Posted by: ryan ()
Date: January 08, 2004 02:33AM

Is this where I say Hi I am new? Hi everybody it is very nice to meet you.

I am happy to find this site.

My family was Amish for centuries I suppose. My generation is the first gen. that was grew-up outside the bounds of the Amish Church.....

I have struggled alone trying to understand the effects the Amish Church has had in my life and on my thinking.

My mother told me there was no independant thinking encouraged or cultivated in the comunity she grew up in... every task, every chore and every thought was automatic....There was no thinking or reasoning or basis for anything, the only reason given for ever doing anything was "this is what we do". The leadership discouraged independant reading of the scripture and no formal education was allowed beyond the 8th grade. The comunities shunned others and no outside ideas are alowed within the communites. I recongize this as brain washing and mind control. I feel I am suffering from the programing my mother received and never fully recovered from. Growiong up I was unable to absorb any kind of information past the 4th grade. I just sat and stared at the other students... observing them then I droped out of the 9th grade. I also recognize that some of my children are running on automatic also.. I see it in them. My son (who has tremendous potential and is very intellegent) was dicharged from the military early because he "had his head in the clouds" I have been told we have ADHD.... but I have come to believe the problem stems from the mind control my family was under for generations.

So this site is more than exciting for me!

I have been looking for resources hoping to educate myself and my children on how to "think"

I must go now but I hope to be able to return very soon and examine every inch of this site.


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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 08, 2004 05:42AM

are like first generation immigrants to America: you're in the same situation as people who have grown up in an ancient, cloistered traditional culture in a third world nation, and now you're all trying to learn the thought patterns needed for life in a democracy, with a society that is based on science and information sharing.

Start learning to read about science. Take classes in American civics. You might find some good offerings at your local community college. Many of your classmates will also be new immigrants, and you may discover a heart felt rapport with them.

Even if you know how to read and write, I advise taking high-school level classes in composition. You will learn how to think, and how to sustain a line of reasoning. These are all skills one must learn and then practice--its just like body building at the gym. The more you do it the stronger your reasoning powers become.

In a computer class on Microsoft Word, our teacher was demonstrating how Microsoft programs give lots of different ways to do a particular function.

I piped up and said, 'Thats the American way. Offer lots of choices, so each customer can choose what he or she likes best. If Microsoft Word had been designed in the old Soviet Union, there would've been just one way to do each function--no options.'

You and your children have choices now. Its scary. Eventually you will find out its pleasurable. Welcome!

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Posted by: ryan ()
Date: January 10, 2004 12:56AM

Thank you for your reply and your helpful advise.

Your suggestions are infact very timely and almost ironic. I am currently in a transistion period in my life and as soon as I am resetled I intended to start writing classes.

As for civics...... and political theory.... I have already done as you suggested. I have a burning curiosity of the differnt forms of world government. Learning of Hitler and Jim Jones were the first sparks of brain activity that I experienced. I also enjoy learing about different cultures so I had already concluded what you said... I am like a first generation imagrant. But you confirming it is encouraging to me.I tried to tell my family but they just think I am crazy.. They think they are as American as anybody else.

In fact we are actually more like early American colonist droped out of a time warp! (I guess that is the same as "cloistered traditional culture")

These traditional values such as rugged individualism and the puritian work ethic have been seared into my thought processes and because of the first hand experience I have had with these ideals and seeing them in action, I am a firm believer in traditional capitalism and such.. but that is for another conversation.
(btw I think America is now is evolving towards facism but I cannot say for sure)

Final thought.
I realize there has been many disadvantages to my upbringing but there are many advantages I wouldn't trade for anything.

I feel my situation has left intact that sort of child like curiostity that drives humans to explore and understand the world around them. Sadly I see this instinct has been dulled in those around me...... I believe television is the killer of couriosity in our society. Also I believe it is an instrament of brainwashing by the powers that be also I believe it robs us of our own individuality.

I feel my childhood has left me free to be truely unbiased. I feel like I came into adulthood as a blank slate! I am a seeker of truth and knowledge and I really don't care if the truth overthrows everything I had once believed to be true. I have an insatiable craving for the truth and understanding.... what ever form it takes.

Thank you again for your thoughts and helpful ideas. I hope to return to this forum soon.


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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 10, 2004 12:16PM

...as a child you probably interacted with a wide age range of people--you were not segregated in a child care setting.

You probably had lots of jobs around the house and farm which meant, from a young age you learned to take direct action to help your family.

You got outdoors. You handled tools. You worked on tasks from start to finish. You were in nature.

Most kids today experience much of life through just the printed page, TV, and the computer screen.

But you made the jump from a 16th/17th century culture to that of the 21st century. That is a staggering leap.

Please consider writing a journal to reflect on your experiences. It may be also be something your children and grandchildren will appreciate.

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Posted by: Dervish ()
Date: January 10, 2004 11:51PM

"Please consider writing a journal to reflect on your experiences. It may be also be something your children and grandchildren will appreciate."

Heck, I bet if he could put enough information together, and make it a smooth read, you could make it into an actual book. It would be very difficult, but I don't think there's ever been an ex-Amish account of what the lifestyle is like. A lot of people might be interested.

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Posted by: Rookie ()
Date: February 03, 2004 08:34AM


What good was there in the Amish? Most of my information unfortunately comes from the movie "Witness" and a bit I have read here and there.

Some good, to me, seems that they are very peaceful people. Also, very family oriented.

I wonder about the cost/benefits. Peace, no drug problems, divorces, stable, healthy people vs. giving up a big sense of individuality.

I guess the Amish are under the radar since people don't, as far as I know, go and join the Amish like other cult groups like Scientology. Therefore you don't have disaffected family members complaining.


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Posted by: Prasadam Das ()
Date: March 02, 2004 12:04AM

I strongly encourage you to write a book about your experiences even if you feel you lack the writing skills or don't plan on getting it published. I know that your children would find it wonderful to read and know about their heritage but if you were to get it actually edited and properly published you could really help a lot of people. Just an idea! Anyway, I hope that things continue to open up so nicely in your life. Happy explorations.

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Posted by: Shalom Shalom ()
Date: July 19, 2004 09:06PM


I am very interested in you & your family's account of leaving the Amish lifestyle. I have never known of anyone to leave that lifestyle; but then, I have never personally known anyone within that culture, either.

I would like to learn more about how things are going for you & your family. Like everyone else has said, I think you could write a fantastic book about all of this. I love to write; and, though I do not have professional experience, I would be happy to help you write, if you wish to record your experiences, thoughts, & life progressions and would like some assistence.

I saw some of your other posts; in one, you apologetically mentioned your current spelling skills. Your writing is far better than many folks out there already, and your pure intentions shine through the minor mistakes. And, a desire for self-imrovement is always respectable. :)

Good luck, and congratulations on your accomplishments thus far!

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Posted by: Toni ()
Date: August 11, 2004 07:07PM

When I lived in the midwest, I had some Amish friends and I learned to quilt from the Amish. Really enjoyed talking with them, were very candid. maybe it helped that i'm a midwife? I also agree r.e. TV, etcs detrimental affects.
There's an excellent DVD documentary available in some video stores, won awards at Cannes, about Amish youth deciding to leave or remain in the community. It applies directly to issues of leaving a cult. BTW, I was raise in a cult, and left it, my parents still in. My (grown) children really enjoyed the DVD also, seeing the analogy to our family history.
DVD "Devil's Playground"

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