This morning, I’ve watched two videos about Jessa Duggar Seewald, and her recent miscarriage at 12 weeks gestation. I wasn’t going to comment on this, but now that I’ve seen the videos, I feel compelled to chime in on this controversy.
Jessa, for those who don’t know, is one of the 19 kids who was on 19 Kids and Counting, a defunct reality show on the TLC network that chronicled the lives of JimBob and Michelle Duggar, and their 19 children. In 2014, Jessa married Ben Seewald, and together they have four adorable children– two boys, and two girls. Ben works as a pastor, and Jessa makes YouTube videos. Recently, she made one about losing her latest pregnancy over the holidays. After she had her miscarriage, she had a dilation and curettage procedure, popularly known as a D&C. This is the same procedure some people have when they have abortions. Miscarriage is, in fact, known in medical parlance as a “spontaneous abortion”.
In the wake of Jessa’s news, a lot of people on the Internet have been freaking out about the fact that she had a D&C. A number of media outlets have been reporting about Jessa’s miscarriage. I’m no longer on Twitter, but I’ve heard that comments there have been particularly brutal, with many pro choice activists figuratively shrieking that Jessa did, in fact, have an abortion.
And yet, in the past, Jessa has publicly compared abortion to a “Baby Holocaust”, implying that people who seek abortion care are Nazis. Naturally, people were outraged by the comparison and haven’t forgotten that she said that. In fairness to Jessa, though, she said it in 2014, a year after her mother, Michelle, also said it at a pro-life rally in Texas. This was before we all knew about Josh Duggar, and his disgusting sex pest proclivities. At the time, the Duggars were still somewhat respected by some people.
Those of you who read my blog regularly probably already know that I am vehemently pro-choice. I think pregnant people should be allowed to have abortions when they need them. It’s not my business why they might want or need to terminate a pregnancy. I’ve got my own uterus, so I don’t need to mind theirs. And while I’m 50 years old and no longer have to worry about unintended pregnancies, I very much believe in the right to choose whether or not to be pregnant. In “parts passing”, I’ve already explained in detail why I am so much in favor of legalized abortions. It mostly has to do with privacy, but I’ve also seen what happens when people have babies they aren’t ready to raise.
I think Jessa’s previous comments about abortion are repugnant. I completely disagree with her assertion that abortion is akin to a Holocaust. I think that statement demonstrates a stunning lack of understanding or compassion toward what people suffered during the real Holocaust. I also think it reveals a complete dearth of common sense or compassion toward those who need abortion care, regardless of the reasons– some of which are very much medical in origin.
That being stated, I don’t agree with the assertion that Jessa had an elective abortion. She had a medical procedure that can be used to effect an abortion, but it can also be used in other circumstances that don’t involve pregnancy. Moreover, she did not elect to end her pregnancy. She had a “spontaneous abortion”– a miscarriage. And when she had the D&C, she was already losing the pregnancy. Since she has a history of bleeding, doctors determined that waiting for the miscarriage to complete at home would not be a medically sound decision. But make no mistake– the pregnancy was ending, and she would not be having that baby.
But… accusing Jessa Seewald of having had an elective abortion isn’t truthful or useful. She didn’t have an abortion. She had a D&C, which isn’t always abortion related. Her pregnancy was ending before she had the procedure. And regardless of how one might feel about Jessa’s religious and political beliefs, she’s still a human being. I would not wish a miscarriage on anyone. I’ve never experienced one myself, but I can only try to imagine the grief, especially if the pregnancy was a happy development. It’s just plain wrong to use someone’s miscarriage as a weapon against them.
Both Mama Doctor Jones and Fundie Fridays addressed Jessa’s situation this week. Mama Doctor Jones’s video was entirely about Jessa, while Jen’s Fundie Fridays video addressed Jessa as just part of her commentary on recent Duggar news. Both of these ladies expressed views that I wholeheartedly agree with regarding Jessa’s situation, as well as the need for legalized and private abortion care. I would highly recommend watching both of their videos if you want more information about what happened.
