Tabitha's Place

Humanity Press/April 8, 1997

Yesterday morning, the police were sent to a local cult "Tabitha's Place" located in the Pyrenees. This intervention was launched after the death of a baby on Thursday.

The group is considered very unorthodox. The parents were investigated over the weekend by the prosecutor when he discovered the child was suffering from malnutrition and through non-assistance endangering a child.

Yesterday about 40 police officers, 12 doctors, interpreters and prosecutor surrounded the castle where the commune had settled. The police verified the medical condition of 70 to 80 children in the group, which totals 200 people.

Prosecutor Jean-Pierre Dreno announced yesterday that there was no evidence of child abuse. No immediate action will be taken against the commune. He also stated, "We have found with the death certificate of the child, documents concerning commune sanctioned bodily punishments. We assumed there was foul play and this is why we're here today."

The investigation of little Raphael [the dead child] is not yet abandoned and many members of the commune will be questioned by Judge Thierry Pons.

Raphael, 19 months old, only weighed 10 pounds and suffered an abnormal heart condition, which was never operated on. The cult refuses any form of medical treatment. Children in a Vermont branch of the cult do not attend school and are not allowed to play with toys They are considered by the adults as a means to attain the "power of God." The group is self-sustaining, preaching the bible and selling fruits and vegetables at a local market.

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