Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No warning label

"V.O.R" has graced us with another incisive commentary on TT's methods that is a must-read for anyone toying with joining up or even just spending their cash at Maté Factor here in Ithaca. V.O.R. keeps us sticklers for accuracy happy by providing copious footnotes and quotations from Spriggs. Rock on, V!

Do you want some hips and thighs with that burger?

Fast food restaurants don’t advertise the number of calories, fat or cholesterol in their food. They don’t tell you if you “Have it your way” you may gain ten pounds and not fit in your bathing suit come summer. Instead, they attempt to sell you on an experience and they take advantage of your hunger and desires to draw you into their establishment.

Another and possibly better example are the endless ads for Credit Cards that give you 0% interest for some period of time and tell you that you deserve to buy anything your heart desires and when you charge up a high balance start to charge you 20-30% interest. Then you are trapped because you gave into the advertisement, and now you are in debt and the debt is growing because of the compounding interest. Sure you did this of your own free will, but if consumers were given the whole truth up front, do you think as many would fall into the trap?

This is how it is with falling prey to a dangerous coercive control group (or cult). They entice you with a false outward appearance (1). They are selling an experience. This is why they will say, “Come visit us” or “Stay with us” versus talking to you about their beliefs and practices. Sure they will offer a superficial belief statement such as “We believe God is waiting for a people with one heart and one way who live together and love each other and have everything in common. Come visit us and you will see”. So what makes them different from any communal group that says the same thing? They won’t tell you up front. You won’t know until you visit them, and stay with them a while.

And that is when they start the process of what is known as cognitive dissonance by those who study Coercive and Controlling Groups such as the TT. This is where a person is purposely manipulated starting with controlling their environment. This is why they want you to “come.” While you are “there” they start playing with your emotions and controlling the information you can access that may provide an alternate perspective. There is a reason the TT brings a bus to deadhead concerts, it is a “mini-utopia” a place where prospective recruits can “experience” a taste of how they live. But even if you do decide to live with them for a couple weeks or a month, they don’t share their inner doctrines with you. They also don’t lock you in a room and keep you prisoner. You are free to go at anytime. This will cause you to believe that all the stories of “bondage” and “mind-control” are false. Their goal is to get followers who are willing to give up everything and make a commitment to submit to their authority. They really don’t want forced prisoners who want to break away any chance they get.

How can they convince you to want to submit to their authority and give up your free will? They start by telling you that everything you have learned and heard outside is from the “evil one” and you need to “clear your mind.” Simultaneously, they “love-bomb” you and give you a taste of utopia to get you in the right state of mind so you can “receive” their message. You start to think, “How can such sincere loving people be wrong?” They seem so happy and satisfied and all their needs are met. But unfortunately, you are only given the veneer of the real truth. In reality, most of the followers are dog-tired and struggle to stay faithful. They are worked 80-90 hours a week and don’t really have the time to live this utopian life and love-on their kids the way they say they do. In fact many of the accusations and condemnations they make of the outside “world” and “Christianity” specifically, are true of them. (see the comparison of fruit in the Parable of the Twig article). So it is not until you come to a point where you are willing to “die to yourself” and “give everything” to follow “Yahshuah” do you start to get a glimpse of the truth. And like the poor credit card holder, it is only after you have quit your job or dropped out of college, left your family and sometimes that means husbands/wives and children, told them they are all going to hell unless they follow you, turned over your vehicle and bank accounts and have no means of providing for yourself that you are given access to the “pearls” or inner teachings. Of course this is after you are baptized where you are required to denounce your former beliefs (Christianity or other religion/philosophies) and make a vow to “never leave” the body.

This is when you hear that Yoneq is the “anointed” and has a direct line to God and his teachings and words are equivalent to God speaking (2) and therefore are to be followed without question. You learn that he is the Elijah that has come back to earth to call people out of the world (3). That Christianity, (which is their main target for recruitment) was an apostate church that has not had the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh) for over 1900 years (4). That you are not allowed to think or “reason” for yourself about anything outside of the teachings and direction of Yoneq and his band of elders (5). And unless you beat your children until their wounds are blue, you are not being a loving father or mother in fact you hate your children. (6) And if you are a good little follower and submit all your loyalty to Yoneq’s teaching, you will one day be a God of your own Universe or Galaxy (7). And these are just a sample of the bizarre teachings that you will be expected to believe and submit to without question.

