S1Ep8: Elam Zook on Why the Amish are A Dying Society, the Catch-22 of Amish Mental Health and Marriage Counseling, and the Role of Submissiveness


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Elam Zook is a writer, critical thinker, and self-taught-scholar on how the Amish religion intersects with modern society. He is a deeply devoted advocate of the Amish community, having moved beyond his culture-of-birth and journeying far in a new realm of experiences and understandings, only to discover that in many ways he had never really forsaken his heritage or its convictions. Elam is a consultant for the course The Amish at Franklin & Marshall College, a rare position given that he has no degree. He is also co-writing a book with a renowned professor of anthropology at Franklin & Marshall. Elam’s central theme converges around the threat to Amish culture that has been happening as our community cedes ever-increasing control of our narrative to outside influences. As founder and co-creator of The Amish Adrift Project, Elam’s vision is to wrestle with the dichotomy of precisely what the Amish faith’s call to be separate and apart originally intended, and how it plays out in Amish daily interactions with today’s modern society.


  • Elam’s explanation on why the Amish are a dying society
  • The reason Elam left the Amish church after baptism, marriage and children
  • Elam’s struggle with depression and his Amish ex-wife’s mental health challenges
  • The Amish church’s solution to marital issues and mental and psychological grappling (“pray harder”)
  • Law enforcement’s lack of recognizing and enforcing the rights of Amish American citizens when those rights conflict with the Amish church


  1. Find Elam on Facebook: www.facebook.com/easyEZ
  2. The Amish Adrift Project: www.amishadrift.wordpress.com/a-new-north-star
  3. Marriage and Love Counseling (a new model for building healthy romantic relationships that gave Torah permission to love again and believe that it’s possible to experience a love story she dreams of; “To heal war in the world we have to heal the war between the sexes”): www.evolvinglove.us
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. See S1Ep1: James Schwartz on Growing up Gay and Amish in America, Unconventional Schooling and Trump Politics for James’ answer to the forgiveness question
  7. See S1Ep7: Sovilla and Lucinda Coblentz on Trauma and Marriage, Grief Recovery and Childhood Sexual Abuse for Part 3 of the sisters’ stories

50 episodes available. A new episode about every 6 days averaging 26 mins duration .