This multimedia project is provided help the Hutterite community as well as mainstream society identify and understand certain idiosyncrasies, specifically two cultural rules, or Ordnungen, that may be inconsistent with the spirit of the law in Canada and the United States of America.

Some groups, not all, among Hutterite Society do not allow their children to be educated to secondary level, high school. This is a specific Ordnung among Hutterite groups in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as in other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States.

Furthermore, when Hutterite children enter adulthood and decide the communal lifestyle is not for them, and leave the community, to pursue education or otherwise, their families are intimidated and coerced to shun and disown them. This is another Ordnung, and it exists among all groups of Hutterites, to a lesser or greater degree among progressive or traditional colonies, respectively, in Canada and the United States.

These two Ordnungen are idiosyncratic because they are inconsistently acknowledged and loosely enforced. In the following documents The CACHE Project provides evidence that the Ordnungen indeed exist, that they are actively if haphazardly enforced, and we also provide context to show that these Ordnungen may not be in harmony with the rule of law in Canada, the US as well as the western society within which they exist.

Education is widely recognized as a social good. The benefits of education are societal as well as personal. Those who get an education have higher incomes, have more opportunities in their lives, and tend to be healthier. Societies benefit as well. Societies with high rates of education completion have lower crime, better overall health, and civic involvement. Section 23 under the Canadian Charter mandates that the provinces provide education to all Canadians. Hutterites are Canadians. Likewise similar laws exist in the United States, Hutterites are also Americans.

The shunning Ordnung is recognized as a hate crime by some of our confidential sources within the Hutterite community, as provided in the documents below. The shunning Ordnung can include denying participation at funerals, weddings of close relatives, this process can and does deny visitation rights with close friends and family.

A human being is born a curious social creature. Without access to and support from a loving family a person can easily become disoriented and traumatized. If the Ordnung to limit interaction and support from family is a method of punishment, meant to intimidate and coerce individuals who leave or want to leave; specifically those who decide that the communal lifestyle is not for them, then the Ordnung is inconsistent with rights and freedoms enjoyed in Canada and the United States. Under section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada persons found guilty of enforcing this hateful Ordnung could face up to 2 years in prison.


The CACHE Project recorded communications with leaders from the 4 identifiable groups of Hutterites in our attempt to understand their position on the matter.

Micheal Hofer, Bishop of the Lehrerleut group is a leader from a Hutterite Colony near Kyle, Saskatchewan. Mr. Hofer’s response after our journalist identifies themselves was to state, in German, “You are nobody. You are an ex-Hutterite from the Daruisleut group who wants to cause trouble, and I do not wish to speak with you. Amen, End.” We cannot confirm whether Mr. Hofer anticipates our phone call or whether he indeed knows more or less about our journalist other than the information provided in the recording and the source documents. The source document in his possession does not identify any journalists involved in the project.

Leonard Kleinsasser, Bishop of Schmiedleut Group 2, is a leader from a Hutterite Colony near Austin, Manitoba. Mr. Kleinsasser’s response when our journalist identifies themselves, no less than 6 times during the recording, as an investigative journalist from Canada, is to insist that they divulge personal information. Mr. Kleinsasser then has no comment whether the two Ordnungen exist or to what extent they are enforced among his group of Hutterites.

Arnold Hofer, Bishop of Schmiedleut Group 1, is a leader of a Hutterite Colony near Carberry, Manitoba. Mr. Hofer’s response is quite forthcoming on both Ordnungen. Schmiedleut Group 1 educates their youth to high school level and beyond, and anyone who decides that the Hutterite lifestyle is not for them, is welcome to visit their family, attend memorials and weddings of close relatives and friends. Mr. Hofer provides context and detail to both Ordnungen from the perspective of his group. He also provides context to the relationship that his group has with other groups of Hutterites. This recording leaves open the opportunity to make official statements in the context of this project as well as among the Hutterite community.

Daniel Gross is a self identified Senior Director on the Hutterite School Committee, and a leader of a Hutterite Colony near Rosebud Alberta. Mr. Gross represents the Dariusleut group of Hutterites. Multiple conversations took place with Dariusleut leadership, including Daruisleut Bishop Joe Wurz, a leader from a Hutterite Colony near Cutknife, Saskatchewan. All of the conversations including the multiple lengthy conversations with Mr. Wurz can be succinctly summarized with Daniel Gross’s response. Mr. Gross engaged us with a voicemail as well as an email.

Source Document

The source document referred to in the communications with Hutterite leadership was shared in an attempt to confirm the accuracy of the information from our anonymous sources, as well as to clarify each group’s position to the two Ordnungen. This document was titled Hutterite Ordnungen, it was shared via Canada Post with select Hutterite leadership in the United States and Canada: Bishops, Assistant Bishops, Overseers, named individuals within the document etc. During the course of 3 months the document was edited for clarity and to reflect the conversations that took place. It can be found below.