EXCLUSIVE: The Twelve Tribes, a controversial religious group and alleged cult that has been engulfed in allegations of abuse, kidnapping and murder, is set to be the subject of a new docuseries.
ITV America’s Good Caper Content has teamed up with journalist Nile Cappello, an exec producer on HBO Max’s docuseries The Way Down about alleged cult leader and diet program founder Gwen Shamblin Lara, for the series.
They will take the project to buyers soon.
The series will center on an investigation launched in 2017 by journalist Shelton Brown, who was hoping to learn more about the religious group behind The Yellow Deli, a restaurant in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. His lighthearted local investigation soon became an obsession to expose what he believes to be a powerful and insidious cult with a long history of predatory recruiting practices. Brown’s years of research and interviews with former and current Twelve Tribes members uncover allegations ranging from child exploitation to medical negligence, racism, sexual abuse, kidnapping and even murder.
Founded in Chattanooga in 1972 by former carnival barker and high school guidance counselor Gene Spriggs, the Twelve Tribes reputes itself as seeking the restoration of what its members believe to be the truest form of Christianity. The organization has grown to more than 3,000 followers who live and work in communal societies across the United States and abroad.
In 2021, Spriggs passed away, leaving the movement without a formal leader and facing an uncertain future. Most recently, a Twelve Tribes property was under investigation in connection with the Marshall Fire, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.
Good Caper is behind series including Oxygen’s New York Homicide, A&E’s BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer and Discovery+’s Fruitcake Fraud.
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