The Duggar cult is crumbling from the stress of Josh Duggar’s criminality

The Commonwealth Service 2020

For years, People Magazine – and other weeklies, to be fair – treated the Duggar family with kid gloves, helping them prosthelytize to middle America and treating the family’s cult behavior like it was a mildly quirky version of Christianity. People Magazine’s calculation was “we want to keep the relationship safe for when the sh-t hits the fan, then we’ll get the exclusives.” And they have gotten some of the exclusives, and in recent years, People’s coverage has become more critical. But they’re still in it for access, let’s be real. They want the exclusives on what is now a federal prosecution of Josh Duggar, and they want access into the disgrace of the Duggars at large following the cancellation of their TLC show. All in all, I’m not surprised that this is People Magazine’s cover story this week. Some of this piece was just the history of Josh Duggar, but I found it interesting that they’re detailing how some of the Duggar kids have spent years distancing themselves from the cult life:

The crumbling cult: The Duggar family’s insular world, meticulously cultivated and controlled by patriarch Jim Bob, appears to be splintering. After oldest son Josh Duggar’s arrest in April on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, TLC cut all ties with the Duggars and pulled the plug on Counting On — fracturing the unity of the once tight-knit family and leaving their future uncertain. “They aren’t as close as they once were because of all of Josh’s legal drama,” a family source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It’s creating a lot of stress on them — although the majority of the family is acting like nothing has happened.”

The daughters pulling away: By October 2016, Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo along with her new husband Jeremy Vuolo, began to put distance between herself and her family by moving to Laredo, Texas, then to Los Angeles. The following year, older sister Jill (Duggar) Dillard — married to recent law school grad Derick Dillard — quit Counting On and said she had learned that Jim Bob was earning $25,000 to $45,000 an episode for the family’s participation while she’d never received any compensation. The 30-year-old mom of two, who hasn’t seen her parents in more than two years, told PEOPLE last year that she’s at peace with lifestyle choices that would have been unthinkable years ago. “We wanted more control of our own lives,” Jill said.

Josh’s arrest upset the family balance too: Jinger, 27, and Jeremy, 33, released statements saying they were “disturbed” by the child porn allegations against Josh and wanted “justice.” It was a bold departure from Jim Bob and Michelle’s statement, which read: “It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light … We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”

How Josh feels as he awaits trial: With his trial date just three months away, the family’s eldest sibling is feeling confident he won’t be charged, according to the family source: “He really thinks he’s going to get out of it.”

Jim Bob & Michelle are standing by Josh: And Jim Bob and Michelle “are very much standing by their son,” says the source. “Jim Bob always wants to sweep things under the rug,” the family source shares. “He’s never going to talk about the scandal because it’s bad for business.”

[From People]

“He’s never going to talk about the scandal because it’s bad for business” – what business? I guess he’s still in real estate, and I’ve heard that he owns several properties in Arkansas. But is that a full-time job? I thought his main job was controlling his daughters and trying to be a reality-show star. That dream is dead. And I can only imagine how awful it is for those Duggar daughters too. Ugh. But still, “the majority of the family is acting like nothing has happened.” How utterly terrifying.


josh duggar 3

Cover courtesy of People, additional photos courtesy of Instagram.

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43 Responses to “The Duggar cult is crumbling from the stress of Josh Duggar’s criminality”

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  1. Robyn says:

    Re: business – there is that sketchy “car dealership” compound that was part of the government raid. Josh’s arrest (FINALLY) is likely the tip of the iceberg.

    • olliesmom says:

      Unfortunately financial crimes are what is actually going to take these Christian terrorists down. Because you know, money is more important than people.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Well, that’s how Capone finally went down. As long as they end up in jail–Josh & Jim-Bob (eventually)–that works for me.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        It’s probably important to note that financial crimes are generally going to be much more heavily documented than crimes against people, and are thus much easier to get a conviction on.

        It also avoids tricky subjects juries (and the public at large) struggle with, like ‘how reliable is this witness’ and ‘what is sufficient consent’, and is generally ALL about the documents. Plus most people don’t really see much in the way of moral grey area or alternative interpretations when it’s ‘this rich dude is using his riches and rich friends to rig the system in his favor and/or steal more riches for his rich self’.

  2. Liz version 700 says:

    Good! Free the girls! Jim Bob is as sketchy as anyone. I hope he ends up investigated too.

    • Erin says:

      As far as the older girls go, Jana is still not married or courting and living with them, Jill is the only who has actually put real boundaries in place with her parents and has started living a different lifestyle and seems to be deconstructing somewhat, Jessa is still a part of the cult, Jinger and her husband, who is trying to be an evangelical preacher, are also trying to break into the influencer field and their beliefs are not that much different than the Duggar’s, and Joy Anna hasn’t really shown any signs of changing except for maybe not dressing as modestly. If you go to each of their IG accounts you will see that they follow some pretty toxic people even if they aren’t out there making it obvious because they are trying to be more palatable, much like the Bates women IMO.

  3. kelleybelle says:

    And Anna Duggar is the biggest fool on the planet. And Jim-Bob is actually a misogynist. The whole thing is just Uber-creepy.

  4. minx says:

    I thought I read Jill was suing her father to recoup the show money he pocketed. Also, I remember when Anna Duggar got a nose job and makeover to keep Josh interested, because of course it would be her fault if her disgusting pervert slob husband strayed 🤮.

    • Mac says:

      Good for her. It’s disgusting she was never paid for her work.

