OverviewInvestigating the Exclusive Brethren—an obscure religious sect that burst onto the Australian political stage in 2004—this record details the group’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. Written from the perspective of an investigative reporter, this comprehensive history explores why the Exclusive Brethren contributed financially to election advertising in support of conservative political parties and how their actions resulted in damaged lives and broken families. A fascinating story of influence and power exercised across several continents, this account demonstrates how a small, fringe group infiltrated politics and even befriended then Prime Minister John Howard.
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
“One of the most sober and well-argued exposés I have ever read. . . . Michael Bachelard reveals the Brethren's God as Mammon, their behavior as that of schoolyard bullies, and their Christianity all about self-love.” —Lucy Sussex, Sunday Age
Author BiographyMichael Bachelard is an Australian journalist for the Sunday Age; the author of The Great Land Grab: What Every Australian Should Know About Wik, Mabo, and the Ten-Point Plan; and a recipient of both the Jefferson Fellowship in journalism and the Quill award for best news report in print.