Lack of Faith in God is the Cause of Nigeria’s Problems-CAC Pastor

The  lack of faith in God is the cause of the myriad of problems, confronting Nigerians.

This assertion was made  by Pastor Joseph Akin Akinade of the Christ Apostolic Church, Dizengoff, Wafun,Olodo road, Ibadan Nigeria , in a chat with Federationews2day.

”Unless Nigerians believe that Jesus Christ is coming back, then there is a problem. The problem that we are having in Nigeria,  that we don’t know God, we believe in  juju,  we believe in idols and small gods. Until we give God  His honour, that is when Nigeria will have peace and rest”, Pastor Akin Akinade concluded.

Increasing Rate of Suicide in Nigeria : The Devil is at Work-Cleric

images

Suicide is becoming rampant among Nigerians and this is already becoming a source of worry for several families. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN)Oluyole Local Government, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria who is also the Commandant General of the Royal Global Chaplain Mission, Evangelist(Chaplain)Emmanuel Babalola says that those involved in the ugly act do not have God in their lives. Excerpts :

Visit Lu’s Healthy Habit

Suicide is on the increase in Nigeria, why is this so ?

The spiritual in road into this  situation, clearly shows the level of understanding of Nigerians about God, because no person that is of God, who believes in God and trusts God will commit suicide, Suicide is the taking  of one’s life, which is against the Bible. You shall not  kill, somebody that kills himself or herself, has already committed a sin, which is against the commandments of God, it shows the level of understanding, the level of Godlessness in Nigerians. People are just worshiping, going to different  places of worship, God is not in their lives, that is why you see the situation this way. Occurrences in Nigeria shows the hopelessness in people, they believe that nothing good can no longer come from anywhere. So, they are now committing suicide, to end what they are passing through. The Bible says if weeping tarry for a night, joy cometh in the morning. Tough times don’t last forever, it is just for a certain period. If we are able to withstand it and refocus our lives, we are going to get to the end of it. At the end of the tunnel, there will be light. So it shows the level of decadence in Nigeria, number one, the level of Godlessness, number two, number three, there is no value for human life in Nigeria. You did not create life, you should not take it.

The devil is at work, he does not want anybody to scale through, and he will be whispering into their ears”End it now, it is okay”. Remember he did it to Jesus Christ. People are falling into the temptation of the devil, to take their won lives. The devil is at work.

 

anti-Semitism taking shape worldwide, even threatens America, warns top US Jewish leader

‘We saw anti-Semitism in Britain, we saw it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,’ says Malcolm Hoenlein, calling for global summit to combat the phenomenon. Stresses: ‘Any accusations that Trump is an anti-Semite are unfounded’

f170219hp04-965x543

Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.

Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.

“I think we’re seeing a pandemic in formation,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I don’t think it’s here. I think America’s situation is different from Europe. But the potential is there.”

In a far-reaching interview, Hoenlein, who is currently in Israel, also spoke about widespread concerns over the Israeli government’s total alignment with US President Donald Trump, which some fear could turn Israel into a partisan issue in the United States. He called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invite to Israel the newly elected head of the Democratic party, Tom Perez, in a bid to cement bipartisan support for the Jewish state.

“We saw anti-Semitism in Britain, we saw it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,” Hoenlein told The Times of Israel in its Jerusalem office on Sunday. “Look at the numbers of incidents in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of the world. And now we see in America swastikas being painted, other expressions [such as phoned-in] threats or aggression against kids on campuses. So it spreads. It’s not isolated to one geographic locale. It’s like a virus that spreads. And you have to declare it for what it is.”

The interview with Hoenlein was conducted mere hours before news emerged of an apparently anti-Semitic act of vandalism that took place in his hometown of Philadelphia. Several tombstones in the city’s Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetary had been toppled  in what the Israeli government called a “shocking” and worrying act.

“I don’t think now it’s a direct threat to Jewish existence or Jewish survival,” Hoenlein said about general trend of anti-Semitic acts committed recently in the US, including the desecration of Jewish cemeteries or bomb threats made to Jewish community centers. “I do think that this cancer, left unchecked, spreads and becomes more and more of a threat.”

Damaged headstone at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia on February 26, 2017. (screen capture: 6ABC)

The best example of such a process can be identified in France, where anti-Jewish sentiment “metastasized over a period of time,” he said. “It didn’t just happen,” he added, citing recent reports of attacks on Jews, and information from his own relatives who live in France telling him life has become “intolerable” there.

