Thursday, July 5, 2012

Real Hutterites On American Colony: Meet The Hutterite

As I suspected, real Hutterites are quite angry about the National Geographic show, American Colony: Meet the Hutterites.
My personal belief is that these are actors imitating Hutterites but I could be wrong.
But the real Hutterites are not very happy:
From NewsMax: Bishops Representing All Hutterites in North America have issued a statement
regarding National Geographic's "American Colony: Meet the Hutterites," airing on June 14, 2012
"We are deeply disappointed with the National Geographic Channel's depiction of the Hutterite people in their so-called reality series, 'American Colony: Meet The Hutterites,' filmed at the King Ranch Hutterite Colony in Montana. It's unfortunate that Jeff Collins and his production team chose to come through the back door rather than the proper channels to receive permission to film our people."...

 "What was promised by the producers to be a 'factual documentary' is, in fact, a distorted and exploitative version of Hutterite life that paints all 50,000 Hutterites in North America in a negative and inaccurate way. Scenes and dialogue were contrived resulting in a 'make believe' depiction of how we live and the spiritual beliefs we cherish," the statement continued.
From the Christian Post: Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of I Am Hutterite, told The Christian Post that it was "without doubt, a coup that show creators were able to film Hutterites at all.""The creators chose to go directly to the King Ranch Colony to seek permission, rather than the proper channels of requesting such from the Bishop," she said. "By the time the Bishop found out about the proposed show, the creators had a signed document of agreement from the King Ranch Colony Manager."
With a signed contract, the creators threatened legal action if the colony pulled out, according to Kirkby. They thus worked out an agreement with the creators agreeing to "accurately portray" the Hutterites.
The show began airing on May 29 and so far, the bishops aren't happy and believe the show is in "serious breach" of contract.
"We're very upset," Entz from Canada told CP.
The bishops initially trusted the National Geographic Channel, considering "its stellar reputation." But they now feel "betrayed."...
 Kirkby specified how the show has inaccurately portrayed the Hutterites:
  • hunting scenes with guns (Hutterites are pacifists)
  • the excessive bad language and disrespect for elders
  • the fake council meeting, held in the dining room instead of the church with no minister present and inappropriate topics and structure to the discussionin the last episode about a Canadian wedding … the wedding was imaginary, according to sources at King Ranch colony. The underage teens were supplied with alcohol under the guise that they were in Canada where there is a lower drinking age. In addition, the dialogue and scenes regarding dating outside the colony was fiction with a real lack of thought given to any sort of accuracy. http://www.christianpost.com/news/hutterites-upset-over-new-reality-shows-distorted-portrayal-76732/ 
However, Wesley, who plays the money boss on the show states the following:
Wesley Hofer, a prominent character on “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites,” said in a press statement that the participants were all “adults who are capable of making rational decisions regarding Hutterite life on King (Ranch) Colony. The notion that we were taken advantage of, as if we were innocent children, is nonsense.”
“American Colony” follows the 59 members of the Montana colony, showing them drinking, swearing, and shooting guns, all in violation of the sect’s pacifist and pietist Christian beliefs.
Hofer also denied that scenes and dialogue were contrived, an accusation leveled by the bishops and the former Hutterite writer Mary-Ann Kirkby .http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/hutterite-says-national-geographic-didnt-exploit-rural-colony-for-reality-show/2012/06/25/gJQAa55Q2V_story.html
Just curious, isn't there a commandment or two about lying?
So, why do i have an interest in this issue? When I lived in Montana, I visited a Hutterite Colon a couple of times and became interested in their way of life.  When I moved back to Wisconsin, I got to know an Amish community near Wautoma/Coloma WI. and volunteered in their school many times.  So, I like to follow the news about the Amish and Hutterites.  So, I know a little bit about the Hutterites and Amish.
So, in the end, if these are true Hutterites on the show, they are a disgrace to Hutterites everywhere.  And it seems National Geographic went from a respected TV channel to a channel that likes to run Jerry Springer 24 hours a day.

48 comments:

  1. Wesley is not the money boss. Marvin is!!!

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    1. great to see liked programme

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  2. people just like to criticize. All of us "English" just like the idea of the cute little amish/hutterite simple life and when we are confronted with the reality that all communities have an innate duality that is often time conflicting and complex we dont know how to understand it.

