Gloriavale members can’t necessarily exercise right to freedom of religion, Faithful Pilgrim says
by Jean Edwards | RNZ |
Former Gloriavale Christian School principal Faithful Pilgrim has told a court the community’s leaders do not rule like tyrants, before breaking down over his relationship with a son who has left the sect.
Pilgrim, who was a Shepherd until his resignation last May, also claimed that members could not necessarily exercise their right to religious freedom at the commune.
His granddaughter Serenity Pilgrim is one of six former Gloriavale women who say they lived in slave-like conditions and are seeking an Employment Court ruling they were employees, not volunteers.
Faithful Pilgrim told the hearing Gloriavale’s Overseeing Shepherd Howard Temple did not have unfettered power and the community’s Shepherds and Servants were not “yes men” seeking personal power or glory.
“The plaintiffs have claimed that the Shepherds at Gloriavale have absolute power and control over the community and are in effect tyrants. That is not true,” he said.