European governments have denounced such incidents and increased measures to protect Jews, Hoenlein said. “But we can’t deny the fact that anti-Semitism today is no longer something that has to be done under the cloak of darkness, with the fear of repercussions. Those restrictions are gone. And I think we have to reimpose it and there have to be standards set. That’s why I want government officials saying this is not acceptable, just like racism and bigotry in any other form is not acceptable.”

‘It’s everybody’s problem when there’s hatred against Jews. We’re the victims, we’re not the cause of it’

To effectively fight anti-Semitism, Hoenlein called for a “global summit” similar to the one convened on behalf of Soviet Jewry in the last century. He urged leaders from the US, Germany, Britain, India, East European and South American countries to attend and unequivocally declare that “hatred of Jews has taken too heavy a toll and that we gotta draw the line now.”

Combating anti-Semitism starts with the Jewish community, “but it doesn’t end with it,” posited Hoenlein. “This is not our problem. It’s society’s problem. It’s Christianity’s problem. It’s everybody’s problem, when there’s hatred against Jews. We’re the victims, we’re not the cause of it. It’s not because we did something wrong. It’s because of who we are and our values.”

Surveys and the high rate of intermarriage indicate that the American public generally accepts and appreciates Jews, Hoenlein said. “At the same time we are seeing an increase in anti-Semitism. We are seeing increased hostility in campuses in particular. We are seeing threats against institutions.”

It does not take much to pick up the phone and threaten a Jewish community center, he said. But, “it does have an impact,” he added. “People are not sending their kids to programs; they won’t attend if they feel if they feel they’re in danger. And a phone call does that — it disrupts the pace of Jewish communal life. I don’t dismiss those things.”

However, he is more troubled by “what happens on campuses and the greater acceptance of charges against Israel.” Many Americans accept the claim that Israel is an apartheid regime. For the last decade or two, it was okay for Americans to say that they are anti-Israel. “Today it is accepted to say I am anti-Jewish,” Hoenlein said. This, he suggested, is partly to due to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which, he said, provided a “cover for anti-Semitism.”

An image from the documentary 'Crossing the Line 2,' which depicts rising anti-Semitic activity on North American campuses. (Courtesy)

Hoenlein, who has been heading the Conference of President since 1986, credited Trump for speaking out against anti-Semitism and hatred, but acknowledged his organization wished he had done so earlier.

After long weeks in which the president remained mum on a series of evidently anti-Semitic events, last Tuesday he denounced them as “horrible,” “painful” and a “sad reminder” of evil.

US President Donald Trump, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017. AFP/ SAUL LOEB)

“Certainly any accusations that Trump is an anti-Semite are unfounded,” Hoenlein declared. “We have to be very careful — and it’s a warning you cannot exaggerate — about using the label anti-Semite. It’s a very powerful accusation. If you demean it, if you make it commonplace, you remove the strength of the accusation. It has to be used carefully and only when you can substantiate it. And it should be reserved for occasions when it is really necessary.”

Visit Donna soaps

While some in the Jewish community had misgivings over the White House’s refusal to mention Jews  in its International Holocaust Memorial Day statement, the administration should be judged by its deeds, Hoenlein argued, citing Trump’s appointing many Jews and voicing strong support for Israel.

Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Jared Kushner, husband of his daughter Ivanka, during a campaign stop at Concord High School, January 18, 2016, in Concord, NH (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

While careful not to appear criticizing the prime minister, Hoenlein noted “concern” in the American-Jewish community over Netanyanhu’s defense of the President  from charges that he stoked anti-Semitic and xenophobic sentiment.

“The post-election divisions are still very deep. It’s a very sensitive time still,” Hoenlein said. “The one thing we have to protect is that Israel is a bipartisan issue. We cannot allow it become associated with one party or one ideology. It’s not a conservative issue; it’s not a liberal issue.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg (center) and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein at the opening of the organization’s 42nd Leadership Mission, February 14, 2016. (Avi Hayoun)

Netanyahu’s tweet in support of Trump’s plan to build a border wall with Mexico “did create some negative reaction with some of of our Hispanic friends and supporters,” the veteran Jewish leader said. “It is always better for Israel and others to stay out [of domestic US politics]. Sometimes it’s required. We don’t hesitate to speak out on anti-Semitism in European countries, which is really a domestic affairs of theirs.”

