Amish Mafia season one ended with several primary cast members headed to jail. But for petty crimes and outstanding warrants not for the myriad of fabricated violent crimes of which Discovery Channel worked hard to convince viewers. For the most part, every member of the cast did have a criminal history but for pot possession, DUI, fleeing police, and minor traffic infractions much of which didn’t even end in jail time (the closest was Merlin Miller who was an addict who did a few months in county jail).
It’s accepted at this point that production obfuscated the truth to credulous fans who initially believed that the Amish Mafia existed (it doesn’t); that the cast earn money through racketeering (they really don’t); that the cast is violent (they aren’t); that the police on the show “refused” to talk about the “Mafia” (the police station mentioned on the show did not exist at all). And it’s known that Alan Beiler, last seen heading to court for evading arrest, owns a production company that pitched Amish reality shows back in 2005.
And now a new report from PennLive.com confirms Beiler introduced the show’s producers, Hot Snakes Media, who also made fake reality show Breaking Amish (featuring Sabrina who is linked to Beiler), to the cast of Amish Mafia.
And Penn Live has more information about the production of the first season that was admittedly fabricated and was basically thrown together. The producers spent little time planning scenes, according to a source who signed an NDA. And, once over budget, producers declared the extras would not be paid for subsequent work.
The source continues, there were “several professional actors” in the cast (Discovery’s said they weren’t “paid actors”… so… unpaid… and maybe only the extras were paid at first). And, although scenes were admittedly recreations, “There did not appear to be a solid script involved in the production. The premise of each scene was explained to the actors, who were encouraged to improvise their own dialogue.” It was staged, coaxed, manipulated and guided with little literal scripting. Also, the real premise was kept secret “with several of the actors not even being aware of the show’s title or premise at the time of filming.”
“All they told us was that it was a documentary series for Discovery and it was based around the Amish community,” the source said, adding that the cast “appeared overwhelmed” throughout the filming process.
“They felt like they were in over their heads,” said another source close to the production.
In other news, there’s a two-hour special about “Lebanon” Levi Stoltzfus set to air at 8 p.m. March 3 on the Discovery Channel.