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The Ward Brothers


debrand

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Someone mentioned the Ward Brothers on a thread about the Arndt family. I just started watching it-thanks to that poster for suggesting it. It makes me wonder if there will be more siblings like the Ward Brothers who live and die together in strange, creepy households.

For those who don't know the story. Four older brothers live in a very messy, disorganized house together. One brother, Delbert may or may not have mercy killed his suffering brother. The town supports the brothers who everyone calls the boys even though they are in their sixties and seventies. However, they look much older to me.

I don't know if the story is creepy so much as sad and pathetic. Mentally, the brothers seem like little children. One of them can't read. And the one who supposedly murdered his brother is said not to understand what 'Waive your rights' actually means. In fact, an older friend of his said that Delbert probably thought waive your rights meant wave to someone.

The documentary is streaming on Netflix for those who can watch it.

I haven't finished watching it but one highlight stood out to me. One of the elderly couples who support the brothers said that you wouldn't want to sit next to them in a restaurant because of the smell. The apparently didn't change their clothes for six months. The couple wasn't trying to be mean either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother%27s_Keeper_(film)

Do any of you think that some of our fundie families will end up like the Ward brothers? I could see the Arndts and maybe the Maxwells living together in their family home after their parents die.

And thank you to the poster who suggested this movie.

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I could see them living together, but the Arndts are used to doing "women's work" as their mother puts it, so I don't see them descending into squalor.

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I could see them living together, but the Arndts are used to doing "women's work" as their mother puts it, so I don't see them descending into squalor.

I think that some of the fundies would be cleaner, but still equally sad, equivalents of the Ward brothers. Some of the sisters might also end up living together. Hopefully, they remain in contact with their nonfundie family members so that as they age, they have a support system outside their siblings.

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Sadly, I have to say that I feel it's highly likely that the Arndt boys will end up like that. They probably won't live in filth, but they will be living in a desperately sad and probably still isolated home. Together. At least they'll have each other, and maybe a mummified mommy in the basement. Those poor guys.

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The whole 'cleanliness of next to godliness' thing will keep a lot of fundies from descending into Ward brothers-level of squalor. But, like other posters, I can easily see many of these Quiverfull siblings living together, isolated from the outside world, in religiosity la-la land for the rest of their lives.

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Despite the weird lifestyle, I also really liked the Ward brothers after watching the documentary. It's great that the town rallied behind them, and I hope the Wards remained close to the rest of the townspeople after the trial was over.

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http://www.northofseveycorners.com/slcnys/thewards.htm

A fairly in-depth article about the brothers. I feel so sorry for Lyman, he was so scared of outsiders that he would end up curled on the floor, shaking, due to panic attacks :(

I can see some of the Arndt "boys" ending up that isolated, especially the younger ones with their speech difficulties.

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http://www.northofseveycorners.com/slcnys/thewards.htm

A fairly in-depth article about the brothers. I feel so sorry for Lyman, he was so scared of outsiders that he would end up curled on the floor, shaking, due to panic attacks :(

I can see some of the Arndt "boys" ending up that isolated, especially the younger ones with their speech difficulties.

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting.

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Fascinating article. Thanks for posting.

Yes, thanks for posting. Harry Thurston was one of my favorite people in the documentary because he reminded me of real life farmers that I have known. He was the older man in the baseball hat who said goddamn a lot and said it shouldn't matter if the brothers were homosexuals or not. For those who haven't watched the movie, sperm was found on Bill's body when he died so the prosecuting attorney thought that he and Delbert were sexually active. However, the brothers never seem to wash their clothing so there is no reason to think that Bill hadn't masturbated one day and just never washed up.

Harry Thurston salts his conversations with cuss words and overstatements, seeking the shocked reaction. The crinkle of his blue eyes usually gives him away. A dairy farmer, Thurston lives about two miles from the Wards. He has all his life, and that's a long time. He's 74.

"Around here, nothing changes," he says, as cigarette smoke unwinds over his kitchen table. "And if it does, it just gets more like it was."

Long ago in the military, "Hoss" Thurston got into a brawl with another grunt, bursting lips and blackening eyes until the company blasted them with a fire hose, and they forgot to keep fighting. Thurston remembers the guy's name: Marciano - "Rocky" to his buddies.

Forty-two years ago, a hay-bailer snared Thurston's boot. He yanked himself free and drove the tractor home with his right foot dangling from a tendon. A doctor removed it. Seven days later, he was back in the fields, working on one foot.

Today, he wears a nitroglycerin patch and periodically drives to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse to get lectured about the evils of smoking. He's survived cancer, two heart attacks, a broken neck, a stroke and a lifetime supply of crushed vertebrae. Ask how he's doing, and he'll say, "Oh, sittin' here, dyin'." Two hours later, he'll be out installing a water pump.

Thurston, the Ward boys' life-long friend and, in many respects, protector, serves as unofficial teller of the tale. The brothers, though amicable and open, don't get carried away with words. In 1992, when TV talk-show host Maury Povich asked about the murder trial, Roscoe pleaded what could be the Ward boys' Fifth Amendment: "Ask Harry."

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At this rate, the Seven Sisters. Except they will be so busy giggling at each other and making up second-grade rhymes that they'll not notice if they start to smell bad.

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