Today’s post is inspired by the most recent episode of Welcome to Plathville, which I watched yesterday afternoon. If you read yesterday’s post, you might know that I’ve been getting over a nasty cold. I got a late start yesterday because I had a touch of “medicine head” and was feeling kind of exhausted. Consequently, I did less writing yesterday than I might have ordinarily done. I only wrote one travel post, which is just as well, since not that many people read the travel blog anymore.
In the episode of Welcome to Plathville that inspired this post, the camera focused on Olivia Plath, wife to eldest Plath son, Ethan. I’ve found Olivia intriguing since I first started watching the show. Like Ethan, she was homeschooled as a child and raised in a very Christian household. Interestingly enough, many members of the Plath family seem to have evolved out of fundamentalist Christianity. They’re all kind of busting loose, drinking alcohol, getting tattoos, dressing more provocatively, and moving to new cities.
From the beginning of the show, Olivia has been influencing Ethan to try more worldly things, like drinking alcohol. When the show started, Olivia ran her own photography business. She’s obviously a very bright, intelligent, and attractive young woman. So I was very surprised yesterday when she was talking about how she’d like to go to college, but hesitates because she wonders if she’d be successful. She explains that she’s never learned in a group setting before. At one point, I even heard her say she thought maybe she was too “dumb” for college.
It’s clear to me that Olivia is certainly smart enough to succeed in college, if that’s what she’d like to do. I do understand that if a person has never been in a classroom setting, he or she might wonder how the experience will go. But I can speak from personal experience that plenty of people who probably don’t belong in college manage to go… and some of the manage to graduate. I have no doubt in my mind that Olivia could flourish in college. She probably has the money to go, too, since she’s been on Welcome to Plathville. I would hope she’s getting paid for what she does on the show. She doesn’t seem like the type of person that would blindly follow whatever the Plaths tell her to do. It’s not like being in the Duggar family.
When I listen to Olivia speak, I hear someone who is plainly bright and articulate. She might need to learn study skills and how to write papers. But I have no doubt that she could easily learn those skills and get through college. I think the experience would open up a whole new world for her on many levels… Of course, it might also doom her marriage, because I suspect that if she is exposed to other people and new ideas, she may decide that she doesn’t want to be married… or maybe she’d rather be with someone else. College might change her in profound ways. I still hope she’ll consider going, though.
Which brings me to the Duggars… I recently heard from Katie Joy that Derick and Jill Dillard were considering setting up college funds for their sons. Derick Dillard has a college degree and a law degree, and thanks to Derick’s job and Jill’s best selling book about the reality of being a Duggar on reality TV, they’ve been able to declare independence from Jim Bob Duggar. I hope Jill’s youngest siblings are paying attention.
Derick is a living example of why it’s a good thing to have the freedom to go to college, not just because of the actual courses, but because of connections to the real world. Jill and Derick clearly seem to value education beyond the dining room table, as they send their older children to public school. Likewise, Jeremy Vuolo, who married Jill’s younger sister, Jinger, also has a college degree and is working for an advanced degree. I won’t be surprised if Jinger and Jeremy send their daughters to an actual school, rather than trying to homeschool them. And I won’t be surprised if their daughters eventually go to college.
I hope that Jill and Jinger will consider going to college, too, if they’d like to do that. Jill has always struck me as someone who would be a really good midwife. I know she was getting some training in midwifery, but I think it would be great if she got trained as an actual midwife, as in attending a university and getting the appropriate training and licensure for that field. I don’t know what Jinger’s passions are, but she’s always shown herself to be more of a free spirit. She’s certainly bright enough to go to college. And, as smarmy as Jeremy seems to be, I also think he’d support her in that effort, if they had the financial resources for it.
College is oversold to a lot of people, and it can be an expensive “trap” for some. However, I think people who have been raised in oppressive environments can really benefit from the college experience. I hope they’ll at least consider taking a course or two, just to see if they like it and can succeed. My guess is that once they get a taste of learning in a freer environment, they won’t want to stop. It will change their lives, perhaps in a very profound way that may even make it more difficult for them in the beginning.
