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Breaking Amish

There is a new series out called “Breaking Amish”. It is being aired on TLC. It airs on Sunday nights. But I am sure you already knew that. Anyone who has been following my show or just Amish people or events in general, has probably heard of it, and possibly been following it.

In this blog, I wish to acknowledge this, and several other questions that I get from time to time from people. I will try and answer, to my best of abilities, the top 5 questions asked recently. Many of you have read most, if not all of these questions

                                                              Breaking Amish 2012

in previous blogs, but those blogs have since moved so far down that a lot of people haven’t read them, so here goes.

Question #5. “I feel that God wants me to help these ex Amish kids. Can you hook me up with some new Amish kids who are leaving, I want to help”?

Answer #5. No. Without trying to sound rude, this is not going to happen. Over the last 10 to 15 years, there have been many ex Amish who have left, and have become established in this area. When a new kid leaves, he will continue to move in with an already established ex Amish. The chances of one from the mid western states leaving and preferring to move in with someone who has no Amish ties, VS someone who is probably their cousin or someone that they grew up with, is less then slim to none. Rarely does one of them leave, that doesn’t already have a place to go and a job to work at even before they leave. Again, there are millions of people in this world who are in much more need of help then a new Amish kid who is leaving.

Question #4. “Did Michaela ever go Amish, and if so, how is she doing”?

Answer #4. No. Michaela discovered that the change of going Amish, would be too hard to make. From my conversations with her, she has found some sort of peace in the outside world with her family, and has found a young man with whom she has found a lot of happiness.

Question #3. “Where do you stand in your salvation”?

Answer #3. I already had found Christ during the show, and have steadily grown in him. I am not sure how I came as far in life as I had, without him, but what i am sure of is this, I have found him, and I have no intentions of losing him again.

Question #2. “Will there be another season of “Amish out of Order”, and if so, when will it air”? Or even, believe it or not, for those of you who think a show just continues to run continuously forever nonstop, “Where did your show go, I haven’t seen it for a while, and wonder if they pulled it because of ratings”?

Answer # 2. I don’t know if I will do another season or not. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I will ever be on TV again. When I do know something solid, I will let you know. There are a lot of behind the scenes scenarios that have to align, that I don’t want to bore you with. If, or when, these things align, and we are, or are not, guaranteed another season, you will be the first to know.
And for those of you who missed episodes, and assume the show is running somewhere on a mystery channel that everyone has access to except you, the show ran for all 10 weeks. It began Tuesday night, April 17, 2012, ran for 10 weeks, just like planned, and ended on Tuesday night, June 19. 2012.

Question #1. Are you a part of the new show, “Breaking Amish”? “What do you think of it”? and “Have you been watching it”?

Answer #1. No, No, and No. A little harsh? O.K. Let me explain. I was approached about this show early on in it’s production, not so much as a character in front of the camera, as a person with Amish experience behind the camera. (I might add here, also, that I get approached by probably a dozen production companies a year, who have different ideas on how to make a hit show on Amish people.) Many of these ideas never take off, or, even sadder, get filmed, but never make it to TV for various reasons.
When TLC approached me, probably about 6 months before NatGeo did, and I got very limited information about what they are trying to do, except that it would be sort of reality show, I lost interest. Not necessarily because I disagreed or disapproved of it, but because I have been there and done that.
Back in 2004, right after I left the Amish, I went on a very similar show, “Amish in the City”, that aired on UPN. It featured me and 4 other new, Amish kids who had just left, living in a huge house in the middle of LA. It followed us as we gallivanted around Hollywood and Studio City and tried many of the things the world has to offer that we would not ever have got to do had we stayed Amish.
I have done that, outgrown that, and where I am at this point in my life, and what I now aim to stand for, or am trying to accomplish, has a deeper meaning.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I disapprove of the show, “Breaking Amish”.
That brings me to the question, “Have you been watching it”? I have not been watching it, and probably won’t. I do not know one person who is on it, or anyone who worked on it. For me, I grew up Amish, so the Amish don’t hold the captivation for me that they do for many people who grew up on the outside. Therefore, I have no opinion on this show. I am not in a position to Judge it one way or another. My approach on this show is that someone chose to do a spin off of “Amish in the City”. I chose not to be a part of it, so i wash my hands and reserve opinion on it. Might I add that this is how I would want to be treated with my shows, therefore, it is not hard to set an example.
Finally, when people send me letters or emails commenting on how this show is fake, exploitative, controversial, untruthful, or any of the other comments I have received, don’t be offended when I don’t respond or participate in the conversation. After all, I chose not to be a part of it, so who am I now to criticize it. At last, I was once, 8 years ago, that exact kid who chose to go to a big city, have my life followed with cameras as I explored the wonders of the world. I came out of it a better man because of it, and I can only encourage another to do the same. After All, there is nothing wrong with broadening one’s horizons, and if anything comes across wrong on the screen, it was probably pieced together and edited to make it look that way.
In summary, if done for the right reasons, as each and every one of my shows have been, then this show will be a success. If, on the other hand, it was done for fame, fortune, or ratings, then it will become transparent pretty fast.

