The Twelve Tribes in The News

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Monday, February 18, 2008

The Twelve Tribes' Money Machine - Updated 2/19

The life of the typical Twelve Tribes member is very simple. Women's dresses and "Sus" pants are hand made and most other clothes are bought at thrift stores. Much of the communities organic food is self grown. Members have given up all their possessions and do not have worldly treasures such as TV's, radios, jewelry, expensive cars etc. Ex-leaders and members often talk about the frugality of the life within the Twelve Tribe communities where every penny is pinched and members work long hours for no pay. The Twelve Tribes leaders do not deny this. They are actually very proud of this fact because they are working to build the kingdom of God on earth and preparing the Messiah's bride for His return.

The TT leaders adamantly deny that Gene Spriggs lives a "jet-setting" life or any different than the average member in good standing. However, Michael Painter and James Howell, former high level leaders (3rd and 4th in command under Spriggs and Eddie Wiseman) have gone on record as stating that Spriggs has a wallet full of credit cards and travels where he wants when he wants and also enjoys luxuries the average member does not have access to. As the only apostle for the Twelve Tribes it is his role and duty to plant new communities wherever he feels God is leading. So it is necessary for him to travel around the world to do this. Gene always had an inclination towards world travel. In his own biography published by the TT they state he gave up an executive job to take a job as a tour director for a large travel company so that he could see the world.

The Twelve Tribes has never had difficulty purchasing buildings, businesses and property to expand their kingdom on earth. They have claimed in the past that although a number of people come into the communities willing to give up wealth and possessions, just as many come in with little or nothing or even bring a load of debt that requires the community to pay-off. So how can they enter a town and drop millions of dollars to buy one or multiple buildings? How did they afford to host a large Cultural Event on the National Mall in Washington DC June 26-July 6th 2004 (Take a tour at Rekindling the Fire)? How can they afford to produce high quality films denouncing Christianity (see my article to Keli in the TT Parchment Press)?

The Twelve Tribes can do this because they own over 24 substantial businesses around the world. Many of these are high-end construction companies that list no affiliation to the Twelve Tribes on their websites or advertisements. Below, I have provided a consolidated list of direct links to these Twelve Tribes businesses. These are all businesses that you could stumble across on the various sites hosted by the communities, but as far as I have found, there is no one single list as I have provided below. I believe this is because the Twelve Tribes does not want the public or for that matter their own members to comprehend the vast amount of wealth that is generated by these businesses.

The TT leaders will tell you that many of their restaurants are operated at a loss. Most of these restaurants are not even listed below. Many ex-members have confirmed they often run at a loss but are necessary to recruit new members. However, these are far offset by the other lucrative construction companies as well as the furniture and other products that are made with "free" labor. The most recent defectors from the Twelve Tribes (especially those in leadership positions) complain the Twelve Tribes has become more of a business than a Messianic community.

Many people were amazed to find out a few years back that this obscure group actually had a large contract with Estee Lauder to provide their Origins products. In fact the group had been providing these products from 1995 through 2001 until Estee Lauder found they were using child labor to produce, package and distribute the products. Likewise, the Twelve Tribes provided products to Robert Redford's Sundance company until he cut-off dealings with them for child labor issues.

The following links are for those Twelve Twelves business that have/had a website. In addition to these businesses, there are a number of "cottage industries" the Twelve Tribes owns and operates with free labor from their members and their children. I will add to the list below as I become aware of more businesses.

Twelve Tribes Businesses in the US

  • BOJ Construction - General Contracting (trim carpentry, cabinets, etc) and New Home Construction
  • Common Wealth Construction - This is a high end construction company located in Savannah GA
  • Anything Builders - The name says it all.
  • Common Ground Cafe - This is the TT Cafe in Cambridge, NY
  • Common Sense Farm - This is the TT Soap Shop in Cambridge, NY
  • Mate Factor - This is the TT company that imports and packages Yerba Mate which they also produce in Brazil (again with free labor). This company sells Yeba Mate through many non-TT distributors as well
  • Mate Factor Cafe - Direct sales of Mate Factor Products. This company makes no direct reference to being a Twelve Tribes owned organization. - New
  • Common Sense Market - This is the TT whole-foods store in Plymouth, Ma
  • The Parchment Press - This is the TT Print Shop in Coxsackie, NY (my dear friend Keli works there)
  • Elad Products - High quality children's clothing
  • Ozark Rustic Hickory Furniture - Quality rustic hickory lodge furnishings from Lake of the Ozarks, MO
  • Simon The Tanner - Cobbler Shop and Shoe Store. Outfitter stores along the Appalachian trail and throughout the Northeast

