Backs to the world

El Pais
J. M. Marti Font – Paris
November 24, 2006
Translated from the Spanish (Cheryl Web mistress)
Authorities in France are investigating a cult which fails to educate their children.  They do not cut their hair, but the men wear it in shoulder length ponytails.  Elbert Eugene Spriggs founded the Bible -based cult in 1972 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.  The members of the community have as their objective to live like the first Christians.  They grow their own food, they arise at dawn, do not drink, nor smoke, or watch television, nor listen to the radio or read anything besides the Bible.  Neither do they send their children to public schools, but prefer to home school them.  They reject advanced medical care and do not vaccinate their children.
In 2001 two Twelve Tribes members were convicted to 12 years in prison because their son Raphael Ginhoux died, a child that suffered from a congenital heart problem when the parents neglected to give him modern medical intervention.
Tabitha’s Place located in the small French town of Sus- Navarrenx took 23 years to establish.  This past Tuesday tribes members were the objects of a surprise visit from 4 representatives from a parliamentary commission which investigates the situation of juveniles in the world of the cults.
In France there are 60,000 juveniles in different degrees, who live, are educated and they grow under the influence of the cults, according to the Office of Inter-ministerial Fight Against Aberrant Cults.  They discovered as well that 18 juveniles between the ages of 6 and 16 years old were not sent to public school  The parent take refuge in the French constitutional right which allows them to home school their children provided that at least they follow the public school program.
The president of the commission, Georges Fenech, explained to the Parisian that he felt like he was interviewing “18 year old Natascha Kampusch,” an Austrian youngster kidnapped when she was a child and that recently was able to escape from the hiding place where she was detained for eight years.  According to the delegates that visited the community in Sus, the children know how to read “but they are incapable of explaining the sense of what they read,” and ignore everything concerning the contemporary world.  Of course Twelve Tribes children don’t know what the Internet is, nor the television or movies and only leave the physical surroundings of Sus when they accompany their parents to the markets to sell what they have grown.  According to Fenech, the children don’t even know who is Zidane.
Tabitha’s Place the large mansion that the members occupy in Sus-Navarrenx is in front of the town hall and their doors are always open.  The men who run this patriarchal structured community refer to themselves as “the elders of the tribe of Abraham.”  They deny that they live with their backs to the world; they insist that they practice hospitality and that the whole world is welcome to their home.  If one visits they will be given a piece of cake and mate (South American herbal tea).  “We educate our children on track and in justice, according to the book of Genesis,” explained Hushai Lesueur an elder and community spokesman.  “We do not delegate our paternal authority to people who do not share our spiritual and educational convictions.”  Consequently, Tribes members censor school books and do not teach their children the Theory of Evolution nor sex education.  They want to keep any knowledge which contradicts the Scriptures away from their children.
The Twelve Tribes Bible-based cult supports itself and sells its products such as honey, vegetables, and birds, in the markets.  In no case do they sell pork.  Tabitha’s Place has recently opened up a furniture fabrication workshop where they make and sell garden furniture with prices between 2,000 and 3,000 euros each piece.  The members of Tabitha’s Place consider themselves to be volunteer workers because they do not value social security.

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