Update on the Twelve Tribes in Germany: Child Abduction Charges


Background on the Twelve Tribes in Germany situation:

The Twelve Tribes, Child Abuse, and Michael Farris

How American Homeschoolers Enabled and Funded German Child Abuse: The Real Story Behind the Religious Right and the Twelve Tribes

Pray For All the Children of the Twelve Tribes, Part One

Pray For All the Children of the Twelve Tribes, Part Two


HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Jennifer Stahl’s blog Yeshua, Hineni. It was originally published on November 5, 2013.

If you’ve not been following along on my blog, you will want to read hereherehere and here before continuing on.

Here is the latest news on the Twelve Tribes group. Two girls that were in foster care have been missing for a few weeks. They have now been figured to be with their parents and in Switzerland. Below are the news stories I can gather as swiftly as possible. (HA note: these are translated with Google Translate, so the translations are a little rough.)

RTL – Spanking sect 12 Tribes: Two children kidnapped?

Merea K. and her sister Eva — For almost two weeks, the two girls are untraceable. Of their daily school in Ansbach, the two have not come to her foster parents home. The youth welfare office is on the case. Apparently, the 9 and 17 year-old girls are in the clutches of a cult that brutally punishes their children.

Donau-Ries Aktuell- Twelve Tribes: Two children abducted abroad?

The incident occurred about three weeks ago. The two children were placed in a foster family in Dombühl and come from the community in Wörnitz. On the day of their disappearance, the girls went to school like every other day. However, they did not come back. Their foster parents reported the case to the authorities in Ansbach.

Spiegel – Christian sect “Twelve Tribes”: Two children disappeared from foster care

Whether the children returned voluntarily to their parents or whether they were taken from their parents against their will, could not say a spokeswoman for the district office. This is the subject of ongoing investigation.

BR – “Twelve Tribes” disappeared children with their grandmother

 According to current knowledge of the prosecution Ansbach, “the two girls went voluntarily to Switzerland. Their parents also plan to stay in Switzerland.” Chief Public Prosecutor Gerhard Karl told Bayerischer Rundfunk on request. How the children moved to Switzerland, is currently unclear, according to the authorities.

SWR –  Religious community “Twelve Tribes” Missing children are at grandmother’s

The members of the sect who live on the estate Klosterzimmern in Deiningen is accused of beating their children for religious reasons. Therefore, the authorities concerned parents deprived of the custody .Mid-September, the girls were placed with a foster family… As the children moved to Switzerland, was unclear, said a spokesman for the district office. The Authority has filed a complaint against persons unknown for child abduction. In addition, they submitted a request for return of the children. However, since the girls had dual citizenship, this is difficult.


  • Raphael, I can believe your words. I cannot say and I will never do it, that TT are perfect. I’m christian catholic, I am proud of that, of my Church, of my Pope Francis, and would never change into any other Christian belief.
    However the point is that children cannot be separated from their parents, unless there is a serious threat of life or other danger. They miss their parents and want to be with them. And this is the best reply. Can you imagine little children, (one or more still breastfed), even separated suddenly from sisters and brothers? Yesterday another 14 years old boy, who had fled the foster house to return home for the second time, has been allowed by the judge to stay home. I have read their letters, I have seen the videos. They are constantly asking to return home. I have never met one single member, but I could never say that they look abused children.

    The TT may be forced to reflect upon part of their behavior. But it is sure that these children will never consider the police and the Jugendamt officers as their saviors.

    The point is that they are free to believe that they are the only people allowed to understand the Bible, etc…and we cannot abduct children from parents who are not buying toys for them, etc…The love they give to their children is the same that we give to ours.

  • Yes, Cinzia, those people are free to live the most frugal lives in devotion to God and His church on earth, but as soon as this church orders parents to beat them several times a day and abuse them mentally, that freedom ends!!! And taking them out of their families is the best thing to teach the parents. As for the children, Helez was too old to appreciate choice, but the younger children should stay away, faaar away from those parents. Raphael, meet me on FB “kari sektenfresser”

    • It’s not the parent who usually beat their children, its a person known as an “Educator.”

      • Well, as the community lives together and they all cover each other’s backs, it doesn t really make a difference whether you take the children away from their parents or take them out of the community. Both, parents and educators of the community, have failed the children.

  • The TT in Germany will no longer be allowed to operate their own school, on the grounds that they do not have a qualified teacher and because the judge doubted that “corporal punishment ended at the door of the schoolbuilding” when the parents seem to love child beating so much. A wise verdict!!!

  • BTW, in the main proeceedings the court of appeals ruled that Eva’s younger sister is to remain in foster care until she is old enough for emancipation (15? 16?, MAYBE 14). All parents of the TT’s children in Germany have been declared “unfit to raise children” by a certified psychologist in mid-January. Both facts have been published on the TT’s sites themselves, so it can safely been assumed the information is meant to be public.

  • Pingback: Homeschooling: For the Uninitiated (part 1) | Emancipated Atlas

  • Update on the TT cases: The families of 6 children at the smaller of the TT branches in Germany (Wörnitz) have lost custody of their children for good. The judge declared that this was due to the parents’ unwillingness to raise their children without corporal punishment, which is banned in Germany. The psychologist who was present reiterated that systematic and frequent ‘spanking’ harms children’s mental and psychological development, and that child rearing with an Intention to break the will of the child was abuse. The other reason for the judge’s verdict was the parents’ refusal to send their children to school and deny them the chance to obtain any recognised degree; neither did the medical neglect the parents were found guilty of go down well with the court. Human rights trump freedom of religion. THREE CHEERS TO THEM GERMANS!

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