Reports: ’19 Kids and Counting’ yanked from TLC’s schedule

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘I acted inexcusably’: Josh Duggar breaks silence about molesting young girls when he was a teen as his parents claim the scandal ‘drew the family closer to God’.

Since TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting first premiered in 2008, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have amazed their less fecund audience members with their ability to “extreme parent” nine girls and 10 boys. LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas police have destroyed a record outlining a nearly decade-old investigation into reality TV star Josh Duggar, a spokesman said Friday, a day after the 27-year-old resigned his role with a prominent conservative Christian group amid reports about sexual misconduct allegations from when he was a juvenile.

For 10 seasons, viewers—either in admiration or guilty-pleasure gawking—have watched the large brood live their lives according to evangelical Christian values, which include the total submission of women, sexual purity, homeschooling, and adherence to a particular sect known as the Quiverfull movement which (among other principles) eschews all forms of birth control. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before its destruction, reports Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003. Earlier in the day Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who is making a second run for the White House, came to Duggar’s defence with a statement in which he lamented the “insensitive bloodthirst” of those reporting the story.

A flurry of admissions and apologies followed the news yesterday, from Josh, his parents and his wife, and Josh resigned from his position as executive director of FRC Action, the lobbying arm of the evangelical Family Research Council. The report, originally published by tabloid In Touch Weekly, states that a member of Harpo Studios, the producer of Oprah Winfrey’s then show, received an email containing the allegations before the family was set to appear in 2006. For those less acquainted with Quiverfull and the reports of alleged sexual abuse inside the movement by ex-fundamentalists, the allegations were shocking, and dulled the shine on a family that seemed to be perfect. He said he felt remorse for “wrongdoing”. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.

Huckabee’s quick and full-bodied embrace of a disgraced figure at the heart of a shocking scandal immediately stood out as an almost politically suicidal act of loyalty. For others, the allegations and Josh’s seeming admission and apology only confirm that the patriarchal religious movement can be both a breeding ground and hiding place for this type of crime. His comments lit up Twitter, with even conservatives expressing incredulity that he would go all-in for the Duggars, who are well-known in social conservative circles. Because that boy is now 27-year-old Josh Duggar, much of the left has greeted the news of his molestation charges with a kind of derisive, jeering disgust.

Zimmerman didn’t return a request for comment on Friday. “The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record,” Lewis said, adding that similar records are typically kept indefinitely. “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.” Several Arkansas Republicans have rallied behind the Duggar family, which is still engrained in state politics. The identities of his victims were redacted from the police report published by In Touch, but it has been suggested that some of his sisters were among them. Suddenly, the presidential candidate was a central part of the story — and found his name on social media alongside with words like “molestation.” Yet Huckabee’s unapologetic defense of the family is less politically risky than meets the eye. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving.

He’s engaged in a battle with Rick Santorum and several other candidates for the votes of evangelicals and social conservatives — at a time when those voters feel besieged by the forces of secularism and the mainstream media. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.” Though it’s never hit so close to home, the family has been embroiled in a similar controversy before. Bill Gothard—the 80-year-old, never-married founder Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI), the homeschooling methods used and promoted by the Duggars—was accused of sexual harassment by over 30 women, allegations over which he later resigned and half-apologized for, but was never criminally charged. 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.) The leaders of the Duggar clan are undoubtedly hypocrites of the highest order.

The Duggars have been quiet on the accusations against Gothard, but are still very much adherents of his teachings and are scheduled to appear at an IBLP conference later this month. Dave Carney, a veteran New Hampshire Republican strategist, said that every day candidates are asked about the activities and actions of supporters is another day their campaign message gets lost. “There are different levels of scrutiny, different levels of pain, but it’s always a distraction,” he said. “There are only so many media stories that are going to be written today about your campaign.” It’s not impossible to imagine how abuse might go unreported in a world in which women are told to submit to their fathers and brothers and husbands and taught to be ashamed of their own bodies. The alleged victim noted in her complaint that “Phillips’s patriarchal movement teaches that men are, and should be, in the absolute control of women.” Phillips, who has denied that their relationship was non-consensual, was excommunicated from the church he founded.

In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.’ ‘I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. Last year, the Duggar matriarch recorded a robocall warning voters of Fayetteville, Arkansas against a bill that would allow trans women to use the women’s bathroom. “I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child,” she said. “I still believe that we are a society that puts women and children first…” Within the Duggars’ religious ideology, “putting women and children first,” means putting them on a pedestal, policing and protecting them while stripping them of all autonomy.

Indeed submission is the most important tenet in the Christian Patriarchy movement. “Men are to be leaders, teachers, initiators, protectors and providers,” former Quiverfull adherent, and now a vocal opponent, Vyckie Garrison explains on her blog. “Women are created to be ‘helpmeets’ to the men in authority over them (husbands, fathers, older brothers) ~ they are to be submissive and yielding.” As Kathryn Joyce recounts in her book, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, even before marriage young women are taught that men will soon rule over them. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women.

He was told that women exist to serve men—to show them “submission,” “obedience,” and “reverence.” He was barred from seeking out any differing views about men and women. If the answer is no, you shouldn’t get married.” Michelle Duggar lives this principle, even trumpeting complete submission to her husband’s sexual desires—should she want it or not—as a secret to her happy marriage. I was able to say, “Yes” knowing who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended.

In fact Jessa Duggar was the subject of much controversy last year when she “full frontal” hugged her finance following his marriage proposal instead of the “side hug” for which the family had become famous. If it weren’t for your help I would not be here as his wife — celebrating 6 1/2 years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right. Of course we should condemn Josh and his crimes: Contra Mike Huckabee’s strange statement, publicly denouncing sex criminals sends a resounding message that our society won’t tolerate such abuse. They are not what they seem to be. [redacted] has molested [redacted] while [redacted] were sleeping and the parents have been hiding this secret for a long time. ‘Jim Bob lies to his church and his friends to make him look good. At this moment he is in trouble with the church for lying about [redacted] and things that concern the way the church members reacted. ‘I think that you should know the truth before they make a complete fool of you and your show.

Women “faced with sexually predatory behavior from family members or trusted authority figures often find themselves in a no-man’s-land of confusion and trained submission, without the tools to identify or object to the behavior,” writes one former member on Recovering Grace. They have been on TV before and come across as a perfect family, which couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘They jump from show to show to receive gifts for their family and to make them look really good too. The (false) guilt was ingrained and strong; I remember calling men and apologizing for what I wore around them.” On modesty, Michelle Duggar echoed this sentiment on her show telling viewers she learned after her conversion that “I needed to cover areas of myself so that I wasn’t causing others to be defrauded.” And of course men are taught this, too: How female temptresses can lure them away from their God-prescribed paths.

I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he sent to People in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” As for his alleged victims, Josh tell People that he “sought forgiveness from those I had wronged” and we’re left with the impression that the girls, now women whose names have been redacted by reports to protect their anonymity, have granted it. Fearing proximity to “real” offenders, the Duggars instead sent Josh to stay with a family friend in Little Rock, where he did manual labor and read the Bible. By the time police were made aware of the allegations in 2006, the three-year statute of limitations had already run out, so no charges against Josh were filed. TLC hasn’t made an announcement yet, but it seems clear the Duggars will no longer be able to present themselves as a mainstream, more-the-merrier Christian family while practicing a religion built on a patriarchal structure that leads to abuse against its women and acts as a refuge for their perpetrators.

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