OverviewBased 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.
Reviews“Shocking and compelling; an eye-opening account of power and cruelty in a tiny Christian sect that enjoys a privileged existence in Australia.” —David Marr, Sydney Morning Herald
Author BiographyMichael Bachelard is a journalist for The Sunday Age and a former reporter for The Australian. He is a recipient of a Jefferson Fellowship in journalism and a Quill award for best news report in print. He is the author of The Great Land Grab.