The Duggar family of Arkansas is famous for having 19 children and a reality TV show on The Learning Channel (TLC). Having loads of babies is their contribution to the "Quiverfull Movement," a cultish form of conservative faux Christianity in which women are baby-makers who must produce a "Quiver-full" of children for the Lord.
Huff Post: About the Quiverfull Movement
...Psalm 127 states: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” A quiver, in the old English sense of the word, is a case for holding arrows.
From Patheos.com: The Duggars World of Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB)
→ Men alone are suited to be the head of home and church.
→ For a woman to be pleasing to God she must always and in all things remain perfectly submissive, first to her father and then to her husband. The primary function of a woman is to have children, who then become her “mission field.”
→ It is sinful for a woman to dress in any way that might cause a man to “spiritually stumble” by having a lustful thought.
→ Human life begins at conception. Every abortion, without exception, is murder.
→ Homosexuals are evil perverts who despise God and should be kept away from society generally and children especially. There is no appreciable moral distinction between homosexuality and bestiality, incest, child molestation or rape.
→ Black people bear the “mark of Cain,” and so are cursed.
→ Christians are called to remain steadfastly separate from the world and its sinful practices and temptations, such as movies, dancing, and any music with an addictive rock beat.
→ Educating children at home or in IFB K-12 schools is necessary in order to protect them from the knowledge and ways of a fallen and corrupt world.
The father of the clan, Jim Bob, ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 and failed, but his stair-step family caught the eye of an AP reporter and made them famous.
The photo led to a a special about having babies on the Discovery Health Channel called "14 Children and Pregnant Again," then eventually to the TLC show. In 2004, mother Michelle Duggar was awarded "Mother of the Year" from Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who remains their staunchest supporter.
It also began a GOP tradition of using the Duggars as a way to suck up to the Tea Party. Son Josh has been especially popular with the GOP-for-President crowd as they lined up for photo-ops.
But now it turns out that the same year the Duggars were "discovered" by Discover/TLC, oldest son Josh Duggar started having some problems. It seems he liked to "visit" the beds of his little sisters - 4 of them - for some recreational sex play, and even snuggled with one child who was a family friend. He was 15 years old and the girls were ten years younger, which even shocked his clueless parents, who took time out from procreating to deal with him, but they failed miserably.
From Addicting Info
...Instead of reporting the abuse, Duggar concealed his son’s offenses for about a year, when Josh was again caught with his hand in places it should not have been. In March of 2003, Josh was accused of fondling “several” minors, “often when they slept, but at times when they were awake.”
Instead of reporting the abuse through official channels Jim Bob, who once ran for Senate on a platform that called for the executions of rapists and those who indulge in incest, lied to a friend who was a state trooper. Jim-Bob and Josh told Joseph Hutchens that the abuse occurred once, through the clothing, leading Hutchens to give the younger Duggar a “stern talk” rather than report the incident through official channels.
Hutchens is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence for possession and distribution of child pornography.
From Lisa Bloom on NakedLaw
Jim Bob...told the police that he had sent Josh to perform manual labor, which turns out to be helping a friend remodel a building. Because physical exertion is such a well known cure for sexual predators, right? Jim Bob also said Josh had received counseling, but his wife Michelle told police that counseling had not actually occurred.
. . . in 2007, Josh Duggar sued the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, which had a continuing obligation to protect minor girls, and the case went to trial. We don’t know what the lawsuit was about or who won the trial. My educated guess would be that conditions were placed on Josh regarding his interactions with his sisters, which he wanted lifted.
. . . I’ve read the entire police report, and it’s replete with Duggar family efforts to protect Josh. What’s missing is empathy for the victims, any mention of counseling for them, or efforts to protect them. Child sexual abuse can have devastating, lifelong impact. The Duggar family’s statement to police that the victims had “forgiven” Josh raises uncomfortable questions: were they pressured by the family to sweep this under the rug?
Josh Duggar issued this statement of alleged "remorse":
Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.
Redemption? Where is the proof of that? Also there has been no proof shown that the girls involved received any counseling about what they suffered. However, some of the girls did write a book called "Growing Up Duggar" that gives certain insights into their situation.
The girls write about a "chain of command" in the family that follows birth order (with Josh being the eldest):
"The system is for when an older child encourages a younger child to do what is right or not do what is wrong, and the younger child is expected to listen … their older siblings are their elders and they should treat them as such … Josiah can ask James to stop whistling in the car, and he needs to stop."Given their patriarchal family structure and this "chain of command," one can only speculate what the girls were thinking when their eldest brother was touching them. While Josh's offenses took place in 2002-2003, the girls weren't interviewed by police until December 2006, but charges were not filed because the three-year statute of limitation had run out. What — or who — kept the girls silent?
And . . .
"The choice to forgive doesn't always free the other person from the consequences of his or her wrong actions, but it frees the forgiver of negative feelings towards the offender. And if we still have feelings of bitterness, the Bible says it's not only to forgive the other person, but also to go a step further and look for ways to bless him or her."Their message is strong, but vague.
Each day since this story broke there have been more disturbing details.
- In 2006, The Oprah Winfrey Show cancelled an appearance by the family due to the incest rumors.
- In May 2007, more allegations appeared in a comment on a blog about the Duggars.
- In 2008, Josh Duggar made an incest joke concerning his siblings during an interview!
In the clip, he says he needs someone to “chaperone” a date with his now-wife Anna. Since it was a rated-R movie, younger sister Jinger couldn’t come — and instead twins Jana and John-David ...stepped in.
“So we chose Jana and John-David,” he says in the cringe-worthy clip. “We thought, ‘Why not have a double date?’ We are from Arkansas!”
- Last week, Duggar family and GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke out in support of Josh Duggar.
- A few days later, a Judge appointed by Huckabee when he was Governor of Arkansas ordered that the police report about the case should be destroyed. Luckily many media outlets already had copies of the report.
. . . Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis said Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered the 2006 offense report destroyed Thursday. Zimmerman didn't return a request for comment Friday.
"The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record," Lewis said, adding that similar records are typically kept indefinitely. "As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn't exist."
Neither Duggar nor his father, a former state representative, returned calls seeking comment Friday.
- The wife of a pastor in another "Quiverfull" family called the molestation "Playing Doctor," according to Raw Story
“When I was a kid, it was often called ‘playing doctor’, there were just as many girls initiating this kind of behavior as boys. Most of those never went on to perp horrible things, ” she explained. “The Duggers, who I have never watched–am not a fan, did it properly and the 14 year old boy should probably be left alone to live a good life, just like girls who do the same thing.”
TLC has pulled the show from the airwaves, they haven't decided whether to cancel or not. Seems like a no-brainer, since the channel just dealt with similar issues when they cancelled Honey-Boo-Boo just last October.
Meanwhile, the sponsors are jumping ship:
Companies including Ace Hardware, ConAgra foods, Party City, BEHR Paint, Pure Leaf Ice Tea, Ricola, Firehouse Subs, Pizza Hut, Sherwin-Williams paint, Crayola, Allstate Insurance, and King's Hawaiian have pulled their sponsorship from the reality TV show, which has run on the network since 2008.
Those companies join Walgreens, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource, and Choice Hotels who have previously said they were yanking their ads from the show.
Each of these companies took to social media to explain to fans and consumers that they were ending sponsorship of the show.
"We share your concern for the safety of children and have no plans to air Crayola commercials during future episodes," Crayola tweeted Wednesday.
I wrote about the Duggars and how the church protects abusers for @BuzzFeedIdeas http://t.co/AyyMs4ec3t— lyz lenz (@lyzl) May 27, 2015