Ex-Hutterites recount journey of freedom

A photo of the nine former Hutterites. (Submitted photo)

A photo of the nine former Hutterites. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

The Nine are a group of former Hutterites who banded together and shared their story recently in Carmel.

Titus Waldner, one of The Nine, said people in the Hutterites groups contend they believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ.

“In the colony we were shocked because we are obeying the original tenets that the Hutterites were founded on. So in the end, the Hutterites say they are Christians but the actions prove they are not,” Titus said.

The Nine were all between the ages of 17 and 25 when they left the socialistic, communal society. The Nine wrote their first book “Hutterites: Our Story to Freedom” through their own publishing company, Risen Son Publishing. Each wrote their personal story. The Nine’s second book “Since We Told the Truth: Our Life Can Never Be The Same” was published in 2014. Several of the authors held a book signing in Carmel on April 18.

The Hutterites have approximately 50,000 members, located in middle and western Canada, and upper Midwest and Northwest United States.

Titus, 27, left his Hutterite colony in North Dakota when he was 18 and Junia Waldner, 30, left her colony in Manitoba, Canada, when she was 22. The Waldners are not sure if they are distantly related as Waldner is one of the 12 surnames that the Hutterites use. Junia has two sisters that are part of The Nine and Titus has a brother.

Junia said when Hutterites leave, they leave with the few possessions they have.

Titus said the all money that Hutterites make goes into a bank account controlled by three key people.

“Everyone else works for the colony and works for $3 a month as an allowance,” Titus said. “They provide for your housing and food, but beyond that you don’t have any means to live independently outside of the colony.”

Junia said there is sexual and domestic abuse going on but it’s kept very quiet because they don’t want law enforcement involved.

“The women think it’s wrong to go against their husband because they have been taught to submit to their husband,” Junia said.

For more information, visit thenine9.com.

Current Morning Briefing Logo

Stay CURRENT with our daily newsletter (M-F) and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox for free!

Select list(s) to subscribe to

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, https://www.youarecurrent.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact