Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jon & Kate. . . Too Late?

A train rolled into my tiny little neighborhood three years ago. About a year later, that train was making some noise as the wheels were starting to come off the tracks. Now, that train - as everyone with eyes and ears knows - has full-scale derailed.

For some reason, the world is enjoying watching this train wreck. To be honest, those of us who knew enough to see it coming can easily fall into the proud and self-righteous "I told you so" mode. To be honest, I have. And, it's even easy to wish ill-will on people who seemingly did everything they could to steer their train off the tracks through an endless series of unwise decisions and caving in to the ways of the world, thereby bringing all of this on themselves. Yep, let them get what they deserve. The Gosselin family has gotten themselves into a ridiculous mess. We watch them tearfully ask "Why?" and "What can we do?" and they look even more ridiculous. The curiosity factor is off the charts. Jon and Kate Gosselin and their kids are in trouble. We all know it.

I've remained publicly silent on this clan (that's become more than a blip on the pop culture radar) for a long time. Numerous people have suggested to me that I offer some analysis publicly, because I'm a neighbor and the President of an organization that promotes the well-being of kids The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. It wasn't easy being quiet when you could clearly see what was happening. However, I think it was the right thing to do. As those who are around me know, there were times that I brought them up over the course of the last two years when I'd be out speaking. But it was all in passing. Youth workers at some conferences who could answer the fun little trivia question - "What current TV reality show features the CPYU office building?" -could win a book. Yep, our office was sometimes caught during filming. As the popularity of Jon & Kate Plus 8 grew among Christians who were thrilled to be watching one of their own, just about everywhere I went to speak I would tell people where I was from in Pennsylvania. . . which would be followed excitedly with the same question from unknowing and faithful fans who had blindly partaken of the J & K kool-aid: "Central Pennsylvania! Do you live near Jon and Kate?!? Oh, I love them!" I would quickly answer, "Yes. And you need to stop watching." My response was usually seen as heartless and would elicit protests. Sometimes a few words to back up my opinion were enough to convince people that reality TV is not reality. Usually, people looked at me like I was a heartless liar. . . more evidence of the fact that good-natured people sometimes naively prefer to believe their own fantasies, rather than the truth. There were good reasons why I'd answer that way. More on that in a bit. . . but first, some history.

I live in a little neighborhood in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, whose name has recently gotten increased publicity. It's called Westbrooke. We moved here in 1991 and were part of a small, very friendly, and intimate group of 37 young families who built our homes on the two streets that made up our development. We literally all knew each other. There was one way in and one way out of neighborhood. We walked, talked, played, cooked-out, shared meals, and waved at each other all the time. After a few years, a couple streets were added and our neighborhood more than doubled in size. Still, we remained fairly close. In fact, this Saturday we're having our annual neighborhood yard sale. There's still only one way in and one way out of our neighborhood. All this to say, while it has been decreasing in recent years because of mobility and change, friendliness and community has always been a mark of our neighborhood.

One of those original houses was built by the parents of the female half of my next door neighbors. I can look out my CPYU office window (which sits just across the street from that one entrance to our neighborhood), and still see that house. Tragically, my neighbor's father succumbed to cancer several years ago. Then three years ago, his widow was killed in a car accident. The brick house they had built on Andrew Avenue went up for sale. I can still remember my next door neighbor coming over in 2006 and saying, "We sold the house. Guess who's moving in?" I had no clue. He replied, "The sextuplet family." I had read about the local family in the newspaper because of the multiple births. But I knew little more. At that point, I don't think there was even a show. We were getting new neighbors. Not celebrities.

To be honest, I thought how fortunate it was that the Gosselin family was moving into a good neighborhood, especially under their circumstances. This was a family who would most likely need lots of help and support, and our neighbors had a history of generously giving it. In fact, back in 1991, the neighborhood pulled together to care for a young bed-ridden mother-to-be who lived in the house just across the street and to the left of the Gosselin house. She was locked-in a high-risk pregnancy with quadruplets. My wife, along with most of the other wives in the neighborhood, cooked their meals, tended to their needs, and sat for hours each day with the expectant mom over the course of several months. If help was needed, Westbrooke was a great place to find it.

But from the time they moved into the neighborhood until the time they left, generous offers of help, meals, etc. were turned away. . . and usually not with even a polite "thank-you." The stories are multitude. And, they are consistent. These offers were not given to celebrities, but to neighbors in need. Nobody in our neighborhood was starstruck. . . simply because these were neighbors and not stars. In addition, there was a growing awareness that something was just not right. One member of the marriage would walk the kids in their six-seat stroller and was willing to engage neighbors in friendly conversation. The other immediately developed a reputation for being rude, self-centered, and demanding. Those in our neighborhood who had known that person for years were not surprised. Sadly, the one who ruled the roost set the tone, and it wasn't good. Eventually, we never saw the friendlier half of the couple.

And now we know. The family's choice to live their lives in front of the world has yielded undeniable evidence that the train has not only derailed, but wrecked.

Why am I passing this on? It is not to gossip. It is simply to pass on some limited yet accurate context about a situation that has gone public because the primary characters in this sad, sad drama have chosen to throw themselves - and their children - in the limelight. My blog is occasioned by the Gosselin story as told publicly to the world by the Gosselins themselves.

For a minute, remove all the rumors and stories (many of which are true), and think only about how the family has chosen to present themselves. Think too about the fact that when the cameras are on, we usually put on our best smiles and best behavior. . . and then think - long and hard - about what that best behavior has been on this particular show. Then, imagine what life is like and how people act when the cameras aren't rolling. After taking that all into consideration, we shouldn't be surprised by the train wreck that's taken the world by storm.

The Gosselins moved out of our neighborhood just before last Thanksgiving to a new million and half dollar home. Ironically, we're consistently told by one member of the family that money is scarce. To be honest, our little neighborhood is relieved that the publicity blitz went into high gear after they moved. Yes, the media still shows up to film their empty house and interview neighbors. I saw them here yesterday. But for me personally, knowing that the story is continuing to unfold, knowing that all kinds of people are responding and throwing around opinions, knowing that this has become the cultural event of the year, and knowing that 8 precious little lives are being forever shaped for life by both their parents' decisions and the decisions of a world enamored by the story, I decided to break my silence and answer the question many who know I was a neighbor have recently asked. . . "What do you think?" So, let me weigh in. . .

First, none of us should be surprised by any of this. As I said before, all it took was a set of eyes, a couple of ears, and some basic common-sense and elementary-level discernment to know that the train that's wrecked was coming off the tracks for a long, long time. In my travels I am continually stunned and even saddened by the parade of starstruck people who adore this family as Godly heroes and Christian role models. Where is the discernment? It's not that the Gosselins are high-profile Christians who are going through the everyday struggles with sin. Rather, they've chosen to live a high profile life that is increasingly about eagerly embracing another way. Without a doubt, the kids are cute. Without a doubt, raising 8 young kids has to be difficult. But is that reason enough to overlook and even justify the horrible things that are being done and happening. . . and embrace a family that is obviously self-destructing before the world because of their habits and choices?

Second, we have to wonder why the train was allowed to continue to wreck even though it was heading off the tracks for a long, long time. Sadly, I think one or both of two things have happened. On the one hand, the people closest to Jon and Kate who could have been advising them wisely may have become so starstruck and enamored themselves that they didn't want to compromise their ability to rub elbows on a regular basis with celebrity. They didn't want to tell the emperor that he - or she - is not wearing any clothes. They didn't say anything. On the other hand, the stars themselves are so self-absorbed that they don't want to listen to anyone who might offer some good counsel, and yes - even Biblical advice. My guess is that it's a combination of both. Those who have been known to have spoken up have been systematically removed by the powers-that-be from the system. The result is the emperor can remain naked without being bothered. . . all the while enjoying the fact that the whole world's watching. Sadly, we're now at the point of becoming embarrassed by the emperor's ignorance.

Third, this train wreck called Jon & Kate Plus 8 offers a clear window into the human condition. . . and ourselves. This is a couple whose deep, deep narcissism has made them oblivious to each other, their kids, their extended family, old friends, wise living, and perhaps even the God they so blatantly claim to serve. It appears they've forgotten the everyday reality of their human depravity and the constant dangers that it poses. They've let down their guard. The evidence seems to point to the fact that they are eagerly engaged in the pursuit and worship of created things, rather than their Creator. Life has become about the things they can get. Kate is embracing the life of a diva. But they are not alone. Each of us has the seeds of the same thing sitting in our own hearts. While you and I can sit where we sit and pronounce it as wrong - and we should - I wonder what I would do if I had the opportunity to receive what they've received. I know what I should do. I can say what I think I would do. But I know what I'd be tempted to do. So if we are going to fulfill our responsibility to speak up and criticize, it had better be done in a humble spirit that recognizes beyond a shadow of a doubt that each of us is only one bad decision away from the same thing. . . or perhaps we're already dealing with this stuff but not for the whole world to see.

Still, that's not reason to remain silent when things are going horribly wrong. The chaos surrounding any kind of wreck requires analysis and intervention from people who still have their wits about them and who have some sense of not only what's going on, but what to do. People who have been in wrecks usually aren't in any condition to tend to themselves. They need outside help, and they need it fast.

Which leads me to this. . . we need to respond. Silence is not an option. One of the great lessons of history is that those who remain silent and uninvolved when a group of people are being oppressed (in this case, 8 small children) are not helping, but hurting the situation. Those people who choose to remain silent and not intervene by speaking up, have chosen to actively participate in the oppression. It's guilt by silence. In this case, two parents and 8 little kids are laying wounded on the side of the road.

So let me humbly suggest some responses. . . because I don't think it's too late for this couple and their family. God is in the business of redeeming all kinds of situations. To Jon and Kate, it's not too late for you to save your marriage and your family. To those who care about Jon and Kate (and we all should), it's not too late to do your part to see this thing redeemed.

To Jon and Kate. . . I don't regularly watch your show. I've seen bits and pieces as I channel surf, and sometimes I stop to watch just to see, well, who in the neighborhood you've caught on camera. I even thought I might make it on a few times. . . like the time I interrupted the kid's bike-riding lessons by driving my car into the camera's line of sight on a trip out of the neighborhood. I did, however, see the recent clip where you, Kate, lamented what's happening through your tears. According to my newspaper, so did ten million other people. You expressed confusion and said you didn't know what to do. I know you're smarter than that. . . you have to be. Here's what you need to do. . . and I believe you know it. . . pull the plug. Pull the plug and pull it now. The key to a redemptive and healthy resolution to this entire fiasco lies in your hands. From what I know, I think Jon will be right with you. Realize that the temptation will be to carry on so that you can accumulate fame and fortune. But as someone you and I both claim to know once said, "What does it profit a person to gain the whole world. . . and then lose his soul?". . . or, her husband and children? Please understand that I pass this on with a full knowledge of my own weakness and depravity. I trust you understand that I say this humbly. Keep it all plugged in and you will be one very rich and famous lady. You will also be facilitating a life under public scrutiny for your kids. They will not have a childhood. Keeping it plugged in will steal their childhood, steal your family, and promote a culture of celebrity-obsession gone wild. Pull the plug and pull it now. Kate, if you don't see what's happening all around you then you are a very confused woman who is so out of touch with reality that you need an intervention. If you do see it and you choose to keep it all plugged in, then you've exposed what's most important to you. Don't be like the rich young ruler who knew what he had to do, but walked away very, very sad. Jon and Kate, if you don't pull the plug, shame on you for what you're doing to your kids. Kate, don't let your definition of "multiple blessings" move from your 8 children. . . to the fame, fortune, and freebies that are now filling your life. If that's what you choose to do, you are exploiting your kids. If you don't pull the plug and pull it now, shame on you.

To TLC. . . you used to be called The Learning Channel. I wonder, what are you teaching Jon and Kate's kids? What are you teaching your viewers? I wonder, do you ever think about the welfare of those 8 children over and above advertising revenues and skyrocketing ratings? The right thing for you to do is the same. Pull the plug, and pull it now. If not, you need to be held accountable. You are exploiting the Gosselin kids and their family. . . and we know you're getting rich. And Jon and Kate, if TLC doesn't let you go. . . then you know for sure that they don't care one bit about you and your kids. TLC, if you don't pull the plug and pull it now, shame on you.

To the Paparazzi. . . . are you kidding me? Put your cameras away. Leave these parents and their kids alone so that they can do the right thing and get their family back on track. I know you don't care, but you are contributing to the ruin of 10 lives. Not only that, you are throwing chum that's feeding a sick frenzy of celebrity-obsession that sells lots of magazines and makes lots of money. . . and which is also ruining an entire generation. Shame, shame, shame on you!

To Zondervan. . . Kate's publisher. . . . and one of my publishers. . . you need to take a long hard look at what you are doing to promote a worldview, parenting style, and message about faith that I know doesn't line-up with what has historically been your solid commitments as a publishing company. What Kate Gosselin is now promoting is a faith that is nothing more or less than the world with a thin veneer of Jesus-talk. I know you care about children, youth, and families. You've published numerous books to build the Kingdom of God and to equip strong families. For several reasons, you need to step up and pull the plug. Sure, Kate can go somewhere else and find a publisher if she so desires. But if the books you are selling don't line up with reality, or if the books you are selling are contributing to a media fascination and frenzy that's causing the loss of both childhood and the lifelong emotional health for 8 precious children. . . then please, pull the plug. If you don't, shame on you.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ who have become so enamored with this family. . . exercise some discernment and do the right thing. Wake up and see what's really happening with the Gosselin family. Women, if Kate is your role model. . . then shame on you. Pull the plug on your TV and your star-struck fascination and give this family back their privacy. Don't watch. Realize that the two best things you can do for this family is to 1) pray for them, and 2) leave them alone. This may sound strong, but I truly believe it. . . If Jon, Kate, TLC, and others are exploiting this family, well, you know that makes us accomplices if we're buying into it all. If you can't funnel your fascination into this family away from voyeurism and exploitation and into prayer and privacy. . . then shame on you!

To the churches that are booking Jon and Kate to come speak. . . pull the plug. If you are truly about building the Kingdom and doing ministry. . . pull the plug. Do the Gosselins and your congregation a favor and don't try to draw people in to your building by capitalizing on their celebrity-status. If you don't break the engagements, shame on you.

