A man who spent the first 18 years of his life in a church of Twelve Tribes claims that the & # 39; training methods & # 39; Those used to discipline children still affect him nearly a decade after he escaped.
Or Mathias claims that he was exposed to years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the secret cult.
He told The Sunday Telegraph he spent the first six years of his life in a Brazilian congregation with & # 39; strange men & # 39; before finally moving to the Picton branch in southwest Sydney.
The now 26-year-old has left the municipality of Twelve Tribes eight years ago. Four of his five brothers and sisters and his mother also left the cult.
Mathias said that while he stays in touch with many former members, most are too scared to speak out.
Or Mathias claims that he was exposed to years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the secret cult
He said he has permanent scars after allegedly being abused as a child.
Mathias claims that he was beaten with a thin rod and forced to work at a young age. He also had limited options for training.
The cult is very wary of its privacy and members are expected to adhere to a series of rigid guidelines that govern almost every aspect of their lives.
Twelve Tribes shuns the use of conventional medicines or technologies, and communication with the outside world is largely prohibited.
Women are expected to be of service to men and everyone within the group must marry.
Children are educated and raised at home on the back of a 300-page manual that says they are obedient, do not ask their superiors any questions, are forbidden to play with toys or appearances and must be beaten with a 50 cm stick for indiscretions.
Mathias said he spent the first six years of his life in a Brazilian congregation with & # 39; strange men & # 39; spent before moving to the Picton branch in southwest Sydney (photo)
Every adult can apply discipline as long as the child is older than six months.
Mathias claims that he saw how an eight-month-old baby was disciplined during his time with the Picton cult because she was crying at the dinner table.
Andrew McLeod, who runs one of the many cafes of the cult in the Blue Mountains and is an original member of the Australian branch of the group, said allegations of child abuse and child labor were not true.
& # 39; We want our children to live a balanced life and what we do and our beliefs have somehow been taken out of context to portray ourselves as a fundamentalist cult that basics our children, which is simply not true , & # 39; he said.
& # 39; It is sad that so many people are gullible enough to believe what they believe without looking at it themselves. & # 39;
Mr McLeod instead encouraged people to visit the group in the cafe, Balmoral House or the farm in Picton – the doors are always open – and even spend a few days getting to know them.
& # 39; They can see that there are no horns, no coats and daggers, just some people with a sincere faith who want to raise their children purposefully and purely and lead an honest life and are hospitable & he said.
The father of the five said that children were indeed all home schooled, but no one working in the cafe was younger than the legal working age of 14 and nine months, and teenagers working on Sundays or school holidays.
& # 39; I feed (my children) strictly but honestly and openly and will admit if I'm wrong. That's why they're still here and didn't run away on a motorcycle to join a rock band, & he said.
The group celebrates every morning and afternoon with rituals such as praying and dancing (photo)
But Mathias argues that the unconventional disciplinary action did more harm than good in his youth.
& # 39; In the long run, I have become afraid of making a mess or doing something that I think others would not like. So I am not who I really am, I always live something that & # 39; pleasant & # 39; is for others & # 39 ;, he said.
He claims that the persistent abuse that he allegedly received during his formative years has shaped who he became as an adult.
Eventually, even after leaving the cult, he still lives in fear that he has made the wrong decision.
& # 39; It made things really hard because I had no education, I had no support, I feared that I would suffer for the rest of my life and go to hell after I died because I left, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; Things that have hurt in the past cannot be remedied in the present. We are talking about mental and spiritual problems here, it is not something money or anything else could do to help that pain disappear. & # 39;
Children are expected to lighten the workload and draw their weight within the community
Clinical psychologist Rudi Črnčec told the publication that some psychologists punish according to modern standards such as & # 39; abuse & # 39; would consider.
He said that children within the communities prefer a constant & # 39; surrendered & # 39; instead of developing relationships with their parents, peers, or community.
Dr. Črnčec added that prolonged physical punishment at a later age can lead to anxiety and detachment and that children with learning or behavioral problems suffer the most.
Another couple who were formerly members of the Australian cult claim that they were shunned because of their son's bad behavior.
