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Amish Mafia: Fact or Fiction

The night was quiet. In the distance I could hear the frogs croaking around the little pond outside our woods several hundred yards away. All the chores were done, the cows were turned out to pasture for the night so they could munch on the fresh grass over night. I could hear the occasional soft moo from a satisfied cow who had its udder relieved a few hours before from us milking it, and now it was getting its belly full. Way in the distance I could hear a Coyote yapping. several seconds passed until I heard another answering it from a neighboring woods. On such a clear night out in the country, miles away from any major City or Highway, the sounds of the night carried for miles.images

I was 9 years old. Still fresh and innocent about life. I was in that stage where Babies came down from heaven and into the bedroom on a cloud. Where if you fell down in the dirt, God would appear, literally, pick you up, brush you off, kiss your hurt spot, and then vanish into the thin air again. A time when mom and dad were my heroes, elders within the church were always right, and I fully trusted every adult I met and what they had to say, because that is what you do at that age. Aww but if only we could all hang onto the innocence of childhood for just a little longer!

Usually when supper was over, after crawling into my bed with my little brother, I would fall asleep right away. Maybe it was from the long days in the fields, or maybe falling asleep quickly is just something a 9-year-old boy does.
However, for some reason this evening I was laying in bed completely aware of my surroundings, the quiet, sultry summer night, and all the sounds in it.

And than I heard it. The distant, faint, clip clop of a horse’s hooves falling on the asphalt a mile away. A buggy traveling at midnight in the middle of the week??? I sat alertly upright in bed. Something wasn’t feeling right here. As the sound of the clip clops got closer, I glided silently from my bed to the second story window of our farmhouse. A farmhouse Built about a quarter of a mile back from the asphalt road that ran past our 255 acre farm nestled out in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. As I peeped out of the window, I watched the buggy come to a halt in the field across the road from our place next to the Amish farm half a mile away.  In the shadows of the tall trees, I watched as 3 men climbed off of the buggy with pitch forks. I slowly froze with fear as that night I watched my very first act of the something few people from the outside world know anything about. Something that lies deep within the heart of the Amish communities. Something that is only muttered in undertones for fear of getting visited by “The Amish Mafia”

I added this paragraph later, after being asked by quite a few people about why I never finished my story about the Amish men with pitchforks. That first portion of this blog was actually an attempt by me at a little mystery, mixed with just a touch of sarcasm. There had been so many people asking me whether or not there was an Amish Mafia, that when I finally decided to answer, I attempted an approach where a reader begins the blog actually believing for a short amount of time that there is an Amish Mafia, before being yanked back to the reality that there is absolutely no such thing. Most people got it, a few did not. In other words, I created those men with pitchforks just to dramatize the beginning of this Blog.

Let us stop right here in our tracks and shift gears….. Fast forward about 25 years…. How many of you that are reading this actually, truly believe that there is such a thing as an “Amish Mafia”? How many of you have questions about it, but are doubters to a certain extent? And finally, how many of you call B.S. on the whole thing, and think that the latest show, “Amish Mafia” is false, and a ploy by a handful of actors and the Discovery Channel to make a controversial show, exploiting the Amish and their core beliefs for the love of ratings and money?

In this Blog, I will try to, in fairness, go into detail about my own personal feelings and opinions related to this subject. For those of you stumbling upon this Blog for the first time, those of you who are big fans of the show, “Amish Mafia”, and you are reading this for the first time, you may ask yourself, “Who the Heck does this guy thinks he is”?

For those of you who were unable to watch some of the shows I have done in the past about my people, the Amish people, I apologize. I will probably come across as a complete fool.
I can assure you that if you haven’t seen “Amish in the City”, 2004 on UPN, or any of the “Amish: Out of Order” Series aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2012, then you won’t get me. For those of you who fall into the category that don’t know or get me, I’m Sorry. I am Sorry that I am about to get into the Meat and Bones of a show you have become a fan of.

I have been bombarded by a thousand people asking me how I felt about “Amish Mafia”. I even posted a simple post on my Facebook Fan Page about my Fantasy football League Championship that I won this year. I was congratulating myself. You know what valuable lesson I learned? I learned that the people who know me as the TV Mose, don’t give 2 hoots about my fantasy football, my random car sales, or any of my other personal daily activities. I discovered this after I posted about my fantasy football, and the only random response I got was, “What do you think of Amish Mafia”?

I posted about the Science Center in St Louis that I took my wife and kids to over the weekend. The comments I got…. well you get my point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not by any stretch of the imagination complaining. What it did, however, is force my hand on what my opinion is of “Amish Mafia”, before I can seem to get on with my life.

I also discovered that to avoid this subject any longer, would only make me look like I am dodging a subject that needs to be addressed. Even though I will lose some credibility after posting this Blog, stooping to the level of “going there”, I will never forget how much respect I lost for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay when Favre kept coming out of retirement and taking back his starting position, and Rodgers, who had gone through the entire training camp, got all the starting Reps, and for the world thought he was going to start under center come opening day, kept getting it yanked it out from underneath him by a Diva quarterback who couldn’t make up his mind on whether he should retire or come back. Aaron Rodgers never once stood up for himself. Instead he took the high road and was a big, fat lay down. ( It is amazing, however, how quickly he became a stand up guy in my eyes after winning a Superbowl.)

My goal here is not to make you an unfan of “Amish Mafia”, but rather to set the record straight. To let people like you, with an open, vulnerable mind to what may lie beneath the surface of the Amish, know whether or not this show is depicting the Amish truthfully, and did the Discovery Channel just make a huge breakthrough on some things deep within the Amish communities that need to be uncovered and addressed? To let you know, as best and as fairly as possible, how much truth, if any, there is to the “Amish Mafia”.

For those of you who have watched some of the Shows I have been a part of, and have contacted me asking what my thoughts are, my intentions are to either deny or confirm what you probably already know. Either way, by the end of this chitter chatter, I wish to lay to rest, any doubts about any questions you may have concerning this new show on the Discovery Channel.

Let us take a step back. The year is 2004. I have been out of the Amish for about 1 1/2 years. I am approached by UPN to be on a reality show. The three main Producers in charge of putting the show together and doing the casting are Jon Kroll, Daniel Soiseth, and Daniel Laikind. Only Laikind has had any experience with Amish or Ex Amish. He did what I think was the very first ever film/Documentary, “Devil’s Playground” Produced by Daniel Laikind and Stick Figure Productions, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Playground_(2002_film)

At the time when the early stages of “Amish in the City” were coming together, word spread like wildfire about it, and it became one of the biggest controversial reality shows of its time. It was so controversial in fact, that almost the entire series had to be filmed in private, because of the fact that the Amish actually got in contact with some high up officials, I can’t remember if it was Government, Congress, or whoever you go to try to stop something like this. They did it because of the right to their “Freedom of Religion”, and they felt that exploiting them on TV was abusing that freedom.

What I do remember is that “Amish in the City” had to be screened by some high up officials before it could be televised. We had almost no time for advertising, and the first episode aired almost as a surprise to many viewers, because of the attempt at keeping it on the down low. The idea being that once the first episode aired, and viewers seen how un controversial it was, they would let the entire season air. This is exactly what happened.

Oh, but how far it has come since then. Let me just say for starters, that there is not the slightest inkling of a doubt in my mind that if our show would have been “Amish Mafia”, only 8 short years ago, not one episode would have ever crossed the screen for the public to see. But can I blame The Discovery channel? After all, I agreed to be on the first ever, series with real Amish or Ex Amish characters on it. Maybe I am partially to blame for breaking the ground for the shows that are now airing. Let me say for the record, if that is the case, that I am not losing any sleep over that thought, since I am well aware that if I didn’t do it, someone else would have. Someone else who might have been less respectful or accurate then our cast was…. Someone like Lebanon Levi.

