All over the country, Amish people live simple lives, far away from mainstream populations that rely on modern technologies to get them through each day. The Amish are a community of hard-working, faithful, practical people who spend their days just as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
The people that live this lifestyle have very little opportunity for individuality. Everything from appearances to daily jobs and family life is dictated by the community guidelines, not by the people living them.
For the most part, the Amish who have been born into this way of life are good with their lives; they choose to stay and follow the lifestyle. A select few Amish youngsters though, wondered what life was like outside of their small, tight-knit community.
These straying youngsters inspired the hit reality show Breaking Amish. The TLC Network jumped at the concept of following former Amish youth breaking into "regular" life. Viewers were fascinated watching these young people experience pretty common mainstream things for the first time.
But, reality television is never quite what it seems, and Breaking Amish has left its fans with some questions. There seem to be some loopholes and gaps in the series' storylines. Here are 20 things that make us question how valid this show is.
20 Abe's Pretend Aghast Over Rebecca's Past
When we first caught sight of these Amish kids trying out a typical lifestyle, the budding chemistry between stoic Abe and the red-headed Rebecca was undeniable. We saw Abe trying to woo a standoffish Rebecca with flowers and carriage rides through New York City in hopes of making her his gal.
Abe seemed to be taken aback when he discovered that Rebecca was not just a former-Amish girl looking for a better life outside of the community walls. She was a girl with a past, a past husband, and even a child to be exact. Abe appeared to have to mull over these developments before deciding to continue pursuing Rebecca, which was all for show.
19 AND Abe And Rebecca's Pretend Courting Stint
Not only did Abe look stunned to discover that Rebecca had a complicated past, but he too had some skeletons in his closet. We learned that Abe was not surprised to find out that Rebecca had been involved with another man before him and had birthed a child.
After the show aired, details emerged revealing that Rebecca and Abe knew one another quite well before Breaking Amish ever became a show. He also knew her child. Paternity tests revealed that he was the little girl's dad. Hmmm, so Abe REALLY knew Rebecca. These two turned out to be better actors than we initially gave them credit for.
18 Rebecca's Return To School
Higher education is not something that the Amish community encourages. In this way of life, eight grade is as high up as Amish youths climb when it comes to the educational ladder. Amish children learn the basics that are taught by Amish teachers who also have little more than a middle school level education.
Girls leave their studies behind and become rules of the domestic realm, caring for their husbands, children, and homes. Rebecca broke this mold when she announced that she wanted to pursue more of an education for herself. She earned herself a GED, making her a high school graduate, which is a unique accomplishment for an Amish girl.
17 Sudden Fashion Star
One of the big breakout stars of Breaking Amish, Kate Stoltz, used her reality show appearance to propel herself into a booming future in modeling and fashion. When we first met Kate, she seemed shy and meek, but it was also apparent that there was so much more to this natural beauty.
Kate used her stint on the reality show to boost her work aspirations, and it wasn't long before the fashion world took notice of her and Kate became a sought after model. She has since started her own lucrative business and has a clothing line as well as several modeling credits to her name. Kate is a real success story.
16 Shunning Is Not Always So
The reality series Breaking Amish and Return To Amish made a big deal about the cast members being shunned by family and community for venturing out into the big city. The shunning of Amish people when they hightail it for an outside life does happen sometimes, but these instances aren't as black and white as the series makes them seem.
Some members leave the Amish life for a spell but then come back into the community and enter into open arms. Others choose different paths but remain close to Amish friends and family. Sure, an Amish youth takes a risk when leaving, but it isn't likely that no one from their past will ever speak to them again.
15 The Cast Members Are No Strangers To Technology
The Amish are known for living their lives without the use of technology; it's one of the primary aspects that sets them apart from mainstream society. The show may have made it seem like things like cell phones and social media accounts were new and foreign to the cast, but others say that's not so.
