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Mary C Doates

Twelve Tribes

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GenerationCedarchip

One of my FB friends posted an article that I thought would be of interest.  I'd vaguely heard of Twelve Tribes, but knew next to nothing about them - and certainly didn't know they run a bakery/conversion center up in Massachusetts.  Anyone here familiar with this group?

 

Here's the article: https://psmag.com/children-of-the-tribes-5b95e96c4bfa#.aqc2qs1h9

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nickelodeon

Their sandwiches are okay but their "secret sauce" is just ketchup+mustard.

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Howl

This was so painful to read, and so chilling.  Bear with me here -- it's relevant.  My post discusses physical discipline and suppressing play -- but the latter is the more important for this post. 

Many of you may have no exposure to Charles Whitman, the engineering student at the University of Texas at Austin, who shot 49 people from the 26-story campus Tower -- 16 of those people died on Aug. 1, 1966 -- 50 years ago.  Prior to going to the Tower, he also murdered his mother and his wife.  Ironically, he did not kill his father. 

I was spending my summer on that campus, just out of high school and going to summer school to get a head start on college.  Fortunately, I'd gone home about an hour before the shootings began.  I'd always read that Charles Whitman, on autopsy, was found to have a brain tumor that was the cause of his violent behavior that day.  However, a few days ago I was reading an article that totally erased that belief.  Read on. 

Quote

Charles Whitman’s killing spree from atop the University of Texas Tower was so baffling to people in 1966 that then-Gov. John Connally formed a commission to study what might cause a person to erupt with such hatred and violence.

Stuart Brown was a young psychiatrist appointed to that commission, and his conclusion changed his life: More than any other factor, Charles Whitman’s total lack of unstructured play as a child was what turned him into a killer....

Brown has studied other mass murderers beside Whitman and said he has established that they, too, lacked healthy rough-and-tumble play as children. Play isn’t the only thing that was missing, Brown said, but it’s a common theme.  

He has examined about 8,000 people and their histories of play. If Whitman had been allowed to play during his life, Brown said, he could have developed the flexibility and social skills to cope with stressful situations without turning to violence.

But Whitman, who gained attention as the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout, achieving that honor at the age of 12, never had a chance, according to Brown.

He described his father as brutal, domineering and extremely demanding. The boy wasn’t allowed to have friends, and other children weren’t allowed to visit his house. His teachers recalled that Whitman didn’t know how to play as a child. He would mimic the play behaviors of other children but seemed to take no joy in them.

Brown sees a child who never developed social skills that would prepare him to cope with stress.

Whitman also witnessed his father beat his mother at least once a month.  For this reason, I find this particularly distressing: 

Quote

“Blue marks” are bruises, of course, which members of the Tribes consider evidence of exemplary parenting. “I remember constant welts on my hands, thighs, and butt,” a woman who was raised in the Tribes told me. Children are expected to obey “on the first command,” without talking back or complaining.  They are not allowed toys or bikes and cannot engage in fantasy play.  They read only the Bible and the group’s dogma. The former members I spoke to claimed most children were beaten multiple times a day, for transgressions as innocuous as forgetting to raise their hands at the dinner table and “dissipation” — the group’s term for horseplay

Back to Stuart Brown: 

Quote

His investigation of Whitman later led Brown to study others with violent behavior, and he eventually focused on the importance of play.

Play is something done for its own sake, Brown said, seemingly purposeless activity that’s just fun. It must be voluntary and without the anxiety about outcomes that typify competitive sports. While it’s difficult to define, Brown said, play arises from deep centers in the brain and is one of the brain’s best forms of exercise. Play also gives the brain courage to develop ideas, he said.

Play is never just one thing; each person plays differently, with temperament, gender and culture influencing the pattern. It’s origins are pre-verbal. Babies are at play when they coo and giggle at their smiling mothers. More complex play builds on this base, Brown said.

Play opens the brain to new ideas, and it promotes resiliency, flexibility, adaptability, tolerance and empathy. It very much molds who a child is and who he becomes, Brown said. “It’s absolutely crucial for normal development.”

But if there is serious early play deprivation, there are social and emotional deficits, including a lack of trust, empathy, altruism and ability to sustain intimacy, Brown said.

“The toxic effects of play deprivation kill off our society,” he said.

What is even more distressing is that the next generation of The Twelve Tribes are old enough to have children and the ones who have stayed will be even more brutal and sadistic to their own children, with potentially catastrophic results. 