Sam

AMISH MAFIA:
I felt in fairness, in order for me to give my opinion on this show, I would need to watch at least one episode. So last night I pulled up a chair, a bag of popcorn, and flipped to the Discovery Channel. I noticed that there was not one, but three hours running back to back. Without doing the proper research, I would presume that it was the 3rd week of the show, and the first hour or two were re runs, and the third was a new episode.

I might also add that if you are strictly looking for entertainment, than this show will serve that purpose. I admit that I was glued to the TV, wondering exactly what they would show next. Even though I knew early on whether or not it is real, I felt somehow roped into it in some weird, sick, twisted way. Maybe it was the sympathy I felt for the Ex Amish kids who are on the show, who probably had no clue what they were getting into when they were approached about the show. Maybe it was shockingness or lack of respect for the Amish people and their privacy that held my gaze. Maybe I am a victim of the world.

Someone who is only captivated by shocking, controversial topics that make you wonder if it can possibly be true, or exactly how far these people are actually willing to go. Or maybe it was because I was trying to find an inspiration for my answer to your questions of what my opinion is concerning this show. Whatever the reason, I did make it through an entire episode, and ever so briefly considered watching the second one simply because I saw previews of a fight that Lebanon Levi supposedly had fixed.

If you can watch this series and withhold opinion about the Amish and what this show depicts them to be, and you are watching it purely for entertainment, than this show just may be a good fit for you.
If, however, you are someone who believes everything you see on TV, are easily influenced by edited reality shows and this will affect your opinion on the Amish people in a negative manner, than I am truly disappointed.

This show went where The National Geographic Channel, Stick Figure Productions, the rest of the cast of “Amish: out of Order” and myself, could have gone, but chose not to. Judging by the “monitored” Twitter feeds coming in below on the TV screen, I assume a lot of viewers really believe the show is real, and that they are just now finding out about the “Amish Mafia”. I haven’t checked the ratings, but assume the show is getting good ratings. I can only cringe at what show some network will come out with about the Amish next, in order to exceed this one.

Now I will tell you a few things that I seen in only the first episode, that may help you make a decision on whether this show is for real or if it is Fake. Keep in mind that I have a slight advantage here in that I was not only raised as an Old Order Amish for the first 22 years of my life, so I was there and lived it, but also that I have been on both sides of the camera, so I kind of know what to look for.

In the scene where the Amish lady was on her way to visit Johnny’s, and was in her words, hit by someone who was passing her in a hurry and kept right on going. What I noticed is that the front left Buggy wheel was smashed. Upon further investigating by the Right Hand Men, they found this 4 door, white sedan that she had described. What popped out to me is that the car was damaged in the exact same place. The front left fender. Now my theory, and correct me if I am wrong, is that either the Amish lady didn’t have her story straight, and the car was actually coming from the front, or they found a cheap old car that was junk anyway, so the Lebanon Levi’s right hand man can shoot a hole into it. I won’t even speculate on whether or not the whole thing was scripted from start to finish.

This Lebanon Levi, head of the Amish Mafia, that handles the insurance, and all the money for the Amish. OK. What I seen were editors who didn’t cut his clips quite quick enough. Often at the beginning or the end of a script that Levi was reading off of, I caught the beginning or the end of a doubtful look, a smile, a glance for approval from the camera guy, or plain uncertainty of what he is supposed to say. The clips were so cut together that even if it was only for a fleeting second at a time, it was quite noticeable to my eye. This leads me straight to topic three.

After reading off a teleprompter or written script only a few times, you can instantly pick up on someone else who is doing the same. Watch the eyes, not talking to you, but reading listlessly off a written script. Not only was Levi doing this, but Alvin, who seem timid, shy, and reserved, and definitely a poor fit as the man who you have to cross in order to get to Levi, could not seem to piece together a complete paragraph on his own. As a matter of fact, I never in 1 entire episode, seen Alvin say more than a one liner at a time.

Amish cast members or Actors: If you are not familiar with all the different kinds of Amish, Mennonite, New Order Amish, Beachy Mennonite, Swartzentruber Amish, and about 50 other variations of Amish, it may be difficult to know for sure if these kids have Amish ties or if they’re indeed just actors. I can say with all certainty that, although we have never been formally introduced, every one of them has been directly Amish at one point and time.

The rest of this paragraph is pure speculation, but here is what I think. I know that in PA the Amish are much more liberal with their teenagers who are exploring in the outside World. Therefore I am unable to accurately know for sure if they still live at home on their parents farm, or have officially left the Amish permanently. Gut feeling says they have officially left, and have been considered ex Amish some years ago. Either way, whether they still live at home or in their own houses on the outside, by their clothes, vehicles, language, and how they carry themselves, around here they would certainly be called ex Amish, and shunned by the Amish communities. Again, in the more Eastern States, the Amish are much more liberal with their stray children, but in the end, they are still shunned and discouraged from hanging with the kids who are still within the community. Which leads me into my next topic.

In the episode I watched, Lebanon Levi and his Men caught a respected elder of the community going with a Taxi Driver to hang with a Prostitute at a local Motel room. With the help of a camera, they got some incriminating evidence of this Elder in the room with this Prostitute of the world. Again, I won’t even spend time on what IF’S of whether or not any of this is true or if it is all scripted. Let’s assume, for the sake of this topic, that this entire scene is true, and with the evidence and pictures they collected, that Levi approaches this man in his own house, and in search of more power or leverage, confronts him with the Gospel, orders this Amish Elder to move out of the Community for a while until things settle down a bit.
Let me take a step back. Let me repeat myself to make sure I seen it correctly. And definitely correct me if I am wrong on any count. Lebanon Levi, a shunned Ex Amish kid, who has never been baptized into the Amish church, drives to a respected elder of the Old Order Amish community IN HIS VEHICLE, WITH A CAMERA CREW, confronts this man with Blackmail, IN HIS OWN HOUSE, and orders him to leave not only his own home, but also his whole family and community for a time while he, Lebanon Levi, gets him help to get back on track? Is it just me or does anyone who knows an established elder of the Amish community and their stance toward a wayward ex Amish person, see the irony of this situation?

To think that somehow Levi has manipulated not only the entire Amish community but also English people, including the local Police department, to turn their heads, to fear him, and to bow down and be ordered to move out of a community under ANY circumstances is Far Fetched beyond belief, and laughable at best.

Levi handles the Insurance and other Money for the Amish. Need I say more. Every Amish person I know works hard for a living, and is very slow to give up their money. After a few of the details I went over above, with the disregard the Amish have toward someone who refuses to become baptized, and now drives trucks, etc, the fact that the show keeps stating that Levi is well-respected among the Amish for his role as a Mafia leader, and that he is loved by some and feared by others, do I really need to go into any detail on this subject in order for the reader to form an opinion on whether or not he touches one dollar of one Amish person’s money?

And finally, last but not least, created Sex, Sex, And more Sex Scandals. I suppose if you are going to do a controversial show about Amish people, with no holds barred, and no screening before it is aired, what better way to get the ratings up high then to make it as shocking as possible. And what is more controversial to see on TV, and what captivates a viewer’s attention more than Sex Scandals, spread openly across your screen. Heaven forbid it is a show about brother Jebediah stealing a Buggy or a Cow from Brother Joseph.

In this 1 and only episode I intend to ever watch of this show, there were at minimum, 4 Sex scandalous stories in the 45 minutes of it. Is this an accurate description of the Amish and what they stand for?

After watching the episode, I feel the strongest desire imaginable, to inform any viewer of this show that I can touch, whether it be via internet or other, that this series is, in my opinion, a disaster. That it is a huge misrepresentation of the entire Amish communities and what they stand for. That by brandishing Guns at will, Boldly marching into Amish farmhouses pretending like they own the Amish, disrespecting a culture that remains one of the rare, private, secluded cultures left standing in America, and agreeing to do it all on public Television is making a mockery of the Amish.

The one thing that the show and the Amish Mafia is correct on is that the Amish do not like confrontations. When a show like this comes out, they see it as a sign from God that the end of the World is very near at hand. That all this is God’s will, and that they will let it go, because why question God.

