Hate crimes trial against Amish begins
Samuel Mullet Sr., leader of a breakaway Amish sect, has been accused of operating a cult out of his family compound in Ohio.
August 27th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

Hate crimes trial against Amish begins

Editor's note: For more on the trial, check out CNN affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland.

By Tricia Escobedo and Chris Welch, CNN

(CNN) - Federal prosecutors are expected to argue that an Amish sect leader, accused of orchestrating beard-cutting attacks against fellow Amish men, was operating a cult out of his family compound in rural Ohio.

The sect leader, Samuel Mullet Sr., is one of 16 Amish men and women charged with federal hate crimes in the beard-cutting attacks last year. The trial began Monday with jury selection in federal court in Cleveland. Mullet and several of his sons, who were arrested in December, are among those on trial.

To the Amish, a beard is a significant symbol of faith and manhood.

Prosecutors have said the accused men and women, all members of Mullet's breakaway Amish sect, planned and carried out the attacks "on their perceived religious enemies" under Mullet's orders. CNN has sought a response from Mullet's attorney, Edward Bryan. Bryan has disputed the prosecution's characterization of his client, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Amish • Belief • Courts • Crime

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soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. FHTM Facts

    FHTM graduates from Pyramid Fraud to attempted murder!

    FHTM Impact 2012 – A Great white money shark washes ashore^^

    It is so incomprehensible to understand how a company (Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing) that claims its mere existence is to help as many as possible, with help of the church, can also be so obnoxiously arrogant to believe they can manipulate the justice system to a point where they can push someone to death. After exposing the truth about Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) the whistleblower was sued in an attempt to shut him up and stifle his rights to freedom of speech.

    “If the fate of your business model rests at the hands of one individual, (not me) to the extent that you have to spend millions of dollars to try and shut him up then the system is just fatally flawed. Fix the PROBLEM not the SYMPTOM. This is all just a side effect of what you have created. I don’t see the worst of the worst companies out there that act like this or have to put up with this nonsense. What’s the common denominator? Stop acting like 3rd graders and run a business for once”, says Rob Jenkins.

    Not only are they arrogant enough to think they have to the right to destroy Mr. Isaacs financially, but they continue, to this day, the harassment and intentional lies to the Federal courts and American Arbitration Association until he was on his death bed almost gone. Their briefs and motions totally elude any factual statements and are based on unsubstantiated speculation and outright falsities, just like the foundation of their business since 2001. For 10 years they have claimed partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, being 100% debt free, solid enterprise and a money making franchise opportunity.

    When you peel the outside off of this lemon one discovers the bitterness and the exact opposite is true. Multiple AG’s have investigated, prosecuted and/or fined them for operating an illegal pyramid fraud. They are also on the FTC Operations Empty Promises list of companies being investigated for illegal activities.

    FHTM has not only engaged in a malicious prosecution since the very beginning but they have had their representatives call and threaten Mr. Isaacs life. Filing a trademark violation case for using the world “Fortune” which they knew was owned by Time Magazine, and not them, was just a way to take advantage of the system by someone with more money that the poor defendant had. The ex- FHTM general counsel, Judy Hammerschmidt, who was not even licensed to practice law in Kentucky, during her tenure with FHTM, has displayed a great deal of malice and wrongful intent. Her attempts at intimidation as their general counsel were hilarious considering the fact that she was acting as a lawyer illegally. She has since been reprimanded by the Kentucky Bar Association. No evidence existed or exists to back any of their claims. If FHTM had a case with legal merit they would have never agreed to a settlement and dismissal in June 2011. They didn’t win anything as they have rumored through the ranks of their cult-like followers.

    FHTM continues to purposefully engage in behavior that is extreme and outrageous which is intended to cause severe mental anguish and they should be penalized for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The FHTM attorneys, who are milking their cash-cow client, have outright said that they will not be satisfied until Mr. Isaacs is homeless, without family, living on welfare in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. Their intention is not to get at the truth but instead to bankrupt Mr. Isaacs.

    One year ago, in June 2011 a settlement agreement was negotiated, which was intended to eliminate the proceeding, unbelievable financial and emotional stress and put the issues to rest forever. The agreement was entered into under false pretenses and with great malice as during the last year they have done everything possible to continue the manipulation of the judicial system in an effort to stall or delay its finalization.

