Sleepovers – Quiverfull Hell House?

Sleepovers – Quiverfull Hell House? October 30, 2019

Tomorrow being Halloween we’re coming up on the largest dosage of Evangelical fear mongering of the entire year. The Super Bowl of fear mongering. Articles about Satanists working in candy factories cursing the candy. All sorts of weird things, like the yearly sleepover panic, the sleepovers – Quiverfull Hell House fear.

This year’s fear mongering is brought to you by Tim Challies of Challies.com. While we’ve barely mentioned Challies here he is beloved by the Quiverfull women of Ladies Against Feminism, who we used to cover frequently. Ladies Against Feminism‘s website is down now. His biggest jam, more famous bit, is his fear mongering over sleepovers. He finally found a book written by someone working in the psychology field that supports what he claims so he’s doubling down on his claims.

What is it that Quiverfull and other Evangelicals fear happening during a children’s sleepover? That someone will ‘break’ their child by molestation. Or perhaps expose the child to pornography, or Pokemon, or just simply curse words, candies and cartoons. That whole lack of control over every aspect of their children.

I find those fear mongering ideas sort of quaint because yet again because they never think of the real threats, ignoring them just to carry on over these. I’m reminded anew how people will ignore the most obvious threats.

Yesterday morning I walked Tamarindo Beach, like I do three or four times a week and got to view people ignoring the obvious threats for the perceived ones. North Americans, slathering themselves with sun block to tromp through the estuary to the sand bars, ignoring the posted in three languages signs. What do those signs say? “Beware – Crocodiles”

As I got near where the beach and estuary meet I could see a small crocodile, maybe three feet long, lurking in the shallows between the sand bar and the beach, cleverly lurking beneath a patch of drifted in sea vegetation. Head poking up just enough to see and breathe every now and then. I warned some of the tourists as I came back around, pointing out the croc only to hear huffed complaints about what type of public beach has crocodiles.

I find Challies and the books simplistic warnings the same thing, ignoring the obvious things you can do and the bigger threats you might encounter.

Here Challies admits he came to the decision not to allow sleepovers not based on any real evidence or figures:

Years later Challies finds that book and supports his ideas. It’s by Beth Robinson and the title is “Protecting Your Children From Predators”

I see someone is cashing in on the fears of parents. I have not read the book, so I cannot speak to all of it’s contents. Challies lists her five factors that influence possible abuse at sleepovers.

They completely ignore the most likely time that children are molested, at the hands of a pastor or someone at the church, to complain about sleepovers. Sleepovers none of them have ever thought to check for the possibility of registered sex offenders.

Most, if not ALL of those things can easily be mitigated or dealt with quickly. Making your child avoid all social situations with others outside of your home only ends up warping your child, depriving them of the opportunity to learn to navigate with others who are different. I’m just going to spell out the rules I used with sleepovers with my kids, many straight out of social work guidelines. Just knowing your child and their friends well goes a long way!

  • Check your local sex offenders data registry! Almost every state has it easily available online. If you see there are a pile of offenders right there in that area then it’s a no. If you know that the host has a brother convicted of sex crimes, or drugs. Cut your risks.
  • Make sure your child is of an age where they might get social benefit from attending a sleep over. Clearly you’re not going to allow a pile of five year olds to do the same things a 12 or 13 year old might find enjoyable.
  • Make sure you know the other family very well. Ask questions. Find out if there are firearms in the house. Who will be there. How many adults? The adult to child ratio. Laws on home daycare used to insist that no more than five children to one adult was safe, but it’s safer to assume that a sleepover with a handful of kids, say five or six, is safer than one with twenty. If you feel or sense that this is not a good situation, or tat the parents are lackadaisical towards the best interests of a kid just say no! Don’t just assume everyone else pays attention to what their children do.
  • Host the sleepover. Know your child’s friends, know them well. Know their parents, know the kid’s likes, dislikes, and personality. Do not retreat to your  bedroom to allow them to run wild! Have ground rules. Gently insert yourself occasionally in a nice way, i.e. ‘Who wants cocoa?’ and keep an eye and ear tuned to the sleepover. They are going to find it hard to look at R-rated movies if you’re in the next room.
  • Explain the whys if you say no. Let your child know that you’ve said no because the circumstances aren’t safe, or you’re simply not comfortable with the circumstances. Offer alternatives, like a pizza party, or you hosting the sleepover, or another outing with the same friends. Safe outing on neutral grounds without the risks. Kids might grumble, but seem to accept alternatives well.
  • Make sure your child is old enough, mature enough, and self confident enough to say no on their own. Expect there will sometimes be small harmless hijinks.
  • Talk to your children after a sleepover. Find out if the parent was involved, or what happened. Do not assume everything went fine. Found this one out the hard way when it came out that my son didn’t want to go to sleepovers at a friends house because the boy wanted to do crazy things, like ride his skateboard down a major highway at 3 am while Daddy was sleeping. Trust that your child has an instilled sense of right and wrong.