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    1. Amen to that. I grew up in Pennsylvania around many Amish and Mennonites, and I am a Pennsilfaanisch Deitscherei myself, and many ignorant "Englishmen" really don't understand anything. Even in Pennsylvania, if I talk to city people, they just have no idea.

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  3. I have always thought it seems scripted to the way they talk in between scenes it's like they are reading. I thought the slow way they talked was due to inbreeding. It says at the beginning of the show they are almost all related and if they are not allowed to go outside and get and 'english' mate then that leaves.....you guessed it FAMILY memebers to breed with.

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    1. They talk slowly because English is not their first language! Like the Amish, they speak a German dialect among themselves and English when they're with non-Hutterites.

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  4. If it is true then Ben Tammie's father is an ignorant inbred terrible father that tries to force his daughter t drop out of school to do chores such as wash windows instead of get an education. This show is disgusting and these people are backwards, chauvonistic scumbags that believe a women's place is in the kitchen. Here is 2012 women, african american, latino, irish, gays, and any other minority are all equal to men. Someone needs to clue these animals into that simple fact. Why can't Claudia do mens work? Because these people are ass backwards and they believe women are to be bred like cows then wear skirts only as they do all the bitch work. This show is horrible. Thank god I was born an American women AND NOT A HUTTERITE!

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    1. It's very ethnocentric of you to believe that everyone should live the way that you do.

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    2. i agree why dont you stfu

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    3. Do you even understand what it means to be part of an Anabaptist community, such as the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites? These are religious groups that only wish to have respect in the way they live. If the women do not like living in such communities, they can leave. The men can too. Amish around here have Rumspringa, from rumspringen. It's a word to mean basically run around. They live in the English world until they are sick of it or until they fall in love with it. (Really summarizing). The point is, if they want to return after having a taste of the English world, they can. If not, they are shunned away for life. (Depending on the group and family, etc.)

      For you to say such foolish is insulting to many of us. I am a Pennsylvania German, and grew up around Amish and Mennonites. You may think this is a rally call to freedom, but you lack any cultural understanding. This is the issue with Americans like you. You bash and criminalize other cultures and ways of life without looking at it for what it is and respecting it. Besides, being an American doesn't necessarily make you free. Those minority groups you mentioned are far from the "amazing freedom" you think they have. And it is rather sad they don't have it yet.

      Study and research or experience said topic before criticizing it.

      In less kind terms, STFU. Think before you speak.

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    4. All u that are against Hutterites why don't u come out to the colony and we will see who can work better,harder than us. BRING IT

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  5. I WANT TO GIVE CLAUDIA A HIGH FIVE FOR STANDING UP FOR WHAT SHE WANTS AND NOT WANTING TO LIVE AS A SLAVE WOMAN AS WOMEN DID BACK IN THE 1800'S. A WOMAN CAN DO WHATEVER A MAN CAN DO. THIS IS 2012....

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    1. If she believes that, then she must leave the Colony.

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  6. Fake. these people are even more weird than they look on tv. I have heard that they used to go to local towns and recruit men to breed with the women for new blood lines.

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    1. When I lived in Montana, near a Colony, I heard the same thing.
      Strange that this story is still out there from almost 30 years ago.

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    2. That's false. I've lived near these colonies for 40 years and never seen or heard of such a thing.

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    3. I am a X hutterite and to call them fake and weird , And going to town to breed new blood into the colony. I come from a big family and we had one Dad n Mother. What about you do you no your Mom and Dad probably not. your the weird and the idiot, Best to keep your big mouth shut

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    4. ^illiterate much? And it is an opinion so don't scrutinize people for it. in my opinion inbreeding is nasty and it leads to MANY health problems.

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  7. Watching the show now and frankly it potrays them as a bunch of slack jawed idiots. Too bad.

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  8. I love the show ..and I hope that it stays on the air..they are not weird...or idiots..thats really sad to even say bad things about ppl..if its weird?? why watch it, if they are idiots..why do you waste your time watching something..that you dont like...you have to like it to comment about..sorry but its mean

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    1. I agree with you. I watch it and like watching it because the members of the Colony that are portrayed are real and the point of the show is show how modern age has interfered with their culture. Please don't expect all people to live how you live your life. Vive le difference. And I was not inferring that to you personally, just to the other responders that are filled with such narrow minded disdain for diversity.

