“Not Eating Biblically Clean”: Ex-Amish Secretly Runs TikTok Page To “Change Assumptions”

An ex-Amish member has been secretly using a phone to give insights into her “simple old-fashioned Christian” lifestyle living off-grid in Alaska. She has since become an internet sensation, breaking certain stereotypes about the secretive sect.

Elise Matson accumulated 13.7 million views after posting a video on TikTok in 2022, in which she explained that most of her former Amish community didn’t know she had a phone and that they were unaware that she ran a popular TikTok page, which is now followed by 1.2 million people.

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She started posting videos on the social media platform around 2021, and Elise wanted to showcase that certain beliefs about the Amish weren’t always accurate.

“I got [the phone] so that I could, I don’t know, take a pic at changing some of the assumptions that people have about the Amish and the bad taste they have for a lot of things that were made up for movies and stuff that really don’t happen,” the 19-year-old explained.

Ex-Amish internet sensation Elise Matson shared insights into her traditional lifestyle in Alaska

Image credits: matsonelise

Elise went on to reveal that her parents approved of her phone usage, adding that she used the technology to “sell things online.”

The social media influencer further explained that as a result of the nearest hospital being located seven hours away, it was important to be in possession of a phone.

The religious teen grew up in the Amish community of Eldridge in Tennessee, USA, before relocating to Alaska in 2015. 

Elise has since continued living with certain Amish rules, such as dressing modestly in long dresses and head coverings, which she said was also part of her own “personal religious beliefs.”

Image credits: elisematson

Among the numerous videos debunking certain myths, Elise revealed that her community didn’t pressure its members to get married or have children.

However, she did inform her viewers that her community members had to wait to be 21 years old in order to be allowed to get married.

She further explained that shunning didn’t apply to those who weren’t baptized in the community’s church. 

Elise, who wasn’t baptized in the church, was, therefore, not shunned from the Amish community in Tennessee and is still allowed to visit to this day.

Elise has been using TikTok to challenge stereotypes about the Amish

Image credits: elisematson

In fact, in January, Elise shared on her Facebook page that she had returned to the southern state to visit her old Amish community.

She wrote at the time: “The highlight was definitely surprising my adopted Amish Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle. 

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“The look on their faces when they opened the door will forever be in my heart.

“It about broke my heart to say goodbye to them.”

Image credits: matsonelise

“But I will do my best to bring them up to Alaska this summer to see our whole family and show them around.

“It was so good for my heart to be fully loved and understood in everything, and not be the girl who sticks out and is weird lol.”

Exploring Amish Country explains that “Amish shunning is the use of social exclusion as a method used to enforce Amish church rules.”

Despite popular belief that such punishment forbids all social interaction, it does involve “rituals that remind the wayward of their sin and seek to bring them back into fellowship.”

“I got [the phone] so that I could take a pic at changing some of the assumptions that people have about the Amish,” Elise said

Image credits: matsonelise

When a person is shunned, Amish members may no longer eat at the same table as them, including at weddings or funerals.

In another video on TikTok, the influencer said that girls in her community started covering their heads with bonnets as babies, and later, teenagers could wear longer veils.

In a separate clip, Elise noted that despite Amish’s strong Christian beliefs, members did not follow the “biblically clean diet” based on the Old Testament, which outlines that followers should abstain from eating pork.

“They eat pork, anything,” the TikToker clarified. “They do not follow any of the health laws in the Bible.”


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A post shared by Elise Matson (@matsonelise)

Moreover, Elise disclosed that people with tattoos were banned from joining her Amish community, stating: “You’re not supposed to have markings of death on you, and it’s seen as defiling your body.”

The online personality has also been using her platform to share her impressive cooking skills, showing how to make a pizza from scratch, make no-bake cookies, or execute more elaborate recipes such as orange crèmes brûlées.

Additionally, Elise has often used her Instagram page to share updates about her rural life, which is followed by 82,000 people.

In her latest Instagram story, the influencer revealed that she had driven seven hours to go visit her best friend, Teagan, a long journey she further recounted in a new TikTok video.

Elise often showcases her cooking talents on her platform, demonstrating recipes like homemade pizza

Image credits: elisematson

Lately, Elise has seemingly been busy planning to take new steps in her life, as she posted inspo pictures of trailers last week on Instagram.

She asked her followers for help, as the ex-Amish wrote in the caption: “I need all your suggestions!!!

“How much do you think it would cost to build a tiny house on a trailer from scratch? Could you insulate it so it could withstand Alaska winters? I need your ideas.”

Tim Johnson from the popular Truck House Life Instagram page replied: “I spent about $15k for the truck house, appliances included, but that was almost 5 years ago, I would say prob around $30k with the trailer included.”

Image credits: matsonelise

Another person commented: “My dad just worked up an estimate for mine he [is] thinking about 15k.”

Someone else chimed in: “I’m guessing 45-60K completely finished.”

The president of Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm, Clinton Marti, explained that the Amish do not have a central rule-making authority.

As a result, decisions about the “Ordnung” (Amish’s rules for daily living) are highly localized.

Amish rules and allowances regarding technology, including phones, vary by region and sect, an expert explained

@elisematson Reply to @tammylong308 #healthadepopit #examishgirl #storytime #amish #Alaska #amishtiktok #alaska ♬ original sound – elisematson

Therefore, certain phones are allowed, depending on the situation, which “varies a lot, region by region.”

Clinton previously told Bored Panda that although most Amish communities allow phones, there were some exceptions, such as with the ultra-strict Swartzentruber Amish sect that does not allow phones of any kind.

He also revealed that some Amish are only allowed flip phones with no internet, while others do have smartphones and are not supposed to use applications such as Facebook and YouTube.

Moreover, shunning is quite a serious punishment for a member of the Amish community.

“I’m sure you can teach us many things,” a TikTok user commented

The post “Not Eating Biblically Clean”: Ex-Amish Secretly Runs TikTok Page To “Change Assumptions” first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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