loader image
Close this search box.

Exploring the Ruby Franke Controversy: Mormon Influence and YouTube Parenting

Parenting on YouTube can be a dangerous game, especially when religious beliefs come into play. In a recent episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, host Billie Tarascio dives into the controversial Ruby Franke case, exploring how Mormon teachings might have played a role. Special guests Beth Griffith, a true crime podcaster, and Jennie Gage, an influencer who left the Mormon Church, share their personal experiences and insights.

Why Are Mormon Influencers So Popular?

Ruby Franke, who gained fame through her YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” is one of many Mormon influencers. Here’s why they’re so captivating:

  • Light to the World: Many Mormons feel it’s their duty to be a positive example.
  • Unique Lifestyles: Traditional practices like churning butter or sewing clothes draw in curious viewers.
  • Nostalgia: Their lives remind people of simpler times, which can be comforting and intriguing.

Controversial Parenting Methods

Ruby Franke became controversial for her strict parenting. Some examples include:

  • Taking away her son Chad’s bed for nine months.
  • Not sending her daughter Eve to school with lunch as punishment.

These actions raised questions about whether they were influenced by Mormon teachings or were Ruby’s extreme interpretations.

How Mormon Teachings Affect Parenting

Beth and Jennie explain that certain Mormon doctrines can lead to strict parenting:

  • Milk Before Meat: This idea means giving children simple teachings first, then more complex ones as they grow.
  • Perfect Obedience: Obedience is taught as the first law of heaven, leading some parents to enforce strict discipline to ensure their children follow religious teachings.

Jodi Hildebrandt’s Influence

Jodi Hildebrandt, a therapist in the Mormon community, had a significant influence on Ruby. Her extreme methods and authority within the church played a part in the abusive environment Ruby’s children faced.

Mental Health and Isolation

Both Beth and Jennie emphasize that mental health support is lacking in the Mormon community. This can lead to:

  • Isolation: Many women feel cut off from outside support.
  • Extreme Behavior: Without mental health resources, individuals may resort to harmful actions in an attempt to adhere strictly to their faith.

Balancing Belief and Reality

While many Mormons are kind and well-meaning, some doctrines can lead to harmful behaviors if misinterpreted. It’s important to distinguish between the core values of the religion and the extreme actions taken by a few.

Key Takeaways

  • Religious Influence: Understand how religious teachings can shape behavior, sometimes leading to extremes.
  • Need for Support: Recognize the importance of mental health resources in preventing harmful actions.
  • Critical Thinking: Encourage questioning and balanced interpretation of religious teachings to avoid extreme behaviors.


The Ruby Franke case highlights the impact of religious beliefs on parenting. Beth and Jennie’s insights provide a valuable perspective on the potential for doctrine to be taken to harmful extremes. This episode encourages listeners to think about the importance of mental health support and the influence of religious teachings on family dynamics.

If you enjoyed this discussion, be sure to check out more of Beth Griffiths’ work on Mormon True Crime and follow her on social media for insightful content. Additionally, dive into Jennie Gage’s advocacy and personal stories on Life Take 2 to understand more about her journey and the impacts of leaving the Mormon Church. Your support helps these voices reach a wider audience and continue their important work.

Recent Posts
Follow Us