Human Exploitation - How The Dionne Quintuplets Were Abused

Updated on May 24, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of success in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Exploitation Of Children

The rights of individuals or groups of human beings have been denied through exploitation by other groups of humans throughout time.

People have been enslaved by others that wished to profit from their talents or from a uniqueness that drew attention. This attention has often translated to dollars in the minds of their oppressors, leading to different varieties of slavery --

Elvis Presley, in my opinion, was a slave to Colonel Tom Parker, who exploited the singer through second rate film vehicles and other performances that did not tap his potentials.

In the book Call Me Anna, Patty Duke describes her childhood as a star and the story shows exploitation to me as well.

In 2008, a documentary showed medically suffering individuals in Indonesia and other regions, perform in "freak shows" in order to earn a living with which to support their children. Their tumors and birth defects are exploited by entertainment venue owners.

Exploitation makes money.

These women are completely destroyed psychologically.

— Denise Bombardier, Interviewer of the remaining Quints in 1995

The Dionne Quintuplets and How They Grew

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shortly after a rare birth.On display to the public.The quints as young women.
Shortly after a rare birth.
Shortly after a rare birth. | Source
On display to the public.
On display to the public.
The quints as young women.
The quints as young women.

The First Identical Female Quintuplets

Born in May of 1934, only two of the five Dionne Quintuplets are alive in 2008. The five were, to Western Knowldege, the first identical female infants in a multiple of five anywhere in the world. They were exploited for this characteristic and further, they were sexually and financially abused.

Back in February of 1998, three of the women were still living and they turned down an offer from the Onatrio Provincial Government to pay them monthly pensions as a token repayment for government exploitation (over $50 million and in 2008 dollars. $250 million/year) of the five girls. The women were reportedly offered $1400 CAN/month each at the time, but chose to remain in Montreal, Quebec, all three living on just $490 CAN per month total. They had demanded restitution of ten million dollars for that which had been stolen from them by the government and hangers-on, but were offered only the small pension, so they declined.

As a tourist attraction, the five girls had been called by some journalists The Freak Show of the Depression.

Locations on the Dionne Timeline in Ontario Province

Callendar ON:
Callander, North Himsworth, ON P0H, Canada

get directions

Corbeil ON:
Corbeil, ON P0H, Canada

get directions

Seymour St. in North Bay, Ontario:
Seymour Street, North Bay, ON, Canada

get directions

The Dionne Quintuplets Museum site.

Miracle Quints Capture World Attention


May 28, 1934-- Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne were born to poor farmers in rural Ontario near Callendar in Corbeil and survived. They were reportedly the first quints that had ever survived in North America or anywhere else. They were birthed by two midwives. The physician, a Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe, arrived after all of the girls were born. Their combined weight was only 13lb 5oz or a little over 2 pounds each as premature infants by two months.

Dr. Dafoe became famous for traveling and speaking about the Dionne Quintuplets. His office from 1914 - 1943 is now part of the Callendar Bay Heritage Museum.

1934 - 1943

Daddy Dionne placed a Birth Announcement in the nearby local North Bay Newspaper and in the 21st century, North Bay Public Library is completing an online collection of information about the sisters. The Dionnes received a lot of attention, an incubator, and some free goods from the publicity.

The destitute farming parents of around age 25, Oliva and Elzire Dionne, already had five other children and had lost another one early on to death. Local rural women came to the farm at the birth of the quints and donated their breast milk in order to help the babies survive.

Declaring that the parents were unable to take care of the five new infants, the provincial government took the children under their official guardianship and placed the sisters in the care of Dr. Dafoe and Louise de Kirline as well as two other nurses.

All this could be accomplished, because the parents were poor, not well educated, and had no advocate. The government simply took control in a manner made to look legal to the parents, whose complaints were ignored. Dr. Dafoe supported the government in this, seeing his bid for fame and fortune in the quints. Nurse Kirline later stated that the doctor changed as he entered the limelight; he had proposed to her as his long time companion (he was widowed), but she declined. He became greedy and controlling.

A hospital was constructed for them across the road from the Dionnes and was named QUINTLAND in anticipation of the tourist trade that might result from the news that the historic premature quints were surviving. Large amounts of money were made that the girls and their families never received from 1936 - 1943. This includes at least $1,000,000 directly and over $50 million in tourist trade for Ontario. The girls became a larger tourist attraction, pulling in more money, than Nigara Falls until after 1943. Meanwhile, they were raised and educated by three nurses in charge of their care, while over 6,000 visitors daily viewed them through observation windows at their hospital.

The girls were also used as the logo for Karo Corn Syrup and Quaker Oats.

From 1936 - 1938, the quints appeared in several films as well: The Country Doctor, Reunion, Going on Two, Quintupland, Five Times Five, and Five of a Kind, which increased their earning power as tourist attractions. Walt Disney did a cartoon takeoff of the quints as an animated feature as well.

Living In A Zoo

See the footage below that includes scenes of the quints forced to wear costumes and perform in a zoo-like enclosure for the public.

Million Dollar Babies

Product Endorsements By The Quints - Note The Ad's Caption

Is Karo Syrup really healthy?
Is Karo Syrup really healthy?

Elementary and Teen Years

1943 -- In 1943 when Dr. Dafoe died, the five sisters were moved back across the road to a mansion that had been built for them and their parents. However, millions of dollars had been earned by the quints through endorsements for Karo Syrup, Quaker Oats, Palmolive Soap, Colgate Dental Cream, beauty products, and other advertisers. These funds were deposted into an account about which they were not informed. The doctor and one or more of the nurses became famous and wealthy and as adults, most of the quints died young or descended into poverty until 1998.

As teenagers, the girls were described as "shy" -- They finally reported sexual abuse as adults. During the Depression and WWII, the public viewed their lives as a fantasy into which they could escape, but as the girls aged, their lives were anything by fanciful.

1954 - At age 20, Emilie died in a convent from an eplieptic seizure. As a student for the occupation of nun, she had developed seizures and asked not to be left alone, even in her sleep. The nun that was sitting with her one night decided to leave for a short while, Emilie seized, rolled over, and suffocated in a pillow. The Dionne sisters were no longer quintuplets and began to lose popularity.

One of the nurses that cared for the five sisters was Yvonne Leroux. She also traveled the lecture circuit, as did Dr. Dafoe, and received her own radio show in New York City for a time. it is unclear how many people profited personally from the quints, while they were abused.

Colgate Toothpaste Ad

This ad benefits Dr. Dafoe as well as Colgate.
This ad benefits Dr. Dafoe as well as Colgate.

The Dionne Quints Museum is located in the sisters' childhood home at what is now the juncture of Highways 11 and 17 at Seymour St. in North Bay, Ontario.

Dionne Quints Museum

Dionne Quints Museum:
Dionne Quints Museum, 1375 Seymour Street, North Bay, ON P1A, Canada

get directions

Annette, Yvonne and Cecile

Family secrets: the dionne quintuplets' autobiography
Family secrets: the dionne quintuplets' autobiography
Maltreatment of the women began in earnest after they rejoined the family in the 1940's. Prior to that, Ontario had taken then away as wards of the province, used in the tourism industry.

A Short Adulthood For Most Of The Quints

1954 - Emile died of a seizure while studying to become a nun.

Annette married in 1957 around age 23 and had one son, then divorced Germain Allard.

1965 -- The remaining sisters wrote a bitter autobiography called We Were Five. They were bitter with their exploitative upbringing.

Marie married and had two daughters in 1960 and 1963, but left her husband in 1964 and never filed for divorce. She died in 1970 at age 36 of a blood clot to the brain.

Cecile had 5 children, two of them being twins; and then divorced.

1998 -- CBC aired the documentary about the sisters' lives, entitled Full Circle - The Untold Story of the Dionne Quintuplets. In a series of candid interviews, the three surviving sisters told of their dysfunctional upbringing in the limelight that did not prepare them for adulthood. They described failed marriages and dark family secrets.

2001 -- Yvonne died of cancer. She never married.

November 2008 -- As of November 2008, Annette and Cecile are still living, presumably in Quebec.

The Dionne Quints Museum is located in the sisters' childhood home at what is now the juncture of Highways 11 and 17 at Seymour St. in North Bay, Ontario. In 1988, the surviving sisters visited North Bay in order to raise funds for the museum. It had changed hands two or three times and was finally moved to its present site in 1985.

It was used in the late 1980s to depict the plight of the exploited sisters and to gain them a settlement from the Ontario government. After declining the original offer in 1998, Annette and Cecile finally received a $4,000,000 settlement.

The father, Oliva Dionne, was a dirt-poor farmer before the birth of the quints. He became wealthy with them. He died in 1979.

Undercurrents of Abuse

Jean-Yves Soucy reported that Annette Dionne has long blamed the Ontario Government and the Catholic Church for the sisters' exploitation as a product from which to gain notoriety and money.

In 1995, the quint survivors alleged that their father, Oliva Dionne, had sexually abused them all for many years after they left the over-controlling influence of Dr. Dafoe. Moreover, their priest gave them no practical advise or help when they asked him for aid in this matter.

The outlined situations above were clearly abusive in different ways and Family Secrets, by Jean-Yves Soucy, is the biography that reveals the truth.

Evidence accumulated shows that the Dionne Quintuplets were controlled, exploited, and sexually and financially abused for profit, as shown in Family Secrets and the New York Times in 1995 (Reference:

I hope that Annette and Cecile enjoy the rest of their lives very much and can gain some peace of mind in Quebec. At this writing, they are 74 years old and special celebrations are planned for them at the Dionne Quints Museum for their 75th birthday in 2009.

Bless their remaining years.

Questions & Answers

  • Was there any attempt or plan to bring the quints to Chicago and the Century of Progress World's Fair?

    Plans had been made by the sisters' father to display the youngsters at the Chicago Century of Progress World's Fair, but the Canadian government took over guardianship of the sisters and the plans to display them at the fair did not materialize.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Yes, the girls seemed to be their own traveling sideshow since the day of their birth.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      7 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for sharing their story with us. It is very sad, how they were abused. Their doctor treated them like animals, he simply used them like an attraction in a traveling show.

      Voted up.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I agree that this is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. I wonder if the remaining women have any peace now.

    • profile image

      Dawn De Poorter 

      7 years ago


      This is very sad story.. especially with Emilie. who has very little help from her long time illness. Oliva Dionne kept secret from her illness for way too long. I felt sorry for Yvonne and Cecile put lot of their energy to keeping Emilie alive for years . that's not right. its the parents responsible to take her to Dr and tell them the truth. I read the book and one of the priest told Mrs. Dionne that she was blamed for Emilie s death that was caused no care no medication.. nothing.. how sad is that??

    • How to - Answers profile image

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      A very sad story for these five girls and their family.

      Shared on Twitter and voted up and interesting

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      yes it is sad

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That is sad, isn't it?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      if i were rich then they would never have handled my family this way

      and this is a fact

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I hope readers can learn from your sentiments. Abuse is horrid and needs to stop.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thank you Patty Inglish

      I have become numb to it for the most part, that is the only way i could survive

      that kind of pain is far more than any one person can ever endure and my heart goes out to Mrs Dionne

      one mother heart to another :'(

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I am sorry for your pain, and for their's.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My heart breaks for them

      I know what they went thru

      and it saddens me even more to say that these injustices from the government still go on

      they happened to me and my 6 siblings

      and they happened to me and my 5 children

      an ex social worker was a witness to the parent abuse i received from the government

      but as long as ppl are to afraid to take on the system this will never change

      it will only get worse

      you will never know the many many nights i cry myself to sleep

      but God does and i take comfort in the fact that i know that he has counted every tear

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I am sorry that this caused you such pain, but please accept thanks for sharing your experience with the Quints, Leapeabea.

    • Leapeabea profile image


      8 years ago

      Ugh! What a huge surprise to learn about the upbringing of the "Dionne Quintuplets". As a child myself, back then, my mother told me that indeed the nurse - Yvonne Leroux - was her cousin, my great-cousin. We used to visit them in Callendar quite often, as a family.

      I remember us visiting their large new "home" all surrounded by wrought iron railings - it sure didn't look like anything else but a prison, and I remember thinking how sad it must be to live there. Just seeing long lineups of cars w/tons of curious Sunday-tourists made me hate going by their place .... tsk-tsk!

