Happy Saturday, y’all. I started today off by writing a new post for the travel blog, washing a load of laundry, and watching Jen on Fundie Fridays’ latest video on YouTube. For those who don’t know, Jen is a great YouTuber who makes videos about Christian fundamentalists while she does her makeup. She’s hilarious, adorable, smart, and compassionate, even when the fundies clap back at her for snarking on them with her boyfriend, James.
Jen was featured on the Amazon docuseries Shiny, Happy People, so she is in a unique position to add some insight into the making of that very popular program. I enjoyed listening to her talk about it… and yes, I was just listening this time, because I was also writing a blog post at the same time. I think you should watch too, if you’re interested. Apparently, Jen found being involved in that series very special and fulfilling. She even comes to tears in her latest video, as she talks about how happy she was that she got to be part of making Shiny Happy People.
I’ve been watching old episodes of the Duggars’ defunct reality show this week. I always thought it was kind of a boring show when it was still airing, and now it’s so obvious that Jim Bob was cashing in on his huge family. Like, for instance, there are some obvious product placements in the old episodes. Swiffer products were quite obviously and prominently displayed in one episode about cleaning the house.
I watched one episode yesterday that featured Jim Bob and his older sons making what they called a “redneck water slide/Slip n’ Slide”. They ran a huge piece of sheeting down a hillside, dug a hole, and ran water and dish soap on the sheeting to make it slick. Then, the gaggle of younger boys in rash guards and Joy Anna in her Wholesome Wear burka slide down the hill. I have to admit, it did look like a lot of fun, even when Jim Bob slid down fully clothed. But it also seemed like a waste of water. Oh well… at least they didn’t swim in a water drainage ditch, like the Duggar wannabe family, the Rodrigues family, did. On the redneck slide episode, the Duggars announced that they were expecting “tiny, precious Josie”, who barely survived her birth, due to her being born very prematurely. Otherwise, Ma Duggar, Michelle, would have been sliding down the hill with each of the children she delivered (excepting the smallest ones).
Jen has extensively covered the Rodrigues family, too… Yes, I’ve written about that, too, but just because she’s so funny, I’ll also share those posts.
So yeah, I am a devoted fan of Jen’s channel, Fundie Fridays, and I’m happy to plug it. If you have some time to kill and want to laugh a lot as you learn new things about the bizarre world of Christian fundamentalism, I recommend tuning in. I think it’s awesome that Jen and James have been able to parlay their creativity into careers on YouTube, and I’m happy to help them out by plugging their channel. I don’t know how much help I’ll be… but then, sometimes my posts take off, too.
I suppose I could also write more about what’s been going on in the horrifying world of American politics, but I don’t really feel like it, today. It’s Saturday; Bill’s home; and we have plans for the evening. So, I think I’ll keep today’s post short and sweet.
Today’s featured photo is a screen shot from a snark video about a certain YouTuber…
I wasn’t really planning to write about Shiny Happy People again. I watched it twice, and thought it was very well done. I wrote my thoughts about the docuseries in my blog. Not that many people care about my opinions, and that’s fine. In fact, I think that’s the way I prefer it to be. I’ve seen what can happen when people get super popular.
So anyway, I have mentioned more than once that I sometimes watch Katie Joy’s videos about the Duggars. Katie Joy, for those who don’t know, is the person behind the Without A Crystal Ball channel on YouTube. She is a very controversial figure, but I don’t personally have any beefs with her. I mainly watch her videos because she often includes clips from the Duggars’ old reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, and sometimes she has some interesting commentary.
I have noticed that a whole lot of people don’t seem to like Katie Joy. I’ve seen many people making videos that attack her. I know she’s been sued on several occasions, and sometimes people even call the cops or CPS on her. Katie Joy has a son who is disabled. I think he might have autism, but I’m not 100 percent sure about that. I don’t engage Katie Joy, though. I mainly watch her channel to pass the time.
