Cult documentary will help provide resources for survivors

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Donations for a documentary on Australasia’s first cult awareness conference in Christchurch this year have reached more than half of the directors’ target in just two days.

Christchurch film-makers Robyn Jordaan and Caleb MacDonald are crowdfunding to create a documentary about the Decult 2024 Conference at Tūranga Central Library in October.

The conference will be a gathering of international cult experts, cult survivors, advocates and activists to raise awareness of cults and the harm they cause, and will cover groups such as Gloriavale, the Exclusive Brethren and Destiny Church.

Jordaan said the purpose of the documentary was to create a resource that could long outlive the conference.

The 20- to 30-minute film would include interviews with speakers including authors, educators, counsellors, academics and survivors sharing their expertise and personal stories, she said.

“It is our hope that audiences will view the short documentary and not only see how the conference came together, but also gain a deeper understanding of harmful dynamics in cult-like groups, how to prevent them, and how to support cult leavers better.”

Jordaan got involved after meeting Decult conference director Anke Richter and reading her book, Cult Trip, about coercion and high-control groups.

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