If Nicky Hager's The Hollow Men was your holiday reading, you may be wondering what might have happened had National won the General Election; having invested over a million dollars in their party of choice, what would the Exclusive Brethren have demanded in return?
An indication of what might have been comes from Australia. The Age has discovered that the Brethren met Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock last year, asking him to amend the Family Law Act to suit their purposes, so that a parent who left the Brethren would have no access rights to the children. The Brethren also wanted parenting plans, which normally are arranged after separation to ensure that parents have equal access, to become legally binding agreements that could be used to deny access in the event of a divorce. Fortunately, Mr Ruddock was not moved by the Brethren's pleas. Senator Bob Brown of the Green Party is demanding a Senate enquiry into the Brethren's activities. Watch this space.
The Age has also revealed that Bruce Hales, the Elect Vessel, threatened a 12 year-old girl that she would lose her mother if she saw her father. He also objected to the girl wearing jeans. Readers may remember the case of Vincent Field, the Nelson teenager who was removed from his parents by the Brethren. The Elect Vessel took a close interest in this matter as well, apparently promising that the Lord would arrange for the parents to be killed in a car accident.
Meanwhile The Age also reports that Brethren schools in Australia are reaping a harvest of Government money, as well as raising money through a chain of tyre stores.