Last week, the world was horrified when the news about Ruby Franke broke. The popular Youtube "momfluencer" had done the unthinkable...
In this week's episode, we're going to get into this unfolding horror. Who is Ruby Franke? What did the popular 8 Passengers mom do? What are we going to see out of her trial moving forward?
There's no doubt we're seeing a narcissistic mother face her fears on an international stage. That will have big consequences for children and mothers across the globe.
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Welcome to the Practical Growth podcast with me, ebi Johnson, author, nlpmp and cognitive reappraisal coach. This is the podcast created for people like you, people looking for more, more health, more peace, more happiness. Each week, I explore a new topic in pop psychology and help you build a better life and better relationships. Join me for special guests, exciting ideas and practical advice that you can use to improve your life from the inside out. Let's get into it. Hello, hello, hello, and welcome back my lovelies to another episode of the Practical Growth podcast. It is me, ebi, your favorite writer, your favorite TikTok coach, your favorite cognitive reappraisal specialist and NLPMP. And we got a. We got a juicy one. Today. It's a little bit different, right? I'm not really going to be going into a big lecture or a big lesson today. What we're going to be looking at instead is the horrifying case of Ruby Frank. Now, if you're someone who is on TikTok, is on YouTube, spends any kind of time on Twitter or Facebook, then you have probably seen this woman's name mentioned somewhere in the last week. There's a reason for that and there's a reason why we are going to be talking about Ruby Frank. I want to really get into this case, break it down and explore why it's so important for us there's survivors of narcissistic mothers to pay close attention to this case. Okay, because wow, when I tell you the twists and turns and just horrifying all around, but some really big clues in here for us, the survivors of narcissistic mothers, and really big clues for the children who might still be in our lives, the children around us, the future children that are going to be coming up right Narcissistic mothers, how their mothers might be showing up with them on the internet and causing a lot of really big harm really important. So we're going to get into it here in just a minute. Before we jump in, just a little bit of housekeeping. I know a lot of you have found me. You have come here. You follow me on the back of mediumcom, unfortunately. You know I've spent a long, long time there been writing there since 2019, but unfortunately now it's just become too difficult. It's just become really, really hard work and my stories don't get shown to anybody and they earn pennies. If that and the earning is not what's important, it's the fact that they just don't show. I have 33,000 some odd followers, and they show my stories to less than 1% of the people who follow me. So I have moved my best content and my original content and my new stories over to sub stack. It works just like medium you can follow me for free or you can pay for a premium subscription and you get new articles every week and free ebooks and all kinds of goodies from me. But yeah, I'm over on sub stack, sharing my advice, sharing my articles and, most importantly, I'm sharing some really new kind of personal looks into my life. Okay, there's going to be some really kind of peak under the hood stories that I'll be sharing there over the next couple of weeks. So if you want to get this kind of unique perspective on me and how I've done it and how I kind of find peace and solace in this chaotic world and you know the advice you've come to rely on, then you can do that over on sub stack. Dead easy to find me just head to practicalgrowthsubstackcom and boom, I'm right there. You've got my whole medium archive there as well. So all your old favorite medium stories are over there. So go take a look, practicalgrowthsubstackcom, and give me a follow. All right, let's jump right in. Ruby Frankie, who is this? Who is this woman? You've probably heard or mentioned or maybe you've seen some videos about her in the last couple of days. Who is Ruby Frankie? What is she about? Why is she so famous? Why is she being talked about? What is going on? So Ruby Frankie is essentially a mom fluencer. She's a popular YouTube mom who for years and years and years basically like a decade now or more has been creating parenting videos parenting videos and showing how she raises her six children. Now, frankie and her husband have been making these videos for years and years and years. And these videos again all homemade and we're all about showing their six kids Shari, chad, abby, julie, russell and Eve and how they parented these children from a conservative perspective. Okay, they are big, active members of the Mormon church the LDS, I believe and they believe in quite rigid, quite strict, no technology type of upbringing for their children. Now, that sounds great on the surface, right? That sounds. That's fine. If you want to raise your children more conservatively, because it was really like a 1950s kind of style of parenting, that's fine, right? Well, the thing is, frankie, she and her husband had a very extreme method of parenting. It was very, very, very extreme. The channel has been deleted now, but you can still find a lot of the videos on TikTok. Thanks TikTok. And you see things like Ruby removing doorknobs, removing doors. She takes the bedroom away from her teenage child at one point. She denies them food when they're sick. They're not allowed to sleep in their room. She makes them sleep on sheets next to the toilet. There's videos of her hitting them. There are videos of her pulling the car over next to fatal car wrecks and making the children look at it and telling them that should have been you, you should have been in the wreck. I mean, it's really extreme. It's really disgusting. There's children begging for food and she tells them you don't need to