Centrepoint commune founder dies

3 News, New Zealand/May 7, 2012

The controversial founder of a spiritual commune many thought was a cult died this morning in Auckland.

Herbert Thomas Potter, or "Bert" Potter, founded the Centrepoint commune in Albany, Auckland in 1977 with 36 followers.

Mr Potter, 86, suffered from Alzheimer's disease and, after a fall yesterday, was admitted to hospital after losing consciousness.

He died at around 1am this morning at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

The commune founder was convicted of drug charges on Anzac Day 1990.

In 1992, he was jailed for seven years after being convicted for 13 charges of indecently assaulting five girls between 1979 and 1985.

Approximately 300 children lived part of their youth at the commune, with reports showing sexual relations occurred regularly with children as young as 10.

A funeral will be held in Auckland on Saturday.

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