Nicole Naugler Does Not Understand What ‘Best Interest of the Children’ Means?

Nicole Naugler Does Not Understand What ‘Best Interest of the Children’ Means? November 18, 2018
Screen cap from news footage of the Naugler’s homestead at the time the children were put in the custody of CPS.

Back last year Nicole Naugler contacted NLQ on Facebook challenging us to really investigate and write a ‘true’ story about their family. You remember the Nauglers? They were in the national media for losing custody of their ten children in Kentucky and claiming it was about homeschooling. This was nearly three years ago, and it came out that the reason CPS in Kentucky picked up the children had less to do with homeschooling and more to do with the fact that the family was living in filthy, unhealthy, squalor.

Media reported that the Naugler family lived on a piece of property with broken glass, trash, animal feces, a water source polluted with feces and other contaminates. No running water, no access to clean water for cooking, bathing or washing clothing.

But the worst was the ‘house’ they were raising the ten children in. It was not much more than a shanty you might see in third world countries, plywood and scrap lumber, missing a wall. Did I also mention that this particular part of Kentucky had experienced record low temperatures the winter they lived in the structure?

Nicole has claimed a number of false things through the years since trying to claim this was about homeschooling. She’s claimed it’s persecution because of the fact that they are doing the entire off the grid homesteading thing. Which it is not. Plenty of people live off the grid nicely, and even homeschool, without CPS landing on their doorstep.

Yesterday one our regular commenters, SAO, mentioned the Nauglers and I thought, hmm, been awhile since we’ve mentioned or thought about them at NLQ and decided to check in.

On the plus side photos that Nicole has been recently posting show a household in better order than anything else we’ve seen of the Nauglers. But a little further back and we can see that Nicole is still refusing to take any personal responsibility for actions that led to the temporary removal of her ten children. She’s blaming the local sheriff, CPS, the children’s Guardian Ad Litum, and a host of official others.

She’s written a post where she disputes that anyone involved in the removal of her children from their unsafe unsanitary environment did not have the best interests of the children at heart. No, they absolutely did!

The sheer comedy of her ranting online is that she listed the reasons why children can be seized by CPS and claims none of these apply in their case:

Number three applies as well as number one by sheer virtue of the condition of the property. No matter what Nicole Naugler claims that is photographic and video evidence that the children were being raised in an unsafe environment.

She’s also upset that she was not allowed to have a friend or relative take custody of the children until this was straightened out. Nicole quotes the statute but neglects to realize that portion reads ‘May’ not ‘Must’.

Then Nicole rambles on about some fictional sweet, sweet monies she thinks that the government grants. In truth the funding to support children removed from neglectful or abusive parents is not adequate to maintain anyone. People involved are not taking children to get rich.

It is true that removal of a child from their home is traumatic to the child. But do you know what’s more traumatic? Death, or injury, or abuse as experienced by the child.

From my years of experience in the field of social work it looks like to me that all those people listed above did put the best interests of the child above the crazy rantings of the neglectful parents. Nicole is upset that no attorney in the state of Kentucky will help her sue those involved with this case, but she cannot prove any of them acted in anything but the best interests of her children.

If she and Joe had been making meth or any other number of things we would not even be having this discussion. The children would have been permanently removed. But because they claimed it was harassment over homeschooling the Nauglers kicked up enough media to get their children back without much effort on their part.

Which leads one to question why? Why is it so impossible in Quiverfull for parents to admit they are less than perfect? Everyone, and I mean everyone, makes mistakes in their parenting. I know I have. But most of us can at least admit it, try to be better parents and learn. In Quiverfull the locked in reaction is always that the parents are right, even when raising the kids on a virtual trash heap.

You’re a lot better off cooperating with CPS, admitting fault and doing what you must do to remedy your situation. Don’t be a deluded lunatic~

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  • Iain Lovejoy

    “Why is it so impossible in Quiverfull for parents to admit they are less than perfect?”
    Perhaps it is because everything about Quiverful is about not being bad, not being seen to break the rules? The whole point is to demonstrate compliance with daddy God so that you will be the good kid who gets rewarded and not the bad kid who gets beat sent to hell. It’s not about morality (even the twisted morality they profess): it’s about not being found out.