I’m all for women stepping into the light and taking control of their own destinies. Accessing a college education is a great way to do that. Olivia Plath quite clearly can flourish in college. Jill and Jinger probably could, too, if they set their minds to it. If they actually cared about my opinion, I would encourage each of them to consider stepping into higher education, as they step out of the “dark ages” of the fundie Christianity mindset chosen for them by their parents. It’s time more fundie Christian women became liberated from the life roles someone else has trained them since birth to accept.
I will also admit that as well as I think Olivia Plath could do in college, I would especially love to see some Duggar women go to an accredited university and kick some ass. I’d love it for them, and I’d also love to see Jim Bob Duggar’s reaction… which I’m pretty certain would be very bitter. I can’t lie. The idea of that is hilarious to me… this obviously narcissistic man already has a son in prison, but his daughters could end up taking the world by storm. Now that’s a reality show I’d love to tune into regularly!
Happy hump day, y’all. I wasn’t planning to write about the Duggars again today, but I saw Katie Joy’s recent video about fallout in the Duggar Family over Jill Duggar’s book. You can read my review of Counting the Cost by clicking here. I wanted to add a few of my own thoughts about what allegedly went down in the Duggar compound regarding Jill’s “bombshell” book. But first, here’s a link to Katie Joy’s video, from her channel, Without a Crystal Ball.
Jim Bob Duggar has gone through quite a tough few years. Less than a decade ago, he was seemingly on top of the world, with a successful reality TV show and huge brood of camera ready children who were ripe for marriage and starting their own families. Yes, people criticized him, and his way of life. But he was making a lot of money on the show and the many rental properties it enabled him to buy, rent out, or fix up and sell.
Of course, it turned out Jim Bob’s seemingly squeaky clean Christian kingdom was built on a swamp full of the worst kinds of sins and lies. Once the stench from the swamp leaked out from under his Tinkertoy Mansion in Tontitown, the kingdom started to crumble. With every passing year since that day in May 2015, when the world learned about what Josh did in 2002, things seem to have gotten worse for Jim Bob. And now, if we’re to believe Katie Joy’s reporting– which I know some people don’t– it looks like Jim Bob is starting to panic. He’s allegedly resorting to threats and harassment to keep his massive family in line.
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think Jim Bob is much of a Christian. I say that, even as I admit that I’m also not much of a Christian. Everything I ever learned about Christ painted him as an endlessly kind, humane, loving, gentle, decent, and service oriented person. Jesus Christ was not the type of person who aspired to be rich, powerful, or in control of anyone. He preached goodness, service, and kindness. And everything I’ve seen and read about Jim Bob makes me think that when he does do anything for anyone, it comes with many strings attached. Most of the “Christian” behavior I see from him is very much about image. It’s all surface oriented stuff designed to deceive.
I don’t know how accurate Katie Joy’s comments are regarding Jim Bob’s reactions to Jill’s book. However, based on what Jill wrote in her book– and I do believe her— I have a feeling that Jim Bob has threatened his children. According to Katie Joy’s video, posted above, Jim Bob has told his children that if any of them comment about Jill’s book or support it, he will disinherit them. And since Jill’s book dropped, there have been a couple of videos put out by Jessa Seewald and Joy Anna Forsyth, seemingly to distract the public from their sister’s book. They address some of the things Jill claimed in the book, such as the ban on dancing, the focus on the IBLP, and Jim Bob’s hoarding of monetary resources.
In the most recent videos by Joy Anna, her daughter, Evelyn, is shown dancing with joy with her brother, Gideon. She also said that she and her husband, and their children, are out of the IBLP. I don’t know if they are or not, although the IBLP is more of a belief system than a specific church. I also notice that they use music that has a drum beat. This was something Jill stated that was not allowed in their house when they were growing up. I see she has her kids in swimming lessons, and the older boy, Gideon, is swimming in normal trunks rather than “Wholesome Wear”. I like Joy Anna. She has a beautiful family, and she’s always seemed pretty normal to me, as Duggars go.
The day before Jill’s book came out, Jessa and Ben announced their fifth child is on the way. I like Jessa, too… She also has a beautiful family. At the end of their most recent video, they are shown on vacation in Florida, as they leave their kids with Michelle for a few days. I see Jessa and Jana are wearing pants, and Jessa is on the beach, not wearing a regular bathing suit, but not wearing Wholesome Wear, as they famously did when the reality show was on television.