It is appropriate for an Israeli leader to seek to close ties with a new US president, but one needs to “be sensitive of how it’s interpreted,” Hoenlein went on. “There has been concern expressed that if the prime minister is seen as too close to one party or another, you the risk alienating others. At the same time, being close to the president of the United States is an asset.”

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, winning candidate to chair the Democratic National Committee, speaks during the general session of the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Netanyahu did well in meeting with leaders from both sides of the aisle during his recent trip to Washington, DC, Hoenlein said. In that spirit, the prime minister should immediately move to establish good ties with Tom Perez, who on Saturday was elected as the Democratic National Committee’s new chairman. His chief rival, Keith Ellison, was controversial among American Jews due to his past record of associations with known anti-Semitic figures and critical stances on Israel. Perez named Ellison his deputy.

“I think it’s positive that Mr. Perez was chosen,” Hoenlein said. “We look forward to working with him and hope the government of Israel will reach out to him and invite him to visit.”

Source : The Times of Israel

Things Will Only Change When Nigerians Understand the Ways of God-Cleric

Nigerians have been charged to understand the ways of their creator, as a step towards ensuring that the fortunes of the country change for the better.

This charge was given by Pastor Isaiah Alade(Omo woli) in a chat with Federationews2day.

The man of God also asserted that the nation’s leaders should turn to God for solution to the its problems.

Visit Dave’s Digi Store

”It is only the mercy of God that can do it, no Government can take on God, no Government can change anything, it is  only God that changes things. And it has to be done spiritual wise, so we want to pray, teach people the way of the Lord, when people understand, they serve God, they understand the ways of God, then things will change”, Pastor Alade concluded.

Shafaudeen In Islam Worldwide Rounds Off Annual Ishrat

sa8  Visit AmnyShop

The 34th  annual Ishrat and  19th Walimot ‘L Qur’an, of Shafaudeen Is Islam Worldwide was rounded off on Sunday at its international headquarters, Wakjaye, Iwo road, Ibadan, Nigeria, with the grand finale featuring a lecture  titled  ” Restructuring or Revamping the Recessed Economy : The Preferred Alternatives”, delivered by the Founder and Spiritual  Head, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke.

The grand finale also included the   the launching of three books written by Prof. Olagoke: 1) Religion, Beyond the Opium 2) Nigeria and Issues of Security 3) Disability in Voyage of life and an award ceremony.

An official of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chief Benjamin Maduka Obiechiena and the Oyo state Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police, Adekunle Ajisebutu, received awards among others.

In addition, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Alhaji  Sheik Abubakar Agbotomokekere performed the Walimot Quran blessing for newly anointed spiritual title holders.

Giant Stone Coffins Uncovered In Egypt

What appears to be giant stone coffins, each weighing upwards of 100 tons, have been uncovered in Egypt.  These stone monoliths, thought to be at least 3,000 years old are cut with such precision scientists say they’re not sure they could even emulate that precision today.  Speculation is running rampant that they contain the bodies of aliens or were perhaps left by aliens.  Believers know that to be false – could they possibly contain the remains of what the Bible calls “Nephilim” in Genesis 6 and Numbers 13?

Visit Jesus Ventures Limited International

egyptrocksgetty

Source : Unsealed

 

Globalism The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Living Room!

False Teacher Claims Single Christians Don’t Have to Be Celibate

Jessilyn Justice

snuggly-couple-snow

 

One pastor and author says Christians have wrongly confused chastity and celibacy and that single believers don’t necessarily have to be married to engage in sexual relationships.

Writing for the Washington Post, Bromleigh McCleneghan says Christians can have sex outside of marriage provided it is “mutually pleasurable.”

“There are those who feel that they are called to seasons of celibacy, or even years of celibacy, and if answering that call is life-giving and purposeful, then they should take it up as a spiritual discipline. But no call can be forced on an unwilling person, especially not if they find themselves single only by virtue of circumstance,” McClenghan writes.

The op-ed is an excerpt from her new book, Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option-And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex

“Plenty of women and men love sex, and need it—we need bodily pleasure, remember—and the abundant life for them will involve seeking out relationships of mutual pleasure. Chastity, or just sex, requires that whether we are married or unmarried, our sex lives restrain our egos, restrain our desire for physical pleasure when pursuing it would bring harm to self or other,” she says.

Except that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 that if people cannot restrain themselves from sexual desires, they should be married.

