Why is Amish TikToker Sarah Joy being questioned on her religion?

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Mar 28, 2024 at 12:44 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Users on TikTok have been sharing their concerns for creator Sarah Joy after she posted a cryptic message to her page. Joy, who has over half a million followers on her account and goes by the username @thatplaingirl, posts regular videos documenting her life as an Amish Mennonite in West Virginia, US. However, recent rumours have begun to circulate that the influencer has potentially been lying about her identity and connections to the Amish community.

In a video that has since been deleted, Joy states: “This is the last TikTok I am making while I’m still in the community. It has been very nice getting to know all of you and I appreciate the opportunity that you have given me to talk about the community. I wish you all well.”

@reyahthelastdragon

#greenscreenvideo #greenscreen #sarahjoy #thatplaingirl #amish #plainpeople #mennonites

♬ Very Sad - Enchan

If you go to Joy’s page, you’ll notice that the majority of her previous videos have now been deleted. Re-uploads from other accounts suggest that her page was primarily dedicated to her showing glimpses into her life as a “plain person.” Plain people is a term used to describe religious groups who settle in North America and pursue a life of simplicity, opting to wear very plain modest clothing and separate themselves from the rest of society. Moreover, engaging with modern technology is usually forbidden in the Amish faith.

In some of Joy’s previous videos, she had spoken about the fact that the very act of making TikTok videos was dangerous for her and that she shouldn’t be doing it. Therefore, some people worried that her ominous final video indicated that she was in trouble with the community and was fearful for her safety.

In her videos, Joy also spoke at length about how women in the Amish faith often face extreme violence from both within and outside of the community. A number of netizens were so concerned that they even began trying to contact the Mineral County Emergency Management Office, a public safety office in West Virginia. Speaking with the Daily Mail, the office stated that they had been inundated with calls about Joy, concerned for her wellbeing and that the Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the situation.

Moreover, some rumours began to circulate online claiming that Joy may have been lying about her connections to the plain people community and that she was not in fact a part of the group.

@kallliopee

#stitch with @vanessa #greenscreen not on my 2024 bingo card #sarahjoy #amish

♬ original sound - kalli
https://www.tiktok.com/@pop.culture.tea/video/7351058875866697006?q=sarah%20joy&t=1711628451146

There’s even an entire Subreddit dedicated to ‘exposing’ Joy:

Sarah Joy Old Tiktok Account, 2022 (I found it through her IG)
byu/iwishhbdtomyself insarahjoysnark

However, just 11 hours ago on 27 March, Joy posted an update to her page. In this video, the creator looked in fine spirits and shared that she wanted to clarify some things that had been said about her online: “It’s come to my attention that someone on here is spreading nasty hateful rumours about me. I was told to choose the plain community, the community that I am in, or the world—to be all in or all out, and it was my choice to make. And so I chose the plain community, yes I did. The girl that made those awful rumours about me saying that I’m a scammer and a fraud, I kid you not the last time I saw her was in 2018 or 2019, when I had already joined the community.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@thatplaingirl/video/7351197912703028523

Joy goes on in detail about how this girl is completely irresponsible in making up rumours about her and that because of these lies, people are now posting images of her younger sibling’s faces online and sharing information about her location.

The creator also dispels any speculation about her wellbeing and safety: “And by the way, I wasn’t looking to the side in that video because there was a person holding me hostage you goofballs, I was looking to the side because someone was pulling past me in a truck. Stop listening to so much true crime, I’m not a hostage.”

Several users rushed to Joy’s defence in the comments and shared feelings of love and admiration for the creator, stating: “They could never make me hate you sarah joy,” and “When I say, I’m going to sleep better tonight knowing that you’re OK I mean that wholeheartedly.”

We still know so little about Joy’s life and how she became to be a plain person, but it’s evident that netizens are well and truly gripped and ready for whatever might happen next.

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