Four Amish men have been charged in bizarre beard cutting attacks. The attackers would barge into homes of other Amish people and use scissors to cut off the beards and hair of their victims.
The men, said to be of the Bergholz Clan, committed the crimes in four different counties in Ohio. The crimes were mean to shame their victims, as Amish men must let their beards grow after marriage and Amish women must not cut their hair. The attackers felt that the victims had “weak faith.” One Amish man told Sheriff Fred Abdalla: “I’d rather be dead than have my beard cut off.”
The four men are charged with kidnapping and burglary.
The Bergholz Clan are a group of Amish who are led by a man named Sam Mullet. They are said to be an offshot group that have been shunned by the rest of the community. In 2007, there were allegations of sexual abuse in the community; Abdalla had testified that one girl was raped and that Mullet has a sort of hold over his people through mind control.
The Amish are descendants German-speaking immigrants from the 18th century, Protestants who shun modern conveniences.