Monday, October 10, 2011

Amish Beard Wars

Here's one of those stories that you just don't expect to see. The Amish, whose religion is normally based on humility and non-violence, are in the middle of a conflict that has already claimed the beards and hair of far too many. Apparently within the Amish community a bishop has arisen who fancies himself some sort of cult leader and has been ordering his followers to attack their fellows, returning with cut hair as proof that they carried out the attacks as instructed.

The attacks are meant to be degrading because Amish women do not typically cut their hair and married men usually grow beards as part of their religion, which traditionally shuns many modern amenities. The feud is believed to be the result of unspecified "spiritual differences," according to the Tribune-Chronicle.

The local sheriff, Frank Abdalla, explained to the paper just how serious the attacks are: "One Amish man told me he’d rather be dead than have his beard cut off."

Local police say that several of the victims have suffered minor injuries, although no charges have been filed, largely because of their reluctance to file police complaints. Community members have, however, reached out to the local sheriff in a bid to end the violence, and investigators intend to file charges of assault and burglary, according to the AP.

According to the Tribune, the group allegedly behind the violence is led by bishop Sam Mullet, who requires his follower to bring back clippings of hair as "proof" that the attacks are carried out. Attackers are both male and female, and in at least one instance have been sent to the homes of close relatives within the main Amish community.

So this guy is commanding his followers to go out and cut hair, and his name is actually Mullet. That's priceless. Still, it just goes to show that even a strict religious system like that of the Amish has its share of crazies. Now that charges are being pressed, hopefully Mullet will wind up in jail before he can harm anyone else.

UPDATE: Ohio police are moving quickly and have started making arrests related to these attacks. It sounds like Mullet himself, though, remains at large.

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3 comments:

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

You can't make stuff like this up. Real humans will always be stranger than our imagination.

Kenaz Filan said...

*clomp-clomp* *clomp-clomp* *clomp-clomp*

BANG! BANG! BANG!

*clomp-clomp* *clomp-clomp* *clomp-clomp*

You have just witnessed an Amish drive-by shooting.

Ananael Qaa said...

Kenaz, I initially resisted noting in my update that the Ohio police didn't really need to move that fast in making arrests because, you know, cars go a lot faster than buggies. But after your comment I see no need to restrain myself any further. ;-)