Saturday, May 1, 2021

Josh Duggar Arrested on Possession of Child Pornography Charges.

 I feel sick.   

I worked a long shift yesterday after getting my house cleaned up and didn't look at the news after around 9am.  

I woke up this morning and my Facebook feed was filled with various people telling Anna Duggar that if she's ready to leave Josh, there's a lot of support for her outside in the world.

I hit the internet and found out that Josh has been arrested for possession of child pornography.  

He's got a house filled with small children - and he's watching child porn.

I feel sick.  

Anna, it's time to go.   

You've hung in there with Josh for nearly thirteen years- and he's proven to be a terrible person.

Did he tell you about all the times he molested young women before you married?  Did he tell you that he molested them while they were asleep or too young to explain what happened to parents?   Or did he marry you with a giant secret that didn't come out until you were bonded to him?

In a thirteen year marriage, you've given him seven children - for most people, that'd be plenty of evidence that you've been available for sex plenty.   Instead, he cheated on you - and you had to deal with the fall-out of all of that in the public eye.   On television.   With a newborn.    Has he ever seemed genuinely remorseful for  all you had to do?  Or does he just talk about how hard all of it was for him?

While you were dealing with that with a level of aplomb that was admirable, your mother-in-law was posting that wives needed to be available for sex 24/7/365 days a week to keep their husbands from cheating.   I've had issues with my in-laws before - but that's psychotic.   It's also the type of parenting that raises abusive men, fyi. 

So far, all of Josh's sexual abuse had been "in the past" or aimed at his wife.    At this point, though, Josh is waving all of the red flags of abusing children right now.   And the children he has the easiest access to are your kids.   

Who would they tell?   Most of your family is still trapped in CP/QF land where admitting that abuse happens means that 1) you weren't submissive enough and 2) you need to forgive and show super-human spiritual gifts because of the abuse right now.

You need to go.   Ask your siblings for help - the ones who don't like Josh.    Ask Jill Dillard for advice; she's made it quite far away herself.  Read a book on abuse like "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft or "Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators" by Dr. Leigh Baker.  Both of them are available for a few dollars on Amazon in the used-books section.   

It's one thing to tolerate an abusive husband who is harming you - although I don't want anyone in an abusive relationship period.   When your kids are at risk - you need to leave.    You'll get a new life, a better life in return - but you have to go first.


  1. Hey, I saw a reddit thread on this yesterday, and a commenter reminded everyone that the words we use surrounding this are important. It's not just "child porn," but "child sexual assault images" as there should be no doubt that there is no meaningful way for a child to consent to such things. Knowing the work you do here, I thought you might appreciate that as well.

    1. One woman who was raised with the Gothard garbage said that the word "abuse" doesn't even exist with them. She was told instead (possibly by the cretin himself, can't recall) that her abusive father was "inappropriate" with her. Thank God she got out and posted a long post about how these sick groups think.

    2. Thanks, Unknown! That's a good point. I thought about that once I was at work ironically - mostly in trying to figure out what words might break through Anna Duggar's wall of brainwashing. Attempting to explain to their 11 year old daughter that the police found that Daddy had videos of pictures of a child being sexually assaulted on his computer might do the trick - because that makes me nauseated just thinking about it.

      Jenny - I spent the day on FB pointing out that the counseling program that Josh went to (while completely useless and occasionally illegal) was about the least toxic version of ATI compared to the worksheet for counseling victims of abuse that started with determining how the victims brought the abuse on themselves by being outside the umbrella of authority before declaring that victims who couldn't be blamed that way either gained spiritual gifts or were prevented from getting those gifts because they were bitter.

      No wonder the Duggar daughters said that they knew lots of families where "things like this" - familial incest? - happened. ATI and VF are great places for abusers to find victims while teaching the victims that they are the ones at fault.

  2. According to the Duggars' claims when this came out, Anna was at least told about the past abuse before marriage (and no doubt the fake treatment and repentance), but when the online search for hookers came out, that should have been the end of it (not super surprised she stayed then though, bc she's been taught all her life to stay and no doubt it was rationalized he didn't actually touch another woman). But now? However hard it is, I really hope she begins the process of leaving. Luckily he should get long prison time and that will give her more opportunity.

    What sickens me is how fast some in 2014 tried shushing people like me who were outraged with the "he repented, it's in the past!" garbage, and right away as well. No doubt Anna was discouraged from long reactions too when the online stuff was revealed not long after that. This time, all her in-laws should be doing is seeking serious repentance of their own.