I know I’ve likely missed a few here. What do you think works best in navigating your children’s needs for friendships and your desire to keep them safe. Happy Halloween!

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Finding Home

    Everything he’s said about sleepovers, with the exception of access to phones and TVs, could be said about church. You know… while we’re talking about trusted people who molest2 kids and all.

  • AFo

    We can’t have kids realizing that people are different, but that doesn’t make them evil. Then they might want to hang out with the “unbelievers” more often and might drift away from the cult. The horror! /s.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Kids are safest who know enough to say “no” and trust their parents enough to talk to them: both of these things are anathema to Quiverful.

  • Tawreos

    I hope the book mentions that parents should never let their kid near a quiverfull house.

  • Friend

    Gently insert yourself occasionally in a nice way, i.e. ‘Who wants cocoa?’

    My friend’s favorite trick was to set up a snack table in the party room, and put the snacks in small bowls. She would then announce, “I need to refill the snack bowls!” and walk right in.

    None of her kids EVER said, “Mom, switch to bigger bowls.” 🙂

  • persephone

    Exactly what I thought. Who’s keeping an eye on the adults for VSB or Sunday School or day camp?

  • Raging Bee

    Articles about Satanists working in candy factories cursing the candy.

    Whatever happened to needles in candy and razorblades in apples?

  • Tawreos

    Why would we waste time doing actual labor when we can drive by a candy factory and curse the whole supply at once? =)

  • Raging Bee

    Oh, YOU’RE the job-destroyers! Glad we cleared that up.

  • Tawreos

    It’s not my fault. I was running late one year and just handed out razor blades and syringes so the kids could do their own. It got my in slightly less trouble than the year I handed out chocolate covered brussel sprouts. =)

  • frostysnowman

    “What is it that Quiverfull and other Evangelicals fear happening during a children’s sleepover? That someone will ‘break’ their child by molestation.”

    But if a family member or pastor does it, that seems to be OK.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Jim Bob Duggar did say that all QF families have molestation and it’s not a big deal

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I want to know where all those folks handing out drugs randomly are! I have yet to see one and think random drugs might be fun

  • frostysnowman

    Nauseating.

  • Saraquill

    It’s easier to blame Those People than it is to say, examine ones own household. *Glares at the Duggars.”

  • Raging Bee

    Where do you think they learned about the danger of sleepovers?!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Makes me wonder what the heck is going on at their sleepovers? Giggling, junk food eating and drooling on pictures of Donny Osmond and David Cassidy was the only things that happened at mine. Are they having free for all orgies2 and satanic sacrifices?

    Sadly enough I know being molested at sleepovers happens, but it’s a lot less frequent that the molestation in QF families and at churches.

  • Dana W

    Searching the candy will never find curses. But since they are invisible its in all the candy!

  • Staying up too late and talking about boys and maybe sneaking in a trashy2 “romance” novel to giggle over. Oooh. So scary. Much danger.

    ETA: Gotta ask, what tripped the filter?

  • DARE lied to me.

  • persephone

    No scary stories? What’s the point of a sleepover if you don’t get at least two guests to have nightmares?