And what if you choose not to submit? And what if you want to ask a question? Then you are free to leave. In fact you are encouraged to leave and sometimes just plain asked to get out. The only problem is, you have already alienated your family and friends, you have no money and you own no vehicle and even the clothes on your back are not yours they belong to the community. If they are feeling generous, they will give you $200 to “get by”, but ultimately you are “cut-off”. (8)

So I ask you, if the Twelve Tribes put a poster up in front of the Maté Factor stating these beliefs, do you think people would want to give them their money? How about bring their kids and stay for a couple weeks? So what would constitute honest full disclosure/advertising and recruiting for the Twelve Tribes?

“Welcome, please spend as much money as you can with us because we need to ensure our Prophet has enough money to expand our real estate holdings and fly around the world starting other communities where people like me can nearly starve and raise our children and beat them until they are black and blue. You are welcome to move in with us as long as you denounce all other religious loyalties and promise you will never leave, and be willing to submit unquestionably to our elders and supreme leader who is in fact the only conduit to God. Please leave your brain outside as you are no longer allowed to think for yourself because our elders will think for you. But please bring your money, real estate, stocks and bonds and everything else with you so we can liquidate these and give the proceeds to our Apostle to spend as he sees fit. And we want you to have it your way so if your wife or husband does not want to join you/us, that’s ok. Abandon them because our Prophet Elijah says they are going to burn in the Lake of Fire anyway. Oh, and we have a no-money back guarantee. If you do choose to leave us, or we decide with little or no notice to kick you out, you will not get your money or any of your belongings back and you will drop dead because God will kill you. Have a nice day”



(1) TT (Yoneq/Spriggs) Teachings concerning being “perfect” for outsiders and withholding the truth or outright lying in order to “make a stand”:
“The only thing we have to be perfect in now is confessing our sins and speaking to people on the outside. Or your conscience will haunt you night and day.” September 2 1990 Apostolic Workers Meeting Minutes.

“There is a difference between bearing false witness and concealing a matter (not telling the truth) that others have forfeited their right to know because of their hostile and evil attitude toward God.” November 29 1988 Phase 2 Teaching – Yoneq page 1
“Sometimes we make a stand with the truth by not revealing the truth or by our answers that are or are not true.” Nov 29 1988 Phase 2 Teaching – Yoneq page 1

(2) Teachings that demonstrate Yoneq/Spriggs speaks for God. In the quote below, understand the only one who the TT considers to have “delegated authority” from God is Yoneq/Spriggs so what he in fact is saying is to obey himself without argument as you would obey God.

All who know God and know authority will obey his word, will obey Him, will obey His delegated authority without argument. Acts 3:23 - If we do not obey every word he speaks to us we will be cut off. November 18, 1990 Reasoning – Page 4

(3) Quotes concerning Yoneq/Spriggs being in fact the Elijah and having God’s authority.

Note, the following quote is regarding a woman who died of cancer who was a long time member of the TT. They could not explain her untimely death without finding some fault in her life or un-confessed sin. She was accused of speaking ill of Yoneq once years before and therefore rejecting God’s authority and not “receiving” Elijah.
“No way if Mary disrespected God's authority could faith come to heal her - Numbers 12 No way her children could be saved Malachi 4:5 If (you) don't receive Elijah (you) don't receive (the) anointing (your) children will be accursed - no hope.” September 2, 1990 Apostolic Workers Meeting – Page 5
Here is another quote concerning Elijah being in the midst of the TT. They are referring to Yoneq and the spirit that he has brought to the TT.
“Keli told us we can know the spirit of Elijah is in our midst because of
how we are continually brought back to the necessity of turning our heart to our
children.” August 6, 1996 Apostolic Workers Meeting – Page 3

