Jump directly to the content

'Amish Mafia' Documentary: Entertaining But Bogus, Experts Say

New TV show reflects American fascination with popular "counter narrative" within moral Amish culture.

The Amish aren't exactly known for mob-style antics: drinking, gambling, blackmail, and so on. But the Discovery Channel's newest show, "Amish Mafia," purports to offer viewers "a first-ever look at the men who protect and maintain peace and order within the Amish community in Lancaster."

The problem? Leading Amish experts say this "Amish mafia" doesn't exist.

Elizabethtown College's Donald Kraybill and Messiah College's David Weaver-Zercher both told The Patriot News that the show, which premiers Wednesday (with a preview Tuesday night), amounts to "foolishness and stupidity and lies" about Amish culture.

Discovery's website does acknowledge that "some scenes have been reenacted," but it leads viewers to believe that the stories are true.

CT has regularly reported on the Amish, including past shows such as "Amish in the City," and PBS's The Amish documentary. Earlier this year, CT also interviewed both Kraybill and Weaver-Zercher about their new book, The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World.

Related Topics:Entertainment
Posted:December 11, 2012 at 3:07PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Performance with The Roots will be the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
James MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders
Megachurch pastor confesses board slandered three elders as 'false messengers' last year.
Does Islam Encourage Violence More Than Other Religions?
New Pew survey examines who says yes and no.
How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money
Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen find what determines pastor salaries (and who might be most underpaid).
Christianity Today
'Amish Mafia' Documentary: Entertaining But Bogus, Experts Say