  • persephone

    I’ve seen a few videos of people saying that edibles are too expensive to give to kids.

  • persephone

    That does seem to be a feature of patriarchy. No wonder so many men are into it.

  • Martin Penwald

    I handed out chocolate covered brussel sprouts.

    Oh, you’re REALLY evil, aren’t you ?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    The word “Trashy2” tripped it. I will never understand this filter. Gay does not trip it but lesbian2 does.

  • Better yet expired candies, and when I say expired I say those that have been so for a lot of years.

  • MuttsRule

    I thought you were joking, but I found this quote from a Fox interview:

    “It was a very difficult situation,” Jim Bob explained. “But as we
    talked to other parents and different ones since then, a lot of families
    have said that they have had similar things that happened in their
    families.”

  • Martin Penwald

    And it depends on blogs. “Bag2” is forbidden on some blogs.

    Ah yes, it is forbidden here too. I guess because of tea bagging.

  • Friend

    Don’t forget the flashlight under the chin…

  • Friend

    Seriously, on Halloween1 we used to offer kids a choice between chocolate bars and a can of Spam. One dad stared at us soooo long. I’m sure he confiscated the Mounds bar his kid chose.

  • Aloha

    I thought it was interesting that they admit family men are more likely to commit sexual abuse.
    I.e. Heterosexual men are more likely than gay men or lesbians2. They’ll admit it here, when stoking fears of family men. But later they’ll still try to claim that gay people are the predators.

  • Sassafras

    Where I come from parents who knowingly keep a molester69 in their house can end up in some DEEP shit69! My mom and most parents would love to SLAP69 Jim Bob and Michelle!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Odd about bag2 and job2 but not tea bagging… But put those two words together and it rings cherries too

  • Mel

    Jill and Jessa Duggar said the same thing on their interview……which struck me as odd, honestly. Childhood sexual abuse is far too common – but most kids are never sexually abused. If the Duggars are running into lots of CP/QF families with histories of sexual abuse, that implies that the rates are higher than the 1 in 4 girls and 1 in six boys figure for wider society.

  • Saraquill

    I prefer giving out wasabi peas. The last time, I warned the kids in advance, made the peas optional and gave candy to everyone regardless.

  • Missicat

    Donny Osmond and David Cassidy! Guess we are the same age…That’s pretty much what happened at ours. Along with listening to our 45’s.

  • Latayne C Scott

    Take a look at the other chapters in Protecting Your Child from Predators?
    Introduction: Creating a Warrior Heart

    Chapter One: Know the Turf, Have a Plan, Protect Your Children

    Chapter Two: You Want Me to Talk About Sex?

    Section I: Children Five and Under
    Children Five and Under: What They Should Know
    Abuse by Authority Figure: The Sitter
    Abuse by a Peer: The Small Group Bible Study
    Abuse by Family or Trusted Friend: The Cousin
    Abuse from Strangers: At the Restaurant

    Section II: Children Ages Six to Eleven
    Children Six to Eleven: What They Should Know
    Abuse from Authority: Private Lessons
    Abuse by Family/Trusted Friends: The Sleepover
    Abuse by Strangers: Riding Bikes in the Neighborhood
    Abuse Involving Technology: The Wikipedia Ambush

    Section III: Ages Eleven and Older
    Ages Eleven and Older: What Your Adolescent Should Know
    Abuse by Authority: The Mission Trip
    Abuse by Family/Trusted Friend: The Coach
    Abuse by Peer: Dating Violence
    Abuse by Strangers: Malls and Other Public Places
    Abuse Using Technology: Unsupervised Access to Technology

  • SAO

    You can check for needles and razorblades, but curses are invisible.

    Of course, if someone wants to curse food, why would they curse only candy and only around Halloween? Why not curse turkeys at Thanksgiving? Or eggs at Easter? Why not curse everything in the grocery store, every time you go in? Why stop at food? What about clothes? Cars in parking lots?

  • SAO

    “Abuse involving technology: The Wikipedia Ambush”!!!!!

