The Amish Beard Attacks

Chances are you’ve heard of the recent attacks on Amish by now.  Members of a small Ohio group have been entering Amish homes and cutting off men’s beards and men’s and women’s hair.  Authorities have gotten involved and now there are serious charges–kidnapping and burglary–against the perpetrators.

The group in question is located near the town of Bergholz in Jefferson County (this is a county or two east of the Holmes County Amish settlement).  Attacks have occurred on Amish in 4 counties, including Holmes.

What’s driving these attacks?  Is it theological grievances, personal grudges, both?  Authorities have explained that the goal has been to degrade and humiliate the victims, who have been as old as 74.

I’m not sure of the original issues which caused members of this group to fall out of affiliation with other Amish.  In some of the stories I’ve been reading I’ve seen them described (apparently by other Amish) as both “formerly Amish”, and a “cult”.

Media reports have focused on the group’s supposedly manipulative bishop, Sam Mullet. It seems Mullet formed the group around a decade ago after exiting the Holmes community. This isn’t the first time the Bergholz group has come to the attention of the law. In 2007 there were allegations of sexual abuse in the community (one report notes that the beard attacks “are in retaliation for the community ostracizing Mullet over the allegations”).

It’s not unheard of to have individuals or groups of former or excommunicated Amish, with grievances against their former church members.

What makes this case unusual, and what is certainly driving the international media coverage, is the violence.  In one piece, Donald Kraybill describes Amish-on-Amish violence as “extremely rare”.  The attackers are entering homes armed with scissors–one report says gardening shears–and there have been minor injuries.

Personally I’ve only encountered violence between Amish and former members once.  What made it different was that the attacks went in the opposite direction–from the “official” Amish against the former members.  In that case, violence was done against things, not people, with Amish vandalizing the property of excommunicated members under cover of the night.

A local TV station caught up with Bergholz bishop Sam Mullet.  You can see what he had to say about the incident below.  I’m curious about your impressions of this case.  The first thing that struck me was that he seems annoyed that authorities have gotten involved in what he sees as a religious issue (note-I’ve just watched again and they’ve updated the video with arrest footage, and truncated the Mullet interview):

(Update: video no longer available)

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    1. Al in Ky.

      Thanks for this update. I watched the four videos about the issue
      and have some questions. In the report by Eric Mansfield it looks
      like the buggies are green. Is that correct? Also in his interview he mentions that a deputy sheriff who is assisting with
      the interviews of the perpetrators is Amish. I was surprised to
      learn that an Amish person would become a sheriff. Is this correct? It doesn’t seem consistent with the Amish teaching of nonresistance. In Romona Robinson’s report, when she discusses four Amish groups (Old Order, New Order, Swarztentruber and Andy Weaver),when she talks about the Swartzentruber Amish, a picture of
      a buggy with a SMV sign is shown. Do some Swartz. Amish use
      SMV signs? When she talks about Old Order and New Order Amish,
      she says that they allow the women to wear pastel colored bonnets.
      What Amish communities allow this?

      1. Al, I’ll take a crack–on the deputy sheriff being Amish, I noticed that too–most likely they meant he was Amish-raised. Amish don’t serve in law enforcement and there are no exceptions to that I’m aware of.

        I missed the green buggies–the image in the video looks sort of green-tinged–is that what you meant? No Amish use green buggies, though a former/”out-of-order” Amish group could come up with something creative? I’m thinking I didn’t see what you were referring to though.

        I don’t know of any pastel colored head coverings used by any Amish. New Order Amish wear the same color Some Old Order Mennonite coverings may have elements of those colors though.

        1. Rose

          Amish beard attacks

          I agree, the sheriff was most likely Raised Amish and for what I have seen of Amish women caps I have never seen any other or heard of any other color but, white and even the menonites, I have only seen white prayer caps.

        2. Al in Ky.

          Thanks to Erik, Bruce Stambaugh and others, for responding to
          my questions, especially the one concerning the news reporter’s
          stating that a deputy sheriff involved with handling the case is
          Amish. I just couldn’t imagine an Amish man being a deputy sheriff.

