Skip to comments.Amish Mafia Reality Show Blasted As ‘Pure Fiction’
Posted on 12/27/2012 6:50:42 AM PST by PJ-Comix
The Amish Mafia reality show claims to show a small group of protectors within the Amish community who drive cars and blackmail bishops.
And its complete fiction, critics say.
Amish Mafia, which is being billed as a reality show, debuts on the Discovery Channel in December. It explores the world of Lebanon Levi and his gang of three men, Jolin, John and Alvin, the Patriot-News noted.
The show starts out with a disclaimer that the Amish church denies that the group exists, and the episode then goes into interviews and re-enactments of the gang as they drink, drive cars, and gamble. Experts who understand the Amish community say that the Amish Mafia reality show is nothing like reality at all.
When I first saw the trailer [for the show], I thought maybe it was a Saturday Night Live skit on reality television because it was so far fetched, said Donald Weaver-Zercher, a professor at Elizabethtown College and expert on the Amish. My sense is this Amish mafia is about as real as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in The Office.
Another expert said after studying the Amish for 20 years, hes heard nothing about a mafia or anything even resembling it.
But the Amish Mafia reality show may be trying to cash in on a suddenly popular religious group. In April, National Geographic aired a 10-part series called Amish: Out of Order, that showed people who had left the search. TLC aired a similar show in September, Breaking Amish, which followed four Amish and one Mennonite who moved to New York City and experimented with drinking, drugs, and sex.
The Discovery Channel acknowledges that the scenes in the Amish Mafia reality show are re-enactments, ABC News notes, but claims the stories are all true.
The Discovery Channel acknowledges that the scenes in the Amish Mafia reality show are re-enactments, ABC News notes, but claims the stories are all true.
Re-enactments of FICTION. I watched several hours of "Amish Mafia" last night and while it is entertaining it is also laughably fake. I mean would a real "mafia" allow cameras to record them selling liquor without a license? In real life, the state authorities would shut that operation down pronto. And that Merwyn guy from Ohio? So over the top ridiculous that you just have to laugh about it.
Swedish Mafia? Or how about a show called “Monk Mafia” in which a group of Benedictine Monks protect their territory for the sales of their brandy.
The Discovery Channel.
The same network that brings us ‘Moonshiners’.
"Moonshiners" where the cops are desperately looking for the Moonshiners yet all they have to do is turn on the tube to find out who and where to bust them.
Reminds me of a Weird Al song.
I do barter and you have to trade for stuff in roughly the same value range. Like I sometimes trade a couple dozen bottles of body wash for a bottle of Grey Goose.
I do have to admit I like the sound of the name of the Amish boss guy: Lebanon Levi. I hope that is not fake.
the whole purpose of these shows is to denigrate people who follow their faith.
Meanwhile, the Amish, who don’t own TV’s, wonder what the heck we’re taking about.
Bingo! Told my wife this last night. It’s all part of the commie agenda.
No one expects the Amish Inquisition?
I’m predicting a HUGE tourist boom in Lancaster, PA. Gullible tourists will want to meet Levi and his Amish Mafia. Want to bet that there will be tons of Amish Mafia trinkets for sale in that area? Oh, maybe an episode of the Amish Mafia knocking over a stand selling cheap Chinese Amish Mafia imports.
Those who assign “reality” to so-called “reality TV” are way short of the requisite number of brain cells for meaningful functionality. They’re the ultimate in trash TV.
I remember one scene that had me laughing in Shipshewana. In his backyard I spotted a guy decked out in Old Order Amish black clothing sitting atop a power lawn mower.
These so-called reality shows are a hoot. I like the Moonshiners for their utter incompetence. They work so hard and produce so little and all in secret with only the television audience watching.
I think we are in for a lot of inadvertent laughs when the next season of “Barter Kings” starts up again. BTW, you can get great deals via bartering but it takes a bit of time and would look boring if you broadcast the negotiations. As an example, years ago I bought a Sony tape recorder at a yard sale for 10 bucks. Then I traded it for an Olivetti Ball Electric typewriter about a week later. Then about a week after that, I traded it for roundtrip plane tickets from L.A. to Fort Lauderdale (this was back when you could travel under someone else’s name without being immediately arrested). Yes, it was a great deal but you would have loooong periods of dead screen time in between. Those barters don’t all conveniently happen in the space of a day.
So THATS where that “Aliens” internet meme came from!
I’ve seen the picture a thousand times; “I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.”, but never knew it was from some dopey “reality” TV show.
I’m hoping they NEVER come back with “Extreme Couponing.” The result of that show is that it made couponing more difficult. Yes, I still get great deals but you really have to do a lot of research and planning. I remember when BOGO coupons were common and now we rarely seem them any more. I blame the show.
:: this Amish mafia is about as real as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in The Office. ::
Soooooooooooooooo...why do I have a ream of Dunder Mifflin copy paper on my desk and a full carton in the supply cabinet?
Reminds me of an old joke..
