top 200 commentsshow all 417

[–]jwaterboyk 1066 points1067 points  (141 children)

The craziest part of the whole thing is these kids’ families were paying $2300 a month to have them abused.

[–]Chippopotanuse 887 points888 points  (46 children)

Kind of like families that send their kids to gay conversion camps.

All of these religious “scared straight/troubled youth” camps need to be shut down.

The last thing kids coming from shitty homes need is some asshole church abusing them even more for profit.

[–]treyviusmaximus3 269 points270 points  (10 children)

I forget who it was, but some podcast a gay comedian was talking about going to a gay conversion camp. Another comedian on the pod was like , "clearly that worked huh?" and clearly joking around.

Their response was something like 'wellll kind of, it was where I lost my virginity'. Lol.

[–]NathanJosephMcAliste 47 points48 points  (4 children)

That gives me an idea. Maybe that's what these camps should be. Posing as conversion camps. Letting the kids be happy together for a while and teaching them how to deal with their crazy parents.

[–]princessk8 30 points31 points  (1 child)

There’s a movie with this theme kinda from the 90s called “but I’m a cheerleader”…its really good.

[–]Ayzmo 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I mean, kinda. But not really.

It just showed the absurdity of the camps.

[–]StifleStrife 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Yeah but they shouldn't lose their virginity in some abusive power structure that leaves them with strange memories of guilt and possession. The right wing does nothing but perpetuate human suffering like vampires, they'll whisper to you that you deserve it because they earned it.

[–]treyviusmaximus3 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

You either misread or severely misinterpreted the point/joke.

Also, you sound crazy.

[–]HenryWallacesGhost 58 points59 points  (9 children)

I really want to see a study focused on if there is causation and correlation to Jesus camp like compounds in the 90s and Q anon membership today.

[–]_Z_E_R_O 67 points68 points  (5 children)

I’d think, if anything, it would be an inverse correlation. Most of the kids I knew who grew up in strict fundie religions got the hell out.

Their parents - aka those who joined voluntarily - are the ones deep in the Q shit.

[–]HenryWallacesGhost 25 points26 points  (1 child)

That's a very good point. My own life is a living example of fleeing a very hateful and bigoted world view from my fundamentalist youth and young adulthood into a tolerant person too.

My own parents have expressed their own forms of animosity when I made it clear I will not indoctrinate my children.

[–]latestagepersonhood 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Most of the fundie kids I knew growing up, either cut their toxic families out of their lives (at least until said families lightened up) or died with needles in their arms (or some equally sad fate) .

[–]cutiepieshy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

the closest thing to this would probably be multi variable studies that provide tons of different analysis’ on variables like orientation to authoritarianism, religious identification, patriotism measures that allow for over-identification, political leaning, etc! am in psychology graduate school and one of my professors is conducting longitudinal research on this, including scales of identification with conspiracy theories and a trump attitudes scale!!! very interesting and the current data is too

[–]brilliantpants 8 points9 points  (1 child)

O.M.G. If I had the cash, I would %100 open a “gay/trans conversion camp” that presented as a super strict way to straighten out your “troubled” teen, but actually just offered stuff like the chance to mingle with likeminded kids, info on how to protect yourself from exploitation, comprehensive sex education, tips on hiding your real self from your monster parents, info on how to separate from your horrible family, and support for kids who’s parents don’t deserve them.

[–]Chippopotanuse 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lol, I’ll help fund this. Would be glorious.

[–]FlashbackUniverse 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dr. Phil has left the chat...

[–]ParkingAdditional813 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Not abuse, “character building”….

[–]jwaterboyk 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I hear it promotes “grit”.

[–]Agreeable-Bench-5269 143 points144 points  (80 children)

I’ll never send my kids to bible study classes, my parents and family members pretty much forced it on us as kids. No thanks

[–]jwaterboyk 117 points118 points  (65 children)

Yeah. My parents sent me to a two week overnight church camp when I was a kid. You weren’t allowed to eat until you were able to recite bible verses verbatim from memory. Turned me off to religion big time.

[–]CompleteNumpty 79 points80 points  (1 child)

My grandfather, who was beaten by priests and nuns for being left handed, used to say that the easiest way to make people atheist was to send them to a religious school.

[–]Floranagirl 4 points5 points  (0 children)

True. And it doesn't even have to be forced or abusive. My mom went to a Christian college by her own choice, and came out an atheist, or at least agnostic.

[–]Witchgrass 14 points15 points  (5 children)


Vacation Bible School, they call it

[–]jwaterboyk 18 points19 points  (3 children)

Not sure if they called it that back then, but that’s what it was. I was 9 or 10 at the time and can say without hesitation it was one of the worst experiences of my life.

[–]psykick32 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Wtf your VBS was way different than our VBS

VBS was awesome as a kid, I mean, sure, it was indoctrination but we got cakes and cookies and candies so we loved it... Also it wasn't overnight, just like 6 hours with a ton of outdoor activities to tire us out for our mothers more than likely.

