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Amish Mafia Reality Show Blasted As ‘Pure Fiction’

Amish Mafia Reality Show Blasted As 'Pure Fiction'

The Amish Mafia reality show claims to show a small group of “protectors” within the Amish community who drive cars and blackmail bishops.

And its complete fiction, critics say.

Amish Mafia, which is being billed as a reality show, debuts on the Discovery Channel in December. It explores the world of Lebanon Levi and his gang of three men, Jolin, John and Alvin, the Patriot-News noted.

The show starts out with a disclaimer that the Amish church denies that the group exists, and the episode then goes into interviews and re-enactments of the gang as they drink, drive cars, and gamble. Experts who understand the Amish community say that the Amish Mafia reality show is nothing like reality at all.

“When I first saw the trailer [for the show], I thought maybe it was a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit on reality television because it was so far fetched,” said Donald Weaver-Zercher, a professor at Elizabethtown College and expert on the Amish. “My sense is this Amish mafia is about as real as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in The Office.”

Another expert said after studying the Amish for 20 years, he’s heard nothing about a mafia or anything even resembling it.

But the Amish Mafia reality show may be trying to cash in on a suddenly popular religious group. In April, National Geographic aired a 10-part series called Amish: Out of Order, that showed people who had left the search. TLC aired a similar show in September, Breaking Amish, which followed four Amish and one Mennonite who moved to New York City and experimented with drinking, drugs, and sex.

The Discovery Channel acknowledges that the scenes in the Amish Mafia reality show are re-enactments, ABC News notes, but claims the stories are all true.

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110 Responses to “Amish Mafia Reality Show Blasted As ‘Pure Fiction’”

  1. Cyndi Faircloth

    First off, I lived around Amish in Lancaster County, PA, I think this is disgraceful as it gets. Yes, they have had their bad times, I remember when they were accused of dealing Cocaine with the Hell's Angels on the streets of Lancaster in their buggies, but believe me, there can't be an Amish Mob… And by the way, if they were Amish adult men, they would have beards, please! This is a big joke if I ever saw one! Let's give it to the Jersey Shore crew, eh?

  2. Sky Song

    I find appalling that this vulnerable minority group is being stigmatized in this fashion by the entertainment industry. This show is truly evil.

  3. Rich Forster

    well put cyndi !! coudnt agree with you more. Almost as though filmakers have demorilized every other culture in America , so now its time to stick their nose into a community that bothers ~ no one. Is it no wonder the Amish way of not wanting to deal with the outside world, seems more and more , an attractable means of living.

  4. Bruce Ludwick

    Cyndi, while I agree with pretty much everything you said, I believe they'd have beards only if they were married if they were like most Amish groups. Not saying it lends any credibility, but in most groups beards are a sign of marriage rather than adulthood.

  5. Ron Lovings

    This show will flop like a Amish horse taking a poop in Wall-Marts parking lot.

  6. Fran Taylor Moody

    And on next seasons line up….Gangsta Toddlas:Don't mess with the sippy cup.

  7. Patty Urban

    what one of these channels needs to do is a reality show on the Amish Puppy Mills, the horrid conditions and what they do to the dogs that don't sell at auction…maybe they could make a difference in these poor neglected and abused dogs lifes if they did…

  8. Mike Needle


  9. Joe Garchar

    Laugh if you want, but the "Pitchfork Posse", The infamous and mysterious "Silo Deaths" not to mention the "The Farm Protection Klan" and the distasteful "Hot buttered straight pins and noodles disciplinary tactics" are all part of Amish folklore for centuries now in Northeast Ohio. Howard Hill, leading Amish lifestyle expert, founder of the Amish-Beatles and head of the Thermonuclear Testing Underground for Amish-NASA, had this to say, "They have no idea of who they are f**king with, I've seen grown men rip there own heads off instead of dealing with the Pitchfork Posse". it's quit frightening, really.

  10. Wendy Nelson

    Hey it says that I am a " TOP COMMENTER:… like its a "a great honor"… Although I dont remember replying "very much" to things like this… it says me having that label.. I do NOT have a life..LOL

  11. Jamie Vangessel

    Bruce is right about the married thing. Plus the one guy that does have facial hair is not the way they wear their facial hair. Plus the other big thing that screams this is completely fake; Amish people do not allow their faces to be photographed.