So all of this seems to be making it seem like the Duggars are more “normal” now, and Jill’s book was exaggerating how things were when they were growing up. Except there’s a literal video history of how the Duggars did things. Yes, it was well edited, scripted, and whitewashed, but it’s still out there. And we’ve seen how Jim Bob acted when Josh was in court. He actually had the audacity to try to tell the judge what to do when he was testifying. According to the link:
According to People, when Jim Bob was asked to read the police report, he called it “tabloid information” and said to Judge Timothy L. Brooks, “I’m not going to allow it, are you going to allow for that?”
Apparently, the judge didn’t take too kindly to that, because he replied, “If there is [an] objection to be made, someone will make it but it won’t be you.”
That’s just one relatively recent example of Jim Bob trying to be in charge when it wasn’t appropriate for him to try to be in charge. And it’s pretty common knowledge that it comes to his children and grandchildren, Jim Bob believes that he is the Grand Poobah of all things. The idea of disinheriting one’s adult children when they behave in a displeasing way is certainly nothing new. I used to read a lot of “exMormon lit” and I’ve followed the Recovery from Mormonism message board for many years. I’ve read countless stories of people disinheriting and/or disowning their children over their decisions to leave the religion or do something that isn’t pleasing to their parents. So it certainly is within the realm of possibility that Jim Bob has told his children they’d better stay in line, or he’ll cut them off financially and disown them.
In fact, Jill even brings this up in her book:
Yes, we allotted, at different times, amounts to our children, for tax purposes, because each one of our children were benefiting from having all of their needs met (food, clothing, shelter, utilities, music lessons, education, travel, instruments, vehicles, phones, medical insurance, medical bills, etc.). Here are some low numbers of what was approximately spent on Jill in the last few years:
Apartment rate rent $750 x 24 months=$18,000
Utilities discounted $600 x 36=$21,600
Midwife education $5,000
Honda Pilot $9,000
Furniture $5,000 (If you don’t want the furniture, we will buy it back after 4 years of use for $3,000.)
Cell phone @ $50 x 120 months=$6,000
Car insurance $50 per month x 8 years=$4,800
Vehicle fuel (8 years) x $50/month= $4,800
Eating out $100/month with family debit card for 8 years=$9,600
Clothes & Goodwill on family debit cards $1,000 per year x 8 years=$8,000
Eating at home $3 per day x 12 years=$13,140
Gift to Dillard Family Ministries $10,000 (You paid yourself a salary from this, stated there was only $1,200 left when you closed it out, so you must have eventually received it. You can refund this ministry gift, and we will give it to you directly if you want us to.)
$129,940 is just the beginning of Jill’s expenses paid by Duggar family over the last several years. Most of this was made and spent on Jill before you two were married. Also, taking into account many other ways that we have spent money to help you all, for example, installing the AC in your home to El Salvador, the stove, the washing machine, etc. The total on Jill’s tax returns was $130,250. We would be willing to write a check for $20,000 to settle this once and for all.
Jill, when Mom and I pass on, you are set to receive 1/19th of everything we own that is set up in a trust for you kids.
If you attack us, probably your inheritance will be lowered significantly.
I love you, but I am grieved by the disrespect and the accusations that continue.
I have asked for forgiveness, and I hope that you will also, you have deeply offended your mother and I.
We love you and forgive you for the things you have said & done.
$20,000 is a one-time offer, take it or leave it, please let me know by Monday night, or the amount will be zero.
The above passage is regarding Jill’s and Derick’s questions about the $130,000 Jim Bob reported that they were paid for being the reality show. They never saw any of that money, but it was reported to the IRS. So Jim Bob justifies what he did by saying that he paid for things on Jill’s behalf… including things that he was responsible for paying, since she was a minor at the time. Then he threatens to disown her, claiming that she’s been disrespectful to him and has “deeply offended” him and Michelle. Never once is it mentioned that Jill presented Jim Bob with a bill for all of the chores she did, to include practically raising several of her siblings, helping to build Jim Bob and Michelle’s house, cooking and cleaning, and the actual labor of being on a reality TV show.
This was when Jill and Derick hired a lawyer to represent their interests. That’s when the shit hit the fan:
Pops went ballistic.
