documentaries, Duggars, narcissists

Wow! So abuse victims are supposed to just shut up and “keep sweet”, then?

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:

Yes, it’s harsh… but I think the poster is spot on, minus all the religious stuff.

Jed, who seems to have replaced Josh as Jim Bob’s “golden boy” son, posted this response…

It’s not necessarily wrong to point out that this is “no one else’s business.” But Jim Bob Duggar pretty much sold out his family’s privacy when he turned them all into public figures for money. Moreover, I think it’s likely that a lot of strangers know more about the Duggars than the Duggar “kids” themselves, do.

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. 😉

Katie Joy’s latest video about Jill… interesting how such a conservative guy like Jim Bob would stand for his kids needing a “socialist” program like SNAP…

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.

I hope this new book gives Jill some much needed income and a platform.

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.

Here comes the tea!

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!


Josh and Anna Duggar’s latest baby’s name is finally revealed…

Grateful to have found the featured photo of the day… You’ll see why at the end of this post.

Like a lot of people, I wondered a bit about the identity of Josh and Anna Duggar’s latest baby. I mean, I wasn’t obsessive about it or anything, but I have been following Josh and Anna’s story for years. Of course, I’ve also been watching Josh’s impending legal case regarding his apparent habit of viewing extremely inappropriate things on the Internet. I have a feeling Josh’s court case is going to be disastrous, and he’s probably not going to be in the free world for much longer.

I certainly won’t be sorry if Josh goes to prison in the highly likely event that prosecutors can prove that he’s guilty of his alleged crime. The evidence against him is pretty compelling, and it’s not like he doesn’t have a history of being a sexual predator. Indeed, just a few years ago, Josh Duggar was busted for having an “Ashley Madison” account. What is an “Ashley Madison” account? It’s basically a Web site where married people go to hook up and have affairs with other people who aren’t their spouses.

Josh Duggar is one of Ashley Madison’s most notable former clients. On August 19, 2015, Josh was outed on as a paid member of the site. His identity was part of a hacking effort undertaken on July 15, 2015 by an outfit called The Impact Team. According to their research, someone living at Josh’s former address and using his credit card, was on the site from February 2013 until May 2015, and he had spent $986.76 for two different Ashley Madison accounts. The user was hoping to find a woman who would satisfy his desires for:

“Conventional Sex,” Experimenting with Sex Toys,” One-Night Stands,” “Open to Experimentation,” “Gentleness,” “Good With Your Hands,” Sensual Massage,” “Extended Foreplay/Teasing,” “Bubble Bath for 2,” “Likes to Give Oral Sex,” “Likes to Receive Oral Sex,” “Someone I Can Teach,” “Someone Who Can Teach Me,” “Kissing,” “Cuddling & Hugging,” “Sharing Fantasies,” “Sex Talk.”

And Josh… –or the person living in Josh’s house and using his credit card– listed these “turn ons”:

“A Professional/Well Groomed,” “Stylish/Classy,” “Casual Jeans/T-shirt Type,” “Muscular/Fit Body,” ”Petite Figure,” “Tall Height,” “Short Height,” “Long Hair,””Short Hair,” “Girl Next Door,” “Naughty Girl,” “Sense of Humor,” “Imagination,” “Creative and Adventurous,” “Relaxed and Easy Going,” “Aggressive/Take Charge Nature,” “Confidence,” “Discretion/Secrecy,” “A Good Listener,” “Good Personal Hygiene,” “Average Sex Drive,” “High Sex Drive,” “Dislikes Routine,” “Has a Secret Love Nest,” “Disease Free,” “Drug Free,” and “Natural Breasts.”

Ashley Feinberg, the reporter, wrote that when Josh was living in Oxon Hill, Maryland, lecturing the masses about the “right” way to live, Christian ideals, and “family friendly values”, Josh (or his evil twin ghost) started a second Ashley Madison account. Josh also did a poor job of trying to conceal his true identity. reports “the birthday listed in the data for Duggar’s first account is February 3, 1988, one month off Duggar’s actual birthday of March 3, 1988. The birthday listed for the second account is March 2, 1988.” Based on the news about Josh’s most recent sex related scandal, his online privacy skills haven’t evolved much, but I digress.

So what does all of this have to do with Josh and Anna’s 7th baby? Well, yesterday, it was reported in the news that Josh and Anna have named their latest baby Madyson Lily. Anna (I can assume, since Josh isn’t allowed online) shared a very cute picture of the baby, who was born on October 23, 2021 at 2:39am, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 20 inches. Many people who follow the Duggars, and are disgusted by Josh’s perversions, are shocked by the name, since it will forever link the child to her father’s dalliances in extramarital affairs, as he hypocritically promoted “clean, Christian living”.

She is a beautiful baby… looks very healthy, too. I will pray for her.

Madyson joins her six siblings in the “M crowd”. Josh and Anna, like Josh’s parents, have chosen to stick with names that have the same first letter. So, while all of Josh’s siblings (except for Michelle’s grandnephew Tyler, who is being raised by Ma and Pa Duggar) have names starting with the letter “J”, Josh and Anna have given their kids “M” names, I guess, to honor Michelle Duggar or maybe Josh’s deceased grandmother, Mary Duggar. Or maybe they just like “M” names. Who knows?

Other people who have commented on this surprising “turn of events” have listed a variety of perfectly nice “M” names the Duggar couple could have chosen for “tiny, precious Madyson”. Off the top of my head, there’s Melissa, Mariah, Marcia, Madelyn, Megan, Melanie, Maeve, Margaret, Martha, Matilda, Marcia, Maura, Moira, Maren, and Millicent… just to name a few. And yet they chose “Madyson”, with a bastardized spelling from the usual “Madison”. Of course, it’s not the first time Josh and Anna have chosen alternative spellings for members of their brood. They gave eldest daughter, Mackynzie, a differently spelled name, too. They also gave their sixth child, Maryella, a “different” name.

I remember when the name “Madison” became popular. Back in 1984, Tom Hanks was just an up and coming movie star who was best known for being on the show, Bosom Buddies, which I remember watching during its first run. That year, the movie Splash came out, making Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah household names. Daryl Hannah played the love interest for Hanks, a beautiful mermaid whose real name was unpronounceable by the human tongue. She was encouraged by Hanks’s character, Allen, to choose a more conventional name for herself. Noting that they are walking on Madison Avenue, the mermaid chooses the name “Madison”, confusing everyone… Next thing you know, it’s a popular girls’ name, and remains so 37 years later.

If I had ever had a child, I probably would have chosen a more conventional, traditional name, even though we have dogs named Arran and Noyzi. Arran was named after a beautiful Scottish island we visited weeks before we met him. Noyzi was originally named Noizy, but his paperwork has the name spelled differently. Also, as a former English major, I couldn’t abide the spelling “Noizy”. I kept wanting to change it to Noisy. Anyway, Noyzi was named after an Albanian rapper by the guy who found him, and I just didn’t have the heart to change his name after all of the upheaval he went through to move to Germany from Kosovo.

But when it comes to human beings that might have come from my womb, I probably would not have gone “mod”. I seem to prefer tried and true names… although I wish to God my mother had chosen a name other than “Jennifer” for me. That was like the “Kayla” of 1972. I think Kayla is a pretty name, by the way. I have a cousin with that name. At the same time, I probably would have chosen a name like Alexandra, or something, for a daughter of mine.

I think Madyson Lily needs all the prayers she can get, as do her siblings, and their mother. I don’t approve of Anna’s decisions, but I realize that she was raised in a cult and has married into the mother of all fundie cult families. Her husband and her father-in-law are hyper-controlling dicks who literally screw over the women they purport to love. I realize that Anna doesn’t have many choices, and every time she has another baby, her choices become even more limited than they were before. So, while a lot of people condemn her for staying with Josh, all I can muster is basic empathy and compassion, and hope that somehow, she’ll be okay. Of course, this is all depending on the outcome of Josh’s upcoming legal battle.

I really do hope Josh’s children will be okay. It’s not easy to have a father who has become a notorious sex pest, especially one who has gotten away with his misdeeds for so many years and is now about to face the music. The youngest of Josh and Anna Duggar’s children were filmed as they were born. One of them was actually born on the toilet in the home now occupied by Jessa and Ben Seewald.

Jessa and three of her sisters are also among Josh’s victims, as he admitted to molesting them when they were kids. Ma and Pa Duggar neglected to get real psychological help for Josh. Instead, they shaved his head and sent him off to do hard labor and pray. Maybe working with a mental health professional wouldn’t have made a difference in Josh’s destiny the long run, but at least they could have said they tried.