eat, you're being punished, you're not repentant. Very, very extreme parenting that actually stops being parenting and basically turns into torture. So this YouTube channel Eight Passengers becomes wildly popular. It's got tons and tons and tons of followers, mostly women which is going to be important in just a little bit who boost it. They were viral all the way back in 2015 with some of the controversial stuff they were doing, but it just gained them more supporters. They got a bunch of applause for starving their children and saying horrible things to them and yada, yada, yada, yada. Well, a few years after that first big push around 2017, 2018,. Ruby joined forces with this quote unquote therapist named Jody Hildebrand, because Jody now becomes Ruby's business partner and they start making all these videos about super, super uber religious parenting. And they had this one really controversial video that was all about what loving a child unconditionally means, and, if I'm not mistaken, this is the one in which Jody was saying she makes the fire comparison. If your child came to you on fire, you wouldn't say, oh honey, oh no, you're on fire. You would start hitting them. That's what she says. You would beat them until the fire was out. And that's essentially what she says. Her parenting style is If they don't conform, you beat them until they conform, because you're beating them to make them a better person. All right, she's got tons of videos like this and, again, if you want to find them, you're going to have to probably go find them on TikTok. Youtube has not been that reliable since the channel got deleted, so just kind of be aware of that. So, fast forward to August 30th, we've got this mother. She's had this channel for years. She's starving the children on this channel. They're begging her to stop hitting them in videos. She's got a video where her daughter is losing her vision and begs to go to the ER, and even the husband says we have to go to the ER. Ruby makes a video. Instead, she goes and sits in the bathroom and says I don't want to go to the ER, so I'm going to clean the house and shower and get ready instead. Medical neglect All of this kind of stuff is happening right For years. Fast forward to August 30th of this year. Okay, august 30th of this year, it's late morning, okay, in Utah, suns just come up, the air is still pretty cool, but the day is already warming up. This couple gets a gets a knock on their door and then they hear the doorbell ring. They open the door. What do you think is on the other side of their door? It's a 12 year old boy with duct tape around his wrists and ankles and he is covered in bruises and open wounds and he begs them for help and he begs them to come inside. This is August 30th of this year, folks. It turns out that this is Ruby, frankie's 12 year old son, and I know I've already given you their names, but I'm not going to really kind of dwell on him because he's going through enough at the moment. But this is Frankie's 12 year old son. He has been duct tape. He has been starved, beaten, tortured and has now escaped from the basement of his home. There is still duct tape around his ankles. There is a 911 call that has now been released of the couple who found him and it's just heartbreaking. The gentleman on the phone, within minutes of calling the police, starts solving, audibly solving, because of what he sees in this starved boy who keeps saying it's my fault, it's my fault, it's my fault. You can hear him over and over in the background saying it's my fault that his mother has duct tape him, beaten him and starved him. Okay, police show up, they find the little boy. Apparently there was another sibling in the house that had also been restrained. Obviously, the police start making arrests and that's where we are today with Ruby Franke. Ruby Franke and her business partner, jody Hildebrandt have been arrested and they have now been charged with six felony counts of child abuse. Since their arrest, there has been absolutely stunning details that have come out, including that a week or two ago there was a warrant or some kind of order issue to go and look inside the house to perform a welfare check on the children. That request was made by one of the older siblings who was no longer in the home. A judge or the police or whatever, they decided not to act on it. Okay, so that was a couple of weeks ago. There were numerous reports to CPS and nothing has been done that has come out since. So there were people seeing this, there were people trying to help, but it hasn't done anything until today. Ruby has been arrested and since her arrest she has doubled down on the abuse and the shock tactics. That's right. Since Ruby's arrest, with her business partner Jody, she has appeared in court and pointed the finger at the child who exposed her. She's accused this child of heinous, heinous, heinous crimes, in an effort not only to destroy him in the eyes of the law and the stories that he has undoubtedly told them, but also to isolate him from his siblings. Because now that she has accused this child, who escaped from the duct tape, handcuffs and wrist cuffs she put on him, now that she has accused him of horrible sexual crimes this is a 12-year-old, mind you, a 12-year-old who has lived in an incredibly strict and sheltered house he's going to be isolated from his siblings for the duration of this, until they can disprove any of those claims or this trial finally finishes, he may remain separated from them permanently if her story who Jody is backing up sticks. So that's pretty horrifying and to me, top to finish, the start of the story to now where we are in this unraveling is an excellent, excellent example a horrifying but excellent example of who the modern narcissistic mother is. I mean, yes, this might be one extreme end of the platform, but make no mistake, there were thousands and thousands, if not millions, of people following Ruby and what she and her business partner did. I mean, they didn't just have a YouTube channel, they had podcasts and things. They were a lot of business