Twelve Tribes Is Facing Multiple Child Labor Law Violations

Twelve Tribes Is Facing Multiple Child Labor Law Violations

The Twelve Tribes commune located in Cambridge, New York is facing multiple state child labor law violations. The group runs Common Sense Farms and has a soap factory where they manufacture high-end soaps and lotions. Inside Edition had a previous member of the group go back to the factory to document what was going on there.

Once inside the factory, she got footage of children as young as 10 years old working on the assembly lines packaging lotions and skin cream for brands like Acure and Savannah Bee, which are sold in many chains across America like Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, and Amazon. Outside the factory there were also kids working on the farm. They got a 6 year old boy on film picking potatoes and trying to handle a wheelbarrow.

The former members who were born into the Twelve Tribes, told Inside Edition how “beatings are a way of life every single day”. The other added “There are spankings and there are beatings. A beating is when you take all the force that is in your arms and you whip that rod until you arm is literally tired.” The rod that shes referring to is called the “rods of authority” which are thin bamboo sticks. A current member of the Twelve Tribes said “If a child isnt under control, they cant be taught. It takes training. It takes the rod of authority. It takes them being disciplined and spanked when they’re not obedient.”

The New York State Department of Labor found multiple violations involving 12 minors that were working in this factory. The Labor Department said “As a result of these violations, the DOL has opened cases that could result in significant fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.” The agency is now probing eight other Twelve Tribes communities across New York.


It’s crazy how something like this could happen right in our backyards. I’m hoping that with this investigation and news coverage that it will bring an end to all the child labor and abuse that has been going on in these communities for years.

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