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An Open Letter To Falcon’s (Balloon Boy’s) Dad

153079068_d50c66a5b1_m Submitted by Danny Grubb, Seattle, WA

Dear Richard Heene,

I understand that you've been going through a very busy time lately, but please take the time to review this letter. I hope it will benefit both you and your children.

Putting your Family on TV was a Bad Idea

Everyone has money problems and yes, some of us are finding creative ways of dealing with it. We all concede that your idea was creative indeed. You pulled a fast one on the entire world! That was incredibly ambitious. That being said, there are a few thought processes that you skipped right over:

What Effect Is this going to have on Falcon?

There were a range of possibilities for the answer to this question, but they all would have led to the same outcome. If your deception on the public would have worked, Falcon would have been the main celebrity of a lie. He would have known it and he would have known that his entire family was lying too. This could only have resulted in his not trusting you and resenting you when he grew up. Since things have worked out like they have, he will probably see you go to jail and resent you anyway.

If Everything Works Out, How Would Reality TV Effect my Family?

Come on. Reality Television was your goal? Really? Did you want to lose the rest of your credibility? I assume there wasn't much left after two episodes of "Wife Swap". The title of that show alone has so many negative connotations it should have given anyone a clue (You should be ashamed of yourselves ABC!).

Lets brainstorm families who have been happy after reality television…

  • Jon and Kate…. Nope.
  • The Osbournes…. Maybe - its hard to tell with that bunch.
  • Any family EVER on wife swap…. Nope - but they probably weren't happy before.
  • The Kardashians…. Nope - but I'm sure they were screwed up to begin with.

Of course you would have been different. If you would have gotten on reality television, your family would have survived the turmoil and the fact that their Father would rather chase storms than teach his kids the difference between truth and deception. But I digress.

Lying about it was Worse

Lets explore what happens when your children see you lie. This would have been self-explanatory to most Dads, but maybe you need a refresher course. When your kids see you lie:

They Learn Its OK to Lie

What you just taught your kids is that its OK to try to lie when you want to get ahead in life. When they come up against an obstacle like financial problems, its ok to resort to the lowest possible denominator (Reality TV) and drag your entire family down with you. The fact that you're not admitting what you've done just keeps this lesson going.

They Learn that they Can't Trust You

Your children will always wonder about what you're telling them from this point forward. Especially if listening to what you're saying will cause you some sort of benefit. They will think to themselves "Dad always lies to get what he wants."

There are two lessons your kids should learn from this whole experience. First they should learn that lying has consequences. That when you lie, bad things happen to you. Secondly they should learn that their actions can have a significant impact on other people (Like your actions are having an impact on your children).

It Will Be VERY HARD to Earn Your Children's Trust Again

I'm going to go out on a very long limb here and assume that you will eventually want to redeem yourself to your children. I believe this can happen, but you will have to make some big changes in how you're handling this… and soon.

Tell The Truth

This should be a no brainer. Face what you've done and show your children that you can take responsibility for something. This will be an important step in building up some credibility with them and they can finally stop being torn about what to say in public. They can stop trying to lie.

Apologize To Your Family

I don't know how many people in your family were responsible in hatching this plan, but each one of you shares a part of the responsibility. You MUST apologize to them for your part in this stunt and that you didn't have the guts to put a stop to it. If you have even an inkling of self respect you will have done this already.

In closing, the ultimate outcome is all up to you. Stop trying to have a 1 year plan to riches and start having a 10 year plan for how you raise your children. Who knows, if you manage to turn this whole mess around and earn your children's trust in the next decade or two you might even make it on Oprah… but it will be for all the right reasons.


Danny Grubb


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