42 responses to Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish
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    Comment on Thank you for sharing your story! (February 1st, 2012 at 16:58)

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    This will definitely be a side to the Amish I’ve not yet read about. Being a Christian Fiction fan as I am, I heard more about the romanticed version of Amish life I guess you could say. (I had read a book by Sue Miller, I believe, about her time with an/some Amish families that was non-fiction.) The important thing to remember is that just like “English” families, everyone is different and no one family is typical, I suppose. I personally couldn’t imagine raising my daughter without hugs and cuddles, though!

    Saloma, I look forward to reading your story! Thank you for being brave enough to share it, even the embarrassing parts.

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      Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 23:22)

      Tiffany, I have a lot to say about Sue Bender’s book, Plain and Simple. You can read it on my blog: http://aboutamish.blogspot.com/2011/05/plain-and-not-so-simple.html.

      Yes, the lack of show of affection among the Amish is a pretty stark difference from the mainstream culture. I also could not imagine raising my two sons without spontaneous and regular hugs and kisses. Also, I really enjoyed reading them stories at bedtime — something I never got as a child. But then again, I’m sure I made mistakes in parenting. I did my best, and my parents would have claimed the same.

      I hope you enjoy my book.

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      John A. Powell
      Comment on why I left the Amish.. (September 7th, 2012 at 09:42)

      why I left the Amish..

      I am a new convert to the Mennonite way..I have a good lady friend in my church that has shared so much of her experience with the Amish life and her journey from there to her present experience..I find it facinating that abuse, strict leadership control and guilt of thinking non-amish is so prevelant..I appreciate true stories about the “inside” view by these courageous and recovering individuals..on the other side,Man is fallible and dysfunctional..I believe the Amish want to obey the Lord and the danger for all of us is to depend on “works” and “hard work” to get us into the Kingdom…Jesus Made the only way to God and through His “work” on the cross, we are saved! PRAISE THE LORD!
      Blessings to all who read this ..Sincerely, John A. Powell

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        Comment on have left the mennonites too! (March 20th, 2013 at 16:22)

        have left the mennonites too!

        After looking at the Mennonite “brotherhood” for 13 years I felt I had found where I was supposed to be in Christ’s kingdom. After joining, I was still being “shunned ” for my Marine Corps service and when I was “reported” for wearing a black t-shirt at a revival meeting the night my mother died,I removed my membership.This kind of control about insignificant behaviour is ridiculous and turns prospective adherents away. I became aware of many serious acts by bishops that were made arbitrary and the belief that these “leaders” can make any kind of rules. The real reason for the harassment was that i was friends with an older member who had lost her husband of almost 50 years and that we were calling and visiting and traveling too much together..She is also leaving the membership but because of her Amish background, is seeking another Mennonite church to join.You do not lead by hitting people over the head,that is assault! And the shepard leads and not drives! I am glad you “escaped” and found the expression of your talent and mind.I look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

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          Dale D.
          Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (March 20th, 2013 at 18:10)

          Hi John

          I am sorry to hear that you have left the Mennonites! I have appreciated your ministry in our denomination. Your are a blessing!

          Dale D.

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    Bev Ryder
    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 17:02)

    I would love the chance to win your book. when i read about others challenges and choices in life i grow as a person.

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    Stacey B
    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 17:03)

    I feel that anyone who talks openly about abuse they have suffered is very brave, so I commend you. I have several very close friends who are Old Order Amish. We share many things together and we always compare our lives. My friends always tell me that the Amish did not live in a bubble,nor are they protected from the cruel things that happen in life. Bad things happen everywhere….there are bad people everywhere.Just because someone is Amish doesn’t mean their life is the idealized one that people often think. What we have learned from being friends is that it doesn’t matter where you come from or where you have been, we are all human. Thanks for your story.

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      Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 23:29)

      Stacey, it’s nice that you have that kind of friendship. I’m sure it’s nice for your Amish friend, too. Sometimes even when the situation doesn’t change, compassion will go a long way. Thank you for your interest in my story.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 17:06)

    I am anxious to read this book.. angadair@nwcable.net

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 18:10)

    Sounds very interesting,,,would love winning it,,,,

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 19:20)

    I admire your will and strength in doing what you believe would be best thing for you. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 19:28)

    I admire your will and strength in doing what you believed would be the best thing for you. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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    Christine Maenza
    Comment on Book giveaway (February 1st, 2012 at 19:31)

    Book giveaway

    I would love to read this book. I love anything related to the Amish! Christine at wannabeamish@gmail.com

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    Nancye Davis
    Comment on "Why I Left the Amish" Book Giveaway (February 1st, 2012 at 23:11)

    "Why I Left the Amish" Book Giveaway

    Wow! This sounds like an incredible book! I would LOVE to win a copy of this book! My question is this: When you cam back the first and second time, how did the community treat you? Why did you decide to return to your community? What made you believe that you had no choice?

