A news report posted yesterday about the so-called “Twelve Tribes” contained misinformation.

According to Vermont’s WVNY TV report the group was cleared of child abuse charges after a raid in 1984.

However, this conclusion is incorrect.

Contrary to the report “evidence of abuse” was found within the “cult” compound. Police collected piles of wooden balloon sticks or switches, which had been dipped in resin for hardening and routinely used by “cult” members to beat their children.

But a Vermont judge ruled that that the raid and search of the compound was done illegally. And therefore any evidence gathered through that police action became inadmissible.

However, children taken from the compound by authorities in 1984 never underwent any professional evaluation and/or physical examination regarding abuse. And without such a process there was no way for authorities to say that they “found no evidence of abuse,” as stated within the WVNY report.

In fact, former childhood members of Twelve Tribes have repeatedly stated that the group is abusive.

One prominent leader, Eddie Weisman, was once arrested for the brutal beating of a minor child. Those charges were later dropped, because the girl refused to testify as a witness.

WVNY correctly notes that Twelve Tribes has been fined for violating child labor laws in New York.

A group member in the report cryptically said, “We believe that this is the truth. We believe that this is the only way that people can really be fulfilled.”

Former carnival barker Elbert Spriggs, a self-proclaimed “apostle,” who now calls himself “Yoneq,” leads the group.

He has stated more succinctly, “We are the light and hope of the world. We are the only ones who can reclaim this earth for its Maker…All other attempts to do so are not merely futile, they are evil.”

Spriggs is both a racist and anti-Semite.

While his followers live humbly, Spriggs has residences in France, South America and a luxurious home in New England.

WVNY reports, “The group is bigger than ever, with 3,000 members around the world.”

This statement appears correct, but the reports of abuse and exploitation have never abated.


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