The Human Toll of Quiverfull
May 26, 2015 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Quiverfull of shit: a Guide to the Duggars' Scary Brand of Christianity - Gawker, Jennifer C. Martin
"In 1985, a writer named Mary Pride published a book called The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, which detailed her journey away from the second-wave feminism of the '70s and into what she perceived was a woman’s Biblical place in the home, and the commandment to fill the house with as many of her husband’s children as possible.

"Pride insisted that no woman could possibly find true happiness without submitting to her vision of Christianity: Relinquish control of your womb to God, and exist only to please your husband, give birth, feed everyone, and educate your children in the home—almost certainly without having received any formal higher education yourself."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (543 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trigger warning for sexual abuse.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:43 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also: previously
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:45 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


They also put together a timeline of all the horrible things that pretty much everybody involved in the Duggar case did (or didn't do) to aid and abet.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:48 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Catholics, Mormons, and certain groups of conservative Jews also believe in having a lot of kids and not taking birth control.

Mormons don't have any problem with birth control.
posted by gurple at 8:49 AM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


I am also pretty sure that at least one of Michelle Duggar's children was conceived against medical advice and has/had substantial health issues. Not that you always have to listen to one doctor, but putting a child's life in danger should also be seen as abuse.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:52 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


> Catholics, Mormons, and certain groups of conservative Jews also believe in having a lot of kids and not taking birth control.

Mormons don't have any problem with birth control.


And Catholics don't have a problem with certain kinds of birth control.

I wouldn't group Catholicism in with the Quiverfull movement as such; the idea behind the ban on contraception isn't because "yay have a metric asston of babies", but more about "sex isn't supposed to be a self-gratifiying act". That's why the abstention from sex during fertile periods works as a loophole in Catholicism - it's okay to limit your family size, just so long as you also limit the sex during those certain times of the month as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:55 AM on May 26, 2015 [31 favorites]


Mary No Pride more like.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:56 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


An open letter to Duggar Defenders dated August 2014.
You likely think you know all they need to know about the Duggars from watching the TV show. First of all, this is not how TV works. But that isn’t the only issue. The problem real here is that you very likely do not understand the Duggar’s subculture. You assume that they are a typical American family with an extra 16 children. You assume that your culture is their culture. It is not.
Let the light shine in.

I hope someday these young ladies can get proper counseling and that all their kids can find a way to break free and think free. If they'd never gotten on TLC, maybe some of them would have gotten out by now.

But maybe by being on there, and people working to bring the light in to the darker corners of this movement, more overall will get to a point where they can get enough information to make at least a somewhat informed choice about their own lives.
posted by tilde at 8:59 AM on May 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


certain groups of conservative Jews also believe in having a lot of kids and not taking birth control.

All branches of Judaism allow birth control. There is a commandment, "be fruitful and multiply," but this is a positive commandment, which are traditionally seen as applying to men alone. So women can use birth control if they like. Some sorts of contraception are prohibited by certain branches, but the above quoted statement is not generally true.
posted by maxsparber at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


I was so glad to hear that show got (is getting?) pulled off the air, I refuse to waste my breath and/or time with giving too much of a shit but I'm hopeful that it's gone for good.

Seriously, how sick are we as Americans when insidiously creepy Quiverfull reality TV bullshit is on a channel that used to cater to knowledge, with top billing mind you? Good riddance.

Women that are stuck or lured into that situation have my sympathy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]




There is a difference between conservative Jews and Conservative Jews, but really, the groups that abjure all birth control at all times are pretty fringe.
posted by jeather at 9:02 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't group Catholicism in with the Quiverfull movement as such

Catholicism as a philosophy, maybe, but ~95% of Catholic women in the US use or support the use of contraceptives.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:04 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


And now I'm seeing that the bit about Catholics and Mormons being part of Quiverfull was in the Gawker article. Grr.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:05 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


A friend of mine was raised in this cult, and her brother is still involved in it. I'm so glad she was able to escape. It's not my place to speak for her, but yes: these people are bad.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


However, Michelle was happy to record a transphobic robo-call to play in the ears of the Fayetteville, Ark., public to inform them about the dire effects of an anti-discrimination ordinance that was being considered by the Fayetteville City Council. She warned the public that putting “men” in ladies’ and girls’ restrooms would permit them to come in contact with sexual predators.

JFC. The "sexual predators!" garbage is already bigoted and nonsensical, but it's pretty fucking horrible when using it to scaremonger trivializes the molestation of your own children.
posted by almostmanda at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


I have a ton of Catholic friends of varying levels of devoutness, and none of them have more than two kids. Draw your own conclusions.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:07 AM on May 26, 2015


Catholicism as a philosophy, maybe, but ~95% of Catholic women in the US use or support the use of contraceptives.

Yeah, my point was that even from a philosophical angle it still wasn't quite in the Quiverfull camp. There may indeed be some super-extreme Mel-Gibson's-Dad-level conservative people who espouse this, but "have as many babies as possible to raise an army of believers for God" isn't part of the Vatican dogma; the emphasis isn't on "you're supposed to have tons of babies so don't use birth control", it's more on "you're not supposed to have sex just for the fun of it, so don't use birth control". It's more about not getting to enjoy sex for sex's own sake. Which, I acknowledge, is a whole other realm of WTF, but it's still different from Quiverfull stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


You suspect them of withdrawing before reaching a conclusion?
posted by sobarel at 9:11 AM on May 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


Catholicism as a philosophy, maybe, but ~95% of Catholic women in the US use or support the use of contraceptives.

I have a ton of Catholic friends of varying levels of devoutness, and none of them have more than two kids. Draw your own conclusions.

Remember, only 8% of Catholics live in North America. Depending on the area of the world and level of development, your Catholics-are-against-birth-control milage may vary.
posted by boubelium at 9:11 AM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


One of the best parts of the piece (especially because we're beginning to see this bullshit getting peddled):

One line of argument you might hear is that Josh Duggar didn’t know it was wrong to molest girls or that he didn’t know what he was doing. He comes from a culture in which women are forbidden from showing their shoulders in case it causes their brothers to stumble, where they aren’t allowed to dance or front hug their own siblings—so how would he not know it’s wrong to fondle their breasts and genitals?

Don’t let anyone tell you this. The Quiverfull fundamentalist Christians are obsessed with sex. It’s the ultimate sin: They’re always thinking about it, and they’re always categorizing what’s wrong and what’s right.

posted by NoxAeternum at 9:13 AM on May 26, 2015 [57 favorites]


Why is everyone getting so caught up on the line regarding Catholic and Jewish beliefs as they pertain to birth control? The article is specifically bringing it up to differentiate it from Quiverfull and those who would say "they do it too!", not lump it in.
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:13 AM on May 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


Huh, NoxAeternum raises an interesting question - is there much of a Quiverfull mindset outside of North America/Western Europe?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


This whole tragedy is a perfect example of the lengths people will go in order to protect members of their own tribe, no matter how heinous the crimes they commit. I doubt Mike Huckabee would have been so chill about this if the family's last name had been Clinton or Kennedy or Obama.

Also, one of the many gross things about this is the "get out of jail free" card membership in this club seems to grant you (assuming you're male and preferably white and preferably politically connected).
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:14 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I mean, if the thesis is that hardline, obsessive rules about sex and birth control translate to not dealing with sexual predation properly, I think Catholicism is pretty relevant.
posted by almostmanda at 9:15 AM on May 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


I had no idea Andrea Yates was Quiverful. Wow.

Before the Duggars, the most famous Quiverfull parents might have been Rusty and Andrea Yates. Rusty encouraged his wife to continue having more children, regardless of the fact that a doctor had strongly advised against it: Andrea was experiencing mental breakdowns, suicide attempts, and hospitalizations caused by postpartum psychosis during previous births. After her husband left her alone despite a doctor’s orders to never leave her unsupervised, Andrea Yates drowned all five of her children.
posted by sio42 at 9:16 AM on May 26, 2015 [75 favorites]


Why is everyone getting so caught up on the line regarding Catholic and Jewish beliefs as they pertain to birth control?

Because Judaism is poorly understood and often misrepresented, and it only took a few sentences to address this.
posted by maxsparber at 9:19 AM on May 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


Why is everyone getting so caught up on the line regarding Catholic and Jewish beliefs as they pertain to birth control?

The reason I brought it up (regarding Mormon beliefs) is credibility. The author is telling us a lot of things about a group that not many people know much about. Her questionable accuracy w.r.t. groups that we do know a lot about calls into question, for me, how much she really knows about her subject.
posted by gurple at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


Seriously, how sick are we as Americans when insidiously creepy Quiverfull reality TV bullshit is on a channel that used to cater to knowledge, with top billing mind you? Good riddance.

Quality over Quiverfull, please!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't group Catholicism in with the Quiverfull movement as such...

Before this derail gets any more legs than it already has, there seems to be a reading comprehension fail going on here. The author is saying that certain mainstream religions eschew birth control but that does not make them the same as the Quiverfull people, for whom it is also a political issue.
posted by The Bellman at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


The thing with Josh Duggar is -- what he did was horrible, full stop, but on the other hand he was also being brought up in a really fucked up system and he was still a kid. I don't know what he did since, if anything, to try to make amends and to be sure he wouldn't abuse again -- but I know his parents are the ones who deserve most of the blame (as well as the state trooper who just spoke to him).
posted by jeather at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


Why is everyone getting so caught up on the line regarding Catholic and Jewish beliefs as they pertain to birth control? The article is specifically bringing it up to differentiate it from Quiverfull and those who would say "they do it too!", not lump it in.

It actually came across as a lumping-in, which is why I dissented on Catholicism.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


but on the other hand he was also being brought up in a really fucked up system and he was still a kid

Many teenagers are brought up in terrible conditions, worse than Josh Duggar, and do not molest children.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2015 [69 favorites]


> his parents are the ones who deserve most of the blame (as well as the state trooper who just spoke to him).

Yeah, what are the odds that his case was handled by a cop who later went to jail for possession of child pornography?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:24 AM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


Many teenagers are brought up in terrible conditions, worse than Josh Duggar, and do not molest children.

Not to mention (as the article points out) that said horrible environment did teach that what he did was wrong.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


"The kids can’t listen to any music that makes you want to dance, even terrible Christian rock, so it’s pretty much just hymns and classical music."

Good thing that plenty of classical composers wrote or adapted dance music.

One thing that tweaks me is that people seem to miss that it is every older generation's job to dismiss, disdain, and disparage a younger generation's art in general and music specifically forgetting that the accepted standard for them was another generation's subversive innovation. The composers who knew who had the cash put their crazy stuff right into the church. I mean, do you know how long it takes to recite a Latin mass? Way less time than to perform Mozart or Bach's Gloria.

Where am I going with this? Right. Haters gonna hate and extremists of all stripes end up doing, well, extreme things.
posted by plinth at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I think the Duggars are crazy and am sad that from an evolutionary perspective religions that emphasize reproduction above all else are the ones that will grow the fastest but I just really wanted to say...

groups that abjure all birth control at all times are pretty fringe.

This is the first time I've seen someone use the word abjure outside of The Player's Handbook. Congratulations.
posted by GuyZero at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2015 [35 favorites]


The troubling thing—well, one of the troubling things, there's a hell of a long list—is the question of how long this would have remained unknown if the molester himself hadn't come out and confessed what happened?

How many people—presumably the whole messed-up family, what of the TLC production crew? Apparently also the local police?—knew about it but didn't say anything? How many people, including the victims, may have been pressured not to say anything?

The Quiverfull "movement" is really a network of sex cults that have discovered a cunning way to attract members that can't easily leave.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


the timeline link posted above shows that someone tipped off Harpo Productions (oprah's company). i'm glad to know that they actually treated the info as urgent and serious and reported it appropriately, rather than *only* canceling the appearance. it seems like the police would never have become involved if it weren't for Oprah.

According to the police report and InTouch, a Duggar family appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006 was canceled after a “61-year-old woman” emailed Harpo Studios to warn producers about Josh’s sexual misconduct. Harpo Studios forwarded the information to the Department of Human Services hotline, which trigged an investigation by the Springdale Police Department.
posted by sio42 at 9:29 AM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


The Card Cheat: "Yeah, what are the odds that his case was handled by a cop who later went to jail for possession of child pornography?"

I'm not sure if I'd jump to that conclusion (are you riffing off some other report not mentioned in the post?). I can see a trooper doing a little mental calculus about arresting a politically connected kid, sure -- and to be clear, that's pretty heinous in my opinion -- but going right to state trooper sex cult is a little much.
posted by boo_radley at 9:29 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, with how little these groups seem to view women-as-people as opposed to women-as-life-support-for-wombs, maybe they'd just be happier with Tleilaxu axolotl tanks.

Fucking creeps.
posted by qcubed at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


That wasn't a random sarcastic quip, fyi:
Even after repeated instances of abuse, Josh Duggar was never formally charged or turned into the authorities. He got a “stern lecture” from a state trooper who happened to be a family friend, and also happened to be a pervert who was later arrested on child pornography charges himself.
posted by erratic meatsack at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


joseph conrad is fully awesome: "educate your children in the home—almost certainly without having received any formal higher education yourself."

That's another difference between Catholics and the Quiverfull sorts ... Catholicism, first of all, doesn't have a robust tradition of homeschooling at all; it's all about "send your kids to Catholic school." And secondly, Catholicism has been about "educate your weeeeeemen" for a long time. Since higher education became more common in the West, Catholics have been advocating the college education of women even back when it was, "Send your daughters to Catholic college so they can be better stay-at-home-moms who teach your kids to read earlier." With traditions of scholarly women dating back to the middle ages, and doctrine that calls for the education of children, Catholic groups that start to suggest women NOT be educated to the same level as men tend to get the side-eye. You're much more likely to hear Catholic groups with a patriarchy problem say, "Women should only go to college to become better at-home mothers."

I have known two Quiverfull families, and I thought they seemed really unhappy, and the children were really anxious when talking to "outsiders," even if we were "approved" outsiders. And I also thought it was profoundly weird -- and you notice this with the Duggars too -- that apparently since the group was formed in the 1980s, hairstyles from the 1980s are considered modest? SO MANY SPIRAL PERMS. (I suppose this is only semi-weird, you still have nuns wearing what upper-class wives wore for modesty in 1402 when they got founded. BUT STILL WEIRD.) I don't know. The one family I knew seemed like, "Nice people, but moderately insane." They also had "only" six children (ages 18 months to 13 years) because they had some fertility problems. But ... I don't know. There was just an air of unhappiness about them. And I thought the 13-year-old, who was very bright and bookish, was clearly outgrowing both her mother's ability to teach her AND the acceptable curriculum for girls in that subculture. Even if she left home when she was 18, that's five years of boredom before anyone lets her read anything but Quiverfull-approved books and the Bible. I mean I could take the Bible to a desert island and be suitably entertained for 40 years, it's got a lot of stuff in it!, but probably not when I was 13 and hadn't had 8 years of higher education in theology.

(The other family seemed like they were on a bee-line to total family meltdown, with the wife totally drowning in post-partum depression and four kids under four and the husband just kind of ... not emotionally present, and increasingly overwhelmed with the demands of work to support the family. I didn't know them as well.)

I am always suspicious of religious groups that require you to cut yourself off from the outside world but have no institutional culture themselves. (Or, like Scientology, have an institutional culture but require you to cut yourself off from your family.) Societies are a lot healthier when there are multiple parallel authority structures -- your family, your church, your school, the state. When everything's folded into one authority structure, it's a lot easier for powerful people to get away with unchecked, open abuse for very long periods of time and with no consequences.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:33 AM on May 26, 2015 [141 favorites]


I don't care about Josh or his awful parents. I care a lot about the girls trapped in a world where they don't have an education or any skills beside household/childcare ones, in relationships where they are without power to refuse anything, constantly ill from pregnancy or its aftermath, constantly nursing newborns.

One thing not mentioned for those that want to leave: identity abuse. In other words, if a girl is born at home, and homeschooled, and her parents don't give her access to any documentation, she's stuck in other ways. Without access to birth certificates, with no school records, how does a girl who leaves get a driver's license or a job?

I think the Duggar girls are, thankfully, mostly born in hospitals, as well as being famous, so that itself would probably not be a problem for them. But I really want someone to send in a counselor to help them escape. I think people have been watching a reality show about girls sytematically being stripped of their autonomy and future and it's sick. We owe them a way to escape.
posted by emjaybee at 9:35 AM on May 26, 2015 [101 favorites]


Oddly (and i don't mean this as a derail) the same forum commenter ('Alice') who posted about the molestation also says they didn't build that house, that they hired people to do it and Discovery paid for it.

i do remember seeing a few episodes way back when it was first on or they had a special and while thinking they were creepy, being impressed that they were building that huge all on their own and a big deal was made how they weren't paying others to do it.

i know it's not anywhere near as awful as covering up molestation, but it does seem to just add to a seedier image of the Duggars.

i wonder if people have been trying to get the word out for a long time but the squeaky image and lack of concrete evidence lead to them not being taken seriously with their accusations.

i mean, as far as the house goes, you think it'd be easy to find out who paid for it and what contractors were hired etc. there had to be code inspections and such. i figure the more that can be found to discredit them in any way, the better.
posted by sio42 at 9:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


jauntyfedora: Why is everyone getting so caught up on the line regarding Catholic and Jewish beliefs as they pertain to birth control?

maxsparber: Because Judaism is poorly understood and often misrepresented, and it only took a few sentences to address this.

Also, since they're being mentioned in the same breath, "Quiverfull" says having a baby is more important than any risk a pregnancy may pose to a mother.

All sects of Judaism place the life of a mother over that of an unborn child. All of them.

The Bellman: The author is saying that certain mainstream religions eschew birth control but that does not make them the same as the Quiverfull people, for whom it is also a political issue.

Yeah, and the author is wrong. Because the only sects of Judaism that "eschew birth control" don't do it under all circumstances, including when it might place a woman's life at risk. And those sects are certainly not mainstream. Also, it can be political. Some Orthodox sects push repopulating the Jewish people, post-Holocaust.

But yes, they're not like Quiverfull.
posted by zarq at 9:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


It seems like this is a good place to mention the Free Jinger site, which is kind of half-and-half a Duggar-and-its-ilk gossip site and a resources-for-ex-Fundamentals site. Emphasis on the Quiverful snark.

I think the focus was on Jinger because she seemed most feisty among the Duggar girls, and a bunch of people thought "oh, man, this girl needs help."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Quiverfull "movement" is really a network of sex cults that have discovered a cunning way to attract members that can't easily leave.

Hey now, lets not disparage sex cults by lumping them in with these awful folks. Sex cults beleive in birth control.
posted by el io at 9:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


One thing not mentioned for those that want to leave: identity abuse. In other words, if a girl is born at home, and homeschooled, and her parents don't give her access to any documentation, she's stuck in other ways. Without access to birth certificates, with no school records, how does a girl who leaves get a driver's license or a job?


Holy freaking crap i never even thought of that or knew there was a term for that. And i'm all up on the whole 'getting a photo id to vote is hard' thing.

I just never placed in a different context.

I know the Amish have their whole not being part of the english thing, but at least they get driver's licenses and documentation for the most part, AFAIK.
posted by sio42 at 9:42 AM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


It's not surprising that people like Mike Huckabee are lending their unconditional support to these people. Making More White People is pretty much the only strategy the GOP has left for staying demographically relevant into the next generation.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:49 AM on May 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


erratic meatsack: "That wasn't a random sarcastic quip, fyi:"

Welp, thanks humanity.
posted by boo_radley at 9:49 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


You know, with how little these groups seem to view women-as-people as opposed to women-as-life-support-for-wombs, maybe they'd just be happier with Tleilaxu axolotl tanks.

Spoiler alert: the axolotl tanks are women as life support tanks for wombs.

Also as someone who grew up in a fundamentalist house with very similar theology to the Duggars, I'd like to remind everyone that being raised that way doesn't take away one's free will to do right and eschew wrong.
posted by winna at 9:53 AM on May 26, 2015 [33 favorites]


Between this, Honey Boo Boo, Cheer Perfection and Cake Boss?

You could put a dozen pilots in a lineup and TLC would be able to pick up the one with one of the cast sexually abusing kids every time.

Also, since everything is controlled by the parents, their looks, their lives, their attitudes, how do we not know that Jim Bob is in on the whole thing? The pervert zero if you will.
posted by Talez at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Spoiler alert: the axolotl tanks are women as life support tanks for wombs.

Right. But they're not exactly "women" anymore because all their higher functions are removed. No personality, no intellect, no anything, just biological apparatus surrounding a uterus that's used for breeding more Tleilaxu monsters men.

And given that these sick fucks don't seem to want to educate or provide any sort of growth for their non-penis-having children...
posted by qcubed at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, and the author is wrong. Because the only sects of Judaism that "eschew birth control" don't do it under all circumstances, including when it might place a woman's life at risk.

That seems like parsing things pretty rigorously. There are mainstream sectors of Jewish belief which frown on birth control. That they allow for exceptions in certain circumstances doesn't make the general statement that they "eschew birth control" false.

I think if you have to seek permission from your Rabbi to use birth control you can fairly be said to belong to a branch of religious belief which, in general, "eschews birth control."
posted by yoink at 9:59 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Societies are a lot healthier when there are multiple parallel authority structures -- your family, your church, your school, the state. When everything's folded into one authority structure, it's a lot easier for powerful people to get away with unchecked, open abuse for very long periods of time and with no consequences.

This is, basically, the thing that is true that I actually know. So I wanted to quote it, because most of the time when stuff goes wrong in movements of all sorts it's because of people forgetting or ignoring this.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:01 AM on May 26, 2015 [29 favorites]


I think the focus was on Jinger because she seemed most feisty among the Duggar girls, and a bunch of people thought "oh, man, this girl needs help."

Also, not a lot of Jinger-with-a-J's out there; you know who they mean.

(Rule of thumb for parents: When you are so out of J names you have to start misspelling G ones, you have way too many kids.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:01 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I agree what he did was terrible, and being brought up in a fucked up household isn't an excuse. But he was fourteen, and fourteen year olds are not adults. He even told his parents. This doesn't make it right, it just makes me think he was not at the time doomed to be a terrible person forever. His parents, on the other hand, didn't get him help, didn't get his victims help, didn't tell parents of other potential victims -- they just tried to pretend nothing happened. The church did the same thing. No one called the cops -- calling someone who just so happened to be into child porn and did nothing seems like calling a friend more than calling the authorities.

I never knew what Jinger meant -- or, apparently, how to pronounce it. TIL.
posted by jeather at 10:05 AM on May 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


Having been impelled by circumstances to watch more than one episode of 19 Kids etc, I can confirm that Jinger seems the one most likely to secretly smoke clove cigarettes, reject the triune god, and perhaps one day bring the entire rotten Duggar edifice down
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's worth noting that, not only was the cop who "sternly" lectured Josh into child pornography, the guy who ran the "rehabilitation" program Josh was sent to, which was part of an overall fundamentalist home schooling movement, resigned after being accused of using his position to "groom" young women and teens in his care.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [39 favorites]


You could put a dozen pilots in a lineup and TLC would be able to pick up the one with one of the cast sexually abusing kids every time.

It's almost as if when you decide to base your business around providing the public with "weird"/wacky/off-beat people to gawk at, you somehow (totally unpredictably, I swear!) end up with a pretty large percentage of fundamentally broken and/or fame-hungry people who you will find yourself morally compromised by, since keeping their shit under wraps is what keeps the bills paid.

Who'd a thunk it?
posted by tocts at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


What's the story with Jinger?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think if you have to seek permission from your Rabbi to use birth control you can fairly be said to belong to a branch of religious belief which, in general, "eschews birth control."

What the clergy believes and wants and what the laity believes and does can be separate. Again: US Catholics.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's the story with Jinger?

Some people have picked up that she seems a bit more sassy than the others, and she's also been vocal about wanting to get out of a rural place and live in a big city.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


What's the story with Jinger?

Turns out despite all the programming to the contrary, she thinks she's an actual human being with interests and hobbies besides God and being a baby factory.
posted by Talez at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


don't believe the lie that these are teenage mistakes, as if that lessens his culpability. don't let yourself think that he was any less cruel than a 50 year old, any less monstrous, that his victims were any less hurt. because it's not true. i am a survivor of incestuous abuse that started when my brother 11 or so. i was likely his first victim but in no way was i his last. there is no reason to believe josh duggar has stopped. even if he has, his age does not excuse his abuse. his parents, their beliefs, all the other adults that believed the lie that "this is a family matter" - they are all culpable as well, but don't twist yourself up trying to let him off the hook.

as to the mormon thing - yeah, they allow birth control - but they do have something in common with the duggars, at least in my personal experience - they require repentance and forgiveness from victims of abuse and they discourage going to authorities because it's better for a victim to stay in the home of her abuser than for her to be put in a non-mormon home.
posted by nadawi at 10:19 AM on May 26, 2015 [64 favorites]


[Folks, just to make it official, let's not pursue the "but what do Catholicism and Judaism have to say?" thing as a side conversation?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:20 AM on May 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


Remember in 2002 when Jim Bob was running for the senate and he said that incest should be treated as a capital crime? UH-OH SPAGHETTI-OS!
posted by Talez at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2015 [29 favorites]


i'm also troubled with how gleeful some have approached this news - i know, the duggars are awful - it's my community they directly harmed with their bathroom panic nonsense. they've been mixed up in my local politics for a long time with detrimental effects. but some reactions seem to fall on the side of celebration that they've been taken down a notch - it reads to me like some are reacting like josh was caught consensually toe tapping in a public restroom. of course they're rotten to the core, of course it's good that they will not be able to influence policy and public perception of anti-lgbt/anti-choice causes - but the victims are mixed up with the abusers and they all preach against gay rights and women's access to health care.

i dunno. maybe i should just stay out of these conversations. i just feel like so often the survivors of incestuous abuse keep quiet for a million reasons both personal and societal and so people get used to having these conversations without our voices being heard.
posted by nadawi at 10:28 AM on May 26, 2015 [40 favorites]


but the victims are mixed up with the abusers and they all preach against gay rights and women's access to health care.

I'm not sure what your point is, though. Everyone is expressing rage and compassion for the victims, and also for the fact that these people no longer have any right to talk about anything in the public sphere. The things aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:31 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Josh Duggar made an incest joke on the show, just a couple of years ago (as an adult). That's not the behavior or attitude of someone who has any sense of what horrific things he did. It doesn't mean jack shit that he was 14, and it wasn't a one time horrible mistake, in which his sense of right and wrong kicked in - and stopped. He was a predator who assaulted and abused girls again and again and again and again and again. People, or adults with great remorse and regret don't make "jokes" like that. Grown up abusers with an ingrained sense of entitlement and smugness, do.
posted by raztaj at 10:33 AM on May 26, 2015 [39 favorites]


Thank you, nadawi. As much as I like to see toxic religious groups get pilloried in the press, this was the story of children getting sexually assaulted, and the sheer awfulness of the fact precludes me from finding this especially funny or getting especially gleeful about it.
posted by maxsparber at 10:33 AM on May 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


Talez: "Between this, Honey Boo Boo, Cheer Perfection and Cake Boss?

You could put a dozen pilots in a lineup and TLC would be able to pick up the one with one of the cast sexually abusing kids every time.

Also, since everything is controlled by the parents, their looks, their lives, their attitudes, how do we not know that Jim Bob is in on the whole thing? The pervert zero if you will.
"

Mama June preparing to sue TLC.
posted by Splunge at 10:33 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dan Savage brought up a good point on the latest episode of his podcast: The elders of the Duggars' church are likely subject to mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse, which they manifestly did not follow. Just a colossal failure by everyone in a position of authority.

This is also a good time to remind people that sexual abuse in evangelical Protestant institutions may well rival that of Catholic institutions of recent years, but will be much harder to uproot. After all, not every evangelical subculture has a reality show about them. The American Prospect had a very good piece about this matter not long ago.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:34 AM on May 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


I totally agree with nadawi-- the way so much of the internet is relying on "we should have known! look at the way they dress!!!!" talk is really upsetting.

It is bad enough that these children are kept in total isolation from their peers and their culture and any amount of context that could help them. If one of the daughters did manage to get access to outside information, I don't think mockery of her mandated perm would make her feel particularly loved or valued. They have been left no choice but to smile alongside their abuser(s) for their entire lives, and reality television has made sure that they are never, never unobserved. My heart breaks for them. I hate the mockery that is being made of their circumstances while their powerlessness is discussed.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:35 AM on May 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


I'm not sure what your point is, though.

that some reactions i've seen (not just on metafilter - i'm speaking generally here) fall over the line to being gleeful and titillated about the repeated sexual abuse of girls as young as 4 years old because we don't like his or his family's politics.
posted by nadawi at 10:36 AM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


The kids can’t listen to any music that makes you want to dance, even terrible Christian rock, so it’s pretty much just hymns and classical music.

I'm thinking the Quiverfulls don't actually listen to much classical music. Because quite a lot of it makes you want to dance, and also some of it makes you want to fuck.
posted by JanetLand at 10:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


He even told his parents.

He told his parents after he got caught.

Of course we already know that they consider girls and women sexual property, but WTF, Duggars? FOUR of your children were sexually assaulted and all you can talk about is how this affects their assailant?
posted by caryatid at 10:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


because we don't like his or his family's politics.

I don't think that's it, though. We're pointing out that these people are complete, evil hypocrites who dared judge other families and treat us like shit because our families don't look like theirs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


Thank you, nadawi.
posted by zarq at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


ID abuse is being addressed in some places, here's a good article about one girl's dilemma in Texas.
posted by Melismata at 10:40 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm thinking the Quiverfulls don't actually listen to much classical music. Because quite a lot of it makes you want to dance, and also some of it makes you want to fuck.

Or, with Joie du sang des étoiles, both.
posted by maxsparber at 10:41 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I confess to watching this show as part of my well documented fascination with religious kookery.

My assorted thoughts, which will likely even contradict themselves in places.

It's unconscionable that Jim Bob and Michelle made their daughters continue to live with their molester for so many years.

I see the word pedophile being thrown around a lot, but I'd like read someone with actual expertise in these matters to comment on this. On the one hand, he was 14 and I'm not sure it makes sense to categorize someone as a pedophile when they were a kid themselves. On the other hand, the youngest victim was 4 and the oldest daughter (12) was the one sister he did not molest, so it does seem to suggest a preference for extreme youth. On the third hand, I would really really like to believe that what one does as a 14 year old doesn't indicate pedophilia, just because he was a 5 year old daughter and another on the way.

And in response to the comment above, let me make it clear that I do not think the fact that he was 14 means this is any less bad or it hurt the victims any less. All I am wondering is if it makes it less likely to indicate pedophilia.

I have mixed feelings about the word "cover up." I mean they didn't take out an announcement in the New York Times or talk about it on their show, but would that have been the right thing to do? Presumably their daughters/the victims have a right to privacy, too. They did A) Go to the police (not 4 years later. It happened once, they though it was a one time thing (yes, of course that's messed up) and when they found it out it was happening more, they went to the police immediately. B) They did go to their church elders, which I assume they see as their community leaders. Isn't "go to the police" exactly what we would want people who uncover abuse to do? That the cop did nothing is on the pedophile cop, not the parents, I would think.

Of course the next thing we would want them to do is get counseling for Josh and his victims and probably their other kids. They really messed this up badly, surely. The supposed counseling they got for Josh was basically working on renovations (idle hands do the devil's work!). THere's no indication that what they girls got was real counseling, but the counseling offered for sexual abuse victims by their religious group is nauseating [serious trigger warning for fucked upness]. They also went to Journey to the Heart, which maybe is the other thing they may have been alluding to with "counseling". (My favourite part of the Journey to the Heart web site is where it says that if you can't afford the registration fee, you should pray to God for the money).

I have little doubt that whatever counseling the girls got was inadequate and messed up and focused on having them forgive Josh rather than heal themselves. Though Jessa's father in law says that sexual abuse is never the victim's fault. This is the one sensible thing he says amid a sea of "Josh made a mistake but now God forgave him and so should you" bullshit. Both the married daughters are men who do not come from quiverfull backgrounds (though obviously still conservative evangelical Christians), so hopefully they're getting some support in their marriages that they did not get from their parents. Though Jessa's husband is dumb as a rock, so who knows what messed up thing he might say.

Jinger makes faces and rolls her eyes and is entertaining, but rest assured that she drinks a pitcher of the kool-aid every morning. I think the more likely to break free daughter is Joy. She's always seemed to reject (or accept as little as possible) the performance of femininty forced on her by her family.

Finally (maybe), this enforcement of weird conceptions of gender takes it's toll on the boys, too. Imagine having to go through your life staring at your shoes every time someone says "Nike" cause a woman in a tank top is walking past. Imagine having your relationship with your sisters impeded by your parents because your sister might tempt you or because you can't be trusted around your sister because your brother couldn't be trusted (Note the way Jackson and Johanna, once besties, are being separated as they approach their older childhood years). It's obviously no where near the level of enduring sexual assault and then living with the perp, but it'll mess you up. Also, they try to marry the boys off as young as possible because they're horny. Note that Josh was betrothed at the time he committed these crimes. Also Jessa's father in law has a whole screed about "my son is horny, quick somebody marry him."

Also (so I guess above wasn't finally), the Duggars have said on numerous occasions they do NOT subscribe to quiverfull ideology. I think that by this they mean that while they believe in not using birth control (or leaving God in charge of their family, as they put it), they're not trying to outpopulate anyone or build an army. But they've never explained what they mean by that, so who knows.

Oh, and the award for most out-of-touch Christian patriarchy posting is a tie between this commenter who says "Now in tthe case of two consenting homosexuals, the only thing you are adding to the mix of sins is “consenting.” " (Umm, yes, consenting changes things...your words indicate you're starting to get this, but your tone suggests confusion). And this blogger who says in confusion that liberals think "Anything short of her happy consent in their view, is rape. " (umm...yes, again, your WORDS suggest you get it, but the tone...).

My reading of the police report is that he told his parents and that's how he got "caught" at the very least the second time. That is, there was incident 1. It seems like he told his parents about this himself, but it's not 100% clear. Time passes, there are other incidents, he tells his parents "I've been doing it again." That it was he who went to them in the second incident seems clearer.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:41 AM on May 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


either we haven't been reading the same repeated jokes on every social media platform and comment section about this or we have to agree to disagree then, i guess.

i personally fought against the duggars' in my own town. some of the closest people in my life are worried about losing their homes because of the duggars' political influence which removed our anti-discrimination ordinance. the causes they are involved in, and how they use their influence and money, directly affects my local politics. i get bringing up the hypocrisy. again i'll say, in my opinion some are too gleeful about this gotcha, no matter what their reasons are.
posted by nadawi at 10:42 AM on May 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


This is probably pretty triggering.

Some context I think that younger people could use in this case:

My mom grew up in the 40s and 50s in a conservative farming community. When she was about 12 years old, her best friend's mother died, and afterward, her friend became busy and distant. The neighbors would gossip, but it wasn't until many years later that my mom realized that when people were talking about her friend taking over wifely duties, it didn't just mean cooking and cleaning. Everyone in town obviously knew what was happening, but that sort of thing was considered a private family matter, something to gossip and tsk-tsk over as though it were some kind of social faux pas.

I grew up in the 70s. I suspect that people were at least slightly less tolerant of sexual abuse than that, but I also remember that I was responsible for avoiding and evading 'dirty old men' from an extremely young age. I knew that, if I came home and told someone I'd been flashed or some old guy had tried to get me into his car or something, the most anyone was likely to do about it would be to tell me to stay away from those guys. Nobody was going to, you know, go out and find those guys trying to pick up little girls. I know this is hard to believe for younger people, because there has been a drastic and very very recent change in public opinion on these things. Every now and again, some sort of artifact of normalized pedophilia comes to light--that Love's Baby Soft ad featuring what looks like a very sexualized child, a creepy game show host making sleazy advances on little girls, something like that--and people are shocked by them. But that kind of thing was actually quite normal at the time. The movie Pretty Baby came out in 1978, and Playboy did a promotional photo spread for it, featuring then 12 year old Brooke Shields. Child pornography was not even explicitly illegal until 1982, IIRC. A lot of people didn't like it, but as a society, we very much tolerated it.

And here comes my point: When people talk about returning to 'traditional family values,' that is part and parcel to that. Traditional family values include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, and a whole host of other things that go on behind the scenes in isolated, regressive family structures like the Duggars'. That's why you see so many of their apologists minimizing what he did. They're not in denial about what he did. They just think it's normal because, in their culture, it is.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:44 AM on May 26, 2015 [211 favorites]


Disturbing.

Ultimately the scariest aspect of Quiverfull is that it’s not just one specific Christian denomination or church: Quiverfull families are all over America, in churches everywhere... Quiverfull families could really be found in any traditionalist Protestant denomination

This seems like a pretty novel thing. I wonder whether the diffuseness is a normal feature of inceptive sectarian movements or if the online stuff in particular makes that available. The article mentions the social media presence... It's weird to think of a "cult" as scattered like this.


grape juice and a thin styrofoam wafer.

Wat? They eat styrofoam?
posted by batfish at 10:44 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


A Washington Post column on this from a couple days ago, specifically about the cult of purity:
The Duggars built their brand on a slavish dedication to ideals of modesty and purity, keeping their children away from Unwholesome Influences, even to the point of shouting “Nike!” when the family was out for a walk in the presence of a woman who was immodestly attired, in order to get them to stare at their shoes. Women must be “modest” and “godly” and pure to attract a godly man. This is where their value lies. Chaperones! Courtship! Side-hugs only! Even hand-holding is off the table.

The revelation of Josh Duggar’s molestation allegations is about more than hypocrisy. This is no occasion for glee. This is a reminder of how badly the cult of purity lets victims down.

[...]

Elizabeth Smart has spoken eloquently about this. She, too, grew up “in a religious household where I was taught that sex only happened between a married man and a woman. After that rape, I felt so dirty … can you imagine going back into a society where you are no longer of value? Where you are no longer as good as anybody else?” A teacher had likened women to chewed pieces of gum, and the image stuck with her. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.” When a woman’s value lies in her purity, victims are victimized twice.
posted by rtha at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2015 [81 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Please make comments with some acknowledgment of what people are saying here and don't characterize this situation as 'a gift from God'. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2015


On the one hand, he was 14 and I'm not sure it makes sense to categorize someone as a pedophile when they were a kid themselves.

It's my understanding that the abuser must be at least 16 to be classified as a pedophile. But, then, it is also my understanding that pedophilia is "self-discovered," rather than chosen, in the sense that it seems to be an inborn preference, and so a young teenager expressing sexual interest in a prepubescent child may be indicating the preference, and it might be lifelong.

I am, however, simply repeating back what I have read elsewhere, and if I am wrong would be happy to be corrected.
posted by maxsparber at 10:46 AM on May 26, 2015


having lived with an underage pedophile, and having lived through him stop abusing me when i reached puberty and turning on my younger sisters, i have absolutely no problem categorizing josh as a pedophile.

i mean just think about you as a 14 year old? ever get turned on thinking about touching a 4 year old? ever do it repeatedly? ever fondle sleeping children? this isn't a kid doing messed up kid things. this is a pedophile who started early (which i actually think is a really common thing that we don't catch because everyone wants to think it's just kids playing doctor or some shit).
posted by nadawi at 10:47 AM on May 26, 2015 [35 favorites]


My heart breaks for them. I hate the mockery that is being made of their circumstances while their powerlessness is discussed.

There are legal and logistical reasons that this would be unfeasible, but I wish there were an internet fundraiser for a Duggar Sisters Fund -- money that the Duggar sisters could use to get out of their house, get a car, get out of community college, get new ID docs, anything that could help them get away. It could just sit there until they wanted it, never judging them or asking them why.

I had so much schadenfreude when this story broke that I had to recognize how wrong it was to give into that feeling. What's important is the welfare of those young women and girls, whether or not they believe that themselves.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:48 AM on May 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


I appreciate your perspective on this, nadawi.
posted by almostmanda at 10:49 AM on May 26, 2015 [36 favorites]


as weird as it sounds, the women who escaped the wbc might be in a good position to non-judgmentally befriend the duggar women, and act as a sort of lifeline should they want to break free. sadly, the duggars would never go for it.
posted by nadawi at 10:50 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Technically, once those girls are 18, there is no legal way for their parents to keep them there if they want to leave. But of course, there are lots of other ways to stop them, not the least is the brainwashing they've already gotten.

I think my biggest fear is that now it's off the air, the Duggar sideshow will fade and whatever help might have been available for them fades too. On the other hand, that show has been going on for years and no one's helped them yet, which just makes me angrier the more I think about it. What if the Discovery channel knew and did nothing? Does that not make them accessories?
posted by emjaybee at 10:55 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I only had a penguin....you say "They did A) Go to the police (not 4 years later. It happened once, they though it was a one time thing (yes, of course that's messed up) and when they found it out it was happening more, they went to the police immediately." That is incorrect

They did not go to the police. The police came to them. Prior to that, they took Josh to a family friend who HAPPENED to be a state trooper. Jim Bob refused to cooperate with the investigation that happened in 2006 after Oprah notified authorities of information provided to the Oprah show.

from the timeline link at the beginning

In December 2006, Springdale police interviewed the Duggars about Josh’s behavior. Jim Bob would not produce Josh for questioning—per InTouch, “when police asked Jim Bob to bring Josh in for an interview in 2006, he attempted to hire a lawyer and refused to produce his son for questioning. At least two lawyers refused to take his case.”
posted by sio42 at 10:57 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


And here comes my point: When people talk about returning to 'traditional family values,' that is part and parcel to that. Traditional family values include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, and a whole host of other things that go on behind the scenes in isolated, regressive family structures like the Duggars'. That's why you see so many of their apologists minimizing what he did. They're not in denial about what he did. They just think it's normal because, in their culture, it is.

Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc." You talk as if they're being celebrated as the American dream, along with 2.5 kids, a house with a job and a dog.

Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.

Society's changing norms regarding sexual assault are less about whether such things were seen as acceptable, tolerable or normal, and more about a newly emerging attitude in which victims/survivors are encouraged to report what has been done to them, to seek help/justice and be listened to and taken seriously by those in authority.
posted by zarq at 10:57 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc

Unfortunately, the term "traditional family values" is sort of a dog whistle for these things, though, as well as the oppression of women and girls.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


identity abuse

I had no idea there was a phrase to describe this or that anyone actually cared about it. I'm still fuzzy on the second part, but the phrase is good to have.
posted by byanyothername at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


sadly, the duggars would never go for it.

I dunno-- time has many effects. I have family members who were never as explicitly Quiverfull as the Duggars, but who verged on it for years, both in number of kids and in homeschooling philosophy.

Today, the mother of that family drinks wine for pleasure and talks about the systemic effects of poverty and racism. Her children (especially her daughters) are more liberal than I would have ever DREAMED, one of them an outspoken feminist, one of them a fearless campaigner against sex trafficking (in a country where she was told she would be murdered for fighting against it). That didn't happen because they had people trying to get them out and de-program them, but because time passes, and things that used to seem simple become more obviously complicated, and people grow. I have a lot of hope for the Duggar children-- and not just the girls. I bet some of those younger boys will find routes for escaping too.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc."

Well, I suppose it depends on when we are discussing traditions. Certainly domestic violence and rape were a part of many mainstream marriages in much of the 19th and 20th century -- physical violence against women was sometimes actively encouraged while rape in the marriage bed was not even considered possible.

As to the others, well, they may not have been part of the mainstream experience, but they were certainly ignored or apologized away when they happened, as the Duggars did. The home environment could be very dangerous for certain family members, particular the very young and women.
posted by maxsparber at 11:01 AM on May 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


But of course, there are lots of other ways to stop them, not the least is the brainwashing they've already gotten.

This makes me wonder what the Duggars are doing with all the money they've received from exploiting their kids on TV, and various appearances all these years. Have they discussed this?

I remember Mama June (Honey Boo Boo's mom) saying that she created trust funds for her kids. Are the Duggars setting aside funds for all their kids? What role has TLC played in making sure all the Duggar children get compensated for their exposure (and no doubt making TLC very rich), and not just benefiting mom and dad (who could very well hold financial compensation over the heads of their kids).
posted by raztaj at 11:01 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.

when i think about how many adults at my church knew, and then dropped it when they were told it was being handled by the bishop - and when i talk to other survivors who were in "traditional values" homes - i disagree with this. normal people like to think they don't excuse pedophilia, but it's been my experience that many are all too eager to think of it as not their problem. i do think that people preaching a return to traditional values are, purposefully or not, advocating for the abuse of women and children.
posted by nadawi at 11:01 AM on May 26, 2015 [56 favorites]


Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc."

It's that thing where the practice and the propaganda of a thing are not the same. Much like "traditional marriage," which people pretend just means "a man and a woman" when the most traditional actual forms of marriage are more like "an economic transaction in which a man or his family purchases one or more women."
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:02 AM on May 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


i do think that people preaching a return to traditional values are, purposefully or not, advocating for the abuse of women and children.

I agree.
posted by zarq at 11:04 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


ernielundquist - i feel like i read a book at some point where the "wifely dutes/incest" thing was a plot point. i thought it was Bluest Eyes but it's not what i'm thinking of. but i know i've read of it before enough to know that it was "accepted" in just the way you describe. that people tut-tutted but did nothing.
posted by sio42 at 11:07 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sio,

Yes, I included going to the family friend state trouper as going to the police. I understood this as picking a cop who is least likely to be terrifying (because he is not uknown) but going to the police. My understanding based on something or other I read (sorry, I've read a lot) is that this was an official "turning in" because the police report was found among the cops papers once he was arrested and sent off to jail. So they filed an actual report. The cop did nothing.

THEN four years later, they did not produce Josh when asked to bring him in. What's strange is that they did produce 4 victims, who presumably were going to say things that were more damning than anything Josh would say.

Can someone who knows more about legal things clarify this part: They tried twice to hire a lawyer for Josh (at the 4 years later point). Both lawyers refused to represent him and one even went so far as calling the cops and saying "just so you know, I don't represent him." What's up with that? That's unusual, right. I mean even the worst of the worst murderers, rapists, etc. can get lawyers. What might explain why he couldn't get one?

On the Duggars possibilty of getting out, I would think that the most likely route for this to happen woudl be via members of their own group who were once friends and who have since watered down their beliefs considerably. I don't think anything as radical as a Mefite is getting into their world. But one of Anna's sisters is definitely out (But still at family events). Another is a far less radical evangelical type. Both the girl's husbands are non-Gothardites with non-Gothard family members. The Duggars' very close aunt, uncle and cousin are not Gothardites and considerably more liberal. Some of the family's they associate with have had kids leave the movement (notable the Jeub's -- one daughter was a bridesmaid at a Duggar wedding, another is a regular contributor at NLQ). These are the people who have some hope of reaching them, not the discovery channel or a crowdsourcing campaign.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:07 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's the isolated, patriarchal cultures and communities that breed sexual abuse, I think. Girls and women are taught that they are lesser beings, not entitled to personal boundaries. Boys and men are taught that they don't have to respect the boundaries of a "lesser" being like a little girl.

Whether or not pedophilia is inborn is moot, in this case - what matters is that Josh didn't think what he was doing was wrong, and his parents aided and abetted it. Obviously, no one taught him about respecting other people's bodily autonomy or "this is wrong, don't do it!" I surmise there's a personality disorder of some kind at work here, because there are so many boys from these kinds of families who DON'T molest their sisters.

There's a reason that isolation is a key factor in abuse - whether it's domestic abuse, a religious cult like Quiverfull or isolated farm families like Ernielundquist's mother's friend's. The more caring, concerned adults in a position to help, the less likely long-term abuse will take place. This is why I'm in favor of mandatory oversight for homeschoolers - obviously #notallhomeschoolers (or even most) abuse, but it's a golden opportunity for abusers to isolate their kids. Wanting to keep a child (or a spouse!) isolated is a major, major red flag.

I hope the Duggar children can extricate themselves from the Quiverfull cult.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:07 AM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc." You talk as if they're being celebrated as the American dream, along with 2.5 kids, a house with a job and a dog.

Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.


Traditional family values most certainly do include violent behavior, sexual assault and reprehensible behavior... by the privileged, mostly by the privileged males. If you're white and you're male and your family is fiscally or politically or religiously prominent, there's not much you can't get away with because Boys Will Be Boys, I Acted Out When I Was A Young Lad, Why You Rascally Young Scamp, Come Here And Say You're Sorry Wink Wink Let Me Ruffle Your Hair, It's A Damn Shame When THOSE PEOPLE {insert every subset here who aren't Affluent Prominent Straight White Males} Try To Ruin The Future Of Such A Fine Young Man.

Normal people condemn pedophilia and sexual molestation of children because that's what THOSE PEOPLE do. If THEIR kids do it, why, it's not pedophilia or sexual molestation, it's just kids being kids and innocent horseplay and an assault on Christian values and how dare you try to disrupt how things have always been around here?

See also: Jerry Sandusky.
posted by delfin at 11:10 AM on May 26, 2015 [52 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: "That the cop did nothing is on the pedophile cop, not the parents, I would think."

Yes, but ... (or maybe, "Yes, and ...") ... the Duggars are influential in their community, involved in politics, and have a strong bully pulpit of money and fame. Yes, this is on the cop. BUT it's also probably indicative of an unhealthy community that enables and excuses this sort of behavior by the Duggars. It's the same kind of unhealthy community that allows high school football heroes to get away with sexual abuse -- "But they're such nice kids! They come from such nice families! It'd ruin their lives! It'd reflect badly on our town!" -- that encourages authority figures to sweep things under the rug.

It doesn't even start perniciously! People all involved in a particular community know each other, they cut each other breaks, they make allowances ... and gradually, they're all so wrapped up in each others' business that one person getting caught or outed is going to lead to a whole bunch of other people having their reputations or livelihoods harmed. Josh Duggar's criminality is going to catch up a LOT of people his family are closely associated with who should have reported, and it's going to do considerable reputational and possibly financial damage beyond just him and his family. There's a little town north of me where something like 40% of the people who live there are members of one teeny church, not for any particular pernicious reasons, just that's where their little outpost settled when they arrived from Europe to create their little utopia and they're basically normal, slightly evangelical-leaning Protestants now, but they're soooooooo tightly intertwined by church and family and financial ties going back decades that the police investigating a child abuse case a while back had a really hard time prying up witnesses (even though their pastor was urging people to come forward), because people were reluctant to implicate not just the abuser but the abuser's family, parents, friends, all these people who should have known but either didn't know or didn't speak. And while we all hope that everyone would speak up on behalf of victimized children, it's easy to understand why people are afraid to, especially if (as is so often the case in these cases) their knowledge is circumstantial, or second-hand, or just suspicions, or a "feeling," and speaking up may well lead to you being ostracized from your community.

batfish: "This seems like a pretty novel thing. I wonder whether the diffuseness is a normal feature of inceptive sectarian movements or if the online stuff in particular makes that available. The article mentions the social media presence... It's weird to think of a "cult" as scattered like this."

I think it's both ... it's been a feature of American Protestantism for a long time, that reform movements often gain a toehold among members of many different, loosely-related denominations (before either becoming part of the mainstream of Protestant practice in the US, or splintering into a specific denomination), which you can see in the Great Awakenings, or abolitionism, or anti-alcoholism movements, or even Pentecostalism, which all took hold across many Protestant denominations at once; AND the internet allows these more fringe beliefs to more easily find a large enough audience to become self-sustaining.

(You do also see it to a lesser extent in European Protestantism with movements like the Pietists and Methodists, but European Protestantism tended to be a bit more structured, with stable pre-existing communities and state churches defending their boundaries; American Protestantism is more tied to the frontier expansion when few ministers were available and boundaries of denominations were therefore very porous because you might see a minister twice a year, so who cared if he was Lutheran and you were Presbyterian? Anyway, American Protestantism remains unusually porous on its denominational boundaries, which allows/encourages these sorts of movements to pop up without having to be tied to a particular church.)

"grape juice and a thin styrofoam wafer.
Wat? They eat styrofoam?
"

Usually it's like a Catholic host only without the Catholicy imprints on them. You buy them in bulk from religious supply catalogs, they're generally called "wafers." Some Protestant groups use them because of beliefs about what ingredients may legitimately be in the Eucharist (i.e., no leavening or sweetening, so basically flour and water); some use them because they're convenient and store FOREVER I mean seriously some Armageddon-expecting churches stock up on them for after TSHTF; some use them because that's what their pastor bought once 30 years ago and, hey, why change suppliers?

(When I was in seminary with Methodists -- I'm Catholic -- I always teased them about how I felt stuck at the Christian kiddie table with their Welch's grape juice communion. But that's quite common in American Protestantism, many of whom were at the forefront of abstinence and alcoholism-treatment movements in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Use of grape juice sometimes signals "very anti-alcohol"; sometimes it signals "we have weird beliefs about what scripture says about grapes" (really); and sometimes it signals "we come out of a tradition with a history of fighting the social problems related to alcoholism and are uncomfortable with giving alcohol to people in church.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:10 AM on May 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


Boys and men are taught that they don't have to respect the boundaries of a "lesser" being like a little girl.

I think it's more accurate to say that the boys are taught that they have to respect the boundaries around girls because this is destined to be somebody else's woman. It's respect for her future husband, not for her. I admit to one piece of schadenfreude around this: I would like someone to ask Anna how she feels about the fact that her bicycle kidnapped people before she unwrapped it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:11 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: "That the cop did nothing is on the pedophile cop, not the parents, I would think."

Yes, but ... (or maybe, "Yes, and ...") ... the Duggars are influential in their community, involved in politics, and have a strong bully pulpit of money and fame. Yes, this is on the cop. BUT it's also probably indicative of an unhealthy community that enables and excuses this sort of behavior by the Duggars.


Fair point.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:14 AM on May 26, 2015


another thing that people who haven't been through this might not have thought of - the victims were likely unable to actually describe their abuse fully. they likely had to hint around it and downplay it. they've been told their whole lives that they are responsible for "flaming the passions of men" - all men, including adults - and so when comes time to meet with their church elder, someone who is most assuredly male, they can't actually talk about what happened because describing a sexual situation they were involved in might make the elder sin in his heart. i remember clearly trying to tell my bishop what happened and having him instruct me to not be so detailed so i didn't "pass on the sin." then we prayed. then he explained the importance of forgiveness and repentance so i might find a very righteous man to marry me one day, one who could overcome the issue of me being "defiled."
posted by nadawi at 11:14 AM on May 26, 2015 [60 favorites]


"Traditional family values" = patriarchy.

Daddy's in charge and you don't challenge his authority in any way, because he is not just the boss of you. He owns you. He can do anything he wants to you. It really is that simple.

Josh didn't think what he was doing was wrong

No, he knew perfectly well it was wrong. He was raised all his life to think sex is wrong and dirty. But he was also taught that girls and women have no agency, and that sexual assault is the victim's fault.
posted by caryatid at 11:16 AM on May 26, 2015 [31 favorites]


I'm thinking the Quiverfulls don't actually listen to much classical music. Because quite a lot of it makes you want to dance, and also some of it makes you want to fuck.

Classical music was in fact largely the only music to which I was allowed to listen. It was a rare source of peace and beauty in a life that was short on those qualities, else.

I kind of want to point out to people gleefully cracking jokes about the people who grew up in this kind of life that a number of us are right here in this thread. Maybe think about that before you go to the hur-hur such dumb hicks jokes.
posted by winna at 11:17 AM on May 26, 2015 [68 favorites]


in my church the girls were given the licked cupcake/chewed gum/destroyed rose/messed up present analogy about their own bodies and men were given the lesson about not messing up someone else's "gift." men were never a destroyed box - they were the ones in charge of the destruction, but rarely held to account for it.
posted by nadawi at 11:17 AM on May 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


ernielundquist - i feel like i read a book at some point where the "wifely dutes/incest" thing was a plot point. i thought it was Bluest Eyes but it's not what i'm thinking of. but i know i've read of it before enough to know that it was "accepted" in just the way you describe. that people tut-tutted but did nothing.

There are fairy tales (versions of Katie Woodencloak and Thousandfur spring to mind) where after the wife dies, the king tries to pressure the daughter into replacing the wife. And the daughter has to run away to escape, and the fairy tale often ends with reconciliation with the father. Those fairy tales pretty obviously indicate that incest isn't a good thing, but it's framed as "grieving father" in the stories, and not as an especially bad thing.

If you start reading just a little bit about popular understanding of childhood sexuality as recently as the seventies (or for that matter in the Middle Ages, per Phillipe Aries) , there were quite a few people who didn't believe that you could injure children in that way, because children before puberty "had no sexuality" and therefore they would not experience what was done to them as sexual, and therefore would not experience it as harm.

The minute you start looking at "traditional" values, you start to realize that 1. they shift a lot over time and 2. they are often pretty creepy.
posted by Frowner at 11:20 AM on May 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


In addition to the sisters, I feel terrible for his wife Anna. Imagine being raised from birth to believe you're chattel, and now she's yoked to a pedophile and expected to produce endless babies for him. Apparently he confessed to her before they married, so her brainwashing is so total, she doesn't even seem to know what a awful situation she and her kids are in.
posted by Mavri at 11:21 AM on May 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


i remember clearly trying to tell my bishop what happened and having him instruct me to not be so detailed so i didn't "pass on the sin." then we prayed. then he explained the importance of forgiveness and repentance so i might find a very righteous man to marry me one day, one who could overcome the issue of me being "defiled."

This makes me want to find your bishop and punch him. I've never punched anyone. I will need some time to learn how to punch people, but then I'll punch him real good if I ever meet him.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2015 [39 favorites]


go stick your nose into someplace like /r9k/ or wizardchan where members of a younger generation can be found yearning for a return to an older value system under the very explicitly and clearly stated assumption that it will mean more access to sex and more subservient partners for themselves
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


penguin - my bad - i did not see the state trooper thing as actually filing a report since nothing was done, it didn't seem that it was officially filed.
posted by sio42 at 11:23 AM on May 26, 2015


Gratifyingly, I've never heard of these Duggar miscreants before now.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:24 AM on May 26, 2015


i do think that people preaching a return to traditional values are, purposefully or not, advocating for the abuse of women and children.

They are also, in a way that is super-relevant to the abhorrent things the Duggars believe and preach, completely incapable of reading the Bible. The characters in the Bible who try to make a stand in the name of "traditional family values" are almost ALWAYS the villains. See: Judah and Tamar. All of the horrifying dysfunction with Rebekah and Leah "purchasing" Jacob's sexual services so they could fill up his quiver. The midwives in Egypt. The places in the gospels where Mary is treated like scum for being an unwed pregnant teenager (and the later places where Jesus is told his ministry is invalid because he's a bastard). The attempted stoning of the adulterous woman. Simon getting pissed at the woman washing Jesus' feet with her tears and hair because it is unseemly.

This is one reason the Duggars are infuriating to so many people INSIDE the church, because a lot of people in the church (even the evangelical church) view the biblical message as one of radical equality for women.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:24 AM on May 26, 2015 [35 favorites]


My reading was that there was a form of some sort filled out and notes taken. Now that you say this, I'm not sure what "filing a report" actually means. Does it require that those notes/forms go in a computer somewhere? I don't think that was done. I think the guy wrote down all the relevant things and then just sat on it and by the time anyone realized the statute of limitations had passed.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:25 AM on May 26, 2015


prize bull octorok, you're right, this mindset can flourish in a lot of unexpected places. Some brogrammer with his own business did a terrible self-lacerating article recently in which he wished he had been born in a shtetl so that, as a learned man, he could have been guaranteed a wife, and therefore not responsible for worrying about what women think.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:26 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


prize bull octorok, you're right, this mindset can flourish in a lot of unexpected places. Some brogrammer with his own business did a terrible self-lacerating article recently in which he wished he had been born in a shtetl so that, as a learned man, he could have been guaranteed a wife, and therefore not responsible for worrying about what women think.

Oh, I remember that thread. It was just horrifying watching all the people trying to argue that we just had to understand how he felt, ignoring those of us who were saying "been there, done that, have the t-shirt, grew the fuck up."
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:30 AM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think the guy wrote down all the relevant things and then just sat on it and by the time anyone realized the statute of limitations had passed.

There's this from the article:

"It’s not clear who tipped Oprah off and how she knew about Josh’s misconduct, but Jim Bob and Michelle told police that when Josh was accused of molesting his sisters, a family friend wrote down the accusations in a letter that was then placed in a book in the Duggars’ home. Sometime during 2006, the Duggars loaned the book to another person and the letter was discovered."
posted by caryatid at 11:33 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's a whole genre of fairytales - Aarne-Thompson type 510B, aka "Donkeyskin" or "Catskin" or variants, where the king (it's usually a king) loses his wife and tries to force his daughter, who looks like the wife, to, ahem, "replace" her, and she flees.

Patriarchy + isolation + the notion that sex is dirty and sinful = a toxic waste dump of abuse. While I don't feel "gleeful" about the Duggar sex abuse revelations - because real people like Josh's sisters and wife are being hurt - I am glad that the truth has come out, because secrecy helps abuse to flourish. The saying is that "sunshine is the best disinfectant."

I'm also thinking that small towns can be such a toxic place to grow up even if religion isn't involved - I'm thinking of the case of the girl who had her family home set afire for reporting her rape, because of the rapists being from a "good" family. Small towns can be toxic places for the abused. There's a reason many people want to leave and move to the "big, bad city" or "impersonal" suburbs, and it's not just about finding excitement and better jobs.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:35 AM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


i totally agree with the idea that people's hate watching has a price - but some of us have heard of the duggars because we've been fighting them locally for far longer than their show has been on.

if anyone is interested in another "devout christianity can lead to horrific abuses" story that is local to the duggars and me, our state rep rehomed his adopted children to a pedophile.
posted by nadawi at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


oh hey - so does that state trooper who's already in jail on child porn get in trouble for the mandatory reporting thing? or does that also have a statute of limitations?
posted by sio42 at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2015


caryatid : Yes, that's when everything starts up four years later. The report to the police was four years before that, right after Josh came back from his renovation work "counseling."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:37 AM on May 26, 2015


If only I had a penguin...: "Can someone who knows more about legal things clarify this part: They tried twice to hire a lawyer for Josh (at the 4 years later point). Both lawyers refused to represent him and one even went so far as calling the cops and saying "just so you know, I don't represent him." What's up with that? That's unusual, right. I mean even the worst of the worst murderers, rapists, etc. can get lawyers. What might explain why he couldn't get one?"

If he's charged with a crime, he's entitled to an attorney. If he hasn't been charged and we're talking about a minor whose parent wants to hire you to avoid producing the minor to the police for questioning ... well, that's a hell of a lot more complicated.

Also my very first question would be, "What law firm represents you in contract negotiations with TLC and why aren't you using them?" Possibly they have a very good reason! But boy does that raise my "I don't want my malpractice insurance premiums to skyrocket" antennae. What are you trying to hide from the lawyers who handle your money? Why is this not an integrated legal strategy?

I'm not super-clear on the timeline of the case (and don't really care to get more familiar with it), but I'd hazard a guess that the Duggars were asking the lawyer to do something the lawyer found ethically questionable (or the lawyer suspected that they were going to ask that, from the bare outline of the case), possibly something that would fall afoul of rules prohibiting attorney from participating in covering up an ongoing crime.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Was it really a report to the police when the cop was a family friend who covered it up? No.
posted by futz at 11:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Societies are a lot healthier when there are multiple parallel authority structures -- your family, your church, your school, the state.

I'm not sure if this is true or not but I think it's a pretty fascinating thesis (and I've had related suspicions before).

If anyone is aware of scholarship along these lines I'd be interested to hear about it.
posted by weston at 11:40 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


so her brainwashing is so total, she doesn't even seem to know what a awful situation she and her kids are in.

She doesn't have to be brainwashed, just afraid. Where would she go? She would lose her whole family and community and now she has kids; would he take them away from her? After all, his parents have lots of money for lawyers and custody fights.

Maybe she'd have a stronger case now, of course, but at the time when no one knew, and it was accept him or stay home, very probably with heavy disapproval from her family? And wanting to believe it would never happen again?

And maybe it hasn't. I hope it hasn't. I hope his girls are safe and he did just "mess up" and isn't in fact an abuser still. But how could we know?

Here is the thing about cults and abuse. A cult, by its very nature, believes itself embattled. And since it is usually doing odd things (like having lots of kids and so on), it does face mockery and dislike from the rest of the world.

So when you have a lot of people in a group like that, they are insecure about it. They wonder if maybe outsiders are right and they are misguided. But they learn to cover up those doubts with prayer and sermons and self-talk. And maybe things go ok for a while, you have a community, you are proving to the world that It Can Be Done, although it's also a struggle.

But. Your child comes to you and says, this happened to me. The boy you raised by your principles, the ones you gave up everything for, he did this. This happened despite all your prayer and hard work.

And you see the work of years cracking, and hear the mockery of all the unbelievers saying "I told you so!" and if you're not strong enough to love your daughter more than you care about that, the temptation is so, so strong to just stop your ears, or decide it didn't happen, or minimize, or do damage control. Because if you do what you know you should do, the whole thing will explode, years of your life go down the drain.

Because you banked everything on Our Cult Saves, you bet it all. And you lost, and your child lost.

Being a real parent is picking your kid in this situation, no matter what, but there's lots of people who don't have that strength. And they aid and abet each other; your pastor, your family, your community, they all feel the same, they want to cover it up too.

And that's why when the victim won't keep being happy, shows her hurt, dares to keep complaining, they turn on her. Because if she would just be silent, just forget and forgive, then they get to keep their world safe.
posted by emjaybee at 11:41 AM on May 26, 2015 [38 favorites]


Very little attention is being paid to the needs of the molested girls. Michelle Duggar, in an explanation of why the Duggar girls wear extremely modest bathing suite: For us the definition of the word defrauding is to stir up desires in someone else that cannot be righteously fulfilled. The blame is on girls and women because boys and men are unable to control themselves. Back before the term sexual harassment existed, it was an argument used on me by a faculty member.

Josh Duggar was a minor and I have lots of concerns about publicizing his actions as a minor, and publicizing the fact that 3 of his 4 then-minor sisters were among the molested. The horse is well out of the barn, though. Any family that exposes their children to so much publicity is skeevy, in my book, and the Duggars turn out to be skeevy, indeed.

Their son molested their daughters and at least one other child. He was allowed to stay in the home, with access to them, which is just appalling. This is why Child Services should have been involved. In Maine, cops are Mandated Reporters. The Duggars publicity has given them status, and that surely limited the response.
posted by theora55 at 11:42 AM on May 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


if anyone is interested in another "devout christianity can lead to horrific abuses" story that is local to the duggars and me, our state rep rehomed his adopted children to a pedophile.

Previously. IIRC, He not only rehomed his children, he also adopted them in the first place only because it made him look good as a politician, and then dumped them as soon as they didn't act the way he wanted.
posted by Melismata at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some brogrammer with his own business did a terrible self-lacerating article recently in which he wished he had been born in a shtetl so that, as a learned man, he could have been guaranteed a wife, and therefore not responsible for worrying about what women think.

Are you thinking of the Scott Aaronson thing? The one where he says he read too much feminist theory and freaked out about not wanting to be a rapist and secretly wished he was either castrated or born in a shtetl so he didn't have to think about it? While his pathological anxiety about sex is manifestly all him and not the fault of Andrea Dworkin or women in general, " some brogrammer with his own business" is not a very good description of a quantum computing theory expert at MIT.
posted by atoxyl at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


A friend of mine was raised in this cult, and her brother is still involved in it. I'm so glad she was able to escape. It's not my place to speak for her, but yes: these people are bad.

I was raised in this cult myself, though I abandoned the whole thing and became atheist in my late teens, as did many of the kids in my fundie homeschooler cohort. Some are still religious, but I don't know of any who have carried on our parents' quiverfull ideas - though I lost touch with many people after leaving the faith, so perhaps they're out there and I just don't hear about them. Still, it seems to have been almost completely unsuccessful as an attempt at creating a durable new religious subculture.

It is weird to see the disgust and virulent hate the Duggars inspire. I can't hate them or even see them as particularly unusual, though they do have a larger family than was common in my experience. There were lots of families like these in my childhood; these were my friends, you know? It's... I mean, I disagree entirely with their religious beliefs, and I wish the entire ideology would go away, but ultimately these are just people trying to do right in their lives, who happen to have been infected with a particularly bizarre meme. It's not like your classic cult where there is some charismatic leader preying on people; it is just an ideology that echoes back and forth between thinkers off in their own world who are trying to out-compete each other in their adherence to goodness and righteousness. Nobody does this intending to be an evil sexist asshole, they just fall into it as a consequence of what they think it takes to live a morally good life.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Was it really a report to the police when the cop was a family friend who covered it up? No.

I dunno about which Amerikastan the Duggars live in, but, I do know that I am responsible to report any such abuse, however it is I find out about it, even if it is not a part of my official duties. If I'm on vacation, or having a few beers in my backyard, it doesn't matter - I have the same obligation to report as I would if I were in my office at work.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


i worry that josh's wife is a victim of childhood sexual abuse and that's why she's willing to go along - she might think this is what she deserves or that her daughters won't "tempt" him if she can just keep a close enough eye. in my experience, these families are rarely made up of a single abuser - the cycle of abuse is stoked in these insular setups.
posted by nadawi at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.

On the contrary, it is always "normal" people who do those things, who cover it up, who make it someone else's problem, who allow abusers access. Rape culture makes this normal.
posted by NoraReed at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2015 [39 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...The report to the police was four years before that, right after Josh came back from his renovation work "counseling."

What I'm saying is that the "report" [written by the family friend/trooper] could be the same as the "letter" [found in the book and reported to Oprah in 2006].
posted by caryatid at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2015


i know a lot of childhood sexual assault victims in the same county as the duggars - i know a lot who told someone who should have reported, many mandated reporters, i can't think of any where the report went up the chain. i can think of most where they were told that not reporting was for their own good.
posted by nadawi at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


This from paper-bird was posted to facebook, and there's a grain of sense in it, but it also totally ignores the affect on the molested girls.
posted by theora55 at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is the difference between a religion and a cult? It's not the size of the church, it's not the name of the deity, it's not the general societal acceptability of its belief system.

It's the degree of authoritarianism. It's the steadily increasing inability to understand, or to learn from, or to accept, or to tolerate those whose beliefs are different, because no other authority or worldview can be treated as legitimate except your own. Maybe the authority is the deity, maybe it's the person who decides he's the deity's personal representative, but the principle stands.

I feel very slightly bad for Josh, not because his name will now always be synonymous with kiddy fiddling but because his deck was stacked against him from day one. When you're essentially locking your kids in your home, teaching them only what you choose for them to learn, having them act as surrogate parents for younger siblings, training them to view the outside world as unclean and cutting them off from normal human contact of all sorts, you're going to raise some messed-up children, particularly when puberty strikes.
posted by delfin at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


they just fall into it as a consequence of what they think it takes to live a morally good life.

But they make so little effort to evaluate whether all their crazy rules actually do amount to a moral life. They follow rules, the more rules, the harder the rules, the better. But there's no feedback, it's just blind following.

I don't hate them personally, but I think this is part of it. They moralize against without ever once evaluating themselves. If only there was a direct quote from Jesus himself on the topic. Oh wait!

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" - Matthew 7:3
posted by GuyZero at 11:52 AM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Every now and again, some sort of artifact of normalized pedophilia comes to light--that Love's Baby Soft ad featuring what looks like a very sexualized child, a creepy game show host making sleazy advances on little girls, something like that--and people are shocked by them. But that kind of thing was actually quite normal at the time.

Oh yeah. I was just watching The Professional, which has a highly sexualized 12 year old, and it was creepy and icky. Husband and I were both like 'how did we not notice this twenty years ago?' But it was more normalized and acceptable back then, though it screams at us now. And thank god it does scream at us now! But yeah, that time period was a hellish one, more hellish than we let ourselves remember.
posted by corb at 11:54 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, on the topic of the Duggars generally, there has always been a fascination with big families in the US and Canada which is as much just gawking at the logistics of the operation as anything else like religion or your relationship with God and childbirth.

Who Gets The Drumstick? was published in 1967 (or so) describing the blended family of 20 when two Catholic widows (how do you pluralize mixed-gender people with dead spouses?) married. As a media event it seems pretty similar to the whole Duggar thing.
posted by GuyZero at 11:56 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


but ultimately these are just people trying to do right in their lives

I have to object to this, if only because of all the well documented anti-trans, anti-gay activism and rhetoric this family spits out. They think they have the right to meddle in everyone else's lives, and this is why so many people are very angry about the hypocrisy. They are not in fact just trying to live their lives - they are trying to actively hurt people that do not suit their world view. I do not agree with the virulent hatred for the family, but it isn't difficult to see how some folks get there.
posted by angeline at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2015 [28 favorites]


Are you thinking of the Scott Aaronson thing?

MeFi covered the Scott Aaronson thing in this post. Let's maybe keep the current post focused on the Duggars.
posted by zamboni at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2015


Are you thinking of the Scott Aaronson thing?

Yes, that must be it, and I didn't realize the level of his expertise, so I am sorry about that.

Oh yeah. I was just watching The Professional, which has a highly sexualized 12 year old, and it was creepy and icky. Husband and I were both like 'how did we not notice this twenty years ago?'

Fun fact: in the original script, Natalie Portman's character not only has but insists on having sex with Leon. Screenwriters and their woman issues, man. But then, I saw it when I was closer to twelve than otherwise, and I thought Leon was dreamy. God knows what that scene would have done to my head.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: in the original script, Natalie Portman's character not only has but insists on having sex with Leon. Screenwriters and their woman issues, man.