Mark and Rose Ilich were members of Twelve Tribes for 13 years after meeting the group at the Newtown Festival, allegedly a fruitful recruitment site.
They said that when people join the group, they must sell all their assets – including houses and cars – and give the proceeds to the group.
Their clothing is replaced by conservative outfits and their lives are filled with long hours of work and chores in the self-sufficient community.
What is the Twelve Tribes?
The congregation began in 1975 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when former carnival man Gene Spriggs broke away from the First Presbyterian Church after services were canceled for the Super Bowl.
He and his wife Marsha opened the first Yellow Deli a few years earlier and from 1972 lived together with a small group.
Twelve Tribes practices a hybrid of pre-Catholic Christianity and Judaism mixed with the teachings of Spriggs.
The stated purpose of the group is to bring about the return of Jesus – to whom they refer by the Hebrew name Yahshua – by relocating the 12 tribes of Israel.
Twelve Tribes practices a hybrid of pre-Catholic Christianity and Judaism mixed with the teachings of the founder, Gene Spriggs
All members are forced to sell their property and give it to the cult and get a Hebrew name that throws away their old ones. Spriggs itself is known as Yoneq.
These tribes would be 144,000 & # 39; perfect male children & # 39; which explains the group's obsessive and controversial parenting practices.
The Sabbath is held in accordance with Jewish tradition, along with conservative dietary rules and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
All forms of birth control are prohibited, as are many modern medicines – instead they rely largely on homeopathy and & # 39; natural & # 39; remedies.
Marriage outside the cult is forbidden and couples must have a series of guided conversations to get to know each other. Only after marriage can they even kiss or hold hands.
These tribes would be 144,000 & # 39; perfect male children & # 39; which explains the group's obsessive and controversial parenting practices
Children must not play with toys, pretend, or any of the normal activities for children, and must be supervised at all times.
They must be strictly obedient and beaten with a 50 cm bar for every violation by every adult watching them, not just their parents.
All children have a homeschooling and do not go to university because it is a waste of time and not a good environment.
Instead, children from a young age work in the community, which involves allegations of child labor.
Estée Lauder and other companies made connections with the organization after they discovered that children were involved in making their products.
The few boxes with pamphlets would easily be missed or disguised by the vast majority of visitors
Members do not vote and are not allowed to watch TV or other media because & # 39; the crazy box robs you of time and pollutes your soul & # 39 ;.
Twelve Tribes has 3,000 members and is active in the US, Canada, France, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and England and arrives in Australia in the early 90s.
There are now around 120 members living in Balmoral House in Katoomba, Peppercorn Creek Farm near Picton, and a small number in Coledale, north of Wollongong.
Numerous companies include a network of cafes in every country, all called the Yellow Deli or Common Ground, and bakeries, farms, and furniture, construction and demolition companies.
They are thought to be very profitable because none of the employees have to be paid.
Ilich claimed that he worked 15 or even 20 hours a day on the farm or at one of the many companies of the cult – from bakeries to furniture making and the Yellow Deli Cafe in Katoomba.
& # 39; Once I helped them get $ 40,000 in cash from the Easter show. But I never saw a cent, & he told the Sydney Morning Herald years after escape.
The couple claims that they were constantly told that the outside world was bad and that their sin had to be removed from their lives.
& # 39; Leaving is not an option. You have to understand how you are brainwashed. You lose the ability to think critically, & Mrs. Ilich said.
The son of the couple Daniel was considered rebellious, which they eventually led to exile as & # 39; bad parents & # 39 ;.
Mrs. Ilich said a senior member told her that it was & # 39; God's kindness & # 39; was that her baby was stillborn because it was & # 39; bad & # 39; would be to give baby parents like them.
Authorities have intervened in the past. In 1984, the US police raided the base of the Vermont group and took in 113 children, but they were later released when the raid was declared unconstitutional.
The German police, who seized 40 children in 2013, secretly showed video beats, but they were also sent back.
Former members and anti-cult groups claim that the group's activities have been repeatedly reported to the Australian authorities, but no action has been taken.
What the vast majority of Yellow Deli customers don't know is that the café is run by a religious cult and the flannel-clad waiters with artisan sandwiches and green tea are all members
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