Home Artists Exhibitions News Store Contact About
Brood

Timeline Text

To Artist Page    Brood

TIME LINE                   ‘BROOD’         

 

July 1972 The Full Gospel Mission, or ‘God Squad’ as it was most popularly known, moves from its initial home in Eureka Street, Aranui, Christchurch, New Zealand to a newly purchased 48 hectare section of land north of Christchurch near the small town of Waipara.

A complex of buildings is constructed behind 7.6 metre high fortress-like concrete walls and electric fences.

 

Dr Douglas Metcalf, or ‘Bishop’, the groups self appointed leader is believed by his followers to be Jesus Christ returning to save his ‘believers’ from an apocalypse that will occur in 2011.

 

November 1973 Residents of Waipara soon begin complaining about the sect.

They claim that young people in the township -- especially young girls -- are being enticed away from their families by members of the sect.

 

Amid fears of a Charles Manson ‘family’ style cult developing on their doorsteps they appeal for police to investigate the God Squad’s mysterious comings and goings.

Acting on these complaints, the Police investigate, but fail to find evidence of any illegal activity.

 

February 1977 Acting on public complaints of hearing numerous ‘gunshots’ and ‘weapons being fired’ police raid Camp David and seize more than 150 weapons. Police alleged the sect was stockpiling the weapons because they believed Christ was returning, and they were ‘chosen’ to protect him against his enemies on earth.

 

Firearms and ammunition were confiscated and charges were laid against several sect members, including leader Dr Douglas Metcalf. Secret Intelligence Service director Paul Molyneux was reported as saying his organisation was "working with the police to establish if the activities of the sect involved terrorist or subversive aspects". It is more than a month before a magistrate finds that the weapons are legally obtained and possessed, and the charges are dismissed.

 

July 1987 Utilizing a special ‘Hit Squad’ police raid Camp David again, but a glitch with the search warrant gives cult members 48 hours to bury their arms along State Highway 7 between Waipara and Murchison, and in forests.

 

June 1989 Enigmatic, self- styled Bishop Dr Douglas Metcalf drops dead at his Camp David commune in Waipara, aged 68. Some of his followers expect he will rise again in three days.

They kept a 24-hour vigil over his body, which is laid in state at the cult's headquarters, watching for any signs of his resurrection.

Overhead clouds that gather into a skull-like formation causes a flurry of excitement, but Douglas Metcalf, who many took for Jesus Christ fails to resurrect.

August 1996 The Camp David community collapses after it is revealed Dr Metcalf, the man cult members believed was Jesus, was actually an adulterer.

December 2002 Douglas Metcalf’s son-in-law Daryl Metcalf Williams carries on Metcalf’s teachings, running the farm to a strict regime, preaching that his father-in- law would return to Earth before the year 2000.

That prophecy never eventuates either. By the end of 2002 the commune founded by Metcalf, first, in Eureka Street, Aranui, and then on a Waipara farm in 1972, is more or less finished.

Former members want the farm sold.

 

Two suspicious women make a search of the camp and discover an elaborate network of secret passages and rooms built behind internal walls. They find a room with a sofa bed, a bathroom, and escape routes for people to move between buildings unseen.

 

October 2009 The Waipara property, with its dilapidated empty buses, overgrown gardens, and faded religious icons, is home to a handful of former members who want to remain.

After years of negotiation and wrangling between various members of the defunct sect the property is eventually sold. At least half of the proceeds from this sale are gifted to an undisclosed charity.

 

 

Ronnie van Hout 2010

Back to top
Home Artists Exhibitions News Store Contact Subscribe About