Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has been threatened with “eternal damnation” by Exclusive Brethren sect members if he proceeds with a parliamentary inquiry into their activities.
Three Melbourne representatives of the religious group met Senator Brown at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday to lobby against his move for a Senate inquiry.
Senator Brown last month called for the inquiry into the group’s political actions, describing them as a “shadowy right-wing religious sect”.
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This followed a political campaign by the group against the Greens in the recent Tasmanian election — targeting the party’s stance on issues such as homosexuality and same-sex marriages.
Senator Brown said the warning of eternal damnation was made during the meeting in relation to the party’s policies on those issues.
“They warned me that, in advocating our policies, that was where I was headed if I didn’t change course,” he said yesterday.
“They are hostile to the Greens supporting equality for same-sex couples for marriage.
“They thought we should stick with the environment.”
However, Senator Brown said he would proceed with the Green bid for a Senate inquiry, saying it was needed as the group had “invested heavily in politics”.
The motion will be debated next Wednesday.