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Duggar Family Dysfunction

duggar19kidsandcounting2I confess I’m watching the implosion of the Duggar family wholesomeness with keen interest. My husband is an inveterate channel flipper, and he often lands on “19 Kids and Counting” just to mess with me. “NOOOO! Not the Christian wackos!” My creepdar goes off the charts every time Jim Bob appears with his fatherly hair helmet and that Qualude stare of patriarchal benevolence. (Shudder) I can’t wrestle the TV controller away fast enough.

But the one that really freaks me out is the mother Michelle with the sing-song Romper Room voice…

What is that? Who speaks in that mommy-meets-Minnie-Mouse lilt? I know she’s been surrounded by small children for two decades, but what ate her brain?

(Sotto smiley voice) “Each day, after I teach the first 13 to fold their laundry into tidy squares, we have a precious Bible study together over home-grown radishes. Jinger just loves the book of Ezekiel! She claps her pink, little hands together and cries, ‘More prophets, mommy, more!’ That child just loves the Lord.”

Yeah, right, Michelle. I only raised one kid, not 19, but I can tell you it’s not all precious moments. I don’t know how you keep your clan in starched dirndl skirts and khakis, like some theocratic wet dream of Jesus Jungen, but the kids I know are all hideously imperfect. They fart in church, make sticky messes at the dinner table, have the hygiene of goats, and speak fluent snark. Being in the presence of four children simultaneously makes me feel like I installed a bowling alley in my head. I can’t imagine the cacophony of 19. You’re either strung out on Xanax, or you’re a fraud, Michelle.

Well, this week we know which it is — the Duggars squeaky clean image wasn’t all that. Their son Josh admitted to molesting four of his sisters and a family friend when he was 14. The family didn’t report it for a year. He kept molesting them. Finally they sent him to “treatment”, which turned out to be working on friend’s construction crew for a few months in Little Rock. Then he came home, and a cop friend (who is now serving a 54 year sentence for child pornography) gave him a “stern talking to.” (Can you imagine how that went down? “Look son, if you’re going to wank off around the underaged, clear your browser history first.”)  The church elders prayed on it. He got to keep living at home, around little kids. And he was engaged at 18, and married off by 20, and now has children of his own.

Oh yeah, and they got a reality TV show to broadcast their wholesome Christian values.

For those of you not in the U.S., “19 Kids and Counting” is a cable TV show about the Duggars, who are part of a splinter Baptist church and adherents of the Christian patriarchy movement, which apparently the Duggars observed by dressing like you were frumpy in 1989. (Prairie skirts and poofy big hair).

How do you afford so many children (or as Michelle refers to them “her flowers”)? Have the TLC network build you a house! And film every baptism, wedding, and chaste courtship.

If your flowers were deflowered by their brother? Hey, you’re good because you prayed over that before you signed the deal.

To make this all the more galling, the forgiven molester kid had a job at the Family Resource Council speaking out about the evils of the gay “lifestyle,” abortion, and women’s rights. He resigned from his job yesterday.

I’m sure we’ll have a lot to discuss in the comments about hypocrisy and impression management, but to me the most startling thing about his scandal is the enormous amount of spackle the Duggars and their church community applied to the criminal transgression of child molestation. Where else have we seen an emphasis on quick forgiveness over the consideration of the victims?

The best thing I’ve read on this scandal is this blog article with what we should do about sexual abuse when it happens in our communities. Essentially — DEAL, don’t spackle.


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    • Most baffling quote of the presentation: “As you look around the room you realize that one fourth of the people that should be here are not because they’ve been aborted.” What?!?!?

      • And another third of the people who should be there aren’t because they miscarried, but what the hey. I guess the room is pretty empty.

        • She obviously has never read FREAKONOMICS. There’s an entire chapter on the ‘Missing People’ and crime reduction…

  • I couldn’t watch this show ever. The fact that they had nineteen kids just smacked of narcissism to me. I came from a family of five kids, and at some point, your parents cannot address your needs. The older ones had to take care of the younger ones, which worked for one person, the MOM. Kate plus eight… uggg… so to see a kid figure out how to get his “needs” met while mom was figuring out how to find another J name..isn’t a surprise.

    so sad. for everyone. I read the linked article and it explained how homeschooling limits the contact the children have with other adults… which of course is narcissistic, because your parents want you to only believe what you tell them…. I hope the show is cancelled. Having that many children should never be glamorized.

    • Funny you should mention the home-schooling. I read another story on the same day as the Duggar story where a family was homeschooling all of the children and 4 of 6 brothers molested their sister (from the time she was 4 years old), the parents apparently knew and did nothing. One of the sons eventually confessed to a pastor at his church who then informed the authorities. The pastor actually had to take the time to explain to the son who eventually confessed that other families didn’t live that way.

      I really do understand why some people feel it is important to home-school and home-schooling in and of itself is not a bad thing. I think that some people are disordered control freaks and use things like home-schooling to exercise absolute control over their family, particularly their children.

      • Homeschooling was a red flag for me as a SW. You know, nothing gets to me anymore. I am all out of innocence. I used to wonder about those Dad’s or Mom’s who ditched their kids without looking back. I thought they were rare cases till I got her to CN. Just like husbands who go to the store for a pack of cigarettes and don’t come back. Why am I not surprised by the Duggars and their band of enablers who have help endorse that child molestation is “not that bad” to their followers? These same folks who claim you can pray away the gay despite the obviously overwhelming evidence to the contrary let alone just plain common sense. The Pastor who knew what was going on and didn’t make a referral? Tell me he wasn’t “forgiven” as well? I could rant on…pffftt!

      • Hey! Don’t throw all homeschoolers under the bus because of the minority that get glaring media attention. I home-schooled my kids from 1989 to 1994, third through seventh grade. They were well socialized (better than their public school peers) because my kids interacted with people of ALL ages. When they went back to school, they did well socially. The school’s honors level program took a year and a half to catch up to where my kids were academically. I didn’t teach anything out of the ordinary, but one thing I DID do differently: I taught my children to read and spell correctly in first grade. If reading is taught correctly, ALL children can read, write and spell. Believe me, it is not rocket science. And from there, they can progress along their TRUE grade level, not the dumbed-down curriculum that schools have been dishing out for decades now. My children also all graduated college at the top, or near the top of their classes. They are now gainfully employed. Many colleges prefer home-schooled students over others because of their high literacy scores, their ease in interacting with others, and their self-motivation.

        • Homeschooling can have its advantages, but there is evidence that many homeschooled children have a mediocre education, at best. There is also a lack of diversity and ability to relate to others. I have seen this repeatedly, as a professional teacher, myself.

          Considering what goes on in schools, one can understand why some would want to home school. Nonetheless, there are problems and limits with both methods.

    • Well said, Nancy. Two parents struggling to be everything. It is too much to ask the capitalist nuclear family (two parents) to have a lot of children. The wider family group of ‘less developed’ nations much better fits human needs. If mum is busy, find grandma or an auntie. Peer group and friends are your cousins. Africa has it right.

  • Well, I think it’s abusive to children to spew that many out, to cram them into close quarters, and ignore them. I think it’s abusive to brainwash children and ignore their individuality. I think it’s abusive to children to teach them to suspend rationality and reason, to look to church elders or a book for guidance on everything, instead of using their own brains. I think it’s abusive to teach children to twist the hard truth into an acceptable lie. I think this lifestyle leads to terrible things. This is more evidence of that. Children need supervision and guidance. They are animals, and they need active upbringing to humanize them. You see all sorts of dysfunction when dysfunctional people are in charge of raising human beings.

