132 Reasons why a past member left the cult
Why I left Elbert Eugene Spriggs “Twelve Tribes Communes”
The reasons why a past member left the Twelve Tribes Cult.
The past member that wrote this has wished to remain anonymous.
Formerly known as: Northeast Kingdom Community Church, Church of God, The New Apostolic Order in Messiah, The Church in Island Pond, the Twelve Tribes and generally, The Communities)
(Friendship-love-dogma-shame-guilt-fear) Warning: The Tribes consider all negative reporting on their life as “malicious lies and slander.” They also state “both those who lie and those who listen to lies are worthy of the lake of fire.”
The community started in the 1970’s with a “Christian” couple,
Gene and Marsha Spriggs, who helped troubled teens and
furnished them a place to stay in their home. Somehow Christian
hippie love and a free communal life degenerated into a total
control religious cult mixed with Jewish Old Testament Law and
the Christian Gospel.
2. Though they beat around the bush with first time visitors, the
tribes clearly consider themselves “the only true work of God on
earth since the apostles.” Being the called, chosen, and the
faithful, one member repeatedly shouted at a daily gathering, “I
am so thankful and not ashamed to declare we’re it! We’re it!
God’s only people! We are the people He’s always wanted and
never obtained!” The tribes teach that only they possess God’s
Spirit. “If you’re in the world, you have another spirit, or perhaps
an angel leading you to God’s body (Tribes).
3. Only community members can preach the “true gospel.” They
say “the sheep will obediently receive, hear and obey a ‘sent one’
giving up wealth, jobs, friends, relatives and inheritance to enter
the one sheepfold.” To join the community “sheep” must donate
their time and free labor. “Saved” means calling upon Yahshua
(Jesus is a demon) and consenting to outdoor baptism even in the
middle of winter. Within the communities, opportunities abound
for a member to “die to themselves” and “crucify their flesh.”
Believing Jesus’ death insufficient to save a person, they render
community members totally dependent upon the group.
4. I was told, “God created a special place for His own where His
Holy Spirit dwells, the Edah, our Twelve Tribes. Currently we
don’t have twelve tribes, but someday we will. Forgiveness, love
and restoration cannot occur anywhere else. Our Master
Yahshua accomplished this through His death on the tree,
suffering in our place and rising again on our behalf.”
5. Full of unclean birds and spirits, Christianity is “the bloody whore
of Revelation. Her ministers are liars and thieves. They draw
glory to themselves while destroying the sheep,” according to
Spriggs’ teaching. Instructed regularly, members omit ‘the bloody
whore’ part with new visitors. Community members also believe
“Jews and Christians failed to perform God’s purpose, so God cut
them off, cast them aside and waited 1900 years for a people
willing to obey His commands.” They try to persuade people into
believing that “only they bear good fruit.”
6. Lying is allowed and encouraged to legally protect the community
or individual members.
7. Members cannot enter any Church or Temple “especially on
Sundays,” because “evil spirits are near.”
8. E. Spriggs refers to the Bible as “the most dangerous book.” The
tribes also say “In order to understand the Scriptures one must
connect himself to the vine (the tribes). And in another teaching
Spriggs says, “The Bible is written to confound the wise and
meant to be misunderstood unless you are under the anointing.”
(Spriggs interpretation) Stone IV 6/18/89
9. Before Messiah can return for “His Bride,” the tribes believe they
alone must perfectly keep God’s laws for 49 years.
10. Filling their members with fear and dread, the community makes
it difficult for devastated members to depart. As they are leaving,
defectors may hear “Whoever has the Holy Spirit and leaves the
body is turned over to death. You will not live long.” In an other
teaching Spriggs says, “If a person even thinks about returning to
Egypt, our Father will provide them an opportunity to return….If
you go back, you will drown.” These damaged people can no
longer trust God, themselves or others, and are unable to receive
‘help from the world.’
11. Al Jayne “Ne man, one of my shepherds told me candidly, “We
make people unable to survive and stand on their own two feet in
12. The tribes latched onto the Catholic purgatory model for their
“three eternal destinies” teaching. One of their main sales
pitches, they treat this teaching like golden revelation from on
High. Even though Jesus said, “Why do you call me good, only
God alone is good,” the tribes teach some people are “good” and
“live according to their conscience.”
13. The tribes “free papers” and Website fail to give potential “sheep”
the dark, depressed, painful side of life in the communes.