Yes, it’s true that the procedure Jessa had is being denied to other women who want or even need it, thanks to abortion bans. But being mean to Jessa is not going to change her position on the abortion issue. This is a woman who openly compared abortions to the Holocaust. Anyone capable of making that kind of statement is probably not going to be swayed by Internet outrage. Remember, Jessa was raised in a cult, and her beliefs have been shaped by fundamentalist Christianity. She hasn’t been exposed to a lot of different viewpoints, and in fact, her livelihood literally depends upon promoting strong fundie Christian beliefs. If she started talking about abortion rights, her husband would probably lose his job… and her father would probably disown her. He’s already shown that he’s fully capable of shunning any kids who go against him.
I think the best thing to do is have compassion, grace, and understanding. Indeed, that is what Jesus Christ himself would do. I totally get the furor over the loss of abortion rights, but all being mean to Jessa does is promote the us vs. them mentality. I do hope that Jessa’s experience will plant some seeds of wisdom and perspective within her. Sometimes, pregnant women do need to be able to terminate a pregnancy. They should be able to make that decision without any input from non-involved people, and do what is best for themselves.
Right now, it’s true that women are being refused the healthcare that Jessa was privileged enough to access, and that is a point worth mentioning. But we should do it in a way that reflects kindness, decency, and compassion, not vitriol and outrage. Let’s just keep championing the importance of having the right to choose and healthcare privacy.
So ends today’s sermon… Now to put on some clothes and go out into the world.
Today’s post is going to be kind of convoluted and philosophical. I had originally meant to write about the Duggarfamily, but then I had an interesting talk with Bill this morning that I think can co-mingle with this topic. Bear with me… or don’t bear with me. It’s up to you. But I think these two topics are relative to each other, even if they don’t seem to be.
This morning, I came to the realization that George Carlin, who was famously foul mouthed and frank about his opinions, really had certain truisms nailed. I learned a lot from George, even though he was “godless”. He didn’t believe in the magical thinking, legalism, and mind fuckery that comes from religion. Instead, he was all about common sense. I appreciated Carlin’s astute observations about life, and I looked up to him… probably more so than I did my own parents.
Much to my father’s chagrin, George Carlin, who was raised Irish Catholic and eventually rejected religion, had a huge influence on me. When I was growing up, I worshiped at the “church of George Carlin”, instead of my dad’s preferred faith, the Presbyterian Church USA. I think the “church of George Carlin” probably served me better than being raised Presbyterian did. Not that being Presbyterian was particularly “traumatic” in any way. In my experience, being Presbyterian was just kind of boring… at least until I realized that the Presbyterian is a big part of my heritage. In that sense, being Presbyterian is interesting. But not interesting enough that I want to go sit in a pew and listen to sermons.
My dad didn’t like George Carlin. He used to lecture me when he’d catch me watching Carlin on HBO. He didn’t like Carlin’s seemingly liberal politics or the language he used. My dad would lament about how I found Carlin so funny and brilliant, decrying Carlin’s use of profanity. Dad believed that profanity was a sign of stupidity and a lack of vocabulary. Of course, my dad was wrong about Carlin. Carlin was right about a lot of things… and he was certainly not someone who lacked vocabulary. I also don’t think Carlin was necessarily a liberal. I think he believed both political spectrums sucked. But I also think that many people believe that if you aren’t on their side, you must be on the other side. There’s no room for moderate views, and in my opinion, not tolerating moderate views can cause huge problems.
One thing I appreciated about George Carlin was that he had no problem pointing out hypocrisy and silliness, especially as it pertains to religion. A lot of religious practices needlessly complicate life. If you need an example, just have a look at the Duggar family, and how they’ve fallen from grace. This is a family that lived with a LOT of rules and control. But underneath it all, they were full of shit… carefully hiding their sins. I think if they had embraced their sins and been honest, they wouldn’t be in the regrettable situation they’re in right now. They went from being a family to emulate, to a family humiliated.
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of clips from the original reality show that made the Duggar family a household name. I’m reminded anew of the many false stories and outright untruths the Duggars told the world. It turned out that a lot of what they were telling the public about their lives was straight up bullshit. They presented a fake image and a false reality, and a lot of people bought it, and their formerly huge reality TV show. The clips I’ve been watching have been uploaded on YouTube by someone who starts each video with a minute of the Megyn Kelly interview done in May 2015, showing Jessa and Jill. Jill weeps on camera, while Jessa glances sideways at her, having just said how “wrong” people are that Josh is a “monster”.