WHAT THE JESUS FUCK.
posted by corb at 12:01 PM on May 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


Having grown up in the fundamentalist/charismatic subculture, and having been homeschooled from age 10 through HS graduation, I can say pretty wholeheartedly that I cannot imagine anything coming out of that world that would shock me.

I don't mean this in a cruel, pileon sort of way, I just mean that the entire culture, even beyond the explicit reproductive fetish of Quiverfull, is built on rejecting the concepts of sexual agency and consent. I've written about different aspects of it here on mefi and around the web, but it's staggering how poisonous that particular dynamic can be. Combining it with an authoritarian worldview, isolation, and suspicion of nonbelievers—you've got the perfect recipe for patterns of hidden abuse.

I'm heartbroken this happened, but I'm pretty much the opposite of shocked.
posted by verb at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2015 [33 favorites]


Fun fact: in the original script, Natalie Portman's character not only has but insists on having sex with Leon. Screenwriters and their woman issues, man.

WHAT THE JESUS FUCK.


The "old male star/young starlet" pairing a massive issue in Hollywood, and it's been getting more airing as of late.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Being a real parent is picking your kid in this situation

They did pick their kid. They just picked the wrong one.
posted by caryatid at 12:09 PM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


how do you pluralize mixed-gender people with dead spouses?

A widow and a widower.
posted by caryatid at 12:10 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Even if Anna thinks he's a dangerous perv, she can't divorce him. Pretty sure this whole movement is against that.
posted by sio42 at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2015


Yes, that must be it, and I didn't realize the level of his expertise, so I am sorry about that.

I'm not his friend or anything and you'll find I wasn't particularly on his side during that discussion I just thought your description sounded like some over-the-top MRA evopsych troll thing when it's more a dude with Legit Problems who nonetheless can't quite see over his own navel to realize his problems aren't the world's problems. Anyway that discussion is in fact done so I'll leave it here.
posted by atoxyl at 12:14 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah. I was just watching The Professional, which has a highly sexualized 12 year old, and it was creepy and icky. Husband and I were both like 'how did we not notice this twenty years ago?' But it was more normalized and acceptable back then, though it screams at us now. And thank god it does scream at us now! But yeah, that time period was a hellish one, more hellish than we let ourselves remember.

Only 2 or 3 years before the film debuted, Luc Besson, the absolutely scummy writer and director, impregnated a 15 year old and then married her when she turned 16. Write what you know, I guess.
posted by Falconetti at 12:14 PM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


[Folks, let's maybe bring it back around to the topic, and let the side stuff about Aaronson and Hollywood stuff rest?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:16 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even if Anna thinks he's a dangerous perv, she can't divorce him. Pretty sure this whole movement is against that.

Sure she can. It just wouldn't be easy, but then it never is. She'd have to go through some difficult upheavals, but thanks to Josh she is already doing that.

BIG difference between "can't" and "it would be difficult."
posted by caryatid at 12:17 PM on May 26, 2015


Traditional family values most certainly do not "include domestic violence, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc." You talk as if they're being celebrated as the American dream, along with 2.5 kids, a house with a job and a dog.

There is no need to sloppily 'paraphrase' what you think my underlying message or motivation was. I posted it clearly, using my own words, and I never said that. That's really uncool, and it's actually pretty deceptive. I don't 'talk as if' anything. If I said something, you can quote me directly, in context.

I never said they celebrate it. I said they minimize it, because they do. And they minimize it because it's normalized. Has been for ages. It's only recently that it's become a big deal.

The fact is that 'traditional family values' such as the Duggars' are fundamentally sexually objectifying of girls and women. The whole virginity cult aspect tells little girls, from the time they're tiny, that their sexuality is one of their most important qualities. And worse yet, what makes it so valuable is that they never, ever get to use it without some patriarchal blessing. It is not even their own to use as they see fit. It belongs to their fathers, who then pass it along to their husbands.

They don't encourage pedophilia and abuse, but it's a natural consequence of their morality and their values, so they tolerate it. Women and girls are seen as 'helpmeets' for men. They aren't recognized as independent human beings with their own agency. They're little more than tools for men to use. And their insular communities mean their girls are not even exposed to normal, mainstream cultural values. They don't watch TV, they don't have friends outside their cult, they don't go to school. Even if they wanted to get help, they wouldn't know how. They wouldn't have anyone to go to. The whole community operates like an abusive partner, isolating their victims so they have nowhere to turn for help.

This isn't just a family that excused and covered up sexual abuse of their daughters to protect their son and their public image. It was a whole community. The church, the cops, friends, and who knows who else. It's looking like a lot of people knew. And if you look at the common apologetics, one that keeps cropping up around it is normalization. These people think it's normal for adolescent boys to nonconsensually experiment with little girls. They think it happens all the time, and that people regularly cover it up just like they do. It does not even occur to them to go to the police or seek outside help the way it does among us "worldly" types or whatever they call us.

It's not a coincidence that the cop they went to was a pedophile too. It's not a coincidence that the leader of that church they follow resigned amid dozens of accusations of sexual abuse. Their community is like that. These are their values.

Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.

Yes, they do. They did exactly that for as far back as I'm aware. A whole community did it when my mother's friend was being abused, everyone I knew blew it off when I was a kid. Hell, pedophilia was outright trendy when I was a kid.

People have always, as far as I'm aware, tsked over it and considered it a bad thing, but until quite recently, it was far closer to the level of social censure you might get for not recycling. There was not the level of outrage there is now. There's plenty of evidence for that readily available right on the internet. I cited some of it in the post you tried to paraphrase. Feel free to look it up and then tell me that pedophilia was not normalized.

Society's changing norms regarding sexual assault are less about whether such things were seen as acceptable, tolerable or normal, and more about a newly emerging attitude in which victims/survivors are encouraged to report what has been done to them, to seek help/justice and be listened to and taken seriously by those in authority.

Oh, OK. If you say so, then.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:19 PM on May 26, 2015 [61 favorites]


part of what happens in families like these is learned helplessness for the women. i got in a big fight with the elders of my church because i wanted our women's youth group to be taught super simple car maintenance, like changing a tire. i was accused of sinfully trying to encourage women to do men's work. i only won out when i mentioned that if we were driving somewhere without a faithful man, and we got a flat, we'd have to rely on a male nonmember to help us.

the difference between "can't" and "difficult" is not as wide as people who aren't aware of what this looks like from the inside think.
posted by nadawi at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2015 [62 favorites]


exactly. and by "can't" i meant that she probably feels like she literally, actually cannot.

not that it would be difficult, but that she would be a terrible sinner who was hurting her children.

provided that is what's going on, i imagine the cognitive dissonance of thinking you will hurt your children via divorce yet you are also hurting them by keeping an (potential) abuser of them in the home must be horrifying.
posted by sio42 at 12:25 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Normal people don't excuse pedophilia or sexual molestation of children. They certainly don't try to cover those things up.

I think you'll be surprised just how many abnormal people there are in the world, then.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:25 PM on May 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Yeah... The whole sandusky thing was plenty of perfectly normal people. The few who said anything were hushed up.

It is very normal to not say anything.
posted by sio42 at 12:28 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Classical music was in fact largely the only music to which I was allowed to listen. It was a rare source of peace and beauty in a life that was short on those qualities, else.

I kind of want to point out to people gleefully cracking jokes about the people who grew up in this kind of life that a number of us are right here in this thread. Maybe think about that before you go to the hur-hur such dumb hicks jokes.


I apologize for the flip delivery of my comment, but I didn't really mean it as a joke -- I do feel that classical music is very emotionally and physically intense in ways that seem against what the Quiverfulls profess to believe. Your particular raising I of course cannot speak to.
posted by JanetLand at 12:32 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I knew an evangelical kid who was not allowed to listen to the symphony on the radio. They were only allowed praise music from records at home or via the family radio.

He surreptitiously bought a radio Walkman at a yard sale with his mother and used to listen to the Boston pops at night terrified of getting caught but wanting so much to hear something different.
posted by sio42 at 12:36 PM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


sometimes it signals "we come out of a tradition with a history of fighting the social problems related to alcoholism and are uncomfortable with giving alcohol to people in church."

I'm sure the temperance movement was a big part of it, though when I was growing up going to a Methodist church the pastor specifically said circuit-rider preachers abused the communion wine they carried with them from church to church often enough that the denomination officially switched to grape juice to reduce alcoholism among clergy.

Relatedly, Thomas Bramwell Welch developed the pasteurized grape juice brand that still bears his name specifically to be used as an un-fermented / un-fermentable communion sacrament in Methodist churches.
posted by aught at 12:39 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


i credit vivaldi with instilling in me hope that things might be beautiful one day, which was a big part of me not killing myself when i realized around the age of 10 that running away wouldn't work.
posted by nadawi at 12:40 PM on May 26, 2015 [26 favorites]


I'm sure the temperance movement was a big part of it, though when I was growing up going to a Methodist church the pastor specifically said circuit-rider preachers abused the communion wine they carried with them from church to church often enough that the denomination officially switched to grape juice to reduce alcoholism among clergy.

Heh, I thought that was the problem with Catholic priests, especially before they started offering the wine to congregations (some churches still have wafers only) and they had to drink all of it at every service.
posted by Melismata at 12:43 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Being a mandatory reporter doesn't involve having a chip implanted in your head that takes over your limbs and makes them march down to The Authorities as soon as you hear something reportable. It's just words.

If you're busy with your child pornography ring it's possible you won't get around to reporting and not be real concerned about the consequences. If it'll get your buddies in trouble, it might slip your mind.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:44 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


it's my impression that laws about mandatory reporters were made because so many people who should have realized that they should have told someone just weren't doing it. mandatory reporter laws attempt to force people in those positions to speak up. it's been my experience that it doesn't work, but it wasn't working before the laws either.
posted by nadawi at 12:50 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




it's been my experience that it doesn't work, but it wasn't working before the laws either.

I'm not trying to discount your experience, but this really depends on both jurisdiction, and on the occupation. There are plenty of places with 'weak' mandatory reporting laws. There are also, typically, levels of mandatory reporters. For example, my wife works in a field where the mandatory reporter rules are very strict. She's a government employee, and if it is found that she knew about abuses, and failed to disclose she would be terminated. If my wife was doing her same job in the same jurisdiction, but not working for the government, the penalties might not result in full termination.

Other jurisdictions have laws in place that can actually result in criminal charges as well. This is state, county, city and occupation dependent.

As to the efficacy, I could provide some anecdotal evidence to the positives…but yeah, they're not fully solving the problem they aim to address.
posted by furnace.heart at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2015


What it feels like to be the Duggar girls during this media storm. A view from the other side.

I feel for the Duggar girls. They are damned if they do, damned if they don't. They are trapped in a media circus where they have no say. Everybody gets to talk except for them. I hope they are surrounded by love and support. I send nothing but sympathy and empathy to them.
posted by tilde at 1:10 PM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


> Arizona pastor’s wife condemns ‘liberal’ Duggars: Sexual deviants should be executed

American Taliban
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah - i'm not saying we shouldn't have the laws or we shouldn't fight for tougher ones - of course i'm in favor of those laws - i'm just saying that i'm not at all surprised that in northwest arkansas mandatory reporting didn't save those girls because i've seen very similar things play out with very similar results in this specific place.
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on May 26, 2015


This blog post, by an attorney who is a former Quiverfull member, really hit some points home for me:
Fundamentalist teachings on sex tend to lead to young men who would not otherwise be predators act out in predatory ways....

Thinking about sex is lust, and lust is as bad as doing it.

This is a common thread in every one of my own cases. This idea is hammered into children by Gothard and others. The hope is that they would be able to banish all sexual thoughts and desires until that magical wedding night when the switch is flipped. The problem is that “lust” is defined for all practical purposes as any and all sexual thoughts or desires.... [T]his is, for all but a few, completely impossible. There is no winning, just endless frustration and shame. The huge problem with this teaching is that it does not distinguish between having thoughts and desires, and acting on them in an inappropriate way. To the young person, just developing (one hopes) critical thinking skills, this can and does lead to problems in making decisions. After all, if one has already fallen into sexual sin in the realm of thought, why not at least get some satisfaction for the trouble. All the guilt and shame is already there, so why not try to at least get a little gratification.

Needless to say, this worldview is not very good at addressing the issue of consent. Since all sexual sin is the same (see Piper, John), then the difference between lusting and sexually assaulting someone is blurred.... For a young man raised in this worldview, then, he has no real reason to hope that a woman might actually desire to have sex with him. Thus, at some point, he will simply have to take what he wants. And who might be available and weak enough to be imposed on? Perhaps young girls...
posted by argonauta at 1:16 PM on May 26, 2015 [31 favorites]


American Taliban

That should have been the real title of the TV show. Does anyone think these guys would stand a chance of being on TV if they weren't white and Christian? "Well, they're despicable tyrants but they look like me and claim to read the same book as me."

If this was a Muslim or Hindu cult drone strikes and the ATF would have been called in by now to "save the children". I wonder if Koresh would have even been targeted in today's climate.
posted by benzenedream at 1:27 PM on May 26, 2015


the other part that is required seemingly is teaching that men have an absolute right to women - this is why these same teachings don't harbor a bunch of women pedophiles. these boys prey on girls because they are taught that they are better, more deserving, smarter, in charge - their sisters and mother exist to serve them until they get married - the entitlement is baked into every lesson.

when you're in a group that doesn't believe in marital rape, it's not surprising that they wouldn't take sexual assault of younger sisters very seriously.
posted by nadawi at 1:27 PM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


Another Quiverfull escapee turned blogger, Libby Anne over at Love, Joy, Feminism has been posting up a storm, with a lot of explanation, compassion, and anger.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:28 PM on May 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Thanks for that, argonauta. Funky fonting aside (oh blogspot, yeesh, get it together, code!) there's another good spot further down that addresses the "attacks by the liberal media".
This is the reason for the show. To promote Gothard's teachings on sexuality, gender, and marriage. As Gothard puts it, to "show the world a better way of life." These teachings are sold on the idea that they will prevent bad sexual things from happening. That they will deliver our kids to the altar as good little virgins. That the dress codes and the separation of the sexes will stamp out all this horrid lust and perversion and all that.

And then one more thing: lately Mrs. Duggar has been in the news for saying that transsexuals are a grave threat to children, equating them to child molesters. Furthermore, Josh (until his recent resignation) worked for the Family Research Council, which has been designated as a hate group for claiming (against the evidence) that homosexuals are child molesters seeking to prey on children.

Both of these claims were made after Josh assaulted his sisters in their sleep.

The hypocrisy is just astounding, and it is no wonder the media is all over this. This family, like Gothard and Phillips, made their fortune - millions of dollars - promoting a particular view of sexuality, and (in my view), trading on the pretty innocence of their daughters. And then used the platform to make unsupportable claims about LGBT people. And all the while, it wasn't the gays that were fondling the daughters.
posted by tilde at 1:28 PM on May 26, 2015 [28 favorites]


> these boys prey on girls because they are taught that they are better, more deserving, smarter, in charge

Add to this a couple of cups of "Woman as Temptress, Man as Helpless Victim to her Wily Ways," and you have a recipe for inevitable horror.
posted by rtha at 1:36 PM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think it's both ... it's been a feature of American Protestantism for a long time, that reform movements often gain a toehold among members of many different, loosely-related denominations (before either becoming part of the mainstream of Protestant practice in the US, or splintering into a specific denomination), which you can see in the Great Awakenings, or abolitionism, or anti-alcoholism movements, or even Pentecostalism, which all took hold across many Protestant denominations at once; AND the internet allows these more fringe beliefs to more easily find a large enough audience to become self-sustaining.

Huh. That's really interesting, and, when you put it this way, it certainly seems more continuous with past fringe-y protestant movements. What I thought was maybe even more weird than the pan-denominational aspect was the sub-congregational aspect--the fact of one or two families following this program inside of presumably at least marginally less fringey churches--but I guess it's not really so different from say a temperance faction inside of some particular congregation in that period, or, for that matter, say, vegan lifestyle as a subset practice in a meditation center or yoga community or something like that... and across disparate ones... But then, if those kinds of things are metaphorically "cult-y" there's something literally cult-y about this that makes the relative decenteredness of it all still kind of surprising
posted by batfish at 1:40 PM on May 26, 2015


With all my reading, I never found Diary of an Autodidact. Excellent resource. :)

He's linked this blog entry from another site, which is a good read for its own sake about why people end up in cult-like groups. Reminds me of many threads on ask.mefi that usually are both hit and run with DTMFA comments and a lot of times very well written breakdowns of examples of gaslighting and victim-blaming in TMF's words and deeds. Note: linking the article is funky, but you can search her journal with the search term "5 reasons" for the entry.
People join cults because they fall in love with a beautiful dream. They see something they desperately want or need. They feel like they've found The Answer to life's problems.

If you're capable of falling in love, you're capable of joining a cult.
posted by tilde at 1:45 PM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


i think sometimes the fringe beliefs are bolstered by less fringe but still very harmful beliefs in the community. the duggars would have thought my family devil worshipers - but how abuse was handled was almost identical. i think this was possible because even those outside of our specific devout circles still bought into things like man being the natural leader in state/church/home, abuse being a family matter, all the trappings of rape culture, etc - saying 5 year olds are to blame for being molested isn't a mainstream belief, but it's allowed to fester because of things the mainstream pushes forward.
posted by nadawi at 1:50 PM on May 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


If you're capable of falling in love, you're capable of joining a cult.

I always knew love was dangerous.
posted by qcubed at 1:57 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Josh Duggar likely had no accurate education about his sexual feelings. I am reminded of Jocelyn Elders, who got in big trouble for saying that teaching kids about masturbation might not be so bad.
posted by theora55 at 2:19 PM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


ernilundquist: People have always, as far as I'm aware, tsked over it and considered it a bad thing, but until quite recently, it was far closer to the level of social censure you might get for not recycling.

I'm quoting ernilundquist here because it's convenient, but I want to just point out that this view is wildly inconsistent with cultural artifacts, such as the fact that being labeled a "kiddie raper" in an American prison could very easily be a death sentence up until very near the present day.

The fact that people inconsistently apply their social rules does not mean those rules exist. It simply means that something more complex is going on.
posted by lodurr at 2:22 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that depends a lot on which cultural artifacts. An extremely tiny percentage of child rapers even got to the prison stage of things for many, many decades because of the power of "it's a family matter" way of looking at who gets to call the police and report what kinds of crimes.
posted by rtha at 2:26 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


And on a related note re. classical music and dancing: This whole thing is about what happens when what you believe clashes with reality. So what classical music or anything else is able to actually do is not really relevant to their decision to allow it -- it's what they think it can do.

Which of course can end up being just another case of 'don't look at the guardrail': Don't think about sex -- and here, to help you we're going to give you this soothing music by that good German Catholic [sic], Gustav Mahler....
posted by lodurr at 2:27 PM on May 26, 2015


rtha, it was just an example. My real suspicion would be that actual attitudes haven't changed much, if detectably at all, since the 40s or so -- but espoused attitudes, and explicit social controls, may well have.

I'm not naive enough to believe in a golden age of childhood. I had the good fortune to be exposed to several historians in college who corrected that view quite effectively. I'm just skeptical of these examples of reason-from-tokens to argue that child sexual abuse was just hunky-dory in the bad old days, as evidenced by the fact that people didn't call social services about it -- meanwhile omitting the small detail that taking action would have likely harmed them more than it harmed the people they were trying to stop, especially if those people were of high social status (like the Duggars).
posted by lodurr at 2:31 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


(or the small and obvious detail that social services & related laws just didn't exist.)
posted by lodurr at 2:32 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


On Catholics and birth control and Quiverfull: None of the Catholics I know my age (60s) and younger care about the supposed ban on birth control. And these are practicing Catholics who go to church every Sunday. There are some Catholics involved in extreme cult-like fringes that resemble Quiverfull; a friend has a daughter who married into one, has 9 kids and counting at the age of 34, despite health problems in some of the pregnancies. Her Mom has expressed her concerns, but daughter says "God will provide". They also homeschool, and the whole concept may come more from that than from any Catholic theology. In any event, very very creepy.
posted by mermayd at 2:35 PM on May 26, 2015


During the upcoming campaign season, every time one of these holier-than-thou types want to carp on about "family values", a post of a photograph of the offending politicain with Rapist Duggar needs to immediately be posted in rebuttal.
posted by Renoroc at 2:35 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


What it feels like to be the Duggar girls during this media storm. A view from the other side.

"... the Duggar girls ... are trapped in a media circus where they have no say."

How can this be true, if the girls are not allowed to read newspapers, listen to radio, or watch TV, and their Internet access is severely restricted?
posted by caryatid at 2:39 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


When this story first broke the other day, what made me want to vomit was some quotes--from the family in general or Josh Duggar himself; can't remember--that kept talking about how he could have ruined his life. Ugh. Literally not one mention from them about the victims. Says everything you need to know about them.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:39 PM on May 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


The fact that this family has 19 children is the least weird thing about them. Bill Gothard has a lot to answer for.
posted by KathrynT at 2:55 PM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


To clarify the "least weird thing about them" thing: yeah, that's unusual. But I have known other families of similar sizes. I'm pro-choice; other people's reproductive decisions aren't my business.
posted by KathrynT at 2:56 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


batfish: "But then, if those kinds of things are metaphorically "cult-y" there's something literally cult-y about this that makes the relative decenteredness of it all still kind of surprising"

Yeah, that's a good and interesting point, and it would be interesting to compare these sorts of movements in Christianity (generally) before and after the printing press, before and after universal postal service, before and after the telegraph, and before and after the internet.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:06 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Literally not one mention from them about the victims.

It goes along with the teachings of Bill Gothard that If only I had a penguin... linked. Basically the "only" part of the victims that was harmed was their bodies, which is spiritually the least important part of a person. Josh sinned and might go to hell! And people might treat him badly! The girls just had their bodies harmed (in the unlikely case it wasn't their fault to begin with) and should pray about it.
posted by edeezy at 3:13 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


JC had no children.
posted by rankfreudlite at 3:32 PM on May 26, 2015


It's not surprising that people like Mike Huckabee are lending their unconditional support to these people. Making More White People is pretty much the only strategy the GOP has left for staying demographically relevant into the next generation.

That's not why he's doing it, he's giving lip service to them so that extreme-religion practitioners remain under GOP control and don't form their own party or anything that might give them statutory power over people. Huckabee's on the wrong side of a great many issues from me, many of which prevent him from ever being a true presidential contender, but I don't think you can get to where he is by promoting incest.

From the other side, Huckabee's support here also supports his ambitions, since if extreme Christian sects ever do get real popular, he'll be their guy under the GOP flag. You also don't get to where he is without a whole host of compromises that will restrict any power he ever is allowed to exercise.

Long story short, I don't think the GOP is co-opting the women-as-angel-factory mentality, I just think they provide a lot of malleable minds that can be used for votes and Huckabee is one of their blacksmiths.
posted by rhizome at 3:38 PM on May 26, 2015


So, I own The Way Home and All the Way Home, because I found them in a used bookstore years ago. Some choice quotes from the latter book, because it was the one I could find most easily in a box:
Bloom where you're planted. Don't try to change partners. Look forward with hope and faithfulness, rather than back with vain regrets and wishes. And thank God for what you have. It could be worse!
It could always be worse! Later:
I'm talking about drugs, death rock, punk attitudes, peer dependency, sexual debauchery, and all those other great American traditions. The Pilgrims had no problem with this stuff. And we don't have to, either. All we have to do is follow the Bible's advice and (1) keep out of it ourselves and (2) keep our kids away from it. This is easier than it used to be, thanks to the home schooling movement.
No degenerate rock music--"degenerate" is the word she actually uses--or TV or outside social contact, and that's all you need to be safe.
If enough of us start looking at it this way, and if God responds the way He usually does by sending revival, by the time our kids grow up they won't have to know how to navigate through all this pollution. It won't be there anymore.
Josh Duggar was a year old when this was published. His mother probably read this book. Tell us again, Mrs. Pride, how all our problems are the result of rock music and birth control pills. This is all an enormous mess, but in particular, I think people like Mary Pride and Bill Gothard need to be held accountable for really having directly promised people that their children would be safe from this sort of thing if they just followed the rules. I think much of the attempt to gloss over what happened, to ignore it, to bury it, really comes back to protecting the core idea that Quiverfull delivers on those promises of safety, when it never has.
posted by Sequence at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


Even if Anna thinks he's a dangerous perv, she can't divorce him. Pretty sure this whole movement is against that.

Sure she can. It just wouldn't be easy, but then it never is. She'd have to go through some difficult upheavals, but thanks to Josh she is already doing that.

BIG difference between "can't" and "it would be difficult."


I am not sure about Josh and Anna, but I think it's worth pointing out that both Jill and Jessa have covenant marriages, which throw up many additional barriers to divorce, including a mandatory trial separation of 2 years, plus 6 months if the couple had children. Even if the grounds for divorce include sexual abuse of one of the couple's own children, there is still a mandatory trial separation of 1 year. (Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana are the only states that have covenant marriages.) Again, I'm not sure if this is the type of marriage Josh and Anna have, but covenant marriages are much more difficult to leave.
posted by joan cusack the second at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


huckabee is doing it because he's hitched his horse to that wagon a long time ago and coming out with some hand waving forgiveness talk speaks to the base and doesn't make his associations with the duggars the big bomb it could be if he instead condemned them. it is 100% self serving - and it's also likely related to this thing that happens where people think they would know if they were in the presence of a child molester - huckabee has trusted josh duggar and so josh duggar is a good man, anything that tries to discredit josh duggar must be wrong because huckabee wouldn't have trusted him if he was a bad man. his gut cannot be wrong because it is hardened by jesus christ himself. and that's the sort of logic that keeps this sort of thing repeating. it's really hard to get people to believe someone they trust is capable of this.
posted by nadawi at 3:48 PM on May 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think it's awfully facile to say, "Yeah, it's hard to be single, shunned by your entire family and all your friends and everyone you know who's hoping to ride on your coattails somehow, with zero work experience or skills and minimal education, and jump ship for a world you know nothing but bad things about" and an entirely different thing to do so, especially if, on top of all that, you stand a good chance of losing custody of your children. And even if you get to share custody, you know what they'll be told every minute of every day they're with those people.

It's not just "not easy", it might even be unimaginable.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:53 PM on May 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


If enough of us start looking at it this way, and if God responds the way He usually does by sending revival, by the time our kids grow up they won't have to know how to navigate through all this pollution. It won't be there anymore.

Instead God sent the internet, because as anyone who's read the bible knows, God loves Him some irony.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:03 PM on May 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


I'm talking about drugs, death rock, punk attitudes, peer dependency, sexual debauchery, and all those other great American traditions.
God bless America.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:08 PM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


And even if you get to share custody, you know what they'll be told every minute of every day they're with those people.

Yep. If Anna stays married to Josh, she can do her best to ensure that she's always able to supervise him with their children. If she divorces him, she will have to leave them alone with him, likely for 50% of the time if not more.
posted by KathrynT at 4:10 PM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


peer dependency

Also known as "community."
posted by Navelgazer at 4:20 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, I own The Way Home and All the Way Home, because I found them in a used bookstore years ago. Some choice quotes from the latter book, because it was the one I could find most easily in a box…

Regarding Mary Pride's place in the homeschooling movement, and more generally Quiverfull, it should also be noted that one of her most popular books was Mary Pride's Big Book Of Home Learning, a phone book sized compendium of addresses for curriculum publishers, contact information for learning assistance organizations in ever state, and so on. Basically, a pre-Internet reference book that could hook new homeschoolers up with resources they would need.

It sold like fuckin' hotcakes, and established a lot of credibility in that nascent community, for authoring (and maintaining subsequent revisions) of that sort of resource. I know that my family didn't realize quite how deep down the rabbit hole her ideology went, and I know many in our group didn't either. But we bought her books and at least a handful had read and would reference "her more important writing" approvingly.

It's hard to understate how deep the culture war language of the 70s and 80s impacted conservative Christians, even those who didn't consider themselves "radicalized." It established that isolationism was a desirable norm for swaths of Christians that had never really considered it; it successfully normalized the externalization of anything sex-related or drug-related; and it made "dealing with problems on our own, rather than giving the world reason to hate God" sound like a reasonable course of action. You don't have to go "all in" isolationist quiverfull to be a part of the cultural systems that fertilize and protect people like Josh Duggar; you just have to be enough a part of it that you "don't want to speak ill of a brother in Christ" or defend the Duggar's reactions as "wanting to treat the sin, not the symptom" rather than a coverup. The general culture that we all bought into didn't just give cover to predators; it provided a fertile ground for potential predators to grow in safety.

I know a lot of people who were part of the generation of kids raised, and in some cases educated, in that world. Again, not a single one of them has been even startled by any of the news about Josh Dugger, his family's reaction, the police cover-up, the CYA "counseling" he supposedly received, or whatever. It's been a lot of nodding, a lot of, "Oh, yeah, that's totally how it happened in my church, too," and so on.

I always try to be very careful when I say stuff like this, because I don't want people to misunderstand it as an attack on religious belief per se or Christianity as a broad moral and religious system. But seriously; this particular toxic brand of isolationist patriarchy and the penumbra of thought that surrounds it is downright dangerous. It is not just antagonistic to outsiders; it destroys even the innocents that it claims to shelter and protect.
posted by verb at 4:21 PM on May 26, 2015 [41 favorites]


I am not sure about Josh and Anna, but I think it's worth pointing out that both Jill and Jessa have covenant marriages, which throw up many additional barriers to divorce, including a mandatory trial separation of 2 years, plus 6 months if the couple had children.

Josh and Anna weren't married in Arkansas, they were married in Florida.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:23 PM on May 26, 2015


This is why I love being conversant with weird facts about history.

I'm talking about drugs, death rock, punk attitudes, peer dependency, sexual debauchery, and all those other great American traditions. The Pilgrims had no problem with this stuff.

Oh?

Drugs: Tobacco and rum were commonly abused in the 1600's. Massachusetts colony placed a ban on smoking tobacco in 1632.

"Death Rock": I don't know quite how we're defining "death rock" here, but here's a Pilgrim-period song about felatio and here's another song about girls' pink parts.

"Punk attitudes": Another poorly-defined term by Pride. But I can assume that if there was enough of a problem with juvenile delinquency that a whole system of foster-care and juvenile correction facilities in workhouses existed at that time, we can assume "punk attitudes" were strong enough to be a problem.

"Peer dependency": What were the Salem witch trials if not a massive case of peer pressure taken to extreme ends?

Sexual debauchery: I have one word for you - "bundling."

Maybe these are American traditions because the Pilgrims were the ones who BROUGHT them here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:51 PM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also: there are many reasons an attorney might deny a case. Generally, any attorney aside from a public defender can refuse a case (prosecutors do it all the time, for instance, and those are cases coming from their only client, the state. It's called no-papering in DC.) If a client hires a lawyer, as we're talking about here, the attorney absolutely may decide if they wish to take the case on. After they have done so, it is possible for them to take leave of the case, though that is a trickier process, for all the ethical and procedural reasons you'd hope and expect.

In the case of Josh Duggar, my best (very uninformed) guess would be that the Duggars have a very clear understanding of how things should be which has little relation to how things actually are, and that representing them would be a hideous pain in the ass where they would fight their counsel every step of the way for insisting on the facts of the law rather than how things work in their autonomous Kingdom of Jim Bob. And the lawyer would lose as a result.

But that's just my best guess.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:06 PM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's not just "not easy", it might even be unimaginable.

I'm sure it is unimaginable for her right now. And while I'm not minimizing the difficulty, it is still doable. It's far from impossible. It has been done.

And with her fame (thanks to the Duggars) and public sympathy, it's not as though she would be cast adrift and universally shunned. There are many people who would be happy to befriend and support her. There are lawyers who would handle the divorce (and her husband would pay the legal fees, spousal and child support, since she has no income), get her custody, and make sure her children are not left unsupervised with an admitted child molester. The Duggars are not rich and powerful enough to prevent that outcome, after this.

She's got media experience and name recognition so it's not like she'd be lost and penniless in the cold cruel world with nothing to fall back on - she could have her own TV show! She is not helpless unless she decides to be. She may not know this now, but she could find out.

I think y'all are underestimating the strength of the human spirit. Look at Elizabeth Smart, who felt like "chewed gum," entirely without human worth, after being raped, because she was indoctrinated with the same ideology as a child.

Also, I don't know if this is a generational thing, but a much younger friend and I were discussing impossible situations that you cannot get out of the other day, and her example was a horrible internship she needed to complete for her master's degree. She looked at me as though I had three eyes when I pointed out that that is a poor example - she could have quit. She could try again with another internship. She could choose another career path. If it was really that unbearable, she could quit the whole thing and get a job. I wasn't saying her situation wasn't awful or that these options were better or more attractive than sticking out the horrible internship, I was just telling her she did have choices. This seemed like a foreign concept to her.
posted by caryatid at 5:14 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


And how many suicides would be prevented if the force of our social groups on determining our options weren't so extremely powerful? These are women brought up in a system specifically designed to teach them from Day Zero that they have no options. Asking them to break free from that of their own account is asking for something superheroic.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:23 PM on May 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


If enough of us start looking at it this way, and if God responds the way He usually does by sending revival, by the time our kids grow up they won't have to know how to navigate through all this pollution. It won't be there anymore.

If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.
posted by palomar at 5:28 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


A minor pedantic aside:

> but here's a Pilgrim-period song about fellatio...

I listened to the linked video, and I enjoyed the music quite a bit; thanks! Having been moved to find and read the lyrics, though, this song is really more of a ribald ballad extolling the appeal and delineating consequences of sexual intercourse, not fellatio. From verses 5 and 6 (lyrics; emphasis mine):

[...]
Thus they parted at last,
Till thrice three months were gone and past.

This mayden then fell very sicke,
Her maydenhead began to kicke,
Her colour waxed wan and pale
With taking much of Watkins ale.

I wish all maydens coy,
That heare this prety toy,
Wherein most women ioy,
How they doe sport;
For surely Watkins ale,
And if it not be stale,
Will turne them to some bale,
As hath report.
New ale will make their bellies bowne,
As trial by this same is knowne;
This prouerbe hath bin taught in schools,--
It is no iesting with edge tooles.

[...]

Watch out for those edge tools, folks --- you can't joke around with them even once or twice, or you'll get yourself hurt.

posted by mosk at 5:31 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ironic that the Qfull don't understand they are raising large litters of future anti-fanatic non-christians as most of their kids realize how twisted it all was as they leave. This will circle around and destroy them.
posted by lathrop at 5:34 PM on May 26, 2015


Asking them to break free from that of their own account is asking for something superheroic.

No one is asking her to do it on her own; read my post. She would have lots of help, and I hope someone gets to her soon with that information. Other women have done it.

And hey, sue me, but I believe women are much stronger than you think. Superheroines, even. All of us.
posted by caryatid at 5:36 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Web Has Known About Josh Duggar for Years. When Did TLC Find Out?

Oh, didn't see it was linked above. Soz.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:38 PM on May 26, 2015


abusive men are more likely to seek custody and men who seek custody are more likely to get it. josh duggar's wife is unlikely to find justice in the same county that just destroyed the records of the abuse at the behest of the family.
posted by nadawi at 5:41 PM on May 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm surprised at the efforts to ascribe Josh Duggar's impulses to his culture. That's bullshit. He didn't go after a four-year-old because he was denied acceptable outlets for his sexual appetites. A 14-year-old goes after a 4-year-old if, and only if, he is a pedophile. (A 4-year-old is strongly distinguished from a 12-year-old in the taxonomy of sexual deviance, so it is missing the point to bring up historical literary examples of young pubescents as objects of sexual interest to suggest that sexual interest of the kind Josh Duggar has acted upon has ever been normalized.)

What his culture did was to nurture and protect his abusive, predatory impulses. It's the cover-up, not the crime, that distinguishes the Duggars and other religious isolationists from people in the world outside.

A four-year-old, people. A preschooler. And over and over again; it didn't stop the first time he was found out. That guy's behavior was not the result of his fucked-up upbringing. What his fucked-up upbringing provided him was access and cover.

He should never be allowed near children, certainly including his own.
posted by palliser at 5:49 PM on May 26, 2015 [29 favorites]


Arkansas' mandatory reporting law is relatively recent. I'm not positive it was in effect by 2002, but it definitely wasn't passed until after I graduated high school in the late 90s.

Still, if the person who knows is violating the law in other ways, I'm not terribly surprised they wouldn't feel much obligation to that one, either.

As far as the Duggars go, one of the creepiest things about the family is that they didn't start out that way. When they were married, they were perfectly normal people. Only later did they fall down the rabbit hole, seemingly telling themselves it was for the good of their kids. At least Michelle had a choice, unlike the children.
posted by wierdo at 6:00 PM on May 26, 2015


A 14-year-old goes after a 4-year-old if, and only if, he is a pedophile.