Until next time…. Bleib in da eng und schmal veg. (Stay on the straight and narrow road)

I did want to mention that I am receiving a lot of emails from readers saying that they can’t leave a comment on my blogs. You have to be logged in, in order to leave a comment. If you lost your username and password, I can’t retrieve it, so you may have to create a new one. Thank you.

42 thoughts on “Breaking Amish”

  1. I’m sure it is tiring getting all of these questions asked over and over.

    I hope your life is back to normal with your job and family. We are really enjoying our Toyota Camry and hope to purchase a Toyota Tundra someday. It is also fun to be the only person that saw you on TV that bought a car from you, that is something unique.

    Anyway, have a great life. I am happy that you are a Christian as that is one thing that will never change and will help you throughout your entire life.

    Your friend,
    Rebecca West

  2. Dear Mose,
    I hope that you continue to help these young amish kids. They need someone to guide them and help them. I’m a transporter for the amish, I’ve noticed that the bishops are really cracking down on the young folk. I’m sure you are going to have alot more of them coming to you. I hope that you are still considering to try and set up some kind of a counciling center for them. It is a very drastic step for them when they leave. I have middle aged ones who still can’t break away because they can’t hurt their mothers or fathers. Yet they don’t believe what is being told to them. So as you know, they go to church and then try to live their different life in secrecy. Then when they get caught doing something that they’re not supposed to be doing. They pay the ultimate price. I try on my end to help them see the truth about alot of issues that they are faced with but that fear is so instilled within them that it is hard to break free. I feel that the younger generation are the ones that will keep searching for the correct answers to their questions and a different way of life. Just because we live in this wicked world doesn’t mean that we have to do the bad things that are out there. The scare tatics and false teaching that have been ingrained in to their minds for years is very hard to walk away from. So they need someone who will love them and help them. You were raised in this enviroment as a child, so I no that you are aware of the teachings that taunt them. Please help them make this transition. From what I have noticed about the way you handly things, I’m convinced that you truly have a deep love for each and everyone of them and that you will be there for them. Continue on with the idea of some kind of counciling and spiritual help for them all. I’m glad that you have finally found something that works for you. How relieved you must be and have so much more peace within you self. I have often thought about stopping by and meeting you. But I don’t believe in bothering someone at their jobs. There’s a time and place for everything. Maybe someday. Keep up the great work that you are doing.



  3. Mose,It made my day to read that you have accepted Christ. this relationship is awesome. I have been praying for you and all the amish kids that come out. I sell cars too, so happy selling brother.. rex

  4. Just wanted to say that I really appreciate that you still take time to write this blog and fill us in periodically. I’ve dvr’d Breaking Amish but I’m still on the fence about it. I guess I just feel that there are probably better and more constructive ways to help these kids learn about the world. Kind of like why you don’t just throw a person into the lake to teach them how to swim.

    I appreciated that with ‘out of order’ time was taken to show that there are different groups of Amish communities that all have different practices. This one just makes them all sound like they are oppressive and overbearing and TLC is exploiting these kids to make a spectacle out of their way of life. But, I’m not surprised, this is the same network that had Toddlers and Tiaras and that Honey Boo Boo crap on air.

    As much as I would love another season of ‘out of order’ there is nothing wrong with leaving on a high note, Mose, and you and your ‘cast’ have definitely done that.

    Many blessings to all of you!

