Breaking Amish on TLC

A month back I wrote about the upcoming TLC series “Breaking Amish”. After viewing a promo and reading some coverage, I felt it sounded like an “Amish in the City” rehash, but with the obnoxious dial cranked to 11.

The show premiered last night. Anyone who saw it, what did you think? Predictable? Were there any redeeming qualities? Pleasant surprises? I’ll end up viewing an episode or two, but in the meantime interested to hear what you thought.

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    1. Jeff

      I wonder if Kate is bi-polar? That would be my greatest concern of the whole group. The episodes keep pushing the “reality” line harder/ darker. Why couldn’t TLC not go for the shock value and keep it real? I’m watching now not for the truth but for the possibility of truth to sneak through…..

      1. Manuela

        I was thinking the same thing. She is showing some clear symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as cycling through manic and depressive states. I think she is a nice girl and can’t help her “craziness”. I hope she gets help!

        1. Andrea

          I do believe there is something wrong with Kate. Whether its bi polar or something else I don’t know. She seems a timid at times but then she can be loud as well.

        2. david folse


          i have bipolar . i’ll have to think about that. which one do you think is bipolar? i went years bipolar before i was hospitalized. i think true or i mean a person really bipolar find themselves hospitalized. i went days without sleep and got hospitalized. thanks for bringing it up

      2. Barbara Gambichler

        coment on Breaking Amish

        I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought the same about Kate. She has mental issues, that’s perfectly clear, and I hope she does go for help.

        I have been watching every episode, and questioned if any of the cast were actualy Amish. I have been to Lancaster, PA, and have over heard conversations between Amish. Their English is not that easy to understand. So how is it possible for all the cast members to pick up our way of speaking and our slang, so quickly.

        Now that I’ve been reading more about this, TLC had everyone think that the cast was straight from the farm, but in reality, they’ve been among the “English” for years. No wonder they speak our way of talking, and of course the cursing that’s bleeped out.

        1. V2

          Exactly! This was my first thought aftre watching BA first time! I don’t believe in God, and this amount of cursing is way too much for me, than how can it be ok for someone who just broke amish?! To be honest I’m much more interested about the real life of the cast than the show itself. 🙂 For me this is show is just like the blair witch project: it can be entertaining at a certain level, but real life stories are usually better than these made up realities.

      3. kristy

        Breaking amish

        I feel sorry for all of them they wanted to be out on their own so bad but i do believe they have some kind of Mental illness either Bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia. I noticed that when the last season of Breaking Amish before they returned home and they were talking about One of the cast worshiping the devil and acting like a witch to me right there caught my attention hey something is not right i do not think they were staged to do that i think they did that out of a whim because they are to involved in each others lives.

        With lies and sex and Bipolar disorder symptoms it does not surprise me they are back for another season and another show for that matter.

        You can see it in their faces they are suffering so much battling those demons and those disorders from eating disorders to Schizophrenia they are suffering so much i believe they are all suffering with Bipolar disorder and suffering with a personal disorder like multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia , eating disorder and etc. The signs are noticeable and i feel so bad for them i hope they get their lives in order and get the help they need.

    2. Lorraine

      Breaking Amish is Broken

      Watched this yesterday – for approximately 120 seconds. My kids and I couldn’t get over the vulgarity that was bleeped in the short time we watched. I have had some experience with the Amish over the past several years, and they are NOTHING like the folks on this show. What a waste of production money! I really enjoyed the show “Amish in the City” because, frankly, I thought the Amish kids in that show appeared to be much better adjusted and better-grounded individuals (can you tell I was rooting for them?). Just my two cents 😀

    3. Greg Stutzman

      Good job, Mom.

      Kudos to you Lorraine for doing what so many parents fail to do in our society today. It is much easier to let the kids entertain themselves in front of the TV, and then complain about terrible content, than it is to actually monitor their viewing habits and explain what is right and what is wrong. You wielded the best tool available to all parents in the war against shoddy and dubious television; the power button on the remote.

