This week, the nation has been shocked by the story of 13 Siblings who were rescued from what authorities are calling a House Of Horrors. The siblings were allegedly starved, neglected, and shackled by their parents in a marathon of abuse that likely spanned the entirety of their lives. One 17-year-old girl was brave enough to escape through a window, using an old cell phone to call 911, as well as taking pictures of her brothers and sisters as proof to bring the police to her home. Though all the Turpin siblings are small in appearance, several of them are actually adults, ranging in age from 2 to 29 years of age.

The Lake Elsinore Patch reports that Sophia Grant, Riverside University Health System medical director of child abuse and neglect unit, points to the fact that the siblings appear so small and young due to years of malnourishment, and they will continue to suffer "growth stunting and nutritional deficiencies."

Says Greg Fellows, a captain with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, "If you can imagine being 17-years-old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished - I would call that torture."

History of house of horrors parents

When the parents, David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin, were married 32 years ago, they immediately wrapped themselves into a cocoon of isolation, even going so far as to shut out their own families, who wished to be a part of their lives.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Mrs. Turpin's parents attempted to visit their daughter at one point but, after flying in, were forced to return home because David and Louise would not divulge their address.

Apparently, David Turpin's mother and father were allowed into the home, however sparingly. The last visit, which took place about six years ago, left the elder Turpins feeling as if everything were fine with the siblings, reports the New York Post.

House of horrors a cult experience

It seems the beginning of the union between David and Louise Turpin is where the cult experience began.

Isolated from family, the newlyweds began a family that would continue in isolation for 32 years. That is the opinion of Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist interviewed by CBN News. Although he has not had contact with the Turpin family, his views are fueled by the media coverage of the events.

In essence, the home of the 13 siblings was their entire world. They were homeschooled and had such a small amount of outside contact that most neighbors were unaware any children lived there at all. Dr. Breggin says this is the recipe that kept the siblings under such tight control.

"One of the reasons they didn't escape is because they are so impaired, they are so dependent. They've been made so afraid of the outside world. It's an extreme cult experience."