(4) Quotes concerning there being no true church for the last 1900 years:
“Everything has been in abeyance for at least 1900 years — put off for a future
generation to fulfill. Abeyance — put off, it’s no longer in existence. 1 Pet 2:9 is no longer in existence. There is no people of God; there is no holy nation; there is no twelve-tribed nation; there has been no one keeping the way of YHWH for 1900 years — it has been in abeyance.” April 9, 1995 The Fall of the First Church – Page 3
“Therefore the evil one been a ruler for 1900 years. They crucified the very Son of God — YHWH in the flesh. They killed Him! It proves who is in control of the world — Satan rules the whole world.” April 9, 1995 The Fall of the First Church – Page

(5) TT Teaching concerning peoples right to “reason” or think for themselves vs submitting to authority
“Many people are enslaved by a spirit of reason. They will only come when they are called and go where they are sent when it seems right to them. They always want to know a reason. If they are under this bondage of reasoning, sooner or later slanderous words will come out of their mouth against authority and there will be no possibility of escape from death.” November 18, 1990 Reasoning
(6) TT Teachings concerning beating children until they bleed:
“Underdiscipline accomplishes nothing. It is better not to discipline our children at
all — “The blueness of the wound drives away all evil.”” October 1980 Child Training -Notes from Teachers Meeting - Page 5

“Unless your son has blue wounds, by this standard, you know what kind of a
standard is in you — it is the spirit that hates your son. If one is overly concerned about
his son receiving blue marks you know that he hates his son and hates the word of God.”
No date – Execution of Justice – Page 1
(7) TT Quotes concerning being “cut-off” due to not submitting to authority or the teachings of Yoneq. A member can be “”cut-off” within the community and not allowed to participate in social activity or be asked to leave.
“What do we have that' s greater than our attachment (staying connected) to our Master, Yahshua, and His people? Do we think that we can put aside our life for awhile and leave the Community and go out and do other things and then come back?” May 19 1994 The Seriousness of Being Cut-Off from Messiah – Page 5

“In the nations if you join the army and go to battle and desert the battle you could be imprisoned or even killed. (A deserter is worthy of death - if he falls into the hands of the enemy he will betray you.) It's a serious thing to be in a battle and desert your troop. You have to see that we're in a war here. This is our Father's army and you can't so easily come back. We made a pledge at baptism not to leave.” May 19 1994 The Seriousness of Being Cut-Off from Messiah – Page 3

(8) TT (Yoneq/Spriggs) Quotes concerning followers becoming gods of their own galaxy:

"We are going to be holy people. Holy, set apart by the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will. The day will come when each one of you has a galaxy to rule over."
[source: "The Three Eternal Destinies #74 - Three Categories of Man 5" November 19, 1996. Morning Minchah, Reuben. Teaching identifier: 961119A]
"Rev 1:6; 5:10 — He has made us to be kings and priests — that’s who we are! We will rule over galaxies. When people of the nations see us, it will be just like seeing the Father (Jn 14:9). We will bear His name, His character, His image, His authority."
[source: "Salvation is a Free Gift (But Who Does He Give It To?)" December 1997. Coxsackie, NY. Teaching identifier: 9712T08]


VOR said...

I want to just make a comment about the script at the end of my article. I have a hard time avoiding using sarcasm when I am passionate (read indignent) about an issue. It is a weakness in me. I want to apologize to anyone who is offended by sarcasm. I can assure you that nothing that I state in this script is false, I can support every comment with a quote from a TT teaching, freepaper or Inter-Tribal Newsletter. However, some people, my wife included, get offended by sarcasm and therefore tend to discount the content of the article. I will try to curb my tongue in this regard because my heart's desire is to communicate not alienate. Thanks.

Voice Of Reason

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is scary. I just discovered Mate Factor a few days ago and was quite impressed with the place and its people. I wanted to know more about them so I read their papers (a lot of preaching, nothing really very clear about their beliefs and practices, the only mention of women being "where wives submit to their husbands", something about how slaves were happy and well-cared for by their masters, blah blah blah. Wow, as Barack would say, "we've seen this movie before". In fact, I belonged to a church(cult?) very much like this in Ithaca in the late 70s, early 80s, that at one point was actually contemplating selling all personal belongings and living communally (never happened). And in fact, this church still exists in Ithaca on South Hill (I won't name names here). Let's just say that at the time I went to leave, I was told god would strike me dead if I walked out the door. Twenty five years later it still has a negative affect on me...

