I think the question I get most lately is: Is Amish Mafia Real? I've read the Wikipedia page about Amish Mafia and learned that it's about a group of so-called "Amish" that claim to protect their community from the English and are also called upon by the Bishop to also handle situations from within. I've never actually seen it. For the last two years we haven't had cable or satellite so I haven't had the opportunity to watch Amish Mafia yet. I heard I could maybe watch some of it on YouTube but it looks like I have to pay for it and I wasn't sure how to do that on my iPad. I did, however, watch some of the clips on YouTube.
Yes, that's what I said. WHOA!
After only seeing several two or three minute clips and I really am NOT sure what to think. I can say this much:
1-Their accents sound pretty legit. It does sound like someone who has been away from the community for a while because it's not quite as strong as a typical Amish person.
2-The way they mix the PA Dutch and the English together, especially in the prologue of each show, is dead on. Before the shows they say: The Amish church denies the existence of the Amish Mafia. To ensure the safety of innocent Amish, select re-enactments of events must be used. You'll hear the speaker use several English words in the midst of his PA Dutch...like "mafia" and then the speaker amish-ifies the word "protect" into "protecta" to use it in a PA Dutch sentence.
This is so common with either those who have been out of the community for a while OR when there just isn't a good PA Dutch word for something we just use an English word and add an "a" to it. You should my siblings and I speak...we are always "amishifying' English words to make them work. Besides...there's no PA Dutch word for Google! PA Dutch is not a formally written language...so it is not uncommon to hear English words thrown into almost any conversation. As the world becomes more modern there are also just new words that there aren't translations for.
3-The main men in the show are clearly not dressing or doing their hair/beard like the customary Amish. Now, I hear that Lebanon Levi was never baptized into the church, so technically he's not a member. It would be really hard for me to consider him actually "Amish" when he's not actually living the real lifestyle of an Amishman.
My thoughts...well, I really don't think this actual Mafia system is real. I believe that these people has strong Amish roots and can clearly speak the language and know a lot about what they are talking about as far as the customs and even some idiosyncrasies about the Amish that not just anyone would know about. BUT, I just do not see any Amish district going along with this happening on the side. In an interview I watched they said that their names were in the "Fischer" book...and said something like "once Amish, always Amish."
Yes, there's a part of me even that feels so connected to the Amish community but I would never actually tell someone that I AM Amish.
I'd love to hear what you think. Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
PS: Much to the chagrin of my brother...I do not believe that Lebanon Levi is our cousin.