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Breakaway Amish

Growing Up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters

By author: Johnny Mast   With: Shawn Smucker
Product Code: 01049
ISBN: 9781513801049
Binding Information: Hardback
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 inches

Publication Date: 7/12/2016

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“I am the grandson of Bishop Sam Mullet, who was arrested for the Amish beard-cutting attacks. This is my story.”

Beard-cutting attacks on Amish people in the middle of the night. Five incidents. Nine victims. How could members of a Christian tradition known for peace and forgiveness enact such violence? What could make members of one Amish group turn against other Amish? In Breakaway Amish, Johnny Mast tells in riveting detail how his Amish community became increasingly isolated from other Amish people, and how the wishes and edicts of his grandfather, Bishop Sam Mullet, overtook daily life in the group. Over time, members became convinced that cutting their own hair was a sign of repentance and remorse. When that conviction led them to cut off the beards of those outside their community, however, it was more than a strange religious ritual. It was a crime.

Here is an eyewitness account of the disturbing events at Bergholz, an Amish community gone awry. Yet redemption dwells even here, in the bravery and conviction of one who chose to break free.

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PART I: When Bergholz Changed

  • 1. Witness for the Prosecution
  • 2. The Move to Bergholz
  • 3. When the Devil Came to Bergholz
  • 4. Joining the Church
  • 5. Writing Down Our Sins
  • 6. When We Put Our Bibles Away
  • 7. The Demons in Sam’s Barn

PART II: The Beardcutters

  • 8. He Started Screaming
  • 9. Turning the Tables
  • 10. My Grandfather’s Power
  • 11. Take It Out and Burn It
  • 12. What I Heard That Night
  • 13. The Raid on Bergholz
  • 14. Hiding the Camera

PART III: Leaving Bergholz

  • 15. The “X” on the Tree
  • 16. Finding the Camera
  • 17. Kicked Out
  • 18. Bergholz, a Cult?
  • 19. “I Will Never See You in the Afterlife”
  • 20. Driving Away
  • 21. My New Life



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