Sandy said...

my boyfriend, and his very large family come from 12 tribes. they're a year out of the cult. they were in it 20 years. my boyfriend was beaten so badly that his father and mother couldn't take it. the last straw, after every day beatings, was when he kissed a girl at 17, and the whole community came down on him, beating his back bloody, and locked him in a room for weeks. my boyfriend is an angel for helping his family escape after 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I wish Yoneq, Gene Spriggs and Marsha were more accessible to the average community member. I wrote kindly to Yoneq more than once, and I know he got my letters, but he never had the common decency to communicate with me.

When the Lancaster NH community was falling apart, members tried diligently to get Yoneq to help. He did nothing. How can a man who has so much to say for God, help so little when other Tribes leaders are failing and hurting the sheep.

Yoneq, you started this whole thing. Step up and step in when your apostolic workers and shepherds become bad authority. You owe it to us.

Anonymous said...

I wish their daily life really matched the happiness they print in their Freepapers.

One member recently told me, "Our life hasn't changed. The cross hasn't changed. This life is excruciating."

Another long-time authority member previously asked me, "Who would want to live here. This life is a torture chamber for the flesh. Who would want to live this way?"

Every week each married couple would have "family night" (make a baby night) and be served dinner in their room and be allowed to drive a car somewhere (but not out to eat).

Some of us single people thought it would be good and fair to have a singles night where we at least can have dinner together in the community. Like so many ideas, that was immediately shot down.

Another brother told me much later, "This life is about following a pattern. I've seen people kicked out of here for not being willing to follow the pattern." During this conversation he surprisingly used the f... word a few times.

One of the main problems with this group is that they encourage people to join way to quickly and then take all their money and everything they have.

I didn't really think about this for a long time, but when you get baptized and in preparation for baptism you're calling out loudly for Yahshua/Jesus to save you. I've wondered, why wouldn't people be instructed to call on God instead?

Anonymous said...

It seems like just as in most of Christianity there is some confusion about the Trinty: God in 3 persons. God here, God there, and God over there, but also God is everywhere, but also: "we have to listen to the still small voice, because God probably isn't going to speak out-loud to us." I wonder, why not?

Look, I believe in God and have had personal experiences with various lower entities for lack of a better word. But wouldn't it make sense for a loving God above all to very clearly and openly communicate directly with all of creation about His/Her intentions and the wisest course of action for Earth and humanity? Versus speaking through a prophet here or there, and having many con-men say God spoke to them, or having lower spirits speak to gullible men, and then all of a sudden these men are prophets with a message from God? History is littered by people who think God spoke to them. Really? How do you really know who it was?

For me, red flag is whenever a blood sacrifice is required. Animal or human sacrifice. The blood trail goes back a long ways into history. Islam still cuts the throats of millions of animals every year as ritual to God. Having been a former Muslim, technically I now am under the death penalty for leaving Islam, saying anything negative against the religion or their pedophile prophet who married a 6 year old daughter of one of his best friends.

It troubles me in the Twelve Tribes and throughout Christianity that people symbolically eat the body of Jesus and drink his blood. Where did all this really come from?

Sometimes I think various negative beings who live in and very close to this dimension have come up with some of this stuff to make fools out of humans.

To me God and prayer and simple meditation apart from any religion and apart from any rituals is a beautiful thing. Religion tends to abuse and exploit, just like governments, but in a more sinister way.

Chris said...

Visiting relatives is by permission only. Sometimes it is allowed, and sometimes not at all.

Chris said...

Most of the time I was allowed to call my relatives whenever I wanted on the phone. But while I was in one household a brother told me, "We just don't call our relatives in the world." He hadn't talked with his mother in years, literally, of his own choosing. However, when I talked to my Shepherd about this, the Shepherd over-ruled my overly zealous and controlling brother, who by the way, also wanted my car keys to control as well.
By the way, if you're a Tribes member reading this, you need to get off this page, shut off the Internet and repent to your household. You know better than to be reading a website "full of lies and slander from the enemy." Why are you here now? "Those who listen to lies and slander will go to the Eternal Lake of Fire." Don't say you were not warned.