Twelve Tribes International Businesses

Mate Factor and Common Grounds Locations- New

  • Manitou Springs, Colorado - 966 Manitou Ave- New
  • Ithaca NY - 143 E State St- New
  • Asheville NC -2002 Riverside Dr Suite 42-E - New
  • Winnipeg, Canada - 79 Sherbrook St. - New
  • Hamburg NY - 327 Buffalo St - New
  • Dorchester Ma - 2243 Dorchester Ave - New
  • Nelsen BC Canada - 202 Vernon St. - New
  • Oak Hill NY - 7771 State Rt. 81 - New
  • Hyannis Ma - 420 Main Street - New
  • Rutland VT - 23 Center Street - New
  • Lancaster NH - 55 Main St. - New

Business that have closed or who’s websites are down:

Request for assistance: The Twelve Tribes is considered a unique kind of tax exempt business the IRS classifies as a "501(d)," under a small subparagraph of the tax code created for "religious and apostolic organizations." Only a handful of organizations qualify and are categorized as a 501(d). I would like to find out what information is available to the public or to the members of the Twelve Tribes organization concerning the reported income and tax liability of the Twelve Tribes. If you are a tax accountant or know someone who can answer this question please send the information to If you are a current leader in the Twelve Tribes and would like to be up-front and volunteer this information, that would be appreciated (although not anticipated).


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Anonymous said...

where do you get your information from when you state things like this..."The most recent defectors from the Twelve Tribes (Especially those in leadership positions) complain the Twelve Tribes has become more of a business than a Messianic community." Who are these defectors and ex leaders and how recently have they left? When it comes to what members are allowed to know about community finances, I have read a teaching that says to the Shepherds that every disciple has a right to know where the money is going and can see the books upon request.

Voice said...

Anonymous - My sources will remain anonymous but I can tell you that by recent I mean in the last 10 years. Additionally, if you have access to minutes from apostolic workers meetings you will see how much the TT is run like a business, albeit a "church" business. I will post minutes from one as early as 1996 that demonstrates how the focus and priority started to be more on cutting costs and increasing revenue.

In regards to members having the right to see the books upon request: Really now, for what purpose would a member want to look at the books? How would this request be received by a Shepherd? Furthermore, Shepherds do not have the consolidated finances of the entire Twelve tribes.

Thank you for your comment and question.

nabashalam said...

I have to correct you on a couple of your statements.

The most of the clothes are either store bought or purchased at thrift stores. Men, women and children alike. Normally from thrift stores. But yes, some clothes are made there. Especially the womens dresses, "Sus" pants and the special friday mite linen clothes.

"but as far as I have found, there is no one single list as I have provided"

The list on the Twelve Tribes own site is pretty darn close to yours...

Just tryin to keep you credible!!!

Anonymous said...

For someone who has 30 years experience with the twelve tribes, You really don't know much about them. The assumptions you make and the opinions that you form expose that you don't really have much real inside information. It's a a bit irritating to see you blather on about Yoneq this... Yoneq that... It's pretty clear that you really don't have much first hand information on the true inner workings of the tribes. Hearsay and malicious assumptions. Not that I begrudge you the right to do this. But you are definitely reaching..... stretching.... you are actually doing a disservice to those who really do want to know the truth by making things seem as sinister as possible. from an ex member

Voice said...

Thanks Naba. I had added the clothes statement at the last moment and I was thinking of the women mainly and their dresses and pants. I did not intend the article to be as much about clothes as the money the Tribes are making through these companies, primarily the construction companies.

Voice said...

Anonymous (ex-member?) - feel free to correct anything you see as incorrect as Naba has done above. A bitter attack only indicates I hit a nerve or you read something you did not like.

If you discuss the issue "Money" we can have a conversation. For example, one could do some research on what an average construction company such as "BOJ Construction" or "Common Wealth Construction" would make in revenue each year. Additionally, as I have already mentioned, a person could request the financial information of the group as a 501(d) corporation which they are required to provide by law.

If the Twelve Tribes wanted to be upfront about their finances, they could publish this information on their site so people could be assured they are an honest group. However, we have already read Yoneq's (would you prefer I call him Gene, or Elbert or Eugene or just Spriggs?) teaching on lying to the government so can we really trust what they report even to the IRS? Maybe we should request an audit? These are things we can discuss if you like.


nabashalam said...

"Hearsay and malicious assumptions"
Could you point out exactly what your referring to?

(Voice, Make sure you keep your emotions in check! You dont want to be read like a tabloid...)

Your credibilty is imperative and invaluble...

I have to jump in here again...

"As the only apostle for the Twelve Tribes it is his role and duty to plant new communities wherever he feels God is leading..."

Actually there are several in the Tribes considered of possessing the "grace" needed as an "Apostle"...
Nun is one, Yohannan Abraham another and quite possibly Shoresh and Daniel of Yehudah. But as you know they do not like using that title.

As far as the major events such as "Rekindling the Fire", Bonneroo and Lalapalooza...most of the cost of these are recouped by the capital generated at their mobile cafe's and their paid medical assistance. I think they may have shut down their Musical Festival First Aid business now. But It cost around several hundred thousand dollars to pay for the D.C. event but you wouldnt believe the money they pull in on concessions.