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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      Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 23:47)

      Nancye, I hope you get a chance to read my book. You ask some complicated questions! I didn’t go back twice, I only left twice. The people in the community didn’t ever really trust me — the young men didn’t ask me for dates, because they had the attitude that I left once, I could leave again, and guess what — they were right! I was given a teaching job in the school where I attended. I think that was an attempt to keep me in the community. It worked for two years, but I was being criticized by the bishop for the way I combed my hair, that I was jogging down the road, and rumors kept circulating about me that had no basis in truth, so I became restless again.

      The reason I felt I had no choice about going back is who showed up to take me back… it was as if they brought the Amish community to Vermont with them. The physical distance that had, up to that point, been a source of my resolve to start a new life for myself, had suddenly vanished. Plus, I thought that they had a legal right to take me back. When I left in November of 1977, the legal age in Ohio was 21, and I was twenty. What I didn’t know when they came to get me in March of 1978 is that the legal age in Ohio had changed to 18 on January 1, 1978. The Amish in that van were certainly not going to tell me that. Plus, I did not want to find out if they would physically put me on the van to take me back. I decided if I was going to go back anyway, I may as well go back with my dignity intact. I tried to “make myself Amish” for nearly three years, but I was just not cut out for that life and religion. The fundamental questions just kept boiling up from within… and a person with a questioning nature does not fit into that culture.

      Thanks, Nancye, for your interest in my story. I hope you get a chance to read it.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 1st, 2012 at 23:31)

    Angie, Nelson, and Bobbe, thank you for your interest in my story. Happy reading!

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 2nd, 2012 at 00:01)

    I believe Erik, that you will be drawing a name for the giveaway in the morning. Thank you so kindly for starting this wonderful conversation… I’ve found myself absorbed in all that you’ve had to say. I tried to respond to everyone, but I may well have missed some. If I have, feel free to hope over to my blog and ask me there: http://aboutamish.blogspot.com/

    And Erik, when I start spending more time on your blog than I do on my own and I see what a loyal following you have, I think it’s time for me to admit that you write a more engaging blog than I do. (Need that smiley face).

    As I close tonight, I want to share one of my favorite quotes:

    If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet

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    Nancye Davis
    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 2nd, 2012 at 00:09)

    I posted this giveaway on my Facebook Wall. I’ve sent you an e-mail with the link. Thanks for the giveaway!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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    Phyllis Kemp
    Comment on Interesting (February 2nd, 2012 at 01:22)


    I’m sure you have an interesting story to tell. I have always thought the Amish were fascinating people. I would like to read your story.

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    Comment on Wonderful (February 2nd, 2012 at 06:10)


    It’s probably too late for me to enter, I found myself engrossed in the comments both by readers & Saloma & have to “get going” before posting, but this has truly been a blessing to read from all posters and Saloma’s gracious and attentive responses.
    I pray many are not only blessed by reading the book but grow in some way as I’m sure it will somehow touch all of us when we read it, just judging by these responses.

    Have a blessed day, Saloma I even love what you said about winter-
    just got back from Hawaii myself, (daughter & hubby lives there so you know, must go visit!) and returning to mild winter in Ohio not too bad, being a native so. CA I have appreciated what winter offers, even as your comment implies.

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      Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 2nd, 2012 at 09:22)

      Valerie, thank you for your comments… so glad you enjoyed the discussion… so did I! It’s always gratifying to know that my book touches people. I hope you get to read the book!


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    Leon A. Hadden
    Comment on Why I left the Amish (February 5th, 2012 at 08:46)

    Why I left the Amish

    This looks to be a book that I would really like to read. I am and have been for a long time, interested in the lifestyle of the Amish. I knew that there had to be other sides of the story of gentle Amish. Many thanks for giving me the chance to possible win the book.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 5th, 2012 at 09:10)

    would so love to read this book. knowing that things are not always rosey, would love to learn more. Happy that she finally broke away.