Yoneq and Ha'emeq this applies to you as well!

Anonymous said...

It's true they love bombed me. They hugged me and told me how much I was needed "for our Father's purpose." It made me feel really good. But I was unhappy there over time. I felt trapped for life.

Chris said...

This woman Annie would come and pretend to be a sister, but she wasn't. She had a community set of clothes, and a worldly set of clothes. She would pretend to be a sister, but lived in the world. She would tell the community what ex-members had to say about them, and also tell ex-members bad things about the community. After awhile she got found out by everyone. I don't know why she did it. It was like a hobby for her or something. You have to give the communities credit for taking in people that no one else really wants. I was one of those people also.

Phil said...

I am not a member of the community but have been a friend for 4 yrs. I have nothing negative about the community as a whole. No different than any other church group or organisation. There children would go places with me they helped me we have great exchanges. They treated me and my children well and still do.I am a Methodist.

Kim said...

I found this group slightly off, they are into observing the Sabbath and other Torah laws, also men at not to have long hair and wear it in ponytails either

Anonymous said...

17+ hour work days while standing most of the time.

All believe and do what the founder Gene Spriggs has taught.

All of Christianity and the Christian Jesus is condemned as

demonic, and the satanic scarlet whore of the Bible book of Revelation.

Birthdays, Christmas and other holidays are not celebrated.

Children are frequently hit with balloon sticks by any adult

member for any form of disobedience or “foolishness.”

Childrens toys, dolls, and stuffed animals are not allowed.

Claim Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. deserved to die.

Claim black people should still be slaves to whites unless they join.

Claim to be the only people forgiven and being saved by God.

Claim to be the only people who have the Holy Spirit.

Claim to be the only people who will bring Jesus back to earth by

eventually birthing 144,000 celibate male evangelists and being

perfectly obedient to God for 49 years.

Claim to be the only place on earth where anyone can be saved by God.

Founder Elbert Eugene Spriggs “Yoneq” is unquestioned Prophet Pope.

Home births and home circumcisions are required.

Childbirth pain is God’s will and is not to be lessened in any way.

Males must wear fur-face beards, short ponytails, and untucked shirts.

Medical and dental neglect is common with no health insurance.

Medications of any kind are generally not allowed.

Non-Tribes reading material of any kind is not allowed.

Shaving any part of the male of female body is not allowed.

Telephone calls to non-member family and friends is by permission.

Television, radio, personal music devices and internet aren’t allowed.

Women are not allowed in any leadership positions.

You can leave, but you’re damned to Death for 1000+ years or eternal Hell.

You’re rarely be able to visit friends and family “in the world.”

Your whole life is scrutinized and completely controlled everyday.

“It is through many trials and tribulations that we enter the kingdom.”

“You just need to die, and give up your rotten sticking life in the world.”

“Where did you learn to think anyway? In the world?”

“You just need to die and take off your head (personal reasoning),

and take on the mind of the Body (Twelve Tribes).

“You just need to die, and receive your brothers and let them handle you.”
(If the Twelve Tribes is not a cult, then what is a cult?)

mammie said...

There is a very strong and baffling spiritual presence within this group by which many have been deceived into thinking that it's from God, but it is not. There is a great wresting of scripture that takes things out of context causing the followers to believe teachings which are disproven in other areas of the Bible. This is a dangerous sect of deceived people being led by a man that believes that he is the Elijah prophet.

John said...

September 4, 2013
Dylan Has the Answers
Posted by John Clarke

If you saw any Bob Dylan shows in New England or the Midwest recently, you may have spotted a group of overly friendly hippies swarming around a two-tone, double-decker bus called the Peacemaker. For much of the tour, which started in April, they have chatted up Dylan fans and handed out a twenty-four-page booklet titled “Dylan: What Are You Thinking?”

The Amish-style hippie group of about twenty people—men wearing beards, headbands, and ponytails, and plainly dressed women in ankle-length prairie frocks—are members of the Twelve Tribes, a quasi-Christian sect. Critics contend that the Twelve Tribes is a cult that actively recruits at concert venues by preying on the heavily inebriated and highly vulnerable—basically, stoned kids. Dylan concerts appear to be the group’s latest hunting grounds.