14. Community members cannot accuse their leaders of wrong or
voice discontent. Concerning complaints and malcontents
Spriggs says, “Whoever is against the Father makes himself
brother to Satan, the rebel prince of this world system.”
15. If you “oppose the anointing” (Spriggs, his elders or teachings),
God may cause you to become ill, experience an accident or
die.” Mary Wiseman, who died of cancer, told another sister,
“You don’t know Yoneq (Spriggs), he can have real anger.”
Following her death, the elders remarked, “Our Father removed
Mary from His body because she opposed the anointing.”
Spriggs and his henchmen are untouchable little kings.
16. By inhibiting critical thinking among community members, a
“group think” mentality prevails. Thinking for yourself is
condemned. The “mind of the Body” (tribes mindset and
teachings) replaces your own personal opinions and mental
reasoning. Accordingly, followers surrender their right to make
value judgments. (They cannot reason). All female members
must wear dresses or hideous clown-type pants. Men must grow
their hair long enough to tie in a short pony tail. Unity means “we
perfectly agree about everything.” We do not agree to disagree
like Christianity with all their denominations.” We are one as
Yahshua commanded.” They always rid themselves of those
who cause division.
17. Young adults who break away from the tribes are told, “You are
forsaking God, your parents and friends, so you can indulge your
flesh in the world.” One young man courageously told two
shepherds, “I can’t live this way.” Later the elders publicly
blamed the young man’s mother as a poor example of an imma
18. Gene Spriggs decides all belief, practice and lifestyle. Positioned
in a place of unrivaled power and control, Spriggs the monarch
and pope of the community answers to no one. Being the sole
leader of the tribes, Spriggs prefers to maintain a low profile, and
keeps any knowledge of his whereabouts, or finances secret.
19. Carefully guarded in each commune house, Spriggs’ teachings
are not available to the public nor to many of the sheep.
Sometimes an elder may give a less dramatic teaching if he
believes “It will help a ‘sheep’ to increase. One newer black
member repeatedly asked to see “the Ham teaching” which
describes “God’s curse on the black race, their continuing sin of
disrespect, and their duty to serve whites.” Believing that the
teaching would cause him to stumble, the elder denied him
access. Outsiders often hear, “any brother may bring a
teaching.” Actually this means any brother may study a teaching
Spriggs dreamed up and then repeat the teaching to the
household. I often heard, “scripture is not personally interpreted.”
Another oft heard control phrase within the community is, “you
need to receive and cling to the anointing (Spriggs).”
20. African Americans and all people of African descent are said to
remain under God’s curse, and should still be slaves to white
people, unless they become equal by joining the Twelve Tribes.
21. Abraham Lincoln is called an evil man who deserved to be killed.
22. Martin Luther King Jr. is called an evil man who deserved to be
23. Though I’ve heard reports of Spriggs watching television and
reading whatever he chooses, the average community member
cannot exercise such freedom. By contrast, radio, television, and
printed materials are off limits to almost all community members.
IPOD’s and MP3 players are not allowed. Tribal teen boys often
read newspapers and various magazines when they are alone.
Listening to the car radio is a gray area.
24. Electronic music instruments are not allowed.
25. Bowel movements and how you have them are critical. During
bathroom visits, members squat on small unstable wooden
stools. A difficult feat it is! They say “toilets are killing Americans,
because as you sit not enough crap comes out. This causes
26. Concerning crap, while outdoors “members must bury all bowel
movements because our Father walks around and may step in
the crap.” Upon hearing this, I almost rolled on the floor
laughing. All I could picture is a half-man half-horse deity trotting
around the countryside and through the woods at night. You
must honestly question who their God/god really is.
27. A husband no longer holds authority within his family, but a
shepherd usurps authority over your wife and children. This is
humiliating and frightening.
28. Eddie Wiseman beat a teenage community member leaving 89
bloody welts on her body. As a result, the family stayed away
from the commune for 15 years, but sadly returned in 1998.
None of them received the courage to pursue charges against
“cold Eddie” (Hakam). I have heard stories of this man sexually
abusing at least one boy. As the boy courageously told his elders
of the abuse, they rewarded him by beating him and locking him
in a closet. People like Eddie Wiseman and Gene Spriggs don’t
repent. They never do anything wrong.
29. Walmart is avoided.
30. Medical neglect is common mainly due to insufficient finances,
and refusal to buy health insurance for the members. Babies and
adults have died from conditions that could have been treated.
