ABC News reports…
“Former New South Wales Upper House MP, Reverend Gordon Moyes, has died in Sydney after a life working for social justice.
The 76-year-old evangelist, broadcaster and politician died on Easter Sunday.
Dr Moyes served for 27 years as the head of the Wesley Mission in Sydney and was elected to the Upper House for the Christian Democratic Party in 2002.
His son David Moyes said he was a loving father who had a passion to help the poor and marginalised.
“He helped set up retirement villages for the elderly, centres for the homeless, but also homes for kids who were orphaned,” he said.
“He worked tirelessly both at Wesley Mission, but also as a politician to really help to bring hope to those who didn’t have much hope.”
Wesley Mission chief executive Reverend Keith Garner has paid tribute to his predecessor.
Reverend Garner said Dr Moyes would have wanted to be remembered primarily as a preacher.
He said Dr Moyes’ beliefs were central to his work for the poor and marginalised during the years he headed the Wesley Mission.
“Certainly there are lots of people who have real cause to be thankful for Gordon and the fact that [he] died on Easter Day has a powerful Christian message too – that’s what really sustained him,” he said.”
Gordon Moyes wrote in 2009…
“It is my opinion that The Christian Democratic Party, founded and directed by Rev Fred Nile, is taking on the characteristics of groupies following a cultic leader.
Characteristics of a political religious cult include:
1. A religious political cult claims to be in conformity with Biblical truth, yet deviates from it.
Cults adhere to doctrines which are contrary to orthodox Christianity and which yet claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources.
Fred’s self declared macro policies of “Anti Muslim and Anti Gay” are not supported by any major Christian denomination. In fact all mainstream Christian church bodies and councils, including the conservative NSW Council of Churches and the Baptist Union of Australia, believe the policies not to be Christian.
Fred has long decried all the mainstream denominations because he belongs to a narrow extremist fundamentalist group, whose beliefs are not accepted by Biblical scholars and orthodox Christian theologians. But in recent days, he has responded to groups in society with whom he disagrees in a way that encourages social disintegration by attracting those people who are racist and antagonist to others to support him.
2. A religious political cult leader indoctrinates members with unorthodox or extremist views, practices or beliefs attracting around himself devoted attachment and encouraging that by constant reaffirming of his own leadership.
This makes for a personality cult. Most cults of personality have their origins in the excessive adulation even to claims of miracles performed or endorsed by the leadership.
Fred in his speeches to the party faithful frequently refers to the fact that he is God’s chosen, and that his election to Parliament was a miracle on every occasion of his re-election. Read his biography and see how frequently his elections are described as miraculous. The word “miraculous” occurs dozens of times. This is a claim for divine favouritism.
Others might argue his election, even with declining numbers was due to other factors, such as over a million dollars spent from Party funds to ensure his elections, political deals to receive preferences, and sheer hard work recruiting people to man the polling booths and hand out “how to Vote” cards.
But not Fred. It was a miracle of God, which is then used to indicate to the faithful that he really is the chosen one of God, who has affirmed it by miracles. Gullible people are taken in by this constant repetition. Most thinking people realise the shallowness of this and leave.
3. A religious political cult leader gathers a group of followers, sect members, who enforce excessive control over other members.
A group with extreme or dangerous philosophical or political ideas ensures there is a maximum adherence to the group-think. As this progresses, every person with the capacity to distinguish between the legitimate and the cultish leaves the party.
Not one single person promoted by the party in the last twenty-five years as a lead candidate for Upper House or Senate elections, (save Mrs. Nile) is still involved in his party. There is a suppression by the refusal to allow open discussion and dissent of the ability of people to reason, think critically, and make choices in their own best interest. So the most competent of members leave. Thus there is no threat to Fred’s leadership.
A cult leader ensures no discussion of policy or his voting record is allowed. I have tabled requests for matters facing Parliament to be discussed by CDP Management Committee and State Council , but they are always ruled out of order by the Chairman, who is Fred. Confidential emails to Management Committee members requesting issues be discussed, are publicly rejected by Fred who then accuses me of disloyalty for questioning his decisions. He prints his replies, but not my questions, which were only ever shared by me with Management Committee members. Hence he seeks to control the discussion.
A cult leader puts people in physically or emotionally distressing situations about issues. The references to those who leave as being unfaithful or heretical places pressure on those who remain to conform. I name later a dozen who have left recently.
4. A religious political cult leader reduces the problems of members to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasised.
For example, if anyone lists the six worst social problems facing Australia, they will be shown how all of them lead back to the fact that the Government has allowed Islamic immigration, and those Muslims have changed the pristine Christian society we used to have. The fact that this never existed in the European history of our country does not matter. Simple answers to complex problems are constantly repeated like a mantra until they are believed uncritically.
5. A religious political cult leader attracts numbers of socially disadvantaged people, people with poor education and those lacking social skills.
They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader. This impresses them greatly. They get a new identity based on the group.
They are subject to entrapment (told to avoid the opinions of friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture), and told to listen to the Leader instead. Their access to information is severely controlled. Full reports and financial statements, differing views of policies are never given or sent to all members but limited to the inner group to limit questions being asked.
One has only to compare the names of people who used to attend CDP State Council with those who do today to realise that many of the competent, able Christian laymen and women, including almost all of the business and professional people no longer attend State Council meetings or Branch meetings. The CDP now has a higher percentage of socially disadvantaged people and people with poor education than ever before.
