It’s been awhile since I last wrote about the Duggar family. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about them, though. Tomorrow, a brand new series is going to be released on Amazon Prime. It’s called Shiny, Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, and it’s a four episode documentary about the Duggar Family and The Institute in Basic Life Principles, founded by Bill Gothard.
I realize not everyone knows who the Duggar Family is. You may be among those who have never seen the enormous family on their TLC reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, followed up by Counting On, a reality show that was supposed to focus on the adult children after eldest Duggar “kid” Josh Duggar was outed as a sex pest. Or, maybe you just don’t care about the Duggars, which is a very fair sentiment. In fact, I think it would be best if fewer people cared about that family. Family patriarch, Jim Bob Duggar, has been cashing in on his and his wife, Michelle’s, astonishing ability to reproduce for much too long.
I wish I didn’t give a shit about the Duggars. I have long been interested in large families, though. My father was one of nine children, so I grew up with a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I always thought I wanted a large family of my own, but clearly that didn’t work out for me. I think religion is interesting, too… although I tend to be pretty critical of extreme beliefs. The Duggars are pretty extreme in the way they follow Christianity. Moreover, they turned out to be massive hypocrites. The squeaky clean image Jim Bob Duggar tried so hard to promote turned out to be 100 percent manufactured bullshit.
I don’t want to write too much about the Duggars today… although the quote that is serving as today’s featured photo did give me pause. Yesterday, I learned that yet another Duggar sister is publishing a book. This time, the book is coming from Jill Duggar Dillard, who is reportedly “on the outs” with Jim Bob, as she and her newly minuted attorney husband, Derick, sued him because they were never paid for their work on Counting On. Jill also participated in the making of Shiny, Happy People, and has been somewhat outspoken about how her brother, Josh, victimized her and three of their sisters.
I remember, back when the original show was popular, thinking that Jill was the biggest fundie “Kool-Aid drinker” of the whole family. She seemed to be a bit of a tattletale, which seemed to endear her to Jim Bob. But then she got married, and the truth about Josh was revealed to the masses. Jill was supposedly forced to help do “damage control”, to save the show so that the money train could keep rolling… Keep in mind, Jill wasn’t even really being paid for this, at least not a regular, guaranteed salary, paid to her, and later, Derick, directly by the network. Instead, the couple had to rely on Jim Bob, who doled the money out as he saw fit.
I’m not a big fan of conservative Christians, and Jill and Derick still qualify as such. However, they do seem to genuinely love each other, and I have enjoyed watching Jill blossom into a modern woman with the guts to stand up to her obviously narcissistic father. I applaud her decision to speak out to the masses. Hell, after all she’s been through, why shouldn’t she try to “cash in” on her experiences as a Duggar? I sure would!
If you read my blog, you may already know that I don’t mind speaking up, and speaking out… and sometimes that pisses people off. Some people would rather that other people just shut up and color. And if you’re a writer, you do face the danger of having people object to what you put out there. I’ve faced that situation myself a number of times. Writing takes a certain amount of bravery, because you never know how people are going to take what you write. Some people may like it, or even love it. Others may hate it, and hate you, even if they don’t even know you. Celebrities face a similar problem on a larger scale, although many of them at least make some money for their troubles. Jill Duggar was a celebrity who didn’t really profit from her celebrity status… and she was never asked if she wanted to be on TV.
I have never read any of the Duggar books. Jinger Duggar Vuolo published a book criticizing Bill Gothard a few months ago. I didn’t read it, because I had a feeling that her book was more about promoting faith. I’m not interested in that. I’d rather read some “tea”. I don’t know if Jill’s book is going to deliver the truth we’re all curious about, but if it does, sure I’ll buy it. I think the Duggars should realize by now that most people aren’t buying their facade anymore. They might as well come clean.
This morning, I was in the Duggar Family News Group, and someone posted the above quote, which was on Jedidiah Duggar’s Instagram page. Jed had “liked” the comment, and he was promptly taken to task by another follower, who posted this:
Jed, who seems to have replaced Josh as Jim Bob’s “golden boy” son, posted this response…
It seems that Jed wants things both ways. He wants the trappings that come with fame. I noticed this morning that he and his wife, Katey, put out a video about their recent trip to Hawaii. I don’t give a fuck about that, because I suspect they put it out there to distract people from the new documentary. But yes, they seem to expect people to care about their trip to Hawaii before the birth of their latest kid, a daughter who will reportedly be called Nora. However, the scandalous news about Josh Duggar, which proved that their image was fake, is “100% no one else’s business”.
Josh Duggar has proven that he’s a danger to other people, especially children, who are the most vulnerable of all! If that doesn’t make this story other people’s business, I don’t know what does. Moreover, Jill was one of Josh’s victims. Of course she has the right to be heard! And again– if she wants to sell her story for profit, I don’t see why she shouldn’t. Jim Bob sold her out for years! When she finally protested, his response was to ostracize her! So I say fuck him, and fuck his wife! Hopefully, by now, there’s no more chance that Michelle will be knocked up anew. 😉
Aside from Josh being a pervert who preys on children, Jim Bob has been outed as a less than honest businessperson, not just in terms of how he treated his children, but also in terms of how he’s dealt with people in his community. I certainly wouldn’t say that his dealings have been particularly Christlike. What I’ve observed is a man who uses extreme religion to make money. He’s no different than any narcissist, really. You can easily see how they operate. They don’t subscribe to any particular religion or political movement; they just use those movements to promote themselves. Meghan Markle does it by being a supposed liberal feminist. Donald Trump does it by being a supposed Republican. And Jim Bob does it by being a supposed Christian. It’s all part of the image, which is supposed to get unsuspecting people to trust and follow. The reality is, the whole thing is fraudulent, and only meant to get people under control, working for their aims.
Jill’s book will be released January 16, 2024, and it will be ghostwritten by Craig Borlase, who is a credible writer who has worked with some well known outlets, such as The New York Times and the Sunday Times. Derick Dillard is also credited as an author. I don’t know how much of the book will be about their religion, which I’m not interested in reading about at all. My guess, though, is that this book is not going to be like the others. Jill, who had always seemed to be the biggest Kool-Aid drinker, is likely going to be the downfall of Jim Bob’s empire. And good for her.
Someone recently uploaded some of the old Duggar episodes on YouTube. I watched a couple of them and couldn’t help but cringe, especially of the shows that highlighted Josh. What a total farce.
Anyway… I can understand not wanting to alienate one’s family members, especially when one or more of them are narcissists. But, I know from personal experience that breaking away from abuse requires bravery, and that means telling the truth. I would absolutely believe Jill’s truth over Jim Bob’s. And it’s high time she spoke up, and spoke OUT, about whatever she wants. She’s been silenced for much too long.
If I were Jed, I think I’d be boning up on my job skills… because he’s probably going to have to find work outside of working for Jim Bob and being on social media before too long. I hope a lot of people will pay attention, too… especially going into the election season of 2024. Bill Gothard and his ilk would like nothing better than to see the United States turn into a fundie Christian dystopian theocracy. Be very careful who you vote for.
Now, off to create some music and do my dreaded Thursday chore. Cheerio!