While studying at Massey University in the early 1960s Dalhoff became involved with the Church of Scientology and in 1965 he went to the Saint Hill Manor Scientology Centre in the United Kingdom, returning to New Zealand as a full-time scientology worker. However, in 1972 he was expelled from the Church for "failure to comply with the ethical codes of the Church of Scientology". In August 1974 he declared that he had reached the "Ultimate State" and on 7 September that year he publicly announced that he was "John Ultimate" and that his Christchurch home was the centre of the universe.
During the 1970s and 1980s Dalhoff ran ZAP from his home and received an income from ZAP members paying a percentage of their wages as well as fees from ZAP courses, income from ZAP businesses and penalties imposed on ZAP members.
"I am above nothing or below nothing. I am not god, and I have no wish to go down to that level."
"...Jesus talked about being the son of God but no-one has talked about attaining the ultimate state. This has been obtained here at the centre of the universe... I am the ultimate now I have talked to many people recently in other places though different means (e.g in their dreams, on their telephones). Many people from other places are now on the way to the centre of the universe..."
- "John Dalhoff". 'The Centre of The Universe': The Unofficial Story of Zenith Applied Philosophy. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Van Beynen, Martin (24 January 2011). "Henderson assets in friends' hands". The Press. p. A3.
The movement was started in Christchurch in the early 1970s by John Dalhoff, a Scientology practitioner who started his own offshoot which combined his former religion with eastern mysticism and Right-wing libertarianism. Dalhoff is dead, but is survived by his widow, Joy.
- Spoonley, Paul The Politics of Nostolgia Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, NZ, 1987. pg 82-85
- Letter from Church of Scientology, dated (1977-02-19) cited in Spoonley, pg 82
- New Zealand Times (1984-12-16) cited in Spoonley, pg 82
- New Zealand Herald, (1982-01-14) cited in Spoonley, pg. 83
- General Letter, c. November 1978, cited in Spoonley, pg. 85
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