Did Jodi Hildebrandt Push Ruby Frankie's Abusive Parenting To The Next Level?

Nov 11, 2023, 12:00 AM

Have you ever wondered how seemingly ordinary individuals can be inexplicably drawn into the magnetic pull of a charismatic leader? The recent episode of "Hidden Killers," hosted by Tony Brueski, delves deep into this very question as he converses with retired FBI Special Agent, Robin Dreeke, about the puzzling dynamics surrounding Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt, and notably, Kevin Franke, Ruby’s husband.
 The story paints a perplexing picture. At its heart is Ruby Franke, a popular YouTuber with a significant following, and Jodi Hildebrandt, a person who, as Dreeke suggests, seemed to have been "a cult leader looking for a cult." Ruby, with her sizeable audience but lacking the assertive charisma of a leader, appears to have made the perfect target for Hildebrandt. Brueski muses, “And Ruby just kind of got sucked in there. Or maybe she had a much larger role in that.”
 However, the situation becomes all the more bewildering when considering Kevin Franke, Ruby's husband. From an outsider's perspective, his position seems sympathetic: a husband witnessing a charismatic figure taking control of his wife's thoughts, feelings, and actions. Dreeke elaborates on this, revealing, “She [Jodi] got Kevin out of the picture by saying, you got to get separated. It's really unhealthy...to take total control of the access that Kevin had to this family.”
 In a twist, Brueski points out an interesting observation: Jodi Hildebrandt isn't overwhelmingly charismatic, unlike famed motivational figures such as Tony Robbins. Yet, she had an uncanny ability to manipulate and control. “She's been extremely negative, very much about separating families and separating people. What is it that drew people to someone like Jodi Hildebrandt?”
 Dreeke postulates that Hildebrandt's influence may not have hinged on innate charisma but rather on the "lever of influence" she wielded by using her assumed titles and the church's endorsement. According to him, Jodi's apparent authority, combined with Ruby's popularity, was a potent mix: "Ruby's the one that had the charismatic side of her...When you got Jodi, she used a lever of influence of authority." In essence, Jodi's assumed credibility combined with the trust Ruby's followers had in her created a dynamic that was hard for anyone, even Kevin, to counteract.
 These recent revelations raise alarming questions about the ease with which individuals can fall prey to manipulative personalities, especially when these manipulators are armed with perceived authority or endorsements. Dreeke laments on the detrimental effects of such influence, commenting on the misdiagnoses and questionable advice Jodi offered. As he reflects on the situation, Dreeke remains speculative, “I’m making it a narrative, you know, a fictional narrative maybe. But when you look at the data points that we're seeing and you look at levers of influence and you put it all together...what a mess.”
 Indeed, the tale of Kevin Franke, his wife Ruby, and the mysterious Jodi Hildebrandt serves as a cautionary tale of the hidden dangers lurking in our modern, interconnected world, where influence can easily be wielded, and lives can swiftly be upended.
 However, as we wrap up this recounting, a lingering question remains: In an age of digital connectivity and endless sources of information, how can one truly discern genuine authority from dangerous manipulation?
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