They would rather take a member to a chiropractor than to a
medical doctor or hospital. They will try to barter with dentists
when they can’t avoid their services.
31. God condemns to death and possibly the eternal Lake of Fire
those members who leave.
32. Medical doctors and medical insurance are avoided and
33. Awakened and frightened by the boring religious service, a crying
2 year old child refused to sit like a miniature adult. In response,
the parents rolled their son in a sheet to prevent him from moving
his arms or legs. The parents repeated this “discipline” over
34. Sabbath day of rest (Saturday) work is performed in the late
afternoon on Saturdays.
35. Shepherds are the ruling authority over the household “sheep”
which includes all community members.
36. One of my shepherds approached me and said, “I don’t like the
behavior of your two year old son. You need to hit him.”
I felt like telling Al Jayne “Ne man,” “Too damn bad, look at your
own children. If I didn’t hit my son, I felt like Al Jayne would have
enjoyed the task in my place. The tribes expect too much from
small children. Burdened with the goal of raising up three
successive generations of increasingly pure and perfect children,
community members constantly “beat the tar out of their babies.”
Spriggs also says, “If our children can’t learn obedience, Yahshua
will not return.”
37. Many parents “in the world” punish their children as a last resort.
In the tribes, parents punish their children as a first resort.
Walloping their children provides some adults with an excuse to
leave a gathering. Instructed to remove their “disobedient”
children far from the listening ears of visitors, the parents strike
their children on outstretched palms or bare buttocks with long
thin flexible sticks. Foolishness, joke telling, laughing or making
faces often results in “discipline” for these young children.
38. “My imma and abba (mother and father) hit me all day,” exclaimed
a little boy.
39. After my wife and I divorced, she and my 6 year old son lived
outside the community. I asked Al Jayne, I haven’t seen my son
in several months, and I really miss him. You often drive to his
town, can I travel with you sometime? Al responded with, “If you
visit your son when he is young you will only confuse him. As he
reaches his teens, he will wonder and visit you.” Another newer,
but older member told me, “You’re just a babe, Eric. You must
mature before you visit your relatives. Perhaps your son and
former wife are sheep. They need to see you living obediently
with God’s people, then you can share the gospel with them.”
Several other members emphasized, “You must follow the
example of Abraham and place your son on the altar. You must
reckon Jason as dead, just as Abraham reckoned Isaac dead.”
One sister suggested I seek legal custody of Jason, and remove
him from his mother. My former wife is an excellent mother.
Taking Jason would break her heart and destroy her.
40. According to Spriggs, “parents who send their children to public
schools hate them.”
41. Wages are not paid. All members are volunteers who only
receive room and board.
42. Community children cannot celebrate birthdays or “demonic”
holidays such as Christmas or Easter.
43. One teen-age girl boldly told me that “at one time the adults used
to put children into boxes and lock them in closets. They wanted
the children to experience DEATH.”
44. To control difficult teenagers, the tribes sometimes sends them
overseas to sister communes. This hinders relatives from
helping the imprisoned teenager.
45. The community routinely removes children from their parents, if
the parents cannot raise them according to Spriggs’ standards.
One young child moved into my communal home, and shortly
thereafter his “teacher” thrashed him with a balloon stick.
46. Ponytails, short in length, are required for men and boys.
47. Within the community, parents routinely deny their children
immunizations and medical care. Whooping cough and other
illnesses have disabled entire communities as a result. They
don’t want doctors to discover the many scars on their children’s
buttocks. The community hates to spend money on “worldly
48. The daughter of one shepherd told me, “Growing up in the Edah
is difficult. As a young child, I endured constant “discipline.”
Currently, I am busy with never ending work, but when I marry I
will have even more work, and my husband will rule over me. I
know Yahshua loves me. I need to trust Him and give up my
49. I was told several times, “If you don’t use chopsticks during your
meal, you offend and hate Japheth. (Oriental people, Native
American people). The tribes hope to recruit more minorities. In
Hamburg, members exercised more freedom concerning the use
of forks or chopsticks.
50. Evangelism is a required activity.
51. If the young children engage in imaginary play, pretend, fantasy
or imaginary friends, their parents beat them. In one commune,
small boys could not push blocks of wood, or make truck noises.