  • heleninedinburgh

    I know if I were a parent and had to live in those conditions I would want to get my kids out of there, whatever it took, even temporarily handing them over to someone else or letting them go to OMG SCHOOL! Either the writer thinks children will thrive living in a lean-to built of sticks with a garden full of shit and broken glass, in which case she’s so deluded she shouldn’t be responsible for anything more complicated than a hamster, or she thinks that even though it’s a shitpile it’s ok for children to live there, in which case… the words I’d use would splinter the computer screen.
    I say ‘she’ because she’s the one who wrote that post, but I somehow doubt the husband let her make the decisions about raising the children on her own, so I mean ‘they.’ Or possibly just ‘he.’
    For christ’s sake. My great-grandmother was an alcoholic teenage prostitute, and she managed to raise her offspring in better conditions than that. For christ’s sake.

  • Tawreos

    “Why is it so impossible in Quiverfull for parents to admit they are less than perfect?”

    When you spend your entire life being tol;d that the devil is responsible for everything bad that happens to you, you learn to never take the blame for your own actions.
    Oh and stating that the kids know that what was done to them was wrong is meaningless. She told the kids that and kids tend to believe mom and dad over outside sources. Also the fact that kids are bad at knowing what is good and bad for them is why we have CPS in the first place.

  • Saraquill

    It’s a fad among the overprivileged to drink unsanitized water and call it “probiotic” or what have you. I’m glad Kentucky understands fecal water is not in fact healthy.

  • Saraquill

    We have a copybot.

  • SAO

    Quiverful is attractive to people who want to be better than everyone else. They’re not going to be more successful, or be political leaders, so they are better than the rest of us because they are tighter with God. Through things like blogs, the extremes they go to get positive feedback from people who buy ideas like giving up birth control is being a bit more Godly than the rest of us.

    If they give up and stop being extreme, they are living in squalor with too many kids and not enough money and will be viewed with pity or the sort of smug disdain that blames people for their own failure — the sort of stuff the obese hear from the thin all the time.

    So, start out with people with delusions of grandeur and give them a choice of being worthy of admiration, pity or disdain and guess what they choose?

  • heleninedinburgh

    And it copied me! I feel so honoured!

  • B.E. Miller

    Has anyone read her story about The Blessed Little Grooming Company and the soap people?

  • bekabot

    What jerks these people are. What jerks. The second excerpt is an enemies list, which means that the Nauglers aren’t happy to have won their battle and aren’t satisfied to have their kids back; no, what they want now is for their opposition to be settled up with by random readers of their posts. My God, what jerks.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Is someone trying to gear up to game the 2020 elections already? Give it up and go drink some vodka and spank a bear or something.

  • Nea

    I recall reading some of her posts about their “wholesome” lifestyle and one of them was about how a very little boy “learned better” than to pour kerosene on a smoldering fire. One guess as to how he learned that little life lesson, and “homeschooling “ ain’t it.

    Those children absolutely were and might be still are unsafe.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh man!~ I knew Nicole was nuts, but that’s some mentally unbalanced ‘Everyone’s After Me!’ paranoia!

  • Friend

    A few people have always wanted to live in the wilderness and keep others (government or whomever) from interfering in their lives. However, I have to wonder what the immigrant ancestors of this family would say. Is this why they left the old country? Are these the living conditions that pioneers dreamed of creating by the sweat of their brow?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Just read the story about her last baby passing. Cannot believe it but they did it right, even not hesitating to go to the hospital. Tragic –

  • Iain Lovejoy

    That’s not really paranoia, these people actually did nick Nicole’s business name purely to hack her off (and they are relying on its income to feed and house their kids), and sent her glitter bombs in the post. The Nauglers may have obnoxious views, but that sort of stuff is unjustifiable.

  • Ann Nienow Bowen

    Nicole thinks the upgrade from the shit shack to a garden shed is ok for the 9 kids at home (oldest is in jail for a sex charge with a minor…he was set up ya know). Both she and the bloviating sack of flesh she is married to absolutely have not home schooled, unschooled or provided any sort of practical education for their children. I hope with the appointment of a new judge in their case (Embry is retiring) they will finally be held over the fire and those children will be taken away.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    My family left Scotland where they worked as miners. They came to America and settled in Wyoming to mine there. They dug a hole in the ground and called it home…until the trees could be milled and the towns built. It was all about going forward. They were polygamist Mormons and worked hard. Fuckers.

