Shalom

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


15 August 2014

The Twelve Tribes in Germany - Part 18

Photo by A. Stahl

I've been made aware of a few websites recently that I would like to share here today. The first is a list of several teachings that have been made available online from Question The Twelve Tribes, which show that the recent investigations in Germany are not without merit.

Also, I'd had Steve Hassan's BITE model shared with me, which explains the cult mentality and how someone gets sucked into a cult.

Robert Pleyer, who was interviewed some months ago about his stint with The Twelve Tribes has recently published a book in Germany. The title is "Der Satan schläft nie: Mein Leben bei den Zwölf Stämmen" [The Devil Never Sleeps: My life in The Twelve Tribes] There is a book preview (in German) available here.


I was mentioned last month on Quantum Leap Television. This video is so informative, but takes about an hour to watch. Please take time to watch if you get a chance. Rose-Marie Cruzado Rodriguez was also interviewed in this video.


 

Wolfram Kuhnigk has since begun working with RTL's "Undercover Deutschland" series and they've put up a very nice résumé here.

At the end of 2012, the development of "Undercover Germany" began. One of the first undercover topics for Kuhnigk was the Twelve Tribes sect.  ... due to the  explosive nature of his undercover deployment... RTL decided to broadcast this specific topic in advance.

Due to ...securing video and pictures of these abuses, the largest youth welfare office operation since the second world war was made in Germany...
27.06.14 Undercover Deutschland: Biographie Wolfram Kuhnigk

Two children that had been smuggled into Switzerland (they're dual citizens) were returned by the Swiss government due to their family still being involved with the courts in Germany.
On Tuesday, the controversial sect "Twelve Tribes" has again had a police action issued. The District Office Donauwörth announced that the officials were going to pick up two girls that had fled in February and March from two youth centers...
01.07.2014 Süddeutsche Zeitung: Polizeieinsatz bei umstrittener Sekte


To
hide their young from justice,some members of the Twelve Tribes brought their offspring abroad. Two of them - 17 and 10 years old - found refuge in Switzerland. Therefore, the German authorities appealed to Switzerland to extradite the children, such as the "Tages-Anzeiger" writes
20.06.2014 20 Minuten: Sektenkinder an Deutschland ausgeliefert



The child and adult protection authority (KESB) Upper Aargau BE, in whose sphere of influence the children lived, recognized the ...decision ... before the parents had been consulted ...and the Canton police followed the order to deliver the children immediately. The officers picked them up, brought them to the border and handed them over to the German authorities.

19.06.2014  Tages Anzeiger [Schweiz]:  Sektenkinder wurden an Deutschland übergeben - Mitglieder der Sekte Zwölf Stämme hatten versucht, zwei Kinder in der Schweiz zu verstecken.

The two girls that went missing from foster care are still missing from Bavaria, and it is thought they've been smuggled into another (nearby) country. There was a large police action  searching for the missing girls, and this created a lot of upset in the Tribes, videos uploaded onto youtube and blogging against the police and courts. Some of these videos have mysteriously been removed from the website and also from youtube since then. Here is the video that was filmed from the point of view from the Twelve Tribes and posted by one of their sympathizers.

However, the parents of the Twelve Tribes are sure that this is persecution and the government is against them and they are truly lovely, helpful, well attached parents to their children.  You can see a couple articles with this angle here and here thanks to DoNotLink*.

  RegioTV in Bavaria has a video as does ARD about the police and Jugendamt action, which was posted the evening of July 1st.


 "The family court has since sought a professional psychological assessment, which resulted in a stay  of the children remaining or visiting with their parents in Klosterzimmern" states the press release of the District Office Donau-Ries.
The two eleven and thirteen year-old children were placed by the decision of the Jugendamt, in a home, which they promptly ran away from. There had been "solid evidence" that the girls had returned to their birth parents in Klosterzimmern...
01.07.2014 Augsburger Allgemeine: "Zwölf Stämme": Sektenmitglieder weigerten sich bei Polizei-Razzia - Wieder eine Polizeiaktion bei den „Zwölf Stämmen“: Rund 100 Polizeibeamte waren heute Morgen in Gut Klosterzimmern auf der Suche nach zwei Mädchen.
On this basis, the court granted the Office of Youth and Family the decision to search for the girls. After voluntary participation of the [parents and Twelve Tribes] was not given, the police had been asked to provide assistance.
In the context of  the action
carried out today, July 1, 2104 by the police commission of the localities in Klosterzimmern; the two girls could not be found.
01.07.2014 Donau-Ries Aktuell: Stellungnahme zum Einsatz bei den Zwölf Stämmen

The two girls disappeared from the homes where they were staying, one had been in an interview with Spiegel TV prior to their disappearance. Spokesman Mario Lauser from the police headquarters in Nordschwaben: "This interview was robust evidence that girls stay in Klosterzimmern [where the sect grounds are]."
01.07.2014 Augsburger Allgemeine: Polizei sucht vermisste Mädchen - 100 Polizisten durchkämmen das Gelände in Klosterzimmern. Die Sektenmitglieder leisten Widerstand


The parents who belong to the "twelve tribes" are not willing to cooperate with the Office for Youth and Family. Since a report, which the court had obtained, the result was that the children can not stay with their parents, the return of the children should be enforced by court order. The police ...did not find the girls in the sect grounds of Klosterzimmern.
01.07.2014 Schwäbische.de - Polizei sucht zwei Mädchen der „Zwölf Stämme“

There's been some discussion with authorities from Germany with those in Austria about the Tribes and current court case, if I understand the implications of the news article accurately. There had been some discussion in June that the Twelve Tribes were looking seriously towards  moving to Austria.

