I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

29 November 2013

The Twelve Tribes in Germany, Part 8

Photo by A. Stahl

I've received tips of more news on the Twelve Tribes recently. In the last week, a child has returned to their parents and has not yet been found by child protective services. There was another court hearing, complete with demonstration; and the Bavarian Parliament has said they wish to have clarification on the state of affairs with the Twelve Tribes cases.

Here is the news so that you can read it for yourself. Remember, it can be run through Google Translate if you do not speak German. It won't be perfect, but it should give you just enough to work out what is being said.

...three siblings who were born in 2005, 2007 and 2009. A decision was made that the children should not be returned to their parents... a family psychological report needs to be created... - Drei Geschwister bleiben bei Pflegefamilie

The District Office Donau-Ries has informed us that a foster mother had found on Wednesday... her foster child was missing...
..By 8 o'clock on Thursday, the child protective officers from Nördlingen found that the child was in the custody of her biological parents on the Twelve Tribes commune...
Augsburger Allgemeine - Kind flüchtet zu den leiblichen Eltern 

...The twelve year old was seen in the area of Illertissen...
Süddeutsche Zeitung - Kind flüchtet vor Pflegeeltern

 ...the child had been in contact with her parents. The biological parents brought their daughter back in the afternoon. The child then spent the rest of the night with the parents... - Vermisstes Mädchen wieder zurück

...Eva, 17 years old...was allowed to return to her birth parents, who live together with other "twelve tribes"-members. The permission to return has been made in consideration of Eva's age; according to Helmut Beyschlag, the director of the district court in Nördlingen. ... "This age allows one self determination and has a higher weight than in younger children," said Beyschlag... Ex-members, however, doubt that the children have a will of their own...
Spiegel Online -  Christen-Sekte "Zwölf Stämme": 17-Jährige kehrt zu ihren Eltern zurück

 Parents of the "Twelve Tribes" faith community have demonstrated in front of the district office in Donauwörth. The cult members raise allegations against the authorities...
Augsburger Allgemeine - Demonstration vor dem Landratsamt: Eltern wollen ihre Kinder zurück

 The Bavarian State Parliament... calls for clarification of the state government about possible failures of the authorities in dealing with the sect of the "Twelve Tribes".
... the first committee meeting will be held in the new year, on the 23rd of January... - Landtag will Aufklärung über Umgang mit "Zwölf Stämmen"

I do not understand how the seventeen year old is not being assisted to deprogram rather than being sent back to her abusive parents. Yes, I agree they are caught up in this as well, but while they are in the abuse dynamic, they will be no help to her and that community is not a safe place.

You can also read more here: Part 1, part 2 , part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6, part 7, and part 9 


  1. Oh, somehow my comment crashed. Here it is once again, if it did arrive on the moderator's screen, fine.
    One 15 year old boy who had absconded on Sat has been allowed to return to his parents. He made it clear to the judge that he has gone through some sort of initiation ritual that makes him an adult. So all corporal punishment ends. His 13 year old brother had to go back to a foster home but ran off and hid somewhere. His father knows where he is but refuses to tell the authorities. The police are out searching for him.

  2. Reply to Jennifer: "I do not understand how the seventeen year old is not being assisted to deprogram rather than being sent back to her abusive parents".
    Unfortunately, that is not part of the German system when authorities deal with members of a cult or sect. Deprogramming is illegal here unless the (ex-)member is actively seeking help. In the case of the 17 year old, a therapy or counseling was not prescribed as the court had not reached a decision. The TT s website does tell of some interesting child custody battles between their members and an ex spouse and how aggressively the authorities and deprogrammers moved in. In one case, the TT father even was thrown in jail for kidnapping, and only after some savvy lawyers saved him after years and years of lawsuits did he get to see his children again. By then, they had snapped out of it and viewed their father as an oddball. As I said, German authorities are quick to move in and the state helps to take a child away from a situation of abuse. But the authorities don t go that extra mile. So Germany is a mixed bag in this regard.

    1. That is so frustrating.

      Back in the US, I don't believe a 17yo can seek that sort of help for themselves. It would be something that would be in the realm of the parents to do. If grandparents or other family members were upset enough, they could hire lawyers to fight for such a thing OR a judge could make a decision for someone to go through rigorous psychological care if they need it. I believe that is handled in family court, but I could be wrong. It's been a while since I followed such a case.

      This is so frustrating.

  3. Oh btw, the custody battles on the TTs website tell of cases in the US and CAN. I know North Americas systems can be very very drastic but mostly upon private initiative (by spouse, parents, grandparents etc). Whereas in Germany, it is more of a nanny state thing, but they limit themselves to "first aid".