A woman being sued for libel by the former leader of a new age religion has broken down in tears in court while describing her grief over the children she would never have.
She claims she was pressured to undergo sterilisation while a member of the religious organisation in the early 2000s.
Carli McConkey is representing herself in the Supreme Court in Hobart against a claim that she defamed the former leader of the Universal Knowledge organisation, Natasha Lakaev, in a book published in 2017.
Ms McConkey told the court that, after the birth of her first son, Ms Lakaev began to suggest she was a bad parent and incapable of being a proper mother to the child.
She later had a second son, and claimed that Ms Lakaev continued to suggest she was a bad parent and should undergo sterilisation.
She said she was in a vulnerable state at the time after separating from her husband, and she finally caved in to pressure to have the operation performed.
She said the doctor asked if she was sure she wanted to go through with the treatment.
"I didn't really ... I did it purely for her [Ms Lakaev], to focus on her needs," she tearfully told the court on Tuesday.
Since then, Ms McConkey said she has grieved for the baby girl she says she has lost forever.
Ms McConkey told the court how members of Universal Knowledge were driven to a property in northern NSW in a bus with blacked out windows.
They were made to give up their phones and documents on arrival, and were told to undertake strenuous physical activities and parade on stage naked, she told the court.
Ms McConkey described Universal Knowledge as a "doomsday cult", and that its members were convinced the world would end in 2012, and that the leader, Ms Lakaev, was Jesus Christ reborn, and a member of the "Intergalactic Council of the Universe".
They were convinced that only those prepared via courses at Universal Knowledge would survive the end of the world, she said.
Ms McConkey said she and others paid tens of thousands of dollars in course fees while a member.
She said she also invested $20,000 for a share in the Universal Knowledge company, but never saw any returns.
Ms Lakaev, who now lives in Tasmania and is the owner of a Geeveston bed and breakfast, has previously denied Universal Knowledge was a cult.
Ms Lakaev has sued for libel over parts of Ms McConkey's 2017 book, 'The Cult Effect', and other articles and blogs published by Ms McConkey.
The case continues.
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