- The Documentary -

In summer 2015, Manuel - a student of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main - did a field research in a community of the religious movement "Twelve Tribes", commonly known as a brutal and dangerous cult.


His aim was to examine the relation between this special "self-established" culture and the religious characteristics of the group. To that end, he stayed in one of their communes for about eight weeks, in a remote town at the foot of the Catskill Mountains in the state of New York, USA.


He documented his stay with a video camera. The resulting footage was cut short into the film "Twelve Tribes Project". This production is a document of dread - a shocking insight into a world of violence, deep in the heart of evil. Or not.



Note: This text does not necessarily give an accurate representation of the film it introduces and/or the religious group "Twelve Tribes". For more information please watch the film.



A film by Manuel Steinert


Running time: 95 min.

Language: English/German

Release year: 2015

Original format: Digital 1080p/50fps


Premiere: 4. Marburg International Ethnographic Film Festival 2015 „One With A Movie Camera“ (11/01/15)




All recordings in this film were made with the consent of the shown or concerned persons.


This film was not produced on behalf of the religious community "Twelve Tribes". Also no influence was exercised on the content and the intention of the film by their members.


This film is copyright-protected. Public performance and/or modifications of the film (or parts of it) and the content on this site without consent of the producer are prohibited. In case of questions please use the contact form.


We very much value your feedback and would like to read your critical views on the film and/or the topic.

Please formulate your contributions in objective and constructive terms.

Insulting and virulent contributions will not be published.

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Comments: 3
  • #1

    David T Pike aka Dahveed Yathed, Ex-Yathed and Nabashalam (Wednesday, 23 March 2016 01:10)

    you have just shown the nice side of the TT and I am sure that is all they showed you too. You should talk to Wolfram Kuhnigk , the German reporter who actually filmed the "disciplining" Switching of young children. Us ex-members love seeing this but it is not the whole picture and you cannot actually see the whole picture when your inside the frame... I was in the TT for seven years and ever since I left I started working for http://factnet.org/ and am now the director and editor for the site. There are many TT Ex sites one must study before considering this group... http://yattt.blogspot.com/ http://www.twelvetribes-ex.org/whyileft.html http://www.goodmanson.com/church/is-the-twelve-tribes-a-cult/ http://cultbustersgalactica.yuku.com/topic/61#.VvHdl_hJk2w http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2702-twelve-tribes and for Christians thinking about joining... http://christiananswers.net/q-aiia/letter-messianiccommunity.html If anyone has questions about the group I would glad to give you truthful answers... Email me at nabashalam@yahoo.com Shalom! :)

  • #2

    dr joe hawkins (Saturday, 16 April 2016 23:38)

    well done documentary , but not very academic or really to the truth. the twelve tribes prides itself in their own writtings to mislead government officials, and the public. which they do very well, which they did with you here. you are showing aspects of the group that are OBVIOUS, a good academic and a good documentary would show not just two sides but many sides, this shows one side. but i respect the efforts. you should talk to the women , the mothers who burried their dead children in the back yard and are not allowed to have medical care, and not even allowed to know where their own child was burried. the deep stories of the twelve tribes has yet to fully be told to the world. on this web site ......... question12tribes.com...........you will see on the front page 17 professional documentaries telling a story that is different from what the twelve tribes claim. since you claim to be a academic why not also read the child training manuals on that site, the twelve tribes dont want anyone to read that, speaks to hitting children "1200" times, ( second child training mannual 'stone kingdom" chapter) . the twelve tribes does not allow its members to have a 'critical thought' you are not allowed to say anything negative inside the cult/closed community. that is why everyone is so falsly happy there. anyone reading this that would like to share more deep true information, please contact me at ..............drjohawkins@gmx.com
    i hope the author of the documentary contacts me, i have some important information to share with them.
    kind regards,

    dr joe hawkins

  • #3

    w.h. (Sunday, 17 April 2016 19:20)

    I appreciate the sensitivity that you had in creating this video. I lived in the TT for about 10 years and left some years ago. There are some things that I miss, but for the most part, I am glad to be able to live my life on my own and be free of the constant judgement I felt living there. The TT really do have love, or, at least, some members do. Some people are drawn to the TT because they see an opportunity to have power and influence.
    I appreciate your work on this documentary. I think, though, that the TT is more dangerous than it appears in what you presented. The authority of the "government" there ends up being destructive to everyone in the community, including the government members themselves. Leaders have an unnatural authority over the lives of other people. This weighs like a stone on anyone with a heart that feels. The fragile and innocent are crushed under this weight and the power hungry rise to the top and endure and grow with every step of increasing power. There are multiple layers of deception inside the community, that will never be evident to outsiders. The image they present to outsiders is yet another deception.