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  9. I love this show too. At first I thought these people were weird and goofy too, but then take someone from another culture or time and have them look at America with drug abuse, pornography, pedophiles and they'd all think we were inbred, idiots and perverts especially if they saw a show of 59 people that they thought represented 50,000 other people....It's perspective. On top of that, why are people expecting these people to be perfect? They are going to swear and drink too...duh.

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  10. I lived in Montana for my first 25 years in a town near a Hutterite colony. I actually have been on a colony only one time.

    My wife and I follow the show and have taken an interest in the characters. It is somewhat facinating to find out about a culture that was next door.

    I think the show is well done. Yes a bit stiff and perhaps contrived dramas such as the sheep bustin'. However I have learned much about their life.

    The show has many dynamics between men and women. The contrast of life on the colony with its safety and full employment and life outside with many uncertainties is facinating too

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  11. I started watching this show, a few episodes in, but it was so captivating and I found myself truly caring about these people, that I taped all the episodes and caught the beginning in reruns! I truly hope that they will bring this show back! I am anxious to see Lisa get married to Marvin and if Claudia does indeed leave for college.

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  12. I am an African American woman and love the show. I started watching a few weeks ago when National Geographic had the marathon. The Hutterites culture is fascinating. The Hutterites have community, love, and live a life without looking over ones shoulders and there is accountability. Claudia the rebel of the group, I love Claudia because she believes no pain, no gain. Claudia continue to follow your dreams because if you do not you will suffocate and leave anyway. College is scary but it will enrich your mind in assisting you to help the colony in the near future. Claudia I see you as a Social Worker being a liaison between the colony and the private sector, who knows you can pass laws in your state. God has created a burning desire in all of us and Claudia is in tune to hers. You go girl. Claudia’s mom is a silent rebel and a beautiful woman. The rest of the women are humble and also beautiful and Wesley your mother with her dramatic make over look was stunning. I too wear no make-up and natural beauty rules.

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  13. This is the only show I record and want it to be true to the Hutterite beliefs. I know there needs to be tv ratings but honesty is best. I'd like to see the flip side of those Hutterite comunities who complain this colony is being portrayed wrongly and what are the differences. I enjoy the program and hope it returns.

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  14. I can see they are being true to how people act its human..

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  15. Some of this show may be scripted but the scene where Tammy's dad (fish-faced Ben) barks out to her that she can't finish high school- those looked like real tears in her eyes. If she was faking it- she's the world's greatest actress. Fish-Face even threatened to use a ruler on her ! If I were there I'd have liked to wring his neck like a Hutterite chicken. God bless Tammy and I pray she can somehow finish school.

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  16. Pacifists are opposed to war or to violence, NOT hunting. Amish own guns also and hunt with them. Not sure where you got that Pacifist can't own guns and hunt. Killing an animal to use for your family is not war or violence, in fact it fits into the beliefs of these groups to use animals for food etc.

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  17. That quote was from a link about Hutterites and not my opinion. And you are right, I've seen the Amish and Hutterites hunt.

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  18. Dan, there is so much I need to help you clear up.
    1. These people are not actors pretending to be Hutterites, I see them all the time and know some of them personally.
    2. Yes, they may have been acting by recreating certain types of events, but the substance of what those events portray is completely accurate.
    3. Hutterites cuss and are regular beer drinkers. I spent much of my teen years in a smalltown bar shooting pool with them, and if anyone has ever seen their celebrations, there is always plenty of alcohol.
    And they cuss so regularly that many people find it entertaining to imitate their accent, and cuss in the same way.
    Hutterites hunt. I have gone hunting with them on their large colonies.
    There are many things the elders in Cananda may not approve of, but it happens all the time here. They are not supposed to have tv, internet, etc., but many of them do. I say many but not all, because there are strict colonies that do refrain from these things.