  5. Hopefully I can get this post to work. If you don’t make more Amish Out of Order, I know you will still be support for the ex-Amish community. It always seemed to me that you were blending both your Amish roots with the “English” and missing some of the old ways, yet working hard to succeed with the new. I think we all have our problems. You just have 2 sets! The new show, Breaking Amish, doesn’t seem like there is much reality involved. I can’t believe that Amish youngsters would be that rude and crude.

  6. My sheep know my voice and a stranger they will not follow. A person will hear whatever he has been ordained to hear. We pray that God would grant a place of repentance to them that are without. So a person that is that eleect lady will hear his voice and the Bride will hear the Bridegroom calling to his mate.

  7. I know you probably get this question a lot and I know its been 8 years or so since Amish In The City aired and if you don’t reply i understand & respect yours and everyones privacy. But would like to ask… once the show ended and cameras stopped filming did you ever speak to/keep in touch with/etc any of the cast city or amish cast members?

    1. The show is interesting to watch and I tried to see if I could figure out where the 2 from Lancaster were from. After reading some of the things behind the show about the cast it makes sense now.

      All of these kids are over the age to be able to experience the outside world and unless they aren’t baptized would automatically be shunned by the community.

      I prefer Amish Out of Order because it was authentic as it could be on national TV. There was another show as well about the Hutterite colonists. The acts on Breaking Amish would definitely warrant a shunning and makes me wonder why some of these acts are even taking place.

      This is not the typical way I would imagine an Amish person would act leaving the community to join the English.

    2. For those of you who seen my response on here from earlier that I deleted, yes, the statement I made is true, word for word. That is the first and only time that I have spoken openly about my disagreement regarding Breaking Amish, and I chose to take it down for one reason. I am not involved in the show Breaking Amish, and how I feel about it personally, will not change the outcome of the show, or change it’s ratings or popularity. Long story short, criticizing a show and getting into arguments or heated debates over something I am not involved in, is not who I am, and not who I stand for. In other words, same as in my blog, mentioned above, I choose to rise above it. Let them do their show. Let the truth reveal itself, without my help.

  8. Dear Mose,
    I watched amish in the City off and on, and followed Amish out of order pretty much since I found it, maybe missed the first one or two episodes.

    I’m so glad to hear you found Jesus, I prayed for you and the others from the first, especially when I heard you say one time that you weren’t sure if you might go to hell since you left amish. I was so sad, and I wanted to come tell you that The Lord never said anywhere in His Word that you had to be a particular sect or denomination to be saved. I am so glad you found peace about that. your friend, Kirsten (Kitty)

  9. Thanks so much for the update. As those who are very familiar with Amish in Central Illinois, we appreciate your candid, articulate wit and wisdom. Please keep us posted regarding your future endeavors. Be Blessed.
    Dennis and Tina Miller

    1. Well this is a little harsh. After all, Michaela did say that she was “considering” becoming Amish and wanted to live with the community as a learning experience. The community of Sarasota was very well aware of this fact. So I fail to see how she fooled them.

      It is also not a mistake to live in a community in order to see for ourselves if we are happy in that community. If she had not done this, she would have continued wondering if she should become Amish. She lived the experience, and it revealed to her that her place is not in the Amish community.

      Nothing wrong with that.

      1. Thank you for your concern, BUT Michaela did say she made a solid decision… Therefore leading John, Ruth, and Sherry into believing she was moving all I’m saying is MY opinion which I believe is correct and will stand behind it forever… Thank you!

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  11. I must have been living under a rock. I just started watching repeats of Amish:out of Order a few weeks ago. Well in all honesty I just discovered I have NatGeo on my cable listing,I am so hooked. I think its great what you have done and will do. Good job and God bless.

  12. I just discovered your show last night> don’t know where I’ve been??? But I absolutely love it ! It is so informative , it also made me stop and think of my own relationship with God and how far I’ve gotten from him :*(. ( being raised souther baptist ) my grandfather was a minister and so was my father, both have passed on. I sat and cried thinking of my own salvation , may God continue to bless you and your family , I’m sure you do not realize just how many of us you have re thinking our relationship with God.
    Your friend.

  13. My dear Mose,

    I have said this before and for some reason this blog post makes me want to say it again: God will love you no matter what. All He wants is for you to follow His Divine Will and acknowledge our beloved Saviour, His son Jesus. It matters not, my friend, if you do it as an Amish, a Baptist, a Catholic, a Pentacostal,,, or on your own terms.

