House of Horror: Christian homeschoolers in California kept their children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks.”
A California couple is under arrest after police found their 13 children emaciated and “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings” in their family home.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are currently being held on charges of torture and child endangerment. Bail is set at $9,000,000 each.
Local police were alerted to the horrific crime after one of the children managed to escape the house of horrors and contact the authorities.
A press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department describes the horrific scene found at the home:
investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings
The release continues:
but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.
Police officers were later “shocked” to find that seven of the 13 children were actually adults between 18 and 29 years-of-age. Due to the severe malnutrition, reports indicate the adults being held captive actually looked like children.
James and Betty Turpin, the parents of David Turpin, and grandparents to the abused children, said that “God called on them” (referring to their son David and his wife Louise) to have as many children as possible.
The grandparents also report that the children were given “very strict home-schooling,” and that the children were forced to memorize long passages of the Bible.
In fact, the family home where the children were tortured and abused is also a registered private school called the Sandcastle Day School. David Turpin is listed as the principal of the school.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that registering a residence as a private school is a common practice among Christian homeschoolers in California who seek exemption from the California compulsory education law.
The fact is, while homeschooling can be a good fit for some children, often the parents are not qualified either by temperament or education to be homeschooling their children. Add to that the ignorance and bigotry associated with religious superstition, and one is left with a toxic brew ripe for abuse and neglect.
However, being shackled and tortured is not the only hazard faced by children forced into the secretive and sometimes dangerous world of Christian homeschooling. One need only recall the tragic life and death of Leelah Alcorn, or the tragic circumstances of the Duggar family, to recognize the dangers inherent in the Christian homeschooling movement.
Bottom line: Christian homeschoolers in California kept their children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, while forcing them to memorize Bible verses. One can only wonder how many other children are being neglected and abused by other unsupervised and unqualified Christian homeschoolers across the country.
And, as always, it is the children who suffer for the parents’ folly.
**** UPDATE ****