The New Duggar Documentary is the Reality Television We Needed All Along

The New Duggar Documentary is the Reality Television We Needed All Along

The Duggar family was a supersize gaggle of well-scrubbed Arkansans who procreated with such zeal that the name of the show kept changing: “17 Kids and Counting” became “19 Kids and Counting” by the time that the show was canceled, at which point matriarch Michelle’s astounding uterus finally retired. America had the dubious pleasure of following the daily lives of the Duggar family for seven years, plus specials, plus spinoffs.

For the Duggar family to finish their breakfast, they needed a gazillion pancakes. The Duggar family traveled in a motor coach. The Duggars’ day of doing laundry and the upbeat manner in which the elder daughters performed their roles as “mini-mamas” around the house could easily fill an entire program. The family had an unusual personality. They forbade any form of birth control and intimate contact prior to marriage, including kissing and cuddling.

How Much Will Stephanie Courtney Make in 2023? What does she have now?

But TLC largely played it as mild odd, maybe even aspirational weird, up until 2015, when the show was pulled from the air following allegations that oldest-child Josh had as a teenager raped five girls including, as his parents later confirmed, four of his sisters. In 2015, the show was pulled from the air following allegations that oldest-child Josh had as a teenager molested five girls including four of his sisters.

As you watch “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets,” an exposé produced by Amazon’s Prime Video about the Duggar family and the very conservative religious institution, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, that molded and sculpted every part of the family’s life, here is the background information you need to know. (Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the owner of The Washington Post.)

Already, web roundups are being compiled of the most eye-opening lessons to be learned from the documentary: The Duggar children were never compensated for their participation in the series; daughter Jill Duggar informs the camera that her father, Jim Bob, guarded the purse strings even though at least one of the older kids was forced to go on food stamps. The Duggar children were never paid for their participation in the documentary. She also claims that she was coerced into signing contracts without being told what they entailed and that she was forced to record her labor and delivery against her will because viewing increased when episodes featured weddings or newborns.

6 Trustworthy Instagram Popularity Websites: Top Likes Sites

After viewing the entirety of the four-part series, there is one particular tidbit that has been consuming my thoughts nonstop: IBLP is a particularly American twist on Christianity, and its emblem depicts a bald eagle perching on a Bible. Within the culture of IBLP, it is frowned upon for boys to change the diapers of their younger sisters, especially if those sisters are female.

According to a former devotee of the IBLP who mentions the restriction, the idea behind this regulation was that exposing a pubescent male to female genitalia, even those belonging to an infant, would be too much of a temptation for him to handle.

It is difficult to comprehend what kind of depressed mind could even come up with such logic; but, the video also adds that more than 30 women accused the former head honcho of the IBLP, Bill Gothard, of harassing them before he was removed from his position. Perhaps it isn’t as hard to imagine as it sounds.

The New Duggar Documentary is the Reality Television We Needed All Along
The New Duggar Documentary is the Reality Television We Needed All Along

It is not difficult to imagine the damage that a teaching like this would inflict on the parishioners who internalized it. These are the parishioners who were taught that girls and women are seductresses, that boys and men are deviant at heart, and that the best way to deal with discussions about sex and bodies is to never, ever have them. It is not hard to imagine the damage that this teaching would inflict on the parishioners who internalized it.

It’s possible that you recall the Megyn Kelly interview that Jim Bob and Michelle sat through in an apparent effort to rescue their reputation after claims of Josh’s sexual abuse came to light. They appeared on the show to discuss their feelings about the situation. Michelle, whose eyes were bulging out of their sockets, informed Kelly that the family had taken “safeguards” to ensure that something similar would never occur again.

‘Yellowjackets’ Is Trying to Chew Too Much at Once

“Little ones don’t sit on big boys’ laps unless it’s your daddy,” she explained to the child. “Unless it’s your daddy.” It was strictly forbidden for any of the kids to engage in the game of hide-and-seek, and siblings were never allowed to be in the same room without a third person there to act as a supervisor. It had been reported online that the family insisted on “side hugs,” which are more like clinical peripheral squeezes than anything that requires two arms. Suddenly, though, the meaning behind this insistence became clear.

It appeared as though the Duggar family truly believed that they could keep immorality out of their home if they adhered to strict gender norms, wore long gowns, and prayed more frequently. It is made very obvious in “Shiny Happy People” that this was not the desperate family’s attempt at magical thinking. This was the doctrine of the IBLP. Students in elementary school were given an organizing workbook that had an exercise in which they were encouraged to circle the unsafe and “immodest” apparel that several of the women portrayed were wearing, which included an exposed knee or shoulder.

In 2015, Jim Bob and Michelle revealed to their children that they had rehabilitated their son Josh by enrolling him in a program that was operated by a local church. What they said to Kelly was, “We had taken care of all of that years ago,” and she believed them. They never gave any indication that they had considered the possibility that IBLP would be woefully unprepared to treat a difficult youngster like Josh.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is Advertised on Billboards Prior to Its Release

Multiple women explain in the video how the teachings of the IBLP made them more vulnerable to abuse. As young girls, they were indoctrinated to believe that it was their responsibility to constantly follow males, and they were not given the sex education that was necessary to communicate or even completely comprehend when horrible things happened to them.

Josh, who is now in his 30s or thereabouts, was found guilty of child exploitation in 2021 and received a sentence of more than 12 years in jail as a result of the conviction.

To be absolutely clear, what I’m not suggesting is that Josh Duggar’s behavior was brought on by the IBLP. Hundreds of kids were brought up in the church, and those kids all turned up to be good, well-adjusted persons as adults.

My main point is that “Shiny Happy People,” not “19 and Counting,” is the reality show that should have been produced from the beginning instead of “19 and Counting.”

We didn’t need episodes about the gallons of peanut butter that were consumed by the Duggar household, and we didn’t need to marvel at the way that the Duggar children all seemed to do their chores, practice their instruments, and go on chaste, chaperoned dates with romantic prospects chosen by their parents, all while smiling the whole time and without complaining. What is the secret to the Duggars’ success?!

AI and The Search Generative Experience at Google I/O 2023

They did it because they were members of a “cult,” or at least that is how the individuals who formerly adhered to the IBLP explained the circumstances. They did it because their inflexible beliefs encouraged regular floggings, the subjection of women, and a strong fear and suspicion of the outside world.

They did so because the self-discipline and obedience that were shown on video might have been church virtues, but those qualities came at a significant cost, and the viewers never saw that cost weighed when the camera was rolling. Therefore, they felt compelled to act in a way that contradicted what was seen on television.

That was the evidence that we required to see. The expense. The level of difficulty. It was essential for us to understand that the Duggar family’s emphasis on chastity and submissiveness was not some sort of quaint family credo, but rather a mandate from their church that they must adhere to in order to avoid eternal damnation. We needed to be aware that the same teaching that fostered the growth of one family also contributed to the demise of other families.

And, by the way, had it been the factor that led to the Duggar family’s success? Or had it merely instilled in them the fear that expressing grief or even questioning authority would be interpreted as a sign of personal failure or moral deterioration?

I have no idea if the show that I’m describing would have survived for seven years if it had been produced. However, from the standpoint of reality television, it could have been a great deal more authentic.

Read also:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *