Last week, as THG reported, disgraced former reality star Josh Duggar was hauled off to jail following his arrest.
The child porn charges were disgusting, but remarkably, not that big of a surprise given his personal history.
Josh has, after all, very famously targeted little girls in the past (four of his victims were his own sisters).
And more and more fans are pointing out that Josh’s crimes are inseparable from the Duggar brand.
Josh was arrested and charged for possessing media depicting the sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.
This is both disturbing and morally repulsive, and there has been a lot of talk about what the heck happened.
But at the same time, some longtime viewers of TLC’s hit Counting On are making requests of other fans.
On celebrity gossip and across social media, some Duggar fans are trying to police how this is discussed.
They would like more “positive” posts about the Duggar girls and their babies and about Counting On.
After all, Josh and his wrongdoings have “nothing” to do with any of that, they would have you believe.
In reality, it’s hard to argue that Josh’s sisters – some of whom were also his victims, and forced to forgive him – aren’t relevant.
And Counting On may have been TLC’s sneaky way of profiting from the Duggars after Josh’s 2015 scandal, but it’s not innocent.
The show is a mouthpiece designed to help promote and normalize the very same toxic purity culture and fundamentalist cult.
This lifestyle, or belief system (if you don’t like the word cult) is the same one that enabled Josh this whole time.
There are so many infamous aspects of the cult to which the Duggars belong, based upon the teachings of Bill Gothard.
The extreme fundamentalist beliefs range from the superficial – those absurd perm jobs – to the serious.
But in addition to the emotional, psychological, and physical abuse encouraged within the cult, there is … more.
Much more. And none of it good.
The antiquated dress codes for “modesty” aren’t just disturbingly toxic and misogynistic, though they are that.
The requirements of homeschooling are about more than keeping children isolated from other people and real world ideas.
And the division between women and men in every walk of life?
It’s about more than just reminding women that they are “less than” – troubling as that is, it’s deeper than that.
Several years, back when Josh Duggar’s history of sexually abusing little girls first became public, the world learned a lot.
As we have previously reported at length, one survivor of the cult who broke away spoke out.
She offered the world a vivid description of how the cult groomed every little girl to be a man’s victim.
“Like any system of abuse, ATI relies on control to maintain its power,” wrote Brooke Arnold in 2015.
“And a critical component of that power is the total indoctrination of its members,” she elaborated.
The church to which the Duggars belong, Arnold noted, did so in part “through its homeschool curriculum.”
The teaching materials used within the cult “contain more Bible verses than they do information.”
“Particularly lacking, in a religious sect so obsessed with reproduction, is any kind of sex education,” Arnold noted.
“This is especially true for young women,” she pointed out.
Brooke Arnold wrote of herself and other girls “who receive very little sex education.”
This is because “because the church teaches us that women do not have sex drives.”
“However,” Arnold noted, “the opposite is believed of men.”
“ATI teaches that men have nearly uncontrollable sex drives,” Brooke Arnold wrote.
Members of the cult are taught that men are “ready to erupt at the mere sight of a pant leg or a perm.”
“To illustrate this point: ATI families are encouraged to maintain a ‘no computer’ rule for their sons, but not their daughters,” she noted.
Arnold added: “Gothard also encouraged men to turn toward the wall when dining at restaurants.”
This was “so as not to be ‘tempted’ by a waitress or a stray attractive woman.”
“Essentially, a good ATI woman is sweet, silent, and obedient,” she summarized.
“This combination of zero sexual knowledge and deeply-ingrained submissiveness,” Arnold spelled out.
She continued: “left many young girls in our church especially vulnerable to sexual abuse.”
“As a teenager, I became aware that several of my friends were being molested by their older brothers or fathers,” she recalled.
“They would start stilted conversations with me about it,” Brooke Arnold described.
“But,” she explained, “none of us actually understood the concept of sex or rape or molestation enough to actually discuss it.”
“So,” Arnold added, “it stayed on the level of furtively whispered hints.”
“That vulnerability to abuse increases through the isolation of homeschool,” Brooke Arnold pointed out.
“There are no teachers or school counselors for abused children to confide in,” she lamented.
“So for most of them,” she reasoned, “the abuse would continue for their entire adolescence.”
“The only hope of escape for young women was through courtship and marriage to a man,” Arnold described.
This would be a man of course “who would attempt to immediately impregnate her.”
“And to whom,” she wrote, “she would then relinquish all sexual control.”
So, to summarize, women are sculpted into perfect victims from earliest childhood, often with no where to turn.
Meanwhile, men are labeled as uncontrollable sexual beings, so women are blamed for their wrongdoings.
And there is another layer to the way in which men like Josh (or Bill Gothard) are declared blameless for their crimes.
Back when Josh’s scandal first broke, some of the comments from the Duggar family shifted the blame to the supernatural.
Josh’s sex crimes and their revelation were framed as the work of the devil — an attempt to attack and destroy the family.
We’re no theologians, but exposing sex crimes doesn’t really sound like the M.O. of a being of infinite evil.
Kinda sounds like the right thing to do.
When the family is the one hiding the sex crimes and continuing to support the sexual predator, they’re not the good guys.
Bottom line: Counting On isn’t just innocent entertainment. It has a sinister agenda and helps Jim Bob & Co. enable Josh.