      As a matter of fact, back in mid-70s, I happened to work with one of their sisters who was a teacher - she was not part of the quints. I found it a tad odd that, when I asked her about that fact which another person had casually brought up in a conversation, she seemed almost shy and ill at ease to even acknowledge it to me. So, I immediately refrained from pressing onwards for more info on her family.

      Well, it's by shear coincidence that I landed on this web site - I wish I hadn't now. :( I feel really sorry for the Quints now, no child should have to go through what they did. God bless those who survived, and may the remaining Quints at least find some joy and happiness in their remaining years.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think if anything is sold of the Dionne's merchandise the proceeds should go to them.. why should anyone else seek monetary compensation for their suffering?

      I, as a new mother could not imagine having my child taken from me.. And I know that their mother, seeing them being exploited as they were, must have been devastated..

      I know if it were me, and my child was being abused.. I'd kill whoever did it. period.

      BUT, times were different. Catholics are against divorce, and the times were against divorce as well..

      It's one of those things that I want to believe that there was a good intention for them.. but people got greedy and selfish and stopped thinking about the girl's good.. convinced themselves that it was for them, but really the best thing would have been to live a normal life.

      Had they not been taken from their family, I dare say their own father would have done much the same.. had them on display for profit, and the sexual abuse may have started earlier.. the effect is just as shattering regardless, and hopefully we as people learn a lesson from all of this and no children (people in general) are exploited like this ever again. It never should have happened to begin with. But society has an innate curiosity for something or someone with any difference or oddity and unfortunately people are treated differently based on those oddities.

      Our children are our future. They will do what we teach to do. They will know what we teach them to know. They will live as we teach them to live.

    • profile image

      Patty D. 

      8 years ago

      Yes Sharon you too can make money off the girls.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I would contact some local antique dealers in your area and ask threir advice. Alternatively, there may be museums that would purchse the scrapbook for display of contents.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have my grandmother's scrapbook that is thick w/newspaper articles that she collected. The articles were published in a Great Falls, MT newspaper. Any suggestions for selling this scrapbook and other Dionne items?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you all so much for reading this Hub and sharing your exsperiences and comments. It's a riveting story and I hope the lids of today's "Octomom" fare better in life.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I was born in 1935, a year after the quints. My mother was an identical twin and had a very close bond with her sister all their lives. I was given a little basket with five identical baby dolls as a gift. I also had a picture book of the quints and their daily life. I especially loved that they had furniture, closets, sinks just their size. That impressed me greatly, and I loved hearing about them. But I thought they were in their own home. Now that I know the whole story I am greatly saddened for them. Thank you for filling in the picture.

    • profile image

      Brenda Bentley 

      9 years ago

      Hi I am a mother of one chil, I bear to imagine how there mother felt. I see all these dolls and other items to promote these girls stories, and now I know they were never given the money from all the memorbelia that should have had them set for life. I am so sorry to have heard the greed of the doctor, shame on all who took advantage of those beautiful babies ad to rob them of a life which would have had love from they're parents, They should have been treated as human beings and not the gong show to prosper from there beautiful experience of life . I am a mother myself and I can assure you they're mother suffered and cryied for her daughters with no support, how sad for her to have had to buy a commonors ticket to see her girls. I hope no other family will be taken advantage of such a loss to ther family and now these girls are retired still in modest pensions. They should have been millionairs and to have been able to have a happy ending to the precious life they have left. We need to learn from the quints misfortunes and never allow this to happen to another human being, God BLESS these weoman and live a strong and happy healthy life, your storie has meant so much to me. I always wanted a set of the quints dolls made by madame alexandra, I dont know anymore ,I wanted to honor there lives and celebrate there strength to stay together and to say NO MORE! i LOVE THESE GIRLS ALL OF THEM THROUGH THICK AND THIN. i WISH THEM PEACE AND COMFORT IN THERE LATER YEARS OF THERE LIVES, GOD BE WITH THEM and lead them to find strength to carry on a proud weoman and an example to the greedy world to be more compasionate these were babies and its not something that can be resolved for them its not excuseable. Go ladies, go girls today is the first day of the rest of your life, from here on in the clouds are blue and shining just for you and your sisters. Iam so proud of these ladies and what they endured was for others to reap and everyone forgot about them and how they would be . Im sorry for them and wish them so much love and to have the freedom to be themselves is now there own.Life hands us a few rocks and we need so much more like the love of our brothers ,mother ,father ,family and of coarse the sisters. I hope they can forgive this ugly tarnish from there minds and go on to live a life of happiness,joy and love, they should have the next generations lov and support to keep them going, all my love and thoughts are with me and I wish the BEST FOR THE LAST OF THESE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS.Be proud and the rest is yours for the takings.yours truelly B.Bentley

