Saturday, August 26, 2006

An ex-TTer's account

I thank the person who sent in the following informative and compassionate note describing life in the Twelve Tribes, based on his or her personal experience.

Here's a classic picture of a typical family situation in the Twelve Tribes: A couple and their children joined the Community. They gave everything to the Tribes after liquidating the husband's building contractor business, or other self-employed job. They were very disillusioned with "mainstream churches" and wanted fellowship with real believers out from under the umbrella of paganism and false doctrines. They wanted to live like the first believers in Acts. Once they got situated with a group, let's say one of the several in Massachusetts, they were ready to "give their lives" for their fellow Community members. This translates to: the husband goes to work wherever he is most needed, whether it has anything to do with his actual skills or not. The husbands, especially new recruits, are worked 18 hours a day. The wives are put to work in the kitchen or doing the tons of laundry, etc. If they have small children, the children stay with the mother all day. If the children are of school age, they get sent to training, or home schooled by the mom if that particular community doesn't have designated "teachers" for the children.

Let's say this couple are born again believers, and that is how they came to faith in Yahshua. Well, they are told they need to renounce that because they were deceived. See, the TT believe you are really not born again or "part of the anointing" (their anointing) until you are baptised into their Community. The wife and children rarely get to see the husband, because he is out working from early morning until dinner time (7pm or so). The wife doesn't get to spend too much time with her children, because she is busy helping with the mountains of housework that is required to run a group home. The children are not allowed to play with balls or any type of truck, car or bicycle. Their reading is limited to approved books and they are not allowed to use their imaginations. If they do something wrong, any adult in the Community is allowed to "discipline" them with the stick. By the time the husband gets home, the kids barely get time to spend with him, and they don't get to spend time with him in the morning either because he has to leave so early to work. Family devotions are discouraged because community members, especially new converts need interpretation of the scriptures in order to understand it correctly (according to Yoneq and other elders).

Family autonomy in the TT is a joke. A family owns nothing, because whatever they had they gave up when they joined. Their survival (food, clothing, shelter) becomes dependent on the Community, so they have to subject themselves to the "shepherd" of the household (elder or boss) and cannot make decisions for themselves, because they have no money to carry out any decisions, and anything that does not get approval from the elder is forbidden. If they go against what an elder says, they will be disciplined, which means you can't celebrate the Sabbath with everyone else, and everyone gives you the silent treatment. Furthermore, if they see that you are actually trying to maintain some type of order in the family and do what you think is best anyway, you are likely to be cut-off by the community, which means you have to leave. If they cut you off, they don't give you any money or any way to leave, you just have to walk away with the clothes on your back.

I know many people in the TT and who have left. I think of some of the wonderful families that are there and my heart aches for them, because I know what they go through. For the most part, the folks who are part of the TT are very honest, hardworking, calm and generous people. A lot of them have a hard time stomaching the teachings like the Ham teaching and the child discipline stuff, however they are between a rock and a hard place, and it's not worth it for them to rebel against those teachings because their survival depends on their submission to authority.

If you ever visit one of the Communities they will be super nice to you, feed you, invite you to stay for as long as you want or need, give you gifts, let you stay in the nicest rooms, let you eat for free or half price at their restaurants, give you cookies and bread, and basically give you the royal treatment. They bombard you with love and make you think that it's like this every day. But in reality, it's not. It's just a way that they court new recruits and makes them think, "Hey, these people really are living out the book of Acts chapter 2."

Lots of TT'ers will point out that obviously God (YHWH) has blessed them and what they are doing because look at all the properties and businesses they own and how many new people are joining. This is a twisted version of the prosperity message from mainstream churches. Also, following that line of logic, then the Catholic church, the Moonies and the Church of Scientology are also blessed by God because look at all the properties, businesses and new converts they have!!

