Dr Phil - Mennonites/Hutterites - brainwashing

by Scully 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • Scully

    Did anyone see the last 2 episodes of Dr Phil concerning the abduction of two girls by their father into the remote Mennonite communities in Belize?

    It was interesting to hear Dr Phil describe the girls' affect as being "flat" and that something just wasn't right. The mother believes the girls have been brainwashed into the "plain" lifestyle. They are not allowed to attend school past the 8th grade because they are opposed to the negative influences that they might encounter. They have to wear head to toe covering and look like someone you'd meet at Upper Canada Village. They aren't supposed to watch TV or movies, or listen to the radio or music. The community that they lived in for a year had no running water, no electricity and no outside contact with non-Mennonites.

    I wonder if the girls will ever re-assimilate into a normal life, or whether they'll want to leave and go live the "plain" lifestyle again.

  • Nikita

    I saw Part 2 today but missed the 1st part. I felt like some kind of connection was lacking emotionally with them towards their mom. I hope that because they are still young they will be able to re-assimilate given some time and distance from the influence of their father.

  • juni

    Dang. I wanted to see that show. My son had told me about it. We were wondering how the husband got the girls in the first place as it is next to impossible for Dads to get custody. I believe the wife was depressed, but you have to be really insane for the courts to take the kids from Mom. I think they lived in Illinois?

    Can you clarify Skully?

    Thanks much.


  • juni

    Also Scully, why did the Dad have to go to Belize? Why not stay in the states? Something is screwy.


  • Atlantis


    Hutterites are a communal people, living on scattered bruderhöfe or colonies throughout the prairies in North America.
    This communal lifestyle finds its roots in the biblical teachings of Christ and the Apostles . Emerging as a distinct culture and religious group in the early 16th century , this non-resistant Anabaptist sect endured great persecution and death at the hands of the state and church in medieval Europe . However, the Hand of God remained on the shoulder of these people, and their descendents survived to battle on to this very day.

    L earn about our unique lifestyle, religion, customs, traditions and history. Discover how we earn our living, and what we do in our leisure time. Listen to Hutterian choirs and find out what our schools are like.

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  • blondie

    They could become JWs.........


    w04 6/1 p. 8 ‘Step Over and Help Us’ ***


    Proclaimers Report


    Over and Help Us’

    IN JULY 2000, a call went out in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland for German-speaking Witnesses to move to Bolivia. Why? Because in isolated farming colonies within a 180-mile [300 km] radius of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, German-speaking Mennonites were showing keen interest in the Bible.

    About 140 Witnesses responded to the invitation. Some went for a few weeks, others for a year or more. In so doing, they displayed a spirit similar to that of first-century missionaries who heeded the call: "Step over into Macedonia and help us."—Acts 16:9, 10.

    What is it like to work in that territory? An elder in the local congregation explains: "Traveling to one of the 43 Mennonite colonies can take as long as eight hours over dirt roads in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Visiting the more distant points often requires four days and sleeping in tents some nights. But it is certainly worth the effort, for hardly any of these people have ever heard the good news before."

    At first, many of the Mennonites did not welcome the visits. But repeated efforts have helped them to appreciate what the Witnesses have to offer. For example, one farmer said that he had been reading the Awake! magazine for a year. Then he added: "I know that many people here don’t agree with what you say, but I believe it is the truth." In another colony, a man said: "Some of my neighbors say that you are false prophets, others say that you have the truth. I want to find out for myself."

    There is now a German-speaking congregation in Bolivia, with 35 publishers, including 14 full-time evangelizers. To date, 14 former Mennonites have become Kingdom proclaimers, and 9 others attend meetings regularly. One older man who was recently baptized said: "We clearly see Jehovah’s direction. He has sent experienced, German-speaking brothers and sisters to help us. We are very grateful." The man’s 17-year-old daughter, who is also baptized, added: "The enthusiasm of the young brothers and sisters who have come here is contagious. Most of them are pioneers, spending their time and money to help others. It makes me want to do the same."

    Truly, those who reached out to "step over" to help are reaping great joy and satisfaction.

  • Atlantis

    I agree with you Blondie, I wouldn't doubt that one bit!


    The Hutterian Brethren or Hutterites are a religious group originating from the Reformation of the 16th century (www.hutteritehistory.org) .

    It is interesting to note that the Hutterites and Mennonites (and thus the Amish) share common roots. Both of these sects are Anabaptists and both of these movements trace their beginnings to the same period of time, to the same occurrences, during the Reformation.

    Their roots are found in Switzerland where a group of Bible students came to the conclusions that:

    baptizing babies is not biblical.

    the Bible requires the separation of church and state.

    a Christian should not wield the sword (pacifist)

    the Lord's Supper is symbolic of the suffering of Jesus, and should be done in remembrance of him

    These 4 points became the basis for this movement. The followers of this movement are known as the Anabaptists or re - baptizers . They are called rebaptizers because they were baptized a second time, in adulthood .

    The religion of the Hutterites is unique in their belief in the community of goods in which all material things are held in common. This idea is gleaned from the teachings of Jesus, where he explained to the rich young ruler what he needed to do to receive eternal life (Matthew 19); from the fact that Jesus and his disciples shared everything (John 12); from the early church where the apostles and their followers held all things in common (Acts 2: 44-47). Hutterites believe community of goods is the highest command of love.

    All members of the colony are provided for equally and nothing is kept for personal gain. Hutterites do not have personal bank account; rather all earnings are held communally and funding and necessities are distributed according to one's needs.

    Hutterites attend a 1/2 hour church service almost every day besides a 1 to 1 1/2 hour service every Sunday and common religious holiday. In addition, special services are held for baptism, marriages, Christmas, and Easter

  • Scully


    there are some clips up on www.drphil.com if you want to review yesterday's and today's shows.

