Believe it or not, there's another family of 19 that exists in the Netherlands, and they're strangely similar to the Duggars. "Deeply religious" patriarch, Henk Koelewijn, called the police to report a burglary nearly two years ago, but what authorities found was even more frightening: A man whose children seemed utterly terrified of their dad. Now, the 59-year-old is on trial facing a slew of crimes that will make your heart ache.
According to Patheos.com, Koelewijn beat at least one of his children every day for the past 12 years. Oftentimes, he would threaten them with death, yelling on multiple occasions that he would shoot them in the head. He even chased his 12-year-old with a running chainsaw and sexually molested his then 11-year-old daughter.
Like ministers Michael and Debi Pearl — who have been at the center of controversy since publishing their book To Train Up a Child — Koelewijn would often resort to corporal punishment, using a wooden stick to teach them a lesson. In Proverbs 13:24, it states, "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
Recently, Michelle Duggar was accused of abusing her children and promoting the Pearls on Facebook. The 51-year-old was slammed by fans after a video that was taken without her knowledge went viral. The Counting On star was filmed by her son-in-law, Derick Dillard, and redditors quickly pointed out a change in her behavior once she realized the camera was rolling.
"Yikes, there are a lot of red flags in that very short clip," one person wrote. "Jenni's body language, Michelle's sociopathic switch to sweetness, and the finger-wagging, which is clearly being used as a threat." Another added, "I understand that all parents scold their kids, but Michelle is giving off serious abusive vibes."
Four of Koelewijn's children testified in court on Tuesday and revealed they're now struggling with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and crying spells. His wife looked the other way throughout the entire hearing, but she may be charged as well.
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