Anonymous – You can’t trust them
I am a man who grew up in Gloriavale. Growing up you were always told that Gloriavale was a safe place to live and the best place to raise your kids.
Out in the world there was drugs, alcohol, girls were getting pregnant in early teens and in school. They would say, “This doesn’t happen here. This is the best place. Why would you ever want to raise your kids out there?”
As you got older and saw more and more lies about the place, but there’s even some stuff you never even thought was true. I was beaten at a young age by a relative who had been told by a Shepherd to meet out punishment, and he give me a hiding for a wrongdoing.
You might be shocked that the same relative would, a generation later, be so brainwashed by now, because of what the leaders have taught, that he would drop charges against a person who has physically and allegedly sexually abused a young toddler.
He thinks it’s his choice to not press charges. But is it? He’s been taught his whole life never go to outsider authorities and now the psychological pressure of going against the Church of God, and everything he’s been taught, is stopping him bringing the person to justice through the proper channels of law. We wouldn’t think twice about it.
The offenders mother brushed it of as “just a thing boys do”. The offender is related to leaders in the church (which offers him protection). The offender has not been dealt with through the proper channels.
You would never know this if you went there for a week or a month. Or even a year. There are things about the place that many people who have lived there for years will never know. But there are people who know. The leaders are the ones who knew.
The leaders are also the people who are the primary source of information for the people living in Gloriavale. Any information of how the outside world works comes from them. They know nothing else and that is who they believe unquestionably. But the people have never been told the truth by the leaders, about the extent of sexual abuse that has gone on, and the cover-ups. These leaders are who the people trust for all their information and daily needs.
It took a privately-funded court case (Employment Court) for a leader to even admit that offending had occurred at Gloriavale – even though he denied knowing anything about any sexual offending prior. This is a blatant lie. They knew so much and never did anything lawful about it, because they believe they are a law unto themselves.
Even when pressed about offending they showed no remorse or admission of their role and cover-up of sexual offenders.
The reason for this is because they don’t care about people. They care about money. It takes a court case which could devastate them financially to even respond to complaints and issues. Through public channels they have issued a charade of public apologies, while never confessing or owning any wrong-doing, or even reaching out to people whose lives they have harmed.
The only reason is money…
I’ve heard promises of change growing up, and nothing has happened unless the leaders saw financial benefit. They will say all the right words to make you believe them, and to make you think they are changing.
As you near the end of this, seeing what you have read, would you ever trust someone who has known about offences for decades and denied knowing about them?
These are the leaders who are asking you to trust them, that they are the ones who will bring about change.
I grew up with them for more than 2 decades, and from what I have experienced I would never trust them. I would trust a politician more.
So why are Government Agencies trusting them?