Gloriavale man says discipline with weapons common practice

Women from Gloriavale outside the Employment Court.

A Gloriavale man who disciplined his daughters using a weapon argues it is common practice in the West Coast commune.

Clem Ready is giving evidence at the Employment Court to decide whether six former Gloriavale members were employees or volunteers.

He said men living in Gloriavale believe in corporal punishment.

READ MORE: Poor working conditions of Gloriavale women laid bare in court

Ready told the court he had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting his daughters with a weapon over a period of 13 years.

In 2018, Ready was sentenced in the Greymouth District Court to 12 months' supervision.

“I agreed to it because I believed it was the right thing to do," he said.

“Over time, I was forced to consider the reality (of what I’d done)."

READ MORE: Gloriavale residents told 'they owe their life' to commune

Gloriavale lawyer Phillip Skelton said the commune’s women disagreed with Ready’s assessment.

He said the women of Gloriavale did not hold Ready’s opinion in high regard given the abuse towards his daughters.

The court heard that Ready lives in a storage room at the commune with his wife Sharon, but is not allowed within 100 metres of the main buildings.

Ready said Gloriavale women are groomed to be subservient, to get married, have children and provide unlimited sex to their husbands.

He said women are deliberately given little education, encouraged not to think, are conditioned to be hardworking, and provide sweatshop-style labour.

READ MORE: Former Gloriavale resident details alleged workplace abuse

Skelton said the women of Gloriavale find “such statements highly offensive”, adding that testimony from women still living at Gloriavale will show that “it’s not true … women are not groomed to provided unlimited sex to their husbands”.

Ready joined the community in 1974, where he married his wife.

The couple had 13 children, five of whom are still living at Gloriavale. Ready operated the commune’s meal plant and said he often worked 70-hour weeks.

The hearing continues.


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