Men kicked out of Gloriavale for using a cellphone, source close to the sect claims

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Men kicked out of Gloriavale for using a cellphone, source close to the sect claims

Post by LadyKiwi » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:38 am

Men kicked out of Gloriavale for using a cellphone, source close to the sect claims

Two men have been thrown out of the Gloriavale Christian Community for using a cellphone, it has been claimed.

The men have been separated from their wives and children who remain in the West Coast community.

A former community member, who did not want to be named, said the men were "psychologically beaten" after being kicked out of the church.

They did not want to be identified or speak to the media yet, he said.

"One guy had a cellphone and the other guy asked him if he could use it so he lent it to him and now they've both been kicked out," he said.

"They are still in a state of shock. It's pretty massive. When I saw them they looked physically smashed."

Some community members, including midwives, are permitted to use cellphones but the man had bought and hidden the cellphone from the leaders, he said.

The leaders at Gloriavale had control over every aspect of its members' lives, down to what where they put their furniture, he said.

They legally could not prevent the men from seeing their children, but they were banished and so were not permitted to enter the remote property.

The children had to be brought out to see the men.

"They get to the older ones so they stop coming," he said.

When contacted, Fervent Steadfast one of the community's leaders, said he had no comment to make about the men.

The Charities Services investigated the community in December 2016. Its report outlined allegations by former Gloriavale members including physical and sexual abuse, forced marriages and forced separation of families and a controlling environment.

The allegations included how leavers would be shunned and prevented from seeing their friends and families who were still inside. They were left with no support or financial means to support themselves or to transition to life outside.

It said members did not have control of their money and senior Gloriavale members operated bank accounts for members, without their knowledge, despite working excessive hours for the community.

Police previously said they were investigating allegations of sexual assault within Gloriavale. The Charities Services investigation found that the senior members were aware of allegations of sexual assault, tried to blame the victims and took insufficient action.

Five women were interviewed who claimed they were victims of sex crimes.

Some also told investigators they were struck and beaten with objects by parents, teachers and elders. They were also denied any choice in education or careers.

Hopeful Christian, who died earlier this year, founded the community. He served 11 months in prison in 1995 on sexual abuse charges.

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