The Duggar family is a cult

Mark Joseph Stern at Slate points out the undeniable, that Josh Duggar’s horrible ignorant benighted fanatical parents made him what he is. Yes, indeed they did.

A boy grows up in a controlling, cultlike family that rejects Enlightenment values and closes off much of the outside world. He is deprived of any conception of morality separate from a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. His intellectual and ethical development is stunted by reactionary, dogmatic views about gender and sexuality. He is told that women were made to be subservient to men, to be obedient to their masters. How should we react when it comes to light that this boy repeatedly molested young girls?

With rage at his parents and the Quiverful movement, and at popular culture in general and TLC in particular for treating it like a darling quaint back to nature movement.

Duggar—star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, oldest child of the right-wing Duggar family, and (until now) a key player at the Family Research Council, a certified hate group—has spent his career fighting LGBTQ rights. He has fought against marriage equality and LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances, suggesting that such laws could jeopardize children. His mother implied that trans people are child predators. His employer wrote that gay marriage and gay adoption should be outlawed because gay men are extremely likely to molest young boys. And at the same time he and his family were promoting these noxious views and using reality TV to build their fame, they were covering up Josh’s record of molesting multiple young girls as a teenager. (TLC pulled the show from its schedule on Friday.)

All while looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in their sanctimonious mouths.

Although TLC goes to great lengths to mask this fact, the Duggar family is a cult. They forbid their children [to explore] outside ideas and expression, carefully monitoring every word and image they are exposed to. They forbid them [to wear] shorts. They homeschool them in order to indoctrinate them with backward beliefs. They refuse to let their adult daughters kiss or hold hands before marriage and demand to read every text between their daughters and their suitors. They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women. The Duggars do everything they can to control their children’s minds, then brainwash them with misogynistic dogma.

So is it any surprise that they treat women and girls like shit? No. Is it any surprise that they don’t confine the shit treatment to lawfully wedded wives and daughters? Not really, no.


  1. iknklast says

    Oh, but you know, it’s all OK, and not hypocritical at all, because Duggar didn’t molest BOYS like those icky LGBT people. He only molested girls, which is normal and natural, boy on girl, you know, and all that.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    All while looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in their sanctimonious mouths.

    I’ve never seen the show, or even a video clip, but always thought in still photos their smiles looked strained.

    If TLC left a spycam behind when they pulled out, the footage from tonight’s Duggar family dialog would surely break viewership records.

  3. says

    Those who practice “blanket training” now want to hide under the blanket. Cue the full court press to disavow and disassociate their “star’s” crimes from their religious dogma, to call it “unfair” to connect their hypocrisy from their hate mongering.

    Jeffrey Dahmer also had fanatical fundamentalist christians for parents who were rabidly anti-gay. Anti-LGBTQ bigots blame Dahmer’s homosexuality for his crimes, I would put the blame elsewhere.

  4. xyz says

    Well. Child molestors do come from all walks of life.

    But if you teach your kids that women’s bodies invite the male gaze and lead to sin, if you force your daughters to wear “modest” clothing at all times and teach your sons that women are basically just tempting objects, well. Big surprise.

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