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“the Amish Entrepreneur Show with Torah Bontrager” is a weekly seasonal podcast on re-branding the Amish and establishing a new generation of Amish leaders so we can get heard and add our contribution to the world.  The way we explore and execute on this is by bringing on to the show leaders in all areas of industry who can advise us on how to evolve, specifically through the vehicles of entrepreneurship and academia.  
 
The theme of last season, the pilot run, was turning tragedies into triumphs.  This season's theme is branding and education.  
 
What everyone on this show has in common is a story of trauma, hardship, or other challenges.  And last but not least, the underlying silent goal is to collect 1,111 stories of trauma, specifically sexual assault.  I believe that that number of voices speaking out is all that is needed to permanently drastically reduce the rate of sexual assault worldwide.

Apr 13, 2017

Jeselle Hadley-Bacon is a chef, clean foods advocate and sexual abuse survivor.  She is one of the rare converts into the Amish church—but has since left—and was part of a horse-and-buggy Mennonite community before joining the Old Order Amish.  Jeselle moved to the Ovid, MI Amish community shortly after Torah escaped from that same community (Torah’s non-practicing Amish parents Henry and Ida Bontrager still live in Ovid).  For most of her adult life, Jeselle had no self-esteem at all due to repeat sexual assaults by her stepfather during her childhood.  The exception is in her cooking.  That was/is her refuge from the turmoil, the only area in which she has always been completely confident about in terms of her talent and value.

Today Jeselle focuses her energy on balancing her body and life through gut health, clean foods, and positive living.  She is sharing her journey as well as information, recipes and a community both locally in her home area and also via her “Healthy Jesey" Facebook page.  She welcomes anyone who is interested to connect with her. 

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • The sick, twisted, sociopathic behaviors of Jeselle’s rapist stepfather who tried to make himself out to be the victim instead of the perpetrator
  • How having been sexually assaulted has affected Jeselle in terms of the ability to trust, creating healthy romantic relationships and having a good marriage
  • The confidence she has in her cooking and working
  • The duplicitous agenda of the Ovid Amish community and Torah’s experiences there
  • How the Amish reinforced her feelings of unworthiness (Amish doctrine says that one is unworthy and there is no assurance that anyone will get into heaven after death)
  • The trouble she got into by the Amish church for being “too flirtatious” with boys and labelled “loose” for being outgoing and friendly
  • The subtle, unspoken message from the Amish that Jeselle doesn’t deserve an Amish husband because she’s an outsider, not Amish by birth
  • The Amish bishop who told Jeselle that she can’t get married to an Amish boy because she “would taint the Amish bloodline”
  • The Amish family that were genuinely loving toward Jeselle
  • How “turning the other check” and not holding the perpetrators accountable is deemed the appropriate handling of sexual assaults in the Amish

LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE:

  1. Healthy Jesey (Jeselle’s clean foods startup):  www.facebook.com/JeseyBs 
  2. Email Jeselle:  (jesey.bacon @ yahoo .com)
  3. Grief Recovery Method (for physical and emotional losses, to find grief support groups and for a free ebook for info on the various kinds of grief):  www.griefrecoverymethod.com
  4. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):  www.rainn.org; 800-656-HOPE; live chat.  Get help 24/7.  Free and confidential.   Call/chat if you’ve been violated.
  5. See S1Ep11: Jeselle Hadley-Bacon on Converting to the Amish Church as An Outsider and Growing Up With a Father Who Groomed Her for Sexual Abuse (and Deprived Her of Food, a Mattress, a Pillow, and a Blanket) for the dark, sinister similarities between Jeselle’s stepfather and Torah’s father Henry Bontrager
  6. See S1Ep5: Fiona Teng on Breaking the Cycle of Societal & Romantic Traumas—Trauma Doesn’t Discriminate—and How Mindfulness Can Help PTSD & Abandonment for a practice/tool that changed both Fiona and Torah’s lives