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    Roberta Klooster
    Comment on God offers healing (February 5th, 2012 at 11:43)

    God offers healing

    Hi Saloma,
    I so appreciated your story here and can identify with it. I was not Amish, but grew up in the country in a dysfunctional family. I was the one who absorbed all of the emotional pain in the family, I felt I had no one to talk with about my feelings, and longed for a peaceful, safe place. I was always in church, but kept feeling “there must be more to life and to God”. This led me to keep searching and eventually I found a church community that taught and lived according to God’s word. I have now been married to my husband for 34 years and am amazed that God answered my prayers, for healing of my wounded heart and spirit and a home that is filled with God’s love, peace and security.

    I wish I could write as you have to put my experience in a book too. May God use your story as one of hope. I love the Amish and Mennonite communities becasue of the peace and serenity I see there, but your story reminds me that there is unseen pain in any culture because we are human.

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      Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 5th, 2012 at 12:47)

      Roberta, thank you for your moving story. I am always gratified to hear when my story touches someone.

      Using this passage as an example of your writing, I would say you can write about your experience for a book. I would encourage you to write it, with the option of keeping it for yourself (and your family, if you want that) or publishing it. Writing down your story can be valuable in many ways, whether or not you decide to publish.

      God bless you.

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    Robin M.
    Comment on Fact vs. Fiction (February 5th, 2012 at 16:10)

    Fact vs. Fiction

    Hi Saloma, First of all, I ordered your book the other day and can’t wait to start reading it. I have read a couple other biographical Amish books including “Growing Up Amish” by Ira Wagler and am now re-reading a very old one, “Rosanna of the Amish” by Joseph W. Yoder. I remember reading this one as a teenager 40-some years ago. Are you familiar with it? It takes place in the 19th century and written by Rosanna’s son, published originally in 1940. I have been fascinated with the Amish from a very early age.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 6th, 2012 at 10:01)

    Thank you for sharing these personal moments with us!

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 6th, 2012 at 23:46)

    Hi Saloma

    So nice of you to respond to our group. You have such good insight. You say your ties with the Amish are dwindling, but we hope you will stay around and become a permanent part of our family here.

    In the Light, Bob

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    Ahmad Abdollahzadeh
    Comment on Interesting for an Iranian Muslim (February 14th, 2012 at 05:38)

    Interesting for an Iranian Muslim

    Salaams Saloma,

    It’s really interesting for me as an Iranian Muslim to know about different ways of life, such material as you told about the Amish way of life. Thank you very much for sharing your story.

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    Lori Grassette
    Comment on I understand leaving a strict community religion... (February 25th, 2012 at 12:32)

    I understand leaving a strict community religion...

    I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses at age 20 because I had Bible questions that hadn’t been answered and also because I had many family members that were witnesses. I was married, raised a family and was involved in the community for 24 years. But after 17+ years of complying and doing everything that was expected I was unhappy and ended up so stressed I got Cancer. That was my turning point in my life. I am still ‘finding myself’ now, continuing to go forward and seeking my own beliefs and how I fit in this world! Your experiences have touched me and I am so happy you have found your own path and have shared your extraordinary journey with the world. My friend Teresa shared your link with me, thank you! Warmly yours, LoRi

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    Comment on Looking Forward to Reading Your Book! (February 25th, 2012 at 20:41)

    Looking Forward to Reading Your Book!

    I live in Ohio and many Middlefield Amish contractors helped to build my home. The home took about 3 years to build, so my husband and I have become quite close with the Amish crews. Two Amish men even invited us to their homes (which I heard is not common). They are very sweet and call my father “Dotty.” I have to admit that there are times I wish I was Amish. Many of the “problems” we face day-to-day are non-existent in the Amish community. However, I do wish they could further their education and take photographs.

    I am really looking forward to your “authentic” book. A recent movie I watched had the Amish speaking with a thick Irish accent. 🙂 I couldn’t even understand them! I’m not sure where the Amish speak that way? (hee-hee!)

    I’m glad you have found a supportive husband and happiness.

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    Comment on Saloma Miller Furlong on Why I Left the Amish (February 29th, 2012 at 20:33)

    Saloma,,,how are you relating with your sisters,,,?? Hoping you have really forgiven all who have hurt you,,??,,
    Love reading your comments on here,,,,,praying for you,,

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    Comment on at the end of life.... (March 3rd, 2012 at 13:22)

    at the end of life....

    When all is said and done,,,,there is just ONE thing that matters,,,,,

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    Ada Car
    Comment on Thank yoou Saloma (April 23rd, 2012 at 00:06)

    Thank yoou Saloma

    For your comments and answers.I hope to read your book soon. I am reading everything now th I know I will have amish as neighbors at my new place. I hope to be a good neighbor and know little about them. I do know about abuse and any who speek out are brave indeed and evil only continues when we ignor it or throw a cover over it to hide it. Blessings to you!

