Amish Arrests – FBI agents on Wednesday raided an Ohio compound and arrested seven Amish men on hate charges in connection with haircutting attacks on other members of the usually isolated Christian religion.
The early morning arrestsÂ openedÂ a window in the world of the Amish, who are known for shunning modern conveniences, using horses and buggies rather than cars, and preferring to deal with their problems within their traditional and ordered communities,Â without going to outside civil authorities.
Court papers, distributed by the Justice Department after the raid, paintÂ a picture of those arrested asÂ a schismatic group with some of the attributes of a cult, at battle with the traditionalist and pacifist religion.
At the center of the splinter group is Samuel Mullet Sr., who with his family and followers left the established Amish community in Frederickstown, Ohio, in 1995 to establish a separate group in Bergholz, Ohio.
Ohio ranks right behind Pennsylvania with the second-largest number of Amish, about 61,000 in the rural areas outside Cleveland.
In addition to Mullet, the Justice Department said that his sons, Johnny, Daniel and Lester, were also arrested, as was Emanuel Schrock, Mullett’s son-in-law. Levi F. Miller and Eli M. Miller, identified as members of the Bergholz community, were also arrested.
All are charged with conspiring to carry out a series of assaults over the last few monthsÂ on Amish men and women, cutting off their beards and head hair with scissorsÂ andÂ battery-powered clippers.
TheÂ acts were especially heinous to the Amish who believe there is a biblical injunction to shaving when men marry.
If convicted, theÂ suspects face up to life in prison, the government said.