28 thoughts on “The Turpin Adult Hostages: Are They to Blame for NOT Speaking Up?

  • January 17, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    I cannot THANK YOU enough for your insightful words regarding this hortible situation. First, let me say how proud “grateful” I am that you survived such abusive treatment. Good for you for breaking the vicious cycle of this learned abuse. Our adoptive daughters, natural sisters, were in such grave condition at 2 months & 2 year’s old. They are now 35 & 37 years of age, and still suffer from physical challenges due to the early childhood abuse. Thank you again for this brilliant explanation, yet complicated subject of abuse. BRAVO!!! Much Love and Support, Lanie Gorman

    • January 19, 2018 at 6:34 am

      That is like asking POW’s if they are responsible for not speaking up/doing anything.

  • January 19, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Great blog.I’get’it.My parents made me terrified of the outside world. Mother told me I was ugly, fat, stupid and that ‘I Stank and no body would ever like me’
    And I believed her every word.
    I had little contact with others, I had no grandparents &
    aunties,uncles,cousins where not allowed in. She said she didn’t want people ‘poking about in her house’
    I believe if I’d have just one mentor one person who cared who I could go to and talk it would have saved me in many ways.

  • January 20, 2018 at 12:21 am

    The Turpin case had been highly upsetting. Thank you for this blog posting. I worry for those kids including the viunerable adults. They are deserving of care, dignity and privacy. People are speculating in the news and asking questions that are protected by HIPPA. I hope they get a lifetime of aftercare.

  • January 21, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Your observations are so true about these types of child abuse cases. I finally ran 2000 miles away from home when I was 19 to escape my profoundly narcissistic father who scapegoated me all his life. I didn’t know then why my family was so screwed up but I knew it was abnormal and wrong, and I was so traumatized that I literally could not feel emotions. I was essentially dead inside for a long time because it helped block the pain. The Turpin children need substantial counseling and support to help them mentally deal with the sadistic horror of their lives. God help them.

  • January 21, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Wow Lenora,
    That is some incisive blog. Not only do you write well but your expressive detail illiustrates clearly the mental condition of imprisonment.
    You have managed to educate me and hopefuly many others.
    I can’t however get into the mindset of perpetrators such as your parents and the Turpins. Do they mean well? Is it an ego trip of some sort? How can they not know the condition that sufferers are put through is so wrong.
    It’s sad to see how humanity can behave towards each other.
    So happy for you to have ‘survived’ and are now happy yourself. Let’s hope the Turpin childeren find peace and happiness.
    Thanks for your blog Lenora.

    • January 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind, supportive comment, Kevin. I too struggle to understand the tortured machinations of the hostage-holding mind. In some cases, I think the parent sees their child as a piece of property, because they’ve invested so much into them. Narcissistic parents are inherently selfish so, if they’re getting rent or services from their adult child, they put their convenience before the happiness of their adult child. And they may assuage their conscience by thinking “God says it should be this way” or “the world is a dangerous place and I’m protecting my child.” I hold out high hopes for the Turpin kids!

      Thanks again.

      ~ Lenora

  • January 22, 2018 at 9:50 am

    You asked what I would do if a person in dreadful state asked for help. I would make an anonymous call to the police and any authority I could think of.

    • January 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Exactly! But all the Turpin neighbors are enjoying their “Moment of Fame” on TV – but none could be bothered to lift up the phone. Do they realize how much the entire nation loathes them for holding their peace and thus being parties to the crime!?!

    • March 22, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      I agree with you, this entire story is not the entire truth. I absolutely do not think we are being told the entire story. Something is off about the media coverage and facts to this entire story. I am definitely not saying that those kids deserved any actions against them the way it is being told to us but my gut,intuition,instinct and foresight all tell me this is not the cake……just the icing

      • March 26, 2018 at 6:31 am

        Always thinking? I don’t follow your thinking.

        Of course we don’t know the full story. That will have to wait for the trial – sub judice means the legal system isn’t going to reveal much. They have to find twelve upstanding citizens who’ve not been exposed to any coverage that might prejudice them (good luck with that!) Much new information will then become available – those diaries for a start.

        In the meantime we have to rely on news reports (tidbits, sensationalism and mere speculation) and the uninformed views of bloggers and people like you and me. I think a pinch of salt has to be taken with most of the coverage so far.

        I hope you’re not implying that some of the siblings might have deserved some of their punishments. Parents are allowed to discipline their children. But restraining with ropes and chains? Enforced fasting to the point of malnutrition? Denial of education to the point that little is known about the outside world? These are some of the very few facts that are known (revealed by official spokespeople rather than the media).

        Incidentally I hope that when the trial comes round, some means can be found whereby the siblings can give evidence without giving clues to their presumed changed appearance since those photos (which are two to five years old and easily found unaltered on the web). Does every trial have to be on TV?

