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  1. #61
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    I find it sad that people are willing to believe the worst about people that they have never personally met. I live in a Twelve Tribes community myself...and I love it. I have been in our community in Rutland, VT, many times...and there are some of the best people on earth there.
    It is crazy to judge a whole tribe of people based on complaints and distortions from a few people who have left. Of course they don't like our life...they LEFT!
    It would be like judging the worth of hiking the AT by talking to a couple of dozen people who dropped out after 3 days.
    What about the thousands of people who are in our life, and love it? That even those who have posted badly about us on this board, freely admit are wonderful, kind and loving people?

    If anyone has any questions for me about us, they can write to me at david@parchmentpress.net

    Sincerely, David

  2. #62
    Over 4,200 miles hiked on the A.T.
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    Hi David,
    Very nice of you to drop by and put in your two cents worth. Would you be so kind as to tell the story that is often told in the tribes about the woman who thought about joining but decided to climb Mt. Washington one more time before committing and subsequently died on that climb, thereby proving that the tribes are the only safe place to be?

    David, your comments above kind of indicate that the people who leave you do so easily and happily. Maybe you can just clear it up with one easy answer to one easy question: must one live and and be baptised into the twelve tribes communities in order to be saved and/or have a direct, real, lasting, living, meaningful, and dynamic saving relationship with their creator?

    It would be nice to finally here the community come out and publicly state how they really feel about the twelve tribes being the only route to salvation on the planet. Usually they give the party line of "those seeking God will be just like us," etc. etc. Why not at least be honest so that the people who join you can at least know what they are getting into?
    Last edited by Israel; 11-11-2005 at 18:07.

  3. #63

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    I used to travel around with the rainbow family as a teenager. Even the rainbow kids thought these people were a little off. Not to mention the fact, that from a theological point of view, their exegetical skills are horrible... Regardless of whether you are an evangelical or liberal Christian. Not that this should be held against them. But from my experience, if you can't read a book without having to twist it's plain meaning around, then how are you going to handle your personal affairs with integrity? Not to mention the fact that my roommate lost his father to them, when they told him that he had to abandon his family in order to fully devote himself to God. It's a hell of a sad story, and if I can convince him to hike with me, then maybe some of you will get to hear it. I am going to stay at there hostel, but I am quite sure the only reason they have one is for purposes of converting hikers.

  4. #64
    Over 4,200 miles hiked on the A.T.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Spice
    I am going to stay at there hostel, but I am quite sure the only reason they have one is for purposes of converting hikers.

    ya think so???!!

    Um, yeah!

  5. #65
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    Default the twelve tribes..

    I was at the ALDHA gathering this October in Hanover. Some people there said they were from twelve tribes and were starting up a hostel in rutland and i think one in Whitefield NH or there abouts. They seemed like the nicest people one could imagine. Especially this one girl ..name was Patience I believe. She seemed really sweet! But then later i did a internet search on www.twelvetribes.com and it seems a bit cultish..at least not like the main line religious groups. And posts in this thread are really scarry about these folks.

    Isreal.. if you wouldnt mind.. i would like to know more of your experiences. you are welcome to send me private message or email.
    i get the impression from your and other posts in this thread..that these folks real you in with generosity then dont really let you go or set you free!

    In anycase..when I do the AT..I plan to stay at the Inn at the Long Trail. I was there when I did the LT and man that place is amazing! just heaven for a hiker!!!

    DavidNH

  6. #66
    Section Hiker in Training! CynJ's Avatar
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    Religious fanatisism (sp?) of any flavor really turns me off - especially since I am an agnostic bordering on outright athesim But that being said - I am respectful of other people's faith.

    If they run a nice hostel and aren't konking people on the head and spiriting them away in the middle of the night I don't see anything wrong with using it.

    Because I am secure in my own belief system I have absolutely no worries about being "recruited' or "drawn into the fold".

    Cults/fanatisism really look for those people that are, for lack of a better word, lost. Unhappy people at home, school, work. Impressionable kids looking for a purpose and a direction. People that have hit rock bottom and don't see another way. If you are secure and confident in yourself you will not be drawn in.

    And on a side note - always follow your personal safety radar. If something doesn't feel right then leave.
    ~CynJ

    2 miles down - only 2165 to go!

