Yeah right. These guys are about as Amish as I am.
The Amish Mafia is another one of those so called reality tv shows being crammed down the throats of the viewing public by the Discovery Channel. Anybody who thinks that this is indeed real ought to have his or her head examined. Let’s start with the premise.
Remember back in 2006 when five Amish girls were killed and five more were seriously injured by a lone gunman as they attended school? Apparently this incident sparked a cry within the Amish community that they were in need of protection from the outside world and since they didn’t want anything to do with local law enforcement they decided to look within. Thus, the Amish Mafia was born.
Set in the farmlands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania the Amish Mafia tells the story of how its members try and protect the community from outside sources and at times, even from themselves. Here’s a brief look at the Dutch version of La Cosa Nostra and their not so secret society.
The don of the Amish Mafia goes by the name “Lebanon Levi” (real name Levi King Stoltzfus). If you got a problem, you go talk to Levi. Nothing gets done without his approval. How he got to be the head of the family is uncertain but his (as well as the other members of the cast) “Amishness” must be called into question. The dude drives a late model car, uses a cell phone as well as many other modern day conveniences that any true Amish person would be shunned for. I think he even has a Facebook account.
Next in the chain of command is Alvin (real name Alvin Stoltzfus Lance). He’s Levi’s go to guy when it comes to seeking advice. Sorta like an Amish consigliere. If you wanna talk to Levi, you gotta go through Alvin first.
Next is some guy named Jolin. Jolin freely admits to not being Amish but claims to be a Mennonite. This purportedly allows him to do some rather nasty stuff that other members of the Amish Mafia cannot due to their religious beliefs. I guess he’s the brawn behind the brains of the outfit. The Amish enforcer?
Then there’s John (real name John Freeman Schmucker). He’s the latest recruit to join the Amish Mafia and his role seems to be evolving as the series moves on. I think he wants to eventually oust Levi as head of the family.
Last but not least you have the "Amish hottie” or, depending on how you look at it, the "Amish cockteaser". Her name is Esther (real name Esther Freeman Schmucker or as user JD points out "cockSchmucker") and is John’s sister. Apparently she’s Levi’s love interest and she leads him on and flirts with him on more than one occasion. She usually does this when her brother fucks up and to get him back in Levi’s good graces.
Wait, I forgot one or two others who make cameo appearances now and then.
Of course you have to have a black dude every once in awhile to round out the cast. Enter one Alan Beiler (the Schwarz Amish if you will). Apparently he relocated from that hotbed of Amish activity known as Brooklyn, New York when he was young and was taken in by the community. He’s sort of a renegade and once was in cahoots with Levi but has turned against him after spending some time behind bars.
To make things more interesting you have to have an outsider and some kind of turf war. That outsider is one Merlin Miller. He’s from another Amish community located in Wilmot, Ohio and wants to take over Levi’s territory. His main henchman is a dwarf sized companion (maybe Mennonite?) who does all his dirty work.
I won’t go into each episode individually but suffice to say they’re pretty farfetched. The Amish, especially the younger ones, are depicted as a pretty partying people. They drink like fish, smoke weed (called "green corn" by the locals), have mixed martial arts fights, visit prostitutes, hold souped up buggy races and if memory serves I think I caught a scene of Esther riding a mechanical bull. It almost makes me want to convert and I’m a pretty partying guy as it is.
They’re also pretty violent. They think nothing of smashing up other peoples buggies or blowing holes in other pieces of property using a shotgun.
You’d think that the Discovery Channel would peddle this stuff as fiction and in a small sense they do. There’s a disclaimer that states many of the scenes that are depicted in each episode are “reenactments” of actual events.
I’d ask an actual Amish person of their opinion of the show but they aren’t talking. It’s my personal feeling that they’re being exploited and characterized in a way that would make them ashamed. True to their roots, I’m betting they’re living by the old Amish saying which states :
”You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lip.”
The folks at the Discovery Channel who pimped this as real should take heed of that advice.
For more on how distasteful and exploitive this show really is, I highly recommend this article over at Salon.