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

03 December 2013

The Twelve Tribes in Germany, part 9

Photo by A. Stahl
Here are the recent updates on the Twelve Tribes in Germany:

  •   Complaints from parents of the controversial sect "twelve tribes" against the provisional withdrawal of custody has mostly been rejected the Nuremberg Higher Regional Court (OLG). [Source]
  • ...[The Twelve Tribes] lodged complaints before the Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg. As the Court announced on Monday, the judges dismissed the appeal now for seven of nine children. Only the two youngest children come back into the custody of their parents. [Source]
  •  Two toddlers, a 17-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been officially allowed to live with their parents... since Monday. The Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg and the district court Nördlingen have lifted the temporary withdrawal of parental custody in these four cases. [Source]
  • According to the Higher Regional Court ... "for the seven older children, the current risk of corporal punishment" persists.  ... Therefore, the seven older children remain with foster parents... [Source]
  •  ...The children should therefore initially remain with the foster parents, but may in regular contact with their biological parents... [Source]
  • ... the Senate saw no sufficient evidence that even the youngest children who are only a few months old to be threatened by physical punishment after several hearings. Only an actual threat to the child's welfare could justify action under the provisional legal protection measures. In that regard, the Senate picked up the official court decision. The two babies are returned to the custody of their parents... [Source]
  • far, the preliminary hearings have only given partial withdrawal of parental authority for the children as confirmed with individual cases. A final decision is pending the so-called main proceedings, which will take several months. [Source] see this also

In other news, two boys ran away from their foster parents and reappeared on sect grounds with their parents this week. The eldest was allowed to remain with his family after they agreed to send him to public school and he will not be beaten any longer.
  • The elder may remain in Klosterzimmern after a judgment of Nördlinger District Court with his parents knew at the time of escape but nothing about it. [Source]
  • The 13-year-old will be returned to the home. That done, probably later today. [Source]
  •  The father of the boy had stated that his child is doing well, but he would not say where he is staying. The 13-year-old should decide where he wanted to live. [Source]

Honestly, for me, this is a terrible turn of events. Parents who believe that their children will be purged of sin and their souls saved from hell by regular beatings; especially those who believe children as young as a couple days old should be whipped -- will continue beating their children until they learn a better way.

Update: 4.12.2013 The thirteen-year-old child is still missing.

  • Six police officers and three employees of the youth office searched on the site of the sect in Klosterzimmern unsuccessful after him. ...the search has been amplified according to Beck. [Source]
  • The boy's whereabouts are unknown to the authorities. Therefore, the search has been intensified as they continue to work to return the boy [to the foster home]. [Source]
If you've not been following along on my blog, you will want to read Part 1, part 2 , part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6, part 7 and part 8 as well.


  1. Oh dear, my comment crashed again. If you did get my first post, ignore this one:
    'Twas a wilde weekende, hard to keep up with the news. But I have developed a sort of chronicler's obession with the TT case, and I find it wonderful that you keep a blog like this. So let me supply you with links to the updates:
    ... where a TT mother proudly presented her instrument of chastisement and was suprised that she met with boohs instead of cheers. It did fit the tradition of the day though: Sankt Nikolaus (who in the days of yore, and evidently in pious circles nowadays arrives with his servant Ruprecht, the rod wielder)
    ... it must have been an ugly scene. although you don t know. The TT are getting more media savvy, and one of the "babies" who was torn from his mother's breastfeeding bosom, was 2 years old. Also the TT families have known, for three months, that CPS would come and place the children in foster families. Be that as it may, the children will need therapy and soon, or they will indeed be completely traumatised. Police coming in the early morning, raiding my community, showing me that my parents cannot help me, then placing me in foster homes, some of which are homes for "conventionally" abused children; then spending some hours with my parents who remind me that I am in the world of the devil; then the kids in school laughing at me and telling me that the old fart up there in heaven is dead anyway; then my parents telling me again: see, school is evil too. My, my, I might consider that a bit of flogging wasn t so bad after all...
    IMHO, it has become a battle between the state and a psycho-cult, one that IMHO the state must win. However, the children appear to become "collateral damage". Sigh...