    To bring it to infidelity and helping your children through the aftermath:
    1) Don’t ignore your children’s reality by telling them that their walk-away parent (I use that word loosely in this case) “loves” them (but don’t lash out against the person, using your child as a confidante or a stand-in). I learned that here from CN. It never seemed right, but it was articulated here, and I like it. It makes sense.
    2) Don’t teach your children to ignore reality by spackling over the truth. Bad things happen in that case. If you model staying in an abusive situation, then you model accepting or delivering abuse. Sometimes you have to put on your big boy or big girl pants and take care of your stuff. It’s the right thing to do.

  • I mean, as long as Jesus has forgiven him, then it’s all good! Let’s rug sweep and pretend it never happened.
    Forgive or else it’s your fault for being angry and bitter.
    Sounds all too familiar.

    • WBW, exactly. More sickos have rationalized their reprehensible, vile, selfish behavior in the name of Jesus.

      The man once tossed a table because of gambling. He doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to ever wink and give ANY ONE a pass for molesting children because they were sorry they were caught. Or let the losers who help him hide such abuse use his name to say all is forgiven.

      I think of X and bimbo in the front row of church for Mass every Sunday. Everyone can see that they’re good people, regardless of their reprehensible, selfish behavior that blew up the lives of my three children.

      If they do meet Jesus in heaven, I’m thinking it’s not going to go well.

  • I’ve been watching this for some time, and have my own impressions. I don’t think I was ever sold on Ben Seewald really being in love and felt like he was pressured to marry. This becomes more evident when seeing them interact. Then, as far as Josh “Forced fondling” of children is creepy in itself, but what I find even more strange is how that this treatment was actually visited on his own sisters. What in the world? What about them?! These young girls were sexually abused! No one in life is perfect, but come on, a crime was committed. Since he really only received a slap on the wrist, how do we know what’s really still going on with him and the rest of the family? I only had one son, and goodness knows I remember those days of pulling out my hair, too Chumplady. Can’t wait to see what happens with this story.

    • Is Ben the one who married the pretty one? If so, he looks a few fries short of a happy meal, and mean to boot. I’ve only seen the show a few times but it was obvious she was gagging to get out of that house and get laid and if he was the one then she was going to go for it. I wonder how many of the women in that world actually have orgasms.

    • The women in the family are treated as chattel, servants who sole function in life is that of caretaker (and womb) for the men. Knowing that Josh’s victims were his sisters, it is beyond pathetic and hypocritical for his parents to impose these bizarre “courting” rituals on their daughters, like no premartial physicality. So, it’s okay for your brother to rape you, with no consequences whatsoever, but it’s not okay to discover your sexuality without being married? I am sad for all the women in that family and cannot even think about what is in store for the younger ones

        • Assuming the victims were the four older girls, one victim would have been 9 at the time the parents acknowledge becoming aware of the assaults. The Arkansas law on statutory rape is penetration (however slight) between a minor who is 13 or younger and a defendant who is more than three years older than the minor. I believe the report states he fondled breasts and vaginas (while girls were sleeping), and I believe that even using a finger counts as penetration when the victims are so young.

          Also, what comes into question is what were the parents trying to protect? Michelle was pregnant when this came to light and dad Jim Bob was serving as a state rep and running for senate at the time. Also interesting to note, they went on to have 5 more children after finding out about Josh’s “acting inexcusably.”

  • Since I was Biology major and work in the field of clinical lab sciences, I am generally appalled by people who bring that many children into our overcrowded world with finite resources. I must be living under a rock because until this week I didn’t know the Duggars even existed.

    I hate reality TV that isn’t football, baseball, basketball or hockey anyway but those other wing nuts (the + 8/Kate wackadoodles)that had pile of children were enough of a train wreck. I hated them even more because she had like 5 or 6 babies at one time like she was a cat or a dog giving birth to a litter of children. I understand that embryos are implanted in multiples in case they don’t survive but if all 6 survive, they have selective abortion for that.

    Both she and the woman that had 7 children (the first one with all the messed up teeth) had to have C-sections early because they couldn’t stand being pregnant with that many babies. Yeah, cuz you’re not supposed to you idiots! In both cases, they had children before their in-vitro fertilization produced litters so they were just selfish.

    Anyway, all of them act so religious and holier than thou but they exploit their children on TV and get companies to donate goods, services and million dollar homes. These same people that look down their noses at mom’s on welfare. What they’re doing is just glorified welfare and now to add to it you find out they hid their son’s molestation of their other children?? It’s as bad as the Catholic church.

    What a bunch of assholes!

  • I’ll admit it – I loved the show. I wonder about people agreeing to go on television with such a huge issue lurking in the past (The predictable Honey Boo Boo family comes to mind). Likely they thought no one would ever find out. I was rooting for this family – even with the saccharine sweet Michelle and creepy Jim Bob. I hoped they were what they portrayed – a very large family with extraordinary values.
    But……I never bought the Josh marriage. I just got the sense something was off about him. And when he announced that his job was a lobbyist against gay rights… sealed the deal for me. I think it’s fine to have a difference of opinion; however, that seems to go beyond a religious objection to gays. Somehow people with that much energy (hate) against a group, might have something to hide.

    I feel sorry for the girls – their victimization will never go away. And I think Josh is a predator, either he is very disordered or a victim of abuse himself. Brothers just don’t make that kind of “mistake (crime)” .

    • Well, Josh’s wife looks like one of his sisters, which makes sense now. And I don’t get what extraordinary values they portrayed, other than treat women like second class citizens who are put on earth for the sole purpose of spreading their legs once they finally snare a like-minded asshole and then pump out as many babies as possible.

      And the freaky mother doesn’t raise those kids, the older kids do. And their values also include blanket training, a virulent anti-gay agenda, and general intolerance for most things. Karma is a beautiful thing, especially since the asshole mother recorded robo-calls saying that men wanted to cross dress just so they could go into female bathrooms and dressing rooms to molest children. Hypocrites, the lot of ’em.

      • I lived next door to a family with 12 kids in SLC. Yes, they were religious zealots. I could see that the older ones were ‘parenting’ the younger ones. There are so many reasons why this is WRONG and won’t work! One of the kind of amusing ones was that the littlest boy, who was 5 or so, spoke in a language I could not understand. He had been taught to speak by a 6 year old, who had been taught by an 8 year old! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own two ears. Those parents were seriously asleep at the wheel!
        The Mom was so overwhelmed, she was yelling at all of them, all the time. She didn’t care that all the neighbors could hear. I felt sorry for her then, but now I’m thinking – she bought into this lifestyle, and perpetuated it for a long time.
        Most definitely do NOT approve of this choice, those poor kids! And, the planet is too crowded already!

      • There’s an interesting blog article on Josh’s wife — who seems to have been married off young to Josh. Not much life choice. I like how it calls out the whole forgiveness mindfuck.

        “Forgiveness is a warped topic in fundamentalist Christian circles where abuse is concerned. Jim Bob, Michelle, and Josh are using that language purposefully. They are tapping into the belief that no sin is too terrible for God to forgive and the mandate that we must forgive our trespassers as God has forgiven us. Together, these beliefs force victims in this subculture to shut up, sit down, and “make peace” with the people who have wronged them.

        This results in victims having to act as if nothing ever happened. They still have to live with the perpetrator. They still have to speak to the perpetrator and show affection to them. They have to smile and pretend for years and years. No one gets real counseling. And the perpetrator is never punished.”
        – See more at:

        • The fucking Ten Commandments. Where do these creeps get off rewriting the Bible to suit their own agenda?!! Oh, yeah. They are so blessed that Jesus gave them a pass on morality and common sense.

          Nope. Don’t buy their bullshit. I used to live nearby this family in NWA, and they were weirdo/hypocrites 12 yrs ago as they are today.

          Also, fuck Josh. He’s a predator and needs some serious help. NO ONE is talking about addressing the needs of his sisters and the other young girls he assaulted.

          • I just read that Josh was known to frequent Fayetteville strip joints when in his late teens. Please let there be pictures. I would love to see this asshole family meet some serious karma.

        • “Yes they did a terrible thing, but Jesus forgives and so must we”. This is what my 16 yr old son termed the other day as the Christian equivalent to rage quitting from a video game. When You know it is shitty and won’t end well so rather then deal with it you shut it down.
          This same action/belief system sees my actively gay husband at the time we separated, cleared of all responsibility of sin, returned to his position of ministry and dating another woman, all within 14 months of d’day. While I am the one seen as having issues because I am taking him to court to get a far deal on our property settlement. But he cannot even comply with basic requests from my solicitor.
          When we joined the church he now attends more than a decade ago I was horrified by the number of parents who home schooled and it was not a large church. Some of the women were gifted at teaching and I marveled at their ability. But others, I just thought you poor kids.

          As a Christian I find it sad that the christian faith is stereo typed by these extremists. I really do love this quote from above.

          “If they do meet Jesus in heaven, I’m thinking it’s not going to go well.”

          I take assurance in that no matter what awful thing my ex says, does, claims, or implies. My faith is not built on my ex’s foundation it is built on Christ. And I am only answerable for me. Because the karma bus may not come. But one day it will suck to be them.

  • It’s just typical ! Religion sucks just a little prayer to the almighty and all is forgiven ! The little tart my husband fucked for a year is a Jehovah’s Witness still the fact that she fucked a married man for a year smiled sweetly at his wife and lied about it is ok in the eyes of Jehovah or whoever the fuck it is all is forgiven !

  • Fuck this family and their pedo-pretecting ways. Four of the five victims were his sisters. One of those sisters was four. This was no an isolated incident. It went on for some time. Lots of victim blaming went on. I fucking hate these assholes for what they’re doing to their children, particularly their daughters. The cute one who just got married has the eyes of a sociopath and will probably be the one who cheats. One of the boys is most definitely gay, and yes, Free Jinger.

  • Just sick. What kind of father allows this behavior to continue for a full year after knowing it was an issue?! So NOT Christlike. I can’t imagine what sort of hell those little girls experienced where their father failed to protect them from their predatory brother! Horrifying and completely unholy, unwholesome.

  • I homeschooled my son for years, and although most homeschoolers are NOT like the Duggars (many are not religious at all, I’m certainly not), the “quiverfull” movement is a very familiar concept in that world. Please don’t think the majority of homeschoolers keep their kids segregated from life — most are very active in homeschool groups, classes and activities. It’s people like the Duggars who give homeschoolers a bad name, although in reality, very few are religious nuts.

    As for the molesting — I find it interesting that so many Christians, including Huckabee, are rushing to Josh’s defense, saying that he was only 14 and “we all made mistakes” when we were young. Well, maybe so, although most people’s mistakes don’t include molesting their much younger siblings. But imagine if a gay 14 year old was caught diddling his much younger brothers. I’m willing to bet these same fundamentalists who are “forgiving” Josh would be crying to the high heavens that the gay molester “proved” that all gays are pedophiles. Hell, I’ll bet Josh himself would say so.

    • I’d love to smack Huck over his “mistakes” excuse. A “mistake” would be forgetting to knock, and walking in on little sis when she’s changing. There was no mistake in his hand repeatedly copping a feel. There was no mistake in the freak parents in covering his perverted acts and then spending years living a lie.

      The parents actions are beyond contempt and yet I’m glad they showed the world who they really are.

      And to echo Mary “I feel so much better about my shit!”

      hallelujah and holy shit, pass the Tylenol!

    • You know, Jeffery Dahlmer made mistakes as a young teen too. I believe at that age he was hideously torturing animals.

      WTF. I wonder if the statute of limitations has passed on his molestations of these girls?

  • Raising my hand here. You can’t cure pedophelia. Period. I have never watched this show so I don’t know what state they live in but why isn’t child protective services in there. He should never be around children. This is just sick!

  • The Guardium article is well balanced and everything I’ve read points to the husband and wife covering this up so they could stay on TV. It’s sick. In the article they have Josh’s statement, it is all about HIM and his redemption and there is not one single word about asking forgiveness for what he did to the girls, his own sisters!

    When I watched some of that awards ceremony you posted the thing that struck me was when her husband put his hands on her, the woman’s shoulders rose up and she tensed up, the whole time he was touching her. It was creepy, and when she finally spoke, it’s like a child is talking – so awful.

    I believe having that many children is wrong, you cannot care for them, give them the love and socialization they need to grow into good and responsible people. I also think it’s a crime against the planet but then I’m a long time proponent of population control. We are looking at a mass extinction of large mammals within 10 to 30 years and the culprit is human over population. Like many others, the African Elephant will be extinct within 15 years if we can’t save their habitat. OK, I will stop now, it’s becoming an off topic rant

    • I have heard that “babytalk” voice is a sign that the woman using it has been sexually abused. Perhaps one of the therapists here can confirm. The raised shoulders at the touch of her husband says something, doesn’t it? It says she’s at least skittish, certainly overwhelmed.

      Of course, being taught to wholly submit to a cultish mindset is abusive enough.

      If the matriarch here has a history of abuse, then my understanding is that, without help, she might miss or even tolerate a repetition in her own daughters.


      • Sorry if this posts twice but you are right, it is a known fact that most borderline women use the “baby talk” voice.

        • Really??? Soft babyish talk is a borderline indication? Thank you for that interesting piece of information. I was also told: lots and lots of soft toys on beds of adults, piercings (face and body) and flamboyant hair dye, i.e. half blue and half red etc. (not adolescents of course).
          All indicate ‘I don’t know who I am’.

  • Personally I feel she has an addiction problem… the need to pop out 19 children is a problem. She doesnt live on the Arc. Alternatively or simulataneously she avoids sex by staying pregnant. We know she put out 19 times… It will be interesting to see where Jim Bob buries the family tree now.
    it was a matter of time before the proverbial bubble broke… And now we really see what their value system… I mean sewage system.

    • We know she put out 19 times…

      No at least 20 times. They lost the last fetus that they produced. But I think in Wikipedia, it said that they lost a child before these 19 on TV.

      So maybe, 21 times?

  • The first time I saw this family on TV I noticed all the girls were always in skirts. That was a red flag for me that they probably were part of one of those extreme Christian sects that believe that women wearing pants is in violation of male authority. Ding ding ding! Sure enough, the Duggars follow the Quiverful movement which was started by an extremist wacko who taught that women are to be subservient to men and should have as many babies as possible, for the glorification of the father (the earthly, human father), for that is a woman’s true glory and purpose.

    People in that movement are home schooled, and don’t attend college so as not to be influenced by outside thinking. The girls can’t wotk outside the home, but can train as midwives while waiting for a husband who is handpicked by their father, and the men have to have a business of their own, again so as not to work for someone who doesn’t share their beliefs.

    The founder believed that the ideal woman had long hair with loose curls, and bright eyes. That’s why the mom is still sporting that DJ Tanner hairstyle and those Duggar girls all look the same and wear eyeliner. I thought it was odd that they wore makeup in such a conservative modest family. It’s to live up to the ideal of a crackpot who, not surprisingly was charged with sexual assault in his seventies. Surprised? Anybody? No?

