CALIFORNIA: Torture Parents Plead Not Guilty [VIDEO]

ABC News reports:

A Perris couple accused of torturing their 13 malnourished adult and juvenile children face up to 94 years to life in prison if convicted of a number of charges, authorities announced Thursday.

The Turpins appeared in court Thursday afternoon shackled and in dress clothes and entered pleas of not guilty at their arraignment. A court conference was scheduled for Feb. 23 in Riverside. They were ordered held on bail of $12 million each.

NBC News reports:

The 13 starving siblings held captive in a California house hardly ever saw the sun and were allowed, a prosecutor said Thursday, to eat only one rationed meal a day and shower just once a year.

They were allegedly beaten, choked and shackled to their beds with no access to a bathroom for months at a time for supposed offenses like “playing with water” when they washed their hands. Their parents would buy toys, the prosecutor said, but not let them play with them or even take them out of the packaging. They would make pumpkins pies and not let the hungry children eat them.

And one of the girls was the victim of a lewd act allegedly at the hands of her father, David Allen Turpin, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. “This is severe, emotional and physical abuse. There is no way around that,” Hestrin said. “This is depraved conduct.”

KTLA reports:

The children range in age from 2 to 29, with six of them minors and seven of them adults. All 13 of the children have first names that start with the letter “J,” according to the 10-page, 38-count criminal complaint.

The children were so poorly educated in their state-registered home school that many of them didn’t know what a police officer was nor what medication was, Hestrin said. “They lack a basic knowledge of life,” Hestrin said.

The family slept during the day, going to bed before dawn, and was awake through the night, Hestrin said. That helped the Turpins’ behavior escape detection by neighbors.

The New York Post reports:

The estranged brother of accused shackle dad David Turpin is taking a leave of absence from his job as president of a Christian college in Ohio.

Dr. Randy Turpin — brother of accused child-torturer David Turpin — is on sabbatical from Valor Christian College while he deals with “revelations about estranged family members,” a statement from the college provided to The Post reads.

“The Valor Christian College community joins with millions of Americans who are shocked and saddened by these terrible stories from California and we are praying for the full recovery of all involved,” it said. The college was founded by televangelist Rod Parsley, founder of World Harvest Church in Columbus.

The Washington Post reports:

Authorities said that David and Louise Turpin were “unable to immediately provide a logical reason” why the children were shackled and chained and that Louise Turpin seemed “perplexed” by the investigators’ questions.

The siblings’ grandparents told ABC News that during the children’s home schooling, they were made to memorize long scriptures of the Bible, with some memorizing the entire book. But Hestrin said the children appear to be lacking “basic knowledge of life.”

  • netxtown

    Let’s be done with these hate-filled moronic xtians. Put ’em in a wood chipper.

    • Robincho

      Feet first…

    • Jmdintpa

      lower them in slowly please

      • glass

        No, there are too many of them, we need multiple wood chippers at high speed.

  • medaka

    They are an excellent argument against home-schooling.
    Germany certainly got that one right:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/27/german-home-schooling-family-asylum

    • Butch

      I used to work for a couple who home-schooled their kids. Now that they’re grown the kids can’t function in society.

      • iambu

        My cousins had varying levels of difficulty entering the real world after homeschooling. The ones who managed to catch a couple years of formal education (the oldest ones) fared the best, and have thankfully done a lot to help out their younger brothers and sisters. But I really think it’s a damaging practice and needs to be more tightly regulated if not perhaps eliminated.

      • cleos_mom

        I worked for several years at a local historical site that regularly hosted LOTS of school groups, including home schoolers; several thousand a season. Consequently, I saw more home schoolers than most home schooling parents ever do.

        There are a number of good reasons for homeschooling a child, but keeping your child away from any influence outside the home isn’t one of them. Those kids seemed to fall into two groups:

        (1) The Little Prince or Little Princess who was accustomed to being the center of attention every minute. When those kids were around, it was impossible to have even a short conversation with the parents because the kid[s] would immediately interrupt with demands for attention in some context or other and the parents always obeyed them. Always suspected that those kids grew up to be either The Boss From Hell or that worker who can’t hold down a job more than a few weeks. Or

        (2) Children who were like 12 years old going on 7. I even saw a few who were almost middle school age who hid behind Mommy like a toddler if a stranger tried to speak to them. If one of those kids ever got off a bus in a big city when they were older, they’d be easy prey.

        • Lizard

          I’d like to point out that homeschooling is not necessarily all-or-nothing. There’s no law that if you homeschool, you have to do it K-12. In fifth grade, I was about three years behind the rest of my class socially and it was a really, really bad environment for me. My parents pulled me out of public school, homeschooled me for two years, and put me back in public school, where I did just fine thereafter.

          But part of the reason it worked was I still did a lot of activities outside the home–I did a solo sport and still attended band classes at my old public school. Basically, I was allowed to learn to socialize at my own pace where I could get away if I needed, rather than being trapped in social environments for eight hours a day where any escape was impossible. That made all the difference. Homeschooling where the kids are completely isolated is very different from that.

  • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

    That young lady who escaped is so brave and a goddamn hero.

    • yes she is. that right there is a Movie of the Week, at the very least. she’s gonna get a book deal and maybe a Barbie Doll, “Quiverful Escapee Barbie” or something like that.

      • TominDC

        Quiverfull escapee barbie??

        I feel bad that I literally LOL’d at that.

    • johnnybc

      Those kids were so”sheltered”, I wonder how they even held the concepts of “escape”, “better” and “help” when they did not even understand “police” and “medicine”.

      • Lizard

        I wonder how they knew that even a deactivated cell phone can call 911. I didn’t know that.

        Kids hear more than parents think. Maybe Mommy and Daddy let slip a little more than they meant to when they thought the kids couldn’t hear. Apparently several of the kids were planning an escape plan together for two whole years.

        • johnnybc

          A testament to her inner strength that she attempted and ultimately succeeded

          • that’s what i’m saying. at the very least, TV material. but likely, in the hands of the right people, epic oscar material.

  • Alessar

    These people are Christian Extremists, members of the “Quiverful” movement who took their patriarchal control to an abusive level.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      Nope! They’re pretty much run of the mill evangelicals. By their standards this is tame.

      • gaycuckhubby

        That is complete offensive untrue bullshit

        • TheManicMechanic

          Evangelicals, as a whole, are offensive as human beings. The willful ignorance, the lies and deceit, bigotry and hatred endemic to those cultists is disgusting at best.

          • JCF

            Reluctantly, I agree w/ you in the main. However, there are distinct exceptions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) is an LGBT-affirming denomination. They chose their name (upon the union of 3 Lutheran denominations) in the 1980s, w/ the distinct intention of reclaiming this New Testament term from Fundamentalists.* Sadly, their project has not been very successful.

            * Koine Greek εὐαγγέλιον (euangélion, “good news”), from εὐάγγελος (euángelos, “bringing good news”).

        • JCF

          As you’re commenting on someone I long ago blocked, I’m going to *guess* you’re probably correct!

          • gaycuckhubby

            I’m agnostic and organized religion has harmed me in the past, but I’m saddened by the animosity against people of faith

        • Joseph Miceli

          For the most part, Evangelicals and your average Bible thumper is just human debris. The pastor fills them with Jesus juice, winds them up with hate and points them at the homosexual/loosewoman/uppitynigrah/ and waits for them to tithe 20 percent.
          Religion sucks, but Evangelicals suck more. Please, like any reasonable person could argue against the truth that Pat Robertson sucks MORE!