    Facts could molest2 your kids. Keep them safe from all of them!

  • Tawreos

    Looking at the size of the Duggar clan, even the national average would leave 3-4 kids molested.

  • Tawreos

    The upside is that the next year you can save on candy costs and have a peaceful night to yourself. =)

  • Latayne C Scott

    Exactly the point of the book! That children themselves have a “warrior heart” and open communication with parents.

  • Friend

    I think 1bag1 is verboten because of sp@m1 that sells 1des1gner1 1h@ndb@gs1. Likewise 1j0b1 is about employment 1sp@m.

    Hope that’s cryptic enough to slip through without adult intervention… 😉

  • Friend

    Good morning. I see you are here to promote1 your book.

    At first I did not realize you are a co-author. I read the headings. It’s a weird assortment. Wikipedia1? Never mind, I can guess the objection.

    As for the rest, it’s too easy for worried1 parents to eliminate activities just because something bad1 might happen. Coaches might abuse1 kids? No sports for you! You don’t need to ride a bike, or date. Church is too dangerous1!

    Abuse1 is a very serious problem, as I know from being on the receiving end as a child and young adult. Unfortunately your headings are warning people away from things that children enjoy, and even need, in order to grow into functional adults.

  • Friend

    FYI, the other person who responded to you is the co-author of the book.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    She misses the most threatening one that cuts across all age groups. Family members.

  • Friend

    Suzanne, I believe the person who posted this is the co-author of Protecting Your Child from 1Predators1.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That and spooky stories! I still remember the sleepover I went to at the end of sixth grade. Just three of us, myself, my best friend Frances and her brother Johnny. My mother really dropped the ball because Frances and Johnny’s parents were crazy alcoholics and CPS was routinely at their house but in those days no one asked questions about who and how. We stayed up all night, camping in the backyard telling scary stories, burning out school notebooks in the campfire and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. One of my top ten best times in my life. Nothing worse than a slight burn from trying to catch a dripping marshmallow happened. I think in some ways that time you are I were young was more innocent.

  • Latayne C Scott

    Look, I get it. I am an ex-member of a cult too and have published extensively about that. I understand the desire to fight back. But listen to yourselves! One person said I was here to promote our book. If I wanted to do that, I’d have given info about buying it. I was here to defend it against what some of you said needed to be covered on the subject, and I showed how comprehensive Dr. Robinson’s work has been. Listen to yourselves! Saying that the book doesn’t cover certain subjects– three full chapters are about abuse by family/trusted friends! Two full chapters about abuse in church settings! Listen to yourselves! Dr. Robinson has for decades counseled little kids and families torn to shreds by predators and you want to dismiss this. And not a single one of you have read it. (Check it out from the library, or borrow it, or find another way to get it if you don’t want to “support” the authors. Look up subject matter in the “look inside” feature on Amazon. ) There is information and statistics in this book, as well as case studies, that would help you. For instance, did you know that 40% of child sexual abuse is from older or more powerful KIDS? What else might you learn?

  • Latayne C Scott

    See more recent comment.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    As a retired social worker from what bits I’ve read I’d say she missed some pretty obvious things. That outline! Some good, some not so good. Shrugs. Why are you so determined to promote the book? We get it, Challies used one small part out of context to prove his point. No one ever said the entire book was bad, just that it missed some things. Like family member abuse. Most sexual abuse occurs at the hands of another family member.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Thank you for letting me know. That is not allowed here at all self promotion2 of books that is.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    You are here obviously to promote the book because you co-wrote it. Not allowed at NLQ. Welcome to ban. Sad because I would have questioned you how the research was obtained, where the statistics came from, etc, but you have to make it all about the book promotion2. You owe Patheos some ad monies honey.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Just cruised into Amazon and saw this. It kind of says it all “Latayne C. Scott, PhD, is an award-winning veteran of the Christian publishing industry and has written over two dozen books. She has a PhD in biblical studies, and she and her husband of forty-five years live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    And this!
    “Latayne C. Scott writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath (a finalist in the International Book Awards), is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. She has won other awards for her writing, including from Pepperdine University, its “Distinguished Service Award.” Her first book, The Mormon Mirage–also controversial– has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has two dozen other published books.