    What pisses me off is that these extremists get a all this exposure and give Christians a bad name. When people hear “Christian” they think of these groups and not the 99% good and decent people who have strong faith but don’t hate gay people or want to infantalize women.

    I also hate that they’re celebrated for having all those kids. If she were a dog, the authorities would rescue her and her puppies, and Sarah Mclaughlin would write a song about her.

    • Yes, it gives all Christians a bad name (we’re all a bunch of hypocrites). The real shame is that these people weren’t Christians or associated with an extremist sect. They did it for the money. Religion was just their schtick.

  • Home schooling needs regular and unannounced inspections. (In the education field) we noticed that the kids who were pulled out for home schooling were invariably 1. the ones most in need of socialisation and adult support; and 2. had the weirdest parents. I am deeply suspicious of the control issues behind this unregulated movement.

    • Big difference between kids that are “pulled out for homeschooling”, and the families who are committed and conscientious about home education. Those are not the kids who are removed from school because parents can’t meet attendance/homework/childcare expectations of the schools, then placed back in school because having their children around 24/7 is too much work.

      Each state has different laws on the books about homeschooling; it’s far from an unregulated movement. When it’s done well, the outcome can be wonderful; when it’s done poorly, the children and society suffers. In that way it’s just like public or private education. One commonality is the parents. Effective, committed, stable home lives tend to result in successful educational outcomes for homeschoolers and building-based education.

      • Agreed, I homeschooled my children through middle school, in part because the elementary schools here suck and also because I knew I could do it better. Music Ed, foreign languages, reading, Maths, science, and all the field trips on our schedules.

        My kiddos are well rounded, intelligent, well respected and liked. I didn’t keep them home just to fill them up with my thoughts. I kept them home because I cared more about them than anyone else. I knew their needs, and I knew I could give them the foundation and the courage to find their own questions, dreams, and their own road. 2+4=6 but so does 3+3. There can be different ways to get the same right answer

        • Sounds similar to my experience! I homeschooled my sons for a few years, because the local school was lame, and my kids kept getting pushed, hit, and shunned by other kids, and the administrators didn’t care. I have a good enough education myself, that I could teach them, and sometimes I used programs I would buy. We loved it, it was fun (except when a couple of nosey neighbors called the truant officers on me- Thanks a lot!).
          Then, they went to high school, and then all three went on to college.

      • One commonality is the parents. Effective, committed, stable home lives tend to result in successful educational outcomes for homeschoolers and building-based education.

        I don’t see how this is possible. Both of my parents have university degrees. My father was a medical doctor. But still, particularly my mother, she couldn’t spell to save her life. Know geometry, algebra, the sciences. She never took French and therefore didn’t know that it is a non phonetic language. She asked me to pronounce something that she saw in a cookbook. When it wasn’t to her liking she verbally abused me, including the old nugget “what am I getting for all that money that I pay your school?”

        I can’t believe that the average parent, even the average parent that chooses to homeschool is a jack of all trades. Even by high school, the (professionally trained) teachers are specialising in one not more than two subjects.

        I shudder at the thought. Parents who choose to homeschool should be tested as well.

        • I’m not convinced that there is anything average about effective, stable, committed parents. I certainly wouldn’t peg your mother, university educated or not, as someone who would likely be successful as a homeschooling parent. It’s not enough to know algebra; they also need to be someone that their student wants to be in the same room with.

          Getting the French pronunciation down isn’t the tough part: a couple-three years of Rosetta Stone, a few summers in Montreal or a language camp. The teacher’s art–knowing when to push, when to pull, when to take a breather, when to go looking for other resources and how to motivate–is not something taught in school. There are talented certified teachers and certified teachers who shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom; there are gifted homeschooling parents with and without university educations.

          Some building-based high-school teachers prep two lectures in one content area, and repeat them three times each over the course of the day; some are generalists and are teaching in multiple content areas and grade levels over the course of the day. The latter know that they need to draw on the expertise of curriculum specialists and textbook writers to help them be successful; the former usually do as well because it’s easier to make use of prepped resources. Homeschooling parents usually more closely resemble the generalists. Some

        • JustAroundthe Bend, I homeschooled for a while because our schools focus on testing rather than learning. I have a Masters in Education and even I couldn’t manage all of the high school subjects. Thank goodness for online classes and the fact that Juniors and Seniors can take 2 classes per semester at the community college. It gave them a mainstream experience as well as college credits!

          • You wouldn’t guess my daughter was homeschooled. Too many piercings and half her hair shaved off as she expressed her individuality, let everyone know that she had her own mind! Lol

    • I homeschooled my son first grade through eight grade, and would have done high school as well if my ex hadn’t turned life upside down. I spent the majority of my time with other homeschooling families during those years, and my son’s closest friends are still homeschool buddies.

      YES, there are definitely homeschool families who are abusers or control freaks. But that is a tiny tiny percentage. Public school families regularly have unbelievable stories of abuse, neglect and control, but no one says that’s the fault of the school process.

      MOST homeschool families are very well rounded and their kids are very well educated and have excellent social skills. It makes me laugh when people talk about homeschoolers not getting “socialization,” as if a pack of public school teenagers show such exemplary social skill behaviors.

      As for regulations, they differ from state to state. Some states have very stringent requirements, some have none at all.

      I hate when homeschooling gets bashed because one family of weirdos does something bad. Yet every single day, you can read about a public school kid or family doing something horrendous and no one says, “Oh, that’s because they go to public school, what can you expect.”

      • One of the biggest issues with education today (aside from the obsession with standardized testing) is the “one size fits all” march through the first 12 years. While anyone who actually knows about teaching knows that kids must be “ready” to take on a particular subject or problem (just as a child must be “ready” to stand up or begin to walk), schooling as we have designed it puts kids through this assembly-line process instead of moving kids through experience to build that readiness. I know a family who home schools their kids; by 16, they were able to enroll in college classes and not only did very well, they were well-liked and respected by other students and faculty. The parents are as delightful as the kids, having opened doors to intense study of science, history and music.

        I don’t know what I’d do if I had children today; even with a Ph.D., I am not qualified to teach sciences or math or computer anything. But on the other hand, I see way too many kids graduate from high school with the notion that “learning” is being able to pick out factoids from some short article. And I am no fan of textbooks that sanitize history or present literature as having only one right interpretation.

        But the red flag, I think, is homeschooling combined with authoritarian beliefs and practices. The description of how the Duggars raise their kids and the restrictions put on their thinking, movement, and individual growth points to not education but indoctrination and control.

      • I agree with you, Glad. I home schooled two of mine for a time because they had a catastrophic illness and the little school district we were in actually let me know how reluctant they were to provide any in home tutoring. The principal’s words: Oh FR, you know my teachers resent being put on tutoring duty! They hate it! They are not going to be happy campers and they’re already mad at me for other things.”

        I knew the reluctant campers already and had a low opinion of their attitude and skills, and since I was already battling the insurance company and general ignorance about the illness in the medical world (Lyme Borrelliosis/Babesiosis/Bartonella, etc), I decided not to hire a lawyer to enforce the state law, and took them out of school in order to give them a chance to recuperate without the pressure of demanding schedules and arbitrary busy work, of which every school has a surplus.