In the wake of the docuseries, I’ve noticed some people on YouTube claiming that Katie Joy is super pissed that she wasn’t involved with the Amazon docuseries. Katie Joy claims that initially, she was involved, but now she’s working on a series with another outfit. Yesterday, she put out a video about why she wasn’t on the Amazon series. I did watch it, mainly because it was the afternoon and that’s siesta time for me…
Now, I didn’t necessarily think this video was unreasonable. Taking it at face value, it sounds like this situation could be plausible. Katie Joy explains that she’s upset that Jim Holt, and his wife, Bobye, were involved in the series. In the docuseries, Mr. Holt comes off as basically a normal, decent guy who just wants to take down the IBLP, but his wife and one of his sons currently have ten year protection orders out against him. The link indicates that the order of protection was granted on April 21, 2023.
Looking at Google, I see that this news is all over the place today. BUT– somehow, I knew about this several weeks ago. I want to say Katie Joy was the one who mentioned it on YouTube. Yet there it is in the headlines today. I’m not sure why this is fresh news today, when I knew about it a couple of weeks ago. Katie Joy had mentioned it on her channel. I don’t follow her on other social media, but other YouTube commentary channels have videos about how “pissed” Katie Joy was that Jim Holt was featured on Shiny Happy People. Based on the above video, Katie Joy knew about Holt’s abuse issues and tried to warn the Amazon producers. They used him anyway, and on the show, he and Bobye seem like a devoted couple. Edited to add: Yes, Katie Joy mentioned the domestic violence/order of protection news in early May. See the video below.
Well… again, I don’t know what to think about Katie Joy. I just watch some of her videos. I don’t even watch on a daily basis, because she covers a lot of topics that don’t interest me, like Sister Wives. And I don’t even watch everything she puts out about the Duggars, because I am kind of casual about my interest in that topic, too. They’re just one aspect of one of my interests, which is strict, fringe religions. Check this blog, and you’ll find I’ve read and reviewed many books about a variety of different religions, cults, and sects. I’ve written lots of posts about different religious groups, too. The fundies are just one group of many that I watch.
So… what’s so funny, then? This morning, I noticed that the woman behind the channel, Down the Rabbit Hole at Bedtime, has thrown some shade at Katie Joy. Behold…
Now, it’s not lost on me that the woman on this channel is a competitor of Katie Joy’s. They put out somewhat similar content. Katie Joy has been around longer and has, apparently, pissed off a lot more people. She is not particularly well liked, although she still has lots of subscribers and, apparently, makes good money on YouTube. Still, I sense that although Katie Joy might not always be the most ethical person on the Internet, she is pretty successful and, from what I can tell, is usually pretty truthful. So it makes sense that some people would snark on her– especially her competitors. On the other hand, if people really want to get rid of Katie Joy, maybe it would be more effective to just ignore her. I dunno…
I’m not criticizing the lady who runs Down the Rabbit Hole for snarking on KJ, by the way… I think the above video busting on Katie Joy is creative and pretty funny. But I’m not personally involved in any drama related to Katie Joy or the Duggar family. I am just a bystander, like everyone else. Maybe KJ really deserves the snark and shade thrown at her, but I’m not invested in this drama enough to know for sure. I didn’t think the first above video by Katie Joy, which I assume is what the Down the Rabbit Hole lady is alluding to, was that outrageous. KJ didn’t really seem that bitter about not being on the Amazon docuseries to me (especially since it was evidently unpaid)… but then, maybe I missed something.
My own YouTube channel consists of about 90 percent me on video, singing songs. It has nothing to do with most of what I blog about. In fact, I think I’ll make a couple of music videos today, since I finally finished moving my music collection! I’ve mentioned it before, but I have no desire to be a YouTube “personality”. I’ve noticed several popular content creators being called out by competitors. Katie Joy is one, but so is Illuminaughti (Corporate Casket), and even Jessica Kent, who makes videos about her experiences in prison, is getting slammed. Maybe these ladies genuinely deserve some of the criticism, but it seems just as likely to me that once someone gets “big” enough, they get attacked by people who want them brought down a peg or two.
Count me among those who is simply amused by the related YouTube dramas to the Duggar dramas. I guess I’m just nothing but a “looky lou”. That’s probably a good thing.
I’m getting a late start on today’s blog post, because I spent the morning trying to move more of my music collection from my old computer. It mostly went smoothly, until I got to Sting. I have tons of music by Sting, and that seemed to complicate matters a lot. I have multiple copies of several albums, along with different versions of the same albums. I kept trying to put them on my external hard drive, so they could be moved, only to find that either the albums didn’t make it onto the drive, or I got partial albums.