Jessa flat out lied in that interview, minimizing what Josh Duggar did to her and three of her siblings. That’s a direct violation of one of the Ten Commandments! So much for obeying the Bible! It’s more important to obey Jim Bob Duggar– “God” in their home, and its “mini cult”. To his family and friends, Jim Bob is not a mere man. To the Duggars, he’s “the MAN”… and those who don’t obey him pay a price. But recently, the whole world has been reminded that Jim Bob Duggar is, in fact, just a man. And as awesome men go, he couldn’t hold a candle to George Carlin. But Jim Bob would probably consider Carlin “satanic”.
Incidentally, Jim Bob and Michelle also lied in that 2015 interview with Megyn Kelly. Why did they lie? Because they’re full of shit, and they worship money and power more than they do the Bible. It’s not so much that I care about the Bible per se. I just don’t like hypocrisy, or people who try to conceal their sins with lies and convoluted religious bullshit.
Many of us were eager to believe that the Duggars really did have a squeaky clean household. Lots of people thought Jim Bob was telling the truth when he said his children had no unfiltered access to the Internet or television. They seemed so wholesome and loving. Michelle Duggar wouldn’t show her knees or shoulders. The kids were shown wearing “Wholesome Wear” swimsuits, which were good only in that they probably helped them avoid sunburns. Jim Bob ran races in jeans. I guess that was supposed to make him appear to be “godlier”. Does Jim Bob really think God cares whether he runs races in jeans or running shorts? Or is he just doing that to look as if he’s a “hardcore Christian”? We all know now that Jim Bob is not any better than anyone else, particularly when it comes to being “Christlike.”
Hell, they even refuse to call “deviled eggs” by their proper name. Instead, they call them “angel eggs”. Supposedly, Michelle Duggar came up with the name years ago, saying that she didn’t like the name “deviled eggs”. Michelle supposedly said that the eggs were so “yummy” that they should be called “angel eggs”. Here’s a link to a photo of the Duggars’ famous “Yellow Pocket Angel Eggs”. I see someone commented that they’re, in fact, “deviled eggs”. Changing the name doesn’t change what they are. Michelle and her daughters could take a lesson from George Carlin, and his sermon on “soft language”, and how that language is used to conceal “sins”.
As George Carlin famously said, “Life doesn’t change because you post a sign.” Changing the name of a classic egg appetizer doesn’t change what the appetizer is, even if you’ve exchanged a “satanic” name for an “angelic” one. And, of course, deviled eggs aren’t satanic– that’s ridiculous. However, one of Michelle’s own eggs produced someone whom some might consider “satanic”, as he sits alone in a jail cell, pondering his bleak future. Of course, I’m referring to Josh Duggar, one of Ma and Pa Duggar’s so-called “gifts from God”. In fact, Josh was the very first “gift from God”… and now, he seems more like a ruined first pancake.
I remember in the early days of the Duggar family’s rise to fame, Jim Bob Duggar used to preach to the masses about “buying used and saving the difference.” The Duggar patriarch was famously cheap, doing everything he could to save money so that he could keep supporting the “gifts from God” that came in the form of his 19 children. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar proclaimed that their huge brood was a sign of God’s favor, even though having so many children meant that, for many years, the Duggars lived in poor conditions. The story back then was that they were a “humble”, Christ loving family, cheerfully accepting that there was always a line for the bathroom and never enough tater tot casserole to go around.
But then came the reality show, and many fat paychecks from TLC. Never mind that it meant that the children were forced to work, and they were on television, a medium that the Duggars claimed they eschewed in their home. Gradually, viewers saw the family’s fashion sense change. Instead of homemade jumpers with huge collars on the girls, and khaki pants and polo shirts on the boys, we started to see the family wearing name brand clothes. Granted, they supposedly bought those clothes at thrift shops and second hand stores, but they still changed their style. They were famously frugal and “cheap”… but because they focused more on legalism, collar lines and hem lines on the girls, and being open about praying and singing, they ignored the huge problem that was being covered up and has cost them so much.