And finally, to me. I know that I'm a part of the culture, the media world, the church, and the human race. While choosing to be silent would promote the downfall of this family, any words I speak about this situation have to come from an introspective heart that seeks humility, love, the Kingdom of God, and the greater good. What I say to myself is what I will say to everyone who is thinking about the Gosselins: You are no better. The seeds of what you don't like in them live in you. Your life and family are far from perfect. Keep looking in the mirror to see where you might be doing the same things. . . although not in a highly-publicized and public way that the world can see. And if you/I don't. . . then shame on you/me.

Jon and Kate, it's not too late. You know that. This mess you've gotten yourselves into can be cleaned up and fixed. My prayer is not only that you will do the right thing, but that the rest of us who have contributed to derailing your family will do the right thing as well.


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Anonymous said...

Walt, I'm in awe of your wisdom and restraint. I've been reading you for a while, and I had no idea that you were connected in any way to the Gosselins. I appreciate your insight into this situation. I also appreciate your reminder that we all are fallen creatures. My wife and I are joining you in prayer for them, for ourselves, and in not watching their trainwreck anymore.

Dale Sheehy said...

Wow Walt, excellent thoughts. I too had no idea you were in any way connected to this family. I've watched their show off and on for a couple of years but recently have stopped. I just couldn't take it anymore. Thanks for your insight, and the having the courage to share it.

Anonymous said...

I was linked to your article from a Facebook friend and found the entire thing written from a perspective of concern and caring. I, too found the Season 5 premier disturbing. I will follow your suggestion and stop watching the show and will encourage friends to do the same. I pray that Kate will find a way to get out of her contract and attempt to restore her family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This was a thoughtful and profoundly true perspective that I am both in total agreement with and convicted by. It is an excellent mirror to make us all pause and wonder where we are allowing the seductions of the world to change our center though perhaps not quite so publically or dramatically. I hope it's a message that gets great air time. It sure is needed.

Jonathan Sigmon said...

As another local follower of Christ and 23 year-old analyst of things in the culture, your humble and convicting approach to the situation was helpful. I will be promoting your "pull-the-plug" message to others who are enamored by this unfortunate and sad situation. I will also be praying for intervention from the Divine and a change of heart for the Gosslin parents. Thanks Walt.

Lantz said...

Thanks for writing the humble boldness that needs to be said to our culture and those who are following Christ.

Thanks for showing us the way of discipline and not exploiting their lives and your relationship with them here on this blog or CPYU.

Your wisdom points us closer to Christ, thanks!

Derek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Reardon said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I'm so happy that you chose to break your silence on this tragic situation. To be honest, I didn't know you were anywhere near the media circus, or that you knew the Gosselin family. That you have been so close to witness this causes me to wonder what I may have done if in your shoes.

You're right on the mark with how you've called on those involved to act. A family needs to be salvaged. To think that America is watching these poor souls crash in flames is simply appalling. Who would have ever dreamed when watching the film, "The Truman Show" that it would actually happen in real life?

Again, thank you for saying this! I hope we all get the message.

Derek said...

Excellent post, Walt. A couple of my former youth are working down at Bald Head Island down here in NC, and apparently that's where Kate, her bodyguard, and the kids are spending some time this summer. Suffice to say that I have heard some stories thus far about rudeness and a sheer lack of humility on the adult's part.

I have long sought to understand the appeal in reality shows, and all I can think of is escapism: that watching other people's problems and conflicts play out on tv provides a brief respite for the viewers from their OWN issues.

I'm really not sure how watching damage inflicted on others is supposed and in fact capitalizing on it for "entertainment" is supposed to help us deal with our own problems.

Shirley Rempel said...

Wow, I am amazed at this article. As a Christian, your article has really got me to think about what and why I watch what I do....I will take a stand and NOT watch J&K+8, even though I have been regularly watching it. I will pray for J&K and I hope & pray they will be able to come back together and be the family God meant for them to be!

Matt said...

Walt, I'm one of those who used to watch the show regularly. My fiancee and I have seen the downfall and have since stopped watching because of said rudeness and starstruck-ness on the part of those involved. Thank you for the words of wisdom.

Teresa said...

Thank you so much for your wise words and your boldness to speak out. I'll admit I was "drinking the Gosselin Kool-Aid" for a few seasons and thought it was great that a Christian family was being featured so prominently on TV. But the more Kate talked the less excited I became. When I learned what was going on in their marriage I gave it up.

Your words are humble and inspiring. Thanks for your boldness and willingness to share them. I will continue to pray for the Gosselins but the plug is forever pulled in our house.

Rob Cunningham said...

thx for this post, walt. you offer some wisdom and insight, couched in Christlike compassion.

TT said...

Wonderful article. Thanks for your insight. I really hope Jon and Kate pull the plug soon.

Rob said...


I've admired your insight in your books and on this blog for a while now, and I think this is one of your most insightful and challenging posts ever. We all have a little "Kate" in us, and we all would be as susceptible of falling to fame and fortune as she if presented with it. Juxtaposed against your recent visit with Compassion, you've really made me look hard at what I say is important in my life, and what I actually spend my time, money, and effort on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...I really appreciate it.

Elizabeth In New Jersey said...

"People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall." Proverbs 10:9

Thank you so much for looking out for those dear sweet children. I will admit I found the first few specials and seasons endearing as I watched Jon and Kate struggle (or so I thought) and they always turned to Christ for his help and guidance. The Bible verses displayed, the open show of getting ready for church and Sunday School. Very very refreshing, but than it changed. Kate once said TLC didn't want that much religion, yet the Roloffs and Duggars were continuing to bring church or religion onto their shows. We saw the free trips, the free tummy tuck, hair plus, teeth does the Bible say about vanity? Was this the start of the derailing? It has been said they had a wish list and TLC would fulfill it. They felt entitled and bigger than life (at least to themselves) and all of sudden Jon doesn't work, they are being paid (if the rumors are to be believed) a huge sum for every episode and every season they drag out the season because more shows = more cash. Family and dear friends disappear one by one, nary an explanation as to what happened. The poor poor kids, no real stablity in their lives. Kate who told us back in the tummy tuck episode upon returning home "I never want to leave you guys for that long again," is off on book signings, church talks and spa vacations leaving the kids home with Jon and a variety of "helpers". Jon being caught in the press in situations where a Christan father of 8 has no business being. Yes, Jon was young when he started his family, but he was a willing participate as it takes two to tango, so the "I missed out on my 20's" doesn't hold water for me. He has stated he was happy with just his twin girls but yet he went along along with Kate for "just one more."

Week after week you see those sad faces. Yes, they smile at times, but just watch them and you see signs of stress. Collin who was rocking back and forth on the picnic table, Joel who just spaces out. Poor Alexis, who hugged Jon tight and told him she didn't want him to leave and he replies "daddy's have to work." Jon and Kate are caught time and time again in half truths and embellishments that I think by this time they are not fooling many people other than themselves.

Walt, thank you. Please keep an eye on the situation, and let's all pray the cameras are turned off and Jon and Kate get down to some serious praying to heal their marriage and their family. Grace be to God!

Carla said...

Good for you for saying what needs to be said! I couldn't agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

wow - I had a hard time getting through your article because you spend so much time in the introductory phase leading us to believe that you know them, you are in the neighborhood, you have never spoken until now, etc. Such a build up. Your behavior in writing this is rather narcisstic and I think you will agree if you read back. You offer a lot of good advice at the end however if these two aren't asking for advice, and they aren't... and also millions are offering their input and much is similar to your input so you know that Jon and kate have heard all of this already. They are scared to death as to how to support 8 kids without the fame, notoriety, show, books, clothing line, etc. and frankly I don't necessarily blame them for being scared. Can you think of some actual realistic proposals that will help them make money and still be able to devote time to their children.

S. Hendrix said...

Excellent article. I have stopped watching because I cannot bear to see those sweet children being used by the parents to promote their lifestyle. Let's hope PA passes a law to stop this type of exploitation.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I am especially glad that you leveled responsibility on all involved including the channel the publisher the churches and the viewers. I hope they can fix everything and I hope that they can find the humility to do it

Prime said...

Gee ... You tell the press and all to leave them alone and yet you write a lenghty article that I found to be very harsh. I wish the church would NOT pull the plug at all. Instead I believe the church should love this family that has made public mistakes.

How will your treatment of this family affect your blog readership? I bet it's up.

Leave them alone. Or better yet, rather than throw stones from a distance, how about driving over to their nice new home and letting them know you are there to serve?

readerlady said...

Thank you for writing what many of us have been saying and feeling for a very long time. If only the powers that be at TLC and Zondervan would heed your wise and compassionate words. Unfortunately, repeated emails to both companies are ignored. God bless you for caring about those 8 children, who need help. Thank you for making us remember that the 2 parents', however misguided they may be, also need our prayers and compassion.

Ben McClary said...

Thanks for your bold, humble analysis, Walt. I didn't know Zondervan was working on a book with Kate. I ESPECIALLY thank you for standing up to the Christian "powers-that-be" on this and I hope they listen.

jesse said...

Prime, I believe Walt's intention in asking the church to pull the plug was to stop watching the show and instead pray for and love this family. Not to encourage the church to stop caring about them. But to instead start caring about them as the flesh and blood broken humans that they, and all of us, are.

Walt, this brought my mind back to Carrie Prejean and the Christian celebrity status that she obtained. Both examples are good reminders that, as disciples of Christ, we must only be about making his name famous.

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that after all your ranting about how horribly they have lived their lives and how you have watched this train wreck from the beginning, you mention that you have never even watched an entire episode of the show...this hardly makes you an expert on the situation. I also hurt for those 8 little hearts along with you, however, I don't think your blog has done anything to help them. I agree with Prime...we as Christians need to love this couple through their mistakes. I wonder were you, me or anyone for that matter would be without love, grace, mercy, and support after our mistakes. I believe it is judgement like this from Christians that makes the rest of the world frown upon us. We need to love as Christ loved...and the greatest of these is...LOVE! said...

AMEN! said...

Sorry, to be clear, I was giving you, Walter the AMEN for your article.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a very interesting article.I truly enjoyed reading words from someone that actually saw the day-to-day life that those innocent chosen have to endure. Cameras and strange people in their home everyday, is not a loving way to raise children.
Parents are supposed to be supporting the children, not children supporting the parents.
By reading this post, I have to admit that, I would cherish neighbors like you and the others that live there.
It's a shame that the Gosselin children never got to meet all of you.
God bless you, your family and your neighbors.

Susan in Canada said...

Thank you for this excellent article. I only hope that someone will share it with the Gosselins and provide them with the support they really do need. It is a terribly sad situation to watch those children grow up this way.

Mrs.B said...

Thank you for expressing so eloquently what many have believed about this situation for so long. I heartily agree that not only are TLC (and Figure 8 Productions), Zondervan, and churches complicit in what's happened to this family, so is everyone who's watched this show for entertainment. I stopped watching last year and encourage others to do so as well. And I absolutely agree that: "the seeds of what you don't like in them live in you." So we speak out recognizing our own imperfections in the hope these children, who were born innocent, will not be robbed of their precious childhood years.

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for your insightful thoughts. This is one of the most intelligent views of this trainwreck that I have read.

Please contact Paul Peterson from A Minor Consideration. He is taking steps to protect these children...between the two of you, I'm sure something can be done before it's too late for them. Their parents only care about $$$ and themselves.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Not Gossip......sounds like gossip to me.Not very christian now is it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I agree wit EVERY word you have said. I am crying a river reading your heartfelt words and wisdom. I pray that Jon & Kate and the powers that be at TLC/Figure8 and Zondervan also listen, pray and seek God's wisdom and do what is best for the Gosselin family and especially the eight little lives who HE has entrusted to their care. Bless you Walt for breaking your silence and letting God speak through you.

Krystal in Canada said...

Well thought out and inspiring article. For those negative comments from "anonymous" I would like to offer that I understood the writers' concern for the family to be rooted mostly in experiences with them in the neighbourhood and not the television show. I think anyone with good sense knows that the portion of their lives we see on their "reality" show is likely not "real'. Basing our judgement of someone by only looking at what they've chosen to be aired on television would be ignorant, at best. To those who are comfortable with ignoring the writing on the wall with the children involved and defending the parents' decisions - I hope you can let yourself think to 10 years in the future. When some of the children come forward in their older years and ask how everyone let this happen to their childhood, how will you feel not having done anything to try to stop it. Think of the Dionne Quints.
To Susan in Canada, I think the Gosselins are aware of this article and hence the negative tone of the "anonymous" posts above!
This will be the last article I read about this family - but the children will be in my prayers.

Speaking up for the kids said...

Thank you for writing such a heartfelt article. You truly see the harm this has done and will continue to do to the children.
As usual, the messenger gets shot and the message gets lost to some. If Jon and Kate are so concern about the money they would still be living modestly in your neighborhood in a lovely, large home many of us wish we had. Instead of spending money on expensive clothing, shoes, jewelry, cars, remodels etc. they would save all they could.

Dan Marotta said...

Amen brother. Thank you for speaking the truth.

lisa k said...

I figured their neighbors would come forward sooner or later. I didn't think Kate was the type to have you over for dinner. I have been blogging about this train wreck in the making for over a year now, only to have the obsessed fans say I was either jealous or a hater. I am neither, just concerned for the little kids. I commend you for your words, and coming forward...the best thing for everyone to do is to speak out, and help those little kids lead a normal life. Just because people like the show, doesn't make what the G's are doing right.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for speaking out.

Many of us have been trying to get this show off the air for almost a year.

Carrin said...

Beautiful writing!

What a shame the Gosselins didn't get acquainted with you and the neighborhood. They never needed friends more than they do now.

Such a tragedy.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for speaking out. So many are focused on the superficial. It doesn't matter what Kate wears or how her hair looks, it's about her HEART. She needs some work in that area and only Jesus can do that for her. Jon is a broken man. They both need healing so that they can lead the family they were blessed with.

Not the Devil's Advocate said...

You need an editor for this piece. It's over 3000 words. It's really too verbose.

Why would you say, "One member of the marriage" when you should have said, "Jon?" Should you impugn the character of both "members of the marriage" when only one was guilty of "being rude, self-centered, and demanding?"

This is not beautiful writing. It's exploiting the Gosselins problems to draw page hits, since you know nothing more than the rest of us* except the name of the building you kept hoping to see yourself coming out of on TV.