When I did my last show, I caught mild to sometimes severe criticism from the Amish and Ex Amish alike. In comparison, right now, I am the good guy. Let there be no doubt. I believe I speak for every Amish and ex Amish when I say that every single one of them is Embarrassed and Humiliated that a show like this that misrepresents the Amish and Ex Amish in such a manner, ever got as far as being televised.

amish-kingpin

So why did I finally step out on the limb, go on record and write probably the most controversial Blog I’ve written yet, knowing full well that I will have haters and criticizers who will accuse me of everything from being jealous of the ratings, to having sour grapes that I wasn’t a part of it, to someone who simply wishes to attract attention to himself.

Here are the two main reasons.

Reason One. I do feel partially to blame that I may have been responsible for opening the flood doors to some of these other shows coming along behind. I have no control over how these Shows are edited. Trust me when I tell you that was never my intention when I agreed to do the shows I did.

Reason Two. Every one of us Ex Amish has family and friends that are still back among the Amish Communities. Amish that although we do not all have a relationship with them like we often would like to have, we still Love them. Amish who, like it or not, believe without the slightest doubt in their minds, that they are doing the right thing in life. Amish who do not have a desire to have to defend themselves to the world. Amish who for the most part are living a Wholesome, Pure life.

And finally, Amish who will be absolutely tarnished by this show and what is portraying them to be, but will never lift a finger against it to defend themselves. My Amish family and friends who will now have outside people driving past their places who will judge them, wish to spit on them for what they believe to be the truth. I write this only to make an attempt at protecting my people. In the end, blood truly runs thicker then water, and I do not care to see my own Blood used, Slighted, stepped upon, Belittled, taken Advantage of, made light of, or Misrepresented.

This is the one and only time that I will ever address the show, “Amish Mafia”, and the Cast on it. I typically refuse to stoop to these levels and open myself up to criticism concerning something like this that I am not a part of. I have now told you my opinion, even leaving out some of my feelings, out of respect for everyone involved.

So is there an Amish Mafia? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I think between the Discovery Channel running a disclosure at the beginning of the Series stating that it is Fake, and what I have posted, Hopefully your questions, fears, or concerns have been laid to rest.

The closest thing to an Amish Mafia is when you have disobeyed some of the rules within the church and the preachers come to your place to see if they can help you get your life back on track. Even then, there is no violence, money involved, Power, Manipulation, Blackmail or intimidation.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is, for once and for all, what my feelings are regarding the lack of, “The Amish Mafia”.

My name is Mose J Gingerich, and I approve this message.

 

85 Comments

  1. Cathy6098

    Thank you,thank you,thank you!!!! I get annoyed whenever I see commercials for this nonsense and I value your opinion, so thank you for sharing it!

    My kids were joking that they were going to watch “Amish Mafia” and instead I had them watch an episode of “Out of Order” on Youtube. They watched a few and found there was much they didn’t know about Amish altogether and I haven’t heard about wanting to watch the other show since!

    Thank YOU again!

    • My daughter is engaged to an examish man and we watched this with him. He said he never knew anything like this nor had he ever heard anything about “amish mafias” in any community while he was amish. He isn’t believing it and thinks this show is making the Amish out to be bad people. He said these people had to be examish to do what they were doing. Honest Amish people would not do any of those things.
      I have to agree… Thanks for your post Mose.

  2. LisaInChicago

    HA! Mose, I really admire your honesty, and the loyalty you show towards those who have turned their backs on you. I never once believed there was an Amish Mafia. Yes, there are good and bad people in every culture, but I highly doubt that the Amish – any of the various communities – would allow an actual Mafia to exist within their midst. Having never been Amish, even *I* know enough to know that it would never be accepted.

    I do feel bad for the ex Amish that have been suckered into doing the show, because they probably have no idea how far their “message” will reach and the sort of damage they are doing to their own people. Like you said… whether they want to admit it or not, they all left behind people who loved and cared for them, and I’d be willing to bet that most of them still love and care for the ones they left behind. I can only hope that they were “captured and blinded” by the producers and the promise of fame while they were still too “wet behind the ears” in the English world to realize what they were saying yes to. Oh, the things that money and fame will make people do! They probably felt that they had nowhere else to go when they left the Amish so they hooked up with TV producers instead of someone like you who could have helped them adjust a little better. What a shame that is.

  3. Thank you so much for this. It a much needed. I am truly sorry that people so hung up on other Amish shows, and that can’t and don’t want to know you for you, yourself, your family, your accomplishment. I am thankful that I have enough common sense to know the real things from fake ones. I truly enjoy the Out Of Order shows,and since then, I have read several books on Amish and thier ways of life. I deeply appreciate you sharing your blog for us to read. THank you for all that you do. Thank you for being you. I really appreciate that you take life and make the best of it. Thank You !

  4. Carol Ann Carol Ann

    Thank You, Mose. I appreciate your straightforward answer to this silly show. We watch for entertainment and laugh at some of the situations. Yes, you can certainly tell they are reading from a script. And my husband and I have mentioned how you can sneak up on someone when you have camera crew right there! Does the Discovery Channel think we were all born yesterday?

    I did not see your posts about your trip with your family or you winning the fantasy football. Congrats on that and good for you! And I think a family vacation is such a good thing. When our kids were small we used to take day trips all the time to great places.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope you have a great year, sell lots of cars and, when football season starts again I hope you have good luck with your fantasy football picks! Best of Luck to you, Mose.

  5. Amen! I totally agree with the others who have commented on this subject. It is so sad that, after an honest attempt at looking into Amish life, they have made a mockery of it. Unbaptized Lebanon Levi driving around in a Cadillac and dispensing his form of “justice” to elders of the church, and the ridiculous notion that this elder would say “Yes, Sir” to this guy, are ludicrous.
    Thanks, Mose, for the series that you have been involved in,and good luck with your next attempt with Fantasy Football!

  6. Thank you for this post. I so agree. I couldn’t even sit thru 1 episode so for you I know it had to have been even harder.

    I am a descendent of an Amish ancestry (from PA and IN). I have always been fascinated by the Amish and and sad that shows like this one have put out such a bad light on the people.

    I hope everyone who watches can see thru it.

    I so appreciate all the explanations that you give us to help understand the true things about the
    Amish. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your honesty.

    Best to you and your family!

    Julee in Salt Lake City

  7. I thank you, too, Mose. I watched the first show and thought, this is a bunch of crap. So, I am glad you spoke out.

  8. rlfbailey

    I agree with you Mose, this show is pretty ridiculous, and it definitely puts a bad spin on a community of people who are not trying to get media attention. I was surprised that the discovery channel did this. However, I really loved your story at the beginning, I thought that was cute. “They showed up with pitch forks…” That will have me giggling for a while. Hope you had a great holiday! I love your blog. I loved watching Amish: Out of Order because I used to teach social studies and the Amish were always off limits for us as teachers, mostly because we knew very little about them besides the basic Anabaptist faith. When I was a young child my mother would take my sister and I to visit an Amish community just outside of Rome, NY. I believe they were Old Order Amish, they seemed very strict. The mother of the house sold baked goods. They were the best I have ever had in my life! She had a son who was the same age as me, but we were never allowed to speak to each other. When I was a child this did not make sense, but now I totally understand why that was, and obviously, as I got older, common sense set in and I understood why. However, despite the not talking I will never forget having a staring contest with him the first time my Mom brought me over there. I think I won. That was so many years ago. Anyway, I love your show, and the way you help those kids, you’re a blessing to many of them Mose. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  9. ndngntlmn

    For some time I have only read your posts and watched your work on TV. After this one, I felt compelled to register and comment. I am Osage Indian. Unlike the Amish, most Indian people I know, wish to be seen and understood, but we seldom are successful in this. I understand the Amish desire to remain “invisible” to the English world, and things like this Amish Mafia fiasco seem to make them justified. However, your willingness to show some of your personal life and struggle helps me to see that though I am Osage and you are Amish, we are brothers on spiritual journies…Thank you for being brave and strong enough to share. I truly pray that more folks will someday understand that all of us different kinds of cultures can coexist in peace and harmony….Bless you Mose

  10. Thanks for your thoughts, reflections, clarifications and examples on Amish Mafia. What I appreciate about your comments is that for me the things you say ring true (as opposed to watching “Amish Mafia” and thinking “No way!”)
    I was born into an Amish family and have many Amish cousins, aunts, uncles and live in Northern Indiana Amish Country. My parents left the church when I was small. My dad had spent five years in the Army during WWII and was just not resigned to staying Amish the rest of his life. So a few years after marrying his long-time Amish sweetheart, he convinced her to join the Mennonites and get a car. Like you he was soon selling cars and did that most of his adult life.
    Anyhow – back to Amish Mafia… I think what “English” people don’t realize and can’t quite wrap their minds around is the different mind set of an Amish person, where the thinking is not about “me” and “my” wishes, needs, desires, but rather about “community” and what preserves the traditions and life style of the community. It changes so much about how you approach life.