Just this morning, I read a story by The Sun about how the Duggars can send Josh “care packages” through the prison commissary. Josh, who used to go to the grocery store with his family and load up on cheap, processed foods, and paper plates, can now get a package of several lunch bag sized bags of chips for a whopping $22. If he wants candy bars, he can get a package of those for $22. His wife, Anna, has to visit him by video, for which she pays 25 cents a minute. Or she can send him an email for $5.
When I think about how the Duggars used to demonstrate how they’d save money by letting the daughters give the guys haircuts or making their own laundry detergent, it boggles my mind at what Josh’s crimes have cost the family. The costs have been huge… not just in terms of the vast amount of money spent, but also their own reputations. I wonder if the outcome would have been different if Josh had been dealt with appropriately when he was much younger. What if he had grown up in a family where things could be discussed openly, and there wasn’t the constant pressure to appear like perfect Gothardite Christians? Would people have more respect for them if they had been honest instead of trying to cover up their lies? What if Jim Bob and Michelle had paid more attention to actually raising their kids and knowing them well, instead of making sure everyone wore modest clothing and “buying used and saving the difference.” I’ll bet actually raising and protecting their kids would have cost them a lot less than homemade jumpers and haircuts.
So many people think the answer to living a better life is to be someone they’re not, embrace legalistic belief systems… and to cover up their sins. This morning, Bill and I talked about this concept, as he discussed a recent session he had with his Jungian therapist. Bill had told his therapist about how, prior to Easter 2000, Bill had always enjoyed visiting his father and his stepmother at their home. But then, they allowed Ex to use their home as a setting for her humiliating ultimatum over Easter 2000. That was where she falsely declared Bill a “reprobate” of sorts. She didn’t use that word, of course, but that was what she meant.
The issue was, Bill wasn’t “bad”. He wasn’t a reprobate at all. That was a false narrative his ex wife was pushing, as she was also supposedly embracing Mormonism and using religion to present Bill as a bad person. By allowing Ex to use their home as the setting for Ex’s condemnation of Bill, Bill’s dad and stepmother changed the conditions of how Bill saw them, and their home. And then, instead of doing what he was expected to do and had always done in the past, Bill went off script, which really fucked things up, and changed the course of the future.
Ex thought Bill would beg forgiveness and bend to her will. But Bill had had enough, and it was time for a reckoning. So, when Ex told Bill he was “bad” and needed intensive church based “therapy” with his LDS bishop (who was a lay person with no professional training in counseling) or she would divorce him, Bill decided he wasn’t going to accept her conditions. He asked, “Where do I sign?” instead of “What can I do to make you love me again?” And that decision was not what Ex expected. It made Bill seem “satanic” to her… suddenly, he wasn’t the man she arrogantly thought she knew, inside and out. Suddenly, he was someone who was capable of saying he’d had enough. He couldn’t be controlled, and that somehow made him “evil”. She had to banish him. She used Mormonism and its strict “moral code” to justify what she was doing, which was ultimately harming the children and Bill.
Then I came along, and I upset the apple cart even more by refusing to dance to Ex’s tune. I refused to go along with her plans for Christmas in 2004. Because I insisted on being treated like an adult, instead of one of Ex’s flying monkeys, I became “evil” and needed to be cast out of the cult. I couldn’t be trusted around the children, because I might influence them. I’m sure she thought of me as “Satan”, too. But they were influenced anyway, and as most children do, they went their own way… or, at least a few of them have. That’s how it is in Jim Bob Duggar’s little fiefdom, too. Some of his children are going their own way. Jim Bob might think of his wayward children who have gone astray as “touched by Satan”.
If you think about it, in some ways, Satan was really just an agent of change. Sometimes the change was bad or difficult, and sometimes it was indifferent, or even quite good. After all, what would the world be like if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the apple? Would we all still be living in the Garden of Eden, naked, and frolicking in paradise? What fun is that? How does one grow from that experience? Sure, working all the time is hard, as is having to birth children… but hanging out in paradise isn’t very challenging or rewarding. Being stuck with Ex, likewise, wasn’t rewarding… although it was pretty challenging.
