Category: Twelve Tribes

Religious group opens organic bakery

When they anchored in Brunswick, they found the community to their liking. They bought a house and opened Common Ground, an organic bakery, in November. The business is operating out of the former site of a convenience store located at 802 Egmont St. “We liked the downtown area,” said Lee Phillips, who manages the bakery. “We wanted a neighborhood bakery that people could walk to.” Phillips said he and other members of his community sailed to Brunswick in the large blue craft that is visible at the city waterfront. Scott Brown, a baker who is part of Phillips’ community, is

Finding inner peace Former activist bakes group’s daily bread

On Super Bowl Sunday in 1975, the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the Minnesota Vikings, and church was canceled. Services at a Presbyterian church in Chattanooga, Tenn., were postponed so people could watch the game on television. But for a group of worshippers, it was the last straw. They believed strongly in the literal followings of the Bible, with cultural and social practices that conflicted with many of the area churches. The group left in disgust, and held its own services in a nearby park. The group grew, and eventually left Tennessee. Members formed their own community in 1977 in Island

Twelve Tribes members defend sect

Members of the Twelve Tribes, a worldwide religious sect that critics decry as a cult, have operated a well-known local bakery for more than a decade, largely unnoticed. But Sunday the group found itself defending its beliefs and practices against allegations of racism, anti-Semitism and child abuse. Members of the Twelve Tribes community in Hamburg, as well as group leaders from out of town, appeared at a public forum over the sale of their Common Ground bakery products in the Lexington Co-op on Elmwood Avenue. “We have a life we really feel is worth living,” Joseph Reilly, a Twelve Tribes

Twelve Tribes opening coffee shop in Cambridge to meet neighbors

CAMBRIDGE — Members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel community have mostly kept to themselves in the 25 years since they started a communal farm on the outskirts of town. Now, they’re interested in getting to know their neighbors better over a cup of coffee — or yerba mate, a drink brewed from an herbal stimulant. The group is putting the finishing touches on its new Common Ground cafe, which will open on Main Street sometime this winter. It will feature homemade, organic food, in a wood-walled space meant to be inviting. “I think the name of our cafe says

The Doomsday Prophets on Main Street

Massachusetts has long been fertile ground for religious sects like Twelve Tribes. The group has already settled in Plymouth, Dorchester, Hyannis, and Athol. Newton, Wellesley, and Harvard Square may be next for a group that requires members to give up their possessions, follow the Bible word-for-word, and prepare for the end of the world. They may be coming to your street next – and might just be the friendliest neighbors you’ve ever had. The inside of the former flower shop on Plymouth’s Main Street looks hardly promising, with its drop ceiling, walls covered with faux-oak paneling and latticework, and empty

Woman says religion prevents her from paying child support

MONTPELIER (AP) — The Vermont Supreme Court will decide whether a former Vermont woman can avoid paying child support because of her religious beliefs. The Vermont Office of Child Support in 2003 received a court order allowing it to suspend the driver’s license of Joyce Stanzione, a former Vermont resident who has not paid child support since she separated from her husband in 1991. Stanzione is a long-time member of the Twelve Tribes Messianic Community in Florida and is not allowed under church law to have an income, said Jean Swantko, her attorney. Suspending her license because she has no

Board says ‘no’ to cafe for Main St.

Members of Twelve Tribes still plan to buy building ONEONTA — Members of the Twelve Tribes who want to open a Main Street restaurant were turned down by the city Planning Commission on Wednesday night. But group members Ken and Karen Hart said they were still going through with the purchase of 175-177 Main St. and would appeal to the Common Council. Although receiving more “yes” votes than “no” votes, their plan to open a Common Ground Cafe was defeated because it couldn’t garner the four votes needed for approval. “Municipal law requires a true majority of seats on the

Woman charged with hate crime in alleged assault on girl, 14

A Plymouth woman has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly punching a 14-year-old girl in the head after she saw the teenager walking on a town sidewalk in the traditional clothing of her religious group, police said. Erin Monaghan, 25, was arraigned Tuesday in Plymouth District Court on charges of assault and battery, a civil rights violation, and marijuana possession, police said. Twelve Tribes Theologically, the Twelve Tribes movement is a cult of Christianity. It does not represent historical, orthodox Christianity Sociologically, the group has cultic elements as well Research resources on Twelve Tribes The alleged assault occurred

Some residents concerned about Twelve Tribes

Some of the concerns local residents have about the Twelve Tribes don’t come from a business standpoint. “Anyone reading this article should Google ’Twelve Tribes,’” said Alice Lichtenstein, a local author and Oneonta resident. “I was really horrified and terrified at some levels.” See Also Officials: Cafe proposed by Twelve Tribes not good idea Lichtenstein said she first researched the group after talking to John Mason, owner of the Body and Soul Lifestyle Centre at 175-177 Main St., where the Twelve Tribes proposes opening a coffeehouse. Allegations against the group include child labor, child abuse and racism, but members deny

Officials: Cafe proposed by Twelve Tribes not good idea

Say coffee shop might take away retail space on Main St. ONEONTA — A group looking to establish a cafe on Main Street downtown said it wants to offer good food, but some city officials and residents said they’re afraid the group will do more than that. The Oneonta Planning Commission has received a site-plan application for a Common Ground Cafe at 175-177 Main St., in the Bresee’s block. Common Ground Cafes are run and owned by the Twelve Tribes, a religious organization with “communities” throughout the United States and other parts of the world. See Also Some residents concerned