Sabbathday Lake Colony — 21st Century
the story unfolds...


Abbreviations Used in this Report:

SDL:        Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community,  New Gloucester,   Cumberland County,  Maine.
USOS:    The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc. a.k.a. The MODERN Shakers.
BASH:     Brother Arnold S. Hadd, current leader and spokesman at Sabbathday Lake.
    The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing a.k.a The EARLY Shakers.


It is amazing that seekers and discerners have so many public resources available as free information on the Internet .  As the Lord leads each of us on our path, it is always best to be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves before making decisions or taking action.

It has been over 170 years since SDL split from the beliefs held by the EARLY Shakers.  Just as the reader would understand that one who calls himself a Christian today, is nothing like the EARLY Christians, just so it is with those who call themselves Shakers today. 

Where has SDL's worldly path taken them?   If you are led to explore any of the recent on-line informational links below that pertain to the remaining MODERN Shakers at Sabbathday Lake, always ask the the Spirit of Truth for discernment.  You may be quite surprised at what you find; we certainly were.    Our prayer is that you will not only come away with Wisdom, but that you will also be guided and blessed by the Most High. 


Report with Links to SDL Information of Interest

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
The Official Web-site of the United Society of Shakers at SDL. 

Mailing address: 
707 Shaker Road   
New Gloucester, ME
View the current version of the public image of SDL, and get a glimpse of all the activities supposedly accomplished by the remaining occupants at SDL, who portray themselves as the last Shakers on Earth.  These MODERN Shakers appear to be a very busy group.

Look carefully into the web site's portrayal of the lives, scope of activities and workload of the MODERN Shakers at SDL. (According to the site, there are currently 4 people, one novice, one Brother, i.e. Arnold Hadd, and two  elderly Sisters, Frances Carr, and June Carpenter). 

Notice that in the Support/Make A Gift section, there is a great emphasis on bringing money into the coffers of SDL; that section pan-handles site-visitors to: 1. make a gift of cash;  2. set up a monthly offering;  3. make a gift of appreciated securities, {i.e. stocks or bonds}4. make a tribute in memory of someone else; 5. make gifts of tangible property;  6. bequeath cash, securities, real estate and/or personal assets when you die; 7. sign up to be a volunteer;   8. sign up with your company's matching gift program so SDL can get twice what you give them!  The USOS's web site is a, and it certainly lives up to the Internet-world's definition and expectation of it being a very COMMERCIAL web site — a place where money changes hands. 

We were also surprised and disturbed by the Vocations section where SDL lists their new MODERN Shaker definition of what a person must be in order to qualify for SDL membership, inviting people to apply only if they are — of sound mind, good health, single,  age 18-55,  free of debt, and have no dependents or other involvements.   One group who reviewed SDL's Vocations section commented,  We could not get over this;  as to how they can play God in choosing who can and can't become a Shaker... and who is to judge that one can't become a Shaker because he/she turned 56 years old and God forbid if you are married and have a family!  Also at SDL, there is the expectation for novices to labor for the colony for the necessary period until they either decide to leave, or until they are accepted or rejected by the remaining colony members...currently that number is 3.  If accepted to full membership, they are then expected to complete the transfer of all their worldly resources to the United Society of Shakers of Sabbath Day Lake a.k.a. the Church.  They must also sign an agreement saying that, should they leave, they waive any claim for wages for their time and effort at SDL.

How very different are the MODERN SDL Shakers from the genuine EARLY Shakers of the USOB (United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing) who, according to our sources, accepted infants, orphans, children, entire families, the elderly, the maimed, the sick, the poor, and the destitute along with the recurring Winter Shakers, who only joined to get out of the cold!  The EARLY USOB Shakers only turned away those who were guilty of such crimes that merited a just and legal punishment by the world, in which they would have to do first before becoming a Shaker.