The “church of George Carlin” taught me that people have to be allowed to think and act independently. Blind obedience to one person or idea isn’t healthy. Independent thought is essential. That’s how positive change and growth can happen. George Carlin was a brilliant man… but he was also humble enough to propose that people worship someone other than him. He said, instead of worshiping God, we should worship the sun… or maybe Joe Pesci. In that sense, George Carlin, as an atheist, was probably more Christlike than Jim Bob Duggar will ever be as a “Christian”.
Imagine the heartache that could have been avoided if the Duggars had just worshiped George Carlin instead of Bill Gothard. Maybe Josh would have still been a pervert, but at least they could have a laugh about it. Naw… there’s nothing funny about a man who is so sick that he wants to watch children being abused and gets sexual gratification from it. That’s a problem that should have been taken care of many years ago… and maybe could have, if not for the distraction of religion, and the illusion of power and money grabs that come from adhering to strict religions. For all of the emphasis the Duggars place on being “saved”, religion and control couldn’t “save” Josh or spare his victims. He’s still sitting all alone in a jail cell, probably hoping someone might think enough of him to spend $22 on some Doritos and Cheetos for him.
So, given Josh Duggar’s pathetic example, I’m sticking with worshiping at the church of George Carlin. I think it serves me better than Duggar style fundie legalism ever could. And with that, I think I’ll praise George and get on with the rest of my day.
Here’s a partial repost from March 2018. It’s only a “partial” repost, because I have matured a bit since 2018 and feel the need to be slightly less vulgar and obscene. Also, it gives me some time to think about today’s “fresh” content. I’m sure I’ll be wanting to post some fresh content after writing about this subject. Or maybe I’ll just want to take a shower.
A few days ago, I saw this photo posted in my Facebook feed. Someone had shared it in the Duggar Family News group. Here’s a link to an article about this, which led the original poster to get quite a “grillin'”.
Personally, I did wait until marriage before I lost my virginity. It wasn’t because I was concerned about how tight my twat was, though. In fact, I vividly remember worrying about what that first experience would be like, since I didn’t have any sex before I got married. In my case, being a virgin was less because of a sense of morality and saving myself, and more because of practicality. I simply never found anyone with whom I wanted sex who also wanted sex with me. I will admit that I didn’t try very hard. And Bill, who was a lapsed Mormon during our engagement, wanted to wait until marriage, too. I figured I’d waited that long, I might as well wait for our big day… and then we waited another couple of weeks, because I started my period right after the ceremony. 🙁
I truly don’t regret waiting for marriage, but I realize that’s not a choice everyone will want to make. Moreover, I would much rather people have sex while they are single, than get married simply so they can finally fuck each other. I can personally attest to how awful and complicated divorce can be, not just for the person who gets divorced, but also family, friends, and significant others. I am for people being responsible about it and taking precautions to prevent pregnancies and disease transmission. Then, by all means, have your fun.
I have not yet seen a post encouraging men to wait until marriage, even though I’m sure that’s encouraged among the religious. On the other hand, guys like Josh Duggar preach about family values and living the fundie Christian way. Then they go out and hire strippers and prostitutes. The truth later comes out in a big scandal. I suspect that a lot of fundamentalist Christian males are massive hypocrites and liars. I feel sorry for Josh’s wife and kids because I’m not sure he’ll ever live down what a hypocritical scumbag he was revealed to be. (ETA: remember, this was originally posted in 2018– three years before the world found out how truly vile and disgusting Josh Duggar really is!I feel even more sorry for his kids today, although my sympathy for Anna is slightly less now…)
I think it’s pretty gross that the person who made the first post used fish to illustrate how tight a woman’s vagina is after multiple sex partners. I mean, did that person choose fish on purpose, realizing that a lot of sexually transmitted infections can cause that part of the body to take on a fishy odor? What’s the old saying? Fish and visitors stink after three days?
And what’s with wasting perfectly good fish on an object lesson? That fish died so the world can get a graphic representation about how women who have sex with many men might make them too “loose” for a man’s pleasure. There are people starving in the world… people who would love to have fish for dinner. And finally, the idea of a woman’s genitals being akin to a cold, slimy, fleshy, malodorous piece of fish. I’m surprised anyone would feel sexy after seeing that. But I guess that was the point.
