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  1. #1

    Default Hospitality and Complicity

    This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

  2. #2
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    go town, get what you need and go back to the woods. for free. ya don't need no stinkin' hostel

  3. #3
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Is your conscience or soul worth a night of lodging? That's a very black/white way of looking at it. Or you can look at it like a time-share stay, is the night there worth having to sit thru the pitch?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridgewalker777 View Post
    When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives?
    Can't you answer that question for yourself? I mean... you'll get 100 different answers here. Not sure how that's gonna help you.

    The simple fact that you have to ask that question makes me think you're not comfortable. I suggest you follow your instincts.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  5. #5

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    12 tribes has their belief system but they don't push anything on anyone. As for being a cult I disagree although I have jokingly refered to them as such in the past also. I had my concerns prior to staying there, as you do, but my fears were quickly allayed. They are happy giving people whose agenda is to be kind and hospitable to weary hikers, not to recruit or push their religion on unsuspecting travelers. If you are there and have questions they will be more than willing to discuss their beliefs with you but again, without being pushy. It's a great hostel. I have been lured into a private household before by signs advertising trail magic and although the food was wonderful it was painfully clear that it was only offered so they could push their religious agenda on hikers. If you happened to be of like mind I'm sure it was a good experience but if you didn't embrace their belief system it made for an uncomfortable experience. I will not name names so as not to offend but if you would care to PM me I'll give you the heads up.

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    Just show up and see for yourself. I stayed there for two nights and didn't feel like I was being indoctrinated AT ALL. My buddy Blaze stayed for 32 days when his Lyme became Meningitis and had him layed up with a heart port. He said they were nothing but cordial and allowed him to stay doing work for stay for over a month. They invited him to their meetings and he wasn't thrown out for turning them down.

    I can't tell you for sure how YOU'LL feel. That's what makes you, you. Go check them out. If you're put off by the tribe you'll be put off by a whole mess of other hostels/angels along the way. In my opinion the church members spent less time trying to "get ya" than members of other more traditional religions. YMMV.

  7. #7

    Default Hospitality and Complicity

    Having researched their background, I am well-aware of their agenda: That all other religions than their own are bad and evil, especially the Catholics and Protestants...They have an enemies list, where they turn people "over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh"; or like with "Alexander the coppersmith", "the Lord 'reward' (i.e. punish) him according to his works." They tell some of these people that some morning you'll find that the wrath of God has fallen on your head. This sort of thing is more common with evil "covens" than with supposed believers in Jeshua.

    The larger problem is whether accepting someone's hospitality is a form of complicity with their belief system. I was hitch-hiking in Vermont, got picked up by a guy in a pickup with a copy of "Blueboy" on the seat. The inferance was clear. I didn't consider the ride complicity. However, staying with a religious type of person could be construed as acceptance of their dogma. It looks like the TT group is being boycotted in Ithica, NY.

  8. #8
    Christus Cowboy
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    Default Some thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by ridgewalker777 View Post
    This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.
    While I agree with Mowgli on this one in terms of the diversity of answers that you will receive, I can understand why the question is being asked. Generally, I wouldn't patronize an establishment where that would be an issue. For me its not so much whether I agree with my benefactor on 100% of my religious or philosophical views but rather do they extend the same level of respect that they expect of me... I've been on the hiking side and trail magic side of this and generally, I try to be very gracious. Personal views and philosophy really doesn't come into play for most of my interactions, some people ask and I willingly share but I don't beat a dead horse and try to be sensitive to the audience that I'm with.... As for ulterior motives, there are some places that I would definitely stay away from because what they represent but I do believe there are many church based hostels which provide an invaluable service and do so because their faith compels them to. While they are quite open about where they are in terms of faith most of them strike a pretty good balance of providing a service to hikers as a church ministry and making sure they are not leading folks into an ambush.
    Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love..... 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

  9. #9
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    I was a pastor of a Baptist Church. Our members debate things around this. We did lots of things for people in the community. My policy was always to just do the good thing for the person and not start unwanted evangelism. That is, I didn't want anyone to feel like the price of me repairing their roof (or whatever) was that they had to listen to a lecture (or sermon) or whatever.

    Some people in the church felt differently. They felt like every time you had an encounter with someone that you had to ascertain their relationship with Jesus and to tell them all about it.

    I really think the two things are different. You do things for people because it's nice to do things for people.

    I would always make sure people knew they were welcome to come to our church and that they could talk to me about anything, but to just randomly start giving someone a sermon (or whatever you want to call it) just seems counter productive.

    I don't imagine Jesus doing that. Jesus seemed to teach people who were interested. They came to see him. He didn't send the Disciples out fixing house so people would listen to him. He just spoke and let them come to him (though the fact that he had done some nice things probably helped stir up interest).

    I never have forgotten that Baptists were once considered a cult and were persecuted because we were in the minority and taught what some considered heresy. Baptists are pretty much the reason for religious freedom in the United States (yes, sometimes we forget this), so I have always made it a point not to attack people with other religious beliefs. I state what I believe and why and will point out how it is different than other people's beliefs, but I will not attack them for those beliefs (as long as they're not sacrificing children or something).

    I don't know anything about this group, but I wouldn't have a problem accepting their kindness if they offered it and expected nothing in return. I'd do the same for them.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  10. #10

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    One of the active members of the Twelve Tribes in Rutland is a former southbound thru. He understands what hikers are all about and I have only heard positive feedback about them.