But as you are pointing out. No one is getting paid or getting rich either. They spend it as fast as they make it. And yes, it's mostly spent on acquisition of new properties and buildings or paying off the ones they already own. They also are trying to get as dedt free as possible, like paying off mortgages. It's a vicious circle. A community really isnt a community until it has a business that invloves the public going. Such as a store, cafe or bakery. They must have a "Outer Court" for evangelizing of the gentiles and yes, many are operated at break even or at a loss.

Can you imagine them trying to run these businesses with a payroll and workmans comp. overhead? This is one reason some local businesses around them hold them in contempt. How can someone trying to run a sandwich shop/cafe compete with that and match their quality and prices?

Anonymous said...

To add to your listings of current businesses:
Common Loaf Bakery and The People's Bakery, both run by TT families in Brattleboro VT (half hour south of Bellows Falls and Basin Farm). They have a small profile in the town because they aren't full-fledged cafes, but they are ventures that have been established in hopes of building a new TT community in the town. They reportedly have the first option to purchase an existing restaurant space in town (also, ironically, called the Common Ground; this CG has been around since before the TT were ever estabished, however) and turn it into one of their cafes.

nabashalam said...

Didn't the TT briefly have a community in Brattleboro in the early days? North East Kingdom?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Brattleboro is in the southeastern part of the state - a full two hours or more from IP and Lancaster. In fact, it is nearly equidistant, along with Bellows Falls, from IP and Lancaster in the north, and Boston, Hyannis, and Plymouth in the south. Just over an hour from Cambridge and Coxsackie as well. It offers a hub for travelers from community to community within Yehudah to stop over in; this is also why the food distribution warehouse for Yehudah is located at the Basin Farm. No matter how unsuccessful their ventures are in this area, they will never give up this critical hub location, nor the farm.

Anonymous said...

I think this issue could be put to rest by simply disclosing the financial reporting information of the Twelve Tribes. It appears there are about 3000 members worldwide. About 50% these are in the US. Even if the Twelve Tribes made $20M dollars per year in their US based businesses, this would amount to $13,000 per member per year (assuming 1500 US members). This would hardly qualify them as a "Money Machine".

I spent sometime yesterday with Hakam (Eddie Wiseman) yesterday at the Yellow Deli and even had the opportunity to speak briefly with Yoneq (Gene Spriggs). My felling is these men would be willing to provide this information if requested.

nabashalam said...

Sure, put it to rest realizing that they spend less then 5 thousand dollars a piece to cloth, feed and shelter a disciple!!!

Anonymous said...

Nabashalam - The semi-unspoken accusation in this article is that the Twelve Tribes is making millions of dollars and someone is getting rich off of slave labor. This can easily be determined with a little math, you say they only spend $5K a piece to support a disciple. This can be taken into account. I believe you since you apparently have spent a number of years within the TT. Additionally, if anyone from the TT wants to refute your numbers they can. But again, let us do the math. If they make $20M per year in revenue and have 3,000 members who cost them $15K per year to support, then they make a good profit. But then again,the $20M a year revenue number is made up and you also have to take into account how much they spend on property and upkeep and company related expenses (materials, inventory , utilities, etc.).

I am not making a judgment one way or the other as I do not know the real numbers. I am simply stating it should be easy enough to get the numbers and do the math and therefore settle this issue.


Voice said...

Bill - You say it should be easy enough to get the numbers. If you are friendly enough with the TT to sit down with Hakam and Yoneq and "chat", then why don't you ask them for the numbers? If, as you say they "would be willing to provide this information" then try to ask them and see if this is true. I think you will find out, they do not "feel this is information you need or deserve to have".


nabashalam said...

I'm not sure if the insinuation is that someone is getting rich, which I know for a fact no one is... It's all the money being made and spent on large properties (that have to be in someones or anothers name)to "build" this Kingdom, whoevers Kingdom that might be, that doesnt go towards the health and well being of the people making it!

Castles in the sand!!!

Anonymous said...

If no-one is getting rich and the properties that are being purchased or built are for the support of the members, then what is the problem? Are you saying the people are being abused or they should be paid money and allowed to save or spend it themselves? Not sure what the concern is.


nabashalam said...

Bill, Picture yourself working 60-80 hours a week, making thousands of dollars for room and board( you eat what your fed no if ands or buts) and used clothing, shared bathrooms and all 5 of your children in one room. You dont have a dollar in your pocket for "spending money" and you dont have medical or dental coverage and whatever medical assistance you do get comes from non certified, self educated, mis-diagnosing "quacks" or midwifes and if you really do need emergency help it's long in coming.
You have no social life and your spouse and children are deprived of "quality time" due to your endless work hours...

If I need to educate you in "cult dynamics" and mind control I'd be glad to but this is not the forum for it and if you are apologetic to the Tribes you are definitely in the wrong territory...

BTW Yes they are abused physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually...

Anonymous said...

sound like you you just aren't cut out for community life and you want to hinder others that might be. i wish you would just give it a rest and get on with your life without the community instead of being like a parasite on the communities back. i'm sure you can figure out how to live a Self sustaning life.