*Yes, we already knew Kate is crabby, and Jon more engaging. What else did you add to the story?

By the way, is it OK to judge someone's heart? Because if it is, I'd say yours is suffering from a bit of envy and pride. If it's not, then maybe Jennifer should not steal from God what is only His to judge.

tam said...

Thank you and Amen.

Catrina said...

With all due respect, I believe you need to reread what you've written and consider your motives. I do not believe that this has come from a place of wisdom, kindness or godliness. Prefacing your gossip by claims that it is not gossiping does not make it anything but what it is...which is gossip. I'm afraid your timing makes you appear to be yet another in a long line of band-wagon jumpers seeking attention by taking shots at a troubled family during a difficult time. It's not very Christ-like or humble of you, and I'd like to gently suggest that you look in your heart and ask the Lord to guide you rather than your own ego.

"Judge not lest ye be judged"

Lisa said...

I thought this was an excellent piece, written sincerely and directly with humility. Wonderful. Possibly the best commentary I've read about this sad situation.

In the past few weeks, I have been really saddened and frustrated to read so many "who are you to judge?" comments in different forums. Sometimes the love of Christ is shown in soft words and deeds, gentleness and long-suffering. And sometimes the love of Christ is shown by being direct and speaking directly to the center of the issues at hand. This is not judgment; it is the kind of care and support that people are often unwilling to provide because it's risky... because people then peg the caregiver as "judgmental."

"Calling out poor behavior/choices" and beckoning them back from the wreckage they've created is NOT the same thing as "judging."

Often, Christians are guilty of speaking rudely or judgmentally, then hiding behind the excuse that they were "only speaking the truth in love, as the Bible says to do." Christians who do this unfortunately cast a bad light on ANY instance of Christians holding each other accountable.

I don't sense any rudeness or judgment in this blog post. Jon and Kate profess to be Christ-followers and have been broadcasted on national television living out values that are contrary to the ones they verbally embrace. They deserve our love, our support, our prayers... and they deserve to hear the truth IN LOVE from their brothers and sisters in Christ, because they are important, cared for members of Christ's body.

Again.. excellent article. Excellent. Sorry this was such a long comment.

Anonymous said...

I agree as the mother of 4 exploiting children for money is deplorable, especially in this worlds economy there are alotof starving children that could just use some food. There are also lots of people that have multiple births that aren't on TV. This should have never happened shame on the networks.

Jennie (Greene) VanDyke said...

Hi Walt,
I enjoyed reading your article. I learned a lot, because unbelievably, I have never seen an entire episode of this show either. Actually I saw about half of one - ever - about a year ago at a relative's house. We made a decision years ago to not have cable tv. For 8 years we have rented DVDs and watched news programs, etc online. It makes it really easy to choose what is worthwhile watching, and it is a great way to (try to)keep trash from entering our home through the tv and affecting our young children. However, even at a remote distance from this show, we are still not immune from its effects. When I turn on AOL to check my email, there it pops up in aol news - the latest on Jon and Kate. I see it on the cover of magazines as I wait in line at the grocery store. I know what is going on even though I don't know what is going on. Even when you try to keep the news of their sad situation out of your home, it is very difficult. So I agree with you wholeheartedly - UNPLUG and pray is the best way to handle this, and furthermore every time we even hear about them in the news, or see their picture pop up online or in a magazine, we should just use that as a reminder to say a prayer for them right then and there. I loved the wisdom in your comment: "Each of us has the seeds of the same thing sitting in our own hearts." If every one of us remembered that all the time, we would never be so quick to judge others.

Anonymous said...

IDK why you had to mention the time you were on camera, but otherwise, interesting article.

Anonymous said...

people need to write To Zondervan. And tell the, not to publish eneymore of Kates books thi family is clearly not leading a christian life style.

Emily Adder said...

Beautifully written. I think the argument that they need the money to raise 8 children flew out the window once their per-episode payment went up to a reported $50-$75K. Per episode. That's more than I make in a year, as a single mom raising two.

And for all of the money they make, she spends time at the tanning bed and lying on a beach chair, he is out drinking and buying designer clothes, while nannies and bodyguards tend to the youngsters. These kids will have DVDs of the lies they were told, and that's one of the saddest parts about it.

I think their marriage has been over for some time, and if it weren't for the show, they would have divorced by now. I've been praying for them, but more that Jon would stand up for himself, stand up for his kids, file for divorce and file for an injunction on the show. We all know that Kate has no interest in what's best for her kids. It's time for Jon to put up or shut up. I pray that he does.

Reading Native said...

This is really excellent. I hope people take your words to heart and someone chooses to pull the plug on the show.

jill said...

Thank you for your "Holy boldness"...I hope they read your blog! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

So because you announce in the beginning of your article that you don't gossip, it's not gossip? Sure sounds like it to me. Sounds like you are trying to get in on the fame of your former neighbors...not very Christian like for a man who claims to spread God's word as his life work. If you don't like it, turn off your tv, stay away from tabloids. Just because your neighbor chooses not to become your friend does not make her a horrible person. Just because she refusses the things you offer does not make her mean and nasty. Sounds to me like you need to read your own words and look in a mirror.

Anonymous said...

Ok to the writer who said this is gossip, you are completely wrong!! This is exactly what the Bible says to do..confront with love!! It is a fact that this family should be off the air for the sake of their children!! Someday they will waqtch this all and as a child of a divorce the pain never goes away and affects you in future realtionships!!

I applaud the truth in words in this article and I only hope that everyone pulls the plug and lets TLC know we do not want to watch this marriage fall apart.
Gossip is behind the back and this was very forthcoming and I only hope Kate aand Jon read this and remember Christ's love!

BittersweetPunkin said...

I enjoyed your was well written and to the point.

I stopped watching quite a long time ago...I did not agree with the way Kate constantly emasculated Jon...that is not how Christian women treat their spouses. I was also disturbed with the monetary "love offerings" Kate demanded for speaking publicly at churches.

I too, voiced my concern to Zondervan as I know Kate will be "authoring" another book soon...I do wish they~as Christians~ would do the right thing and not let dollar signs influence them as TLC has. We no longer watch TLC at our house as it is not what it once was.

Thank you and God Bless You,

kitty said...

i disagree with the commenters who think this is gossip. the tone is definitely one of sadness for what has happened to this family. the only way to stop this train wreck is to prove that this is not the "realest reality show" on tv, to expose the lies and deception. if people stop buying the books, the speaking engagements, etc, then the show will die due to lack of ratings. it seems clear that TLC, Zondervan, and Kate will not give up as long as there is even a penny to be made.

SammyPajamy said...

Not only that, you are throwing chum that's feeding a sick frenzy of celebrity-obsession that sells lots of magazines and makes lots of money. . . and which is also ruining an entire generation. Shame, shame, shame on you!
You may not be making money from this, but how is this blog post any different? You are bringing attention to yourself and your blog by blogging about this family's troubles. You have shared nothing that most of us don't already know- Kate isn't warm and fuzzy. What real information have you shared? Other than lots of "shame on yous". Shame on you sir.

What Kate Gosselin is now promoting is a faith that is nothing more or less than the world with a thin veneer of Jesus-talk.
As a Christian I take huge issue with this statement. Other than seeing them around the neighborhood I don't believe for one moment that you know this woman any better than the rest of us. Certainly I don't believe you have the knowledge to determine her level of faith- or her relationship with God. I do believe the show should end, I absolutely do- but I don't believe this woman deserves the public "stoning" she's been receiving.

You are just one more person with "insider" knowledge (all you shared was that offers of help were turned away) bc this is the hot topic of the moment and anyone who has ever seen them in person is writing/talking about it and claiming that "they saw it coming".
Proclaiming that something isn't gossip- doesn't make it so.

Ruth From Michigan said...

I saw Kate a few months ago at a "speaking engagement" before all this news broke. Jon was suppose to be with her and she said Jon wasn't big on public speaking, really had nothing to say and it was better he stayed on with the kids. Anyway, she told us her life story, very rote I might add, also somewhat rushed. She answered only the questions that were preselected and screened. She really gave you nothing that hasn't been out there for years. I paid $25 for my ticket through my church and yes, towards the end the basket was passed we were told to pray and give what was in our hearts. She had nothing flattering to say about Jon and the entire talk was about HER. How tough it was for HER, how she never got to sleep, how she cooks organic and it is so much harder. Very self centered and a lot of people were very disapppointed.

The commitee that brought Kate there, said she was very aloof and diva like. Asking for certain things, telling them what she would and wouldn't do, ordering people around. They said she didn't seem interested or grateful for the opportunity to speak and it showed from the minute she got on the stage. No, interaction at all with people, no pictures allowed, it was like she was a rock star!

I agree with the people that stated this is not gossip. How is gossip when this family has put themselves out there and shared a lot of their personal business with millions? If Jon and Kate want to fight on the air, get plastic surgery and show their personal moments that is fine, but I have issue with showing the kids private moments. Jon and Kate say they hold a family meeting and the kids are 80% of the family and they get a vote to continue the show. What? How in the world can a 3/4/5 year old vote on doing the show? Mady and Cara seem very unhappy the last year and seem to almost hide from the camera now. Jon and Kate have found a way to support their family by "using" their family. Jon and Kate should be working to support their children, not have the children support them! To those who ask how they will make money if the show is shut down, how about this.....get JOBS! Jon does computer work and Kate is a nurse. Work different shifts so someone is there at all times with the kids, and when you do have family time,it will be that much more of a blessing. Jona nd Kate need to get their priorities straight and it's not first class flights, free trips or a sports car, just to name a few, it's those 8 beautiful children needing their love and attention. God Bless.

Rick Garner said...

I was led to this post today and found everything to be excellent points. While I haven't seen any recent episodes, nor am I efforting to do so, one thing we can do is pray for this couple. Pray that they will open their hearts and allow real change. Real change...not the thin coating I've read in now two different blogs. To focus on this and other tools to help strengthen marriages, check out

Anonymous said...

Walt, excellent read thank you and to my friend for posting on FB.

To one anonymous, how to care for the children? The Duggars were doing well before their time in the limelight and seem to have managed to hold onto their Christian faith. A much more pleasant and inspiring Christian family to watch.

Gossip? Hardly. Truth spoken with love is not gossip but at the heart of what Jesus did. Everything Walt said could be seen in any episode - watched fully or partially. We need to be our brothers' keepers. Walt is brave for being daring enough to speak the truth with love. The attacks and persecutions of name calling are proof of that.

What are good Christians to do? Pray. Here in our community folks have been praying for little Margaret Romph injured in a serious car accident almost a year ago. These 8 children and parents are no less injured than Margaret. The depth of the injury has yet to be revealed. All the more urgency for our prayers.

My heart was soften. And I know that is not the only grace that comes from this tradegy. Our Lord can take this suffering of a "calvary" and turn into the joy of a "resurrection." We will work with Him?

Anonymous said...

Just had a question for you...did you handle this using the guidelines in Matthew 18? In other words, did you contact Jon & Kate, TLC, and Zondervan first with your concerns, and privately? Then did you go with 2 or more? I realize it is up to their church to do the rest, but...

As someone who has recently had a family member who was a victim of baseless gossip...well, let's just say I think we should all use Matthew 18 in matters like this. My husband always says, "There's Side A, Side B, and what actually happened is somewhere in between."

sheila said...

TLC and Zondervan have been contacted privately by thousands of people with the same concerns and have refused to budge. They have proven that private communication holds no sway with them.

Jon and Kate have heard this message (though not often phrased as eloquently or respectfully) thousands of times and have refused to budge. They have also proven that private communication holds no sway with them.

The author states that he and his neighbors personally tried to befriend the Gosselins and were rebuffed.

I agree with you that there's a proper way to do this, and I believe the author has fulfilled his obligation to Matt. 18.

sheila said...

Let's not forget: Jon and Kate are people who need our love and support, but the true importance of this situation is that there are eight defenseless young children suffering. And on their behalf, we should speak out, assertively, boldly, with humility and love (as the author has) until we are hoarse.

Anonymous said...

Walt, this is a remarkably thoughtful, humble, and genuinely loving insight into this situation. Your suggestions are excellent, and those who attribute this post to "envy" or a desire for publicity are missing how carefully you implicate yourself as well as the broader culture in this tragedy.

I have contacted Zondervan (I don't have cable TV, but I buy many, many books!) and have not received any response.

Derek said...

Gossip, not gossip, whatever. This is Walt Mueller's blog and essentially it's a private undertaking. Calling him out for perceived gossiping saying he's being judgmental and throwing stones is doing the exact same thing you're railing on him for!

"Not only that, you are throwing chum that's feeding a sick frenzy of celebrity-obsession that sells lots of magazines and makes lots of money. . . and which is also ruining an entire generation. Shame, shame, shame on you!"
You may not be making money from this, but how is this blog post any different? You are bringing attention to yourself and your blog by blogging about this family's troubles.

Attention to himself? Well, I guess that since it is a personal blog, sure. All blogs by definition call attention to oneself, right?

Beyond that, this is a blog that addresses issues pertaining to popular culture, something that Walt and CPYU are passionate about and have done a great job for years in providing thoughtful insight and material for others to use as they process the utter mess that is the celebrity culture we all obsess about.

Lots of missing the forest for the trees may or may not care for what Walt is saying or how he's saying it, but does that alter the essence of what he's saying?

Kris said...

God, I lift Jon and Kate Gosselin up to You. I thank You for designing them, for bringing them together. I thank You for their infertility that led to twins and sextuplets. I thank You that You have used the curiosity of the world to provide for their family. I thank You that You have been able to use the avenue of television to show the world that families can and do love You– together. Right now, God, Jon and Kate are hurting. Their marriage is in chaos and they don’t know what will happen and where they will go. So God, I pray right now for Your power and love and grace and mercy to pour into the hearts of Jon and Kate and to pour into their marriage. I pray that You reveal yourself to each of them in a mighty way. Reveal your love, but also show them their sin. Show them how they have turned from You. Show them forgiveness. Through that, God, I know that your desire is to restore their marriage and make it more beautiful than it ever has been. I pray God, that You are in the midst of their struggle and that You remove Satan from every corner of their hearts and of their home. I pray that through all of this, YOU are glorified. I pray that “God moments” are filmed and that those moments make it through to the final production of the show. I pray that Jon and Kate have the courage to publicly turn to You and then to publicly proclaim how good You are. I pray that you use their marriage – the ugly and the restoration to beautiful – to heal other’s marriages and to bring Your beauty back into the public institution of marriage. God I pray that Jon and Kate are overwhelmed by love and that You place a bubble around them and their family. Let that bubble protect them from the evil words, the ugly photos, the hurtful stories. I pray that only YOUR TRUTH is able to penetrate into their hearts. God I pray that many others will lift up prayers for Jon and for Kate. I thank You. I love You. I ask that you grant this prayer so that all glory and praise returns to You. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen

The Reality said...