This fish business is even grosser than using licked cupcakes and chewed gum to teach girls about purity. At least gum and cupcakes are appetizing. Using raw fish, especially when illustrating a woman’s vagina, is just nasty and disrespectful.
And just to make this more topical in 2021… I have been stumbling across more and more news pieces about fundie males who turn out to be total deviants and perverts. I am convinced that a higher number of creeps are hiding out in fundamentalist religious cults than in the regular population. If you think about it, those types of very legalistic religiously based groups with high levels of control and power over members are especially ripe for abuse. Females are usually taught in those groups that they are to submit to men at all costs, and if they suffer from abuse or mental health issues, it’s because they aren’t “right” with God and need to repent and pray.
Every day, when I read about these kinds of situations, I am more and more grateful that my parents did not raise me in a cult. I went to a mainstream church, where there was no weirdness and no intrusive interviews about my sexual habits or preferences. No one ever shamed me for what I was wearing. And I was only expected to be in church for an hour (two, if you count Sunday School) a week.
Speaking of Josh Duggar… looks like his most recent court case involving his evident issues with downloading videos and photos of CSA is heading south at a rapid pace. The federal judge keeps turning down his desperate requests to suppress evidence. I think he’s going to regret not accepting a plea deal, because I have a feeling that at the end of his trial, he’s going to be going away for a very long time. I’m generally not a fan of putting people in prison for years on end, but I do think it’s probably appropriate in his case.
In any case, the fish object lesson is particularly disgusting. I thought the wadded up gum, licked cupcakes, and wilted roses used to discourage girls from being “handled sexually” were yucky, but none of them compare to using tuna to demonstrate the condition of a woman’s nether regions. Eeeeew! The guy who made this ought to be ashamed of himself… and he should enroll in an anatomy class, pronto.
Edited to add: On December 29, 2021, I noticed that Justin and Julia have very recently taken down their original videos. They can now be accessed on this channel. They explain that they have remastered the recordings and “bleeped” out the expletives that are in the original recordings, so that people who really need to hear the message can do so comfortably. Personally, I am all about cussing, but I get why they felt the need to censor the “dirty words”. Below is a screen shot of their explanation.
And now, the original post from last spring, minus the video links…
I know I already wrote today, but I want to take a quick moment to share this podcast I discovered, courtesy of all the Duggar followers out there. The podcast is called “I Pray You Put This Journal Away”, and it appears on the YouTube channel of the same name.
The podcast is done by a husband and wife named Justin and Julia. Justin grew up in the Deep South and was a fundamentalist Christian. He knew the Duggar family, and was once friends with Josh Duggar. Back in 2015, when Josh’s world was imploding, Justin tried to speak to the press about what he knew about him. Unfortunately, no one wanted to listen to him then, but people are definitely listening now. Julia was also raised fundie, but she’s from out West. They seem like a really good couple… and they have DEFINITELY left fundie Christianity. Justin was dropping lots of f bombs, which I appreciated greatly. I can hardly blame him, either.
What makes their podcast so interesting, besides the obvious regard Justin and Julia have for each other, and the truth bombs they share about sex pest Josh Duggar, is that Justin grew up undiagnosed with autism. Since Bill’s older daughter supposedly has autism (as does Ex’s youngest child), it was very illuminating for me to hear what he has to say. I mean, it’s not like he talks a lot about what it’s like to be autistic, but he does talk a little bit about how it’s hard for him to catch on to social cues.
I listened to all three (LONG) episodes today, mainly because I have nothing else to do. I must say, I was moved by Justin’s comments. My heart kind of went out to him, as he read his journal entries from around 2005-06, particularly as he spoke about his struggle and great pressure to be the perfect Christian. He was trying to impress the likes of Jim Bob Duggar, who certainly wasn’t worthy of his admiration or ambition. But I can tell by what he wrote, and remembering what it was like when I was a teenager, that he really was trying so hard… to the point of fasting obsessively, praying constantly, and quoting the Bible. Obviously, a lot has changed since those days. I like his theme music. It’s kind of lovely and sensitive… I relate to it.
