Interview with Ruth and Mose
*Excerpts from a press question & answer session with AMISH IN THE CITY participants Ruth and Mose
REPORTER'S QUESTION: What was your sense of this experience and are you happy that you did it?
MOSE: Absolutely. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I don't know about Ruth here. I think she liked it, too, didn't you?
RUTH: My experience has been great. I have experienced so much on the show, I can't even tell you guys how much I've experienced. It's meant a lot to me.
REPORTER'S QUESTION: From what I understand, part of the whole idea of rumspringa is that you then have the choice to depart from the church forever for the rest of your life. How could you make that decision? How could you feel free to make that decision knowing that you would go to hell if that is part of your religious upbringing?
MOSE: I guess that most of me is saying the reason that I left the Amish on rumspringa is because I wanted to experience the world and I wanted a deeper meaning in faith, and I wanted to see if I could explore my faith more than I could among the Amish even.
REPORTER'S QUESTION: Why did you want to do the show in the first place? Here you are embarking on something that's bound to be very strange under the best of circumstances and it seems surprising that you would want to share your most intimate thoughts and feelings about that with 200 million drooling Americans.
MOSE: I will tell you why I did, and Ruth can explain why she did it. I left the Amish to do my period of rumspringa, and what better way to complete that period and explore all the things in the world than to do something like this. That was part of it. Another part of it is ever since I have left the Amish, there have been so many thousands of people that have been curious about the Amish way of life.
RUTH: The reason I kind of wanted to do the show is because I have not had very much experience. I had never seen the ocean or the beach or ever had an airplane ride. And I knew I was going to get this stuff, and I experienced a lot more than a lot of Amish people did back where I come from.
REPORTER'S QUESTION: Were you aware of the controversy about the show, and did you feel exploited during the making of it at all?
MOSE: I came into this show knowing that there's going to be a lot of controversy, even among the Amish. Like, even my family, some of my best friends are going to really disapprove of it. I was prepared for the whole controversial thing. So did I feel exploited throughout the show at any point in time? Absolutely not. If I had to go back and do anything over, it would not involve being exploited at any point.
RUTH: I feel there was so much controversy about this. I had second thoughts about doing the show because I didn't know what [I was] coming into and what [I was] going to be doing. But once I did get into the show, I was so happy. You know, I didn't care what the people thought or what they're going to be thinking of me. I just decided I'm going to do it.
REPORTER'S QUESTION: Rumspringa begins at age 16. How long do your families and does the church allow you to go through it before--I mean, at a certain point, do they just say, "You have to decide now"? Mose is 24.
MOSE: I think that the average is probably from 16 to 24, but they will not treat you much [differently]. I mean, the Amish aren't going to say, "You're done with your rumspringa. Come home." That's your own choice. They will treat you the same if you're 59 when you come home. You might be looked at a little [differently], but they will take you back into church the same amount of time, unless your hair doesn't grow out as fast anymore or whatever.
*Additional excerpts from the session, featuring a Q&A with show participants Kevan, Ariel and the show's producers will be posted soon.