Facing Hate is a memoir of my journey through my family’s social smearing. The book calls out “the mob,” exposing self-proclaimed keyboard warriors as frauds and liars who use social media platforms to shame and smear their enemies into silence. The mob is a most cruel and lost bunch; and, I imagine, the mob hates my book.
My social smear started six years ago when it appeared that my adult children (five of 16 at the time) locked arms to claim that our family was rife with abuse. The unison quickly withered, but I was forever lettered with the scarlet A for “abuser.” The mob has since taken over the narrative and continued the shaming, even though the original claim was disproven and even recanted.
The shaming continues to this day, my book being a worthy attempt to overcome it. But sometimes the shaming comes from within, by those close to us. This happened when I started coming out with the concept of Facing Hate. A friend messaged me expressing his concern for me and my family. “You shouldn’t write this book,” he said. Here’s part of his note:
I think the world of your family and understand why you want to write this book. But this new writing project is probably not your best use of your creative resources if you really want to reconcile… It just adds more drama and bitterness to the conflict.
My friend’s assumption, “if you really want to reconcile,” makes my gut wrench, as if this wasn’t first and foremost on my mind for the past six years. The mob cares nothing for my family or my children, while I — like most fathers — will give up everything for them.
What my friend doesn’t realize is that I very nearly spiked the entire story for fear of driving my children further away. My book — particularly Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 — chronicles my earnest attempts to draw them back to the family, one with great success. I even delayed my book’s publication for over a year, largely to give more time for reconciliation and healing.
But my friend is making an error in judgement; there are so many other people to consider than just the wayward child. In my case — a family of 16 children — such a trial as a social smear makes things extremely complicated. Consider…
- The other 15 Jeub children. More than half are now adults, and they don’t deserve the shame of a social smear.
- The Jeub name. It’s a rare one, and a Google search brings up smearing articles and shaming untruths.
- Our beliefs. And others who share our beliefs. They do not deserve this association.
- Our livelihood. My business has suffered losses, and it depends on my reputation.
- Our life story. Our family has them too! We have so many great stories to share.
- Our message of love. It has been hijacked. Is love not worth fighting for?
- Understanding. Everyone (including my friend) deserves the other side to an online smearing.
- Real abuse victims. They’ve been played and exploited. They deserve testimonies that are true, not fabrications.
- The truth. Is this not important anymore? The online narrative — the original smear — is a lie without a rebuttal.
- For reconciliation. We want this and our home is wide open for God to work this miracle, but it is out of our control.
In fairness, my friend was trying to help, but he didn’t understand. I have groveled over this for years, and publishing Facing Hate is the best way to stop groveling and start growing. I also know that my family’s story will help countless others deal with social smearing, especially from the people they love.
Perhaps this may be the path to reconciliation with our lost children, which we really do want.
— UPDATE —
Well done! You’ve navigated this well through 2 chapter and I was skeptical. I was a critic but you’ve done really well. Looking forward to the next chapters.