I'm also wondering if some children who are allowed unfettered play time have some inoculation against the adverse affects of corporal punishment, which can certainly be classified as a form of stress. 

Stuart Brown also worries about children engaging with tablets, phones and other electronic devices to the detriment of pure play, but that's a topic for another time. 

Full text of article here

Edited by Howl

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scribble

Thanks for posting the article, Howl. I listened to a story featuring Brown and his research (probably on NPR) sometime in the last year or two and he talked about his research and Whitman. It was really interesting and not at all what I thought I was going to be hearing when they mentioned the National Institute of Play.

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MarblesMom

Oh, wow, oh wow.  What a story.  Thanks for sharing, @GenerationCedarchip,although I feel a little oogy now.

This group cannot be swept under the carpet - this should be on everyone's radar. 

I am just stunned.

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GenerationCedarchip

Thanks.  And yes, I couldn't believe I'd never heard of these folks.

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Happy
Gobbles

If those are the same as the German "12 Stämme": Here they had lots of trouble and they had children taken away from them due to corporal punishment which is illegal here. A TV reporter went to visit them (undercover) and filmed them beating children. A teacher of their school was sentenced to two years in prison because of beating children with a root.

The German Wikipedia article explains it as well: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwölf_Stämme_(Glaubensgemeinschaft)

A lot of them left Germany after that, according to the article to the Czech republic and France.

This is their German homepage, I think some articles are also in English. 

https://news.zwoelfstaemme.de

The picture on the left side says "Seitdem die Rute verboten wurde, ist die Hölle los" which translates to "Since the root was banned, all hell broke loose". That says all I guess.

Edited by Gobbles

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LaParisienne

It's called "Tabitha's Place" in France and is listed as a sect.

I've heard about them in the news. They are, unfortunatly, known for physical abuse on their children and moral abuse on all their members. They are still in the Justice Radar because some years ago, a baby, named Raphael, died from lack of health care and food.

In here, they approach you on the Saint Jean de Compostelle Road by pretending to be Christian or by selling bio products in village markets. Then, if you are nice enough, they welcome you in their community and then, the trap is closed.  Anyway, they are more cautious today because a lot of people went to their community only to make fun of them ...

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Tired
Palimpsest

It is the same people.  They have quite a few "settlements."  Most are in NE, like the one in Plymouth, MA and a place in VT, Island Pond, but they are also in Australia, Canada, Germany, France and the UK.   As the original article says, it's been frustrating for CPS to try to intervene here.  First Amendment and religious freedom and all that.  Germany was more successful because of the laws against corporal punishment.

http://worldcultwatch.org/tag/twelve-tribes-cult/

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boston2495

Oh wow. Thank you so much for posting this article. These people are literally right down the street from me. I actually used to work for years across from their Blue Blinds Bakery in Plymouth, and while it was clear they were all a little out to lunch, I had no idea just how abusive this group is. To the casual observer they come across as somewhat goofily harmless, at least in that particular bakery. Now I'm very disturbed and creeped out over the fact that this kind of stuff is going on so close to home for me and that they seem to hide it so well from the casual observer.

The building they operate their cafe out of in Plymouth is absolutely gorgeous too, which is a shame because it attracts a lot of unsuspecting tourists from the Plymouth waterfront. It's an old colonial decorated in the colonial style, right down to the furniture in the dining room. It's really quite quaint. It's not directly on the waterfront, but just a short walk away, and it's always really busy whenever I walk by. The fact that it somehow has five reviews on Yelp doesn't help, and a lot of reviewers seem to be tourists who only stopped in on a whim, although there are a few one-star ratings that explain who they really are. Yelp review here.  

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BobTheWalrus

I came across them in Washington DC while I was on holiday there about 12 years ago, and they are seriously dodgy.  They portrayed themselves as Christian and were offering shade and refreshments on the Mall.  Once you were inside the tent they had all kinds of displays with "historical" information, and they would sit and chat to people about the importance of living a good life, and how sometimes you have to make sacrifices to do what's right, and how a lot of people in the world don't get that.  It was really manipulative - they would ask leading questions, and make you feel as if you were special because you might be one of those who "gets it".  They even had displays about how they had had children removed, but they made a point of saying, "look how scared they are because the evil authorities are taking them from their families", and talking about how they were being persecuted for living differently. I felt so uncomfortable in their presence - there was something really off, manipulative, overly friendly about them, and it really unsettled me.

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