  2. A short update, as the pre-Christmas time is so hectic to all of us. Evidently, a commentator to the new TT discussion forum threatened to make 2013 the "bloodiest Christmas" ever for Germany, should the children not have been returned to their parents by then; he also advised CPS personnel and politicians to get "bodyguards" and in general promised that "murders would happen". The TT was stupid enough to keep it on their website for long enough for some more critical readers to report him to the police. They paid him a visit, and now the state prosecutor is involved.
    One of the readers of YOUR BLOG from the English speaking world (a defector, I think it might be Cassey) supplied a German anti-TT blog and by that in fact the press with all sorts of internal documents from the TT. When she left the sect she took with her a disc - not unlike Mr Snowden - that had, shall we say, interesting stories to tell (keywords: racism, homophobia, antisemitism). So now more and more people are getting the idea that the TT should actually be banned for inciting hatred in Germany.
    On the TT's website, they advertise an online petition now in which the petitioners will have demanded that the children are to be restored to the parents. Some of those who signed later complained that they had not understood the TT were "bloody Zionists" or moaned about the German system and recommended to watch video clips by imprisoned Neo-Nazis. So, as Shakespeare said, "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows" - In short: the TT are doing themselves in.

    1. Oh. My. G-d. Thank you for this update. Things have been so crazy I don't know where up and down are.

  3. Just in case you do have time, here are some links:
    1. (Ankündigung von Bluttat)
    3. (Comment by Neonazi "Dave" is still there, the other two by "Kulissenschieber" have been deleted)

  4. And now to you Jennifer:
    I don t really know if you celebrate Christmas or if you are more into Chanukkah or if you like doing a bit of Weihnukkah :)
    But at any rate: Happy Holidays and "Guten Rutsch" !

    1. Thank you! I kept meaning to get back to this and have been held up pretty tight over the holidays with our schedule. I hope you had a wonderful Silvester and a good time with family and friends. I'm hoping to get another post up soon so stay tuned! <3

  5. I stumbled onto your your series on Germany and homeschooling and I thought wow, finally someone who doesn't judge a country without knowing/ investigating the whole story. Gosh, so refreshing! As a German I find those HSLDA people so arrogant and judgmental. No wonder that most Germans will defend our school system. And on another note, if I wasn't a Christian... I would run as far as I could if those people were the only ones I ever encountered. So thank you for looking deeper!

    1. Thank you! I'm a former homeschooler from the United States, and I've been in Germany for a little over half a decade. My husband and his family are German as are my boys. I hold no illusions when it comes to the HSLDA/SCHUZH, as I was under the HSLDA when I was a kid. I've seen and heard far too much crazy, and I'm just really tired of things being swept under the rug or ignored unless they're glowing reviews.

      I feel since the homeschooling cases and the Twelve Tribes is not something commonly covered by anyone other the HSLDA; and has dropped completely off of the English-speaking news radar; someone definitely needs to take it on! I figure if someone else isn't doing it, I might as well.

      Feel free to stick around and keep poking around on my blog!


  7. As gently as possible, I will say that I am aware of this. I have blogged about it, and I stand by the Jugendamt taking the children from their parents in this case.

    Babies are often bundled too tightly, which is detrimental to skeletal development and emotional security. If they are crying and it is not time to feed/change, they are held tightly in a way that restricts movement and breaks bonds psychologically with parents. As they get older (under a yr) other, more damaging physical discipline starts for different reasons.

    In such a case, it is better to remove the child in question and work with the family to get them healthy and know how to carefully raise their children with respect and not harm. The books on child-rearing / discipline methods offered by the TT in comparison to some other Christian groups, are more authoritarian and more strict. There is no understanding of proper child development and individuals learning anything outside of being controlled constantly.

    I could say more, but having not been raised in the TT or been in their circles much, I feel it is best that those from the circles speak to that as much as possible. I was raised in a punitive household with some similar methods that the TT implement. I will never stand for a child to have those methods used against them in childhood.

    "Die Disziplinierung beginnt bereits im Babyalter. Mit Hilfe von Sicherheitsnadeln, erzählen die Aussteiger unisono, werden Säuglinge so eng in Tücher gewickelt, dass sie sich nicht mehr bewegen können. „Irgendwann hört das Zappeln und Schreien dann auf – das Baby fügt sich“, erklärt Benaja, der vor wenigen Jahren noch eine Führungsposition bei den „Zwölf Stämmen“ bekleidete.