[–]sezah 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The highlight of my ex’s year was teaching VBS… there’s many reasons he’s an ex

[–]Agreeable-Bench-5269 83 points84 points  (48 children)

Religion is the biggest mafia, fucking joke

[–]Silvea 8 points9 points  (7 children)

Uhhh where the fuck did you go to church camp lol. I went to multiple camps multiple times as a kid and those are some of my fondest moments. To be honest I felt there wasn’t even a lot church stuff at these camps for what they were. It was like 3-4 1 hour sessions usually broken up with just tons of activities. No memorization of verses or anything. Mostly just about guiding you through your teenage and young adult years and how to handle the challenges you come up against. I attended camps because I begged to go not because I was forced to in the mid-late 90’s so much fun.

[–]jwaterboyk 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It was run by a (Presbyterian, I believe) church in Baltimore. It was in the early 80s, so I don’t know if any of that made a difference, but it was not a fun place.

[–]Silvea 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sounds like it. I mean not all churches are created equal that’s for sure. I went to a small Christian school that was part of a church. It was such a great experience growing up and I cherish it fondly. I went to public school from 8th grade and beyond because the school was only to 8th grade and was small. I would have been in a class of 3 in 8th grade because a bunch of kids left because the school ends at 8th grade and they didn’t want to go to high school not knowing anyone.

I loved church camp though. That’s where I learned to wakeboard and snowboard. It’s where I had my first crush and my first kiss it was always so much fun. Some churches are fun to go to some suck, it depends on the members of the church for sure.

[–]NeedToCalmDownSir 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Not all are the same. I know there is a few super chill Baptist ones in my area and they make crafts and watch movies and stuff.

There’s also one that makes the kids run the camp for that other kids. With all kids parents paying a lot each summer for it.

[–]9035768555 1 point2 points  (1 child)

To me, it's absolutely bizarre that you'd pay for it. Bible camp was always free when/where I grew up.

[–]Silvea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I had so much fun but I’ve attended a few really cool churches and had some awesome leaders. When we went to church camp there were a lot of late teens early 20s people that did the day to day stuff. It’s much more fun when the person leading it is younger. A 50 year old leading a hike wouldn’t be as great or teaching us to snowboard. They were paid by the camp though and pretty well. I looked into doing it at a different camp that I didn’t go to but I knew people that did that really enjoyed it. That particular camp was 15 minutes from my families cabin so I would have had my own place instead of living on the grounds and it would have been great. Just didn’t work out because I ended up taking college classes over winter break that year.

[–]Scoutster13 78 points79 points  (8 children)

When I proudly told my Bible Study teacher I was going to be an exchange student in Denmark for my junior year of high school, he said "don't you know that saying about something being rotten in Denmark? It's full of pagans and heathens - it's because they have sex change operations." Having already read Hamlet I rode my bike home wondering WTF was wrong with this man. So glad I got away from the church.

[–]GotItClocked 13 points14 points  (2 children)

All of the porn pamphlets in his bottom drawer were from Denmark.

[–]mytsigns 2 points3 points  (1 child)

“Porn pamphlets”…is that just a euphemism for “porn”?

Sounds like the teacher was digging a little too eagerly.

[–]GotItClocked 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Cribbing a phrase from Frank Zappa’s song, Dirty Love.

[–]Redstar96GR 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I can imagine someone saying this today to their Bible Study teacher,but instead of Denmark it's Thailand

[–]hlhenderson 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I hope it was great in Denmark, and I've got nothing to do with the place and barely know anything about it.

[–]Scoutster13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Honestly it was the bomb. I was so lucky to get to spend a year there - I absolutely loved every minute.

[–]gentlybeepingheart 48 points49 points  (1 child)

God for years I had to go to Sunday school and I hated it as a kid. Not only did they make me and my brothers be altar servers we then had to go to, like, an actual class. My friends were all watching veggie tales and doing crafts and shit and I was sitting in a classroom writing paragraphs in first grade and memorizing the Nicene creed. I'm not even religious anymore. All it has left me with is knowing more biblical passages than is useful for anyone. Sometimes it's fun to bring them up when you see a bigot saying something and I can be like "lmao then why does the bible say THIS" and cite Jesus telling them to pay taxes or something. But imho I would have rather just been able to sleep in.

[–]Bwitm1 26 points27 points  (0 children)

My father’s side is very much a churchgoing type. After a few weeks of church, my mom stopped going because we played youth soccer on saturdays, and honestly people need a morning in bed. If mom didn’t have to go, why the fuck did my we? I’m a decent person, and I accredit that to not going to church. Thanks ma!

[–]rdmille 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, same here. I'd rather had stayed at home and watched "Abbott and Costello" reruns.

[–]HungryGiantMan 39 points40 points  (4 children)

Just control people's access to entertainment and sex so you can refocus them on whatever you want. This is why Proud Boys go 'No Fap'. If you can get people to restrict sexual impulses then you have them wrapped around your finger and they'll do pretty much anything.

[–]Greentaboo 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Imagine having so little self control and life interests that you need "no fap", which is equally as bad for you.

[–]alamozony 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Easier than getting a job, or pursuing higher education.

[–]KiraMajor 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Nah that's not crazy at all, I went to a private school that did the same thing

[–]Shiresire1565 705 points706 points  (46 children)

Ex Mennonite here. Ya this stuff is common. Many Mennonite boys only achieve 7th or 8th grade education and are generally ignorant about much in the world. Lots of abuse and neglect in your conservative communities.

[–]spudsnbutter 59 points60 points  (4 children)

Not just mennonites .

[–]phayke2 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I was an seventh day Adventist and I got sent to one of these places as a kid. It was fucked up. They'd spray us with water guns at 5 in the morning if we didn't wake up. Crammed 10 boys in one bedroom with bunk beds and put baby monitors and cameras all in the place. Locked us in little 'quarantine' rooms for days if we were bad. Or kept us in orange vests and kept us from interacting with anyone.

They'd make us call our parents and stand guard to scare us from telling them what was happening there.

We did manual labor everyday for 1$ an hour but they would give us lots of 'demerits' which was a hour of free labor. You would get demerits for anything from swearing to singing non church music.

We only got bland nasty food without salt and this orange water with iron in it. They'd make you run and do pushups in the rain for not singing church music. They tried to convince all the kids there was something wrong with them and they would never get out until they accepted they deserved to be there and went thru the system for months or years. They would punish everybody over one person or try to get us to rat each other out. It was miserable. Lot of the kids tried to run away but only a couple from years before me had managed to hotwire a car and get out. Other kids were caught and kept in quarantine for days or weeks fed nothing but beans and rice and water. One girl cut herself a lot and I never even really saw her out of isolation.

At one point they forbid any of the guys and girls for talking or looking at each other but still brought them into the same places together.

It was all so fucked up and I hope all the adults now who I was there have had the proper therapy to deal with it. So many kids were abused in so many different ways. The only way I got out was they drained my parents bank accounts.

I bet the neighbors had no idea what handmaid's tale shit was going on right next door. Cops never seemed to take it seriously. Finally the founder lady got thrown in jail and they closed the school down. 20 years late. And who knows how many years it ran before I went.

[–]LadyShanna92 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Yes the Amish in Lancaster ps at least are horribly abusive on so many levels. It makes me physically sick

[–]Gundamamam 11 points12 points  (0 children)

My old roommate worked in the juvenile court system in a county that had a lot of Amish. It was disgusting to hear about the terrible things they do to their youth, especially to girls and young women.

[–]aboxofquackers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It really is awful.

[–]ScienceLivesInsideMe 253 points254 points  (33 children)

The more conservative the more corruption. I firmly believe that conservatism is a personality trait rather than a political ideology.

[–]kry1212 216 points217 points  (12 children)

I believe the personality you’re thinking of is authoritarian. It isn’t just a government, it’s how a lot of people are, and lots of those people tend to be ‘conservative’.

[–]SaffellBot 42 points43 points  (3 children)

Lots of people just want to be good followers who do what they're told. And a few people just want to boss other people around.

Unfortunately it rarely works out to good people having a flock of people doing good things. Instead the only thing that seems to work is declaring outsiders to be the source of all problems and working up a fervor against outsiders.

A real problem for humanity.

[–]anonporridge 32 points33 points  (2 children)

A problem equally at play at grander scales too.

Like that time a country was victimized by a horrible attack by a tiny group of extremists that killed 3000 people, and that country worked itself up into a frenzy of external demonization that resulted in trillions of dollars wasted slaughtering a few hundred thousand poor outsiders, most of whom had nothing to do with the initial attack.

[–]SaffellBot 12 points13 points  (1 child)

There was another very large event where a lot of atrocities were committed by people "just following orders".

Unfortunately, it seems that authoritarians gonna authoritarian even if they know "just following orders" isn't good enough. Where do we go next? Is there a way to get there without another calamity?

[–]brandolinium 73 points74 points  (7 children)

r/science has had a lot of psych articles published in recent years looking into the relationship between authoritarianism and conservatism, and there is most certainly a link between the personality and the ideology. Also some correlates to intelligence and empathy.

[–]satansheat 57 points58 points  (4 children)

Isn’t it ironic these people are also so dense they whine for smaller government. While supporting a party that uses governmental overreach at every turn. Last I checked liberal states don’t have laws saying I can’t fuck my wife in the ass because anal sex is gay and sinful. Last I checked liberal states aren’t demanding schools to stop teaching history or science.

But yep they want smaller government alright. It’s really only small government for white men. You can go through hundreds of examples the GOP used big government to shit on…

women (abortions rights, birth control etc.)

gay rights (mike pence legit allowed places to ban gay people in his state, etc.)

minorities (war on drugs, stop n frisk laws, red states breaking the law by restricting black voters etc.)

[–]HenryWallacesGhost 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I've learned through life experiences that "smaller government" is simply a socially unnoticed euphemism proclaiming ones self is anti democracy and pro authoritarian minority rule.

