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A Conference about Cults
in New Zealand

The narrative is changing. For many years there has only been silence. There has been disconnection and shame. Only some people's stories have been heard. There has not been the freedom for open discourse which brings about change.

 

In 2021 the story of the Centrepoint children opened up. First an award receiving TVNZ documentary, then a 12 part award-winning deep dive investigative podcast series, then a home-grown kiwi radio show busting open myths about cults. What is coming next?

 

A conversation has started within this generation, who are asking for their experiences to be acknowledged, and heard. Many in this generation are opening the lid on what has historically been shameful and hidden. 

A ground swell is rising up and the people who can change things are starting to listen. If you were impacted by Centrepoint, or you were affected by another New Zealand cult, or you live in New Zealand now and you want it to be a place which is harder to grow a cult like Centrepoint, here is your chance to be part of a change.

DECULT Conference, 19-20 October 2024, Christchurch

DECULT is the brain child of journalist and author Anke Richter, who discovered in her ten years of cult journalism, the woeful lack of resources and supports in New Zealand for people in cults and those who have left in one. In addition, she noted the national tolerance for harmful groups, the tax laws that support them, and the lack of understanding and advocacy within the New Zealand social support services and governmental policy landscape.

DECULT grew out of her work with stakeholders across New Zealand, and internationally. Through these connections she noted the huge impacts on a person's life when they do not get the support they need, and the complete inaction in this area by politicians who could fund service development. DECULT is being developed by a large team of passionate advocates - many who are survivors - and their networks across New Zealand.

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Enjoy a weekend with authors and educators, academics and counsellors, survivors and their advocates as they share their expertise and personal stories. Decult is for anyone interested in spirituality, religion or personal growth who wants to engage in respectful discussion to broaden their knowledge – especially health professionals and frontline services helping cult victims. Decult is for people who recognise the harm and wish to be part of a growing network of people who see the need for change.

How does recruitment work, what are the signs of coercive control, how can people get out, and how can they recover?

Regardless of your background, faith or belief system, consider if attending Decult might be something for you. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of harmful dynamics in cult-like groups and how to support cult leavers better. This thought-provoking event will be a forum for those who left their communities to connect with others and feel heard and seen.

 

People who have been affected by Centrepoint will benefit from Decult, through learning about coercive control dynamics, meet people from other groups, learn about the impacts of cults on children, and the challenges of recovery. Come to Decult to hear from international experts on this topic, and some of the key activists in New Zealand dedicated to changing the social landscapes which allow cults to flourish in New Zealand.

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