  • January 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    How wonderful for you to get free and to reclaim your power and your true self. I pray for these 13 tender lives now in hospitals. My hope is they were not pitted against each other, on top of such purposeful cruelty.

    Someone asking if the older of the kids could have spoken up- may be a troll? or perhaps is a real person who wont or cantl look at the more pressing questions here. Such as No neighbors reported- why?

    Abuse of children and vulnerable adults is everyones business. Good faith reports dont require proof but observations of strangeness such as “marching robotically at night.” “They were only out at night but huddled in during the day, and they always looked pale and thin.”
    Those are Red Flags. All it takes is a call to child protective services, even anonymously. Then the professionals check on the home, and you as neighbors can fell better that you did something to help.

    For the questioner–How do you suppose a brain washed starving, weak person is going to find the strength to confront the evil regimented control of not one, but two cruel parents? it was all they could do to stay alive, is my guess, shackled and choked, starved, any of those can be deadly.

    May we all learn to look out for the vulnerable in our communities. Have mercy.

  • January 23, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Nobody ever believes ,noone ever stepas in ,i grew up with a mother that had me believe that it was her right to murder me ,she flogged us 5days out of 7,why did i stay,,,,,guilt ,,,pure guilt ,my father had a degenratiffe brain disorder and kept having mini strokes ,it was and is my fault ,cause im a cu7t of a kid and stress everybody out ,my mother attempted suicide also my fault

  • January 23, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Like you I am so amazed at that seventeen year old. the older kids did what they could to survive. Yes, that is Stockholm syndrom, and it is indiuous. Thank you for a well written and very on point article. Some people just don’t want to know.

  • January 23, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    At last some sense. So many posts on other forums about punishing the parents (Hang them, gas them, torture them, lock them up for ever etc) and not much about their children’s future which is much more important. I agree so much about not implicating the older ones. Even if a little about their complicity is true, which I very much doubt, leave them alone, they’ve suffered enough. I’ve never read anywhere else that one of them could drive, for instance. What’s the source of that?

    I think they will thrive physically. There’s been the usual exaggeration about their weight – one British newspaper got the eldest girl’s weight down from seven stone (84lb – recoverable) to five stone (70lb – dangerous). It must be remembered that the photos represent them from between two and seven years ago, the younger ones have had time to grow since. The six elder daughters were taller than their mother two years ago. The middle son has shot up in the six year span and now both elder sons are nearly as tall as their father. Not as tall as they ought to be, but a respectable height. The last two years must have been terrible, but with the best health and nutritional care they should all get better and fill out.

    Their future mental state is more worrying. It’s heartening to read that they’re all friendly. I’m no expert, but I agree with those who say that they ought not to be separated – the only people they have been able to trust are each other. But therein lies the problem.They can – probably will change their appearances to the extent that they’d be unrecognisable – more tanned, different hair, make-up for the young women. They can and should change their names. They can complete their formal education. But learning to live in the wider community can’t be done without mixing in it, and the fact that their are twelve or thirteen of them (the toddler might be adopted) will be a signal to every media outlet, every newspaper, every TV station that wants to showcase them – and worse, every academic who wants to study them – and also every neighbour who wants to make easy bucks calling up TV stations saying “Hey, I found the Turpins – how much?”

    I don’t have an answer to this but it needs thought. I’m so pleased that their current contacts are a small team of medical staff chosen for their ability to be upbeat and friendly at all times – but that will be difficult to maintain over time. I hope they can easily cope with knowing a fair number of people, like most of us.

    Incidentally I hope the relatives who talk of adopting the younger ones can be told politely to get lost. The last thing they need is more contact with their dysfunctional relatives. Besides, the twelfth child is reportedly twelve years old. They’re almost all nearly grown up.

    Interested in your responses.

    • January 23, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Loved everything you said, Oliver! (I think I read a Facebook comment where reportedly a neighbor saw one of the older girls driving…but not sure.)

      • January 23, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        Just common sense I hope. I also think that the ideas being floated that the children are not all biologically related are probably untrue (they look so alike for a start) and that some of the younger children are in fact daughters of the older ones are also untrue – but that DNA evidence (already taken I gather) will put paid to these ideas.

        I also fervently hope that the searches of the properties will reveal no corpses (some contributors to other forums seem to WANT this to be true, so that murder charges could be brought). But I see why such searches need to be made. The large gap between child 12 and child 13 seems to fuel such speculation (also the fact that baby in the photos ought be older than 2 by now, but she could be nearly 3.) But it’s possible they stopped at 12 for a long time because of their obsession with arranging the offspring in groups of three – three groups of three daughters dressed alike, plus three boys similarly – points to thinking of them as “things” as per the scary T-shirts. This, and their all having names beginning with J, does seem intended to dehumanise them – as if they can cope with regimented children but not with kids being kids – being naughty, disobedient, untidy. His boasting that there are no twins is odd – what does that prove? Maybe re-starting the family is something to do with that idea of getting on TV – again, could be de-humanising. I just hope Louise isn’t pregnant.