  • Friend

    From what I see in old records, most people struggled hard to make life just a little better for the next generation. If they had some legal rights and good enough health, their children usually did end up a bit more well educated, and in a slightly better home. In my broad family research, there were pockets of religious “fervor,” but it didn’t usually last more than a generation. Which is about a generation too long…

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    The glitter bombs go too far. Registering a several years lapsed business name is, well, just business

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Registering the business name on their own admission was just to spite the Nauglers, which is vindictive and petty. People who have or spread obnoxious views or behave badly towards their neighbours should rightly be fought, challenged and mocked for doing so. The aim, however, is to get them to shove off quietly somewhere and stop harassing decent people with their rubbish, not to make them suffer for the sake of it. Any sensible person wants people like the Nauglers to mind their own business and get on with selling their soap (or whatever they do) and interfering with them doing that and if anything just making the more paranoid is not only pointless spite but also highly counterproductive.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    That’s why Nicole should be careful what she wishes for. A real investigation might discover children that CPS was not able to rescue, and positively rule out any unmarked graves on the premises.

  • Mimc

    I always feel bad for kids that go in and out of foster care. Sometimes parents do get there act together but I don’t think it usually lasts very long.

  • Peg

    Nicole owns and operates a pet grooming business. She’s owned it for three and a half years. As a business owner she knows she has to do certain things, including keeping on top of renewing the business name and license. It had been lapsed for six months. She didn’t renew it because she doesn’t like being told what to do, especially by the evil government. That someone scooped up the name is the consequence. Again, it’s her responsibility – a word neither she nor Joe seem to like very much. Her business serves a very local niche and it wasn’t affected.
    Joe doesn’t really do anything but smoke weed and talk a lot sh*t – when he isn’t barking at women who have disagreed with them publicly.
    And I need to disagree about what sensible people want when it comes to the Nauglers. I feel that sensible people are aghast at how those children are neglected, even today and want the lives of those kids to improve. Nicole and Joe can choose to live however they want, The children however, deserve much better. The infant boy buried somewhere on the feces contaminated property, in a box his siblings had to make, certainly deserved a lot more.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Sorry, what buried child?

  • Peg

    The last child that Nicole had a year and a bit ago was still born. Nicole didn’t seek out any pre-natal care because, as she put it, she knew her body. When she posted that the child had stopped moving, people implored her to see a doctor but she refused. She gave some stupid story about Joe putting his hand on her belly and giving a blessing and the child began to move again. What in fact was happening was that her amniotic fluid was decreasing and the baby was distressed and dying. After the poor child was still born, and before the Go Fund Me they started (it flopped big time), Nicole and Joe had the older boys make a box in which to bury the baby. They buried the baby on the “homestead” – Nicole attended by FB video chat because she was still in the hospital. After the funeral Joe spent most of his time at the hospital and the rest of the children were left to grieve on their own – pretty much like how they live their lives.
    The children also weren’t told their sibling had died and they arrived at the hospital excited and expecting to meet their new little brother. Who the hell emotionally abuses children like this?
    Oh and they stiffed the hospital on the bill.

  • paganheart

    “Evil government” or not, renewing the name and license also costs money, and I would bet good money that the name lapsed because the Nauglers didn’t have money for the fees.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    That certainly is a god-awful thing to do, although the extent to which they put off prenatal care and had a funeral at home because they couldn’t afford it rather than the face-saving / obviously in denial public explanation needs to be considered. I’m certainly not disputing that child services were absolutely right to take the kids away when they did: what isn’t right is if (as it appears) this has scared the cr*p out of them and they have broadly speaking got their act together, people are continuing to make their life difficult and fueling their paranoia. They’ve fixed the place up and apparently in a similar situation with a more recent pregnancy did absolutely the right thing (with tragically no better result). No, they are not good parents, but do seem to have stepped up to at least adequate, and I have no doubt child services will be watching them like a hawk.