      1. Lorraine

        Thank you, Greg! The funny thing was that my kids (5 boys from 15 down to 3)were saying “Mom – what are you watching?” as if they were horrified that I was watching something with “bleeps” in it. I know that any show with the Amish and any amount of “bleeping” can’t be credible/believable.

    4. Jeff

      to be serious

      I wonder if the 5 know the effect and ripples they are bringing out from this show? I have always been a fan of what happens behind the scenes many times more than the movie/ show/ play etc.. that I would be viewing. I am very curious as to what is really going on, not so much as to rip TLC or any of them, but to honestly know the facts and how they put all of this together. I wonder if any of them are reading this but can’t say anything to a hush contract with TLC or such? It is a train wreck, but TLC is, I’m sure, more than aware of what is going on.

    5. "Breaking Amish" - horrified

      I am not sure why I was surprised that it was so bad. When I heard that TLC was making this, I expected it to be done poorly. I was not prepared for how bad it was when it actually aired.

      The PBS special done recently was excellent, given the short length of the piece. That was more impressuonistic than informative.

      This TLC mashup has no redeeming value whatsoever.

    6. My two cents on Breaking Amish (mid-season)

      I caught some of, I believe, the 3rd episode, other snippets here and there, and have been reading the media coverage. I’m just not attracted to this “reality” format of television to begin with…plus the fact that it allegedly involves Amish, and that a lot of people will draw conclusions about the Amish based on this portrayal and the biases of these questionably Amish individuals, makes me cringe.

      I feel like ten years ago, this type of program would still be beyond the pale…however little to nothing is shocking nowadays. Viewers even expect a certain level of shock in their television and with the content Breaking Amish has covered I think it’s been delivered.

      Rather than fold under the “Faking Amish” allegations, TLC seems to have played it well from the beginning by admitting that some of the rumors are true, some are not (of course, you’ll have to tune in to find out which is which). Clever of course, and it looks like they have been rewarded in the ratings department.

    7. jeff

      I’m watching for research purposes in a way and kind of quizzing myself on what is true/ authentic or not. It’s interesting but you have to stand back and see not only the 5 but the camera, sound, producers, writers, TLC and the social media we call the world. It’s interesting but I smart enough to know that very rarely anything on TV is real.

      1. That’s kind of what I gathered by what you were posting Jeff. And you are right, you can watch this show from a number of perspectives.

        Inevitably some will take the opinions and descriptions presented by these people as the way “the Amish” do things. Of course the point of the show is not to be an exhaustive educational exploration of the Amish…but some will base their ideas of the Amish on what is said and done here, for better or worse. TV as teacher.

        1. Jeff

          TV as teacher. That is a can of worms right there. (Maybe even a pit of snakes!) Even PBS can push it once in a while!

    8. Kentucky Lady 717

      Not enjoying this program at all….seems a bit TRASHY to me…..this one kid talking about proposing to his girlfriend, and doesn’t even have a job !!!!! Give me a break…..this show isn’t much better than honey boo boo…….which I do not watch, but saw a bit while clicking to find something else to watch besides TLC….it is getting terrible anymore…..I thought TLC meant THE LEARNING CHANNEL !!!! what can you learn watching such trashy programs as these two ???? Am I missing something???? Just sayin…………….

      1. george

        TLC breaking amish

        Someone wrote regarding breaking Amish and TLC being a learning channel. Which is not that we are learning much from watching breaking Amish. The points of the Amish view have been addressed. But now these kids or young adults are going out breaking all the rules of society. The bad lingo is enough to make this a bad show the drinking and fighting. Kate most of all needs help just like the others do after leaving and being shunned out. They need stability n guidance.

    9. Annie Esh

      The Real Truth, page 50 and 51.

