Is TV's Amish Mafia True?

Is there any truth to if an Amish boy gives an Amish girl a goat it shows he's interested in her? And if he gives her a pregnant goat he's interested in her long term...or did Amish Mafia pull the wool over my eyes again? he asked.

Months ago the network record-breaking TV series aired a segment where the main character, Levi, bought co-character, Esther, a goat, took it into her house, and gave it to her. 

Is the goat-giving practice accurate or more mythinformation about this culture?

I'm asked similar questions all the time. Living with former Amish and having helped a dozen or so, I prefer to go to the SOURCE for my answers. My wonderful son-in-love - who grew up Amish - never heard of it. Others I asked rolled their eyes and denied this practice. 

It's your turn, dear readers, to get real answers from real former-Amish, in their own unedited words:
  • JohnI never heard of that one before.
  • Aaron, Thats not true.. I dont really know of anything that is true on amish mafia.
  • Ruth,  Man I never got a goat.
  • Carolyn,  Not allot of truth on Amish Mafia, if any...
  • Ellen,  I was amish for 21 yars. Watched 3 of my sisters fall in love and marry amish boys and none of them ever got a goat. lol. Amish mafia is really fake.
  • Dan,  You just been snucker!
  • Daniel,  People ask me all the time if "Amish Mafia" is real. Some people even after talking to them about for a while still believe it. People really trust the whatever channel they watch...
  • Ruthie, I never got a goat.....yet!! Haha no it's not true.
  • Rita,  I have never heard of this one before.
  • David,  I saw this amish Mafia one time. Watched it that one time and never again. it is a Reality show which means it is fake as any other show.
  • Ruth,  Haha, my"English" boyfriend said he would buy me one, since my Amish one never did 
  • Esther, Not true.

    Hmm, the Amish goat-giving practice. So, okay, it may be an obscure practice in some orders. You know I'm always reminding readers that there are many different orders/rules/behaviors.

    You think the TV series was making up something for an episode or ratings?
    Is it reality?
    A docudrama?
This season Mary has joined forces with Merlin. I personally know Mary. She is NOT Amish. She left years ago. Mary is nice. Loving. Funny. I take issue with the producers misleading viewers that Mary is still Amish, and that she's the aggressive, calloused bully portrayed.

If you're wondering if TV's Amish Mafia is reality, read this newspaper article published this month in LancasterOnline.

Think it's just entertainment? Then watch and enjoy without fear that Lebanon Levi will come burn down your house. Although in real life, he's a volunteer fire fighter . . .

(c)Copyright, 2014. Brenda Nixon.


  1. What a cute, funny post. I'm always looking for authentic info about the Amish, since I'm writing a series of Amish eBooks. Thanks for the info!

    One topic I'd love to see in future posts is Amish weddings. I've researched the topic, but one aspect that remains nebulous is the actual proposal. Does the Amish boy ask the girl's father for his daughter's hand, or does the proposal take place only between the courting couple, with the parents finding out later?

    1. Thanks Kristina and best wishes on your eBooks! I'm thinking of putting mine into an E format, too.
      I can speak to Swartzentruber & Old Order weddings...they're usually in the fall and on a Tuesday or a Thursday. No the boy doesn't ask the girl's father - that's our "English" tradition. In my book, (keep checking back for the E version) I'll tell the nitty gritty about Swartzentruber dating - and it'll blow your mind!

  2. I was raised Amish, have Amish family and friends sprinkled in many different communities.......
    Lancaster PA
    Ovid NY
    Arthur IL
    Goshen IN
    Fremont MI
    Somerset PA
    Fredonia PA
    Rexford MT
    Mt. Vernon MO
    Mountain Grove MO
    Windsor MO
    Abbotsford WI
    Cashton WI
    Dover DE
    St. Mary's ONT
    Aylmer ONT
    Powassen ONT
    Marlette MI
    Gladwin MI
    Centreville MI
    Mossley ONT
    Letart WV
    Brown City OH
    Campbellsville KY
    Ava IL
    LaPlata MO
    Clark MO
    Bowling Green MO
    Howard OH
    Union Grove NC
    Fillmore NY
    Friendship NY
    Mercer PA
    Bloomfield IA
    Milton IA
    Smyrna Mills ME

    There are a lot more I could add, but these are the first that come to mind where I have aunts, uncles, or cousins living. And not a single one of those use goats, and they would all tell you there is no such thing as an Amish mafia, except for that fake show.

    1. Thanks for your comments Anonymous. Stop back in again to read a post because I value the ex-Amish verifying my blog's accuracy.

      I know Amish and ex-Amish near Howard, OH. The ones I know out that way are Swartzentrubers.

  3. Maybe the producers are misleading viewers about Mary, but she is consenting to participating in the farce. Can you ask her what her motives are for participating? What do her friends and family think?

    It would be interesting to getting details from an insider like her, but I'm sure she signed a big contract that limits what she can say about the show.

    I think the show is an abomination, but maybe I would watch it if I still had cable TV service.

  4. I've never watched an episode of Amish Mafia and don't plan on starting now. It's amazing how people believe everything they see on television. It's also amazing how unscrupulous producers are in the name of money. Truly sad and just as sad are those that agree to be part of the process.
    Loved the responses from everyone on Amish Q&A! They always add their sense of humor to their comments.

  5. I just came across your blog and I love it! I'm very interested in your writing and love how this column clears up half truths surrounding the Amish.

    1. Welcome aboard Gloria, or maybe I should say, climb up on the buggy with us. Thanks or your kinds words but, more importantly, for wanting to learn accuracy and truth about this complex culture.
      You can subscribe to receive this via your email (see right column).