"We have to warn the Austrian authorities of the tricks and delaying tactics of this sect. This is about the child's welfare. The Twelve tribes' applies corporal punishment methods towards their children as an expression of parental love! This ideological dressing up of child abuse must be strictly confronted by the authorities. "
BayernSPD Landtag Pressemitteilungen
01.07.2014 Warnung vor Sekte "Zwölf Stämme"
An ex-member [of the Twelve Tribes] tells of experiences of violence in the sect... Members of the group are said to have moved to Austria to avoid the German compulsory education law.
"Zwölf Stämme" - Sektenmitglieder in Tirol vermutet

Additionally, the Twelve Tribes have gone against the Bavarian authorities in mid-March, via a disciplinary complaint towards the Jugendamt for the "crimes" they have committed against the sect and their children. The Press Release can be found here.  Besorah gives her opinion of her treatment (in German of course) here.

Members of the controversial religious community ... blame the staff  ...the removal of the children on September 5 are serious crimes and call for the immediate suspension of the employees of this agency... filing a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecutor in Augsburg. 
01.07.2014 BR Schwaben: SPD fordert strikteren Umgang mit der Sekte
"What  the youth welfare office does with our children is abuse and is against the child's welfare. The Youth Office does not enable a "non-violent upbringing." It is, itself, guilty of child abuse and is responsible for deep psychological damage to the children," says in the press release...
02.07.2014 Augsburger Allgemeine: "Zwölf Stämme" nach Polizeiaktion: Man will uns vernichten
The "Twelve Tribes" criticized the approach [towards their children]. The Youth Office was planning to let them speak a cult expert with the foster parents, "to indoctrinate [the children] against the faith and religion of their parents," it said in a statement to the community.
"Zwölf Stämme": Pflegeeltern treffen sich zum Erfahrungsaustausch

Two former members of Tribes, Yael and Christian Riep have been re-interviewed recently. One or two of these interviews were on television and a couple were in newspapers. There is some upset that they are not being believed as SGAs, and that others are looking on only to mock, rather than with the sober understanding that this was not a choice of theirs to make and they are still paying the price after leaving the cult.  I know this feeling all too well.

Yael was interviewed on RTL in the last two weeks again, and the video from last year's interview were shared again on RTL's website here.  I am finding it somewhat frustrating that Explosiv and Undercover Deutschland only have about a week's time that the videos remain on their website before being archived and shared only on iTunes.  Not everyone (self included!) enjoy or use Apple products. ;)
 
...When he was in the sect, Christian bore the name Zakar...The break with the group began when Reip refused at the age of 13, to celebrate his bar mitzvah.... The family was therefore shunned for months... The feud continued: Reip was to keep his hair long and grow his beared "He who has no beard, is considered to be gay," he says. He repeatedly removed his beard with nail shears.. Even his one year younger sister Amitsa rebelled. "We both had had enough."
06.17.2014 Der Tagesspiegel: "Twelve Tribes" sect - an ex member said "I had no childhood. I have toiled "


Wolfram Kuhnigk is being brought before the court again under accusations that he falsified information that was submitted to the Jugendamt and that much of the video that was submitted under evidence was, in fact, much older video. This is a distraction tactic on the part of the Twelve Tribes to move the direction of the court cases away from the mishandling of their children and towards those who brought these misdeeds to light. Some of the documents that the Twelve Tribes Attorney has handed in can be seen here and here.
Via a lawyer, the fundamentalists doubt the credibility of the filming, which led last year to the withdrawal of custody of their children. This week they showed the investigative journalists evidence of "deliberate false testimony and forgery of evidentiary documents". The timing is not accidental: On Monday, another post about the "Twelve Tribes" to be broadcast on RTL. The transmitter announces "new shocking details" to be released.
Christensekte: "Zwölf Stämme" zeigen Fernsehreporter an

The sect sees himself more in the role of victim: "It's just a film of cheap lies" states the website of the "12 tribes" ...
RTL undercover bei Sekte
Kinder systematisch geschlagen – Sekte spricht trotzdem von „billigem Lügenfilm“

