A former Gloriavale member is taking legal action against the community, calling for its leaders to step down.
John Ready filed civil proceedings in the High Court at Greymouth on Wednesday seeking the removal of the trustees for poor conduct, mismanagement and dereliction of duty.
Gloriavale Leavers' Support Trust manager Liz Gregory said former members all had similar stories about abuse, illegal activities and manipulation within the community.
"Government agencies know about it but for some reason no one agency has been prepared to put their hand up and say we are going to deal with this, so John has decided to go down the legal route and we fully support him."
He wanted to see change at Gloriavale, and was doing this on behalf of friends and family who had left and for those that remained inside, she said.
The cost associated with this would be large, she said.
"Gloriavale have a large treasure chest of resources which they will dig deep into in order to cover and protect themselves," Gregory said.
"This was not a decision that John took lightly, he has been thinking about it for a long time but he came to the decision that there really isn't any other option."
She said she dealt with a lot of leavers who she helped resettle into normal life.
"They have some stories that would make your hair curl and they don't even realise how shocking the things that they're telling us about are."
Gloriavale was approached by RNZ but did want to comment.