Walt, I really enjoy what you and CPYU do for parents and youth leaders. I'm not sure I agree with everything you say. I'm sure that we can disagree and still be friends, which is what I wish all commenters would remember. I don't think I agree with anyone 100% as far as their comments on this topic.
I know that there is a right way to handle things and a wrong way to handle things. We should all work a lot harder at praying to discover those right things.

Canadian Mom said...

Someone mentioned the Duggar family....Walt, I hope you take the same approach with "ALL" reality t.v. shows no matter what! Good Grief!! After what we've seen happen to the Gosselins via their money making show.... what makes anyone think that the Duggars wouldn't succume to the love of money and fame?? Honestly, we are talking about thousands of dollars per episode!!!

Cheryl said...

Open letter to Jon & Kate:

I felt so sad watching your season opening show. Jon's statement at the end of season 4 regarding having lost himself along with his comment Monday night about how your life has become a business are at the heart of why everything seems to be crumbling and should be heeded as a grave warning sign.

I was watching an interview on TLC's website done during the first season of your show. Throughout the interview, Kate, you spoke highly of Jon and continually looked over to the side at someone off camera. It was obvious this someone was Jon by the way you smiled and your eyes shone. Now, you seem to have lost that. Jon's interview showed a much happier and relaxed man with a positive outlook as well. This is no longer the case.

Kate, during the interview you mentioned being the middle child and immediately made a reference to "the forgotten middle child". That explains a lot, psychologically speaking. You seem very taken with the celebrity the show has granted you. That "forgotten middle child" in you is now the center of attention and she is eating it up ravenously. Unfortunately, this is causing much damage to your family relationship as you have developed into someone who appears to be mean-spirited, which is not the Kate that is seen in that original interview or the earlier shows. Childhood issues often remain buried until something triggers them to rear their ugly head and cause major problems in our lives. (I speak from experience.) Pay attention to Jon's desire. Please shut down the show and get some professional counseling.

Select a Christian counselor, one whoe does not have a personal relationship with you, who can be brutally honest without worrying about your reaction. You also need to be brutally honest with yourself.

It appears to me that the success of your marriage and the emotional security / stability of your children are at stake here. These matters are private and should not be played out as entertainment for the public. If TLC is the "family oriented" network they claim, they will not baulk. Forget about all of us out here and reunite with your families, especially Kate's. Your children need a stable home and relationships with their extended family more than they need money and fancy vacations. Your children need an emotionally secure home with both parents in a happy, healthy marriage. You are currently at a cross road in this matter.

That moment Monday night when Alexis told Jon she didn't want him to go away, after a warm and engaging spontaneous hug spoke volumes. As Alexis latched onto him, it was clear to me that these children definitely do know something is amiss. No amount of choreographing by TLC can erase their awareness.

As Christians, your identity should come from who you are in Christ not your television show. Put Christ back in the center of your life. Get the help you need to resolve any personal issues you may not have even been aware you had. Save your marriage and ensure your family's well-being. Make that your first priority. Perks and celebrity are not worth losing all that is, and should be, dear to you. If you turn back to God, He will heal your marriage. If you let the money and perks continue to entice you, your children will pay the price.

Remember .. with the Holy Spirit, all things are possible. But, we have to be listening to His prompting and willing to follow His guidance. God bless you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

Love to you all.

Anonymous said...

Walt- I should be shocked by your hypocrisy but I am not. I was dragged to a presbyterian church every sunday growing up and you remind me of the people there that are full of hot air and don't walk the talk. Who are you to judge anybody?

If you were so concerned about children's welfare you should be blogging about kids that don't have food and are physicaly abused.

Are you jealous?

Anonymous said...

we should care about narcisstic, horrific people WHY???? there are so many important issues that need our help and response - the leaders of the gosselin sweatshop are clearly not on my radar and should NOT be on yours either - they could care less about anything or anyone that doesn't contribute to their empire of childhood exploitation and abuse at the altar of financial WaLter I couldn't disagree with you more - these two should crawl back under their rocks and hopefully the kids will grow up fast and run for the hills

Anonymous said...

On a public records search the address for Steve Neild comes up as Heffner Rd and Wernersville, PA. Isnt that Kate's house?

Alana said...

Many people, like Anonymous above, whip out the old "who are you to judge" card and bully others with it, in attempt to censor opinions they do not agree with. Interestingly, many of them also trot out their personal ancedotes (in this case, about church) as proof-positive that their POV should carry more weight than someone else's.
Or perhaps they simply do not understand the definition of the word?

judg·ment also judge·ment

1. The act or process of judging; the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation.
a. The mental ability to perceive and distinguish relationships; discernment.
b. The capacity to form an opinion by distinguishing and evaluating.
c. The capacity to assess situations or circumstances and draw sound conclusions; good sense and reason.
3. An opinion or estimate formed after consideration or deliberation, especially a formal or authoritative decision.
4. Law
5. An assertion of something believed.

Our ability to judge and reason, sharing this information with others is uniquely human and critical for our survival. It would be a chaotic world indeed if we were to go through life not using our God-given ability to reason, evaluate, and form opinions. To estimate the worth or quality of people, ideas, and things. From this process, we survive, learn, teach, and grow.

Anonymous said "If you were so concerned about children's welfare you should be blogging about kids that don't have food and are physicaly abused."
I suspect you scanned the rest of his blog with the same apparent care and comprehension afforded this post. A simple scroll down the blog page...

Anonymous said...

You have just contributed to the mounds of gossip told about this family, especially Kate. Even if it is true that she is not the "friendly half of the couple" or is any of the things you claim she is, that does not make it okay for you to gossip (even truth is gossip) about her while declaring yourself a Christian.

sheila said...

What, so nobody should say anything about anyone, simply because truth can be gossip?

I don't read any malicious intent in this blog post. None at all. I read care and concern from someone who has had more personal dealing with the Gosselins than any of us have.

Where did we get this idea that offering any kind of commentary at all about ANYONE'S lives constitutes judgment and gossip? That idea is ridiculous.

Shauna (Canadian) said...

I find it interesting that most of you voicing your opinion do it with a great amount of judgement. I find the hypocracy that turns me off about organized religion; running rampant here including with you Walt! Below this blog I see pictures of an African slum; this is where children are truly suffering; not because their parents have them on TV to make a better life for them.

I know here in Canada as well as in the US we have many children who are starving and are suffering heinous crimes (like rape or abuse) on a daily basis. Would your time not be better spent trying to get all of your Christian neighbors to get together and try to change the laws to have these criminals put away forever and ferret them out of positions of authority that they are known to hold (like Scout leaders, teachers, ministers and all walks of life) and recognize the harm these sick people to do our society as a whole? I forget though you all seem to think that its okay to forgive the sinner even if it is killing our innocence and our youth and creating more of the same sickness!

I think I will stick to being spiritual as opposed to religious as I can sleep at night. So you spend your time gossiping about something so not important while the innocent still suffer and keep telling yourselves that your god will forgive these sins and lets hope you end up where you think you will when your body dies. I myself know that even though I don't attend a church or mosque etc.. my mind and heart are in the right place and will try to do my best to keep all kids safe instead of judging people that may have issues but certainly not ones that are pressing and deserve all of our attention and your prayer. Pathetic!

sheila said...

The grass is always greener.

A dear friend of mine grew up in the slums of Mumbai. Her family never had enough food. She suffered abuse of all kinds. Today she's a productive member of society who deals with the emotional scars of her childhood.

I grew up in a fairly wealthy family. My mother was quite similar to Kate. Besides the emotional and physical abuse my mother inflicted, I suffered abuse at others' hands.

Both of us grew up broken. Both of us attempted suicide multiple times during our adolescence and young adulthood. Both of us became alcoholics and drug addicts in order to escape the pain of our experiences. Both of us had to come to terms with our past, embrace God's grace and healing, and work to become more than our origins would allow.

Pain is pain. Abuse is abuse. The effects are the same. Speak out against it when you see it, whether in Africa or in a wealthy family on TV. Broad generalizations help NO ONE.

Anonymous said...

All in all a good article, but I do agree that an editor would have been helpful. You've used the "train wreck" and "track" analogies so often that it's quite distracting. I'd like to see it tightened up a bit so as not to distract from the very good message.

sheila said...

Allow me to clarify: Broad generalizations about Christians' intent (or lack of, depending on your perspective) in order to discredit ANY attempts made by Christians to right wrongs help no one.

Lisa said...

Child exploitation isn't a phenomenon that can be classified.

Example: If a mother calls her child "the horrible one" as compared to her twin (as Kate Gosselin has done) or taunts her thirsty child by guzzling water pointedly in front of her (as Kate Gosselin has done), or pinches her child's arm and then becomes disgusted when the child cries... do you think the damage done to the child is lessened by the fact that the child sleeps in a bed every night?

sheila said...

EXACTLY. And this compounded by the fact that the Gosselin children are "lucky" enough to have video and photographic evidence of their mother's abuse. PLUS video and photos of themselves naked in the shower, eliminating on a toilet, and one child in particular screaming with pain while his father manually relieves his constipation. All of which have been viewed by millions of strangers.

Lucky kids?

Marianne said...

Walt, as a Christian, you did what we should not do and that is judge. Doesn't matter if you kept your piece quiet til now, point is, now you not only spoke your own opinion (and not true fact), you did it on a public forum.

Since you are (and have been close to the neighborhood), you surely would've had more contacts than the average person. As a good Chritian, (one who is humble), you could've taken your concerns, at that time, and helped and pray with this couple.

No, I didn't drink the Gosselin KoolAid, but just even referencing "the Gosselin Kool-Aid", shows your bias against this couple.

Shame on you.I will pray that you think before you judge so openly.

Marianne said...

By the way, a lot of what the posters above says is based on their own interpretations and opinions and depict what hate blogs against Kate Gosselin are all about. Wouldn't surprise me if they were a part of the witch hunt against her.

I agree with the poster who wished an editor went through your "analysis" before publishing. Train wreck is indeed a distracting term.

Dont_I_wish_I_were_you said...

I love people who label themselves as good humble Christians and are more than happy to publicly judge other self proclaimed good humble Christians...they always make me think of Mel Gibson.

FIONA said...

And what exactly are you doing to help the situation that you have known exsisted for a very long time, that is, besides blog about it?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, sir, for your message to us all. I have been watching Jon & Kate in the afternoon and I watched the first two episodes but now I feel ashamed for having done so. I don't know what the real truth so, but I do know that young children should not be exposed to all this attention. I saw a five-year-old in the premiere use the word "paparazzi". No child of so young an age should know that word. I have been reading articles on the Internet all this afternoon and I now resolve to no longer watch the show. The show must be taken off TV and only low ratings will accomplish this. Let's stop pontificating and do something-stop watching. The kids are old enough to be effected already but if it stops now, the damage may be contained and hopefully, be ameliorated. I hope Jon and Kate come to their senses and protect the only thing that matters-their lives, their children, their souls. All I can do for myself is to stop watching.

Queen of The Universe said...

Outstanding, by far one of the best blogs I've ever read! I agree hold heartedly! Just stop Jon and Kate. Get back to basics...find that foundation you built your relationship, and family own. Regain a sense of humility! Hollywierd, and tvland do not have your best interest at heart, they have their bottom dollar in mind, not you, Kate, not you, Jon, and not those 8 innocent children. Maddy outrageous behavior and comments is a direct correlation to the preassure she feels to "conform" to the camera. The stress is not just from being a mother of 8, but rather the image you, Kate, and Jon (because Jon cosigned)you conjured up in your head, worked towards, and now living. Pause, get a grip, and reset the "tracks." There is time, there is still love, and there is hope!

Penni said...

Walt, Thank-You for your insight and Kris....AMEN.

themrs said...

thank you for sharing your feelings. i agree one hundred percent.

Mama Martin said...

Your comments as a neighbor to the couple echo the realities I think everyone has come to terms with. I started watching the show when it first came out and was excited to see, what seemed like at the time, a down-to-earth couple who were pretty open about being Christians, esp. on their website. So, after watching a few episodes and the banter between Jon & Kate that reminded me of myself w/ my husband, I checked out their website and saw that they were looking for a Christian publisher for a book they wanted to write. So, I emailed Kate about knowing the VP of Zondervan and she emailed back that that would be great if I could put in a good word. So I did call our family friend and promote the show to him, and eventually they signed w/ Zondervan. Too bad, at that time, I had no idea what was really going on in their relationship or I never would have done that. However, my family friend has since been let go at Zondervan and has told us that the company is not really Christian, per se, anymore. The higher ups there are not all Christians anymore, and it is getting away from it's Christian roots. So sad, but true, which is probably why they won't pull the book for moral reasons. Kind of like Big Idea is not run by believers anymore either. Too bad those things happen to good Christian companies.

I agree completely on your "pull the plug" line. I think I used those exact words in emails I've sent to the old address I used to use for Kate (not sure whether she still has it or not). The whole thing is a tragedy, and has kept many people awake at night thinking about how such a "train wreck" could have been allowed to get so far off the tracks in the first place. I just keep praying that something earth shattering happens to their family to wake them up to the lives they've let themselves fall into. Only God knows what the future holds, and hopefully He's in it.

M.T. said...

If they are believers in Jesus Christ then something has gone seriously wrong in them knowing their roles before the Lord. Jon needs to take charge of his family and stop letting his wife wear the pants. Things have gotten far out of control but it didn't just happen over night. They both have got to get back to how God would have them be as a husband and wife. As long as they are still breathing there is hope for their marriage. They both need to humble themselves befor the mighty hand of God.

Rap said...