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNH
    In anycase..when I do the AT..I plan to stay at the Inn at the Long Trail. I was there when I did the LT and man that place is amazing! just heaven for a hiker!!!
    Blasphemer, sinner! < just joking! >

  8. #68
    I'm unique, just like everyone else........ One Leg's Avatar
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    Angry

    I've just spent the last 3 and a half hours chasing the links that you guys have posted here, and I'm amazed.

    I'm well aware of the fact that some viewed my family as being 'way out there' with our way of life, choice of beliefs, etc., but I couldn't believe what I was reading regarding the "Twelve Tribes".

    Leisa and I joined an Independent Baptist Church back in 2001 that was very militant in their beliefs and ways of doing things. We remained a part of that church for a period of 2 years, but left because I am a nonconformist when it comes to someone trying to pass off their own personal preferences as being Biblical convictions. I don't know that I would personally define it as being a "cult", but my parents certainly felt that it was. I'm just glad that I got out when I did. I retain friendships with several of the families who still are members, but from this point forward, we will always be outsiders looking in. I don't take too kindly to have someone tell me that I'm living in sin if I have a Christmas tree in my home during the Christmas season, or that I am out of the will of God because I choose to practice birth control, not trusting God for my family size. These, I believe, are preferences rather than convictions, and personal ones at that!

    My children, all 7 of them, seem to be a happy lot. They have duties, responsibilities, and obligations, but they are still allowed to be children. I can't imagine rearing my children without affording them the opprotunity to explore, imagine, be creative, and form their own opinions. I'm not the best parent in the world, I make mistakes, but I love my children, and they love me. I don't know that one could hope for much more than that. I don't expect them to share my opinions or beliefs; and when they grow to adulthood, should they choose a different path, it will diminish my love for them not one ounce.

    I feel sorry for the Tribe children. From what I've read, they are proverbial zombies, and aren't allowed to express themselves in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Why is it that it's the children who always seem to suffer the worse? Adults can make decisions: they can leave if they want to. The children are the ones without a voice, and this disturbs me. What's to become of them?

    In 1993, a fellow by the name of Malachai York moved his commune to the tiny central Georgia town of Eatonton (Putnam County). He bought a 400+ acre farm, and created his own version of Egypt. He set himself up as "God", and everyone who joined his group signed everything they owned over to him. He was recently convicted on several counts of child molestation, and was given a prison sentence that amounts to hundreds of years behind bars. His latest appeal was denied; the sentence was affirmed.

    It's just a damn shame that innocent children, being lead like sheep, are the true victims in these types of cases. They're the ones without voices, and, again, this is what I find to be the mose disturbing aspect of all. For, they will become adults, and unless something drastic is done, the cycle will continue to repeat......

    -Scott
    Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That way, you're a mile away, and you've got his shoes.

  9. #69
    Michael + Laura Ryan justusryans's Avatar
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    It is a shame, I'm a live and let live kind of guy but these guys set off my radar.
    "We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us."

    Kahlil Gibran

  10. #70
    Registered User TAMBOURINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf
    They're a ******ing cult preying on weak people. Pretty simple. ****** em. I'd rather hang out with Catholics.
    (((LOL)))I"M with you lone ...
    TAMBOURINE:banana

  11. #71
    Registered User TAMBOURINE's Avatar
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    sounds like some Montel Williams sh**..You would never think stuff like this still goes on it is very sad and the poor children.......
    TAMBOURINE:banana

  12. #72
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Davidderush, you make a good point about believing the worst about people they have never personal met, but enough people have some very NEGATIVE things to say about the Twelve Tribes even when it is free - include me in that list.

    I’ve have never stayed at the community in Rutland, VT but I have stayed in the one in Cambridge, NY several times as well as gone down to Washington, DC met many of their members for their annual gathering. We may have even met. At that time I had a very dear friend of over 12 years who was part of the Community.

    Were to start? Should I start with how controlling members are especial towards the women. Should we ask why a woman should always submit to the will of the man? Or why a woman’s place is doing "woman chores" such as clean, raise the children, kitchen duty. Or why even giving a long time good friend a plutonic hug is frown upon by tribe members?

    Should we discuses why my friend had to close out her hotmail account to change to an email accounts set up and completely control by a Tribe administrator member. I did not think any of it until several of my emails seem to have disappeared. Someone had opened them but it wasn’t her. Any ideas what happen to them???