The Kinsey Reports apparently claim that 40-50% of people living near farms have had sexual interactions with animals. People behave in weird ways when they're effectively isolated from their peers, or otherwise constrained. He should certainly be monitored, but that's not bad advice generally; sexual abuse happens in "normal" families too.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:02 PM on May 26, 2015


Quiverfull of shit: a Guide to the Duggars' Scary Brand of Christianity

Huh, wonder if the article is going to be for or against.
posted by ctmf at 6:15 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


josh duggar's wife is unlikely to find justice in the same county that just destroyed the records of the abuse at the behest of the family.

They were destroyed after they were made public on the Internet. Therefore they still exist.

This is no longer a hyperlocal incident being covered up by hyperlocal powers that be. It's global now and the world is watching. This isn't an abuser seeking custody, it's an admitted, world-famous child molester.

I guess I just don't understand the defeatist attitudes here: Oh, poor, poor Anna. She is doomed to stay with the child molester. She has no options, no choices. She is helpless and no one will help her and she is incapable of helping herself. WTF? That's BS.
posted by caryatid at 6:24 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Caryatid: I don't think anyone doubts she'd have support if she acted here. The issue is how much work has gone into making her certain that acting is impossible.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:34 PM on May 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't think any of us think she's helpless so much as we wonder how she can undo the brain washing.

She married and had children with a guy who supposedly admitted this to her prior to their marriage, that he had molested his younger sisters.

I wonder how much say she had.

I don't think she's helpless, but if her media access is as limited as the duggars, she may not know of the support that awaits her.

It's not like she's over posting on the green and we're all like hey here's some resources. It's not likely she's surrounded by people who think her husband should maybe not be around young girls and are offering support to leave.

We're just wondering about her reality. Yes, others have done it. But what has she been told of them?
posted by sio42 at 6:42 PM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm not being defeatist, I am talking about the very real, very known factors that make it very, very hard for people to escape from abuse. You seem to be coming from the same angle that tells poor people to 'just make more money' and depressed people to 'just cheer up'.

All this "support" you think she'll get will be coming from people she's been told her whole life are literally satan walking around on earth and that they will do terrible things to her (and her children, if she gets them out too) and she and them will all suffer horrible deaths and go to hell forever and it will all be her fault.

And sadly, since she's famous, it's true that a great deal of the support that will be offered to her (not things like welfare, which she's been taught is literally of the devil, but the sort of help that gets extended to highly visible people) in return for her exploitation.

Respect the immense obstacles in her way. Can it be done? Yes. Can she just grab her car keys and go? Unlikely.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:43 PM on May 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


The issue is how much work has gone into making her certain that acting is impossible.

Again, for the (what seems like) fortieth time, I did not say it would be easy. I didn't even say she HAD to do it, I said she could if she wanted to. It is demonstrably not impossible. Like I said, others in the same situation, with far less potential support on the outside, have done it.

You seem to be coming from the same angle that tells poor people to 'just make more money' and depressed people to 'just cheer up'.

I "seem to be"? And yet I am not. I said nothing whatsoever remotely like that, so like ernielundquist I will have to insist that you address what I actually wrote, not the words you'd like to put in my mouth.

Thank you.
posted by caryatid at 6:51 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


WTF? That's BS

I don't post much, so I feel pretty awkward about this, but...

It's not BS. She may or may not be psychologically able to divorce him, but more importantly to my mind, divorcing him may or may not even be the best thing for her kids. We aren't there, so we can't know. It's horribly uncomfortable to think that the situation could be even worse if she leaves him, but it totally could. And I say that (after years of therapy) as an adult who was raped by my father when I was a child and my mother didn't divorce him. So I'm super-empathetic towards the impulse to feel like a non-abusing parent has a moral imperative to get her and her kids out of an abusive situation. I was angry at my mother for decades over just this issue.

But as pointed out by nadawi- and also as is obvious from how often the "she got the kids to say that so she'll get a more favorable divorce settlement" and the "he made mistakes in the past, but we shouldn't ruin his whole life" lines of argument that gets trotted out pretty much whenever court cases involve sexual violence- the legal system, and society in general, are not kind to women and children. Staying with that scumbag jerk may really truly be the best thing (out of a slew of bad things) that Anna can do for her kids. It may also be the worst- but the thing is, we can't know that one way or the other. And frankly, she can't either, because any court decision is in the hypothetical future, so there's no way to know what the outcome would be until it's too late. So we are not in a position to make that decision for her, or in my opinion to judge her for whatever she decides her and her kids' best chances are.

Her situation sucks, so could we please just blame the rapist and leave it off the non-offending woman in the picture, even if she is not perfect?
posted by shiawase at 6:52 PM on May 26, 2015 [40 favorites]


I said she could if she wanted to.

caryatid, I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to be combative with you, because I think we're all generally on the "same side" here, but this concept, "if she wanted to," is I think what is driving a lot of what we're talking about here. Because it takes so, so much more than "wanting to."
posted by Navelgazer at 6:58 PM on May 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


Forgive me if I choose not to spend any more time defending what I wrote in perfectly plain language from absurd misinterpretations.
posted by caryatid at 7:01 PM on May 26, 2015


caryatid, I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to be combative with you

Yeah, me too. Obviously it's a topic we all feel very strongly about, and if I am being combative or piling on, I apologize- it's not my intent.
posted by shiawase at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Forgive me if I choose not to spend any more time defending what I wrote in perfectly plain language from absurd misinterpretations.

You're not in need of my forgiveness and the interpretation probably was, as you say, absurd, but it's where a lot of us are coming from here, and I just wanted to be clear here. I too believe in the power of the human spirit and the global community that would be waiting here, but I, like a lot of people here, are horrified about the brainwashing involved here, and I think we're kind of talking at odd angles to one another. I didn't mean to offend and I apologize.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:06 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Likewise
posted by sio42 at 7:13 PM on May 26, 2015


What a miserable situation.

It's disgusting that this show - and the Duggars' lifestyle - was ever promoted as something cute or wholesome. It's not. It's a bizarre, misogynistic, nasty piece of work. It's not a million miles removed from the lifestyle of the cartoonishly evil villains of Mad Max: Fury Road. Pardon the glib comparison, but I'm just trying to hammer home how demented and sick it is to train people to become breeding fodder, especially since so much of the nastiness is emphatically, explicitly dedicated to keeping women powerless.

Best wishes to everybody trapped in that sick system. It's a shame that so many of them have been more or less raised since infancy to remain trapped in it.

A great big "fuck you" to the media professionals who promoted this garbage. I'm more willing to forgive Josh Duggar than the outsiders, who should have known better, who promoted this cult as anything other than systematic abuse. Not that I'm forgiving Josh Duggar, and not that I'm in a position to do so - just that he would be going in line before the network people who normalized this trash.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:16 PM on May 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


It's not a million miles removed from the lifestyle of the cartoonishly evil villains of Mad Max: Fury Road.

I actually thought of the Duggars when I watched that movie. The Duggar women are raised and conditioned to keep themselves prisoners. Quiverfull Christianity has got, to paraphrase Pratchett, "something worse than whips . . . whips in the soul." Although I hope the young Duggars make it out, I would never judge them for not managing it.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:56 PM on May 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


The longer I think about it, the more I think that when there's kids, or people with real problems, involved, so much reality TV is the moral equivalent of 18th-century European nobles going to the madhouse for LOLs; heartless and cruel.

I mean, Duck Dynasty, whatever, they're just a bunch of assholes with a show, like the house-flippers or the gator-hunters. The Duggar kids had no choice, ever. And their show helped legitimize the way they were treated because it didn't show the warts, it made them cute and funny.
posted by emjaybee at 8:00 PM on May 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


it also provided the mocking world, eager to take them down. every time someone told me we couldn't be friends because i was in a cult was another piece of evidence that my (male) church elders were right - they (the outside world, the gentiles, the english, the wicked) don't understand, they can't help, we (your family, every scrap of love you've ever known) won't hurt you, we'll help you be happy again. the mockery and shunning gives rise to the lie that "the righteous" are the only ones who will love and care for these women.
posted by nadawi at 8:13 PM on May 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


get her custody, and make sure her children are not left unsupervised with an admitted child molester.

A friend of mine had to share custody of her kids for 8 months with her husband, despite the fact that he admitted to the guardian ad litem that he had thrown the younger child across the room when he was a baby. I think you drastically overestimate her chances there.
posted by KathrynT at 8:16 PM on May 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


I have an uncle and aunt who raised their dozen children with Quiverfell; prairie dresses, extreme patriarchy and all. One of my cousins had flown a plane before ever seeing a movie in a movie theater. My uncle passed away a few years ago, and after he passed, most of his kids happily abondoned that life style, though they are all still very religious. More interestingly, my cousins have since talked about how horrible it was to live under that type of extreme control. I feel for any child growing up in that type of environment, though I have to add that my cousins grew up to be some really awesome people. I credit my aunt for that.
posted by branravenraven at 10:40 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Apparently he confessed to her before they married, so her brainwashing is so total, she doesn't even seem to know what a awful situation she and her kids are in.

I seriously doubt his 'confession' to her contained any details that might have put her on her guard. He'd have to actually think of her as an equal for that to happen, instead of as a combined sex-slave/incubator/maid.

More likely it was some vague fluff about acting on impure thoughts, as if he'd jerked off or looked at a woman wearing a tank top instead of staring at his shoes. Minimised, like everything else he and his parents have done about this.
posted by harriet vane at 11:34 PM on May 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


One thing not mentioned for those that want to leave: identity abuse. In other words, if a girl is born at home, and homeschooled, and her parents don't give her access to any documentation, she's stuck in other ways. Without access to birth certificates, with no school records, how does a girl who leaves get a driver's license or a job?

That reminded me of this recent news story. The mother said that some of her children do not have birth certificates or Social Security numbers. (Granted, this family is not part of the Quiverfull movement, but there are some striking similarities.)
posted by SisterHavana at 1:59 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]




nadawi I am both vomitously appalled and not surprised that he sued DHS because he didn't like whatever they decided about his repeated attacks on his sisters and other young girl (girls?).

Just the temerity to sue DHS is unfathomable to me.
posted by tilde at 7:48 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The best part of the article is that maybe/hopefully they were all forced to get real counseling.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:49 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just the temerity to sue DHS is unfathomable to me.

The idea that 'temerity' would be required to sue Caesar would be unfathomable to folks like the Duggars. Where they come from, the main question would be not why one would sue them, but why one would abstain from suing them.

To put it in biblical terms: their family doesn't 'belong to Caesar.'

Not defending them -- just saying that an appeal to Federal or State authority is not going to cut any ice with someone in the isolationist-christian complex.
posted by lodurr at 8:06 AM on May 27, 2015


and it just so happens to feed into worldview that had them choosing their male, child abusing son over their own daughters.
posted by nadawi at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think if you want to connect with someone in that camp w.r.t. a DHS [i.e. CPS] issue is not to cite the authority of the agency, but to focus on the welfare of the children. Admittedly in this particular case, that might not get very far, but I have seen it do so with people who occupy less-extreme parts of the isolationist-christian complex.

I have not personally dealt with quiverfull folks, but I'm thinking you basically don't have a chance to reach them -- they've already bought into an ideology where their children are metaphorical ammunition in an eternal war, to be spent as God chooses. They aren't likely to give a shit about any goals for those children that don't further that one in some sense.
posted by lodurr at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do you really think, based on their behaviour after 2006, that they've had real counselling? Sue the DHS, blame the children for being little hussies, wring their hands over how Josh's life might be ruined, make sure documents are sealed or thrown out... And for the victims, I doubt their parents would do more than the bare minimum of real counselling, and even then only if they were forced to by a judge.
posted by harriet vane at 8:11 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apologies if that's confusing, was in response to If I had a penguin.
posted by harriet vane at 8:12 AM on May 27, 2015


Good points, lodurr and nadawi.
posted by tilde at 8:13 AM on May 27, 2015


as far as the duggars and quiverfull, who knows how far they go with it. strange things happen in reality TV: whole families of fairly ordinary-looking businessmen sprout mountain-man beards and stop playing golf to further their media careers -- er, i mean, their ideological message.
posted by lodurr at 8:13 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


pretty sure they were locally known as quiverfull before their show. i haven't seen the show, but from little bits and bobs i picked up, they aren't as isolated as they put on - although going to walmart or the mall doesn't keep them from being emotionally isolated. it's not like they live in the backwoods, though.
posted by nadawi at 8:19 AM on May 27, 2015


I have family who are pretty deeply into the isolationist-christian complex. the war metaphors are strong, there -- I've seen nephews & grand-nephews wearing t-shirts that advocate not "fighting naked", but instead going into battle in the full armor of Christ. (I don't remember the chapter & verse, but it's not far off from that in the Bible.) So I think the watershed between quiverfull & the less-extreme view may be that in the one view, you're a warrior; in the other, you're a weapon, and you give over your agency to God.

This is probably simplistic, and I don't mean to suggest that there's actually an externally coherent theology to conservative christianity that is able to wrap up quiverfull and more inclusive conservative christian worldviews -- I doubt that there is more than a general, essentially emotional framework. Not having an externally coherent or even internally consistent theology makes the movement more resilient in a way, since it doesn't have to deal with inconsistencies in the same way that, say, the Catholic Church would. One person can speak of themselves in terms that suggests they're a warrior; the other, in terms that suggest they're a weapon. Because they share an emotional framework, they (mis)interpret one another's words to see commonality of purpose as stronger than it really is.
posted by lodurr at 8:20 AM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Harriet: Right, and the article suggested they may have been forced to by a judge, which is what I was noting was a good thing.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:23 AM on May 27, 2015




I'm getting hung up on the 'weapon' thing. it really seems important to me that we're mostly dealing with the details of the movement without really fully dealing with its central metaphor, which is basically that you are not a free agent -- you're just god's bullets.

I guess they deal with the loss of agency and choice (which is kind of central to protestant theology) by seeing it as a choice they made. Of course free choice just doesn't mean the same thing inside the tent that it does outside of it, but that's a hard one for people to really accept or to deal with the consequences of.
posted by lodurr at 8:26 AM on May 27, 2015


Some of their friends who have had their own TV specials and are more involved with ATI: the Bates family.
It will be interesting to see how or if the Bates family responds to the Duggar allegations in the coming weeks, but for now they’ve stayed silent, no doubt choosing to protect their image and their new, successful show. But even if they do speak out against the Duggars (they won’t), don’t forget they still remain a fundamental part of the ATI / Gothard machine. And no matter how sweet they keep, no matter how nice they seem, there’s still plenty of evidence to suggest that the Bates family’s television ministry plays an active role in the horrifying problem of silence and abuse in fundamentalist families.
posted by tilde at 8:29 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]




She was also warned that criminal proceedings would tear her family apart. And because she loved her family, she relented.

this is so baked in that it's the threat my abuser used against me - that it'd tear our family apart if i told. and he was right...
posted by nadawi at 9:25 AM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


yes, they've institutionalized* the abuser-abused dynamic. If I had a dime for every divorced woman who told me about how their husband or his family (or theirs, more's the pity) told her that she was going to tear the family apart by leaving the shithead....
posted by lodurr at 9:45 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


--
*though I suppose it was always really there...
posted by lodurr at 9:45 AM on May 27, 2015


Some thoughts about Josh Duggar from an Illinois child protective services investigator.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


So this is somehting I've been wondering about relating to the destruction of the records. I understand why juvenile records are sealed, but shouldn't they still exist? My understanding is that the purpose of sealing the records is to prevent people from carrying the stigma of mistakes made in youth (note that I am speaking about juvenile records in general and I realize that this goes WAY beyond teenagers-have-poor-judgement).

But presumably the records could still be used to show a consistent pattern of behaviour in future criminal prosecutions (e.g. if someone were accused later, and the victim described an MO similar to the youth offenses, then that lends credibility to the victim report), as aggravating circumstances in sentencing for any future offenses, or in this case, as a flag that someone needs to watch out for this guy's kids.

Aren't juvenile records used for that sort of thing? Is it normal to be actually destroying juvenile records instead of making them private?

On another note do these even count as juvenile records given that he was never even arrested? (So maybe they're not actually even supposed to be sealed, since they're not Josh's records, they're just incident reports?)
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:39 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


This paragraph from nadawi's link above had some oogy bits:
When 1-year-old Jason falls to the floor and starts throwing a fit, one glance from his mother and quick wag of her finger ends the incident almost even before it begins. His training should be through by age 12, when Jim Bob and Michelle hope all their children are trained well enough to stand alone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:43 PM on May 27, 2015




it's not normal to destroy the reports, no. it's my impression that the huckabee-appointed judge got a request from one of josh's victims (everyone assumes a sister, or jim bob/michelle acting on behalf of their minor daughter) requesting the destruction. they're using procedures that are for the protection of victims to further shield josh and salvage the family name.
posted by nadawi at 1:54 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even the pedo former cop in jail for pedoing his pedoness says the multiple victim multiple assaults were characterized as a one time event with a single victim.

This requires one to believe the pedo former cop, but I'm not sure what motivation he would have to lie at this time about this specifically in this way.
posted by tilde at 3:26 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't read the entire comment thread; it's making me sick. I was raised in a semi-quiverfull family. Mary Pride's books were on my mom's shelf and I read them as a child. Gothard too. We had "only" seven children, we were homeschooled, I wasn't allowed to go to our Evangelical church's youth group because teenagers were "fools" and you shouldn't allow them to socialize with each other away from parents. I tried to run away a couple times, as a teenager, and my parents' response was to remove the door from my bedroom and take away all my clothing leaving me only a nightshirt. They then had a pastor's family over for dinner and I hid in my closet (in my nightshirt) so the pastor would not see me in my nightshirt in my doorless bedroom.

I was not molested: however, I WAS raised to believe that my value as a person was wholly wrapped up in my purity. My sexuality. I got the "chewed gum" and the "used" analogies from every book I read. As an adult, this led me to stay in an abusive relationship for five years. My abuse centered around the fact that I was not a virgin, that my abuser would never be able to forgive me for not being a virgin, and that I should basically be grateful that he would even consider staying with me. It included mental, physical and heavy emotional abuse that I am now in therapy for.

The most heartbreaking thing about this to me is the situation of the girls. The girls who believe that they are obligated to forgive their abuser and live peacefully with him, otherwise they would be in rebellion against God. It is not easy to break away from this just because someone "wants" to. You're brainwashed to believe that martyring yourself is the right thing, and that sticking up for yourself or leaving is spiritual rebellion. The only way to escape it is to change your beliefs, and this is very very hard. It's taken me over a decade as an adult and I am still in process.
posted by celtalitha at 3:48 PM on May 27, 2015 [48 favorites]


they're using procedures that are for the protection of victims to further shield josh and salvage the family name

I don't see why destruction of records would even be an option. The records aren't there for the victim: they're there for the justice system to use when prosecuting future victims and potential victims. And for the treatment of the perpetrator himself, which is an objective we shouldn't ignore. Even if victims should have the right to request that records be destroyed, that right should not rest in the parents of a perpetrator: the conflict of interest is just too great.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


“I have lost a lot of sleep over it. I am a Christian myself and I worry that something else may have happened. I would be responsible for it, in my opinion, by not reporting it. The young girl should have been my first priority.”

This is a bizarre statement from a man convicted on child pornography charges.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:28 PM on May 27, 2015


celtalitha - thank you for sharing your story. i'm so proud of you for getting out, for fighting the damaging things you were brainwashed with. these conversations can be hard for people like us to plan our feet in, but i think it's important that our voices are heard. for so long we were made to let everyone else control our world view and speak for us - we deserve to speak up and be heard. take care of yourself. also omg the bedroom door removal! arg! why is that always the first step!? is it in one of the books?

Joe in Australia - of course i agree that there should be protections put in place so the people who covered up the abuse can't further cover it up to the detriment of the justice system and society's safety. the issue of cronyism is also strong in this specific case. i do think that sometimes decisions should be made to protect the identity of the victims, though. i don't know how to best balance that with the common good, but it is an important thing to try and balance, i think.
posted by nadawi at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


A very interesting post via Fred Clark: Josh Duggar and the Tale of Two Boxes.
Social conservatives tend to divide sexual acts into “marital sex” and “non-marital sex.” For social conservatives, child sexual molestation is in the same category as gay sex or consensual premarital sex. When divided in this way, sexual molestation doesn’t look all that different from consensual premarital sex—though both are considered sin. This is why the Duggars can talk about Josh’s “mistakes” the way they do—as though it were simply him going too far with a girlfriend, or viewing pornography. Because for them, they’re in the same category—sexual contact before marriage.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:03 PM on May 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


that is my experience, absolutely, yes. it's weird because it ends up letting abusers off the hook while ruining gay believers. it's a really insidious system. i guess i'm glad i was just smart enough to never confess my same sex attractions (and actions).
posted by nadawi at 5:13 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nadawi: I understand that victims' identities are routinely concealed or obfuscated, although I suppose that doesn't help in cases of familial sexual abuse. It certainly didn't help in this case.

As you say, balancing the victims' rights with the common good is a difficult question. In this case, the victims' exposure was due to the adult Duggars' hypocrisy and inveterate lust for publicity; police records had nothing to do with it. So whether victims would actually benefit from the destruction of these reports is a bit of an open question. I think victims should be protected against casual or prurient inquiries, but the substantial public benefit to the retention of these reports means that they should be sealed, not destroyed.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:10 PM on May 27, 2015


We should probably remember that the laws that allow destruction and sealing of juvenile records didn't originally have anything to do with protecting victims.
posted by lodurr at 6:34 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


"The consequence of this abuse is, to them, a positive — it leads them to be saved," Garrison said. "To them, the abuse is something that has eternal consequences of great benefit and glory to God. They're minimizing the harm and damage that's been done to those girls, and minimizing the guilt that comes from the crime that Josh committed, because of that spiritual benefit."

The Duggar girls are victims of abuse — and of a patriarchal cult. It's hard to emphasize enough how strong a force "traditional gender roles" are in the Quiverfull community. The movement asserts the fundamental supremacy of men over women and promotes the idea that women are sexual property whose sole value after marriage is their fecundity. "The nature of the patriarchy that distinguishes the Quiverfull mindset from other religious extremists," according to Garrison, "is the teaching that there is a channel of authority, and that it goes straight through the father."
posted by tilde at 6:43 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah - like i said, a balancing act. in this case, absolutely abused - but because of the politics, i think no matter what safeguards were in place they would have been destroyed. i sorta wish i could get my brother's foster care records because there's a claim in my family that dhs was told about the abuse and did nothing. i, the victim, cannot find out the answer to that question. it's maddening. so yes, i'm utterly pissed off that a friend of the chief, and friend of the governor, and friend of the judge, and friend of seemingly every patriarchal powerful figure in my area can just destroy what they want. i just don't think destroying records is always forever wrong as part of the balancing act between victim's rights and the common good.
posted by nadawi at 6:48 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Damn nadawi I'm sorry for all that.
posted by sio42 at 7:32 PM on May 27, 2015


And that excerpt above is fucking frightening.

I'm wondering if atwood read pride's book as part of research for handmaid's tale.
posted by sio42 at 7:33 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gawker has posted this excerpt on lust from ATI homeschooling materials . The article is here .
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:51 PM on May 27, 2015


High testosterone correlated with violent crime? I wonder if they look askance at bald men.
posted by rhizome at 11:25 PM on May 27, 2015


Yeah, I raised my (thin, delicate) eyebrows when I came to that one. Perhaps they mean that being male is associated with violent crime, which is probably correct. Also, cop their diagram of the brain.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:57 PM on May 27, 2015


I'm wondering if atwood read pride's book as part of research for handmaid's tale.

There is little doubt that Mary Pride = Serena Joy
posted by hydropsyche at 3:31 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


that excerpt on lust... i only got the first column... but they only talk lust affecting men.

i guess the entireity of the rest of this thread explains why that is.

but to actually see it, in print like that, it's creepy.
posted by sio42 at 4:54 AM on May 28, 2015


in the linguistics column we get the following:
-----------------------------
WOMAN
Greek: (insert greek letters here)
DEFINITION: Female, wife.
INSIGHT: Root of gynecology the treatment of female disorders. From the perspective of being a "one-woman man," a "strange woman" is any woman other than his life partner.
--------------------------------

From wikipedia, empahsis mine:

Gynaecology or gynecology[1] is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems (vagina, uterus and ovaries) and the breasts. Literally, outside medicine, it means "the science of women". Its counterpart is andrology, which deals with medical issues specific to the male reproductive system.
--------------------------------

I'd bang my head on my desk but this is just too serious. I know there are good homeschoolers, even good religious homeschoolers, but this sort of stuff makes me feel deeply unsettled - that children are learning this in a vacuum.

The above definition makes his sisters "strange women", i guess.
posted by sio42 at 5:02 AM on May 28, 2015


in case it may not be clear, i feel there is an issue when referring to something as "female disorders" when what it really means is "female reproductive health".

"disorders" just characterizes women in such a shitty, problematic way.
posted by sio42 at 5:26 AM on May 28, 2015


At least the election will be quieter without them in it ...
Who Will Win the Duggar Primary?
The reality show clan backed Mike Huckabee in '08 and Rick Santorum in '12. Now, they may face a real tough choice.
—By Tim Murphy | Thu Mar. 5, 2015 7:00 AM EST


Asked about the family's 2016 decision, Josh said, "I would just say that we have a lot of friends who are running this year and we hope that all of them run, I'll put it that way. [Huckabee's] been a good friend of ours for a number of years. That's pretty clear. People know that. I also think that Rick Santorum has been a tireless defender of the issues that are very close to our heart." He even tossed out another possible contender for Duggar seal of approval. "When you look at the lineup, I'm also a big fan of Ted Cruz."

And what about another Duggar family road trip to Iowa on the old bus to stump for whoever wins the family's endorsement? "I wouldn't rule it out—we'll see."
posted by tilde at 5:47 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


abusive men are more likely to seek custody and men who seek custody are more likely to get it. josh duggar's wife is unlikely to find justice in the same county that just destroyed the records of the abuse at the behest of the family.
nadawi
Sadly this is true.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:02 AM on May 28, 2015


On growing up Duggar
I remember crying as a teen and praying to God. Every time things got more dysfunctional at home, I just kept going back to my pillow at home and praying to God.

I couldn’t break free because God wanted me to be strong and because God would use our shit for good.

I couldn’t break free because I distrusted everyone and everything outside my own home.

I couldn’t break free because I never left my own house. Once, I attempted to run away for the day, and after running and running, I realized that the nearest person who would let me stay with them until dad got off work, was just too far away. I couldn’t make it there on foot. While other kids I knew got a driver’s license just so they could go to their buddies house, I just wanted a driver’s license so I could feel safe.

I don’t know what it’s like to grow up Duggar, because I don’t know what it’s like to have 18 brothers and sisters to worry about and be put on national TV.

But I do know this, the last few days I’ve been exhausted and depleted because the Duggar news has hurt my heart at a person level. And I think I have a good reason to be. ATI stole my childhood, and ATI is at least semi-responsible for my friend who ended up taking his own life after his experience growing up ATI and going through ALERT. We, homeschool alumni, are angry, pissed, and worn out.
posted by tilde at 6:28 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


A bit from a former Quiverfull proponent, on how she got in and back out of the movement:
“You’re Supposed to Be Creating An Army for God”

Garrison’s Quiverfull marriage provided little comfort. Looking back to how marital roles evolved in her family, she says, “It was mostly control and manipulation and power, which are not love.” Surprisingly, it was Garrison who indoctrinated her then-husband, who is blind, not the other way around, when she brought home Quiverfull literature and presented it to him. She considers him a victim of the movement, too. “It was so rigid, the whole gender role thing,” says Garrison. “It just gives no room for a couple to negotiate and to play on their strengths and make up for each other’s weaknesses… if it doesn’t work, you make it work. And you trust God and keep going. It turns into abuse. It turns into a very twisted system."

...

Intimidation, isolation, and shame had become a staple of family life, she recognized in therapy, but she hadn’t identified it as abusive because it was religiously coded. She saw herself as a depraved sinner; she refrained from contradicting her husband, not because she feared him, but because she feared that would mean she was a mouthpiece of Satan. Her children, too, were trapped in a radical, insular home life without outside friends or family, tasked with helping maintain the house and limited to two meals a day (plus a snack) to save on time and dishes, while their homeschool education was often neglected or totally abandoned. Quiverfull daughters often suffer particular strains, training to be their future husbands’ helpmeets through tending to their many siblings. Some even become part of the Stay-At-Home-Daughters movement, foregoing college and staying under the father’s authority until it can be transferred to the husband.

After a court fight, Garrison was awarded custody of her children but was saddled with the family’s debt. She was also profoundly alone. “I didn’t know anyone who wasn’t a Quiverfull, conservative Christian,” she explains.
posted by tilde at 6:40 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is an interview with Garrison written in an ask.me style analysis of life using the Power and Control wheel.
posted by tilde at 6:48 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Here is an interview with Garrison written in an ask.me style analysis of life using the Power and Control wheel.

This is off the topic of their views of sexuality, but I find this image from that article fascinating. Note how the US is literally an island and the rest of the world is just a series of random blobs.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:13 AM on May 28, 2015


Actually, I think that fits pretty will with, at least the Duggars', understanding of the world, as revealed during their travels. Explaining their missions in El Salvador the Duggars explained that "The richest people here [in El Salvador] are worse off than the poorest people in the America!" I'm sure the poorest people in the US were too busy flying around on their private jets and scarfing down the caviar with truffles to notice.

And while in a shop in Nepal when Jim-Bob wanted to ask if they carried something or other in a larger size he raised his voice and enunciated and stretched out the word "Big...you know, Graaandaaay" Again, in Nepal, cause you know any language that isn't English is basically just a dialect of Spanish.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:18 AM on May 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Cult of Patriarchy

Teaching males that they are to be revered, and if they commit acts of violence and abuse, it's the victim's fault.

And teaching females that they are to blame for everything that goes wrong. Submit and serve, that's what they're to do. Period.

Notice how no mention seems to be made about boys being assaulted? The shame and blame heaped on girls and women for being abused and assaulted, I can't imagine what happens to the boys who go through the same experiences.

Actually, that's not true. I can. And it's the stuff that nightmares are made of, and breaks my heart.

It's setting up a predator's paradise.
posted by tilde at 8:23 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


that interview with garrison is amazing.

i am half way through, but seeing how she breaks down the wheel of power and control and how she didn't think it applied and came to realize it did is utterly devastating and understandable.

As an example, isolation is an abuse tactic:

My husband didn’t intentionally isolate me and the children … it just kind of happened as a logical progression of our decision to live radically for Jesus. First, I dropped out of college and quit my job in order to be a “keeper at home” as the Bible commands. Then we cut out all meaningful associations with unbelievers, and most of our extended family who didn’t share our dedication to righteous living.

And yes this totally reads like every askme answer from a person who has been there, done that explaining why someone needs to see they are in an abusive relationship and need to DMTFA.

this shit is some scary ass brainwashing.
posted by sio42 at 8:57 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


How are the Duggars dealing with the Gothard sex scandal?

5/27/14 12:19pm

(note the year on that link, a year ago yesterday)
Jess is showing knee. KNEE. What's next? Darwinism? Drinking? VOTING DEMOCRAT? I mean, shit, Anna Duggar is already eating Tilapia, it's a pretty slippery slope. And remember, they adhere to a religion that emphasizes womanly modesty above all else because they blame women FOR EVERYTHING. Because men are sinful and all their superior brain power can't help them decide to keep it in their pants. So Jessa slyly challenging those restrictions is a big deal. And her make-up is always on point. She is my idol. She's so smirky.

And if you don't believe that showing the knee is scandalous, watch some of the earlier seasons. There is a scene where Jim-Bob was worried that Jordyn's dress was too short. Now Jordyn was THREE years old at the time. Seriously. And the dress fit— she hadn't outgrown it clearly, but it showed too much leg for a three year old. (And don't forget, even young children are seen as objects of sin if they aren't sufficiently modest) Another episode had Michelle Duggar waterskiing in her modesty bathing suit and when her knees were showing, she had the producers put a black bar over them because they were exposing something that was private. Knees are for Jim Bob only, not for the lascivious knees fetishizing public. However, all that has changed. Between Michelle's recent foray's with slingshotting and Jessa's wild knee exposure, anything goes.
posted by tilde at 8:58 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


more from garrison

When the very definition of perfect love is sacrificing your children and martyring yourself, there is no place for emotionally healthy concepts like boundaries, consent, equality, and mutuality.
posted by sio42 at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


that powderkeg link tilde just linked to is insane.

it's link to even MORE insane stuff, like some sort of site that i had to close immediatly due to imminent paroxysm that said there is not victim if your husband beats you, you're suffering for christ. and if your husband "violates" his morals with your children, you're supposed to stay and try to work it out.

W. T. F.

this house is on fire, please go upstairs and wait for rapture.
posted by sio42 at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


i'm really starting to understand what would drive a woman to kill her own children the way Andrea Yates did when this what you're up against.

there's no way in heaven or hell that jesus meant any of this fucking shite that people are handing out in his name.
posted by sio42 at 9:33 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'm very sympathetic to Garrison, but I've got to speak up about this:
The reason you can find Quiverfull families in nearly every type of Christian congregation is because Quiverfull beliefs are not actually a radical departure from traditional Christian teachings regarding marriage and family. It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large ... lived out to its logical conclusion.
I grew up and still live in the southeastern US, which you might think would be a nexus for such things. I have been a member of Presbyterian churches all of my life. I have dozens of friends all over the country who are members of and pastors (men and women) in many different denominations of Christianity. I don't know a single quiverfull person or even anyone whose beliefs resemble this. Even my childhood Southern Baptist friends believe none of this nonsense. It has nothing to do with Christianity and was manufactured largely in the past few decades. I feel bad for her, and I know part of the movement is preventing the education of its members about the world, but I would really hate for anyone to actually think that there are a bunch of quiverfull Episcopalians running around the US.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:27 AM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have been a member of Presbyterian churches all of my life. I have dozens of friends all over the country who are members of and pastors (men and women) in many different denominations of Christianity. I don't know a single quiverfull person or even anyone whose beliefs resemble this. Even my childhood Southern Baptist friends believe none of this nonsense. It has nothing to do with Christianity and was manufactured largely in the past few decades. I feel bad for her, and I know part of the movement is preventing the education of its members about the world, but I would really hate for anyone to actually think that there are a bunch of quiverfull Episcopalians running around the US.

Yeah, it's basically anathema to mainline Protestants, who aren't really at all about turning over one's entire existence to Christ's Army lest they fry for all eternity, but rather just, you know, being nice to people.

It's mostly the newer American denominations that sprung up during the Great Awakening (your fundamentalists, your charismatic evangelicals, your Pentecostals, your restorationists, etc.) where you're likely to find Quiverfull families. The sort of people who describe themselves as "Christian" without specifying any particular franchise.

The scary thing is that these latter groups have recently grown to be the majority of Protestants in America. That said, they've mostly just grown percentage-wise, which has as much to do with the sudden shrinkage of mainline Protestant congregations as anything else, so it's not that scary. The really scary part is what they're doing internationally (e.g. Uganda).
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 AM on May 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


From Vyckie Garrison's article that tilde posted:
Whenever I talk about my escape from the Quiverfull movement, Christians immediately dismiss my experience by saying, “Your problem was not with Jesus or Christianity. Your problem was that you were following an extreme, legalistic cult. Let me tell you about my personal relationship with Jesus.” It can be extremely frustrating.
Can we maybe not do that here? That would be swell.
posted by palomar at 11:08 AM on May 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Seconding palomar. Anecdota does add up to data but everyone listing everyone here is a massive derail. Religion: YMMV.

So, mainstream press is starting to put together timelines and firm up confirm-able reality. USA Today's does not yet include Josh's suit against Arkansas' CPS. The Washington Post's has some misinformation false witness propagated by the Duggar family about counseling for Josh but does include the suit. Neither has reached the conclusion that the (Gawker?) other timelines have that TLC knew what was going on because the suit coincided with the time they were filiming the first series episodes. Or that Discovery owns both TLC and the Oprah network (though may not have owned her network at the time).

Let the light shine in.
posted by tilde at 11:18 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


On reality shows and background checks (ref my comment above about what did TLC know and when did they know it):
Josh Duggar wasn’t the first: How reality TV background checks don’t always uncover serious allegations

When a Josh Duggar situation happens, in which a 2006 police report detailed accusations that he molested several underage girls when he was a teenager, the natural question becomes when TLC knew about the allegations — though his name was redacted, In Touch Weekly and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette both reported Duggar was the suspect. The show didn’t start filming until 2008. (TLC declined to comment or answer questions for this story.)

...

As for Discovery Communications specifically, former TLC executive Brant Pinvidic reiterates there’s no way that, for example, the network knew anything about the Josh Duggar allegations.

“I would bet anything that there is no possibility Discovery had any knowledge of this whatsoever. If there was even remotely talk of this, the show would have never gone on the air,” Pinvidic said. “It’s a big show, but it makes a tiny percentage of overall Discovery and TLC’s [revenue]. They wouldn’t risk this kind of publicity.”
I can't find the Gawker/InTouch timeline now, so it might have been a comment that put the filming of the first episodes for the series (not the specials) days before the lawsuit.
posted by tilde at 11:32 AM on May 28, 2015


Can we maybe not do that here? That would be swell.

