Family Of 14 Escapes Cult Founded By Sex Offender

A New Zealand family of 14 is working to adjust to life on the outside of the mysterious cult compound where most of them have lived their entire lives.

The Gloriavale Christian Community, which has been described as being even more strict than Westboro Baptist Church, has kept itself separate from the world at large for the past 45 years, requires its members, known as “Cooperites,” to wear uniforms literally all the time and does not allow the use of birth control. Thus, there are a heck of a lot of 14+ person families.

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The really disturbing part of this group, however, is their founder–a man named Neville Cooper, who today goes by the name “Hopeful Christian. In 1994, Neville Cooper was convicted of sexual abuse and spent 11 months in jail. So far, the family hasn’t said anything to indicate that any of them were abused by Cooper, and I hope they haven’t–but pretty much nothing about “cult founded by a man who went to jail for sexual abuse” seems like a positive situation.

Luckily, the family has found respite with some family members who were not a part of the group, and received plenty of donations to help them get back on their feet.

For those of you interested in learning more about the Cooperites, here is a documentary on them that I found on YouTube, which I will definitely be watching myself after I’m done with work today.

[New Zealand Herald]