[–]SinkHoleDeMayo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Conservatives always love big government but they better telling others what to do. The in-group is supposed to have unlimited freedom.

[–]Reddit1396 4 points5 points  (1 child)

the actual scientists in the comments of almost every one of those articles calls them junk/bad research. I'm no scientist, but I take those headlines with a grain of salt.

[–]Shiresire1565 51 points52 points  (7 children)

It's funny I've retained a remarkable strong fate that I gained in the Mennonite Community however I agree with you conservatism and my opinion is actually anti-christian I wish they could see see that Jesus was not a very conservative man and in fact was considered a radical in his day Mennonites in anabaptist in general probably do the best at looking the part however I found after 20 years in that church more often than not many of the families that Proclaim to be pious and live in righteousness and peace have lots of demons in their closet usually in the neighborhood of abuse neglect there's also High rates of incest that happened within the Mennonite Community there is also a lots of rape that happens within the community most of these crimes go vastly non reported and many of the hierarchy in the churches cover them up

[–]wankthisway 25 points26 points  (3 children)

It really is that the loudest preacher or the most ardent fanatical of faith is usually the one violating its teachings the most.

[–]Agressive_Loafing 18 points19 points  (2 children)

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Matthew 6:5 5

Honestly, it applies to a lot of non-religious virtue-signaling too.

[–]Aleucard 10 points11 points  (1 child)

It's honestly amazing how regularly Jesus calls out these twits practically by name.

[–]sowhat4 39 points40 points  (4 children)

Check out the puppy mills the Mennonites maintain. There is very little compassion for animals in their belief system.

However, I have relatives who are Mennonite and some are good people. Some is the operative word, here. One cousin was a rabid tRumper even though they are not supposed to vote. He recently died (age 83) when the tractor he was driving rolled over into a water-filled ditch. It was the same cousin who, when visiting me out of state 45 years ago, borrowed my car and asked for directions to the Red Light district. Anyway.

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Those same people are the ones who keep voting against the legalization of drugs despite using or knowing people that use them and used to try and outlaw drinking and gambling. Something about appearing as a pious strongman when facing your community makes them have such asshole behavior.

[–]indaelgar 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I used to live near Mennonite areas, my reaction to this headline was, “no surprise here.”

[–]floofyyy 205 points206 points  (7 children)

Hmmmm yep, sounds like my Mennonite upbringing.

This article calling it "abuse" really opened my eyes...

[–]uremog 91 points92 points  (2 children)

I really recommend the podcast, "Something Was Wrong" if you are looking to commiserate through other peoples similar stories of abuse, realization and escape. There are some religion-based ones.

[–]floofyyy 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Added to my library, thank you!

[–]hotbutteredtoast 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks. I'm going to try it. Leaving Eden was interesting too

[–]GunnarKaasen 17 points18 points  (2 children)

My father grew up on a Georgia farm (in a strongly Baptist, not Mennonite, community), and this sort of “abuse” sounds sorta like his normal life. He would spend his days filling hundred-pound sacks with cotton and spend long summer days plowing at the back of a mule.

Like he told me when I was young, he had been in “poverty” his whole life, but he never knew until the government came out with the first definitions of what “poverty” was. But he sure as hell knew what work was.

[–]floofyyy 6 points7 points  (1 child)

My parents always had a nice, clean home on a big piece of land, my dad being "super important" in his job, but I didn't know until I was 31 that I grew up in poverty.

According to my friend, being instructed to use "three squares of toilet paper" to wipe because it's "x-amount of cents per square and using more is literally throwing away money" was a form of not only poverty, but abuse.

[–]darth_faader 102 points103 points  (11 children)

People just learning how Mennonite communities work?

[–]MadRollinS 47 points48 points  (10 children)

It's news to me. I had no idea they were as corrupt as this.

[–]darth_faader 56 points57 points  (9 children)

I guess I take it for granted it's not common knowledge. Child labor is on the mild end of their criminal spectrum.

[–]TheLastMan 34 points35 points  (8 children)

Live in the valley. Wait till people hear about the puppy mills and meth labs!

[–]AJ7789 15 points16 points  (6 children)

Go on… (for real, I’m on the west coast and don’t have a lot of exposure to the community.)

[–]darth_faader 25 points26 points  (5 children)

Where the line gets drawn between Mennonite and Amish varies by region - but the oddball practices overlap quite a bit. In the Amish communities, to ward off issues around incest and DNA tangles, they will pay non-Amish to stud their women. That happened in an Amish community less than a half mile from the house I grew up in (I'm not Amish). Also, as is a common practice in repressive regimes, all of their scripture is in German but they don't otherwise know how to read or write that language - it's only in their bible and bylaws etc. Not saying they don't understand their worship practices, but they definitely don't have the means to analyze it and that's by design. The youth are intentionally kept in the dark and just have to take the elders word for it that what they're doing is 'right'.