  11. Having lived around Amish most of my life, I knew from the Promo that the whole show was false. I am sure if a Amish person saw this show they would be embarrassed and horrified that anyone would believe this show. So people, STOP watching this piece of garbage and watch something else that is uplifting and entertaining.

  12. Carla speed

    Thank- you Moses for your thoughts on this matter.
    I felt is wasn’t true from the start I live in a community that is close to Amish communities and from everything I have ever learned about Amish they are non violent people. I imagine their forms of dicipline are not quite the same as we English have, but I couldn’t ever imagine it to be that drastic from what I had learned. I think it is great that you have not only seen things from both views, but can also be fair in the way you approach a situation. I believe that does come from your strict RESPECTFUL upbringing. you may have left your Amish roots but, not your values! Koodos for all you do for those who also want to just find themselves!!! Keep up the good work! God will repay your for your acts of love and kindness!! God Bless you always!

  13. when i 1st saw the commercial for Amish Mafia, i said when is it going to stop? i enjoy shows that educate me particularly when it involves the world i live in & around, right now that’s Amish Country, lol & proud to say for most part, some of the best neighbors i’ve ever had, i apologize for decent English people for those jerks who can’t resist telling lies on tv to people who don’t know better. Mose, please don’t stop Amish:Out of Order, it’s the 1 true Amish show that doesn’t lie, and i thank you for that.

  14. Thank you Mose for setting the record straight. When I saw the previews for “Amish Mafia” I almost thought it was supposed to be a joke. While I am not and never have been Amish, I was raised Mennonite (I never joined the church but my whole family are still Mennonite) and lived 20 years in northern Indiana where I lived, worked and shopped in a lot of the same places as Amish in the community. I enjoyed watching “Amish Out of Order” and appreciated how the show was presented with respect. So when I realized that “Amish Mafia” was a real show I was just disgusted. I am well aware of the shared Anabaptist roots of Amish and Mennonites and was raised as a pacifist and taught to turn the other cheek so the concept of an amish mafia is just ludicrous. I have been telling anyone who will listen that the show is not real and makes no sense if you know anything about the Amish. Unfortunately, many people don’t seem to really care – people today seem to be addicted to “reality” tv drama – no matter how absurd. Thank you for making an educated statement about this show – it means more coming from someone who has lived as Amish. I am looking forward to another season of “Out of Order”. Thanks again!

  15. You go Moses I think it’s really sad that people would really believe That these people really exsist .

  16. axman1971

    Thank You, I am very happy you wrote the blog. I caught the smiles and looks at the camera too, But I didn’t see the buggy part until you pointed it out. My views of the show align with yours, was made for entertainment. also i don’t mind reading about your fantasy football league. It makes me happy and it seems that your life is going very well and may it keep going that way. Best wishes to you and your family in the coming year.

  17. Guy Twombly

    Thanks again Mose I’m sure no one who watches this show could take it seriously. And it does make you feel a little unclean after an episode and it’s implications. I prefer to think of the Amish as a plain people sticking to their core belief system, so no damage done here. Peace

  18. biidaaban

    Thank you for your thoughts regarding “Amish Mafia”. When i first saw the commercials for it i remember thinking that if the show gained a fan base of any kind it would speak volumes about the bizarre turn this country has taken.

    Also i hope you realize that if we don’t respond to your regular posts on facebook, it could very well be due to our respect for you and your family and knowing that you are all entitled to a normal life.

    Holding Good Thoughts for you and yours. :)

  19. capriguy76

    I have to admit that I was taken in for a minute by the ahow. I should have known better because I grew up in northern Indiana and had some contact with the Amish. After thinking about it for a little bit I realized this was “The Sopranos” set in Amish country. It was a complete and total fabrication. Thanks for confirming that for me.

    Also, I had missed that the damage was on the wrong spot on the car. Kudos for the sharp eyes.

    Thanks

  20. millersbuffalofarm

    I appreciate your comments, Mose. Although I’ve never been Amish, (I’m a life-long Mennonite), I’ve lived in Holmes Co. Ohio all my life amongst the Amish. Everyone I’ve talked to here thinks this show is a scripted comedy of errors. We don’t know anything about this so-called “Mafia”.

    We’re still trying to figure out who “Merlin from Berlin” is – all we can find out is that he goes tanning at a salon in town. He’s hardly the imposing mafia “Don” that is portrayed on the show.

    I would also point out that the show has drawn some parallels to the beard-cutting crowd that is now in federal prison for hate crimes. The beard-cutters are locally regarded as a cult and though they dress Amish, they don’t act like Amish. People were indeed afraid of them, but they were the rare exception, not the rule.

    Like everywhere else, there are plenty of imperfect people in our Anabaptist communities, but I feel that you have an honest and genuine perspective. I hope people will respect what you say. Blessings…

    • Also from Holmes Co and was perplexed that this guy was running things here and I had never heard of him! Found out he is from Winesburg/Wilmot area. Basically a small time drug dealer. Another example of how big of a farce this whole thing is.

  21. God Bless You Mose. I prayed from the beginning of your very first tv show that God would use you for his glory. I prayed that God would bring out the truth about the Amish and that many would be healed and set free from the oppression.

    Over the years I followed your growth and maturity and am so happy that you are doing exactly that. I know Jake, Steve, and David Lapp who you became friends with a while back in your search for God. I am so excited about the good work the Lord will do through your life in helping the Amish, Ex-Amish, and English people.

    I never dreamed that the flood gates of pop culture would embrace a “Jerry Springer like” show about a people who are so oppressed and in need of true salvation. Such a show will only make them more fearful of the world and the English. It breaks my heart that TV has ventured into this realm with the Amish as its focus.

    But I do know that God works everything out for the good of those who love him. He can bring good from this horrible situation.

    I am praying for you to continue to speak truth / healing / forgiveness/ and openly with boldness and grace to all who will listen, including Amish.

    I was intamately involved in the Amish community of …. County Indiana for 15 years. At one point I was spending everyday in the homes of several Amish families. Including Jake’s family before they were shunned and they moved back to PA and started their ministry.

    I spent time learning the Amish way of life for several years. My friends called me their sister, despite that I was not born Amish. I would spend days at a time gardening, canning, cleaning, baking, eating meals together, and talking about faith, and praying together despite the fact that the Amish leadership (from PA and OH) did not want anyone talking about faith or reading the bible outside of their church meetings. They actually passed a law forbidding anyone from talking about the bible outside of church meetings. Amish could not talk to Amish for fear of being shunned if they were caught doing it. I spent many hours at the Bishop’s farm too, his home, his farm, his business, his family, etc. I prayed every time I entered and left his driveway that his eyes would be opened to the truth and he and his family would be set free.

    I was very close to many in the community. I love them dearly. I have so much to share about this experience and hope to share more at another time. Though it is discouraging when Lies are portrayed as truth (such as this TV show called Amish Maffia) and folks are duped into believing the lies. I am so glad there are others such as yourself with a voice of truth. May God be glorified through you Mose!

