15 Shocking Facts About the Amish

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For a community founded on principles of simple living, a rejection of modern technology, and a reclusive existence isolated from the outside world, Amish life remains a pretty hot topic in mainstream society. From reality television to horror movies, the people of this cloistered community have become subjects of endless fascination within modern society, and Amish spectatorship is all but an American pastime. You may know the basics of Amish culture, but there are many surprising twists to this quiet lifestyle.

1. Happy Families Are All Alike… And So Are Inbred Ones

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One byproduct of such a close-knit community: inbreeding. Descended from just 200 original founders, the Amish community today could use a little fresh blood. Due to this lack of variation in the gene pool, the Amish have much higher rates of genetic disorders and infant mortality. Yep, the Amish all are one big, happy family. Literally.