Community children possess few if any toys, and cannot play
unless an adult “covers” them. In defense of their views, they
say, “we want our children to deal with real life, such as learning
a trade or helping their mothers in the kitchen.” A commune
house may own one ball or bicycle, which, the children may play
with provided they don’t have too much fun. Sadly, the children
enjoy little play time, because the adults must continue working
“so that the sheep have a home to come to, food to eat and
clothes to wear.”
52. Child birth pain is not lessened in any way, and is seen as God’s
will and curse upon women.
53. Civil Rights movement for African Americans is condemned as
54. Within the communities, tightly swaddled babies, toddlers and
small children are a common sight. Unable to move their arms
or legs, the poor children are wrapped in a cloth or blanket like
little mummies. They are made helpless and often must sit for
long periods, while their mothers work. One member explained,
“swaddling helps to break their will without breaking their spirit.”
I often pitied a frightened little black baby wrapped in this way.
She wanted to move but couldn’t.
55. Mothers who deliver their infants in the hospital, lack faith in God
and their brothers. A woman named amy who suffers from a
heart condition, endured six days of sleepless labor with a breech
birth. She and her husband, Aaron Anderson, refused outside
medical help and chose to “remain where our Father dwells.” “If
you trust our Father you can accomplish anything.” They place
no trust in doctors, hospitals or Christians.
56. Sheep like qualities are desired in members, such as being easily
57. Years earlier, I questioned my household coordinator regarding
women “who are just too small to safely deliver their babies at
home.” Coldly he said, “LET THEM RIP!” I was stunned. A cold
religious spirit dominates in the community, which reminds me of
some Old-Order Amish groups. To them the “pain of child birth is
beneficial for a woman.” Through many trials and tribulations we
will enter the kingdom.” You need to die.”
58. Spriggs’ teachings dictate that married women must produce at
least seven children. According to Spriggs he says, “God is
going to bring forth a male child (144,000) with absolutely no
deceit in them. There will not be one lie in them. They will be
just like Messiah. They will be so pure that fire comes out of their
mouth and they will be righteously indignant.”
59. In each communal home, every newborn male endures
circumcision. Furthermore they say, “every adult male should
desire circumcision.” The tribes totally ignore the Apostle Paul’s
extensive teachings regarding law, grace, and circumcision.
60. Individuals and families lack personal privacy.
61. Vacations are not allowed, though shepherds and their families
do “have some time away.”
62. Because they enjoyed a “burlesque” piece of lingerie, one couple
had to confess their “sin” to the entire household. I felt sorry for
them. Through his teachings, I believe Spriggs instructs couples
about “correct” sexual positions. Tribal control doesn’t
necessarily stop at the bedroom doors. Content with their one
baby, one couple had to repent when they honestly stated that
they wished to have no more. This couple left the tribes after an
entire household collapsed in Lancaster, New Hampshire, amidst
a series of hushed up scandals.
63. As I sat in a chair and silently prayed, one brother accused me
“of communing with evil spirits.” A shepherd’s wife told me “You
should pray aloud because the angels take our prayers to God.”
64. If a wife refuses to join the tribes with her husband then “she was
never his wife.”
65. Within the communities, women must obey their husbands
without reasoning or questioning. The community views a
disobedient wife as rebellious, independent and unsubmissive.
To persuade the wife to repent, sometimes the husband may
withhold sex from her.
66. Shaving any part of the body is not allowed for men or women.
67. A household coordinator referred to my wife as a witch when she
tried to dissuade me from joining the tribes. At our baptism, we
were told to ‘renounce Jesus and the demonic spirit of
68. Unsafe work conditions have contributed to serious injuries, such
as members falling off high ladders and roofs.
69. Several times a household coordinator secretly tapped into
phone conversations when I spoke with my wife. In response he
said, “I pay the telephone bill, and I have the right to know if
someone is filling your head with defiling negative information.”
(about the community).
70. The tribes belittle Christians for attending church, sitting in a pew
and listening to a clergyman talk about ‘white bread Jesus,’ yet in
the community, teaching sessions last three times longer than a
sermon. I certainly didn’t feel like dancing when I heard these
71. Alimony payments for spouses living outside the community are
72. Those who sleep during a dull teaching must stand until the
remainder of the session. During teachings, members may not
use the bathroom or drink water from the bathroom.
73. At any time, you may be asked to stand in the center of a room “if
you need help or correction.” They call this a “lemon fight.”
