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German Police Raid U.S. Based Christian Sect For Alleged Child Abuse...For Spanking? *EDIT* More Info added to OP

Posted by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM
  • 46 Replies

German Police Raid Christian Sect For Alleged Child Abuse

Two communities affiliated with a U.S.-founded Christian sect have been raided by German police, who removed 40 children after allegations of abuse.

Officials say they acted after receiving evidence of ongoing child abuse at the two communities in Bavaria belonging to the Twelve Tribes, according to .

The Twelve Tribes-owned tall ship the Peacemaker photographed in 2012 as it entered the Old Port of Montreal.

The Twelve Tribes-owned tall ship the Peacemaker photographed in 2012 as it entered the Old Port of Montreal.

Michel Viatteau/Getty Images

, more than 100 officers were part of the operation to remove the children, who were placed in temporary foster homes.

The BBC writes:

"The US-founded sect says it believes in spanking children if disobedient.

"But it said a 'small reed-like rod' was used intended only to inflict 'pain and not damage' and was not abusive.

" 'Desiring to be good parents, we do not hit our children in anger, nor with our hand or fist,' .

" 'We know that some people consider this aspect of our life controversial, but we have seen from experience that discipline keeps a child from becoming mean-spirited and disrespectful of authority.' "

An article in the from last year features a Tennessee branch of the Twelve Tribes and describes members living communally: "We live together and share everything we own," one of the adherents of the community in Pulaski, Tenn., told the website.

The group, on its website, :

"We love working with each other on our farms and in our cottage industries, doing folk dances and playing music, building, teaching our children at home, and caring for one another. Our desire is to live as naturally as possible by being close to Creation and to people. Our vision: not a lifestyle, but the forming of a new nation – the twelve tribe nation of Israel. We want to be restored back to what we were created to be."

In the 1970s and '80s, the Twelve Tribes was labeled a "cult" by other Christian denominations. The sect now reportedly owns a deli in Island Pond, Vt., and a tall ship named the Peacemaker, which it uses to promote ecological causes.

, coincidentally published just Wednesday, writer John Clarke says about 20 members of the "Amish-style hippie group" traveling in a bus called the Peacemaker have, Deadhead-style, been trailing iconic musician Bob Dylan's latest tour:

"Critics contend that the Twelve Tribes is a cult that actively recruits at concert venues by preying on the heavily inebriated and highly vulnerable — basically, stoned kids. Dylan concerts appear to be the group's latest hunting grounds."

*Edit* Here is an article with a little more info:

Spanking sect: German police seize 40 children over 'suspicion of abuse'

Daniel Karmann / EPA

The village of Klosterzimmern, Germany, home to the "Twelve Tribes" religious community.

Allegations of beatings and abuse prompted police in Germany to raid a U.S.-linked religious group and place around 40 children into protective custody, authorities said Friday.

Around 100 officers stormed two locations associated with the “Twelve Tribes” sect in the towns of Klosterzimmern and Woernitz, around 150 miles west of Munich, as investigators looked into whether the children were being beaten and physically punished.

“We have started a preliminary investigation after sticks and rods were found, which could be evidence for offenses such as dangerous bodily harm and the abuse of [children],” district attorney Christian Engelsberger told NBC News on Friday.

He added that “rooms were found that add to the suspicion of abuse.”

In a statement on its German website, the “Twelve Tribes” sect wrote that the children, aged between one-and-a-half and 17, were still asleep in bed when police launched the raids.

The older children were placed in public foster homes and the younger ones with foster parents, Gabriele Hoidn, a spokesperson for the district office in Donau-Ries, told German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine.

"Where is the legal basis here?" the statement from the group said. "People cannot be found guilty based on their association with a religious faith ... there was no direct evidence against any individual provided."

However, in an earlier posting the U.S.-founded sect said its members do believe in spanking their children, according to the Associated Press.

“We love our children and consider them precious and wonderful,” the AP reported them saying. “Because we love them we spank them. When they are disobedient or intentionally hurtful to others we spank them with a small reed-like rod, which only inflicts pain and not damage."

However, the group, which claims to have 3,000 members across the globe, admitted it knew, “that some people consider this aspect of our life controversial.”

The sect, founded by a Tennessee high school teacher in the 1970s, has previously come under investigation in Germany for violating laws on homeschooling of children.

In Connecticut, a couple belonging to the group also pleaded guilty to assault after disciplining their children with a 30 inch fiberglass rod, in 2000.  

However. in 1984 Vermont a judge returned 112 children from the group to their parents after ruling that a raid on the group was illegal.

German broadcaster RTL said Friday's raids were launched after one of its investigative reporters handed secretly-recorded evidence to police. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Next Window Please

by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM

I've been on board The Peacemaker several times when it was docked in our city for several months a little over a year ago. The Twelve Tribes opened their doors to the public while docked. It is a beautiful ship.

The people were very nice. I found their lifestyle interesting, but I don't know much about them.

Not Without Panties

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

BUMP!

lancet98
by Silver Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:30 PM
1 mom liked this

German laws are EXTREMELY strict when it comes  to child abuse.   As well as in other areas, such as in regards to handling livestock, pets, etc.   ALL of that is very different from how it is in the US.

I think there may even still be a  law in Germany against trimming your horse's nose whiskers.



NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Is spanking against the law there?

Quoting lancet98:

German laws are EXTREMELY strict when it comes  to child abuse.   As well as in other areas, such as in regards to handling livestock, pets, etc.   ALL of that is very different from how it is in the US.

I think there may even still be a  law in Germany against trimming your horse's nose whiskers.




Not Without Panties

lancet98
by Silver Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM


I think, essentially, it is.


Quoting NWP:

Is spanking against the law there?

Quoting lancet98:

German laws are EXTREMELY strict when it comes  to child abuse.   As well as in other areas, such as in regards to handling livestock, pets, etc.   ALL of that is very different from how it is in the US.

I think there may even still be a  law in Germany against trimming your horse's nose whiskers.






Nolanzo
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:53 PM
6 moms liked this
I am SO SICK of the notion that spanking is necessary to gain respect. Couldn't be further from the truth.

That is all.
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM

I think the boat in this article is not the same one I visited. The one I saw was much more grand. Here it is:

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:03 PM
2 moms liked this

 Wow!  I was abused.  Who knew?!  My Mom used to spank us with a switch.  We had to go out and pick our own.  A couple of times of that and there was no NEED for a switch.  Interesting that my mom turned out 3 successful kids.

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

If its illegal in Germany....then child abuse it is.  Doesnt matter if you are a cult or not.

lancet98
by Silver Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:43 AM
7 moms liked this

It's a fairly good idea, when you're in another country, to become acquainted with the laws in that country.   Otherwise you might wind up being....detained.

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