First, he hit the phone. There were texts and voicemails and calls every day, but in none of them did he give the answers we requested. Instead he was calling for us to get things resolved, to move on and work things out. We told him that we wanted to do that too, and that all he had to do was communicate through our attorney, with the information requested.
Then came the next wave, a consolidated effort from several of my siblings. They hit the phones, sending voicemails and texts all day long, each one pleading with us to get this resolved. When that didn’t work, some of my siblings started visiting. They’d want to spend hours talking it through, trying to figure out what our problem was and why we weren’t doing what Pops wanted. I felt obligated to at least hear them out and show them we cared by listening. I could just about cope with the daytime visits, but when they wanted to stay up until midnight talking with Derick and me, when Derick had law school exams the next day, we finally told them no.
“What? How come you won’t talk?” they’d say. “This is way more important than law school.”
What I’d like to tell the Duggar children, though, is that no amount of money is worth your dignity and self-respect. Especially if you’re claiming to be a Christian and trying to influence other people to follow your example. Christ wasn’t about money at all.
Moreover, Jim Bob’s wealth is certainly not what it once was. The younger Duggars and their spouses are probably better off focusing on building their own wealth, rather than “counting on” (see what I did there?) inheriting a lot of money from “Daddy Duggar”. By the time he dies, there may not be much left. There are lots of legal bills to be paid, and not so many people are interested in hearing Ma and Pa Duggar speak anymore.
I think inheritances can be a real burden, anyway. I’m kind of glad I was born into a family where there isn’t a lot of money to go around. I’ve never felt like I had to live my life according to my parents’ wishes, at least not once I became an adult. Once I got married and established my own household, they mostly left me alone. Or, at least my mom did. I don’t have any expectation of inheriting anything, so I don’t feel burdened to try to kiss anyone’s ass. I’d much rather be free to do what I want to do with my life.
I guess the bigger deal, besides the money, is the prospect of being disowned. I realize that’s not an easy thing to ponder, either. My husband was temporarily disowned by one of his daughters, and has apparently been permanently disowned by his older daughter. As a result of their behaviors when Bill went to war in Iraq (in 2007), they are not currently named in our wills. When we eventually update the wills, younger daughter probably will inherit whatever we have. She has a relationship with us. Older daughter can inherit whatever Ex and #3 leave for her and her other siblings. But I don’t expect it to be a big deal anyway, because Bill and I don’t have a lot of money or property, and I don’t see that changing much.
Younger daughter has her own family and her own money. We don’t tell her how to live her life, and she doesn’t condemn us for her father’s divorce from her mother and his decision to leave Mormonism. She also understands that the divorce was absolutely necessary; I wasn’t the cause of it; and Bill never had any intention of being out of her life for so many years. The “disowning” was solely her mother’s idea. Jim Bob Duggar and Ex have a lot in common, actually… right down to controlling their children with threats, other family members, religion, and money. Trump is kind of the same way, too… I imagine the only reason Melania is still hanging around him is because she’s been threatened into compliance. This is a very common thing among narcissistic, hyper-controlling types. Once you’ve experienced it and escaped, it’s very easy to spot.
Bill and I can speak from vast personal experience that shitcanning toxic, controlling, narcissistic people is a pathway to peace and joy. We’ve been broke before, thanks to Ex. Eventually the broke time in our lives passed. She grows ever more pathetic, while we thrive and enjoy living lives on our own terms. It’s a beautiful thing!
What would happen if the Duggar adult kids en masse simply decided to REFUSE to comply? Would Jim Bob cut all of them off? Would he sue them all? What would that do to his image? I think Jim Bob needs his children much more than they need him. And while I certainly don’t cheer for family strife, I do applaud anyone who manages to break free from narcissistic abuse and control freakery and lives their lives on their own terms.
I’m sure Jim Bob is scared. He’s getting older and that kingdom he built is falling apart. A natural part of getting older is loss, and I sense that he fears losing… everything from money, influence, power, and even his own life or Michelle’s. So he’s trying hard to hang on to his power by threatening his children with disowning and disinheritance. It’s nasty, and not Christ-like behavior at all! So I am rooting for the children– at least the ones with a clue– to rebel and get out of that cult. Life is much better when you’re free to live it the way YOU want to live it. And that goes for anyone reading this.
