Ex-trooper: Duggars hid full extent of abuse

28 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

19 Kids and Counting spinoff may be in the works.

TLC said last week that it was yanking repeats of the reality series from its schedule after news reports that Duggar (who also posted on his family’s Facebook page) had inappropriate conduct with minors when he was a teenager. Just eight months after canceling “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” after Mama June Shannon reconnected with a convicted sex offender, TLC faces a strikingly similar controversy over its top-rated show, “19 Kids & Counting,” with the admission of child molestation by the Duggar family’s oldest son, Josh.The Arkansas state trooper who reportedly gave the young Josh Duggar a “very stern talk” once had a Yahoo profile in which he detailed his own sexual interest in children, according to a 2009 court document.

TLC, the network that airs Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s “19 Kids and Counting,” is a corporate holding of Discovery Communications, the self-described “#1 pay-TV programmer in the world.” In addition to TLC and the Discovery Channel, Discovery Communications owns Animal Planet, Science, Investigation Discovery, a controlling interest in EuroSport, and the Oprah Winfrey Network, as well as dozens more channels, both here and across the world. The Pulaski County, Arkansas, “risk assessment” document, which is publicly available online and was posted by Jezebel on Wednesday, detailed the criminal history of the former officer, Joe Hutchens, who is now serving a 56-year sentence on child porn charges. According to the 2006 police report, Duggar family patriarch, JimBob actively covered up Josh’s confession and neglected to notify authorities or provide professional help for Josh and/or his victims. In the last week since 27-year-old Josh Duggar admitted to acting “inexcusably” as a young teenager, at least four national advertisers have pulled out of the show, including Walgreens on Tuesday.

TLC, however, was originally a product of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA, which in 1972 jointly founded “The Learning Channel.” In 1991, Discovery acquired the channel, and in 1998, rebranded it to the shorter and snappier “TLC.” The network’s tag line became “Life: Unscripted.” But at this point, TLC is not a network that seems particularly concerned about putting some good out into the world. To make matters worse, Josh’s pregnant wife, Anna Duggar, believes her husband is a changed man and continues – along with the couple’s three young children – to live with an admitted child sex offender. The show, which consistently drew a weekly audience of 3 million and as much as 4.5 million for this February’s episode featuring Jill Duggar’s and Derek Dillard’s wedding, has been yanked from the cable channel’s schedule though not officially cancelled.

From late September to early May, TLC, whose target audience is women, averaged more than 1 million viewers a night during prime-time hours, according to Nielsen. And in the wake of the revelations, it’s become clear that there was a problem in the vetting process for both “Honey Boo Boo” and the Duggar show, which began as a one-off special on Discovery Health. “When TLC absorbed the show, they had a family that had only been screened for an hour-long documentary and took them to series,” a prominent reality executive speaking on the condition of anonymity told TheWrap. “It would’ve been much different had they ordered numerous episodes at the start.” As far back as December 7, 2006, some saw signs that the Arkansas-based Duggars may not fully live up their public image of evangelical-Christian propriety. And yet here we are, in 2015, surprised that a TLC show about an incredibly conservative family with 19 home-schooled kids and Puritan ideas of sexual impurity might have had some dysfunction lurking under the surface. As a former Quiverfull believer, I recognize in this Duggar family debacle several essential beliefs which are widely held amongst fundamentalist Christians which shackle True Believer’s™ common sense to an outdated and irrelevant god-myth and seriously impair their ability to make sound moral choices. Michelle and JimBob Duggar take very seriously the Evangelical “pro-life” teachings which have influenced the couple to have way too many children: God allows or causes miscarriages.

Oprah’s team sent the email to a child abuse hotline, and canceled the family’s schedule appearance on Winfrey’s show the following day. “The question is: How come Oprah knew about it and TLC didn’t?” noted Howard Bragman, chairman and founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations. “There was a lot of chatter online when Oprah canceled their appearance. Hutchens added that he regrets his actions (or lack thereof). “I did what I thought was right and obviously it wasn’t,” he said. “If I had to do it over again, I would have told him immediately I am going to call the hotline and contacted the trooper that worked those cases and have a full report made.

Given that all the children were home-schooled—and that the police reports obtained by InTouch indicate the abuse took place inside the Duggar house—Josh’s victims were almost certainly his younger sisters. One of the key verses from which fundamentalists get their “Choose Life” catch phrase comes from a passage in Deuteronomy 30 which promises God’s blessing for the faithful. The Duggar family eventually found out the abuse, as did the local authorities, but it was buried until an anonymous tip was sent to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo studios. The document states that Hutchens’ Yahoo profile username was “dadsluv2002” and that his profile listed such interests as “Kinki Kids,” “Child Play series,” “Strangers with Candy,” “Puberty” and “Preschools.” The report also states that between 2004 and 2005, Hutchens “spent considerable time on his computer viewing child porn.” Hutchens was initially sentenced to five years in prison, but by early 2010 he had been released on a suspended-sentence agreement.

