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'Amish Mafia' sees the ‘End of Days’ part 1 of 2 on Discovery Channel

Is this the end of Amish Mafia?
Is this the end of Amish Mafia?
Discovery Channel

Last night’s season finale episode of "Amish Mafia," titled “End of Days” saw Lebanon Levi heed the warning of his attorney, Steven Breit by cutting ties with Discovery Channel by putting an end to the filming of the show. Before the declaration was made, the episode was dedicated to putting an end to the English people who corrupt the Amish.

As this episode begins, scenes from the season finale are shown, as the narrator tells about Lebanon Levi cutting ties with English media. When they started filming the show, they had doubts that such a thing as an "Amish Mafia" could exist. As they taped each episode, a very real and dark world revealed itself. The producers stepped into a sub-culture filled with backstabbing, family feuds and violence and Amish Aid; the source of protection for the Amish is being challenged from within.

On this episode, secrets will be revealed, loyalties will be questioned, old wounds will be opened, new scandals will be revealed in never before seen footage, and questions will be answered. The most dangerous Amish man in North America is on the loose, and nobody knows it. Viewers will learn what happened behind the scenes between cast and crew, as the main characters refuse to speak on camera any longer.

As the program began, many questioned the authenticity of the existence of an Amish Mafia. The Amish in America had been here almost 300 years, but have not felt accepted. Their strange dress, German tongue and traditions have even seen them persecuted in the earlier twentieth century. Alan Beiler, whose name appears in the book Descendants of Christian Fisher, knows about the divide between the Amish and English worlds all too well.

As Alan relates, during the World Wars, when Americans were called upon to serve, the Amish refused because of their religious beliefs, and many called traitors by their English neighbors. The Amish called upon each other for help, never the English world. So began the Amish Aid in Lancaster, offering much help to those in need, that it spread to other Amish communities. The first person in charge of Amish Aid was Esther’s father, who collected the funds from each family in the community; it was simple and worked for many years. As one Amish woman recalls, he seemed to work 24/7 and died at too young an age. Because his sons were much too young when he died, the Stoltzfus family took over. Alan knows that when money was collected, one of that family had their hands on the money, and they changed the way Amish Aid was run, and much of the community objected to how it was run. When it was time, he trained his son Levi to run Amish Aid. Levi was going to take care of his people; but only on his terms, by taking care of himself first. In a revealing declaration by Levi, as he spoke to Esther, he told her that he did not take her father’s place in the business, so he has no respect for him.

Levi’s first recruit was Alvin, his schoolmate. Alvin always admired Levi, and nicknamed their group “Trouble Makers” using the German vernacular. They got in a lot of trouble, especially during rumspringa. Jolin was Levi’s real muscle, who loved guns and was extremely good with his fists. As a Mennonite, he had no qualms about doing what Levi asked of him. One of the camera operators related that he asked to see the video at the end of the day, just to see if he looked cool enough. Levi’s insecurities are related, and he was afraid that Amish Aid would be taken away from him one day and returned to the Schmucker boys. By having them work for him; he could avoid that ever happening, as he loves the money and power that come with the job.

His group has had trouble with the law, and veer away from the stereotype of the peaceful Amish. In more unseen footage, Esther came to Levi because her sister was married to an English guy who refused to pay child support. She traveled with Jolin to his residence, and Jolin told him she needed money. When he mentioned Lebanon Levi, the man came back out with $1,000 to give her.

Paul Castline has made Amish crime his top priority since 2009, and it seems that all members of Levi’s crew are familiar with him. As the naysayers doubt the authenticity of such a group, producers believe that the isolation of the group has masked something that has been going on for a long time. In 1993, Ed Gingrich a paranoid schizophrenic, kicked his wife to death while his three and four-year-old children watched, while his five-year-old ran for help. He gutted his wife’s body like a deer carcass and removed her internal organs with a kitchen knife, but was only sentenced to a prison psychiatric ward for two and a half years. Other’s have stolen millions of dollars in Ponzi schemes, numerous barn burnings, and ran meth labs.

Many of the Amish crew; including John, Esther, Alvin, Caleb and Levi himself have long rap sheets. The producers were shocked when Alan Beiler was arrested just days into filming the second season of the show. The criminals are not just limited to Lancaster County, as Merlin Miller was caught up in a federal sting called “Fall Harvest.” He was convicted of possession of drugs with intent to sell in 2009. For the first time, Merlin spoke of his incarceration. He said it was one of the hardest things he ever experienced, and as the only Amish guy in there, and at the end of the day, with several ethnicities inside, he had to outfox the fox. He swore he would never go back to jail, but producers spotted him with Ruck and Andrew plotting something with Amish dolls, but the producers were not able to confirm what the substance in the dolls was. Merlin’s problems with his old crew member, Wayne has cost him Amish Aid and now Wayne’s standing is in question because of his love for English girl Karrie. The producers expect a power struggle in Holmes County, Ohio for the position and pointed out several corrupt Amish kingpins who will likely be vying for the job.

The producers found out the identity of the stalker who had been following the crew throughout the season; his name is Sean Hall, a private investigator with a specialty in the Amish community. He was hired by the Amish Aid leaders to investigate Levi for suspicious corrupt activity and to keep an eye on the film crew as well. He stated that he only let them see him when he wanted them to see him, otherwise, they had no idea. The leaders decided to meet more often, and when they had a secret meeting in Ohio, the film crew found out about it. These leaders are very upset at the way Levi is conducting his business and that the crew is committing sins more sacrilegious than ever imagined.

When the producers asked Alan how the Amish replaced people, he replied that they disappear. When questioned further, Alan admitted there are a lot of farm accidents, and whatever happens, they do not go to the police. Alan stated that the Amish do not believe in autopsies as a violation of their religious belief that the body is a temple of the Lord. Alan recalls seeing someone showing up at a funeral home with the body of a headless man, stating he died in his sleep.

For the conclusion of the episode, please see part 2, and if you like "Amish Mafia" too, please Subscribe, so you do not miss another post from this Television Examiner. Thanks!

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