Escaping Utopia

Escaping Utopia

Opinion piece: Liz Gregory.

(Thoughts, opinions and views expressed here belong to Liz Gregory and may or may not represent the views of all leavers, current members or the Trust).

Escaping Utopia is on the lips of everyone I’ve met this week. My guess is half of New Zealand will be tuning in to watch Sunday/Monday/Tuesday nights this week. TV One, 8:30pm.

Is the word “Escape” too dramatic? Many Gloriavale leavers use this word to describe their urgency in leaving. Other use fled, expelled, squeezed out, excluded, thrown out, withdrew and left. All say it was a difficult decision to make. Desperation v Salvation. What a choice to make.

This three-part docu-series tells the bigger story of the early days of Springbank/Gloriavale. Was it ever a utopia? What attracted people to join? What went wrong? Why do people leave? How do people leave? What now?

There are some stories that haven’t been told before. I will say no more.

But I will let you in on one little secret. We helped connect a man with the Warner Brothers film crew while he was still living in Gloriavale. He now lives outside with his family. What was his journey out of Gloriavale like?

Tune in to find out…

Huge thanks to the Warner Brothers team. They were brilliant to work with. Sensitive, unassuming, flexible. It’s not an easy subject matter, but they have produced something incredible.