Friends of the Shakers

Mailing address for the Friend's web site: 
707 Shaker Road   
New Gloucester, ME

A tax-exempt organization established by the USOS in 1974 for the support and preservation of the ongoing Shaker tradition at Sabbathday Lake.

It appears that some faithful, good-hearted folks have, for many years, been helping out at Sabbathday Lake.  Their web-site shows that currently an individual would pay annual fees to become and remain a Friend of the Shakers;  the Friends are called upon at various times throughout the year to go to SDL to do service as volunteers on special days determined by SDL.  In return they receive certain benefits at SDL and have their own newsletter... Also noticed —  a Life-Membership  can be purchased for $1000 for the same privileges.  Their contact address is the same address as the colony's web-site.

We Will Sustain the Structure: Shakerism 101
Lecture by:
Brother Arnold Hadd

BASH's personal mailing address: 
707 Shaker Road   
New Gloucester, ME

June 14, 2014  A Video  Lecture by Brother Arnold Hadd at the Farnsworth Art Museum
with Michael Komanecky, Chief Curator
1 hour, 19 minutes, Vimeo

Arnold Hadd presents his own polished and personal version of Shaker history, full of banter, wisecracks, and sadly, some derogatory remarks about Ann Lee, other early Shakers, and  some of the other colonies. 

He also relays his own conclusions about why Shakerism deteriorated to its present state.   The many changes that happened over time, he says, were due to various leaders making Shakerism into their own image.   BASH says that the individual communities became cliquish, unwilling to admit adults who might bring change.  Hadd does not, however, acknowledge that the very same thing may have happened at Sabbathday Lake, even though he admitted, In the 36 years I lived there {SDL}, 30 people have tried the life; they've gone so far into the system to actually say, 'I want to become a Shaker', they have not had the force or where-with-all to stay Shakers.

The last third of the video is a Question & Answer session that is most interesting.  Among other facts, it reveals that the paying visitors who come to SDL are greeted and ushered about by trained guides who are not Shakers at all; these guides recite what they have learned from scripts. Hadd's contact address is the same address as the colony, which is the same address as the colony's web-site, which is the same address as the Friends of the Shakers.

The Last of the Shakers? Unshaken

Mailing address for Sabbathday Lake Colony
707 Shaker Road   
New Gloucester, ME

October, 2014  Down East, The Magazine of Maine — a lengthy article about the SDL Colony featuring Brother Arnold Hadd. 

In this long magazine article, Brother Arnold S. Hadd, BASH, again speaks for SDL, practicing his people skills, telling his entertaining stories and interacting with the critters throughout the tour of the farm. Especially touching is the section about the two remaining elderly sisters who are no longer able to keep up with the kitchen work, so Hadd is now also the official cook.  Pictures of the three colony members are included along with brief histories of how they each ended up at SDL.

This Down East magazine article also revealed that Frances Carr was taken in as a child to a Shaker Community and stayed until old enough to join.  We were saddened to learn of her dabbling in the mushy novels of Nora much for the sexual purity of the thoughts and mind.   These MODERN SDL Shakers claim celibacy; the fruit we see in this revelation seems to be rather tainted. 

A Conversation with Brother Arnold
November 5, 2014  — another revealing Video from the Farnsworth Art Museum with Michael Komanecky, Chief Curator doing a fine job of managing the interview and a long Q & A session.
1 hour, 10 minutes. Vimeo

Arnold Hadd describes his life, ancestry, religious background and it becomes clear how he ultimately became the spokesman for SDL, who spins the entertaining stories, gets the laughs and manages those who would inquire about what really goes on at SDL. During the long Q & A period, he is pinned down by some questions from the audience who ask pointed questions;  he finally admits to being the the long-standing Elder in control at SDL (along with Eldress Frances Carr).  Although he is a practiced performer, has a silver tongue, is adept at double-speak, and is an experienced handler of people, he fumbles some of his answers during the Q & A, and he even downright lies about the financial condition at SDL. (See Video between 1:06 and 1:09).

It seems that things may not be what they have appeared to be at Sabbathday Lake.