  12. Tana D. Moore Carpenter

    Breaking Amish was also a BS show. Don't get your education about anything from reality TV shows! This being said, the Amish do have their problems…beard shaving attacks and puppy mills to name a couple.

  13. Swagtastic Von Jackson

    The truth about the Amish comes out. No surprise these godless Amish savages aren't happy.

  14. Steve Allison


  15. Wayne Doyle

    These so called Mafia guys go around righting the wrongs against Amish and make sure that the Amish stay in code with traditions…. well Rule one note These guys hair cuts! This is known as shingling and is forbidden! well that blows the shows premise…try again little Hollywood.

  16. Steve Allison


  17. Steve Allison

    WHY MIKE WHAT IS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????

  18. Steve Allison

    WHY JOE WHAT IS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????

  19. Johnny Mars

    More degenerate drivel from the desperate ass media. Discovery Channel, shame on you. You've gone Hollywood on us.

    Leave these private, decent people alone.

  20. Ryan Velez

    In fact this show is fiction and staged. However the characters are former amish, discovery changed the show after the main character was arrested. There is no "Amish Mafia" but like most reality shows today this is scripted and meant to grab ratings. It was filmed this summer in Lancaster County and was actually Discovery who brought the idea to the guys. Ridiculous yes, meant to harm the Amish life, no, but it will show you that after leaving the Amish order, these guys are like and sometimes worse then regular kids in there 20's in Lancaster.

  21. Connie Neagle

    I chalk this up to more God hating people who want to bring everyone else down to their low level.

  22. Anonymous

    why don't they leave the Amish alone they don't bother enyone and they keep to themselves. If there is any peckin to do…. Peck the Jahova's Witness Cult… maybe it will stop them from knockin.

  23. Connie Neagle

    I doubt that you have any real knowledge about the Amish, Mike. You can't believe everything on TV. Some people live in a fantasy land. In times past we knew this was make believe, but now, hey, if it is on TV, it is true

  24. Ria Cole

    At least the Amish will never see the show to complain so it will last a long time.

  25. Connie Neagle

    Yes, beard shaving is right up there with children killing children, rampant drug use, prostitution. I am not Amish, only have a casual acquaintance with Amish, but this is crazy to point out the problems of this group when the entertainment industry people's lives are filthy, and so are most segments of the population

  26. Sally Houseknecht

    This is a disgrace. I live in Pa. The Amish are peaceful people and there is no "Amish Mafia". You may not agree with their way of life, but that is not a reason to exploit these people. This is just terrible, leave them alone!

  27. Boris Tuman

    First of all there are 6 main sects of the Amish. They follow different laws, different codes of dress, and most importantly different religious rules. The Beachy Amish drive cars. I have worked with religious amishmen who have let themselves be photographed. That being said, this is clearly rubbish, there is more wrong with just the above photo, let along the whole concept, that proves that this show is complete rubbish. (For examble the belts and pants. I own a pair of amish pants, they do not have belt loops or zippers)

  28. Bill Kelly

    This show is straight, BS! I grew up in Lancaster. If there was an Amish Mofia, those who live beside these people would know. I've never heard of any Amish attacks on outsiders making fun of the Amish. If there was a Mofia I'm sure the Amish wouldn't be leaving Lanc. for the western states like they are.

  29. Randy Schimmenti

    This is a made up show by the Discovery channel. This channel is notorious for this. What they pass off as being factual usually doesn't even have a basis. Anything for a buck.

  30. Garden Compost

    It is as fake as they come. No Amish would agree to do what these are doing for the show. It is all for the money…

  31. Anonymous

    If you think this is fiction then come to western Kentucky. Everyone around here knows that some "sects" within the Amish/Mennonite community run loansharking, gambling, and moonshine operations around here. We even call those groups the "Amish Mafia". The word just didn't make itself up folks!

