Exclusive Brethren

So bloody what? Media party jumps shark in attacking Brethren

Bevan Hurley has jumped the shark this morning, and his former pals at the NZ Herald joined in too, in attacking the Brethren for daring to have Steve Hansen and Willie Apiata speak at one fo their conferences.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata were among top-dollar guest speakers at a controversial $2000-a-day Exclusive Brethren business conference this week.

Hansen told more than 2200 guests about the values of teamwork at the event, named “Game Plan 2016” and held at Auckland’s Vector Arena. The event was organised through an Exclusive Brethren-run business network called the Universal Business Team (UBT) – an expert on the closed and conservative church called the speakers’ involvement “unprecedented”.

The Exclusive Brethren came to prominence in New Zealand in 2005 for secretly trying to influence voters to support the National Party, with an expensive attack campaign against the Greens and Labour. National leader Don Brash resigned from Parliament in 2006 following revelations of his close links with the Brethren, who reportedly spent $1.2m trying to buy the result of the 2005 general election.

Read more »

Answer: a few centimeters

The question:  What is the difference between a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and an Exclusive Breatheren woman wearing a head scarf?

Amy Cronin, misses the point:

“Are you hiding bombs in your skirts?” a stranger yelled from a car window as 12-year-old Radiya Ali walked down a Hamilton street in the mid-2000s. She had arrived to New Zealand as a refugee from Yemen, four years after 9/11 – an innocent among hicks and alarmists who saw young girls wearing the hijab and thought it stood for terrorist.

“Did you steal those curtains you wear?” people hollered at her as they passed. “Why are you wearing sheets on your head?”

Salma Salat came from Kenya 17 years ago, when she was 4.

“I don’t remember it, but my mum found it tough adjusting and raising kids in a time when people were shouting things out from the streets.”

In the days post 9/11, a man approached Salma as she was walking with her sister. She remembers him yelling at them, “terrorists”. She was 7 and didn’t know what it meant.

Radiya and Salma are 21 now, and they are friends. They tell these stories with wide eyes, in the can you believe it way adults recall their traumas from childhood. You won’t find gentler, or stronger, young women. They are innocent in many ways, but they have seen.

Yes, well.  Hamilton.  The culturally sensitive ground zero of the North Island.  And yes, as people, we aren’t too flash at coping with what makes us different.

So that sets the scene for this article, which is utlimately about the hijab. Read more »


Cunliffe tells man seeking assistance – ‘NO DIRT, no help’

by Stephen Cook

Under-fire Labour leader David Cunliffe is in the thick of more controversy – this time accused of refusing to help an Auckland man with a delicate ACC matter unless he agreed to ‘dish the dirt’ on a senior Cabinet minister.

Just weeks after his credibility took a hit after the Donghua Liu affair and the whole ‘I’m sorry for being a man ‘ saga, Cunliffe has now emerged as the central figure in a messy ‘bribery scandal’.

For the past three years former senior RadioWorks executive Mike Rowley has maintained a dignified silence about what he claims was an attempt by Cunliffe to ‘bribe’ him for information about the ‘relationship’ between the Exclusive Brethren and Communications Minister Steven Joyce.

Joyce used to own Radioworks and would often come into contact with Rowley.

Rowley says when he approached Cunliffe three years ago about the role ACC allegedly played in the suicide of a rape victim, the Labour leader indicated he would be willing to look into the case – but for a price.

In return for his help, Rowley would have to ‘dish the dirt’ on Joyce’s relationship with the Exclusive Brethren, the secretive religious group who emerged from obscurity during the  2005 election campaign.

“No dirt, no help. That was the clear message I got,” said Rowley.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

As pressure mounts on the nefarious manipulation of Kim Dotcom pressure will mount for the leftwing to be consistent.

One commenter notes:

A few elections back the left were mortified that a few Exclusive Brethren were trying to have some say in our elections…. where’s that outrage now?

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard in particular made much of strange secretive “chinless scarf wearers” involving themselves in the political process.  Read more »

McCarten thinks John Key cares that a Maori Cult dislike him

Matt McCarten has turned his brain off and written a silly, snarky piece for Herald on Sunday about how unpopular John Key apparently is with the Exclusive Bro-thren’s.

I have called them a cult church and I will repeat it again, they are the Exclusive Bro-thren. Who cares if a bunch of sect Maori like you or not?  They even changed the rules banning women speaking on a Marae when it suited them.  When rules are changed for Metiria Turei to speak you know those extending the pleasure are an extremist bunch of nutters belonging on a list with Destiny Church.