      1. Jeff

        “As the plot sickens…”

    10. Traveler

      sad, sad,

      Hello everyone,
      It is sad to say but some of this stuff is very real…
      the story about Jeremiah Raber is very real.
      I know him personally, and have been praying for him to really come to Christ,,,,,
      wish the show would find the facts, before posting, or showing junk,,,

      1. jeff


        To believe TLC would be scary due to the fact of the amount of evidence that surrounds the show. Am I mad at the 5? 50/50 but willing to give them more of a chance due to TLC hyping of the show. The whole situation is sad. I’ve talked to and interacted with several Amish and Mennonite and knew as soon as the show started there was a twisted angle to it. THe people I have dealt with are just not like that! I just wonder what is going to happen to the 5 after the show AND where are they right now? Obviously it was taped awhile ago and I’m sure they can’t talk about it. Have you noticed Kate and Sabrina were the only ones on the interview tours? I just hope everything isn’t as twisted as TLC makes it seem.

    11. The Learning Channel

      For the past few years TLC has been doing many shows that teach nothing and there is a lot of negative learning goping on. It’s a network pattern. There is some very good things on TLC but much of ofm the good programing is undermined by the horrendous pther programs they air. The are lowering their own bar.

    12. The Learning Channel

      The quality of TLC programming has been going down for the past few years. The trash they air undermines their good programming.

    13. Julie

      Breaking Amish is SO FAKE!

      A lot of folks still believe that there is realism in reality tv but actually, very little is real. I’ve been on the set of several reality shows with a director friend of mine, they were all scripted.

      Anyway, here’s a Facebook site dedicated to the lack of truthfulness of the show Breaking Amish

      Here’s a report about the very violent nature of one of the cast members toward his now ex-wife

      There’s nothing real about reality tv.


    15. Julie

      Not anything like the show

      I live near a small enclave of Amish. They have a store that I frequent for several things. While they aren’t my “friends” in the traditional sense of the word, I find them to be lovely people who would be horrified to see how their traditions are being flaunted and blasted across television and the media. I know that sociologists say it’s great that shows like this exist because it helps to build tolerance with us English, but I’m here to tell you, if I didn’t know a little bit and have some experience with the Amish myself, I would probably see them as more of a cult that spawns defectors like these kids rather than the studious, honest, hard working folks they are.

      It’s fine if some kids don’t want to stay with their Amish (or Mennonite) roots, but good grief, TLC you should be telling it like it is instead of glamorizing and horrifying for ratings.

    16. Dave

      Amish had their culture derided during the wars because of pacifism. They will recover. The exploitive ex/never Amish will crash off into the sunset. I hope no inocent lives are affected.

    17. Jeff


      I actually quit watching just before the engagement episode. It got to be a little too “MTV” for me…..

    18. Cathy Kleck

      why are the amish so hypocrytical ?


      1. Amish shunning

        Shunning goes a good bit beyond the clothes, it’s about the promise made to God. It’s a promise that is taken seriously enough that Amish feel there should be real, enforceable rules about church membership. Without those rules, what is the point of being a member of an Amish church? Anyone could come and go as they please, doing what they please. This seems in sharp contrast to a lot of institutions, religious and otherwise, nowadays.

        Some rules have easy to understand motivations behind them, while the bases of others are more obscure. In this case clothing is a visual marker of belonging to a group and also a sign of modesty, simplicity and other elements Amish value.

        Some families and communities are more severe about how they carry out shunning than others. It’s too long to go into here but these links discuss the topic in greater depth:

        And one request Cathy, please, do everyone who reads anything you write online a favor, and switch CAPS LOCK off next time. My eyes hurt a little bit after reading your comment. It’s just a whole lot easier to get through in the regular lower case.

    19. Greg Stutzman

      The Lying Channel

      This article recounting an interview with Mr. Raber’s ex-wife is very tastefully done, but a careful reading completely exposes the scripted and false nature of the entire show, thus validating what so many of us know all too well.

    20. Alice Mary

      Lying, lousey, etc....

      Thanks for the link, Greg! I think I’ll print out the article to pass around at Thanksgiving—friends and family know I’m interested in the Amish, and I want them to realize how phoney this show is (some have watched it this Fall). I still haven’t seen any of it. I’m afraid my BP will shoot sky high if I DO watch it, what with all the negative comments I’ve read about it here!

