Differences have occurred within the Amish communities in Ohio. Basically involving their attitudes to modern day living. These differences has led to violence by one of the sects led by Samuel Mullet Sr.
Law officials say their crimes include beatings, and beard and head hair cutting. The latter practice identifying them with stigma as outcasts which was forcibly inflicted.
Married women were forced to sleep with the cult leader Samuel Mullet to cleanse themselves of their waywardness.
The sixteen Amish charged include four of Mullet's seventeen children, his son-in-law, and three of his nephews.
The cult are to be charged with perpetrating hate crimes, cospiracy, evidence tampering, and obstruction of justice.
The cult's defence allege the government is on a witch-hunt and should not intrude on internal church disciplin ary matters.
The cult broke away from the main body in Ohio; moving to a hilly area close to the West Virginia panhandle.
The dispute arose from the Ohio amish criticising the authoritarism and ostracision of Mullet to those members of his sect who did not subscribe to his dictate by ex-communicating and shunning of them.
The Ohio criticism seems to have been " The straw that broke the camel's back."