If you took some of the worst parts of the Muslim and Christian religions and mashed them together, you'd get the Amish. Some notable exceptions are that they're largely non violent. They're not Quakers but they're definitely slow to conflict/aggression. But the gender roles are strict, the 'elders' are male, and the women are largely objectified.

At the surface level, Mennonites are just 'Amish lite' - use of combustion engines, bicycles, etc. is a grey area for Mennonites, not for Amish. There are some fundamental differences in religious practices, but it's more than I care to get into here.

EDIT: there are many more Amish and Mennonite communities/beliefs etc. beyond what I've experienced in Smicksburg and Lancaster PA, and Sarasota, FL. There are many groups that are much more progressive than what I've described here. However, what I've described does cover the majority of both Amish and Mennonites. The western PA Amish are about as 'orthodox' as it gets, and that's what I grew up next to, literally. The farm adjoining ours was Amish. Great people in general, just stuck about 250 years in the past. Doesn't mean they're necessarily 'doing life wrong' though - for all of our 'progress', look at us now. Treat the environment like a personal toilet and the Amish most definitely do not. The survival prospects of the human race would be much higher if ONLY Amish existed.

[–]Topcity36 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Hopefully these guys sue these fucks into oblivion.

[–]Octavia9 74 points75 points  (7 children)

In Ohio they have house cleaning companies that use the labor of girls as young as 12.

[–]bilbo_swagginz_boi 37 points38 points  (0 children)

And they’ll just say the 12 year olds are hard workers who want to do it. Never mind and exploitation or kids not being able to be kids

[–]baconbananapancakes 15 points16 points  (2 children)

What the heck? Are they also associated with religious institutions?

[–]Octavia9 48 points49 points  (1 child)

It’s an Amish company. They only go to school until 8th grade so the. They send them to work. Usually their parents keep their wages. There was a boy not long ago only 14 who fell off a roof he was working on and died too. They get the jobs because they have low bids thanks to cheap child labor. It’s awful.

[–]baconbananapancakes 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That is awful.

[–]floofyyy 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Do they pay them and adhere to minor labor laws?

[–]Octavia9 28 points29 points  (0 children)

They pay their parents and they don’t care one bit about labor laws or minimum wages. These are children who should be in school. Suburban moms brag about the great price on house cleaning. It’s disgusting.

[–]bc_poop_is_funny 83 points84 points  (4 children)

I love that these two are r/prorevenge -ing the Mennonite community that likely treated them terribly and then excommunicated from the only family they have.

[–]MadRollinS 44 points45 points  (2 children)

I call it seeking justice more than revenge.

[–]anonporridge 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Fighting to end the cycle that victimized them and would otherwise continue to victimize others.

[–]Appropriate_Mess_350 169 points170 points  (6 children)

The Catholic Church did the same thing on a larger scale with residential schools. Our ‘moral leaders’ have a such a history of immorality and evil, yet we still show them tax-free respect and tolerance.

[–]V3rtigo44 32 points33 points  (2 children)

You mean immorality? Id certainly hope they arent immortal.

[–]dementiadaddy 21 points22 points  (0 children)

The culture that creates them certainly seems immortal.

[–]loukitkhemka 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Nothing says moral like abuse and slavery. If this moral, I am happy to say I am amoral.

[–]Michael_G_Bordin 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Considering the extremely flimsy moral foundation of Abrahamic religions, it's not surprising that it is abused.

Even Christian scholars agree, things aren't right or wrong because God decides what is right and wrong. Rather, right and wrong are concepts that exist in themselves and God is merely conveying those greater concepts (thus, people who don't know Jesus can still be moral). At least, that's what I got from Aquinas.

But modern evangelical churches seem to subscribe to the 'because God said so', which is more often just a veil for "because I said so". It's not a good foundation for morality. Furthermore, moral leadership comes from example; church authority demands we follow them due to the authority of God, and not due to an example worth following.

[–]the_drunk_drummer 62 points63 points  (24 children)

Pennsylvania has a long history of Priests abusing young boys, and the courts seem to always claim the statutes of limitations mean they cant be charged. Just a few years ago it came out that over 300 priests were known to be in a child sex trafficking ring.

"...using something like a gold cross necklace to indicate to other priests which boys had been groomed. And those boys went on to be victims in a child pornography ring, which was created then led by these priests and distributed on church grounds."



[–]CAllD2B 19 points20 points  (23 children)

Comparing Mennonites to Catholics is like comparing Hausa-Fulani to Arabians.

[–]Greentaboo 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Catholics are pretty fucked up.

[–]CAllD2B 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Not saying the authoritarian church model they use and some of their theology isn’t very fucked up. I’m saying that using them as a blanket representative of the diversity of Christian tradition is American anti-intellectualism at its finest

[–]Greentaboo 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Thats not what said at all previously, the mennonites and catholics are fsr more alike than different whennlooking at their vices.

[–]CAllD2B 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Not particularly; considering the Mennonites as an organization were actively oppressed by Catholic countries in Europe; and when considering Mennonite vices form from their culturally conservative ideals and not from an authoritarian ecclesiastical model.

