The Rudd Government is handing more than $70 million to schools run by the Exclusive Brethren, a religious sect Kevin Rudd described as an “extremist cult” that breaks up families.
The sect’s schools have secured more than $8.4m under the Government’s school building stimulus package and they will share in $62m in recurrent taxpayer funding.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
Documents show a Brethren-run school at Swan Hill in northern Victoria was granted $1.2m for a library and $800,000 for a hall when its most recent annual report shows it had just 16 pupils and already had a library.
Grants data released by the commonwealth shows that Brethren schools in every state received funding under the $12.4 billion schools stimulus package.
Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said these sums were outrageous and the funding system had to be urgently replaced.
“How can the Government justify handing tens of millions of dollars to an organisation it believes is a cult while public schools which educate the vast majority of our children are struggling for funds?” Mr Gavrielatos said.
• Research resources on the Exclusive Brethren
• Exclusive Brethren news tracker and news archive
• What is a cult of Christianity?
• Behind the Exclusive Brethren
Based on more than two years of research, this comprehensive study uncovers the lesser-known facts behind one of history’s most enigmatic and influential Christian sects.
Documenting their emergence onto the Australian political stage in 2004, this investigation shows how the Exclusive Brethren made their presence known through enormous contributions to conservative campaigns, assiduously lobbying politicians and maintaining a close relationship with the prime minister—all without casting a vote themselves.
This examination delves deeper into the group’s past, revealing the Brethren’s 19th-century origins in the United Kingdom, their fractious history, their extraordinary use of scripture to control members and dissidents, and their lucrative business and financial arrangements.
Numerous questions are explored, such as What exactly was their interest in politics? Why did their activism suddenly blossom almost simultaneously across the world? and How did a group whose values are detached from those of most Australians infiltrate the highest office in the land?
A fascinating tale of power exercised across several continents, this is also a moving story of damaged lives, broken families, and anger that stretches back decades.