Guten Morgen, y’all. Two more days before we jet off to Norway. I will probably bring my laptop with me, but I don’t know how much or how often I will blog. I expect to be busy, and I may not have the best Internet access. And anyway, it probably would be a good idea for me to take a break from blogging. Maybe it would improve my outlook on things.
Yesterday, I recorded a couple of new songs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. I mainly did them because I felt like it. Singing makes me forget my troubles and helps me express my creative side. It literally makes me feel physically better to sing, especially when what I’m doing turns out nicely. This week’s songs are pretty good, if I do say so myself.
I got a comment on one of the songs from someone I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard. I have been actively avoiding that site since March, when we lost Arran and I had an unpleasant interaction with a couple of people on the board. Although it certainly wasn’t the first time that had ever happened on RfM, I was feeling a bit “fed up” with being disrespected by total strangers. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I decided to take a break from ex Mormons for awhile. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to RfM, since there are a few people on that site that I find insufferable and it’s hard to avoid seeing their posts. I did need the break, though, because I was finding RfM a toxic place to be at a time when I couldn’t handle the toxicity. Still, it was hard to stay away from that site at first, since I’d been lurking there for about twenty years. After a couple of weeks of concerted effort, I did fall out of the habit of wanting to visit RfM. I won’t say I completely forgot about the site, but I did find other places to go, and other things on which to focus my energies.
Anyway, I figured that since I got a comment from a prominent RfMer, someone must have mentioned me there. And, because I was feeling pretty strong yesterday, and because I’m about to go on vacation, I decided to take a peek. I noticed that someone did, indeed, link to one of my new songs on YouTube.
One person said they’d thought of me recently, which I found kind of surprising. I don’t think I was one of the more popular posters on RfM, especially recently. Mormonism means somewhat less to me now, even though Bill’s daughter is still a very active member of the church. I used to blame Mormonism a lot for Bill’s situation with his ex wife. I still think she misused the church in her parental alienation campaign, and some of the church’s policies facilitated her ability to do that. However, I no longer feel as angry at the Mormons, because ultimately, it was church members who helped Bill’s younger daughter get away from her abusive and manipulative mother.
On the other hand, although I no longer really care as much about the LDS church as I used to, I have noticed a lot of traffic on an old book review about an ex Mormon that I reposted here, on this blog. I had originally posted my review of Lynn Wilder’s book, Unveiling Grace, on Epinions.com. There was a time when I read and reviewed a whole lot of “ex Mormon lit”, and I had a huge list of book reviews with brief synopses and links to full reviews. When Epinions went defunct, so did many of those old reviews that I worked so hard to write. But I did manage to preserve some of them through the magic of reposts.
I reread that book review yesterday and thought it was pretty good. I guess the book’s author has launched a somewhat new Web site. She’s an evangelical Christian now, and thinks that people who are LDS are deceived. I disagree with her, but I respect her right to share her views, and I appreciated being given the chance to consider and express how I felt about her story. And lot of people do agree with her opinions, even if I don’t. That is certainly okay… especially in supposedly free thinking countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think the United States will be considered a free thinking place for much longer.
Which (finally) brings me to the title of today’s blog post…
I have never made it a secret that I don’t like the trendy “karen” moniker. I think it’s a very stupid and tacky thing to take someone’s first name and hijack it, turning it into an insult. And the “karen” insult now gets thrown around “willy nilly”, to describe anyone who has a complaint, whether or not it’s valid. You don’t like someone’s take on things? Just call ’em a “karen”. I think it’s a lazy, unfortunate trend that ultimately isn’t going to lead us to better places. Silencing people who speak up about issues, whether or not we agree with their viewpoints, is not productive. Moreover, it kind of goes against the spirit of freedom, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to feel free to express ourselves?
Yes, I know that in a free society, a person is always allowed to react as they choose regarding someone else’s opinions, even to the point of name calling. I just think that it’s unproductive to issue a response that is intended to squelch freedom of thought and expression. Instead of having an honest examination and discussion, leading to considering whether or not the views have any merit, a lot of us simply call the person a “karen”, and call it a day.
I think we should be allowed to maturely examine and discuss all viewpoints, even the ones that are extremely unpopular or distasteful. Of course, people should do their best to consider the appropriateness of the time and place when they speak up. But sometimes, speaking out at an inappropriate time and setting is a person’s only opportunity to be heard.