Not sure who that's aimed at; not seeing anyone here doing that at all.

When someone says, "It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large ... lived out to its logical conclusion," that is still buying into the notion that the kooky fringe group she was captive to is the One True Christianity, which is a notion that fuels those groups, and which is a notion that is super-duper not true.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:45 AM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not sure who that's aimed at; not seeing anyone here doing that at all.

There's a great example two comments ahead of mine, of the "I don't know any people like this in my nice normal religious community so asserting that they're anything to worry about is wrong" flavor.
posted by palomar at 12:12 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


so asserting that they're anything to worry about is wrong

This is the part I'm not seeing.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 PM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


When someone says, "It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large ... lived out to its logical conclusion," that is still buying into the notion that the kooky fringe group she was captive to is the One True Christianity, which is a notion that fuels those groups, and which is a notion that is super-duper not true.

I was, in a sense, converted to Jack Chick's Christianity by his tracts. As a college student, I was reading a pile of them for the lulz, and it suddenly struck me that I was not only not a Christian, but that I could accept that about myself. If God was what Chick claimed him to be, "all right, then, I'll go to hell." When I realized I had no desire to be in the good graces of the God of fundamentalist Christianity, even if he existed, it was suddenly easy to accept that I did not need to believe in God at all.

You could say that I fell for Chick as much as any lost soul does. But I think that his viewpoint provides clarity that is helpful for the wavering, in ways he does not anticipate.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:18 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a great example two comments ahead of mine, of the "I don't know any people like this in my nice normal religious community so asserting that they're anything to worry about is wrong" flavor.

That really was not what I was saying. Since I've already posted another comment in here linking to another great blog by an ex-quiverfull person, I am obviously both aware of and troubled by this movement, and I in fact have been for many years thanks to the excellent writing by many survivors of this group including Libby Anne, whose blog I linked above.

To spell my point out more clearly so there can be no confusion, it is simply that these folks who are in the middle of this think that it is very common and simply a part of Christianity, as noted in the passage I quoted above, but in truth it is not that common at all in the communities of North Carolina and Georgia (places where you might think it would be common) where I have lived all of my life, and it is not in any way a part of the Christianity of anyone I know, including a number of conservative Southern Baptists. I would think it might be helpful to folks who are being imprisoned and tortured by their families, who only know people who are part of this, to realize there is a whole world outside to whom these beliefs are anathema. (And as MeFites tend not to be religious folks, I thought it might also be helpful to clarify that your nice Methodist neighbor up the street is not secretly quiverfull.)
posted by hydropsyche at 12:30 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


which parts aren't in common? how they treat sexual assault survivors? or the bullets for jesus part? the man as the absolute leader of the home? the first and third parts are super common in arkansas in all sorts of denominations. the second - well, it comes and goes, but in the 90s there was a tshirt stand in the mall where the entire theme was hardcore army for christ stuff with all sorts of really disturbing imagery. i was regularly shunned by my nice methodist, baptist, what-have-you neighbors because their pastors were very clear that as a mormon i was a devil worshiper.

how i read that part is not that all denominations are explicitly quiverfull, but that you find full quiver families in a lot of sects of christianity because the less fringe parts are things you hear from a lot of pulpits. of course quiverfull families will be drawn to the more hardline congregations, more fire&brimstone - you likely won't find a lot of full quiver UU for instance - but run of the mill baptists, sure, you can absolutely find congregations that are rigid enough for quiverfull families.
posted by nadawi at 12:41 PM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


TLC's programming choices aside, I don't think it's controversial that imprisoning and torturing your family is extreme and marginal behavior.
posted by rhizome at 12:42 PM on May 28, 2015


it should also be mentioned that while the duggars walk the walk and talk the talk and have been featured for a long time as a prominant quiverfull family, they actually don't claim the label - they're just bible focused christians according to them. it really starts to get into no true scotsman territory. some of the interpretations that the duggars and families like them ascribe to are fringe, and some are pretty mainstream family values. it's why you can't throw a rock these days without finding a non-quiverfull christian defense of the duggars.
posted by nadawi at 12:47 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've never lived in Arkansas, nadawi, and you have, and it may be very different from here. I am not in any way doubting your experience.

I'm saying that it simply isn't true that quiverfull or even patriarchical households are considered normal here in Georgia (or back home in NC) where people might expect it to be. That's a good thing. It's a hopeful thing. It means that Save Jinger has a point and can help these young people find a world that is better.

Mistreating survivors of sexual abuse is of course a problem in all of human society, including among liberal atheists (and on Metafilter).
posted by hydropsyche at 12:57 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I don't feel like she was saying it's normal, exactly; the meaning I took from her statement about 'writ large' is that when you already have extremist evangelicals running around, there's going to be pockets of really extreme belief, and those pockets are just a logical extension of going to extremes.

I mean, I don't think she's saying Quiverfulls are everywhere, I just think she's saying that with the propensity for extremist belief, it's logical that the Quiverfull people exist.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


The dangers of life in a male-dominated system

If the Duggars stayed true to their teaching, they told their girls that it may have been their fault because they may have caused Josh to be tempted. They told the girls that it will bring them closer to God, and that God will use it for good.

...

Immeasurable damage is caused by a system that is predisposed to suspect the victim instead of the perpetrator. The predominant voice in even the broader evangelical, Catholic, fundamentalist, (box) church is to protect the system. Pastors and priests and fathers (!) are deified, and those who challenge that paradigm in any way, including by pointing out their abuse.

Given all that Jesus said about the danger of abuse of power over the powerless, true Christ-followers would be highly alert for abuse of power and to the dangers of enabling that abuse.

I have no answer for this. I wish I did. We have a long way to go in bringing justice to this area, we’ve got a big paradigm to crack open. But rest assured, this thinking has nothing to do with God, or Jesus, or justice. It is about power and control, male power and control. Just as it’s always been.

This is a human problem. It impacts us all, but especially the oppressed and marginalized – women, mothers, our daughters, and those who have been deemed “less than” or “others.”
posted by tilde at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mistreating survivors of sexual abuse is of course a problem in all of human society, including among liberal atheists (and on Metafilter).

oh come on. it's a question of degrees. i would hope no one on metafilter would tell a childhood abuse victim that they inflamed the passions in their molester or require forgiveness to achieve everlasting salvation. sex abuse flourishes in strict patriarchal systems - that's not up for debate. it's bad all over, but it's absolutely worse in some places.
posted by nadawi at 1:08 PM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Bowing out, because I'm really not disagreeing with you on anything.

From Libby Anne (who is still posting as fast as I can read): It Took This for People to Listen?
posted by hydropsyche at 1:30 PM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


To follow on nadawi (and other's) points, many aspects of quiverfull are fairly common aspects of Christianity taken to their extreme. One can argue if the extreme is the "logical conclusion" or not, but the result is that a lot of non-Quiverfull/more mainstream folks (generally Christians in my experience) then act or appear to act like allies and keep the system going. That can range from the at-the-time seemingly mundane and oblivious comments about how the Duggars are good Christians raising wholesome kids before this mess (which I heard from many not overtly religious Christians)to the senseless proclemations "supporting" Josh.

Yes, a lot if the problems are not exclusive to Christianity (nor do all Christians etc), but when you've been burned like Ms. Garrison and many others have by a system that goes on and on about what a true Christian really is (and uses it as a bludgeon against you), hearing "But not my Jesus" is going to be irritating and tone deaf. They've generally heard a lot about what Jesus really wants already.
posted by ghost phoneme at 1:33 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Frankly the stuff the Quiverfullers say is not all that different from what I hear on the radio when I'm driving through more rural areas.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:56 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm saying that it simply isn't true that quiverfull or even patriarchical households are considered normal here in Georgia (or back home in NC) where people might expect it to be.

Patriarchal beliefs are absolutely typical of even many mainstream Christians. Obviously, they aren't typically as extreme as the quiverfull folks, but stuff about the man being the head of the house was common in the mainline protestant churches where I grew up in Texas. Less overt patriarchal stuff is so accepted it's not even noticeable in many parts of the country--whose job is more important, who stays home with the kids, who does the housework, are girls raised to be the guardians of sexual purity. I know all that stuff is present in Georgia and NC. It's a difference of degree, not kind.

There's a reason why a family with a deeply patriarchal philosophy like the Duggars can be reality TV stars and much of America doesn't see anything disturbing about them. The patriarchal model on the show was just a more extreme version of what many people consider normal--dad works, mom stays home with the kids, dad's the head of household, the girls need to be good girls, etc. The oppressive extreme to which they took it should have been a scandal even before the revelations about Josh, but it wasn't.
posted by Mavri at 2:15 PM on May 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why Did We Ever Make the Duggars Famous in the First Place?
The country is rightly upset about the Josh Duggar molestation reports. But where was that concern when we were giving such a huge platform to a disturbingly misogynistic family?
posted by andoatnp at 2:45 PM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hey there.

So, I was raised Presbyterian*. But we believed most of the same stuff the Duggars do. Before we changed denominations and became Presbyterians, we were Baptists**. We still believed the same stuff the Duggars do.

Like folks have already said, there is a logical conclusion to Biblical literalism. It goes to the same place regardless of what you call it. It sets up a patriarchal system that is incredibly vulnerable to abusers.

I have been wanting to chime in ever since this thread began, not only as someone who has survived childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a family member but also as someone who suffered severe spiritual abuse in multiple (fundamentalist) Protestant denominations.

Names mean nothing. "Quiverfull" is not even a denomination itself, but rather something you can find practiced within multiple fundamentalist Christian denominations.

I wish articles like the many linked above would stress this more -- that you can be a Presbyterian or a Baptist and still wind up in the same place as the Duggars. You don't even need to wear frumpers or have nineteen kids. You can raise just one kid and still be authoritarian and abusive, and use the Bible to justify it.

* PCA and OPC, to be specific
** Reformed Baptists are much scarier than Southern Baptists
posted by brina at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm saying that it simply isn't true that quiverfull or even patriarchical households are considered normal here in Georgia (or back home in NC) where people might expect it to be.

I think there's a couple of things going on here:

1) Quiverfull/Patriarchal households are thought of as atypical by most Christians.
2) Quiverfull/Patriarchal households ARE always Christians.

It's like, as a non-believer, I get that most Christians don't think the Duggars are normal, but is there something about Christianity specifically that leads to some of its members to embracing uber-patriarchal, continuous-pregnancy-pleases-God type of lifestyles?
posted by 23skidoo at 3:09 PM on May 28, 2015


The reason I chose this place to chime in is that I've had this disagreement with a few folks within the church.

Several years ago, a fellow MeFite drove me to upstate New York, where I met a Presbyter who had been in charge of investigating my father's crimes. He wanted to know what I wanted from the church, seeing as I wasn't planning on ever going back.

I quoted the one-in-four statistic at him, and I said all I wanted was for the church to educate its ministers, elders, deacons, Sunday School teachers and laity on the warning signs of child sexual abuse.

He said to me, "Maybe 1 in 4 is the right number for Catholics, or Pentecostals. With the charismatics you really can't be too careful."

That's why I am chiming in now. Because as soon as you blame Catholics or Pentecostals or "those other guys over there," you are abandoning your responsibility toward your own flock and pretending that your congregation is not vulnerable to that kind of problem.

That attitude itself, of saying, "it's just those dudes over there," that's part of what is poisonous to begin with.
posted by brina at 3:14 PM on May 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


When someone says, "It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large ... lived out to its logical conclusion," that is still buying into the notion that the kooky fringe group she was captive to is the One True Christianity, which is a notion that fuels those groups, and which is a notion that is super-duper not true.
I've said it before, but the greatest enemy of fundamentalism is never the Unbelievers. It's the "lukewarm" believers who represent and often articulate a different understanding of the faith, one that isn't as extreme.

Fundamentalism desperately needs to be the only alternative to atheism or "paganism", because it is based on incredibly facile interpretation of complex religious tradition, and is profoundly antagonistic to the idea of "interpretation" being part of the belief process. People (like myself) who grew up in fundamentalism, then left it, often have a far easier time accepting the beliefs of wiccans and atheists and buddhists than the beliefs of (say) Unitarians or liberal Episcopalians. And unfortunately, that "we are the true way, this is the logical conclusion of True Belief" message is also the easiest one for outsiders to understand, too.
posted by verb at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I was also raised with the same attitudes without ever hearing the word "Quiverfull" until learning about the TLC show. Ok, not the "mother an army for Jesus" part, but pretty much everything else - 100% literal Bible interpretation, attempted (but thankfully failed) homeschooling for the express purposes of preventing us from being corrupted by the degenerate modern culture, confiscation of secretly-obtained books/movies/etc that showed "immorality", wives must submit to husbands, extreme concern about tempting boys by dressing too immodestly, "traditional values" (Focus on the Family-style) etc etc.

Mind you, we experienced a much less extreme version of most of these, like drawing the line at 2-piece bathing suits rather than knee-exposing shorts, or taking away books about magic but allowing us to read many other books. But the underlying attitudes shown here are not at all strange for Christianity, they're just taken to an extreme.

Christianity absolutely can be, and often is, followed in a way that is not at all misogynistic. But it's a mistake to infer that these ideas are only seen in extreme subsets of Christianity. The exact same themes are found in many different denominations, both Protestant and Catholic, all over the US (and in my case Canada, but fundamentalism is much more rare here); these are not randomly occurring cult beliefs, they're a sign of a systematic problem with Christianity that needs to be addressed in that context.
posted by randomnity at 3:22 PM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm not coming to cause trouble, just to make a clear definitional distinction between the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA), which has ordained women for decades and marries gay people, and the tiny, schismatic groups the Presbyterian Church in America (which left the mainline over women's ordination in the 1960s-1970s) and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (which left the mainline over the ordination of gay people in the 1990s-2000s). People seem to have good associations with Episcopalians and UUs, so think of us as something like them.

I am so very sorry you were treated horribly by people with the name Presbyterian, brina. Even though I have nothing in common with them, I still feel guilty because of the name association. At my church, you would see lots of happy queer people, hear women preaching, and hear non-masculine words for God. But I also know that our denomination has let people down plenty in the past and will again, and I understand people who don't trust any Christians for very good reason.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:30 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


That attitude itself, of saying, "it's just those dudes over there," that's part of what is poisonous to begin with.

Amen.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:37 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am well aware of the distinction between the PC-USA, the PCA, the OPC, the EPC, the RPC-ES, the RPCNA and various other denominations.

What I am saying is that the term "Baptist" is a catch-all, and so is the term "Presbyterian," and so for that matter is the term "Catholic" or the word "charismatic."

Of course there are differences between the mainline Presbyterians and the weird ones. But that doesn't change the fact that we weird ones are out there, and passing some of the time as mainliners. I know, because I myself did it when I needed to.

We weird ones are probably everywhere, but particularly anywhere the doctrine is dogma, anywhere rigidity has set in. That can happen as easily in a mainline denomination as it did in my "splinter" denominations.

More importantly, the splinter denominations are simply embracing really, really rote and ancient creeds like the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith.

Painting this as new is just as detrimental as painting it as other.
posted by brina at 5:23 PM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I figured you knew that, brina. I was trying to help others in the conversation. And your point that these ideas are very old, classic versions of religious patriarchy is well taken. I think what has changed is the formation of groups like the HSLDA, which have started to really make progress in lobbying at the state level, on top of older groups like the FRC becoming more mainstream in one political party, and Patrick Henry College joining Liberty and Bob Jones in placing folks in both state and federal government, and then of course TLC joining in as well to normalize the inexcusable for entertainment purpose. And the internet, of course, has allowed it all to spread on message boards and blogs, sucking in people who never would have been exposed previously. What once was a disorganized force in small places throughout the country is now a political machine, and it's taken something like this, sadly, to make people pay attention.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:18 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Big old trigger warning for ATI, sexual abuse, violence, and murder in the link to pull together this bit to light the some of the "We are all Duggars" shit on fire & launch it from a cannon with the Boston Pops Fourth of July spectacular in the background:
Because when the crime is murder, we take it far more seriously than when the crime is child sexual abuse. No one is tempted to Matthew 18 a murderer. No one drags the family of a murder victim in front of the murderer and demands immediate forgiveness. No one faults the family of a murder victim for being bitter and angry and loud because of the immense pain rendered by murder. But everyone wants to Matthew 18 child sexual abuse. Everyone wants to handle sexual abuse in house. Everyone wants to silence and shut up the abuse victims and survivors and everyone wants them to behave and speak prettily and kindly.
posted by tilde at 6:29 PM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


This kind of stuff scares the crap out of me.

A great many participants in my extended family are members of the Society of Saint Pius X. I used to get dragged to church all the time when I was staying with my eldest sister (and her family of nine, the old man having shot through) when I first got to Brisbane, years and years ago. Apart from the fact that the mass was in Latin (kind of cool, I guess), Sunday service was seriously over 2 hours long, much of it spent kneeling. All the women had to wear scarves and doilies and stuff on their heads (I later discovered that this is not just a sign of piety and shame at being a woman, but a useful technique for stopping angels from wanting to rape you). The priest's sermon would without fail be about sin of some kind and how we're all sinners and shouldn't do it, followed by instructions that girls weren't allowed to wear jeans or tight tops, and then the heads-up that the collection plate is coming around for like the fifth time or whatever. There would be a bit of anti-Semitic horseplay amongst the congregation once we were released, and almost every single Sunday after mass there would be a christening (or baptism, whatever you like to call it). On other holy days I had to attend (like Ash Friday and Palm Tuesday and Thirsty Thursday and stuff) there would be baptisms after those, too.

I probably could have met a nice girl if I'd stayed with the church. There were plenty around and they'd all grown up in environments of minimal expectation and general low standards. For better or worse (I think the former) I didn't, and my nephews scored all the good ones...who then proceeded to give up promising careers or lines of education in order to immediately breed. And I'm sorry, but what these people do (and they are all my family, and I love them and would take bullets for each and every one of them) goes beyond "having kids" and is well and truly in the realm of breeding. A month after marriage you'd be guaranteed news of a pregnancy. Six months after that child was born you'd be guaranteed news of another pregnancy. I have literally lost track of my family members: my brother has I think seven or eight kids (my sister-in-law having suffered at least three miscarriages, and all of their children after the first delivered via c-section). Two of my nieces (who don't even have husbands any more, having only been permitted to marry them after indoctrinating them into the church) have I think five or six apiece. One of my nephews has I think seven (and at least one miscarriage and one cot death in there). They are a blur to me, and I don't remember most of their names. At family gatherings I don't know who belongs to who.

The church is teeming with kids - I get reports from my assets there (another nephew who is much calmer and a little more sensible and only has two kids after two years of marriage). They have bought up all the surrounding property (using donations and profits from the three schools they run - I forgot to tell you that these characters actually built three schools to push their agenda) in order to expand the church itself, and the parking capacity (due to complaints from nearby residents and the council about traffic congestion and street parking during services). The most hilarious thing is that they have bought out all the vans. I mean Toyota Commuters and vehicles you would consider "people movers". You are flat out buying a secondhand people-mover at a reasonable price because they have literally bought so many of them that they have pushed the price up locally - my brother had to travel to Western Australia (from Queensland) a few years ago to drive one back. It was cheaper to travel to the other side of the world (basically) to drive a van back than it was to buy one in Brisbane. Sunday services (there are two) are an endless procession of identical white vans.

The church is constantly asking for money. There are always, always fund raisers and fetes and raffles going on, all of them supplied by donations from church members which are then sold to other church members. Pretty much all of the work done at the school (apart from the teaching) is done by volunteers from the church, and the school fees are up there with some of the most expensive private schools in town. And all of the money goes towards expanding the church: there is no soup kitchen, no food bank, no charity shops for the poor, no initiatives of any kind other than making money for the church itself.

The exponential growth of brainwashed, perpetually fearful and guilty people being pumped out by this dire institution horrifies me. It has gotten so bad that it has actually caused me to lose respect for a great many members of my family. Not because they are religious, but because they are so lost, and because I know they will never find the path again. And it is a culture of back-stabbing and treachery, of gossip and scaremongering, and of dread. Many families have been, quite bluntly, torn apart: certain of my relatives barred from seeing certain other relatives because of some conjured-up ruling. They still go to church, they just refuse to make eye-contact with one another. It is insane.

And of course, none of them "believes" in anything outside of what they are told in church. It's too difficult for a lefty like me to have any sort of conversation with any of them, so I don't even bother any more.

Nearly three years ago one of my sisters died. She had turned her back on that church many years before, ostensibly because of her asthma (they are constantly burning incense), but it grew much bigger than that to the point where she was pretty much shunned by everybody else. She suffered a heart attack and was in a coma for a week, brain dead.

My other sister (who used to take me to church) was fretting terribly. Not for the well-being of her - our - sister, or my sister's family, but for her "immortal soul".

My eldest brother and I kind of took control of the logistics of everything and while my comatose sister would not have asked for it, out of deference to those family members who were part of the church we asked one of the Pius X priests to say the last rites over her. The priest refused. I have never seen my brother so distraught, so angry. But he had been away from the scene for a while, and hadn't realised how bad it was. I was lost in my own grief and anger - mainly at my brother-in-law, my dying sister's husband, a lifelong know-it-all who unfortunately didn't know CPR.

At my sister's funeral I looked around at the crowd gathered - we had it done by a standard-issue, non-insane Catholic priest - and paid close attention to those relatives who were there who were part of this Society of Saint Pius X. While the vanilla Catholic priest delivered a very touching, very tasteful and respectful oration, they all had their eyes closed, lost in their own piety, muttering rosaries to themselves. They were no longer just fundamentalists: they were sick. And for an instant I hated every one of them.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:56 PM on May 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


hydropsyche: " in truth it is not that common at all in the communities of North Carolina and Georgia (places where you might think it would be common) where I have lived all of my life, and it is not in any way a part of the Christianity of anyone I know, including a number of conservative Southern Baptists. I would think it might be helpful to folks who are being imprisoned and tortured by their families, who only know people who are part of this, to realize there is a whole world outside to whom these beliefs are anathema. "

And, as a practical matter, for people leaving Quiverfull or other similarly abusive Christian groups, it is often the existence of "good Christians" who do NOT follow those beliefs who are their exit path. Leaving Christianity completely, rejecting God, that is too big a step. But being able to see there are other Christians, who appear to be living Godly lives, who wrestle with their faith and struggle to live it well, who do not believe there's a Biblical mandate for the husband to be the head of the wife, for women to submit, or for you to have as many children as possible -- that is often what people struggling to escape these communities need as help.

There's a reason these Quiverfull families need to cut their children off from other Christians who aren't Godly enough -- atheists at the local high school are hardly a threat, because they're simply too foreign for the children to relate to. The REAL threat are Southern Baptists at youth group whose parents use birth control and look askance at "army of God" rhetoric because they live a religion of peace, who studied some Greek in college because they think New Testament translation problems are interesting and who can hold forth on the theological interpretation of Timothy.

There are "Amish escape" groups around here, that help young women (almost always women) leave abusive communities or families; they are almost entirely made up of pretty conservative Mennonites ("Amish with electricity") who still dress like Plain People, worship like Plain People, interpret the Bible like Plain People, but, you know, don't use the Bible as an excuse to abuse young girls. It would be between terrifying and impossible for an Amish girl to approach DCFS or even your average Methodist; the help has to come from another Plain Person.

tilde: "Given all that Jesus said about the danger of abuse of power over the powerless, true Christ-followers would be highly alert for abuse of power and to the dangers of enabling that abuse. ... This is a human problem. It impacts us all, but especially the oppressed and marginalized – women, mothers, our daughters, and those who have been deemed “less than” or “others.”"

Good quote.

23skidoo: " is there something about Christianity specifically that leads to some of its members to embracing uber-patriarchal, continuous-pregnancy-pleases-God type of lifestyles?"

I mean, yes and no, you find similar sorts of abusively patriarchal pockets of belief in basically all religions, and among some more fringe "devout" atheists as well ... I mean, we've all seen plenty of MRAs who want to justify a similar system of putting women in submissive, controlled positions just because IT'S EVOLUTION, MAN. It is, at base, a human problem; reproduction is one of our strongest biological imperatives, so it makes sense that reproduction, and control of it, is an issue that appears repeatedly in all human cultures.

OTOH, I think Christians have to acknowledge that our particular sets of belief are open to these particular sorts of exploitation by abusers. I'm trying to think how I can phrase this in a clear way -- for example, I was raised by relatively conservative Catholic parents, within the Catholic belief system about sex and sexuality. For me, this was a healthy, happy, self-affirming, empowering experience -- but that is largely because I was raised by happy, healthy, loving parents who worked hard to live their Catholic beliefs in a moral way that took seriously the value of each individual person and saw the beliefs and practices not as an end in themselves, but as a way to express God's love in the world. So when something was in conflict with their beliefs or fell short of them, their question was always, "What's the most loving, most Christ-like way to behave here?" (It's probably no surprise that my Republican Catholic parents favor gay marriage; and my really extremely super-Catholic grandfather did too, before he died; recognizing the fallibility of human organizations (even those inspired by God) and considering carefully Jesus's teachings on love, they all eventually concluded the Church had got it wrong this time.)

BUT these exact same beliefs, lived in a different way, by different people, enabled the abuse of thousands of children by priests in positions of great trust. It's easy to say "well they were bad Catholics," and obviously that's true, but it's a really easy way to avoid confronting the fact that the same faith, the same beliefs, were used by those abusive priests to justify and to hide horrifying child abuse. I think the honest and morally right thing to do is to say, "We cannot brainwash people into moral correctness, and having the right beliefs does not prevent people from the wrong actions, and something as complicated and open to interpretation as religion (or politics, or any other organized human belief really) is going to be abused by some people. What doctrines do we have to be particularly careful about teaching because people so easily get them wrong or use them to justify bad actions? What theological emphasis should make us suspicious of someone's actions? And -- most importantly -- how can we structure our organizations to protect the vulnerable instead of the powerful?" And also recognizing that it's never a done job; when you decide you've cracked the nut and you're safe from people abusing your organization or beliefs, congrats, you are now officially open for business to pedophiles (or whomever).

So saying, "If they were just Christianing properly ..." well, sure, okay. But that's pretty much the least helpful thing ever. If we were all Christianing properly I'm prettttttttty sure that'd be a sign that Christ had returned, so let's start from the premise that we're not Christianing properly and try to figure out how to do it better, not just say, "Those guys who abused children, they're just not REAL Christians." I do think that contesting incorrect theology is important and worthwhile, but you can't JUST do that; there also have to be real reforms in practical matters to actually protect people and realize we live in an imperfect world.

Part of what's difficult about movements like Quiverfull is that they remove themselves so completely from church communities and civil communities; there's very little oversight and very few points of contact where someone in a position of authority can say, "Hey, man, the way you treat your kids is kinda fucked up, I feel like maybe you're Christianing wrong and I'm a well-respected pastor so you should maybe take my thoughts seriously."

I don't know if I expressed that very well.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:58 PM on May 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


it's very strange to leave this thread, pop open facebook, and see my devout mormon family talk about about why home schooling is superior to "government factory education" - these are women i believe are victims of familial sexual assault who have grown up, had their own kids, and are seemingly repeating everything that put them at so much risk.

it hurts my heart.
posted by nadawi at 7:11 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




talk about about why home schooling is superior to "government factory education"

I've got two friends who homeschooled one of their children during middle school.

One is a Cato-Institute citing flat-taxer Midwestern Boomer, & she decried the public school govt brain washing useless schools. Homeschooled for middle school and put her kid in an International Baccalaureate program for high school.

The other grew up with an abusive stepmom in a violent and oppressive culture & country who loved the availability of our school system & just had a hard time finding the right fit, plus her kid was having a bad year due to being sexually assaulted by someone considered a family friend. But thought our system was a bit limited & turned kids into test taking robots (this was 15 years ago, testing is much worse now).

Both of them has the same complaint about homeschool groups & materials -- they had to look very hard to find secular support & materials that were not, in their words, crazy religious or mostly theological fuff.

There is some improvement. Our state (Florida) now has virtual school. Hit and miss from what I've heard but at least secular.

But I know, we (it's been on my mind) are a minority. My county does not have easily available statistics for home schoolers but in the last 15 years there has been a huge uptick in offering of classes & services to get homeschooling bodies in the building. They'll do yearly memberships to museums & kid gyms & pools for "1 named adult, 1 guest adult, & up to 10 kids" & send out email blasts targeted at getting homeschool groups in for "hands on" days.

But education is a large concern for a lot of people. Not enough money or teacher time, pay, supplies, time to learn.

In the more evangelical movements, though, "concerns about federal educational standards" seems to just be a smokescreen for continued isolation and control.
posted by tilde at 7:39 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


pretty sure they were locally known as quiverfull before their show

Can confirm, to some degree. They were not specifically referred to with the Quiverfull term, but they were known to be fundamentalist and a bit odd, as well as their lifestyle having been an adopted thing. They weren't raised in that sort of environment.

Point being that it isn't/wasn't an act for the show. They were living with 16 kids in a two bedroom house they rented from First Baptist Church of Springdale and drove around a people mover. I don't recall ever hearing them scream Nike or hearing anyone talk about that sort of extreme oddness, so some of it may be an act even though the basic presentation is not.

Source: I lived in Springdale in the years leading up to their specials, literally down the street for a few years of that.
posted by wierdo at 7:41 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


yeah - that totally matches what friends and family in the area had to say about it. i'm just trying hard to not get in any conversations in the check out line in nwa about this right now.
posted by nadawi at 7:53 PM on May 28, 2015


So they had 18 people in a two bedroom?

That violates something for sure, if not just common sense.
posted by sio42 at 8:33 PM on May 28, 2015


All the people here who have been posting their own experiences and own observations have been so enlightening. This is something that I've followed for some time out of interest, but I feel like I learned a lot from this post. I haven't necessarily favourited those comments because it feels like saying "Yay, this horrible thing happened to you" or "Yay, people around you are really messed up!"

So I'm not favouriting, but I am learning.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:04 PM on May 28, 2015 [6 favorites]




When the perpetrators matter more than the victims

Matt Walsh is on record arguing that gay couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt, because of the potential harm to children, and that transgender women shouldn’t be allowed to use the women’s bathroom because of concerns about women’s safety. But when it comes to the potential harm to children and threat to children’s safety posed by unreported child sexual abuse, suddenly what matters is protecting the abuser? For all Walsh’s claims of “progressive hypocrisy,” he really needs to look in mirror.
posted by tilde at 3:48 AM on May 29, 2015


Only three people on my 300+ Facebook friends list have posted about this. It's been very quiet over there.

I know I'm not sharing because there are at least 12 of them who have been affected directly as a childhood sexual assault victim or a close family member has, reported or unreported.

Makes me wonder how many more are & not posting for that same reason.
posted by tilde at 3:56 AM on May 29, 2015


Fred Clark's commentary round-up: The Duggar Family Scandal: A reader. Lots and lots to read and digest.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:17 AM on May 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


i've found it very difficult to post about on facebook since those who helped enable my abuse are on my friends list. it is complicated.
posted by nadawi at 5:45 AM on May 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think it was 14 or 16 at the time, but yeah, straight up nutballs IMO. The disturbing thing is that Springdale has long had an ordinance limiting the number of occupants per bedroom to something like 3 or 4, but it was only enforced (on the rare occasion it was enforced) against undocumented immigrants working for Tyson and in construction, not against white people.

I saw code enforcement writing tickets in my neighborhood a few times a year when I was living in a minority majority neighborhood, yet somehow they never said a thing to Jim Bob despite everyone in town knowing exactly what his family's living arrangement was. It's not like they were getting lenience because they were in the process of building a bigger house, either. They didn't start building the new house until FBC told them they were going to tear down the house and use the land for their expansion.

When they did get kicked out they moved into a 3 or 4 bedroom not far from there that someone kindly let them live in rent free until their TLC house was finished.
posted by wierdo at 7:06 AM on May 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


All the women had to wear scarves and doilies and stuff on their heads (I later discovered that this is not just a sign of piety and shame at being a woman, but a useful technique for stopping angels from wanting to rape you).


I thought it was to prevent demons from nesting in your hair. No really, that's what I was told it was for.

Oh Catholicism, I miss you but I really don't miss you, if you know what I mean.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:36 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, there was so much else going on in the thread that i kinda forgot to ask about the angel rape thing.

Really? I'm not making fun, I really want to know. This is taught?
posted by sio42 at 5:47 PM on May 29, 2015


Not in my particular strain of Irish Catholicism. We were taught that you had to cover your hair as a sign of piety, but they quickly followed that with "and as a sign of repentance for original sin."

The part about demons nesting in your hair was taught as a "can you believe this wacky thing people used to believe in the old days?" factoid.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:59 PM on May 29, 2015


What bugs me about the whole original sin thing is that blame is placed on the people who went "OH HOLY SHIT WE HAVE FUN BITS" and not the assbag who told them to pretend they didn't, and not on the assbag who said wait hey try this out.

Which explains a lot, really.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:35 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Exclusive sit down next week with Fox News. I can't even picture it being more than must forgive TV.
posted by tilde at 1:08 PM on May 30, 2015


Megyn Kelly will be interviewing them, so she may actually ask a tough question or two. (Unlike, say, Sean Hannity, whom I'm surprised did not land the interview.)

20 Burning Questions Fox News's Megyn Kelly Should Ask Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar
posted by SisterHavana at 1:39 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Turn that list into a drinking game & we will all come out sober.
posted by tilde at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The thing about all this is the Duggars aren't even Quiverfull:
Q: Are the Duggars part of the QuiverFull movement?
A: The Duggars write in their second book, A Love That Multiplies: "Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's Word and apply it to our lives" (page 92).
Fuckin' journalists, fuck.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:59 PM on May 30, 2015


eh we've talked about this some in the thread - it's a bit like a hipster saying they're not a hipster or whatever, they don't claim the label, but there's little doubt that they follow the ideology (and have the entire time used quiverfull outlets to raise their profile).
posted by nadawi at 6:10 PM on May 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


oh and the last count i saw (until they started promo for this, i'm assuming) is that fox news spent 1 minute and 20 seconds discussing the duggars since this all was made public. i don't imagine megyn kelly will do anything besides softball it and make pained faces about how hard it is to make tough choices as a parent and how brave they are to talk about it.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


A: The Duggars write in their second book, A Love That Multiplies: "Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's Word and apply it to our lives" (page 92).
FFS.

Seriously, this is chapter and verse of Christian fundamentalism. No one self-identifies as part of the degenerate little sub-sect they belong to; they're just plain ol' Bible-believing Christians. Because everyone who really loves Jesus does what we do!
posted by verb at 10:07 PM on May 30, 2015 [13 favorites]




I'm embarrassed by how much I want to see that interview. Mostly because I do have some hope they might be asked at least one good question. I have less hope they will actually answer it. However, I have no access to Fox News (I'm not embarrassed by that). Will it likely be uncut on the internet? If so, will it be viewable from Canada or will their be a region-block?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2015


We won't have any trouble finding out whether anything substantive happens, people will write about it either way.
posted by rhizome at 11:41 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


There will likely be a youtube of it. This is kinda big news, as evidenced by all the links to people writing about it. I think those of without channels will be able to see it not long after it's aired.
posted by sio42 at 5:04 PM on May 31, 2015


Another find out there about getting out ...
I grew up in a cult.

[W]hile I didn’t live in a bunker or on a compound, there’s really no other way to explain what seems like insanity to people with “normal” lives.

For a long time, even after I started blogging, I went out of my way to make clear that it was just my church that was fucked up. Not all IFB churches are unhealthy or cultist, not every fundamentalist church is abusive.

I have since changed my mind.
As for the Quiverfull vs non quiverfull, what is shown on TV (second hand I don't think I've watched more than one or two episodes while high on new-mom lack of sleep) is kinda creepy (I know I watched 14 Kids!) and probably very close to the checklists of abusiveness in the name of religion. But I've also spent a lot of time on the post-quiverfull sites as well.

Call them quiverfull. Don't. Whatever. It's just a word that is like ... I dunno, the free space in a game of religious abuse blackout bingo. It seems like nitpicking to say don't use it, do use it. It's short hand for "this ecosystem of things that look like this and no other". Maybe we shouldn't use the quiverfull euphemism and just call them a cult. Spinning off of the concept of Cargo Cult, an Ego Cult.
posted by tilde at 8:29 AM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe we shouldn't use the quiverfull euphemism...

well as i've said already, it kind of takes me aback that we think of 'quiverfull' as a ephemism. I mean, it's basically saying 'i'm not a person, i'm not a soldier, i'm not even a weapon -- i'm AMMUNITION. I'm God's bullet.'
posted by lodurr at 9:50 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've said for years that I grew up in a cult, but I never really fully believed it until I clicked through to the checklist linked from the IFB post. All I can say is, I wish I had that checklist as a kid.
posted by brina at 10:29 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


When looked at that way, I can see why folks who are trying to mainstream a cult or cult-like behavior for fundy and profit might want to step away from that particular term (quiver/quiverfull).

