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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) have my cats. Let me live me life

with me babies. We'll let you know

what happens. For years they've

hidden in the shadows traumatised

by their experiences and fearing

repricals if they spoke out. But

now those ordinary Australians who

have managed to escape a religious

cult have found a united voice -

one they've taken all the way to

Canberra. Their intention is

control and money and power. If you

knew that ahead of time would you

never join or walk in the front

door. These are the people who have

escaped the undescribable. Ex-cult

members or those whose loved ones

were torn from their grass - grasp.

You have probably been brainwashed

into doing what you're told and

feel that you're the one in the

wrong. Now they have come together

in an Australian first, demanding

an end to lives being thrown into

turmoil in the name of religious

freedom. No matter what the name of

the cult, former members tell the

same story of mind control,

loyaltyy tests and complete and

utter subservence to the cause.

More and more are coming forward to

tell their stories. They say it's

now time for our political leaders

to listen as well. They want them

held account. The churches made

rich off the backs of their devoted

breath ren. And fight for those

without a voice who upped and left

their families with virtualy no

notice and haven't returned. John

convened this gathering, born into

the Exclusive Brethren where he

spent his first 36 years. We do not

support the human rights abuse

which the behaviour of cults leads

to. So many stories, like Helen's.

This type of abuse has been going

on secretly, undercover for decades.

Helen is an ex-member of Brisbane

Christian Fellowship, thrown out

and cut off from two children and

three grandchildren for more than a

decade. Her husband Graham remains

a church elder. I know of women who

have had their husbands read the

owedom ter reading of the car in

the morning and read the odometer

reading in the night to find out

does the milage of the car match

the story with where that woman has

said she has been that day. This is Christian Fellowship's leader,

victor Hall. Are you a cult? It's

not just the Fellowship but other

movements that ex-members say

operate in a similar way in which parishionerers pay the highest

price of all and outSeiders are not

tolerated. Get off the property.

What is left - those left behind

are often in hisry. They have

turned her against her own family,

causing her to believe her family

are Satanists. Her family - she was

convinced that she had multiple

personalitys, even encouraging her

to write like a child. Her drawings,

husband and six-year-old son were

left behind when she walked out the

door three years ago. What I would

say to these people is: if you call

yourself Christians, the proof is

in the pudding. You have robbed a

beautiful lady of her family, son,

of her name, and that to me is evil.

Lyne and Fred bar net lost a

daughter. She just came home one

day and said, "I'm going to

medication classes." How long ago

was that? This was in 1994-5. Not a

high profile religion like some.

But like every other secretive

organisation that preys on

followers cults like to operate in

dark corners under the radar away

from public scrutiny. They hate the

word "cult". At least those who

have escaped the clutches of

whatever cult it is they have fled

have had the courage to put their

names and faces to their stories.

We're not against any kind of

freedom of religion or association.

What we would say is there is

conduct that society says

transgresss a boundary and it's

damaging. Now they are marching on

Canberra, demanding changes to laws

they say destroy lives, to spare

others what they have already been

through. They're not accountable to

anyone. They're not accountable to

the government. This ehave no

controlling group. When they abuse

you they getaway Scott free. If

they can harm the families in our

nation, then they are harming the

fabric of our nation. Those at