The Twelve Tribes member Aysh Harris told me that the effort to recruit fans of Dylan—who he calls a modern-day prophet (“A lot of things he said back then are coming true now”)—has been a good experience, a success even. “Most people we meet out there are pretty satisfied with the life they’re living,” Harris said. “But some have shown an interest in Twelve Tribes. There are definitely pockets of Dylan fans who are at least curious.” For the interested, joining Twelve Tribes requires forsaking all material goods, living communally, and working without pay in one of the group’s cafés, stores, farms, or construction companies scattered across the United States.


In “Dylan: What Are You Thinking?,” an anonymous Twelve Tribes author ruminates on the music legend’s religious beliefs before claiming that Dylan’s prophetic anthems “touch the complex and deep longing of the soul for a real answer, for a solution to the problems we all face, and for some deep change of heart that will fix everything that’s wrong.” Naturally, there are interpretations of Dylan songs. “Somehow you knew that if hope for a better life in a better world dies in the human heart, evil will reign forever over the human race,” writes a member to Dylan, about “Blowin’ In the Wind.” Evidently, “Mr. Tambourine Man” is about the shortcomings of the peace movement: “The more we followed our own individual ‘Tambourine Man,’ the more lost and alone we became. So you asked us this question: How does it feel?” (Cue “Like a Rolling Stone.”) Barely cloaked in each Dylan reference is a custom-built appeal for Dylan fans on their personal Desolation Row: Are you lost? Has politics and religion let you down? Are you disappointed with life? Is there a better way?

The most entertaining, and perhaps the most depressing, parts are the testimonials from members. “Bob” joined up because, as Dylan sings, “everybody has to serve somebody.” Another follower named “Thomas” discovered Dylan as a confused, pot-smoking teen-ager “going downhill fast.” He quotes from Dylan’s “My Life in a Stolen Moment” and “Masters of War,” and urges others to join: “You can come for a day or to stay. This is the answer that Dylan saw dimly. This is what he has wanted. Please come.”

John said...

September 4, 2013
Dylan Has the Answers (2nd half)
Posted by John Clarke

Then there’s “Rose,” a lost teen who wandered around the country until she met and married a man who loved Dylan as much as she did. It was 1976, a year after “Blood on the Tracks” was released. “We clung to every word,” she writes. “The deep passion of our romance was radiated through every word Dylan uttered. It says in scripture that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. [Dylan] was our third strand.” At her first Dylan show, in Gainesville, Florida, she took LSD. “He had us in the palm of his hands,” she writes. “We were his.” Since that time, she has written to Dylan about the Twelve Tribes. At a show in Massachusetts, Rose managed to slip a note addressed to Dylan to someone in his entourage. That was in the late nineteen-eighties. She has yet to hear back. “We haven’t given up,” she writes.

The original mission of the Twelve Tribes dates back to 1987, when the group started following the Grateful Dead with a band of musicians, singers, and dancers, offering emergency medical care in venue parking lots. They also provided a place for lost friends to meet, and helped people coming down from bad acid trips. The author James McCallister ran into Twelve Tribes at a Grateful Dead show in 1990. “I viewed their seemingly predatory behavior as a vile cancer on the scene,” he said. “The operation seemed like a bear trap set in otherwise peaceful woods, a trap designed to ensnare those in vulnerable psychological states.”

In the nine years spent following the Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, and the Grateful Dead spin-off bands RatDog and Furthur, the group claims to have logged more than five hundred thousand miles on the original Peacemaker bus. What’s puzzling, perhaps, is the Twelve Tribe’s jump from the relatively young audience of bands like the Grateful Dead to Dylan’s A.A.R.P. demographic. Rick Ross, a cult expert who has worked with law enforcement and knows the inner workings of Twelve Tribes, says that following Dylan actually makes a lot of sense. “If you join the Twelve Tribes, you have to forfeit all your assets to them,” he said. “It’s not a big deal if you’re a young person—you may have a car and a little bit of money. But if you are an older Bob Dylan fan, you may have an estate and a substantial amount of money.”

