I just read a 500 page book written by a young woman who lived Amish most of her life. It's a sad tale really because her abusive stepfather made her dress Amish first and pretended to be Amish, but made her live with him and Mom and Sis on a deserted mountain while he abused her in every way and told her that the police won't help her because the police don't believe that the Amish do anything wrong. When she did go to the police, that's exactly what she was pretty much told. Now this family was not really Amish. They just were forced to dress Amish and read about the Amish so that they would be disguised as Amish if the authorities ever visited their deserted mountain home where they were all so badly abused by stepfather and their own mother. Amish clothing and claiming "this is our way/our religion" got the stepfather out of much trouble and he never did pay for anything he did, and he did a lot, not only to her, but to her sister, his mother and his sister-in-law, all who lived with him and his crazy wife who just wanted to collect SSI on the people who lived there. It worked. Then the stepfather decided to really punish them and this girl and her sister were actually sent to live with the Amish. Stepfather thought of it as a punishment, but the girls actually liked it better there than with him so they never returned. But they did see some atrocities in Amishville too and I wanted to share what the writer of this memoir disclosed as it shocked me. Not sure why. That was the interesting part. The Amish do the same horrible and good things all people do. The difference is that even crimes such as murder are never reported to the authorities. The church may put a six week Baan on the offending member, but it is up to the others to "forgive" no matter how severe the crime. Men are dominanat. If they sexually abuse a woman, the woman is seen at fault and nothing happens to the main and nobody EVER trusts or goes to the authorities. They are brainwashed into being terrified of anything English an d also are brainwashed to think that if they disobey the church or become anything except staying Amish they will go to hell and they really believe it. They are surrounded by like-minded people. The idea that the Amish get to try English living as a teen, to my surprise, is only done in a few Amish sects. Most never allow their kids to mix with the English. So the idea that this is common is false. The sect this woman and her sister were sent to never allowed their members to leave and mingle with the English unless they needed, say, a ride to a flea market to sell their wares. They did not take deathly sick children to doctors. Many kids died, but they were not documented and did not even have social security numbers. They were buried quietly with nobody knowing they died at all, except the Amish. One could be murdered and the same fate would be theres. The men cheat all the time, but the women have to forgive them and divorce is forbidden. In the family this young woman lived with, the man was poisining his wife and wanted to marry the young woman visitor and his only way out of a marriage was to murder her. When the young woman told the wife what her husband was doing, he confessed and the deacon forgave him and the wife still stayed with him saying, "I forgive him." HE HAD TRIED TO POISON HER AND ADMITTED IT! This young woman, at the very end of the book, did get away and leave the Amish, afraid she would now go to hell, but she thinks it was a good decision. She did go to the police about the man who tried to k ill his wife (and he had also raped HER), but they had already left the country and were somewhere in Canada with the Amish there. The Amish are also cruel to animals. One of the boys and his father loved to torture the pigs and when this young woman protested, the man told her to, "Shut up. It is just an animal. It is not human. It is not important." Really opened my eyes. When the young woman went to the cops the second time, and they were afraid to violate the Amish religious beliefs and told her that they never had any complaints from or about the Amish, the young woman asked, "They murder people and get away with it. Have you ever heard of an Amish family doing an autopsy?" The cop admitted he had not. All this talk about living off the grid prompted me to write about this book that had me enthralled. I had never thought of the Amish the way they were presented in this book. Of course, some were very nice, but in general the women have no voice and anything bad can happen there and the Amish do not involve the police and the police do not really make it their business to find out what is going on amongst the Amish. I will never think, "Life would be so easy to be Amish" again.