      Too bad people still believe what they see on TLC (“That Lousey Channel” to me, although “Lying” fits, too!) 🙂

      Alice Mary

    21. Kentucky Lady 717

      Picky,Picky,Picky Erik 🙂 Maybe Cathy has a problem seeing….I think it is much easier to read in CAPS than lower case letters….and I usually do all caps, especially in my emails, it’s easier for me to see and most my friends who read them are/or have been having eye issues…..including myself 🙂 so go easy on people who might use all CAPS…..there are bigger things in this world to complain about…..just sayin……………

      And for most people on here I agree with what they say re:breaking Amish….I did watch it, but it really wasn’t worth watching….but what else is there to watch ???? Honey Boo Boo…..give me a break……ignorant is bliss I guess….they are laughing all the way to the bank…..that’s what I tell my sister who watches it….and TLC is sure not what it use to be…..and we who watch Breaking Amish and all the other slutty shows is what is keeping them on…..we need to NOT watch shows like that, and you can bet they would take them off……maybe we just need to turn the tv off an read…..or perhaps go to bed earlier…..all the murders going on, parents killing kids, kids killing parents…..what in the world is going on ????? I do not watch the murder shows period…..or the fighting, etc…..even Breaking Amish is better than those…..just sayin……………….

      1. If that’s the case, and for anyone that might appreciate larger text, I would just recommend increasing the size of the text on your monitor.

        To do that simply press the “+” key while holding down the “Control” key. Each time you press “+” it will make the text a little bigger and a lot easier to see.

        All caps is generally considered the equivalent of online shouting and is a pet peeve of a lot of people, especially when you are reading a lot of text online 🙂

      2. I was told that two things indicate you are SHOUTING – all caps and exclamation points.

        In that vein, Breaking Amish is HORRIBLY MISLEADING if nothing else.

    22. Alice Mary

      Build a bridge....

      I have to put my two cents in about ALL CAPS. I use them for EMPHASIS—it’s a lot easier for me than going back to highlight/”bolden”/italicize text after it’s typed.(And sometimes you don’t even have those options! OOO! Look at all these exclamation points, too!!!! I’m just an old REBEL! AAAAAEEEIII!!!)

      I used to be a very fast typist, but in recent years, due to spinal injuries, I’ve lost partial use of my left hand. So, I type with 6 fingers—5 on my right hand, and only one (index finger)on my left. (Besides, back in the 1960’s, my shorthand & typing teacher never told us about CAPS MEANING SHOUTING.)

      So, I’m in agreement Kentucky Lady 717, and to use a saying I recently saw in “The Connection” magazine, “Build a bridge and get over it!” 🙂

      Respectfully 😉 ,

      Alice Mary

      1. Commenting in all caps

        Well, I didn’t mean to start a capitalization discussion, but it is interesting to hear the different views 🙂 I would agree with the way you perceive it Alice Mary–capital letters are useful for emphasis, used sparingly. But when every word is capitalized, that goes out the window.

        My understanding is that lower-case lettering simply lends itself to being easier to read to the eye, allowing it to move from one letter/word to the next more fluidly. To be frank, when I’m online I usually skip anything written in all caps (unless it appears on my own site). And to be frank again, Cathy began with a question “Why are the Amish so hypocritical?” which usually doesn’t put me in a great mood to read what follows, so I probably sounded a little more ornery than I should have 🙂

        So I don’t mean to pick on Cathy, I just thought I’d use the opportunity to raise the issue. I also hope the solution I suggested above might be useful for anyone that would like to improve text visibility on the monitor.

    23. Greg Stutzman

      ALL CAPS

      Eric is completely correct and I appreciate the tactful way he approaches this and many other difficult subjects. That being said, anyone who wishes to participate in the online community should, in my humble opinion,follow the conventions established for the greater good of that community. This is no different than making the choice to be (or not to be) a good citizen of your hometown, your church, or any other social group.

