You have to be Amish to become ex-Amish
It appears KTVO and our viewers were misled by a man we interviewed earlier this week.
Since our story aired Tuesday, we have learned that a local man who had claimed to be ex-Amish is not ex-Amish afterall.
As we had told you, Curtis Deierling of Kirksville appears in a couple of episodes of the National Geographic Channel's series, "Amish: Out of Order."
During KTVOâ??s interview with Deierling on Tuesday, he told us he was a member of one of the two Amish groups in Greentop until he was 18 years old at which time he left the order to become a Mennonite.
After our story aired, we started getting e-mails, phone calls and facebook messages from people who knew Deierling growing up.
Three people told us they attended classes with him in the Kirksville Public Schools.
Amish children donâ??t attend public schools. The Amish have their own schools.
A former employee of the Kirksville Area Technical Center told us Deierling also attended there a few years ago, and he was neither Amish nor Mennonite at that time.
We went to Greentop on Thursday with a picture of Deierling and talked to representatives from both Amish groups there.
One group looked at the picture and said they had never seen him or heard of him.
An Amish man from the other Greentop group, Jonas Schwartz, said he had worked with Deierling briefly and that Deierling had attended Amish church services one or two times, but he said that Deierling definitely was not Amish.
When we confronted Deierling on the phone Thursday, he apologized and said that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding, and he claimed that he was just tired and nervous when our reporter interviewed him on Tuesday.
Jennifer DeGuzman, a spokeswoman from the National Geographic Channel, told KTVO Thursday that Deierling told them he was a Mennonite.
She said he is not a main, or even secondary, character in the "Amish: Out of Order" series.
The second episode in which Deierling appears airs at 9 p.m. on May 22, 2012 on the National Geographic Channel.
Click HERE for a link to KTVO's original story with Deierling.