    Be blessed,
    Melinda Weiser, BSW, QMRP
    http://www.weiseracademy.com

  22. Did a google search and here is what I found. Lebanon Levi is an actor named Levi King Stoltzfus.

    http://hollywoodite.com/celebrities/lebanon-levi

  23. nancysluman

    Well this is all very hypocritical isn’t it Mose? Didn’t you do Amish at the Altar? Wasn’t that FILLED with Mennonites dressed Amish passing themselves off as Amish? Who was the Amish preacher? I t doubt you’ll say.

    I work with Randy in Sarasota, Florida and he told me for a FACT that he was already ex-Amish on the UPN show and so were you. In fact we all know you were living with a divorced woman at the time. Please, please please please do not throw stones at people when you are the biggest fraud of them all.

    All of these Amish shows are fake. Including YOUR’S. So please please please save the preaching and judgement.

    • Here is the difference…Mose was doing his shows as an educational piece, not as “in your face” blatant lies, trying to make a buck from people who have no investment in such stuff. You have some issues, I would say. but to each his/her own opinion!

      • Nancysluman, I believe that Mose does his best to portray his (and my) people truthfully and honestly. IMHO, Amish, Out Of Order is the best “Amish” show out there, to date. I was a bit disappionted in Amish At The Altar simply because the “Amish” wedding that took place in Lancaster was re-enacted by ex-amish and the so called Amish preacher is actually an “Amish Mennonite or Beachy man who I personally know. The same man happens to be Alan Beiler’s (of Amish Mafia) adoptive or foster father. Sweet man. I question whether or not he is/was fully aware of his participation in what I consider the worst Amish show I have ever seen.

    • And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I was pertaining to when I say I am often misunderstood, criticized, and even hated by a handful of people who don’t “get” me.
      In the meantime, I will continue to do what I do. Thank you for your feedback, Nancysluman.

      • Carol Ann Carol Ann

        Well, Mr. Gingerich, I get you. I “got” you way back on Amish in the city. I have so often thought of you through the years and was happy to see you on TV again. Most of the people out here certainly don’t hate you as one can see by all the positive posts you get. You can’t please all the people all the time and some of them you can never please! You could give them a free Toyota and there would be “something” wrong with it! You may be criticized and misunderstood-aren’t we all?- but that will happen no matter what. Anyway, you just keep on doing what you’re doing and things will be fine.

      • rlfbailey

        Nancy, I believe that Mose has been honest, and tells the truth, r educational purposes. In no way is his work fake.

    • Gutjahr68 Gutjahr68

      Wow, and you said a mouthful. Why in the world do you subscribe to this blogs which such feelings of disdain toward Mose and any shows he has been involved with? Comparing his shows with the likes of Amish Mafia is like comparing apples and oranges.

      As far as airing out whether someone lived with a divorced woman or not…who cares? Divorced is divorced. Ex-Amish is ex-amish. What you do as Ex-Amish is nothing different than what thousands of other people do. Meet divorced people, fall in love…get married or not. Whatever. It is none of our business. However, thank you for enlightening us on this otherwise irrelevant piece of information.

      What is our business is the opinion that was asked of Mose and we got it. Everyone is entitled to your opinion, but I’m afraid this is the wrong site to be trying to “out” Mose or whatever your intention was. I’m afraid he has far too many supporters to let that go by unnoticed. My motto is…one should never cast stone without fear of someone tossing one back. God bless.

    • weottababyitsaboy

      When Jeremiah… o wait Nancy sluman, Jeremiah, Nancy one in the same person talks about people being frauds it gives me the giggles. Dont be so sour Jeremiah just because People like and respect Mose and dislike you, is no reason to be Jealous. If you had a shred of decency people might like you too.

    • azhlynne

      Give us one example of Mose “Throwing stones” at anyone? He has never, as far as I can see, done anything except carefully either explain something or give his opinion. Literally hundreds of us asked him if there was any such thing as the Amish Mafia. He did not just fly off with a response until he’d sat down and watched it. Then he reasonably answered us to the best of his ability based upon the experiences of his life. What I truly do not understand is why you are on this forum if all you want to do is call someone names and attack. you actually took the time to create a log in just so you could call Mose a hpocrite and a fraud. If you don’t agree with something so strongly why bother coming on here at all? Give me one example of him throwing stones at anyone. Please. I’d really like to know one example of him doing that because I’ve yet to see one, myself. He seems to me to be exceptionally careful while walking the line between protecting the Amish and educating the English. So I am sincerely interested in your examples of his hypocrisy and stone throwing. Neither do I see where he preaches or judges anyone else. When we ask, he answers to the best of his ability and that’s that. If anyone is passing judgement, dear, it seems to be you.

      • Don’t be too harsh on Nancy or whoever posted the above comment. As I stated when I posted the blog, for people who are fans of the shows, “Breaking Amish”, or “Amish Mafia”, but have never seen or heard of me and “Amish: Out of Order”, they have no reason to like or respect me. Never mind that our show was the “Good Guy, Ground Breaker”, show.

        In that sense, I can’t find fault for this person who seems “disappointed” in me.

  24. Good for you Mose! I had been around the Amish in Pennsylvania for years and although I cannot believe any TRUE Amish or respectable ex-amish would participate in a show of this nature. I applaud you for your comments and insight. To me it’s a defamation of an honest, hard working people.

  25. deerslayer9point deerslayer9point

    God bless your heart Mose. I have often thought about you and why you are in the situation your in today. Your life has a plan. The Lord has a plan for us all. Even though you are no longer Amish, the good Lord is using you to still help them. He knows just exactly how and where to put us. I was raised Baptist. But HE has called me to work in other ways differ from the way I was raised. But the Baptist is a good way. Just as far as I can tell, the Amish is a good way. Keep up the good work. Keep seeking The Lord’s face in making decisions. I watched the 1st episode of Amish Maffia and was sickened. I could feel unclean spirits with it. Nothing Holy. May God have mercy on their souls. God bless you and I pray for you and your family often. Chin up! God has not forgotten you!

  26. gigel_water

    Hi Mose.

    I would like to say that this blog post you have written was amazing!! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I watched a part of the episode of the Amish Mafia. I am shocked that Discovery Channel would risk and tarnish their reputation as a reputable documentary channel of believable and good quality documentaries!!!!! The sad thing is that people don’t use their brain enough to see that the whole premise of the show is absurd. Amish are not allowed to be videoed, or risk loosing their good standing in the community. Especially a bishop, with power in the community, would never, ever do what he did in that show.
    Thanks Mose for writing about how fake this “documentary” is!!!

  27. Gutjahr68 Gutjahr68

    I, like many others, am so glad that someone with Amish ties and the notoriety to do so has finally commented on this ridiculous television show. Thank you, thank you.

    Being of Penn-Deutsch ancestry myself, and with many acquaintances in the Amish community who actually do accept me because of my roots (bans, shunning set aside) I am bewildered by this train wreck of a show. Granted, I too found myself drawn to watching the show in order to satisfy my curiosity, I quickly found myself chuckling over the ludicrous scripting.

    Like you, Mose, I quickly noted the damage to the left front wheel/axle of the buggy and the right front damage to the car. Impossible if one is passing the buggy on the right as the “Amish woman” suggested. And, like you, I also noted the obvious teleprompter reading done by “Alvin”.

    Coworkers asked me if I thought the show was fake and I told them that the actor’s ability to speak Pennsylvania Deutsch indicates to me they are very real. Most likely Ex-Amish. There is simply no way that someone who was not raised in an Amish home could speak the dialect so fluently. But, they are the only real thing about the show.