Looks like two weeks in (nearly) there's more mainstream dissection of this whole basket of disaster (I was going to say snakes but snakes are nice people!) and seeing more of the forest for the trees:
The Duggars, ‘Duck Dynasty,’ and the politics of red state reality TV

[N]ow Republicans are starting to face a problem they don't have all that often: how to respond when their famous supporters behave badly. With the handful of country stars or aging actors that backed GOP candidates in past elections, Republicans didn't typically have to worry about controversies, but now they do, with reality stars being more unpredictable.

But it's a risk politicians are likely willing to continue to make, Republican or Democrat. As long as there are celebrities, there will be some who want to speak their mind about politics and politicians more than willing to accept their endorsement.
and
Hastert, Duggar aren't the real scandal

But there’s much more to this than specific scandal, much more than further evidence of how dysfunctional the devout can be. We analyze individual cases, the life of one politician or one TV star, looking from one tree to the next without ever seeing the forest. Without ever realizing we should start talking about the tremendous toll that sexual and physical abuse takes on our general society right now, today, and into the foreseeable future. The true scandal isn’t what Dennis Hastert might have done to boys at Yorkville High School or what Josh Duggar did to five girls. The scandal is how frequently this sort of thing, and far worse, happens.
and
How the Duggars steer the GOP wrong

On a network that regularly shines a light on subcultures and outliers, the Duggars fit in well; they practice a supremely patriarchal form of Christianity that, as their dating process suggests, amounts to an evangelical version of extreme couponing. They’re free to worship as they want, and flaunt it, and collect the paycheck.

...

TLC has largely tried to tiptoe around the Duggars’ politics, blurring out their antiabortion T-shirts and focusing, instead, on the universal appeal of weddings and abundant babies. But the Republican Party has been less cautious. The conservative CPAC conference has rolled out the red carpet for the family. Josh Duggar recently left a trail of tweeted photos of himself with Republican presidential candidates.

So far, only Mike Huckabee has doubled down on that support, posting a full-throated defense of the Duggars on Facebook. (Rick Santorum, who campaigned with the Duggars in 2012, told “Good Morning America” Thursday that he was “sickened” by the charges.) But even candidates wise enough to steer clear of the story have a Duggar problem of sorts, as they struggle to manage the party’s evangelical base.
posted by tilde at 12:52 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I linked this in the Boston Globe clip above (as in the original article) to be complete but reading it is fascinating.
When we first met, what did you think of my idea of writing a YA novel set in the Quiverfull movement?

I was worried, on behalf of my fellow ex-QF "survivors," about voyeurism and getting the story right. In a world where stay-at-home American moms watch 19 Kids and Counting for laughs, it's sometimes hard to talk to anyone about my story. So I was hoping you weren't just another outsider curious about our world because of how "crazy" it all is — and I was really relieved to find that you genuinely cared about the welfare of those in this system and raising awareness about the reality of the Quiverfull culture.

What were you worried I would get wrong?

I think the thing I was most worried you'd get wrong would be the interactions between the child and the parents. It's so easy to either idealize the false closeness and codependency in QF parent/child relationships as a model parent/child dynamic, or to villainize the parents once you realize the toll this lifestyle takes on the children. In reality, the parents are just as confused as the kids, and often are struggling with deep-set psychological issues and need as much therapy and compassion as the kids do to recover from the dehumanizing reality of trying to have a perfect Quiverfull family to please a demanding and holy God. It's a really complicated, nuanced reality, and it's hard to have compassion for both parties once you realize the depths of pain that can be created from this lifestyle. But it's absolutely vital to see both parties as humans trying their best in difficult circumstances. None of these parents set out to live this way because they hated their kids — they all did what they truly believed was best.
posted by tilde at 12:56 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hark A Vagrant seems uncomfortably on-topic
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:51 PM on June 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Brilliant find, Joe in Australia

So that YA Novel linked above released this morning. Read the first 8 chapters over breakfast. Well written coming-of-age style story that from my outsiders view reads pretty plausible.
posted by tilde at 5:31 AM on June 2, 2015


That's a great comic!
posted by OmieWise at 7:40 AM on June 2, 2015


More mainstream coverage (CNN is still mainstream, right?) though it is an "Opinion" piece:
In Duggar scandal, a troubling message for girls

The message to the victims, and to girls everywhere, is clear: You are not protected. Telling authorities what happened to you will neither protect you from its happening again nor bring your assailant to justice; men and boys are more valued and you should defer to what is best for them; blame yourself and do it silently.

Over much of the last seven years, the nation watched and adored the Duggar family for its values. We lauded their unity and praised their parenting techniques. Now we need to use this case to hold those in positions to protect children accountable. There is a viral debate now over whether TLC should cancel "19 Kids and Counting." Who cares? Putting the focus on the show and not the issue is just one more failure in a long list of them.
And it looks like a game of badminton on Fox News (soft ball seems a crass innuendo):
Megyn Kelly Previews Duggar Interview: Not Going to Be a ‘Cross-Examination’

“Nothing is off limits,” Kelly said of the Wednesday night interview. But, she added, “I don’t plan on getting into the specific details about what was done, because my understanding is the victims don’t want to discuss that either.”

Cancelled appearances:

Duggar appearance at Lexington Baptist cancelled
(warning autoplay)

On their Facebook page, Lexington Baptist Church said, "After much prayer and thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel our August 2 event with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. We are praying for the entire Duggar event and everyone involved in this heartbreakingly difficult situation."
And on The View (never seen it but I've heard it's one of those daily popular news and chat shows):
‘The View’s’ Nicolle Wallace Rips Duggar Family: ‘We Hold Up and Celebrate These People Who Don’t Protect Their Kids’ (Video)

“So this is a very serious issue, and I think that both he and his siblings are both victims,” co-host Rosie Perez said. “Because when a child molests another child, studies have shown that they do it because, most of the time, not all of the time, it’s learned behavior and they are acting out.”

“Let us say right now we are not saying — we are not accusing the parents,” co-host Whoppi [sic] Goldberg clarified. “Rosie is simply saying that it is learned behavior. Nine times out of 10, it is learned behavior, so hold onto those e-mails and all that.”
posted by tilde at 10:09 AM on June 2, 2015


How Fox Is Spinning Duggar Scandal Ahead of Wednesday Interview

Aside from minimizing the suffering of molestation victims everywhere, the Kelly and Kurtz exchange added a particularly destructive element by conflating legitimate criticism of Duggar with unfair media bias. Saying the media focus should be on improper release of court records rather than the victims is a naked attempt to generate sympathy for a man who committed a terrible crime and never faced punishment.

The segment is only the latest attempt in conservative circles to downplay the crimes Duggar committed and his family's subsequent efforts to cover them up. Shortly after the scandal broke, former Arkansas governor and former Fox host, Mike Huckabee, took to Facebook to offer an impassioned defense of Duggar, saying, in essence, the charges were excusable because Duggar had atoned and "Good people make mistakes."
posted by tilde at 11:52 AM on June 2, 2015


shitstain huckabee also shared his fantasies about teenage sexual assault today when discussing caitlyn jenner. i hate him with the power of a thousand suns.
posted by nadawi at 11:54 AM on June 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Libby Anne is a treasure. On the weird dynamics of raising your siblings when your parents are still around and involved:
How Being an Older Sibling in a Big Duggar-Like Family Is Like Being a Polygamous Sister Wife

But you have to understand that every oversized family where the older children are placed in positions of authority over the younger children will end up having similar dynamics. There will be favorites, and there will be feuds, and sometimes your heart will bleed as you watch your special favorite being punished by another sibling in a way you consider unfair. If I could go back and change just one thing about our sibling relationships, it would be to strip away those systems of authority.

And so, when my friend said “sister wives,” my mind went to books I’ve read by women who have left polygamist cults, and to the way they write about protecting their children from the other wives, and sometimes having to watch, helpless, while another wife punishes one of their children, often more severely than they feel warranted. And suddenly that hits home, hard.

Yes, it was a bit like sister wives.

Note: This analogy is not meant to minimize the depth of the trauma experienced by women in polygamous cults. The two situations are extremely different, as noted by commenter Angela. I make the comparison to point to the toxic dynamics that can be created by giving older siblings this level of authority over their younger siblings—dynamics that go unmentioned when families like the Duggars portray their “buddy system” as healthy and positive.
Another comment just below it talks about how it undermines independence, as well.
posted by tilde at 12:49 PM on June 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


From tilde's last link:
And yes, this meant the seven-year-old could spank the toddler.
OMG. WTF.

I'm a big believer in "live and let live", there are lots of ways of being human, it takes a village to raise a child, we all have to get along. None the less.

I don't want to sound judgmental, but Ripley needs to find the nest that's producing this filth and burn it with fire.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:40 PM on June 2, 2015


my brother was never allowed to physically discipline us (which never kept him from beating the shit out of my other brother, up to an including fracturing his spine), but he was left "in charge" by the age of 10 or so. he was only 3 years older than me, the youngest. religious talk was used to assure his space as the guy in charge, he was our keeper, etc. it's an entirely fucked up system that is an obvious breeding ground for abuse. and it was utterly and totally normal in our social circle.
posted by nadawi at 1:54 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't want to sound judgmental, but Ripley needs to find the nest that's producing this filth and burn it with fire.

I get great satisfaction finding these books at thrift stores that don't know better, buying them out, and recycling the pages in my bin.

It's not much, but I'm glad to "waste" the money on it.
posted by tilde at 5:23 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tilde: If you ever find a copy of Until Prince Charming Comes I'll pay you to mail it to me. I'm dying to read this book but I can't bear to hand money over to the author. I was both pleased and disappointed to find that the library doesn't carry it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:28 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


i still have my copy of from first date to chosen mate
posted by nadawi at 5:32 PM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Absotively, if I only had a penguin...
posted by tilde at 5:56 PM on June 2, 2015


From Blue Nation Review
Fox News Is Treating Josh Duggar Better Than It Is Treating Caitlyn Jenner

Of course Mike Huckabee can make a joke out of sexual assault. If his stalwart defense of Josh Duggar is any indication, he doesn’t consider it to be that big of a deal.

This is a perfect illustration of the blatant hypocrisy of Fox News. They will mock and dismiss Caitlyn Jenner while treating Josh Duggar like a victim.

It really makes you wonder why conservatives spend so much time and energy on the fallacious argument equating transgender people with sexual predators. As long as you’re conservative and a proponent of “traditional marriage,” you can be a sexual predator and Fox will give you airtime to tell your side of the story.
Newspapers are starting to pick it up:
From the Orlando Sentinel

The [InTouch] magazine quotes several legal experts who say, if the statute of limitations hadn't expired, that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar could have faced up to six years in prison for their inaction. The parents are featured on the magazine's cover, and the headline reads that the second police report "reveals the crimes that could have led to ... prison for Duggars."

Another entry from the LA Times:
Even if the Duggars can drum up public sympathy with their scheduled TV interview, getting sponsors to support the family's TV endeavors again may be an insurmountable challenge. Advertisers traditionally avoid having their products or services associated with scandal or controversy, and with so many TV choices today, there are a multitude of other places to run their spots.

Janet Janjigian, executive managing director of the business consulting service Carmen Group West, said TLC would be better served by stating its intentions for the future of the show. The network has repeatedly declined to comment.

"There's a great deal to be said for just cutting your losses as a network and moving on," Janjigian said.

Of course, TLC may have already decided to do that and just hasn't announced it yet.
An opinion piece from the Dallas Morning News:
The Duggars have been further differentiated from Mainstream America 2015 by being frequently associated with, and embraced by, the Quiverfull movement. The tenets of this Christian patriarchy sect are fairly obvious: Men rule; women serve.

Although the family says they are not affiliated with the movement, they mirror many of its principles. This might explain why Jim Bob went to church elders after his son confessed to child molestation and why he later sent Josh to see Arkansas State Trooper Joe Hutchens, who lectured him but took no action.
And UK papers:
Daily Mirror (may need to take a survey to view, not much new information here, just rehashing of InTouch article).

19 Kids and Counting will reportedly be cancelled by TLC following Josh Duggar's sexual assault scandal.

It is said that the US network - owned by Discovery - are looking to axe the programme after the star's recent controversy surrounding past allegations made against him.
And UK papers:
Here is the Daily Mail, though their report has one 2003 date wrong as 2013.

The new report makes it clear that Josh told his father at least three times that he had been molesting young girls, and despite this Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar waited 16 months until they spoke to anyone about what was happening, and even then it was not in any official capacity.

At that time Jim Bob, referred to as James in the report, detailed what had been happening under his roof between Josh and multiple minors.

...

It was only when the family was set to make an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006 that someone reached out to producers and informed them of these prior incidents, leading those producers to contact authorities and notify them of what they had been told by this individual through email.

According to TMZ, the Harpo staff received the email at 7:30am and contacted authorities right away on December 7.

Police then called Michelle and Jim Bob at 1:17pm telling them they needed to bring their son in for questioning.

Winfrey meanwhile cancelled the planned interview immediately and sent the family home.
This sequence of events has many wondering how TLC and Discovery Health could have been unaware of the molestation claims. Oprah had the biggest talk show in the country at the time, and no doubt it took a lot of work to book the family on her show.

The network would have been thrilled at the publicity such an appearance would generate for their show. No doubt network executives would have demanded an explanation as to why the interview was cancelled at the last minute.
posted by tilde at 8:22 AM on June 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gawker used this spotlight to hilight Duggar friends, the Bates family, here's an article about them from January about their new show.
19 Kids, No TV and a 16-Foot Dining Room Table. Take a Look Inside the Bates Family’s Chaotic Life.

Many Americans are more than familiar with the Duggars, an evangelical Christian family comprised of 19 children as featured in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” series — but there’s a new reality show family in town: the Bates.

Much like their good family friends, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Gil and Kelly Bates are Bible-believers who have 19 children between the ages of two and 25.

And the family, which lives in Tennessee, recently unveiled its new UP TV reality show titled, “Bringing Up the Bates” on January 1, providing viewers with a deeper lens into the familial chaos.

...

When it comes to sharing their lives with the world, [older son, Lawson] Bates said that the family was originally “pretty leery” of jumping into the reality show scene, but that, over time, they came to realize that more exposure would allow them to encourage and help others.

“At the start, I’d say we were pretty leery of it, just because you never know the way you’re going to get painted when you open yourself up for the world to see and so we shied away from it,” he said.

But after watching the Duggars — whom the Bates have known for many years after Gil Bates met Jim Bob Duggar at a conference well before either family was famous — navigate all that came along with their public profile, the Bates, too, began opening themselves up for interviews and features about their lives, including a TLC mini-series, among other media appearances and endeavors.

“We got a ton of emails and calls from people that were encouraged and wanted to make changes in their life,” Bates said. “And so mom and dad were like, ‘This could be a great opportunity to encourage people’ and that’s what we’re going to try to do with [the show].”
posted by tilde at 8:27 AM on June 3, 2015




Libby Anne got more into the "leaving your children" aspect of why the older girls may or may not "break free":
There’s This Thing You Have to Understand about Jana

Those children she cares for? Those may be her siblings, but they are also her children. Think about the way parents sometimes find themselves stuck in unhappy marriages because they want out but afraid they won’t get custody. Now imagine they can’t even apply for custody, because that’s Jana’s situation. Would you leave your children? Or would you stay?

...

Imagine that leaving home that you would never see your siblings again. Imagine that those siblings were your children. Would you leave them? Or would you stay?

I’ve often heard people suggest that because the older girls stayed in the home after turning 18 they must have been happy and content where they were, and that the family really was all it seemed. This ignores the entire context within which these girls had to make their decisions. It ignores the fact that leaving could cost them their siblings, and the fact that money for college doesn’t grow on trees. The Duggars don’t believe in daughters going to college. Going to college would have been an act of rebellion. Think about what that would have cost the girls! Everything.
posted by tilde at 9:14 AM on June 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


I finished Devoted last night. I was very impressed with both the writing and the research that went into this book. I have already added it to my kids' e-book account (they are tweens).
posted by tilde at 9:16 AM on June 3, 2015


My copy of devoted is arriving today.

You know, I have mixed feelings when I hear people rant about how the Duggars don't believe in college because it's not exactly true. They're ok with the idea of their kids getting degrees -- all three of their kids married people with degrees (though one of those is sketchy and unaccredited as degrees go). And several of their children, including girls, are pursuing or have pursued degrees. AFAIK, two have pursued some for of professional certification: John David as a pilot (and I read somewhere that his parents were opposed to him pursuing this as a full-time career because pilots have to be away from their families) and Jill, who I think may have taken her final exam to be certified as a midwife, though I think has also now stopped mid-wifing.

What they haven't believed in (until recently?) is having their kids "go away" to residential colleges. So the reason I'm a little uncomfortable with their being chided for that is that it seems to represent a position of ridiculous privilege to think that going away to a residential college is some sort of default/normal thing. The fact is that only about 1/4 of US undergraduates are full-time students at residential colleges. The rest are part-time, online, correspondence, commuting etc., just like the Duggars' kids. And of course that doesn't even count the many high school graduates who don't go to college or the many people who don't finish high school.

So, in conclusion, when the Duggars get slammed for this I hear "Why aren't you doing this thing that only a small, privileged proportion of people get to do!?!?"
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:45 AM on June 3, 2015


there's a difference between lacking the ability to do something and forbidding someone from doing something. they have the privilege to afford it and they are discouraging their children from doing it based on ideological, not monetary, grounds.

and now i'm suddenly fascinated with the question of how the money gets divided. is everyone paid separately or does jim bob get to dole that out as he sees fit?
posted by nadawi at 9:50 AM on June 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


See, I don't think "can't afford" is the only or possibly even main reason people don't do that. I went to a commuter school by choice. Lots and lots of people do. Lots and lots of parents prefer that their kids do things other than go to residential colleges. It's a weird cultural thing to think that anyone who doesn't do or doesn't want to do that is doing it wrong somehow.

Now I think they're doing lots of stuff wrong, but "Take a bunch of online courses cheap so you can just do a few in person courses and get your degree" doesn't seem different in anything other than cultural associations from "Get a bunch of AP credits so you can skip intro courses." The pragmatics are the same.

Why is monetary grounds the only acceptable reason for not wanting to do the 4 years in a dorm thing? And fwiw, I"m not sure that even with the TLC money they could afford 19 kids worth of residential colleges, even in state schools.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:09 AM on June 3, 2015


I teach at a commuter college. 80% of our students are from the county where the school is located, and many of our students do live in a conventional nuclear family situation with their parents. But many of our students do not. Some do live with their parents, but they have children of their own who live there, too. Some live in an extended family situation--in some cases they always have, in other cases, when they graduated from high school, they moved in with grandma to help take care of her, or they live only with similar aged siblings and/or cousins. Many of our students are non-traditional, meaning they are at least 25, and hardly any of those live with their parents--some of them have nuclear families of their own. And many of our traditional aged students from nuclear families begin college living with their parents, but somewhere around their 3rd year of college, they move out to rent an apartment with friends or to move in with an SO.

None of these scenarios look like the Duggers.

Residential college is not the only way to go to college, but I have never met a student who was forbidden from moving out when they are legally of age until they married an opposite sex partner who they have never touched but who is chosen/approved by their parents. If I do meet such a student, I will help them in every way I can to escape.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:22 AM on June 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


it just seems like such a weird argument out of nowhere. sure, people make all sorts of choices for all sorts of reasons. i never went to college, so i'm not some university elitist. the reasons the duggars are reducing opportunities for their kids are fucked up and indicative of the controlling household that allowed the horrific abuse to manifest and be covered up.
posted by nadawi at 10:31 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize it would be such a derail. I teach a population similar to that described above and I bet there are many many students in my classes for whom it would be very culturally odd to move out unless there were some pressing the-only-way-to-accomplish-Y is to move out reason. Since they live in a city with universities already in it, there are plenty of students who wouldn't have considered going to school out of town unless they hadn't been accepted locally. I just don't think it would even occur to them because it's just not something people do.

And yeah, the Duggars are super-controlling of their kids, but I guess I have a problem with that in terms of how they block their contact with others, censor their information/knowledge. But I don't have much of a problem with "We'd rather they lived here unless they really have some something to do that they can't do here." I guess I just know lots and lots of non-loony-toon parents/families who would say that, including my own.

I don't know how they would feel if their kids did have something to do that they couldn't do locally -- Joseph has moved to Tennessee, obviously. None of the Duggar daughters have moved away to work, but plenty of girls in other Gothardite families have -- Kellers, Bates.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2015


QFT there's a difference between lacking the ability to do something and forbidding someone from doing something. they have the privilege to afford it and they are discouraging their children from doing it based on ideological, not monetary, grounds.

I think college is seen as an aspirational thing, post WWII. Some of my parents and in laws went to college, as did most of their siblings. My generation (who are starting to have college-aged kids) had fewer going to college proportionally. Our kids ... who knows. More, less, it's too soon to tell.

But it's encouraged aspirationally; whether it's a four-year-college or a technical college or anything else. Though it wasn't in the cards to pay for me to go to four-year-college it was tried. It didn't work out for me because I was nowhere near mature enough (and a two year technical / vocational college might have worked better in retrospect). And we'll all (of my generation) encourage college or vo-tech school for our kids aspirationally; be it paid for by loans or grants or work-scholarships or whatever, to do what works for each kid based on what is out there.

And that's the difference, from what I've read, of the lives put forward by those raised in the doctrine of patriarchy ... some aspirations are allowed if they don't conflict with living closely within the family and the patriarchal doctrine. Google up the nitty gritty of how one daughter of the Duggars (no idea which, their names all start with J which does not help) wanted to study Midwifery but that got knocked back to being a doula. I kinda read about it here and there while digging for news surrounding this (see links in previous comments) and in general reading about the Quiverfull movement.

(Not to knock doulas! My critisim is to squashing reshaping their goals to something that fits the mold of their doctrine of patriarchy. And go Arkansas for having licensed midwifery!)
posted by tilde at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


But I don't have much of a problem with "We'd rather they lived here unless they really have some something to do that they can't do here."

i guess you just have more faith that's the situation for the duggars instead of "goals that the women have that aren't marrying someone we've chosen for them and controlled every step of the process are not acceptable."
posted by nadawi at 11:16 AM on June 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Google up the nitty gritty of how one daughter of the Duggars (no idea which, their names all start with J which does not help) wanted to study Midwifery but that got knocked back to being a doula.

I wil read this, but Jill wanted to be a midwife and IS studying to be a midwife and I think might have taken her licensing exam already. It was scheduled right around the time of her due date. She has never been training to be a doula. Jana was studying to be a doula at the same time. She says that this is because she doesn't actually want to be in charge of the birth herself, but just to support.

My impression/guess has been that Jana doesn't want to do it at all (neither midwife nor doula). When she did have future ambitions stated they were all around teaching music. I think they set her to studying doula-ship because Jill wanted to be a midwife which would involve her running around doing midwife things which would be outside of the home and so they asked Jana to do doula-ing so she could go out with Jill and be her "accountability partner". And note that now that Jill is married Jana's mysteriously not studying to be a doula anymore.

And yes, I fully agree that if Jana was pushed into doula-ship just so she could chaperone Jill around, that's all kinds of fucked up. But it would be a little perplexing if they had supported Jill in becoming a midwife and then for some reason forced Jana to give up midwifery and be doula, so I strongly suspect this isn't the case.

And nadawi: I don't have any faith in that. I'm sure marriage and kids is there only acceptable option for both sexes and that women are expected to not work while doing that. I think it's fucked up. I just think this particular consequence of that isn't that big a deal.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:19 AM on June 3, 2015


Anyway, because it might sound like I am defending the family overall, I do want to clarify that I do think they are all kinds of messed up in plenty of ways and I do think all the kids would be better off getting out.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:22 AM on June 3, 2015


i guess i just think all the consequences of this set up, especially on the women, are a big deal. i dunno. it's all so personal to me and i've never enjoyed their show or their family, so...

i'm just glad some light is being scattered on this awfulness and i'm glad they'll likely not get to harm my community again (unless this pr thing with fox news works).
posted by nadawi at 11:26 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for researching that, If only I had a penguin.... So I was off, but the reality seems to fit the "some aspirations are allowed if they don't conflict with living closely within the family and the patriarchal doctrine".

Let the light shine in.
posted by tilde at 11:31 AM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not for the first time in this thread I preface a statement with "I'm embarrassed to say..."

I'm embarrassed to say that I did not research this.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:53 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tangentially, Gothard speaks. (Translation: Bitches Be Crazy.)
posted by tilde at 11:55 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


LOL, I wouldn't call the ability to tell the kids apart and know the broad-ish brushstrokes better than some folks embarrassing. :P

If there's yet another thing this all is emphasizing is that details and degrees (of reality, of sin, of intention) matter.
posted by tilde at 12:05 PM on June 3, 2015


That Gothard thing is smarmy and evil as all hell.
posted by OmieWise at 12:37 PM on June 3, 2015


I think I know this editor's thoughts on the matter at hand:
Duggars to be gently grilled on Fox News
USA TODAY - ‎2 hours ago‎
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, parents of the reality-TV family imperiled by a child-molestation scandal, will be interviewed Wednesday by Fox News' Megyn Kelly, and she's promising it won't be a "gotcha" grilling.
Served with a nice lemon asparagus, maybe?

And from a site that puports to watch Fox News so we don't have to:
The Connections Between Fox News And The Duggars May Explain Why Megyn Kelly Got The Interview

CNN’s Brian Stelter revealed that Kelly had an in with the Duggars: a man named Chad Gallagher, a principal at Legacy Consulting, who probably played a major role in deciding who should do the interview.

According to Stelter, Gallagher does public relations work for both the Duggars and former Fox News host Mike Huckabee. Legacy Consulting was “instrumental in picking which network and which person would get the first interview,” Stelter said.

“Why does all this matter?” Stelter asked. “Well, it shows that the Duggars want to speak to their base. They want to speak to their Christian conservative base so they’re seeking out Fox News.”

Stelter pointed out that the Duggars could have gone on a morning show. “By going to Fox it seems like they’re going to speak to their base instead.” Furthermore, the fact that the Duggars work with the same PR firm as Huckabee “goes to show the deep connections that exist in this family.”

It also goes to show the deep connections that exist between Fox News and conservative America.
Here is the article that CNN posted; it indicates the PR connection:
Duggar parents ready to address '19 Kids and Counting' scandal

[C]overage by Fox News has been scant -- in fact, the disturbing news about the Duggars was barely mentioned on the air until Kelly's interview was announced last weekend.

...

The Duggars have a P.R. expert helping them tell that story: Chad Gallagher, the head of the Arkansas firm Legacy Consulting.

Gallagher is also a longtime adviser to Huckabee, and is the executive director of Huck PAC.

Gallagher declined to comment on his work for the Duggars when contacted by CNNMoney.

And Fox News did not respond to a request for comment on their Duggar coverage.
posted by tilde at 1:32 PM on June 3, 2015


Just so I know, if the Duggars had sought (non-culty) professional advice for dealing with Josh, what strategies would have been recommended?
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:54 PM on June 3, 2015


Counseling for him & the girls from trained experienced psycho therapists. Removing him from the home while he was still considered a danger to the girls & guest(s). Examination of the family dynamic to see if something should change; counseling for the parents in working with the girls & Josh and possibly bringing the family back together if that was an acceptable option.

I have had experience with CPS on much less serious allegations & all those bits of the scenario were presented as "if we have to go down this road this is what we will do. " I was contacted after my kids were interviewed at school (we were not notified ahead of time & they were questioned by trained professionals). We were questioned about living arrangements, discipline, family interactions, salary, budget, family routines, medical & mental history, & more. Once all interviews were complete, our case was closed with no action taken other than we now have a file. We were given copies of our interview casework & resources for finances & counseling and other "211" or "311" services if we felt we needed it.
posted by tilde at 5:21 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


"211" & "311" resources ...
posted by tilde at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2015


UPDATED with quote from one of Josh Duggar’s sisters/victims: “I do want to speak up in his defense, against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying,” Jessa Duggar, one of four sisters that Josh Duggar allegedly fondled when he and they were minors, told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly in an interview today.

“I’m like, ‘that is so overboard and a lie really.’ I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims,” Jessa said during the interview, which will be telecast on tonight’s The Kelly File.


Here.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:49 PM on June 3, 2015





...



posted by tilde at 5:59 PM on June 3, 2015


I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims,” Jessa said during the interview, which will be telecast on tonight’s The Kelly File.


but

what?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:02 PM on June 3, 2015


So is the 30 second clip on the web site the only thing they showed tonight?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:06 PM on June 3, 2015


I dunno. I don't have cable. I guess I could have sat around the emergency room lobby. They always have Fox News on.
posted by tilde at 7:20 PM on June 3, 2015


tilde: "Counseling for him & the girls from trained experienced psycho therapists."

This whoole subculture thinks of therapists as Satan's Brainwashers, don't they? I doubt they'd think of that as a healing experience.
posted by rhizome at 8:09 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here it is.

What I've found most messed up so far is that they said "When we talked to other people we found that a lot of them had things like this happen in their families" (I've used quotation marks, but that's as best I recall it...I didn't look up the quote.). What's shocking about this is that they take it as evidence that this isn't that big a deal rather than as evidence that everyone they know is messed up.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:03 PM on June 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


"As parents, we are not mandatory reporters. As parents the law allows us to do what's best for our child."

Yes, that's right, "child" was singular.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:05 PM on June 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


As teachers, though ...

Maybe we need to rewrite homeschooling laws to add "mandatory reporter".

What gets me besides, oh, all of it, is the bullshit about legally this and legally that & code for we are legally in Mans law area okay ... & we are following Gods law ...

Turns out the FOIA request (if I'm reading the reporting accurately) was not necessarily filled legally (some loophole in Ark law about minors & sexual abuse which I can kinda get even if I might not like it all that much).

So the chief said "fuck mans laws this is wrong" (I surmise) "I'm retiring anyway" (I surmise) and released it. Good on her; not like there was a way to let the light shine in for these victims and give a ray of hope for other victims without some hurt.

As for continuing to hurt the women by reporting on it ... They really are apparently so crushed of genuine spirit and sense of self worth that their parents go on national tv for two hours to talk about their molester/brother/rapist & how he's been wronged that they don't see how horrible their parents are.

I know we are getting to close to my own issues with adults who cover up, defend, & deflect rapists in the family so I'm just stepping out now. I knew it was going to be this kind of brainfuck on Fox, this snippet reading is not helping.
posted by tilde at 3:45 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


i just keep hoping that at some point humans stop prioritizing saving the abuser, the family, the church, the community, and spends one iota of a second figuring out how to save the victims.
posted by nadawi at 7:56 AM on June 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Libby Anne, Libby Anne, saying it better than I ever can.

[TRIGGER WARNINGS ON CONTENT UNDER LINK]

More frank dissection of what was said and 'shared', and a link to the picture of the family in 2002. BOLDING IS MY BOLDING. Emphasized text is her emphasis.
So let me sum this interview up.

First, Jim Bob and Michelle did everything possible to minimize their son’s crimes. They repeated, ad nauseum, that the girls had no idea anything was going on, that what Josh did was just “like touching somebody over their clothes,” that Josh was just “curious about girls,” that this happens in lots of homes, that Josh would come to them crying and confess what he’d done (so penitent! such a “tender conscience”!), and on and on. Minimize, minimize, minimize.

Second, Jim Bob and Michelle lied about their duty to report. They also allowed Josh to remain in the home with the girls for a year after his first confession, even as his crimes worsened. They said they tried their best to wash Josh to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, but given that it did happen again, many times, they clearly weren’t watching closely enough. And how could they, with thirteen children and one on the way? That they thought they could watch Josh closely enough is sheer hubris, and had the statute of limitations not run out they could be tried and sent to prison for thinking they could do so.

Third, Jim Bob and Michelle are intentionally withholding the identity of the man who counseled Josh, because that man, Bill Gothard, is now known to have sexually molested and sexually harassed at least three dozen teenage girls and young women over the course of several decades. I understand that they probably didn’t know about this at the time (although even then there were rumors), but what exactly is the justification for Jim Bob and Michelle now, today, intentionally and pointedly leaving out Gothard’s name? Why not be honest, and then claim ignorance at the time when asked about Gothard’s own sexual crimes?

Fourth, Jim Bob and Michelle treated Josh’s actions as sexual sin rather than as a crime. I was puzzling with a friend over Jim Bob and Michelle’s description of Josh’s tearful confessions, and wondering why, if Josh was really so sorry, he didn’t just stop. She pointed out that Josh’s reactions sound very similar to the emotional turmoil of teenage boys who are taught that masturbation is sinful and wrong, and alternate between masturbating and tearfully confessing and vowing not to do so again.

But while it is typical for teenage boys to feel strong hormonal urges to masturbate, it is not typical for teenage boys to feel strong hormonal urges to touch their prepubescent sisters. Josh had a problem—a problem that needed professional treatment. Jim Bob and Michelle failed to seek out any form of treatment for him for a full year, and even then, they sent him to be counseled by a man with no professional experience in any related field—a man who, it turns out, was himself sexually molesting minors. Ouch.

posted by tilde at 8:02 AM on June 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


and had the statute of limitations not run out they could be tried and sent to prison for thinking they could do so.

This was pretty surprising to me. I'd support not having a statute of limitations for crimes against children.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:11 AM on June 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm so angry I can't write anything coherent. Do they have any idea of the damage sexual assault can do to someone? They just don't seem to give a fuck but I guess it's possible they're abysmally ignorant? Those poor girls. And what of Josh's children?

If anyone is reading this and thinking their current situation is a bit too similar to that of the Duggar girls, please know that I will move heaven and earth to give you whatever help you need, nothing is too big or too small to ask.
posted by harriet vane at 8:57 AM on June 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


not only josh's girls, but his victims' children as well. i talk about this a little bit over on twitter.

and this is why i will always react negatively to being told that forgiving your abuser is something you do for you not them - when forgiveness is mandated for salvation, it is not being done for the survivor - it's something that serves the abuser and the systems that cover up for him.
posted by nadawi at 9:05 AM on June 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Room 641-A: "I'd support not having a statute of limitations for crimes against children."

This seems like a good idea but actually turns out not to be a good idea, because it basically lets corrupt prosecutors hold open charges over people for the rest of their lives, and it often delays the laying of charges because prosecutors, with no deadline, figure they'll just wait for better evidence to come along, and never charge "difficult" crimes (like sexual assault of children) because the statute of limitations never runs out.

But there are smarter ways to run it -- like instead of "five years," a lot of states make it "five years FROM THE TIME THE CHILD VICTIM TURNS 21." So the child-victim has 5 ADULT years to consider whether they would like to press charges. Or it can be, "five years from the time DCFS becomes appropriately aware of the charges," which would mean by delaying reporting, the Duggars were also lengthening the time it would take for the statute of limitations to run out for Josh's crimes.

I'm also curious whether Arkansas has any laws about people who cover up a felony (Josh's and their own) until it's unprosecutable ... surely that's a crime in itself, or an action that prevents the statute of limitations from running, or something. Has anyone seen any coverage of that?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:22 AM on June 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


I saw a bit of the MSNBC coverage of this interview the other night, and they pointed out that the only thing that the Duggars seemed bent out of shape about - and the only thing that they wanted to pursue legal action on - was the fact that the story had leaked in the first place ("it was a sealed court record! Someone leaked it! That's the real problem!").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:34 AM on June 4, 2015


Eyebrows McGee: This seems like a good idea but actually turns out not to be a good idea

This is another one of those things that, if I'd thought about for a five seconds, I would have realized that this wasn't some brilliant idea no one had ever thought of before. Thank you for the great explanation of why this isn't already a thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


who was this witness who went with them to the police station to verify that josh told everything?

who were these professional counselors?

