Amish Confidential by “Lebanon” Levi Stoltzfus and Ellis Henican
Oh, the Amish, such an idyllic culture. Everyone dresses similarly. They milk cows. They get married young and have large families. Everything is so pure, or so it seems.
In reality, the Amish are no different from any other people, at least according to Lebanon Levi Stoltzfus of Amish Mafia fame.
Levi tells his readers a bit about his growing up life. There was a large family and of course all the typical experiences of Amish people, but then there was Rumspringa and that’s when Levi went wild. He tried drinking. He tried drugs. He drove cars. He listened to loud music and was even in a band. He tells of the hypocrisy he saw in his daily life. Sure others would chastise some for driving cars, but there were plenty of cars around.
Levi’s rumspringa days led him to question his religion. Should he be baptized into the Old Order Amish church? Levi decided against it and joined the New Order Amish instead. His family still loves him, despite all that shunning talk.
Levi goes on to dish some dirty details about the Amish people. There’s still plenty of premarital sex going around. There’s still hypocrisy. There’s plenty of incest and there’s even tragedy, but ultimately, the Amish people gather together when there is a tragedy.
Levi’s life has been full of adventures, but he’s still managed to adhere to many of the tenants of the Amish religion.
What I liked
I’ve always liked reading about the Amish way of life. They’re quite an interesting people. Of course there is a dark side. There’s a dark side to everything, except maybe the sun. Some of the things Levi mentions, I’ve certainly heard of, the darker things. There is a little more in Levi’s book than in some other books I’ve read. I would like to know more about some of these things. With any closed-off religion, there is a chance for brainwashing and cult-like behavior, which I am fascinated by.
What I didn’t like
I haven’t watched Amish Mafia, so I think I may be missing a large part of this book’s appeal. I’m sure Levi has certain mannerisms that make him interesting, but I don’t know what those mannerisms are.
I would have preferred the book had been purely about Levi’s life, rather than including a smattering of other Amish unsavoryness.
This is still an interesting book and now I’m intrigued by Amish Mafia.
Would you ever join a religion that embodies your entire life, like the Old Order Amish church?
In your opinion, do Amish people on a higher standard than the rest of us are or they just normal people?