Cast Iron Chaos RecentChanges

LoginLogoutRegisterContact the WebmasterPayPal Me

Twelve Tribes

The number of Jewish cults in the United States are outnumbered by all off the Christian cults, but there are some notable examples to look at. Among the most famous are the Twelve Tribes, a sect that grew out of the hippie "Jesus movement" of the 1970s. (They regularly use Hebrew names and traditions, but they base most of their foundation on the Bible.) This group is decended from an outreach ministry founded by Eugene and Marsha Spriggs in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who catered especially to teenagers. They founded a chain of hippie restaurant/flophouses known throughout the South as the Yellow Deli, where wandering runaways could stay for a night and get a meal. However, Spriggs' group was accused of recruiting converts and followers from the youth crowd through their restaurants, and they eventually folded in the late 1970s, moving to Vermont and starting a full-fledged ministry called the Northeast Kingdom Community Church.

Today's Twelve Tribes groups maintain a simple, down-home lifestyle that eschews much modern technology, though not as extreme as the Amish do. A Tribes community has its own market and coffee shop, with a "home-grown" feel because they supply it themselves. The most common accusations against the group these days are claims that they regularly employ child labor on their farming communes, and their punishments are allegedly extreme to the point of child abuse.

A nostalgia Web site dedicated to the Yellow Deli can be found at: