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Review: NZ, A Nation Under Seige - A Destiny Expose!
By Chris Banks
29th June 2005 - 12:00 pm

Review: New Zealand, A Nation Under Seige - An Expose!
Dir: Unknown, for Destiny NZ/Church
New Zealand, 2005,
DVD, 30 mins

This giveaway gem, in which everyone's favourite Chri$tian pa$tor (and now self-appointed bi$hop) Brian Tamaki plays against type in the role of an investigative journalist, is surprisingly dull and low on entertainment value compared to his previous outings as a fire-and-brimstone merchant.

There's nothing here to rival his disturbing leer in Homosexuality, Religion and God when he talked about Jesus watching us all have sex.

Intrepid media rottweilers like Mike Valintine and Amanda Millar have nothing to fear from Tamaki's latest career move – this DVD is 60 Minutes done on a budget of sixty cents, with cheap graphics, cheaper music, and a laughably stilted performance from Tamaki that at times resembles the public service announcements from South Park.

Appearing before us in an immaculate suit, in front of a wall of family photos and an ornate Sunday Theatre-style leather armchair, Brian begins by telling us he has some "very important factual information" to impart. The nation is in a state of emergency, he says, just like the Asian tsunami.

With a blink rate that goes off the scale, Brian proceeds to tell us that he's narrowed the reasons for this disaster down to four categories, one of which is the Radical Homosexual Agenda. Brian blames gays and lesbians for just about everything: prostitution, under-age sex, "special rights" for transsexuals, hate speech, even abortion!

But civil unions, or "the fastest same-sex marriage law in the world" as Brian likes to put it, comes in for special breathless mention. "It was not that long ago we had an image of two male MPs kissing on national television," Brian exclaims, almost licking his lips. "Who could ever forget that?"

We're then treated to footage of the Civil Union Bill after-party, with gays and lesbians celebrating the passage of (almost) equal rights. "Our Parliament became the party room for the gay community, that celebrated the passing of the Civil Union Bill into the late hours," says Brian, rather innacurately.

From there on, it degenerates into unintelligible Maxim Institute-style mush that is bound to go right over the heads of even the most rabid Destiny fans: watch as Brian tries to explain concepts like "philosophical pluralism" when he himself has trouble even pronouncing it.

Heading for rock bottom, Brian attempts to make a show reel for the Holmes programme by interviewing a couple of kids in their mid-teens about the homosexual agenda. We don't get to see their faces, presumably to allow for easy editing and doctoring of the interview, but that doesn't matter – we do get to see Brian's face, his reactions, and it is clear that he is absolutely fascinated by the material he is unearthing. What can you tell us about the homosexual agenda from your school experiences, he asks the kids, "just to be helpful"?

Unfortunately, it's hardly earth-shattering stuff that gets uncovered. All the kids can come up with is a teacher who wrote up a helpline number on the blackboard and told them if they thought they might be gay or lesbian, there was a number they could call. "So you're saying your teacher gave you numbers to a gay helpline?" he exclaims, wide-eyed.

But wait, there's more! During another classroom talk on tolerance, students were asked to imagine they were heterosexual in a world where everyone else was homosexual and how that might make them feel. "So you were being told to imagine you were heterosexual and everyone else was a homosexual and that you were a minority? In class? In a school in this country?"

Even when Brian tries to get off the Radical Homosexual Agenda and onto his other three topics, he doesn't really let up on gays and lesbians – in the A Government Gone Evil section Brian singles out only those MPs who voted for civil unions.

In a wonderful moment of irony, pictures of Ron Mark, Brian Donnelly, Pansy Wong, Ashraf Choudhary, Georgina Beyer, Tim Barnett, Sue Bradford, Don Brash, and Helen Clark are flashed up as examples of the "great number of MPs who have discarded Christian values in favour of... me-ism and the cult of self."

Even Peter Dunne is condemned, for supporting the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in 1985.

In The Media – A Modern Day Witchcraft, Brian rips into chief censor Bill Hastings, a "self-confessed" gay man. "This man is responsible for allowing explicit sexual and violent content of the worst kind into our country, including films that depict brutal murders and rapes."

Hastings even gets blamed for media that he has no jurisdiction over: "Have you noticed how perverted state-owned television has become over the years? The homosexual content of programming has intensified and is even emerging on child cartoons," says Brian, who like his watchdog predecessor Graham Capill, is obviously keeping a keen tally of gay content on telly.

Delving into Ian Wishart territory briefly, Brian continues: "I have also become aware of the strong homosexual and liberal representation at every level through media in our country. Much of this is because of a secular liberal government. The news is broadcast from this mindset."

Finally, in The Retreat of Religion in New Zealand (which, bizarrely, is accompanied by a graphic of lesbian Presbyterian minister Margaret Mayman), Brian baits the Electoral Commission by switching into full-blown campaign mode, endorsing Destiny NZ as the "only one viable vehicle for the Christian and conservative voter". While he insists that Destiny NZ is not a Destiny Church party, a graphic along the bottom of the screen gives us the party's contact details.

"I'm going to be brutally honest - the only place Christians can express their concerns, is at the polls," he says. "If anybody is going to make the rules, surely it ought to be the people of God... Would you rather the decisions affecting your family were made based on God, or the homosexual agenda?"

The relentless scapegoating of the gay and lesbian community that occurs throughout the DVD is beyond obsessive, but the vehicle in which it is delivered lumbers between being unwatchably boring and train-wreck fascination. But not for the reasons Destiny might wish.

If there is any reason to watch Expose, it's for the subtext. It's probably the best glimpse yet into the psyche of the driven moralist who, with his camp affectations and gay fixation, may simply be working through some personal issues in the grandest, most attention-seeking manner possible. Let's hope that when he's finished, there isn't too damage left in his wake.

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