    24. Greg Miller

      2nd Season

      As horrifying as the first season was, apparently TLC is back for a second season but this time apparently they will follow the five people who left the community and their lives trying to adjust.

      Maybe the silver lining here is that it’ll just become another reality show about the people and not as much as a total distruction of the culture.

      It seems that a lot of reality shows are in the navel-gaze format where so mething happens and then there is the head shot interview with each person (reality shows are so annoying)and you get their personal opinion and viewpoint of whast just happened.

      Generally I think this is so dumb-downing. The show is supplying what you’re supposed to think because they assume if you’re watching that you really don’t have a brain. In fact, they show you what emotions you might want to feel or show, too. The other problem with this is that young people or gullable people will then take this as instruction in how to act in a particular situation. So when they, personally, are confronted with a similar situation (or think they’re in a similar situation) this is what they draw on to form their reaction.

      My main pronblem with Breaking Amish is the misinformation that is being transmitted. I wonder what reaction either the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce (or equivalent) has done in reaction. Consider if this was a reality show on the Hasidic Jewish community – the JDL would be papering over TLC offices with lawsuits. The National Italian-American Foundation, The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and the anti-defamation arm of The Order of the Sons of Italy in America all protested The Sopranos.

      I guess there’s really nothing that can be done to stop or tone down TLC if they want to mar the reality with Reality Programming. At least Florence stopped Snooki from filming in their city but they just found somewhere else to damage New Jersey’s reputation. I also guess that if you look at it, New Jersey has taken a much bigger hit from “Jersey Shore” than the Amish from Breaking Amish. After all, the Jersey Shore had about as much truth about New Jersey as Breaking Amish has about the Amish.

      Wow, I did this without one capital and no exclamation points. PS: the emphasis should always come from context, not type style. And I meant “always” without emphasizing it with italics.

      1. Amish response to Breaking Amish?

        Good point here Greg:

        The other problem with this is that young people or gullable people will then take this as instruction in how to act in a particular situation.

        These characters end up modeling behavior for the 18-22 set to replicate. I guess that is nothing new that young will imitate role models in the media and pop culture…but it just strikes me as more obnoxious.

        On the misinformation, I don’t know if the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce is the body to go to bat for the Amish here. Just about any programming about the Amish, accurate or not, is going to stimulate interest in the biggest attraction the county has. On the other hand I’d think they feel the need to be sensitive to any concerns expressed by the Amish.

        I’m not sure how much back and forth happens on these things though. The show definitely ruffles feathers but probably not to the point that there is a lot of organized response from the Amish…just another in a growing line of dumb shows.

        1. Greg Miller


          Thye thopught that some body in the Lancaster community might protest the TLC show poerplexed me. On one hand, the Amish bring a tremendous amount of tourism into the county. I figured the people threatened with that drop off would be the ones pressing TLC.

          I mean, the “amish mafia” tones in the few episodes I saw could paint the area as dark and a lot of hidden thngs people don’t see. People might decide it’s just not worth going to Lancaster to see such a dark lifestyle. Or a lifestyle of people so confused they don’t know what to do with their lives.

          And if you need something Amish to model your behavior after, then the PBS special with Dr. Kraybill’s commentary would be a good place to start.

    25. Guy

      Its all Fake

      Breaking Amish on TLC and all of them are Fakes! They should be off the air and sued by Amish people that I KNOW they will not

    26. Lee

      Let's put the Blame, where it should be... with MATT

      Had Matt told her that he was MARRIED, she would have NEVER slept with the JERK!… Matt’s Wife needs to ask her HUSBAND why he slept with another women… Instead of asking why she slept with her husband… Excuse me, but she didn’t know that the JERK was MARRIED! Shame on the producer’s for taking this show in this direction!

      Matt is to blame all the way and his wife needs to accept that her husband is a low life!

    27. Anonymous

      Shame on the producers for this show PERIOD.

    28. Guy


      Its all Fake and lairs
      I am pretty happy with the new show on now
      its called Amish haunting
      it on Sunday evening channels 113 here
      Love it!!