Her argument also seems contradictory to what is in Matthew, that we should pick up our crosses and follow Him. In John, Jesus told us we will have persecution, but He has overcome the world. In Hebrews, we see how He was tempted in every way we would be, but He resisted. And in Mark, Jesus tells us fornication is considered as evil as adultery.

The only Scripture reference in McClenghan’s article is John 10, where Christ called us to have life, and have it abundantly.

McClenghan is a pastor at Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois.

According to the church website, she “is a pastor for the whole congregation, with responsibilities in worship, pastoral care, ministry leadership, teaching, and more. Her special focus is on helping people with children at home better their ability and commitment to raising those children in the Christian faith.”

Source : Charisma News

King David’s Descendents Making Case to Reclaim Ownership of Temple Mount

tm-for-sale-1
”Then Shlomo began to build the house of Hashem at Yerushalayim in mount Moriah, where [Hashem] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite”. II Chronicles 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)

In another manifestation of Biblical precepts interacting with modern life, a private foundation representing the descendants of King David recently launched a lawsuit presenting a legal claim to ownership of the Temple Mount.

While their claim is legally sound and verifiable, it faces significant political hurdles. One of the suit’s beneficiaries, who claims descent from the Davidic Dynasty, is ready for the legal battle but cautiously pragmatic.

This story has simple beginnings. In 2004, Dr. Boruch Fishman, then a recent immigrant to Israel from America, went to tour the tomb of Samuel the prophet north of Jerusalem, which led to a chance meeting with Israel Aurbach, the owner of a nearby farm. Inspired by the Biblical roots of the setting, they began to discuss the link between the House of David and the Temple Mount. They noted that King David purchased the site, originally for a simple altar.

So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto Hashem, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. II Samuel 24:24-25

The pair concluded that since the site was originally the property of King David, and no one else has legally purchased it in the interim, the Temple Mount should have been passed along as an inheritance to his male descendants.

As a result of the discussion, Dr. Fishman hit upon the idea of creating a legal entity to represent all the descendants of King David. Anyone who could prove male lineage from the house of David would have a legal claim to inherit the Temple as property. Dr. Fishman established a foundation to advance the claim of Temple Mount ownership by King David’s descendants, naming it Canfei Nesharim L’maan Hakahal (Wings of Eagles for the Assembly).

At present, the legal entity created by Dr. Fishman represents two claimants who have genealogical records documenting their lineage back to King David through male descendants.

Genealogy from the Royal House of David can be traced through oral tradition, rabbinic sources, historical data and extensive research. Several families claim descent “ben akhar ben” (father to son) in a direct line, most notably the Dayan, Shealtiel and Charlap/Don Yechia families. The descendants of King David are believed to have settled in Aleppo, Syria, so most claimants trace their lineage back to that city. An online project has been set up to maintain a list of these claimants.

By definition of the foundation, any other all male descendants of King David who wishes to join the suit can do so at any time.

Breaking Israel News asked the foundation’s lawyer, Baruch Ben Yosef, about the strength of their case.

“Surprisingly, the Temple Mount is not listed in Israel Land Authority,” Ben Yosef explained.

Ben Yosef is referring to an aspect of land ownership in Israel, where less than ten percent of land in Israel is privately owned. Over 90 percent of the property in Israel is owned by the Israeli government, via the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Lands Administration. When land is purchased in Israel, it must be registered with these authorities and is, essentially, a long-term lease. Since the Temple Mount is not registered under these authorities, it can be considered privately owned.

“The fact that it is under the authority of the Waqf or Jordan is not a legal claim to ownership. It is a temporary condition based on power and not a valid legal claim,” Ben Yosef said. “You would think that the State of Israel owns it, but by not registering it, they have clearly expressed they don’t have an interest in owning it.

“Since it can be privately owned, the people who claim lineage to King David have a legal claim,” Ben Yosef concluded. “If we make a claim in court, the court would have to disprove the claim. The burden of proof would be on them. But in the meantime, the Land Authority won’t do anything without a court order from the High Court.”

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/mitch-dayan-273×300.jpeg

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)

Breaking Israel News contacted one of the litigants represented by the legal entity. Mordechai Mitchell Dayan from Chicago has verifiably traced his family lineage back 87 generations via male descendants to King David.

“A militant takeover of the Temple Mount is certainly not my goal,” prefaced Dayan. “You don’t have to establish that we legally own the land in order to bring Messiah. We also have to deal with world opinion and the opinion of the Israeli government in a realistic manner.”

