GERMANY: Anti-Cult Activism vs. Sociology of Religion. A matter of opinion?

The Twelve Tribes Controversy Continued

by Erich Mayer

MUNICH, 12.02.2015 (FOREF Europe) – On Sept. 5, 2013 German authorities seized 42 children from a Twelve Tribes Community in Klosterzimmern, near the Bavarian town of Nördlingen. 100 policemen and 60 social workers executed the raid in the early morning and the children were taken by force. One anti-cult activist has showed distinctive engagement in this case: Sabine Riede, managing director of Sekten-Info NRW, was directly involved in preparing the raid against the community. She also wrote the preface to Robert Pleyers’ apostate story “Satan Never Sleeps” (2014). FOREF Europe analyzed her allegations and contrasted them to the statements of Susan Palmer, a scholar of sociology and expert on the “Twelve Tribes”, that she made in her “Update on the Raid of the Children of the Twelve Tribes in Germany” written in January 2014, on-site at the Klosterzimmern Community.

 1. NATURE OF THE ACTION

Riede boasts about the police raid that took over 40 children away from their parents: “It is the biggest action of this kind in the history of the Federal Republic of German. The taking into custody was well prepared…” Palmer on the other hand claims that “This raid was prompted by allegations of physical abuse. But when doctors examined the children, they found no evidence.”

2. CHILD ENDANGERMENT AS AN ARGUMENT?

Riede claims “the endangerment of the children was so vast according to the view of the authorities that interference into the custody of the parents was unavoidable.”

Palmer states: “Normally, when abuse is suspected, the Jugendamt (Youth Office) is required by law to send social workers to work with individual families to help them resolve problems. Only in extreme cases are children taken by the state. In this case, there was no warning. This emergency action was justified by the concern expressed that the ‘sect’ would flee.”

The local physician Dr. Mainka, who examined all 42 children taken into custody on the day of the raid, wrote: “All 42 children/youth medically examined did not show any skin alterations or injuries typical for abuse. There also weren’t any indicators for a psychological abuse of minors; the parent-child relationship in each case was intact in the framework of the examination.”

Corroborating the testimony of Dr. Mainka are the reports of the school psychologist, Dr. Stapf, who for years confirmed the health and well-being of all of the children he visited, stating there was “never any indication for abuse.”

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Author: admin

CAP Liberté de Conscience, a French NGO created in 2000 dedicated to the respect of the Right of Freedom of Religion and Belief. CAP LC is expert since now 20 years, in religious minorities’ discriminations in France and Europe. CAP Liberté de Conscience organizes events, conferences, meetings to unite minority religions to counter discrimination mainly in France but also in Europe and worldwide.

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contact European Coordination for Freedom of Conscience : contact@coordiap.com

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