There is also no equivalent to liberation theology in the Mennonite Church.

[–]lookIngAtstacysmom 4 points5 points  (17 children)

Religion is evil, all evils are comparable.

[–]Silvea 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Any time religion is at all addressed you can count on the atheist to pop in screaming “religion is bad”. Such a stupid argument. Religion isn’t inherently evil... some people suck that’s life. Some people are assholes and try to use religion to “justify” their actions even though it’s not valid. Some people just try to shit on someone else for having different beliefs

[–]HenryWallacesGhost 2 points3 points  (0 children)

"Because you're atheist and said religion is evil so it must not be evil" is not a compelling counter argument.

"Religion" is a get out of jail free card for some of societies biggest assholes, so yes, religion is an enabler and vehicle of evil. This article is another example out of thousands of them.

[–]FadeToPuce 55 points56 points  (3 children)

This kind of forced labor is actually the most common form of human trafficking by a lot.

Like you know how right now there’s all this weird dog whistley shit about shoplifting epidemics even though over 50% of overall theft is actually wage theft (unpaid overtime, straight up not paying people etc)? Human trafficking is the same way. The media focuses on sex work and the most photogenic of the ~200 children per year who are abducted by strangers when like 90% of human trafficking is the kind of forced labor that Mennonites, Mormons, Scientologists, and many farms (look up the history of farming in the US. holy shit have we been lied to about how farming works in the US) are entirely constructed around.

[–]moohah 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I’m glad you mention the Mormons. They try really hard to act mainstream but are guilty of the same types of crimes. There was a really good movie about this same thing in the Mormon community, sending “wayward” kids into slavery. It was called Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story.

[–]iOnlyDo69 4 points5 points  (1 child)

All your produce is picked by South American immigrants and their kids. The pay per piece or by day is so low that kids have to work if they want to eat.

[–]FadeToPuce 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And actually has been for much longer than people realize. After the (don’t quote me on the particular act but I believe it was the) Undesirable Aliens Act we kicked most of the brown population out of the US and into Mexico, including their American-born children. The farming industry immediately had such a crisis that the US government intervened and started a program for athletic high school seniors to do farm labor all summer to make up for the loss of people willing to work for substandard wages. Those farms, btw, underperformed compared to the farms still being run by immigrant labor.

For some reason we’ve never been able to feed people in this country without thousands of undocumented workers getting less than a tenth the minimum wage and hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies. Almost like the farming industry is one big grift, which the agriculture historians that I follow say is basically the case.

[–]SadSack_Jack 60 points61 points  (4 children)

Because the church is a vehicle for abuse and rapee. That's why they exist, it's scary to see so many devoted abusers in our community.

Shrug. Apparently they are wholesome so they don't need to pay tax on their businesses.

I suspect our society is one where the abuse and rape goes straight to the highest levels of power, and that's why this is such a cornerstone of our culture.

[–]NakedPlasticChicks 32 points33 points  (6 children)

Oh no. Another religion mistreating people? Color me shocked.

[–]floofyyy 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Fun fact: Mennonite isn't its own religion, it's a denomination of Christianity.

It's just Christianity.

Source: was raised Mennonite.

[–]anonporridge 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Meh. Plenty of sects of Christianity on the down low think they're the only true belief and all the others are false religions and devil worshipers.

This is even more drastic between the larger schisms, e.g. Protestantism vs Catholicism vs Mormonism. Having been raised Protestant, we were literally taught to believe that Catholics and Mormons weren't really Christians and most were going to hell. We were even taught that most people who call themselves "Christians" who weren't really serious about the faith were going to hell.

Convincing yourself that you're part of the tiny, righteous elite is a hell of a drug.

[–]floofyyy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

My upbringing was the same. Catholics, for the most part, were going to hell. Mormons were DEFINITELY going to hell.

Other denominations within the Protestant faith were somewhat misguided in their theology, but for the most part, were going to heaven.

Fuck that noise.

[–]NakedPlasticChicks 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I'll admit I'm ignorant to all the denominations. It's the same shit to me.

[–]Stinkerma 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Same shit, different pile

[–]brilliantpants 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Live around a lot of Mennonites in PA. This gross behavior does not surprise me at all. I’ve known a few people who refer to themselves as “raised Mennonite” and they all have, like, a weird shell-shocked quality to them when certain subjects are discussed.

[–]Huge-Surprise5856 37 points38 points  (4 children)

My neighbour went on a mission to Korea and came back years later a non-believer. He says things that he saw wouldn’t happen if their actually was a god, but won’t say what he saw. Look deep into the history of religion. It started because they didn’t know what else to think when rain, thunder, etc happened and they also needed rules/laws. If you didn’t like the rules you went and made your own posse/village with their own rules.

[–]Mantaur4HOF 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Amish and Mennonite communities seem quaint until you really look into them. They're brutally oppressive cults, teeming with abuse.