    Should we talk about the children who seem to help out A LOT with “chores” such as farm chores, or making soap but never have any toys to play with? No dolls, or footballs, baseball or even a Frisbee to through around. Nothing you would expect to help the children have a normal childhood. Being of good nature, I made it a habit of bring several toys for the children during each visit, but they seem to disappear the next day.

    Oh what happens to the children pass around the 8 grade when it comes to school? The children around 15 up I saw were working when they should have been in school.

    Should I go into why a place that supposes to be all about love but told my friend of 12 years repeatly to break off all relations with me when I would not join the Community. "We are called to build bridges, not walls" - or did someone forget that.

    I will discourage anyone from having anything to do with them and encourages others to do the same.

    Wolf
    AT * 5

  13. #73
    Over 4,200 miles hiked on the A.T.
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    Wolf (and one-leg),
    you realize all you say will be filtered into David's mind and translated into Tribe-Speak...everything you said will be construed to show how you are both overly selfish, depraved, self-loving, God-hating, in the clutches of the evil one and this culture, deluded, confused, un-understanding, and lost? The fact that you think children should be allowed to play just shows how earthly minded you are instead of Godly minded! Heck- we are rebuilding God's kingdom on earth and all you care about is tossing a frisbee?? We are trying to resore loving relationships and all you care about is the offense of women doing dishes...obviously you are both SO caught up in the political spirit that dominates this world. You do not see what you were created to be...you were both created to be a man with a pony tail and a beard and wear long shirts and have lots of children and don't let them play but be sure to enforce very strict rules (in fact, since we are a community, we will let everyone be responsible for disciplining your children), and if you really loved your wife you would adhere to the teachings on women...why don't you love your wife enough to want to see her restored to the kingdom???? You are both just a couple of self-righteous heathens and you need to come to the tribes to learn how to be what you were created to be b/c apart from us, the Holy Spirit cannot be found. The church you go to, the prayers you pray...you are actually praying to a false God and to dark forces.



    Of course, everything i say will be construed to be a jaded person who hates God and that is why i don't live with them...afterall they DID tell me i was going to hell when i decided to leave.

    The saddest part is indeed the children. As well, it is so sad to see so many beautiful people enslaved to a system that is very, very different than when it began. Tribes, return to your first love and become what you desired in your heart. Someone mentioned catholics previously and i tell you what...despite how much the tribes hate the catholics, it is amazing how much the really resemble that structure now.

  14. #74
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I had never heard of the Tribe until I started reading this thread this morning. However, my family and I lived in Western KY for a number of years and while there we spent quite a lot of time with people who belonged to groups I consider to be cults.

    Our kids were born in Western KY. We decided to home school the kids back in the mid-80s because the local public schools sucked and there were no nonparochial private schools in the area. Back then, home schooling was NOT primarily a religious thing.

    Anyway, the point of this post is to say that by being a home schooling parent, I spent quite a lot of time with other home schooling parents and their children. Most of them in that area were doing it for religious reasons and were involved in some very cultish groups. In fact, I was quite surprised to find out how cultish the local Mennonites, Seventh Day Adventists, and some other long-established religious groups were. Many of the things people are mentioning with regard to the Tribes (ending schooling at an early age, requiring submissiveness from women, persuading prospective members to minimize and then cut ties to non-cult family and friends, etc.) were practiced by these groups.

    What appealed to my friends/acquaintances about these groups were their family-like closeness and supportiveness, and the seeming purity and purposefullness of their lives. Of course, to get the benefits you have to give up a few things...

    I have to say that most of the children my kids knew then ended up running away from their parents and splitting from the churches of their childhoods. Yes, they had miserable, overly-controlled childhoods, but no, they did not end up as brainwashed automatons.

  15. #75
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    While almost all of the post here on either side are slanted one way or the other, I suggest going to this site to get some background on the Twelve Tribes group and some factual history. The site is The Religious Movements Homepage Project at The University of Virginia and probably is as neutral as you can get. Anyone who is really interested can find references to copious documents regarding all aspects of the Twelve Tribes interactions, both positive and negative, with the outside world. It also describes some of the other sites (on both sides) that others here have mentioned and gives some insight into their agendas. Note that the above site hasn't been updated since 2001 and some of the info is dated.