A Few Good Shakers Wanted May 3, 2015  — Article is subtitled:
Last few members hope young African-American novice can revive religion's communal society.  
This on-line article from Al Jazeera America was authored by Kevin Williams, who presents an overview of information gathered from other sources in addition to Arnold Hadd, although BASH's input is apparent in the story.  Introduced is the new novice at SDL, Brian Burke, who Hadd is shown to be making use of and grooming in a variety of ways.  

Maine Secretary of State

Corporate Summary for the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc. with Links to their Filings.

As of October, 2015, this link reflects that the Clerk/Registered Agent of SDL's own Corporation, the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc. is Frances A. Carr, now 88 years old, one of the three remaining MODERN Shakers at SDL who is usually referred to publicly as Sister Frances, but who has been, in reality, the Eldress for decades.   It is known that Francis Carr is now very frail, both physically and mentally, so perhaps this position, the corporation's Clerk/Registered Agent, will also be taken on by BASH in the near future.

Real Estate Tax Book, New Gloucester, Maine For a look at the New Gloucester Real Estate holdings of the United Society Of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc. in acreage, buildings, assessed value of each, and taxes paid on each for the tax year 2014-2015  See pages 455-456 of the pdf document.

Here is a Summary of what you will find when the New Gloucester holdings are added together: 
According to the Tax Book for 2014 - 2015, the United Society of Shakers of Sabbathday Lake owns 1,384.64 Acres of land [only 2 with buildings] having a Total Assessed Value of  $4,138,900.  The USOS also received a tax-exempt allowance of $1,970,100.  for those holdings on which they paid NO tax.  For tax year, 2014 - 2015, in New Gloucester, the USOS paid Total Taxes of $25,447.60 on their remaining Real Estate holdings .

Note:  SDL owns properties in both Cumberland and Androscoggin Counties.  This summary does NOT include USOS's other holdings in adjacent Poland, Maine.   During his November 5th, 2014 video interview,  Hadd mentioned that SDL has to care for a total of 1800 acres and 18 buildings altogether.

IRS Form 990's  — United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.

Mailing address for the USOS
707 Shaker Road   
New Gloucester, ME

For a look at some recent Federal Tax Returns filed by the USOS of SDL, (a tax-exempt corporation operating for over 40 years) — use Guidestar's basic search-box; then search on the words, United Society of Shakers.
This is very enlightening information. and we encourage you to do your own confirmation:  As a sample, we looked at the IRS Form 990 tax return for 2013  filed by the United Society Of Shakers, a 501 (c)(3) Corporation.

On Page 1 of the IRS Form 990 were these facts about SDL:   
~  Gross Receipts  $1,144,991.
~  15 Employees.
~  95 Volunteers.
~  Paid Salaries, Benefits  $189,539.
~  Total End-of-Year assets  $3,859,280. and Net assets  $3,816,205.
~  Total Revenue for 2013  $585,367.  and Total Expenses  $347,675.
On Page 7 are found the SDL Corporate Officers, Directors, Trustees, etc.of the United Society of Shakers which include among others...
    Sister Frances A. Carr — President/Treasurer.
    Brother Arnold S. Hadd — Vice President.
    Sister June Carpenter — Trustee.
On Page 11 were these facts:
~  USOS's End-of-Year value of their Publicly Traded Securities  $2,560,723.
~  Cash on hand at End-of-Year  $14,510.
~  Savings and Temporary  Cash Investments  $205,233.

Does this look like the always poor Sabbathday Lake consistently described by BASH in public interviews? 

The USOS corporation's contact address is the same address as the colony, which is the same address as the colony's web-site, which is the same address as the Friends of the Shakers, which is the same address as Arnold Hadd, who has said in his interviews that, once a day, he sets time aside to work on the mail and the emails...another aspect of the control that he exerts at SDL.