      • Alessar

        You’re wrong. They ARE members of the Quiverfull movement. Here is an article that may explain more about this dangerous movement which points out how these whackos match the criteria: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2018/01/turpins-homeschooling-hide-abuse-look-like/

  • PickyPecker
    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      Thank you for your service. 😉

      • Gerry Fisher

        It’s a tough job, but… 😉

  • DaddyRay

    It really is hard to believe with that many children that the neighbors didn’t suspect a thing

    • Tawreos

      The neighbors did see odd stuff like the kids planting grass at 11 PM they just never said anything.

      • DaddyRay

        and with 13 kids, the oldest being 29, they never had to go to the doctor once

        • clay

          They moved from Texas a few years ago.
          Texas, where they had polygamists and Branch Davidians.

    • JCF

      If the family moved in at night, and the children were never seen, how would they know? One WISHES the neighbors saw, and reported, but not being one of those neighbors, I really can’t say that I would be aware. I would guess that most of us have not been inside the residences of all (yourself as center of the clock) our neighbors? [I don’t even have immediate neighbors from “3 to 9” on the clockface—vacant lot to our west, w 12 being due east—but I haven’t been inside of all them from 9 to 3]

  • The Milkman

    Any grown man with a haircut like that should immediately be placed on a law enforcement watch list.

    • clay

      . . . or a group home, where he is in the role of resident, not parent.

  • Billanddogs

    Those poor children will have psychological problems for many years, likely for the rest of their lives. I adopted two emotionally damaged kids and one of them, at the age of 13, couldn’t read a stop sign. I had to explain to him how to shower and how to wipe his ass.

    • TJay229

      Blessings be onto you!

    • gaycuckhubby

      Thank you for what you did. Not a lot of people have that capacity.

    • Todd20036

      He’ll have scars, but sometimes scars make us stronger, and they eventually fade.

    • Dana Chilton

      My heart goes out to these victims too. I’m sure your son is very thankful for being away from that place and for you helping him but you have your picture associated with that comment which means your friends and neighbors will know your adopted son had that problem.. maybe he wouldn’t want that shared?

    • TheManicMechanic

      You should qualify for sainthood.

  • TJay229

    Proof that, just cause you CAN make kids…. Not all should.

    I feel sorry for those “children” and… The Attys in this case. I know it’s heart wrenching to HAVE to stomach and defend this.

    • gaycuckhubby

      And the eventual jury who has to see the evidence and hear all the details

      • TJay229

        They will plea it out.. No jury

  • Gustav2

    Valor Christian College is
    “Located in central Ohio, 15 miles southeast of Columbus, the state’s capital, Valor Christian College was established as World Harvest Bible College in 1990 on the 10 acre site of the original 180 seat church facility but now has moved to become part of the 52 acre site where World Harvest Church is located today. ”

    (Rod Parsley’s Pentecostal Church)

    https://www.valorcollege.edu/

    Only ten people listed as “faculty and adjunct”

    • Robincho

      Sage, Rosemary and Thyme just called, saying they have no knowledge of this Parsley guy…

      • Tawreos

        That’s because they have taste and Parsley doesn’t

      • glass

        There is a UK mystery team called Rosemary and Thyme, maybe they have investigated this guy.

        • Gustav2

          The show is available on YouTube.

        • Robincho

          At the annual banquet of the Agatha Christie Society, they serve plaice with thyme…

      • Steverino

        But it looks like the California Parsley will be doing hard thyme.

        • Robincho

          Thanks for your sage observation…

    • Tawreos

      Rod Parsley, that is name I haven’t heard in a long time, I wish it had been longer.

    • Blake Mason

      Wow… obviously the prosperity message did not get through to these two.

      • Gustav2

        It comes with a heavy dose of disciplining your children. keeping them out of ‘the world.’ etc. and is very patriarchal.

  • i don’t remember the part in the buybull that says “Thou shalt have Really Bad Hair.” but i never memorized much of it for very long.

    anyway… well, seems like they got themselves a fightin’ lawtalker. which is their right as Americans, for all their sort want those rights to go away for everyone else. i’d just plea and get it over with, they’re going down for life and i’m sure everyone knows that. the state gets to take as many bites at them as it takes, even if they fuck up this trial, which i doubt they will. this is a dumb prosecutor’s dream case, it’s almost impossible to lose. who here is in any way surprised that they are xtians with deep roots in the upper classes of the xtian subculture?

    • Scott Carpenter

      It’s a derived requirement. Once they got rid of all teh gayz, what other kind of hair can there be?

      And I’m with you on the ease of prosecution, but I think the DA could have done better than the high school intern they put in for the plea hearing.

  • TuuxKabin

    thanx gawds and the lard they’ll be prayers. dumb fucks. and the ‘ist professor brother had no idea. or if he did, as a good ‘ist, was complicit. death to religion. all of it.

  • Leo

    Randy knew about David and needs to be questioned. Fuck the ‘sabbatical’.

    • Gustav2

      I am not surprised of the connection with Rod Parsley’s church.

  • Christopher

    I’m just waiting for them to claim “Religious Freedom”.

    Surprised that there haven’t been cries of persecution yet.

    • Tawreos

      This involves the torture of kids. Most christians will deny that these people ever heard of god or christianity to keep from being associated with them.

      • cleos_mom

        What I’m guessing is that we’ll see yet another example of the Fake Fillintheblank Syndrome; i.e., a member of a given group magically becoming “unreal” as soon as they say or do anything even embarrassing, let alone something ike this.

      • jmax

        They can deny and condemn, but the fact is they are still enabling this type of behavior by voting fellow “Christians” into office who use fear of Evil Secular Government to prevent changes to laws regarding regulation of home schooling. And they now have a champion for their cause in the office of Secretary of Education.

        • (((GC)))

          Correction to Ms. Devos’s title: Secretary of “Education”.

          After all, Popular Vote Loser did say that he loves the poorly educated….

          It is horrifying that more and more, this Rethuglican administration is siding with Christianist privilege above all else, even using HHS to help doctors and other medical professionals avoid doing their jobs if they feel reality imposes on their religious privilege.

          • jmax

            I used the scare quotes in an earlier post but forgot this time. I must be slipping 🙂

            Whatever happened to the adage, “Your rights end where my nose begins”? Practice your religion all you want, but when it comes to treating others as equal American citizens in the public sphere, leave your beliefs at the door.

        • JCF

          -ists.

    • gaycuckhubby

      No Christian group or organization or church will defend this.

      • clay

        . . . publicly.

        • gaycuckhubby

          I grew up in one of the strictest most controlling Christian religious groups in America. I can say with conviction that there is no Christian group who defends this type of torture

          • clay

            That household counts as their own fucked-up religious group, just as Westboro Baptist in Topeka, where the kids were sent on punishment runs and the boys beaten with ax handles.

          • gaycuckhubby

            Agreed, Clay

          • Lizard

            I wish I could agree, but remember Michael and Sharon Gravelle? They beat their children, tortured them, and forced them to sleep in cages made from wood and chicken wire. A lawyer from HSLDA, Scott Somerville, called Michael Gravelle a “hero.”

      • JCF

        Certainly as reported in this case, no one will. However, there ARE Fundamentalist “Spare the Rod/Spoil the Child” groups (w cult-y “experts”) who can easily slide from (indefensible, IMO) corporal punishment, to ever greater patterns of abuse [especially when combined w/ demon-obsessed Pentecostalism. You’re not punishing the human, just the demon inside them! Oh whoops, the human shell just stopped breathing…]

        As 12 Steppers say: “you’re only as sick as your secrets”. It’s the SECRETIVE nature of these cults—w/ no accountability to any larger PUBLIC body—that is the breeding ground for abuse. Corporal punishment + secretive environment = call CPS!