World opinion contradicts his claim. UNESCO has denied any historical Jewish ties to the site. Dayan felt that the obstacle preventing the Jews from taking their rightful place on the Temple Mount had little to do with the justification of his claim.

“It is universally accepted that King David purchased the Temple Mount,” he said, clarifying, “Well, everywhere except the United Nations.”

Dayan acknowledged that on that basis, he has a valid legal claim and, as a religious Jew, his interests are for the good of the Jewish people. Nonetheless, he feels the question is not one of legality, but of political interests.

“Who is going to judge this? Who do I make my claim to? Even if I wanted to make this claim, the High Court of Israel doesn’t want to hear this. The State of Israel doesn’t want to hear this. The world is willing to lie about it. My entire ancestry has been wronged, but there is no court I can take this to.

Source: Breaking Israel News

Twelve Tribes: The Church Preached Child Abuse & Slavery

48959548.cached

According to ex-members of Twelve Tribes who spoke to The Daily Beast, children are regularly beaten and leaders preached “slavery is necessary.” Now, an escapee has taken over the Facebook page of the Plymouth bakery run by the commune so he can broadcast its ills.

Growing up, Kayam Mathias said he was beaten 20 to 30 times a day.

“I grew to be numb to it, to quell the rage within and just not feel anything.”

That didn’t bother him so much, he said. He could take it.

“What I cared about was when my infant sister was beaten and there was nothing I could do about it. To hear her screams and be powerless … and that even if you tried to stop you couldn’t, is a crushing thing to go through. It broke my spirit, man. I still remember her screams to this day.”

It’s been almost eight years since Mathias, now 22, left the Twelve Tribes, the controversial commune and religious sect he was born into, but the memories, and the anger at the way he and his family were allegedly treated is still fresh. He says he—and other members of the sect—were regularly beaten by adults in the commune as a form of discipline.

“The first time I used an ATM or a vending machine was when I left,” Mathias said. “I knew nothing about the world. It was all so strange and new and was like being born suddenly with an adult body, feeling like a child or an alien, but needing to act like an adult to survive.”

This year, he finally decided to say something about it. In June posts began showing up on the Facebook page of the Blue Blinds Bakery, a quaint and well-reviewed business located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, for the first time since 2012. “[W]e have decided to use our Facebook page as an active evangelism tool,” someone wrote on Thursday of last week. What followed was a couple of outrageously offensive screeds, including one that began, “As promised, let’s talk about the blacks!”

“One of the most frequent questions we get is, ‘Are you racist?’ The answer is no,” the author wrote. “But we do believe that slavery is necessary. There’s a difference.”

It was speculated that the post, which picked up steam this week among the Boston food community and has since been shared over 300 times, was the work of a hacker. It was actually Mathias. He’d set up the Facebook page years ago, he claimed, and still had access to it. The Daily Beast reached out to Mathias through the Blue Blinds Bakery Facebook page, and he was able to confirm his identity by forwarding us a photocopy of his passport. A member of Twelve Tribes confirmed that Mathias is an ex-member, who had access to the Facebook account.

Blue Blinds Bakery

“It’s time this ends,” Mathias said, referring to the church’s alleged secrecy.

“We completely disavow all the stuff on that Facebook page 100 percent, without any exception,” said a man, who identified himself as Zahar, who would not give his last name, when I called the bakery to ask if they indeed advocated for slavery. (Only  Twelve Tribes members work at the bakery.) “If you want to know what we believe, we actually have a website.”

Based on their website, prior reporting, and firsthand accounts, it appears that what they do actually believe isn’t too far off.

The website Zahar referenced is TwelveTribes.com, the home of a group founded in 1972 by a man named Elbert “Gene” Spriggs in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that promotes a sort of hybrid of Christian fundamentalism, Hebrew Roots, and Messianic Judaism. The group has some 3,000 to 4,000 members in isolated, self-sustaining communes around the world that operate businesses like Blue Blinds, a chain of restaurants called The Yellow Deli, and a large construction business. It has dodged accusations of cult-like behavior ever since its inception.

“The group went from being this hippie thing that was kind of cool to turning into this cultist, religious, fucked-up kind of thing,” a second former member told me. “It’s like the frog-stew analogy. You throw a frog in cold water, and he doesn’t realize he’s getting hot until he’s boiled to death.”

According to former members of the Twelve Tribes, Spriggs, the group’s leader, has allegedly preached that black people are destined for slavery and that homosexuals should be put to death—as transcripts of his past sermons appear to show. The half-dozen former members who spoke to The Daily Beast also allege a culture of systematic child abuse, subjugation of women, and psychological torment.

A couple of years ago, a German documentary uncovered video of children in a local branch being beaten so terribly that the government led a raid and took the children away. In the video, Wolfram Kuhnigk, an RTL journalist, filmed 50 instances of beatings on camera, as the Independent reported. One former member who appears in the film recounts being regularly beaten for such trivial offenses as pretending to be an airplane. According to the group’s teachings, children are not permitted to engage in any type of playing or fantasy.

It’s a pattern of controversial behavior that has persisted in stories about the group for decades. “There are so many teachings that keep you from being who you are. They keep you from being human,” a former member named Joellen Griffin told the Boston Herald in 2001. “You get so absorbed in the teachings that you lose your emotions and your ability to respond to situations. They seem like a tight-knit family, but you just don’t know all the misery behind those eyeballs.”

In 1984, authorities in Vermont undertook a similar raid, liberating over 100 children from a Twelve Tribes compound, according to The New York Times. A judge determined that the raid was unconstitutional and the children were returned. Interestingly, as the San Diego Reader reported, the public defender at the time, Jean Swantko, joined the group soon after.

An investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013 told similar stories of members who had escaped the group, as did an investigation last year by Pacific Standard, which reported that children were allegedly beaten multiple times per day. In 2001 the New York Post launched an investigation that resulted in some of the group’s New York businesses being cited for violating child labor laws.

***

Despite in-depth investigations into several locations by newspapers and magazines, both current and some former Twelve Tribes members have repeatedly insisted in the press that they do not “abuse” their children.

“Most are gross exaggerations of scandalous, isolated activity throwing all members of Twelve Tribes under the bus,” the third ex-member, who also asked not to use his name because he had family still in the group told me. “The fact is there have been untold scandals within the Twelve Tribes communities, but the actions or misdeeds of a few can by no means accurately or rationally surmise the beliefs, practices, or daily lives of the many individuals that make up the whole.”

“Every person has their story,” he went on. “Every family has their secrets, their dirty laundry, their bad habits or poor decisions. Everyone must find their way in this world and we don’t do it perfectly all the time. We learn from mistakes, things are most often not as they first seem to be.”

That’s no doubt the case when it comes to the Twelve Tribes, but according to many who’ve made their way out of the group, those mistakes have been adding up for a long time.

A man who answered the phone number listed on Twelve Tribes’ site refused to give his name and would not answer any questions. He directed me to the Blue Blinds Bakery for any questions about their Facebook page.

“We believe in corporal punishment, and we stand by that, but we do not believe in child abuse by any means,” Zahar, the bakery employee, told me. “And we believe that a lot of the problems that you see in the world today probably could have been avoided if children understood cause and effect and understood consequences.”

Internal documents from the group reviewed by The Daily Beast lay out the justifications for their treatment of children, including the use of wooden reeds for punishment and training.

“The rod must be used to correct wrong thoughts, wrong words, and wrong deeds; thoughts are powerful—there is no sin without thinking about it,” Our Child Training Manual explains. Materials on the group’s website lay out similar practices.

“Train your child to submit willingly to his discipline; make sure he bends over submissively; guilt will not be removed unless he submits willingly.

“Discipline is vital. If you don’t discipline your child according to the Scriptures, you are not going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” it continues. “When we see a child receive what we consider mistreatment from such parents, we must remember that God is in control and has chosen to place the soul life of that child under those parents, specifically.”

The documents compare provisions against corporal punishment to the laws of totalitarian states, and deny the right of the government to intervene: “The governments of such nations as Sparta, Hitler’s Germany, and communist Russia have usurped the parents’ role, but today parental authority is being undermined in the USA through compulsory public education, child advocacy agencies, and child-abuse laws. Parents must not allow government to usurp their authority in those areas in which God holds the parents alone accountable.”

Corporal punishment is rooted in the Twelve Tribes’ literal reading of the Acts of the Apostles, according to Zahar. “We’re fundamental Christians and we take the Bible literally,” he told me. “We follow the pattern of the early church, early Christians, and they shared everything in common. We believe that Christianity kind of went off that pattern of living together and sharing everything and actually taking care of each other. That’s what we’re trying to get back to, to the pattern in Acts II.”