          I hope these incidents stop and the case against the perpetrators
          is brought to quick resolution. In some ways, these happenings
          remind me of the Munsterites in early Anabaptist history in 1534. In the book Through Fire and Water by Loewen and Nolt, on p. 105 it states, “Those Anabaptists in Munster(Germany) exchanged their earlier peaceful life and ethical standards for violence and sexual immorality. Instead of following Jesus, they sold out to leaders who led them in error and destruction. They baptized men and women by force, drove out of the city those who resisted them, practiced polygamy, and killed their opponents — all in the name of Christian faith.” And on p. 108 it states, “The Munster episode had negative results for the Anabaptist movement. Society and rulers did not separate the peaceful Anabaptists from the Munster fanatics.”

          I hope that in these incidents today the news reporters can help
          the larger society separate the peaceful Amish from the Bergholz
          group and realize there is a big difference.

          And yes, Erik, I was referring to what looks like a green tinge
          on the buggy in the video. I went to the public library and
          watched the videon on an excellent desk top computer and it still
          looks green-tinged. I thought maybe the Bergholz group uses
          green-colored buggies,but I guess not according to Bruce Stambaugh.

    2. I’m so tired of people using their religion as a scapegoat for radical behavior. I just think people can do just about anything, say it’s for/against their religion and therefore no one else should get involved and I completely see the gray area there, but I just don’t think it’s OK. Those victims know God will take care of them, but they’re human and I bet can’t help but be a little fearful when they go to bed at night. I feel bad for them.

      1. glen k

        whAT grey area?


    3. Long Hair and Headcovering

      While violence is rare among the Amish, since they are raised in an atmosphere of active peace and nonrrsistance, violence within churches is not as rare. I have witnessed (and interceded) in fistfights within my own church community. I’ve heard of incidents among the past generation of clergy in my Anglican diocese turning theological arguments into boxing matches.

      We are human, even as we profess Christ and His way of nonviolence. It is considered a grave sin for Christians to fight in anger and with violence, and Anglican clergy especially risk immediate dismissal from their parish and eventual removal from holy orders. Since the Bergholz group has set themselves apart from the usual means of Amish discipline, then the secular law will have to be involved. It is my opnion that any cases of violence must be addressed by the secular law, in order to prevent more; jail is a greater consequence than the ban. Amish and other insular religious groups prefer to settle these matters their own way, but it is not effective in cases of law-breaking.

      As to the matter of pastel bonnets – in some Amish and Mennonite groups, women and girls wear colourful sunbonnets when working outside in the summer. They can be quite elaborate with ruffles and bows – it’s a bit of pretty self-indulgence that is allowed.You may see photos of embellished kapps or kapps in shades of blue, yellow, or pink, but these are not worn by Amish or Mennonite groups. They may be worn by other headcovering groups, who range from Quaker (usually quite plain and even severe, but not always) to Seventh Day Adventists (who have no rule on this, but headcovering has been adopted by a few) and on to Plain Catholics and Anglicans, like myself.

      1. Greg Miller

        Plain Catholic

        Can you elaborate on the term you used “Plain Catholic”

        I’m new to this term.


    4. About the attacks


      The sheriff’s deputy referred to in the report grew up Amish. He is no longer Amish, but speaks Dutch. The buggies are black. The coverings are either white or black. The Swartzentruber Amish do not use SMV reflectors.

      Mr. Mullet was shunned because he tried to shun several members from his then Amish church in Fredericktown, which is not in Holmes Co. A regional group of bishops overruled him, which instituted the retaliations. Mr. Mullet and his clan have been arrested in Jefferson Co. in sexual abuse cases, and the sheriff there has stated that Mr. Mullet’s sons have threatened to kill him. Clearly his group cannot be considered Amish given their behavior and their claims.

      The Holmes Co. Sheriff, Tim Zimmerly, worked closely with local Amish leaders and finally convinced them to file charges based on the idea that arresting the alleged perpetrators would help them. (See this link:


      1. Not Christians

        The article mentioned above states:
        “The suspects still dress in traditional Amish clothing but no longer consider themselves to be Christians, Zimmerly said.”
        I dont know where the article got their information, but I think it sums up the whole situation. These rogues are (if the media is reporting correct … never trust a news report 🙂 ) certainly not Amish, nor Christians, despite the fact that they may still wear broadfall pants and drive buggies.