I have a feeling this podcast is really going to take off, even if they eventually run out of journal entries to read. I had a journal when I was young, but no one would want to hear what I had to say back then. I don’t think many want to hear what I have to say now, either! I admire how candid Justin is, and how loving and friendly Julia is… I can tell they have a warm and friendly relationship, which is really nice. It’s clear to me that above all, these two are friends and are well matched. They care about each other, which is probably more than a lot of couples, especially those raised in fundie Christianity, can say.
Sometimes this podcast is sad. Sometimes it’s touching. Sometimes it’s funny… I really do recommend it, especially to anyone who is at all interested in the Duggar drama going on right now. I think I would have enjoyed it even if not for the Duggars, and all the dishing Justin does about knowing Josh back in the day (and finding out firsthand what a fucking creep he is). I think I would enjoy knowing Justin and Julia, too.
And now, back to my super boring Friday night alone, drinking sparkling mineral water… Hope your Friday night is more exciting and less lonely than mine is.
I woke up this morning to the news that Josh Duggar will be temporarily released from jail today. Six days ago, Josh turned himself in, his wife Anna at his side, having been busted on federal charges for two counts of receiving and possessing images depicting child sexual abuse. Before I went to bed last night, I read an article that provided more details about Josh’s case. Federal agents found about 200 images on Josh’s computer, which was heavily rigged to deceive his wife, Anna. All of the images involved very young female children, some of whom were toddler aged. Despite all of that talk about the Duggars monitoring Internet usage and avoiding “wordly” things like pop music and television, Josh has developed some very sick obsessions that he’s accessed online. And despite his training at the School of the Dining Room Table, Josh is surprisingly tech savvy. He knows how to go to the dark, sleazy underworld on the Internet to satisfy his sick obsessions and perversions.
Frankly, as much as I dislike prison as a punishment, I think prison is exactly where Josh belongs. Prison should be reserved for people who are dangerous, and I think Josh has proven that he is VERY dangerous, especially to young children, the most vulnerable people in society.
According to a live stream video put out by Duggar expert, Katie Joy, who runs the Without a Crystal Ball YouTube channel, Josh’s computer had software on it called Covenant Eyes, which was supposed to send Anna information about the sites Josh was viewing on the Internet. But Josh also had his machine rigged with a TOR browser and a Linux system that allowed him to access the dark web, where there were no “eyes” on him. There, he was engaged in some very dark and shady activities that are about as far away from Christlike as a person can get.
People magazine reports that Josh will be released to “close family friends”, Lacount and Maria Reber. The Rebers say they don’t know Josh very well, but they are close to Josh’s parents, Jim Boob and Michelle, whom they know through church. The couple felt they should help the Duggars, even though Maria Reber says she’s only familiar with the charges against Josh and doesn’t know the details. Federal probation officer, Diem Nguyen, testified that Maria Reber had expressed concern that Josh would be released into her home, since her husband works full-time and she would be left for several hours alone with Josh during the daytime. For that reason, among others, Nguyen recommended against letting Josh out of jail.
The Rebers have a 22 year old daughter who gives piano lessons, but she will have to find another place to deliver her lessons. The Rebers also own firearms– big surprise– but no firearm safe. The judge did indicate that she wanted the weapons out the the Rebers’ home, since it would obviously not be a good thing if Josh decided to play with them while facing decades in prison.
Josh will have to be supervised 24/7. He’s not going to be allowed Internet access, must surrender his cell phone, and will be wearing a GPS monitor. Josh is not allowed to be around any children who aren’t his– and if he does see his own children, with whom he will be allowed unlimited contact, it can only be in the presence of his wife, Anna. He cannot see his minor brothers and sisters or his nieces or nephews.
I can’t help but remember Mark Salling, an actor who played Noah Puckerman on Glee. Salling was facing a prison sentence because, like Josh Duggar, he was in possession of images depicting child sexual abuse and had also been accused of sexual assault against an ex girlfriend, whom he sued for defamation of character. Salling was eventually forced to settle with his ex girlfriend, whom he was ordered to pay $2.7 million. When he was arrested in 2015, Salling was found to be in possession of over 50,000 illegal images. In 2017, Salling pleaded guilty to the charges and probably would have been sentenced to 4 to 7 years in prison. He also would have had to go to a treatment program and register as a sex offender. However, Salling never got sentenced because on January 30, 2018, Salling committed suicide by hanging himself.
