The Hutterite community—one of the country’s least understood cultures—live in a world where all resources are shared, everyone dresses similarly and nearly everyone is related. But in this colony of pacifists, it’s not all about farming and milking cows. This family lives together, works together and worships God together seven days a week, 365 days a year, for their entire lives—and like any family, this one doesn’t always agree.
Meet the Hutterites; a small religious colony in rural Montana who hold desperately to their sacred traditions while fighting the modern temptations of the outside world. King Colony is made up of 59 people and they are almost all related. Most of the colony is holding tight to the age-old traditions of their ancestors, while others are flirting with modern society. Some feel that bringing modern technology, education and ideas into the colony will only help it, while others believe that this modern way of thinking threatens their very existence.
Bertha and her children Claudia, Clinton and Carver are part of the more progressive side of the family. Bertha has kept her son in public high school even though it is frowned upon by the elders of the Hutterite church, because traditionally all Hutterite children drop out of school at 16 to work on the colony. Claudia is known as the rebel of the colony and while she loves the colony, she longs for more out of life and begins contemplating and experimenting with what she will do with her future. Bertha wants her children to be happy, but would be heartbroken if they decided to leave the colony.
Rita was the first woman on King colony to get a drivers license and is one of the few women her age to have graduated from high school. She has taught her two sons, Wesley and Anthony, the importance of education. Wesley is 24 years old, and is the only person on King colony to have ever graduated from college. Wesley loves modern technology and uses it everyday. He desires to devote his live to the Hutterite church but wishes they would open their minds to certain things in the modern world like education and more technology.
Marvin is the money boss and is from the more conservative side of the colony. He is in charge of running the finances and making many of the decisions on how the colony is run. Marvin tries his best to run the colony in the way the elders intend and works very hard to follow the traditions and rules of the church and God. His brother Toby is the cattle boss and he is in charge of the important job of taking care of the beef cows which one of the colony’s biggest moneymakers. Toby believes in the Hutterite traditions and looks forward to the day when his son can drop out of school to help him on the colony.
The differences between the roles of the men and women, the young and old, the conservative and progressive threaten to tear the family apart and ultimately the Hutterite way of life. This is the very first glimpse into the every day lives, thoughts and hearts of a group of people most of us have never even heard of. This is a journey unlike anything we know or could ever understand and is sure to shock us at every turn.
Tune in to the season premiere of American Colony: Meet the Hutterites tonight at 10P et/pt