The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
The First Amish Newsletter
The First Amish Newsletter is a fake website with this introduction:
Hello! My name is Eli Lapp and I'd like to welcome thee to the first Amish Newsletter, made by the American Amish for the American Amish. Now that we've hit the 21st Century, our church elders have decided that we will try to not be so "technologically impaired". We are discovering electricity, computers, and other modern wonders. I'm especially enjoying this thing called Internet!

Throughout the site are many nice little touches - I particularly like the buggy safety page with its 'buggy test'.

I also appreciated the disclaimer.
This website is not meant to offend anyone or disrespect the Amish people. In fact, it's just the opposite. I admit, it started out only as a joke but as I did research on the Amish I discovered what a rich and wonderful culture that the Amish people have. With strong work ethics, wholesome family values and deep rooted religious beliefs, the Amish culture and religion are very admirable. I've come to the conclusion that if everybody shared these beliefs, the world may be a better place.

(Thanks, Nathan.)
Websites
Posted by Boo on Tue Sep 19, 2006


We Amish are not without humor, Brother Eli. Just last eventide, my friend Esau and some of the other Elders played quite the joke on myself and mine family. When my son Abraham arose at 3am and went to the outhouse for his pre-milking morning movement, he found that the outhouse door was nailed shut! We rolled about in fits of laughter afterwards, but we were sorely vexed at the time, for I had left my best claw hammer atop the roof of Esau's barn the previous eve, and couldst not pry loose the door. I will tell this tale at family gatherings for many months to come, I am sure.
Posted by Joshua  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  02:00 PM
I was reminded of the "Amish Virus" that was being circulated a couple of years ago. An oldie but goodie

http://www.duke.edu/~charlie/AmishVirus.html
Posted by Don  in  Calgary  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  02:43 PM
Technologically impaired.

Total Weird Al.
Posted by Yaanu  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  04:09 PM
I didn't know you could make a buggy out of "popular".
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  04:19 PM
We get a fair number of Amish people around here from time to time. One thing I've noticed is that, while they won't actually operate things like cars and computers themselves, they'll quite happily let somebody else do it for them. I've often seen where they've made friends with a non-Amish person, and have that person drive them all in his minivan to the supermarket. That makes me wonder: could they have electric lights in their homes, if they had a non-Amish guy to come in and flip the switch on and off for them?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  01:26 AM
Accipter, once upon a time I worked as a morning drive ("wacky") radio DJ in York, PA, just a few miles west of Lancaster County (Amish Country). I was told by someone who claimed to have installed a few of them himself, that a lot of Amish families secretly had electrical power cables buried underground so that they could have modern appliances without their neighbors seeing wires going to a power pole. Whether that's actually true or not, I can't say.

During my brief tenure in York, I kind of pissed off some people when I proposed my "Cultural Exchange Program" whereby some Amish women would be swapped for Times Square hookers. Hey, I was trying to bring America together!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  04:46 AM
Accipiter, Amish people are actually allowed to operate such things themselves (teenagers have a year or two where they can go free and decide whether they want to stay Amish. I think some of them drive cars). The problem is that it would be a matter of pride to own one. You can borrow from the English or share (such as a town phone), but it would be prideful to have your own. Although I have heard that many families hook up electricity to the barns "for the animals." The animals also enjoy stereos and televisions.
Posted by Iria  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  09:43 AM
Whilst I cannot speak for all my brethren, I assure you that my family and I do not utilize electricity or avail ourselves of such modern conveniences as the telephone, pagers, blackberries, tomtoms, cell phones or any other handheld device that vibrates and gives pleasure, although my wife Sarah had asked me to get one. I consulted the other Elders and they have said that they will consult with Sarah in private and see if they can satisfy her longing for such devices. I told her of their intent, and she said that she will pray that their ministrations will affect her deeply. I suggested that she shave first, and she agreed. I wonder, pray tell, what bikini wax is, for of these things I have little knowledge.
Posted by Joshua  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  10:46 AM
It seems acceptable, at least among certain groups, to use modern conveniences when running a business. Amish bakeries I've been to have looked like any other bakery, with electric lights, electronic cash registers, phones, you name it. All that modernism doens't come cheap either, because those baked goods sure are sold at a staggeringly good profit.

I just assumed such conveniences didn't carry over into their home life.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  11:53 AM
A lot of the apparent discrepancy in Amish customs comes about because there are almost as many different Amish sects as there are Amish people. Some dress only in black; others dress only in gray; still others will wear any color but shun buttons. Some will use motorized farm equipment, but only if it is pulled by horses. Some will have a telephone, but not in the house (it's in the barn or outside in a little box). And so on. One group believes that it's all right to drive cars, but not with chrome on them, so they paint the whole car, including the bumpers and hubcaps, black (of course, this was more of a problem back when all cars had chrome-plated bumpers). They're known in Pennsylvania Dutch country as the "Black-Bumper Amish." So a great many generalizations about Amish people, and similar groups such as Hutterites and "Old Order" Mennonites, turn out to be true of only a subset of the community.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Seminole, Texas  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  06:47 PM
"Technologically impaired" is from Amish Paradise.
Posted by Straight Outta Lynwood  in  La-la-land  on  Wed Sep 20, 2006  at  09:26 PM
I vaguely remember a painful reality tv show where Amish kids on their "rumspringa" (like spring break, I guess, they get to experience the outside world and decide if they like it or not) got to live with regular L.A. kids of the same age. It definitely showcased how much nicer and more normal the Amish kids were than their L.A. counterparts. And I think they all decided they wanted to go back to their old lives. And come on, given the option to live in L.A. or on an idyllic rural farm, which would you choose? I think I'd pay someone to not make me live in L.A.
Posted by Anne  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  05:38 PM
It's a deal, Anne. Pay me, and I won't make you live in L.A.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Eden, Texas  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  06:52 PM
Should be "I bid ye welcome" not "I welcome thee" - also Amish don't consider themselves to be "American" - they don't believe in Nation states as such, and they all are working.
Posted by Mark Bellis  on  Mon Aug 18, 2008  at  03:28 PM
I sure have a story for your news letter. From passing on this story to you & your readers I am praying some one may be able to help me & my family.

My grandfather was born in York and latter moved to Michigan. In 1965 my grandmother passed away suddenly, leaving my grandfather to raise 7 children. A year after her tragic death, the state of Michigan came in and removed the 7 children and placed them up for adoption. One of those 7 children was my mother. I started to look into my mothers adoption about a year ago. I was lucky enought to find three of her siblings, but her birth fahter had passed in 02. As I researched more I came to learn my grandfahter came from a Amish family from the York & Lancaster Pa area. My grandfather had tried for years to find all of his children and bring his family back together. Sadly he passed before he could so now I am trying to do what he was unable to do. I need help finding information on my Amish lancaster & York, Pa family!! I have tired so many websites, archives, and every thing I can think of, but with little luck. My family name is Hunt. Is there any one out there who can help me..Please???
Posted by Heidi  in  Tx  on  Fri Jun 12, 2009  at  02:22 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.