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I've wondered this for the last five (six?) years, since Anna & Josh were going through their courtship/engagement, and the show was featuring Anna's parents. I don't know how to say this with correctness, but is Anna's mom mentally disabled? Her dad is obviously a complete doofus, OMG I would be so embarrassed if I was related to him. But I don't remember her mom saying very much, and she just comes across to me like she is not able to carry on a conversation or anything, and just grinning through her buck teeth and 1960s eye glasses. Does anybody know anything about her?

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My impression is that they are not quite "there." Their daughters seem fairly normal but maybe that is why Priscilla also seems rather childish or "not quite there."

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I think Anna's parents are ok. I don't think the Kellers like to be in the spotlight wanting the attention on them like Ma and Pa Duggar do. They don't seem comfortable being filmed. Maybe because they see the hypocrisy of the Duggar Parents. We all know The Duggars are liars and will do anything for the almighty dollar whereas Mike Keller is more down to earth and truthfull to himself and his family pushing aside the coin for a good Bible Verse instead. Anna seemed to be raised in a more fundie light atmosphere when comparing her upbringing to the Duggar Kids overly strict upbringing. I like the way she is raising her kids and the interest she takes in them. Anna doesn't DUMP her kids on anyone after breastfeeding time is done. You can tell she truly loves her kids and takes an interest in all three of them. I am glad Mike Keller told Josh that working in Washington was a good opportunity for him. Mike Keller is an intelligent man. He saw the writing on the wall with the Duggars interfering in Josh and Anna's life . Now if he can only figure out how to keep the Duggar Clan away from DC and Josh's house. They still are bound and determined they are going to rule the roost at Josh's. Anna needs a break from all of the Duggers and so does Josh.

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One of the son in laws of the Kellers posted on DWOP a little bit about Anna's parents and they really seem like nice people.

They just don't like the lime light and I think Anna's Mom may just be a bit awkward. That's all but they seem like nice people over all.

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I never got the impression that either Keller parent was mentally challenged or "simple." I don't agree with their religious beliefs, but it does appear to me that Mr. Keller actually walks the walk. Instead of handing out useless tracts to waitstaff at restaurants, he offers inmates the opportunity of a break from the rest of their days, maybe a chance to reflect on their lives and what they might like to do differently when they are released. Prison ministry is not at all glamorous. I think they prefer to be out of the limelight.

Also, Anna probably learned about gentle, loving parenting from her parents, as that's how most of us learn about parenting. (Then again, Josh seems like a pretty okay dad, so following my own logic, must I then say he learned about parenting from JimBoob and Mullet? To which I then think about how JimBob seems to actually enjoy interacting with his own kids, and Josh was the first born so he probably got the best mothering Michelle ever was able to provide.)

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Loving parents don't shun their kids. I get a creepy vibe from Mike Keller.

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Loving parents don't shun their kids. I get a creepy vibe from Mike Keller.

I was just at the Family Summaries forum, and reading about that. I don't understand how a parent can do that AT ALL.

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I get the impression that the prison ministry is the Keller's life. They eat, sleep, and breathe it. And while you might not agree with their religious beliefs, I think that there is certainly something to be said about having that much dedication and "walking the walk".

I think that the Keller kids seem to be compassionate people and capable of critical thinking. That's probably why half of them have left Gothardism, yet are still conservative Christians. And honestly I think it is because of the prison ministry. The concept of prison and desperation really causes you to think, IMO. I know personally, meeting nice people that are truly in unfortunate positions has changed my view on life. It's the "why do bad things happen to nice people" thought that makes you realize unfairness in the world and causes you to try and be more empathetic.

The Duggars' "ministry" is only for people just like them. They only interact with people that are again, just like them.

But the Kellers are truly reaching out to others. I'm sure that as kids, they were taught that the people in prisons are loved by Jesus just as much as everyone else and just needed to hear his word. That's a lot more healthy than the Duggars "we're the holy ones and only interact with other holy ones" attitude they seem to have.

Edited to add: This is my opinion on how the Keller way of life/ upbringing influenced their kids. I do not think it was all directly because of Mr. and Mrs. Keller personally, I'm merely saying that I think that exposing their children to the prison ministry and being dedicated to it had positive bi-products. I do also realize that Mr. and Mrs. Keller are fully entrenched in Gothardism and don't agree with said bi-products, such as their son having enough sense to leave the movement. I think it is horrible that they shun him

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Loving parents don't shun their kids. I get a creepy vibe from Mike Keller.