Making matters worse was the fact that every time I tried to move the damned files, duplicates were generated on the old computer. And even then, it was a crap shoot as to whether or not they’d successfully migrate to the hard drive, even when I tried to check.
I know this is a first world problem, but moving these files is legitimately a real pain in the ass. I have to get up from my chair to go to the other computer, which doesn’t have a chair. Then I stand there and wait for the colorful wheel to stop spinning so things won’t be frozen. After awhile, I got the bright idea to delete some of the duplicate files, only to find that I accidentally permanently erased a few of them.
iTunes won’t let me replace the lost tracks, because they’re already purchased. Amazon won’t let me buy MP3 albums here, because I have a US based credit card, but I live in the German market. And I have a US Apple account, so I can’t buy from the German store. Even if I wanted to do that, I’d still have the credit card issue. Sometimes, I can use PayPal to get around that kind of stuff, but it was all just getting way too annoying and complicated. And sometimes there are other editions of an album available that can be purchased, but there I was no such luck for the album I messed up today. So I ended up buying an actual CD so I can manually replace the lost files.
Hopefully, my Superdrive CD-ROM peripheral will still work properly. I’m not sure if I managed to move everything else I have by Sting today, but I simply had to quit trying. My mood was progressively getting worse by the minute.
The good news is, I don’t have too much further to go in order to be done with this “project”. I managed to get to the Ts, my trials with Sting notwithstanding. So, hopefully, I will be finished with moving my music tomorrow. Then I can make new playlists. I might have said “fuck it” regarding Sting, but he happens to be a big favorite of mine. I have some pretty great stuff by him, some of which is rare. I’m not willing to sacrifice a thing.
I’m sure I could probably send Apple a note and see if they might make it possible to download those files again on the new computer. However, as much as I’d like to be practical and save some money, my concern is that it would take too much time and effort to deal with customer service.
You know… as much as I like how easy and convenient it is to download music, and as nice as it is not to have to find places for physical CDs, I will say that using CDs was a lot easier. Plus, once you own the CD, you have the music for as long as the CD lasts. I don’t want to join Apple or Amazon Music, because I don’t want to rent my music. Plus, I don’t want them fucking up or with the files I have. Some of my most cherished MP3s date back to Napster circa 2000.
So anyway… because of this project, I don’t have anything else to write about today. Sorry to have wasted your time. 😉 Maybe I could rant about how it’s 2023, and I’m having to waste so much time on this shit. Why wasn’t all of this automatically moved on the cloud? iTunes/Apple Music really sucks on many levels for multiple reasons.
But there are lots of other useful posts in this blog… and other blogs on the Information Superhighway. I now feel the overwhelming urge to go lie down somewhere and try to decompress. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be back with something more exciting to share.
Yesterday, I watched Amazon Prime’s docuseries, Shiny Happy People as I wrote my daily blog post. The series, which was eagerly anticipated by Duggar family snarkers, was preemptively condemned by Jim Bob Duggar, who hadn’t seen it before he wrote his statement on Instagram. I shared his comments in yesterday’s post, so I won’t repost them here. Suffice to say, I think he knew this wasn’t going to be great PR for his family. However, in spite of Jim Bob’s fears, although the series promised “Duggar Family Secrets”, I’m not so sure it really delivered too much more of what most of us already knew. I did notice, though, that both Joy Anna Forsyth and her brother, Jedidiah, have respectively announced the births of their son and daughter just in time for this docuseries. Joy Anna’s baby, Gunner, was born May 17th, and Jed’s daughter, Nora, was born on the 24th. Both births were just announced within this week. Jim Bob probably hopes people will pay attention to those blessed events instead of what’s on Amazon.
What the docuseries has done is shine a light on Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles. It has revealed just how sick and bizarre that cult is, and how so many innocent people have been caught up in it through no fault of their own. Yes, we heard from Derick and Jill Dillard, but they weren’t the whole focus of the series. Quite a few lesser figures in the IBLP were given a voice, including a couple of men. I think people don’t realize that culty groups like the IBLP are not just destructive to females. Men who don’t toe the line can also suffer greatly.