dealings, they were business partners. There was a lot of women who followed them and lifted up their parenting styles. To me, this is where it becomes important. This isn't just a dramatic story to follow. This is the narcissistic mother playing out on an international stage and we need to pay close attention to that. The narcissistic mother, of course, is the woman who has children, not for the act of connecting with those children, but for the status that they provide her as a mother. A narcissistic woman has children because she wants to become a mother, because being that title being a quote unquote mother gives her a power over them and it gives her a certain amount of social power, social credit, in the circles that she runs in around her, whether that be at church or school or with other women. Yada, yada, yada. She gets higher up in the hierarchy if she has children. This is the narcissistic mother. If you're unlucky, like I was, to get a malignant narcissist as a mother, this extends further. Not only are you an object which is meant to provide her with status or validation or narcissistic supply, you are also the target of all her life's disappointments, all of her resentments, all of her animosity. She will try to destroy your relationships. She wants you to suffer. Malignant narcissist border into territory with psychopathy. This is why I tell my clients it's a spectrum. Narcissism is a spectrum. It goes one extreme to the next. When it's in that really extreme end, where you go towards really abusive, manipulative, coercive tactics, you start to see a bleed into psychopathy. Psychopaths essentially have no empathy whatsoever, and here's the real difference they take pleasure in the pain of others. You see this in malignant narcissists. There's a huge overlap. And again, all psychopaths are narcissists. Stay with me. Malignant narcissists enjoy. They take pleasure in hurting others. My mother took pleasure when she got to punish me. I remember sometimes seeing her hiding a little bit of a smile when a kid was upset at getting punished for something they had done wrong. That's what it is and I think that we see that here. We definitely see that in the early videos, in my opinion, which again you can find on TikTok. There are videos of Ruby taking pleasure in denying the children food. There's a whole video in which she takes a lot of glee and describing how her daughter forgot her lunch. She's going to make sure that her daughter is hungry when she comes home. She even says in the video I hope no one gives her food today at school because she needs to learn her lesson for forgetting her lunch. This is a child, you guys. This isn't even a teenager. This is like a child. This little girl was like 11 or 12 or something. At this point she's taking pleasure in it. You can tell from the performative way that Ruby talks, the intonation, the way it changes in her voice, by the way her facial features change, that there is a glee that she gets in these extreme punishments. She likes denying her children. It gives her a sense of power. It gives her a sense of happiness and pride in herself. That's where we see this malignant narcissism. We see it all the way in the start of Frankie's story Sorry, frankie's, but then we see it there at the end. This is almost where it's more interesting to me is that now that Frankie has been exposed which is the narcissist's biggest fear Frankie fears more than anything else being exposed for what she is, which is a monster. She's been hiding in plain sight with the validation of others, but that validation is gone now because the social credit that she has has changed. Now we see Frankie turning on her child, trying to isolate him, and telling these really extreme stories about him assaulting neighborhood children, assaulting his siblings for years, having this devious pornography habit from the age of three or something she said, or the age of six. It was really really outrageous, whatever the claim she made was. But that is where the narcissist exposes themselves. So they get the mask removed. The public sees them for who they are, or someone that matters to the narcissistic mother sees her for who she is and there's a freak out right and the narcissist frantically starts trying to cover up the hole that's now been exposed. They start trying to cover their face with stories essentially with lies but the problem is the narcissist is not prepared and the narcissist is arrogant. So the narcissist starts telling stories that actually expose the narcissist even more. But they don't realize it because they're just frantically trying to point the finger and cover their face. And we see Frankie doing that now. She's made the claims that this child has used technology to develop a pornography addiction. Well, there's a lie in there somewhere. One of two things is happening. All of her videos show them not having access to technology and her bragging gleefully about how limited their access to technology was. These kids were not walking around with iPads and iPhones, they weren't hanging out on computers. So one of two things is happening. She either lied about the access that they had to technology and this child really was looking up pornography, or she's made the story up to cover her ass. Either way, she's telling a lie somewhere. There is a lie happening somewhere, so which one is it? That's the first kind of big hole where she exposes herself, but the exposure then goes on as she makes this story more elaborate. In this shelter hearing where she's trying to isolate and destroy this child out of need for revenge, she says that this child has been sexually assaulting siblings and also dozens of other children in the neighborhood and at school and church for years. Okay, she says that this child's been doing this since like six something out. Absolutely outrageous. You'll have to go and look it up. I'm not going to quote it, but it was outrageous. Well, here's the second big hole, then. Frankie, so you're saying this child has been doing this for years? Let's suppose that that's true. Well then, that