    • profile image

      JoAnn York 

      9 years ago

      Several years ago I wrote a paper in college about the Dionne quints. The story is very tragic. I just read additional information today. In my report I stated that they were actually placed on the oven door in one basket to

      stay warm. Later Dr. Dafoe brought a used coke case and

      converted it to an incubator for the babies. It is my hope that the remaining girls are at peace.

    • profile image

      Norma Ricks 

      9 years ago

      I heard about the Dionne Quintuplets when a young child, probably because my birth was in 1938. I was given a small box containing five little dolls with porcelain heads and with cloth nightgowns attached. After recently acquiring a newspaper picture of the Dionne family, I have been interested in information about the girls.

    • sligobay profile image


      9 years ago from east of the equator

      Great Hub Patty. Awful story.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      fastfreda - Probably new books will be coming forth; it's an interesting and riveting topics. Thnaks for commenting.

      PaperNotes - Indeed. It makes me wonder how many families have hidden abuse - or been falsely accused. Both are frightful.

    • PaperNotes profile image


      9 years ago

      Sad story but very interesting. In this world we live in, sometimes what we think would happen just in movies and drama series do really happen in real life. Just like the hardships the quintuplets experienced even from their own father.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      10 years ago from Southern California

      After reading this hub, I want to read more about these unfortunate ladies. Thank you Patty, for this peek into their lives.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      It's a horrible story, Chef Jeff, and the doctor should have been de-licensed.

      According to Annette, Cecile (both age 74) and the newspapers, the dad won custody of them again when they were 9 years old and additional abuse began shortly thereafter.

      I lost touch with a friend in Montreal last year that was English-speaking originally, married to a Frenchman.  She said the French neighborhood would not speak to her and the kids were ostracized. They put their house up for sale, but waited over 2 years for a sale. They were going to move to Ontario, if I recall correctly.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      11 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Unfortunately most of the quints have died.  One reason for their terrible treatment was the poverty of the birth family.  Also, there was (and still is) a current of racism against French Canadians, and also against Catholics in some areas of Canada.

      The Dionnes had the bad fortune of being French, Catholic and poor.  The doctor who took the quints away tricked them (they didn't read English very well) and isolated the five babies from their birth mother.

      Later amends were attempted by the Canadian government after the girls frew up to be rather helpless women tossed out into a society they did not understand at all. the doctor was vilified in the press and in public opinion once the truth got out. I seriously believe he wanted to conduct a scientific experiment in raising them as he did. What he did was neother scientific nor ethical, and I believe he quickly cheated and took as much money as he get his hands on.

      I'm glad you wrote this hub because this has been a story that has bothered me for several decades.  I knew of the quints when I was a child, but until I grew up I never knew them as anything but a tourist attraction my parents' friends had gone to just about once every year for a decade.  I remember the wife of the couple my parents knew saying she wished she had the quints, because their parents must be making a fortune off them.  In truth, the parents never wanted money from their children and had little contact with them over the years.

      So sad.

      Chef Jeff

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Someone at Harvard University wrote biographies of all five and posted them on the web, but they have been removed.

      I think there are only a couple of ways to send greetings to Annette and Cecile in Montreal. First, I think one could address a card to "Annette and Cecile Dionne of the Dionne Quintuplets; Montreal Quebec Canada" and it would arrive. Second, one could contact the publisher, Berkley, and ask about sending greetings to the three authors: Yves Soucy, Yvonne Dionne, and Cecile Dionne; publishers have puiblicists that stay in contact with authors. 

      Berkley Books, part of the Penguin Group


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I can't believe I had never heard of them before reading this. Most of us can only imagine the horrible life they lived especially their eary years. SUch a sad thing for them to go through. I also hope the final two enjoy the rest of their lives.