    I then pointed out the utterly ridiculous scripting. Never, ever, have I ever heard of one man, especially one that is ex-communicated, holding such power over the Amish community in Lancaster, PA (which is exactly where my people came from). In actuality, a few punches of the keys on Google can give you some information on the cast. I found myself doing so as I wondered what kind of Amish family names their child “Lebanon?” Levi is also not a surname. In truth, Lebanon Levi is actually 33 year old Levi Stoltzfus. Lebanon is borrowed from the town in PA and tacked onto his name apparently to give him some sense of mystery. Levi Stolzfus is co-owner of a construction business and a member of the Neptune fire department. The later came in particularly handy when he obtained permits to burn a mobile home on a local fairground property, which will air in an upcoming episode. Goodness knows how Discovery will script this scene. Most likely he will be burning a foe out. Further information reveals that “Lebanon Levi’s” primary offenses are DUI’s and not nearly ‘Mobsteresque’ as one is led to believe.

    Regardless of who this young man is, or his reasons, I am just saddened that the media has decided to drag the Amish into the world of fictitious reality shows. Unfortunately, someone out there will believe the Amish Mafia is real. Unfortunately, it makes a mockery of the Amish people. Why the cast members would want to do this to their people I will never understand. Perhaps it was for money…perhaps for notoriety. I, myself, would be totally embarrassed to face my Amish neigbors/family AND my English friends/coworkers. Surely, they receive alot of ribbing from people they face each day.

    I thought I had seen it all with Breaking Amish. It most definately is rivaled by Amish Mafia. I agree with Mose, for those of us who have ties or are educated on the Amish, you find yourself watching it because it’s like a train wreck. You sit and wait to see what silliness is going to come next.

    I find Amish Mafia to be more of a comedy than a reality show. The poor Amish Godfather has to set up a desk in the cow barn…which would make it impossible for me as an actor not to burst out in laughter as main man Alvin leads me in to ask for money or help from a guy perched behind a metal desk next to a hay stack and a tractor. Not to mention, courting Esther as she discusses issues brought to her attention…her attention???…as you side step the dung piles in a sheep pen. Very imposing indeed. It appears to me that the person with the most control in the whole show is Esther. Maybe a sequel is in the works…”Amish Godsister”.

    After all, I doubt that poor John is going to be overthrowing anyone regardless of what his sister thinks or says. There is nothing more sinister than a guy burning down a country road on his scooter lamenting about why he doesn’t have a car. Hmmm, scary. Poor John spends more time lamenting his woes than he probably should. At his age he should be doing less thinking and more working…and NOT on camera. I’m not sure I would have been willing to sign on as the bumbling dimwit of the bunch unless the renumeration for my role was…a cadillac and huge salary.

    And Alvin. Well, can’t quite figure him out. I’m thinking that he’s just biding his time. Standing outside of the ole’ cow barn waiting on new arrival to usher in to “The Big Man”…waiting for the moment to strike and take over as Mob Boss. It is always the quiet ones who surprise you! He has already proven how destructive he can be by killing off two Michelin Tires on a mini-van. Who would ever think anything strange of a guy following you around in a Mercedes, pulling up in front of your house, getting out in Amish clothing, and then gauging your tires out with a hay knife? Shouldn’t be hard to narrow down that felon!

    And that leads to my next question. How in the world do these guys manage to escape arrest? Does no one in Lancaster complain about someone slashing their tires? Is it normal to have some Mennonite guy roll up in his truck and blow your front windshield out with a shotgun? Of course, prior to the incident he was confronting the owner but then later told John “No one was home”. Get your story straight…or your script.

    Are there no police officers in Lancaster who respond to buggy/auto accidents? Are they simply too afraid of a local deck builder to step on his toes? Ludicrous.

    And where does an exiled Bishop go after Lebanon Levi tells him to “disappear for awhile…I’ll take care of your business while you are gone”. Does he get an all-expense paid vacation to Pinecraft in Florida by Levi? Am I to believe that four guys are going to manage the Bishops business, family, AND church affairs? Imagine that, Lebanon Levi standing before the congregation for a half day sermon on the Ten Commandments. Don’t forget to add the eleventh…leave your donations in my hat on the way out and I’ll protect you all from evil.

    On the not so silly side, kudos to Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, and Chevrolet for furnishing such beautiful vehicles for the cast to rove about in. Too bad they didn’t seek a few shiny new buggies from the local buggy makers…or even a new scooter for John. After all, if you are going to exploit the Amish then you should at least provide them with the opportunity for some free advertising!

    Let’s all pray that this is the end of abusing friends, relatives, and simply a people that we have come to honor for their beliefs whether we agree with all of them or not. People that just want to be left alone. Perhaps if we had known that reputable stations like Discovery were going to make a mockery out of them and disrespect them we would have. People just want to settle their curiosity about the Amish and thanks to Mose Englischers got a front row seat into the lives of the Amish. While they may have been disenchanted by the enchanting idea that had about the Amish…at least they were given a realistic view. For that, thank you Mose.

  28. Thank you Mose…my hubby and I watched one episode and was totally disgusted. Hubby was raised Mennonite and has Amish & Hutterite relatives and said in all his life he had never heard of anything like this. I have to agree I believe the producers of this show have stepped way out of bounds.

  29. ScoutLabrador

    Thank you for letting people know the trueth. I have watched a few minutes of the Mafia show myself and was disheartened. I deal with the Amish in Michigan on a regular basis, have had dealings with Amish in Indiana and Tennessee and have never seen or heard of such behavior or persons. It is truely a shame that such negative fiction is being shown on TV and so many people will believe it to be true. Thank you Mose for all you have done and for trying to stay true. I wish you, your family and your extended ex-Amish family the best.

  30. ScoutLabrador

    Thanks Gutjahr68 for a great read!!

  31. Well written. I attempted to watch the first episode, but couldn’t even make it half way through that mess. Obviously fake, and just another one of Discoverys terribly edited shows, attempting to garner ratings at any cost. I respect your opinion Mose, and know this sort of programming must irritate you and any other Amish that was able to view it, let alone non Amish.

  32. Thanks, Mose. I live in a community where amish shop regularly and live only 30 miles away. I also have ex-mennonite as friends for many years.
    I knew from the beginning of seeing those commercials that they couldn’t possibly be more than a fringe of an Amish community. I know some bad things about the Amish in our area but the worst I could say is they cheat the English around them.

    That’s why I’ve never watched that show. I knew I’d be so angry at that sort of made up story. Thanks for confirming my suspicions. now I don’t have to wonder at all. LOL

  33. EMANUELE316

    My Mother is from Lancaster, PA. Among three siblings, I’m the only one not to be born in Lancaster due to my father being stationed in Great Lakes, IL at the time. I did get to live there for a few years and seeing the Lancaster City and especially the Amish farmland is the best part. I try to do some road cycling up that way at least once a year! Love that place!

  34. parka1pup

    Mose, this show is pretty ridiculous show I live in Illinois and near the Amish area of Arthur. I also have a cousin that is Mennonite and husbands family was amish at one time. He works with a lot of amish and we shop in the amish stores. No mafia in this area I knew it was fake. I think A&E is getting a little crazy with some of there programs. Keep up with the good work you are doing with the kids that are leaving the amish. God Bless you

  35. Clydesdale Clydesdale

    Great write-up Mose, I enjoy the TV shows of Amish lifestyle but had a hard time believing this Amish Mafia thing; just doesn’t seem real. Thanks for shedding some light on this. I will likely not watch anymore of this series. It’s actually disgusting that Discovery tarnishes the Amish culture.
    Thanks

  36. Very well written Mose, I come from a similar background and it’s easy enough to get caught up in the hooplah of TV entertainment if you do not understand it from the inside,
    I have NEVER regret leaving and never will, but I will say that I have learned much more about life out here than I would EVER have in that environment, and “that” I appreciate and will always cherish

  37. billyhill

    Great info. Although, it is Exactly as I expected from the first airing. All untrue assertions about the Amish aside, it is ridiculous to think an area would put up with this ignorance from ANY organization, in this day and age, religious, or otherwise.
    That being said, I am one of the people out here, watching for the entertainment value. The same way that I watched ‘Kingpin’. And, although for a different kind of entertainment, the shows you have been involved with. I watch those, to actually attempt to learn a bit about the Amish. The ‘Amish Mafia’ I watch, the same way that I watch ‘The Three Stooges’ or ‘Supernatural’. Not because I believe it, Because it is over-the-top. I don’t think, overall, the general public believes this to be a true representation of the Amish world. At least, I HOPE the public isn’t that gullible…but, on the other hand..

