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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ulatowski

Inside '8 Passengers' Ruby Franke's Mom Group: Shocking Homophobia and Family Estrangement

Updated: Jul 30, 2022

It has been about 4 months since 8 Passengers, the YouTube vlogging family at the center of a 2020 child abuse case, quit YouTube. The 8 Passengers consists of parents, Ruby and Kevin Franke, and their six children - Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. In 2020, the 8 Passengers came under fire after revealing their teenage son slept on the floor for seven months as a punishment. The 8 Passengers attempted to make a comeback and made accusations of being "cancelled." As time passed, though, they began to post more and more infrequently, until they stopped altogether at the beginning of this year.

Ruby Franke took to YouTube to explain that she had stopped vlogging in favor of becoming more involved in ConneXions. The organization claims to offer mental health counseling and hires "life coaches" such as Franke, who have no qualifications or credentials. It is also headed by Jodi Hildebrandt, a therapist who temporarily had her licensed revoked for blackmailing a client and disclosing sensitive patient information. Most recently, Franke and Hildebrandt teamed up to start a Mom Support Group on Facebook. The two have invited mothers to share their problems or worries, which Franke and Hildebrandt then discuss and offer solutions to. When some mothers broached questions about the LGBTQ community, however, you will be shocked at the homophobic and hateful responses that Franke and Hildebrandt recorded on video.

Homophobic response to child searching "am I gay?"

Hildebrandt and Ruby started out pretty tame, talking to mothers who had daughters that dressed immodestly or kids who don't want to go to church. However, it quickly escalated when, on April 15, Hildebrandt shared a video responding to a mother who found searches on her daughter's computer such as "am I gay quiz?" You can view the video above, note that the real answer to the question begins at 4:48. The earlier portion of the video is Hildebrandt repeating that their group shares principles of truth and that if anyone disagrees with them, they should leave the group.

She then launched into a tirade against the LGBTQ community. Hildebrandt stated, "You daughter is not gay, she is a child of god." Essentially, she stated that the young girl thinking she was a gay, was a distortion, because she is only a child of god and everything else she believes herself to be is a lie. Hildebrandt then stated that being gay is a choice and that one can easily choose to not be attracted to someone. As the video continued, she became pretty unhinged, saying that supporters of the LGBTQ community are trying to steal your children and take them away from you.

She also continuously brought up a falsehood that children are told they are gay or transgender if they like things typically associated with one gender or the other. At one point, she even said that if a child likes the color purple they will be lied to that they are gay. In the end, she said that the mother doesn't have a choice about whether or not she should limit electronics or give her daughter a second chance. She told the mother that her kid is in danger and the mother needs to throw herself in front of the child and do everything she can to protect her. This means keeping her away from the internet and any outside influences that might turn her away from god.

There was no discussion of unconditional love, supporting one's child, and being accepting. Hildebrandt outlined that the LGBTQ community is evil, is stealing your children, and that your kids can't be gay if they are a "child of god." She encouraged a confused mother to completely throw away and ignore her daughter's curiosity about her identity and encouraged this mom to basically cut her daughter off from the rest of the world to stop her from further exploring or learning about sexual orientation.

Ruby suggests cutting off transgender family member

Ruby later followed up with another video of a mother questioning if she should cut off her siblings' family, because her niece had come out as transgender. In the video, Ruby gave the parallel of accidentally dumping a little bit of salt into a jar of sugar. Because salt is heavier than sugar, the salt contaminated all of the sugar. No matter how much sugar she added, she could still taste the salt. Essentially, her point was that being transgender constitutes contamination and even if you shower your children with your strong ideals and values, the contamination from the few moments with a transgender family member will still get to them. She then said that she didn't like the phrase "cutting off," but that was literally the gist of her message.

Ruby tries to avoid discussing the transgender aspect by referencing a situation in her family and shining light on her divide with the Griffith family. Before 8 Passengers quit YouTube it became apparent that they had become estranged from Ruby's side of the family, the Griffiths. The 8 Passengers were noticeably absent from every Griffith get-together and the kids no longer saw their cousins, grandparents, or aunts and uncles whom they were close to.

Ruby explained that the split happened around the time that they sent their son, Chad, away from home. Chad was sent to Anasazi, a wilderness treatment camp for troubled teens, for an entire summer when he was 14. The reason for this was never given, but in the video posted to the support group, Ruby said that he had an "addiction." What this "addiction" was that a 14-year-old child supposedly had, is unknown. However, when her family began joking about addiction and expressing different opinions about the issue, Ruby cut her whole family off. She then encouraged the mother who submitted the question to do the same. Ruby is encouraging mothers to shelter their kids and keep them away from anything that the parents disagree with. According to the bible, god considers "certain acts" immoral and Ruby indicated that being transgender was one of them. To live in truth, the mother must avoid being "contaminated" by the transgender family member.

ConneXions exposed... again

Ruby Franke and her involvement in ConneXions has been a frequent topic on this blog. Time and time again, Ruby and Jodi have shown that they are completely unqualified to be giving advice, whether it be motherhood advice or mental health advice. Jodi is a disgraced therapist who almost lost her license, and Ruby is a mother of six who was accused of abusing her children. Now, under the pretense of being "experts" they are increasingly finding ways to spread dangerous rhetoric. First, it was sharing with glee Ruby and Kevin's extreme punishment of their children, which included them receiving no Christmas presents, being pulled out of school, and forced to clean floors all day. Then, it was Ruby commenting on taking all enjoyment out of every holiday and every occasion possible for your child. Now, it is an outright hateful and ignorant attack on the LGBTQ community.

"The LGBTQ community is coming from your kids," "Being transgender is immoral according to god," "Being gay is a choice," "You're daughter isn't gay she's a child of god," "Isolate your kids from anything you personally disagree with," "Don't let your kids be contaminated." The ideals expressed in this support group are abhorrent. Not only that, but Ruby and Jodi have frequently expressed that the support group isn't a place for "opinions." It is only a group where moms can hear what Ruby and Jodi have to say. No one can contest it. No one can offer a different perspective.

In addition to homophobia, Ruby and Jodi have talked about how the covid-19 vaccine is a distortion, because it can't actually protect you. They've discussed censoring the books that their kids read. Refusing to let their kids watch TikTok and challenging the music in their daughter's dance class. They've encouraged cutting your child off from the entire world and isolating them until they submit to your opinion. Needless to say, Ruby and Jodi are becoming a very, very dangerous force on social media and need to be stopped.

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1 Comment

Mar 16, 2023

Rachel….I couldn’t agree with you more. These two women not only need to be stopped, they MUST be stopped. I would like to help support your cause to stop today the destructive counsel that they are giving. They are reckless and cruel. Oh, but they make sure they get paid up front for their services. Hmmm, just what is their motive?

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