Monday, April 15, 2024

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Welcome to Plathville’s Olivia Plath Compares Christian Upbringing a ‘Cult’

Olivia Plath. Courtesy of Olivia Plath/Instagram

After experiencing a reckoning with her religious upbringing, Olivia Plath is doing her best to pick up the pieces.

Olivia, 25, has starred on all five seasons of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville, a reality series about the Plath family in rural, southeastern Georgia. She married into the group, tying the knot with Ethan Plath in 2018.

The conservative, religious values held by the Plaths, however, were nothing new for Olivia.

As she explained in a Teen Vogue feature published on Tuesday, April 2, “I grew up in the fundamental Christian world, which I would also call a cult.”

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Olivia described her childhood as “very isolated,” much of which centered around the teachings of her father, Don Meegs, a pastor.

“By the time I was 13, I was being given books on how to be the best wife possible,” Olivia explained, “so from a very young age I assumed that what was expected from me in life as a woman, and what I was told what was expected of me as a woman was to get married and to have kids and to be a stay at home mom.”

For a while, at least, that’s exactly what happened.

However, Olivia and Ethan filed for divorce in February after five years of marriage. Post-split, Olivia moved across the country to Los Angeles, which is when things really began to change.

In her new home, Olivia really began the process of deconstructing her religious past, which became a more arduous, revealing process than even she anticipated.

“When you start to question a few things, then you start to question a few more,” Olivia said. “You start to realize the entire foundation on how you’re living your life is kind of a sham.”

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Olivia’s childhood was not dissimilar, she explained, to that of the Duggar family, featured on TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting. The belief system used by Olivia’s father and his church was in line with those of the Institute of Basic Life Principles, with which the Duggars were closely associated.

“All of these people in fundamental Christian worlds have pretty much the same beliefs, give or take a thing or two,” Olivia noted. “But they don’t want to use the same label or title because those one or two things that they disagree on are huge things. Those little, tiny things end up being very divisive because everyone is convinced they know the perfect way to live.”

Olivia is in the process of building a new life for herself — she even hinted she’s in a new relationship — and while things might not be perfect, she said, “I feel very at home with myself.”

 

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​Us Weekly

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