Breaking Shaker

A former SDL novice's personal experience and insights gained from inside the colony.  This old Wordpress page had entries made between October 16, 2012 and November 9, 2014.  This link will take you to a public, archived snapshot taken of the main page at Wordpress as of July 27, 2015.

This is recommended reading for anyone interested in what goes on behind the public facade of the members at Sabbathday Lake and it is mandatory reading for those serious about joining SDL's worldly version of Shakerism.

The Shaker Experience in America
by Stephen J. Stein, 1992 
Selections are available through Google Books; the book may be viewed at local Libraries,  via  inter-library loan,  or may be ordered through local or Internet booksellers.

This engrossing book is the first general history of the Shakers from the time of their origin in Eighteenth-century England to the present day.  A great deal of information about the evolution of the Sabbathday Lake Community in Maine is to be found in this book, particularly in the Chapter entitled, Ecumenical Shakers. You may find it to be a valuable resource.


When it comes to the review of this public SDL information, we must each rely on the Lord to discern where all this is coming from.   We cannot help but notice that Hadd has consistently implied that SDL has always been small, always been poor.  He still identifies himself as Brother Arnold when he deals with the public, when, in fact, he became the Elder or Leader at SDL in 1986.  It occurs to us that when someone is trying to elicit funds or recruit volunteers, using the word, Brother, (implying of the same rank) and conveying that SDL is small and  poor, may get better results than identifying oneself as Elder (of a higher rank) who is a controlling officer of SDL's corporation which has substantial revenue and assets.  Again, we notice that Arnold Hadd seems to have been less than transparent {truthful} with the public in a lot of ways. James 4, 7-10.  Ez. 33, 8,9.

So knowing this and digesting what we have been shown about Sabbathday Lake and its operations, it seems to us that these people clearly have a worldly agenda of their own which they diligently serve, and in doing so, they are attempting to gain a public advantage by portraying themselves to be the same as the the genuine EARLY Shakers of the USOB (United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing), whose beliefs, inventions, craftsmanship, and witness to the world were (and still are) so impressive and admired.  The MODERN SDL Shakers of the USOS (United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.) are not the same; they are just acting a part, pretenders. 

In fact, SDL diverged spiritually over 170 years ago from the genuine EARLY Shaker beliefs when their members refused to accept or heed the reproofs to the Shakers sent within God's messages.  They went their own way, giving lip-service to Christ, but in reality, managing their own lives among themselves.  They designed their own belief system that evolved over time as they became associated with various church denominations, adopted their practices, even accepted an outsider, an ex-Episcopalian, as their Elder and Leader, who had come into the colony after official legal Shaker membership had been closed.  After his unexpected death,  BASH, an ex-Methodist,  who also came into the colony after official legal Shaker membership had been closed, assumed the position as Elder.  As a result of this mixture, this compromise and dilution, the MODERN SDL Shakers of the USOS (United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.) are just pretending to be something they most assuredly are not.   The MODERN SDL Shakers of the USOS (United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.), when compared to the genuine EARLY Shakers of the USOB (United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing), are clearly spiritual impostors, currently  participating in all sorts of rituals and traditions that mimic those found in the counterfeit Christian churches of today. 

The encroachment of the powers of darkness into Shakerism was happening even at the time of the Era of Manifestations.   Calvin Green wrote in his biography, 1851, ... I found that a large portion of the young, especially the male part, in early manhood, had imbibed natural principles and tried to mix them with the gospel, to make it more popular like the world, and thus to avoid the cross against their natural propensities and worldly views.  These did not pretend to conceal that they thought themselves, a superior class to any that were ever in the Church, and they were confessedly combined to overrule what they called the superstition of the aged part, and being in a new order of customs, more congenial to their worldly views, still pretending, for a deceitful cloak, to be Shakers in a more rational order.  These, instead of being a life and strength to the body, and leading those younger than they into the gospel, they filled their minds with false views, which corrupted them, and gave them a leaning towards the world.  ... some who came in later instead of coming, to be taught and learn as in the school of Christ, though they believed that this institution was of a higher order than any in the world, yet they thought they could better it, by bringing in some of their own sentiments and customs, springing from natural wisdom.  They were not willing to leave behind all their views and habits, which were more congenial to the worldly sense.  They did not see the need of so much separation and singularity.  In short, such sought to be teachers ... 