74. You can understand why the tribes don’t tell new guests the real
details of their life. It’s too bad for the guests who may be
hypnotized by the initial love, smiles, compliments, hugs,
dancing and testimonies. Because I was so sad in the world, I
tried to sell myself on their “gospel.” I tried daily to believe that
twelve tribes were “the only Ones being saved.” After a while, I
felt sick inside.
75. Jewish festivals are now celebrated.
76. Financially, the shepherds live better than “the sheep.” Makes
sense right? Shepherds and sheep. Overseers of the
community, shepherds possess credit cards, own cars, and
control the money. They can buy food, purchase gifts for their
wives and children, and take frequent trips. In contrast, the dumb
sheep wash piles of dirty dishes, clean the toilets and wash the
clothes. While most tribal women have few if any pictures to
enjoy, Prisca, the wife of “Aquila the Gorilla” owns and enjoys an
expensive camera. Shepherd Al Jayne is fond of buying new
higher-grade tools for his sons. His oldest son Nehemiah drives
his own van and owns expensive musical instruments. Jesus
said, “If you want to be the greatest, you must be the slave of all.”
What did Yahshua say? “Disciples wash dishes.” Shepherds
and their children do not. When I once hinted that Al Jayne’s
boys never washed dishes, their mother responded with “you
never sing songs or tell stories to my teenage sons while
washing dishes.” The married people and teens always
disappeared into thin air. A clear double standard prevails in the
tribes. I think you call it a clergy-laity division.
77. Men and women work long hours (16 -18 hours) with no wages
and little if any medical care. Members give everything and
receive nothing in return except dances, hugs, baked squash,
millet, beets, maggot infested potatoes, teachings and house
arrest. As one brother said a couple of days prior to finally
leaving, “I’m tired….I’m tired.” He could barely drive the car.
After his departure, the elders said, “his parents spoiled and
pampered him.” The Twelve Tribes routinely use people and then
cast them aside as “weak.”
78. Going out to eat is usually not allowed.
79. While working past midnight, a brother accidentally struck himself
in the face with a hammer. Muscle hanging from his injured face,
he called an ambulance. Because the elders desire to maintain
control over communal money, the shepherds admonished the
man for seeking medical care. Paid overtime isn’t even in tribal
vocabulary. I remember hearing brothers ridicule time clocks “in
the world.” If you have a time clock, be glad. Now that I live in
the world, I’m glad that I receive” a living wage for a fair days
80. All communities will soon pay a tithe to cover tribal expenses such
as property taxes and evangelism. Guess who profits from any
left over money. Elbert Eugene Spriggs. Eddie Wiseman. Don’t
forget the higher ranks of “apostolic workers.” Silver and gold we
have some. Lowly sheep you get none. We have it all. Keep
laboring you sheep.
81. When I last lived in the tribes, the elders allotted only $10.00 per
week per person for food, clothes and personal items. I waited
three weeks to receive dental floss and longer for toothpaste.
The shepherds and their families always had money for personal
trips, ice cream and pizza. One elder, “Aquila the Gorilla” often
frequents the local Denny’s Restaurant.
82. One sister waited over two years to receive a bathrobe.
Meanwhile, the shepherd just purchased a new and expensive
computer system. Another sister spoke with me about her fear
and guilt as she needed an eye exam and new glasses.
83. Bedrooms for single brothers are usually very small and stuffy with
two or more bunk beds.
84. Members need permission to visit family or friends “in the world.”
They cannot attend any family funerals. Parents who oppose the
Edah may never see their children again. When a young person
joins the community, shepherds and their wives sometimes
become the young adult’s new parents.
85. Hospital medical care is avoided.
86. Sexual abuse of children and physical abuse of married women,
continues to be a problem within the communities. One single
brother repeatedly exposed himself to the small children in a
bathroom, and was asked to leave. Collectively, they refuse to
repent for destroying the lives of their members. Denial is a key
concept with the tribes, because they are always right and the
individual is always wrong. One of their favorite sayings is “It is
better to be wrong together, than to be right alone.” Hitler would
have agreed! Emphasis added!
87. The tribes insisted that they never helped Steve Wooten, a
member wanted by the police for kidnapping. I was present at
the morning gathering when the FBI arrested Steve Wooten in
Florida. The tribes lied. They sheltered him for many years.
Member’s called his former wife, a prostitute, a liar and an unfit
88. Southern confederacy is sided with in the U.S civil war as being
more righteous than the north.
