Chris and Wendy Jeub of TLC’s Kids By the Dozens accused of abuse by daughter Cynthia Jeub

Jeub Family

In 2007, TLC aired one season Kids By the Dozen, a show about large families. Among those featured were Chris and Wendy Jeub of Colorado and their 16 children. Although the show only lasted one season and none of the families reached the same levels of fame as, say, the Duggars, they remained well-known in certain circles afterward. The Jeub family did a particularly good job of converting their time on television to many additional years of speaking engagements, books and more.

Now, 22-year-old Cynthia Jeub says her experience growing up in the super-sized family was far from the idyllic picture her parents painted.

“This abuse and dysfunction has been going on for the two dozen years since my parents met — and my mother abused my older sisters before my dad entered the picture,” she said in an Oct. 7 post. “My parents chose to make everything public when they put us on TV, happy and smiling, to demonstrate how great our family was. Extended family knew about it, observers noticed hints of it, nobody did anything. My youngest brother is three years old, so if nothing happens, my parents will continue doing this for at least another fifteen years. My older sisters didn’t have a voice. I’m using mine now.”

Cynthia Jeub

In an ongoing series of posts, Cynthia explained her “breakthrough moment” was when her parents kicked her and her sister Lydia out in Summer 2013, making them the fourth children to be exiled from the house. Only after that, when reflecting on everything she says she dealt with growing up, did she understand she was abused. Still, it took more than a year for her to speak out about it because she said she had to establish her own bank account, buy her own car and purchase her own website domain so her parents couldn’t continue to control her.

“I am not labeling everything in the following stories as abuse. Some things are abusive, some things are just a little weird,” Cynthia said in an Oct. 6 post. “Pressuring my sister who wanted short hair to keep it long, was bizarrely controlling. It was just a piece, a detail, of how our bodies were not our own. But the time my mom grabbed my ear as a small child and threw me on the hard wood floor so my head rang, or the time my dad hit my sister over forty times with a belt not as punishment, but because she had a rebellious spirit, or when my brother wasn’t allowed to attend his regular extracurricular activities for a couple of weeks so nobody would see the bruises my mom left on his face… I think it’s fair to call those things abusive.”

Even on the day her parents kicked her and Lydia out of the house, Cynthia said her dad controlled the public message by posting this on Facebook…

Cynthia Jeub - Chris Jeub Post

In reality, she said he cursed them out, accused them of being ungrateful and demanded they either leave or start to pay for every resource they used, down to printer ink. They left.

Following Cynthia’s first few posts, dad Chris posted a podcast with the response from him and the children still at home.

“We love Cynthia, and there is pain in those accusations. I don’t know what that pain is. Before her blog post, we had been wrestling with her for several months and one of the pleads with her we had was please come with us to counseling,” Chris said in the podcast. “But it’s been an appeal for her to get help for what I believe is mental illness.”

He later deleted it, but not before Cynthia and Lydia recorded it. They’ve since reposted it on their own YouTube page, The Truth About the Jeub Family. Lydia and Cynthia also responded directly to Chris’ accusation of mental illness by retweeting a message from a supporter: “When multiple children leave home with the same horrifying tale, it’s not mental illness.”

The evolving situation is already causing controversy in the Jeub family’s community, with some supporting Cynthia and some standing by her parents.

Chris and Wendy Jeub - Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

19 Kids and Counting‘s Duggar family is also getting drawn into it, as the families are friendly and last visited at Jill Dillard’s wedding in June. Although it’s unfair say Cynthia’s experiences have anything to do with those of the Duggar children, she does say in her latest post that her fundamentalist Christian upbringing caused her to be a “cheerful servant” for the sake of her siblings.

Read more about Cynthia’s claims on her website, Insights on Epic Living.

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