Crikey
and The Age have been lone players on this amazing story (although The Oz gave it a great shake back in the 1990’s)
about JB Were’s connection to the expulsion of 15 members of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in
Camberwell for allegedly running The Fellowship, a cult-like operation.

However, an ABC crew has been spotted down at the church and we hear the resulting story will be going to air on The 7.30 Report
tonight. The big question is whether Aunty will have the guts to name
the doyen of JB Were, Bruce Teele, as the The Fellowship’s leader since
1996.

I’ve wimped it over the past three Tuesdays, deciding not to push this
story in the regular ABC radio spots in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.
This is partly due to concern about the word “cult” and all that it
implies. As one correspondent to Crikey writes:

The use of the term “cult” is totally unfair in the context of Bruce
Teele, or the Trinity Presbyterian Church. Even the beliefs that they
are “alleged” to hold, that are not orthodoxly Presbyterian, are held by
a large portion of the Christian church, including mainline
congregations with a charismatic bent and the Assemblies of God.

However, more information is coming in about connections between The
Fellowship and Melbourne’s business elite, as another subscriber writes:

With regards Bruce Teele and the fellowship you should also
check out the late 80s/early 1990s group called Australia 2000. This
was an informal and much denied group of companies that sought to
bolster each others registers during the glory days of Holmes a Court,
Spalvins, Adler, Bond, Skase and Brierley.

Teele and JB Were were the co-ordinators of all the very secret
activity by this grouping. Their activity was never fully disclosed and was kept
as secret as the activities of The Fellowship. I think many of the
directors of the Australia 2000 companies are closely associated with JB Were and
some also with The Fellowship.

Another subscriber writes:

Bruce Teele is a very old friend of my parents, dating back
to St Hilary’s in the 1950s. Bruce is indeed a part of the cult and is
more than likely one of its key leaders. My parents had enjoyed a long
and warm friendship with Bruce until about 1996 when he wrote and cut
ties with them. This was around the time that a number of The
Fellowship members left the churches they had been involved in and
joined forces at Trinity Presbyterian in Camberwell.

Meanwhile, we still wait for the rarely independent Murdoch press to
weigh in on this story which is damaging for News Corp’s house broker
Goldman Sachs-JB Were and revolves around the very church where
Rupert’s father, Sir Keith Murdoch, grew up in the manse.

Check out this religion news blog for more insights on this extraordinary story, which clearly has a long way to play out.

Peter Fray

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