    Be happy and blessed with your family and friends. As long as your heart is at peace, then you know you are exactly where you should be.

    Your friend and sister in Christ,


  14. Watched the re-run of Jonas car accident the other nite. I hope that the closeness you all appear to have for each other is sincere and lifelong. How great to have so many people thinking about you. So many friendships today are short, and insincere.

  15. As far as “Breaking Amish” there are some major problems – as opposed to “Out of Order”. No doubt, when you are doing TV, it has to be edited to be entertaining, but the core of the story and the people have to be real.

    Jeremiah Raber on “Breaking” grew up 2 miles from my home near Walnut Creek/Trail, Ohio. He is a 32 year old divorced father of 3 who has not been Amish for 14 years. Yet this show contrived that Jeremiah had to agonize over leaving the Amish in order to see what New York was all about. They filmed him in Pa and left the impression that he was living with his family (who live in Ohio). He dressed Amish and they showed him mowing grass with a manual non-power cylinder mower. He was New Order and, I’m sure had never used anything but a gasoline engine mower in his life. They went as far as to stage a scene where he breaks up with his “Amish” girlfriend (dressed Amish)so that he can cat around in NYC. What self-respecting Amish girl would be dating a divorced father of three? I could go on and on.

    Mose, you are wise to have steered clear of this show because it is deceptive and exploitative. There are some real people and real things on it, but the contrivances make anyone associated with it have very questionable credibility and integrity.

    “Breaking” makes me apprecitate “Out of Order” that much more. Thank you.

      1. I really agree with Hallsy about Breaking Amish. I get very upset with the show and yet I can’t stop watching it. It has seemed to me to be very fake as you say Mose, fakeness can not be edited out. I guess I keep watching to find out what becomes of these people at the end of the show. I am so very glad that you did not have a part in this one!!! And the show about the Hutterites was just mind boggling. Does a supposedly very religious sect really talk and act the way they did. Holy Mackerel!!

    1. Thank you for posting this. I was wondering several things about this show, not the least of which was Jeremiah’s age and how he mentioned being away from the Amish before. I also wondered how so many of the kids’ families were willing to be filmed (either in their homes or to come to NYC). It is apparent that something was wrong but your post made it all very clear. Thank you. I have since stopped watching this show as it is pathetically exploitative and obviously misrepresentative of a real “breaking amish” experience. <3

      1. I have actually continued to watch it to see if they tried to address the credibility problem they had from the beginning.

        The producers were boxed in, I think. They have had the kids come clean about some of their past, but not completely. So much of the “drama” was clearly manufactured. Looks like they are going to wrap it up with a show where these kids who haven’t been Amish are going to go home and get rejected by the Amish – when, in fact, those kids have already rejected the Amish. It’s a strange world we live in. :)

  16. I have followed and watched the recently shown Amish as well as the Hutterite programs. From a strictly anthropological perspective. I find myself wondering if any of the ex-Amish you may know over the years ever went on to receive any education in the sciences, specifically in the sciences such a biology, chemistry, or physics. The sciences which might undermine beliefs which you seem to still have. Do any of you question your entire religious perspective? I know you do not but I wonder if any ex.’s question such things.

  17. thank you for both addressing and not addressing this.
    while I was disappointed you didn’t shoot it down, I did see Amish In The City, so I guess you can’t. And I’ve watched TLC enough to know most of their reality is fake, scripted and exploitative.
    I’m glad you are not involved with this show. Any show that starts with Amish teens saying words that need to be bleeped, from the get-go seems fake to me.
    As it is I heard the ,kids on your show weren’t fresh from the farm. I mean AITC, not your recent show,, which was great (except for the part where your friend died, of course.

    Keep on watching the new lambs. You and the others who help do a great service and both ex-amish and God are happy with your help and love and desire to serve, I believe.

  18. Dear Mose,

    Thank you for helping the ex-Amish. You are a shining example of what all of us should be and should do.

    Are all Amish and Mennonite dentists so unskilled as to only pull teeth and not fill or perform regular cleanings and floride treatments? Or, is this another scripted over dramatized myth shown to a public who does not know better by “Breaking Amish”?