They are scared to death as to how to support 8 kids without the fame, notoriety, show, books, clothing line, etc. and frankly I don't necessarily blame them for being scared. Can you think of some actual realistic proposals that will help them make money and still be able to devote time to their children.

Here's a thought. They could both get jobs. They could downsize their lifestyle. I know kids are expensive, but really, I know plenty of families with 8 kids and more, who can't afford to live in a mansion and have both parents, and a nanny around. In fact, most people who choose to have eight kids have to make really hard choices. Their eight kids aren't gifted with new matching clothes merely because there's eight kids.

If we lowball the figures being thrown about for how much they are paid, it's still a huge amount of money. If ending the show means that the Gosselins would *immediately* be living hand to mouth, fighting for scraps in a homeless shelter, then these people simply can't manage money AND it makes me feel more sorry for the kids. Is Colin ever going to get a paycheck for the video of his consipation being manually relieved by Daddy.

I don't begrudge them the payday, but really, they're scared to death about money? Who isn't? Since when did having eight kids mean a lifelong free ride?

I stopped watching all the TLC shows about families because these shows are about parents displaying their kids for money and profit. The kids get no say, the parents get to pick what is private and what isn't, and the parents control the money and the contracts.

bernieedo said...


As an Australian, Jon and Kate Plus 8 is not broadcasted here in Melbourne. However, entertainment shows such as ET, Ellen Degeneres and Oprah (aired during our "Midday TV" block) brought this "reality show" to my attention.

I've been streaming episodes from the internet for the past week, as it serves as my University exam study "break", and I must admit, I cant stop streaming. Despite my curiosity in what the adorable children have been up to, I absolutely agree with you, Walt.

There is nothing I can rebut to in this blog. These smart, outgoing, beautiful children have underservingly been exploited and are slowly being stripped from their childhood. They are definately in desperate need of "Family Time" AWAY from cameras. The Gosselin children do not deserve parents comtemplating on divorce. I, too, believe that John will be right with Kate, once a redemptive resolution has been made. It frustrates me how this show is silently tearing a loving family apart. Thankyou so much, for this magnificent insight for I hope this message is heard before the inevitable.

bernieedo said...


As an Australian, Jon and Kate Plus 8 is not broadcasted here in Melbourne. However, entertainment shows such as ET, Ellen Degeneres and Oprah (aired during our "Midday TV" block) brought this "reality show" to my attention.

I've been streaming episodes from the internet for the past week, as it serves as my University exam study "break", and I must admit, I cant stop streaming. Despite my curiosity in what the adorable children have been up to, I absolutely agree with you Walt.

There is nothing about this blog that I can rebut. These smart, outgoing, beautiful children have underservingly been exploited and are slowly beeing stripped from their childhood. They are definately in desperate need of "Family Time" AWAY from cameras. The Gosselin children do not deserve parents comtemplating on divorce. I, too, believe that John will be right with Kate, once a redemptive resolution has been made. It frustrates me how this show is silently tearing a loving family apart. Thankyou so much, for this magnificent insight for I hope this message is passed on before the inevitable.

bernieedo said...

and by the way... Kate's a great mum and Jon's a great father. So to all you haters out there, think again and turn your hatred on TLC for being the cause of destruction to this loving family.

Mistmi01 said...

I don't know you, sir. But I do know you speak the truth. Many of us who once watched the show (but not for long!) have been speaking out for some time now. The "fans" all scream that we're not supposed to judge, but I say we are. You used the appropriate word, discernment. Christ expects us to judge. We're to weigh that which we do. There's a difference between judging and gossip, and many apparently don't see that. We, all of us, have a responsibility to those 8 children being exploited week after week. God bless you for speaking out. I urge all of your readers to write their sponsors, as I don't believe they are willing to stop the train wreck of their own volition.

Ling Dinse said...

Walt, thanks for the kingdom perspective of this situation. I guess our sinful nature of pride makes us want to see others failed. It somehow translates to "I am a better person than this person..."
We have never watch this show but has passed their house visiting family lives on Westbrooke Dr. May God give this couple strength, wisdom and grace to overcome this mess. Praying this family finds Jesus as the only source of truth! No money can compare to the worth of redemption from God and love from Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Of all the things printed in the media over the last several months regarding this family, this is the best.

I hope this will fall on open hears and cause blind eyes to open

Carol said...

Thank you for this - it is the best thing I have read about the Gosselins and I hope that they, or those close to them, read this and give a great deal of thought into the next choice for this family. There is only one choice and I am worried that they are too blinded by fame, fortune and freebies to see it!

Christina Scott said...

Thank you!

Never watched season 2,3,4 and shall not watch season 5!

Exploitation of the worst kind.

We all should stop watching the garbage TLC is broadcasting, and perhaps they will once again revert to quality programming.

Mari said...

Fantastic post! My 9 year old daughter (an only child as God has not seen fit to bless us with more) is enamored with the show. She simply can't get enough of it. I think she likes imagining what it might be like to have seven siblings. Although I haven't forbidden her from watching yet, I have used the show to spark discussion about how to show love. We talk about what we would do differently as children of God. I may, however, take your advice now and simply pull the plug.

sunnygirl said...

Does anyone else think that this is maybe a ruse to gain publicity for the show? Kate's contempt for Jon may be the jumping off place for a plan to draw viewers, magazines and bloggers in for more.

Chris said...

In the season premiere, Jon laments that he feels as if he's in prison. Well, that prison--that HE helped to build--is all that his innocent, trusting children have ever known. Please Jon, FREE YOUR CHILDREN.

Sixhundredandsixtyseven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hillary said...

Bravo, Walt. Well written and spot-on.

Shawnee said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I agree with a lot of your comments. I belong to another board and they talk of Kate's rudeness and diva behaviors as well.
As Christians, we are to be humble, giving, loving, just like Jesus. I don't see these traits in the family on this show. Instead I see more of a Hollywood type family who his now crying out because they are getting the attention they wanted and hoped for.
I have only watched the show briefly and every time I am in awe of how she treats her husband. We are not to treat our spouses that way. We are to treat each other as Christ would treat us.
Thank you for speaking out on this. I am forwarding your article to all my friends to read and posting a link on my blog.
May the Lord bless you richly!

Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree with you more. I have been watching this train wreck coming on for a long long time as well. I have always hated the way Kate talked to Jon, and a real turning point for me was when Kate was given a free tummy tuck, and during the initial consult, asked for an additional free surgery, a breast augmentation. How rude and unappreciative she was, plus she immediately came off as feeling like she deserved it all. I have also read about her ridiculous behavior at Gymboree with the piles of free clothing. Making 75K per episode, buy your own kids clothing for heavens sake!!! It makes me furious, for them to get everything free while I stress about making our money stretch each month, or worry that I should just cash in my rapidly decreasing "retirement fund" to get by. I watch tv to relax, not to feel the way I feel when I watch this narcissistic hateful witch who is absolutely having an affair as well. And for them to be making so much money while pretending to be the perfect family is the height of hypocrisy. In answer, as a viewer, I HAVE written to TLC, on Facebook many times ( and been slammed by the sheeple) and to Gymboree expressing my dismay and downright disgust. Maybe if enough of us do the same, they will be forced to actually pull the plug, since Kate will NEVER do this-and give up the money she has fallen in love with. Or maybe the child labor investigation will be the kids' salvation.

marlo reese said...

I appreciate what you have written about the Gosselins; I have enjoyed reading it. You put a lot of thought and energy into this blog post. You have articulated everything well but have you walked in Jon and Kate's shoes? How would you provide for an unexpected large family of your own? They should ride the TLC wave as long as they can because it will end. They are home with their kids everyday and getting paid for it. I wish I didn't have to work and could spend all day with my little ones and take them on free, cool field trips. I guess that's why me and my kids watch the show while their daddy is away being the main breadwinner. Jesus aint won the lottery for me yet. But I guess you gotta play to win ;)

Who let the GWOP in? said...

Judging by some of the hate filled comments and the use of the word "sheeple", I suspect that at least one of the lovely bloggers over at the website Gosselins Without Pity (GWOP) found this blog.

For more information about the website “Gosselins Without Pity” I recommend going to the website “GWoP without Pity”. Please check it out.

Here is the web address for GwoP without Pity:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry I found this blog...reason? Now it seems the so called "christian neighbors" are adding their bile and spit to this deal as well. You can be sure that the Gosselins will NOT seek YOU out for help Mr. Mueller! Your poison will possibly help them run the other way, how dare you add further to the train wreck that already exists here.
Jon and Kate: If you do happen to fall upon my little note here: Please excuse your jerk of a neighbor and seek help privately and from TRUE professionals who actually care for you both and your family. It will not be an easy road for you but I know that a lot of people are praying for you and that God is in charge!

Erin said...

I was enamored with this most of America I fell in love with them and never missed an episode. Like most have commented, things began changing. You can see it episode-by-episode as Kate's hair changed, her size, her tan, nails...etc. She stopped focusing on her children and turned to herself. Walt, you said it so perfectly how we are no better than the choices they have made. Recently in my own life, I was 'called out' for making a choice to lie in order to gain more money...not realizing that the lie was a sin. A sin in not trusting God with my finances, but trying to control it myself...with the help of the world. I am no better than the choice Jon and Kate have made in wanting the money over the health of their relationships with family, friends, and their Heavenly Father...but after being shown my sin, I repented, turned from it, and held close to God for help in trusting Him more and leaving the world behind. I pray for this family, and have unplugged several months ago. I am praying that God can open a way for some organization or group to find a way to shut this down. If Kate won't do it herself (shame on her), then someone needs to grab the cord for them and pull it out of the wall. I believe that's part of being the body of Christ. Thank you for your post. For confirmation that we were blind to issues that began in that first season. Thank you for speaking the truth in love. I hope and pray that Kate reads this. I know that the Holy Spirit is there, with them, with Kate and Jon, pleading with their hearts to choose Christ. I pray they pull the plug from their hearts to this world, and plug it back into Christ and His love.

Anonymous said...

How very sad that you have taken the time to write your self-righteous little blog! Shame on you for adding more upon the heads of this family! Christian duty? I think NOT!

I am hoping and praying that this family will be able to put the pieces of their lives back together and that they will be able to show the world that they can do this without the whole world including brothers, sisters, former garbage neighbors, etc. (you know who you are!) giving their 2 cents worth of crap along the way! Others....stay out of it!

Anonymous said...

As another neighbor, I am sorry that some have missed your point. I don't understand how people can believe the PR spin of things and what the Gosselin's say over what other's have witnessed. Fans are being manipulated in order to keep the ratings up and to buy products.
It is at the expense of the children's well being. I'm sorry, that is the truth. They filmed here almost every day, all day. I know what TLC's release said 2 hours a day, 2 days a week but we know the truth. We look forward to talking to the Department of Labor about that because that is the only item we are interested in -- the children working. Westbrooke is a wonderful place and I am grateful we have our neighborhood back but I do care about what is being done to the children. I never realized it was self-righteous to speak up in defense of the Gosselin children. I have no problem with book tours and speaking engagements etc etc. It is the filming of these children all of the time. I could care who is sleeping with whom etc etc that IS garbage but the children were working. When they take multiple takes for Mady and Cara to get on their school bus because the film crew wanted them to skip and swing their lunchboxes.
All the comments on their meltdowns - they just had enough of all the filming before the others. It is all a manipulation, all a rouse to get everyone to keep watching. How mean of people to call people names because of a different and educated point of view. Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Your blog was very insightful! I've watched Jon and Kate plus 8 in the past but have stopped watching due to everything I've seen and heard about the environment of cameras around the kids all the time. It's so sad what is happening to those children, and then to have it all played out in front of millions of people, is even sadder.
I wrote to the Discovery Channel/TLC a couple of weeks ago and told them that they need to end the show for the children's sake. I even actually got a letter back in response saying that they'll take what I had to say into consideration because they value their viewers' points of views on programs. I think what we can do for those kids is 1)Pray for them, 2)Write or email the Discovery Channel/TLC, and 3)STOP WATCHING THE SHOW.
I bet it felt so good for you to blog your thoughts out there and get things off your chest. I felt so good giving TLC a piece of my mind about what they were doing to this family. I felt even better not giving my support to the show, by not turning in to watch it any more.
I'm always amazed by the people who stick up for the show still being left on the air. I don't know how they don't see what this is doing to those children. Yeah this family is getting a lot of money and free trips, etc., but at what expense?

Mama Kate said...

Wow. I was linked to your article by a group of people who have a strong desire to see this trainwreck cleaned up - especially for the well-being of those 8 little children. I have to say, your words struck me so much, and you hit every nail on the head. You are right that each and every one of us is to blame in that we continue to add fuel to the fire by turning on our televisions every week. If all of us do our part - we can end this madness. I just hope that it is not too late for those children to see a normal childhood.

Thank you for your words!

Anonymous said...

I am one reading here who is very upset by the words written by Mr. Mueller. It seems to me that the world including relatives, the media, neighbors, former neighbors, christians and non-christians alike around the world are having a "stoning party" here. We should be reaching out in real concern, praying for a way to help and keeping additional nasty information to ourselves and not adding to the frenzied fire! I agree, shame on all who are using the internet to spread this stuff. These are real people with real children in a very awful crisis in a world that judges too quickly and loves the kind of junk that is written above. Did it occur to you, Walt, to contact your former neighbor privately to discuss your concerns and offer help? I do believe I have read about this practice in the Bible written over 2,000 years ago in which you want everyone here to believe you are a super christian human being sitting in judgment over this family. It is indeed very sad and I am personally distraught over your actions. I do not "miss the point" here at all, thank you very much! :)

Concerned here in the Lancaster Bible Belt

sheila said...

"Did it occur to you, Walt, to contact your former neighbor privately to discuss your concerns and offer help? I do believe I have read about this practice in the Bible written over 2,000 years ago in which you want everyone here to believe you are a super christian human being sitting in judgment over this family."

TLC and Zondervan have been contacted privately by thousands of people with the same concerns and have refused to budge. They have proven that private communication holds no sway with them.

Jon and Kate have heard this message (though not often phrased as eloquently or respectfully) thousands of times and have refused to budge. They have also proven that private communication holds no sway with them.

The author states that he and his neighbors personally tried to befriend the Gosselins and were rebuffed.

They have all proven repeatedly that they are not willing to accept counsel from anyone.