I support the boycott of all Twelve Tribes businesses because of the following: 1. They prosper because of slave or coerced labor. 2. They are really an outreach to the world in order to gain new recruits. 3. They portray a false view of what the TT is about and have no qualms about recruiting new members who are deceived by this false view of the day-to-day life of the Community. Because of their sincere belief in the Bible/Holy Scripture TT'ers buy into what they are taught: the only way to be saved is to be part of the body of the Messiah, which according to them, is exclusively the Twelve Tribes. So, to get recruits/converts to the TT however they need to get them (coercion, deception, fear, etc.) is for the recruits/converts own good in the end.

People need to know what it's really like for TT'ers, why it’s called a cult and why we need to prevent them from gaining new members. The efforts of those who have posted this blog are a positive step towards this, especially when done in a respectful, loving manner.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this post up where it can be seen by all. This is surely the typical experience for a family joining the tribes. It was for us. And the recovery afterwards is harder than anything you can imagine, if you don't have support on the outside.

Cortez said...

They also promote divorce which is totally against the teaching of Yahushua. The Tribes consider anything that you have done before your "covenant"/"marriage" with them/the anointing/Yaweh to be null and void in the eyes of Yaweh (God). If you were born again - not really, if you were married - no problem, it wasn't and isn't valid in Yaweh's eyes (or something to that effect). The Tribes have encouraged, and do encourage, some people to leave their spouse to join and marry a member in the group thus the TT encourage adultry. They have encouraged people to leave their spouse and their children (of the world, infidels, gentiles) if necessary.
During the visits ("courting") the elders/shepherds of the community will feel out the visitors and appeal to them however necessary to get them to join ("saved"). If it is a family or couple they may, and often do, talk to the people separately, which means the guys will talk to the wife by herself and are known to often encourage her to join regardless of her husbands desires or decisions, because of course neither of them are really in touch with the Spirit of Yahushua, born again, or children of The Kingdom yet. Nor do they really have a marriage covenant with eachother according to "real" Spiritual Laws according to the "real" Yaweh of which they have the only access to. The only "real" anointed insight with The Messiah, Yahushua.

Anonymous said...

Cortez- I think I agree with what you are saying.Your sarcasm was a little thick so it was hard to tell what you were really saying and what you were saying the tribes believe.

I know of sooooo many marriages destroyed after the Twelve Tribes got through with them. SO many. Perhaps some of them were destined that way, but the TT really has far to go where fruit is concerned in the marriage arena. I lost my own marriage to the TT.

I have never gotten over it.

Cortez said...

I wasn't meaning to be sarcastic at all. Forgive me if it sounded like I was.
To clarify, the real spiritual laws of Yaweh according to them are only found and heard through and with them; clearly false. They say they are the only body of Messiah and the only anointed word. If you are not with them you are not of Yaweh/Yahushua/Set Apart Spirit(Holy Spirit) at all; clearly false. At best you are a "person of conscience." Big cult, mind control red flag.

Thank you very much for the correction. I don't want to seem sarcastic. I can be very sarcastic and I don't want to be. I care for and Love my brothers and sisters, and our youth in the TT very. The false teaching, abuse, neglect, deception and Faith shaking, family dividing, and blaspheming bothers me and our Father very much.

Anonymous said...

Me too Cortez. No problem. I agree with you whole-heartedly.

Anonymous said...

just figured id stop in to read the daily dose of unverified bullshit comming from the haters here at this website...

what sad little pothetic lives you have ! morons...

Aloysius Horn said...

Your criticism might have a bit more sting if you could correctly spell the words "coming" and "pathetic." Thanks for providing such a prime example of the second word's meaning. If indeed this is a web page put up by morons with sad, pathetic lives, what accounts for your odd compulsion to repeatedly come back here when you have so many other web sites to choose from?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cortez said...

I must say that anyone who is thinking of anything about this world, this universe, or anything of any significance, must think of the sad state that these people are in to come on here and swear and degrade people that are doing their all to share Truth with one another and help and protect one another with Love.
Living in oneness and Love is the crux of abundant existance and to have these people with so much hate and anger to come on here and degrade people for standing up for the rights of our brothers and sisters and our children being mislead and put in bondage by a group lead by mind control freaks is an obvious sign of true illness.
I ask you all to pray for these people who insult, degrade and belittle others. To pray for them with the True Spirit of Yahushua and Love these troubled, angry ones. Please. Now.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cortez said...

