Five Amish men in Ohio were arrested this week for allegedly breaking into the homes of other Amish men and cutting off their hair and beards.
The men were charged with aggravated burglary and kidnapping, according to WKYC, related to allegations that they were responsible for a series of six break-in-and-hair-cutting incidents.
The men are from the Bergholz clan, a breakaway clan headed by bishop Sam Mullet, who is also the father of three of the five men. The Bergholz clan has around 120 people and is made up of eighteen families. Seventeen of those families are related to Mullet, WKYC reports.
According to the AP, Mullet became known for excommunicating members and generally being a harsh ruler of the clan, and has even been accused of running a cult. Authorities are trying to link all the incidents to him. Mullet has said he knew about the incidents, but denied that he orchestrated them.
But the incidents were reportedly a retaliation against mainstream Amish for the Bergholz clan’s ostracism. From AP:
In one attack, men are accused of entering a home Oct. 3 and telling 74-year-old Raymond Hershberger, a bishop in a Holmes County Amish community, they were there to talk about religious matters, Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly said Tuesday.
After a few minutes of small talk about the weather, the men suddenly announced, “We’re here for Sam Mullet to get revenge,” Zimmerly said.
According to local authorities, Hershberger and his son were held down and their beards cut with a battery-powered hair clipper.
Levi Miller, and brothers Lester and Johnny Mullet, were arrested on Saturday. Eli Miller and Daniel Mullet turned themselves in on Wednesday, and each posted the $50,000 bond.