Now, Josh has a wife and seven children, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s actively trying to get Anna pregnant again, although with any luck, her recent pregnancy, and assuming she’s exclusively breastfeeding, that may not be possible. On the other hand, the Duggars are birthing obsessed, and I’m sure they know the best ways of getting pregnant quickly. So, if Anna does get pregnant with #8, I can’t say I’ll be surprised about it. I hope it doesn’t happen, though. Even if Josh, by some miracle, doesn’t end up in prison, I think they– and the public– have had quite enough.

Oh… and just to make this whole weird baby name choice thing even ickier, I just did a Yahoo! image search of the name, “Madyson Lily”. I was looking for a potential featured screenshot, but the results of my search were not cute pics that are suitable for featured photo status on my blog. The photos that came up– at least on Yahoo!– are all of an extremely buxom woman in her underwear– perhaps even the type of woman Josh fantasizes about. I don’t know if the baby’s shared name with a sexy model is a coincidence, but it sure is an unfortunate development for that baby, who already has enough challenges ahead of her. Below is a very small sampling of the search results, which I am sharing because the model is technically clothed. There are a lot of other photos like this one, which makes me think it’s a smart thing to Google names before you bestow them on your children, especially if you give them names with an unconventional spelling. How embarrassing!

Edited to add: I tried the search on Google and got more conventional results. It looks like the Yahoo! and Bing searches included the conventional spelling of “Madison” in the results. Still… it makes me wonder if Josh chose the name. I wouldn’t put it past him.

Josh’s new baby apparently shares a name with her… Yikes!

true crime

Man gets smackdown for butt slapping a reporter…

A few days ago, I posted about Alex Bozarjian, the news reporter whose backside was assaulted while she was doing live coverage of the Savannah Bridge Run 10K last Saturday. There she was, standing there on the side of the route as runners passed her, mugging for the camera, when a man in sunglasses and a baseball cap came up behind her and smacked her ass. Bozarjian’s immediate reaction was one of shock, then anger. But in an impressive display of professionalism and poise, she managed to compose herself in seconds and finish the job. Then she tweeted to the man who assaulted her– one Tommy Callaway– whose identity was discovered due to the number he wore as a race participant.

When I first wrote about this story, Alex Bozarjian had only reported the incident to the police and told her story on CBS This Morning. Since then, the Savannah police have decided to charge Mr. Callaway with misdemeanor sexual battery. Callaway turned himself in to the detectives, was booked at the Chatham County Jail, and then was released on a $1,300 bond. As I mentioned in my first post about this case, sexual harassment isn’t a joke. If you’re dumb enough to do it on live TV, there’s an excellent chance you will have to go to court and pay for your mistake.

Mea culpa! I’m not sure this apology helps his cause, though. Most of the people commenting on YouTube seem to think he’s just sorry he was caught.

Tommy Callaway gave an interview to WSAV, which is available on YouTube. A lot of people are dismissing Callaway’s apology, saying he’s just upset that he got caught. Personally, I think he mostly sounds sincere. He probably does feel some genuine remorse for what he did, and not just because there will be serious consequences. I do think he should have stopped short of offering excuses for his behavior. The bottom line is (no pun intended), he shouldn’t have touched Alex Bozarjian at all.

It doesn’t matter if he was “high” from the race or the race course was “tight”. And sorry, but I’ve watched the clip a few times, and it does look to me like he deliberately aimed for Ms. Bozarjian’s behind. It certainly wasn’t an accident, as far as I can tell. But, unlike a lot of the others who have their pitchforks and torches out, I don’t think he necessarily needs to be strung up and flogged for this. I’m glad he’s being charged, and I hope he gets a punishment that he won’t forget for the rest of his life. I also hope other people pay attention to this example and are reminded to keep their hands to themselves. But frankly, I’ve heard less sincere apologies. To me, he does sound genuinely sorry, even if his apology needs some work. Here’s a hint– a good apology doesn’t include any excuses. It’s a sincere admission of guilt and is focused entirely on the victim.

An example of an insincere apology…

People make mistakes. I believe Mr. Callaway knows he made a mistake. I don’t know why his attorney allowed him to make a public apology, although it’s plain that he’s not disputing that he committed sexual battery. At this point, he’s doing damage control, which seems reasonable to me. I would be even less impressed with Callaway if he became belligerent and denied what he did, which is something I think a lot of truly creepy men would have done in this situation. Think Donald Trump’s reaction to being called out for grabbing someone by the pussy… he dismissed it as “locker room talk” and many people forgave him for that! At least Callaway is showing some sensitivity, and I have doubts that he’ll ever pull such a stunt again.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to him when this goes to court. I suspect he’ll get a fine and maybe he might even have to register as a sex offender. That might be a bit extreme, in my view, since that would really have an effect on Callaway’s career and home life. I would not want to see his wife and children punished for this incident more than they already are from the embarrassment of it. But I do think a stiff fine would be a good start toward making this better, and a sincere promise that he’s learned his lesson about touching women without their permission.