Anonymous said...

you shouldn't be disgruntled about what others choose to do with their lives.

Anonymous said...

where in all these calculations do you show the expanding businesses and how much is spent on them. it seems to me that they must be making wise choices with THEIR money. take a hint!

Anonymous said...

can't say i've ever seen any of them starving or naked, you know.

nabashalam said...

Panterus! Your doing it again! Who are you addressing? Who are your questions and accusations aimed at???

Is it Voice, or a particular poster?

Anonymous said...

just gather the broad perspective!

Anonymous said...


it seems to me like you object to people working long hours and not getting spending money? Twelve Tribes is not the only communal community out there. There are many communities that not only share all that they have within the community, but are not spiritual and make even less overall through their businesses. The choice to live without excess personal goods is a serious one, but not one that needs to be labeled the result of obvious brainwashing. For the people who choose to express their inner convictions by embracing an outer lifestyle which demonstrates those convictions is not an uneducated mistake. What do you think about nuns who join monasteries and take lifelong vows of poverty and abstinence? What these people are choosing to do seems very similar to what monks and nuns (from various denominations) do, with the exception that TTers need not abstain from sexual relations (after marriage), raise children, and interact with the public more often (some religious living in cloisters, for lives of seclusion).

Presumably, if a TTer decided that they simply could not keep to their vows of poverty, and really, really, really needed a fancier microwave than their neighbour, or a skimpier dress, or mascara or television, then they could leave the community, as many apparently have. But for those educated adults who choose to live according to their sincerely held religious beliefs- for those who understand that they don't get to whine afterwards that they were drained financially, considering poverty was part of the point- why not let them choose to handle their income or potential income as they see fit?

nabashalam said...

"it seems to me like you object to people working long hours and not getting spending money?"

I don't know where you got that impression. I sincerely believe in a common purse! It's tribal and I think it's great! But you don't see "true communism" in the tribes just like the USSR used to be. There are the haves and have nots in the tribes. A hidden caste system.

You see elders/crew heads/government and their children with better clothes, a vehicle at their disposal and also pocket money. Alot of it! Also their children with braces on their teeth because family outside of the tribes paying for it. Their common pot is not common! The proletariate should have a even say on where the finances go. Like all the children getting the dental they need before buying that next bus/boat/farm or property.Or that new freepaper webpress run that costs 100 grand!

They need to take care of their people before they "expand the Kingdom"! What good is a huge castle if your serfs walk out on you because of lack of care?

"why not let them choose to handle their income or potential income as they see fit?"

That would be great if they actually did that! If everyone had a say/vote on their expenditures! But they don't! It's not a democracy nor run communaly!

Commune: to share!

Anonymous said...

nabashalam should probably get up on the news i guess because now that things are stabalizing a bit more, from buying all the industries and putting them to use in order to build sustainability, personal "needs" are being met more readily. again we have a problem with people not minding their own business. people who are not in the twelve tribes probably shouldn't concern themselves with things that they both don't know about and are not a part of.
i still don't see why you want to be such a bug in other speople affairs. if you don't think that they're up to you standards why should their piddely little life concern you. get a life!

nabashalam said...

Are you addressing me Panterus?

What happened to the caring person that emailed me privately?

I have written our mutual friend but have not heard back from him... I even asked him the question of "have things changed" in the Tribes etc.

I don't claim to know what it's really like in the TT today, only my first hand experiences from a few years back.

So may I ask you why your in "other peoples affairs"?

and what inside knowledge do you bring to this site? Riding the fence can be precarious and one's view can be skewed. As I have always said, it's hard to see the WHOLE picture when your in the frame. It would be nice to hear from a current member that speaks from their heart and not "The Anointing" and get the naked facts.

It's plain for us who have been apologists sitting on the fence to see your guilt ridden cloud nine view of the Tribes...

May you find peace soon...

Anonymous said...

Acts 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

Acts 26:7 Unto which [promise] our twelve tribes, instantly serving [God] day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.

Act 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Paul is telling grippa that he is being persecuted by the Jewish leaders because he preaches that the Messiah that was their hope and promise had come already. They're mad because in effect he is saying that they had killed Him and he had rose from the dead,see Acts 24:21 They wanted to kill Paul for this, see Acts 23:21. Paul claimed the one they had Killed, Jesus/Yashua, was alive(Acts 25:19) and they were determined to kill him for it.

This "hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers"(Acts 26:6) had absolutely nothing to do with putting the Twelve Trbes back together as Yoneq claims. What he has done here is twisted the scripturs to make it look like that is what it says in order to support his flawed teaching.

Anonymous said...

i think what Yoneq is talking about is that that promise to our fathers was an eternal promise, one which he hopes to see fulfilled. it seems easy to me to understand why he might choose this statement as one more line of proof that our Father intends to do just that and as a recourse the world will make judgments against those who try to see it fulfilled, like y'all!

Anonymous said...

