Hutterites want apology for NatGeo television show

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“We believe in the show. We believe it’s a fair and accurate portrayal of the life in the part time that we were there,” Lyle said.

John Hofer told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Collins arrived at the colony, found their life too boring for TV, and persuaded them to do things they never would normally do.

“The way I feel, he mocked us and degraded us,” Hofer said. “The first time I met that guy, you know what he said? `I’m not out to hurt any of the people.’ And he turned around and that’s what he did. Our simple way of life was not exciting enough to him. “

The KingRanch colony was paid $100,000 to participate in the production, and that money has been spent, he said.

Bertha Hofer, a mother of three children who was featured prominently in the series, said the first three episodes were accurate depictions but then producers began presenting them with story lines. She said they rejected some ideas but went along with others.

“It was just like they corrupted your mind. We just fell for it,” she said.

Hofer said the elders from Canada told them they wanted the colony members to tell the truth.

But Hofer said she also feared that she would be punished after the show followed her and her daughter Claudia looking at a college in Great Falls.

She said she is fighting for a full education for her children, while the elders believe in an eighth-grade education for most colony members, she said. The ed

“We’re just waiting to see what will happen, it’s just day to day,” she said.

Colony spokeswoman Mary-Ann Kirkby said the levels of Hutterite education differ by colony and by sect. In general, she said, the elders are not against education but are concerned that young Hutterites who leave for public school may never return to the colony.

Claudia Hofer wrote in a statement released by the Hutterite colony through a spokeswoman that most of the scenes she was in were staged and scripted.

“None of them sounded bad in any way but I was totally shocked when I saw the edited version of the episodes,” she wrote.

Another colony member, Wesley Hofer, said in another statement released by the colony that an episode in which he was rushed to a hospital for what was believed to be a heart attack was staged.

Collins denied creating story lines, saying that life on the colony is so foreign to a newcomer that there is no way to make up stories for them, and they wouldn’t have gone along with it, anyway.

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