        • gaycuckhubby

          1,000 upvotes JCF!

  • Joe in PA

    If you home school, aren’t there tests etc? Some kind of government involvement? Seems like there were a lot things that failed these kids. So sad.

    • medaka

      I believe it varies state to state, and you can get away with using the bible as a history text.

      • Joe in PA

        Thanks. This is California…queue the right wingers….

        • (((GC)))

          …queue the right wingers…

          Yes, I’m sure right-wingers in every state are eagerly lining up and waiting for that kind of hands-off, utter lack of intervention, for being able to raise their children (read: “property”) exactly the way they see fit!

          (Sorrynotsorry, that was too good a typo to pass up.)

    • clay

      You (and I) are in PA, where Lancaster School District forced non-native English speakers out of high school into an inadequate home schooling on-line system. The state that paid Rick Santorum’s wife to home school their kids in Virginia. The state where home-schooled kids are exempt from the “mandatory state-wide” PSSA exams for HS graduation.

      • Gustav2

        Even one of Betsy DeVos’ favorite home schools in Ohio is in trouble:

        Sponsor votes unanimously to shut down ECOT

        http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180118/sponsor-votes-unanimously-to-shut-down-ecot

        Even the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow had a worse graduation rate than any inner city or poor rural district high school.

      • Joe in PA

        Fuuuuuuuccccckkkk. Pennsyltuckey. Damn. Thanks for the info…that sucks. So on a related note, in the Reading paper this am…a column about the tax “reform” package…the author reminded us of the 529 tax avoidance thing plan got amended to k-12 eligibility (Thank you Ted Cruz). Why not just disband the fucking public schools all together? They won’t be happy till they do.

    • iambu

      Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s really easy to get around those kinds of things. Sad indeed.

    • Treant

      In many states, not so much. As Clay noted, Pennsylvania is pretty bad. There are plenty worse.

      Interestingly, I’ve spoken with a few home-schoolers and they tend to vehemently resist any standards or testing, assuring me that they exceed any standards the government could set.

      Which is nonsensical; if you exceed those standards, proving that should be trivial.

      And the fact that they resist any inspection makes me realize that they need it all the more.

  • Tawreos

    I really want to hear their reasoning for treating their kids like this. I also hope this wakes up all the state governments so they can pass laws about homeschoolers needing to be checked in on on a regular basis to make sure the kids aren’t suffering more than being shackled with a homeschooled education.

    • Gretchen

      I may have the state confused, but if I recall correctly, it was the abuse case of Dave Pelzer in California that led to significant reforms in the child welfare department. Hopefully this case will bring about additional oversight for homeschooled children. If you are interested in reading more about Mr. Pelzer he wrote about his experiences in a series of books beginning with A Child Called It. I warn you ahead of time that it is an emotionally difficult read. This series was a huge factor in why I became a foster parent.

  • Jmdintpa

    i think we build a double electric chair special just for the both of them. ill pull the handle. im not usually at all a death penalty proponent. however for people who abuse children like this and where there is no question as to guilt…. then i have no issue at all with death for monsters like this.

    • Reality.Bites

      Bullshit.

      So sick of people who claim to be against the death penalty but then spew torture execution fantasies.

      You are either for it or not. And the fact that you’re fantasizing about special execution methods for people who are not even accused of a capital crime makes you no better than Donald Trump.

      I am not … but…

      The argument of people too cowardly to own their opinions.

      • leastyebejudged

        Give the state the power to kill, and you might be the next person it does it to.

      • Jmdintpa

        yeah im the same as donald trump… whatever. im a nazi. a republican, a whore, a christian, a jew… any other names… just because i think some people who do horrible deeds like this over time to children lose their right to exist and lose their humanity makes me bad and like trump in your eyes then guess what … choke on a dick and have a nice day

        • cleos_mom

          Compulsive use of ellipses doesn’t make your comment any more palatable.

      • gaycuckhubby

        I am firmly against the death penalty. Even here.

        • (((GC)))

          So am I. Killing the people who were absolute monsters to their children won’t heal the children.

    • Treant

      I’m relatively neutral on the death penalty, but admit that some cells are too cancerous to live.

      So yeah, I have no trouble pulling the switch, etc. in cases like this one. These cells? Pure cancer.

  • Reasoning101

    Charge them with moral Turpintude

  • Gigi

    Not guilty? The police found their children half starved to death and chained to beds, living in squalor. The 29-year-old was so undernourished that the police thought she was a young child. These people need to be locked up for the rest of their lives.

    • Reality.Bites

      And they will be, for the rest of what will likely be very short lives.

      But it is normal and standard to enter a not guilty plea. What else would they do? There’s not going to be a plea-bargain so no reason to plead guilty.

  • kelven

    My siblings and I were similarly abused, but no where near this level of length and depravity. One of the saddest things for me to learn as an adult survivor is not only how many children had it so much worse than us, but how widespread it is and continues to be.

    • leastyebejudged

      Come off it, this is hardly what anybody would call “widespread”.

      JFC.

      • Joe in PA

        You seem nice.

        • Leo

          He’s always like this on here. You know that.

          • DaddyRay

            I blocked him a while ago – absolutely provides no value to any conversation. He just likes to troll

          • Jmdintpa

            thanks for advising , what a shitty life a person like that must have

          • Joe in PA

            Oh I know, I was trying to make fun of him for that hateful comment.

          • Todd20036

            I’m almost afraid to ask what he said. I blocked him too

          • Joe in PA

            nothing that horrible (considering the source). He said abuse wasn’t “widespread”. Making a nasty comment to someone that had been abused. WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT?

        • Silver Badger

          This user is blocked seems like a jerk. That’s why he’s blocked.

        • Robincho

          If by “nice” you mean “illiterate douche”, then yes…

        • Butch

          That’s only the second time I’ve ever blocked someone. What a ridiculous comment.

      • Jmdintpa

        you must live someplace else. everyday you turn on the news and see some horror show of how a child was treated. usually it was a parent doing the abuse. this case is extreme only because of the number of kids. other than that you see this all the time.

        • ja ja ja ja…

          lestye, my dad was a judge for a long time. he said to me once, “you know what is the most common crime in america?” and of course i said no, i was just a teen, but he said “sexual abuse, including incest and children being abused.” i was like, ick that’s really gross. it’s…. everywhere. if we are peeling off the dead skin from the scab on this country’s honor that is our rape endemic? we can also begin to address the reality of the mistreatment of children in this country, often by those they are told to trust the most. wake up and do a little research. it’s hurtful to us survivors to hear people like you, who we generally respect, say, “oh, you’re not real!” just because we didn’t make your news reality.

          • JAKvirginia

            And now, let’s dig a little deeper shall we? Sexual abuse is a manifestation of deeper problems. And this country has many.

          • religion, patriarchy, capitalism and a history of slavery of the weak? did i miss anything?

          • umm–attempts at Indigenous genocide…just saying from the standpoint of an American Indian.

          • that was meant to be part of ‘slavery of the weak’ (there are a lot of First Nations folk in my family). genocide, enslavement for 400+ years, potato, potahto. i’m still working on a catchy way to say “White people really suck.”

          • and of course you know that the euros who came here tried to enslave the folks who were already here, and they died rather than let that happen. the poor africans who came over here chose a different path, and for that i’m grateful. but what a shitty time to be a west african. slavery all over the place, sigh. slavery is still real, there and here, jsyk.

            i am the result of several generations of runaways and ‘race’ mixers. nobody in my family on mom’s side is ‘pure.’ race is such a silly concept i can’t help but poke great holes in it whenever it is a relevant topic, just to remind the children that this is something they can completely let go, these days.