    Mr. Isaacs took a sabbatical since the settlement in June 2011. He has given no further media interviews, no television appearances, no AG complaints and no internet blogging. It doesn’t matter if he discusses FHTM or not. The FHTM legal team is so bent on blaming Mr. Isaacs for every negative comment or complaint made against them anywhere that they are blinded by the fact that others despise them as well of not more than he ever did. They have made Mr. Isaacs the poster child for not going against their cult and fraudulent business model. Bernie Madoff ran his Ponzi scheme for thirty years before being shut down. If FHTM spent as much time fixing their lies to act more like a real business then they wouldn’t need to continue to harass and destroy anyone.

    Their continued malicious prosecution and harassment resulted in Mr. Isaacs stress level hitting the roof in August 2011 causing a major life threatening heart attack. He underwent two major surgeries inside of a month to save his life. Doctor’s orders were to eliminate anything stressful in my life including the FHTM litigation and work. He was forced into retirement and has been going broke as a direct result of the litigation by FHTM in their attempt to kill him literally. It is like they smelled the blood and won’t let up till Mr. Isaacs is gone from the face of the earth permanently.

    Who in their sane mind would ever think that such a supposedly respectable company, run by the “King of MLM” – Paul Orberson, would spend all of their resources on attempted murder? Their intentions are clear – don’t rest until Mr. Isaacs is dead and gone.


    September 5, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  2. Bill Crimey

    Crime is always a sensational subject to capture our attention. Especially when it involves religion. If you can't resist storylines mixing crime and religion, you may find a story about an undercover narcotics versus the mafia as Benedictine monks interesting. Full of religion, crime and intrigue. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Benedictine-Candidate/273090009468469

    August 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  3. Dandy

    I live near a large group of Amish and why we think being Amish is generally a good thing is beyond me.
    They stop educating their kids at 8th grade, I believe so they are disabled and do not leave the group.
    The have their young children work long hours.
    The discourage education in general and only tend to them themselves and others who believe what they do.
    They contribute nearly nothing to society in general, since they are waiting to die to be with Jesus.
    When was the last time you heard of any Amish person doing something that was a contribution to society? You won't.
    They breath in and out, reproduce, and die without any significant contribution. Ask an Amish person if they are related to the person 3 doors down with the same name and they will have no idea. They don't even keep track of their ancestry.
    It is a pathetic existence which the rest of us should discourage.
    The Amish are a cult. There is nothing romantic about being or living around Amish.

    August 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Major

    "Hate Crimes" legislation is oppressive and tyrannical. If a person cuts another man's beard, then that's assault. It doesn't matter whether he did it because of religious differences or just because he didn't like him. It's all the same. It's the exact same crime, and it deserves the exact same punishment. And if it was for religious differences, then that part of it (not the crime itself) is protected speech.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • William L. Turner

      Are you a moron? Of course a bias motivation should be relevant. Is throwing a brick through a Wal-Mart window the same as throwing a brick through the window of a synagogue? Of course not! It is a completely different crime. One is a petty act of valdalism and will cost $2000 to repair. The other instills fear in a vulnerable segment part of the population.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  5. LWJR

    It's taken the LIB-establishment a long time to get 'hate crimes' into the law books, their moral purpose in life. Orwell foresaw our day and the LEFT including the civil self-righteous groups who are stupidly in this cup of soup. Consider that every person ever born has been angry and hated someone or something. Most cool off and realize that EMOTION (which drives thinking) is not a crime. Where RIGHT becomes WRONG is where THINKING is classified as a crime. Don't believe the NEWSPEAK of propaganda outlets like LIB-CNN. Wake up people, Actions are crimes, not thinking or emotions.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • canandcant

      Huh? You sound a bit manic in your posting...what are you talking about???

