Genocide, people smuggling, corruption and bribery alleged
The Exclusive Brethren is an evil, corrupt cult that tried to silence former members who escaped its clutches, a judge heard today.
Three young Indian sisters, who say they are on the run from the controversial religious group, told Justice Tony North they feared for their lives because they were seeking to expose its criminal activities.
Their spokeswoman Lydia Desai told the judge Prime Minister Kevin Rudd backed down on his attack on the Exclusive Brethren despite calling it an “extremist cult” that broke up families when he was Opposition leader.Exclusive BrethrenMany of the Exclusive Brethren movement’s teachings and practices are abusive to such an extent that this movement can rightly be labeled as an abusive church, and possibly even as a cult of Christianity. The movement certainly does not represent or demonstrate Biblical Christianity.While the group’s members were long not allowed to vote, the cult engaged in political smear campaigns and made financial donations to various politicians and political parties.• Smear campaign points to world-wide trend – academic• The power behind the Brethren• Behind closed doors• A glimpse inside Exclusive Brethren• The Brethren sent us to HellSee also: Abusive ChurchesSee also: Cult of ChristianityResearch resources on the Exlusive BrethrenComments & resources by ReligionNewsBlog.com
Ms Desai, who appeared without a lawyer, said the Brethren had committed a number of national and trans-national crimes but had escaped scrutiny by authorities because of the organisation’s vast wealth.
She cited crimes of genocide, people smuggling, corruption and bribery that had taken place in Australia and India.
Justice North remarked that they appeared to have a deserving case but said that because of the complex legal issues raised they needed to have proper legal representation.
“We don’t have the money for it. They have destroyed us,” Ms Desai told Justice North.
Ms Desai, along with her sisters Rebecca Desai and Priscilla Dsiouza, former members of the sect, have taken unprecedented Federal Court action to try and force the Australian Federal Police to investigate the Exclusive Brethren, saying police have a duty to tackle crime when it is exposed.
The Exclusive Brethren is a worldwide organisation, with 43,000 members. Australian Bruce Hales is its world leader and “Elect Vessel”.
The conservative Christian sect has been extremely controversial in Australia because of allegations it tried to influence politicians despite its members being exempt from voting.
In August, the Senate blocked a wide-ranging inquiry into their activities.
Justice North said there was an important legal issue on whether a court could order the Federal Police to investigate allegations of crime.
He adjourned the case until January 13 next year and made an order that the sisters should have access to free advice from a barrister.
Ms Desai said they had a mountain of evidence for the authorities but she alleged the Exclusive Brethren hierarchy boasted they were untouchable.
“Members of the church are so psychologically damaged that they are not able to come out and talk about it,” she said.