        1. The reporter clearly attributed the “not a Christian group” comment to the sheriff. The Amish here are very embarrassed by these crimes committed against them, and themselves refer to this group as “a cult.”

          1. Bruce, appreciate the local Holmes Co. info from you.

      2. Greg Miller

        Mr. Mullett

        I just made the connection between this hairy case and mullett.

        Sounds like a made-up name intended for puns 🙂

      3. glen k

        filing charges?


    5. Dr._K

      Amish Beard Attacks

      These are not acts of religious freedom or contested interpretations of G-d’s law, these are personal attacks. I agree with BethR that religion in this case is a cover for radical behavior, and it should not be condoned. The out-group, or those otherwise charged, have apparently invaded and intruded on others freedoms, and have violated the others rights to freely express their religious views. This type of domination is violence, not merely breaking a tenet of their spiritual beliefs, but infringing on others autonomy. This will be broadly cast against all Amish now. I feel bad for the larger community, who now have to live up to/down from the acts of these aberrant folks. What a blemish.

    6. Darlene

      Mr. Mullet actually wondered aloud why the sheriff was involved because, “It’s all (our?) religion. That’s why we can’t figure out why the sheriff has his nose in it.”

      Serious ignorance.

      The sheriff “has his nose in it” because violating people is NOT religious.

      Makes me sick.

    7. Lance

      I believe that reporter meant that the women from those orders can wear pastel dresses, not bonnets. As others have said, you never see anything other than black bonnets and white or black prayer coverings.

      As for Sam Mullett, his actions show his faith. I am sorry for those that follow him, particularly the children. Lets all pray that God do a work of repentance and faith in the hearts, minds and souls of all the people involved.

    8. Katie Troyer

      I am watching the case. Well said Bruce.

    9. Marilyn from New York

      I am also watching the case. I think it is terrible that Amish are against Amish. How could Mullet people do what they did? There comes a time when these crimes come into care of the police and I believe they are right in getting into it. I agree with Lance.

    10. Amish Beard Cutting

      This is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard or read about the Amish! Being a Christian myself I again concluded that there is a big difference between “professing” Christians, and “possessing” Christians. It is very obvious that this cult like group are only “professing”. They lack the love, and also the power of God in their lives! They need changed hearts! Perhaps prison life will break them so that their hearts will be changed!

    11. Lissa Holder

      Ditto Marilyn form New York!

    12. Christina

      I found it very interesting when the female reporter asked the one man, “Were you following orders?” and he answered, “Yeah, I guess I was.” Very telling about the hold and authority that Sam Mullet claims on this community. Sounds very much like a cult.

    13. Laura

      The whole situation is terrible. But honestly, any time someone uses religion as a basis for violent action, IMO that makes them a terrorist. And acts of terrorism are based on power, not faith. I’m a fairly agnostic Christian, but I believe in God’s love and I find these attacks as heinous as any other religious war — the splits within Islam, the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, etc. None of those have a thing to do with God’s love; they are only based on man’s attempt to gain power over other men.

      I’ll be praying for the Amish families who have suffered from these horrible attacks, and I’m glad that they’ve become willing to allow law enforcement to become involved. Perhaps removing the culprits from their cultish leader will indeed help them to gain the needed perspective to see where their actions were based on one twisted man’s will, not God’s.

    14. Alice Mary

      Am I dreaming?

      I heard about this crime in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago, I think. I was listeing to the radio, trying to fall back to sleep, but when I heard this, I had to rouse myself to keep from thinking I had dreamed it! I agree with Mary about this being the most bizarre thing I ever heard about the Amish (or former Amish?).

      Apparently, I wasn’t dreaming. What childish pranks! It’s hard to believe grown men were involved! What did they think they were accomplishing?

      Alice Mary

    15. John


      Eric, this is the first I had heard anything about this.