89. The tribes forbid its members from taking medication. Over a ten
year period, one sister stopped taking her medication for manic-
depression which resulted in irrational behavior. Repeatedly
dumped at homeless shelters and cheap hotels, the elders
insisted that her condition was the result of rebellion and
unconfessed sin. Several months later, she returned to the
community amid promises from the shepherd “Aquila the Gorilla”
that they would never again ask her to leave. Sometime later, a
brother substituted a strong Tribe – produced St. John’s Wort
tincture for her prescribed medication. As a result , Al Jayne
ditched the penniless sister at a hotel and told her, “I guess the
last nine or ten years have been a real waste.” When I
inquired about the sister’s whereabouts, the shepherd responded
with “she went crazy.” The community always treats the individual
as a scapegoat. In contrast, the twelve tribes are always “God’s
holy people.” The communes are far worse than the churches
they condemn, because love is not the rule.
90. The tribes condemn Christianity “for the sin of the Nicolaitins”
which they interpret as a clergy-laity division. In the tribes you
have Spriggs-shepherd-sheep division.
91. Attempting to obey the many Old Testament laws, the
communities in essence practice legalism. They ignore the many
warnings of the apostle Paul and the Jerusalem Council. In Acts
15 Paul said, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to
burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: To
abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of
strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”
92. Forbidden to tuck their shirts, tribal men look like slobs.
Considering clean shaven men as emasculated and Roman, tribal
men cannot shave or closely trim their beards. Priestly robes
and wide headbands for use during gatherings, are worn.
93. Members must eat whatever is on their plate, and if someone
doesn’t like a particular food, they must eat more of it. Because I
hate beets, one member told me, “Don’t think you’ll enter the
kingdom if you don’t eat your veggies.” Sounds like legalism to
me. Emphasis added!
94. Community members can only wear cotton clothing against their
95. Homes are usually very cold in the winter and very hot in the
96. Child support payments for children living outside the community
97. Community members cannot wear jewelry or wrist watches.
During a gathering, his holiness Gene Spriggs smashed a
member’s watch under his foot when the alarm accidentally
98. Women in the community really suffer while working in the
kitchen. While the men buy new tools from Home Depot, the
women must chop cabbage and shred carrots by hand because
they don’t have a food processor. They constantly cut their
fingers on the very dull knives they must use. They must use
temperamental old washers and dryers and hang out the laundry
by hand. Because they refuse to install a dishwasher, the sheep
must wash piles of dirty dishes. A former member once said, “the
community is the worst place for women since ancient China.” A
drinking fountain would eliminate the need to wash 400 glasses
99. Women do not participate in tribal government. Women are
always under the authority of men.
100. Children and adults within the communities cannot own personal
pets. Most tribe children are fearful of cats and dogs, because
they believe them to be unclean to a true Hebrew.
101. A man cannot sleep with his wife during her monthly period, but
must sleep on a floor mat. During this time, the woman is
“unclean” but not too unclean to continue her daily work. You
can see why the apostle Paul said, “The law kills.”
102. Every in the tribes except Gene Spriggs and those closest to
him are “covered.” This means someone always knows where
you are working or where you can be found. In my opinion, it
is the aim of the Twelve Tribes commune to discourage all
independence (thought, action, and freedom of movement,
opinions, access to information, and access to families) and to
drive them into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots. They
have lost all personal ambition, are easy to rule, willing to obey
and willing to exist in selfless slavery to Elbert Eugene Spriggs.
103. Child “scourging” used to take place. Children would take off
their clothes and be hit for longer periods of time with a flexible
rod from the back to the heels. I am uncertain if this practice
continues for very rebellious children.
104. Except for Spriggs, anyone can be “cut off.” Those who are “cut
“off cannot wear their head covering (women), pray at
gatherings, or participate in breaking of bread. Concerning
those who are cut off, Spriggs says, “Don’t eat with them. We
don’t talk to them except to reprove them, trying to bring them
back to the faith – if we believe they are a brother or sister. We
don’t have communion with them.” He also says, “One who has
fallen and contracted “leprosy” needs to be restored and washed
so everyone can touch him. If you touch him before you get
dirty, you contract their leprosy. “They shun the disobedient and
rebellious member until they repent.
105. Communal cars almost have empty gas tanks. When people are
given money for fuel, they usually buy a couple of gallons of gas,
and then pocket the remaining money. Members are rarely
given enough money to fill the tank, unless a shepherd needs to
take a trip somewhere.
