Tag: Gloriavale

Gloriavale Christian Community is a small religious group in New Zealand. The 500+ members of this reclusive sect claim to live a strict conservative Christian life following a very literal interpretation of the bible.

The group practices and promotes King James-onlyism — an aberrant teaching that considers the King James Version to be the only legitimate English-language Bible version.

In reality the group is a cult, both theologically and sociologically. Theologically it is a cult of Christianity. Sociologically it has cult-like practices based largely on its incorrect interpretations of the Bible.

Outsiders sometimes refer to the group as the Cooperites, after Neville Cooper, who founded the group in 1969 because he kept disagreeing with — and moving on from — various churches he and his growing family attended.

Members of his group refer to themselves only as Christians. They say they do not believe that only those who are part of their group are saved, but ex-members claim otherwise.

Gloriavale Christian Community has attracted controversy through, among other things, the 1994 conviction of Neville Cooper (also known as Hopeful Christian) on sexual assault charges.

Cooper was jailed for almost a year, and convicted on the testimony of his son, Phil Cooper, and some young women who had fled the compound.

At his father’s trial, Phil Cooper testified about the man’s obsessive control over the sex lives of his followers — with Neville going as far as ‘becoming involved in their intimate situations.’

Former members say that hundreds of people have left the group since its early days, including several large families in the past few years. However, with no birth control, the population is said to be still flourishing. Children make up half the population at the commune.

Though isolated, Gloriavale operates a number of multi-million dollar businesses, the most prominent of which is dairying.

Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult

Inside New Zealand Cult-like groups are on the rise in New Zealand. Now the two-part Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult documentary uncovers what really goes on inside these often controversial groups.

The two-part documentary consists of ex-believers’ stories, and investigates the similarities they say exist between groups including the Exclusive Brethren, Scientology, Centrepoint, Gloriavale, Avatar and the International Church of Christ.

Father tells of rescuing kids from New Zealand’s Gloriavale cult

Gloriavale For hundreds of people living in a cut-off community called Gloriavale on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Neville Cooper speaks the word of God.

For his son Phil, Neville Cooper was a controlling, manipulative, sexual deviant who set out to dominate every aspect of his life – from who he could marry to what he named his children.

Phil Cooper has told his story in a book, Sins of the Father, which has been released recently.