'Please leave': Gloriavale leader confronted over expelled member

A man who was shunned by Gloriavale after being exposed to materials presenting an alternative view of God is bringing the fundamentalist Christian community's charitable status into question.

But Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian is refusing to answer to John Ready's allegations.

"It's not our life - we don't do that. We're not interested in gossip. We're not interested in the media," he said, before Newshub was ordered to get off the property.

"Please leave," another member of the community said.

Patrick Gower is asked to leave Gloriavale.
Patrick Gower is asked to leave Gloriavale. Photo credit: Newshub.

John Ready's story comes after Newshub revealed Christian groups had been sending 'Night Raiders' into Gloriavale to covertly drop the materials off under the cover of night.

And while Mr Ready was one of those who was pushed after reading the alternative Gospel message, it has come at a huge cost to him.

He explains that he has now been sacked from his job, shunned from his community and separated from his family.

"This is what I'm fighting for," he said, pointing to a photo of his family. "These are all my children - seven girls, two boys."

Nine children - and his wife Purity, who Mr Ready describes as "stunningly beautiful".

John Ready and his wife Purity.
John Ready and his wife Purity. Photo credit: Supplied

The family have been apart since John Ready was forced out of Gloriavale on Christmas Eve last year.

John Ready fell out with Gloriavale's leaders after his views on God changed, thanks to religious material sneaked into the compound at night by missionary night raiders.

He was caught with what Gloriavale calls "contraband" - a pamphlet presenting a different interpretation of the Gospel message - and, he says, sacked from his job as manager of one of its dairy farms.

"I got fired from my job in a Christian Community for having Christian material," he told Newshub.

Now working and living on the outside, he questions his treatment. Still, he continued to challenge Gloriavale about God - and the pamphlet.

"[I was] saying 'Hey, it's the Gospel of Jesus Christ, what's the problem?' It's not like it is a girly magazine."

The leaders - called Shepherds - began a process to expel him, punishing him at one point by putting him out of Gloriavale and into a different house.

"I was shunned. They put me there, it's in isolation, no contact with family, no contact with anyone in Gloriavale," Mr Ready said.

The Shepherds made the ultimate threat, telling him that if he was to carry on that way, he would have to leave the community altogether.

But John Ready refused to back down, and refused to leave Gloriavale.

"And so yeah, they excommunicated me," he explained.

John Ready.
John Ready. Photo credit: Newshub.

That meant a vote by all 153 partners in Gloriavale - all the adults. It was unanimous - and included his wife Purity.

"She signed her name to that. I completely understand the pressure," he said. "When people are forced to do things, I can't blame them."

John Ready was also formally expelled from the business partnership - a first for Gloriavale.

After 40 years in Gloriavale, working for 24 years since he was 16, he was given a $1000 tax 'gift' - "dirty money" he gave away immediately.

'Please leave': Gloriavale leader confronted over expelled member
'Please leave': Gloriavale leader confronted over expelled member

Since being founded by Hopeful Christian in 1969, Gloriavale has seen no end of controversy. It currently has about 90 families - a total of 550 people - at its compound at Haupiri on the West Coast.

John Ready's story raises serious questions about Gloriavale. The way he says he has been sacked, shunned, expelled and separated from his family show potential breaches of employment law, and his human rights.

And then there are real issues with how it fits with Gloriavale's status as a tax-free charity.

"The way I lost my job, and the way I'm unable to meet with my wife and the children is not charitable - and I call their charitable status into question," he said.

"I'll never give up trying, and Gloriavale should know that I'm up for that - they should know I’m long-haul, in for the long game."

John Ready, ready to take on Gloriavale.


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