The Amish community has always piqued outsiders’ interests when it comes to understanding them and how they live as they do. As of late, there has been an “Amish craze” on television. For some reason, on television these days it is very easy to find a channel that is airing a show that deals with the Amish community. Just when you think these shows couldn’t get any more absurd, the Discovery Channel came out with their new show Amish Mafia. Yes, that is right, Amish and mafia mix. At least they apparently do in this non-appealing new show. To be honest, no one is going to take that seriously. Especially, knowing the characteristics of an Amish community, it is impossible to have any thrill or real crime within their mafia.
The show takes place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2006, a non-Amish man murdered members of the Lancaster Amish community. This drove them to come up with a source of protection from those outside of the community. That is how they concocted the idea of creating their own mafia. Lebanon Levi is the man who is the head of this special mafia. He has the difficult task of keeping the non-Amish from disturbing their community, as well as keeping those who are Amish from acting inappropriately within their community. The Discovery Channel’s website says that his team of men are “lean and fearless.” Honestly, in protecting an Amish community, what do you even need to be fearless of? They portray the show like these men are fighting in the streets of Compton. If the producers’ overall goal is to show the Amish in a different light they are, but not in a good way. This show is just making a joke of their community and everything they stand for as Amish.
There are four other members of Levi’s mafia. They are Alvin who is his right hand man, Jolin who is a non-Amish member of the group, and John whose father was the leader of the mafia before he passed away. Apparently, each one of these men feels strongly about their society and can feel like they are not your normal Amish by being in the group. They want to be different from the rest of the Amish and be bad. At least that is the vibe I get from this. Why else would followers of the community want to break Amish tradition to protect the community? It is simply not a part of who they are as a people. Also, the Amish church denies the group’s existence, but the so-called mafia claims they say that in order to keep it under the radar. It even says on the show’s credits, “Some scenes are reenacted.”
Amish Mafia is a bust. It would be safe to say that those men probably are not members of the Amish community and are just trying to make a good reality show. It is an interesting concept, but extremely far from believable. If you want to judge for yourself, check out Amish Mafia on Discovery Channel every Wednesday at 9/8c.