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Topic : 05/09 Finding Allene and Mollie

Number of Replies: 406
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Created on : Friday, May 05, 2006, 07:00:27 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Join Dr. Phil on an incredible journey in search of two missing girls, Allene, 13, and Mollie, 15, who were abducted by their father a year ago. The search is filled with suspense, traveling thousands of miles away from the U.S. through the jungles of a Third World country. Go inside a deeply religious community, known as the Hutterites, where the members live as if they were from a previous time: girls in bonnets and long dresses, transportation by horse and buggy and no electricity or running water. Will this global rescue mission lead to the recovery of two kidnapped children? Who has them and, more disturbingly, for what purpose? Talk about the show here.

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May 9, 2006, 1:10 pm CDT

There are multiple "flavors" of Mennonites


(Personnally knowing a number of different Mennonites from different groups over the years....)  


There are different Mennonite groups and they have different beliefs and are different in how sternly they enforce their beliefs upon themselves and "urge" others to toe the line.  


This isn't comprehensive, but it's worth reading - particularly for the people who said, "They look Amish". (see later on this)  


Not everyone affiliated with Mennonites or even Amish are Luddites. If you're in the "big city", you may not have seen these, but in farminig areas, if you've seen the long, long pipes on wheels which can be used like a big wheel to irrigate the entire field.  That was invented by an Amish farmer.  


As the article points out, there are some places where some intersections of Mennonites and Amish in a couple of points in time.  


In some regards, the Amish aren't as "behind the times" as you think. Some will ride in cars with others, some will drive cars which are stored on a neighbor's property. Some own cell phones but charge them at a neighbor's house.  


Amish teenagers go through a cycle known as "rumspringa" - Google this term.  You cannot be a member of the Amish church unless you are twenty-one.  So teenagers aren't church members.  When they are in their teens, they go back & forth between the two worlds at their discretion, workinig jobs amongst everyone else, buy cars (and store them on their parents' property), drink & party, have sex, anything else "normal" teenagers do.  When they become "of age", they're expected to make a decision: return to the church and become a member and immerse themselves in the Amish way of life or turn their back on their upbringing and go out into the world of the English.  Some need time beyond twenty-one to make their decision and still return, but in the end, things are considered to work out the way they are supposed to.  


Anyway, I've lived around a lot of Amish and differing groups of Mennonites throughout my life. They aren't a bunch of kooks who are just like the stereotypes we have of hillbillies but with different accents an clothes.  It's just different belief systems.  I'm willing to bet that if we were to pick someone from these boards at random, took the time to peel their layers of self apart and found out who they really are, there might be a few surprises there.  This is part of why Dr. Phil commends those who come on the show and essentially bare some portion of their souls for the benefit of others.  


As far as taking the kids & running, I think he bent the scriptures a bit to suit his needs, and that's heresy.  But Dr. Phil took the high road and didn't calll him on it. That's not why his show is on the air.  You'll notice he kept a pretty even keel on questions with all of the parties during part I.  

May 9, 2006, 1:11 pm CDT

Welcome to Lancaster, PA

I trust Dr. Phil's judgement on viewing this story from both sides.  My concern lies in the way the Mennonite life has been portrayed.  Welcome to Lancaster County, PA where there are countless successful businessmen with secure families that are socially correct who have been raised in the Amish & Mennonite communitiy.  These businessmen only had an 8th grade education, they are well-adjusted, their wives are involved in the community and their children would put some children to shame who have been raised in the public school high schools.  All these fine, sociable, intelligent, non-dysfunctional folk have been raised without TV, no phones, they raise their own food, (you haven't eaten until you've had a Shoo-Fly Pie or a Whoopie Pie), travel by horse & buggy and go to one room school houses that provide an education through 8th grade.  They do live quite differently and that is what makes America America.  They are free to live as they choose.  Come visit the towns of Paradise, Gap, Silver Springs and yes - we have a town called Intercourse.  Travel slowly to get around all the horse & buggies that are in our midst. 
May 9, 2006, 1:12 pm CDT


Quote From: pathfnder

The community described could not have been Hutterites, because there are no Hutterite groups in Central America, and Hutterites are not technologically backward. They drive modern vehicles,  farm thousands of acres with heavy diesel tractors, and manage their livestock barns with computerized climate control.

They look much more like Old Order Mennonites to me, and if so, would be reclusive indeed, but entirely peaceable and harmless.
The show did not say that the community they were found LIVING in was hutterite.  There was a hutterite community here in the states that helped the father and his two girls hide for a time until they traveled south.  The father was indeed wrong for taking the girls out of the country the way he did,  but something about the mother (Michelle?) doesn't quite sit right with me.  There has to be some other issue that hasn't been addressed yet.  Michael (the father) said in one of the video clips something about her pulling a gun on him and other terroristic threats she made.  Dr. Phil has not had the opportunity to address those issues yet I don't think. Another thing that the GIRLS themselves brought out was that they don't go to school beyond 8th grade (traditionally) but that they are not impeded in any quest for knowledge that they might have. They are encouraged to continue learning on their own.  Both of the girls seemed to me to be quite articulate and having quite a mature outlook on the way things are.  Just because they are frightened of living in a sinful modern world does not mean they are members of a cult. To me they seemed genuine in their wish to live a life devoted to serving God and learning of God and not have all the "modern" things of life pose constant temptations to their will to live this way. No this is not an easy life and not everyone could do it. I just think there is much much more to this story of the two parents than has been delved into. God Bless these two wonderful girls and may they find peace in whatever way their lives go.
May 9, 2006, 1:13 pm CDT

Lovely girls!