        I am a teacher, from a family of high school teachers and professors, but once I got into the homeschooling world, I was really inspired by the flexibility and creative freedom that was opened up to us, and all of the really great resources (in the 80’s). While it was long enough ago that I had trouble finding a viable social group for them, my kids were too ill to attend events often in those days anyway. But it was the illness which was the real isolating factor for them. But when they were up to it, they got to do things like participate in activities behind the scenes with serious birders from around the world, etc. which wouldn’t have been possible with a normal schedule.

        People home school for all kinds of reasons, and there are some truly excellent associations who run conferences and opportunities for teacher training for the parents and provide support resources. There’s a lot of fear and prejudice against the movement in the the public schools, but some enlightened districts actually work with the parents (who also pay taxes) and include the students in some activities.

        I don’t think that prior formal teaching experience is a must in order to home school, despite my respect for and association with the world of education, but, obviously, there are certainly disordered and unbalanced people who use home schooling as an opportunity to exert creepy control over their families and hide their activities.

        They’re in the minority, though.

        • Great post, Finally Realized. One of my daughter’s little friends developed type 1 diabetes at about five years old. He stayed in regular school a while but they really weren’t able to deal with it. His mom started homeschooling about three years ago and it’s been wonderful for them. They have a group and go so many places I’m jealous, lol.

          • My son has type 1, diagnosed at age 7. He can do anything anyone else can do. Anything. Type 1 is hard, but it’s no reason to pull a kid from regular activities.

  • I have a feeling that Josh, might have been molested.( not that it condones his actions, but molesting had to be learned at only 14) Possibly, the creepy, molester family friend police officer? I know families like this that flourish in church, but trust their children with the creeper just because they are Christians, and are “so nice( narcisists)” Maybe all this publicity will shed a light on dont trust people with your kids. I feel the more judgmental people are( like the super Christians) their kids don’t open up as much to their parents. Everything is let’s “pray” about it, keep it a secret, because the fily doesn’t want shame either. Predators pray in fears of the kids getting in trouble or being ashamed. There is no better place for a predator to hide than being in a church filled with trusting religious chumps.

    • OW was a fundamentalist and a financial predator. Literally everything she did was “forgiven”. These folks use their religion as a ruse and, either a way to line their pockets, or a way to excuse their conduct. I know they do not in any way represent authentic Christians, but once you have been exposed to this type of charlatan, it is very difficult to remember that.

      • Ditto for the MOW in my cheater’s life. Porn emails and then scripture because she’s so SuperFun! and is a true Christian. Barf.

    • That was my first thought too, “who molested him”? My ex was raped by his sister (he was 9, she was 14) and the therapist said 99% she was acting out what was done to her to regain power… so no surprise my cheater did he same. I wish I didn’t know 1/2 of what I’ve learned in having my life blown up by sicko dynamite. Anyway, it seems like it was destined to happen to the Duggars – nothing that overblown and repressed can hold without spinning into pieces. That they are being “lifted up” by the Huckabees of the world? Doesn’t surprise me at all… As Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”. I was a “pillar” in the church until I could no longer stomach the rug sweeping smugness.

    • My first boyfriend was molested as a child a few times by different people. It made him hyper sexual. He constantly bothered me for sex (and I like sex, but grew to hate it with him.) He masturbated five or more times a day. He never raped anyone.

      Doesn’t there have to be an element of what I want is more important than what you will agree to with rape?

  • As I suspected, the Duggar’s weren’t about the Lord or family values. They were a couple of narcissists spitting out kids for cash.

    Here’s my rule of thumb: those who are truly doing God’s work do so without fanfare, and most certainly not for profit.

  • In my mind I’m replaying the episode where Ma and Pa Duggar explain why their girls dress modestly – so as not to defraud boys (defraud = inflame lust that has no righteous outlet). The father explained that he has his boys avert their eyes to avoid seeing women who don’t meet his standards of dress. This was years ago. Years ago while his oldest was diddling his modestly dressed sisters.

    Makes. My. Skin. Crawl

    • Ahhh. Bullshit! When the clan went to Walmart, like a hord of Von Trapps but without the singing talent, those kids-male &female – looked at everyone and everything.

  • I never did watch the show, but picked up bits and pieces through other media. This topic is to disturbing to me. Really causes a great deal of dissonance. How does this happen? How can it be prevented? I’ve always assumed that a child that molests at a young age must have been molested themselves. If so is the damage irreparable, or can it be reversed if dealt with immediately and directly? If it turns out they haven’t been molested does that indicate a psychological disorder, or is it a kind of deviant curiosity? I’ve never had to deal with this type of issue, but my heart breaks for parents that do.

  • I do not watch this show, but aren’t they Mormon? My first x, huge narc was a Mormon. I saw first hand the brain washing, narc building, pyramid scheme that is.

    I love the HBO series “Big Love” because it finally allowed me to build some forgiveness for him as I watched the oldest son struggle with belief. Religion, of any kind can be a horrible tool of abuse. I just stay away. No offense to Mormons, I think almost all religions can be used to hurt people.

    • No, they are not Mormon, they are fundamentalist Protestant Christian. Not sure of which specific denomination.

    • I googled it, they are not Mormon. Should’ve done that before I posted.

      As I said, I don’t want to offend anyone Mormon. I have known some really nice Mormons, but I also got an inside look at the recipie for the Kool Aid they force their members to drink.

      I wish we could take all the positive uplifting aspects of religion and dump the parts that allow people to abuse each other.

  • The Bible is full of people who messed up. I keep thinking back to David. Had an affair with Bathsheba and arranged to have Uriah killed in battle.

    So those who expect Christians or Jews or any other person of faith to be perfect isn’t reading the text.

    The question is what do they do about it?

    I’m not saying the Duggars did the right thing here. But I’m also a bit disturbed that so many are taking great joy in seeing this unfold.

    I feel nothing but sadness for all involved here. Sadness for the kids who were violated. Sadness for the young man who almost got away with it and sadness for the parents who thought the best course was to sweep it all under the rug.

    Nothing to cheer here.

    Just a sad, sick story that real people must navigate in their personal lives.

  • I just finished reading a work of fiction called Hush, written under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil (meaning women of valor). The book is about sexual abuse in the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities in New York, and that price paid by children and families that attempt to speak out. The author wrote in an afterword, that it was her story. She wrote about the insularity in which they were raised, and said, “We didn’t need the outside world; we had our own. . . . We built walls, and built them high. . . . The walls would protect us and shelter us, and as we built them higher, thicker, wider, we forgot to look inside. We forgot the greatest enemies always grow from within.”

    I read an article about a highly educated, competent, loving mother of a wished-and-waited-for little girl whom the mother left forgotten in a parked car with tragic results. The mother chose to raise awareness of this danger and wrote words that have a much broader application: “My hope in sharing our story is that you will realize the only way to prevent this type of tragic loss is to believe it could also happen to you.” As communities, we can suffer the same fatal delusion: it can’t happen here, not to us, not to the holy, the special, the chosen, the superior, the elite.

    The Dugger family reminded me of the Hale family in Alaska: media’s darlings until the rock was kicked over and the truth came out. I found this website when I went looking for information about them: The site is about ways homeschooling can be used to conceal child maltreatment and allow it to continue unimpeded. The authors of the site were homeschooled themselves, and the site is sponsored by a pro-homeschooling group. Their hope is to increase transparency to prevent these outcomes. I scrolled through the archives, and was stunned by the number of cases cited.

    I think there’s a certain comfort in the weirdness and otherness of families like the Duggers and the Hale. It becomes something that happens in other families, weird families with lots of kids and a strange ideology. Looking inside the walls, believing it can happen anywhere, caring enough to intervene–that’s how we keep the kids safe.

