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.
It turns out Amazon’s new docuseries, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is available on Amazon.de, which is good news. That means I can watch it on my television. But, because I want to do some writing and other stuff, I will watch it on my laptop and use my handy new Mini Pod speakers. As I wrote yesterday, I wish I didn’t care about the Duggars… but I actually think people should pay close attention to them. There are a lot of non-famous people in the United States who would love nothing more than to see conservative, white, Republican, pro-life, pro-gun, fundie Christians running the country. And one of the reasons they have such humongous families is so there are higher numbers of people like them, voting for people like them. So, I think those of us who are more “mainstream” in our ways should pay close attention.
Jim Bob Duggar is not too pleased about the docuseries. He and his wife, Michelle, have issued a statement on Instagram. See below…
I find it interesting that Jim Bob is so concerned about his privacy now, when he worked so hard to keep his reality show on TLC (The Learning Channel) for so long, even after his eldest child, Josh, was outed as a sex pest. And Jim Bob pushed for creating his show, 17, 18, and 19 Kids and Counting, even when he knew that Josh had this disturbing past.
It’s now common knowledge that, back in 2002 or so, when Josh was about 14 years old, he molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. One of his victims was just five years old at the time. Josh was, himself, a child when this happened, so his parents were obligated to do something to help him with his problems. They did eventually take action, but what they did was completely ineffective, as later results shave shown.
Life went on, and for a time, Josh Duggar was even betrothed to Jim Bob’s best friend’s daughter, Kaeleigh Holt. Jim Bob and Michelle eventually told the Holts about Josh’s issues. Their solution was to have Josh lectured by an off duty cop, shave his head, and be sent away to do hard labor for a family friend. There was no consultation with a mental health professional, nor were there any legal consequences. Later, when the relationship with Kaeleigh fell apart, the Duggars simply glossed over it, and went on with their show, for which they became world famous. Jim Bob had the added benefit of also becoming very wealthy, but he did not share his new wealth with his children, who were the real stars of the show.
In 2015, the old business regarding Josh’s sexually abusive past was revealed to the masses, in a huge bombshell that dominated headlines for weeks. When this news hit the airwaves, the Duggars were still very popular. 19 Kids and Counting was still going strong. The eldest children were being married off and having children of their own. Their lavish weddings were shown on the show, and they went on fancy honeymoons in exotic locations. Josiah Duggar had just announced a “courtship” (dating with the intention of eventual marriage) with Marjorie Jackson. In the wake of the scandal, that courtship fell apart. Josiah went on to marry Lauren Swanson.
Jim Bob and Michelle went on Fox News, where they were interviewed by Megyn Kelly. I remember watching that interview in May 2015, thinking that they were lying through their teeth. I even wrote about it in my original blog. They claimed Josh was a changed person after their “treatment”. But, of course, he wasn’t. In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security raided Josh’s business. News came out about how Josh had paid a sex worker for a private lap dance, and had very rough sex with her. The sex worker, Danica Dillon, eventually sued Josh, although the suit was later dropped. Josh also had a secret Ashley Madison account. Ashley Madison is a website where married people pay to find others who are willing to have affairs. All the while, Josh’s long suffering wife, Anna, who bore him seven children, stood by his side… even as he was led away in handcuffs after being convicted of sex crimes against children.
When it became clear that the public still wanted to watch the Duggars, TLC and Jim Bob came up with a new concept. The spin off was originally called Jill and Jessa Counting On, which was supposed to be about Jill Dillard’s and Jessa Seewald’s married lives. But then, as more Duggar “kids” got married, they were included in the show, and then Jill and her husband, Derick, dropped out of the program. It was retitled Counting On, and went on for several seasons. The spinoff was finally canceled in June 2021, in the midst of Josh Duggar’s legal woes. Josh was sentenced to about twelve years in federal prison after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.
So… all of this stuff is already very public, but this new series kind of condenses the whole thing into more salacious entertainment. This is pretty much what Jim Bob did when he agreed to put his family on TV. Only now, he’s no longer in control of the final product, and all of that stuff that he willingly put out, is now being used against him. Television is a sword that cuts both ways.
I think Jim Bob’s reputation is pretty much shot now. I guess it’s understandable that he would issue a statement pleading for privacy. However, he can’t think that his pleas are going to be taken seriously. For years, he was all over TLC, openly advertising Bill Gothard’s fundie ways to the world, trying to make it seem like an idyllic, wholesome, squeaky clean way to raise families. He influenced countless people to follow his lead and join a very damaging cult. And NOW, he wants privacy!
