Surviving Centrepoint: My years in New Zealand’s most infamous cult - Rachel C. King
A powerful survivor's memoir from a former child resident of New Zealand's infamous Centrepoint Community
Shortly before I turned 13, my life changed forever when my family moved to the notorious Centrepoint Community on Auckland's North Shore, then at its peak. Centrepoint was founded by Bert Potter, its 'spiritual leader'. He called himself God. During my four years there I was pressured into inappropriate and often frightening situations by many of its adult members. Like so many others, I have lived with the trauma and shame of these memories, but I have survived. This is my story.
In this intimate and harrowing account, Rachel C. King tells her story of the years she spent in New Zealand’s notorious commune, Centrepoint, and life there under the rule of its cult leader and founder Bert Potter.
Through the eyes of her young self, Rachel exposes the truth of life at Centrepoint — a hippie dream turned nightmare — with its bizarre rules, hierarchies and social controls.
It was a place where children were given drugs, where free sexuality was mandated, including between adults and children, and where to resist was actively discouraged.
She describes the fear and confusion of growing up in a corrupt world where wrong was right, and the grief of losing her childhood. She takes us inside the police case and court battle against one of her abusers, and the historic action that ultimately saw Potter and others charged with drug and child sex abuse crimes, and Centrepoint shut down.
Surviving Centrepoint was first published under the pseudonym Ella James. Now, using her real name for the first time, Rachel shares her journey from physical hurt and emotional pain to the reality of survival and the healing power of telling the truth.