I don't think this group fits the definition of cult at all.  This isn't Heaven's Gate, this is an old established religion that follows the teachings of Christ as the members interpret the Bible.  I'm a Methodist.   My church is main stream, but that doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong.   


I'm so impressed with Mollie and Allene.  They are so polite and articulate,  I'm not sure that they would be better off living with their mother and going to high school where they would be at risk for everything from anorexia to pregnancy to drug addiction.  I would personally rather see young girls in bonnets and braids than tattoos and belly rings.  I don't see anything wrong with sheltering young girls and I don't see why the mother's wishes about how they should be raised should have priority over the father's. 

May 9, 2006, 1:13 pm CDT

05/09 Finding Allene and Mollie

     I have read several posts suggesting that Mollie and Allene have been brainwashed and need to be de-programmed.  One thing to consider, if that is your opinion, is that the girls have spent time with their mother.  She wanted to buy them jewlry, different clothes, etc and yet they still say that their lifestyle does not mesh with their mothers.  They could be adamant against their dad's beliefs; instead they are choosing those beliefs over what their mother offers them.  This does not sound like brainwashing to me. 

     It is also important to remember that you cannot judge an entire church or denomination based on the actions of one individual! 

    It seems very apparent that this is a battle between the mother and the father and the children are just caught in the middle. 

May 9, 2006, 1:13 pm CDT

Very well said!

Quote From: judyblue22

the girls areverry happy, Let them be!!  


When I was a kid, I would have been happy if I was allowed not to go to school or do any homework. Now as a grown u with several degrees, I am grateful my parents insisted I be educated.  I am very free to make my own choices in life because of my education. 


When I was a kid, I'd have said I was happy with my father to protect him and avoid hurting his feelings.  Also kids are scared of change and these kids have been put through a lot of changes already. 

I totally agree.
May 9, 2006, 1:13 pm CDT

05/09 Finding Allene and Mollie

Quote From: lucky24

These poor kids need a de-programmer.  


They are only spouting out the doctrine they have been taught in the cloistered cocoon they have been living in.  The sad thing is, they really think these are their own opinions.   

These girls are old enought to form and hold their own opinions, and because they are choosing a lifestyle that may not make sense to most does not mean they have be "brainwashed" .    

May 9, 2006, 1:14 pm CDT

05/09 Finding Allene and Mollie

Quote From: judyblue22

Choosing NOT to baptise your child is a choice too, you know.
And these girls have a right to CHOOSE themselves.
May 9, 2006, 1:18 pm CDT


Quote From: tammyo1973

Listening to these girls talk they sound highly intelligent.  I would bet the schooling that they have had is alot more than most kids get in 12 grades of schooling.  


I would not live this lifestyle myself but it doesn't mean it is wrong either. 


I do not agree with them being taken away from the mother, but it doesn't on surface appear they have been abused in any way. They seem healthy, happy, and very bright. 


As Dr. P stated that lifestyle is like stepping back into time.  The ways of the past are much simpler and I don't see that the lifestyle should be shunned here.  That is not the poin tof this show. THe point of the show is that the father broke the law by taking the children.   


When people critisize this religion and lifestyle.. they lose sight of the purpose of this show. 

My issue is that these girls are not of sound mind--nor are they mature enough--to make a decision to join a religious order like this one. There are strong ramifications to having them join this organization. Frankly I don't think teenagers have the maturity, legal standing, and sense to make decisions of this magnitude.   


Michael broke the law to take them out of the United States. He violated the law and should be held accountable for it. I don't care what his "reasons" were for taking the two girls; he proved to be a flight risk. The court should confiscate his passport and put him on trial for kidnapping.  


These girls need psychological counseling and help. They need to return to their mother and have a normal life. At the very least, if the courts don't want the mother to have custody either, they need to find an aunt or uncle to take these kids in. They also need armed security to prevent the girls from being snatched.  


I have nothing against this sect. However, these girls are not in the position where they can make a clear choice to join it. If, when they reach the age of legal majority and finish school, they want to join this sect, more power to them. I have no problem with that. However, at their age, these girls lack the faculties and the maturity to make a decision of this magnitude.   


I totally support the mother in this ordeal. She's clearly in the right. The husband's clearly in the wrong.   

May 9, 2006, 1:18 pm CDT

05/09 Finding Allene and Mollie

I see the mother making a huge mistake here if she insists on prosecuting her husband.  the girls will only see that as wrong on her part and already they are estranged from her.  I hope she can let the girls live as they have chosen to live, and from what i have seen, they want to be amish or what is called Plain people.  we have lots of them around here where i live and they are good people.  

i think the mother isnt going to keep her word though. it sounds like she refuses to homeschool them which might be an option since they dont like the public school atmosphere. to be honest, i dont like it either. and for sure you cant send children to public school dressed like they are dressed. 


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