I have already watched the first episode of this docuseries. It’s exciting to see the people involved in this series, to include Heather Grace Heath, whose excellent book, Lovingly Abused, I read and reviewed in December 2021. Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband, Derick, are on the series, as is Jen from Fundie Fridays, a YouTube channel I have been enjoying for some time now. I understand that Katie Joy, from Without a Crystal Ball, was also contacted about being on the series. However, she does not appear on the program. I know she’s a controversial figure, and there has been some speculation about why she’s not involved in this series. However, I’m not involved in any drama regarding Katie Joy, and I have no personal beef with her. So I’m just going to say that she’s not on the show, and I don’t specifically know why. I can only speculate, which I won’t do in this post.
Jim Bob Duggar was paid millions of dollars for showcasing his massive family, and being a living billboard for the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a fundamentalist Christian sect founded by Bill Gothard. Gothard never married or had children, but he expected his followers to marry and have huge broods. Additionally, Bill Gothard had a certain way he preferred the girls in his movement to look. He liked girls with long, curly hair. So, years after perms went out of style, the Duggar girls and their ilk were perming their long hair, so they could please their cult leader, Bill Gothard.
I am probably so interested in learning more about the IBLP and Bill Gothard because I’m interested in cults. I’m not just interested in big, established cults, though. I’m also interested in mini-cults… those within families. Cult leaders are usually narcissists, and they typically behave in telltale ways. My husband’s ex wife, for instance, is kind of like a cult leader within her own family system. When her children were young, she controlled every aspect of their lives and refused to allow them to be influenced by anyone above her. That meant that when her relationships with their fathers fell apart, the kids were expected to take her side. If she had her way, they’d never leave her home or her sphere of influence. But it’s not because she loves them so much. It’s because she craves absolute control, and she sees other people as tools.
When the kids were young, there was a facade presented that indicated that the kids were “happy” (although we had our doubts). Now, we are hearing that actually, things were pretty bad, and there was a lot of lying going on, to present a certain image. Listening to Jill Dillard now, I can see that she went through a similar dynamic. Yes, when she went on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox News, she was lying… Lying for her father, to preserve the show and her connection to her family… But she didn’t feel good about it, and now she is openly stating that it was all a lie, that didn’t turn out to be enough to save the family’s tarnished reputation.
I see people like Jim Bob Duggar as mini-cult leaders. Look at how Jim Bob has managed to keep so many of his children under his control, even though they are adults. And most of them don’t seem to realize that he’s controlling them so much. He uses the prospect of being cast out and ostracized as a means of controlling his children… to include their spouses and their children. Because they don’t get adequate educations, it’s hard for the children to break away. Heather Heath’s book addresses this issue, as does Tara Westover’s book, Educated. Westover was raised Mormon, as were Bill’s daughters. Not all Mormons are like Westover’s parents were, just like not all Christians are like the Duggars. But these are just examples of people who use extremist religions as means of keeping a viselike grip on their children, forcing them to stay trapped in their cults and continuing the indoctrination with their own children.
The second episode of Shiny Happy People includes a horrifying segment on how children in the IBLP are disciplined. At one point, a pastor demonstrates how to spank a child. A little boy comes up to the pulpit as the pastor pretends to spank him. Then afterwards, the boy is forced to give the pastor a hug. When the hug isn’t good enough, the pastor admonishes him and says he needs another spanking, which he delivers. Children in this movement are not allowed to move or defend themselves when they are receiving corporal punishment. They are expected to remain still, as this “discipline” is for their own good. Then, they are supposed to be “grateful” for the correction, even if it’s extremely traumatizing.
As if that wasn’t sick enough, the show also includes clips of lessons given by Michael and Debi Pearl, authors of the book, To Train Up A Child. This book is very popular and well known within the fundie Christian community. It’s basically all about how to beat your children, and they provide very explicit directions on which implements to use. The Pearls are extremely abusive, in my opinion. My father was a spanker, but he used his hand, and basically did it when he was very angry (not that that’s the best time to spank, either). I wasn’t forced to hug him or tell him I loved him after he hit me. And he didn’t use dowels or glue sticks.