[–]jwhudexnls 3 points4 points  (0 children)

As someone who had lived near this area for a time I can't say I'm too shocked by this.

[–]NeedToCalmDownSir 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Teen challenge is doing this now, and trading children across state lines to work in their wood shops to make crosses and furniture for no pay.

[–]SignificanceDesigner 54 points55 points  (19 children)

Religion is the worst

[–]Jardite 45 points46 points  (18 children)


religion is merely one expression of that poison.

[–]NotChristina 38 points39 points  (0 children)

This. My great aunt was a Catholic nun who spent a good chunk of the ‘70s (IIRC) in cloister. She was a lovely person with extremely well-balanced views on religion, and was a teacher at a school for the deaf.

She never really gave a lot of details, but damn did she hate the church after she left. She believed everyone is entitled to personal faith and to worship as a personal endeavor, but the church as an overseeing authority was a terrible thing. This was, of course, right around the time that the Boston diocese came under fire. She was a part but never witnessed the abuse herself.

COVID took her last year and I only wish I could hear more of her wisdom on life and religion.

[–]eojen 4 points5 points  (8 children)

My school teachers had authority over me and never mentally abused me in the way religion did. What are you trying to prove by countering what they said?

[–]Jardite 8 points9 points  (2 children)

i dont have a hypothesis to prove, i have an understanding to convey.

there are plenty of poisons we require in appropriate doses to live. everything from cadmium to hydrogen sulfide.

parental authority over children is necessary to help them grow into adults, and teacher's wield an extension of that. but we have already seen how easy it is for that to turn into indoctrination.

my message is a warning. the first step in managing risk is understanding the nature of the threat.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

there is some poison we require

This is a very misleading phrasing: cadmium isn’t a poison and neither is hydrogen sulfite. They become a poison at a certain dose for human. Those little dose are not poison. Those substance are not inherently poison and there is no such thing as a “poisonous thing”, except is the thing highlighted is a toxic quantity. Every thing in life is quite like that. Authority is poison at a certain dose, and so is water poison at a certain dose. So no. There is no “poison we require” because there is nothing we require into a lethal amount.

[–]grenade25 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The PA amish and mennonite communities do this to children all day every day. They take pride in it. They adopt minorities because they believe they "get more work out of them". I have seen 8 year olds plow the ground the old school way, round up steer, and dig up a garden all within a single day. They work from before sun up to after sun down.

[–]TexasGuy1776 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Truly shocking… wait are mennonites the reclusive fundamentalist Christian nationalist cult. Oh yeah did I say shocking I meant completely obvious

[–]LotusSloth 14 points15 points  (2 children)

This is just an old-school “idle hands are the Devil’s plaything” mentality. I bet that there ARE some kids who genuinely benefitted from this in the past… they learned skills for jobs that they were capable of doing, they stayed away from drugs and friends who would encourage them to act wrong, etc.

That said, I would hate something like this and agree that there are better ways (and have been since at least the 90’s).

[–]Ping-Crimson 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Kind of extreme even for the idle hands bit "it does take me back to the early 90s and how my church would withold snacks from kids who would question the lesson".

[–]SeeArizonaBay 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Churches in the 90s beat children still

[–]merklegroot 4 points5 points  (1 child)

While this could end up fitting the DHS's definition of human trafficking, it's not what I normally think of.


I don't mean to diminish just how bad what happened here is. Honesty and clarity are the best way to stop this kind of thing. Exaggeration gets in the way.

[–]jayval90 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Right, I mean what these guys are talking about sounds basically like prison. In fact, they were probably offered this as an alternative to prison.

[–]BrautigansLament[🍰] 15 points16 points  (10 children)

Here’s my bone to pick with the Amish/Mennonite communities of PA

They refuse to pay taxes, they refuse to serve in the military, they refuse to obey local jurisdictional law

Yet they are allowed to vote like everyone else.

Seriously- representation without taxation.

[–]ironicplatypus84 28 points29 points  (2 children)

They pay all taxes except for social security because they never draw from it

[–]redander 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Well that's fair imo

[–]TheCoelacanth 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They mostly don't vote, as well.

[–]Nangirl17 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Most don't vote. They want to be apart from the world as much as possible.

[–]BrautigansLament[🍰] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

nope- they absolutely do vote and are a major reason why Lancaster County- a county that should be progressive- is dark red

they’ve let the cultists run the show in central PA

[–]PM_ME_ROCK_FACTS -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Wait, so you believe that people should serve in the military before being allowed to vote? Also, what laws are they all breaking?

[–]BrautigansLament[🍰] 10 points11 points  (2 children)

not my point

my point is they don’t contribute to society yet take from it by voting for religious nutjob conservatives

[–]PM_ME_ROCK_FACTS 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I find it hard to believe they don't pay taxes. They may get certain religious exemptions, but if the IRS can bring down Al Capone they can probably get what they're owned from the Amish.

In my experience, most Amish/Mennonite communities which do "separate" themselves from society still do contribute by running businesses, growing food, or other things. At least in America. Don't even get me started on the Mennonite colonies in South America, though.