While Josh Duggar is definitely not Mark Salling, there is a concern that he might try to commit suicide if he has access to weapons or any other means. Personally, I doubt Josh would ever try to commit suicide, mainly because I think he’s probably a sociopath. I suspect he thinks he will beat these charges, even though the evidence is extremely compelling and federal charges are notoriously difficult to refute. According to Katie Joy, who reportedly has many contacts within the Duggar family, Josh’s attitude during the bail hearing was surprisingly lighthearted. And the fact that he used the same easily guessed password for his regular accounts, such as banking, as he did for his porn sites, tells me that he’s unbelievably arrogant and never thought he’d be caught. And of course, he’s also a Christian, and a lot of Christians think they’re blessed and God is smiling on them… especially if they’re famous and wealthy, like Boob is.
I don’t know what life was actually like for Josh when he was growing up, but one thing I have observed is that Josh has always had access to his parents and their vast resources, even though his sex pest proclivities have caused significant issues for the Duggar empire. It’s because of Josh’s molestation scandal that 19 Kids and Counting was scandalized and canceled. Of course, that show was really just rebranded into one about the adult kids as Jim Boob continued to collect all the money on behalf of the adults… and I did notice, before I quit watching several years ago, that Boob and Michelle were becoming more and more visible on camera. But the point is, Josh hasn’t been shunned or excluded from the family circle.
Contrast that to what’s happened to his sister and one of his victims, Jill Duggar Dillard. Jill reportedly isn’t allowed to visit her family unless she has permission from Boob. She basically had to sue her father to get paid for her time on Counting On, and what she was paid basically amounted to minimum wage. When her sister (and fellow Josh victim), Jessa, went into labor with her latest baby, Ivy Jane, Jill had to ask permission to be able to go onto Boob’s property to help Jessa give birth. Jill and her husband, Derick, are definitely set apart from the family. Granted, I think part of it has been their (wise) choice– and they are now in charge of their own lives, which is how it should be. But the point is, Josh is definitely someone with deep and troubling issues. He’s been enabled, while his much healthier and less threatening sister, Jill, has been ostracized. And while Boob may find Jill a threat because she’s not living life according to Boob’s standards for women, it seems to me that if you really have the truth, it can’t be threatened because someone decides to wear pants, get a piercing, or seek therapy. If the Duggars had sought real help for Josh, back when he was a teenager, perhaps they would not be in the horrifying situation they’re in at this time.
I don’t understand the thinking of a lot of devout Christians, anyway. Or, at least the ones who profess to be Christians, yet vote for vile, disgusting, self-serving cretins like Donald Trump and revile people like Joe Biden. I’m not naive when it comes to politics. I know both of our major political parties in the United States are equally bad. But not all people are created equally in terms of their characters. For me, it’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump is a selfish, abusive, criminal. Any man who brazenly speaks about other people the way he does, with no shame or compunction whatsoever, is not someone who ever should have been allowed to lead– particularly the most powerful nation on the planet. By contrast, I see Joe Biden making decisions that clearly indicate that he cares about someone other than himself. It seems to me that Republicans who purport to be Christians are basically full of shit, and are only concerned with money and the appearance of being “blessed”, as well as keeping women under control. And the more I hear about the Duggars and the type of people who are their “friends”, the more I think that segment of society is corrupt and evil, despite all of their talk about emulating Jesus and worshiping God.
Well… we’ll see how well all of this works out for Josh and his family. I suspect that he may wind up back in the clink before too long. Even if he’s got the best intentions of being a model defendant, I suspect he’ll screw up before long. He can’t help himself, and he’s obviously very manipulative, dishonest, and sneaky. I really hope Anna wises up and finds herself a divorce attorney soon, before something truly tragic and irreversible happens. I know she was raised impoverished, in a cult. I know it seems like it would be impossible for her to break free of the Duggar trap. But I also know that there are many people who would help her in a heartbeat, if she would just reach out and ask.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.