• NOTICE: Information below is offered for awareness and education purposes not for promoting TT patronage. Please boycott TT business.
The Twelve Tribes’ Money Machine
The life of the typical Twelve Tribes member is very simple. Women’s dresses and “sus” pants are hand-made and most other clothes are purchased at thrift stores. The community grows much of its organic food. Upon joining, members give up all their possessions and do not own worldly treasures such as TV’s, radios, jewelry or expensive cars etc. Ex-leaders and members often talk about the frugality of the life within the Twelve Tribes communities where the elders pinch every penny and members work long hours for no pay. The Twelve Tribes leaders do not deny this. They are proud of this fact because they are working to build the kingdom of God on earth and preparing the Messiah’s bride for His return.
The TT leaders adamantly deny that Gene Spriggs lives a “jet-setting” life or any differently than the average member in good standing. However, Michael Painter and James Howell, former high level leaders (3rd and 4th in command under Spriggs and Eddie Wiseman) stated in a video that Spriggs enjoys a wallet full of credit cards and travels where and when he desires and also enjoys luxuries the average member does not have access to. As the only apostle for the Twelve Tribes, his role and duty is to plant new communities wherever he feels God leads him. Subsequently Spriggs often travels around the world establishing new communities. Gene always nurtured an inclination towards world travel. The TT published Elbert Spriggs’ biography in which they state he gave up an executive job to become a tour director for a large travel company so that he could see the world.
The Twelve Tribes never experience difficulty when purchasing buildings, businesses and property to expand their kingdom on earth. In the past they have claimed that although a number of people enter the TT willing to give up wealth and possessions just as many enter poverty stricken or even bring a load of debt. In a majority of the cases where the new recruit owes worldly debts, the community refuses to pay the new recruit’s bills which subsequently ruin their credit rating for many years! (See the entry Common Ground Common Thieves – Cheryl’s story). So how can they enter a town and drop millions of dollars to buy one or more multiple buildings? How did they afford to host a large cultural event on the National Mall in Washington DC June 26-July 6th 2004? How can they afford to produce high quality films denouncing Christianity?
The Twelve Tribes can accomplish this because they own over 24 substantial businesses around the world. Many of these are high end construction companies that list no affiliation to the Twelve Tribes on their web sites or advertisements. Below, is a consolidated list of direct links to these Twelve Tribes businesses. The community hosts these sites which a person could stumble across, but there is no one single list as provided below. I believe the Twelve Tribes do not want the public or their own members to comprehend the vast amount of wealth these businesses generate.
The TT often tells non-members that many of their restaurants operate at a loss. Most of these restaurants are not even listed below. Many ex-members often confirm these restaurants run at a loss but are necessary to recruit new members. However, the lucrative construction companies as well as the furniture and other products that are made with “free” labor far offset the losses at these restaurants. The most recent defectors from the Twelve Tribes (especially those in leadership positions) complain the Twelve Tribes resemble more like a business than a messianic community.
Many people were amazed several years ago that this obscure group actually enjoyed a large contract with Estee Lauder to provide their Origins products. Actually, the group provided these products from 1995 through 2001 until Estee Lauder found they were using child labor to produce, package and distribute their Origins line. Likewise, the Twelve Tribes provided products to Robert Redford’s Sundance Company until he cut off dealings with them for child labor issues.
The following links are for those Twelve Tribes businesses that possess a website. In addition to these businesses, there are a number of “cottage industries” the Twelve Tribes own and operates with free labor from their members and children. I will add to the list as I become aware of more businesses.
Twelve Tribes Businesses in the U.S.
• BOJ Construction – General Contracting (trim carpentry, cabinets, etc.) and new home construction
• Common Wealth Construction – This is a high-end construction company located in Savannah, Ga.
• Anything Builders – The name says it all
* Heartwood Design Co. Warsaw, Mo. – Architectural millwork and casework shop established in 2006 in Warsaw, Mo.
* Steven’s Odd Jobs – They have a white van with red and black lettering and they tow a white trailer behind the van. They have been seen recently in the Hamburg, New York area supporting their “brothers” in the reconstruction of the old “Common Ground” Bakery in Hamburg New York. I suspect that they at some point in the future will be reopening the site as a Yellow Deli.
• Evergreen Construction – General Contracting (trim carpentry, commercial installation of doors and hardware) Located in Hillsboro, Va.
• Common Ground Café in Warsaw, Missouri
• Yellow Deli Restaurant in Rutland, Vt
* Common Sense/Yellow Deli in Island Pond, Vermont
* Blue Blinds bakery – Plymouth, Mass
• Yellow Deli Restaurant in Oak Hill, NY – Reopened July 10, 2013 to serve the unwary and unknowledgeable masses lethal doses of mind control!