        Some seem to think that David Turpin could be out in a few years. I doubt that he’d be out until he’s a seriously old man, and he’d have no means of finding his offspring. I reserve judgment on Louise until the trial. She may be both perpetrator and victim.

        Addressing the victims’ religious upbringing must be done sensitively. It wouldn’t be good if they were told “that’s all nonsense” but they need to know that many other beliefs and opinions are available. On the other hand, if some of them decide to reject everything and become atheists, that should not be opposed – they are free adults now or will be soon and as entitled to make up their own minds as anyone else.

        Any thoughts on how the siblings could remain in close contact without attracting media attention – assuming they don’t want it? Austrian victim Natascha Kampusch is not averse to publicity, but she doesn’t have anyone else’s feelings to consider. Her compatriots the Fritzl victims seem to prefer no publicity.

  • January 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Well written..I definitely get it. My mother came up with many reasons why an adult should not leave the house until they are married. To learn to be independent.
    My heart aches for the Turpin kids and adults. What they did was unspeakable and pure evil. I’m going to be haunted by this for a long time. The adult Turpins need our compassion and empathy not blame the victims..I hope they get all the help they need..Its going to be a difficult transition. They have to learn the basics and it’s going to be hard to trust. They did what the did out of fear. Sure ppl will say but they look happy in their vacation photos. Of course they do. If they dont, God only knows what type of punishment was waiting. I just hope and pray for peace. That they get some happiness from this. To live in freedom.

  • January 27, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Hi….just wanted to add a quick comment. Read your blog. Insightful. To be aware, I am not normally a blog reader. I googled images if Turpin. Did you know that yours is one of the only images available where the children are actually visible?

  • January 28, 2018 at 7:31 am


    Trust the Daily Fail to find a neighbour whose ideas match their own: “let’s blame the victim(s)”.

    Good article. Saddened by your suffering.

  • January 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    So they’ve been split up, despite their express wishes. Authorities playing it strictly by the book – the 17-year-old is officially a “child” despite the fact that she’d be an adult in many other jurisdictions, and despite the fact that she was the one resourceful enough to take photos, “steal” a phone, escape and call 911. (Without the photos would she have been believed?) At least she’ll be able to support her younger siblings – or at least he two she’s with.

    Hopefully the siblings will all be allowed to meet with each other and know that everyone is OK. Being told the others are fine is not enough – what reason have they to trust adults and authoerity figures?

    I know the law requires the younger ones to go to school – but what school exactly? They’d cause consternation at any mainstream school, and a “special” school is not the answer. Maybe the 12 eldest should be getting their education together – they all need some, and they’re all starting from the same place as far as learning about the outside world is concerned.


  • February 4, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you for your defense of the Turpin children and explanation of all the reasons they could not be expected to “blow the whistle” on their parents/captors..

    One reason an abused child won’t report her own abuse is that she has been brainwashed over years to believe she is unworthy of love or respect, that she, essentially, brought the treatment on herself. Telling others wouldn’t just be taboo. It would call attention to just how bad she really is. I know, I’ve lived it. The dynamic is similar to that of spousal abuse. Look up Alice Miller and her writing about hidden abuse in child rearing, “So the Wolf Won’t Eat Me.”


  • February 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    only reading the bible will not make an impact on anyone’s life. The bible says be Ye clean, for example, but they practiced water restrictions. The sister of Louise said they had no church, but had looked into various religions, including witchcraft and Mormonism.

  • February 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    The sad part about all of these, is that these children are not safe being taken care by the government. There are so many cases of kids being removed from their homes, and then being sexually exploited inside the alternative living arrangement paid by the government. They are also abused inside the academic institutions and the “mental health” service organizations as well.
    The ONLY way to keep our kids safe is by being a good, responsible, sound and sane parent. The system is corrupt… much more corrupt than the Turpins. The Turpin couple are not monsters, they are mad and have a distorted view of life – but the system is worst, because they know the difference between good and bad and choose bad, on purpose, being conscious of it. That is my definition of monster – knowing you are wrong and wronging people anyway. The Turpins thought they were right – that is only madness, not corruption.

    • February 27, 2018 at 11:01 am

      I beg to differ. There have been some pretty bad cases where govt agencies have fouled up, but the Turpin house as described is off the far end of the scale – worse than the worst examples I’ve heard about from official agencies – and you only hear about the worst of those.

      The publicity around this case means that the authorities HAVE to give the very best care. From reports I hear that the adult siblings are getting excellent care. Less is known (rightly) about the younger ones being fostered, but the fact that they are in threes and in communication with the elder ones by Skype means that any wrongdoing by a fosterer or other adult would be very quickly whisteblown.

      It’s too late for all but the youngest one to experience much sound, sane parenting. The second youngest is 12 or so, and she and all her other siblings will, sadly, live with the torture for the rest of their lives. The toddler will hopefully forget most of it.

      As to whether the parents are monsters or mad – they could be both at once, or (as I incline) one of each. I think we have to wait for the trial proper. That’ll be ages off.

  • February 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Hi and thank you so much for sharing your comments and experience.

    While my familial abuse was not quite so controlled as yours I too experienced abuse from my birth family into my 50s, when I finally woke up one day, spent 4 years detaching and escaped entirely a year ago.

    You don’t walk out and get help because to you, IT’S NORMAL. This is how things have always been. And you’ve been so demoralized, so put down, gaslighted, told you are worthless and can’t do anything alone that that is your reality and your world.

    I have been praying for the Turpin kids since this story broke and totally identifying with their situation although my abuse was not so extreme – but it was toxic and debilitating and I wonder how my life would be different without 50 years of abuse by my mother and brothers.

    And telling people about it – I often get a blank stare, then “Well you look ok so it must not have been that bad.”
    They have NO CLUE. None. Even with friends, even with good friends who know me well and now know all about it. Just the other day at lunch I told my very good friend about nightmares I’d had for a few days and how much they were affecting me. She said “Well that’s all over now.”. But it’s not because it’s still all inside me. Even as well as I’m doing and as hard as I’m working on it, one bad dream and I’m in a funk for days, right back to a year ago in the midst of mind numbing abuse.

    Anyway, thanks for your very insightful remarks. I really appreciate them.

  • August 20, 2018 at 3:36 am

    My wifes sister and her husband next door has kept their daughter a hostage for 50 years. Her TV is monitored. Her friends are restricted. Her route to and from work is controlled and timed. Her clothes are bought for her. Her hairstyle and everything else is decided upon by her parents. No single men have ever been allowed to come to their home. Their daughter has a profesional job as a physical therapist and also has a degree from Ole Miss. She goes to work by herself but that is it and everything is controlled and monitored. I’m not allowed to be alone with her under orders from both of her parents because I made the mistake 20 years ago of trying to set her up on a date with a nice military guy that was in the same army reserve unit that I was in. Since she has never been allowed to have a boyfriend she has no children. Her mother decided a few years ago that they were going to adopt. We were at their home and my SIL announced that they were going to adopt a child. I stated that at 65 was she not a little too old to adopt a child. My sister-in-law chuckled and said silly, her daughter was going to adopt. My wife asked her sister did her 45 year old niece have an opinion. Her sister said it’s what the family wants. The whole time this conversation was being played out. The 45 year old who was going to be the adoptive mother sat at the table and never said a word. True story

    • August 20, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Hello William,

      Thank you for your comment. I find the situation you describe deeply disturbing as it parallels my past living situation – about 75%.

      If you truly want to help your niece, while I cannot provide psychological or legal advice, I do have a few ideas and suggestions.

      The “fences” on your niece are in her mind. She is institutionalized and cult brainwashed. I would refer you to the article of mine (link below) which describes her mental state in more detail. She may be unaware that she has the legal right to leave and her parents cannot legally compel here to remain or return to their home. She may be unaware of the Legal Age of Majority. She may fear they will have her committed as psychologically incompetent either in an institution or in their custody if she attempts to leave. She may believe her parents have the legal right to compel the police to return her to their home if she “runs away.” I held all of those beliefs into my 30s and all of them were absolutely 100% wrong.


      It may also be the physical and financial concerns that keep her bound. Her parents undoubtedly have her Power of Attorney and/or their names on her bank accounts and/or hold the title of her vehicle and/or have all her passwords (e.g. bank, email, etc.) and open her snail mail. Obviously this limits your communication with her to her work email, chance meetings, etc….and she is undoubtedly under orders to tell her parents everything that occurs during her workday, especially any contact with you.

      She may need to be willing to walk away from all her physical possessions and life’s savings (at least temporarily) and start all over again with nothing. She needs a safe and secret place to live and a new place of employment while transitioning from her life-with-parents to Real Life of God-given freedom. Hopefully, a good lawyer and/or the police will help her wrest control of her money and stuff from her parents post-transition.

      Due to the unfortunate limitations of the law in your state regarding “vulnerable adults,” there are no laws on the books that really apply in the case you describe (so-called freedom because she drives and works), so I would suggest you approach this situation as a domestic violence situation / cult abuse situation and arrange for an intervention by professionals are skilled in helping women-held-against-their-will to escape. It’s a very delicate situation and may be expensive, but your niece’s life right now is merely a living death and you may well be her only saving Grace. My husband rescued me and I bless him for it every day of my life. This may be what you were born to do; the Good Deed of your life!

      God bless!!!

      ~ Lenora


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