It's no "line of proof" to a reforming of the twelve tribes at all, no more than if I said the Crucifixion was about proving how good nails work for hanging people on trees. It is not what the scripture is teaching. As a matter of fact, if God was going to start the twelve tribes He would have started with twelve churches by the names of the tribes rather than the seven churches listed in Revelation. The Jews are being grafted in to the New Covenant churches by their acceptance of Yashua as the prophesied Messiah. When you have a love for even the most vile of sinners and labor to "save to the uttermost" like Yashua, then you'll be on the right track. For if you only love one another, what have ye; For is that not what the publicans do?

nabashalam said...

Hey Annie!
Who do you think James was addressing? I like the NIV version where it's translated "among the nations"
"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Is it the lost tribes? The natural seed? Or the spiritual seed/gentiles that have "converted"?

I've been doing a lot of thinking and meditating and believe that the TT should be left alone. When you look at them as just another culture that you will see the good and bad you would find in any culture! Sex offenders, over and under disciplining, haves and have nots, warm and caring hearts and cold and sterile hearts. Not to mention phonies and true believers...

So in the big picture, the 30 communities and 3000 members actually have a pretty good thing going. They are attempting to live a modest caring tribal life and do pretty well as far as their living standard compared to the world wide average.

And if you look at all the different religions and belief systems, does it really matter if they believe they have been chosen for a special purpose by an invisible "God"? They are not a minority! They are also not thieves making money off the sweat of others, they share the load in one capacity or another. They are not violent nor immoral.

So... yes this is David Pike aka Nabashalam officially apologizing for my unwarranted attacks on the TT who had nothing but love for me even if that came in the form of "tough love" and not allowing me to return. It was what I needed and I actually thank Yoneq for leaving me where my lesson was to be found.

I wish the Twelve Tribes the best of health and hope they grow spiritually and always strive to live, love and find time to enjoy life, their children, their spouses and their friends today and not if and when "Yahshua" returns...

Anonymous said...


to criticize a misuse of scripture by proving it based on the context and supported by other scripture that establishes its intent is proper. The reason that scripture teaches that "there is safety in a multitude of counselors" is so that truth may be established through the minds of several annointed minds guided by the Holy Spirit that there will be unified agreement. Our Father gave us this instruction as a barrier against cultic dictatorial manipulations through the mind of one individual. That's why the scripture says that "prophecy (teaching) is of no private interpretation". To seek for proper reasoning is not rebellion. That is why the scripture says "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".

If the scripture did not say, "there is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the way therein is the way of death", then your statement, "And if you look at all the different religions and belief systems, does it really matter if they believe they have been chosen for a special purpose by an invisible "God"? would be acceptable, but it is not, it is dangerous. Our Father did not choose several ways. There is only one who made the sacrifice, who died the death that we deserved so that we may live; Yahshua. Any other religion is of the evil one.

And, your apology is severly lacking because to make a public accusation of someones alleged grevious sin, such as you did on FACTNET, without addressing the indivudal first,and personally, is totally out of character and scriptural counsel for a follower of Yahshua. This action went far deeper than just criticizing the function of the Twelve Tribes system/teachings/actions/shortcomings as a whole.

Peter said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven times?
Yahshua saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven". Mat 18:21,22

And here is an excellent teaching on forgiveness too:

Let's see who's really following our Father. Let's see if any who were too harshly dealt with in the past will be apologized to and asked back.

Our Father started this off on the right track. With a few corrective adjustments in line with scripture, He won't have to do away with it and start again.


nabashalam said...


"If the scripture did not say, "there is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the way therein is the way of death", then your statement, "And if you look at all the different religions and belief systems, does it really matter if they believe they have been chosen for a special purpose by an invisible "God"? would be acceptable, but it is not, it is dangerous."


Our Father did not choose several ways. There is only one who made the sacrifice, who died the death that we deserved so that we may live; Yahshua. Any other religion is of the evil one."


"And, your apology is severly lacking because to make a public accusation of someones alleged grevious sin, such as you did on FACTNET, without addressing the indivudal first,and personally, is totally out of character and scriptural counsel for a follower of Yahshua."



"This action went far deeper than just criticizing the function of the Twelve Tribes system/teachings/actions/shortcomings as a whole."


"Let's see who's really following our Father. Let's see if any who were too harshly dealt with in the past will be apologized to and asked back."


"Our Father started this off on the right track. With a few corrective adjustments in line with scripture, He won't have to do away with it and start again."


Anonymous said...

Nabashalam, you claim:


Now consider this account:


I also have reconsidered my stand on the use of Acts chapter 26 to refer to the "hope" of Israel pertaining to a reforming of the Twelve Tribes. When the overall picture is considered, such as:

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" Luke 21:24.

And also the Twelve Tribes making up the 144,000 in Revelation chapter seven.

