There are doubts that the report into alleged abuse in Gloriavale will be made public, with the secretive West Coast religious sect having commissioned the report which they are not obligated to make it public.
Gloriavale Leavers Trust manager Liz Gregory said people in Gloriavale had spoken to lawyers Nicholas Davidson QC and Stephanie Grieve, who 1 NEWS revealed exclusively last night had been asked to conduct an independent inquiry.
Davidson and Grieve have been granted unfettered access to the secretive Christian community, following allegations of sexual abuse and mismanagement.
“It’s just a problem when people in there are fearful to talk to them, they thought it might be a set up from the leaders, Gloriavale have paid for this report so there was a little bit of a suspicion about whether they could actually trust the lawyers but I do understand people have [spoken to them],” Gregory said.
“I think that will be of great concern to the people at Gloriavale that this report will cover damning and extremely concerning information so my personal view is the report will be buried. It was privately commissioned, paid for by Gloriavale, they have no responsibility to let it out to the light of day.
“I think they will not want to let this out.”
Gloriavale were motivated to commission the report by a likely appearance at the Royal Commission’s Abuse in Care Inquiry, according to retired Professor of Religious History Peter Lineham.
“I have to ask why they commissioned the report and I presume it has to do with the Royal Commission because they are going to have to face up at some point,” he said.
“There have been people report abuse to the Royal Commission, we’ve seen already the other church leaders forced to show they have made some steps and they’ve taken some actions in order to respond to the reports of abuse there, they can’t do nothing.
“It is high-time government agencies took a more active interest in things going wrong there.”