    One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom2 (Discovering the City of Sodom2.) Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church (Latter-day Cipher). Another book, co-written with three other ex-LDS scholars, is titled Leaving Mormonism. All are…. controversial.

    She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

    With her sole-authored theological books, she is patron-supported and publishes those books exclusively with TSU Press.

    In 2019, Bethany House will publish her book, co-written with Dr. Beth Robinson, on how to protect your children from sexual predators.

    Here are some of her current fiction projects:

    A modern version of Hamlet — in a “plain” village.

    A Civil War historical series about religious pacifists.

    A YA series about time travel and fine art (The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery, Cruciform Press.)

    She blogs at Latayne.com.”

    FYI Latayne, you cannot write deliberately courting controversy and then flip out when people do the mildest of criticisms.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Actually no, listen to yourself. Coming into a space dedicated to recovery to tell us all how wrong we are. Do you even get that the post wasn’t even really about the book? It was about the notion Tim Challies pushes that all sleepovers are freeform child molesting2 orgies2 and and porn2 fests, and better ways to navigate the issues of allowing your children independence while minimizing the risks. It seems like we’re really all on the same side here, its just you have your White Evangelical Christian Privilege working overtime and think you have any rights here. Your behavior here is simply another form of abuse.

  • Sassafras

    At the sleep overs I attended it was “hunting69” for ghosts, purposely killing69 Mario because him saying “mama Mia” was hilarious, and throwing69 around an annoying af Dora doll.

  • Pennybird

    Sounds like Beth Robinson and Challies are trying to deflect from the real dangers children face at their own homes and at church.

  • Pennybird

    That’s implied in the bullet item that says children are safer in small crowds.

  • Pennybird

    Urban legends for the most part.

  • Milo C

    The only sleepover I attended as a kid that would have been large enough to lose track of anyone for more than a minute was when the Boy Scout troop had a sleep-in at the YMCA. They locked up the front doors, but we had fire exits in case of emergency. It was exhausting to me, because I couldn’t sleep and stayed up the whole night.

  • Jim Jones

    Why not just make candy corn? Already cursed.

  • Raging Bee

    “Creating a Warrior Heart?” Really? *side-eye*

  • Raging Bee

    Hey, I LIKE candy-corn!

    But then again, I did take a serious interest in other gods starting in grade-school…

  • Jim Jones

    > I LIKE candy-corn!

    We found the one!

  • Zeldacat

    I do too. Also black licorice. I once had a friend who loved jelly beans and he’d save the black ones for me especially. Mmm!

  • Raging Bee

    “The Wikipedia Ambush?” Seriously? Kids are gonna get groomed and molested from looking stuff up in an online encyclopedia? Is that really the most dangerous part of the Tubes?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    You know I have to get and read this dumb2 book now. Anything that promises molestation via wiki has to be horrifyingly funny.

  • Raging Bee

    It kinda sounds like they think places like Wikipedia are dangerous because they offer enticing information one doesn’t get in a proper Christian household — as in, all the stuff they work so hard to keep their kids from ever seeing any part of.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Reading the book right now and just got to the Wiki part. They mistakenly believe all the links at Wiki and the YouTubes lead to hardcore porn2 just because one kid Googling up “Money Shot” found porn2. Not eve remotely true.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Reading right now and got to that Wiki part. They mistakenly believe that most of the outbound links at Wikipedia and You Tube lead ot hard core porn2~ Laughing here.

  • Jenny Islander

    …how?

    All you have to do is mouse over the link, and it’ll show you where it goes. You don’t even have to let the cooties into your heart by clicking. Do they seriously not know what dot gov, dot org, and dot ee dee you link extensions mean?

  • Jenny Islander

    THIS. “Here, random child in a cheap Transformers costume! Have this single candy that cost me seven dollars and fifty cents to make! I’m passing out a hundred of these tonight because it’s FUNNY!”

    It’s just silly.