Brainwashing, beatings and racism

Brainwashing, beatings and racism

Translated from the German
May 22, 2012
Von Stefan Mayr

In the middle of Bavaria in a state-approved school racists educate children and young people. Several former members accuse the Twelve Tribes sect of just that. In addition, infants were chastised with safety pins and willow sticks. The Augsburg prosecutor now checks whether offenses are present.

In the middle of Bavaria racists educate children and young people in state approved school with the quasi support of the Ministry of Culture. The news magazine Focus reported in its latest edition about the Twelve Tribes community of faith and the conditions in the homes and school.

The children are supposedly on the estate of the former Cistercian monastery in the municipality of Deiningen. Their parents and teachers beat them with willow sticks by the age of two several times a day. Besides, it is taught at the sect school that “Africans are cursed” and “Negroes must serve whites.” The Augsburg public prosecutor has received preliminary investigations and the school authorities have announced additional ones.

If the reports from the former members are true, they confirm the warnings of the state assembly opposition which had criticized the approval for the sect school in 2006. At that time, the community of faith was allowed after years of wrangling to operate a so-called private supplementary school. In the primary school sector, this solution is unique in Bavaria.

The dispute over compulsory education of the children escalated in October 2002 and approximately 50 police officers brought the children on buses against their wills to the state school of Deiningen. But the next day all the children stayed home and only their teachers taught them. The parents also refused to pay the imposed fine and so the seven parents had to settle for an additional money penalty and prison time of between 6 and 16 days.

The parents stood firm and the next escalation step would have been to deprive the parents of custody their children. The public authorities were afraid so they pulled back from this next step. So four years later it came as a compromise: the faith community operates since then at its own expense a supplementary school, which, though state controlled, but whose teaching differs from the usual curriculum. Thus, neither does the sect school teach sex education or the theory of evolution.

“Significant dogmatic deviations”

In 2005 the school district criticized the school lessons in Klosterzimmern. Teachers failed to meet the state’s requirements and in some subjects there was “considerable dogmatic deviations,” it said. Thus they teach them that men and women are not equal and therefore they do not prepare them for the reality of life outside the community. These concerns were wiped off the table in 2006 for the sake of peace.

Now reality will probably overtake the authorities. On Monday the Ministry of Culture moved by the consequences from the media report went to the government of Swabia and the educational authorities in Donau-Ries to investigate the allegations, said a ministry spokesman. School supervision should be “intensified” as there will be discussions with the teachers and also students.

Chief administrative officer of the school district Stefan Rössle was surprised: This is the best monitored school of the district, so far there have been no evidence of abusive or racist content, he said. A withdrawal of school approval belongs to the ministry and is not an issue: even if crimes were proven, they would need to be examined first, whether these cases belong to the school system. This evidence is not easy.

When the Lord loves, He chastises

The Focus magazine appeals to the testimony of ten former members as well as internal sect documents. It is reported there is merciless control and criminal regime with “brainwashing” and “spanking” in order to “break the will of the children.” Allegedly, punishment begins in infancy as every toddler is so tightly wrapped with the help of safety pins in a cloth that it can no longer struggle or move. From the second year of life they are beaten “at least three times a day” with a willow switch. Here the teacher appeals to the New Testament, “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth He strikes with the rod every son whom He receiveth.” Hold out if you will be punished. (Hebrews 12:6) It is stated in “internal sect documents” if a child rebels a parents only leverage is to exert physical pain so the child will accept parental controls and instruction. Child rearing and discipline is compared with dog training. When raising dogs it is well known that the use of the hand is counter-productive. This also applies to children. The school teaches that the spirit of the devil incited Martin Luther King and others to fight for equality.

The Augsburg prosecutor is now checking whether there are actionable offenses. The faith community made available on request on Monday no details, but announced a written opinion.