Exclusive Brethren break silence

“No regrets” over political involvement

The Exclusive Brethren have broken their silence on the growing criticism of their involvement in New Zealand politics – and say they have no regrets.

In an open letter to MPs, the sect defended their activity during the 2005 general election and described recent attacks on them as a “vicious smear campaign” waged for political purposes.

The statement said: “No group of New Zealanders, regardless of their colour, race or religious affiliation can tolerate, nor should tolerate, the vilification we have been subjected to from senior members of the government.”

Church members spent more than $1 million on a leaflet campaign before last year’s election. Last week it was revealed they hired private detectives to spy on politicians and their families.

No more contact – Brash

National Party leader, Don Brash, said on Monday he will now have nothing to do with the church after those revelations.

One of seven church members who claimed responsibility for the 2005 leaflet campaign; says he would do the same thing again if it was necessary. Neville Simmons says he is disturbed by the attacks the government is making.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday September 26, 2006.
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