  32. Matthew Kalkbrenner

    Coming from a family that used to be Amish… I call total BS on this. First off the only thing in the community that even resembles a group with influence is our Elder Council. But obviously that is totally different. Second, these men are not Amish, if not because of the facial hair (obviously) but their facial structure is decidedly absent of Amish/Dutch features. And if nothing else, these men actually look their age. That's one thing, we don't age well, at all. And who the crap ever heard of a fat Amish man that wasn't in his 60s.

  33. Thomas Eagleton

    Its as fake as Amish: Out of Order. They had a show that a kid was in a serious car accident where he was ejected from the vehicle and flown by helicopter to the hospital. He was to have had serious head trauma, and a separated shoulder…They show him in the "hospital" bed with no shirt on and not a scratch on this kid. No bandage on the head or wearing any kind of sling for the shoulder. Of course u find out that he was "ok".

  34. Dale Saller

    Not saying this is real, BUT the author of this article might want to check his facts because the paper my company uses is purchased in bulk and the wrappins say "Dunder Mifflin Paper Company".

  35. Anonymous

    Look Carefully at the picture of the four Amish Hoods……………Tell me that is not CHRIS CHRISTY………..The Governor of New Jersey and Obamas Lunch Buddy! Now it makes sense!

  36. Anonymous

    What is a "dis"? Apparently the guinnies aren't the only ones who don't know about dis since noone seems to know what a dis is.

  37. Carson Sudduth

    If you look at the words on the ads for the show, you will notice the word Amish is actually spelled with two n's that are side by side. Also unlike Mormoms who wear secret underpants, the real Amish wear no underwear because Jesus and the Disciples did not wear underwea, r only a cotton cloth wrapped around their genital area. If someone pulls any of the Mafia pants down and finds Fruit of the Loom staring back, it is really fake. I grew up in an Amish orphanage, so I know what I am talking about and yes Santa is really real, I know because I got presents and my parents both died when I was born, from heart attacks when they first saw me, you see I was born with 2 heads but only 3 ears, they screamed and both died instantly.

  38. Anonymous

    Okay, Thaddeous. Thou must go with Jonas and wack Hezekiah. For Hezekiah has committed adultery with the wife of Jonas. After thou has wacked Hezekiah, thou must go with Jonah and with him bitch slap the wife of Jonas. And may the lord bless and protect you on your noble mission.

  39. Chris Funkmonkey Johnson

    Oh mama… the crap they push out on Doco channels on cable tv to people too stupid to google anything for themselves these days in incredible.
    This week? A run on docos explaining why the world is going to end.
    Gypsies in the UK being branded as good people that are just misunderstood (How you can misunderstand someone on the dole being able to pay 50,000 pounds for a wedding is beyond me).
    And Amish mafia. Genius.

  40. Chris Funkmonkey Johnson

    Um…. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?
    (A dolla makes me holla)

  41. Chris Funkmonkey Johnson


  42. Chris Funkmonkey Johnson

    Isnt 'dis' what dat nigga o'er dere did to yo babymomma?

  43. Jeanne Bovair

    Agree! Very few of America's population know of the dirty little secret the Amish are involved in to make money.

  44. Samantha Jones

    You know what makes me think this is fake? The Amish community is all about simplistic living and Faith. They are traditionalist Christians and live life according to God's Laws, as found in the Bible. "An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (which is a tag line in the advertisement for the tv show) is not in the Bible. It is part of an old Babylonian code of law called the "Code of Hammurabi." There is no way this would come out of the mouths of actual members of the Amish community. I guess the writers for the show didn't think to do any research. LAME!

  45. Debra Angelo

    I grew up in an Amish community and I am second generation removed from Amish religion, and this show is absolutely fake. I am offended by the so callled reality show.

  46. Chris Funkmonkey Johnson

    It would be funny if people didnt actually believe this shite.

  47. Karl Smith Jr

    That show about the amish in NYC is complete BS as well. Totally scripted with non-amish

  48. Katrina Stevens-Smith

    Amish Mafia….yeah sounds like scripture…give me a break, its so fake its almost comical, whatever happened to documentaries that report accurate descriptons of people and cultures. Are people in such need of entertainment that they value nothing of substance?? I find that people want dumbed down entertainment over accuracy.