As announced in advance, a press conference took place at noon today at the Twelve Tribes estate in Klosterzimmern with their legal counsel, Michael Langhans. Previously. Donau-Ries-News exclusively reported on evidence that the Twelve Tribes will prove false testimony, documents forgery and violations of the confidentiality of private conversations, as well as incitement to unsworn false statement.
Zwölf Stämme: Anwalt Langhans erstattet Strafanzeige gegen RTL-Reporter Kuhnigk
In support of the criminal complaint, their lawyer... argued that the dates of recording did not fit with the video recordings reporter Wolfram Kuhnigk had made at the time he stayed in the community. Kuhnigk had [allegedly] made ​​his recordings between the 14th and 16th July of last year.... According to the ... so-called "time stamps" the pictures were taken between 1 January 2012 and 19 July 2013. Especially the last date was a "clear indication that the videos have been manipulated,"....
"Zwölf Stämme" stellen Strafanzeige gegen RTL-Reporter
Kuhnigk had brought to light the life of the Twelve Tribes last fall with a report for the RTL-Magazin "extra" and made ​​serious allegations of abuse in public. For months, the journalist had repeatedly introduced himself under a false identity in the headquarters of the sect in Klosterzimmern and smuggled himself into rooms and filmed.
"Zwölf Stämme" zeigen RTL-Reporter an - weiter lesen auf Augsburger-Allgemeine
"Immediately after the removal of the children, there were no traces of mental or physical abuses discovered." said the lawyer, "Yet, the court experts have not held a hearing to this issue to this day." This demonstrates that the ongoing court case is one sided: "There are no investigations in favor of the parents, otherwise you would have already introduced those files into the process, demonstrating that no abuses were evident." The district court Nördlingen has prevented, since May 30, my access to the file, criticized Langhans. The district court Ansbach, where the proceedings against the parents have also been heard, granted the files to Langhans, albeit reluctantly.Sekte startet Gegenangriff

Wolfram Kuhnigk has answered these accusations rather well in my opinion.

.... "I can only interpret as a desperate attempt by the members here distract from the actual offense of child abuse ..."
--RTL Reporter
Glaubens-Gemeinschaft geht in Offensive 
.... I want to emphasize that neither evidence nor film were manipulated. Everything that has been said and filmed is verifiable. "
"Undercover Germany" sums up in the current episode, the events from last year together with new shocking details about the sect. This time, it is the dubious business practices of the '12 tribes that will be discussed, among other things, such as how they make their members economically dependent. Leaving the sect is so obviously difficult...
Undercover Deutschland: Sekte '12 Stämme' zeigt keine Reue

On the other hand, the Bavarian Parliament issued another statement on The Twelve Tribes in their region; and the courts are now pursuing the sect under the Child Labor laws, as children are required to work for the many firms that the Tribes own. This can be run through Google Translate.

Donau-Ries Aktuell has been on the ball in all of this mess and has issued a good German translation of the history of the Twelve Tribes and how they operate. You can find this here. They have also listed all of the (known) German firms owned by the Twelve Tribes here. They also did another lengthy interview with Wolfram Kuhnigk after the August 4th "Undercover Deutschland" video on the Twelve Tribes, specifically on the issue of child labor.

As a journalist and a father, I am very glad that [the video] has been able to prove that children here were systematically beaten and ultimately the youth welfare office should be active [in preventing it]. I'm still shocked that there is no insight into the cult members. It gives the impression that people are conditioned from an early age, so to speak, to accept this system and such educational methods. The children are the biggest victims, because they can not defend themselves and experts know that traumatized children are dependent on the love of parents. I am therefore still convinced of having done everything right.
RTL-Reporter Wolfram Kuhnigk im Exklusiv-Interview mit Donau-Ries-Aktuell


Focus.de has issued a video about the allegations of child labor laws being broken by the Twelve Tribes and that can be found here. This has also been discussed on RTL's Undercover Deutschland last week (which I've recorded and not as of yet had time to watch), and also by the Bayrische Rundfunk's online paper and the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
An ex-member confirmed to Bayerischer Rundfunk, that the members of the Twelve Tribes operate undeclared work for the company, and also include children in employment, working them up to 16 hours a day. The man stated that he, himself, had experience working for a long time as a minor, on construction sites in France - far away from his parents without receiving any wage.
Kinderarbeit ohne Lohn
....the prosecution in Augsburg will not currently  discuss the suspicion of illegal work or child labor against the "Twelve Tribes," said its spokesman yesterday, Attorney Matthias Nicolai. However, the court will check the television report to that effect.
The sect "Twelve Tribes" has denied the allegations.
Zwölf Stämme: Kinderarbeit ohne Lohn?


What Wolfram Kuhnigk also uncovers when he meets with an ex member: The sect can apparently strong arm adults and minors for unpaid work....
In order not to ruin his new undercover operation, he wears an even better disguise than his time with the Tribes in 2013. This time, he will be disguised as an employee of a car dealership... under the pretext of securing a job from the sect operated solar company..
Undercover Deutschland: Kindesmisshandlung und Schwarzarbeit bei den '12 Stämmen'05.08.14 08:17

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, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10,  part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16 and part 17 to be better informed on this issue.You will also find that the Wikipedia page on The Twelve Tribes Community has been updated to include basic information of what is happening here as of September 2013. There have been no current updates as no newspapers are carrying information about what is happening in English. However, the German Wikipedia page has most of the information behind what is, for all intents and purposes, an ongoing court case.

*  DoNotLink allows one to view a website without actually driving traffic there or allow the bloggers to gain readership or revenue. 

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