This morning, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. Someone had shared photos of old coins he found while using a metal detector at a Civil War campsite. I own a few very old American coins from the 1800s myself. I inherited them from my dad. I don’t know where he got them, but he had them when I was a very young child. I was interested in the guy’s coins, since I had a few myself. Then I read the comments.
Quite a few people wrote that it’s illegal to take things from state and national parks. The guy hadn’t indicated that he got the coins from a park, so I have no idea where he actually found the coins (if it was on public or private land). The people who made the comments about the parks– maybe they were “party poopers”. But they were also labeled “karens” for speaking out about the laws regarding taking things found in parks. I don’t even think that was an appropriate use of the “karen” insult, as “karens” are supposedly middle-aged white women of means who act in an entitled way, and demand to “speak to the manager” over something considered trivial. There was nothing entitled or trivial about speaking up about laws regarding national parks. I guess if I were going to criticize, I’d say that the comments about “theft” from the parks were kind of negative, which was a pity in a group about the beauty of Virginia. But the people who made them weren’t being “karens”.
But then it went further south, when someone brought up Joe Biden. Below is a sample…
Another example of this “anti-karen” no complaining trend has to do with Christians. Over the past couple of days, Katie Joy on Without a Crystal Ball has posted two videos about reactions to the new Amazon docuseries, Shiny, Happy People. I get the sense that Jim Bob and company are terrified that more people within their repressive belief system are going to wake up to the truth about the IBLP and abandon the movement that keeps them in power and money. So, in response to the new docuseries, “pastors” within the IBLP movement– one of whom is Jim Bob’s son-in-law, Ben Seewald, are preaching about how it’s wrong to “gripe”, “complain”, or “whine” about problems in the church, or life itself. However… that message is one of “toxic positivity”, which is the idea that a person must be positive at all times, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it.
I dare say that being a child sexual abuse victim of one’s perverted brother is something to complain about! But these folks in the evangelical movement are saying that the abuse should be forgiven and forgotten and swept under the rug. As I have pointed out before, sweeping stuff under the rug will eventually make a mess that people will trip over.
Speaking up about being mistreated or abused is NOT being a “karen”. Being silent about abuse is not a sign of strength, and it isn’t helpful. These pastors in the IBLP are saying that good Christians turn the other cheek and maintain a “contented attitude”. But when doing that means submitting to being exploited and harmed, it’s simply WRONG, and it allows abusive predators to keep doing evil things to good and innocent people. It amazes me that, to these supposedly Christian people, Jill Dillard is “toxic” and “dangerous” for speaking up about being abused, but Josh Duggar deserves grace and forgiveness for doing the abusing!
Even people who follow Duggar Family News have criticized Jill for speaking out, claiming that what she and her husband, Derick, are doing is just a “money grab”. Well, first off– what the fuck is wrong with that? Jill and her siblings were exploited for YEARS by her avaricious father, who didn’t even deign to pay them for their work! People need to make money to live! Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOT prepare their children to be able to have thriving and fulfilling careers. They were trained to be Jim Bob’s SLAVES! Most of Jill’s siblings are still practically enslaved by Jim Bob.
I have absolutely NO ISSUE with Jill making money off of her story. She totally deserves whatever windfall comes her way, especially since she and Derick had to live on food stamps for awhile, thanks to her greedy father. I don’t understand people in the USA– especially those who are Republicans and all about making money– calling what Jill is doing a disgraceful “money grab”. Isn’t that kind of the way of Republicans? Especially the Christians!
Anyway… I’ve ranted for awhile now, so I guess it’s time to close this post. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it should be perfectly okay to complain. No one should fear being called a “karen” for speaking up about legitimate issues, even if speaking up does spoil someone else’s fun. That doesn’t make someone a “karen”. But “karen” is a stupid insult, in any case, and it needed to go out of style yesterday. People should be allowed to complain if they feel so inclined to do so. And then we can all determine for ourselves if we believe their complaint has any merit. We can’t make any progress if everyone acts like things are always “hunky dory”, when they’re clearly NOT!
If you want to see someone who epitomizes the stereotypical “karen”, you can watch the below video… I wouldn’t call her a “karen” myself, because I hate that term. But she sure is acting like an entitled bitch.
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’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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