      To the rest on here; I am Old Order Amish and have access to the computer through my job and I do get the emails from Eric. This is bizarre and this is not a typical case and I am afraid that someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed before this guy is done. I have a good ex-Amish friend in Fredricksburg, OH and I called him this afternoon, and his words were, “This Bishop is off the deep end” Apparently he was errant in his ways and there were (6) Amish Bishops that wrote him a letter in hopes of correcting him and his response was that they all need to die. He also has major sexual issues and hopefully the local, state and federal authorities will check into this, (Jeff Warren type)).

      According to the guy I spoke with, he did start out by trying to live a good life and started searching for more. For some reason when that happens it seems there is a disturbing click and the person is completely different.

      This may seem trivial, by going and cutting off someone’s hair, but come on, the local people are being terrorized by this guy.

      Yes, we are taught to turn the other cheek and I am wondering how many other peoples hair were cut, because I would guess that there are some that would’ve kept quite about this whole thing, so the count of victims could go up.

      We need to pray for both sides of this story


      1. John thanks as well for sharing some more with us on the case. A good point on there possibly being more victims.

        I might have missed seeing it but I have also been wondering which affiliation Mullet and co originate from. Bruce mentions Fredericktown above which is getting into Swartzentruber area but going by the clothing and appearance doesn’t seem so.

        1. Beard attacks


          He was Dan church before being shunned. From what I hear, this investigation is only the tip of the ice burg. It’s going to get worse.


      2. Lissa Holder

        @ John, Thanks for your comment. I too wounder how many more victims they have harmed and traumatized by cutting hair and beards. I pray for God to intervene and protect the people. Such an unnecessary act and sad too. May the Lord bless them and keep them. I hope that all this will end soon. ~ Lissa

    16. Paul Hitchiner

      Amish attack reported in the UK

      I was suprised when the Daily Mail – a UK national paper – had a full page on this, today (Oct 10th). It shows how much interest there is in the Amish here.

      1. Paul it really has become an international story; I was reading some Australian coverage earlier and I bet if I poke around I’d find it in the Polish media somewhere.

        But the UK does seem to have taken a special interest in the Amish; in just the past few weeks I’ve heard from 3 separate UK-based film companies wanting to do Amish projects. Do you have any sense of why the interest might be there?

        1. Greg Miller

          Why UK interest

          My coworker from Wales tells me that England/Ireland has current issues with groups of moveable people – types of gypsies, travelers, etc who are so diverse that some call certain ones “cults”. The point here is that they are separatists and the British Isles are making laws that violate the European community’s bill of rights. These people do not want to own a permanent residence and local governments are having problems dealing with people who can’t be tied down. In a specific incident (Dale Farms) there is a farm with 400 people arguing with the English government. (Southeast Britain) An arm of the UN has offered to negotiate!

          This beard incident coupled with the reaction to Nickle Mines, gets any Amish abberation into the news. False idea that Amish live perfect lives in perfect communities; looking for the flaws, etc.

    17. Jessica

      This story is very, very disturbing to me. Everything about it sounds like this is the work of a very dangerous cult. No true Christian group would commit violence like this, in retaliation for correction by other Christians. I am glad that the law got involved. It’s a matter of safety not only for the Amish in the area, but for the members of this Bergholtz group as well. It’s obvious they are being brainwashed and controlled by a very anti-Christian spirit.

    18. Marcus Yoder

      I looked up Samuel Mullet on a genealogy website. It shows he has 18 children.
      Marcus Yoder

    19. Nancee


      I am absolutely appalled about this activity in the Amish communities in Ohio. From the information I have accummulated, my feeling is that this group of terrorists is a cult led by a deranged, perverted, hateful man who professes to be an Amish leader. God knows the truth about this man and his followers, who incidentally, are probaby acting out of fear of repercussions from their leader if they don’t do as he commands.

      I have visited the Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana for close to 30 years on a very regular basis, several times a year. We have made friends and have become well acquainted with numerous members of that particular Amish community, and their beliefs and customs. They are a peaceful, hardworking, God-loving example of how all Christians should live. Their traditions are based in a love for God. I cannot imagine that this group in Ohio is in any way affiliated with the Amish community.

      This is an atrocity!


