Testimony of Evelyne Massy
Source: L’Humanité-26 February 2000-Dossier on Tabitha’s Place (page in website all in French)
note from another ex-member who also lived in Tabitha’s Place…one thing doesn’t sound right in this story, one detail, about Yoneq landing by helicopter: “That never happened but everything else in Evelyne’s testimony is totally true to life. Looks like the journalist misunderstood Evelyne or something on that one detail”.
“It is better to see your child dead than walking in the way of the wicked”
Evelyne Massy is an ex-member of Tabitha’s Place. This forty year old woman spent 2 and half years in the Chateau in Sus together with her husband and their 4 children between 1987 and 1990. She accepted to testify for l’Humanite (Humanity…French national paper)
“My husband and I met the community at the market of Mourenx, where the members sold their wholemeal bread. I went to Tabitha’s Pace while pregnant of my fourth chid. As we joined we gave our house and our new car. We found the people there very welcoming. People like us, you know, I don’t blame them. Adults and children often ate the unsold leftover bread and vegetables from their garden as well as flour based meals such as soups thickened with flour. When it was marrow season, we ate marrows, when cabbage season, we ate cabbage. Very rarely did we eat meat. Sometimes a little chicken or mutton. At Tabitha’s Place, children do not have the right to ask for things. If a child says to his mother that he is hungry, he gets disciplined. That means that he gets beaten with a rod on the palms of their hands and on the soles of their feet. Even newborns get spanked when they cry. Of course children, being subjected to this regimen quickly learn to keep quiet. They really behave themselves and are kind and don’t speak to strangers. My second child, Sebastien, who was six at the time was considered a rebel by the elders. The elders give orders and others execute them. We were just the common people there, you know. Sebastien was very often beaten. They would lay him on the floor and beat him with wooden slats so as to not leave any marks.. I didn’t agree with my husband on account of these punishments. Elders say that us mothers are “fallen”, that their feelings for their children are not good, that they overprotect their children. They have one axiom that “It is better for you to see your child die than to see him walk in the way of the wicked”. Olivier Lambert who was the leader back then has a true heart of a dictator. Soft drinks, chocolate and many other food items are forbidden in the community. A few times since I came out I saw him at the supermarket with all those kind of things in his shopping trolley, He is a brazen trickster. Yoneq, the “guru” (AKA Eugene Spriggs) who is seen as a prophet came down to Sus a few times by helicopter. He then would spend 2 or 3 months and give out his prophecies and would verify the practical application of his teachings. He had his own lodgings and we gave him the best rugs, the best sheets, ornaments, dried fruits, sweets and special meals. After 2 years my husband wanted to leave. He left alone and called the police and ADFI to come and get me and our children. After that I suffered depression for 7 years. My husband and I are divorced. All of my children have been followed up by psychologists.