Children of the Tribes-1rst Sept 2015
This excellent, well researched article was published by Pacific Standard, a National Magazine, Award-winning, bimonthly based out of California.
The following are the first paragraphs:
Shuah Jones, 15, stuffed clothes under her bed blankets in the shape of a body, grabbed her diary and Bible, and crept downstairs. Wearing a long blue linen skirt and clunky buckled sandals, she opened the door, slipped outside, and paused to look back at her house: a historic residence in Plymouth, Massachusetts, known as the Blue Blinds, where she lived with other members of her church. Good riddance, she thought. On the street she broke into a run toward the only payphone she knew of, at a gas station near the center of town, half a mile away. She’d never been outside alone at night before. As she sprinted down the main drag, Court Street, men in bars called out and wolf-whistled. She was terrified. When she reached the phone, she called her brother Noah, who told her to wait for him in a parking lot next to the Blue Blinds, so she ran all the way back. He was an hour away. She hid in a bush, heart thumping. When at last he pulled into the lot, she leaped into his car.
“Just breathe,” he told her as they drove away. “Breathe.”
Today the Blue Blinds is a bakery, famous in Plymouth for its eggs-and-cheddar sandwich and its organic pastries. It has earned a loyal fan base by charging a little less than its neighborhood competitors for food that is consistently delicious. But generating a profit isn’t its only objective. Another is winning souls: The bakery is the public face of an otherwise reclusive and controversial religious sect called the Twelve Tribes.
I visited the Blue Blinds one morning last summer. Business was brisk. As I stood at the back of a long line inching toward the entrance, I found myself staring at the employees’ garb. The women all wore long hair and baggy, floor-skimming dresses. The men sported trimmed beards and short ponytails, and rolled up their pants to expose their socks. A customer in front of me referred to the “cool hippie vibe” of the place.
And to see comments from the public on this article, go here
And to see a follow-up article published in January 2016, go here