Gloriavale leavers ‘twisted details’ about the commune, member tells court

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A Gloriavale father-of-nine has accused leavers of twisting details about the sect to paint a dark, sensationalised picture of life at the Christian commune.

David Stedfast told an Employment Court hearing members had freedom of choice and denied portraying an idealistic, utopian view of Gloriavale, which has previously apologised for failing to protect victims of labour exploitation and sexual abuse.

He was giving evidence in a case brought by six former Gloriavale women, before former Christian School principal and defendant Faithful Pilgrim took the stand late on Wednesday afternoon.

Stedfast is the son of long-time Shepherd and financial controller Fervant Stedfast and is married to current school principal Rachel Stedfast.

The six women claim they lived in slave-like conditions doing cooking, cleaning, laundry and preparing food under a regime of total control and are seeking a ruling they were Gloriavale employees, not volunteers.

Stedfast told the court Gloriavale members felt vilified because of the actions of a few.

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1 comment

  1. The Gloriavale compound can be seen as an effort to encapsulate members of the community in a socially isolated controlled environment. Milieu control is the primary foundation for thought reform.

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