The scary story of the girl who escaped from the dark and cruel Amish community
The Amish are a traditional Christian fraternity known for their simple lives, their simple attire and their reluctance to embrace the many comforts of modern technology. Despite their differences, they are closely associated with the Mennonite church.
The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss Baptists in Alsace in 1693 under the leadership of Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as the Amish.
In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites immigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the more traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. However, a Swiss-Germanic dialect predominates in some communities of the Old Amish Order, especially in the US state of Indiana. As of 2000, more than 165,000 Old Class Amish live in the United States and about 1,500 live in Canada. A 2008 study showed that their population has grown to 227,000. In 2010 their population had grown by 10% in the last two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the west.
Amish church members begin with baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. This is required for marriage and when a person is associated with the church, he or she can be married by faith. Church parishes include an average of 20 to 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday at a member’s home. The parish is led by a bishop and several priests and deacons. The rules of the church, the Ordnung, must be obeyed by all members and cover most aspects of daily life. The rules include prohibitions or restrictions on the use of electricity, telephones, cars, and even clothing. Most Amish do not buy private insurance or participate in social security. As modern-day Baptists, members of the Amish church offer virtually no resistance and do not perform any kind of military service.
Members who do not comply with these community rules and are not persuaded to repent are expelled. Nearly 90% of Amish teens choose to be baptized and join the Church. Rumspringa is a process that enables teens to get out and get to know the world away from the Amish. Those who return become worthy members of the community. Amish church groups seek to maintain segregation from the non-Amish world. There is generally a strong attachment to church and family relationships. As a rule, they run their own schools in one room and interrupt the formal education in the eighth grade (age 13-14). They value rural life, manual labor and humility.
The Amish way of life is dictated by the Ordnung, which differs slightly from community to community, and, within a community, from region to region. Something that is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. No description of the Amish way of life and culture can be entirely adequate, as there are some generalities that apply to all Amish. Groups can be divided on issues such as the width of a hat, the color of the carriage, or other issues. The births of children, their upbringing and socializing with neighbors and relatives are the biggest functions of Amish families. All Amish believe that large families are a blessing from God. The Amish are one of the fastest growing populations in the world, averaging seven children per family.
As time goes on, the Amish are under pressure from the modern world. Issues such as taxation, education, laws and enforcement, and occasionally discrimination and hostility, present difficulties. The Amish way of life in general is increasingly different from that of modern society. In some cases, this has led to sporadic discrimination and hostility from their neighbors, such as throwing stones or other objects at Amish carts in the streets. Amish usually do not educate their children after the eighth grade, believing that the basic knowledge offered up to that point is sufficient to prepare them for the Amish way of life. Almost no Amish go to high school and college. In many communities, Amish run their own schools, which are usually one-room with young unmarried female teachers from the Amish community.
As all Amish come from the families of the 200 pioneers of the 18th century, their communities are plagued by very high rates of genetic abnormalities due to intermarriage. For the same reason, they have a very high child mortality rate, something that certainly does not discourage the faithful, since they attribute it to the “will of God”. Amish refuse to undergo prenatal screening or premarital testing for the degree of kinship of the future couple.
There are many people in the Amish communities, especially young people, who do not feel as much as they struggle that they can continue to live in a world clinging to the ways and customs of hundreds of years ago. Those children of Amish families who decide that they want another, more autonomous and short life for themselves must suffer apart from the terrible psychological pressures of their family and the aphorism of their entire community to which there is absolutely no possibility to return, if they decide that they do not want to be baptized and stay close to their own people.
A documentary that made a big splash in America a while ago and is titled “Breaking Amish” examines the lives of 5 young people who were stubborn and finally managed to escape from the dark and cruel Amish society.
Kate Stoltzfuz is the one who became better known through the narration of the series and the one who managed to make her dream come true, then realized a career as a model and designer.
From Amish on the cover of Maxim.
In the teaser trailer of the series on the internet, we see a 21-year-old girl, Kate, unable to operate an elevator and a young 32-year-old man, Jeremiah, struggling to withdraw money from an ATM. We also see their awkward attempts to buy new, non-Amish, clothes. And special underwear!
Although at this stage no one knows the exact identity and origin of the protagonists, and whether they really come from an Amish society. But they certainly come from miles away from New York.
The 21-year-old aspiring model, the daughter of the bishop of her village, is trying to adapt to the technology of modern culture. She can’t understand the operation of her hotel’s plastic plastic key and her elevator is causing problems! The young girl had always dreamed of a career in fashion, but her strict father had forbidden any object of “vanity”, leading little Kate to paint her nails with markers. As he says on camera, “I just need to get away and find out who I really am.”
Meanwhile, Jeremiah leaves behind his girlfriend Amish to live life in the city. “I was adopted and I was thrown into this Amish stupidity, you know, it’s not that cool,” he has to say. He tells his girlfriend that he can not deny the opportunity to visit New York, an opportunity given to him by the network behind a reality show such as “Toddlers and Tiaras” (!!!). At one point he is shown struggling with an ATM and saying to the camera: “He has never used an ATM before, this thing started making money.”
At the same time, Rebecca, the youngest cast in her 20s, is experiencing her own crisis. She struggles to endure even the air trip to New York, where according to her co-stars she cried and prayed. Like Kate, Rebecca dreams of becoming a model. She is described by the network as a “realist who wants to explore but understands the consequences of not finding a job and is responsible”. The young woman, who once shocked her family by punching a classmate at school, hopes to eat sushi while in New York, but above all, she hopes to fall in love.
Another character, 22-year-old Abe, is just tired of the daily monotony of his community. Although his elderly mother is supportive at first, he eventually travels to New York in a desperate attempt to lure her son, and others, back. The quarrel between the woman and the others is accompanied by the announcer saying: “One needs to have big balls to leave the Amish”.
The last character, 25-year-old Sabrina, is an adopted child of the Amish Mennonites, originally from Italy and Puerto Rico. Crying, she talks about the difficulties of leaving an Amish community and how she was told she would go to hell. She hopes to work in an Italian or Puerto Rican restaurant to learn more about her heritage, and I hope to find out about her parents.
The trailer closes with the group fooling around with the Big Apple skyscrapers and one of them shouting “I have never seen so many people go nowhere!”.