‘Amish Mafia’ Fake for the Most Part, Expert Says

August 14, 2013 11:57 am Last Updated: July 18, 2015 5:19 pm

“Amish Mafia,” which returned on Tuesday night on the Discovery Channel for season 2, is fake, an expert said.

Even though some of the cast of the show were raised in the community, the idea of an “Amish Mafia”–an organization that operates outside of local law enforcement–isn’t true.

“There is no Amish Mafia,” said Amish expert David Weaver-Zercher, a professor at Messiah College, in a lecture this year, according to PennLive.com.

The Discovery Channel describes the “mafia” as a “secret subculture” that operates in a clandestine manner.

“The Amish Mafia of reality TV fame is a fabrication of the producers. Some of the actors were raised in the Amish community but never joined it. Their knowledge of Amish practices enables them to help stage what appear to be authentic scenarios,” wrote Donald B. Kraybill, a senior fellow in the Young Center and distinguished professor at Pennsylvania’s Elizabethtown College, in the Huffington Post.

He added: “Certain offenses within the Amish community are punishable by the local congregation. Other more serious ones are reported to outside legal authorities.”