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Tonight on AC360: Amish beard-cutting attacks
CNN's Gary Tuchman speaks with a member of an Amish community in eastern Ohio. Photo credit: Chuck Hadad
November 2nd, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Amish beard-cutting attacks

Editor's note: AC360's Gary Tuchman spoke with Sam Mullet, the Bishop of a breakaway Amish group. Three of his sons are suspected of perpetrating the beard-cutting attacks. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET for his report and a fascinating discussion about the significance of the crimes.

Bergholz, Ohio (CNN) – Members of the Amish community in eastern Ohio are the subject of a federal investigation following a wave of Amish-on-Amish incidents, FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson confirmed to CNN Wednesday.

Five men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary stemming from an incident at the home of Myron and Arlene Miller in early October in which the group of men pulled Myron out of the home by his beard, held him down, and cut off large portions of the beard. An Amish man's beard is a significant symbol of his faith.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla, the incident at the Millers' home was one of a handful of incidents throughout several counties in which as many as 30 men and women carried out similar attacks.

Additional arrests stemming from the other attacks aren't likely, Abdalla said, because the other victims have not pressed charges. It is Amish tradition to solve conflicts by means of their faith and church, without the involvement of law enforcement.

The perpetrators are believed to be followers of a breakaway Amish group led by Sam Mullet. Of the five that have been arrested, three are Mullet's sons.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    Found this info on line. This would have answered your question as to why the cult guy had his sons attacking and cutting the beards of Amish men. As with any attack, much of it is about shaming or taking away what the victim values.
    Why do Amish men have beards, but not mustaches?
    There are quite a few scriptures that mention beards in the Bible. An example would be Psalm 133:1,2. An Amishman does not shave his beard after he becomes married. A long beard is the mark of an adult Amishman. Mustaches, on the other hand, have a long history of being associated with the military, and therefore are forbidden among the Amish people.
    Thanks for covering this story. Your reporter did a nice job and was sensitive to the standards of the Amish.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    Amish on Amish crime explodes as a result of the Mullet Gang.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |