Child abuse and unpaid work in the Bible -based Twelve Tribes cult
Note: Some liberties were taken with the text. For example – where the original author calls the Twelve Tribes “a community of faith,” I call it a Bible -based cult. That’s really what they are! The German/English translator (Cheryl)
August 11, 2014
Translated from the German
In September 2013 RTL -Reporter Wolfram Kuhnigk told Twelve Tribes elders he was a paramedic experiencing a serious life crisis and eventually he moved onto the Twelve Tribes cult property in Klosterzimmern for several weeks.
In Sept. 2013 members of the Bible-based Twelve Tribes cult were actively thrashing their young children and RTL-reporter Kuhnigk secretly captured this on film. Now there is also evidence of unpaid work.
The Twelve Tribes have defended themselves against the allegations of child abuse and the publication of Wolfram Kuhnigk’s work. The Community in Klosterzimmern accuses Wolfram Kuhnigk of forging documents and false testimony. The RTL – Reporter believes that these are merely efforts to divert attention away from the child abuse.
For many years the German authorities have accused the Twelve Tribes off systematic child abuse and making the children docile and beating the tar out of them!
Kuhnigk’s recordings prove these atrocious acts against the children. The camera has filmed Twelve tribes members and their “educational” methods.” “We don’t call it hitting, but we call it a discipline measure because someone brings a rod…”
Particularly alarming: “Even the young children and even the 6 month old babies receive “discipline.” When babies scream, they are struck on the legs with a rod several times until the child shuts up,” explains a former member.
Sven – The former Twelve Tribes members experienced daily violence and bedtime beatings. “Each night I was afraid that the thrashings would happen again.” But that’s not enough. A former Twelve Tribes member told Wolfram Kuhnigk – the RTL investigative reporter that the sect puts adults and teenagers to work without giving them wages and benefits.
In subsequent investigations, the RTL-Reporter posed as an employee of a car dealership and then made contact with the Twelve Tribes Bible -based cult. The Twelve Tribes operated a Solar Company and Kuhnigk was awarded a contract with them.
Two other Solar Companies submitted prices for their products but the costs for the Twelve Tribes Solar products was much lower than those two other businesses. The reporter concluded that this offer was only possible because the Twelve Tribes Community doesn’t pay benefits, wages or insurance to its workers!
Origin of the Twelve Tribes Bible-based cult
Elbert Eugene Spriggs started the Bible-based Twelve Tribes cult in 1972 along with his fourth wife, Marsha Ann Duvall Spriggs. Spriggs opened the first community in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The community generally rejects modern influences.
Critics of the Twelve Tribes -based cult say the sect “is hierarchically organized and uses violence to break the will of children.”