What is this, “Clip clop, clip clop, bang bang, clip clop, clip clop...”
An Amish drive by shooting.
You guys are mostly right, but the “discovery” channel wants us TV sheeple to think they are a pure documentary informative medium without a ratings care in the world.
The truth is the only real “reality” show that comes close to reality is Survivorman and even Les stages for dramatiic effect.
Did someone say Couponing???
The only reality show worth watching is Duck Dynasty.
In Discovery Channel's popular television show "Amish Mafia," the lead character, Lebanon Levi, is portrayed as a sort-of Amish Vito Corleone.
"Lebanon Levi is the cops," another character, Esther, says in one of the episodes. "He is the courthouse, he is the bank and he is the insurance company."
Karin Meacham is making the most of her Lancaster city store's 15 minutes of fame delivered in an unmarked envelope by "Amish Mafia."
Visitors to Art & Glassworks, 319 N. Queen St., are greeted at the front door by a sign bearing a photo of Levi and the faux warning "This store is protected by Lebanon Levi."
"We're just having fun with it," said Meacham, who owns the store along with her husband, Gary Ziffer.
Meacham said Ziffer made the sign after a recent episode of "Amish Mafia" in which one of Levi's henchmen, Alvin, is seen exiting Art & Glassworks carrying a plain white envelope.
As that clip is playing, Levi talks about how he makes money by collecting rent from various properties he owns in "the community."
In exchange for that rent, Levi says he provides protection to the store owners although he never indicates what they might need protection from.
The main Art & Glassworks sign over the store's front door is not visible in the show clip, but there's no mistaking the storefront, with its colorful trim and windows filled with glass artwork.
"The scene before, they were talking about how they protect Lancaster businesses, and then the next scene is they're coming out of our store with an envelope," Meacham said.
"I went, 'Oh my gosh, that is the funniest thing I've ever seen. Our store protected by Amish?'"
Spoiler alert here Meacham said she does not actually pay protection money to Lebanon Levi.
Nor does Levi own the building.
County property records show Ziffer and Meacham have owned their store building since 1989.
Meacham and store worker Jackie Kissel remember the scene being shot last summer, but they played no part in it and didn't know at the time what the footage was for.
They've already had that episode. I'm not kidding.
I actually did have a good idea for a reality show episode in which everyone except a few know it is fake. You know Tony and Tina’s wedding? It’s supposedly an Italian wedding reception where the bride, groom, and most of the guests are actors. Folks paying to attend know what the deal is but just want to have fun. However, there is a large group of folks out there that DON’T know it is fake. Mainly people from other countries or new arrivals in this country like my wife and in-laws. I would love to take my wife and some of her relatives, especially her wild Cousin Chile who has never been to the USA to a Tony and Tina wedding in Las Vegas and tell them it is a wedding reception for a distant relative of mine. The “Reality” show cameras would then focus in on the reaction of my relatives since they would actually believe it is real. Could be VERY FUnnie. Cousin Chile is like a romeo (he has girlfriends all over the Andes) so it would be FUn to see his reaction when Tina the new bride flirts outrageously with him.
“The Discovery Channel acknowledges that the scenes in the Amish Mafia reality show are re-enactments, ABC News notes, but claims the stories are all true.”
Fake but accurate.
I’ve done a bit of casual bartering and I find the “deals” made on this show are laughable. The only reason I would take something in barter was either that I wanted it for myself or knew someone who wanted the item.
But then this is television entertainment and little more so reality won’t intrude too much into the “reality” shows.
“Oh, maybe an episode of the Amish Mafia knocking over a stand selling cheap Chinese Amish Mafia imports.”
I’m embarrassed to admit...I watched that episode.
I’m proud to admit...that’s the only one I’ve watched.
BTW, I wish there had been cameras on the scene on me a year ago when I attended a Venezuelan mountainside wedding of a relative of my wife's. It turned out to be hilarious. First of all the priest, Padre Roberto, was kind of like a comedian, cracking jokes during the ceremony at the family resort. I liked that so after the ceremony I said to Padre Roberto "Tu eres como un sacerdote payoso." Oops! It didn't come out like I intended and was somewhat insulting which I didn't mean at all. I meant to compliment his humorous style. Suddenly Padre Roberto dropped his smile and glared at me angrily. That really unnerved me so I tried to get on his good side by sitting next to him at the reception and hoping my Spanish didn't sabotage me again. Anyway, after a few drinks Padre Roberto and I got to be good friends (I think). Also as a result of attempting to get on Padre Roberto's good side I had too many drinks and got muy borracho. Then it was me who was acting like a payaso. I danced wildly with the women and acted in such a way that my wife angrily took me aside to a private room and read the riot act to me. The room had a balcony and everybody was yelling for the crazy American to rejoin them. I solemnly vowed to my wife that I would behave. I lied.
One thing that surprised me was that the bride was rubbing against me Lambada style while we were dancing. I thought maybe she was a stripper or something so I asked her what she did for a living. Physics professor. I chuckled because I thought she was kidding. I later found out she wasn't.
