James Jeffrey; 13/1/10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/in-sect-we-trust/story-e6frgdk6-1225818575976
In his report yesterday about government funding of Exclusive Brethren schools, our colleague Rick Wallace referred to the Brethren as a sect – though he also quoted Kevin Rudd’s description of the great ex-communicators as a “dangerous cult”. That was enough for Brethren spokesman John Anderson who, as part of his reaction to the article, was eager to split that particular hair: “There is nothing about our belief systems that remotely resembles a cult. We are comfortable with the far less pejorative term ‘sect’.” This is presumably because even sects are comfortable with ostracising former members and keeping them from their children, not just those nasty cults. We’ll leave off with some earlier words from leader, elect vessel Bruce Hales, who explained why it’s better to stay separate from non-Brethren: “You come in touch with worldly people; if you get a little close to them, you’ll have some sense of defilement.” We believe the feeling is like an old-fashioned building society: entirely mutual.