Is the popular Discovery Channel show depicting a group of Amish "enforcers" not actually reality television as advertised?
UNCONFIRMED: The truth about the show’s authenticity varies depending on whom you talk to
Stories that Discovery Channel's TV show "Amish Mafia" isn't actually based on reality are surfacing on the Internet. But MSN News spoke to a Discovery Channel spokesperson whose explanation of the show differed from the locals where the show is filmed.
Laurie Goldberg, spokesperson for Discovery Channel, told MSN News, "All the Amish that appear on 'Amish Mafia' are indeed Amish and are listed in their respective official records (such as the Fisher book in Pennsylvania). This show depicts one segment of a multifaceted culture that is not well known."
The show portrays a group of Amish men in Lancaster County, Pa., who use a series of seemingly legally ambiguous methods — akin to the notorious Italian Mafia — in order to police and protect their community.
But some Lancaster locals remain skeptic, according to Lancaster Online reporter Brett Hambright, who wrote a story on the show.
"The outsiders are curious, but the locals know better," Hambright told MSN News. "They find it more humorous than anything."
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman told MSN News that he’s gotten letters asking why his office isn’t acting on the show's alleged illegal activities. He said that while he hasn’t watched the show, he’s not too concerned about it.
"No one in law enforcement and no one in the justice system is saying there’s any basis in fact that there are events occurring consistent with what I understand the show portrays," he said. "I have a fairly close relationship with the Amish community here, and there’s nothing coming from them that leads me to believe anything is going on."
Snopes questioned the veracity of the show, reprinting a New York Times quote that said, "An early credit warns of 'select re-enactments,' and since we’re never later told whether we’re watching staged scenes, it’s fairly safe to assume that everything is staged."
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