- Odd News
PUBLISHED: 02:51 EST, 17 December 2012 | UPDATED: 04:25 EST, 17 December 2012
A new reality TV show has revealed the underworld of the seemingly modest Amish community of Pennsylvania, complete with prostitutes, blackmail and assault rifles.
The Discovery Channel's 'Amish Mafia' follows Lebanon Levi and his fellow thugs as they attempt to maintain order in the insular religious community of Lancaster, beneath the veil of the supposedly idyllic lifestyles.
In the first episode, the organisation's henchmen flex their muscles with an Amish bishop who has been sleeping with a prostitute in a local seedy motel.
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Prostitute: In the first episode, the organisation's henchmen flex their muscles with an Amish bishop who has been sleeping with a prostitute in a local seedy motel, pictured
Two of Levi's mafia members barge in on the official, camera in hand, to get photographic evidence of the pair in the act.
The evidence of infidelity is then used to persuade the man to leave town, as Levi offers to take over his businesses.
In the show, which warns in the credits of 'select re-enactments,' the mafioso states: 'Why don't I just make you disappear for a while... get yourself straightened out. I know you've got business going on and you're a busy man. I'll take care of it.'
The rural desperados spend the rest
of the program enthusiastically breaking the law, whether shooting out
car windows, cutting off a suspected adulterer's buggy on the road,
forcing their way into someone else's motel room and waving around a
baseball bat in a threatening fashion.
Evidence: Two mafia members barge in on the official, camera in hand, to get photographic evidence of the pair in the act
Guns: The rural desperados spend the rest of the program enthusiastically breaking the law
'Levi is a man who straddles both worlds,' the show's executive producer, Dolores Gavin, explained to the New York Post last month.
'He genuinely feels as though he is a help to the community, and yet he has a propensity for violence and intimidation.'
She said that it took she and others two years to gain the trust of the elusive vigilantes.
Gavin is most noted for her production work on reality shows like 'Ice Road Truckers,' 'Ax Men,' and 'Sons of Guns.'
The show opens with an ominous disclaimer, which reads: 'The Amish Church denies the existence of the Amish Mafia.'
TV show: The Discovery Channel series, pictured, provides the first-ever look at the small and tightly-knit group of men who protect and maintain peace and order within the Amish community in Lancaster, PA
Groundbreaking: The series is the first of its kind to follow the Amish underworld
Because the Amish Mafia doesn't have direct dealing with the church, they do not have to operate within its jurisdiction.
They use cell phones, drive Cadillac SUVs, and tote guns to carry out what they believe is the law.
Jolin, a Mennonite, is described as 'military foot soldier' in the pilot episode, set to air December 12.
Many Amish sects are wary of 'English' laws, and will not report crimes to recognized authority figures.
That leaves it to Levi and his cronies to seek justice for the meek and the mild.
The Mennonite division is slightly less strict than many Amish sects, which the show says allows him to do Levi's 'dirty work.'
In addition, Levi and his three mafia
members – John, Jolin, and Alvin – cannot be punished by church elders.
Their philosophy is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Ominous: The show opens with an ominous disclaimer, which reads: 'The Amish Church denies the existence of the Amish Mafia'
No boundaries: Because the Amish Mafia doesn't have direct dealing with the church, they do not have to operate within its jurisdiction
In the case of a woman whose buggy was destroyed by a reckless driver, Jolin took the matter into his own hands. He tracked the man who hit the Amish woman's buggy and fired a single shot through the empty car's window.
The owner was unharmed, but the message was clear.
Another time, Levi sent John and Jolin to stake out the house of a married Amish woman who was believed to have had an affair.
The man was trying to extort the married woman to have sex with him, because her own husband had left her, causing financial struggle.
Divorce is forbidden within the community, and a spouse must wait until their partner dies before re-marrying.
John and Jolin stopped the man, who was driving his buggy down the road, and confronted him on the street.
'You will not go back there,' Jolin said. 'Lebanon Levi will kick your a**.'