- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Perris, California, couple who have been accused of shackling their 13 children to their beds and imprisoning them in filthy, dark, disgusting conditions were — according to the grandmom — good Christians who were simply living out their faith by having so many kids.

Nope. God had nothing to do with this evil. In fact, this couple gives God a bad name.

This is how religion is destroyed; this is how faith gets shattered.

David and Louise Turpin, 57 and 49, respectively, were taken into custody and charged with torture and child endangerment after their 17-year-old daughter found a cellphone and escaped from the home to meet with authorities. Police were shocked at the girl’s appearance and said she seemed to be only 10 years old, BBC reported.

Authorities then responded to the home and discovered the other children, ages 2 to 29, “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” police said, and are now being treated in various hospitals.

They were so malnourished that police were “shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29,” police went on, NPR reported.

Horrific, yes?

Even more — this: ABC reported the grandparents to the children, James and Betty Turpin, from West Virginia, said David and Louise had so many kids because “God called on them” to do so. They also said they were “surprised and shocked” by the allegations because their son and daughter-in-law were “a good Christian family” of Pentecostal faith who home-schooled their children.

The family had relocated from Texas to California in 2010, and declared bankruptcy twice, despite the fact Turpin worked as an engineer for Northrop Grumman. Turpin’s also listed as the principal of Sandcastle Day School, a child-care facility registered at the family’s home address that opened in March 2011, BBC reported. And get this: For the 2016-2017 year, the school had an enrollment of six students.

Nobody saw anything unusual?

Neighbors say they were shocked — one, for instance, told ABC he “didn’t know there were kids in the house.” Others say the family was intensely private. And the family’s bankruptcy lawyer recalled the Turpins as “a very nice couple.”

But this is how evil very often works — it comes dressed and draped in light, appearing as “nice” or “Christian” or otherwise “good.” And this case serves as an eye-opening reminder of the need to not be fooled by outward appearances.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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