106. Do you currently know where Yoneq is? What is he doing?
How much money does he have stashed away? What kind of
car is he driving? Who covers him? Has he been “cut off”? Is
he “clinging to the anointing?” (Himself) Has he repented? Want
to cause waves in the tribes? Start asking pointed questions
about Yoneq. Why have some teachings “disappeared” never
to be heard again?
107. One brother told me he sleeps on a very hard futon so he can be
prepared “for the wilderness.” The tribes are planning to gather
in ”the wilderness” someday because they believe the world will
reject them. Sounds like Jonestown and Waco doesn’t it?
Spriggs and elder Hawkins of the House of Yahweh should meet
sometime and compare notes. But, they would probably “cut
off” each other.
108. Asbestos removal safety laws have been intentionally violated to
109. The elders often censored, scrutinized and sometimes
intentionally opened my mail. They always wanted to know if
the sender was “a friend of Israel.” (The tribes).
110. I often heard, “Only the strong survive in Christianity.” I marvel at
this statement when I think of all the weary eyed, broken down
and exhausted people I knew in the tribes. As Gene Spriggs
says, “the longer you are in the body, the hard it is to remain,
Only the faithful will endure to the very end.”
111. Exhaustion is common, because members muse give 100% of
all they are.
112. Community members are slaves. It that simple. Members make
it possible for Gene Spriggs to fly around the world, and for
Spriggs and his buddies to retire in style.
113. The Twelve Tribes is a high control, devastating religious cult
which robs its members of basic human rights. Within the tribes
there is no: free thought, free speech, freedom of religion,
freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, private property,
freedom to travel, family contact, burial of relatives, earned
income, inheritance, education, current events/world news, labor
laws, workmen’s compensation, health insurance, right to bear
arms, voting rights, fair trial, prescribed medications, choice of
personal appearance, diet choice, marriage decisions, music
choice, radio and TV.
114. Dying to yourself is commanded. “You just need to die, and give
up your life.”
115. Before leaving I challenged the authority of my shepherd. He
took on a different personality altogether as he said, “I am God
in this house. You hate me and despise our Master. You love
your own life. I’m trying to help you be saved.”
116. The community routinely give their “sheep” Hebrew names.
They say, “Dead men don’t have opinions.”
117. Everyone in the tribes must end each shower with a straight
cold rinse. Cold not cool. This signifies the cold response
disciples receive when they share the tribes “gospel.”
According to Spriggs, “the cold rinse multiplies white blood cells,
prevents illness, and increases longevity.” I still cold rinse in the
warmer months. In the winter, cold rinses terribly aggravate
118. Community members can only marry another member only if the
body gives their holy approval. If the union benefits the body,
they will approve the marriage.
119. Doctor checkups are not usually allowed for babies, children, or
120. Other members cannot criticize the founders Elbert Eugene
Spriggs “Gene” “Yoneq” and his fourth wife, Marsh Ann “Ha-
emeq” Duvall Spriggs. Marsha avoided banishment after she
lied about a sexual affair with a much younger disciple.
Unmarried teens and adults have been banished for holding
hands or kissing. This double-standard is unprecedented, but is
mostly denied. When Gene finally found out, he said “her
punishment will be that the world will know.” Gene and Marsha
have decided all doctrine, rituals, food, clothing, and lifestyle for
the Twelve Tribes. Gene’s only son from a previous marriage
was never interested in joining and says his dad is a cult leader.
121. The last time I tried to visit the tribes, Aquila the Gorilla escorted
me out the door, because he feared I would “defile” their
gathering or cause more “sheep” to leave. He was intensely
interested in knowing if I was a Christian.
122. Child education is equal to a 7th grade public education at best.
None of the children receive GED or High School diploma.
They are raised to remain within the community.
123. All emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) may not be
called without permission.
124. Child toys are not allowed, including stuffed animals, and little
125. Drum sets are not allowed.
126. Personal computers are allowed for some, but not for most
127. No one needs to live in a legalistic cult to know God’s love,
forgiveness, and brotherhood.
The Twelve Tribes claim:
The Bible exists only for their benefit.
To eventually bring forth the 144,000 male virgin evangelists of the
Book of Revelation
The only people who are able to understand the Bible.
The only people God is saving from their sins.
The only people who have God’s Holy Spirit since the first century
The only people who really love each other
The only people who see and understand life objectively
The people God will use to bring about the end of the current
* To be the true Jews