  38. LowCarbCrafter

    I knew it. :)
    Know what I know about Amish and Mennonite, it just didn’t seem possible.
    Thanks for your insight!

  39. Llewison

    As someone who grew up in SW Wisconsin surrounded by Amish, I always felt the Amish Mafia was a hoax. Thank you for confirming my belief that Amish would never act this way.

  40. Thank you for an honest opinion from someone with legitimate knowledge. I came across your blog doing an internet search on the show, using creative search terms like “Is Lebanon Levi a D****E B*G? Actually, I already know the answer to that question, but I was curious to see what kinds of things my search would return.

    I have no connection whatsoever with the Amish community, but after seeing about 10 minutes of the first episode of this program, I found it to be incredibly disrespectful. If there were any kind of mafia, that twit would not be the head of it.

    The only thing this show has done for me, the only positive thing at least, is it has inspired me to learn more about the Amish community. The REAL Amish community. Which to an outsider, is very interesting to say the least. Thank you again, and I look forward to exploring your website and learning more from you and others who post here.

  41. coralbells

    I’ve watched a number of Amish Mafia shows and am amused at all the errors they make. I think that’s why I watched it several times. These are definately ex-Amish when you hear their accents but there are so many things that don’t add up. Where are the police when they are shooting at cars and burning furniture that is supposedly made by the english & passing it off as Amish Made?!!! Why is the young woman wearing such stylish glasses? Oh, there’s just so many things….. Thanks Mose.

  42. too many differnt levis, help

  43. Mose, excellent blog! I noticed the folks on “Amish Mafia” are rather amateurish in reading their lines. ** sigh ** Oprah owns the Discovery channels and she’s generally anti religion (very New Age). The way I see it, is the Amish are an easier target for attack than their old favorite target, the Catholic Church. Most of the mainstream Amish don’t watch TV and if they did, they probably don’t have an activist League (Catholics have “The Catholic League for Religious Rights” with Dr Bill Donahue at the helm and you don’t want to mess with him! :) He’s very outspoken.) So TV looks for a better easier target of religious folks and the Amish fit the bill – even better than Catholics – they dress “funny” (although Catholic nuns are the butt of an FX nasty show about old nuns in an insane asylum mistreating patients (of course, we knew that TV was not going to portray nuns in a good light, right?) and Amish are non confrontational. And they probably don’t watch a lot of TV. It’s all foretold in Revelations though “And the devil sought to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the laws of Jesus Christ i.e. the Amish are getting attacked, because they are good people and satanic TV doesn’t like that. Luckily there are ex-Amish like you who are in the world and can combat the lies. I never believed for a NY moment that the Amish community is rife with se/x, molestation, pediphelia and perversion etc just like nuns did not break their vows, conceive babies and have abortions and bury the bodies in the basement (a favorite myth about nuns – I was in the convent and that’s as false as “Amish Mafia”). Some folks whom, themselves are se/xually promiscuous cannot conceive of the concept of celibacy or modesty in marriage – Oprah’s never been married and lives with her B/F, the norm on TV. But then, maybe she’s gay also (some good evidence of that). Amish Mafia isn’t even a well written show – it’s kind of like Stephen King puts it “when you can’t be eloquent, go for the gross-out”. Thanks for your blog – I really enjoy reading it!

  44. im addicted to the shows, mose,seems like u started and the others followed.

  45. Just another quick thanks, Mose. I’m as much of a liver of drama and entertainment as the next person, but that show is just awful.

    I’m not Amish, not from PA (actually from WI) but I have repeated, nearly word for word, many of the reasons you’ve given as to why the show is fake.

    The sad thing is that there are people out there who believe in the “Amish Mafia” the way they believe in vampires and Snookie.

    Thanks for your opinion and I hope all is going well with you and yours.

  46. Quite honestly I generally watch TV to relax and unwind from a stress filled day. We currently live in a world where people are genuinely concerned about keeping their jobs and feeding their families along with paying their mortgages. We live during hard economic times. Other than news programs (which sometimes I turn off because I don’t have the stomach for the terrorist news), my TV is for our entertainment and to take our minds off of our days. Now, I agree that “Amish Mafia” may be offensive to the Amish community, however, I watch the show as entertainment – not as factual. There are many TV shows that as a middle class Caucasian family my home could take as offensive but we merely look at them as entertainment. I find Amish Mafia very entertaining. I suppose my point is – lighten up a little!

  47. Jennifer Jennifer

    Dear Mose,

    I am so glad you have more or less put an end to this question in many peoples minds. I, for one, could not begin to IMAGINE the dear sweet Amish that I have known, grown to love as friends and family, and worked for at the bank could behave in such a manner depicted in “Amish Mafia…” My word, they were behaving as “badly” as the Italian (God forgive me) mafia… I am Italian, but I would NEVER condone such behavior in ANY ONE – what ever their ethnicity, creed, gender, or whatever… It is apprehensible and most unbecoming parts of human nature we should all try to erase from our lives… When we relate to each other, we should think about how God would want us to relate to each other. What it was that Jesus taught us in his Sermon on the Mount. I don’t presume to know everything, or am I a church going individual. Mostly because of all the hypocrisy I see there. I can not subscribe to an organized religion built on what man thinks God wanted. This is all something I have prayed diligently on and continually pray on. However, I am not swayed by evil nor is my faith suffered by my “Lack of spiritual guidance;” as I have been told it would. I have learned to see truth where it is and see falsehoods (BS as you so eloquently put it) as well… It does not have to hit me like a ton of bricks!!!

    Are there problems in the Amish Community??? I am sure there are… Just like there are MANY problems in the “English” communities… However, The Amish stick together – family values are in their very fabric of their lives… IF an Amish child chooses the “English” ways, I am sure that it just about kills the mother when she has to disown the child… This is one thing I do not agree with… Something the Elder’s need to revisit… All things “English” are not bad… Right???

    Anyway, Dear Mose, I am glad I have found your blog site. I am glad I watched your Show. You have opened my eyes wider than they already were. God Bless you, your dear wife and family!!!

    Keeping y’all in my prayers,

    Jen Shaffer

  48. Mose,

    Thought you might find this interesting. A guy leaving the Amish to pursue NASCAR:

    http://www.swnews4u.com/section/1/article/10635/

  49. Having spent much of my life in Mennonite country Ontario, Canada, going from befriending a girl in kindergarden to dating a Mennonite boy when I was 18. I know Amish is not Mennonite, there are some similarities and some differences.

    When I saw the title Amish Mafia, I laughed and I watched it as fiction. I do understand Amish people being offended by this portrayal of them.

    Are there buggy races? Yes, after church, the young fellows take their horses (most of whom came from the racetrack via the sale barn) and have some excitement. Does it make huge amounts of money for an organizer? No.

    Does one person control the finances? Yes, the head of each household, possibly in a can hidden somewhere until he takes his buggy into Elmira and into the bank (smelling like the barn).

    Are there secrets that are known among the community? Yes, some, like the front of the house having no electricity, but the back of the house, unseen by the public, there is electricity in some homes.

    Mose Gingerich or as I have seen it Gingrich, is a popular name in the Elmira area. The gentleman I knew by that name was a fine man.

    If Amish people are offended by the portrayal, they should let their feelings be known both to the Discovery channel and the folks who made the show. They have a right to be offended in being portrayed in such a manner.

  50. SueEllen

    Thank you Mose. I briefly looked at an episode of the Amish Mafia show and quickly realized that there were too many inconsistencies. I found Amish Out of Order a year ago, and then wondered what had happened to the ones in the show particularly what had happened to you Mose. I was happy to find you and pray that you will continue in the work that you are doing in educating people and helping the ex-Amish who come across your path.
    Many blessings to you and your family.

  51. muchness1

    Mose,
    Thanks for sharing and educating English people about the Amish. I believe your motives are pure and I am better for having heard your story. You inspire me to be a better person. God Bless!