    • kelleybelle says:

      Or maybe he’s just turned off by the clown-car vagina thing. Continuing to procreate happily with a diddler? I have no words for these girnning idiots.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        They believe she should be available for sex with him when ever he desires it. She doesn’t get to say no because she’s ovulating and doesn’t want more kids.

      • kelleybelle says:

        How sad is that. She’s got 6 now … with a sex offender. Sure, OK.

      • LillyfromLillooet says:

        “Clown-car vagina thing”

        Can we all step back and appreciate a phrase of beauty and truth that has entered the world?

      • olliesmom says:

        “or maybe he’s just turned off by the clown-car vagina thing”

        Maybe because it reminds him too much of his mom?

      • Golly Gee says:

        I had to stop and think what the clown-car vagina reference meant. Then I pictured the scenario and the penny dropped. LOLOLOL!!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I think she settled but IIRC she didn’t get as much as she should have. i thought I read that a few of the other daughters were considering suing to get their rightful share.

      • Deanne says:

        She said she got about what would have been equal to earning minimum wage for all of those years on tv. Jim Bob kept every cent. When Jill’s youngest son Sam was born, he had a traumatic birth and was in the NICU with complications. They didn’t want to film it but were threatened and basically forced to televise it. Then both Jim Bob and TLC refused to help them pay the medical bills. Jim Bob abuses his entire family with financial and extreme control over their personal lives. TCL has candy coated that POS for 16 years. Is sickening. He’s made millions by exploiting his family.

  5. fluffy_bunny says:

    He owns a lot of property. I think almost all of the kids live in houses owned by Jim Bob. He got all the money and doles it out to the kids. Most of them don’t break away because they have no way to support their families.

    • Chantal says:

      I’m getting British Royal Family vibes! Complete with the invisible contract with the media ie People but with homes instead of palaces! What an awful way to live!

  6. Chaine says:

    I expect his business is making money on the Xian speaker circuit. Remember a few years back there was an outcry over some things he and Michelle said when they led some kind of marriage conference? Probably a lot less likely to have churches paying him to come blather at their congregations about how they should run their family lives while his golden boy is facing CSA material charges.

  7. Lorelei says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Jim Bob and the rest of the clan

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Poor little poo bears.

  9. AmelieOriginal says:

    My biggest concern are Josh’s kids. I know Anna was raised in the cult, didn’t even know what sex was until she got married, and has no job skills to speak of because she never went to college and was homeschooled. But she is a grown woman now and how brainwashed she must be to stand by her man. Any other woman would have filed for divorce, asked for sole custody, and run for the hills. She has siblings that got out of the cult so she has resources.

    And it’s been obvious for years that Jinger and Jill have been distancing themselves. From the way they’re dressed to how many kids they have to where they live. I have a strong suspicion Jill can’t have anymore kids, she had long and difficult labors that were pretty traumatic and my guess is the doctor told her no more kids. Jinger doesn’t want a million kids, she waited a whole year to get pregnant after getting married which is not usual for Duggar land. Not to mention we know Jill was one of the molested sisters and I suspect Jinger was one too and this is probably retraumatizing them all over again.

  10. TIFFANY says:

    Back in my day, Ed Asner’s passing would have gotten the cover.

  11. lucy2 says:

    That dad is one evil SOB. Really glad at least a few of the girls have broken free a bit. All of them are oppressed and abused by this cult.

  12. Lucy says:

    Responding to the headline of this article, and the headline only – Good. Rot in hell.

  13. STRIPE says:

    I also think there’s something even more deep seeded with Jim Bob and Michelle. If they admit to themselves that their son is a pedophile, they have to admit that his molesting his sisters was real, they allowed it and didn’t stop it. I suspect there’s a lot of denial around all that as well

    • Nic919 says:

      Yes thank you for mentioning this. He molested his sisters and the monster parents did not protect them but sided with the molestor.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh, they knew it was real alright, they locked the girls in their room at night once they found out. They knew.

  14. Lucy says:

    How wonderful. I do feel sorry for all the small children, though. Hopefully they’ll be okay. Just them.

  15. Alibeebee says:

    this family especially Jim bob gave me the creeps … even from day one. they should look in to him.. rotten apples don’t fall far from rotten trees . the fact that pig piddled his sisters and a family member and daddy kept it quiet and. excused his behaviour to curious boys will be boys and his sisters somehow “blamed “ themselves is BEYOnD me
    let them fall let that house of cards burn to
    ash . i hope the innocent kids escape and never look back

  16. Valerie says:


    I feel sorry for the kids, though, especially his. They are likely not safe.

  17. olliesmom says:

    You would think that since the MAGATS and Qs seems to be so obsessed with pedos that they would want Josh’s head. It doesn’t make sense to me how they still stand by this family.

    • Lorelei says:

      OlliesMom, excellent point. Just one more example of how hypocritical they are.

    • Betsy says:

      Reading this quote by Francis Wilhoit – “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” – earlier this summer was a paradigm shifting moment of clarity.

      The actual victimization and sexual violence against children by whatever this Duggar perv’s name is is not subject to accountability for these people. Imagined victimization and violence against children by Democratic people is, though. Because see the above quote.

  18. Smalltown Girl says:

    The part about Jill is misleading. She has been at family weddings with her parents in the last two years and she said on Instagram that she has seen her mother on her terms. I do believe that she hasn’t been to the house in that long, but she has seen her parents.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      She needs permission from Jim Bob to enter the home. One of the sisters was in labor and Jim Bob and Michelle were out of town and walking stairs helped with the labor and they had to call Jim Bob to get the okay to allow Jill in the house because the sister’s house didn’t have stairs.

  19. Rea says:

    Their fan base is loyal so $$ is still going their way.