New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Twelve Tribes Arrive

A friend called me at work to let me know that three Twelve Tribes buses were parked in Washington Square Park, so I made a quick journey to see and record the event. Vehicles of this size are rarely allowed IN the park - apparently their permit for assembly was confused with another group and they were ushered in and allowed to remain. Twelve Tribes is an unusual religious group - kind of a fusion of the unrealized dreams of hippies with fundamentalist Christianity. They live communally in various locales in nine countries. The journey to NYC was part of their Merrymakers Caravan Tour. The bus in the photo, Garden (another photo here), was modeled after the Furthur bus of the Merry Pranksters of the 1960s. Click here for some photos I took of the interior of their Peacemaker bus which sleeps 17. I did as much reading as possible before this posting - on their sites and others. There has been some controversy regarding aspects of their practices, but I have chosen to be as neutral as possible and leave it to you, if you are interested, to investigate on your own and draw your own conclusions ...

19 comments:

Olivier said...

Je ne connaissais pas,merci pour les liens et pour la photo. Bravo et super

BrianG said...

the bus ... like wow ... the photos ... like far out man ... it's just ... like whoa man.

rhoda said...

They are a trip, aren't they? I've known the tribes for years and I think that within the decade most people in the US will have run into them somewhere or other.

Brian said...

De rien.
Brian

J$ said...

They're a cult. Sweet pics though.
http://velvet-sea.blogspot.com/2006/08/twelve-tribes-take-manhattan.html

Anonymous said...

Your photo documentary is something that I look forward to every day.

Aahhh, but there is money to be made in the name of religion. One of the "brothers" on the garden bus was sporting a pair of Chaco sandals. I have some like that. They cost $75. They wear nice clothes, have expensive rides and so forth. I'm not impressed by religious affairs, but they are having fun in its name, I suppose.

Brian said...

You are right - my friend and I had a long converation with someone in a Ralph Lauren Chaps shirt about use of a $4,000 Nikon camera. I was surprised. But I tried to be more neutral in my post. Thanks all.
Brian

luggi said...

I had never even heard of them. They sound like a fun bunch though.

Kate said...

If it's attention you want, the bus certainly will get it!

Aloysius Horn said...

Two days after you saw the "Merrymakers Caravan" in Central Park, they arrived in Ithaca, NY where they have a small community and run a café on the Ithaca Commons. I and others handed out flyers with quotes from Eugene Spriggs, their cult leader that effectively quashed their efforts to recruit any lost souls that day. We've started a group we call Ithacans Opposed to the Twelve Tribes Cult. Our website/blog is at www.iottc.blogspot.org.

Stunning photos here and I'll be back frequently!

jessica said...

i was actually there that day. its amazing to see it actually documented. the visit struck up curiosity on my part, and i foudn out some interesting information about this marrymakers caravan. supposedly they have been arrested on numerous accounts for their abuse of children and such.. i dont know i thought it was interesting.

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Voice said...

If you want to find out more about them visit www.yattt.blogspot.com
My advice is run!

Anonymous said...

these people are assholes

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Anonymous said...

These people are a CULT with a capital C and are quite dangerous. They always seem to park near a University and lure in young people. They are now using the old hippie style and words to lure in young people. Stay away. They are NOT hippies. Just people trying to steal you away from your family and money.

Cheryl L said...

As a former member of the twelve tribes it is my opinion that: It it is the aim of the twelve tribes to obliterate all independence (thought, action, freedom of movement, opinions, access to information, access to families) and to drive them into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots. They have lost all personal ambition, are easy to rule willing to obey and willing to exist in selfless slavery to Elbert Eugene Spriggs (the leader).

Eric Christopherson said...

I've also been a former member, but have a more positive view overall. I continue to stay in touch with friends who are members. They seem intelligent and willingly choose a lifestyle that is controversial. So have the Amish, other conservative Mennonites, Hutterites, Essenes, and monks and nuns of various religions. As one who has been openly critical and caustic at times, I am still shown love and hospitality. As a religious subculture who aim is to follow Jesus and the Gospel as they understand it, I think they have that right. No ex-member thus far, has shown me a better alternative to their life or Savior. For myself, I became bitter after leaving, because I wasn't able to face the fact that I don't get along well with others at times and give up easily on almost everything I've done in life. Other ex-members may have valid grievances I don't question. Only to say wherever there are people there will be problems that arise that need solutions and love. Tribes members have admitted to me that they are not perfect and have made mistakes. But wish to be more like Messiah. Let's pray for one another, and that God's will be done for all. I want the Tribes to be the best they can be. They took me in several times when I was destitute.

Anonymous said...

Stay away from members of this group.