    Basically the Dad got custody because he lied about the Mother's mental status and she was not given an opportunity to respond to his allegations. He claimed that she was violent, that her lifestyle was detrimental to the girls' religious upbringing in the Mennonites (oooh she didn't want them to wear long skirts and head coverings... she wanted them to get an education beyond Grade 8... that wicked evil woman!!).

    There were people in the Mennonite community who helped them flee to Belize (easy to go missing in the jungle, maybe?)

  • juni

    Thanks Scully. I had gone to Dr. Phil's site, but I didn't turn on the speakers as my dog goes CRAZY when she hears voices coming from the computer!! She lays on the bed behind me when I'm on the computer.

    I'll wait until her next potty break. hee hee


  • looking_glass

    You can also do a google on the name Allene Hari and Illinois. The family was from the Central IL area.

    I am a little confused though, because they keep referencing Mennonites - is Hutterites an off brand - because they are nothing like the Mennonites that I know from Southern Illinois. The Mennonites and the Amish are thru out the mid west and southern part of IL and I got to know some of the families pretty well when I would spend my summers with my grand parents in S.IL. Although, they kept their German roots, the kids were allowed to live a double life. When they were with their families on their properties they had to follow the rules, but when they were away, they could do whatever they wanted. That changed once they got baptized but until that happened the Mennonite and Amish kids drove cars, dated, had sex, smoked, you name it they did it. However, once they got baptized they could not otherwise they were shunned by their community.

  • kristyann

    Oh, I am really sorry that I missed those shows! I usually catch those things. I have been so busy with school lately, though, that I didn't even know that they were going to be on.

    Dr. Phil shows re-runs, I know, so if anyone ever sees commercials for when they are going to be re-run, try to post it on here and let me know.

    looking glass, you are right. I do not think most Mennonites are like that, or are even that extreme. There are Mennonite churches around here, and none of them even dress in the traditional way. No head coverings, no nothing. They dress the same way anyone else would.... Then there are the Mennonites that live in other areas, like ones I have seen in Ohio and Pennsylvania (no, I am not confusing them with the Amish). Plenty of them do dress in a plain style, but they are still mostly fairly normal and plenty use cars, electricity, etc.

  • whyizit

    It was very telling when the one little girl did not want the other girl to watch TV, etc... Keeping tabs on one another.

    They were very polite and put up a front of nodding and smiling, but I got the feeling that the first chance they get to run, they will be gone. Especially if their Dad gets to them, or if someone from that community can get them. I could see a blankness go over the one girl especially when a "trigger" word was touched on. I can't remember what the grandma said, but right when she said it, that girl got this "look" on her face. They need some serious de-programming. I'm sure Dr. Phil is working on that.

  • Mary

    I saw a bit of Part 1 but that was it.........I really hope the girls get professional help, specifically by a trained therapist that deals specifically with helping people leave a cult.

  • luna2

    My son was talking about this today. We had a good discussion about cults, etc.. He's never been keen to be a JW, but he's always cut them a lot of slack ...never wanted to come right out and say they are a cult.

    He mentioned that the dad was going to prison, right? I feel so sorry for those poor girls. I hope they get professional help too.

  • jw
    I wonder if the girls will ever re-assimilate into a normal life, or whether they'll want to leave and go live the "plain" lifestyle again.
    I pray the girls stick to there beliefs and religion and the mother does not force them into a school.
    The father did the right thing, and the girls even said they were happy and did not want to go back to their mom and be put in the position to have to be forced to do things they did not want to do.
    I pray the father gets those girls back.
  • Mary

    jw, isn't it time for your medication?

  • DannyHaszard

    Dr. Phil.com

    Dr. Phil has galvanized millions of people to 'get real.' Find out more about him and his show.
    www.drphil.com/ - 13k - Cached - Similar pages - Remove result
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    By all means people lets contact the Dr. Phil producers with our own personal cult experiences,plant a seed for a show on JW's.

  • sf

    CBS' sister station is KCAL. This will re-air on the sister station in a few days. Check your local listings.

    I saw both shows. The mother isn't being honest about her own internal beliefs either.

    The father said they don't believe in higher education. The girls said they don't go to school past eighth grade because of the high school enviroment. I agree that the enviroment in high school is a great distraction in our teens lives. Not to mention the cirriculum is lacking in many areas.

    Back to the topic. Both parents are not doing these girls any favors in teaching them how to handle difficult situations that WILL arise in their lives. All the father teaches them is to run. The mother teaches them to hide.


  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    I saw the first and second shows and think the mother is a little disengenuous. She is a whack job who happens to have married a fanatic. Its interesting that he brought the girls back and didn't hide out forever. Sure he knows he's got warrants against him, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have dissappeared if he wanted to.

    The mother may be more in the mainstream of society, I get that, but she also has attempted suicide a couple of times and shown herself to be out of balance. You can see it in how she handles herself. The girls are sweet and deserve better than these two.

    I actually liked the fact that the father was so straightforward with Doc. Phil when they spoke. He's a religious nut alright. He sounded like
    "Brother Conservative" in congregations of JW's around here that I've met.

    Satan is everywhere!!!!!! Gimme a break.


  • jw
    All the father teaches them is to run. The mother teaches them to hide.


    The father is teaching his girls that there are people and children that will not cause them harm. Giving them a choice .

    He is religious , why is it that if someone expresses their religion , they are alledged fanatics.

    I see that religion as good for them.

    By there own admission they were happy there, and content on remaining , but they made a mature choice because of the love that was still there for the mom, to give her the benefit of there doubts, And what did she do, exactly what they feared.

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