CAI cult linked by the internet

CHRISTIAN Assemblies International (CAI) has been described as one of the first internet cults.

The members of the Pentecostal Christian group do not all live together permanently in communes, but are linked electronically with their pastors and church leaders.

The Pacific Headquarters for CAI are in an impressive park-like compound of about 285 acres made up of an isolated valley, Cedar Valley on Wayper Creek Road at Dairyville. The buildings of Pacific HQ are set among rolling lawns and manicured grounds with a swimming pool and a large barbecue area on the banks of the creek.

The compound is enclosed with a high wire fence, with impressive gates, but members of the group at times open the gates to invited non-members for barbecues and religious discussions,

Three years ago a number of former CAI members in Coffs Harbour, many of whom had moved to the Coffs Coast from Europe with CAI, began to leave the organisation, which they now describe as a cult.

More than 10 of those who have left have said their reasons for leaving revolved around the leadership of the organisation and their inability to make changes within CAI.

Many of them have remained on the Coffs Coast and joined other churches.

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