The disturbing story of the ruthless exercise of power in a New Zealand religious cult.
Charismatic, driven and self-righteous, Neville Cooper set up his own brand of Christian utopia on earth: a reclusive community on the West Coast of New Zealand. For the 400 inhabitants of Gloriavale, his word is law – despite his 1995 conviction for sexual abuse.
His son Phil Cooper, as headstrong as his father, had to escape. But Phil’s wife Sandy was bound to the will of Neville and his brand of eternal salvation. And so began the monumental tug-of-war between father and son: a son who wanted to give his children a chance in the world.
This is a true story of power and control, of abductions and night raids, of hearts broken and those trying to mend. It’s also the story of the long shadow cast by the unyielding vision of one man, and the hope and resolve of one family to restore its shattered past.