  12. #12

  13. #13

    Default Complicity

    Thanks, L. Wolf for the links. We're probably both now on "the list".

    In the former link, the letter to Bob Pardon from "Yoneq" is particularly telling. A completely paranoid attack with Bible verses provided against someone who would have the audacity to question the exalted leader's authority. Have these folks ever admitted their mistakes, offenses or abuses of others?

    FactNet, which tracks Cults, has a section on the Twelve Tribes.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ridgewalker777 View Post
    This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.
    Ridgewalker,

    It seems after reading your most recent posts that you simply want to talk about the Twelve Tribes in terms of their cult status. They are one...I feel like that's an indisputable fact among the people who're going to read this. Let me return to your two original questions. Otherwise, please refer to the hundreds of other posts on this subject.

    "When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult?"

    Accepting hospitality is a problem whenever you feel uncomfortable in the presence of the guys with the keys. If at any time in your WHOLE REGULAR LIFE you feel uncomfortable with a situation leave. This includes every scenario possible. I think that of all the places I stayed last year the one I should have left was that divey maroon motel on the way into Bennington. Thinking back, I should have just walked down and asked for my money back. I found all the religion-based providers to be cordial and accommodating.

    "Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? "

    Yes. Duhhh. Yes. Seriously, dude, I can't believe this is even a question for you. I mean, think about it on it's own for a second...remove the tribes from the equation. If you were a woman would you stay alone in a stranger's house just because he picked you up from the trail? Likewise, would you go to a B and B that'll fatten you up with "free lunch" knowing that you'll probably get vortexed into staying the night?

    It is all up to YOU. No one else can tell you what to do or how to feel. Just realize this:

    A number of trail service providers are religious-oriented. Often, they won't accept money but they might ask for some of your time and attention in prayer or discussion. It's up to you to decide if you can stomach this because; frankly, their business is saving souls. And in these times of want and woe, business is booming.

    Just be aware of it. Pretty much any group praying to "God" started out the same way as the Twelve Tribes have and most don't have as clean a record, relatively speaking.

  15. #15

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    IMO the biggest difference between most "cults" and any of the major religions is the number of people who belong to them.

  16. #16
    Registered User Panzer1's Avatar
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    from what I know about cults, they don't like strangers, and don't want to associate with "outsiders". They are suspicious and distrustful of "outsiders". I don't think that describes the 12 tribes.

    Panzer, my 2 cents

  17. #17

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    I've got some friends who belong to Reverend Moon's Unification Church. That's often referred to as a cult. I would trust my kids with these folks more than almost anyone other than family. And that includes my BIL the Jehovahs Witness.

    Like Johnny Thunder, I too think that Ridgewalker just wants to talk about these folks as a cult. I kind of alluded to that in post #2 of this thread. If you can make a decision to hike the AT, you can make a decision about whether to stay at a hostel like 12 Tribes or not. If not, you should probably stay home.

    12 Tribes has a restaurant here in Chattanooga called Yellow Deli. I patronize it regularly, as the food and service is good and my daughter's dorm is right behind the place. I don't leave a tip there however. The servers don't get to keep the tips. All tips go into a general fund to keep 12 Tribes operating. I don't tip when the server doesn't keep the $$. My money. My decision.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Thunder View Post
    Ridgewalker,

    If at any time in your WHOLE REGULAR LIFE you feel uncomfortable with a situation leave. This includes every scenario possible.
    I don't know about this particular tid bit of advice...I went to India last fall and was completely uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it and when I first got there I as still uncomfortable but once I figured out that chaos was the system and just went with the flow I rather enjoyed it and won't miss a chance to go again.

    If you always avoid those "uncomfortable" situation you never grow as an individual. You should always push yourself to experience new things. Keep an open mind but no so open you brains fall out. Note this is not the same as unsafe things nor am I saying compromise your beliefs. Maybe I define uncomfrotable different than you.
    Take almost nothing I say seriously--if it seems to make no sense what so ever it's probably meant as a joke....but do treat your water!

  19. #19

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    Iíve witnessed these people that "trap, trick, lure (whatever)" thru-hikers in for "trail magic" after a required sermon.

    I think thatís BS, but who is worse here?

    These crazies that are trying to convert some wayward souls, OR, the thru-hikers that stick around for the sermon because they want some food.

    I get a kick out of listening to the thru-hikers bitch about having to sit through the sermon in order to eat. To me, that just shows that thru-hikers have no self-pride; theyíre only a mere step (a very small step) up from a begging dog.

    Thatís why thru-hikers are candy-asses.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by beakerman View Post
    I don't know about this particular tid bit of advice...I went to India last fall and was completely uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it and when I first got there I as still uncomfortable but once I figured out that chaos was the system and just went with the flow I rather enjoyed it and won't miss a chance to go again.

    If you always avoid those "uncomfortable" situation you never grow as an individual. You should always push yourself to experience new things. Keep an open mind but no so open you brains fall out. Note this is not the same as unsafe things nor am I saying compromise your beliefs. Maybe I define uncomfrotable different than you.
    You're right...for use in this discussion I defined "uncomfortable" in narrowest of terms. Most people who know me on here know that I prescribe to the "may you live in interesting times" maxim. "Uncomfortable" was the wrong word but I couldn't think of one that's better.

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