I usually try to ignore “Amish Mafia” or “Breaking Amish“-related news, which tends to clog the news feeds whenever the shows are in season.

I am making an exception today to share the good news that “Amish Mafia”‘s upcoming fourth season, beginning February 10th, will be its last.

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Lebanon Levi. Photo by Blaine Shahan, Lancaster Online

According to Lancaster Online, “show attorney Steve Breit revealed that the upcoming season would be very different from past ones, with the cast tackling the Pennsylvania governor’s race, as well as the increasing negativity that had been creeping up with the show in Lancaster.”

The two popular Amish-themed “reality” programs have received a fair share of backlash since they made their debuts in 2012, including articles debunking Amish Mafia and non-Amish speaking out against “Amish exploitation”.

The things you learn from “Amish Mafia”…

By the way, I somehow got sucked into visiting the “Amish Mafia” website, and learned some interesting things via a “fact generator” feature on the website.

According to the Amish Mafia site (these are all direct quotes):

  • During Rumspringa, children between the ages of 14 and 16 are given greater personal freedom and allowed to form romantic relationships.
  • Lancaster Amish are required to wear suspenders, but in Ohio only the bishop, the deacon and boys under age 12 may wear them.
  • Everyone in Lancaster gets their head coverings from one woman who provides them.
  • The Amish will occasionally maintain friendly relationships with English people.
  • Amish etiquette dictates that a person must ask permission to enter another’s house.
  • Bundling is a traditional Amish practice of wrapping two people separately in a bed.
  • An Amish horse and buggy can travel up to 40 miles per hour.
  • A brand new Amish buggy costs about $5,000, and a used buggy about $2,000. Usually there is one buggy shop in each Amish community.
  • An Amish woman is forbidden from allowing a man in her house unless her husband is at home.
  • In the Amish community, men and women are segregated until Rumspringa.
  • Although there are no official Amish communities in North Dakota, many Amish people relocate there to continue their modest lifestyles.

I actually found that pretty entertaining in its own way. For a lot of these, you can imagine the kernel of truth that each “fact” grew from.

I think my favorite is the description of bundling. What do they use? Tin foil? Saran wrap? Wrapping paper? Does it take an entire team of Amish people? Pretty funny visual image in that one sentence.

You wonder what might replace “Amish Mafia”, assuming the “Amish reality” theme remains popular.

Other Amish Shows Happening Now

There are actually a couple of other programs currently airing.

One is called “Amish Haunting“, which consists of re-enactments of ghost stories which supposedly circulate among the Amish. I didn’t realize there was such a strong supernatural tradition among the Amish as the show’s intro would have you believe.

The other is named “Amish RENOgades“. The “RENO” bit looks as it does to indicate this is a home improvement program, following two Amishmen (or maybe just one, since one of them drives) as they traverse the country doing renovation projects for homeowners.

I’ve only watched a little of either of these. From what I saw, each seemed silly in its own way (though RENOgades seemed like it might be interesting for home improvement buffs). Any comments from those who have seen either?