General facts about the Twelve Tribes cult

Augsburger Allgemeine
June 4, 2014
Translated from the German
(Some textual liberties were taken – ex. calling Twelve tribes “Bible based cult” This is truly what they are!

After the police raid in September 2013 of the controversial Twelve Tribes sect in Swabia and Franconia more parents and their children seem to have turned their backs on Germany.

Apparently five teenagers from the Bible-based Twelve Tribes cult in Klosterzimmern left for Austria, the Danube Ries district office said on Wednesday. The German authorities are no longer in contact with the families.

In September 2013 the police removed 40 children from their Twelve Tribes parents because of allegations of child abuse in Deiningen, Wörnitz, and Klosterzimmern.

Since then many legal proceedings have taken place. The Twelve Tribes parents resisted the police action and the placement of their children in foster families and homes.

The “Twelve Tribes” are a Bible-based cult which was founded in the early 70s in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The followers of the “Twelve Tribes” strictly obey the teachings of their “Apostle” and leader Elbert Eugene Spriggs. Community members are convinced that in following and obeying Spriggs every word, God will commend them!

The basis of our life is obedience to the teachings of our beloved leader and founder Elbert Eugene Spriggs. “He is our Apostle and we must obey his words.” (AWM 1988)

Members of the Twelve Tribes live and work together in strict elder led homes with Elbert Eugene Spriggs exercising final authority and command.

The members of the “Twelve Tribes” refuse to send their children to state schools. The community justifies this using religion and “reasons of conscience.” They oppose sex education for their children.

As of 2006, the Twelve Tribes children started receiving education in their own private school in the monastery cloister rooms.

The Twelve Tribes are suspected of thrashing and pummeling their children. The “Twelve Tribes” are always in trouble with the police and judiciary. The members deny the allegations.

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