I disagree. Loving parents "shun" their kids all the time. Entire intervention programs have been built around this very principle (eg. Tough Love, Intervention [the tv program], and basically any situation that would warrent a parent not enabling a child to continue in an unhealthy pattern of life choices that bring harm to himself or others.) Call it tough love, call it shunning, but it does happen and loving parents do engage in this practice.

That said, do I think the Kellers were loving toward Daniel? Hmmm, what, specifically, did they do to him? He was present at Josh/Anna's wedding (Candice in tow), so I don't believe he was shunned in any true sense of the word. Furthermore, I can't disagree with the Kellers for not being excited over one of their children getting serious with a young woman who has a history of drug abuse. Any loving, concerned parent would raise the red flag of concern over what that might mean for their child's relationship down the line. Candice definitely deserves a good life, and she can definitely overcome her past. But does that mean a parent can pretend to be happy over the background? No. Mike Keller has surely seen a LOT in his prison ministry (as have I in my role as a foster parent), and I'm sure they have great concern for his choice based on what Mike has witnessed over the years, so I don't think the Keller's lack of embracing Daniel's choice can be labeled as shunning him, and I don't believe that is what occurred, regardless.

As for the original post, the Kellers seem like 'country folk' to me, -down to earth, simple people who aren't out to impress or to try to fit in. They seem very comfortable in their own skin, not at all interested in changing based on who they know. I like them, as I can appreciate their being genuine.

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Sorry but as parents no matter what they should love their kid regardless what religion or views they hold. Tough love is wayy different than shunning. Tough love is suppose to teach a lesson(you do drugs that's on you, but I'm not giving you money for your drug habit) shunning just teaches if your different from the way I raised you , I don't want you anymore.

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Sorry but as parents no matter what they should love their kid regardless what religion or views they hold. Tough love is wayy different than shunning. Tough love is suppose to teach a lesson(you do drugs that's on you, but I'm not giving you money for your drug habit) shunning just teaches if your different from the way I raised you , I don't want you anymore.

That's the way it might look from the outside, but I assure you, it is not. Tough love may have to go all the way to shunning... as in, "Your drug habit and stealing have taken money, goods, and security from our home. Add to that that you have assaulted other members of our family. You can not live here, get out, and we wish you can get it together, but you can no longer live here as long as you are doing all of that" is EXACTLY what had to be said to someone in my family.

Not, "I don't want you anymore." Never that. But the separation, for both our goods, is real. Do we still love and miss that one? Yes. But there is more to consider than love. There is safety and security as well in this instance. I'm sure if the Kellers "shun" one of their children, they believe that their own family's (soul) safety and security is threatened. I don't agree with their thinking, but clearly they do.

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The Kellers always seemed "off" to me, and they definitely can't hide it as well as the Duggars. Anna's dad was the "transfer of authority" one, remember? I don't think they're "slow" but they are intensely weird.

Growing up in a tiny trailer with that many children sounds like an absolute nightmare. I feel for them, and Anna knows better than Josh that not everyone with a huge family can afford the lifestyle he (and now she) is used to. JB+M always had this "God will provide" attitude, but God didn't give the Kellers a 7000 square foot house!

It would be hard to go back to the lifestyle her parents live after being in DC and getting to enjoy all of the nice things Josh's job and their SMALL family allows her to have.

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Yes, house trailers are small. But many people have large families in small spaces. HGTV may have you believe that everyone lives in a McMansion, but there are LOTS more people who live in small houses or apartments with only one bathroom and not very much bedroom space.

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Yes, house trailers are small. But many people have large families in small spaces. HGTV may have you believe that everyone lives in a McMansion, but there are LOTS more people who live in small houses or apartments with only one bathroom and not very much bedroom space.

I wasn't implying that you can't live comfortably in a trailer! However...8 kids and 2 parents in a trailer? You can't tell me that wouldn't be awful!! Good thing they lived in Florida so they could spend a lot of time outside! I mean, most of my family grew up in a house with 2 kids to a bedroom and one bathroom for everyone to share. It's tight but doable for a family of, say 5, but a family of 10? Yeah, no thanks.

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That's the way it might look from the outside, but I assure you, it is not. Tough love may have to go all the way to shunning... as in, "Your drug habit and stealing have taken money, goods, and security from our home. Add to that that you have assaulted other members of our family. You can not live here, get out, and we wish you can get it together, but you can no longer live here as long as you are doing all of that" is EXACTLY what had to be said to someone in my family.

Not, "I don't want you anymore." Never that. But the separation, for both our goods, is real. Do we still love and miss that one? Yes. But there is more to consider than love. There is safety and security as well in this instance. I'm sure if the Kellers "shun" one of their children, they believe that their own family's (soul) safety and security is threatened. I don't agree with their thinking, but clearly they do.