    So in conclusion, Dan, there is nothing innaccurate about how the National Geographic portrayed these Hutterites, and Hutterites in general in Central Montana area. If you think there is, then drive over to Lewistown, and ask Wesley if they drink beer, cuss, go to Canada to weddings and drink there, drop out of school early, shoot guns. What you will find is that it is all true, and all true for many of the colonies. I've watched it myself, my son goes to school with them in Moore, and I'm confident you could pick up a phone book and call any local bar in Lewistown, Moore, Stanford, Hobson, and ask them if they come in there to buy beer. In fact, here's the phone number for the Office Bar in Moore, MT. (Moore is the small town nearest to the King Colony). (406) 374-2500

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    1. Many Amish and Mennonites in Pennsylvania brew their own alcohol and sneak generators for electricity, etc.
      Honestly, Hutterites are very modern compared to the Old Order Amish communities basically "in my back yard."
      Don't be so harsh about Hutterites, they live the most modern from what I have seen.

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  19. I too LOVE the show and hope it stays on the air!! I love the lifestyle and find it very interesting. I just told my husband the other day, I wish I was a Hutterite. I love how they are all there for each other. If one needs help, there is always someone there to lend a hand. I wish I could meet these people in person to learn more about them!!

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  20. I have enjoyed this show so much. It is refreshing to see a television show that is not about, hate, war, nudity, etc. All the participants are so wonderful to watch. It is nice to learn about how others live, and how much we are all the same, ie: problems with children. In all these are great kids who are struggling to be a part of their colony and also the current world around them. I hope the show continues, I would love to see many more epsiodes. I don't think that the elders should feel badly, I don't believe that their religion has been shown in a negative lite at all. I have found it to be a very refreshing program as compared to most shows today. It is nice to see family units together. Please make more epsiodes!!!

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  21. This show and Amish : Out of Order are 2 of my favorites. The lifestyle totally fascinates me, but the one thing that does bother me is how they can so easily shun their children. I hope both shows continue and maybe explain that more in depth, not just say "because that's the way its always been done ". I cant imagine shunning my kids and the pain I would feel inside just erasing them from my life. Lets hope both shows return!

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  22. I love, love, love the Hutterites.

    How could anyone have anything bad to say about these wonderful people. They are a national treasure!

    I love to learn about other cultures, all around the world.

    I thank this colony for just giving us an opportunity to have a small peek into their lives.

    Obviously, they may have to reenact some scenes to give us a flavor of their life, but it is
    obvious that these people sincerely love the Lord and are portraying the challenges and
    difficulties they are facing as the 21st century invades their life in an honest and often humerous way.

    What a great and rare opportunity for people to see how a commune lives. How wonderful to have
    a community that you can depend upon, to know you are not alone in this world. It's a beautiful lifestyle that has worked for hundreds of years. No one is forced to stay.

    Bertha, you are just such a beautiful person. You are a great testimony, how you came through the loss you've had and have done a wonderful job with your children. Love just radiates out of you. I wish I could stop by and have a cup of tea with you, not to mention, get some of your recipes!

    I just love Claudia, and I love how you let her make her decisions. She remindes me of myself at that age. It is obvious she loves you and her people so very much. Who knows if God may use her in the future of the colony and as one of the other posters said, she may be used as "a liaison" from the world to the colony. She will be successful at whatever she puts her had to. When you are young, you can't wait to get away from everyone, when you get older, you wish you could go back!

    How refreshing to see some "real men" for a change!

    Thank you all for sharing a piece of your heritage with us, I hope we get to see more of you all.

    - A business woman from Florida

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  23. I reluctantly watched the show, an was surprised at how much I loved it,I grew up on a farm in southern Idaho, watching the Hutterites reminded me off people I grew up with.Hard working , simple people who took pride in there way of life.Yes some of the scenes are graphic when it comes to butchering animals an such,, but that is how food gets from farm to table. an I agree it's good to see "real men" for a change on tv.

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  24. I think the people in this film are decent, effecient, self reliant people who are good, proud of their culture and do a lot better than a lot of the "English". I love the fact that they have each others company, get to eat together, work together and go to church together. Do not be so harsh in your judgements. They have a lot more going for them than most of us.

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  25. To those of you talking down the show because you don't like it; here's your quick solution....don't turn your tv on to the show and dont' watch it. Common sense can go a long way if you use it.

