Friday, April 10, 2015

Butter Churning Bad Boy

Amish Confidential – “Lebanon” Levi Stoltzfus (Gallery Books)

Who Knew?! Would anyone have ever guessed that black clothes with snaps and brimmed hats or for the ladies long skirts and bonnets would be all the rage. While many focus on glitter, glitz and cleavage, for many the simple, quiet life has become a hot topic. Enter “Lebannon” Levi Stoltzfus of the hit television show Amish Mafia which purports to deliver a look at the dark side of simple Amish life.

Now Stoltzfus, along with pen wielder for hire Ellis Henican, is out with a deeper look not only into his life story, but also the underbelly of Amish life and his take on some of the higher profile cases that made headlines not only in that community, but also around the country like; the Nickel Mines school shootings, and Amish sisters kidnapping.

I live not far from Amish communities and farmsteads and have done business with many members of those communities, Stoltzfus confirms what I have long suspected; that the multi-billion dollar industry that has cropped up around Amish tourism and goods is really a front for cheap goods not even made by the Amish. Hey I still think my kitchen bench is pretty nice and my “Amish-Made” bookshelf is still sturdy enough to hold a pile of books.

If you come to this book seeking stories similar to the TV show you may be a bit disappointed, but there is still plenty of sex, drugs and rumspringa to go around. Stoltzfus makes it clear that the perception is that the Amish lead a simple life, the reality proves to be a whole lot more complex.

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