WHAT ARE THESE SAFEGUARDS?
posted by sio42 at 5:02 PM on June 4, 2015


tiny bit of local news - last year michelle duggar did an illegal robocall about transphobic bathroom panic and helped repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance (and then contributed to the campaigns of tea party nutjobs for city council DESPITE NOT LIVING IN THIS TOWN ARG!). anyhoo! we're gonna try again for a new anti discrimination ordinance. i'm guessing this one will feature 100% "think of the children!" from the family who harbors a child molester.
posted by nadawi at 5:06 PM on June 4, 2015


if they're talking about these rules like no co-ed playing hide and seek and no boys babysitting.. that's depending on the kids to enforce the rules.

and if you have an older, stronger boy who doesn't care about rules, then those rules won't work.

and i think the sitting on lap thing is weird as well - not every person who's lap you sit on is bad. and sitting on your dad's lap isn't necessarily safe. it should be about if you feel uncomfortable and knowing good touch/bad touch.

they're taking away all agency by making everything seem sexual and then that makes everything taboo. and then you end with some real issues, even without pedo older brothers.

sorry this may not be making sense. i'm just so seething...
posted by sio42 at 5:06 PM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


omg they just said they don't think it was in the interest of helping the victims that this info was released.

really.

of course not, no one cares about the girls who were molested and the possible molestation that might happen again.
posted by sio42 at 5:10 PM on June 4, 2015


local, usually very conservative, news is saying the duggars are talking about suing the police chief and the city of springdale, but that according to lawyers they news organization contacted, it would be a very hard fought case and there seems to be nothing illegal done by the city in releasing documents under foia requests.
posted by nadawi at 5:13 PM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


what i really want to see is county/state wide reform in how familial assault is handled. the duggars aren't the only ones. the way that this all helps victims is if some changes are made. i mean, how in same county do you have pedophile police friends covering shit up and state representatives rehoming adopted kids to a child molester and no one is in trouble for it? i'm hoping this is the beginning for some much needed change around here.
posted by nadawi at 5:17 PM on June 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


whoa whoa whoa.... this was the same COUNTY?
posted by sio42 at 5:20 PM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


yep. and i know a lot more shit about kids not being protected in this county but those aren't publicly known. there's something wicked here that needs to be cleaned up. many of these uber-fundamentalists are the foster parents - so even when kids are removed from the home, they're just down the street with someone who thinks the same things about boys, girls, and who's at fault for assault.
posted by nadawi at 5:24 PM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


in fact, justin harris - the guy who rehomes kids, and josh duggar - the child molester, participated in the "family, faith, and freedom" tour and spoke at the same events.
posted by nadawi at 5:30 PM on June 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


7 Crucial facts they didn't tell you in the Duggar interview I think y'all have hit most of these, but it's nice to see them all in one place.

Big questions I wish Megyn Kelly had asked: "Why do you care about Josh more than about your daughters?" and "How does your god feel about all of this lying you do on a regular basis?" and "What do you think it is about your culture that encourages the sexual abuse of vulnerable people?" Also, for good measure, "When will you let Jana get a car?"
posted by hydropsyche at 6:18 AM on June 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


at one point, Megyn did ask (not exact bc i watched last night) "as a father of the girls, not as a father of josh, how did this make you feel?"

honestly they seeemed a bit flummoxed by this and i think continued to repeat the line about how they would never have known if he hadn't told them.

which creeps me out because that means that their daughters may really not have had any idea it was wrong and therefore wouldn't have known to say something.

they said "if he hadn't told we'd never have known" like 5 times, enough for it to stick out as a weird thing to say amongst all the other weird shit.
posted by sio42 at 7:42 AM on June 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


That exchange was what inspired my question. It seems like the logical follow up to their non-answer of the first question.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:59 AM on June 5, 2015


7 Crucial facts they didn't tell you in the Duggar interview I think y'all have hit most of these, but it's nice to see them all in one place.

Well, she did pretty much say ahead of time that she had no intention of asking any hard questions.

I still haven't been able to find the full interview that aired online. Does anyone have a link if it is up somewhere?

" Also, for good measure, "When will you let Jana get a car?"

Why do you think Jana doesn't have a car? They've said that they buy cars for all the girls (but not the boys). Their reasoning is that the boys need to get a job and buy their own car and learn to provide for themselves and others. The girls should expect to be provided for. (I'm embarrassed to know...) Did they take away Jana's car at some point?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:10 AM on June 5, 2015


I could have sworn that somewhere in one of Libby Anne's posts about this, she mentioned Jana's apparent stabs at independence, including wanting to get a car. If I'm wrong about that, sub in any other question about their daughter's independence like "What will you do if Jinger really does want to move to a city?"
posted by hydropsyche at 8:18 AM on June 5, 2015


Huh....a quick Google shows this. The last comment says "this story was proven fake." but with no citation.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2015


for those of you may be interested, on Libby Anne's blog, she has a tag for The Duggars, so you can helpfully start at the beginning regarding her criticism of The Duggars.

this will take you the last page on the list of posts tagged with The Duggars (meaning the first post she made about them)
posted by sio42 at 8:34 AM on June 5, 2015


I think this:

They took other big steps to prevent further abuse: “We don’t let boys babysit,” Michelle explained. “They don’t play hide and seek together, two don’t go off and hide. There are just a lot of things that we’ve put in place.” For anyone who grew up playing with their brothers and boy cousins, as I did, that sounds insane


Confirms the suspicion/impression I've had that they are actively trying to separate Jackson and Johanna, who have been such close friends for so long.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:43 AM on June 5, 2015


... which given the context is as likely to make things worse as better. ("DON'T LOOK AT THE GUARDRAIL!")
posted by lodurr at 8:56 AM on June 5, 2015


yeah, further reinforcing that women are so dangerous that you can only be in the company of one that you are promised by god to get to fuck as often as you want is not the way forward...
posted by nadawi at 8:58 AM on June 5, 2015


(if you really want to make your eyes bleed, do a little google about views on marital rape within fundie traditions)
posted by nadawi at 9:01 AM on June 5, 2015


Whenever the subject of marital rape comes up among fundamentalists, someone can be guaranteed to cite C&V or various other influential writings to demonstrate that there exist fundamentalist traditions where you're supposed to please your wife. They tend to miss the part where the C&V is usually obscure and the influential writings are well outside the mainstream of fundamentalist thought. As far as I can see, if one can find a fundamentalist tradition that's not putting the paterfamilias in what amounts to an ownership position over his family, you're looking at a very non-mainstream sect that's liable to have some other disturbing idiosyncrasies.
posted by lodurr at 9:07 AM on June 5, 2015


in the link form intouch weekly "7 crucial facts" there is a pic of megyn kelly at dining table with the duggars and assorted relations, it looks like.

there is a young girl with her arms around a young man.
are they engaged? or is that brother and sister?

given the ix-nay on touching in general, i was confused to see this because that girl seems maybe 14. which seems young to be engaged.
posted by sio42 at 9:25 AM on June 5, 2015


That's Jessa with her husband Ben.

Is there no end to my embarrassment? In my defence, let me say this: I still have no idea who the Kardashians are beyond "people I see at the supermarket checkout line all the time."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:29 AM on June 5, 2015


they said "if he hadn't told we'd never have known" like 5 times, enough for it to stick out as a weird thing to say amongst all the other weird shit.

If you read the police report it's not even true.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:04 AM on June 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


coming from a family like this, the truth is always less important than the story.
posted by nadawi at 10:18 AM on June 5, 2015


penguin- it's totes cool. we need people like you in a thread like this. if there is a kardashian thread, i will be the embarrassed one.

Ray Walston, Luck Dragon - are you referring to the letter that was found in the book?
posted by sio42 at 10:38 AM on June 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Those of you have more personal insights into these groups: What's with the wierd aversion to referring to single women as women. I've noticed the Duggars will say "woman" about someone who is married but avoid the term for anyone single. They'll say girl (and sometimes say "girl" about a married woman too) or "lady." The day before Jill got married she said "It's my last day as a single young lady."

I don't think it's a conscious thing (like I don't imagine they have an actual stated belief that only married women should be called women), but there's some kind of unconscious (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) to the word "woman," even talking about themselves.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:40 AM on June 5, 2015


two parts to the answer, I think, from slightly different angles.

First, in that culture, it's probably fair to say that they literally aren't "women" until they've passed through the rite of being bound to a male. Remember that terms like "woman", "girl", and "young lady" have socially-constructed meanings that depend on their context. (Yes, I realize they also have dictionary definitions, but we already know they're not using those.)

Second, the dialect then results on the word "woman" literally having the meaning of "female human who has been [married / betrothed]."

To describe an unmarried young female as a "woman" is to use a word that's not just inaccurate (in dialect), but transgressively so.
posted by lodurr at 11:07 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


['second' really got mangled between my head and the keyboard but I'm trying not to edit-for-meaning and I hope the meaning is clear.']
posted by lodurr at 11:09 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's a round up of coverage and dissection of the interview compared to reality by the No Longer Quivering blog.

And I don't know where I read it, but someone posited that the leak to InTouch came from the family or near the family just to give some new focus to the family business; it's not 19 kids and counting if Michelle is done, so we flash out the "old" controversy, get "over" it and keep spreading "the word" but this time of forgiveness, and at the same time, boost the new show of two of the admitted victims that are being interviewed tonight. Duggars: The Next Generation. Also that this plan is why Josh wasn't part of the weddings of the sisters as well.
posted by tilde at 11:13 AM on June 5, 2015


By the way, If only I had a penguin... I am US based and found the full interview by googling it up. I started watching it before I just got too fed up to finish, but they overlaid the A and B shots and conversation overlapping between MK and JBD and MD to make it seem as if she were grilling them, hard hitting - looking journalism.
posted by tilde at 11:27 AM on June 5, 2015


tilde - that theory is some real wag the dog stuff and i almost believe it. i mean, michelle kept saying someone had an agenda.

i don't think that the duggars are removed enough from their situation to think that way tho. really. the younger ones would probably a get a tv show anyways.
posted by sio42 at 11:52 AM on June 5, 2015


before all of this i remember hearing that the show would likely stop focusing on the whole family and move to the daughters. at the time it was thought that this made way for josh to get more serious about lobbying and politics and tlc likes it because it follows the kardashian mold of following the younger generation.
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on June 5, 2015


Spin off talk from a quick googling posted by tilde at 12:25 PM on June 5, 2015


From WaPo
Perhaps there is outrage because outrage is due. Perhaps there is an uncovering of wrongdoing because wrongdoing occurred. Perhaps Oprah got it right when she cancelled their appearance all those years ago.

Emphasis mine. First thing that popped into my head was, "the woman who launched Drs Oz & Phil cancelled them"

Unfair, I know.

I'm on edge about the crap that will be the second infomercial tonight.
posted by tilde at 4:35 PM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon - are you referring to the letter that was found in the book?

No I'm talking about the Springdale Police Report InTouch received.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:46 PM on June 5, 2015


I've googled and googled and haven't found it. I don't know if the first video in this article is the full interview, but it's listed as unavailable in my area. If anyone finds a link to the full interview, please post!
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:13 PM on June 5, 2015


The police report also says that he told his parents and that's how they found out.

When did Michelle and Jim Bob actually find out? I'm confused now.
posted by sio42 at 8:34 PM on June 5, 2015


My reading of the report is that there is a reoccurring pattern of behavior over a period of time. Some of the incidences are claimed to have been reported by Josh because the girls were asleep, others apparently happened while reading a book or sitting on the washing machine. Because of the heavy redaction it's hard to tell, but it seems to me that at least several people were aware of what was going on. One of the girls, when asked if she knew why she was talking to the investigators, burst into tears, and then claimed to not entirely remember what happened.

It also mentions that at the time they were living with the maternal grandfather, and on one of the incidents someone who's name had been redacted called the parents, who were away, to summon them back to tell them about what had happened while they were out. I bet that was the maternal grandfather.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:45 PM on June 5, 2015


Transcript help?link
posted by tilde at 9:49 PM on June 5, 2015


I know the "we only knew because Josh confessed" story is falling apart, but hypothetically: I can understand parents initially not knowing what to do, and hoping the behavior was over ... but seriously, even the most naive, trusting, badly-raised parent should have sent Josh away after hearing about the second incident. What's their explanation? It's a horrible thought, but could it just be that they didn't want to cut off the flow of money and attention? If so ... well, you know what they call people who live off the proceeds of sexual crime.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:36 AM on June 6, 2015


I think Jim Bob was informed about the problem in 2002. At the time he was running for senate. Probably not a story that he wanted to come out while he was running for office. By 2004 the television show started and that was money. The Duggar's large, apparently functional family is the basis of their brand. Even if all they did was put Josh out of the home, how could they explain it? I think you're right. It was money and Jim Bob's inability to see his daughters as anything other than his possessions that made them double down on the facade of a working family.
posted by rdr at 3:39 AM on June 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah ok. Thanks for the clarifications, folks.
posted by sio42 at 6:19 AM on June 6, 2015


npr discussion of this and larger issues. triggers, read the comments.
posted by tilde at 6:24 AM on June 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


it might be the money or fame, but in my experience, keeping the family whole is the biggest goal. in my situation, and in the other situations i know about, i've not known a case where the abuse or the victims were sent away. in all the situations i know about the enablers have set up more and more absurd little rules that are supposed to keep everyone safe. those rules fail or bring in more dysfunction, just like the duggars rules of "no boys babysitting" or whatever, but it is the way these types of religious parents are instructed to handle this issue.
posted by nadawi at 6:35 AM on June 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


But seriously: he had grandparents. And possibly other relatives without little girls around? I know this is an inadequate measure against sexual offending, but it would show that they had been trying to do something.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:57 AM on June 6, 2015


maybe so - but, i've known a lot of these cases and keeping the family together is the norm. especially since the duggars are seemingly far more religious than their parents. it would be unthinkable to give their child who is in turmoil over to someone who doesn't align with them spiritually. the undercurrent that all sexual sins are created equal feeds into this. the punishments and new rules would have been the same if he had been caught making out consensually with another teenager. they' d probably see consensual gay stuff as worse than non-consensual touching of his sisters. it's grotesque, but it's the way it is.

i mean, after i told my parents about my abuse, i never sat in the back seat of the car with my brother again. he wasn't left in charge anymore. he wasn't sent away. my family is nowhere near famous. these are the (in)actions the church elders told my parents to take and the advice they got from other families in the church who had struggled with similar things. it also mimicked what their families did when abuse was discovered in their homes as kids. this is the cycle.
posted by nadawi at 7:28 AM on June 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Agreed. Everything I've been reading points to them treating this as a sexual misconduct thing based on sin rather than a psychological problem. They really believe he needed to pray and it was all good.

They have REALLLLLLY big rugs they sweep all this stuff under.
posted by sio42 at 7:52 AM on June 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I cannot get past the part where they're blaming the press for victimizing their daughters ("more than Josh did" apparently). It pisses me off so much! YOU are the people who chose to expose your family to public life after you knew about the abuse -- having filed a police report, having a second family involved, having apparently talked to others in the church, so it was never going to stay secret -- who decided to make a ton of money off having them on television! If you were just weirdos with 19 kids and no television show, it would have been a local news story, a "look how terrible humans are" story on CNN, and died. Your daughters are being "victimized" by the press because you as parents chose to put daughters that you knew had been sexually abused by their brother in a position of fame and national visibility. You deliberately put your sexual belief system on display! Knowing this was in your history! You did it FOR MONEY. When your belief system says liberals are out to get you and malign you and attack you! Of course they were going to come after you!

Acting like their feelings are OH SO HURT that after they pimped their family and its creepy sexual beliefs to television for money for several years there is national press interest in your family and its hypocritical sexual behavior is just so far beyond the pale for me. It's making me seethe with rage.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:17 PM on June 6, 2015 [22 favorites]


19 kids and not the slightest idea how to care for a single one of them. No wonder the girls leap at the chance to get married to some guy they barely know, statistically it's unlikely to be worse than staying at the Duggar home.

And where the hell is Josh in all these interviews? The whole family turns out to defend him, but he's silent. i suppose there's not much he can say that isn't either a bald-faced lie or an admission that his parents were unable to deal with him even when he knew what he was doing was wrong.
posted by harriet vane at 3:25 AM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


How Many Lies Can You Find? Part One and Part Two at the When Cows and Kids Collide blog, via Patheos.

These links compare the police report to the interview statements. If you are triggered by this sort of thing and haven't noped out of this thread already, I think they might be difficult reading.
posted by harriet vane at 3:31 AM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is there anything that anyone can legally get in trouble for at this point?
posted by sio42 at 5:13 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just heard an interview with the Mythbusters about how if you are on Discover channel you have to do Shark Week ... my brain is a bad bad person some times.

sio42 possibly not, so yeah. No. They are probably in severe lockdown mode so if there are other issues or incidents or kids with issues they are locked away from any hope of help.

I think sending Josh away was a great fear and intimidation tactic ... not shunnded but damn close, like shunning-light.

The more I read (Cows and Kids) and everything else I just am so weepingly furious at the "adults". Effing room ALARMS? ALARMS? And so what did that do, move it out of the bedrooms to awake victims with witnesses.



I have a particular aversion to alarms but it just seems excessive even when I discount for my childhood hatred of behavior alarms (lantern batteries, bedwetting alarm, solve for X).
posted by tilde at 6:35 AM on June 8, 2015


This is getting shared on Facebook. Given the previously noted issues on my list with survivors, not sharing it there.
First of all, sexual assault is NOT about sex. It is about control, manipulation and the thrill of getting away with it. A 14 year old who molests his sisters over a period of two years isn’t curious about sex. It’s the first symptom of a deep sociopath personality disorder. At 14 years old, he knew the difference between right and wrong and had been caught by his parents, scolded and continued to do it for two years. That is not a “youthful indiscretion.” Breaking a window with a slingshot is a youthful indiscretion. Sexually assaulting your sisters is a crime and a red flag to future dangerous tendencies.

...

So why do we care about what some family in Arkansas is doing? Because they are deeply involved in politics and a Super Pac that influences public policy on a federal level. They influence marriage equality, discrimination policies, health policies and public education. They want to pass faith based laws to make YOU conform to THEIR religious beliefs - yet skirt the laws themselves covering up heinous crimes committed against their own precious daughters. A sexual predator was allowed to run The Family Research Counsel who influence marriage equality discrimination, adoption, whether or not we can get birth control, breast and pelvic exams through our health coverage, vaccinations, abstinence-only and creationism education in public schools and much, much more.

posted by tilde at 7:38 AM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


It’s the first symptom of a deep sociopath personality disorder.

Uh, no. No it is not. First, there is no such thing as "sociopath personality disorder." Second, lots of kids do things like this who do not go on to develop personality disorders. Behavior like this is often, not always, but often, tied to earlier trauma the perpetrator experienced. Third, pedophilia exists and is a real thing. The motivation behind pedophiliac behavior is not always "power."

I am not trying to excuse the overall behavior here in any way, or to suggest that Josh Duggar is anything other than a dangerous predator. But I think the above quote, just that part of it, goes too far. There is no reason to go that far, the arguments against him and his parents are very strong without unfounded (and, I would argue, uninformed) speculation about his mental health.
posted by OmieWise at 7:55 AM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


the young child predators that i've known have all been incredibly power hungry. most of them, along with molesting the girls, beat on the weaker boys. they're also all good at getting adults to believe they aren't monsters.
posted by nadawi at 8:25 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


That has not been my professional clinical experience in re the power thing. I would say it breaks out at about 50/50. I feel fairly confident that I haven't been duped into that assessment, but who knows?
posted by OmieWise at 8:38 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


OmieWise I acknowledge and appreciate your professional and experiencial (is that word?) input. I know I'm wearing my own huge filters to have not picked up on that line, and I spend a lot of time bitching at people about diagnosing over the internet especially mental illness.
posted by tilde at 9:26 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


does your clinical experience deal exclusively with this sort of fundamentalist religion or is it more widespread than that? because the boys i know all come from these types of homes. is it also possible that what you see in a clinical scenario differs from what the victims experience?
posted by nadawi at 9:34 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


nadawi, my experience is not exclusively with this type of community, and it does not remotely approach the lived experience of victims. That is both good and bad for talking in a thread like this.

In this case, I was responding to an attempt to put some clinical parameters on this (in the quoted article) that I don't see as supported.
posted by OmieWise at 10:06 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not over yet ...


... but before I link that, it looks to my untrained eye, scanning the googles when I type in "Duggar", like the tide is coming down more not on forgiveness, but on condemnation of the family in the mainstream, like there is no mainstream recovery on the table. I dunno. Insert "I don't watch TV" comment here ... we stream or watch stuff from our library.

Anyway, via Salon:
The editorial director of InTouch says there’s a whole lot more to say about the Duggars.

David Perel, who runs the magazine which broke the story about Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation of several sisters, told the Washington Post that they are not done yet.

“Do I have more information on the Duggars in general?” Perel said to the Post. “Yes, I’d say we have some significant things coming out.”

The Post also reconstructed where the Duggar story originated from — and suggested “a woman named Tandra Barnfield apparently was a helpful guide.”
I've heard from folks "It can't only be five victims" and "Are we sure it was just Josh" and "Was Josh assaulted by someone else as well..." I hate to think things are even worse than the parts that are being admitted to thus far.

Looks like a lot of more light to shine in. People have been linking the "WWJD? Flip the table and chase you off with a bullwhip" meme on Facebook as well.
posted by tilde at 7:05 AM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


goddammit, josh duggar is moving back to arkansas...
posted by nadawi at 10:51 AM on June 9, 2015


11 things the Duggars are still hiding after the interviews:
  1. The “licensed” counseling details. Jim Bob and Michelle and two of their daughters have stated the girls went through “licensed” counseling, but have not addressed why Jim Bob and Michelle apparently waited FOUR years before getting them into counseling after they had been victims of Josh.
  2. Downplaying the molestations as “subtle and mild.” Echoing Jim Bob and Michelle’s characterization of Josh’s actions as “mild touching,” Jessa said: “None of the victims were aware of what happened until Joshua confessed.”
  3. The escalation of Josh’s molestations is troubling to mental health experts and not to be dismissed in the manner Jessa characterized it as, “a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls.”
  4. Safeguards. Jim Bob and Michelle have said (and their two daughters echoed) that after they became aware of Josh’s abuse they put “safeguards” in their home.
  5. Jim Bob, Michelle, Jessa and Jill all made a point to say that Josh “paid for his own counseling.” But Jim Bob and Michelle did not admit – and were not questioned – about why Josh apparently did not get counseling from a mental health professional for at least FIVE years after his first four acts of molestation, and only after the Department of Human Services opened an investigation into his activities.
  6. The family has continued to give the impression of cooperation with authorities, but fail to offer a detailed explanation of why they did not produce Josh for a police-requested interview in 2008. Josh, 18-years-old at the time of the Springdale police interview, hired a lawyer and refused to be questioned.
  7. The family strongly implied that details from the DHS investigation were leaked.
  8. Public records spin. Public records obtained by In Touch of a plane used by the Duggars show that it flew to the location of their crisis public relations specialist prior to giving these interviews in an attempt to save their TLC show.
  9. The family has continued to float the possibility that they will take some legal action against the city for releasing the records. But a deeper analysis of the situation reveals top experts say they have no basis for such action.
  10. The Duggars have continued to mischaracterize the FOIA-released police reports as juvenile records and say there were “illegally released.”
  11. The order to destroy the police record. The order to destroy the police report was entered by Judge Stacey Zimmerman. Neither Fox nor the Duggars have acknowledged that the judge heard only an emergency argument from one side (via a lawyer hired by the Duggars) and no media outlet or other entity challenged the ruling, which many legal experts believe was overly broad and a wrong interpretation of the law. Even Springdale’s police spokesman noted the highly unusual nature of the judge’s decision.
sorry about all the duplicate links in the previous post. I was lazy and should have just realized they were to the same darn place. DARN YOU SALON!
posted by tilde at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Interesting thing about Judge Zimmermann, she is a former prosecutor (she was working juvenile court when I was in high school there) who upon becoming a judge immediately began throwing the fscking book at most offenders, literally doubling what had been typical sentences in Washington County. She's one of those who (at least back when I was in the area) often increases the sentences prosecutors and defense attorneys work out in plea agreements and even goes beyond the recommendation of the probation officers in their presentencing reports.

So yeah, it's pretty bizarre to see that she of all people is the one who ordered Josh's records destroyed.
posted by wierdo at 12:16 PM on June 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


No Misconduct By Police Chief, Springdale Mayor Says About Release Of Duggar Incident Report

“The City will not dignify suggestions of misconduct in this matter by Chief O’Kelley with any comment beyond labeling them as outrageous and categorically false. Chief O’Kelley is a dedicated public servant whose career in law enforcement has been committed to duty and the adherence to the law.”
posted by tilde at 5:31 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Expanding beyond the ATI teachings, a perspective from an abuse survivor who talked to the Duggar kids about abuse at the invitation of their parents.

Trigger potential in there.
Jill and Jessa Duggar’s interview with Fox News airs on Friday night, and clips have already been released of them defending their brother. Are you surprised?

Not at all. What I can take from my own experience is that they are probably protecting their mom and dad. These are their parents, and they probably hate seeing their parents destroyed in the media, so the last thing they are going to do is say their parents handled it the wrong way or that it was dirty or shameful. I did the same thing.

After I was abused [...] my mother was crying every night because someone she knew did this to her daughter. For two years I saw my mother cry, and so I put on a happy face and said ‘I’m ok, this doesn’t bother me.’ I wanted to protect my mom because we hate seeing our parents in pain. It’s that protective instinct kids have. Parents are supposed to protect their kids, but kids want to protect us, too. So I’m not surprised at all – I figured they would take this position. If they had a problem with their parents, or how they handled it, this would have come out long ago.
posted by tilde at 5:41 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is Fox News turning or was this a 2% sound bite to appear "fair and balanced"? Emphasis from the source.
From MediaBuzz

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, ARISE TV ANCHOR [a guest on Fox News]: I think it was horrible that those two sisters spoke to Megyn Kelly. Even though that – even though their names are redacted, we didn't have to necessarily hear from them. We should hear from anybody in that family, it should be Josh. He should be out there defending his own actions. His sisters shouldn't be out there. They've already been victimized once by him. They shouldn't have to be re-victimized again by going on a mea culpa tour for him.

...

...[T]here were some glaring omissions. I mean, when the father said, oh, he's not a pedophile, because he committed his actions when he was 14 going on 15 – you have to be 16 to be a pedophile – she let that go. That's a problem....There should be a follow-up question, like, did you hear what you just said now?
posted by tilde at 5:50 AM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Checking in with Libby Anne ...
Put simply, the Duggars are making more excuses for Josh’s sexual molestation of his younger sisters than they would for one of their children should that child have premarital sexual contact. Yes, you read that right.

I grew up in this culture. I lived it. Having premarital sexual contact was about the worst thing you could do. Can you even imagine what would have happened if Jim Bob or Michelle had caught Jill or Jessa having sex with Derrick or Ben before their weddings? The shame, the betrayal, the dishonor it would have been considered! And yet, here they are arguing that what Josh did was no big deal, really!

[...]

Think you that if Jessa had had sex with a boyfriend at age 15, her parents would say that she was “just curious about boys”? Um, no! Honestly, of everything that was said over the past week, this is what gets me the most. The Duggars would make no excuses should one of their children have premarital sex. And yet Josh molested his prepubescent sisters and suddenly it’s all “he was just curious about girls”—What?!

Jim Bob and Michelle did not allow Jill or Jessa to have any physical intimacy beyond side hugs with their beaus. Side hugs. If they had caught the girls beaus simply feeling them up, even over clothes, all hell would have broken loose. “I only touched her over her clothes” would not have cut it. No, Derrick or Ben would have been out on their backside in an instant.
On persecution:
And now let’s turn to those Christian persecution claims.

Tabloids are equal opportunity offenders. Publications like In Touch rip apart people’s lives and cash in on revealing their darkest moments. That is what tabloids do. I am not saying this is a good thing, mind you. I am simply saying it is reality. This is what happens when you’re famous. The Duggars claim that they’re being treated this way by the media because they’re Christians, but in actual fact this is simply the end of years of privileged and preferential treatment.


posted by tilde at 6:12 AM on June 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Seeing it from Jessa and Jill's perspectives from the Under Much Grace blog:
The First Steps Towards Understanding Jill and Jessa Duggar’s Fox Interview: Second Generation Adults in Cultic/High Demand Religions

Jill and Jessa who often looked at one another to make eye contact for validation, especially early on in the interview. For me, I could only see their bounded choice of duty to their family, their culture, and especially the hobgoblin created by the extraordinary pressure of consistency and commitment. Their parents bound them to that obligation of consistency when they poised and postured them before the world through reality TV. It breaks my heart. (This brings up the question as to whether reality TV poses a risk or harm to children. Read more HERE and HERE.)

At the same age as Jill and Jessa, I was not able to voice my own choices to my parents. I tried a few times, but the pain of their punishment made the efforts short lived. I worked hard to live up to their expectations until I was in my late thirties — when I finally lost all hope of ever doing so. I started in (non-nouthetic) therapy at age 19, did not view outcome based psychology as evil, worked consistently to heal, and I didn’t find the strength to defend my own boundaries with my parents until much later in life. (Please note that the Duggar Family only embraces Biblical or “nouthetic” Counseling which is a type of non-clinical pastoral counseling that operates certification organizations that are completely independent and opposed to standard, clinical mental health care.)

They said what they had to say and what a lifetime of coaching already programmed them to say to defend their parents and their family. They had no viable choices to do anything else. They haven’t even had a chance to think about it yet.

More resources:

Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network
posted by tilde at 6:27 AM on June 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the excellent links, tilde, much appreciated.
posted by harriet vane at 7:39 AM on June 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I could only see their bounded choice of duty to their family, their culture

I wanted to pull this and the theme of them sublimating reality to defend their parents and family unit. I don't think it is necessarily unusual, but I do think it is pretty deep and wide to the point where it is a deep, damaging, systemic problem.

If someone bitched about my family I might not start out punching the bitcher in defense, but I would still be staying "on their side" in a conflict, even if I didn't 100% agree with what my family did or how they did it. I can't think of an example that even matches covering up serial sexual predatory behavior, but I've stuck around when we've "dared" complainers to call the cops on us (false allegations, and I was too young and dumb to be worried) ... even though as a legal adult I was given a choice to leave and let the "real" grownups handle it.
posted by tilde at 10:51 AM on June 10, 2015


So, here's the next shoe.
The Duggar family is under investigation again by the Arkansas Department of Human Services and police were called when the family refused to cooperate, In Touch magazine is reporting exclusively in its new issue that hits newsstands today.

A representative from the Washington County DHS called 911 on May 27 at around 11 a.m. asking for police assistance when DHS was not allowed to see the minor they were concerned about. In Touch, which broke the story of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation scandal, has the full transcript of the emergency call in the new issue.

...

After identifying himself as a Washington Country DHS employee and stating the Duggar family address, the caller tells the 911 operator, “We have an investigation and I guess they’re not being cooperative. We have to see the child to make sure the child is all right. So we just need police assistance.”

DHS records are not available to the public so it is unknown what prompted the investigation. Experts tell In Touch that an investigation can be triggered by a hotline complaint, even an anonymous one, if the trained operator determines the allegation is serious enough that it meets standards for child abuse maltreatment laws.
I don't know how it works in their county, but in smaller areas I've lived or vacationed in, 911 is how you call the police. It's not necessarily an "emergency" but how you reach Central and get a conversation going, be it a barn on fire, a rollover accident, or cat up a tree.

I'm pretty sure that if it had been the local station direct number, that could have been FOIA'd as well, so I wouldn't take that it was 911 as necessarily an emergent problem. When we talked to CPS about their concerns about my family, the first interview with us included an experienced caseworker and a uniformed police officer whose general tasks included interviewing families being investigated (he wasn't a random officer picked up on the way or requested because we wouldn't speak to them or something).

Additionally, my kids were pulled out of class and interviewed (by this team) at school before we had any idea of what was going on. They were gatekeepered by teachers and administrators who have worked in the system before and had no problem with cooperating in the interests of the child. (All was fine, just an interview and follow up and end of story.)

The way the Duggars have chosen to style their evangelical-quiverfull-in-all-but-name lifestyle, no one who isn't vetted family/friends can get to the kids without going through a pile of adults who aren't willing for that to happen short of subpoena, I guess.
posted by tilde at 11:00 AM on June 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Autodidact has another good one on the terms being used:
Cultural Fundamentalism

When most people talk about “fundamentalists,” they aren’t thinking about people who believe in the five fundamentals. They are talking about people who have a particular approach to culture.

A couple of examples here:

There is a world of difference between the average “Baptist” church, and an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. (IFB)

There is a world of difference between regular Mormonism and FLDS groups like those led by Warren Jeffs.

[lots of snipping, read the link for more]

A. Authority and Hierarchy Gothard’s teachings hinge on his principle of “authority,” which is that God only works and speaks through a hierarchy.
i. Church authority. You must obey the leaders and never question them. God speaks to them for you, not directly to you.

ii. Gender hierarchy. A wife must obey her husband in everything, unless he actively demands she sin. She is to never question his decisions, even if she believes they are unwise.

iii. Children and parents. There has been a trend for some time of training children to express immediate, unquestioning obedience to parents.
B. Gender Roles Men belong out in the world bringing home the bacon. Women belong at home having babies and cleaning the house. In fact, this is one belief that unites cultural fundamentalists around the world...

Given the general definition of Feminism as a movement seeking the political, economic, and social equality of women; Cultural Fundamentalism can be seen for what it is: an opposition to the equality of women.

C. Obsession with Sex You can see this one in several manifestations. If a group’s primary political goals involve homosexuality and abortion, chances are, you are dealing with a fundamentalist group. Why? Because their primary focus is on controlling the sort of sex other people are having.

Further down the Fundie scale, you will see additional practices aimed at preventing sex. The whole premise of Modesty Culture (which I have blogged about extensively) is that of preventing young men from thinking about sex. Which is done by keeping women from showing that they have female-shaped bodies.

D. Focus on Cultural Externals and Cultural Separation Cultural Fundamentalists are also obsessed with the externals of culture. Clothing is just one area. Movies. Music. Alcohol. Dancing. Hairstyles. The list can go on and on ...

E. A Literalist and Theonomical approach to the holy writings When the approach to a holy book becomes hyper-literalist, then it becomes necessary to re-create the culture in which it was written.

On the issue of Theonomy, to the Cultural Fundamentalist, the way to become more “godly” is to tease out “God’s Law” from the holy writing. The more detailed system of rules one can find, the better. The cultural externals are a good part of this.

Both of these stem in part (again, in my opinion) from the belief shared by most Cultural Fundies that the Bible was literally dictated by God. As in, word for word ...

To question the applicability or meaning of a verse is to reject the very words of God. That something might be lost in the translation, linguistic or cultural does not even enter the picture.

This is also why, when you have an argument with a Cultural Fundie, their response if often to slam down some bible verses they think proves their point. They know what those verses mean, and you are just rejecting God’s clear truth if you disagree with them.

F. Tribalism

Because they believe their approach to holy writings is the only viable one, Cultural Fundies believe that those who do not share their beliefs on cultural externals, or on gender roles, or authority, or whatever, are not “true” believers.

G. Judgmentalism and lack of compassion

Because Cultural Fundies believe that they are the sole True Believers™, they can easily assume that the reason bad things happen to people outside the group is because God is smiting them. (When bad things happen to Cultural Fundies, they often think it is “persecution” by non-Fundies.)

H. Hostility toward science and critical thinking

I would include in this one not just a hostility to the “hard” sciences like geology, evolutionary biology, and astrophysics; but also an acute hostility toward the “soft” sciences like sociology and psychology.

This relates, again, to the hermeneutical approach. If mental illness presents like the “demon posession” described in the Bible, then it must be spiritual, and thus we can’t utilize medication or therapy as treatments.

...

And, very much to the point, I deleted a comment on my Duggar post (because it violated my comment policy) which attempted to prove that the Duggars were right, and I was wrong about my beliefs regarding Modesty Culture and the priority God places (or in my view, doesn’t place) on virginity above all other virtues. Guess how the writer tried to prove the point? You guessed it! Just slam down a few scriptures, thump the Bible a time or two, and that ends the discussion.

...

Note on one reason there is confusion:

Cultural Fundamentalists want you to think that they are merely Doctrinal Fundamentalists. That is, they hold their views because they are holding to the “one true doctrine.” They hide their ideas about control, gender, legalism, and judgmentalism behind a cloak of “we are just being faithful to the holy book.”

Then he gets into his footnotes! Awesome. Should probably be it's own post. :P
During my lifetime alone, I have seen an ever-increasing degree of influence wielded over Evangelicalism by Cultural Fundamentalism. I attribute this in large part to two factors.

First, influential Fundamentalist leaders and leaders with Fundamentalist leanings have spread their teachings through Evangelicalism. The number of people who have attended Bill Gothard’s seminars over the last 40 years is astounding. His malignant influence is hard to overestimate. But there are others too.

The second influence is that of the homeschooling movement. I have mentioned this in a number of past posts in passing, but it bears repeating. There were two competing ideas about homeschooling that fought for dominance in the early years.

First was the free-spirited approach advocated by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. They focused on the benefits of freeing children from the highly regimented drill and test approach common to classrooms, and encouraged parents to find what worked for each particular child. Although this approach is sometimes called “unschooling,” it is really more of an individualized education.

The other side of homeschooling, however, was anything but free-spirited. Rousas Rushdoony, the founder of Christian Reconstructionism, a hyper-Theonomic and theocratically minded movement, saw in the homeschooling movement the opportunity to build his army that would take over the United States and build his dream of an Old Testament style theocracy.
posted by tilde at 12:45 PM on June 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


A. Authority and Hierarchy Gothard’s teachings hinge on his principle of “authority,” which is that God only works and speaks through a hierarchy.
i. Church authority. You must obey the leaders and never question them. God speaks to them for you, not directly to you.