The ex-wife of one Breaking Amish cast member said that her husband had a cell phone long before he landed his role on the hit reality show. In fact, according to her, Jeremy Raber has had a cell phone for as long as he has known her. This is yet another confusing aspect of the TLC show.
14 Abe's Brother Even Has A Social Media Page
Abe's family is often seen stuck back in their Amish ways as Abe ventures out into the open world looking for a better life. His brother Andrew, however, had a social media page long before Breaking Amish became a thing. This begs the question: how "Amish" are any of these people?
Once the cameras stop rolling, do they change into jeans and hop onto their cell phones, scrolling through social media posts much like the rest of the mainstream world? It's hard to tell. Their onscreen lives do not always coincide with their offscreen lives, and their pasts are a bit different than what the show claims. That much is for sure!
13 And Sabrina Had A Social Media Meltdown
Oh, Sabrina. She can not catch a break these days. If she isn't dealing with her own personal demons, she is taking to social media to stir up some trouble. The mother of two recently took to the internet to take on another wayward reality television star.
Sabrina felt the need to share some hurtful thoughts that she had on MTV's Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham. While Farrah is no angel, it was hypocritical for Sabrina to rant about her when she has not exactly proven to be Mother of the Year. Starting social media fights is never a good look on a reality star.
12 Not First-Time Partiers
The show may depict shy and uncomfortable Amish youths who dabble for the first time in social settings, but sources say that the cast members are no strangers to wild nights and out of control behavior. Several of the men and women on Breaking Amish have a variety of charges on their records.
Amish youth, in general, engage in a rite of passage called The Rumspringa. This tradition is where the Amish youth goes wild and dabble in all sorts of forbidden pleasures before returning to the faith and making their commitment to the lifestyle. The Breaking Amish cast members would have likely already have undergone that timeless tradition.
11 TLC Pays To Keep Truths Under The Rug
Jeremiah Raber's ex-wife has done her best to vocalize her anger and frustration over her ex-spouse during and after his stint on Breaking Amish. Rabner has some mighty skeletons in his closet. He is a fan of plenty of material goods and has quite the collection of fancy cars, according to his ex-wife.
He has also had several run-ins with the law, and if his ex is to be believed, he isn't exactly a stand-up husband and father. This particular ex-wife claimed Raber owed her tens of thousands of dollars in owed child support and TLC paid some of that money to her so that she would keep mum about her ex's misdeeds.
10 Social Media Slander
Things are never what they seem when it comes to reality television. Self-proclaimed bad boy Jeremiah Raber married his dream girl, but the honeymoon seemed to be short-lived, according to his social media account at least. He took to social media to accuse his estranged wife Carmela of hoarding all of the profits that they earned jointly from selling their home.
Raber went on to blame her of unhealthy lifestyle habits and poor choices. He then swore up and down that he and Carmela were done for good and that he could not take any more of her drama. Hmmm, some things seem better left off of social media Jeremiah. Especially when you live your life in a fishbowl.
9 Maybe Married, Maybe Divorced
Divorce in the Amish community is a taboo subject, but three of the Breaking Amish cast members have been married before, and two have even gotten divorced. Jeremiah Raber and Sabrina High both have crumbled marriages and sketchy relationships in their past.
Abe Schmucker and Rebecca Byler were made to look like they barely knew one another during the show's first season. We came to find out that they did indeed know each other, very well actually. They had a child together already! The show does its best to keep the taboo topics out of the plot lines, but the truth always comes out eventually when it comes to reality television.
8 Sabrina's Custody Issues
Sabrina has had a couple of rocky years as of late. She first fell into some unhealthy habits that landed her in trouble with the law. Because of her poor choices, Sabrina lost custody of her daughter, Oakley. She then fell pregnant with a second child but continued to run into challenges.
Little Oakley was even in the backseat of her car at the same time that a passenger and friend of her mom's had a medical issue that required immediate care. Her second child no longer lives with her, despite Sabrina's best efforts at getting her placed with family.