While he said they do not condone homosexuality, they also allege they do not believe in violence and would welcome an LGBT person into their home. As for the slavery question, he countered that the group has black members. In fact, he said one was working with him at the bakery as we spoke.

***

The second former member who spoke to The Daily Beast (and also asked to not use his name because of concerns about his family) said that corporal punishment is rampant. He told me he was hit 30 to 40 times a day growing up in the church.

“I remember getting whipped so hard I didn’t know if I was going to survive. I couldn’t breath, I was gasping for air.

“They used to teach that anyone in the group could spank any children, so some random, creepy motherfucker could grab you and beat your ass.”

The former member, a construction worker who was born into the group, laughed when I asked him if the Facebook posts were consistent with the group’s beliefs.

“That’s pretty much spot on. Basically, if you want to show the world what they believe, get your hands on their teachings about black people, Jews, children, women—there’s about 50,000 of these ‘teachings,'” he said.

“Multiculturalism increases murder, crime, and prejudice,” reads one such teaching on the group’s website. “It goes against the way man is. It places impossible demands on people to love others who are culturally and racially different. This is unnatural it forces people to go against their instinctive knowledge, like trying to love sodomites. They are told, ‘You can’t discriminate.’ Although discrimination is viewed as an evil sin, it is still within a person’s prerogative (right) to segregate himself.”

“Their teachings on black people are that they’re supposed to be slaves, about how God cursed black people back in the day,” said the same former member. “It’s crazy. Unless a black person is in the community, they need to serve white people. It’s so racist it will blow your mind.”

Copies of sermons given by Spriggs in 1998 and 1991, and reviewed by The Daily Beast, lay out the group’s attitude on race. “Martin Luther King and others have been inspired by the evil one to have forced equality,” states one titled “Châm and the Civil Rights Movement Unraveling the Races of Man.” “Slavery is the only way for some people to be useful in society. They wouldn’t do anything productive without being forced to. They would be worthless fellows.” (Châm is a reference to Ham, the son of Noah whom Biblical tradition credits with populating Africa.)

It goes downhill from there.

“What a marvelous opportunity that blacks could be brought over here to be slaves so that they could be found worthy of the nations,” read a second sermon. “A good master would work by the sweat of his brow. If his slaves were lazy and disrespectful, he would beat them, which is what he was supposed to do.”

It should be noted that the group does have black members, although they were not able to be reached by press time. When The Daily Beast reached out to the Twelve Tribes about the contents of the sermons, a spokesperson declined comment. The ex-members I spoke with explained this contradiction by noting that minorities who give themselves over to the Twelve Tribes are viewed differently than those who do not.

***

Women are meant to subjugate themselves to men, are allegedly required to wear head coverings that “serve as an outward symbol of her subservience to her man,” and are infrequently allowed to talk, claimed one former female member I spoke with, who asked not to use her real name for fear of retaliation, and provided photos of herself today and during her time in the group. She said that when she was 14 years old, a boy her age kissed her innocently. From that point forth, they were separated on opposite sides of the country and not permitted to communicate, but nevertheless were sentenced to be married when they turned 18.

She told me that she first tried to escape when they were married. She was gone for three months, but she claims the group guilted her into coming back, saying her husband would burn in hell for eternity if she didn’t. The pair was relocated to Florida, where family members outside of the group who’d taken her in couldn’t find her. Three months into their marriage, they were reprimanded for not yet having any children, she said. Previous reports on the group outline persistent pressure for young women to give birth to many children.

“There are a lot of good people there, but they don’t understand, they’re so brainwashed,” the male former member told me. “They find themselves defending stuff that doesn’t make sense.”

One way for the group to ensure total loyalty, he said, is by divesting members of any ties to their former lives, requiring them to donate all of their possessions and money to the church. “My ex-girlfriend’s dad died of cancer after he left the group. They realized he’d had it for 14 years. If they’d caught it any time before that he might’ve lived, but they neglected his health for so long. They do not go to the doctor ever, unless there’s some sort of catastrophic injury.”

The Boston Herald story cited numerous instances of stillbirth, with women allegedly being refused medical treatment during labor. “In fact, stillbirths are so common that the cult’s private burial ground in Island Pond, Vermont, includes several unmarked graves of dead children,” the story reads.

Mathias said he took over the bakery’s Facebook page in part to expose Twelve Tribes, but also as a means of explaining what his bizarre life inside the group was like.