Dylan is scheduled to tour through October. The Twelve Tribes recently peeled off the tour and headed to the Great Lakes area. You can find the bus there. As always, a sign hangs outside the open door saying, “Welcome! Please Come In!” On the back of the bus, a message reads: “We know the way. We’ll bring you home.” But perhaps it’s best to heed the advice of Dylan himself: “All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.”

Photographs: The Twelve Tribes

nathan w said...

These people are great, I lived with them for almost three years. People say negative things because they are threatened at the fact that the people of the twelve tribes are whole hearted people living with a purpose.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was told by one of the Tribes shepherds that I am guilty of "slander" against the Twelve Tribes and that I "will be judged for every idle word" I "have spoken." This shepherd and I have been friends for years.
One of the founding sister members in Ithaca has said that I bring "bad spirits" and "bad energy" into their community house. She said it "scares" her and that I "frighten her." She asked me if I believe in God, which I do, and then questioned why I am not afraid of Death and the Lake of Fire. They actually believe in Purgatory, but call it Death where people like me will pay for their sins for up to 1000 years, and if there are too many sins to pay for, I am to be thrown alive in an eternal Lake of Fire that God has prepared for the wicked. I can only be saved by joining the Tribes and "giving up my life."
They would like me to come back and repent and rejoin. But how can I? I don't believe in circumcision, black slavery, death penalty for homosexuals, God torturing people, and numerous other doctrines.
I've tried to explain to them, that as long as they are not upfront with all they believe with potential recruits, then those of us outside the group will need to warn others. If they continue to hide the Teachings of their apostle-prophet Elbert Eugene Spriggs "Yoneq", then we will need to make some of it known, so potential "sheep" know what they are getting into before they give them all their money and possessions.
I am beginning to lose hope after twenty years that they will ever change. How can they? It's a monarchy, not a democracy. They don't believe in democracy or equal rights "women's lib" for women.
I wanted to be friends and still be honest with myself and my own conscience. Well, my beliefs and my conscience don't matter to them, only what Yoneq has decreed. I should have realized this by now. Am I a slanderer for writing here and expressing myself? Will God send me to Death and possibly the Lake of Fire for saying truthful but negative things about the Twelve Tribes? They can say and condemn anyone they want, but when others expose their life, we are slanderers and liars and to be tortured by God. Is this fair?

Bette said...

Anonymous, I was told similar things, but I would not take it too personal.

I think I know the woman you are talking about. She was the first disciple in Ithaca NY. She gave over a million dollars to the Ithaca commune when she joined, and left nothing for her daughter who choose to remain in the world. She gave up her retirement, her pets, her house, her car. Everything. And now in her 70's, she has to stand all day in the cafe for hours, plus additional hours of housework, cooking etc. for free. She never looks happy. I rarely see her smile. She can be very cutting and unloving with her remarks like the others can be, if they think they can guilt or shame you into moving in.

It's what they've been taught, and because they must remain in complete unity, they keep spewing out the same words and teachings, over and over and over and over. It never stops. It's leader, group, and self indoctrination. It's a sin for them to say anything different from the leader, as you know.

If they could somehow be humble as a group, they could really change for the better and really be able to hear other perspectives, but yes, Yoneq is their only perspective. Has he ever really repented to anyone? God only knows.

What can be done? Just leave. Probably better not to visit there. Focus on other means of personal social service to the world. Be a friend to others. Support democracy and individuals rights and freedoms.

The Tribes is in some ways a microcosm of a totalitarian dictatorship. It really makes my heart hurt all the positive and negative emotions I experienced there. It's something that takes a long time to recover from.

pajamas said...

Nothing but good will towards the 12 Tribes. If G-d hadn't placed me in a most uniquely challenging and hurtful life, I'd be living their and having His good work take place in me with, to my mind and heart, the worthy; the plain living, wisdom and unity seeking, 12 Tribes people. Take great care and be well eternally.

Sarah said...

I have lived with the woman you are talking about. She is a wonderful and sincere person. Yes, she doesn't smile as much. But she has a deep joy that's hard to find in the world. I never knew her to be "cutting." They are not trying to coerce or shame people into moving in. If anything, they carefully explain and show you what the life is like. You can be a visitor for years before becoming a member. I knew one couple that lived in the community for 11-13 years before joining!