June 07, 2006

"Exclusive Brethren"

Australia's own Skull & Bones style fraternity?

UPDATE: Ironicaly, this bizarre little Christian cult wont let members vote but they are active in politics around the world. From their Wikpedia entry:
EBs have eschewed the politics of secular society. They do not vote, even in countries which have compulsory voting. However, in 2004 the EBs held prayer meetings and donated money for the re-election of George W. Bush as President of the United States. In this they aligned themselves with the "religious right" of that country. A committee formed by EBs in Florida raised $530,000 for the re-election of Bush and of United States Senator Mel Martinez of Florida. $377,262 of this amount came from a single donor, Bruce Hazell, from England. The committee raised none of the money in Florida, according to a report filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

In the 2004 Australian election the Exclusive Brethren were linked to advertisements campaigning for the re-election of John Howard.

In the 18 months leading up to the 2005 New Zealand General Election, a group of EB met with and lobbied many members of Parliament, particularly MPs of the centre-right National Party but also including the parliamentary leaders of the centre-right New Zealand First and United Future parties and the right wing ACT party. Late in the election campaign they spent approximately NZ$500,000 producing and distributing to letter boxes at least eight pamphlets attacking the policies of the socially liberal and left-wing Labour and Green parties. Though not mentioning the National Party, the wording and colour of the pamphlets hinted at support for National. The leaflets appealed for the election of a "government that would prosper the country economically and govern in a morally upright way". The pamphlets caused some controversy and seven EB held a press conference in front of television cameras to explain themselves.

In March 2006, members of EB placed advertisements and distributed leaflets attacking the Tasmanian Greens in the Tasmanian state election.


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