But shunning is acting like someone never existed. It's more than don't talk or contact them. It's like a form of social rejection. Tough love is acting out of love(well that's my definition of it). Parents are doing this because they love you not to harm you or reject you and pretend they never gave birth to a child.

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I wasn't implying that you can't live comfortably in a trailer! However...8 kids and 2 parents in a trailer? You can't tell me that wouldn't be awful!! Good thing they lived in Florida so they could spend a lot of time outside! I mean, most of my family grew up in a house with 2 kids to a bedroom and one bathroom for everyone to share. It's tight but doable for a family of, say 5, but a family of 10? Yeah, no thanks.

didn't know Anna's family lived in trailers. 10 people in a trailer? I've seen some nice big trailers but they cost $$$$$ can't see a fundie family affording one unless they have a good income

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didn't know Anna's family lived in trailers. 10 people in a trailer? I've seen some nice big trailers but they cost $$$$$ can't see a fundie family affording one unless they have a good income

Their trailer looks like its been around the block a few times.

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I don't think there is anything wrong with Mrs Keller, I think she's just a shy submissive woman who doesn't often interact with people outside her immediate family and church family, so isn't good at saying her lines for 19K&C. She would have spent most of her adult life at home homeschooling her kids. Anna seems to love her very much, and she seems to love her children and grandchildren.

Do the Kellers shun their non ATI kids? There have been photos of Mrs Keller with Susanna and her baby and the siblings all see each other regularly, even David and Priscilla see the non ATI siblings whenever they can and post pictures of it.

I don't see any indication that the Kellers are less fundie than the Duggars though - Mr Keller's talking heads at Josh and Anna's wedding and his weird courting requirements about memorising bible verses are pretty out there, and his prison ministry is sponsored by ATI and often hosts groups of ATI youths doing Journeys to The Heart in prison. Also, his fundamentalist principles have cost him much more than the Duggars - he raised his family in very tight financial circumstances while still finding funds to go to Big Sandy every year, he's chosen to stay in a ministry that will never provide financial security, he raised his family in a tiny home without any hope of any eventual upgrade, and he has, at the very least, strained relationships with his older children who have taken a different religious path, as well as with his daughter who had a child out of wedlock. Yet he's stuck to his principles and beliefs. I really don't see any indication that the Kellers are in any way fundie lite.

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Excuse me, but practicing tough love for an addict and shunning your child for not following your religious beliefs are two very different situations.

The Keller's are no better or genuine than other fundies. They spew the same hate. Their prison ministry came across as a big fat Gothard funded institution. Screw them!

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Excuse me, but practicing tough love for an addict and shunning your child for not following your religious beliefs are two very different situations.

The Keller's are no better or genuine than other fundies. They spew the same hate. Their prison ministry came across as a big fat Gothard funded institution. Screw them!

I didn't say the Kellers ARE practicing tough love. I was making a point that parents absolutely DO shun their children all the time, and it happens for many reasons. Which brings me back to my own impression that they have NOT shunned their children. They do NOT have to put their stamp of approval on every choice made by their children (and vice versa). Family is about tolerance. They clearly do tolerate their children, in spite of any non-fundie choices they've made. Genuine people live life according to their own convictions, which the Kellers do and are entitled to do, just as we are entitled to disagree with them if we choose to.

As for accusing them of hate, followed by your "screw them," the same (hate) could be said of you. Just sayin'.

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I think of the Kellers as more humble people. The Duggars seem to crave attention where the Kellers seem to be more down to earth.

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I have obviously stepped into an alternate reality. We are talking about the Kellers, right? Who are just as drunk on the ATI kool-aid, right?

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My opinion is that the ultra-fundies, and I would put the Kellers in that group, live in actual fear of "contamination" from people who are not exactly like them. This is why they isolate themselves and homeschool. This is why they constantly spout Scripture; it's all they know. While I think Mr. Keller is trying to do good in a very difficult place to do good, and he gets kudos for that; I'm sure he's trying to get the inmates to toe the party line he's leading, and he probably rejects them after a time if they don't agree with all he says. At any rate, if their own children leave the nest of their beliefs, I'm sure they would be entirely capable of cutting themselves completely off from them. "If thy right eye offends thee, remove it."

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I'm sure he's trying to get the inmates to toe the party line he's leading, and he probably rejects them after a time if they don't agree with all he says.

I totally don't think he would reject them if they don't agree.

But more importantly, I *love* your typo (highlighted). Fitting tribute to Gothard and his foot fetish. :lol:

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