There’s also discussion about how women in the IBLP are expected to just accept whatever man shows up and says he wants her… as long as her father approves, of course. As I mentioned up post, Josh Duggar was originally supposed to marry Kaeleigh Holt, eldest of Jim and Bobye Holt’s eleven children. This pairing was decided when both Josh and Kaeleigh were teenagers. When that fell apart, he ended up with Anna Keller. They were married when they were both about 20 years old. They now have seven children. Anna has all of Josh’s kids, and obviously made herself “joyfully available” to her husband. But that wasn’t enough. He still cheated on her and consumed illegal porn. Meanwhile, Anna had to present a perfect, happy image to the world, often while pregnant and on television.
It amazes me that the Duggars were able to keep up their facade for as long as they did. Jim Bob is “pleading” for privacy, and yet he’s the one who put all of that stuff out there in the first place. People love to see people fall off of pedestals, especially when they are as sanctimonious and smarmy as Jim Bob is. So… I suspect that things are going to be harder for Jim Bob and Michelle. I am sorry for their innocent children and grandchildren. I especially feel sorry for Josh’s kids, who will have to live with the stigma of their infamous father for the rest of their lives. I hope they can escape the cult and raise their children in a better way.
I’ll probably write about this tomorrow, after I finish the last two episodes. For now, I think I’ll end this post. It’s already pretty long. Hope you have a great Friday.
Sorry to write another post about the Duggar family. I promise to read more of my latest book, which has nothing to do with fundies, so I will soon have another topic to cover. On the other hand, based on the hits I’m getting, I can see that I’m not the only one who is fascinated by what’s going on in America’s best-known, supersized, “Christian” family. So I will write today’s post about Jim Bob, and what a colossal cluster fuck his life has become in December 2021. I know I shouldn’t be giving him more “press”, but I just can’t help myself.
Yesterday was the last day residents of Springdale, Arkansas could vote for candidates in a primary election to replace the seat vacated by former Republican Senator Lance Eads, who recently resigned. Back in late October, while Bill and I were basking the golden glory of Croatia, Jim Bob announced that he was going to be running for that vacant seat. Some readers might remember that I was both amused and horrified by that announcement.
Three other Republican candidates also ran, as well as two Democrats. Lisa Parks has won the Democrat nomination in the primaries. Colby Fulfer won the Republican primary, with 1387 votes; however, because he did not win 50 percent of the votes, he will face the second place winner, Steve Unger (941 votes), in a run off election that will take place in January 2022. Then, in February, the winner of the run off will face Lisa Parks in a battle for the vacancy in the Arkansas State Senate. Jim Bob came in distant third, with 456 votes. The fourth place winner was Edge Nowlin, with 188 votes.
Jim Bob issued a “gracious” statement, conceding the results of the election, thanking his supporters and promising to support the Republican candidate. He had no words of congratulations for Lisa Parks. Democrats are evil, don’tcha know? Especially when they’re “uppity women folk”. I hope Lisa Parks beats the pants off her GOP opponent.
I’m not the only one who thought this was a strange time for Jim Bob Duggar to be trying to get back into politics. I can only attempt to speculate what he was thinking. Maybe he coveted the meager salary he would get from the job? God knows, he has a lot of bills, even when he doesn’t have a son sitting in the local jailhouse, awaiting a prison sentence. Maybe he liked the idea of having an office to retreat to and an official title to bestow an air of respectability on him again. There was a time when Jim Bob had the respect of a lot of people. He even served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2003. Maybe Jim Bob thought people could separate him from his son’s vile criminal behavior toward children. I don’t know.
I did read, however, that Jim Bob spent a LOT of money on this election— significantly more than any of the other candidates. It obviously was a race he badly wanted to win. And, just as he must have thought God would save Josh from the slammer, he must have also believed a miracle would happen and people would vote for him. Thankfully, the people of Senate District 7 have more sense than that. As I read the headlines about the nearly $40,000 Duggar dropped on this race, I can’t help but think of the irony. This is a man who used to brag about buying things used and saving the difference. He is reportedly very cheap. I suppose one would have to be cheap in order to support so many children. But he spent LOTS of money on advertising for his Senate campaign, a campaign that was doomed to fail.
Perhaps most damning in the wake of the election are statements made by two men who once counted Jim Bob as a friend. One came from his former best friend, former Arkansas Senator Jim Holt, who used to worship with the Duggars. Jim’s wife, Bobye, testified against Josh Duggar in his recent trial. Their daughter, Kaeleigh, is two days older than Josh is. When they were fourteen, Josh and Kaeleigh were betrothed to each other, as Jim Bob and Jim Holt were very tight and the families had been friends for decades. But then Josh confessed to Bobye about what he did to his sisters, and the relationship ended. Now, Jim Bob and Jim are no longer friends. And, in fact, Jim issued the below statement to encourage voters to choose another candidate other than his old ex friend, Jim Bob Duggar.