When someone asserts that they embrace a set of beliefs, it is NOT "judging" for a fellow believer to gently, lovingly, humbly call them out when they are obviously not following the belief system they claim to embrace. I believe Walt would have done it privately IF THE GOSSELINS HAD NOT REFUSED INTERACTION WITH HIM.

There are eight precious children involved here. Silence is not an option. Period.

Brandy said...

Maybe Walt's gossiping. Maybe he's judging. But whether or not you agree with his take or how he chose to present what he's witnessed, if you have any concern for those children, stop participating in this charade. No more Juicy Juice, Gymboree, Zondervan or TLC for my family until those kids are safe. I wouldn't buy products I knew were manufactured in sweatshops, so I won't have anything to do with anything that contributes to the misery the Gosselin children are experiencing. A lot of families provide for more children with a lot less. The Gosselins could survive and provide without the show, and the companies I listed can survive without the Gosselins. I have watched the show, every episode, until this season, and Jon and Kate have put enough out there to show that something is really wrong. Anyone else ever notice those kids hardly ever smile anymore?

Anonymous said...

Please don't let what some of these people have said get you down. I think that you did a good thing by blogging your feelings. It's a free country. I enjoy how people say you shouldn't be judging when aren't they in turn being judgmental? I love people's logic sometimes.
It's not like you're going out there getting interviewed for money, you're just telling it how you saw it living in the same neighborhood as the Goslin's.
It amazes me how people can stand up for Kate especially when it was obvious that Jon wanted out of the show at the end of season 4 (he looked in almost a depressed state when he said he's not into doing the show much anymore). If my husband was that unhappy about something, I'd keep what was making him so unhappy from happening. She could have said, "No more show. I love my husband and family way too much." Then on top of it why not do 40 episodes in season 5. It's sad. And the most important things in all of this are those poor innocent little children. It breaks my heart. It's ok then for them to keep doing the show when it's obvious their parents may split up. Is America supposed to watch how the kids react when their parents get divorced?
So sorry for being "judgmental", but my heart goes out to those children.
It feels good to vent and it'll feel even better banning the show from my home in order to hopefully let TLC get the message and stop doing the show!

thankyou said...

This is one of the most well written things I have read about this couple.

I find it funny that so many are calling this blogger out for gossiping and judging, while they are doing just that.

This post comes across as a view from someone who is concerened about this family. As a mother myself I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't hurt for the loss of innocence these children are experiencing.

I did want to mention, my sister and I were out, and we drove past the church she used to attend that just so happens to be the church the Gosselins attended at one point. The sign out front said "Truth fears no ivestigation" I wondered if it was directed at the Gosselins in light of the PA Department of Labor investigation.

And yes, the Gosselin mansion is on Heffner Road, but there are plenty of homes on that road so maybe he lives near them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Walt, for this brave blog on the Gosselins. It's the best thing I've read on the subject. However, I believe the paparazzi and the press have a duty to report accurately on them, since they have no compulsion about putting out an image that is inconsistent with the facts (ie., meeting girlfriends and traveling with them). Also, celebrities currently are very scripted and boring, and the media sensed a void, and a market for news about the Gosselins. They are public figures, and that goes with the territory.

Anonymous said...

Walt, I appreciate your blog post on the Gosselins. As a conservative Christian mom in a church where many people manage large families with little help and no fanfare, I was a little surprised when Jon and Kate began to be held up as icons of Christian marriage and parenting. The "fruit" shown on their show didn't seem that positive, but apparently many young parents began to look up to them as role models. You are correct that we are called to be discerning and that we are to do something when we see other Christians being led down a path that seems wrong. Thank you for your thoughts on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Walt, although we don't share the same Deity, I am sure we share a similar heart and hope that this family will one day again be made whole. Thank you for your words, your kindness, and your counsel. Shame on me for contributing to their pain through indulgence in media hype, but not after today. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with those who have said that this is gossip. I think you, as somewhat of an insider, are saying out loud what many of us are already thinking, and that's to leave the Gosselin family alone, so they can repair themselves, privately. I have not watched the show in 2 weeks because as much as I, and my children, have enjoyed past episodes, I don't find any enjoyment watching this family break apart. I was one of those, "I told you so" people. I could see this coming at some point. As a Christian wife and mother, I know my place in my family, and even though I do like being in control, I have to relenquish the control of this family to my husband, as that it what the Bible says. I think if Kate had remembered this for her entire marriage thus far, things would be very different. Jon needs to feel that he is the husband and father, not the 9th child! I will not watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 anymore and I will not allow my children to see the show, either. I don't want them (I have 3 girls) to think that this is how a family should be. Thank you for your boldness and bravery to write this blog and I hope and pray the Gosselin family does the right thing anf "pull the plug" for the sake of their precious family.

Anonymous said...

Lancaster Bible Belt - no one in this neighborhood is throwing a stoning party - how ridiculous and mean to say that.

The tabloids including People are all about selling magazines . . period. It's all about the money -

When the network sends out press releases saying they filmed the children 2 hours a day, 2 days a week and we live right next door and know they filmed ALL OF THE TIME- most often 5 days a week - usually from 8 to 5 and there were nights when it went way into the night-- When the children were awakened in the middle of the night to be loaded on a limousine bus to be whisked away to their next appearance-- When obsessed fans come by their house and view them as a zoo exhibit-- when the children want to be left alone -- when the twins have to do multiple "takes" to board their school bus because production wants them to skip down the driveway and swing their lunchboxes. Are we to just say nothing?

This grew to 40 episodes, up from single digits. Please think about the math of the amount of film they film to put into a 1/2 hour show.

If we see example after example of children working, children crying because they do not want to take direction, crying because they are being yelled at. Being told "more energy, more energy!"

This would not have the outcry if it was the original number of shows and I don't fault the book deals and tours as it can be done without the children.

Where do the Gosselin children go to get their childhood back?

GWOP love thy neighbor said...

Walt, reading your post was refreshing. I think you tried to explain the situation in a truthful and loving way. You didn't resort to petty and caustic remarks about the Gosselins which is very popular to do on some sights like the GWOP (Gosselins Without Pity).

I believe that a lot of people, such as some people on the GWOP website, care very little for the Gosselins. I believe that these people's comments are motivated by a spirit of hatred rooted in envy. I think that if a lot of GWOP bloggers were honest they would admit that they can't stand seeing someone like Kate reap so much material gain. If they were more honest they would admit that they would take great pleasure in seeing her downfall.

"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him." (Proverbs 24:17-18, King James Version).

Beejcctx said...

For those of you who witnessed first-hand the hours and hours those kids have had to work - please don't be silent SPEAK UP! Plus, I wonder: how bright was that house at night with "studio lighting in every room" to facilitate the taping?
Plus with them hitting 100 half hour shows in two years - let's do some more math, that has to be more than 2 hours a week. TLC and the parents are nothing but PR-spinning liers. I agree - where do the Gosselin children go to get their childhood back? It's been distributed on the internet and sold in books and DVD sets. These kids are nothing more than the modern equivalent of the Dionne Quintuplets - PRAY FOR AND FREE THE GOSSELIN EIGHT!

Anonymous said...

I'm also a former neighbor and I thank you for speaking up for the children.

TLC has been filming these children nearly around the clock for years, often doing retake after retake to get the right shot.

Please get someone to leave these children alone. Kate needs therapy, and she needs it right now. How do we accomplish this?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Walt! Judgmental much?

I think it's obvious why Kate wanted nothing to do with you. If I had such a judgmental neighbor, I'd cringe and walk the other way if I saw him coming.

Anonymous said...

From France
I happend upon your blog via a link from Gosselins without pity. I ahve never joined that forum nor do I intend to. Most real to me is your post plus the posts here from two other neighbors-
She Posted on
June 8, 2009 12:24 PM
AND the other neighbor
Lancaster Bible Belt - no one in this neighborhood is throwing a stoning party - how ridiculous and mean to say that.

The tabloids including People are all about selling magazines . . period. It's all about the money -

When the network sends out press releases saying they filmed the children 2 hours a day, 2 days a week and we live right next door and know they filmed ALL OF THE TIME- most often 5 days a week - usually from 8 to 5 and there were nights when it went way into the night-- When the children were awakened in the middle of the night to be loaded on a limousine bus to be whisked away to their next appearance-- When obsessed fans come by their house and view them as a zoo exhibit-- when the children want to be left alone -- when the twins have to do multiple "takes" to board their school bus because production wants them to skip down the driveway and swing their lunchboxes. Are we to just say nothing?

This grew to 40 episodes, up from single digits. Please think about the math of the amount of film they film to put into a 1/2 hour show.

If we see example after example of children working, children crying because they do not want to take direction, crying because they are being yelled at. Being told "more energy, more energy!"

This would not have the outcry if it was the original number of shows and I don't fault the book deals and tours as it can be done without the children.

Where do the Gosselin children go to get their childhood back?

June 9, 2009 1:39 PM

Your posts are very chilling, especially the line "Where do the Gosselin children go to get their childhood back?"

I sincerely hope we can pass laws in this country protecting children who are forced by thier parents to WORK on reality TV. It used to be there were frineds and family who would appear on the show but now they are all gone. kate has alienated her family and friends and I wonder where the money will go. One day when those sad children rebell and want their fair share of the money it will be Kate who controlls the purse strings. In one early episode they had an attorney in to make a will, they never had an attorney. Thus it is quite obviouse that there are no trust funds et up for the children and in fact Jon & Kate personally receive all the funds for the work of thier children. if this is not pimping/exploiting your children then I don't know what is? These poor children have lost thier childhood and the parents get all the money. And there are no laws against it! To the former neighbors I say "Good for you it is about time!" YES speak to the Labor Dept in Pennsylvainia stick up for these poor 8 children because their parents won't. Stay silent no longer. Styaing silent only means Kate and Jon up the number of episodes per year. Silence doensn't work. I did write to Discoveery and I did get a response so I know they have my message. Save the children!

Anonymous said...

Having read through the blog, and given considerable thought to the subject, we will likely continue watching the show for now. I will, however, continue to ignore the magazines, websites, news articles and tv "magazine" shows dedicated to "documenting" Jon&Kate's "destruction." I will continue to pray for J&K. To abandon them now, while they are down, would be to deny the ability of God to work a wonderful change, in the public eye and on a very popular "reality" (stated with tongue in cheek) tv show. Additionally, if we were part of making the show successful, and based upon that, the Gosselins have incurred debts in reliance upon the continued success, what would my role / fault be, if any, should I join in the rush over the cliff edge to abandon the show? Where would that leave the Gosselins? Where would that leave the children? J&K are flawed. Arguably very flawed. I, however, (and I don't think Walt, either) am not in a position to pick up that "stone." ... but then again, maybe he (Walt) is.... I don't know him well enough to make that assessment.

Regardless, while I do not personally approve of a number of things done by Jon, and especially, Kate, I will continue to support them, pray for them, and ask the Lord that they come out of this better Christians (if, indeed, they are, and if not, to become Christians through it), stronger, and together.

With respect to those that suggest that as Christians, we cannot act as judges on the conduct of others, I would suggest you re-read the teachings of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul.

As for those alleged neighborhood "eye witnesses"... where were you when all that you say was happening, was happening? Did you not take pictures to document the alleged abuses? Why do you only now come forth? I have serious questions regarding the credibility of these claims, unless they were made, but ignored by the authorities. I have too often observed and discovered alleged "eye witnesses" to have ZERO credibility when put to the test, and when compared with more reliable evidence, such as video recordings and the like. If the abuse was occurring, where is the "hard" evidence? Perhaps the Penn. Dept. of Labor does have that evidence, or perhaps not.

For Walt: If Zondervan does not "pull the plug," will you "pull the plug" on Zondervan and no longer use them to publish your book(s)? Also, if Zondervan does not "pull the plug," should our "Christian" book stores also pull the plug on Zondervan? On Kate's book(s)? How far should we take this? Isn't this a slippery slope? Where does it end? How do you feel about the other shows with children (e.g., Little People, Big World, Table for 12, the 18 kid family, etc.)?

Regardless, the blog was certainly thought provoking.

Paul L of GR, MI

GWOPers are Sheeple said...

Great blog Walt. This blog was linked from a few people over at the Gosselins Without Pity website. I think that the posters over there are obsessed with Kate. Every once in a while you find someone posting a link to a good site like yours. Most of the time there are links to tabloid websites that I believe are making money on all of this negative publicity. Going to those websites I believe might be adding more fuel to the fire since they have webcounters. So long as TLC and other media outlets perceives that there is interest in the show the show will go on. The GWOPers like to call other people "sheeple." I think that label would be better suited in describing themselves.

I found it funny that there are a couple of anti-GWOP sites that have popped up. One of the funniest ones is called GWOP Without Pity.

I highly recommend it if you want to get a laugh or two.

GwoP without Pity:

Anonymous said...

From France
Silence, said Sir Thomas Moore, is affirmation.
cited from A Minor Consideration.
Neighbors who have knowledge of filming hours and the Production Company directing the children to act or say things for the cameras should not wait to be contacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, you should call them. Silence is affirmation.

i just spent about an hour over at that A Minor Consideration website and Mr. Petersen has been at this a long time. He is not an opportunist with the recent Jon & Kate news. He is sincerely dedicating his life to protecting children in the "entertainment" industry. Go back and read his older topics. We are all justt now becoming aware of parents who pimp/exploit their children in the entertainment industry becasue of the Jon + Kate news, Mr. Peterman has been on this bandwagon many many years.

Carol said...

I feel that the Gosselins will never agree to the shutting down of the show because those darling kids are nothing but cash cows for them and why on earth would Kate and Jon want to lose their meal ticket? I mean, she's got the fame and the hunky bodyguard, albeit short lived, and he's got the girlfriend and the fast cars. What do the kids get from all of this? I'll tell you......they get broken hearts because of all of the turmoil that is going on in that marriage, they get a mother who yells and screams at them, I have yet to see her kiss them that wasn't 'staged' by TLC. I notice the fear when she approaches them. I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm sure you all catch my drift on these two narcissistic idiots. They will get what they deserve, it may take awhile but they will.

My hat is off to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for looking into the child labor laws and (hopefully) shutting them down.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight. You are right, we need to stop watching and they need to pull the plug. The most important thing to them is at stake, the welfare of their children. Pray for all 10 members of the Gosselin Family.

