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Bavarian Senate (Landtag), Munich, Germany

Ladies and gentlemen of the Bavarian State Parliament,

We as parents of the community of the Twelve Tribes, turn now to you as our elected representatives. Since 5 September with the police raid on the Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz at dawn, we are in a terrible situation that requires an objective assessment on your part. Since our community is known to most of you certainly just from the media and you most likely might have a highly distorted picture of us, it is for you and for us of the utmost importance that you hear from us and listen to us before we will be the topic in the Social Committee of Parliament on the 23rd January 2014.


For the past thirteen years we have lived here in Bavaria according to our religious and moral beliefs on the idyllic estate Klosterzimmern in Ries and we attempt to be good neighbors and establish friendly relations with the people of our area. Because it is important to us that everyone has the opportunity to get to know us personally, we are involved for example in the voluntary fire brigade and cultural events in the Ries, operate a farm shop, a small cafe in Nördlingen and invite all who are interested to our Farmer’s Market and farm festival and other festivals. We also sold our products in the local weekly market, which we are no longer allowed unfortunately since 09/05/2013. By the way, we also contribute with our business tax also to the growth of the region.

In these thirteen years, friendships, and business and personal relations with neighbors have been built. Many friends, relatives, guests, business partners, police, driving instructors, and yes, even the Jugendamt (youth office) manager, vocational school teachers and school psychologists, to name just a few, have seen our children grow up and thrive over many years. The accusations that our children grow up isolated from society and would be unable to cope with life later are far-fetched. Some of the children of Klosterzimmern are now grown and have taken on various business relationships and further expanded them. This confirms that the charges do not correspond in any way to the truth.

We do no evil, but strive to live a godly life. Of course there will always be critics, but there was never objective cause for concern. State-supervised performance tests for the students of our supplementary school as well as mental and physical examinations by various medical officers not only confirmed the integrity of the children, but their good health. Please note: All of these tests and performance checks have been carried out by medical officers, trained specialists, and experienced teachers as well as senior representatives of the Jugendamt. None of the studies has ever confirmed abuse!

So you could read the clear confirmation of the responsible officials during the plenary session of 20.07.2006 , that the children of the community of the Twelve Tribes are doing well and the relationship with the parents are in order. All those teachers and school psychologists who have extensively dealt with them and are – through their own knowledge – in a position to voice an opinion, have never expressed in any way that something would be fundamentally wrong concerning the children. Quite the contrary: the pleasant learning atmosphere was praised.


Visit of the School Officials to Klosterzimmern

The approval of the supplementary school was quite compliant to the constitution and not unusual for a democratic government, since private schools are allowed according to the Basic Law (German Constitution) and the requirements have been fulfilled to such. This was confirmed by the fact that the pupils of the school compare well with students from other elementary schools — in nothing inferior to them (see “Quali” Results for 2010). The countless pages that show above-average performance of students we – as well as the the Office of Education – can make available if needed. The assessments of the representatives of the authorities are true and correct, and contrary to the allegations in the media we have never attempted to pretend anything.

It is claimed that the photographs show that the dignity of the children was injured. We believe that the broadcasting of these records has in the living room of millions of homes violated the dignity of the children and they are now branded around the world as “cult children.” Experienced psychologists teach that educational measures belong in the privacy of the family and never in the public sector. If the child’s welfare stood in the foreground, these recordings would have been discussed confidentially between the Jugendamt, courts, and concerned parents. The non-confidential treatment of this so-called “proof shots” leaves doubt whether here the child’s welfare really came first and questions the reporter’s motive (the “liberation of cult children”).

By the announced public release of these recordings, the authorities were of course placed under enormous pressure to act, which has been exerted for many years on the authorities, note: not on the Twelve Tribes. This is clearly seen in the “report”, as the RTL reporter blackmails the Jugendamt with his film showing them in front of the camera and calls for action — by making clear to them that this “report” will be broadcast in any case.

Note that until then, due to the many long years of experience of the experts, there existed no reasonable indication that the children had been abused in any way. The studies of the children carried out immediately after the raid by the medical officers also found no abnormalities. There is nothing that could confirm medical ill-treatment allegations despite all further investigations. As has been known to us through the press today, the Ansbach prosecution has therefore already stopped the criminal investigation.

The representatives of schools, Jugendamt, etc. have not acted incorrectly all these years. The evaluations, which they stated, were based on their truthful, objective, and factual observations. These observations have repeatedly confirmed that our children had not been abused until the day of the Raid. The allegation that the authorities were inactive is not the truth.