Varicella, malaria, salmonella…

Yesterday, Josh and Anna Duggar welcomed their sixth baby to the world. They named her Maryella Hope, in keeping with their “M” name theme. I’m kind of surprised by the name, since they had originally said that the name Mary was too close to Meredith, which is the name of their second daughter, born in 2015, when Josh was having his whole “sex pest” scandal. Josh is still pretty much vilified by the press. Yesterday, I read an article in the Daily Mail about him and every time his name was mentioned, they added “sex pest” to it. I kind of think “sex pest” is a funny Britishism, but I feel kind of sorry for Josh’s children, who must be affiliated with a man who is still repeatedly being called a “sex pest” four years after his scandal. It’s not their fault their dad is a pervert.

I’m sure Josh and Anna named their new baby Maryella because Grandma Mary Duggar died earlier this year. I’m glad they remembered her, as she was a good woman, from what I could tell. However… I am not wild about the name Maryella, because it immediately makes me think of diseases like the ones listed in today’s post title. Even if it didn’t make me think of diseases like varicella, malaria, or salmonella, the way they spelled the name- Maryella- makes me think of MarYELLa, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. I’m also reminded of someone I knew in high school whose name was Louella. She used to get picked on a lot. I guess Maryella won’t have to worry about attending high school or being picked on, since she’ll probably be homeschooled. Still… I hope she doesn’t get teased too much.

Maryella is, of course, not my baby and it’s not my job to name her. But if it had been my job and I had to use the name Mary to honor my granny, I would have chosen something different. Like, I think Mary Ella is okay. I have a friend who named her daughter that. That doesn’t sound like a sexually transmitted disease or a virus to me. What about Mariela? Or Mariel… like Mariel Hemingway? How about Mary Beth or Mary Ann or Mary Jo or Mary Louise? Or Marie or Maria? They haven’t used those names yet, and they are incarnations of Mary. Personally, I like the name Mary, too, even though it’s a pretty ordinary name.

I have read that Josh and Anna plan to pronounce their daughter’s name as Mary Ella, but they’ve chosen to spell the name Maryella. I think that’s a spelling that will probably be problematic for their daughter for the rest of her life unless she becomes famous. She may wind up being famous, since she’s a Duggar, but my guess is that this family’s cachet will eventually fade as more and more babies are born and people eventually stop caring. Anyhoo… it looks like she’s healthy and I’m sure Anna is relieved that the birthing is finally done so she can enjoy Thanksgiving.

Next up is Abbie and John’s daughter, who is likely due in January. For now, John and Abbie can entertain themselves by painting each other’s nails and giving each other haircuts in their trailer. Apparently, John David is good at painting nails. I want to see him paint her toes… that way, he can get between her legs for a reason besides joyful availability. Besides, I’m sure at least one of the Duggar men has a thing for feet and any number of other fetishes, common and uncommon. The odds are good they aren’t all into Biblically approved sex.

All kidding aside, so far of the Duggar guys, I think I like John David the most. He seems very self-sufficient, especially since he waited until he was 28 to get married. He doesn’t appear to put up with a lot of shit from JimBoob, which automatically puts him ahead of most of the guys in that family. Looks like Derick and Jeremy are also bucking against Boob, with varying levels of success. I also think Ben Seewald is turning out to be pretty good in the dad/husband department, although that’s probably because Jessa is in charge. They make very cute babies, too. Their daughter, Ivy, looks like she’s going to be Jessa’s mini me.

Meh… I only know about this because I follow the Duggar Family News group and page… I finally gave up on the show years ago. It’s one that really needs to peter out. And, I know, I shouldn’t write about them, because that just prolongs the time between notoriety and petering out. I just can’t help it, though. They’re just so snarkworthy. I’ll stop being irreverent now, and go do something helpful to prepare for our low key German Thanksgiving.

Well… happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it today. Because our oven is too small for a turkey and we could never finish one anyway, Bill is going to cook Cornish game hens for dinner. Should be a hoot.