Amish cult community may commit mass suicide, former member warns

Digital Journal/October 24, 2011

A former member of the Amish Bergholz Clan is warning that if something is not done in time the Amish community in Bergholz may end up like Jim Jones' Peoples Temple which committed mass suicide in Jonestown Guyana, 1978.

One of the former members of the clan, said on TV Channel:

"I'm not surprised if I have to call the sheriff some day and say there are a lot of dead people lying around here. That would not be a surprise to me nor would it be a surprise to the sheriff of that county. I have enough inside information that I have no question if something is not done, there will be people that get hurt."

Digital Journal reports Amish Bishop Sam Mullet, 66, is at the center of controversial revelations about the Amish community in Ohio. Former members of the clan, Daily Mail reports, say Bishop Mullet rules the community tyrannically and has been directing the operations of a "beard-cutting gang."

There are disturbing reports of rape, beatings and kidnappings under the iron-fist rule of Bishop Sam Mullet who, according to reports, moved to Bergholz 15 years ago with 120 other members of the group. According to a former member of the community whose name is not mentioned, any member who disagreed with Bishop Mullet would be subjected to violent punishment and he could have his beard forcefully cut off. The former member claimed,

"He would take the wife from the man. The wife would have to go and live with Sam. The husband of that wife would have to go to the chicken coop or out in the barn in the middle of the winter, sometimes day and night."

The sheriff had been aware of reports of violence and abuse in the Amish community for some time but he could not do anything about it because members of the community were unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement. But recently, some of the men who were victims of the "beard cutting gang" began talking and now five of the "beard-cutting gang" accused of burglary and kidnapping are going on trial.

The men, under the orders of Sam Mullet, are accused of breaking into homes of some Amish men in Ohio, cutting off their hair and beard with scissors and shavers. Two of the men going on trial are Johnny Mullet and Lester Mullet, Sam Mullet's sons. A third member of the gang Daniel Mullet, is a nephew of Sam Mullet. Beards in men and long hair in women, according to Digital Journal, have special spiritual significance.

Cutting of a man's hair and beard insults and denigrates his person.

Arlene Miller, wife of Myron Miller who is one of the victims, reports brainwashing, beatings, locking up, and "the women he [Sam Mullet] is using." According to Arlene, her husband was dragged off his bed by the beard. She says:

"The guys came up and surrounded him and cut off a chunk of his beard. They were unable to get any more because he struggled so hard against them. The [attackers] say this is to uncover sins, and it's to straighten us out."

The Town Talk reports that after the men attacked Miller, they went to the house of another Amish Bishop Raymond Hershberger, 74. They said they wanted to talk to him on religious matters. The men held the bishop down to a chair and shaved off his hair. The men, according to Sheriff Tim Zimmerly of Holmes County, said they were revenging Sam Mullet.

Other attacks are reported in other Amish communities in Ohio, and Sheriff Fred Abdulla of Jefferson County said he's had some trouble from Sam Mullet in the past. According to the sheriff, he once prosecuted one of Sam Mullet's sons for rape of an underage girl. The sheriff said Sam Mullet once threatened to kill him. The Town Talk reports Sam Mullet, in an interview with AP, did not deny the attacks, rather he sought to justify them. According to Mullet, "You don't obey the law, you're punished, and it's the same way with the church."

Mullet, according to The Town Talk, allegedly ordered the attack on Hershberger because he ignored his ex-communication order on two families. The attack on Myron Miller, according to his wife Arlene, was because the Millers had helped Mullet's son Bill, who had a disagreement with his father, escape.

Bishop Mullet explained why the men were attacked: "We'd like to get up in the morning, be left alone, live like normal people. They won't leave us be. But I didn't order anything like that. I didn't tell them not to, I'm still not going to tell them not to."

Associated Press report on Las Vegas Sun says the accused men were freed on $50,000 bond which Sam Mullet allegedly paid.

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