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Amish Experience shelves Amish Mafia Tour plans

By , - Last modified: May 9, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Shirts promoting the Amish Mafia Tour had already been created. Photo/File
Shirts promoting the Amish Mafia Tour had already been created. Photo/File

The Amish Experience will not offer an Amish Mafia Tour in Lancaster County this summer after all.

The company has canceled its plans to offer a tour centered around the popular Discovery Channel series after receiving cease-and-desist letters from Discovery and the production company behind the show, Hot Snakes Media, according to a news release.

“We have shifted gears,” Amish Experience President Bradley Igou said in an email to the Business Journal.

Instead, The Amish Experience will address the “Amish Mafia” and its claims as part of its regular Amish Farmland Tour, Igou said.

“We talk about many aspects of Amish culture on our tour that are also referenced (usually incorrectly) in the ‘Mafia’ show,” he said.

In addition, a parody tabloid-style publication has been put together debunking the show’s claims, the news release said.

“Amish Mafia” purports to show the real-life adventures of a Plain Sect gang led by “Lebanon Levi” that supposedly holds sway in rural Lancaster County through threats and intimidation.

Critics have pointed to numerous indicators that the show is fiction and also charge that it cheapens and sensationalizes Amish culture.

The planned Amish Mafia Tour featured branding that referenced “The Godfather” movies’ famous puppeteer logo and an “Amish Mafia? Chust Nonsense!” tagline. It was to culminate with a stop at the Silverstone Inn and Suites, where many “Amish Mafia” scenes were filmed.

However, Silverstone “is not allowing us the stop there,” Igou said.

A woman who answered the phone at Silverstone this morning said no one there could comment. Calls made this morning to Discovery Channel and Hot Snakes Media were not immediately returned.

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