I have to reason that the time of the Gentiles to bring the message of salvation to the world is coming to a close, and since Israel has become a nation again there is going to have to be a body where the Gentiles and those of Israel will come under one body as was planned to build a nation that will bear the fruits of rightousness in preparation for the return of Yahshua and our Father's eternal system of willing obediance and love restored. The divided Christian churches and even the Messianic ministries that have accepted Jesus as Messiah have yet to be called out and into the true Body. I believe that that is why our Father started the Twelve Tribes.

That body, although imperfect now, will use the keys of "binding and loosing" that was given the new church by Yahshua to use in their teachings as our Father gives revelation.

I also have learned that our Father sets us up in certain responsibilities in the community and sometimes removes us from them. He puts us in places that will best mold us. I might have a position of leadership one day and then be replaced by someone another. I should not figure that I am being treated unfairly. If I am trusting the wisdom of our Father, then I must realize that there will be times of testing and molding which can and will be very humbling at tmes.

Paul said,
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content"Phil.4:11. And David said, "a day in thy courts [is] better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" Psalm 84:10.

Many times we rebel or run rather than trust in His providence and allow Him to mold us. And yes, whomever our leaders are at the time, are not perfect either, but they will have future trials of our Fathers devising too. When our Father brings us into trial, whether by elements, circumstances or people, we need to trust that these conditons were weighed for our benefit even before we got up that morning and they were specifically designed with our growth in character in mind. When the trial comes, we need to look for the lesson.

When I look through the lives of the leaders that God has chosen to guide is people, it is clear that He chose ones that were not perfect. He revealed their stumblings also. The brave Elijah is faithfully proving the real God on Mt. Carmel one day and hiding from a woman shortly after, but God chose him for a particular work.

I can see now where our Father has called Yoneq and he has not been without his trials. Even leaders or those closest to them can be overtaken in a fault and give in to temptation. But our sins will find us out. Hopefully this will cause us to be more merciful when dealing with others.

Enough said for now, except that I sincerely ask Yoneq to forgive my quick rush to judgement.


P.S. Nabashalam, the bathwater may have gotten a little dirty, but the baby is still very much alive. It's no myth.

nabashalam said...

so the flood in the Torah was the original myth! So what? But the "savior" hero/God in the New Testament surely wasn't the first!

I see no logic in your comparison! They are all myths!

Go back and watch the zeitgeist episode! You didn't learn a damn thing!

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition...
but certainty is absurd!" -Voltaire

panterus said...

nabashalom said: "Doubt is not a pleasant condition...
but certainty is absurd!" -Voltaire

and so you give way unto oblivion

nabashalam said...

"so you give way unto oblivion "

your certainty has made you oblivious...

Eric Christopherson said...

I decided not to return to the Twelve Tribes, even though I have been visiting as a former member and like the people and culture in many ways.
One of my good friends and a Tribes shepherd said that I "have been touched by Satan" because of various criticism I have read about the Tribes and testimonies of former members.
Another newer member had bad things to say about my 15 year old son who is shy and doesn't like the communities that much. In every community there's usually one jerk with a fried brain..
Make no mistake about this: they truly believe black people should still be servants to white people IF they have not joined the Tribes.
Black people within the Tribes are very loved and equal, but are not to show the disrespect and arrogance of their ancient ancestor Cham, one of Noah's sons.
The Tribes clearly taught me when I was a member that it was a good thing that Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed.
This is what is really disturbing about the Tribes, you have really nice people, mostly, and a wonderful culture in many ways, but then thrown into the mix are some really messed-up teachings, definite racism applying to Jews and blacks OUTSIDE the Tribes, hitting children with thin rods as young as six months and by any adult member (which further opens the door to potential sexual abuses, which, Yes, have occurred.) The Tribes wants children safe to be sure, but communal living and members hitting other people's children in private make abuse easier to occur. When really bad things do happen and are exposed, the police are rarely called. The Tribes has been a sad confusing chapter of my life that's hard to forget in positive and negative ways. I wish Tribes members the best, I like most of them very much. I know by writing this and other statements, the Tribes will accuse me of spreading "lies and slander" but at the same time, they are always saying people "should not let their human voice be silenced." I want them to have a life of love, and not be exhausted and run down. To continue to love God and even leave if they wish and not fear Death, or to stay and be happy.
I do not think think they are "the only true work of God in 1900 years", or "the only place where God's spirit dwells", far from it!
But I love them, and wish I could be friends with them, without them thinking they are right about everything, and everyone else is under the control of Satan.

Anonymous said...

whoever the moderater of this blog is has obviously never spent time with the community. What im about to write is directed at you. I live a normal teenage life; i drink, i smoke, i party, i have sex, i work, i eat, i spend my money on clothes and makeup, i have piercings, i watch tv.. you know, normal stuff. My boyfriend, much the same as me, has been spending time there for 14 years as his father and brother are both members of the community. He has tattoos, piercings and goes there reiking of cigarette and all that has ever been said to him in relation to that is that its fine for him to do so and that theyre just happy to have him there. He was never beaten as a boy, never witnessed beatings, never been cut off because he was an outsider. I have been visiting a couple of times a month and only have the nicest things to say about the group. At first, i was a little taken back and unsure what to think because this group was living in such a different manner to myself and everyone else i know. I began to learn, just by observation, that they are a group of people that whole-heartedly believe in and want to live like jesus. This is why they dress like they do and dont indulge in materialistic things. They are pure people. they eat healthily and treat their bodies and posessions with respect. The children are raised with love and discipline. but encouragement rther than beatings. They do not force anyone to join or to do anything they do not want to. Im puzzled as to why you would create a website such as this when you clearly do not know a thing about them.

