Exclusive Brethren A Current Affair – Plymouth Brethren Response
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
REBUTTAL OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST BRETHREN
ON AUSTRALIAN TV CHANNEL 9
A CURRENT AFFAIR, 6 MAY 2014
|1.||ACA claim of trying to contact the Brethren for this report.||Despite at least 3 requests, the reporter Ben McCormack did not return calls from the Brethren.|
|2.||Pictures of candles and music with religious overtones.||Images and sounds were not of the Brethren. This was a digital mock-up and is both false and misleading.|
|3.||Rapid Relief Team is the secretive sect known as the Exclusive Brethren.||The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church was clearly associated with the RRT team in the images displayed. There is nothing secretive about it.|
|4.||The RRT testimonials and images.||These speak for themselves and clearly demonstrate community benefit.RRT is a public benevolent institution.|
|5.||‘Very expensive public relations company’||Wells Haslem is not “a very expensive PR company”. They have provided advice on a very infrequent basis.|
|6.||Peter Flynn.||Peter Flynn left the church voluntarily in March 1970 and has not made any contact since that time. His false claims are without foundation and made in circumstances where he has had nothing to do with the Church for over 40 years.|
|7.||“Working the tax system and milking Centrelink for every cent they can”.||These are totally false allegations – such behaviour has never been condoned by the Brethren.|
|8.||Mr Hales receiving millions in tax free donations every year.||Another totally false allegation.|
|9.||Michael Bachelard – “He’s even written a book about the Brethren.”||His book published in 2008 contains many lies, falsehoods and factual distortions. A detailed rebuttal was communicated to Mr Bachelard and his publishers at that time.|
|10.||Mr Hales owning Brethren School properties.||This allegation is false. Every school property is owned by a charitable entity. No title deed of any school property infers ownership either directly or indirectly by Mr Hales.These facts are readily available in the public domain and were obviously not checked by Ben McCormack.|
|11.||Central office monitoring of the Exclusive Brethren||
Another total falsehood.Internet filters are required for protection from pornographic and other corrupt images and content. A large proportion of the general population would have similar filters in their homes and businesses.
Parental control is practised.
|12.||Monitoring of Brethren businesses.||Each business has their own accountant and Mr Hales has no access whatsoever to the financial records of any business.|
|13.||“Brethren buy and sell to each other……”||
All Brethren businesses deal with non-Brethren customers and suppliers in the course of carrying on their activities and any interaction with other Brethren businesses is minimal.Many non-Brethren are employed by Brethren businesses.
Home and business loans are normally provided by financial institutions.
|14.||Family Trusts and Brethren Businesses||
An unsubstantiated claim that “each Brethren business is run by a family trust” and makes only tax free distributions to families. This is completely false.The Income Tax Act does not permit family trusts to retain profits in a tax free form nor pay school fees via trust distributions.
Diagrams shown are purely hypothetical.
|15.||Centrelink welfare payments and our youth.||Young people in the Brethren community stay home until they are married. They do not get married until they have regular employment income.The vast majority of youth amongst the Brethren are gainfully employed and do not get government welfare benefits.|
|16.||Government grants to schools.||Annual audits by registered non-brethren auditors are undertaken to substantiate government grants to schools. The socio-economic band is used by the government to calculate the quantum of the grant. All PBCC schools are funded under the Federal Government funding model.|
|17.||Tertiary Education.||Many Brethren undertake tertiary and university education by correspondence after they complete their Year 12 studies.|
|18.||Schools laundering money.||All schools have an annual audit submitted to the regulator and taxation audits have never revealed any anomalies or substandard practice.|
|19.||“The Exclusive Brethren pay little or no tax…”||This is false. Brethren pay taxes in exactly the same ways and at the same rates as non-brethren members of the wider community.|
|20.||“…don’t hesitate to excommunicate…”||Over the past 20 years there have been less than 1% of persons excommunicated from the PBCC church in Australia. It is clearly a very rare occurrence that only takes place in exceptional circumstances.|
© Copyright Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) Christian Church Ltd 2014
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