Free from Bondage

After Forty Years In Bruderhof Communities On Three Continents

by Nadine Moonje Pleil

Volume II of the "Women From Utopia" Series, Gertrude Enders Huntington, Series Editor

Introduction by John A. Hostetler

Published 1994 with a four-color glossy cover, perfect bound with 370 pages including 50 pages of photos.
The author was born in London, and as an eight- year-old girl handed over to the Bruderhof by an unsympathetic stepfather. In 1941 she traveled to Paraguay where she was informally adopted by a childless Bruderhof couple in Primavera, the new community in the backwoods. The Elders aborted her teenage romance, and after she recovered, told her to seek baptism. After baptism she fell in love with and married Augusto Pleil. Their idyllic South American communal life came to an abrupt end with the power takeover by the 'American brothers' under Heini Arnold. All the South American communities were closed, many members exiled, and the survivors sent to the European bruderhofs. These in turn were closed by the American brothers, and the survivors brought to the U.S. communities. The Pleils found themselves increasingly scapegoated as "bad parents," and by the late 1970s had lost their oldest son and one daughter to the 'outside world.' Afraid to leave but increasingly persecuted by the hierarchy, the moment they most feared finally arrived -- to be sent away from the community. Placed in a rundown house in a small Pennsylvania town and told to go on Welfare, Nadine, Augusto and their seven younger children began their lives over. To their growing delight and amazement, they experienced more love, fellowship and acceptance in the 'devilish' outside world than they ever experienced inside the community.

"A heroic labor of love." -- John A. Hostetler, author of Amish Society

List price: $17 ISBN Number: 1- 882260 07-4
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