The Turpins – This is What Homeschooling to Hide Abuse Look Like

Photo from Facebook altered to keep the children unidentifiable.
Photo from Facebook altered to keep the children unidentifiable.

On Monday morning we all woke up to a story in the news of a California family that had been abusing their children. Sunday one of the Turpin children managed to get away and called local law enforcement. When the police arrived what they found were some of the other 12 children in the family shackled to their beds in a dark foul-smelling home.

The children were all emaciated, malnourished to the point where the 7 adult children appeared to be no older than teens and preteens. The police officers involved made sure to get all of them fed immediately, saying the victims said they were starving. All were removed from the family home and taken to local hospitals in the

I’ve been watching and waiting on the reveals of this terrible story, thinking that there was a high possibility that David and Louise Turpin, the parents, had to be some sort of Quiverfull family with that many children. Photos shot overhead of the home showed the requisite white fifteen passenger van parked in the driveway and the first news reports said that the address had been registered as the Sandcastle Day School with David Turpin as principal.

Late last night I started seeing the first articles coming off the Australian media confirming that the family is some sort of Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians who were homeschooling the children and started realizing that just like the Nauglers and too many others we’ve seen here that this is another case of homeschooling to control and hide abuse.

The neighbors said that the family was very secretive, that the children were very rarely ever seen outside. No one was even aware that the seven oldest ranged from 29 years old to 18 because all of the children were tiny for their age as a result of what looks like serious food deprivation.

Much of the emerging news looks like the family was Quiverfull, homeschooling, total control of the children, money troubles leading to two bankruptcies. David and Louise Turpin’s joint Facebook account (which I will not be screencapping here because of all the photos of minor children) is filled with some of the creepiest photos of a Quiverfull family seen in a long time. Girls dressed identically in he same dresses, and the three males in matching suits and Prince Valiant bowl haircuts just like Daddy that were last fashionable in 1972. Many of the photos show repeated wedding vow renewals over the years with the children showing not much growth at that Las Vegas chapel with the same Elvis impersonator each time. The girls are even wearing the same dresses in each renewal photos. There are at least three wedding vow renewal ceremonies on their Facebook page and on Youtube.

It’s likely that the children will never fully recover from the years of food deprivation according to studies like World War 2’s Minnesota Starvation Experiment. They’re more likely to have a lifetime of ill health and psychological problems.

None of the major media outlets has put it together yet that the Turpin family is almost certainly Quiverfull, or hiding child abuse and neglect by homeschooling. But they never picked up on Andrea Yates being Quiverfull either. This is a subculture that isn’t entirely known, even while people like the Duggars play like it’s completely normal.

This is Quiverfull.

This is Patriarchal Control

This is Religious Abuse and Neglect

David and Louise Turpin are being held on a nine million dollar bail on each of them. Very unlikely they’ll be able to raise this bail unless HSLDA swoops in and makes the Turpins their pet cause.

THIS case is one of many reasons why there must be government oversight of homeschooling. There are plenty of homeschool families doing it right with no neglect or child abuse, but there are enough of these horrendous cases where parents are using the idea of homeschooling as a smoke screen to keep others out of their toxic and dangerous family structures.

These poor children have been starved for so long I’d like to see the parents convinced, jailed, and serving at least a year for each year they neglected and abused those children.

Please, if you live next door to a homeschooling family with a 15 seater van, you very rarely see the many children and when you do something feels ‘off’, like the Turpins neighbors have said, call CPS or local law enforcement to express your suspicions. The government will not stand up to the homeschool lobby, covering up abuse, so it’s up to those in the community to realize there’s likely abuse going on and to report it.


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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


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