          • JAKvirginia

            Oh…. we could dish on this for hours, y’know? But it is a good start. 🙂

          • Annerdr

            Just the generalized people don’t handle power over other people well, i.e. religion, patriarchy, capitalism, slavery. We are better at peer relationships than we are at power dynamics.

      • kelven

        Perhaps it was my sentence structure but I wasn’t saying this level of extreme child abuse is widespread but that child abuse in general is widespread. That I stand by.

        • gaycuckhubby

          99.99% of us understood what you were saying

        • leastyebejudged

          Fair enough.

        • Treant

          Normal, intelligent people got that.

          Trolls I just blocked permanently apparently didn’t. 🙂

          • Lizard

            I just blocked him too. Had enough of his shit.

            Hey, LYBJ! At least two blocks today alone! Are you proud of yourself yet?!

          • Treant

            More like six so far. 🙂

          • Annerdr

            (Raises hand) seven!
            Anyone who thinks that the answer to someone’s personal story of child abuse is to say “Well, child abuse doesn’t happen often” isn’t worth talking to.

          • Robincho

            Don’t you mean “at LEST two blocks”? You were dealing with a drooling, illiterate fuckhole. How cool that you’ve freed up just that much more of your time…

        • Todd20036

          You’re trying to talk sense to a troll. Not worth the effort.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        Blocked

        Just for perennially being a dick. About everything.

      • hdtex
        • DaddyRay

          To a Troll that is considered an upvote

          • Gerry Fisher

            Ya know…these days, it’s really important that we all understand that, given the level of trolling that’s going on.

      • anne marie in philly

        FUCK YOU!

      • Wow. How tone deaf do ya gotta be.

    • gaycuckhubby

      I’m so sorry you were abused. I applaud your strength

    • Gigi

      My brothers and I were abused as well. How are you doing now? It took me a long time to get where I am currently. I deal with it by compartmentalizing the pain and trying to be thankful for the life that I’ve got today. A life that I built for myself, and filled with people who love, respect and care for me.

      • TuuxKabin

        And your sense of humor. Much appreciated. Sorry to find that out, Gigi, but like I said, your sense of humor appears to have gotten you thru as well.

        • Gigi

          Thanks for your kind words. 💓

      • JP

        I was abused as well. Didn’t realize how traumatizing it could be until I started dating and kept ending up with abusive men. Took me the last go around to realize i was attracting what i was unconsciously used to and seeking.

        • Sadly, this is a foundational understanding of Family Therapy, where people keep repeating “mistakes” in the hopes of “this time it will work out right.” In full disclosure, when I was being trained as a psychologist, I was taught, “People become Family Therapists to create the perfect families they never had.” You discover there are no “perfect families.”

          • JP

            After my last breakup, I attempted to have a conversation with my mom. It took less than 3 minutes for her to get ny pressure up. Thats when I realized all 4 of my abusers(each one increasing in severity of abuse) were just carbon copies of my mom. I was used to the treatment so i tolerated it and i also thought i could fix it. Oddly enough, they were all abused children.

          • CanuckDon

            Not to pry but was your mother abused as a child?

          • JP

            I honestly dont kmow. She was one of 8 kids and none of them are close and she never talks about growing up much.

          • CanuckDon

            It could be a pattern. There is a really wonderful book called “Hauntings” by Jame Hollis (a great mind and one of my most treasured authors) that covers the topic of family dynamics from generation to generation and how all of that can be responsible for our life choices and narratives.

          • jmax

            Makes me wonder about the mother of these 13 children. When I read that she was “perplexed” by the police questioning, it made me think that she has known nothing different her entire life and doesn’t understand that everyone’s life isn’t like hers. Not excusing her behavior, but it is sad.

          • zhera

            Well, if she’s brainwashed then she’s as much a victim as her kids. It’s harder to find sympathy for someone who have been part of the abuse but really, if she’s a victim then I really feel sorry for her when she’s brought back to reality.

          • NowAnAgnostic

            When this story first broke, I read somewhere that she was 16 when they married, and are both from the same town in West Virginia. I believe one of the grandparents is still in West Virginia, and called the home her grandchildren lived in “a good Christian home.”

          • jmax

            I know I shouldn’t stereotype, but when you mentioned they come from the same town in West Virginia, my first thought was, “..and probably from the same family”.

          • NowAnAgnostic

            Well, I didn’t think that, but did think poor education and christian. I was hesitant to mention West Virginia as I thought that might be taken as stereotyping, but then you can’t avoid a fact–unless you are a repugnican.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Controlling men, WANT to marry young wives. And it’s legal in many states. Phil Robertson so much as said that young girls make good wives for that reason.
            Why some Christians think HIM a bastion of rectitude and morality, I’ll never know.
            But there it is.
            And this is why the laws that allow men to marry GIRLS, were never attacked so vigorously as gay couples and the laws that have allowed gay adults to marry each other.

          • JP

            Not always the case. My ex that was hitting me for years was 4 years younger than me. All of his exes had been a minimum of 2 years older than him. In fact, he hated even attempting to date younger men. I guess he got his rocks off by dominating men that were older although he made sure there was a huge size difference everytime.

          • I would often be asked, when I would have clients/patients (patients get meds, clients don’t–it’s an insurance distinction) who were abusers–“How can you stand working with people like that?” And it was because in almost every case, they had been abused when they were young. It’s like those nested Russian dolls.This doesn’t mean that if you’ve been abused, you’ll automatically become an abuser. People respond in different ways. In working with adults who had different types of challenges in their families of origin, you often find the “invulnerable one,” where you’d never know what a terrible past they survived. These were the ones who would have some sort of emotional support, which could have been as simple as telling them, “You have a right to feel the way you do. Your emotional response is your own, and it’s honest.” That might have come from a librarian or a janitor–not a family member. Most dysfunctional families train you to believe what you feel is “wrong, bad, stupid, or crazy.” Dysfunctional families also frequently produce “the perfect child,” or at least an adult who has tried all their life to be “perfect,” because, maybe–just maybe, if they were perfect enough, mom wouldn’t get drunk, or dad wouldn’t beat mom, or nobody would reject you when they found out you were gay.

            As therapists, we often find people from abusive families marrying/partnering an abuser, because it all feels so “familiar/normal.”

            As you discovered, it’s a real revelation to suddenly become conscious of the patterns that you’ve been repeating.

          • JP

            My abuse as a child made me empathetic as I had to be able to read my moms moods to know which eggshells to walk on. My last abuser grew up in a prominent political family. His dad was like the male Maxine Waters back in the 90’s. He knew his son was gay at an early age and always tried to change him via abuse. Now all of the political influence and money is gone and they are normal people now and I don’t think they ever adjusted to that. Therefore, the ex was an asshole at times and I knew why which is why it made it easy to tolerate. He was trying to become his dad and I was trying to fix my mom. It was a perfectly hellish match for 5 years.

        • Adam Schmidt

          I was lucky and broke the cycle early. My dad didn’t physically abuse me so much as verbally. Every day I was told what a waste I was, such a disappointment, how I was a failure. When I finally got out, I was unprepared. I floundered for years before getting my life together and during that time I dated a guy just like dear old dad. Except Bobby hit me. Finally one night I got out and I realized that I knew it had been bad. I knew that I was in an abusive relationship and I had stayed anyway.

          So I found counselling because I never wanted to be in that situation again where I knew I was in a bad place and stayed in it. And that’s so fucking hard because by that point you feel you deserve it, or at least that you don’t deserve better than that. And climbing out of that hole means unpacking years upon years of abuse and shame and self-hatred to try to find something better.

          But compared to these kids I had it easy. I can’t imagine what it’s going to take to get their lives together and become even just functional.

          • JP

            My mom was a controller who would yell, scream, and hit when she couldnt control you. The first 3 were controlling and emotionally abusive. The last one, which lasted 5 years, took over my life to the point i felt his physical abuse wasnt that bad because we were both men. Abusers are monsters. How could someone hurtbtheir child.

          • Adam Schmidt

            I can’t speak in general…. I’ve had close to 30 years as an adult to try to figure out my father and why he did the things he did. I recognize my OCD in him… although where I’ve learned to understand and manage mine, it ruled him (still does for that matter). Part I think is because his father died when he was still very young. His mother was a Liechtensteiner Catholic immigrant with a very German view of discipline. Take that and my father’s time in the seminary followed by a tour in the Marines and discipline was all he understood. And love… well that wasn’t expressed openly in his family so he was unequipped to express it towards others even when he felt it.

            There’s some other stuff going on such as deliberately repressing memories that he’s uncomfortable with. He legitimately doesn’t remember most of the things that he did to my sister and I and when we bring them up, he says we’re lying and doesn’t understand why we’re trying to hurt him. My mother remembers the incidents though and all she can say is that he doesn’t remember them. It’s not real to him. Try standing up to your abuser when they don’t even remember what they’ve done. I want to yell and tell him how much he hurt me… and all that would do is hurt him without fixing a damn thing. So I do my best to let it go.

          • JP

            This is why I think, in a way, Trump has been in the spotlight. Narcissism is a disorder that people usually just think is a synonym for vanity. My mom denies, and turns everything around on you. She does something outlandish towards you, it’s your fault. You bring up a promise or something she said and she denies it. She says the most insulting things possible and uses her “old lady” (she’s 68) card to get out of it. My last ex, every single piece of violence, I did something to make him to it. He always accused me of lying when he was the one lying. He would expertly set up scenarios in front of his friends/family designed to push my buttons and make me look crazy so people thought I deserved the abuse. I thought I deserved it since I was used to it. The funny thing is, he put me out after finding out I had been calling DV hotlines and I was actually depressed for months that I was out of a situation where I was being abused. FUnny how that works.

          • Dana Chilton

            You’re a big guy, he’s very lucky you didn’t hit him back

          • Adam Schmidt

            I wasn’t then. Back then I was 5’8″ and about 130#. And I’ve always like big guys… Bobby was 6′ and around 300#. Hitting back was the last thing on my mind at the time.

          • JP

            I’m 5’6 140lbs. He was 6’1, 250lbs. Fighting back would have most assured I would have landed in a hospital.

      • kelven

        Overall, I’m fine. I hate to sound so bandwagon about it, but these kind of events are triggering. A lot comes up. Mostly as I said sadness. It breaks my heart because I see my self and my siblings and the fallout from an event 40+ years in the past that still occurs. My sister’s physical health is starting to decline from years of taking lithium to deal with her bipolar disorder. She never really has recovered.

        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          Mine either. Recently discussed with another sister is that it’s like she died, yet there was no funeral.

    • Todd20036

      The hardest part is “forgiving” yourself for “letting it happen”.

      That’s not how it actually worked, but the mind is a funny thing.

      Be strong, and know that you have a logical family who loves you, even if you have a biological family that was messed up

      • JP

        The hardest part about this is that it was moreso my friends and family that made it feel like I allowed it to happen. Aside from maybe my best friend, it was as though everyone was judging me for having stayed. There was no empathy or compassion. It was like “oh, you let that dude lay his hand son you…you must be stupid.”

    • evan_or

      Me too – for ten long years. It took six full years of therapy to not hate myself. My heart breaks for them.

  • Dagoril

    Fucking Christians again. The cult needs to be outlawed.

  • Tawreos

    He was also charged with performing a lewd act on a child under 14. I am betting that once they start really talking to these kids he is going to get a lot more charges of that nature.

    • Harveyrabbit

      I’m also wondering about the odds of having so many girls and so few boys. I’m willing to bet the mother had abortions if the fetuses were male so daddy could have more little girls to play with.

      • clay

        I’m afraid that it might not have been abortions.

        • Harveyrabbit

          Good point.

      • OdieDenCO

        oh no, abortions are evil. but bashing children against rocks is godly. check the basement & back yard

      • Tawreos

        I still think they need to be checking the yards of places they used to live in with cadaver dogs.

        • medaka

          That is horrible. And a very distinct possibility.

        • Mb

          I’m surprised that none of the reporters asked that question of the DA.

      • Natty Enquirer

        Naw, they just drowned ’em in the toilet.
        /s

        • I know you meant that as pure snark, but I wouldn’t put it past them to have killed their baby boys.

          • jmax

            Although that would put them at odds with the usual men-are-more-important-than-women bullshit that extreme Evangelical Christians believe.

      • madknits

        It can happen. In the 60s, I lived next door to a family with 10 kids. Only three were boys, and seven girls. This was long before abortion was legal, and all of these kids went to public school, eight of them graduating from high school, a few going to college, and most into the military.

      • wineflask

        Boy babies are less strong healthwise than girl babies. If you seriously mistreat them (e.g. withholding appropriate food/medical care), chances are higher they die.

    • Lizard

      Apparently hundreds of journals by the kids have been recovered. I guess they had to learn to read and write to memorize scripture.

      It is completely mind-boggling that they’re pleading not guilty.

      • The_Wretched

        The not guilty plea is pro-forma. It doesn’t have a lot of meaning.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Apparently and somehow, there are years and years of journals written by the kids

      • Tawreos

        Nice of the parents to let the kids catalog the abuse they see around them.

  • RaygunsGoZap

    I’m against profiling. That said, I think if you’re an adult male with that haircut the police should be able to search your property at will. There is always something with them!

  • Cuberly Deux

    But wouldn’t this fall under the “deeply held beliefs” excuse? I mean everything the parents did appears to be part of their religion. So how can they be considered guilty?

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Jeffy Sessions to the rescue!

      • Cuberly Deux

        Yep, sounds only fair.

        I mean who are we to be so intolerant of their “beliefs”?

    • minidriver

      spare rod spoil child mumble mumble

      • (((GC)))

        Maybe that injunction was supposed to be to spare the rod, and to spoil the child! After all, many religious believers hold that the kid too is made in God’s image.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    Children in this country are basically treated like parents’ furniture with so many parents refusing to give them medical care based on science, beating the crap out of them, failing to educate them so they can function in society and the parents face little or no punishment. Children need to be recognized as having rights and not just be seen as having to tolerate the intolerable from the adults just because the adults spawned them.

    • leastyebejudged

      Lets make all children wards of the state, that would solve the “widespread problem”.

    • clay

      The US has refused to sign on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, claiming that rights to an education are only at the state level in the US, and that there ought to be no right to health care.

      • zhera

        “Leader of the world” USA.

    • StevenMN

      Hold on fella. You’re painting with a very broad brush. The US certainly has its problems but in the larger scheme of things does a fair job of protecting children. What’s so horrifying is that a family like this can go undetected in the US. What’ the answer… government home inspections? Western industrialized nations are light years ahead of many developing countries in trying to protect children. Even our biggest trading partner, China, only gives lip service to ending child labor or child sex trafficing.

      • chrisl

        when the police find a pedophile they usually check his electronics, in this case check his churches congregation

        • Lizard

          I have a feeling this guy did “home church.” If they went to a church, someone else in the congregation might have noticed that his 29-year-old daughter looked 13 and weighed 82 pounds. These kids must have been isolated entirely to not know what police or medicine are.

          • chrisl

            I hope you are correct, that would be good news.

      • Lizard

        Right, because there’s nothing between zero oversight that allows this kind of abuse and “government home inspections.”

        How about a doctor’s visit every year to make sure kids aren’t being beaten and starved? Is that too much to ask?

    • California could certainly start with regularly inspecting religious focused home-schooling.

  • safari

    I know it sounds outrageous, but you pretty much have to plead not guilty initially because of how our system works.

    • Blake Mason

      Interesting… how/why so?

      • safari

        It’s an adversarial system, so the first round involves charges and evidence from mostly the prosecutor’s side. From a defendants point of view, this can dramatically affect sentencing. The trial is like a response to that initial charge where the defense gets an opportunity to respond. So even if they are guilty as all get-out, unless there is a plea deal, it’s almost always best to go to trial in what I’ve seen.

  • j.martindale

    The president of some evangelical Bible “college” fails to notice his dozen nieces and nephews have been imprisoned for years? They have stunted growth. Lovely family you got there! Why am I not at all surprised that religious fanaticism is at work in this horror story?

    • clay

      If I had my way, I’d have had nothing to do with one of my brothers for the last 35 years.

    • Tawreos

      He had to make sure god’s ass was properly kissed which doesn’t leave much time for worrying about the welfare of actual people.

    • Tomcat

      It does say he was a estranged brother, could be estranged from their youth.

    • Duck

      I have more or less been estranged from my Father for nearly 10 years. I found out through my Sister recently that he had moved across the country, had no clue, I still don’t know the town he lives in. I don’t know if his third wife is still alive. That said, I would be shocked and dismayed to discover that he had done something heinous.

      I have no issue with the brother not knowing or being aware of the goings on of his estranged relatives. Particularly since they live across the country from each other.

      • -M-

        Pending evidence to the contrary. However, the grandparents who were mentioned have some explaining to do.

    • cleos_mom

      You’d be surprised at what people who are outsiders in their own families don’t know. I didn’t know about a brother-in-law who was an alcoholic until after he passed on, and was generally always the last to be told about anything. Even then, it was an accidental mention more often than not.

      • BlueJew

        I’m estranged from my family of origin because of narcissism and abuse. I found out one of my siblings was dead by reading the obituaries in the hometown newspaper online. I wasn’t mentioned in the writeup as a surviving family member, or at all. As my husband said, “It’s like you don’t exist anymore.”

        • cleos_mom

          I had a similar experience last year, when I found out about my other BIL’s passing via a Facebook post. Not a Facebook message — that would be equivalent to a telegram or handwritten note in the old days — an emeffing Facebook post. I’d known this man for a little over 50 years.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I have an estranged brother. I have no idea what he’s up to.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Hoam skooling maykes Amairka grate agen.

    • motordog

      It sure makes good republikans!

  • motordog

    Hmm…I wonder what the xtians have to say about this?

    “…and we are praying for the full recovery of all involved.”

    Well, that’s THAT sorted, I suppose. After all, what more can they do? /s

    • gaycuckhubby

      They can say this is not represent their religion or their teachings. And they would be right

      • motordog

        Perhaps…but their actions after having this revealed is COMPLETELY in line with their teachings…or at least how they treat every other single scandal religion is tied to. Pray, ignore, forget…rinse repeat.

      • edrex

        unless of course, it does.

    • JCF

      This Episcopalian is going to contact my California legislators, to get laws re homeschools TIGHTENED. If these fuckers had had to have a State INSPECTION, this couldn’t have happened. [And CPS undoubtedly needs more money/more caseworkers, too.]

  • TuuxKabin

    Besides the usual dolt in this thread defending the faith, where are the usual defenders of the blind faith?

  • I’m waiting for the plea of “religious freedom.”

    • chrisl

      I’m waiting for them to find the children of other members of this church.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Good people of the Muslim faith should not be asked to condemn terrorist attacks. It’s insulting.
    Good people of the Hindu Faith should not he asked to condemn honor killings. It’s insulting.
    Good people in the LGBT community should not be asked to condemn the Toronto serial killer. It’s insulting
    good people of the Christian faith should not be asked to condemn this. It’s insulting

    • Natty Enquirer

      Are you using a speech-to-text converter?

      • gaycuckhubby

        Lol. I was. Going back to edit

    • BobSF_94117

      Uh, why condemn terrorist attacks and defend honor killings?

      And, for what it’s worth, I do condemn the Toronto serial killer. Don’t you?

      • gaycuckhubby

        1) because my typing sucks

        2) yes, i do. But think it’s insulting to be asked to

    • JCF

      I simply don’t recognize that—besides sharing a book (maybe: Christianist translations are often suspect) and a couple of syllables, /ˈdʒiːzəs/ —I don’t have anything in common w/ Christianists.

  • Friday

    And of course the Christianists try to deny anything they did was wrong… More right wing “Religious freedom” claims, maybe?

  • BeaverTales

    Strange how silent the “Every child needs a mother and father” crowd has been about this case.

    Dr. Randy Turpin — brother of accused child-torturer David Turpin — is on sabbatical from Valor Christian College while he deals with “revelations about estranged family members,”

    I’m currently visiting my hometown, about 20-40 miles away from several large communities of quiverfull homeskooling “Nutjobs for Jebus” -communities that routinely provide jobs and cover for people like these. My mom lives an hour drive from these people.

    This is likely why “no one noticed anything”.

    My mother has been noting how the local media has been strenuously avoiding any discussion of the religious views of the Turpins, except to note that the kids were required to memorize the Bible ever since the story broke.

    Harvest Christian Fellowship is the California branch of the VCC church, and I’m guessing the estrangement was due to some religious squabble. This is what I could find on the interwebz about Harvest Christian Fellowship. I hope someone preserves the content before they scrub their website of their ideological bullshite:

    http://www.harvest.org/church/about.html
    https://www.valorcollege.edu/assets/pdf/VCC-StudentHandbook_2013-2014.pdf
    http://cmc.rodparsley.com/definitionofmarriage.aspx

    My personal guess is this: VCC is probably working on a theory that the parents were undermined by the same demons who invented gay marriage, awaiting the VCC brother’s hastily published confirmatory book that the dad wouldn’t attend church-proscribed gay reparative therapy sessions while growing up, and that he and his insufficiently repentant lesbian wife were hiding their infertile marriage by adopting the kids of Christian heterosexuals and turning them into mindless minions of Satan…just like the gay community has obviously done to the minds of everyone in the secular world who disagrees with their church.

    • cleos_mom

      Sounds plausible to me. Fanatics can rationalize anything.

    • (((GC)))

      “Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind.” So the god Harvest Christian Fellowship believes in not only has no concept of logic, but is a cosmic bully and an utter asshole. (Bolding is motherfucking mine. I’ve waited to be able to say that! 🙂

    • (((GC)))

      (eta) Made sure all three were saved at archive.is .

      The Valor College student handbook is a gem.

      “Students will refrain from public displays of affection anywhere….

      • Never be in a home/apartment alone with a member of the opposite sex.
      • Remain outside the home of the person you are seeing when parents or a sufficient number of adults (five or more) are not home.
      • If a person you are dating is living away from home with a roommate, you are still required to wait outside even if the roommate is present.
      • Never allow yourself to be in a position where couples can “pair up.”
      • ALL sleepovers involving males and females will result in automatic disciplinary action including possible dismissal from the college.
      • The goal of dating should be to cultivate friendships and other social relationships, not to fulfill desires of the flesh in isolated places.”

      (So it’s perfectly OK for a guy to be alone with a guy, or a woman with a woman, since members of the same gender never have “desires of the flesh” for each other! 🙂 Judging from that student handbook, LGB folks, like many of us who read JMG, simply don’t exist! Guess I don’t have to worry about paying that health insurance bill….)