  • Peg

    I need to disagree with you about not being able to afford prenatal care. She would certainly qualify for Medicaid but refuses to enroll. Medicaid would have enabled her to have regular pre-natal care and an OB doc would have discovered the low amniotic fluid early and been able to monitor the situation. Many women experience this particular situation in their pregnancies and typically babies are born safely and healthy through early induction or C-section. Nicole has always crowed about not seeing a doctor during pregnancy and knowing her body. This cost the life of that baby. As far as funerals go, there is nothing wrong with a burial on your own property when you have rural acreage. However there needs to be a certain depth and water table considerations. I am not convinced, considering how they do other things, that that would have been done correctly. Their property isn’t fixed up. It looks like a dump and there is trash all over the place. The shed they live in has water damage because it wasn’t insulated correctly and mold is likely a problem. Nicole commented that the last shed was full of mold as well. Kids are still crammed into the loft – with no beds. God forbid there is ever a fire because none of those children would make it out alive. Their lives aren’t adequate at all. The kids receive no education and they are completely isolated except for the shop workers or when they are out with their parents. Why do Nicole and Joe insist on this isolation?

  • Peg

    That could be a possibility, but given that she was purchasing a new phone, laptop and other toys around the same time I believe it comes down to priorities.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Fair enough, I’m just going on the pictures of the improved house and that they seem now to be accessing medical care when necessary. You may have more information than me. If they are still failing then hopefully child services are properly on the case and will intervene again. Either way, it’s quite legitimate to push back against any obnoxious BS they spout on Facebook and report the matter if you have actual knowledge instead of rumour about the children still not being housed properly etc, but trying to sabotage their business and sending them glitter bombs in the post is still not on.

  • Peg

    Sadly the medical care is court ordered. I don’t get it why parents, particularly ones who would clearly qualify for Medicaid, don’t seem to understand the need for preventative care. Yearly check ups for children are important to assess milestones, overall health and concerns like speech therapy, which based on her videos, at least two of the children are in need of. When she asked the children in one of her videos if they thought they needed to see the dentist and they said no, I just shook my head. Most children (and adults) don’t seem to like going to the dentist but oral health is very important. Cavities quietly decay teeth and exist long before pain is felt or rot is seen. Why wouldn’t a parent want the very best for their children? We seem to basically agree that they are crappy parents and that CPS is likely to be watching them for years. As far as glitter bombs, the word “bomb” is a misnomer. It looked like the ones where it’s glitter in an envelope. I imagine those were sent by folks she pissed off in real time.

  • CamasBlues

    Oh no – the oldest kid is a sex offender? Shades of Josh Duggar…the extent of sexual abuse in Quiverfull communities is just staggering.

  • Nea

    It’s almost as if training kids to hyper focus on sexuality from toddlerhood (via judging modest and purity), teaching them that all girls and women are cheap single-use commodities culpable for any man’s pants feels, and that males are dominating brutes completely unable to control their eyes or dicks makes “moral” men infinitely more likely to become molesters, isn’t it?

  • persephone

    I don’t know about some of mine. Almost all of them came over during the Colonial period, some of them left what appear to be nice homes. I guess they were hoping to move up from lower middle class/middle class to rich. That was a possibility, with being able to be granted hundreds of acres, something that was not available back in Europe. Also, getting in on the ground floor, as it were, with a business wherein you would have a monopoly, at least for a while, was probably attractive.

    I really doubt any of them moved here to live in shacks and squalor.

  • persephone

    If the kids have nothing to compare it to, then, of course, they wouldn’t know what’s better or worse. Homeschooling hides a multitude of abuses.

  • persephone

    We’ve been having discussions over at Without a Crystal Ball about the performative aspect of women free birthing. I think it applies here. The children aren’t really human beings to the mother/parents; they’re accessories/props to the performance being done by the mother/parents. If a child dies, it doesn’t affect them in the way it would a normal parent; it’s almost an oh, well, bummer. There’s a video there with a woman flat out talking about using pot during pregnancy, and she actually says that a live baby is not necessarily the outcome they’re striving for. How f**ked up is that?

  • persephone

    If you want to be horrified, come over to Without a Crystal Ball and the reporting on free birthers.

  • persephone

    Also, in many places, you can’t bury a human body on your property at all or without clearance from the local authorities.

  • Friend

    So many people lost the family farm when the male head of household died. Property was taken over nonpayment of tax amounts that look tiny to me. Sometimes no purchasers would show up for the public auction of the land (by nudge-wink agreement, out of mercy, or not wanting to be shunned?), and then later on the taxes would be paid and the title would go back to the widow or sons. Meanwhile the family probably continued to work the land–what else could they do? Admittedly I don’t understand 18th- and 19th-century tax and probate law, but what astounds me is the uncertainty that families faced.