Summary Post: What’s Happened So Far
On September 5, 2013 160 armed German police and social workers raided our homes in Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz, Germany. With identical orders from judges to take all children into protective custody, they refused to let the press or our lawyers nearby. Our only option was to trust our Father in heaven and let them go peacefully.
41 children were seized that day, but 7 were released as they were not registered in Germany or were children of guests. The remaining 34 children, ages 6 months to 17 years old, from 13 families, were taken by police force into protective custody. The charge: spanking. Not violent screaming, not belt whipping, no drunken rages, but spanking. In fact, their self-control was held against them publicly. Parents spanking their own children in obedience to the words of the Holy Scriptures:
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24)
From Day 1 it was known to the authorities that the children were healthy, well-educated, well-cared for, well-adjusted, and not abused. This has made no difference whatsoever in their treatment or our “success” in the courts. Clearly an agenda besides justice or the well-being of the children has been at work here, from the beginning—from before the beginning.
Still, the children have fared remarkably well in the institutions and orphanages that they were dropped into. They have done well in school, and befriended many of the other children. Some places were not so nice, and our children experienced mistreatment and violence for the first time in their lives. Their own words in the letters and cards they have written tell the true story of a people who have found a way to heal the Generation Gap.
Many of the youth tried to run away and run back to their parents. They had to avoid getting their parents in trouble. Some of them fled to other states, even other countries, but were hunted down by the German Youth Agency, the Jugendamt, and returned to Germany. One such family was the Krumbachers. It was their daughter, Havah, whose gripping journal became the pamphlet, “Diary of an Abused Girl.”
Often, they were split up from their family members. Their many stories are told here on the Twelve Tribes News blog. Over the course of the next three to six months, 10 were released by court order. For those who have been released, see the page, “Ten Freed!” The story of the remaining 24 children took a sad turn as 2 families with 6 children between them left the faith community of the Twelve Tribes.
Please read the cards and letters and stories of the children. Please read the latest news for the current progress. We also invite you to read some of our writings and teachings, so that you could more accurately know what we believe. If you have any questions, please write us. Of the 18 children remaining, 2 children have successfully run away, leaving 16 in custody of the Jugendamt (youth social services) in Germany.