All about the Exclusive Brethren sect

The Age, Australia/September 19, 2006

  • An offshoot of the Plymouth Brethren formed in 1830s.
  • World leader is Bruce Hales, an office equipment supplier.
  • 40,000 members worldwide, about 18,000 in Australia.
  • Members meet in rooms, not churches. They are allowed no public entertainment, novels, university attendance, wearing of shorts, mobile phones, voting or contraception.
  • A no-computer rule has been modified recently, with computers now allowed if they are leased from Mr Hales' office supply business.
  • Rule-breaking leads to excommunication, the loss of contact with all family members and the loss of business networks.
  • Have spent an unknown amount on the 2004 Australian federal election campaign; ($US530,000 — $A704,400) on the George Bush re-election campaign, and an unknown sum on the 2006 Tasmanian election.

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