    Just curious,

  19. Hi Mose, I watched Amish in the City, and I understood every dutch conversation, and I was able to follow the emotions. I watched a few episodes of Breaking Amish, and I don’t think any of those kids ever were Amish. When Abe asked Jeremiah for a loan of $250 to buy an engagement ring for Rebecca (who by the way has been married before), Jeremiah hesitated because he was concerned about Abe’s impending engagement because his own first marriage did not work out. Now mind you, Jeremiah is just now breaking amish, and he is divorced? And he left a young amish girl friend behind to do this show????????? I don’t think so. In a preview of a show I did not watch, this young amish girl told him in dutch that he was all she ever needed. They captioned her words. I only understood one word she was to have said. Kate, the aspiring model, is adapting entirely to seamlessly to have recently been Amish. Her body movements indicate some years of exposure to finishing school. I left the Mennonites in 1975, but I live in the heart of that same community, conduct a business there, and have an ongoing pulse of the community. And I can smell fraud when I see it. This entire show is off.
    Marlene Miller

    1. You have hit a whole bunch of nails on the head!

      This show is only believable to those who do not know anything about the plain culture. If you do, there are a whole bunch of things that do not add up.

      Here’s the sad thing: all 4 of those kids seem to have some interesting things about their lives. People are hungry to learn about Amish/Mennonite culture. The truth would have been sufficient to air something of quality. “Breaking” represents a huge missed opportunity.

      I would suggest that documenting some kids during rumspringa and their decision to join the church or go English would have plenty of genuine drama in it. And TV audiences would eat it up.

  20. Hi Mose, in one of your blogs your words “and I left Yoder nine years ago”, were very surprising to read since I was born and raised in Hutchinson and even today have Amish relatives within a mile of Yoder. From a family of ten children raised Amish, three have continued to remain Amish while the remainder joined the Mennonite church.

    My comments concern Breaking Amish. Within this group of individuals two have previously been married and are now divorced. In the Amish faith marriage is forever. There is no way one can remain Amish if there has been a divorce. How stupid and misleading of the producers of this show to display these divorced individuals in their Amish garb as if they were still part of the Amish faithful. To read that one of the participants of this show is over 30 years of age with children is also very deceptive for I believed the show was originally intended to display youth attempting to find their way in life from an Amish environment.

    Breaking Amish seems to be nothing more than drunken binges and lying to each other.

  21. as a combat veteran of 26 yrs i have developed a keen internal bullsh*t detector. breaking amish in my humble opinion was a hatchet job done on the amish community. unlike out of order it seem that the people were actors. they went out of the way to experience every sinful behavior new york had to offer. yet in out of order it was a show of young kids struggling to maintain their faith and honor outside the amish community.

  22. I remember the first tv show ‘Amish in the city’ that you were on. I never missed an episode. When you filmed ‘Amish out of order’ I recognized you right away! You made a large impact on me as a sincere young man seeking real answers in your life.
    I have watched Breaking Amish and I will not judge any of the people who were on that show since I have not walked in their shows. Everyone has a right to their feelings and opinions and to be acknowledged for them. It’s okay to agree to disagree without being judgemental. If people would try harder to understand others and be kinder to each other life would be so much happier and peaceful for all. Just saying…..

    1. I personally enjoyed watching Breaking Amish. I was not able to see all of the entire episodes, but I came to care for all of the young people over time. Last night I was able to see some of the Extended episode where they were all sitting around being interviewed. They have all come so far in their journey and it was nice to hear them speak of their families and children in very endearing terms. I am so happy for Abe and Rebekah and hope lasting marital happiness for them! I hope Jeremiah will be able to spend much more time with his three kids. He has great potential to be a wonderful, godly father and I think that over time, he will feel that quiet nudging to be the family man that he needs to be. We need to understand that these young people have crossed a huge cultural gap that most of us never had to face. I am very happy for Kate and hope the best for her. Sabrina is a fiesty gal and I know that whatever comes her way, that she’ll come out on the winning end. I am so pleased that she was able to meet her father and grandmother. That was a very touching episode to watch. I have really fallen in love with all of them, come to think of it… I do pray for them. I know that all of them have decided not to go back to their Amish lifestyle… I pray that they all find a persnal relationship with Jesus. If they can do that, then He will lead and guide them for the rest of their lives.

  23. mose , im so glad to hear that you seem not to feel so preasured by the man made rules u had to follow as a young man. i wish u the best,for u and your family. are u going to do any more tv?

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