The world, it seems, has plunged into acute
Brethophobia. In a matter of days a relatively
small and obscure sect have been singled out as
electoral terrorists. (And they probably can’t
even spell ‘Osama’.) These Brethren may be
exclusive, but the media exposure has been
anything but. Media outlets of all shapes are
clambering over eachother for the definitive
headline exposé. Are these people guilty of
closed meetings ? Secret lives? Not voting?
Tyrannical power? Getting rich? Lobbying
politicians? Deceptive campaigning? Fracturing
families? Destroying lives? Most likely. But it’s
been happening in our neighbourhoods for decades
at least. Almost no one noticed, much less cared.
My political sympathies are left of centre. But
this latent moral outrage smacks of insincerity.
The real issue is electoral paranoia by some on
the left. The Brethren’s logic that political
lobbying is fine whilst voting isn’t, is odd
certainly. But some of our best eccentrics are
already in power! If these people want to pour
money into an electoral process in which they
will never participate, whose problem is that?
More worrying is the potential spin-off of
harassment of ordinary Exclusive Brethren folk,
especially distinctively-dressed women. Wouldn’t
happen, you say? Remember Cronulla.