Netflix’s ‘Our Father’ Exposes Donald Cline, a Christian-Cultist Doctor Who Secretly Fathered 94 Children
IDr. Donald Cline, the state fertility expert, has never spent a day in jail. However, Our Father doles ra a stinging service of justice Netflixshows the deceitful practice of famous doctors inseminated the patient with his own sperm, resulting in the birth of 94 children and continuing to increase. He’s a monster in the guise of a savior, and Lucie Jourdan’s emotional and heartfelt documentary (May 11). by-product of the faith – which, it seems, may have been surrounded by the cult (and white nationalist-y) conservative Christian movement known as the Quiverfull.
Quiverfull theology encourages families to create as much as possible to raise the ranks of the Lord’s disciples, who in the central metaphor are arrows shot into the world by pious parents. The underlying motive here is often racist: white Christians must reincarnate the planet with their own chosen species, lest it be taken over by black pagans. Based on Our Father, Cline’s relationship with Quiverfull is at best circumstantial, implied through the email address of someone closely related to him. Yet the fact that he was a church elder who had secretly created an army of blonde-haired, blue-eyed children and endlessly recited one of Quiverfull’s favorite lines of scripture— Jeremiah 1:5, which reads: “Before I established you in your mother’s womb, I knew you” – lends credence to the idea that he is motivated by faith wacko religion to make an almost macabre-Boys from Brazil Mission.
Whether Cline is an extremist or not, Our Father makes a strong case that he is an eccentric with a twisted God complex. Famous throughout Indiana as one of the prominent figures in the field, Cline was a serious and well-respected physician whose office walls were lined with religious passages and offerings, and who was considered “a strict father” by longtime nurse Jan Shore. Before 1985, fresh sperm was used in fertility procedures, and that was how Cline worked to get donor samples from residents at the hospital across from his office. As Shore recalls, since the samples had to be kept at room temperature, she would personally transport them back to Cline by storing them in her bra. It was a somewhat temporary operation, but one that has thrived, and because Cline has promised clients he never uses a sponsor more than three times – to prevent the community from becoming overwhelmed with Unknown blood relatives – he is trusted by just about everyone.
That began to change courtesy of Jacoba Ballard, who knew that Cline had helped her mother get pregnant, and who many years earlier had been told by Cline that she might have a half-sibling or two. At the age of 35, she purchased a 23andMe test kit in the hopes of finding a brother or sister, but only received results that determined she had seven matching DNA. This made her feel odd and uncomfortable, and she soon developed lines of communication with those matches, all joking about the far-fetched notion that Cline could be their biological father. The jokes stopped, however, when the group delved deeper into their father’s history, and found a second cousin named Sylvia, who revealed to them that one of the surnames in the family tree. Her family name is Cline’s mother’s maiden name — and Cline herself is her cousin.
It wasn’t long before many additional Cline cubs emerged from the furniture, stunned to learn via 23andMe that they had been fathered by a doctor. Julie Harmon (#14), Matt White (#17), Heather Woock (#22), Lisa Shepherd-Stidham (#33), Jason Hyatt (#48), Carrie Foster (#53) and Alison Kramer (#61) all told their stories of shock, horror and anger in Our Father, like many of their mothers, they made it clear that, while they were undressing and preparing for the procedure in one room, Cline next door masturbated to create fresh samples for insemination. The misrepresentation and violation is no more serious than this, but when confronted with her misconduct, Cline first downplays the scope and severity of her actions to Jacoba, then pleads. Please keep quiet to protect your marriage and reputation. community leaders.
At private meetings with Jacoba and some of her siblings, and at a sit-down with Fox59 local reporter Angela Ganote, Cline appeared with a gun at her waist – a masked threat. cover accompanied by his insinuation line of questioning . Our Father is a damning portrait of an individual who has taken advantage of his position to go out and multiply, and who feels no anxiety about his behavior. It is unclear if Cline believes he is helping those in need, performing a morbid sexual fantasy, or carrying out what he imagines is a divine plan. However, nothing escapes his villainous role, which Jourdan catalogs through a combination of archival photographs and news clippings, one-on-one interviews with some of his descendants. Meanwhile, dramatic entertainments (sometimes featuring Jacoba) and recordings of Jacoba and Cline’s conversation show his cold, naked self-interest.
“It is unclear if Cline believes he is helping those in need, performing a morbid sexual fantasy, or carrying out what he imagines is a divine plan.”
Tragedy at the heart of Our Father is irreparable damage to these families and individuals, be it children having to readjust their perception of their identity, mothers being deceived and physically abused by doctors, or fathers must accept that their lineage has no biological component. What’s disgusting, however, is the fact that as of 2018, there was no statute on the Indiana books that classified Cline’s conduct as a crime. The best Jacoba and company could do was accuse him of making false statements to the attorney general, and even then, a lenient judge — ostensibly shaken by Cline’s friends in high positions, as well as the opinion that, in the final count of votes, he did more good than harm — forcing him out of prison and a $500 fine.
Fortunately, Our Father indicates that the law has changed in Indiana. For Cline though, his lasting legacy will likely not be defined by any courtroom verdict but instead, by this damned and readily available online documentary.