|Ex-Member Describes Twelve Tribes|
Ex-Member Describes Twelve
ABC22, WVNY/April 29, 2003
They're familiar faces
for many Vermonters. The Twelve Tribes have lived in
They're a quiet religious
group, but some who've lived on the inside tell a
Noah Jones was born in Island Pond in 1982 and left the Twelve Tribes in 1999.
He says they look like a happy group, but are anything but.
"They spanked me from
my feet to my neck," Noah explained. "All the way. I
Noah said he's been hit
with a two-by-four on a job site, he's been beaten
He calls it a destructive group, a prison.
He was two-years-old when
police stormed the compound. He doesn't remember
"They ended up locking
me and my brother in a basement," he explained. "They
In 1999, Noah escaped to
New Hampshire, crossing the border late at night and
Kevin Coughlin met Noah
that night. Since then he's helped dozens of
"All of a sudden it
seemed like the flood gates opened up," he said. "We've
Life-long members admit it's not for everyone.
"People do leave,"
Jeff Whitten said. "They do leave. If they don't want to
Children are punished and
what they eat, drink, do and believe is a matter of
Noah's parents, brother and sister are still on the inside.
"The saddest part
is that my dad can't even think for himself anymore," Noah