Blessed with a heavenly singing voice and unfazed by tough inmates, the Amish bishop convicted of hate crimes against other Amish said he's won the respect of his fellow felons.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily, Sam Mullet described life behind bars following his conviction for a series of hair- and beard-cutting attacks on other Amish in rural Ohio last year.

He also refuted scandalous allegations that he exploited his position of authority as the leader of a dissident sect to have sex with married women, including his daughters-in-law, on his 800-acre farm in Bergholz. Instead, he claimed that he provided "sexual counseling" to men and women on his compound.

"They say I went to the women, but they come begging to me for help," Mullet said.

His lawyer dubbed him the "Amish Dr. Ruth."

The 67-year-old preacher faces life in prison when sentenced on Feb. 8 for hate crimes and conspiracy. The 15 men and women who were his co-defendants could receive the same sentence.

Since his conviction in September, Mullet has slowly adjusted to prison life. Inmates bestowed him with the nickname "O.G." -- for original gangster -- a term he was unfamiliar with, but he recognized it as "something good." Mullet also told the Daily that he's popular, because he sings hymns after the lights are turned out and because he's generous in the commissary.

The renegade bishop explained why he broke away in the mid-1990s from mainline Amish communities. Mullet saw the dissolution of traditional Amish culture. Boys rode their buggies while listening to stereos, girls skated on rollerblades, he said. There were parties with beer in the woods and girls "in their birthday suits" inviting dates into their beds.

The reactionary movement Mullet unleashed in 1995 by founding a splinter group of Amish led to its own ethical lapses. As the leader of the community, Mullet imposed his brand of justice. Men who broke his rules were paddled and locked in empty chicken coops. Ex-followers said he had sex with the married women and, according to the federal prosecutors, committed incest with his daughters.

Some followers lost faith in Mullet's leadership beginning around 2005. After his son Eli was hospitalized for a mental breakdown, members of the community learned that Mullet was having an affair with his son's wife.

The disaffected members left the community and the followers who reaffirmed their loyalty to the group made changes that eventually led to the beard-cutting attacks. Mullet and his followers were at an existential crossroads following a defeat in court in which one of Mullet's daughters lost custody of her children to her ex-husband who'd defected from the group. Around the same time, a council of higher ranking Amish bishops overturned a shunning that Mullet had imposed on the parents of the former son-in-law.

Smarting from the setback, Mullet told the Daily that some of his followers decided to cut their own beards as an act of self-purification. Later, they spread the practice as a punishment against rivals in the Amish community.

Mullet continues to deny he ordered any of the attacks.

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  • Sam Mullet

    FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo, Sam Mullet leans on the mailbox at his home in Bergholz, Ohio. The FBI and local sheriff's deputies arrested seven men, including Mullet, reputed leader of a breakaway Amish sect, on federal hate crime charges early Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. A grand jury indicted 11 individuals for their alleged involvement in a spree of beard cuttings on Dec. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

  • Mugshots

    FILE - This file combo made from photos provided by the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department shows, from left, Levi Miller, Johnny Mullet, and Lester Mullet, of Bergholz, Ohio. These three men and two others suspected of forcefully cutting the beards of fellow Amish were arraigned Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, and released on $50,000 bonds posted by the leader of their breakaway group. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, File)

  • Lester Mullet

    This photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department shows Lester Mullet of Bergholz, Ohio. Mullet and three other men believed to be members of a breakaway Amish group were arrested Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 for allegedly going into the home an elderly Amish man and cutting his hair and beard. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department)

  • Levi Miller

    This photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department shows Levi Miller of Bergholz, Ohio. Miller and three other men believed to be members of a breakaway Amish group were arrested Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 for allegedly going into the home an elderly Amish man and cutting his hair and beard. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department)

  • Johnny Mullet

    This photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department shows Johnny Mullet of Bergholz, Ohio. Mullet and two other men believed to be members of a breakaway Amish group were arrested Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 for allegedly going into the home an elderly Amish man and cutting his hair and beard. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department)

  • Fred Abdella

    Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdella sits at his desk in Steubenville, Ohio on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Abdella disputes the claim by Sam Mullet, the leader of a breakaway Amish group, who said that an attack on fellow Amish in which a man's beard was cut off was a religious issue stemming from long-standing resentment of his group's treatment. Sam Mullet, 66, said the goal was to send a message to Amish in Holmes County that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

  • Members of the Amish community leave the U.S. Federal Courthouse Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Cleveland. Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty in beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio. The latest indictment added new allegations that the suspects tried to hide or destroy evidence, including a disposable camera, shears and a bag of hair from the victims. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Members of the Amish community leave the U.S. Federal Courthouse Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Cleveland. Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty in beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio. The latest indictment added new allegations that the suspects tried to hide or destroy evidence, including a disposable camera, shears and a bag of hair from the victims. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Arlene Miller checks for her mail in front of her home on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 in Carrolton, Ohio. Miller, 46, who is Amish, tells the Associated Press, her husband had his beard cut by members of a breakaway Amish group. Several men came to their door and attacked her husband, who fled when he called his sons for help. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

  • Jeffery Stone

    Jeffery Stone, mayor of Bergholz, Ohio. sits on the front stoop of his home in Bergholz on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Stone said that he and the town have not have any problems with the group of breakaway Amish living at the edge of his community. Sam Mullet, the leader of a breakaway Amish group said an attack on fellow Amish in which a man's beard was cut off was a religious issue stemming from long-standing resentment of his group's treatment. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

  • Sam Mullet

    Amish children play baseball during recess outside their school in Bergholz, Ohio home on Monday. Oct. 10, 2011. Sam Mullet , the leader of the breakaway Amish group, said an attack on fellow Amish in which a man's beard was cut off was a religious issue stemming from long-standing resentment of his group's treatment. Mullet, 66, said the goal was to send a message to Amish in Holmes County that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community. ( AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

  • Sam Mullet

    In this photo provided to an Ohio district court late in August, Samuel Mullet allegedly cuts off the beard of his follower, Raymond Hershberger in October last year.