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
Family Christian Stores Lives On, For Now
Court approval needed for sale to Family Christian subsidiary.
Family Christian Risks Shutdown of 266 Stores after Bankruptcy Auction
Four bidders—three of them liquidators—are bidding for the nation's largest Christian bookstore chain today.
Evangelicals Denounce Payday Lending, Join Fight for New Regulations
Unusual faith coalition calls on Congress to limit payday loans.
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Christianity Today
'Amish Mafia' Documentary: Entertaining But Bogus, Experts Say