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The Twelve Tribes in The News

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How do you know if a group is a cult?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Personal Testimonies of Ex-Members - Part II

The following Testimony is from a member who left about 10 years ago but was only able to get the TT out of his mind around 2 years ago due to the devastating affect of the thought reform tactics the TT employs.

The last time I lived with the TT was 10yrs ago. I went back and forth several times over the years. I probably only actually lived with them for a total of about 4yrs over all. In my head I was always living with them. I finally gave up the notion of having to go back only about 2yrs ago.

It all started for me around 1980 while I was studying bible in a local college in my home town. During summer vacation of the first year I volunteered to work at a Christian summer camp. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was totally unfamiliar with the idea of living in community until I worked at this summer camp. Living with about 100 children and maybe 30 adults in such close proximity for 6 weeks was my introduction to that kind of life. I went back to school in the fall and felt like something was missing. I was trying to understand the harsh reality of Christian living in comparison with what i had experienced over the summer. Loving one another was a way of life at camp. The Christian experience was empty compared to that. I longed for more.

So here I was, not even knowing there was any such thing as people living together in community, thinking there must be more to this whole experience.
It was while I was in my church history class one day that that all changed for me. One sentence in my Church history book grabbed my attention. It mentioned a people called the Anabaptists. These people didn't think that Martin Luther had gone far enough with just nailing nine thesis' to the door of the local Catholic church. They believed that the Catholic church was beyond reform and that it was time for a complete separation. It was exactly what i was beginning to think concerning all of Christendom..

Just a little side note...
If you ever get a few minutes you should read the story of the Anabaptists.
Start here: Anabaptists
You will then know that the idea that the Holy Spirit has not been on the earth for 2000yrs is categorically false.

I am amazed by that teaching by the way. If anyone was wondering about whether Yoneq is delusional or not they ought to really consider the full ramifications of what that teaching means.

Back to my story...
Of course when I would bring these ideas up to my fellow students they thought I was a bit crazy. "It was just summer camp" they would say.
"People don't live like that in the real world." I would point out the example of the Anabaptists and I would just be told; " that was the middle ages, we know better now." It just didn't sit right with me. It seemed to me if people really had the Holy Spirit then love would be overflowing everywhere. It was not, as many of you are painfully aware. I met one person there however that listened to what I had to say. He was about 20yrs my senior and was very familiar with community life. He had been searching for something more substantial himself for most of his life. He had thus far come up empty. He had researched many communities all over the U.S.. He had even lived with a few for a time.

I wanted to know more. Once the 2yr bible program was over we were off and running. We traveled all over the northeast U.S. so that I could get a taste of what community life was all about. After living and working with several different groups ( all along the way hitting every college library I was near to continue studying this phenomenon) I too was coming up empty. I never seemed to be satisfied. Finally I went back to my friend ( who had since left me to my own devices because he had a family to take care of) and told him that I was not finding what I was looking for. Nearly 7yrs had gone by. He told me that he knew of one other group that might interest me. He said he never mentioned them because he just saw them as a hippy commune. Off to Island Pond VT we went. It was my last hope. When we arrived I thought I had found heaven on earth. My friend left at the end of the day, I did not.

Thus began my relationship with the TT. It didn't take long before I began to be dissatisfied with life there as well. What I was looking for just didn't seem to exist. I have spent most of my life thinking that it must exist, that the problem must be me.

What I was looking for I was eventually to realize was inside of me not outside of me. That is what we are all looking for, the love of God. We do not need to get it from anyone but Him. Everyone around us could be wanting to kill us (sound familiar? our brother Stephen comes to mind) and we could still be "perfectly" content with the love that God gives us. Yes, we would all like to be surrounded by loving people all of the time. That is not reality however.
We have already been told this by Yahshua. I must have missed that one in bible class.
The crucible that is called the TT is just a microcosm of the world. Take all of the "evil" thoughts in the world and put them under one roof, there you have a description of community living. If you can bear that kind of test then living in community is for you. If you are just looking for the love of God, then look inside. When you are certain that you are loved by God then you can stand under any pressure. The problem I had was I was looking for God in those communities, not inside myself.

The world is full of false beliefs and delusional people. It is full of people searching outside of themselves for what can only be found within. The desire that draws us to want to live in a community is a desire for something that we all have available to us where ever we find ourselves. It is the desire to experience oneness with God and his creation. Pray for this experience where you are here and now. It is the desire of God's heart for us to have it. It is a prayer that if sincere, will never go unanswered.


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nabashalam said...

Phil. 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Anonymous said...

"phil. 4:11" igues they didn't have the best dental care at all tiomes back then either, wow, now we can share a peice of coinnea in that can't we.

For my German Speaking Visitors

Follow this link to review a presentation made by Leipzig student Florian Böhnhardt.

Boehnhardt Zwoelf Staemme 2007

For my French Speaking Visitors

Interesting news article concerning the Sus House (castle) and controversy in France with the Twelve Tribes.

Entre bric à brac et vie de château, les drôles d'apôtres de l'Ordre Apostolique... (Tabitha's Place)

Click on the following link to get a wealth of information from an Anti-Cult Site in France

News Reel-1 on Tabitha's Place

News Reel-2 on Tabitha's Place

Place a checkmark beside all items that characterize the group in question. If you check many of these items, and particularly if you check most of them, you might consider examining the group more closely.

The above check list comes from Dr. Michael Langone, editor of Cultic Studies Journal, and often characterize manipulative groups. Dr. Langone suggest prospective recruits and family members compare these statements to the group. If one or more of these apply to your group you may have a cause for concern. I say, if all apply as in the case of the Twelve Tribes, you should repent (turn 180 degrees) and run.

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Yoneq 2004

I dedicate this song to Yoneq and the elders of the TT

Elbert Eugene Spriggs

Ok - This one is a little angry, but therapeutic just the same

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