Amish mob violence

An Amish mob is accused of breaking into several homes and cutting off the beards and hair of other Amish men.

Now, the group is the focus of four police investigations in Ohio.

Police say the assaults are the work of members of the “Bergholz Clan.”

In one attack, the men allegedly packed a horse-drawn buggy, rode to a home and cut the hair off some men and women in the house.

The violent haircuts are meant to humiliate and punish those Amish who are supposedly weak in the faith.

The link is here, hat tip goes to Yana.


Reminds me of "Witness", the 1985 film.

Reminds me of Weird Al Yankovic's "Amish Paradise"


Barn raisings are a community affair, and so apparently are barn invasions. There be no Amish libertarians, it seems.

That would be the exact opposite of their point of view. I believe they are communitarians.

The birth of the Amish Taliban

They're only supposed to shave half the beard.

Biblical illiteracy run amok!

It's hard to do a "drive by" with a horse and buggy.

They found a way.

The Amish are all about innovation.

What goes "clip clop clip clop bang bang bang clip clop clip clop?"

An Amish drive by shooting.

Too many bangs, they don't use modern guns.

Could they use scissors or were they obliged to use sickles? I assume straight razors just wouldn't . . . . errr ummm uhhh, cut it.

Of course it is a "Drive-By Amish Shearing!"

More Amish behaving badly:

I have a question for the folks at this site.

How many of you have actually spoken with an Amish person at least once in your life?

Seen one up close?

Been inside an Amish home or place of business?

I am on rumspringa right now!

Peter's questions got me thinking... It is a lot of fun to poke fun of people you don't know or understand. (Some of you are quite creative.) Behavior on blogs like this one can also make for lively jokes over lunch among people who think blogs are a waste of time. Personally, I think the "safest" humor is when we make fun of ourselves (without beating ourselves up). I have met some Amish, even been privileged to visit some families in their homes. The people I met all seemed very decent and hardworking...of course they did also seem human. At least beards grow back. Domestic/community violence among the non-Amish is often much worse.

How many of you have actually spoken with an Amish person at least once in your life? Yes

Seen one up close? Yes

Been inside an Amish home or place of business? Don't remember.

This is an excellent point. The Amish are apart by choice. Last summer my daughter and I were talking bicycles with an Amish small businessman in Indiana, and he invited us to stay in their garage that night. His family was having a party and so we got to meet a lot of their neighbors. I left with a lot of respect for the Amish.

However, on the basis of a 16 hour association with one Amish community, I'm not pontificating.

Thank you

Who cares? I for one have never met an Amish person and I don't feel at all guilty laughing at their expense. As a community, they are extraordinarily ridiculous.

When I lived in Phila in the 80s, frequently shopped at Amish businesses in Reading Terminal Market.

Milton and Rose Friedman in Free To Choose accuse the U.S government of intolerance towards the religious sentiments of the Amish. Turns out Amish can be violently intolerant of their own brethren.

If this passes for violence, then a number of US cities would pay for this sort of violence to the be the worst. Cutting hair while a personal violation is not long term harmful. Against the law? Yes SHould the perpetrators be punished? Yes. Is it a big deal? Compared to NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, LA etc. No way.

I am probably the only regular commenter on this blog who was raised among "plain people" such as the Amish. My family belongs to the Old German Baptist Brethren, who are similar in appearance and doctrine but have cars and electricity. I left the faith many years ago, but remain fairly conversant with Amish (and more broadly "Anabaptist") culture and outlook.

The actions of the "Berholz Clan" are diametrically opposed to Amish values. No wonder they are outcasts. No true believer in any conservative Anabaptist group would use violence to impose his beliefs on others, or indeed engage in violence of any sort towards another human. A good measure of the faith of those who beards were cut off would be whether they offered any resistance or not. A true believer would submit to the indignity rather than use violence in self defence. Also, it is likely that the police investigation will go nowhere. Believers will not generally press charges, and will be very reluctant witnesses, again preferring to suffer indignity rather have unbelievers judge their cases.

All of this may sound odd to modern readers, but to those within the circle of faith it is a source of community and comfort.

All of this may sound odd to modern readers, but to those within the circle of faith it is a source of community and comfort.

In a couple of decades, 'modern' will mean 'Mormon.' Everybody else will be Muslim, Anabaptist, Catholic or Hasidim.

Bob Knaus, thank you for your observations.

There is follow up to this story. Five suspects have been arrested.

and see also:
for further comments and discussion.

If these were Hasidim instead of Amish would everyone find this so amusing? Post-worthy even?

Comments for this post are closed