From the Die Seite Drei article of January 15, 2014.

What new “findings” has the “reporter’s feature film” brought? The fact that some parents of the community of the Twelve Tribes are using a thin, flexible rod as the smallest part of their education, is now well known. We love our children and are trying to educate them to become righteous people. This also means that we believe in setting them limits. We believe that the Creator himself has given guidance on the education of children in the Book of Proverbs. Even in the opinion of some experienced educators, the use of a small rod – in their investigation report, the police have written of small wooden sticks – in the education of children under certain circumstances and under the responsibility of parents, is neither abstruse nor unsuitable nor violent nor degrading (see, among others the included educational appraisal of Mr. Günter Maul). He who calls a thin willow a “club” is willfully twisting the truth. A rod is not a “club.” A club is a raw branch thick as a arm.

It was only in 1980 that corporal punishment with the cane was abolished in Bavarian schools. Personally, it is unexplainable to us that this should be a degrading, dangerous criminal assault today. We can not accept the assertion that all the people who were punished in their childhood in their families or in school (if this was done in an appropriate way), were abused and suffered lasting psychological damage from it. There are too many venerable, down to earth, and mentally healthy people of the older generation.


Karl Freller

At the plenary session of 20.07.2006 Secretary of State Karl Freller added:
That means that there is in this case only two possible actions: either imprison the mothers or send the children to a home. To send 33 children to a home, would mean a collective withdrawal of parental rights of the parents. Such a case has never been before in Germany.

But in order to bring the police raid with removal of the children across the stage without an outcry of the nation, preliminary work had to be done and public opinion manipulated via a smear campaign first. After countless negative newspaper reports this was accomplished with the luridly fashioned ​​RTL feature film.

On 05/09/2013 happened the historical moment of a collective withdrawal of the education right in Germany. 40 children were taken away by force, including 7 children of guests of the community. They had to be released again by the Jugendamt. 8 of our children are temporarily released because the resolutions were repealed. 25 Children are still in children’s homes and foster families. There had been no previous discussions with the Jugendamt in the case of any of the concerned parents.

Only in the Nazi era, which we currently call to mind again, had there been such [collective withdrawal of rights] in Germany. But was not such behavior, such inhuman measures during the Third Reich, due to the denial of the fundamental and inalienable rights written with eternal warranty?

Was it not the desire of the mothers and fathers of the Constitution, to assure that in Germany never again would a community be persecuted collectively, their children taken from them, that they may not have any more children…but isn’t this what is going on here?!

And all of this is supposed to be possible because of across-the-board accusations without concrete evidence with regard to the individual children and parents? How is it possible that no one has realized that this is a matter of individual families? Does one lose his basic individual rights because of belonging to a religious community (“sect”)?

It is absolutely incomprehensible how the Jugendamt could get from the district court a kind of charter, although no valid accusations concerning the individual children and parents were at hand.

Conversations with each individual affected family should have taken place in advance in order to clarify the situation. It is inexplicable to us that it did not. How can it be possible that, for example, a 16-year-old shall be separated against her will by state violence from her parents, when it turned out later that she was anyway no more chastened, only because of her belonging to a religion (“sect”)?

In what “constitution” is the German state? Judge for yourself please!

Fundamental rights are not only under attack here, but they in essence are being withdrawn. People are being defamed by this smear campaign and discriminated against. Children who were not abused, are now housed separately from their parents at strangers’ houses and in homes and are now being abused in the schools as “sect children.” In a second raid in a state orphanage in Dürrlauingen infants and children were snatched for no reason by police force from their mothers.

Mind-boggling enough, we are in the terrible position of having to fight for something that is being guaranteed us by the constitution. Before, we were always in the good faith belief that the government fulfills its obligation to protect and defend the human dignity of our children and also of us parents. {Art 1 (1) GG}. This situation concerns much more than what is being done to the families — it’s about the loss Germany being a constitutional state. And it ‘s about whether you can still obey God in Germany! (Mind you, we are talking about the God of the New Testament in the Bible. )

Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion , we would like to ask you to take a little time to look at the enclosed CD with images of Twelve Tribes Community and their children. We are happy to welcome you at any time on our farm estate – every single one of you or as a committee to gain a personal impression. Talk to the children who want to go back home!

Sincerely yours,

The parents concerned
Included: CD & Report: Educator Maul