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THE ROBERTS GROUP PROFILE


GENERAL
The members are distributed in small, nomadic subgroups scattered around the United States. These range in size from one to a dozen or more persons. The membership of each subgroup changes frequently as the leader uses movement to prevent friendships from developing. When and where members will move is ultimately decided by Jim Roberts, AKA Brother Evangelist. A male with longevity called an Elder or older brother, is placed in charge of each camp or house. Each Elder takes orders from Roberts, the founder of the Roberts Group, who has the first and last word on all issues, hence the name we use, the Roberts Group. They believe they are the only true Christians and their way is the only path to salvation.

MISSION
The Roberts Group seeks to follow the teachings of the Old and New Testament as interpreted by Jim Roberts. Literal meanings have been given to passages in the holy writings, telling the members to forsake their families and pursue spiritual enlightenment. Jim Roberts has told the members that this means no contact with their flesh families whatsoever, unless of course it's approved by him. The King James version of the testament is always used. According to Roberts, all other translations are corrupt, as are all professing Christians outside the Roberts Group.

CHARACTERISTICS
The Roberts Group is identifiable in many ways. The modest dress is probably the most obvious. Men wear their hair short and have long, untrimmed beards. They also wear tunics that range in length from below the knees to mid-thigh length. Most are slit up both sides for ease of bike riding. The tunics are a solid color without designs. They usually, but not always, travel in pairs. Likewise, the sisters always wear dresses that hang to the ground, with long sleeves and no open necks. Sisters wear no decorative jewelry. Many times they wear hats or scarves on their heads; however, they never cut or braid their hair and never wear makeup. Sisters usually travel in pairs with a brother nearby.

Roberts Group members live a very puritanical life. Drug, alcohol, or tobacco use by any member at any time is not allowed. They are very careful not to break laws other than small infractions such as hitchhiking and minor trespassing.

They use some herbal medicines but there is practically no use of professional medical or dental care among Roberts Group members. They are taught that healing will come if their faith is strong thus even if healthcare were available, its use would bring the public guilt of faithlessness. Members who develop mental or psychological problems may be forsaken.

Bicycles are the key mode of transportation and provide an effective way of spotting members of the Roberts Group. Transportation from city to city is usually by drive-away cars, buses, or hitchhiking. Occasionally, brothers will ride bicycles between cities.

Housing is found when they move into an area by contacting the owner of an abandoned house and barter work for letting them occupy the structure. Many landlords are eager to have their property cleaned up and looked after in this fashion.

Food is gathered by contacting bakery, and restaurant, and grocery store proprietors, asking them to save the damaged and shelf-life expired discards from the day, and then collecting the items. The Roberts Group is very keen to the waste in this country, and feels that gathering food in this manner is a blessing.

Dumpster diving, taking discarded items from dumpsters, is another way of gathering food and necessary items. The derogatory label, Garbage Eaters, as applied to the Roberts Group, originates from this practice.

The function of the brothers is to gather the food, protect the sisters, and witness to people wherever they go. The sisters' duties are to cook, clean, sew, serve meals to the brothers, and witness. The women are subservient to the brothers. There is no sexual or intimate physical relationship of any kind among the sisters and brothers.

Hebrew or biblical names, such as Nevarah, Yoav, Ruhamah, and Rephaiah, are taken by many of the Roberts Group members. Yahweh and Elohim, the Hebrew names for God, and Yeshua, the name for Jesus, are used commonly by the Roberts Group in their writings and when witnessing.

One thing that sets this group apart from many others--no one is in it for the money.

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