    20. kerry

      This is another article from a local station that has some additional comments which readers might find interesting.

    21. The three men that were arrested are being held on $250,000 bond. Apparently there are at least a couple more arrests in the works.

      1. Sharyn Ecker

        As of this weekend 5 arrest have been made

    22. Carla

      Amish Community

      why do people have to be so MEAN just because they can not get along ! this is so sad ! and to think our world will only get worse ! the Amish community does not bother people they are honest hard working people that take care of their own ! if everyone in america did that this world would be a better place ! i have told my husband that i want to plant on our property like the Amish do and become more self suficent the way life should be lived ! I HOPE THESE PEOPLE ARE PUNISHED ! they thought just because they were Amish that the local law would not go after them because they dont ” believe ” the ways of mans law well well i guess they thought wrong !

    23. Lindsay

      What a strange situation, but from the comments on here it sounds like this Bishop Mullett is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but in a dangerously unstable sort of way. Unfortunately his followers didn’t recognize that he was off his rocker before committing these crimes. It rings of Charles Manson Helter Skelter with an plain twist.

      My husband is British (my inlays still live over there). I think it’s the novelty factor that makes them the Amish so interesting. If you’ve ever visited e country, it is hugely diverse, but yet there is no group remotely like the Amish there. My husbands interest in e Amish only goes as far as the food though lol.

    24. Maryanna

      I am still in shock after hearing about this situation, a couple days ago. Last evening, my husband and I visited our Amish friends here in Western PA. Of course, this was part of our conversation. Their community here, is very upset by these events. Our friends have extended family members who had been part of Mullet’s group a few years ago. They are still distraught by the things that went on in that community. After what I heard last night, I’m wondering how soon it will be before Sam Mullet, requires his “followers” to “drink the Kool-aid”. The Amish in our area, certainly agree that something went wrong in Sam Mullet’s heart, long ago. He has become an angry, bitter, controlling individual who must be stopped before many other people are terrorized. Our friends have heard reports of sexual crimes within the Mullet group as well as polygamy. We are all praying here that law enforcement will do their job bringing an end to this violence. Also praying that someday the brainwashed people who think of Mullet as their Bishop, will see the difference between control and true Christian love.

      1. Bishop Sam Mullet liability?

        Maryanna from what I read it sounded like Sam Mullet admitted to being present when the attacks were being planned, though he claimed to stop short of “ordering” them. I wonder from a legal standpoint what liability he might have just based upon that admission (even leaving other factors aside).

    25. Greg Miller


      I find it amazing that for such an insular community the news travels like wildfire.

    26. Nelson

      Blind leaders of the Blind

      I feel very sorry for Sam’s followers there in Bergholtz..
      They are blindly following their leader, and their leader is on the wrong track.
      Everyone agrees with that……
      But stop and think for a little,, Aren’t there a lot of people blindly following their church appointed leaders, or a set of rules, ,, and sidestepping the most important issues??????

    27. Lindsay

      Not just in church Nelson, but in many areas in life! But when you get someone who is mentally unstable in charge, things can go wrong very quickly. That is why Bishop Mullet reminds me of Charles Manson. Charlie was involved with few, if any of the family murders, but he created a culture where doing so was tolerated. Seems like Bishop here has done the same with his followers.

    28. nelson

      That’s right , Lindsay… not only in church but that usually has the most damaging effect on people, BECAUSE they put Bible or God in with it to control…
      I know of an Amish bishop, who told others that he or she may not go to this ones, or that ones house, even within the community, and even worse than that,,,
      and Nancy,,, I do not want to say too many negatives on here,,,but you may as well know the facts,,
      Shipshewana, and Topeka Amish communities are far from perfect….
      One time the State Police, caught an Amish woman from that area,who was handling and selling drugs, but could not figure out how she was doing it,,,,,
      Finally they told her to take her covering off and let her hair down, and in there they found illegal drugs…
      And ask any older person there if they know of Wilbur Eash clan, or
      I do not wish to burst your idealistic concept of the Amish,, but truth is truth,, THERE ARE GOOD AND THERE ARE BAD!!!