This winter, if it gets cold enough I might try that. Since most of the body heat is lost through the head that could be a very good survival method. Should I let it dry and harden before I put my hat back on or... never mind, I know that's a stupid question. Thanks for the advice.

For you Anon' with The Ruach Ha Kodesh, Yahushua, haleluyah. We Love you.

Crow Hardy said...

'Tolerance' ITHACA-style!! Appears anyone NOT in lock-step with our radical-chic, materialist, ego-driven leftist community is NOT welcome in I-town. Comrade Aloysius seems to have learned very WELL at the feet of his masters Stalin and Mao. Too bad! MANY of our OPEN-MINDED/HEARTED Tompkins County folks will continue to enjoy the excellent food, drink, peaceful atmosphere AND friends at Mate' Factor. Screw your 'boycott'!

Aloysius Horn said...

I'm elated that you think that calling me a radical-chic materialist Stalin/Mao worshiper is the most effective thing you can say to discredit me or IOTTC. If you could muster an argument or address a single point raised on this blog in a rational fashion I'd be more concerned.

But I'm curious. Which is it, do you continue to support Mate Factor because you approve of high control group tactics, teaching people to leave blue marks on children, and the proposition that God intended blacks to be slaves to whites (among other good things), or is it that there is no practice sufficiently wicked, foul, or vile that a café owner could ever promote that would keep you from buying his smoothies if they were tasty?

Crow Hardy said...

Certainly.

Government sanctioned killing of pre-born children, forced sterilization of young women and fair trade issues DO in fact direct my spending dollars toward other areas. Hope you ditched ALL those Chinese-made goodies prior making a frontal assult upon our first century Christian community your favorite 'cause'.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Aloysious, but I can tell you that I do indeed boycott those products, unless it's being re-sold in a thrift store or a yardsale.(Hard to get shoes otherwise!)

Oh yeah, and by the way, the TT has NO problem buying items from those countries either, just ask them!

And I for one, promise not to purchase anything from this cafe,no matter how great the food tastes, or how hip the aviance.

My wife and daughters and I already know how to cook that way from years of serving the community. We can eat just like that right here, and not pay an arm and a leg for a Deli Rose.

So tell me... what would it take before you WOULD boycott them, crowhardy? The issues you brought up above?

Anonymous said...

I have a question if anyone knows.. what does the Moosewood resturant think about all this ??? Any statements from them?

I am a big Molly Katzen fan and heard that it was her resturant that was converted into the Mate Factor-but the web sites say it's in the same place?

I live on the other side of the country most of the time and can't make it over that way anymore, so I am just curious.

Thanks in advance!

Aloysius Horn said...

Crow let the cat out of the bag with "our first century Christian community." When all the Maté Factor customers are TTers themselves or other "first century Christians" like Crow, we can fold our tent. Those of us who live in the 21st Century are well advised to eat elsewhere.

Crow Hardy said...

TT's describe themselves as first-century Christians. They are also part of OUR greater Ithaca community. Mate' Factor's customer base also reflects the diverse nature of our hometown, most of whom ARE '21st Century folks. Fold your tent! Seems your advise is failing miserably.

Anonymous said...

Don't fold your tent!!!!!!! You are doing great!

Jacob said...

This is an accurate post.

I lived in the TT off and on from 91 - 97 and went across country to California to meet Yoneq.

People getting into theological debates or abusive attacks are quite simply diverting others from the plain facts.

Anonymous said...

And thus, this member, Jacob, has seen Yoneq as an intolerant, hateful man? Did he perchance try to pry eyes into the "true" "spirit" of the man?. Was this satan or a twisted genius, utterly mad? A hateful man? Curiosity wanders along...