RecapsAugust 10, 2015

Gloriavale: Ten Ungodly Thoughts From During the Life and Death Gloriavale Documentary


Alex Casey watches the Gloriavale: Life and Death special on TV2, a documentary from the gated Christian community where the bonnets are bleached, the women have 12 kids and the male elders know all. 

Last night we were welcomed back into the utopian arms of Gloriavale: Life and Death, far away from the sexual and physical abuse allegations that have been buried deep under the ground in a homespun, shared coffin with the skeleton of Campbell Live. I remember the Campbell confrontation between an ex-member and her father, as he looked at her blankly beyond the Gloriavale gates and said he had no love for her. That shaky camera, hot mic revelation was nothing like last night’s sunny documentary, but all coverage of Gloriavale remains urgent and fascinating. What in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is this place?!

I watched the Life and Death special, as did the rest of the nation, with mouth agape and pen in hand. Here are my spurious thoughts.

1) Heavenly headwear


When I was 11 I had a bucket hat that said “Bad Girl” on it, am I allowed in yet or nah? How about now? Imagine an alt. Gloriavale where people’s names represented what they really were. Hardly Working. Barely Conscious. Always Eatin’.

2) The opposite of skinny dipping

Screenshot 2015-08-10 at 4.09.23 PM

Someone tell Maz Quinn that there is a LOT of irresponsible water safety happening in his quadrant of the globe ffs.

2) Steady goes speeding down the lane

Screenshot 2015-08-10 at 1.39.21 PM

Steady Standtrue is maybe my favourite Gloriavale member, going HAM on his wheelchair and crashing into the heavenly pillars. RIP Sir Standtrue.

3) The Devil’s Greatest Yolk


Serious question: what do they call Devilled Eggs in Gloriavale?

4) Fifty Shades of


Woah, kinky yet clinical.

5) The Resurrection of Steady Standtrue

Screenshot 2015-08-10 at 1.50.24 PM

Cool to have a funeral but be massively blissed out about how God will return to Earth and new bodies will rise from their graves. But do the clothes resurrect as well? I would be very concerned re: zombie wardrobe malfunction. Assuming the well-oiled Gloriavale has a modesty back-up plan for this.

6) Dramatic drone shot making me ponder All Things

Screenshot 2015-08-10 at 1.55.00 PM

That’s where we are all headed folks, have a nice week.

7) Even though they don’t celebrate Halloween…

Screenshot 2015-08-10 at 1.56.50 PM michael

Never mind the hellish amount of backbreaking domestic labour required to sort all this crap out, consider how many places there are in this set-up for Michael Myers to hide?! No thank you.

8) Protein shake picnic on the lawn


Honest Muscles.

9) Hornblower movie night

Live like a Gloriavalian. Hornblower allegedly holds up good Christian values, and it definitely doesn’t sound like a porno at all in the slightest.

10) Pearl’s birthing pool nightmare


Ahh, to take a relaxing visit to the Gloriavale Spa.

Click here to watch the Gloriavale documentaries on TVNZ Ondemand

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Image: Tina Tiller

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