means you've been covering it up for years, haven't you? Why have you been covering it up for years? And also, if you've been covering up a crime that big, that major, that severe, doesn't it probably track that you would cover up and tell lies now when you were in trouble yourself? Again, huge holes. Narcissists. Don't think about this. And she also doesn't think about the fact that, for she's too arrogant, right, she's way too up her own bum for it. But she's made the accusation now that this child has assaulted dozens like 20 neighborhood children and people from the church and siblings and stuff like that, right? Yet there's no one to corroborate this. No siblings have these complaints. No neighbors have no neighbors. No neighbors have any complaints. But what we do have is tons of complaints from the neighbors about their concern for the welfare of those children all of them. What we do have is multiple calls to CPS from friends and family who were concerned about the welfare of the children. There's no evidence to corroborate what she said this child has done. She's even. She even said that this child did a sexual assault through what she called a padding game, but then she didn't go into what a padding game was. Again, we've got no evidence for that. But what we do have on TikTok is an unedited video of Ruby Frankie patting her son, who was laying face down on a bed over and over again until it turns into like a violent, painful spanking on his back end that he begs her to stop. We do have a video of that. You see what I'm saying? Narcissists tell on themselves, tell, tell, tell, tell, tell Everything that she has pointed the finger at this 12 year old, for we have basically videos of her doing the same thing. Or we have a video contradicting what she is saying, pointing out a lie. But she's too arrogant. She thinks that she knows better than everyone around her. She thinks that her story is going to fly because she thinks she's God. She thinks she's got a one-to-one connection with God. Whatever it is, she's completely out of her mind and she won't keep her mouth shut, and that's part of the narcissistic spiral. Before the narcissistic collapse Expose themselves, they just vomit everything up and then it's catatonic hopelessness, depression, defeat, failure. But in Frankie's case, I think it'll be a long time before we see that. I think we're going to see someone singing on the stand, despite their lawyers' urgings, but we'll see how this plays out. Either way, we are watching a narcissistic mother in action. We are watching her in action in real time, trying to defend torture of children that she took pleasure in and this is significant because she is not the only mother on this stage and there are people running to her defense. There are women running to her defense. There were women in her comments building her up. Those are the children we need to be looking out for and we need to use this opportunity as an example to never let this happen again, to stop applauding these women who use their children as social media fodder before those children can even consent to being on a camera. What if that child grows up and want to live in the woods and doesn't want to be all over someone's videos with them seeing their most private intimate moments. It's something to think about and it's something we will have to pay attention to, looking forward. What do you think is going to happen? How do you think this is going to play out? Do you think Frankie and Hildebrandt are going to go down for this? Do you think the dad? Because he's just kind of being left out of the loop. He's even trying to get custody of the kids. What about him? Because he's in the videos with all this abuse as well, he allows this abuse, the medical neglect, all of that to happen. So what do you think? What do you think is going to play out? Do you think Frankie is a narcissistic mother? I really do want to know what you guys think. So let me know you can head over to TikTok and let me know you can head over to my website, therealebjohnsoncom. Click contact. Let me know I will be following this case. We are going to have some follow-up episodes with some really cool guests covering this. That, I think, is just going to shed even more light and just kind of help us again recognize these patterns, so we can stop these women from doing this in the future, from creating these huge platforms for themselves in which they can validate and encourage more abuse and neglect of children. So let me know, go and let me know, follow me on Substack. I've got some community discussion going on there about the case as well. So head over to SubstackPracticalGrowthSubstackcom or let me know on TikTok or on TheRealEBJohnsoncom. I want to know what you're thinking about this case and that is it. That is it for today's episode. Thank you so much for listening. If you loved it, if you've been following for a while, please don't forget to go and leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts. It just helps the podcast reach more people, it helps people find me and, more importantly, it helps you guys find each other, which is the really, really big part and really the most important part of my work is helping you guys find each other. So head over to Apple Podcasts to leave that review. If you want more of my advice, if you want to hear more about my thoughts on this case, head over to PracticalGrowthSubstackcom. I've got a community discussion going there and I've got another article that takes a bit of a deeper dive into this and my personal thoughts on this case, and again, I will be covering this in upcoming episodes. I'm going to have some guests. We're going to break it down even further and get into the meat of it. So thank you so so much for listening and, yeah, thank you for following me on Substack. You guys are great. A lot of you jumped right away and I'm very grateful for that. So, for everyone else, go apply for coaching. If you want to get some coaching, follow me on TikTok and keep your heads up and keep your eyes on the stars. Keep moving forward. Bye, bye.