The other damning statement came from Jim Bob’s own son-in-law, Derick Dillard, who has a freshly minted law degree, and may someday wind up running for public office himself. Derick was supposedly introduced to his wife, and Jim Bob’s daughter, Jill, by Jim Bob himself. But now, Derick has lost all respect for Jill’s dad… He’s shouted it from the figurative rooftops with the below statement.
I don’t agree with either of these men’s politics. There was a time when I might have had more sympathy for their conservative views, but I don’t any longer. I’m not so sure that either of them is an angel when it comes to being truthful and not manipulating people to push their own agendas. However, I do think it’s likely that these two men are better men than Jim Bob is. It’s becoming clearer by the day what a complete sham of a person Jim Bob is, and how he screws over people to get what he wants. He uses his “Christian” facade to prop up his image, but if you look beneath the surface, you find that he doesn’t practice what he preaches, and his real god is power, closely followed by cash and sexual gratification.
Yesterday, I forced myself to sit through an interesting video made by Observe, which looks at the body language of people in the public eye. I initially didn’t want to watch the video below, because I started watching another video done on this channel that was about Josh Duggar. That video was probably accurate in terms of Josh Duggar’s body language, but the people who made it got some facts wrong. But I did find myself with some free time yesterday afternoon, so I fell down this rabbit hole…
It looks to me like Jim Bob Duggar’s walk in the sun is about finished. He’s lost his lucrative reality show. His son is going to go to prison for a truly disgraceful crime. Some of his children. who used to be completely under his control, are now turning on him. He’s lost a lot of trusted friends and allies. And his personal wealth continues to dwindle by the day, along with his reputation. This is a man who used to boast about being in God’s favor. And now, it appears that God is raining some vengeance upon him, or at least he’s reaping what he’s sown. Or… if you’re a more secular person, like I am, it looks like Jim Bob is finally getting his just desserts.
Strangely enough, I don’t take a lot of pleasure in seeing Jim Bob being knocked off his pedestal. I usually find it disappointing when it turns out someone has been ripping off the masses, especially when they are also revealed to be massive hypocrites. I mean, yes, I’m glad to see that people are opening their eyes, but I don’t take pleasure in finding out that someone is a liar and an abuser, especially when there are innocent children involved. Jim Bob still has a passel of underaged children in his home who are still heavily influenced by him and under his control.
Thanks to what has recently happened regarding Jim Bob’s eldest son, the Duggar minor children may soon be faced with having to talk to government officials about painful subjects. At the very least, I assume Josh and Anna’s children with be interviewed and examined by child protective services. Or, at least, I would hope they would be… although if it does turn out they’ve been abused to the point at which they would need to be removed from Anna’s custody, that will be traumatic for them. Placing children in foster care is necessary sometimes, but it’s not always the best situation for children. Sometimes, they end up in families who don’t care about anything but money, or worse, are also abusive. While there are plenty of extended relatives in the Duggar family who might be able to care for Josh and Anna’s children, they may have to be split up. Seven children is a lot to take on. But we’ll see what happens in that regard. I could be totally off base. Or, I could be on point, but Arkansas officials just don’t do anything.
Anyway… I have a feeling that 2022 will not be much kinder to Jim Bob as his son gets sentenced to prison and is shipped off to whatever facility is assigned to him. It’s not a given that Josh will be staying in Arkansas. In fact, I think it’s very likely that Josh will be moved to a prison in another state, one that can accommodate his special “needs” and perversions. He will probably have a more difficult time than most people while he’s locked up, mainly because he’s a relatively famous and wealthy white guy who is doing time for crimes against children. Incarcerated people don’t historically look too fondly on people who commit crimes against women and children. So Josh will probably have to be separated for his own safety. I wonder how that will be for a man who grew up in a huge family and has a huge brood of his own. Time will tell.
Well, it’s time to close this post and get on with the rest of the day. I will probably be wrapping presents later, which I don’t necessarily look forward to doing. My gift wrapping skills are pretty terrible. Maybe tomorrow, I will write about a new topic. Time will tell. I’m really glad Jim Bob lost the election, though. That’s a ray of sunshine in my world.
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