Former Island Pond Church Teacher Gets Time Served in Sex Case

By Dave Gram Source: Boston Globe September 25, 2007 (through Bishop accountability.org) GUILDHALL, Vt. — Molested as a child, a 23-year-old man wept in court Monday as he confronted the former church teacher who abused him when he was 11, telling him: “Don’t you ever do it to anyone else.” John W. Thomas, 37, of…

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Twelve Tribes: A Cult of ‘Demonic Seducing Spirits’

Source: Ithacans opposed to the Twelve Tribes cult  He was looking to serve God with like-minded people. He thought communal living could be spiritually lifting, a way of life rare enough to spark his interest in his quest to serve God. And members of the Twelve Tribes, with their smiles and façades of happy living,…

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Church Member Arrested For Abuse — 5 Years Later

Boy Came Forward To Church Elders In 1997 TheChamplainChannel.com/February 11, 2005 Island Pond, Vt. — Police charged a former member of the Twelve Tribes Church in Island Pond with molesting a young boy. John Thomas, 32, is accused of sexually abusing at least one of the children at the church in the Northeast Kingdom. Church…

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Twelve Tribes member Eugene Hunt and state order to pay child support

September 1993 The state seeks to have Eugene Hunt held in contempt for failure to pay child support.  The issue revolves around Hunt’s “ability to pay” and his claim that his religious beliefs as a member of the Northeast Kingdom Community Church in Island Pond deprive him of that ability.  The Island Pond church alleges…

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Cult defector helps bring another’s child back home

The Chronicle March 23, 1983 Juan Mattatall, a defector from the Northeast Kingdom Community Church of Island Pond [now known as “Twelve Tribes] who is trying to get his own three year old daughter back from Europe in the custody of cult leader Eugene Spriggs, has reportedly helped bring another defector’s child home from Spain….

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Defender of the faith

The Boston Globe Magazine Sally Johnson March 12, 1993 Ten years ago, Jeanie Swantko left her job as a Vermont public defender to join Island Pond’s radical community “The Twelve Tribes.”  Today, she uses her legal skills to champion for the church against its critics. Jeanie Swantko was asleep in an upstairs room in a…

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Vermont village accepts church once under fire

The Philadelphia Inquirer William Cockerham July 20, 1989 Island Pond, Vt. – Five years after state troopers raided a controversial church settlement in this remote village near the Canadian border and took more than 100 children into protective custody, church members have gained acceptance by longtime residents. No longer are there rumors of child abuse,…

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SECT ABUSE CHARGE DISMISSED

Source: Associated Press/ New York Times AP Published: June 13, 1985 MONTPELIER, Vt., June 12— Vermont’s last child abuse charge against a member of the Northeast Kingdom Community Church was thrown out of court today, five days before it was scheduled to go to trial. Acting Judge F. Ray Keyser of St. Johnsbury District Court…

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