    • remember the woman back in 2001 who was homeschooling her 7 children? She flipped her lid and murdered all 7 of them.

      • I would be careful about making a link between mothers who homeschool their children and their propensity to kill them.

        I suspect there was a lengthy history of mental illness here, if it’s similar to the Andrea Yates case. These are very complex stories, and it is irresponsible to make a quick judgement about the perpetrator without knowing her psychiatric history. Unfortunately, this tragedy would probably have happened whether or not Mom home schooled her kids.

        I think we are moving off topic here into territory that is beyond Chumplady material.

        • I hope I didn’t come across as having made that link. My meaning was that all communities: religious, secular, and all means of educating children, whether homeschooled, private schooled, public schooled, need to be willing to be transparent and accountable in this area. I salute the pro-homeschooling organization that was willing to support the construction of this database because of their commitment to accountability.

          ML suggested specific steps that can apply to all families in safeguarding children. The author of the book I cited said she was twenty-three before she ever heard the term sexual abuse. She contends that we need to give kids the means to describe their experiences and reach out for help, which is I think the point ML was making.

          The twisted minority of people who use homeschooling as a cloak behind which they have the freedom to doubly betray their children–both as parents and as teachers–do not define homeschooling, just as molesters who go into teaching or the priesthood because it gives them access to children are not representative of their professions.

          • Maligned people hide behind different cloaks… Home schooled or not. Home schooling has little to do with being a disordered fuck. Disordered fucks will find any number of ways to covertly persue their agendas and use any number of facades to do so. Dont think there is anything that is safe from that. School teachers sleeping with twelve yr old boys. Gymnastic coaches. 4H . Where there is a will there is a way.
            I am not sure who posted it here…. They mentioned giving children a voice… Or atleast the language. Post that shit on their cereal boxes… On their tooth paste. ‘ if some one is touching you, this what u do… x, y and z’ A cute fuzzy bear with a big red x on his bitty bear parts. Oh, but some group would have an issue with that … A bear with a big red x on his parts. Yes… And the Disney stars are shaking there ‘ bare’ asses on tv and video while smoking a dube.

  • I’ve just read the blog article that CL linked and I was really alarmed to read of this 3 year limitation on reporting sexual abuse. Is this peculiar to the state this Duggar family live in? Or is it national for the US? My brain is absolutely boggled by it – whether countrywide or only state wide. You’ll have probably heard of the Jimmy Saville scandal here in the UK – it’s pretty much sickened the country and relates to abuses going back decades. No time limitations on reporting, although many victims spent years struggling to be believed.

    How come laws like this are being made in a Nation so proud of it’s democracy and personal freedom? Does this mean you do not prosecute cases of historical child sex abuse? I’m baffled!

    • I believe they live in Arkansas… aka Deliverance, an old movie reference. Many other states have a statues (ML) help me here, that you can prosecute for up to 5 years after the abuse is remembered, although I am a mandatory reporter, I am certainly no expert on this.

      • It’s distressing at seven years (where I live). Unfortunately past that when I was finally ready to report my former psychotherapist. Seven years and he’s home safe, thirty and counting for me. Still have the “love letters” I hope one day to make public (arse wrote one with his letterhead and license # at the top). Surprise, he’s also an ordained minister, teaches grad psych and supervises interns for their degrees.

  • I have never paid that much attention to the Duggars. I watched the show a couple of times. I found the whole idea of having 19 kids utterly reprehensible. I have three and it takes and took every bit of my time, affection, brain power, energy etc to raise them as well as I could. I do not believe that anyone can love a baby or child or give it that oh so important attention they need from birth to 5 when you are popping them out like pez. Secondly, I find this whole segment of Christianity just frightening. The mind control, the twisted and tormented interpretation of the bible (a twisted and tormented text at best) to be horrific and lastly, I am always suspicious of any family, person, organization whose public presentation is one of perfection. That is always false and generally the truth is ugly, disgusting, dangerous and perverse. So no surprise the Duggars are so repugnant.

  • That article CL linked to has some very good advice.

    1. Sexual abuse should always always always be reported to the authorities immediately, even when the perpetrator is a minor.

    I work in the child abuse field and I’d go so far as to say it’s as important for minor abusers to reported as adult abusers because there’s still a chance that a minor abuser can get treatment and stop abusing. With adults it’s extremely difficult to reform them.

    3. It is not okay to conceal a history of child molestation from parents of other children a perpetrator has regular contact with.

    So true. I know of a family who knew one of their sons had inappropriately touched his younger sisters. The family separated the boys from the girls and forbid them from entering one another’s rooms. It worked out fine for them at home, but whenever the boy was near his female cousins he touched them. When the girl’s mom found out that her own sister had withheld this information from her, and allowed her son to be around her daughter, their family was split in half and will probably never recover.

    7. Good sex education is very important.

    I cannot agree with this enough. I fear for 10 year olds on the playground who are being shown hardcore porn on their friend’s phone. Then when they have their fist experiences with girls they are reenacting porn as though it were normal. Someone needs to tell them that porn sex is not normal sex.

    It’s a very good article. If you haven’t read it and shared it, please do:

  • Its a vagina, not a fucking clown car.
    Someone having that many kids is a narcissist. Period. Its all for fame, or to live off welfare for the rest of their days. Add in that they’re part of a whackjob religious denomination, and molestation (as sick as this is) is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

  • This reminds me of Cheaters in that what is most important thing to uphold is the “image” or “appearance” of goodness and godliness, and the things that really happened are secrets to protect the family from shame and public humiliation. Meanwhile, who is protecting the innocent? No one
    As a parent, I have always known that is I found my child to be guilty for something that hurt others or put others in danger, I would turn them in myself. If I created a monster or criminal, it is my job as a parent to protect others from it. I would feel this responsibility square on my shoulders to stop it.
    It sure doesn’t seem very Godly to cover such a thing up.

  • This is one of the first threads that hit me a little hard. I home school my kids. Oh, what would Abraham Lincoln say? Don’t look up famous homeschoolers – there are none, right?

    Or read this link:

    Sorry if the link doesn’t work right. If interested go to and download the book.

    I started homeschooling my son because he has sensory issues and is on the spectrum. I was like everyone else and wondered what the hell was I getting into. Religious zealots, granola eaters? Ya know what I found? A huge bunch of imperfect people trying to do the best they could. There are homeschoolers that excel, homeschoolers that are o.k., and homeschoolers that fail.

    Check out the national dropout statistics for all public schools. Great, huh?

    • Glinda, I feel the same. I’m always amused, and a little bit annoyed, when people rail on homeschoolers. Yeah, because the US public schools are turning out droves of supremely educated, creative thinking and well socialized teens. Just check the dropout rates, the performance of US students compared to other countries and the attitude of the local teens at the mall, and then tell me homeschoolers are the problem.

      Children are abused and killed by parents every single day, the vast majority of those children are infants and toddlers who are too young to be in school regardless. I don’t see anyone suggesting that all parents of young children should be required to get government approval for their parenting techniques. Homeschoolers get a bad rap, despite the fact that overall, homeschooled kids do fantastically by most measures of success.

  • I don’t watch the show. No one mother can care for 19 kids unless the older kids parent the younger kids. We used to live across the street from a woman with a bunch of kids and I would always see the eight and ten year old girls with babies on their hips while the rest of us were enjoying our youth.

    I also don’t agree with anyone who interferes with how one chooses to love another person. Putting down gays and transgender people is highly offensive to me.

    They chose to open their lives on a public stage so I have no problem if they’re taking the heat now.