Concerned Mom said...

I would like to preface my comments by saying my daughter is in Cara and Mady's class. I have had interaction with both Jon and Kate as well as Cara and Mady. First of all, Jon is the more outgoing parent. He is friendly and has a lot of love for his daughters (and I am sure with the tups although I never saw them except in the family van). Cara and Mady adore their father and are far more guarded around their mom. They almost walk on egg shells. Kate started to act more and more like a diva, and would barely interact with anyone. When Jon was with Kate, he took her lead and barely acknowledged people. Jon is generous with praise, and Kate far more tight lipped and critical. Again, the atmosphere is very tense.

As far as filming, I do know Cara and Mady could not attend a few birthday parties because of the filming schedule. They also couldn't have friends over because of the filming. Kate doesn't even like the girls to recieve phone calls, and I am talking after school not late night calls. Isn't that the fun part of being a girl? Talking on the phone?

I have had a few opportunities to interact with Cara and Mady and although Cara is a bit on the shy side, Mady just thrives with one on one attention. She is has a lot of energy and is extremely bright. She is a talker and has a great smile. Both girls have excellent manners and fit in well at school. My daughetr said they rarely talk about the show, unless they are talking about someplace they have been to. I don't know how they feel about all the cameras, but I do know the cameras are not allowed at school or school related events so they get a nice break there.

I hope if the rumors are true that they are being investigated, that it may put an end to the cameras and allow these children to have a carefree childhood. Jon and Kate and healthy and can go back to work to do what it takes to support their children, not have their children support them!

May God put his healing hand on this family and heal the marriage and bless them all.

Pay Attention Blog Owner! said...

For Pete's sake, the Concerned Mom above is PennMommy. She does not have a child in Mady and Cara's class. She lives in CA. She's addicted to pretending that she's a Gosselin insider and a writer for the TV show House and a Duggar hanger-on. The "talking on the phone" thing came straight from the TV show. This is why these kinds of "Save the children" essays should NOT be published. It does no good. Look at the gossip and the hateful comments and gwoppers and weirdos coming out in the comment threads. This is so creepy.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. The Gosselins are further proof to me that I need not be wealthy to be happy. I guess not everything material is of God either. Maybe the other one knows we are more easily controlled with riches. Anyhow, thanks for the insight. Lets hope the G's take your advise.

Anonymous said...

While the author makes some valid observations, the judgmental "shame on you" is nothing more than a holier than thou attitude.

How do you know that this isn't the path that they are meant to take as a part of their testimony? It's not for you or anyone else to decide what is best for them or their children. Nor to shame the Gosselin's for the choices they've made because you think you know better.

God willing their family will survive and thrive. No matter what adversity they have endured and may still face, they can overcome it and may God be the glory.

That they have prospered and achieved financial wealth and nice things, doesn't mean that they have given up their faith to gain them. Parents of multiples face a great deal of obstacles and stress, many of which they've been able to overcome because of their show. To deny that some good has come out of their show and not find any good, only proves that you have an axe to grind with this couple and now you have an audience to hear it.

Shame on them? No, shame on you for writing this spiteful blog to get attention for yourself by judging them and everyone else connected with them. You are no better than those that you accuse of being diva's. Indeed you sound like one.

Anonymous said...

There we go again...
Someone else telling Walt not to be judgmental, as they're judging Walt!
So sad!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There we go again...
Someone else telling Walt not to be judgmental, as they're judging Walt!
So sad!

..I am judging you. You are judging someone else. She is judging Walt. Walt is judging the Gosselins.

Looks like it started with Walt. This is a nice example of why we should not gossip and judge. One sin leads to another. Walt's sin does not exist in isolation. It affects more than the Gosselins and their children.

He has fanned the flames of hatred toward this mother.

GWOPers Pleaze! said...

Pay Attention Blog Owner! said...

Look at the gossip and the hateful comments and gwoppers and weirdos coming out in the comment threads. This is so creepy.


Gwoppers and wierdos, oh my! LOL. Yeah I think that the majority of gwoppers love to hate Kate. I think that they get immense pleasure from Kate’s very existence. If Kate suddenly disappeared I think they would have a giant void in their lives. They don’t realize this yet but they need Kate.

I checked out the site gwop without pity. Hilarious!

GWOPers Pleaze! said...

Pay Attention Blog Owner! said...

Look at the gossip and the hateful comments and gwoppers and weirdos coming out in the comment threads. This is so creepy.


Gwoppers and wierdos, oh my! LOL. Yeah I think that the majority of gwoppers love to hate Kate. I think that they get immense pleasure from Kate’s very existence. If Kate suddenly disappeared I think they would have a giant void in their lives. They don’t realize this yet but they need Kate.

I checked out the site gwop without pity. Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

As a neighbor who posted here - I have nothing against the Gosselins.

I came forward because I knew the truth - 2 hours a day, 2 days a week -- the children weren't working?!? - that is just untrue.
I also wanted to congratulate my neighbor on a well meaning article because he also knows the TRUTH.

Why didn't I film it one blogger asked? Because the network has a mountain of unused film that will prove the point. Why didn't we speak out earlier - simply because it wasn't this bad at the beginning - it was 8 episodes which ballooned to 40 and hours and hours and hours of filming WORKING children. We also felt the family should come forward -- and they tried -- twice -- but people who know nothing but media spin and media manipulation threw them to the curb with insults. We also initially had the same excuses - what would we do if we had 8 children, let's make sure because they need money for a family that size AND we had no idea about the lack of laws and the reality loophole in Pennsylvania. We also thought they had to be monitored in some way and filed appropriate paperwork etc or the state would have shut them down. THEN -- we saw the release saying that they film 2 days a week, 2 hours a day and we fell off of our chairs. That isn't even remotely close to the truth. This was not a home, it was a filmset.

If you don't care that you, as the tv watcher are being sold a load of crap at the expense of their childhoods -- fine. But for those who take pause in what we are saying, THANK YOU.

Alisha said...

This is a very interesting article. I have a blog post coming up in the next couple of days to why I decided to stop watching the show. honestly, because I don't find it entertaining to see a family derail. I will be sending TLC a message as well as to why they have lost a viewer for all of their shows.

MS said...

I first heard of Jon and Kate during the TLC marathon Memorial Day weekend. After watching just a few minutes of what you correctly labled a train wreck, I was horrified that anyone would put their children through that.

If one good thing comes from that show, it will be to remind other parents, like myself, to cherish, love, and appreciate our children, and to never demean them and taunt them the way that woman does. The show reminded me that some day, all my daughter will have left of me will be memories. I want them to be loving memories of good times with the family.

Anonymous said...

Quote: This was not a home, it was a filmset.

Thank you 3:54. Please inform the State investigators of what you witnessed. It's very relevant to their investigation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article. My heart breaks for the Gosselin children. Anyone who know anything at all about child psychology can tell you that these children are suffering. And to those who say "How else can they support 8 kids?".....My grandmother had 9 kids on one salary and they always had food, clothing, and a safe place to eat. They did not have fancy vacations or clothing, but they were loved. A parent's role is to love and provide for their children. My husband and I do not have much money...but our children are loved and emotionally and psychologically cared for. Our materialistic society somehow believes that money creates happiness and material possessions provide love. I am a teacher and I can tell you this is far from true. You CAN support eight children by working just like my husband and I do. Will you be rich? No, not by material standards. I guess you have to decide what is most important to you...Love or Money. It seems the Gosselins have chosen the latter.

Anonymous said...

I think you are another one of the pathetic haters that are trying to bash this family. You are one of the nasty neighbors lying about them just to get your message out there.


sheila said...

"You are one of the nasty neighbors lying about them just to get your message out there."

Could you show us the proof you have that he's lying? I'm sure we'd all be interested to read what you have to say.

Carol said...

Gee Kate, is that you or one of your henchmen posting all of the "leave this family alone" posts?

I don't see how any normal person who watches this drivel of a show, could ever be compassionate toward the parents. My God, wake up and smell the child abuse, will ya?

Ms Rose said...

Well done! I have hardly watched the show myself and my husband refuses to watch it but what I have seen I am not impressed. We are a household of multiple multiples and do it all on our own just like other families that are large with or without multiples.

If they truly care they will reconsider their choices and start making changes now, before its too late.

Shelly said...

I'm not a big fan of the show or the train wreck...but to hear yourself talk much? What you actually said could have taken a paragraph.

Shelly said...

Oh, and the wives-yours included cooked for neighbors? Why can't the men cook?

Student Ministry said...

Bravo. Walt.

(Some of you people are over the edge. This is just a blog, not a newspaper article or an encyclopedia entry.)

Anonymous said...

I loved your post, and agree with it wholeheartedly, and while I've definitely (sadly) been in the 'I told you so' (and can't stop watching the trainwreck) group, it really is painful to see this family circling the drain, and I agree wholeheartedly (as a Christian mom) we SO need to pray for this family. And I REALLY hope they DO pull the plug, sooner than later.

Also, apropos of nothing, I was fascinated to note that a lot of the 'anonymous'commenters sounded very similar in what they had to say in response to your post, and was wondering if there was a way to track where your comments came from? Can you tell whether all of these 'anonymous' commenters with dissenting opinions came from the same location (or computer), as they sound very similar (in style of writing). I've read similar comments on other sites (i.e. 'how will they support their family w/o the TV/book tour/speaking tour gravy train,' 'shame on you for judging 'them', 'you're adding to their misery by blogging about them'), and it sounds like either someone very close to or within the Gosselin camp is very comment-happy, or (somewhat surprisingly) there really are a LOT of people out there still defending them? So I was wondering, (as I mentioned above) are you able to track where these 'anonymous' people are coming from, and ARE a majority of them coming from the same place (as they seem to be)?

Thanks for the sane (and Godly) voice among the madness.
Kelly, in CA

Tony Myles said...







I find it odd that your comments about challenging Walt to be more authentic in his walk with God have to come from people he is unable to respond back to.

Of course, I'd share this with you myself and do the face to face pathway of Matthew 18 if I could.

But that's kind of the point I'm making.

To Walt -

thanks for chiming in on this. I do believe you may have stepped over a line just a bit with your information, but I believe your motive is pure. For that I'm extending grace in my mind as I read your comments. If you would like someone to work this out with regarding how people are receiving this post, count me in.

Anonymous said...

Folks - for those of you who want to chastise "judge not lest you be judged" you need to read study scripture! Brothers and sisters in Christ must absolutely hold each other accountable and judgement of behavior is appropriate and necessary. Furthermore, there is nothing that Walt shared that stepped over the line. And finally, to the person who didn't like how many words were used, this is not your blog. Walt can use as many words as he wants. You can read or not, but seriously, to make that your point was juvenile.

I have stopped watching out of my own conviction. This family needs to turn to God, just as we all do. They need to die to self daily, just as we all do! Since I don't have a blog username, I will sign this.


Caroline said...

It would be nice if Jon took out his earring, pulled off his Ed Hardy garb and went back to the old neighborhood and spoke to you.

He might learn something.

Anonymous said...

I am leaving this comment as a former Christian. I no longer attend church or surround myself with "Christian" friends, because of hypocrites like Jon and Kate Gosselin. Spouting platitudes and Bible verses and then living a life completely opposed to the teachings of Christ. Their fame is doing the opposite of growing the kingdom, it's giving unbelievers one more reason to point and mock. I'm shocked and pleased that someone in the Christian community has taken a stand. So many seem to be so thrilled to have "Christian Role Models" on TV that they couldn't see how horrible these people seem to be. And if you can watch Kate Gosselin and still think of her as a Christian wife, I want to know what version of the good book you're carrying. A good woman (Christian or otherwise) doesn't speak to her husband in such a emasculating and snide way in private - yet alone on such a public stage. And then she claims entitlement because science (not God) helped her to deliver a litter.

molly-lte said...

Walt, I am an atheist. But I found your entry sincere, touching and filled with love. I'm sure that a lot of people that are against the show do feel the same depth of empathy and concern, but the powerlessness has us stunned and silent. Thank you for speaking from the bottom of your heart and with such soulbearing truth.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is very well put - calling it like you see it. I'll join you in praying for the couple, their kids, execs at TLC and Zondervan.

In Him

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a prayerful and heart-wrenching post. There is nothing to rejoice about in this one will be a winner in the long run.

My son, who is now a Marine, is very modest. There will be no "naked baby" photos when he brings that someone special to our house, no cute bathroom anecdotes. I'm trying to imagine the sextuplets having to view the episode where all the potties are lined up in the driveway, or Jon had to help one of the boys "go" - all caught on camera when they become teens.
Thank you, too for taking to task not just TLC, who are in it for the money, but the Christian Book Publishing industry, the churches and book stores.
The Gosselins need the two things that we can do: pray for them, and refuse to participate in any of the commercial endeavors. No TV, no buying books, no trashy magazines at the store. They all rely on our money. Let's starve them. Maybe it will help save the Gosselin family.

Anonymous said...

The lure of a seemingly quick and easy answer to the challenge of raising a large family would be tempting to almost everyone. Sadly, there is always a price for everything. 'Pay me now....or pay me later.' I can imagine that the desire to have both parents home while providing enormous perks in exchange for the loss of privacy somehow seemed worth the price. If Kate had a built a strong support team of family and friends, she would have trusted their judgement and words of caution. But, like Nadia Sulleman, her desire to have 'just one more child' was probably her tipping point in terms of leaving behind all who disagreed or had a differing opinion. Sadly for Kate, the one person on her side was Jon and then not even he could measure up....
This goes in the TV history log of dreadful outcomes for the innocent children.
Too bad.

momto5 said...

Just found this, and after reading it, WOW. This is the BEST article ever written about the Gosselins. Your insight is incredible and spot on. I am a former fan, who stopped watching last year, because I was starting to feel uneasy about Kate and her treatment of her family and people in general. As a christian myself, I feel embarrased by Kate. She no represents what I would consider a christian wife/mother. Her vanity and risque fashion choices are way out of line. Jon is rebelling, I think from being pegged as america's wimpiest husband. And the kids, it hurts to see they have lost and will probably continue to lose their childhoods because their mom wants all things materialistic and a celebrity/fan worship lifestyle. As I said before I stoped watching long ago, but have continued to pray for the family and hope for the best, God willing.

Following Him said...

