According to the Britannica Dictionary, a cult is 'a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.'

Is there a cult in your hometown? Are they operating a business you may have frequented and didn't realize it was run by a cult? There is a deli in Coxsackie, and 3 other New York locations, that many say is run by a cult.

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The Yellow Deli currently has 29 locations around the world, including Coxsackie, Oneonta, Oak Hill and Itaca, New York. If you ask anyone about this eatery, many will say 'The place run by that cult? The food is great but yeah it's allegedly a cult'.

A quick look at the 'About Us' section of the Yellow Deli website tells you, among other things, that you are welcome to stop in for a sandwich but you are also encouraged to 'discuss the deeper issues of life'.  


I had lunch at the Yellow Deli in Oneonta and was immediately aware of the religious overtones in the restaurant. Religious pamphlets, educational and informative leaflets about the beliefs of the Twelve Tribes. - Anonymous

The Twelve Tribes own the Yellow Deli chain and are a self-described spiritual nation. Members of these self-governing tribes include families and individuals that live together in homes and on farms.

Over the years, according to the Cornell Daily Sun, the Twelve Tribes and their businesses have encountered questions and criticism regarding they way they operate. Here are some alleged issues:

  • 2022 accused of requiring new members must sign over ownership of all of their possessions
  • Accusations of child abuse
  • Anti-LGBTQ
  • Child Labor issues

Is the Yellow Deli run by a cult? While you ponder that question I will leave you with this from comedian Jaron Myers about the deli following a recent show in Oneonta.

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