    Das sogenannte „Restrain“ (deutsch: zurückhalten) kann aber auch bedeuten, dass die Eltern die Arme und Beine des Babys festhalten, bis es jegliche Gegenwehr erschöpft aufgibt."

    "Ab dem zweiten Lebensjahr, sagt Aaron, wurde er von den Erwachsenen mindestens dreimal am Tag mit Rutenschlägen traktiert. Berechtigt dazu waren alle getauften Mitglieder – Eltern, Lehrer, Nachbarn. Die Weidenstöcke waren einen bis 1,50 Meter lang und wurden in einem Behälter mit Öl aufbewahrt, damit sie biegsam blieben.
    Gedroschen wurde auf den nackten Hintern, Beine, Arme, Hände, Rücken und Füße. „Ich hatte keine Chance, den Schlägen auszuweichen“, so Aaron"

    Hitting, gaslighting, isolating and holding children tightly falls under abuse that is not tolerated by German law or the UN Rights of the Child. It also is not tolerated or supported by the Bible, which the TT claim to follow. What we know now via psychology, psychiatry and medical exams about what this does to individuals raised with these methods - it is in the best interest of these kids to have them somewhere safe and loved. They will not find that safety and love in the collective or from their parents. The sect does not allow it.

  8. I agree with Jennifer. For the children it is much better to stay in foster care than to be with parents who train their children into thinking that abuse is "love". That being said, here's an update on the situation from various sources.
    The director of the court, Mr Beyschlag, has told reporters that the TT are going to keep courts and the Youth Welfare office busy for a long time. Child and family psychologists will have to research and analyse in detail how damaged the children are and whether they can safely return to their parents. Many individual cases have now entered the stage of the "Hauptsacheverfahren" (the main proceedings). Sources: dpa (and subsequently published in merkur online, augsburger allgemeine et al).
    The court has also given its ruling that the children are to remain in foster care for the entire time of the proceedings, on the grounds that there is a risk of absconding. The parents, thus the court, has shown that they would leave the country on the very first opportunity, and besides, shuttling community members back and forth between the various branches of the community seems to be common. The court continued that Germany has an advantage over most other countries, including those others that have banned spanking, in that it has clearly defined what constitutes child abuse and the legal consequences thereof. Therefore the children will not be abandoned by the state to be hidden in another country. The TT have published excerpts of the court's rulings on their own blog, so it is hardly a violation of privacy laws that I summarise them here.

  9. BTW, the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian quality newspaper felt inspired by the scandal surrounding the TT in Germany and found an Australian family that had defected and that told basically all the things that we know and love (NOT) about our little band of sectarians. Please do take the time and click here:

    There is an interview with mother Ilich as well.
    The elders of that particular outlet obviously scheduled a monthly meeting for the parents in which they were taught how to properly beat their children. The parts about the child abuse, including physical and emotional abuse and forced labour, are nicely illustrated, especially as one of the teenage sons decided to rebel. Sickening.

  10. The Bayerischer Rundfunk has just released a notice that the state prosecutor has closed the case - this only holds for the Wörnitz location which did not have the "candid camera" in the basement; and it only concerns the criminal charges that were levelled at the parents (for child abuse). There was evidence but the prosecution gave the parents the benefit of the doubt. The proceedings in the family court continue, the authorities want to assess whether or not the parents are "erziehungstauglich" ("fit to raise children"). The children will remain in foster care until the main proceedings are over.