  52. Linda in Lancaster

    As someone who works for & with the Amish – there was never any doubt that the show was a joke. A very not funny joke. The Amish are hurt by the implications & the ‘English’ are duped into thinking some of this has to be true or it wouldn’t be on TV. Don’t be a fool. Come out to Lancaster County & experience the wonderful culture 1st hand.

    • azhlynne

      Linda, I went to school in Columbia at The Academy and absolutely loved Lancaster! I miss taking the bus into town and spending a nice morning at Central Market! Lancaster is a beautiful and wonderful town!

  53. floepp

    waiting for the show tonite , hqave a good day

  54. Thank you, Mose. I happened upon the ‘Amish in the City’ Out of Order television show today – it is still running -then I googled your name and found this blog.

    I too am ex-Amish, although I left many years ago. I am not affiliated with any church- in my experience, after having been Amish it is hard to take any church too seriously. I am far more concerned with someone’s spirit and character than with any labels.

    As for the ‘Amish Mafia’ show, I am glad that you confirm my own appalled opinion. I had never heard of any such thing, but after tuning in to one show for a very short time I too could see that these were ‘Amish kids’ and that was of concern to me. Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio have much larger Amish churches than any in which I grew up (Oregon and Virginia) and I feared that there might be such a thing nowadays even though unknown to me.

    (By the way, in Amish Out of Order, I just watched Michaela peel a potato- the housewife will quickly enough teach her to peel more sparingly! Lol)

  55. watched all of amish out of order,such wonferfull insite, mose thank you for all your work,and may you continue to do the work you feel is so important.

  56. mrbigjoe59

    Mose: I feel you are absolutely right. The problem with these types of shows, is that they capitalize on the “seamy” side of cultures. Another example of this is “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites”.

    Aside from the fact that accuracy doesn’t figure high on the producer’s list of priorities, it is just another piece of evidence that society loves and lives to attack Christianity. Well said, Mose! God bless you!

  57. Ideo fugiet Ideo fugiet

    Certainly the moment I saw the show was titled Amish Mafia I was shaking my head in total disbelief. Linking Sicilian Mafioso with the Germanic Amish was such a farfetched and ludicrous melding that it simply had to be designed for no other reason than the titillation of the ignorant masses. But then that’s generally what reality TV is about isn’t it? It very seldom rises to more “legitimate” purposes and even more unfortunately is not strictly limited to reality TV.

    While I certainly understand your “ire” however gently expressed I would like to expand the teaching moment presented by this conversation and remind those who were appalled by this particular example of “misinformation and slander” that similar situations occur quite commonly everyday in our modern American society. I see Protestants unthinkingly regurgitating trash that has no basis in fact about Catholics and Mormons, and Christians in general targeting Islam, Wicca, Satanism, Druidism and everything else not Christian with the same kinds of cavalier falsehoods, innuendos and lies. Of course if you’re not a member of that minority or have no familial or social ties to that minority you won’t be moved to outrage, feel insulted or even be moved to question if any truth lies embedded in such statements. It’ll probably slide on past you half unnoticed and soon forgotten hurting only those who were the intended target like the plagues in Mose’s Egypt slid on by the houses of the Hebrew faithful.

    Just last week a local newscast announced that Satanic rituals were involved in a local homicide that later turned out to be a teen mother shaking her baby to death. Nobody ever thought to apologize to or issue a retraction for our minority Satanic community publicly accused without cause of ritually slaying a random infant.

    From a personal perspective, I can’t count how many times over the last 30 years as a Wiccan mostly public about my faith that I’ve been forced to defend my religious beliefs and practices from unfounded accusations leveled by family, friends and acquaintances founded solely on Christian propaganda and Hollywood myth. Nor how often I suspect a new acquaintance disappeared because someone pointed a finger and whispered the word witch in their ear. Or how careful I have to be in new job and social situations to hide who and what I am until after people learn to know and trust who and what I am. The same is true I know for my homosexual brothers and sisters who are also wrongfully prejudged by the ignorant bias and bigotry in the homosexual myths subscribed to by their neighbors.

    Obviously I have no intention of accusing any who have commented here or even of laying any such accusations at your particular door. It’s just a request that we all pause for a moment and judge the ways we ourselves are guilty of not loving our neighbors enough to refrain from spreading rumor and untruth about them or what they do or believe

    • I.Fugeit, I don’t know much about Wicca but I do know a couple of people who are Wiccan and they are good people. Stay safe- there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there.

  58. keep up the good work!!!

  59. Mike Smith

    My Opinion:

    Not even worth commenting on!
    What’s your football prediction as its fast approaching? (Punt intended)

    Happy belated Birthday..

    I have many ex-Amish friends(you included) here in Ohio.

  60. My goodness…

    This truly HAS to be the most long winded, self important rant I’ve ever read. I’m not the type to call people out on being self centered, but WOW! do you realize what you wrote, how looooooooong it took for you to get to ACTUALLY speaking on the show? I honestly thought that I was reading the wrong page for a moment and had to scroll to the title saying ” I thought he was going to talk about Amish Mafia,”

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s YOUR blog about YOU, buuuuuuut the title implied that you’s speak on whether or not there really is an Amish Mafia. Instead, I get like 10 paragraphs about how you are the patriarch of Amish related shows, and that, if you knew what YOUR amazing, selfless, sharing Amish shows with America would lead to paving the way for the Amish Mafia, you’d have never made the show. This entire page sounds like you are so self righteous that you truly believe, if it weren’t for your show, Americans wouldn’t care enough to WANT to see Amish Mafia.

    Sure, you said “if you weren’t on the show someone else would have been” but that isn’t to say you feel any less important, but rather that you feel “hey someone eventually would, so why shouldn’t I be the one to capitalize off the exploitation of my culture for TV?”

    Again, it’s your blog, but maybe, the next time you make a post with something specific on the title, you shouldn’t spend 60% of the post, talking about yourself, whining that people don’t care about anything but the “TV Mose,” but rather stick to the point.

    • You’re right Plutos. This is my website and my blog. I blog on this website for people who watched the show “Amish: out of Order” and are fans of that show.
      It is pretty easy to see that you have not watched “Amish: out of Order”, and have no idea what it is about, but rather, are a fan of “Amish Mafia”, and are defending it.
      This is understandable, and based on those assumptions, you have the right to feel the way you do.
      Where you are wrong, however, is coming onto a Blog, written and designed for the fans of my show, not fans of “Amish Mafia”, and telling me what to write, how to write it, and what points to focus on.
      If you disagree with me and my show, agree with Amish Mafia and what they are doing, no hard feelings, it’s a free country. Just don’t come onto this forum trying to prove your point. I’m sure Amish Mafia has a blog or website somewhere for you to go sign up for.

  61. evian257

    The “Amish Mafia” has as much to do with the Amish way of life as the WWE has to do with Greco-Roman wrestling.

    100% unadulterated fakery!

    I’m not Amish (obviously), but as a person with a modicum of common sense I was appalled and embarrassed when I first heard of the show “Amish Mafia”.

    I will admit to watching and even enjoying the show “Breaking Amish”, but I do realize that these individuals have been out of the Amish community for some time and that the shows are heavily scripted.

    I really prefer the UK documentaries that seem to more accurately depict the Amish lifestyle and attitudes, such as “Trouble in Amish Paradise”, “Leaving Amish Paradise”, and “Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers”, as well as the shows you were in, “Amish in the City” and “Amish: Out of Order”. I haven’t see “Amish at the Altar” yet, but would like to.

    Thanks for “listening”!

  62. I never watched Amish Mafia and must admit after reading this blog I feel blessed I didn’t.
    However, anybody knowing even a little about the Amish would know that no matter how liberal that specific group is there is absolutely no way that show could be true. The bishop and the elders would never accept any ex-Amish telling anybody how to behave or give that person any power over their money. I am very disappointed that a respected channel like Discovery would make such a tabloid-like show.

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