Also, we all should be reminded that celibacy is not a guarantee that a person could not still be guilty of arrogance, domination, manipulation, control, envy, unforgiveness, jealousy, tale-bearing,  and other sins of the heart. Ez. 3, 18.  The Early Church had to deal with this Topic  No matter what a person does, or how long and how hard they try, they cannot do in themselves what only the true Spirit of Christ can do in them.  Any gospel that is based on a do-it-yourSELF salvation, is a counterfeit of the original gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sabbathday Lake is a tax-exempt corporate entity, the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc., which has been successful at operating below the radar for decades, gaining lots of free publicity, which is being used to entice paying customers to their doors who will pay admissions, buy products,  take courses, pay for seminars, pay for lectures, pay for workshops, or better yet, visitors are being lured into giving monetary donations or giving of their time as volunteers to be used as SDL management dictates.   People have a right to full disclosure before making donations, which sadly has been lacking at SDL.  Corporate bottom-line thinking usually brings with it, name-changes, obfuscations, and rebranding, along with free promotions and lots of nice-sounding propaganda.   That is something to keep watching at SDL in the future; it may already be happening.  SDL is clearly of the World. 1John 2, 15, 16.  &  James 4, 4.   

The Most High does not like cover-ups and neither should we.  Eph. 5,11.  Those who are His servants are to love and watch after His sheep as well as the goats.  If we see an enemy coming, and if we do not sound the alarm, then the blood of those who are harmed, is on us. Ez. 33, 6.  Once we are aware of the danger, our goal should be to see that the unwary members of the flock (or herd) are not manipulated or fleeced under false pretences.  This report is presented so that seekers will not be misled.  We hope and pray that you, Dear Reader, have gained a broader perspective after viewing it.



EPILOGUE from the Early Church
{on Testing the Fruit of a holy Man}

From Clement, the Disciple of Peter, the Apostle:

For, if a man be only in name called holy, he is not holy; but he must be holy in everything: in his body and in his spirit.    And those who are virgins rejoice at all times in becoming like God and His Christ, and are imitators of them.  For in those that are such, there is not "the mind of the flesh."   In those who are truly believers, and in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells —  in them "the mind of the flesh" cannot be: which is fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, the worship of idols, sorcery;   enmity, jealousy, rivalry, wrath, disputes, dissensions, ill-will;  drunkenness, revelry; buffoonery, foolish talking, boisterous laughter;  backbiting, insinuations;   bitterness, rage;  clamour, abuse, insolence of speech;  malice, inventing of evil, falsehood;  much talking, empty words, threatenings, gnashing of teeth, readiness to accuse, wranglings, disdainings, blows;  perversions of the right, laxness in judgment;  haughtiness, arrogance, ostentation, pompousness, boasting of family, of beauty, of position, of wealth, of an arm of flesh; quarrelsomeness, injustice, eagerness for victory;  hatred, anger, envy, perfidy, retaliation;  debauchery, gluttony, "overreaching (which is idolatry)," "the love of money (which is the root of all evils);"   love of display, vainglory, love of rule, assumption, pride (which is called death, and which "God fights against").   Every man with whom are these and such like things — every such man is of the flesh.  For, "he that is born of the flesh is flesh; and he that is of the earth speaketh of the earth," and his thoughts are of the earth.

The First Epistle of Clement On Virginity.
Chapter XIII.


Note: There is more collected material at PasstheWORD about counterfeit Christianity as it differs from the Early Church; this may be a subject that you are led to explore at another time.

Report commissioned by Pass the WORD Services
on behalf of Shaker Manuscripts On-Line.
Summer/Fall, 2015.