    Again, I don’t watch the show but it appears to be a male dominated religion who groom the daughters to be subservient incubators. I don’t know how this show is widly popular.

    As for the fondler, I have a nephew who did this in our family. My sister-in-law is a total religious nut. She did not allow her kids to join school sports, they did not have a TV, no video games, church three times a weekend. The kids were made fun of at school……..

    Well my nephew was at someone’s house and was mesmerized by the computer. He was curios and found porn. Soon after, because he had no outlet, he attacked his younger sister. The sister (my niece), knew better and told right away.

    Of course my crazy SIL thought prayer would fix everything but her husband had my nephew removed immediately from the home. He ended up in a state-run treatment facility four four years until he was 18. They agreed to sign over all their parental rights to the institution although they could visit him as often as they liked.

    My nephew turned 18 and soon after, he joined the military. I don’t know how he is doing but I blame his parents 100% for ruining his life.

    I hope someone is visiting Josh’s home and talking to his children to find out if he has been fondling his daughters. The fact that mom and dad Duggar kept him around other children in the house without being able to supervise them is highly disturbing to me. At least my nutty SIL kept my nephew away from her younger children. It was heartbreaking for everyone involved but it was necessary at the time to get her teenage son away from the younger kids.

  • I saw this show a few times years ago when they were building their new house. I realized I was working harder than this lady with one child and a full time job . she just sat around being pregnant and bossing the kids around.

  • Lets not forget that there are ** 10 ** boys in that family. I’d check out the whole family, the 9 girls are more than victims in their religious views. Big daddy, Jim Bob, and peep squeak, momma Michelle need to be investigated too. The convenient, proverbial rug once again has come in handy. Sorry for all the victims, they will carry the offense with them for life (Forgiveness, just like cheaters exprect) Does.NOT.Make.It.Go.Away

  • I read Josh’s “apology” and the last line was (maybe not his exact words but the implication follows)

    “I wish I had those teen years back”

    Whatever he lost does not compare to what was lost by his sibling sisters and the other young girl…..

    I bet the girls wish they had their INNOCENCE AND TRUST back. I bet they wish during those years they had been PROTECTED from the predator. I know they wish this NEVER HAPPENED.

  • I have had an unwanted education in the area of child sexual abuse. My CH was a step up from my first husband. To be truthful, I knew my CH was a womanizer before I married him. Sadly, that made me feel that I could trust him. At least his partners were adults. My first husband had attempted to rape his 6 year old sister when he was 15. She fought him off but their parents did nothing. They told him to never do it again.
    My ex and I were both raised in very conservative “Christian” homes. For me, this meant a complete ignorance about the evil things that can happen. Innocence is one thing…to be clueless is quite another.
    The ex raped our two preschool aged daughters. He started when each turned two. The oldest said nothing. The second one was born with a “Don’t f**k with me” attitude! She told everyone. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t know what she meant. After all, how could she know these things? So I called a number I had seen on a public service advertisement. I was hiding from him and staying with friends. At least I had the sense to grab my kids and run! A social worker was contacted by the child abuse hotline and thank God, we got the help we needed. He lost all custody but avoided prison. The judge sent me to a group for parents of abused kids. These good people taught me about predators and how they operate. The judge was absolutely right to not only protect the kids from their father, but to educate me so I wouldn’t be so easily conned. The kids were counseled and even 30 years on still go to counseling as needed. The younger one is now fostering abused children.
    If I could tell my fellow chumps anything about the Duggar situation, it is this- sexual abuse is very common. Whether you know it or not, most of us have friends and neighbors who have gone through this. The shame of the crime is too often placed on the victims and they remain silent. If this horror happens in your life, do like my little daughter and tell! Call the police, call a woman’s group, call someone! Please!

    • Btw the ex was a minister. He has three PhDs in theology. I reported him to his church. The senior pastor asked two questions. Did you call the police? He offered to do so, if I hadn’t. What can we do to help?
      This church threw him out immediately. Ex now works as a counselor at a cancer center in Australia, his native country.

      • Linda, it seems accepted in the world of psychology that the male brain is designed so that whatever it is fixated on at the onset of puberty is what it will be fixated on for the rest of his life. That is why we have men who have sex with animals, peep in windows, and rape children. I guarantee he was molesting his entire life and Australia should be notified. I dealt with this problem in my job. Predators are predators. They never stop on their own.

        • Let go, the folks in Australia were notified but they chose to believe him. He has never worked as a minister since his arrest but since he got off on the criminal charges, he is free to do as he pleases. The district attorney dropped the criminal charges because the eye witnesses were under age 5 and deemed incompetent to testify. That would not happen in today’s courts. When one of then turned six, the age of competency he disappeared. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Catholic priests could not be tried due to the statue of limitations, he resurfaced as it had been over twenty years. I am quite sure that he has continued to offend. I was warned by the team of psychologists and social workers who managed my girls’ case to never, ever allow my girls to be near him. There is no cure for this!

          • Oh Linda2, this story made me feel sick to my stomach. To have that level of separation in your mind for any child, much less your own children is just so beyond disturbing. And that they continue to suffer the consequences (as well as you having to) is even worse. My heart goes out to you and your girls. And no incarceration or real punishment!!
            My story is not as horrific, but I still have one.
            I left my first husband because I detected that there was something wrong with my baby (toddler) girl and a “caretaker” of our home. She could not even speak, but I picked up on it. When I told my husband he would not believe me. He was ready to give him access to her again because we were building a business and could not afford additional help. This was almost 30 years ago, and I did not realize back then how prevalent this is. I now know (and after this experience) that one needs to unfortunately err to the side of caution and be suspicious of any man who shows an unusual amount or even any amount of interest in children. (most men have very little interest in children that are not theirs, so they should be easy to spot). At that time, I thought he was just a very nice and caring man. Sad.
            Anyhow, the next day I packed up my daughter and a few belongings and $29.00 and left my husband of 8 years and never looked back. It was one hell of a hard road. When my daughter was an adult & asked me why I left her father, she held it against me instead of being thankful I spotted it so early on. Instead of a thank you about promptly getting her out of there ASAP, I got a “how could you allow this?” I don’t even know what happened, but something inappropriate was going on. Times have changed. I was so naïve I never even heard of pedophiles growing up. All part of being a Class A Chump I guess.

            • I hear you Regina. My oldest daughter goes back and forth with blaming me. She has spoken to her disordered father as an adult. He threatened to kill her. I just don’t understand how I am responsible for all this. I left with the kids as soon as I had any suspicion. Like you, I left with very little. I lost my house, my car, my furnishings, etc. It might be that the abuse caused our girls to see the world through a warped lens.

              • Oh Linda2, me too, I left with really nothing, left my business, home, (which he let go into foreclosure 5 months later), furnishings, etc. I got the old car I drove out of town, but in short order I bought a bike at a garage sale & put a kiddie seat on the back because I could not afford to drive the car with the lousy job I got at a crap restaurant. I was a lot younger and very resilient back then with most of my life in front of me. I got $10,000. in debt, a toddler & new surroundings without a support system. I wish I would have never told mine (daughter) because we never would have seen the guy again, unlike with your Ex, where you had to tell them. Mine would have never found out or known. The truth seems to backfire a lot in today’s world!! I actually thought I was a hero getting her out of there at extreme expense to myself and all I had worked for. (sigh)
                Well, Linda2, I will tell you then, you are a hero for getting them out of there under all that duress! KUDOS!
                Chumps are mighty, even if we do have to toot our own horn to get any credit!

