Niece of 8 Passengers’ Mormon “Therapist” Jodi Hildebrandt Speaks Out – Jessi Hildebrandt | Ep. 1808

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Mormon therapist Jodi Hildebrandt is in jail along with “8 Passengers” mother Ruby Franke under allegations of child abuse. Jodi Hildebrandt is the founder of ConneXions Classroom – a program created to help Mormon couples, parents, and families “transform your mental health and relationships.”

Jessi Hildebrandt (they/them) is Jodi Hildebrandt’s niece and outlines a deeply disturbing history with their aunt Jodi Hildebrandt.

Please join us for Jessi’s story.

Jessi’s Venmo

Jessi’s Insta

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  1. Jessi, I was deeply moved by your story today. You are a beautiful girl, your internal beauty also shines through in a great way. Your ability to articulate your experiences shows you are very intelligent and wise beyond your years. Today you have helped so many people and I’m sure anyone who watches this podcast will learn on many different levels. Your future is bright, you now have the support you needed all along. I’m excited to see how your life progresses, I hope you will give updates from the to time. I’m rooting for you. Take care Jessi!

  2. John, why do you minimize the incidence of porn/masturbation (aka referred to as p/m below) in mormon youth (particularly males)?

    I rarely hear you refer to frequent p/m behavior in a mormon context. You usually act as if the vast majority of mormon male teens only engage in p/m on a monthly basis. I do not think that is accurate at all. And of those who do it on a monthly basis, what % of them are “white knuckling” to arrive “worthy” at their next bishop interview?

    If I am correct, what words should we be using to describe the p/m compulsion? Just compulsion? Or is it an addiction?

    I know you’ve covered the topic of guilt and shame contributing to compulsive behavior……so I know you are aware of p/m compulsion in mormonism. But maybe you are minimizing the incidence of said compulsion?

    1. My impression is that the “monthly” reference is not saying that Mormons masturbate monthly. I think that the point is that the Church considers engaging in such activity even as infrequently as once a month to be an addiction. The Church considers to be an addiction ANY repeat engagement — irrespective of frequency — to be an addiction.

      For those who aren’t Mormons or Mormon-adjacent, the “p/m compulsion” isn’t that, I think. My take on it is that Mormon leadership is absolutely obsessed with sex. I don’t know why, but Mormon kids are marinated from birth in the idea that sex is badbadbadbad and wrong and even THINKING about sex — as we all do — is a sin. “if a man even LOOKS at a woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery in his heart” and “sexual sin is second only to murder” — this stupidity causes such repression that it’s permanently damaging. Don’t get me started on “The natural man is an enemy to God.”

      Of course, combining parents’ always being convinced that you are even thinking of sex with being told over and over that any thought about sex is an addiction, with being interrogated ALONE by a man you barely know, who also holds a position of power and authority over your eternal salvation, forces kids to think they are going to be sent to Outer Darkness for masturbating (almost like you KILLED someone!) and also to hide what comes naturally — and that causes all sorts of internal horrors.

    2. I’m in no way a therapist, but my never mormon standpoint on this is quite simple: It’s a natural urge. As a teenage boy I was masturbating daily. It was never an issue for anybody. It has never been an issue since. Almost all or even all of these people don’t have a compulsion. They have learned to associate their natural urges to addiction. I would imagine the ‘compulsion’ vanishes, if you through out the shame and guilt and accept that you are a sexual being. Teens are horny and most of them will, masturbate, look at porn and have sexual intercourse frequently. Wether religious parents accept it or not. It’s normal behavior.

  3. I don’t understand the title of this episode. Isn’t Passengers 8 Ruby’s deleted gig and Connexions Jodi’s gig with Ruby? Ruby is not mentioned at all in this episode.

  4. So much of this is reminiscent of the vallow/daybell case.

    I don’t wish to be insensitive to victims, but the manipulation, pervasive beliefs about how to deal with children’s sins/evil, duct tape, etc smacks of how lori abused and murdered her own children and manipulated/abused other people around her.

    I’m grateful that Jessi is a survivor. Thank you for your strength and for your story, Jessi. I hope you continue to pursue your path!

  5. Blessings to this remarkable, intelligent, beautiful young woman. I would be honored to have you as my daughter, keep that wonderful personality that shines through your soul.

  6. A nonbinary term for a nephew or niece is nibling! :) Not sure if that is important to Jessi, or if they simply prefer they/them for pronouns. If they prefer nibling, you might consider updating the title and description of the podcast. Otherwise all gooood. I am a proud auntie of a nibling so I had to learn that term, hehe.

    1. I LOVE the term “nibling” and use it when referring to my nieces and nephew. I think it sounds cute! Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. So grateful for this platform that allows these stories, the truth, to be told finally. This interview was so well done and depicts the harm and connection there is in all of this to the lds church and culture. Thank you to both of you.

  8. I was really touched deeply by jessie. She’s not only beautiful on the outside. She’s beautiful on the inside–such wisdom, compassion, and honesty.
    for a person that’s been through the hell she has.(so horrible)—yet . She’s vulnerable and open and so honest.

    — just the opposite of most of the Mormon women

    you are wonderful, talented and smart and beautiful. I’d be proud to call you my granddaughter!! you have so much courage and strength.

    Youre awesome
    Yeah PNB !!! love Oregon

  9. This may sound counterintuitive coming from a 78 year old woman. Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself first. If you can’t be there for yourself… you cannot be there for another. Your story is very powerful. When you get to be my age, you will be full of gratitude for all of the pain, challenges, and experiences. Thank you for sharing YOU.

  10. Stephenie Laravel n

    Thank you Jessi. I learned so much from you. Your love, wisdom, strength and perspective are mind-blowing. I have been processing leaving mormanism and my own upbringing for many many years and you just articulated so many things I have never been able to figure out in my own mind. I will be taking notes next time I listen! 😁 This podcast will help so many individual and hopefully be a force in disrupting many problematic systems that have been allowed to harm countless lives. Jessi, Thank you.

    John, please keep at it. You are like no other.

  11. This episode got me thinking about weird programs that were developed to reform rebellious youth. I was a teenager in the 90’s living in Utah. I have a memory of people talking about a “rebellious” teen who was sent to Hawaii to pick pineapples. Was that a thing? Was it a church program? Does anyone else remember that?

  12. First, Jessi, I couldn’t stop watching your interview. You are bright and brilliant and survived so much.
    I grew up Mormon and left the church around 2010.

    Wondering – Has there been anyone from the ward Jessi went to that came forward saying they saw her duct taped at church (is that right)?

    I believe what Jessi is saying but when I brought it up to my Mormon siblings they of course said “That cannot be true.”

    From their perspective, I cannot AT ALL see my siblings (very devout) not saying and doing something if they saw this at church.
    My brother happens to be the judge that kept her in jail and granted her judge change request during the first hearing.

    I know you mention the members were worried and were “ratted out” to Jodi when they went to the bishop…

    Just curious if this is now talked about since the truth has come out, by any of those members.

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