Part 1: Torah becomes suicidal, then decides she wants to live.Part 2: Torah escapes in the night, moves to Montana, and spreads awareness.
"What are the most common misconceptions or myths about the Amish?Bonus: Torah preempts your misgivings about her statements, including discussions about language vs. dialect and rumspringa.
The Amish speak English (Fact: They speak Amish, which some people claim is its own language, while others say it is a dialect of German. Most people don’t know that Amish was only a spoken language until the Bible got translated and printed into the vernacular about 12 years ago.)
- Amish teens have a choice whether they want to remain practicing the religion. (False)
- Amish is only a religion (Fact: It’s a religion, culture, and language, etc.)
- Amish kids go to public school, or are taught similar courses (e.g., science) as public school kids
- The Amish are Mormons (False)
- The Amish have arranged marriages (False)
- Amish men have more than one wife (False)
- The Amish put all their income in the same pot, like a communist or socialist banking system (False)
- Cameras and music/musical instruments are allowed (False)
- The Amish are “peaceful gentle folk” (False)What were the positives of growing up Amish?
These experiences taught me self-reliance, self-preservation, and gave me the ability to relate to non-American familial cultures much better than I might otherwise.
- Growing up bilingual (Though I didn’t become fluent in English until after I escaped and I was always very self-conscious about my command of the English language)
- The emphasis on the solidarity of the extended family unit
- The emphasis on being hospitable to strangers, helping those in need, whether Amish or “English” (anyone who’s not Amish is “English,” no matter what language or culture he/she represents)
- Building your own houses, growing your own food, sewing your own clothes
The biggest negatives?
I consider these negatives as personal positives in a somewhat perverted or distorted way. Without having experienced what I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, shaped by the experiences I’ve had since. I always tell people that I’m thankful for having grown up Amish but that I’d never wish it upon anyone else."
- The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community
- Rudimentary education
- Physical and verbal abuse in the name of discipline
- Women (and children) have no rights
- Religion–and all its associated fear and brainwashing–as a means of control (and an extremely effective means at that)
- Animal abuse