    • Linda2, what a powerful story. I’m so glad you got out ASAP and got professional help. It’s a testament to you and your daughters that they turned out so well. I love that one of your kids works with abused kids — she took that experience and found a deep empathy. Really impressive. Thanks for sharing this.

  • I hate that show. Go ahead and capitalize on your kids and then just keep having more and more and more…. Gross. That’s like that other TLC show – John and Kate plus 8 – not Kate plus 8. Disgusting and don’t even get me started on Honey Boo Boo. TLC needs their own reality slap!

    • I’m sure it helps when you’re friends with Mike Huckabee. WTF is that about? He must be insane if he doesn’t think this hurts his political brand. We pray the pedophilia away!

  • I love the comments. CN teaches me so much. Being part of a religious cult is so nice & safe & comfortable… until you speak up or try to leave.
    I still get the fight or flight impulse every time I am around a ‘priest’ or ‘elder’. I won’t go on, but I find the secret brotherhoods, invasive inquisitions, gossipy hypocrisy, fudging of truth, betrayal of justice and spackling to be worse than ignorant sin.
    Linda2, thanks for sharing your story. How on earth do these creeps avoid prison? Don’t answer that. Damn the wretched pedophile narcs. I would encourage their ignominious fall off a very, very tall cliff.

  • Thank you CL for this devastating takedown! As a gay atheist I couldn’t be more proud to see the Duggar Family Values Brand get shattered into a million little pieces. As far as Jim Bob and Coyote Hair are concerned, this public disgrace couldn’t have happened to a more deserving couple.

    What fascinated me about the show was that all of its bluster was on the surface. You saw the daily Bible studies and the daughters walking around in those hideous 1972 jean skirts and the boys were well-groomed, polite and adorably looked away any time a girl wearing so much as a sleeveless top passed by (I believe their code word was “Nike!” as in “Stare at your shoes!”).

    Everything else was packaged and promoted from the precise viewpoint that Jim Bob Duggar wanted viewers to have. While the rest of us shuddered at the idea of being raised in a family that didn’t allow any kind of secular music or tv, dancing, or even ALCOHOL AT WEDDINGS (?!), Jim Bob relished the outsiders opinion that his poor kids were completely detached from modern society.

    “Do I like the Beatles? You mean the insects? Yeah, I guess they’re okay,” Jim Bob once said with a smug smirk on his face, showing you how much pride he took in “protecting” his children from the Satanic horrors of the Fab Four from Liverpool. Similarly, the Duggars’ visit to the Creationist museum was carefully scripted so that afterwards all of the older kids could recite the anti-biology talking points that were last taken seriously by scientists in about 1947.

    With that family, I never knew where “reality” started and the ridiculous pandering stopped. And how deep did it go? Were the girls just telling their parents (and viewers) what they think we want to hear? Or were all they all seriously this brainwashed? At least Honey Boo Boo picking cheese balls off her dirt-encrusted rug was honest. The Duggars always came across to me like a shiny, wholesome, carefully orchestrated ultra-Christian charade with a very sinister agenda underneath the surface.

    Sure enough, in 2013 Joshy got hired as the Executive Director of Family Research Council Action, arguably the most high-profile anti-LGBT special interest group in the US. How in the world does a man with no formal education, no marketable skills, and no job history except a shuttered used car lot land a high-salaried executive position at a right-wing think tank? It’s no surprise that the Duggars were all of the sudden stumping for anti-gay Rick Santorum, anti-blowjob Ken Cuccinelli, and Michelle was recording robocalls to repeal anti-discrimination ordinances. The kids played “God Bless America” in a relative unison on badly-tuned violins while Michelle baby-talked the “family values” of Senator Sweater Vest, who believed that legalized same-sex marriage would lead to legalized bestiality.

    What I’m most relieved about is that this scandal ensures that NOBODY in the Duggar family will ever show his/her fucking face at another political rally ever again. No more book signings, no more public appearances, no more staged charity work for the TV cameras, nothing. Their brand is DEAD. Their credibility is LOST. Jim Bob and Michelle are both complicit in covering up the abuse of their own daughters. I can’t think of a more disgusting example of bad parenting than this, and GAY COUPLES are supposed to be a threat to the safety and welfare of children?!

    Do I think Josh was sexually abused? Doubtful. In my non-scientific opinion, I totally believe there’s a correlation between religiously-charged sexual repression and eventual sexual deviance. I know that pedophilia is a serious mental condition and that many child molesters were themselves abused as kids, but there’s something to be said about what the constant demonization of human sexuality does to the psyche.

    Look at all the abusive Catholic priests. Were they ALL mentally ill? Were they ALL grown child abuse victims? Impossible. When you’re brain-washed by religious dogma into thinking that something as innocuous as masturbation is sinful, demonic, disobedient, dis-honoring to God, and defective, your sexuality is going to get shoved into a very tight space. Keep it repressed long enough and eventually it’s going to manifest itself in some very, very dangerous ways. I’m certainly not making excuses for Josh, but I’m not at all surprised by this.

    My heart goes out to the Duggar girls who were the victims of Josh’s disgusting behavior, and even worse, were NOT protected from their victimizer by their own parents. Where are the girls’ voices? Oh wait–that’s right! There’s no such thing as a woman’s voice in that family. Just smiling, nodding, and compliant baby talk.
    Look—if that’s the life they want to live, a life of Church 3x a week, nightly bible study, bi-annual pregnancies and endless diaper-changing, good for them. But nobody is more deserving of a voice right now than him.

    THAT’S the facade I’d like to see crack. The Duggar PAC is now a bitter memory, and deservedly so. Let’s see if the Duggar girls learned anything about the outside world over the past 7 years and if they were able to find their voice. And hopefully Anna wakes the fuck up and leaves Josh’s sorry ass and finds a man whom she DOESN’T have to worry about leaving her daughter with.

  • Thank you for the name “hair helmet”. I have a problem with the look of what some rural American hairdressers manage to create on the heads of middle-aged people. I have been looking for a name since 1980.
    As for home schooling, I can understand that distances make it convenient sometimes, but IMO it should be forbidden, because it restricts freedom of the children. It deprives them of social interactions (diversity of school, being with people you haven’t chosen who may not agree with you), and it makes them subject to brainwash. Parents should not be allowed to force their views into their young minds no more than a government should.

  • In googlenews, I just came across a statement regarding Josh’s ‘mistake’. You can find it on E! channel’s site and I’m sure many more. It was made by Jessa’s father in law, Michael Seewald. Oh boy, is this going to incite everyone’s ire.

    • Oh geez……now a Texas pastor’s wife, Carrie Hurd, has stated that Josh was ‘playing doctor’ like kids sometimes do.

      The absolute ignorance goggles my mind.

      Social media is ripping her a new one but we can be sure she will absorb nothing.

  • I have never watched the duggars show, but I still have trouble understanding this family and their choices. On the other hand I believe you are being unfair to josh duggar. What he did was wrong. However he was a kid! Children in less dysfunctional homes than the duggars can make these horrific decisions. I think the majority of the blame should rest squarely on the parents shoulders not Josh’s. Any kid raised in this type of home environment is more likely to abuse given the warped views of sexuality taught. What could he as a child have done differently given the circumstances and dysfunctional home environment he was raised in. So he should be shamed for life because of his parents warped views on sexuality. I know as an adult he has now adopted his parents belief system. That is his right to do. As a parent he now has to answer for what he teaches his kids. I think we have to show him some grace for the horrific choices he made as a child. There are reasons we keep child offenders as well as victims Annonomus. We should be prosecuting the ones who disclosed this information.

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