The passage also warns of judgment and curses for those who disobey: specifically, God promises death … including death of “thy seed”, i.e., miscarriage and stillbirth. Using the hashtags “CancelTheDuggars,” “DitchTheDuggars” and “BoycottTLC,” outraged viewers and consumers called on companies to take stand against the show featuring the Duggars. Oprah’s cancellation should have been a huge red flag.” “The big networks, say, ABC with a show like ‘Wife Swap,’ do an intense screener: full physical and mental health histories and a drug test. Choice Hotels, which operates 6,300 hotels franchised in more than 35 countries and territories, also used social media to announce that it would no longer advertise if the show continued.

People often fail,” the reality-show insider told us. “When you get to cable, you find it’s not as professional.” On the Oxygen series “Bad Girls Club,” the source recalled, “finalists for the cast will sit with the network’s head of business affairs, two lawyers and a witness, and they’ll go through a list of house rules.” After parameters are set, the cast will sign waivers releasing the network from liability for any physical or emotional harm to the group. “One ‘Bad Girls’ finalist actually asked in her screening, ‘What happens if I stab someone?’” the insider said. “It’s ‘The Hunger Games.’” Physical confrontations aren’t the only danger on a reality set. This time he wound up pleading no contest to 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing child pornography, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported, and was sentenced to 56 years behind bars. For MTV’s 2014 show “Are You The One?” 20 contestants were brought together for potential romantic pairings, with a cash prize offered for 10 perfect matches.

Another common teaching in Evangelical churches is that hormonal birth control such as oral contraception causes “micro-abortions” and early miscarriages (which believers also consider abortions). Prior to that, he had sent Josh to counseling at a Bible-based facility whose affiliated homeschooling program has been criticized for its “horrific” teachings about sexual abuse.

Many Christians take this a step further to say that ALL forms of birth control, including Natural Family Planning are sinful because controlling a woman’s fertility is tantamount to “playing God,” by thwarting The Big Guy’s prerogative to determine when and if a new soul with potential for eternal life comes into existence. We are taking steps to have them removed from future episodes.” CVS Pharmacy also responded to consumers with a tweet: “Thank you for reaching out. It is this belief which drives the unbridled proliferation of Duggar babies: 19 kids of their own, and, now that the older children have married, in JimBob’s words, “The multiplication process has begun.” In 2002, when the alleged molestations occurred, JimBob and Michelle had 14 children aged 14 and under.

While our current advertising campaign includes the TLC network, we have not and will not advertise during the ‘19 Kids and Counting’ program.” According to Extra, depending on the age of the apparent victims, they may have grounds for a civil suit, even if the statue of limitations on the criminal suit has expired.

And critics note that there’s an inherent risk in focusing on more downmarket reality stars like Mama June and the Duggars. “TLC is an organization that’s turning their brand into a freak show,” Johnson said of all in. While TLC “might be” 20 percent of Discovery’s total U.S. revenue, he added, even if TLC lost half of “19 Kids” ratings the dent in total company revenues would be about 0.5 percent. Let me tell you more … There is a teaching amongst Evangelicals in which matters of discipline must be addressed according to God’s order of authority which goes like this: God, Family (within the family, the Father has ultimate authority), Church elders, Church family, Extended family, All Like-minded believers, Satan, and finally (maybe) … the Civil Magistrate. It has become common practice for the public at large to call for institutions to render judgment on employees caught in the act of some sort of wrongdoing. Christians who trust in repentance and forgiveness of sins when it comes to abusive situations will PRAY for the abuser rather than PROTECT the abuse victim.

On one hand there is the suspicion of public institutions and sex education, which created not just the perfect environment for clandestine sexual abuse among several home-schooled children, but a reflexive impulse to hide said abuse from the authorities. In Quiverfull homes, the onus of sexual indiscretion always lies primarily with the father for failing to adequately protect his daughters, and secondarily with the girl or woman for failing to avail herself of adequate protection of clothing and/or her parents’ supervision. The question of moral responsibility is too little, too late; TLC’s moral responsibility, if it has any, would have dictated that they never greenlight the show.

Rather than recognizing immediately that Josh needed professional help, the Duggars were more likely to believe that demonic forces were at work … the Devil made him do it. #5 – The Duggars believe that a benevolent God is intimately involved in every aspect of their lives and He is working all circumstances out for their ultimate good. Suffering in this life is insignificant – even trifling – compared to the faith-strengthening and soul-saving purpose of trials which will be richly rewarded with eternal life in Heaven … so praise the fucking Lord for whatever misery He sends to you and your children.

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