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
Pope Francis Apologizes for Pentecostal Persecution, But Italy's Evangelicals Remain Wary
A 'near totality' warn U.S. evangelicals (and others) against becoming too friendly with the Catholic Church.
Another 'Stained Glass Ceiling' Shatters: CCCU Picks First Female President
Calvin College leader brings legal savvy to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Leading Rabbi Nominated as First Non-Christian Religious Freedom Ambassador
Obama nomination of David Saperstein will require strong Senate support.
IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors
Tax agency and FFRF announce settlement, but Milwaukee church disputes the lawsuit's dismissal.
Christianity Today
'Amish Mafia' Documentary: Entertaining But Bogus, Experts Say