      (ETA: they clearly don’t consider students 18 or over to be “adults” here, consistent with their in-loco-parentis-style micromanagement of clothing, living arrangements, movies and music, and so forth….)

      “If a student brings a movie that is rated ‘R’ or ‘X’ into the Residence Halls, the movie will be confiscated…. Music containing profanity, or is sexually explicit or has violent lyrics should not be listened to and is not permitted on campus, even in the privacy of your dorm room.”

    • (((GC)))

      How interesting that according to Rod Parsley’s “Center for Moral Clarity”, Windsor and Obergefell never happened, and same-sex marriage never became the law of the land, available in all 50 states and recognized by the federal government.

      (“…we must bombard heaven with prayers and intercessions for our nation…” Maybe your god wanted equal marriage, and saw that it was good. Live with it!)

      And “stay ignorant, just don’t have sex until you’re married” cures all ills. And pigs can fly.
      http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/409-the-truth-about-abstinence-only-programs

  • WNY

    That was totally uncalled for. Not cool. Telling fellow members of the JMG community to kill themselves is flirting with getting banned from this site altogether.

    • jeffg166

      Don’t feed the trolls.

    • Todd20036

      He said that? He SHOULD be banned from this site.
      What a fucking garbage person

    • Bad Tom

      Indict him to Disqus. Threatening language is a TOS violation.

    • (((GC)))

      Echoing Todd, LYBJ said *what*? I had him blocked, but am temporarily unblocking him to add my own report. (edit) Flagged, reported, and reblocked.

  • Bj Lincoln

    As a teacher of kids with behavioral and learning issues, I saw the damage so-called parents can and will do. The worst case I came across was a boy who was found chained in a dark basement naked and alone. He had spent his young life like an animal. He ate and growled like one. I met him at age 10. We got along beautifully and he looked forward to my visits. One day I showed up and he was absent. When I asked why the teacher burst into tears so we went out into the hall. The child wanted a muffin in a store and through such a fit they couldn’t stop him. He had to be sedated and was sent to a residential program. That is so much worse than a loving home but the foster parents could not handle his problems with other kids to look after. So many times I sat in my car and cried. I wanted to scoop up so many of them and show them what a life of love, learning and laughter was.

    • medaka

      Bj, you are A Good Person.

      My love and gratitude to you.

      • Bj Lincoln

        Thank you hon.

    • jmax

      My partner is a teacher who is assigned most of the special needs third graders in his school. It takes a special kind of heart and patience to teach kids with learning difficulties. Thanks to all of you for making the world a less sucky place.

      • Bj Lincoln

        Thank you. It was so much better than the private or religious schools I got now and then. It was like teaching robots. I think I just liked the rush of creativity and a little chaos. 🙂

  • JackFknTwist

    Wow, you really are a bad mannered oaf.

  • 2guysnamedjoe
  • cleos_mom

    In addition to the horrifying details, this is just baffling. I can’t imagine what ‘reason’, if you could even call it that, those parents will come up with. IMO if they’d produced 13 kids there had to be something wrong with them to begin with.

  • hdtex
  • Lizard

    I was going to write a snarky comment about how great it is that they’ll get the maximum sentence for pleading not guilty and being convicted (which they will be), but then I got to here:

    “The Valor Christian College community joins with millions of Americans who are shocked and saddened by these terrible stories from California and we are praying for the full recovery of all involved…”

    FUCK YOU. “Praying for the full recovery of all involved”? 1) Those adults will never recover. The younger ones might have a chance, if they’re placed in good, loving homes, but the adults? They have no education, no job skills, no socialization. They will probably never fully recover. 2) “Praying” won’t do them a lick of fucking good. They need long-term professional psychiatric care, and even that can only do so much. 3) This abuse was only able to continue for so long because rabid Christian homeschooling advocates like HSLDA have made even basic oversight (like seeing a goddamn doctor every year to make sure kids aren’t being chained to beds and starved) a complete non-starter.

    Fuck. Him.

    • Hank

      I try not to comment on the INSANITY, that I read about Christians and their practices and beliefs, nor any other religion, but my own. However, the fact, that the brother of the father (estranged or not) is a President of a Christian College, and he had NO Knowledge of the BARBARITY is unfathomable!!!

      • Lizard

        As long-distance communication becomes cheaper, it becomes harder and harder to fathom how the family couldn’t know. Apparently the grandparents tried to visit multiple times and were turned away at the airport in tears. I guess they could have called CPS, but what would the report say? “Our kid won’t let us see our grandkids”? CPS would probably see it as a long-term domestic dispute and dismiss it. Plus, even if they were worried, I doubt anyone would think their kid capable of this kind of depravity.

      • -M-

        I’m willing to assume, for now, that he’s had no substantial contact with them for many years. I want to hear about those grandparents and why they did nothing.

        • Lizard

          See my comment above. The grandparents were allegedly repeatedly turned away at the airport. Any call to CPS would probably be dismissed as a long-term domestic dispute. They might have assumed the grandparents had been abusive to the parents and the parents were trying to shield their children from same; abusive parents have used CPS to “get even” with their children in the past. Either way, no inspection would be assured.

          • -M-

            Well that’s a dumb system. Authorities don’t have to take someone’s word or side to go check that nobody is living shackles.

          • Gretchen

            I briefly worked for Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services. It was the most emotionally taxing job I have ever had, and I washed out in 6 months, but I learned a lot about how the system works. In TN, if someone calls in a suspicion of abuse even anonymously, someone from the Child Protective Services unit will at a minimum make an inquiry and lay eyes on the child to confirm his or her wellbeing. I just have to assume the grandparents either had their heads deeply in the sand or were at a minimum morally complicit by failing to ensure those children were safe. I suppose one other option is that the grandparents were not familiar enough with the social services system and signs of abuse to know that they needed to call.

          • Lizard

            I don’t disagree.

      • madknits

        I have not spoken to my estranged brother in over 10 years. I have absolutely no idea what goes on at or in or near his house. Since I haven’t seen my nephew since he was six, I was quite surprised to learn he was a freshman at university this year. I find it entirely believable that the brother didn’t know what was going on in that house.

        • Gretchen

          I’m estranged from my biological father. He’s been missing for several years. Even though I have no idea where he is, I KNOW him. I know he is busy conning some poor unsuspecting older woman out of her life savings. That bothers me, and I would try to stop him (again) if I could find him. I’m sure the brother had no idea things were this bad, but I don’t trust him to be much better considering he’s a religious nutter too.

          • Lizard

            I’m terrified that the minors will go to the brother.

      • Gretchen

        My concern is that the brother will be given guardianship over these children and even the adults. As sad as it is to say, right now they are far better off with the state supervising their welfare for now.

    • Randy503

      Not to mention the long term physical problems. Growing up malnourished is going to give them a lot of problems that i can’t even imagine.

      • Lizard

        Apparently some of the older kids have permanent nerve damage from malnutrition.

        I hate the fucking universe right now.

  • kcken

    There’s a huge difference between an educator or a well educated parent wanting to homeschool their kids vs these Bible thumping inbreds who teach only scripture.

    I thought homeschooling was only allowed with approved curriculum and regular checks.

    What happened here?

    • Lizard

      What happened here? Parent’s rights activists (masquerading under “religious freedom,” because of course they are) have funneled a metric shit-ton of money in blocking even basic oversight to homeschooling. To give you a feel for their priorities, they also continue to oppose the US ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

      And before anyone bitches that I just hate homeschooling and want it banned, I was homeschooled for a few years myself by two highly educated parents to catch up socially, then put back in public school.

