RNZ – ‘The truth is it is dark’ – Gloriavale workers begin Employment Court trial
RNZ – 29/08/2022
A former Gloriavale member has told the Employment Court she would work until she fell asleep as a teenager in the closed Christian community.
Today marked the beginning of a five-week hearing before chief judge Christina Inglis in Christchurch, where 49 witnesses will provide evidence.
Serenity Pilgrim alongside Anna Courage, Rose Standtrue, Crystal Loyal, Pearl Valor and Virginia Courage are arguing their years of domestic work in the sect was as employees, rather than as volunteers.
Gloriavale’s leaders deny the claims that the women were employees or were under the absolute control of the Shepherds.
Serenity Pilgrim was the first of the plaintiffs to provide evidence, and said she had no life outside of work as a teenager.
“It was work or get told off,” she said.
“Half the time I didn’t eat proper meals because I had to work.”