      1. Brenda

        Piggy-back on Nelson's comment

        Thanks Nelson for saying, “I do not wish to burst your idealistic concept of the Amish,, but truth is truth,, THERE ARE GOOD AND THERE ARE BAD!!!”

        I’m the English parent to a former Swartzentruber Amish son whose parents don’t want him. He left his upstate NY Amish community at 18 y/o & now is shunned.
        Recently my daughter married a former Swartzentruber whose father is the Bishop, and I’ve become involved in a Mission to Amish (MAP) service so my learning curve is steep. Every week former Amish are in our home. They love to play board games & laugh at old TV reruns.
        There are 15 identified orders from the rigid, punitive, extremely controlling Swartzentruber to the progressive Beachy, and Nelson is correct, as with any culture there are shocking facts about Amish that would curl your hair (and if it’s curled, then it’d go straight). LOL

        Greg marveled at how news travels like wildfire among Amish. haha That’s a conservative observation. The many former-Amish we know are like a mini-mafia. If you tell one something EVERYONE soon knows about it!

        1. Amish Naive

          I am laughing at your remark about news traveling fast. That may be conservative but it’s probably more accurately, naive, by me!

          Thanks for the clarification that telling one is like telling all.

          Here we call them “neighborhood broadcast booths.”

    29. Don Curtis

      Comments from my Amish son, Mark

      I thought I would share with you some of the thoughts of my son, Mark, regarding these attacks.
      First thing off, Mark wishes that folks would stop referring to the Bergholtz group as Amish. They are no longer Amish. They have all been excommunicated and no other Amish church recognizes them or fellowships with them.
      Secondly. The behavior of these people is so contrary to the teachings of Christ and the doctrines of the Amish church that it is beyond belief how they could have done this. One of the pillars of Amish belief is nonresistance. Although the Amish do discipline errant church members, the most severe punishment is excommunication and shunning. Never, never, never is any kind of corporal punishment used.
      Thirdly, Mark would have everyone remember that the Amish are people and as such are susceptible to mental illness and delusional based behavior just like anybody else. The bishop of this group, in Mark’s opinion, is mentally ill to the point of being delusionally psychotic. Sam Mullet is no more a representative of the Amish people than Jim Jones and Jonestown was of American Evangelical Protestants. Sam Mullet and that whole group need help and soon!
      Anyway, Mark wanted me to let you know how another Amishman feels about all of this.

      1. Amish vs. Amish?

        Don, give our thanks to Mark for sharing. I particularly noted the point he made about how this group is being identified as Amish. Some media reports I’ve read have been careful to note that they are in fact outside the fold.

        Many have not though, and the fact that they look Amish (and perhaps still profess to be Amish, I have not read as much about how they see themselves) probably leads to a lot of the coverage painting this as “Amish against Amish”. It of course is a much juicier standpoint from the media point of view if this is one Amish group against another.

    30. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Is it possible for us to know how many people are in the Mullet group?
      I watched the videos and read the article, but didn’t catch a number, I guess it might be a fairly small number of people compared to “mainstream” Amish communities.

    31. Katie Troyer

      I read in one of the articles that they have about 120 people in that community.

      1. Bergholz number

        Katie’s number is correct.


    32. Lindsay

      Does the 120 include children?

      1. Bergholz number

        That’s my understanding, Lindsay.


    33. Nelson

      facts from one who was there

      Good afternoon, Less than an hour ago I visited with one who has been to the Bergholtz Community many times making deliveries, and he told me that the group there is quite large,, so seemingly your numbers are too small,, and he has been on Sam’s property, and on back of it is a very large steel gate, with signs on it , NO TRESPASSING, and he said that it is hard to say what all might be back there…..

    34. Nelson

      He went on , All the properties are in Sam’s name, and the people are all under his control.
      He went on, “Sam usually has 3-5 women near him most of the time, and they are all dressed the same..

      1. Maryanna

        I have to agree with you, Nelson. My Amish friend (who had an extended family member once part of this group) said exactly the same thing. I’m referring to your comment about the properties being in Sam’s name and 5 women with him most of the time. I continue to pray for the Sheriff’s dept. in the case. May God grant them wisdom to put an end to this horror.