      • jmax

        And now they have a Secretary of “Education” who is enabling the worst of these abusers. I know this was happening before she took office, but I wish they should throw DeVos in jail along with these parents.

        • The_Wretched

          ^this

          People like these parents aren’t ‘bad apples’ in a vacuum. They are supported and get away with it for longer due to the intentional policies and efforts of the DeVos family and others with money and power.

      • The guy incorporated his house as a school to utilize a loophole and have absolutely no oversight.

        • Lizard

          Of course. I doubt someone who starved and beat his children would draw the line at unethical legal practices.

          • https://nypost.com/2018/01/18/horror-house-that-doubled-as-private-school-was-never-inspected/

            The squalid California home where authorities say 13 children were tortured and imprisoned by their parents was never inspected by local fire marshals — despite requirements compelling them to do so because it doubled as a private school.
            […]
            “The Turpins failed to contact the City of Perris regarding the operation of the school and never sought a business license from the City,” a spokesman told NBC. The state recommends “private home-based school operators check with local authorities regarding local business licenses but does not mandate fire inspections.”

            Yeeeeep. That’s a huge crack for abusive families to slip through.

          • Lizard

            I keep checking for a statement from HSLDA after the international media attention this story has gotten. Abusive Christian parents homeschooling their kids to keep them in the bubble and away from mandatory reporters? This is right up their alley.

            I haven’t found one. (If someone else has and I’ve missed it, let me know.) I figure even they are having trouble rationalizing this one.

          • The_Wretched

            Taxes pay for civilization. That include basic safety inspections. Boring topic but it’d catch the worst abuses like this case. They aren’t taken nearly seriously enough.

          • Lizard

            Don’t be silly, Wretched. Taxes are for a billionaire’s fourth yacht.

    • The HSLDA happened. They have a large war chest and fight vigorously any and all attempts at states placing oversight on homeschooling.

  • Bj Lincoln

    While the younger children may escape with little scars, the older ones will always be dealing with flashbacks. They will also never catch up the their potential, education or even emotional stability. The oldest may never leave a residential program. I hope these ‘parents’ rot in prison trapped with a cell mate that kicks their ass every day.

    • -M-

      And the children have been physically stunted by years of starvation imposed on them by the parents. Police said the 17yo who escaped and called them looked like a ten year old, that the adult children looked like minors. They have all kinds of damage that can’t be undone. There’s no punishment harsh enough for the parents or anyone who should have reported them.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Christian Sadists.
    Full Stop

    • JCF

      -ist.

  • Randy503

    Uh, I thought wearing white was for the bride only.

  • Josh Workman

    So…how long till they say that god told them to?

  • The_Wretched

    The wife looks nearly dead. Breeding like a rabbit will do that to a human. We aren’t really designed to have that many children.

    • cleos_mom

      Supposedly Margaret Sanger was motivated by the death of her mother. She’d technically died of tuberculosis, but her health had already been wrecked via 18 pregnancies, 11 of which she carried to term.

  • Luther Kreiger

    let me guess, “freedom of religion” defense?

    • Lizard

      Undoubtedly.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Oh that’s a block, leastyebefucked !

  • The_Wretched

    Flagged for threatening.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    They didn’t know what police were.
    They didn’t know what medicine is.

    Jesus fuck!

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    13 kids.

    That we know of.

    • Lizard

      I’m waiting with dread for a very different headline about what cadaver dogs might find on their current and former properties.

      I really, really hope it doesn’t come.

    • GanymedeRenard

      Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar

  • Winky

    So I have been told that gays can’t be good parents because we lack morals and we would just end up having sex with them. Good parents consist of one mom and one dad. This union ordained by god will produce successful children!

    How’s that working out here?

  • anne marie in philly

    execute these muthafuckas NOW!

    • Tempus Fuggit

      No, throw them each in an old-fashioned gaol—however big a hole each of them can dig with a shovel between sunup and sundown on one day—shackle them to a corner, throw down a pan they can use for drinking and toileting, anchor an iron grate over the top, walk away, and maybe arrange to have someone think about throwing down some maggotty meat or six-day-old oatmeal every week or so. They deserve to suffer for a very, very long time.

      • anne marie in philly

        ooooooh, I like this idea better!

  • This is the very reason why religious views shouldn’t be enshrined in secular law. HSLDA fights against any law to have oversight of homeschooled children. The HSLDA claims oversight is an infringement of their parental rights. Never ever a mention of children’s rights!
    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org

  • GanymedeRenard

    But they were heterosexually married and had a family like gawd intended! Isn’t that in the children’s best interest? /s

  • M Jackson

    I was always sure that they had a perfectly good explanation for the whole thing.

    • bzrd

      food is very expensive

  • -M-

    O/T PSA
    Some of M’s thoughts on blocking and reporting trolls.

    Report abuse, terms of service violations and spam to Joe and/or disqus instead of just blocking them. Otherwise you’re just ignoring them while they abuse other people and/or Joe’s platform. [I could suggest a few I think should be banned, but the feedback we give Joe will be better if we set our own limits rather than acting as a mob.]

    There’s a drop down across from the name and avatar here on the discussions that lets you “flag as inappropriate”, this should inform disqus and Joe. If you click on the name or avatar on someone’s comment you can see their disqus profile. Even if their history is private there’s three dots under the name that let you block or report. Reporting there presumably skips informing site owners like Joe.

    Threats, harassment and bannable language here should be reported through the menu here so that Joe is informed too. I don’t know if there’s any point reporting the Range Rover spam ladies to Joe, they seem to post their spiel a couple hundred times quickly in the middle of the night then abandon that account. So even if you catch them right away they’ve probably moved on long before Joe’s awake. Still might as well let disqus know though. People who are just annoying or rude to you but not really harassing or trolling you can block without reporting.

    You might as well downvote offensive comments too just in case it does some good.

    • (((GC)))

      When abuse looks like something both the site owner and Disqus should know about, I tend to both flag it on the blog and report it on the person’s Disqus profile. (It lets you do both.)

      Not sure of the details of how the R-ange Ro-ver s-pamme-rs (now with new improved hyp-hens!) work, but their chameleon accounts seem to retain stats like 99 posts and 8 upvotes, or whatever. As you said, they latch onto popular replies in the middle of the night; if enough of us flag the spam, it automatically becomes “This comment is awaiting moderation.”

      (And ditto for hate speech, I believe.)

    • TampaDink

      I agree with your approach & have been using the report option several times today on a specific user, who thinks nothing of repeatedly telling others here to kill themselves.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        It seems to enjoy being a total pos.

        • TampaDink

          Apparently so, I hope that it gets help but suspect that it is a sociopath who thrives on stirring shit.

  • ClevelandJim

    Kinda makes you wonder if she’s the actual mother of all the children.

  • Piet

    Asking a stupid question now: What’s going on with the photo where the mother’s in what looks like a wedding dress, all the girls are in the same plaid, and all the men are in suits? Were the parents “renewing their vows” or were they just getting married, or what?

    • Lizard

      Apparently they renewed their vows at regular intervals.

  • JCF

    All 13 of the children have first names that start with the letter “J,”

    Just like the Duggars (has there been a welfare check on them lately? There’s already a history of abuse there!).

  • Not guilty by virtue of “sincerely held religious beliefs,” of course. That is where the so-called “religious liberty” movement and republican party is taking us.

    I want to add that to all the folks who shared their own experiences here, my heart goes out to you. And I wish you healing. I thought I went through a difficult childhood and adolescence. It was a walk in the park compared to such abuses.

    • infmom

      I doubt it will be long before that “defense” is trotted out.