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    Michael L
    Comment on Saloma.... (May 23rd, 2012 at 03:14)


    Wow. Your experience was AMAZINGLY similar to mine-born Amish into a dysfunctional family. I too struggled for many years coming to terms with my past. Therapy helped me tremendously as well.

    I must say, I will be buying your book.

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    John A. Powell
    Comment on to Saloma Miller Furlong (September 7th, 2012 at 09:58)

    to Saloma Miller Furlong

    thank you for your revealing story..We all can tell of our experiences in other faiths and the disappointments and failures of people,family, friends,and the ungodly..but praise the Lord that He will never forsake us if we are “in” Him.. I am a “convert” to the Mennonite way, and tho not perfect,they have shown me awesome love and acceptance which I never experienced in any other time of my life..I am former military and I am glad our country allows us to choose our faith…may it ever be so…that is what I fought for…FREEDOM and LIBERTY for ALL!
    Blessings to you always,John A. Powell Shenandoah Valley,Virginia

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    She Bea
    Comment on Sounds so much alike (January 7th, 2013 at 12:23)

    Sounds so much alike

    Dear Saloma, In your first few words… I could read your life story! I am not Amish or Mennonite, but do love what i have seen and read of their lives…. I won’t judge them, but will have a better unbderstanding because of your courage to write… I am 3rd oldest of 10 children, born to an alcoholic father. My mother was kind but to weak to defend us from many abuses. I had an older sister who abused me terribly. She was like my dad and I was much like my mother. Though I had a Christian aunt who taught me about Jesus and His love… I have come thru 2 depressions and anxiety attacks, poverty, and “shunning…” the world has it’s own form of shunning… but Saloma, you and i know that “GOD ID SO GOOD…” You may have left the Amish, but you never left God, and it is very obvious that He hasn’t left you… I am married 38 years now, with 2 grown son and another adopted son of 14 and 1/2 years. God gave him to me when he was 26 days old. Life still brings trils and heartaches… but so much joy and peace also. As God is so good and His presence sustains us. Be sure that if I do not receive a free copy of your book, I will indeed purchase it to read. Thank you for you sacrifice to tell and share your story for the blessings of others. God bless and keep you always. Sister She….

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    Dale D.
    Comment on to Saloma (March 14th, 2013 at 20:07)

    to Saloma

    I grew up in a Mennonite family which was very dysfunctional, It took me into my mid-thirties to get to a point of some healing. I had to put up boundaries with my parents so I would not be on a roller coaster of emotional whippings.

    I believe that much of this dysfunctional Anabaptist tendencies come from the 300 years of persecution that the Anabaptists endured in Europe. I think our forefathers were not able to forgive the torture and held anger and bitterness in the hearts. this anger and bitterness was passed down from generation to generation to generation. I have noticed that the more conservative the Anabaptist the more abuse there is in the family. But not all conservative Anabaptists are dysfunctional.

    Saloma, I do not know if you are aware of some of the reconciliation movements within Anabaptist family, but there are some amazing things going on in that realm. These forgiveness’s that are happening, I believe will eventually help free many Amish and Mennonite dysfunctional problems. Forgiveness is so important! Here is a link to one of the articles. Others articles on their site. http://www.mennoworld.org/2007/10/8/reconciliation-part-swiss-anabaptist-year/

    Blessings to you Saloma!

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    Stefano Bacc.
    Comment on interesting and sad (July 15th, 2015 at 16:04)

    interesting and sad

    Dear Saloma,

    I am writing from Italy. Here the life is like everywhere but obviously not like in an Amish community, I can understand that if in a society there is Prohibition there is also people who do not want their hands tied. I say Understand but not that I Approve violence or coercion or intimidate or other similar actions. The worst things is when some horrible situations happen inside the family where peoples thinks that they are safety. In this period I understand this: in the world people are never happy on what they have, they search other ways to find the Eden but in the end they know it is impossible and so, frustrated, they unload they emotions in the family. Lucky me that I live in a good family, but also me I am not happy here. For me try to live in a Amish family for a period will be an important thing to do in the next future.
    For a little that I know now about your book I am sad for what you lived in your family, your father and your old brother… I hope are you happy now.
    I think I will read your book soon.

    Good luck for everything Saloma Miller.

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