  49. Anonymous

    If this realy exists then they are not christian or Christ like.From what I seen in this show like black mail , greed, and a thug mentally it all goes against what Christ was all about.

  50. Wayne Doyle

    I would convert to the Amish way or very close to it myself IF i didnt think it was being pushed out by the likes of Reality TV etc…

  51. Anonymous

    I'm waiting for the Discovery Channel to develop a "reality" show about elderly nuns that are ninja assassins……

  52. Robyn Morin

    You know, it honestly looks like something I'd watch, because it sounds like a cool concept, but I wouldn't believe a minute of it.

  53. Rebecca Savastio

    My mom lives in Amish country and has Amish neighbors. I've been spending time in Lancaster county for twenty years and can say with 100% certainty that this show is 100% fabricated. The people in the show are actors. The clothes are completely wrong. They do not wear brightly colored clothes such as what is seen on the show. The accents are completely wrong. Amish married men always have beards. The hairstyles are laughable. Take one trip to Lancaster and you will see how ridiculously fake this show is.

  54. Rebecca Savastio

    PS: I'm watching the show and I just saw a PICTURE of this so-called "Amish" couple on the mantle of their fireplace. HAHAHAHAAHAA! Amish don't get their pictures taken! They don't believe in it for religious reasons! You'd think that the producers of this show would make some minimal effort to find out SOMETHING about the Amish community to make the show look more realistic. HAHAHAHAHA! How stupid!

  55. Thomas Hartley

    this is very far from reality. these type of things should be required to be listed as pure fiction. our society has deteriorated to pure capitolism and anything for a buck. this sucks

  56. Nathaniel Graham

    So the Amish is conquering space-flight now? That explains why the Curiosity rover just found a horse poo on Mars! The real mystery is how they developed rocket-horses…

  57. Richard Muntz

    I have lived next door to Indiana amish for 50 years. I must have missed something. There could be an amish mafia, but I think it might be run by bigfoot. I think the show is a hoot. Looks like John belushi pretending to be Vito Corleone. Lambright sleeps with the fishes.

  58. Stephen Miller

    This channel has no cred. The zombie thing is being presented as real threat with a few half baked academic types and a lot of real paranoid idiots. Fear and ignorance are the enemy. I'm more worried about these wackos with guns. Critical thinking should be a required class for kids as we have to many adults that still think Obama is a foreigner. Lets not be discovery channel zombies.

  59. Dave Grimm

    true story or not, I enjoy watching the justice distributed by Lebanon Levi and his minions. as a vigilante myself I would sign on w/the amish mafia.

  60. Dinah Tabor

    Yes, the beards are a sign of marriage, but also shows that they have been baptized (a requirement for marriage) and it was said on this crazy show that they are able to act outside the church because they haven't been baptized. But, I don't believe for a minute that there is a single person who believes this show is real. It's way too outlandish. But, if you watch it for the entertainment value of the absurd, it's good for a chuckle. I particularly like how they blur the faces of the actors portraying the Amish in their reenactments. I'm not quite sure what that's accomplishing.

  61. Don Galassi Jr

    I live in cali and dont kno if this show is real but levi looks like a big fat pussy and that guy merlin looks like mc lovin from the movie superbad