    The show is freaking great and Claudia is the shit. It's refreshing to see a different type of reality show that doesn't deal with talent shows, singing, dancing, and living in a house to find your so called soul mate.

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  26. Everyone in the show was an adult. They knew what they were doing, they're not stupid. I believe they decided to go along with it from the beginning for the money and just figured they would ask forgiveness later. They wanted the best of both worlds. If they REALLY felt bad about what they were doing then why did they do TEN shows? Why not stop after the first one? They wanted the money AND they wanted to not get in trouble. If anyone was minipulated here it was NatGeo. "We didn't know we were going to a bar in Medicine Hat" lol Sure didn't stop them from tossin back shots, shootin pool and stuff though did it? lol I think it's hilarious.

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    1. Excuse me but when did 16,17 yr old girls and 13,15, yr old boys become "adults" who "know what they are doing"? And I think when men find the most laborious job of fence posting for the first time in their lives, to women to prove they are inept and can't do "men's work" is more than unfair and sexist.I can show them any number of all-female Catholic Monasteries with even older-aged women who do it all-they grow their food,they tend the animals on their farms,they plow fields,they have their own woodworking shop where they do their own carpentry work,they grown their own fruit and make their own jams - and all of that in addition to spending hours each day in community prayer,and cooking and cleaning,washing and sewing,and doing most of it in total silence. They rise everyday at 3am and retire every evening at 8pm.I'd love to see this handful of "sexist threatened" men dropped without warning into one of these monasteries and see how they would hold up. I'll bet they wouldn't make it. If I were in this group of women I would have them "ALL" get together and walk off the jobs in the kitchens and gardens and houses of this colony until the men give. Someone should tell these men that women,even itty-bitty ones,have worked in factories and farms for years and drive forktrucks,stackers,and every kind of machinery,and many are better at it than men!And eventually it is these sexist attitudes that cause these groups to fail and fade away. Let's hope that tradition holds here as well!

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    2. Agreed!!! That's is the most annoying part of the show. I feel bad that schooling is looked down upon and that the women are meant to slave around in the kitchen all day.

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  27. I also thought,initially,that this colony had many laudible qualities until I saw the episode where a girl was forced to make a choice between staying in high school or performing daily kitchen duty at age 17, and her backwards,uneducated mother said she was "proud" of her daughter for succumbing to colony pressure and decided to quit school!Her mother practically danced on air,and I ask again,as I have with the Duggar family,the Gosselins,etc and all such fringe people with children involved, where the hell are the various State child welfare reps charged with protecting America's children from exploitation,neglect,abuse,etc.No child in 2012 should ever be put into the position of facing family pressure isolated and alone,forcing them to quit school? Shame on all of them, and on us for not demanding they do their jobs and protect these children. And later, in that same episode they showed a young boy around age 13,Toby, who continuously yelled at,mouthed off at,and constantly swore at everyone around him,especially at adults who were quite obviously playing around with him and engaging in playful teasing which he returned with loud swearing and obscene gestures (especially bearing in mind that he was a child),and he went unconfronted and uncorrected. In any other such group of children and adults,behavior of that sort by a child would receive immediate and strong correction. What does this group really value and stand for again???

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  28. I just love this series. I grew up around the Amish community near Clark, MO. I'm also proud to say I have several ex-Amish friends that have done very well for themselves since they left the community. I hope the series continues.

    I tape the show all the time, even in the re-runs I find something new.

    National Geo, I hope you will continue the series.

    I never new about the Hutterites until this series.

    Thank you

    Cathy @ Prairie Home,Missouri

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  29. Someone needs to get Anthony Hofer to a cosmetic surgeon to fix the excess skin that falls down above the outer corner of each eye. This is obviously an abnormal defect of some sort that should be corrected, as this could affect his self-esteem. This kind of defect, is not normal for a young kid his age. His father Walter Hofer is almost 60 and doesnt have it nearly that bad. He'd be a very cute kid, if it weren't for this obvious abnormal defect. Can't any of the adults in the colony see this and get him help?

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  31. No one is perfect. Not even a Hutterite colonie is perfect. The Hutterites use persecution as a reason to get away with things they do. I moved to Montana five months ago and have seen Hutterites do things that contradict what I read about them. The Hutterites are just as good and bad as any other person.

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