  11. Sometimes I read stuff like this and think "wow, people really are that ignorant"... I grew up in the TT and know full well all that is taught and carried out as far as corporal punishment. And all I can say is after reading all your posts and realizing that none of you have ever gone to visit yourselves; is that you must enjoy propagating gossip.... and perhaps if the "government" ever came and took your children for whatever reason your tune would change significantly. I would take on any of you in a meaningful discussion if you were actually interested in truth...It shocks me what people take as facts. Have you wondered for a second that perhaps the reason every child in Germany that can run back to their parents has, is because the story is not what you have heard?? Mark Twain said " A lie gets half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on." I too was taken from my parents and my Father was put in jail and it was all inspired by so called "cult experts" that are more offended by doctrinal differences than anything. But because we have a little sanity put in our constitution that does not allow "guilt by association" it was thrown out of court. I grew up with 2 loving parents that spanked me as the bible commands and is legal in any place that isn't trying to insure that its occupants are worthy of hell. My aunt used to come and break our rods when we were kids and we would tell on her. guess where her kids are now? being supported by the state because they never finished school and are heavily addicted to the answer that society has substituted for discipline....DRUGS whether legal or not.

    1. Anonymous, I was raised very similarly to the Twelve Tribe's methodology. I have a very good working knowledge of how it really is.
      Sharing what is in the news and what is happening isn't gossip. Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about personal or private affairs. What is out in the open is not gossip.

      As far as spanking being "biblical" - that is entirely questionable. It was not until the last couple of centuries that flogging of children was accepted as biblical. Children being spanked is entirely foreign to Judaism and was foreign to Christian practice for many hundreds of years. The only reason it is still legal in the United States is because we are so far behind in understanding what it does physically, emotionally and mentally to our (collective "our") children. I was spanked mercilessly growing up and I am NOT OK. I have, and will continue to advocate for peaceful, grace-filled upbringing which is Biblical.

      I would highly suggest that you read the following two links with an open mind:

  12. Oh dear – the Twelve Tribes is sending their "letztes Aufgebot", as the German phrase goes. The English would call it "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

    Dear Anonymous who supposedly grew up in the TT, your entire text is a collage of pre-fab, standard phrases posted on your cult's website's archives, with all the myths that your group lives by, relating to the treatment of children. It is therefore highly unlikely that the text describes a real life – it is too generic for that. The same Mark Twain quotation occurs in at least five places of the group's archive of writings, whenever dissenting voices threatened to expose the TT in the past. The same goes for the alleged superiority of the US constitution that cuts abusers slack as soon as they claim a religious dogma. The example of the gentle parent (mother/aunt etc) producing only wayward children is another stage prop in your mantra-like argument, and the 'children who *love* the rod so much that they defend it vigourously against all non-spanking ideas' falls into that category as well.

    So what have we left? A little morality play staged to influence the discourse on this blog, a blog that has diligently collected both media reports and personal narratives of ex-members. Those personal life-stories on what it was like "inside" by real survivors with a name and a face to them tell of the broken spirit, the crushed soul, and the ruined potential of those who had no choice but to live, or should I say suffer, the TT's lifestyle: the children now grown up. They are testimonies to what science (psychology, criminology, neuro-biology and chemistry) is now certain about: Hitting children is harmful; so-called "biblical discipline", aka systematically breaking a child's will through physical and psychological violence is even worse, as it refuses to acknowledge a child's developmental stages; it reduces a child's IQ; it makes its survivors more prone to mental disorders and psychological health problems; it increases the risk of addiction and violence, and it puts a nation in danger of supporting authoritarian and/or totalitarian regimes, etc etc. There are numerous long term studies in reputed journals that have been peer reviewed (yes, I do now about the one that claims Sweden has been going to the dogs since their spanking ban – dubious research, wrong methodology, and torn to pieces by the scientific community, if acknowledged at all, so don t even mention it). But debating with you on an intellectual level would be pearls before the swine, I regret to say.

    Instead, let me say this much. I know why they are sending their "Anonymi" who write an approved PR text on the blessings of a childhood in the TT: The meticulously collected press coverage (in translation or paraphrase) has long gone beyond what can be downplayed as "gossip". With each personal narrative, with each bit of information that matches other bits from the other side of the globe evidence is mounting that the Truth will out. And you, my friends, have lost control over what is published, what is read, what is thought. So give up trying!

  13. As one of the Twelve Tribes Cult members once told me, "When the pillow breaks, you cannot gather all the feathers." Well, "The Cat's Out of the Bag!" This is a link to the German documentary that was used as evidence that The Twelve Tribes systematically (torture) beat the children:

    It's in German with English sub-titles. If you enlarge it, you can better view the sub-titles. Unbelievable!