  62. Keith Taylor

    weakening of the mafia from 92-98 until the power scale was reversed and the head seat became zero and the 7&8 are always held by trusted English…the slayings stoped and the cells became very powerful and by 2002 most Amish and Mennonite communities were being protected and controlled by cells that closely resembled and mimicked the Italian and Russian mafia cells operating across the world…they were very secluded and hIghly protected by their communities…they never draw any interest from the state or federal agencies due to the fact that they do not sell or promote drug use with the exception of alcohol…and they keep their operations within the borders of their communities with the exceptions of the English seats that deal with operations outside of the community…usually men in high ranking political or civil seats of power that can coordinate and organize as needed without any attention or second guessing from a person in a higher ranking position…
    Don't be foolish people….any culture…any community…will eventually be subject to similar organizations that benefit from the community itself usually monetary…while providing a service to all who kiss the hand of zero…that could entail ruffing up anyone who tries to take advantage of the community in any way…or as far as getting laws and regulation passed within our government that strictly benefit the Amish and Mennonite…anything from expanding their communities through land deals only offered to CWCs (Country Within a Country) tax free of course…to forcing certain manufacturers overseas by passing bills that make it impossible to operate within cost inside the united states…forcing manufacturers out so they can monopolize on the products….so next time u watch the so called fictional Amish mafia…just remember…what u see being produced on television is most likely a complete fabrication of the truth but it doesn't mean they don't exsistant….and if the English aka all Americans watched out for each other like they do their own our country wouldn't be so divided and priceless…let's learn a few things friends while partaking in the viewing of another culture ways…I'm not saying buy a horse and a straw hat…just reminding you all that this country was founded as one nation under god and our constitution and bill of rights were all written with the authors faith that we the people understand that this country will be guided by brilliant men but truly ran by their unbreakable faith in god and his guidance must be accepted back into our decisions and our love for our fellow man…the authors sealed their faith within our founding documents with every one of their fearless and powerful strokes of their pens…sealed forever and as powerful today and the days they were signed…lets get our America back on track…one honest..morally…and unselfish decision at a time…shed the greed that suffocates this country…help your fellow man and pray to your higher power…if we won't change…the world will change it for us…and if that happens then we have failed and lost our once beautiful and free and envied super power of the free world…it's not far off but it's a choice…make the right one…not for you..not for your kids…not for your job…not even for your riches…DO IT FOR YOUR COUNTRY…IF U LIVE WITHIN THE WALLS OF THIS GREAT LAND EITHER BY GOD'S FATE OR YOUR OWN…YOU AND I ARE ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATED TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION POSSIBLE TO EARN YOUR KEEP AND DEFEND OUR FREEDOM…OUR WONDERFUL MILITARY FIGHTS ACROSS AN ENDLESS BODY OF WATER TO DEFEND THE FREEDOMS OF MAN KIND REGARDLESS OF RACE..RELIGION..OR CREED..THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS OUR PART TO ENSURE OUR MILITARY HAS AND BETTER COUNTRY TO RETURN TO..BETTER THEN THE GREEDY MONEY DRIVEN COUNTRY THEY LEFT….suck it up HONEST ABE AND GENERAL WASHINGTON AND ALL THE FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD BITCH SLAP US ALL IF THEY KNEW WHAT WE DID TO THEIR BELOVED COUNTRY THAT THEY FOUGHT AND DIED FOR….

  63. Anonymous

    Until you really piss one off you will not hear or see them. Use your heads.

  64. Bridget Roberts

    That wasnt breaking amish, that was amish out of order on the discovery channel.

  65. Brandon J. Cunningham

    lol so discovery channel caves the liberal media and cancels American guns and red jacket only to replace it with this "Amish" junk… good lord if it weren't for dual survivor I'd leave the show completely

  66. Anonymous

    I agree the show is fake, but they only grow beards after they get married, and no mustaches. They do however like to party, I've seen that firsthand. Every time we are up in Ohio to go camping, we drive through Amish country, and they are always buying case upon case of beer at the local gas station. lol Still, the show could be produced by Springer, it is about that realistic.

  67. Sandy Jackson

    I probbie won't watch anymore of the show.. Ihave always thought of and respecter the Amish Community to be.
    peaceful, good cooks.. and set in their own ways…

  68. Afi Keita James

    This show is not only the worst show of the 21st century, but also the dumbest show ever made, This is the most disgraceful show in TV History and yet it got renewed for a second season, shame.
    truly, truly dreadful.

  69. Brent Hepp

    This article quotes a "Donald Weaver-Zercher" reportedly from Elizabethtown College. I believe this is a mistake, and the quote is actually from either Donald B. Kraybill (from Elizabethtown College) or his frequent collaborator and co-author, David L. Weaver-Zercher, from Messiah College. As far as I know, there is no Donald Weaver-Zercher, certainly not someone of that name currently at Elizabethtown or Messiah College, according to their online directories.

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