In Australia too, the media hate fundamentalist Christians

Lots of private religious schools get government subsidies. It is the Australian system -- going back to the days of Bob Menzies. But just one small set of private schools is singled out for criticism below -- the Brethren schools. And Rudd hates the Brethren because they supported his opposition. All the major churches supported Rudd

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.

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. [Many such bureaucratic bungles have happened with government schools too] Grants data released by the commonwealth shows that Brethren schools in every state received funding under the $12.4 billion schools stimulus package, The Australian reports.

Despite the Brethren's past disdain for computers, figures show its schools have received more than 300 under the commonwealth computers-in-school initiative.

Brethren schools have also secured grants under the Schools Pride program. All up, the 2400 children in Brethren schools will each receive the equivalent of $26,127 in recurrent funding and $11,200 in stimulus funding.

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. "The Government has said it will review schools funding this year. That review needs to be begin as a matter of urgency to allow for a proper public debate on where school funding should be directed and for what purpose."

The Brethren is a fundamentalist Christian sect that lives by the doctrine of separation from mainstream society. Brethren schools must teach the normal curriculum, although reports say some novels are banned and chapters on sex and reproduction are excised from science textbooks. Brethren members are taught to shun broader society. They do not use TV, radios and do not watch movies or eat in restaurants. They do not vote, are opposed to unions and other forms of association, except their own church. [There have always been Protestants with similar views -- e.g. Scotland's "Wee Frees" and the historic Puritans of Britain and America. And some famous Catholic monastic orders were doing it even before the Protestants came along. It is a perfectly defensible version of Christianity, even if it is not fashionable these days. Check John 15:19; James 4:4; John 18:36, for instance]

The Brethren has been accused by former members, and the Prime Minister in his 2007 comments, of denying those who leave access to their children, a claim the organisation denies.

Doug Burgess, the head of the Brethren's Victorian schools, said its schools were growing rapidly and the funding reflected that. He defended the sect's right to school funding, saying the children would otherwise be enrolled in state schools at full taxpayers' expense.


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here


  1. This takes me back to the media campaign prior to our election in 2005. The E.B's donated to National as they were (naturally and logically) opposed to the green f/w's and Labour.

    In its turn, Labour introduced the draconian Electoral Finance Act which helped guarantee its defeat at the next election. See...

  2. Leftist news media couldn't give a shit about schools slated for closure having new halls built, or schools having to knock down existing buildings so they can put up new ones. But... give them a Exclusive Brethren angle and they wet their pants.

    Of course the real story here is Krunt calling the EB a sect. His leftist-rallying pronouncements are all mounting up... All we need now is for the media to hold him to account. Yeah right...

  3. They can whine all they want to, but it's their boy in power and yes, fat chance of the slimestream media holding their precious kevvie to account.


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