This morning over breakfast, as I was telling Bill about the docuseries, I commented that I was so glad I wasn’t born to super religious parents who were stuck in a fundie Christian cult. I’ve mentioned before that to a lesser extent, we’ve been getting an inkling of what it’s like to be raised by an extremely narcissistic control freak through listening to Bill’s daughter. The IBLP puts that micro cult experience on a whole new level, causing a generations of young people to be stuck, undereducated and too sheltered to function effectively in the world.
Heather Heath, who wrote the book Lovingly Abused, about her experience growing up in the IBLP, spoke about how even the most intimate aspects of life were controlled. She spoke of how she bought tampons at WalMart during one of the conferences she attended. When the tampons were discovered, she was severely chastised for “taking her own virginity” with “devil’s fingers”. To be fair, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard such ignorance. Years ago, I read and reviewed a book called Do Tampons Take Your Virginity by Marie Simas. Simas was raised by strict Catholics, who had similarly odd views on feminine hygiene products.
The series indicated that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were moving into leading the IBLP, since Gothard was forced out for being such a pervy old man. Maybe that’s a comfort to Jim Bob, who has been trying to get back into politics so he can help turn the United States into a theocracy. I don’t think he’ll ever get back into public office, but if he’s running the IBLP, that’s a measure of power. But, then, a lot of people have seen the Amazon series by now, and will be warned away from him and his like minded friends. It’s a lot harder to suck people in to such cults now, because of the Internet and the easy availability of vast information. So, their only hope of survival is courting the ignorant and keeping the members they already have busy with breeding and church activities, hemming them in with legalistic rules.
The IBLP is just one of so many religious organizations run by extreme narcissists. Some of what was said in the series sounded a lot like things I’ve heard about religious movements, such as Mormonism. Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS church, basically “married” the wives of church members and had up to 40 wives. Some were as young as 14 years old. The LDS church has obviously changed some of its problematic earlier policies and become more mainstream. But there are still offshoots of the official church that do things more the way they were allegedly done in the early days of the church. Some of what I heard yesterday reminded me of what I’ve read about Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, and lesser known religious cults. Really strict religious groups with lots of rules tend to have a lot in common with each other, even if their actual beliefs are very different. I was actually reminded of Scientology when I heard about how Jim Bob got a lot of his children to sign lifetime contracts that obligated them to work for him. After all, Scientology has their famous billion year contracts for members of the Sea Org.
Overall, I thought the series was very well done. Four episodes aren’t really enough… and I think the producers are going to find that people would love to have more. I won’t be surprised if they make another series or another season of Shiny Happy People. It’s giving people what they want and, ultimately, that means more money for Amazon. I did notice a bunch of people wishing the series were available on other platforms, as they didn’t want to subscribe to Amazon Prime just to watch the series. Fortunately for me, I use Prime a lot, so it was not an issue for me. I don’t use the video part of the membership much, so it was good to get to use it yesterday. Especially since I have memberships to both the US and German versions of Amazon Prime. Yes, that’s right. Amazon Prime on the US version of the site doesn’t carry over to all Amazon stores worldwide. I don’t know if just being able to watch Shiny Happy People is worth subscribing to Amazon Prime, but if you use Amazon a lot, like I do, it may be well worth the money.
One other thing that really seemed very sad to me was how young children were constantly reminded of Hell and how they would be tormented forever if they didn’t instantly obey their leaders. I mentioned it yesterday, but I was especially sickened by the pastor who demonstrated how to properly spank children, forcing them to be “grateful” for the corrections. The little boy who served as the model will grow up someday, probably married to a woman who didn’t necessarily want to be his wife. He will likely discipline his children in a similarly sick way.
Or maybe not… Here’s an unlocked article from the Washington Postabout a couple who were raised in Christianity and homeschooled, deciding to do things differently with their own children. It caused a huge rift in their family, but they decided they didn’t want to raise their children the way they were raised. They didn’t want to be instructed to beat their children with rods. So maybe there’s some hope.
While I’m sharing unlocked WaPo articles, here’s another one about a reviewer’s reaction to the series. I think it’s well worth reading… but really, I think you should watch the series, if you can stomach it and have the means. Hypocrite fundie blogger, The Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, is obviously dismayed about it… For that fact alone, you should watch. She’s an idiot who really needs to zip it.
Well, it’s noon, and we have some plans for today, so I think I’ll sign off. Have a great Saturday!
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!
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