Unknown said...

It's really hard to find handmade womens dresses in today's consumer market. What a treat!

nabashalam said...

Kate I don't think you want to pay the price for one of those dresses...

"Weigh the cost..."

Eric Christopherson said...

Some may find this very strange, but as an ex-member who has been especially caustic toward the communities at times and written very critical words, I plan to return to live at the communities in the near future.

I'd appreciate it if the "89 Reasons For Leaving" that I wrote in approx. 1998 be removed from this site, for it does contain untruths that I wrote in anger.

I wish all the very best

I have not found a more meaningful daily life where people love God and Yahshua, and each other, and welcome others.

Perhaps some of you will now consider me an enemy, I don't know. But I just want what's best for each person.

I know my brothers and sisters in the communities still love me. And I want that kind of love also, and not waste any more years of my life.
Eric Christopherson

Anonymous said...

The is growing. I have lived with the amish and hippies etc etc and they all have their bad apples. I know amish men who sexually abused their daughters. Its a shame to condemn the TT because of your inabilty to totally surrender. I have found that its our ego's / self that we have the hardest time surrendering. I lived with the TT in 2 communites and they loved me and gave me all i needed. Was it all that people in the world want? No i didn't want nor need all that stuff. Presently i am caring for my mother. One day i will go back and totally surrender the ego me. It was always easy for me to give away my $ seeking to be loved but i know only God can truly love me and well the TT is the best place to learn how to truly love God.

Eugene / Ish from morningstar and Hillsboro

nabashalam said...

Eugene, I will tell you that the Twelve Tribes is falling apart. More members have left in the past few years I can't count them. There are 100s of them that are on Facebook now. Many long time members, business heads, crew chiefs and elders have left. People who have been there for 10, 15, 20 years... They have over extended themselves and are selling properties just to be able to keep others. But it does seem that they have tried to lighten up on some of their laws and have abandoned or rather hidden some of their teachings with "hard sayings" in them just in order to not turn people off from joining. They are losing their youths in droves mostly due to the fact that they see their friends leave and see them on Facebook doing well and not being struck down by curses of God. Some going to college, some joining the military but most all in all are doing quite well for themselves as long as they don't go buck wild and stay that way. It's kinda expected that when they first leave they go on a binge of the world, get their gut full and then settle down and go on to some great lives. They are actually a incentive for other youths (16-21) to leave because there is actually a grapevine of help just waiting to help them and show them the ropes. I am actually quite proud of some of the young men and women I now have as friends on Facebook and how well they have done for themselves and are some of the greatest kids I know (not really kids any longer)and knew when they were in their early teens. I would be a proud parent if they were one of my own... So Eugene. Do what ya gotta do... but don't expect to make the twelve tribes a lifelong career or commitment because their days/years are numbered...

Anonymous said...

Dear Nabashalam

You must be hurting bad since you left. You mention them being on but so what they advertize in many places. They are open minded. You mention the youth who have left well duhh sure temptation is everywhere. When i was there they mentioned that many can fit into the world. IF they want to be a part of the WORLD! Its a choice. Not all will stay. Many will fall to the side. I did in a way when i went to care for my mother. I could have left her in Gods care but i didn't. I was weak and left. I have 6 siblings too who would have moved her to a elder home if it were not for me, so she would have been fine. However, i had to leave to know what i am truly missing. I have tried to understand my spirituality all my life. I now know that it is the surrender of the EGO (me) that is the hardest. I see it in your words as you have found it easier to live in the World and do as you will. I know this. But i also know i want to do more in my spiritual growth and that more is doing less or nothing but surrender. that means i have to give up my views to others (shepards etc) who may or may not be right but that isn't the point because if they are wrong they are a test to me and if they are right then there is not test and no growth.

That was the hardest thing for me and i know its the hardest for you. I read about how you speak about your individuality and others and youth etc etc but what about the reason you first went there and tried to surrender? Can you go back and totally surrender? I hope God helps me to be able to do such and thusly i know i will get closer to God and further from the world. I do not seek the TT / communities as a place of comfort. Its a place of testing and surrender or maybe you never heard that or never understood that!

hugs Eugene / Ish

nabashalam said...

Eugene, do what your heart tells you. My heart told me that I need to surrender to God, not another man or group. I follow what the Holy Spirit tells me and it told me to leave because they are Wrong, wrong wrong... and hurtful, judging, unloving and proud.