The remaining members are given additional revelation on a similar or higher level than the Bible. Fred’s use of “God told me…” is a claim for authority that dare not be challenged. Fred’s often repeated statement “God has not told me to resign” is not only a state about his future, but about his direct line of revelation. Inner circle followers have stated that to challenge Fred’s views on political matters is to challenge God Himself and to seek discussion on matters is to defy Fred’s leadership that is contrary to scripture that declares we should obey the Government. There is a sliding focus from “the Government” to “our leader” and the terms are used interchangeably.
A cult leader’s practise is to seek endorsement from others of like mind. The Christian Democratic Party promotes and the endorses the widely criticised self-styled prophet Danny Nalliah who recently described Victoria’s bush fires on the Victorian Government’s decision to liberalise abortion laws.
Such a cult holds beliefs and/or practices that are not held by mainstream Christianity. Social ills are commonly blamed on lesbians and same sex couples or Muslims, despite a total lack of evidence for these claims. Gathering together such a support group is exactly the reason for Fred’s starting “Australia a Christian Nation Association”, an attack group on Islamic Australians.
6. A religious political cult leader is mostly far-right in his ideology.
The CDP hates more than anything the political success of the Greens. They are described as atheists and communists. These views have hardened since the takeover of the CDP at the 2008 national convention, by a group of former Liberal Party right wing extremists, some of whom were expelled by the Liberals. Extremist views are regarded as normal and the socially disadvantaged seem comforted by these views.
7. A religious political cult leader makes it difficult for dissatisfied people to leave a cult.
There are two usual methods of exiting: most attend a branch or State Council meeting a few times and then just silently never return (these are “walkaways”). The CDP membership has been in significant decline for years resulting in the current financial crisis. But others are expelled (these are “castaways”).
This is done simply by a letter from Fred. For example, John Phillips, a full time volunteer in our CDP Office and an elected member of the Management Committee was removed by Nile for disloyalty for standing up for three office staff that made harassment charges against former Liberal Michael Darby. They had all indicated they would resign if Darby was given access to their Office. Nile dismissed the harassment charge and spoke to each staff member indicating they should drop the charge. All three have since left the employment of the CDP.
Phillips was rejected because he supported a proper investigation of the harassment charges. In Management Committee meetings Phillips was never allowed to say anything as the chairman, Fred, said he did not recognize John. John was then issued with a letter from Fred, asking him to leave the CDP. He had done no wrong except for questioning lack of a proper investigation into staff charges of harassment.
Fred has ceased to issue such letters personally. He has had to pay out so many tens of thousands of dollars over the years to people threatening legal action so now he gets some elderly pensioner to write the letter and say it is on behalf of a dozen faceless non-entities that comprise the Management Committee. He hopes no one will sue such people. Fred is at the meeting and authorizes such steps to be taken, but he is never mentioned as being involved.
In spite of the CDP supposedly being a Christian organisation, there is constant talk of threats, harassment, lawsuits and attacks against critics. This results in people being silenced and quietly leaving. Not only does Fred not allow any criticism about himself but he does not allow any discussion about his views.
When people leave, it can be difficult for some members who may suffer psychological trauma. Paid staff who have walked away or been sacked in the past year include Phil Lamb as a full time State Director, Ben Carpentier (Office Manager – full-time), Peta Wilson (3 days per week admin), Nancy Piggot (1 day per week bookkeeping) Andrew Amos (IT on contract), Toby Anderson (Microsoft Access programmer) on contract, Jeanette Nolan (full-time Young CDP), Ken Gregory (assistant treasurer). Today none of those employees are left. It was only a matter of two months before the newly appointed State Manager/Director Wally Vanderpoll, left work on extended stress leave. Most left with bitterness and disillusionment toward the Leader and CDP.
Some former employees I have counselled faced the trauma of walking away. This is due to the fact that some were conditioned, as in every cult. They had originally a powerful religious conviction that they were doing God’s work; a love for the founder of the organisation until deep despair set in about him, an emotional investment built up by the number of times they had to defend the founder from attacks; a sudden realization that all of their time, money, and efforts donated to the group were a waste; and because for a long time they had stifled the conviction they should leave because they realized that some things were wrong.
Many people have asked me why I have not left the CDP. I stayed because I hoped to change it from within. I presented the Management Committee with a Refresh Agenda that would revitalise the party. The Chairman refused to put any of the matters on the Agenda for discussion.
A friend counselled me: “You cannot remain in the CDP vainly trying to renew it. It’s like standing on a sinking ship telling people to get off. Those that do have nowhere safe to go and those that stay will go down with it. It’s better to beckon from a life raft, than yell from the ship.”
I will remain a Christian Democrat affiliated with other such parties in more than twenty countries around the world. I will not belong to the extremist right wing faction, called “The Fred Nile Group”. The Christian Democratic Party, even at elections, is now referred to as “The Fred Nile Group” – no longer a Party, but simply an extremist faction.
I will stay in Parliament until the end of my term. Another political Party is considering me as their NSW political leader. I would have state wide support if I agree to lead them into the next election when they propose having candidates in every electorate. They have been successful in attracting large financial support. As well as that, I have been promised a major party’s preferences ahead of the CDP.
Rev Fred Nile carefully composed the Constitution of the Christian Democratic Party that includes the fact that Rev Fred Nile remains President for life or until he recommends his own replacement. As President, and Chairman of every committee, he controls the agenda. In no way can this be described as democratic.
Christian churches and members should be warned what the changes made within the Party mean. It is no longer Christian (as it has been rejected by every Christian denomination as holding views that are not considered Christian); no longer Democratic as it is obviously a dictatorship, and no longer a Party, but rather groupies following a cultic leader.
Rev The Hon. Dr Gordon Moyes, A.C., M.L.C.