Then I started goofing around with the professional DJ there and his female assistant. They were the only ones (other than my wife) who were NOT amused with my antics which included drunkenly doing the tango with chairs.
As I later told folks I was at one point dancing with 5 women at the same time or perhaps it was only 4 women and I saw one of them double.
Oh, and my wife was horribly embarrassed by my antics but, hey, I had a great time. Would have made for great reality TV.
Is Dan Rather working for the Discovery Channel? BTW, I saw part of the movie "Gasland" last night as well. Guess what? FAKE. It turns out the water was flammable long before they had fracking there. Natural methane.
Amish behaving badly is always entertaining. The left can’t afford to allow the notion that anyone might actually be true to their principles.
That’s not a dopey reality show. It’s a dopey UFO show.
Yeah? Next you will tell me Honey Boo Boo is not real....
btw...Amish Mafia is entertaining who the heck cares if its real...
Like Amish Mafia is fake
Congress is real?
"Who are dese people?"
He was genuinely confused so I told him:
"These are very religious people who wear black clothes, speak an old type of German language, and the women cover their heads."
The Chinese guy's face suddenly lit up as if he were enlightened:
"Ah! Dey are Yooish!"
So when does Dateline NBC do a show exposing how "Amish Mafia" is fake? And will Dan Rather be the correspondent?
My favorite “Reality” Show person is Barry on Storage Wars. He plays it strictly for laughs. Some of his jokes very risque but quite FUnnie.
With “Moonshiners” and now this garbage, reality TV has finally jumped the shark.
As show writers ran out of ideas, now we are running out of reality.
Of course, the public wouldn't buy that. There is no way they could believe that a Swedish L.C.M.S. pastor could write humorous irreverent parody lyrics at the drop of the hat. More unbelievable than an Amish Mafia.
I live in York County PA and work in northern rural Lancaster County PA and have been to Lancaster City many times, my mom was from the general area and I lived in Amish country (Elizabethtown/Hershey) as a young child before moving to Maryland. Going to downtown Lancaster City, especially the area of N. Queen Street is more like going to downtown Baltimore or Detroit, especially now days and you are not going to find many if any real Amish in Lancaster City central and speaking Pennsylvania Dutch wont help you, however speaking Spanish or Ebonics would be more helpful.
And if you go to the touristy areas of Lancaster along Route 30 near the big outlet malls and Amish themed attractions, you will probably see lots of Amish buggies and lots of Amish stores but they are mostly owned and driven by the English who are milking money from the gullible tourists. (Hint: the real Amish dont give buggy rides to tourists although they will gladly take your money and sell you their goods at their small stores and stalls at farmers markets outside of the city).
If you want to see the real Amish you have to go east, north or south of downtown Lancaster City or the commercial part of route 30; the rural areas surrounding little towns like Strasburg, Manheim, Lititz, Paradise, Bird In Hand, Blue Ball and the places in between. There is a grocery store near where I work in Manheim that has specially designated parking spaces for buggies. And yes, the Amish go to modern grocery stores. Ive also seen Amish buggies parked in front of the Home Depot and the Best Buy. Ive also seen Amish at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and yes they go to the hospital and to the doctors when they need to, and there is actually a cottage industry of drivers, some Mennonite and some English who provide car transport when the Amish have to travel farther than practical by horse and buggy. The Amish may not own or drive cars but they will use them for transport if it is necessary and if someone else is driving. Many will also use gas powered engines, electricity and telephones in their barns and workshops for conducting business even as their homes have no electricity and the Amish who work off the farm will use mechanized equipment and ride in work trucks.
There is no such thing as the Amish Mafia. There are a few Amish kids who occasionally go bad, go wild; drink, experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex and rock and roll, usually during their Rumspringa: a few never go back to the Amish ways but surprisingly most do. Surprisingly the Amish population is growing and moving into areas like southern NJ and NE Maryland; there is a rather large and growing Amish community in Cape May County NJ.
The shows Breaking Amish and Amish Mafia are completely fake. There were even ads running not long ago in several Lancaster are newspapers advertising for extras to appear on those shows.
I started watching it and when they showed Levi’s arrest record it showed that he was arrested in Shelby, Ohio, a few years ago.
I live 8 miles away from Shelby.
There is a large Mennonite/Amish population is this area. I’m going to ask around and see if anyone’s heard of Levi and what his reputation is.
There’s a ton of Amish around my parts (western Wisconsin), but I’ve never heard of anything like an Amish mafia.
BTW, did anybody else find that incident to somehow be quite hilarious?
Okay, I will be watching the final episode of “Amish Mafia” tonight. It’s my guilty pleasure but the pleasure comes from the unintended laughs at the ridiculousness of it all. The funniest thing is that Amish midget who smashed the windshield of Lebanon Levi with a sledgehammer. What? He hasn’t been arrested for an act of vandalism he perpetrated on national TV?