, , , ,

Judges Mahady and Hayes

Heroes of Justice and Freedom

Anonymous accusations, dubious or illegal evidence, the illegal notion of “communal guilt” (rather than personal accountability), and sensational journalism have plagued the Communities of the Twelve Tribes before. Then, as now, we trust in the God of our deliverance. But then, unlike now, several outstanding men had the courage to stand up for an unpopular, politically incorrect group. They were Judge Frank Mahady and Chief Administrative Judge for Vermont, Thomas L. Hayes. Let’s take a look at the pressures that faced those men, the accusations that charged the air, and the evidence presented to them by the State. May men and women like them be found to redeem the honor of the German judicial system.


The biggest difference between June 22, 1984 and September 5, 2013 is that there was no hearing September 5 in Germany. There was no chance for the judge to see the true evidence of happy and healthy children, obviously secure in their parents care. In Island Pond on June 22, no other evidence was presented to Judge Mahady, only hearsay and rumor. That made the Island Pond Raid illegal, as Judge Mahady ruled it to be.


But perhaps no hearing was necessary in Germany on September 5, 2013, because the rule of law was not involved, just a show or appearance of law. It seemed rather to be “public policy” at work. Perhaps so-called “child abuse” was not the issue at all.

Our healthy and happy children, even given the dire and difficult circumstances, “spoke” on our behalf that day in Vermont. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many a living child? The evidence they offered was irrefutable. Certainly, we were found guilty in the court of public opinion, as the Scriptures tell us we will be; but we were found innocent in a court of law, a determination based on evidence, not accusation.


Judge Thomas Hayes

All we seek is to be treated fairly and impartially by officials who can discern between media sensationalism and culpable guilt before the law. In Vermont, in 1984, very few had that discernment. Among them were Administrative Judge Thomas Hayes (who appointed Judge Mahady to the case that day), Judge Mahady, and the public defenders such as Andrew Crane and David Sleigh who helped us.

May God bless them all.



What compelled the German judges to act was only carefully manipulated – and illegal – evidence. It was bad press, obtained by an individual who violated the most basic precepts of hospitality, honesty, and openness (and who continues to do so), that drove and has driven this tragedy.

Yet in Germany, the same evidence of healthy and happy children is being presented as our vocal and articulate youth make it quite plain that the only abuse they have ever suffered their entire lives has been since September 5, 2013, when they were ripped away from their parents.  The younger children can not speak up or run away. The devastation of their souls is heartrending.

As far as our children are concerned, they have gone from freedom to being imprisoned. Like any prisoner, they seek to escape! And when they ran away, and when they were finally set free they immediately returned home to the place where they had always known peace and freedom from violence.

Our children and youth have suffered both mockery and outright assault in the “care” of the German foster care system, things they never endured in the Communities in Klosterzimmern and Woernitz.

This experience has only confirmed in them the salvation their parents found in the Communities, causing them to experience the very evils their parents had fled German society for in the first place. Will their consistent testimony in cards and letters before their release, and vocally afterward – affect their little brothers and sisters, also held unjustly? They are much less able to resist the cruel attempts to estrange them from their parents. The guilt of those who do such things is great.

June 22, 1984: Dark Day in the Kingdom


Newport, VT, June 22, 1984

On September 20, 2013, in celebration of “Constitution Week” in the United States, staff writer James Jardine of the Caledonian Record of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, published an interview of attorney David Sleigh. He was a public defender on June 22, 1984, pressed into service when the 112 children seized in Island Pond, along with their parents, were bussed to the Orleans County Courthouse in Newport, Vermont. In his aptly named article, “Dark Day in the Kingdom Demonstrates Constitution’s Power,” Jardine recounted events that dramatic day through Sleigh’s eyes.

