Authorities have discovered in the Pyrenees-Atlantic a community where the children and its members are “cut off from society.”
November 22, 2006
Translated from the French (Cheryl – web mistress)
***Certain liberties were taken with the original French text in describing the Twelve Tribes and Elbert Eugene Spriggs.
Several members of the Parliamentary Commission on sects visited Tabitha’s Place, a community based in Sus, near Pau (Pyrenees Atlantic) to investigate with the school inspector and found fourteen children who were not enrolled in public school.
They discovered eighteen children 6-16 years who are “cut off from the world,” who do not attend public schools, do not play, nor do they come out. Supposedly, the Twelve Tribes home schools their children, but the kids read inadequately and fail to understand the meaning of the sentence. The children receive no vaccinations, have no contact with children outside the community and do not use the Internet or watch television.
Occasionally the children accompany their parents to the produce markets where they sell their vegetables and fruits. Most of them are afraid of the outside world. A school doctor examined the children and found no signs of physical abuse.
Tabitha’s Place is also known as the “Apostolic Order” and also the “Northeast Kingdom Community Church.” ***Community members slavishly obey the writings of its “apostle” and founder Elbert Eugene Spriggs or Yoneq or risk shunning or excommunication. There are 2,500-3,000 Twelve Tribes members around the world.
The committee chairman agreed that it could not free these children from social isolation because the cult hides behind its right to home school their children. The committee, which will report on December 19, will make “proposals for the release of the children’s psychological confinement.”