They are not like thye Amish who allow their youths to get a taste of the world and return if they wish. When their children leave they are "cut off". Not allowed to speak to siblings or friends. Noy even their "Immas"! They can only speak to a shephard or their "Abbas". And if they come back it must be on bended knee and tears.

I myself have been tolfd I connot return. WWYD? They do not have the love of Messiah...Nor are the spirits their Holy...

Yoneq says the spirit in all the churches are demons. I say it's the other way around. Theirs is a spirit of fear, guilt and their yolk is heavy...real heavy...

But go do what you got to do... I'll talk to you when you leave next time... :)

Anonymous said...

LOL i should mention that i found the TT thru lol and i am one of those strange brews from there... But alas i know what God has for me and well i am ready when God calls me back.
Oh i also have a community but its to help veterans which has shown me how much i am not doing Gods will there but i am getting successful in the world.. However, i will gladly give it all away to get closer to God... You know that Yoneq is just a test for us at TT.. if you think there will be no TT in a few yrs maybe going back and totally surrendering with me together we can be his bride.. However, i doubt that and i know that only a few who can give it all up will be his bride.. i sure hope i will be one of them.. I have sons too and family but that is mute towards my meaning or direction in life.. I hope and pray your still keeping an open mind ready to join again and be tested and be a part of the bride..

hugs again Eugene / Ish

Anonymous said...

Your right there are many who judge others etc etc and some are shepards of communities but thats the test. In the world there are also many who judge etc and well the amish just told one of their own to leave his wife due to a certain circumstance. It wasn't due to molesting. Many amish shune those who do not conform to their veiws. Its the same at TT. That is the test! Its the same at any church group etc.. The only thing is for me is that the TT is the only place that has totally forgiven me and allowed me to join them and where i felt loved. By all? No! and for me that is the test. The other parts of the TT is what i do like compared to the amish and churches etc.. they share all and care for all. They take in mothers with 6 children etc etc.. Not even the amish do that nor the mennonites and the christian communities i have found are very choosey who they want. No the TT isn't for everyone. It may only be a place i stay until i get too old and put away in some veterans home etc but thats the test! That test is what i seek. I do not seek to get that easy route. I desire to follow the narrow way.. The TT fits for me in being able to get tested daily and yet know that there are a few who pass that same test everyday. those who do that and have continued to do that or who have come back to do that are what lets me know what more i must do.

hey hugs and i would love to speak by phone since your here now.

Eugene / Ish

Anonymous said...

PS: When i left i had issues with two people. One who was later told to go. What i didn't do was go out and tell the world they are terrible people doing terrible things .. well you know what i mean.. thats why i know your hurting.. hugs.. Yes maybe you should take down this site etc etc and try asking to join again.. know that we must start at start and not where we think we left off.

be well and if your anywhere near central Pa look me up.

Eugene / Ish

nabashalam said...

Can you give me a link to that Veterans community? I'd love to check them out.

The TT gladly take in single women to use as breeding sows...They need numbers...slaves..

and I have entertained the thought of going back but not seriously. And just recently my best friend in the TT left with his family of 6 after 15 years or more and him even being and elder and Shepherd. He is the most caring non-judgmental loving man I know. Now if he deemed fit to leave that is a golden seal of approval on my stance of not being there...

So like I said. Go get ya a belly full...I'll see ya on the flip-flop...

Anonymous said...

That veterans community is just lil ol me trying to help other veterans like myself while mom is still here with me. go to and Pa and veterans mntn farm

Eugene / Ish

Anonymous said...

Is this your facebook group? I tried to join today.

EX-TT Member Group

nabashalam said...

It's one of them but not mine. I don't have one on facebook. There is an Ex-tt help facebook page also....!/home.php?sk=group_148797041846431

But my group is a yahoo group here...

Unknown said...

for all that was said here I don't see any denial. I think what is stated here is pretty accurate based on my experiences.

David Pike said...

Unknown... The TT never posts here... Us "Gentiles" are not worthy of their words and even if they did speak to us we are not worthy of the truth and they are allowed to lie to us... They NEVER admit wrong. NEVER! Their God is never is wrong and they only do Gods will so therefore they are never wrong... BTW They are also the only ones who possess the Holy Spirit now and they only ones who have had it since the first churches of Jerusalem... Total exclusivity... The Chosen ones. PERIOD. Everyone else who claims to be Christian is going to the Lake of Fire for eternity. You might want to read their 3 Eternal Destinies. Interesting concept. Better then just having two right? ;) But beware... their publications are a form of mind control...

Kimberly said...

Communal life is working toward the greater good equally. No dictatorship..people helping people.period. the tt are not is a saying one is not cut out for cult life is more life however is great

Kimberly said...

Amen to that

Nabashalam said...

I am curious Kimberley... How did you find this site. We get one or two posts a year here and it has been inactive for years but it actually was the first excellent Ex-TT site and most others spun off of ths one created by VOICE who suddenly 10 years ago mysteriously disappeared. I miss and love the man/woman...

Thanks for visiting :)

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.

Please Leave a Review

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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