      Sidenote. In the section

      Undercurrents of Abuse I saw a few typos.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Veronica -- I just saw the John and Kate Plus 8 show for the second time the other night. TV cameras around all the time must be strange and I wonder how they will grow up - will they be homeschooled or the cameras follow them to school? Or will the show be cancelled and the kids all react to that with anger or some such? The parents look tired and seem irritable to me.

      washingtonson - I think it is unforgiveable to harm the life of a child and I agree with you. Thanks for commenting. The more people that know about this, the better for our future.

    • washingtonson profile image


      11 years ago from Walhalla

      so sad...such beautiful little girls deserve beautiful lives

    • Veronica Bright profile image

      Veronica Bright 

      11 years ago from Nebraska

      Excellent Hub. Unfortunately, those things are still happening. John and Kate plus 8 is a prime example.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I want to find their address in Montreal and send them a card. If I find it, I will let you know, Chef Jeff, RGraf and everyone else. If no address, I'll get their book agent's address and send on to them through that venue. At least we can give them good thoughts.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      The sad fact that any human can do this to another is always shocking. I agree with you in hoping that they live out their lives happily.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      11 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Some people I knew when I was young adored the Dionne Quints and had every newspaper, cereal box ad, maagazine article as well as trivia - plates, cups, spoons, souveniers, bumper stickers, etc.

      These 5 poor women were indeed exploited and kept apart from their other brothers and sisters, who were left to live on the very fringes of the quints' lives.  In order to see the quints their own mother had to buy a ticket and join the crowds of oogling tourists! How shameful and embarassing!

      We should be ashamed when we exploit innocents of all kinds, and the things done to women - using them as sushi tables? - how horrific!

      Sad but excellent hub!

      Sadly, Chef Jeff

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Vicarously Yours - Canada has an excellent program in place now, called Bully B'Ware, that teaches children in school and adults across the nation about bullying and abuse. Prevention can start with education about what abuse is and encouragement to report it, because kids often think they deserve it, especially from an adult. We can't go into people's homes to see what is really happening, though, although perhaps some of us wish we could. Thanks for reading - tell everyone you can think of about this tragedy.

      Netters - this may be the first time an outline of the whole story has been presented so that the public can "get it." I am going to read the survivor's newest book and then do a review of it.

      Eric - I've read about the Dionnes for years, but felt that there were huge gaps in the story, which made me dig until I found them. When I read their book in future, I'll have even more to add. I'm glad you like what I've written so far. Thanks for making this request, which spurred me to dig!


    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 

      11 years ago from Australia

      It's horrific what was done to those girls. And the amount that was given to them as settlement for their ruined lives is a joke - not that any amount of money could have been adequate compensation.

      I never cease to be amazed how things get twisted and corrupted when bureaucrats get involved into situations and try to "help".

      Thanks for putting in the time to research and write this excellent , disturbing Hub Patty. It's much more than I expected.

    • Netters profile image


      11 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      What a sad, sad, story. More people should read this.

    • Vicariously Yours profile image

      Vicariously Yours 

      11 years ago from Fort Collins, CO

      Boy, Patty, you're getting good at ferreting out these stories. But how do you prevent something like this from happening? So much of it is behind closed doors (the worst abuses usually are, aren't they--in the dark?).

      Another incidence of wishing I didn't know something, but glad I learned it nonetheless.

      Thanks for sharing. Now if I can just learn to love my fellow man, despite his frailties.

      Bill Campbell

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I hope they have more control, but it's hard to say. Two multiple births is hard on a family alone, and with TLC adding attention, etc. I might expect problems as the kids mature and more and more exploiters approach them. It depends on how solid the parents really are in their confidence and values and how they communicate them to the kids, I think.

    • ProfoundPuns profile image


      11 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Wow, I had no idea that they were exploited in that way. Of course, the height of their fame was long before my time, but the name still is famous today. Patty, what do you think about the family of current TLC fame, "Jon and Kate Plus 8"? I assume you've heard of them, the family who had in-vitro fertilization and bore twins followed by sextuplets. Do you believe they are exploited, too, or do they have much more control than the Dionnes?


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