I realize this is naive and idealistic of me (and that this is especially weird because I'm an atheist), but does it cut no ice at all with him that tens to hundreds of thousands of people (depending on the estimate) died fighting against Church crusades so that he could have his Protestant freedom to experience a personal relationship with his god?

I mean, jesus, just become Catholic already.
posted by lodurr at 12:50 PM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


washington county isn't really that teeny-tiny and we do have a non-emergency number, but i honestly don't know how often it is used by groups like dhs.
posted by nadawi at 12:55 PM on June 10, 2015


maybe unrelated to all of this, but derick dillard (jill's husband) has left his job at walmart.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2015


if the call is from May 27, wasn't that about the same time the story broke?

i can't seem to figure out the exact date it came out.

yet another not addressed in the interview...
posted by sio42 at 2:13 PM on June 10, 2015


I realize this is naive and idealistic of me (and that this is especially weird because I'm an atheist), but does it cut no ice at all with him that tens to hundreds of thousands of people (depending on the estimate) died fighting against Church crusades so that he could have his Protestant freedom to experience a personal relationship with his god?

I mean, jesus, just become Catholic already.


The real irony is that these folks tend to identify as "Baptists" while explicitly rejecting all of the things that makes one a Baptist, except for believer baptism. Baptists are supposed to believe in the priesthood of all believers, that Christ alone is lord of the conscience, and in the independence and self-governance of individual congregations. But white Baptists in the US long ago rejected all that because they like being able to tell people what to do. (source: my Grandpa was a cradle to grave Georgia Baptist who could not believe what the "Southern Baptists" did to his church.)
posted by hydropsyche at 2:24 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


lodurr: "I mean, jesus, just become Catholic already."

They can't, because modern American evangelical fundamentalists are profoundly wedded to their Biblical literalism. They are far, far less wedded to their models of authority, and schism with each other all the time over who should be in charge. Literalism is heretical for Catholics. As much as they might like the authority structure (which in the long run they wouldn't, they're much more about cults of personality than layers of authority and accountability -- very few of these evangelical fundamentalist congregations survive the transition from father to son, let alone from father to appointed successor), they utterly reject all history of Biblical interpretation prior to about 1850, and after that accept only a very narrow band of English-language literalism as acceptable.

I mean, honestly, you can talk some of them into transubstantiation and a celibate, unmarried priesthood (which are like massive theological splits between Catholics and Protestants) because they barely have a theology. They have a hermeneutic and they have an American culture war. There's a reason it transplants really poorly to other countries, and that reason is most of their beliefs have to do with American culture and not with Christianity at all. (Bolivians don't care what the Bible says about Mike Huckabee's presidential ambitions or Obamacare! They just don't!) It's not a robust system of theological thought.

It's actually totally enraging to me that Quiverfull has made some strides among Catholics with their "God sends babies when God wants to" stuff because it has brought with them a totally irritating strand of Biblical literalism that has absolutely no place in Catholicism but is shockingly hard to get rid of. I mean, you'll be talking to a Catholic literalist and you're like, "JESUITS DIED ON THE FRONTIER FOUNDING SCHOOLS FOR THIS SHIT? NO. JUST NO. YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED."

Your theology word of the day is "eisegesis." "Exegesis" is the process of reading the Bible (or other texts, typically ancient ones) within an honest attempt to understand the intent/meaning of the text, placing it within its cultural and historical context, reading it within its literary genre and its surrounding context, seeking source texts and companion texts, studying the grammatical structure of the language, and so on, basically its Sitz im Leben (the term of the excellent post-Lutheran German-language exegetes), and trying to "lead out" (the Greek meaning of exegesis) the meaning(s) of the text in that fashion. "Eisegesis" (remembered by seminarians for their exams as "I see Jesus!") is where you've already decided what you want to the Bible to mean, and you go hunting for verses that support your opinions (aka Proof Texting). As we're all human we're all prone to a little eisegesis, but most Christian denominations apply an honest attempt at exegesis filtered through their particular theological lens. Fundamentalist evangelicals are straight-up eisegetes.

Protestants at my seminary (Methodist, with a healthy Baptist population) would always get so enraged about how these folks are "not really Protestants" because they are not even a little bit protesting the same things and they don't have a theology per se. They're just mad about the Civil War and American liberals.

As a personal matter, it annoy me how they put God in such a small box. They insist God would only function in ways humans can understand, and that the Bible would be easily understandable and interpretable by people with no knowledge or understanding of it besides basic English-language literacy (learn a little Greek, assholes!). They refuse to believe in evolution because it is hard to understand and they reject the idea of a God who would create anything beyond human understanding. I reject the idea of a God who WOULDN'T create things beyond human understanding! If God just created stuff I could understand, THAT'S NOT VERY GODLIKE, IS IT? Doesn't it seem more Creator-of-the-Universe-ish to create a marvelous universe ruled by quantum theory and evolution and electroweak interactions, than to create a boring old Aristotelian-physics, plop-the-dinosaurs-on-the-ground-fully-formed, calculus-is-hard universe? You hardly ever meet a fundamentalist evangelical who can do calculus, because they are neither interested in mathematics from after the year 400 nor do they enjoy attempting to understand difficult or counterintuitive things. Their problem with evolution is that they think that makes it seem like God is cheating. They think a loving God wouldn't make the world hard to understand.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:34 PM on June 10, 2015 [40 favorites]


In my small-town East Texas experience, most of the serious fundamentalists would tell you that Catholics aren't even Christians because they worship false gods (saints) and maybe also false idols (something about crosses on the altar). And it's just something that "everyone knows", like how Jews have horns. There's not much theology going on.

But that's also why they can't become Catholics. Might as well start drawing pentagrams on the floor.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:58 PM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


And that's all beside the point that the Crusades were not about "having a personal relationship with God". The people you're thinking of who fought against the Catholic Church were....the Protestants, during the Reformation. So they'd no more become Catholic than would Boss Hogg have decreed he was moving to Boston because the Yankees were fighting in the Civil War to advance the cause of states' rights.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:24 PM on June 10, 2015


I mean, jesus, just become Catholic already.

The thing is, in groups like this, "Church" doesn't mean some grand clerical hierarchy or anything; it means the guy who runs (and probably founded) that particular church, who answers ostensibly only to God and effectively only to himself. Every pastor is a Pope.

I'll cop to being super-cynical about it, but power and money seem to be the main draws for guys starting their own churches. And the power isn't religious power, it's political power. Just amass followers, and they'll do your bidding; religion is simply a well-established way to amass followers. Once you've got a big enough following, the politicians will come a-courting. The most devout are the most devoted, so you want to only attract devout people. Hardcore fundamentalism tends to be the way it goes, because hardcore fundamentalism is skeptic repellent. If there's a hefty price tag and a funny outfit that comes with the membership, you don't have to worry about half-asses and looky-loos joining up and starting trouble.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:49 PM on June 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


And that's all beside the point that the Crusades were not about...

The Cathars might disagree.
posted by lodurr at 3:22 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee: I mean, honestly, you can talk some of them into transubstantiation and a celibate, unmarried priesthood (which are like massive theological splits between Catholics and Protestants) because they barely have a theology.

This is something I keep coming back to with fundamentalism, and why the page linked up-thread discussing 'cultural fundamentalism' spoke so clearly to me. When I was younger, I used to try to make the mandatory family gatherings (for christenings, etc.) bearable by looking for the theology, for the ritual. I could find a lot of ritual elements, but they weren't consistent; I could find a lot of tropes, but they weren't part of a coherent theology. (Like middle-aged women testifying to God 'Take me as I am! Right here in this bed!'* or some close variant.)

But if you trying to make a consistent theology out of it was a fool's errand.

--
*I think that's pretty much a quote. She was in her 50s and widowed, and it got an ecstatic mumble of agreement (these were upstate NY charistmatics, not southerners).
posted by lodurr at 3:32 AM on June 11, 2015


hydropsyche: The real irony is that these folks tend to identify as "Baptists" while explicitly rejecting all of the things that makes one a Baptist, except for believer baptism.

ENGLISH BAPTIST: Brother, do you believe in infant baptism?
SOUTHERN BAPTIST: Brother, I not only believe in it, I've seen it done!
posted by lodurr at 3:35 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


So add Fox News in with TLC about who knew what when and are they aiding in covering issues up:
From Salon:

We now live in a nation where the conservative cable news network is spinning in support of a confessed child molester, as well as the people who tried to hide his actions. Fox News Channel has always been an egregious source for misinformation and GOP talking points. We all know this. It’s also been a powerful backstop whenever a Republican candidate commits one of many unforced errors — blurting out a ludicrous rape remark, or worse. However, in the past week, Fox News has crossed the zero-barrier between spinning for the GOP and into the realm of manufacturing phraseology and excuses for a Christian television family caught up in a sexual abuse scandal.

As predicted, Megyn Kelly’s interviews with both Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, as well as molestation victims Jill and Jessa Duggar, felt transparently crafted to help exonerate Josh Duggar and his parents. Friday night’s interview with Jill and Jessa was particularly obvious. The first half was structured around soft-pedaling what Josh did to those five underage girls, while the second half was all about diverting attention in the direction of the media and away from the actual actions. Did they discuss topics and/or ground rules in advance? We may never know, but that’s almost irrelevant in the face of the larger issue, which is that Fox News looks like it is actively working in support of a sex offender.
This is from an apparently a well known liberal blog:
Fox News May Have Helped The Duggars Cover Up New Child Abuse Investigation In Arkansas

If Fox News was not aware of this new investigation, it is because they didn’t want to know. The new investigation also explains why the Duggars and Kelly put so much effort into trying to discredit the police and social services. Fox News defended a family that was uncooperative with the authorities and under a new investigation related to the welfare of their children.

Fox News put propaganda ahead of facts, and now they have to explain why they didn’t know that the Duggars family was again under investigation. Whether Megyn Kelly and Fox News acted intentionally or not, they helped to hide a key fact from their viewers. Fox News turned a blind eye to what they didn’t want to see and now have to deal with the consequences of the decision to put partisan politics ahead of the welfare of children.
The two sisters interviewed and self-identified as victims have started posting on social media again, about their babies.
posted by tilde at 9:14 AM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I saw my mom the other day and was telling her about the Duggars and she confirmed that we were baptized by the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists. I suspected it, but I was only eight and wasn't entirely sure. But my mom remembers, and it was them.

Also they did a whole Anabaptist thing with her where because she originally did a Methodist conversion and was head-sprinkled, which the IFB did not accept, and they wouldn't let her become a church member or participate in the Lord's Supper (communion) until after she let them dunk her in a swimming pool* in her church clothes.

Want to know why we left that church eventually? Because their theology was too loose! LOOSE. (For the armchair theologians playing along at home, this was because the IFB are Arminians, meaning they don't believe in free will. When I found out my fourth grade teacher was Armenian, at first I thought it meant she was going to hell.)



* Maybe they couldn't get permission to use the river? My mom said there was a fuss over that part.
posted by brina at 10:39 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can I ask why the sprinkle wasn't holy enough?

Also, um, how's your mom holding up? Is she taking this in at all? If you don't mind my asking.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:09 PM on June 11, 2015


i can't answer why the sprinkle wasn't enough in other faiths - but mormons, for instance, only believe in baptism by total immersion. i actually had to be dunked twice because my skirt floated up and didn't get fully submerged when i did.
posted by nadawi at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Countess Elena, my mom doesn't really pay much attention to pop culture, and she's been attending Catholic church on the sly sometimes, so she's okay.

So there are two problems with head-sprinkling. The first is that baptism is supposed to be a full-body dunking in a river (or font), and the second is that most denominations that sprinkle also baptize infants. These infant ceremonies are called "covenant baptisms," and they are not accepted by Baptists, who believe in only baptizing repentant sinners who have confessed faith in Jesus. So even though my mom confessed her faith, the method of baptism she originally underwent was "wrong," and because that church might also have performed infant baptisms, such ceremonies would have been considered invalid. (Presbyterians who convert to Baptist have to get re-baptized, but not vice versa, for example.)

I swear I thought I'd forgotten all this doctrinal nonsense, but it turns out it's still kicking around in there.
posted by brina at 4:10 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


and yeah, the mormons won't baptize before 8 years old because they think people have to choose it - now the mechanisms of how they coerce you into that choice and how much actual choice an 8 year old has are totally things i think are problems - but they don't do infant baptisms because you can't even pretend they chose it.
posted by nadawi at 4:14 PM on June 11, 2015


Countess Elena: "Can I ask why the sprinkle wasn't holy enough?"

Basically because John the Baptist fully dunks Jesus in the River Jordan, so the "most ideal" format for baptism is full immersion in a river. We know very early Christians practiced baptism by full immersion, as a sacramental re-enactment of Christ's death and resurrection (there is a technical Greek term and people have killed one another over the word "re-enactment" being incorrect but I am totally blanking on the right Greek word); obviously that's a less-powerful symbol when you're not being fully immersed.

Catholicism, being full of legalism, spent a thousand years litigating exactly how minimal a baptism could be and still "count" (what if you're in a desert? what if you're on a ship? what if there are no rivers nearby? what if it's a lady and only men can baptize her, must she be naked? What if the baptismal candidate is too ill to leave their bed?). Of course this leads to a lot of people, being lazy, adopting exactly the minimal amount necessary. There's lots of interesting history to this, of course, but the ritual you're probably most familiar with from pop culture -- smallish amounts of water poured over an infant's head -- is partly influenced by the fact that getting the baby naked (let alone an adult) and soaking wet and then getting them re-dressed and everything is KIND OF A HASSLE and adults being baptized don't really want to have to change clothes or be naked and be all wet and then sit freezing through a three-hour Easter Mass. And of course having a pool in a church is much more convenient than having to trek down to the river on Easter; and of course a font is EVEN MORE CONVENIENT because those can be moved out of the way and cost less to maintain ...

Anyway, Baptists kind-of have a point when they point out that we have an actual act of Jesus clearly described for our imitation, the sacrament of Christian initiation, and that the half-assery of sprinkling someone's head in a church is the worst sort of Catholic legalism run amok and that at the very least we should be fully-immersing in a pool like the early Christians when possible, and using a river when available.

brina: "These infant ceremonies are called "covenant baptisms," and they are not accepted by Baptists, who believe in only baptizing repentant sinners who have confessed faith in Jesus. So "

Yeah, "Anabaptist" -- a designation that includes Mennonites and Amish and so on, as well as some ancestor groups of Baptists -- literally means "rebaptizer" and IT WAS A HELLA SCANDAL when some European Protestants started rejecting infant baptisms and re-baptizing (RE! BAPTIZING!!!!! *gasp of horror*) adults who'd been baptized as infants because it didn't "count." Even Zwingli thought the Anabaptists were RIGHT OUT and executed them whenever he caught them. (King Ferdinand said the best cure for Anabaptism was a THIRD baptism -- drowning.) Re-baptizing was considered an EXTREMELY aggressive act and Anabaptists mostly ended up in the United States as they were driven out of Europe as dangerous subversives undermining the state and the local church (whether Catholic or Protestant).

These days if you switch denominations and it's not clear if your baptism "counted," most mainline denominations have a form for "conditionally baptising" so that they don't accidentally re-baptize -- "If thou art not baptized, I baptize you in the Name of the Father ..." Re-baptizing someone is considered in pretty poor taste (although obviously not executable these days) and an offense against Christian unity and the "body of Christ"; most adult baptizing churches who insist on rebaptism for converts perform it fairly quietly. When you see a church not just insisting adult baptism is the only appropriate theology (that's normal, everybody expects that), but making a BIG PUBLIC DEAL about rebaptizing people in public (often tent-revival style), they're generally trying to start a fight with other local Christians and declare them "not real Christians." (This does not apply to Mormons, who use a different baptismal formula because they don't believe in a Triune God in quite the same way, so it's not considered "re-baptizing" when Mormons do it. When people want to get mad at Mormons about baptism, they get mad about the baptizing of dead people.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:21 PM on June 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


and to be clear - the "baptizing of dead people" is teenagers (sometimes adults, but usually teens) getting repeatedly dunked while an elder reads names off of a computer screen. there's a lot that should change about the process, but i've been baptized for 20 or so people and i couldn't even begin to tell you who they are. it's a ceremony that really means nothing except, "we think when people get to the afterlife they can chose to accept a mormon baptism or not so we're just doing the ceremony down here so they get that choice" - it's not even internally seen as the same as a real baptism.

this isn't to say that i am unsympathetic to those who are offended by it because it is a pretty shitty thing to even mock up for a lot of reasons, foremost being that death and religion are fraught and it comes off as creepy on the mormons part...just pointing out the mechanics.
posted by nadawi at 5:31 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


also it's not just baptisms, but they are the most known of the "for the dead" rites the mormons perform - and because of how baptism is seen and the visibility of baptisms for the dead, it is the one that gets everyone's backs up the most.
posted by nadawi at 5:38 PM on June 11, 2015


Eyebrows, you are super knowledgeable about this stuff! It's really interesting and lovely to hear the perspective of a Christian seminarian who is not, you know, insane. Thanks for putting some historical context to it. If you have any book recommendations on church history for recovering fundies, would you MeMail them to me? (Or you could post them here for all the people in this thread who as a result of spiritual abuse might, like me, be a little confused about basic Christian history.)
posted by brina at 7:08 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, thank you so much, Eyebrows!

I was christened in the Congregational church when I was a baby, but was raised more a cultural than religious Christian (where we went to church at Christmas and Easter was decided mostly by who was going to have the best music, for instance). I remember how astonished I was when I first saw a full-immersion baptism. I was about eight, and was visiting my dad, who had moved to Louisville after he and my stepmom married, because that's where she was from. He became a deacon in the Baptist (don't know exactly what flavor) church they attended, and it was so strange to me to see the part of the service where the preacher called for people who had been saved to come up to the front, and they went behind the lectern to where there was a tank with a glass wall, and they were dunked! Wow, thought eight-year-old me: I thought people only did this in movies.
posted by rtha at 7:30 PM on June 11, 2015


Catholicism, being full of legalism, spent a thousand years litigating exactly how minimal a baptism could be and still "count"

How minimal it gets: In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 1284)

Note "any person" is literally any person - it is not even necessary that the extraordinary minister be a Christian - so now you know how to perform an emergency baptism.

Furthermore Catholicism does not accept sprinkling. Pouring (the water must flow on the skin) or immersion are required.

is there something about Christianity specifically that leads to some of its members to embracing uber-patriarchal, continuous-pregnancy-pleases-God type of lifestyles?
  • the universe is governed by a deity revealing himself as an explicitly male-gendered supremely powerful father figure, His male son, and a male Holy Spirit
  • "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" is the first instruction from God to mankind one encounters in the Bible
  • a number of Biblical figures are literally called Patriarchs and revered for fathering entire tribes
  • etc...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:29 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember how astonished I was when I first saw a full-immersion baptism. I was about eight, and was visiting my dad, who had moved to Louisville after he and my stepmom married, because that's where she was from.

Funny you mention that, because the church I attended in Kentucky baptizes people via full immersion, but in a horse trough (with heated water!), because it turns out a giant plastic horse trough is WAY cheaper than anything marketed as a baptismal font.

It is worth noting that even a lot of evangelical churches are pretty flexible about baptisms. You want a sprinkle? Sprinkled. You want an infant baptism? Infant baptism. The teens of the church want to get baptized in a swimming pool? Find a pool and we'll do that. You want to attend an infant baptism church but you don't actually believe in infant baptism? No problem, your kids can get baptized when they are old enough to decide themselves. All these elements that used to be reasons for schisms are now along the lines of "do you want your sandwich on white or wheat bread?", even in otherwise very traditional, bible-inerrancy type churches.

In news related to this thread, I listen to sermons for fun (I know, I know), and this morning I listened to one where a pretty conservative theologian pointed out that the Bible makes it pretty clear that telling non-Christians to repent of their sins (other than genocide or slavery) is incredibly inappropriate. So, you know, another section of the Bible that the Duggars apparently missed while lecturing people on how important it is to read the Bible.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:29 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of a nerd for these doctrinal details, even though (maybe because?) I'm an atheist.

I learned the Methodist spin on the Reformation in Sunday school, but didn't really grok it until much, much later -- probably fair to say not until I read Adam Smith and Max Weber in quick succession for a social theory course, in my late 20s, which forced me to think about it a lot. (I even managed to devour books about occidental mythology without really "getting" the social importance of that personal choice thing, or what a conundrum the Calvinists created for themselves. But I digress...)

Anyway, baptism: I remember distinctly sitting in a church for a baptism when I was in my early 20s -- can't remember why I was there, mom must have guilted me into it somehow -- and being struck by the passages in the (Methodist) rite that called on us, the congregation, to take up the charge to help foster the moral development of the child. It really struck me that the purpose of this was to replace tribal relationships, to replace the community.

So from that perspective, being so flexible about the 'sprinkling' is precisely wrong.

Mind, I'm kind of happy to see the overall structure eroded so I'm not about to start an education campaign or anything.
posted by lodurr at 6:02 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember distinctly sitting in a church for a baptism when I was in my early 20s -- can't remember why I was there, mom must have guilted me into it somehow -- and being struck by the passages in the (Methodist) rite that called on us, the congregation, to take up the charge to help foster the moral development of the child. It really struck me that the purpose of this was to replace tribal relationships, to replace the community.

...Or, to solidify the community. Don't forget that in a lot of communities, especially before the 20th Century, the congregation of a church was the community, and so those passages about calling on the congregation to look out for the moral welfare of a particular child was a way of confirming that "this kid is one of us" as well as a reminder that "it takes a village to raise a child, and this is one of the kids in this village."

There's a similar charge laid upon the godparents in a Catholic baptism, and at my god-daughter's baptism the priest really underscored that (at one point he looked hard at me and the godfather and said "now, you guys understand this, right? You're the people this little girl will call when she's a teenager and she can't stand her parents and it's gonna be your job to give her good advice"). Fortunately, though, the church itself is kind of lenient about who can become godparents - only one of the godparents has to actually be an active Catholic - and my cousin's a pretty liberal Catholic, so all she cared about was that I wasn't a jerk.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:00 AM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


re. the Church's attitude: yeh, i'm technically the godparent of one of my nephews. (this was to please my sister in law's mother.) the rite was performed by a colleague of my brother (they're vector biologists, his colleague is a priest). they asked him if it mattered that I was an atheist; I'm told he shrugged and said "if it doesn't matter to me, it doesn't matter to the Church."
posted by lodurr at 7:04 AM on June 12, 2015


In the Presbyterian Church (USA), infant baptism is all about the promises the congregation makes to the child, answering questions asked by an elder (elected lay leader). Baptism of a previously unbaptized adult (we recognize all baptisms by all other denominations as far as I know, although I can't speak to LDS) means now we can elect you as an elder or a deacon and rope you into serving on as many committees as possible. It generally is sprinkling, although I have seen a few infant baptisms that were more like immersion. You do not have to be baptized to take communion or really for any other reason except you would like to be a full member of the congregation.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:10 AM on June 12, 2015


I grew up in the United Church of Canada (that's Presbyterian + Methodist + Congregationalist), and I was always a little shocked during the infant baptisms, when they got to the "Do you reject Satan and all his works" part. (They ask this of the parents and godparents, not the babies. It's a silly ritual, but it could be a lot sillier.) Baptisms were the only time you ever heard mention of you-know-who in our church. Possibly confirmations too, maybe? There were far fewer of those; confirming in the UCC is a bit like swearing fealty to a bowl of oatmeal.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:41 PM on June 12, 2015


Nooooooooooooormally I'm cautious about where I link from; not a fan of Gawker media (and one of the Jezebell things I linked was speculatively and spectacularly wrong -- the waterski one).

This is showing up on what I'd all an iffy site, Inquistr, but may prove out relevant about the hokey shit going on with judges:
Now the Springdale Police Department is under fire again for responding to a request under FOIA law — it seems that Judge Zimmerman issued additional orders, forbidding the department to release anything pertaining to the Duggar family. Unfortunately, that additional order somehow didn’t make it to the police, who say they only became aware of the additional orders after releasing the Duggar 911 call.

According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the department is now seeking legal clarification: is it within the judge’s authority to issue a long-term ruling that nothing pertaining to the Duggar family, including new cases, can ever be released?
They are linking to a "real" paper out there, so it may have some legs. Here's some relevant quotes:
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

"When a juvenile court attempts to extend its veil of secrecy to other sectors of the government, the citizens' ability to evaluate how it operates is compromised. We want the opportunity to make that argument to the court."

The newspaper's motion was also filed under seal.

"We believe that the city must respond to the newspaper's FOIA requests, believe that Judge Zimmerman had no authority to order the Springdale Police Department to destroy public documents, and are anxious for our day in court on these important legal issues," Cate said.

Cate was referring to an earlier order in the case telling the department to destroy all copies of a 2006 police investigation on the family's oldest son, Josh Duggar.

Kendall said in an statement earlier this week police and city officials were "concerned with the potential effect or application of a supplemental court order."

Springdale didn't became aware of the supplemental order, purportedly issued Zimmerman, until a resident's complaint was filed, Kendall said. The complaint was received after the Police Department had given a copy of the 911 audio recording to the Englewood Cliffs, N.J., magazine, which then published the information.
posted by tilde at 8:48 AM on June 15, 2015


and, not that it really matters, the democrat gazette is seen as a pretty conservative paper. it's interesting to see them report on something that intersects "traditional values" and the police.
posted by nadawi at 9:07 AM on June 15, 2015


More from Ron Wood of the Democrat Gazette ...
Duggar documents from sealed file keep popping up

A former Springdale alderman attached copies of what appear to be Washington County Juvenile Court orders to his complaint about the release of police records related to the Josh Duggar investigation.

The authenticity of those copies couldn't be verified because any such records are sealed. Juvenile records cannot be accessed by the public electronically through the Washington County Circuit Clerk's filing system.

The records are stored under lock and key at the Juvenile Court facility in south Fayetteville. There's a deputy circuit clerk on site to file mark and store documents so they don't have to be taken from the juvenile court building to the Washington County Courthouse for processing. Judge's orders aren't valid until they have been file marked, and two of the documents in the complaint didn't bear that time stamp from the circuit clerk's office.

...

Dotson attached to his complaint what appears to be three court orders issued by Zimmerman in the case. The May 21 order to destroy the police report clearly has a signature above Zimmerman's name and a 1:44 p.m. Washington County Circuit Clerk's file mark at the top. Zimmerman sent the order to O'Kelley, who forwarded it to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The second document attached to the complaint and dated the same day doesn't have a discernible signature or file mark. It repeats the first order but was fully typed while the first had hand written notes.

The third document, which also appears to be a court order, is dated June 1, has a signature and the date is hand-written but there's no discernible file mark. The June document adopts the May 21 orders and references a May 26 order not included in the complaint. It provides further legal citations to justify destroying the police report and records, based on the Arkansas Juvenile Code.

That third document cites the state Child Maltreatment Act. It says the police report ordered destroyed or expunged is "clearly related to the incident that caused the juveniles to be made subject of the Family in Need of Services case before this Juvenile Court."

Family In Need of Services cases are typically initiated by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

All the documents, including the one Zimmerman released, involve case number J2007-38.
posted by tilde at 5:48 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess people are busy going through everything with Duggar on it. Anyone with ties to the community and running a business eventually may get sued, I expect, so this is just probably running on the "Print anything with Duggar" kind of "publishing", especially from RadarOnline.

It's got a shitty link to the original documents, called "josh-duggar_Redacted.pdf". Josh was 15 at the time this eviction was going on....LINKBAIT.

It's Jim Bob evicting someone who didn't pay rent. Of course you've got to go through the courts. I'm guessing the "restraining order" was just bullshit from the persons being evicted.
posted by tilde at 6:20 AM on June 17, 2015


It's in the air, it's in the water, it's on the radio.
In Springdale, it wasn't hard to find the wellspring of all the goodwill that was keeping them [the community of faith and the Duggars] afloat; it simply is part of the landscape. Christian radio is ubiquitous on the airwaves, and churches dot suburban streets and busy intersections alike. More than half of Springdale residents consider themselves religious, and of those, nearly 50 percent, like the Duggars, are Baptist. While I was there, one radio broadcast featured a discussion that purported to be a forensic analysis of how the biblical Jonah could have survived in the belly of a great fish for three days.

Also on the radio: a show for kids that included a Bible quiz, followed by a segment called "Storytime." The topic of this day's show was, "What to do if you or someone you know is being abused?" Before anything else, kids were informed, even before talking to a trusted adult, victims should pray.

...

Most people in Springdale just wanted to avoid the topic. The city attorney and the chief of police declined to see me. I called a lawyer who had passed on the opportunity to represent Josh Duggar when the case first surfaced. He said he couldn't remember the incident at all, in fact.

When I asked if he'd like to talk more generally about the Duggars, he said, "I sure would not."
posted by tilde at 8:04 AM on June 17, 2015


A striking perspective from Buzzfeed:
How TLC’s Fundamentalism-As-Kitsch Hurts Women

With shows like 19 Kids and Counting and Submissive Wives’ Guide to Marriage, TLC hurts every former fundamentalist who’s been dehumanized and silenced. posted on Jun. 5, 2015, at 2:52 p.m.

By packaging fundamentalism as kitsch, TLC invites you to laugh at the very people it’s turned into millionaires. That exploitation makes them money, but it also obscures what fundamentalism is really like in practice. It has to: The reality isn’t entertaining.

The Duggars have, despite themselves, done victims of fundamentalism a favor. It’s no longer possible to pretend that their beliefs are quaint — or harmless enough to be the butt of our jokes.

That epiphany’s been years in the making, and it’s come at a crushing cost — paid not only by the Duggar children, but by every former fundamentalist who’s been dehumanized and silenced by a collective refusal to clearly recognize this ideology for the intrinsically abusive force that it is.

...

The great secret no one tells you when you leave fundamentalism is that the world you’re joining isn’t that different from the one you’ve left behind. Your shiny new secular life will also be full of people who exploit and dehumanize others. Sometimes, their targets will be the sort of Christian that you used to be, and that your family and friends still are.
posted by tilde at 8:23 AM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


they should have driven 5 minutes down the road to fayetteville - they would have found all sorts of people ready to discuss the duggars.
posted by nadawi at 10:06 AM on June 17, 2015


I'd never even heard of this college (they got a good .edu name!) but Josh Duggar is on their board of regents still. The bio still has him at FRC Action and carefully does not name the presidential candidates he's introduced.
posted by tilde at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2015


Left turn. I don't know who Inquistr is but:
Jessa Duggar And Rachel Dolezal Share Some Eerie Similarities

According to Slate, Jessa Duggar and Rachel Dolezal are both the products of a “conservative, Christian homeschooling culture” that can have damaging effects on children. After Josh Duggar admitted to molesting four of his younger sisters, it wasn’t long before his parents started being scrutinized — there was a lot of speculation that Josh’s behavior was influenced by the sexually repressive, misogynistic environment that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar created.

Slate writer Amanda Marcotte talked to the community coordinator of the Homeschoolers Anonymous blog, and she discovered that Rachel Dolezal’s parents were fans of the book To Train Up a Child. According to ChicagoNow, Jessa Duggar’s parents once endorsed the same controversial child-rearing manual, which teaches parents to spank children with pieces of plastic plumbing line to keep them in line. In the police report obtained by InTouch Weekly, one of Josh Duggar’s victims is documented telling an officer that her parents spank all their children with “a rod.” However, as Gawker points out, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar refuse to publicly admit that they spank their children.
The rest of it is along the lines of "Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln" whateverness* but the To Train Up a Child is some harmful poison.

* You stack up a lot of religous familes, you're gonna have a lot of kids with biblical and popular names. So what they both had brothers named Joshua?!?! A quarter of the girls in my high school class were Maria something, Maria Elena, Maria Sophia, Maria Lousia, etc.
posted by tilde at 6:54 AM on June 18, 2015


In Touch 's latest
The Tontitown PD document reveals that the investigation is still ongoing. While Washington County gave In Touch its dispatch log, Tontitown did not, and instead redacted the document and listed the reason as, “This is a current active investigation.”

In Touch has also learned that when DHS investigates, the police are also alerted so that they can start their own investigation. The Duggars are not revealing the nature of the current investigation.
posted by tilde at 8:29 AM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Luck of the Duggars" - can't be prosecuted for perjury if it's not discovered until after the statue of limitations has run out, kind of like the sexual assault cases.
The insurer issued a list of questions, requiring both men to answer under oath. They both denied under oath that there were any records or reports on file with the Springdale Police Dept. or the Washington County Sheriff’s Dept. or the State Police. Which we now know to be a lie. There was that police report on Josh’s actions towards his female victims.

Plus for bonus points Jim Bob lied again under oath. He was asked if he had ever sued anyone else in civil court and he replied he had not. But back in 2003 Jim Bob Duggar filed a civil lawsuit against his former tenant James Penny and Wireless Technologies Corporation. This case resulted in Penny filing for and receiving an order of protection/restraining order against one Jim Bob Duggar.

But the statute of limitations for lying during a sworn statement is only one year. Just like the molestation charges the statute of limitations has run out. Luck of the Duggars.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t lying one of the big sins in the Ten Commandments? When did it become acceptable for people, people claiming to be Christians, to lie under oath?
Jim Bob makes his own "luck" by knowing Man's laws enough to get out of them and still maintain within his ideal of God's laws.
posted by tilde at 7:24 AM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have to go get more Rachael Dozeal cites but there's more than I was writing off to Lincoln/Kennedy stuff. Looks like her deep-dish fundamentalist parents are trying to discredit her/make her look like a fake because she's taking the side of a victim of a sexual abuse case and the parents are throwing in with the accused family member.
posted by tilde at 6:50 AM on June 26, 2015


But I read this yesterday and there are so many parallels to deep dish fundamentalism Quiverfull style cults ...
Why I Left Scientology
Carmen Llywelyn Filed to: TRUE STORIES 6/23/15 11:10am

I figured I’d likely have to do something pretty bad in the religion’s eyes to earn the Suppressive Person label. Something horrible like killing someone or printing fake money, I don’t know, something truly criminal. I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that I would one day earn this distinction because I read a book (A Piece of Blue Sky, by former Scientologist Jon Atack, which forever changed my life) that opposed the church’s beliefs. Most people know the only view you’ll see of any Scientologist once they disconnect from you will be their backs. Before I was disconnected with him, I still got along with Jason as long as I agreed with his and the church’s demands. But when I revealed over the telephone to my talent manager, Gay Ribisi, that I’d read an anti-Scientology book, it started the chain of events that led to me being disconnected with everyone I had known.

Suddenly, my entire life got stolen out from under me. My entire support structure shattered. Nothing that I knew was ever the same. I lost Gay, Jason, and every friend and source of love I knew besides my family in Georgia, 3,000 miles away. I was completely on my own and not one of them cared. What I didn’t expect to happen was that Gay would get my agent at United Talent Agency to drop me. Or at least that’s what she told me in her disconnection letter I received two days after our phone call. So I had no way of even getting work. I was supposed to start over.
Also from there is this ... which matches my comments earlier about being shocked about the "temerity" of suing the County organization that investigated the Duggars and the links about them lying under oath and doing everything possible to subvert Man's Laws in favor of their interpretation of God's Laws:
Anything Jason did after our marriage ended is truly none of my business. But his participation in what happened to me and my family after our divorce is unforgivable. I always joke that for people to understand what ex-Scientologists go through, they’d have to take a class on it. One thing they would learn about is something called “Fair Game”—a practice Scientology uses to target its enemies. This is what happened to me after I divorced Jason and was disconnected from Scientology.

...

Scientologists have no boundaries and their cruelties exclude no one. From my experience, Fair Game’s main tool is mind games. They’re very good at it and they play with your emotions. I’ve found they skirt the law and use methods like electronic surveillance and cell phones to monitor a person’s every word and every move.

You’d think I’d get a divorce from a Scientologist and realize that Scientology was bunk. But brainwashing doesn’t go away like that, and especially that fast. I wish it did. I was interested in knowing the truth about Scientology but couldn’t get past the idea that in doing so, I would be reading something so horribly wrong that I’d explode or something. So I decided to read A Piece Of Blue Sky. As I began it, I had a gut reaction: This, finally, was the truth.

This set off a process that I like to call “The Unraveling.” My Unraveling still isn’t over. I don’t know if it ever will be and I love the fact that I’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting this. I write poetry, and a major theme I love is the sky. This is taken from two things. In Scientology they called praying “just talking to the sky.” I also got it from the book. In a sense, reading this book was my first layer of freedom, the time where I fought for my sky with my sun again, to belong to myself again. I’ll never forget the effect this book had on me, and continues to have on me. I will be forever thankful to Jon Atack.
I had a whole long post that chopped up what she had said to use examples to compare to Quiverfull and/or deep dish fundamentalism, whatever you want to call it, but read her entry. There is deceptive intake. Promises of being a good person, feeling good, succeeding by following the rules. Isolation, financial siphoning, rewiring, threats of ostracization, severe actual ostracization, emphasis on how things appear, setting people up to feel special.
posted by tilde at 8:04 AM on June 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


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