For those who leave the Twelve Tribes, the assimilation process isn’t just difficult practically speaking. As Mathias said, it comes with a lot of psychological stress.

“Having talked to people who have left, it’s a five-year cycle of depression, self-loathing, doubt, hopelessness, and then finally acceptance and recovery. In my weird way, this is the acceptance stage,” he said. “I’m putting everything that happened out there in the hopes that people will realize what’s going on, but also as a way just to talk about it. Think about trying to have this conversation with a friend: ‘Hey, so I was in a religious cult that abused me. I just left a few years ago.’ It puts people off.”

Attempts by The Daily Beast to reach Mathias’ family for comment were unsuccessful.

Chris Pike is another former Twelve Tribes member—he belonged to the group for 14 years. He came to the community, like many others, through the Grateful Dead scene, and after a period of bereavement and loss in his life. While Twelve Tribes recruiters do prey on people in his position, he said, he was clear that it was his choice to join.

“It doesn’t need to be sensationalized. It’s just screwed all on its own. But I also want a clearer picture portrayed of the community,” he said.

“It’s not all demonized. There’s some of the nicest salt of the earth people there, and it’s not all creepy. That’s the delicate thing people don’t realize. Why do people join in the first place? What do you think I was attracted to, beating children? Are you kidding me?”

While the teachings instruct parents to “encourage their children seven times before disciplining them,” that’s not always how it works, said Pike, who was a teacher himself for a time.

“I can tell you everyone you come across that’s a former member will tell you that just doesn’t happen, it’s actually the opposite,” said Pike. “They spank seven times more than they encourage. Some parents are very good and do try, and then there’s the ones that are not. It’s all on an individual basis.

“It has the potential to be that wonderful, but also has the potential to be that horrible. And it does.”

Chris said he’s exasperated by the coverage of the Tribes over the years, as it never leads to any real help. What he wants to see is someone step up and show a real path forward for ex-members. He particularly wants help for the children, he said, who are often lost, entering a world they don’t know, with nothing to their names.

“I’m so tired of watching the media selling papers off the Twelve Tribes and they’re not helping. I hope somebody extends a helping hand and says, ‘Hey, any philanthropic people out there want to help these people, because they need some help. They need some help,’” said Pike.

“There’s got to be a landing strip. There’s got to be a cushion—and there’s not for these kids. We don’t need Bible reeducation, we need a helping hand out of the mess so that we can build a solid support system to help the children and ex-members.”

***

The former female member I spoke with, said one of her first memories was of being beaten so badly with a 2×4 that she went home black and blue from her neck to her kneecaps. She was four years old.

“I couldn’t get myself to raise my kids the way they wanted me to. That’s why I left, because of them. The way they brainwash you and stuff—I probably would still be there if I didn’t have children,” she said.

Still, says the ex-member who is skeptical of media reports about the group, the despicable actions of a few do not fully represent the group as a whole. All six of the ex-members I spoke to, in fact, said there are many decent people involved.

“Is the Twelve Tribes a religious sect full of manipulation, nepotism, elitism, haves and have nots in spite of their ideals of equality for all? Yes!” he said. “Does the Twelve Tribes have a leadership system full of egomaniacal religious fundamentalists? Yes! Have there been cases of child abuse within families of the Twelve Tribes? Yes…Does the Twelve Tribes have a system of belief regarding race that is misleading? Yes! Does it promote or practice hate against different races of the earth within or without? No! Do the teachings of the Twelve Tribes come from one man? Yes! Do all members of the Twelve Tribes adhere to said teachings? No!”

Many of the members, he and others explained, want to live simple lives in the hopes of pleasing God in the way they’ve been taught. But, he added, that gets complicated when they’re not encouraged to think on their own, or draw their own conclusions about life outside of the group.

“Do members work without pay? Yes, it’s a commune with a common pot. Everyone that moves in knows that. There’s no secret there. Children born and raised know that it’s just life. Food, clothing and shelter are provided for. Some Twelve Tribes communities are rich while others are very poor. Some members have access to computers, the Internet, social media, news etc while others don’t.

“Does the Twelve Tribes believe they are the harbinger of the return of Jesus? Yes! Are there current members of the Twelve Tribes that live in turmoil every day doubting, struggling against believing that what they’re doing is right? Yes. Are there current members that wish they could leave but don’t know how? Yes! Should Twelve Tribes be exposed for what it really is? Yes!”