    Take it for what it's worth. I just found this thread and personally I think the way it has morphed, it now belong in the non-A.T. bin, or the dust bin.
    Last edited by The Old Fhart; 11-12-2005 at 12:29.

  16. #76
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Israel

    I agree. I don’t think anything I say would every change David mind but I don’t care. Why would he? It’s really easy to be happy when your wife will always submit to his will rather then to be of free will as God intended. It is easier when your children are working instead of playing and having a childhood. As for me being a selfish, depraved, self-loving, God-hating, please. I think people that know me, know I am a very loving, huggable person who care about everyone and view God as my friend.

    The Twelve Tribes is NOT of God’s Will; it’s that of their own. Saintin tricked Eve through kindness to eating the apple and falling from grace just as The Twelve Tribes is trying to trick others into joining. If I can help someone to not falling for their tricks, I’ll be happy with that.

    Wolf

  17. #77
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    Trying to impose one's beliefs on others is an exercise in futility and displays one's own close-mindedness.

    Live, and let live.
    Roland


  18. #78
    I'm unique, just like everyone else........ One Leg's Avatar
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    Israel:

    I used to think that it would be great to live in a place where everyone was of one mind, one belief, one way of living life. How much easier life would be, I'd think.

    The church in Knoxville showed me just how wrong that way of thinking really was. While it was pretty neat to attend a church where everyone homeschooled, there were things that just didn't set well with me. The preacher would say that we were to trust God for our family size, yet when one particular lady in the church became with child, she was facing her 6th c-section. Her doctors strongly cautioned her against having more.You very well could die, the told her. The pastor would say "Who knows more, the doctors or God?" That family also left the church, but the husband retained the beliefs of the pastor, and they've recently had their 8th child.

    As I previously stated, I remain friends with many people there, including the pastor. I recently visited him, and had a pretty good visit. He's a very personable fellow, easily likable. But it's what he holds in his heart and spews from the pulpit that I can't, with clear conscience, agree with.

    The result of all of this has left us feeling as though we fit in nowhere. We're too conservative for the liberal churches, and too liberal for the conservative churches. The chuch we're currently attening "seems" okay. We like the pastor and the folks. But there again, we're a.) the largest family in the church, and b.) probably the most conservative of the bunch.

    With regard to Sprigg and how he runs the Tribe, all I can say is that I've learned not to place my trust, hope, and confidence in man. The Bible is my meaure: If what's being done aligns with the Bible, then there's no problem. It's when it goes against what the Bible teaches that I begin to have problems. The Bible says in Eph.5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it and I just can't see Christ holding us in servitude, stripping our identity, and robbing our self worth.

    With regard to children, in 1 Cor.13:11, we read When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. So, we aren't raising miniature adults here, we're raising children. We (the PARENTS, not the community) teach them responsibilty, while allowing them the space to still be children. We correct them when they're wrong, and praise them when they're right. Children, especially those who are 3 and under, have a natural tendancy to cry. We don't beat the crap out of them for doing something that comes naturally. There has to be a balance, and it sounds as if the scales at the Tribe are intentionally weighted to favor one side over the other, so it's impossible to achieve a fair balance. But again, this is based on what I've read in the links provided, and not derived from firsthand experience.(Thank God!)

    Anyway, thanks for enlightening us to the Tribe. We'll pray for these kids.

    -Scott
    Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That way, you're a mile away, and you've got his shoes.

  19. #79
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    i plan on visiting and staying there on my next hike next year neo

  20. #80
    Michael + Laura Ryan justusryans's Avatar
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    As a free American, I value my freedom above all else, The thought of someone telling me what to think, what to read, how to interpret what I read, who my friends are, what my wife can and can't do, and how to raise my daughter is contrary to everything I hold dear.
    I make my own decisions, I stand by them, right or wrong, I accept the consequences for them. This is part of being a free American.
    I will NEVER give up this freedom and the thought of anyone doing so voluntarily is totally foreign to me.
    I would rather live with my own decisions right or wrong than ever allow anyone to make those decisions for me.
    This country was founded on freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom, freedom from oppression, to voluntarily relenquish these rights is something I will never do and never understand.
    "We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us."

    Kahlil Gibran

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