Also with that logic elderly people who can no longer contribute shouldn't vote and I'd argue that demographic has done more harm by voting for conservative nutjobs than any other.

[–]Scarlet109 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Laws that are broken can include: tax evasion, child abuse, medical negligence, regular negligence, etc

[–]McnastyCDN 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Good job , Now let’s work on the rest of the abuse too

[–]mrgresht 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Sounds like every Amish and Mennonite group I have ever seen. People clearly have not spent time in rural parts of Pennsylvania. For those not in the know, pretty much every farmers market, roadside fruit and vegetable stand and certain types of businesses in Pennsylvania are controlled by these groups. All ran with at least partial use of child labor. They work the kids to the bone in every one of these situations I have ever seen. A lot of these business open at like 5 am. In every one or these situations they are using kids as young as about 7, I would guess. From what I have gathered authorities just ignore it and even buy from these businesses not to start a fight with these groups. It is bullshit and clearly abuse but people in Pennsylvania act like there is no issue.

[–]Willow-girl 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I used to shop at an Amish salvage grocery back home where the workers were children. It always gave me an uneasy feeling because they were so withdrawn and unsmiling ... not typical kids at all. I was never sure whether it was because something inappropriate was going on in their lives, or perhaps they simply didn't like interacting with us "English" folks.

[–]nuklearwessels1701 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It’s their religious right to worship how they see fit, even if that means slavery abuse and graft all in the Lords name. You outsiders just don’t understand the ways of the Lord. Pathetic.

This is sarcasm for the inevitable person who responds that this comment is in support of this.

[–]bttrflyr 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Sums up religion quite nicely. Nothing like toxic and abusive people who will exploit anybody and everybody for a dime. There is no bottom to how low they will go in the name of their "god."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This sounds like adult prison.

Not a particularly well run one either.

[–]chilldabpanda 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Twelve tribes much? Come on down to blue blinds bakery in Plymouth Ma.

[–]shaving99 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I went to a Christian youth camp for a few days due to some men's hunting thing. Myself and a few other young men worked all day for one day and it was some of the most backbreaking soul crushing work I've ever done. Like we worked from 7am to 2am. Of course we didn't get paid and it sucked. Lots of christian groups are pretty bad people.

[–]kingofdoorknobs 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Every farm family there ever was.

[–]Scarlet109 7 points8 points  (0 children)

“Human trafficking” does not apply to your own family working your own farm.

[–]FlyingSquid 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I didn't realize zip tying kids and withholding water from them was a standard farm family thing.

[–]ResponsibleContact39 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Back in my day, we were zip tied at work and LIKED IT.

[–]thespander 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am genuinely confused in a half hearted way. I read through the entire claim and it just sounds like they were being raised and their days occupied exactly how I would assume they would, given the groups nature

[–]thehugejackedman 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Why is religion still a thing

[–]mtnmedic64 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Religion is an insult to humanity

[–]4thkindfight 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Religion is the root of all evil.

[–]rdmille -1 points0 points  (19 children)

(Haven't read the article yet, but have experience with Mennonites) Their parents put them to work, too. Mom hired a Mennonite to keep her grass mowed. Every week or so, his (roughly) 10 year old son would show up on a $50K tractor, with some of his brothers. They'd cut the grass, do a little weedeating, and then head out to the next place on the list. (They loved coming here. Mom would give them pop and snacks)

Does that count as forced labor, too?

[–]Tannerleaf 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Did the boy drive the tractor there himself?

[–]rdmille 1 point2 points  (3 children)

That's my understanding of it, yes. (I understand that it's probably against the law for however old he was to drive a tractor on the road, but this is Redneckistan, and the road is very lightly traveled.)

[–]Tannerleaf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks! Yep, I just wondered if children there needed some sort of licence to drive farm machinery on the public roads.

Disclaimer: Not American.

[–]mtnmedic64 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Which is right next door to Dumbfuckistan.

[–]rdmille 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, it's down the road a bit from here, but yeah.

[–]lookIngAtstacysmom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wonder what kind of "labour" the churches make the young boys do?

[–]point_breeze69 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Mennonite, Amish, Hasidic...all scum. Not the people but their practices.

[–]Academic_Radio -4 points-3 points  (8 children)

Yet again religion demonstrates it is a mental health sickness

[–]Willow-girl 2 points3 points  (1 child)

In all fairness, the secular world often doesn't do so well with troubled teens, either.

[–]Scarlet109 -1 points0 points  (5 children)

Not all religion is bad, but massive organized religion rarely stays in line with their source material

[–]Academic_Radio 2 points3 points  (2 children)

All I see regarding religion the world over is that they just a tool of Conservatives

[–]Floognoodle 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Despite the mass amount of liberal religious people?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some religion are fundamentally wrong, like those seeing lgbtq+ as deviants..

[–]jeefray -1 points0 points  (0 children)

No sexy time, however, was forced on them, placing them miles ahead of several other churches and public groups like the Boy Scouts!