McCarten has gone all whiny again about the sacking of Kate Wilkinson and a guy I have already forgotten. Phil? The guy who John Key  stuck his neck out for before.

Given they only got told about it hours before their dear leader gratuitously humiliated them revealed something ugly in Key’s psychological makeup.  Read more »

Poseur Alert – Turia smacks out Shearer for being a “poser”

Tariana Turia has not taken much time at all to sledge out David Shearer for attempting to cuddle up to the Exclusive Bro-thren aka Ratana.

Labour leader David Shearer has said he will gun for the Maori Party electorate seats next year, exploiting the uncertainty in the party – but co-leader Tariana Turia has retaliated, saying Mr Shearer was a poser and Maori people would see right through him.

…  Read more »

If not the Greens then who? And for what?

Yesterday I was contacted by a Greens spokeperson who categorically denied that the Greens were involved in the sneaky job posted on Seek and Trademe that Keeping Stock highlighted.

I accept their assurances that this isn’t them.

Though it does raise the question as to who it might be and what is the cause that requires so much sneakiness.

Could it be Colin Craig and his campaign against Marriage Equality..or someother anti group associated with that?

Or perhaps a Tobacco company lobbying against plain packaging?

Or even the Exclusive Brethren involving themselves again?

At least they aren’t The Brethren

It’s nice to see that Labour politicians don’t hate all religions.

Local politicians, volunteers and members of the Christchurch chapter of the Church of God have worked together to help tidy up their earthquake-hit community.

Pastor James Kim said yesterday’s event was part of an annual environmental cleanup day, which also aimed to help lift the spirits of residents who had been troubled by the earthquakes.

About 80 volunteers tackled litter, mowed lawns at abandoned homes and cleared silt along New Brighton Rd.

Six local politicians also joined the working bee, which was “really great encouragement and inspiration”, Kim said.

“It’s good to take action, even if it’s just a little step.”

Good on Lianne Dalziel for doing god’s work with some fundies. It is a little different from what she has had to say about the Exclusive Brethren in times past:

Then we had the disgraceful actions of the Exclusive Brethren, which not only sought to discredit the Government of the day, and the Green Party, in targeted brochures that failed…

Green Vandals still at it

There has been more Green party-linked hoarding attacks last night in West Auckland.

Despite being busted and Russel Norman fessing up in the face of the evidence released on this blog they have not stopped.

National should lay complaints formerly with the Police and with the Electoral Commission.

Russel Norman’s executive assistant was donkey deep involved in this she needs to assist Police in identifying all the green operatives behind the continued vandalism.

I wonder too if Parliamentary Services needs to be involved to ascertain that their email servers weren’t used to facilitate this orchestrated, corrdinated nationawide attack on National’s billboards.

The Green party and the media went after the Exclusive Brethren and tracked down the printers and obtained invoices, why are they not doing the same here. Seems they are more interested in whether or not John Banks called Don Brash a “strange fellow” or not.

Meanwhile wanton, organised, expensive vandalism is being perpetrated but 50 or so green aligned activists with little or no media scrutiny.

The Shield of Sanctimony will not Protect the Greens, Ctd

Russel Norman is pleading ignorance of the machinations of his EA. Despite the evidence that this was being planned several months ago.

I wonder though if he isn’t being just a wee bit too sanctimonious in his grovelling.

The stickers used has slogans like “Drill It!”, “Mine it!”, Sell it!”.

Eeerily similar to what Meteria Turei tweeted last week:

[blackbirdpie id=”134151253939851264″]

Russel Norman is using plausible deniability in his excuse making but I’m not sure I believe him.

The Greens got upset in 2005 when the Exclusive Brethren organised and distributed pamphlets. They authorised their pamphlets though. The Greens activists did no such thing. Back in 2005 Don Brash was asked if he knew anything about the campaign, he denied knowing anything.

Has Russel Norman had his Don Brash moment? Is it really believable that he didn’t know anything about this campaign when his executive assistant was front and centre involved in organising this attack on national’s billboards? There were more than 50 activists involved in this. It was on a scale far larger than the Brethren and the 6 or so men involved in that. It isn’t conceivable that senior Greens didn’t know about his.

I think there are many more questions to be answered by the Green party.

I can’t wait until someone tracks down the printer of the stickers and pulls the invoice.