THANK YOU Walt for speaking the truth and giving some great insight into the J&K situation. I must admit that I thought the show was cute at first, but the constant bickering and badgering drove me away. I saw bits and pieces of the priemer and was in shock of how two people with 8 children could act towards eachother.

I am saddened by the situation that these EIGHT CHILDREN have to go through now. I hope the so-called learning channel pulls the plug for the children's sake!

C said...

you call yourself a christian? wow! I know kinder aethiests than you. It's so funny how you try not to lay blame on kate while all the while sticking it to her good. You and aunt jodi, uncle kevin and that person that writes such hate about the children's parents are worse than the parents. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

hip chick said...

Very smartly written. I used to like to watch the show. My mother liked it also and even though we lived an hour apart we would watch and talk about those cute kids later.
I began to lose intereste last season. The show seemed to change somehow. I wasn't sure exactly what it was but I no longer enjoyed it as much as I once had. I was no longer wathcing it regularly. This season I have only seen one show. I know I won't be watching it very often.
Having been through divorce both as a child and then as a parent I know what is in store for this family. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for these children to do it publicly.
shame on everone involved..including us.

Erin said...

thank you for your wise words- it was exactly what i needed to debrief how i feel about everything that's happening to the family.

Erin D said...

I completely agree actually. We all need to give them privacy and let them work things out... my mom and I were wondering if anyone has given them a copy of "Fireproof" and if not, how can we get a copy to them? It's never too late for God to work in a situation! He has raised people from the dead, he can surely bring this marriage back from the brink of destruction.

Kathleen said...

Are you for real? You are no better than the paparazzi. I respect the paparazzi more, actually - at least they don't hide their actions under a veil of Christianity and concern. What a coincidence that you didn't say anything for so long, and now that the media firestorm has erupted, you feel the need to throw in your 2 cents. Very cheesy and not to mention sleazy. Oh and btw the way you wrote about the family was very UN-Christian-like. Maybe you should mind your own business and take a good look at your own actions instead of theirs.

Sara said...

Wonderful comments. I have watched the show for 2 yrs and was enraptured with the family. I have been praying for this family for at least a year. It was sad to see what Kate has done to herself, like at the last birthday party. She had to hire someone to help with it. She has left behind family, friends and church and is entralled with riches. I wish they could both read your words and take council from them. The media has messed up so many lives and this is 10 more that they have helped ruin. The family might have had a chance as salvaging itself if they hadn't been in the headlines and people stalking them everywhere they went. I would love to see them come to themselves and make things right again.

MrTaterTot said...

You need to get off your high horse Kathleen, the man who wrote this article is correct in his observations. Can you imagine living next to that train wreck of a family?

Angie said...

Well said Walt. I feel very sad for the future of those 8 children. I hope they can find some peace in the middle of this horrible situation.

Anonymous said...

If you were truly concerned for the kids and this family, you'd take your comments off the internet and bring them to their front door. Or better yet, keep them to yourself and show them support in any way THEY need. But I'm going to venture a guess, that you're not that close. Stop making the spotlight bigger on this family to assuage your "conscience" - it's selfish and transparent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for saying what I've been thinking myself for the last year or so. I agree with everything you said. I was a big fan of the show for the first two years, but I saw the direction that things were going and decided to (force myself) to stop watching this season. I still saw clips on the news/talk shows etc. and decided to write to TLC (I've never written ANYBODY before!!). I told them the same things that you were saying... The LEARNING channel?!?! Really?!?! And I told them I am boycotting the show and begged them to be the "bigger" person and cancel the show if Kate could not bring herself to do it. I'm sure it fell on deaf ears, but it was something I could do. Now, I will simply be praying for this family and will continue NOT to watch the show.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Walt for your comments. I found this link from a friend on Facebook and it is the best article that I have read concerning the family. I was very disappointing that they continued with the show after the season finally last year. My prayer is that they will find peace away from the cameras and God will do incredible things to bring the family back together.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is not based on anything substantive. The closest experience you have is that Kate was rude to neighbors. Ok so maybe she was protective of her family from constant prying people, and maybe that played out on innocent well wishers.. SO WHAT? No one knows what went on private and you definitely DO NOT EITHER. You have no personal knowledge. And I don't find your post very "Christian".

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Christ wouldn't "shame on you"'s not his way. Though I get and appreciate your point, the choice of phrasing bothers me.

Anonymous said...

Wow....I'm am horrified that you would speak this way about one of God's children ...Kate. Your post somes off as though you are all knowing and better then the Gosselin's.You said, "The Gosselins moved out of our neighborhood just before last Thanksgiving to a new million and half dollar home. Ironically, we're consistently told by one member of the family that money is scarce." This seems like gossiping to me! I support Kate in all her ventures and will continue to watch the show. You can keep your self righteousness!

Anonymous said...

Think you for sharing your concern for the Gosselin famliy. I can't belelive that TLC are aring this hot mess for entertament. I used to watch J&K+8 off and on but when I watch this show last night, I just thinking about if J&K are doing it for the ratings, if it turns true, well shame on them!!! I was hoping that this was their last show so that they are working on their marrage and stop hruting their children, but I was wrong. Last night is my last time watching this show and I will take a stand and NOT watch J&K+8 anymoere. Again, think you.

Anonymous said...

You were doing so well keeping your comments to yourself up to this point. Its your blog thought, far be it for me to disrespect that, but I hope you are enjoying your own 5 minutes of fame over it.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. You have read way to much into it and added to their nightmare by betraying them. I have a well known person living next to me and I would never give info about them. You trash talk the mom of those eight children makes you just as bad. You jumped on the same bandwagon.Dont hide behind the religion to make it look better.

Anonymous said...

and one more thing...if you are tuning in to see if you were on tv and calling out the time you were lined up in front of the camera during the bike riding lesson- you too were interested to see. You sure know a lot about her books as well. You are not fooling anyone. Kate IS one of God's children and you should pray for the hurt she is feeling. You have NO idea what happens behind closed doors whether you live in the same neighborhood or france so dont be so judgemental. I think I remember seeing photos of Jon with another woman. Only they knows what happened...who made the nosy neighbor the expert.Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Call Me Su said...

This article is bullshit. Your whole claim is that we should speak out. Speak out to help this family and not stand by and watch the train go off the track. Yet, you said that your keeping quiet was the right thing to do? When you had better opportunity than any of us to make a difference in the lives of this family. What? I think this article is self-promoting, pompous and gossipy. You have in one blog post done all the things you are advising us NOT to do. You wanted some of the Jon and Kate celebrity also or you wouldn't have made it a point to go on about how you lived in the same neighborhood and being on camera and all that. If you had advice for the family fine but you wanted us to know how much you knew and how close you want to find your own celebrity in this and I wish I hadn't wasted my time.

Erin said...

Thanks for posting this. I agree with everything you've said.

Anonymous said...

You tell him not to judge or gossip but isn't that what you are doing yourselves. This is an excellent article about the downfall of fame and money. I wonder was it gossip for the jews coming out of germany during WW2 to speak of the attrocities being committed. Those children are being abused and it must be stopped. I completely agree.. somebody, somewhere please please pull the plug on this attrocity against these children.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading "hurting the children", "child abuse" and "exploitation". Are you people serious? Then what do you label the real problems in the world? The real abuse and mistreatment of children? And speak out against what? Would you speak out against the high level executive parents who work 12 hours a day and leave their child-rearing duties to a nanny or house staff? Give me a break. Use your voice for a real issue. These kids will be affected by a divorce, but really. Watch or don't watch. I doubt anything is going to change based on the public's viewing habits. TLC didn't create their problems. If they stopped filiming their show, their marriage would probably still be in trouble.

Pete Kettlewell said...

Thank you for the post Walt.

What you said is exactly what needs to happen.

Anonymous said...

I didn't need to read your entire post. I think it's awful to take pleasure in the pain of others. It feels to me that is what you are doing here. How can you call yourself a caring individual? Shame on you.

There was one paragraph in you post that I agreed with...

"To TLC. . . you used to be called The Learning Channel. I wonder, what are you teaching Jon and Kate's kids? What are you teaching your viewers? I wonder, do you ever think about the welfare of those 8 children over and above advertising revenues and skyrocketing ratings? The right thing for you to do is the same. Pull the plug, and pull it now. If not, you need to be held accountable. You are exploiting the Gosselin kids and their family. . . and we know you're getting rich. And Jon and Kate, if TLC doesn't let you go. . . then you know for sure that they don't care one bit about you and your kids. TLC, if you don't pull the plug and pull it now, shame on you."

Monica said...

One million children a year experience what these children are experiencing publicly...the feelings are the same, tuned in or not.

Dear Mom & Dad,

I know that you are hurting. I am hurting, too.

I feel and feed off your tension, fear and shock. Although I am young and cannot express verbally what is happening in our lives, I am still feeling the impact. My heart is broken every time I have to give up a parent. My sense of security is lost.

Please don’t assume I am resilient. Please don’t assume that my life will be exactly as it was and that I will continue to feel the same love from both of you. I am a human being just like you. My needs are just like yours. I need love, attention, nurturing, stability, consistency, affection, understanding, patience, and mostly to be wanted.

When you fight over me or put me in the middle of your argument you are sending me the message that winning with each other is more important than my life. I am learning from you that it is better to be right than to be loved. You are teaching me that I came from a person who is unlovable and wrong and that I am somehow wrong, too.

When you confide your hurt in my heart you are storing up adult pain and robbing me of my childhood. You are taking away my belief that love is unconditional and replacing it with a message that tells me to become hard and not to love because I will get hurt and not be able to recover. You may not understand this today and I am so small you are not thinking about my future, but you are putting me at a greater risk of getting a divorce myself.

At times you are risking my safety to fill a void in your heart. My safety is your job. Without you and your protection I am unshielded from the world. This will manifest in irrational fears for me because I will stay in a state of fight or flight for most of my life.

Someday this initial shock will wear off, but how you choose to parent me through this crisis will never wear off. I will either feel your sense of selflessness, support, protection or I will have a scar on my heart with a message that reads, “Good things happen to good people…I must be bad.”


The Child of Divorce

SVMom said...

This article was very honest and well-meaning. Please look into the intent of the post, the welfare of the children.

Some might see it as judgment, but what advice cannot be seen as criticism on some level? The relevant point is...are the comments truthful and valid? If yes, then can anyone do anything to bring about change? If yes, then it is our responsibility to do so.

I doubt if our actions will get this family back together again. But our actions might, in a best case scenario, prevent future damage on the children or at the very least, make it incumbent upon TLC, book publishers, booking agents etc. to act responsibly, because people will ultimately fight back in a language they & ratings.

Don't worry about the Gosselin income. To date they have made enough to live on comfortably until their children are adults. Of course, that is assuming that they act in a financially responsible manner & not waste away the fortune amassed, especially since they say they did it for the children.

It is more troubling to think about the long-lasting psychological effects on the children. I hope the strength of each child's personality will get him or her through any issue or problems they might encounter in the future.

Anonymous said...

i loved watching JK+8 the kids are adorable and it all seemed so real. too real i guess. i wanted so much to see jon and kate make it. it trully breaks my heart to see it all unfold this way. i've never been married and have no kids but i want to, so watching marriages break down like this is very discouraging to me. i watched last nite as they talked about a seperation (utlimately divorce) holding my breath. it was hard to watch. i don't usually get attacthed to 'celebrities' but for some reason i've gotten invested in this family. i don't know if i can continue to watch this dimise. i know their marriage can be saved, with God anything is possible the thing is to get God in there. i hope they read Walt's message. i've become very saddened by this situation.

Teri said...

I guess I am echoing the comments above when I tell you that this was the best written article I have seen about this family's dire situation.

My prayers are with the Gosselin parents that they will make decisions based on the healthy development and growth of their children, rather than the growth of their wallets and obligations to contracts not nearly as important as the one they entered into when they married.

Just Lookin said...

I so enjoyed reading this. I never heard about the Gosselins until a couple of months ago. I don't think after last nights show I'll ever watch again, its too depressing.

Your an awesome writer.

Jane Lamnet said...

Well, blah, blah, blah to you, too.

Canadian Bird said...

Well said... I watched last night's episode in the hopes that the "big news" was not what I feared it would be. Unfortunately, it was as expected. I've never been a big J&K+8 watcher, & I now know that I never will again. It's not only a moral choice, but a selfish one as well. Last night's episode literally broke my heart for them. Real life... (& "reality TV") is not like the movies, where the conflict is resolved at the witching hour. This family has had my prayers & will continue to do so, but I am most definitely "pulling the plug."

A Mother's Walk said...

There are many comments poking at Walt. I don't think that is necessary. This is a blog, he can use it the way he wishes to express his feelings.

I, a used-to-be fan of Jon and Kate, totally enjoyed reading this. After the season premier I stopped watching. I never noticed until all the tabloids and non-sense that this family had a problem. But after learning by reading online articles and listening to the way that Jon and Kate sound in interviews I have made my decision, it is a train that has, in fact, derailed.

I wish nothing more than happiness for the 8 children that are caught in this mess. What most of you 'anon' commenter's are not saying is 'what is best for the kids'? Maybe you don't care, I have no clue, but I do. I hope and pray daily that the kids have some peace and real soon.

rachel said...

this is the greatest blog ever! thank you so much for writing it. unfortuneatly, the trainwreck left your neighborhood and moved into mine!! haha - i agree with every word you wrote and saw this coming 5 years ago when their focus starting shifting from the plus 8, to the jon and kate, and now the kate. kudos to you and congratulations for gettign your neighborhood back. now what do we do?? :)

Leslie said...

I am praying for the restoration of their marriage. Thank you for the reminder to do so.

Thomas said...

Great article Walt!
I don't hate Kate (or TLC) ... your post doesn't come across as being hateful.
Rather, I as a parent, am very saddened by this story. Admittantly, I was an avid watcher of this show (from Day 1) primarily because my wife and I are also a bi-racial couple (Korean and Caucasian), with children, and with similar "couple" problems (I am very much like Kate). As a self-professed Christian, I had hoped that the couple/family would mend and watched every episode to see how God would move in their lives.
I don't think however, I will be watching the show anymore as your blog's open my eyes to another perspective I wasn't aware of before (that is, the concern for the children being in the limelight).

In all, I suppose, because this family is so public, many more people could pray for them as I will be too.

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