{Published September 20, 2013, pages A1 and A8. A further note: Island Pond is located in northeast corner of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom.}

As in Bavaria, the German state where the Communities are, officials in Vermont were engaged in a fishing expedition to collect evidence to construct a criminal case. This is the exact reverse of lawful behavior, and includes here, as it has in Germany, the attempt to turn children against their parents. In his decision, he accused state officials of rounding up children to find the evidence they lacked. It is why Judge Mahady dismissed the state’s case. Mounting a “fishing expedition” – an illegal search for evidence – is exactly what Germany has done, too. NoEvidence

From Jardine’s article:

According to Sleigh, the 72-hour detention period would be used to collect evidence and build a case so the state could then file criminal charges against adults and take the children into protective state custody.

Judge Frank Mahady was on the bench that morning and began questioning the state in an attempt to grasp what was going on. When Judge Mahady was through, at about 11:30 p.m. that night, he had dismissed all claims by the state and every child and adult was allowed to return home. No one was charged with a crime.

How did such a total turnabout occur? According to Sleigh, Judge Frank Mahady applied the U.S. Constitution to the situation.

The article went on to quote from Judge Mahady’s landmark decision multiple times:

…the freedom of children and parents to relate to one another in the context of the family, free of governmental interference, is a basic liberty long established in our constitutional law.”

it is the burden and heavy responsibility of the State to demonstrate by sufficient evidence, not generalized assumption, that it is necessary to separate each of these 112 children from his or her parents.”

The State admits there is not a single piece of evidence in the material submitted that documents a single act of abuse or neglect with regard to any of the 112 children.”

This court refused the State’s rather incredible request that the Court issue a blanket detention order and without even holding hearings.”

(Read the entire decision at


Sadly, a “blanket detention order without even holding hearings” is exactly what happened in Germany! The world applauded, ignorant of what was really happening. The denial of the most basic concepts of justice such as individual accountability before the law and due process, the invasion of privacy, and the use of general search warrants sum up to this: the blatant religious persecution of the parents.

What happened to us will happen to them, one could say, except that it already is. 40,000 children were taken from their parents in Germany in 2013, on the flimsiest of reasons, including immigrants speaking their native languages at home.

What we are losing with our children being seized is less than what the German people are losing in allowing such injustices to stand. He who sleeps in a democracy will wake in a tyranny.

We woke up on September 5. When will you wake up, O German people?

(For more on this, see the account: What Happened to Helez?)

In German courts…

The first hearing, held a week after the Raid, was where the status quo of all the future hearings was set up. Witnesses against our faith predominated and the atmosphere was entirely against us.

Family members of our accusers who still lived within the Community had no voice. There was biased or prejudiced testimony by individuals with malicious agendas, with “axes to grind.” Evidently, such agendas conformed very well with the “legal action” against the Community.

Not even the United States Counsel, who desired to attend as U.S. citizens were among the children seized — was allowed to. The Jugendamt would not have them. The judge ruled accordingly. The parents were not consulted.

(The Jugendamt is the Youth Office.)

The cases – June 22, 1984 and September 5, 2013 – are similar. Will judges such as Hayes and Mahady yet be found in Germany?

One of the losers that day in 1984 argued that Administrative Judge Hayes put Mahady in Newport because of his “reputation for being a strong civil libertarian.” Attorney Philip White thereby acknowledged he had no such reputation. Further he and the other attorneys for the state acknowledged that anyone ruling with regards to civil liberties would have found their actions unlawful and unconstitutional. The temporary detention orders in Germany are likewise against German law. Hopefully Germany has real civil liberties and constitutional rights, not simply “ones on paper.”

We continue to pray for our children, for men and women in government and in the judiciary, that they would have the courage to rule righteously and make a way for our people to exist in their nation. We have no political power, no strings to pull, no favors to call in. We only seek for the truth of our school and our children to be told.

People know the truth, but to say it in the face of public opinion is to risk so much.

We have lived peaceful lives in Bavaria, minding our own business, doing good work and raising good crops. We have been a blessing. Now we are being cursed. We have been vilified in the media and shut out of markets we attended for years. Perhaps these things will change, we don’t know, but one thing we do know and place our entire trust in…

All things work together for the good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)