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Brethren's pamphlet first used in Australia

11 September 2005

Brethren's pamphlet first used in Australia

It defies belief that the 'Green Delusion' pamphlet did not originate overseas, as one of the Exclusive Brethren 'Secret Seven' is claiming, because it is virtually identical to anti-Green propaganda distributed in Australia before last October election there, Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says.

Exclusive Brethren businessman Greg Mason has said in today's Herald on Sunday that the 'Green Delusion' pamphlets published by him and others here "were created from scratch, without overseas inspiration".

The New Zealand Greens have obtained a copy of an anonymous leaflet circulated in Tasmania that aimed to undermine Australian Green Senate candidate Christine Milne. Like the pamphlet circulated here, the front panel also features 'Beware' with a forest in the background; the centre spread is also headed up 'The Green Delusion'; the lay-out and type face are identical; and the thrust of the content is the same, with some of the text being identical.

The most significant difference is that the "Howard Government" is specifically endorsed in a panel that is the same colour as the rest of the flyer, whereas as the equivalent section here is in blue and uses a National slogan without specifically naming the party.

"Greg Mason's claim that his pamphlet was created 'from scratch, without overseas inspiration' defies belief," Mr Donald says.

"Given the similarities between the two pieces of anti-Green propaganda, they either came from the same overseas source, or this is a case of divine intervention.

"Despite the Exclusive Brethren's claim that they are solely responsible for the lies and half-truths contained in the 'Green Delusion' flyer, this coincidence is far from miraculous.

"The Australian flyer confirms our original suspicion that we are victims of an imported dirty tricks campaign. Who is really behind these pamphlets? What exactly is the Australian connection?"

"As we've repeatedly asserted in the last week, the Greens wholeheartedly defend the right of any New Zealander, including the Exclusive Brethren, to express their views about a party's actual position, but that misrepresenting policies and hiding identities are a threat to the democratic process.

"But most New Zealanders would also be doubly concerned at the prospect of someone trying to manipulate our election campaign from overseas, which is clearly what is happening when anonymous and inaccurate pamphlets circulated at great cost here have been adapted from ones seen in Australia.

"This takes it beyond a smear campaign into something far more sinister. If Mr Mason genuinely believes his pamphlets 'were created from scratch, without overseas inspiration', it raises the possibility that he and his fellow Brethren are puppets in someone else's power game. Who is really pulling the strings here?"


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