Smiles cover the mystery at Tabitha’s Place. Physicians examined 79 sect children when Raphael died Thursday.
April 8, 1997
Translated from the French
In the courtyard, a group of children wave at the visitors. Little girls and women wear long hair, baggy skirts that cover the ankles, dresses, or sus pants and braids. The boys and men sport shoulder length ponytails and all men who can grow a beard – grow one. The Tribes member who showed me around Tabitha’s Place smiled constantly and fixed his gaze in the eyes of his guests and spoke calmly and softly: “You will judge all the words that come out of your mouth.” In the alleys of Tabitha’s Place, daily life is similar to a scene in the film Witness the Amish. Women wear long dresses and Birkenstock sandals and are often busy with toddlers in hand and a veneer smile on their faces. They do not speak. “Man is the head of the family,” explained Brown standing near the entrance. “The Bible explains that women were created second.” To visitors, the women offer tea and then quickly return to the kitchen. They say, “We must work and bake whole meal bread.” According to the prosecutor’s office, the infant Raphael suffered from rickets, congenital heart disease and only weighed 10 lbs even though he was 19 months old. Baby Raphael weighed 4.5 kilos or almost 10 lbs and his extreme thinness reminded the police of the Nazi death camps. When the police brought Dagmar to Pau, she smiled as she read the Bible. The judge who examined Michel and Dagmar Ginhoux for “deprivation of food and care of a young child under the age of 15″ noted that Dagmar gave mystical answers and refused to explain her son’s state of health. She also demonstrated a sound knowledge of French law, and demanded a debate on the desirability of imprisonment. Michel Ginhoux, 36 and Dagmar Zeller, 34, have been in prison since Thursday.
Since the death of Raphael, the serenity of the Twelve Tribes has been affected. Yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. forty police and a dozen doctors and the prosecutor Jean-Pierre Dreno found themselves at Tabitha’s Place to check the children’s health. A document that is often enclosed in the whole meal bread intrigued investigators. It said: “We believe in discipline and correction. We correct our children, but we do not mistreat them because we love them.” Convinced at the outset to find traces of child abuse on site, the investigators found last night “no signs of violence or ill-treatment, but they seized documents advocating corporal punishment. The police continue to investigate and interview Tribes members.
Processions on the roads. Sus village, Bearn – Supposedly, the procession happened on a Friday. The mayor launched a petition last year urging local officials to intervene in the pseudo-Christian cult that has spread to the United States, Brazil, Canada and England. A farmer complained about the “bearded ones and said, “I’m sick of their god.” In the village, Monique tells of baptisms in the river and long processions along the roads in the evenings, “with an incredible number of young children.”
They are a dangerous group, said mayor Frances Comtoux-Carrere. The followers of the Apostolic Order refuse doctors and teachers from the outside. In France, medical care and education for minors is mandatory. All those who refuse those requirements for children are deprived of family allowances. The Apostolic Order have somehow decided to live outside the rules of society, rejects these allocations.