• Yellow Deli in Oneonta, NY
• Yellow Deli Restaurant in Boulder, Co
• Yellow Deli Restaurant in Vista, Ca
• Yellow Deli Farm Stand- Valley Center, Ca
• Yellow Deli in Chattanooga, Tenn
• Yellow Deli Heritage House – Pulaski, Tenn
• Maté Factor – This is the TT Company that imports and packages yerba maté which they also produce in Brazil (again with free labor). This company sells yerba maté through many non TT distributors as well.
• Maté Factor Café – Direct sales of maté factor products. This company makes no direct reference to being a Twelve Tribes owned organization – new
• Common Sense Market – This is the TT whole-foods store in Plymouth, Mass
• The Parchment Press – This is the TT print shop in Vista, Ca. ???
• Elad Products – High quality children’s clothing
• Simon the Tanner- Island Pond, Vt. Cobbler Shop and shoe store. Outfitter stores along the Appalachian Trail and throughout the Northeast.
• Simon the Tanner – Lancaster, NH
* Currently the former Common Ground Bakery in Hamburg, New York is being remodeled into a Yellow Deli Café. It is not known at this time when the café will open to draw in the unwary and unknowledgeable (concerning the Twelve Tribes cult). Don’t let a scrumptious sandwich fool you. They are here to take over your mind as they employ mind control tactics. I should know I am a former member!
Twelve Tribes US Farms
• Morning Star Ranch – Valley Center, Ca
* The Basin Farm – Bellows Falls, Vt
• Common Sense Farm – Cambridge, NY
• Stoneybrook Farm – Hillsboro, VA
• Gladheart Farm – Asheville, NC
• Stepping Stone Farm – Weaubleau, Mo
Twelve Tribes International Farms
• Fairfield Farm – Chilliwack, BC Canada
• Mount Sentinel Village Farm – South Slocan, BC Canada
• New Sprout Farm – Merville, BC Canada
• Preserved Seed Farm – Czech Republic
• Peppercorn Creek Farm – Picton, NSW, Australia
* Stentwood Farm – Devon, UK
Twelve Tribes International Businesses
• Sentido Común – The TT Common Sense Store on Spain
* Tea room at Stentwood Farm – Devon, UK
• Common Loaf – Bread and baked goods store in Devon, England
• Hofladen at Klosterzimmern – Germany
• Tribal trading Catalog – Online tribal trading catalog
• De tribu a tribu- Tribal trading outpost in Spain
• Tribal Trading De-Tribal Trading outpost in Germany
• Tribal Trading Fr – Tribal trading outpost in France
• Tribal Brazil – Tribal trading outpost in Brazil
• Natuerlich Gemeinsam – TT natural products from Germany
* Common Sense Storehouse Teahouse and bakery – Winnipeg, Canada
• Maté Factor of Canada – Canada’s largest importer of yerba maté-new
• Maté Factor of France- France’s largest importer of yerba maté – new
• Maté Factor of Germany – Germany’s largest importer of yerbe mate – new
• Tribal Brasil – Organics – Organic food supplier including yerba mate –new
Maté Factor/Preserved Seed/Yellow Deli and Common Grounds locations – new
• Maté Factor – Manitou Springs, Co
• Maté Factor – Ithaca , NY
• Yellow Deli – Chilliwack, BC, Canada
• Common Ground Café – Hyannis , Mass
• Common Ground Café in Courtenay, BC, Canada
• Common Ground Bakery at Razorback – Picton, NSW, Australia
• Yellow Deli – Katoomba NSW, Australia
• Café Chão Comum/Common Ground café – mauá da serra, Brazil
• Preserved Seed Café – Nelson BC, Canada
• Preserved Seed/Semilla Preservada – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Peacemaker Ship – Sails to many US ports and perhaps around the world spreading their “gospel” drawing in gullible persons to the Twelve Tribes.
* The Peacemaker sailing vessel is currently docked for the winter on Tonawanda Island in North Tonawanda, New York (north of Buffalo, New York)
Businesses that have closed or who’s Website are Down:
• Impaktgrafik.com – High impact website development
• Basketlights.com – Charming hanging basket lights and lamps
• Kombucha tea is the factor for good digestion and a healthy sense of wellbeing.
• The Commonpot.com – hand-thrown stone ware pottery from southern California
Request for assistance: The Twelve Tribes is considered a unique kind of tax exempt business the IRS classifies as a “501 (d),” under a small subparagraph of the tax code created for “religious and apostolic organizations.” Only a handful of organizations qualify and are categorized as a 501 (d).