Ask a Hutterite

The blog of a real, live Hutterite.


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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 3: Rockin’ Road Trip)

A special evening

Photograph by National Geographic Channels / Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 3: Rockin’ Road Trip
Aired: June 12, 2012

There are two stories unfolding alongside each other in this episode. To begin, the young people of King Ranch secure permission to attend a wedding in Canada. Secondly, the married ladies of the community are planning a weekend get-away with their husbands. Both storylines are fraught with challenges and conflict. In this reflection I will only discuss themes presented by the first strand, but also explore discoveries regarding the integrity and authenticity of American Colony‘s filming and editing process. Continue reading

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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 2: The Shunning)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 3: The Shunning
Aired:June 5, 2012

“Shunning means, we want no part of you.” [Bertha]

“Actually, the main reason we go to school is to play sports.” [Carver]

“I hope the elders are happy for [sic] what they did.” [Claudia]

As I begin my second episode reflection, I am contemplating several responses to the first. I was worried that my perspective would be too far removed from the Dariusleut viewpoint, but as one reader pointed out, anybody who listens with a careful ear to the Hutterite teachings, which all Hutterites share, should see that something doesn’t line up with the American Colony portrayal. Writing this episode’s reflection has been challenging because the show deals with a spiritual concept in a very secular manner. Continue reading


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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 1: Harvest Party Scandal)

Breaking bread

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 1: Harvest Party Scandal
Aired: May 29, 2012

Beginning this series of reflections sounded like such a wonderful idea—an opportunity to respond with thoughtfulness to something many people feel strongly about. I hoped it would be something of a Verbeigeah, that I would be able to do it in passing. Reality has settled in and cleared away all remnants of this delusion. Continue reading


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Reflection: American Colony

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites

This undated image released by National Geographic Channels shows a Hutterite community near Lewistown, Mont. “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites,” is a National Geographic ‘reality’ series about a small religious community in rural Montana.

I have spent days thinking about it and finally decided to go for it. I will be producing an episode-by-episode personal reflection series based on the ‘reality show,’ American Colony: Meet the Hutterites, directed by Jeff Collins and aired on the National Geographic Channel. When we first learned of the show, I helped put together a general response to be posted on hutterites.org, but it has become evident that a deeper exploration is possible, if not required.
Continue reading