7 Not Sabrina's First T.V. Rodeo
The TLC network made it look like the cast members were stepping into the mainstream universe for the first time, which is why it was so captivating. We now know that this could not be further from the truth, and in fact, one cast member had already appeared on a different reality television show. Breaking Amish was NOT Sabrina's first rodeo.
Back in 2010, a documentary was created to showcase Amish youths entering marriage. The documentary was called Amish at the Altar, and you may not believe who appeared in that television show! Yep. Breaking Amish's own Sabrina made an appearance when she married her first husband.
6 Chapel's Deception
We were thrilled to hear that Abe's brother Andrew found love in the arms of a woman named Chapel. The couple had their ups, downs, and roadblocks, but viewers everywhere were pulling for them to reach their happily ever after. It was beyond sad to hear that Chapel had been diagnosed with cancer. She and Andrew set up a GoFundMe page to help with Chapel's treatment.
But it turns out that the whole cancer plotline might not have been accurate. Kate took to the internet to tell the world that back when they were filming, Chapel was already in remission and healthy. That is pretty low, even by reality television standards.
5 Kate's Scathing Words
Kate lost her cool on social media too when she went on a tirade against the production team for Breaking Amish. She threw a flurry of tweets out into the universe claiming that the show producers would "keep us in a room for hours and ask the same questions over and over — they're relentless." Yikes.
She encouraged everyone to go and get an education and stay in control of their destiny, because getting involved in reality television will decimate a person's life as well as their future. These are some real fighting words from Kate. Did Kate forget that her fashion and modeling paths both stemmed from her work on a reality television show?
4 Carmela's Not-So-Amish Upbringing
Jeremiah Raber's second wife, Carmela, did not grow up in an Amish community, but she didn't grow up in a mainstream society either. In one episode, Carmela revealed that she was raised in a family that resembled a cult. When she was twelve years old, her family began following the beliefs of William M. Branham.
The people living under this rule believed that education and modern medicine were not to be paid attention to. They also put men on a pedestal and women were made to be submissive. When Carmela left this community, she got told that she would undergo punished and for a long time, she attributed her health ailments to some curse.
3 Lowell And Lisa's Interesting Pregnancy Tips And Tricks
When Lisa and Lowell started preparing for their little bundle of joy, they paid a visit to a midwife to check up on the little bun in the oven. The midwife told the pair that they would be having a little boy because of the way that she was carrying.
The Amish midwife also informed the pair that Lisa should eat plenty of broccoli because apparently broccoli and boys go hand in hand, according to the midwife. She went on to encourage the young couple to invest in a fart blanket, which is (apparently) a heavy blanket that keeps smells under the covers and away from the nose. What?
2 Lowell And Lisa's Sticky Situation
Lowell left his Amish girlfriend Lisa for a chance at living a freer life. He was off working for Jeremiah when he got the call from Lisa that the pair would soon be parents. She called him to tell him she was expecting, and this left Lowell with some serious decisions to make, mainly because the couple was not married at the time that Lisa got pregnant.
And according to their community's rules, that wasn't exactly admirable. To say that these two got themselves into a mess would be a significant understatement. That is always great news for reality television though.
1 Jeremiah Has Children That We Rarely See
Jeremiah Raber often gets portrayed as the Amish turned bad boy of the group. We see him living the fast life now, but the guy had a whole different and domestic life before the show ever took off. Raber was first married to Naomi Stutzman, and the couple has three children together.
Naomi has been very vocal in recent years not only about inaccuracies surrounding both Breaking Amish and Return To Amish but also about the character of the man she used to be married to. We don't see a lot of Jeremiah and Naomi's spawn on either show, but considering their parents' heated past, that is probably a good thing.
Sources: Nicki Swift, Worldnation, Soapdirt, Daily Mail, Heavy, InTouch Weekly, People