    35. Ann

      Comment on Amish

      I am a driver for several Amish families in Carroll Co. and have been aware of the Bergholz “amish” community for some time. I had been advised by my customers not to drive for the Bergholz group for some time before these beards attacks occured. Members of my local Amish community have labeled Mullet’s group a “cult”. One hears many very disturbing comments about Sam and his personal behavior with members of his community. If prayer is part of your religious practice please pray for the children in that community, when this current “beard” situation is finally settled the children will be the ones who will need support and therapy if they are to grow into healthy adults.

      1. About "hearing stories"

        I am not trying to come to the rescue of this Bergholz group. But I would like to ask all of us here to be careful about passing on things that “someone said.” Little things (Like Sam having several women around him all dressed the same, for example) that may or may not be true, or may or may not have any significance to them (maybe they were his sisters, who happened to have the same color dress on that day) get passed around as an inference that Sam practices polygamy. And who is guilty? Sam of polygamy, or the person who passes on a story that “somebody” said.
        I have been around enough to know that any time a religious split happens, the stories start swirling easily. A rumor about “so and so probably has mental problems” gets passed around (I know, because it happened to a relative of mine) and soon everyone is sure that “so and so” has mental problems. After all, they heard it from three sources now.
        “Oh be careful little tongue what you say …”
        (This little reminder isnt directed at anyone in particular. I need the reminder myself.)

        On another note … Hello, Nelson. I think I can tell by the writing style which Nelson you are. Was in Maine, now in Holmes, right? 🙂

    36. Ernie Yoder

      Helson, you couldn’t hide if you wanted to. LOL

      Several years ago a SWAT team was called out to a Berholz school to get several children. This school was also in Sam Mullets domain. There are several videos showing Sam Mullet expressing himself.

      I wonder if this ridiculous behavior may have started with a hurt or unforgiveness that turned into something that possesses him… it definitely appears to be rooted in bitterness and hatred, envy, etc.. and the demonic spirit is overtaking him.

      The lesson for you and me… we’ll be in the same catagory if we have unresolved issues in our heart.

    37. Valerie

      Unresolved Heart Issues

      Ernie, you are so right in your statement. In my women’s Bible study we are studying the life of David. It brought out Saul, who in the beginning loved David but jealousy crept in & he could not or would not yield it over to God. His obsession then recruited many to seek to kill David-eventually, the Spirit of God departed from Saul & a distressing spirit ruled him. And so we see, Mullet could very well be in need of deliverance ministry & counseling to be set free. Wouldn’t that be awesome? With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), as long as one is willing to see the need & turn it over to the One who can change a heart, and change a life.

    38. kerry

      Ann who posted above –

      Thank you for pointing that out, to please, if you are so inclined, especially pray for the children of this group. And if I could add, this bishop’s adult children and their spouses. There is so much more to this story than what will or should be made public and hopefully it will be addressed now.

    39. Katie Troyer

      I have been praying for his children and grandchildren. Some years ago I was with a group of people that could have turned into a cult. But I left and a few years later everyone else left because he died of a heart attack. It wasn’t a cult yet but I know how a little bit of brainwashing here and there adds up…

    40. Al in Ky.

      Today I read an interesting article in the Dec. 12 issue of
      the Mennonite Weekly Review entitled “Ohio Amish consider renegade
      group a cult”. The article contains some interesting information
      from Robert Comer, a former taxi driver for the Bergholz group.
      You can read the article at

      Also, a couple of weeks ago I bought a copy of the Raber’s 2012
      Almanac and I see that the Bergholz ministry is still listed
      on p. 43.

    41. Ernie Yoder

      Sam considers himself accountable to no one

      Most Amish communities have fellowship with other communities that hold each other accountable. Therefore the church is expected to filter its members and fellowship with those that they consider unbelievers.

      Since the Sam Mullet group is excommunicated from all other Amish churches, they feel no obligation to give an account to anyone including the law. Sam’s legislation is final authority and he doesn’t give an account to anyone including the sheriff.

      Sam is being consumed by his own bitterness. He is in the grips of a scorpion (satan) and being desensitized to Truth.