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions: Cassell: London: 2001. Ngaire Thomas: Behind Closed Doors: A Startling Story of Exclusive Brethren Life: Auckland: Random House: 2005. Official EB Website: Ex-EB Website: Queer Day: 19.07.05: EB Involved in Canadian Anti-SSM Campaign. Craig Young - 10th September 2005    
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