The nutty anti-science, anti-women’s rights, homophobic, Luddite-like sect that secretly spent a million dollars trying to get National into power in 2005, the Exclusive Brethren, is back in the news. This time for the practices at their schools, which receive millions in government funding.
First there’s the “teachers must disclose their “personal circumstances”, forgo union membership and agree that evolution is a falsehood. ”
Funnily enough, it’s perfectly legal to not hire a teacher who acknowledges that evolution is a valid scientific theory – there’s an exception under the Human Rights Act. Isn’t that nuts? There’s a specific exception in the law to allow the bigoted to pass on their ignorance to their children. More than that, insulate their children from the enlightenment that education can offer when parents can’t.
The Employment Relations Act, section 8 says: “A contract, agreement, or other arrangement between persons must not require a person (b) to cease to be a member of a union or a particular union; or (c) not to become a member of a union or a particular union” but apparently there’s an exception in some other law that allows the Exclusive Brethren to ban workers in any of their businesses from unions. That seems like a draconian restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of association to me and should be changed.
The law even allows the Exclusive Brethren to not hire gay teachers, or people having relationships outside of marriage. See, if you or I did that it would be illegal but if you dress you’re bigotry up as religion, it’s fine and dandy.
The lengths the cult goes to in an effort to keep their children ignorant is astounding. Everything is censored. Books in school libraries have pages torn out and passages blacked out.
A former teacher describes how the rulers of the sect kept an eye on the teachers (the teachers are nearly all ‘worldies’, non-sect members, because the Exclusive Brethren are too uneducated to teach themselves):
“They would pull you up on anything they found, and children were encouraged to tell if we said anything considered improper. Anything they remotely considered immoral was vetoed. You couldn’t get anywhere with requests for material … they don’t want students thinking too much.”
Ignorance is strength. All conservative movements realise they need to restrict knowledge and debate to prevent change.