They have more in common than fans think. Return To Amish star Jeremiah Raber’s wife Carmela has been very open about her past as a member of a religious cult. Even though Carmela is actually not Amish, she did go through a similar upbringing as her husband Jeremiah because Carmela’s former cult shared similar religious beliefs to the Amish. In a YouTube video posted last year, Carmela explained how her former cult is similar to the Amish.

Carmela, 35, explained that she was raised by a single mother and they lived in the projects, and she hinted at some sort of abuse she suffered as a young girl. “When I would go out and stuff, people would try to do stuff to me. I felt like the first time somebody tried something with me, I felt like I was going to go to hell,” Carmela said. “So one day, I met a girl from school and I ran into her and her father had seen me and he said that he liked me. And to her, it was weird and I don’t know. So she started talking about God and stuff and I was really into God.”

As she became closer with her friend, the friend’s parents suggested that Carmela could possibly attend church with them one day — but only if the leader, referred to as “the prophet,” of the church allowed Carmela to join. “I remember getting all ready, they explained to me how I had to dress,” Carmela explained. “I went to the church and he liked me, he said I can join and basically there were 12 of us altogether. He felt he was a prophet of God and we were like disciples basically and we were like the chosen ones and I truly believed it.”

She explained that one day, in the middle of a day-long church service that was typical of the cult, Carmela and her friend were allowed to take a break to go to the park and play. Carmela and her friend, who were about 11 or 12 years old at the time, were picked on by some other girls in the park who thought they were Amish. Carmela went back to her friend’s mom and asked her why those girls would call them Amish, and she explained.

“She laughed and she said we kind of have similar beliefs, then she started naming all the stuff that they do. They don’t watch TV, they don’t have radios, they don’t use electricity,” Carmela said. “And I was thinking ‘Oh my god. People who have it worse than us? Wow.’ And I felt so bad, and she was naming all this stuff and I was like, it’s kind of like the same — there’s no TV, there’s no radio. We have to cover up. The difference is they get around by horses.”

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