Major Gloriavale investigation finds 138 potential abuse victims, dozens of suspected offenders

A major police investigation into abuse at Gloriavale has identified more than 100 potential victims of crimes spanning about four decades, Stuff can reveal.

The previously undisclosed and ongoing investigation, dubbed Operation Mathius, began in 2021, and followed another investigation that brought to light offending involving 60 people at the West Coast fundamentalist Christian community.

Operation Mathius was launched after an array of serious allegations surfaced about two Gloriavale men, Timothy Disciple and Jonathan Benjamin.

As inquiries into the two men ramped up, it became clear there was a need for a broader police investigation into historical abuse at the community. More than three quarters of the reported offences relate to people who were aged under 18 at the time.

Gloriavale leaders knew of some of the allegations years ago, but chose to deal with them in-house, enabling predators to continue to abuse vulnerable members of the community.

So far, 17 people have been charged as part of Operation Mathius, while a further 18 suspects remain under investigation.

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