      August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      He's talking about the concept of being punished for your actions not your thoughts. The fact that you can't comprehend that tells us you are indoctrinated into the PC thought fold.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • canandcant

      Actually Billy, it sounds like you and lwjr are indoctrinated into your own cult of anger and hatred. Having to call people LIBS as opposed to "people" is indicative of your own bias and hatred. Hypocrites.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  6. sfasdfadf

    Be to play paintball, paintball mask is to prevent the face. They are important small tools, keep away from the player's eyes harmful chemicals. Masquerade mask These mask usually consists of hard or soft plastic, this is to withstand the impact of air gun. In fact, most paintball fast within the range of 270 miles per hour. They are the real damage, and on the skin leaving a lot of trace, Venetia mask Venetia masks without a mask. In addition, these masks are usually equipped with a special lens, in order to reduce glare vision and improving eyesight. Some types of even in drop inside the front of the mask, in order to avoid paint expansion

    August 28, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  7. Jack

    Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  8. Rational Libertarian

    Hate crime laws are ridiculous. This is a misdemeanour at worst. Funny though.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  9. Jim Brony

    Does anyone else find it ironic that this guys has a hair fetish, and his name is Mullet?

    August 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  10. Jesus was Basically the Same as this Freak lol just lol

    1500 years of emperors and priest forcing belief under penalty of death, and there'd be a billion faithful worshipers of Mullet Man lol just lol.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  11. myweightinwords

    While I'm not sure I'd call this a hate crime, it certainly qualifies as some sort of assault.

    The targeted cutting of the beard is aimed at humiliation for a group of men that have religious and cultural reasons for not cutting their beards. The goal is specifically to hurt and humiliate them.

    Regardless of what you do or don't believe about gods or religion, this behavior should be unacceptable.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      I think it is hysterical.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  12. Atheist Steve

    Does this guy work on vaginas? My woman has a bearded vagina.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      You should go with an electric trimmer on that one. This dude goes all scissors.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  13. ninjustin

    You don't see any Athiests out comiting hate crimes. For many their religion gives them justification to go out and be biggoted.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ninjustin, you athiests commit hate crimes against Jesus' truth everyday. Your smug opinions are the lies of satan. I have ferel cats in my bathtub having dead baby kittens. When you athiests realize that Jesus loves you it will too late and you will be burning in hell, which is where the devil lives.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • truth be told

      More people have been hatefully murdered by atheists in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. How do you manage to overlook a billion murders?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • .

      TBT – lying is a sin.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • truth be told

      So is murder and both lying and murder are sop for atheism.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      tbt – fortune cookie writer for the "enlightened"

      August 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  14. HeavenSent

    These men are not following the Bible's truth in a truthful Biblical way. They need to read the Bible again and pay attention to God's love for everyone. I don't really notice the stench of my couch anymore. I hope these men will apologize to Jesus and re-connect.


    August 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things says

    See prayer change a dogs life at saladandchips.com.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  16. ChristardMingle.com

    I am pretty sure I saw that guy in a production of "Waiting for Gadot" in L.A.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  17. Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. Teaching kids to be agnostic helps reinforce their understanding of the new real things they can see and learn about in life. It helps them properly separate the known from the unknown without confusing them. They just need to be taught things that are unknown, like god, and things that are made up, like all religion.

    Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

    We have only begun to scratch the surface in using the mind to its maximum. Damaging it with made-up junk that politicians and salesmen dreamed up long ago is senseless, and limits the mind's potential. These politicians and charlatans didn't even do a good job of organizing and being consistent with the stuff they dreamt up to try to control people. Daddy used to say they were caught with their pants down when the bible was first translated so that common folk could read it. Very true.

    Instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  18. the other side of crazy

    Now this Mullet beard story should prove entertaining. If I knew I could get a few month's live coverage of it on the internet, I would consider getting rid of cable tv for a while.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • the other side of crazy

      maybe HBO will do their own version as "Sam from Ohio". (I'm still upset they canceled "John from Cincinnati".)

      August 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Mullet Boo Boo Beard Cutter

      August 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  19. Colin

    If this is a hate crime, I could sue my barber.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • toad

      So, if I hold down some Amish bloke and shave off his beard because he is my perceived religious enemy, it's not a hate crime?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Colin

      This is an intra-Amish feud that does not rise anywhere near the level of a religion inspired hate crime. This is trivial nonsense, not worthy of the penalties that might flow.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon


      August 28, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • TROLL

      People with dementia can repeat themselves over and over again, by telling a repeat a word or phrase.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.