    1. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that Anna was told that Josh had some "inappropriate relationships" or "made mistakes of a sexual nature" - which in that culture could mean that he had a normal crush on a girl his own age and they kissed. I cannot imagine that a world that infantilizes women so much would tell an unmarried teenage girl that the guy she was courting molested his older sisters while they were sleeping, his very small sisters before they could explain what happened and at least one other older girl while she was asleep.

      I also can't imagine having all of that laid out to her parents and having her parents be on board with her marrying Josh - but maybe I'm overestimating how much her family of origin would do to protect her. Maybe they thought being related to the Duggars was worth it?

      Also - relatively minor point - I'm willing to bet money that Josh had a physical affair with someone. People don't use Ashley Madison accidently or to do research. They use it to cheat - and why shouldn't he? He's never had consequences for anything else he did wrong before.

      My response to the "He repented" crowd is that repentance is between Josh and God and possibly Josh and the girls he attacked - if he ever owned up that what he did was hurtful to them and sincerely apologized for the wrongs he did them without asking anything in return (even forgiveness). What repentance doesn't do is get rid of the consequences of his actions. He lied, covered up his abuses and shifted to a different form of abuse of his wife. Regardless of if anyone forgives him - he deserved to have many people watching him carefully to be sure that he was not faking repentance to get more access to new victims.

      And now - he likely deserves prison time. I feel no pity for him - but I am saddened for his wife and children. I believe they will be safer with him under the eyes of law enforcement (or possibly jail) until his trial - but wow, that's a hard blow to a family who already had to deal with him as a husband and father.

    2. It is indeed extremely sad. Anna's had to suffer a lot of blows and I hope this final one will be the last, the one to sever the diseased branch. The others I feel the worst for are her kids, esp those old enough to understand what's going on.

      I do wonder now whether she knew everything before the marriage. These people tend to have high expectations of men, and while the parents (I think it was) indicated that Anna was told all..well, when were they ever reliable for being totally honest on the topic? I'd felt sorry for them too, when the abuse first came out, but after listening to Jim Bob's appalling rationalizations and learning more about them as a whole, my only sympathies lie with their other kids and J's innocent family. This is why we get the law involved and any ministers who think they have the right to keep it out need to face legal repercussions. Similar consequences should befall parents who think their system is above either legal or psychological solutions, and I hope this is a huge wake up call to the Duggars.

  3. I don't understand what is reason for divorce in Duggar land? In the Bible infedility is reason enough for divorce. And this!!! No one not even Jim Bob could possibly want Josh anywhere near those children now, right?
    Anna must feel so cheated. She has done all things "right" according to all purely and courting nonsense. And then she has done all things "right" as a wife putting up with Josh as head of the family and giving birth every second year. And when you do all those things right you are promised a happy marriage and that has most certainty not happened...

    1. In most Christian churches, infidelity is a reason for divorce because of the rules in the New Testament.

      But even in the stricter churches like the Catholic Church which doesn't allow divorce ever, there are some other options to end a marriage both through the church and legally. In the Catholic Church, divorce is illegal - but you can apply for an annulment which states that one of the parties in the marriage was unable to make marital vows due to defects in understanding or character at the time of the wedding. In Anna's case, marrying someone who withheld that he had previously sexually abused multiple minors - including very young children- until after the marriage would likely do the trick. The fact that he committed an affair during the marriage AND was arrested for having images of child sexual assaults would bolster her charge that Josh withheld very important information about his character that should have been disclosed to her before she married him. Since he didn't tell her, he was marrying fraudulently.

      Let's say she's hard-core and doesn't want to divorce because she's certain that's wrong. Strict non-divorce churches have options for that as well; there are plenty of ways to remain married in the eyes of a church (or God) while legally separating. Even the Catholic Church views a legal civil divorce as licit when it is needed to protect the financial and legal rights of children of a marriage.

      I've seen a lot of absolutely crazy things in my life between teaching and some personal experiences. Most parents would have to accept at some point that their son needs to be removed from around children after he admitted to molesting four sisters and a babysitter - and certainly after he's collected images of child abuse.

      Most....not all.

      There are some really messed up people in the world and I've seen some parents double-down on protecting one child with severely dysfunctional behavior from any consequences while another child is hurt by their sibling's behavior before so I am less confident that JB will ever care about his grandchildren's safety more than minimizing what his son did.

      Anna's marriage has been ragingly unfair to her. She toed the line perfectly before marriage - and she got married to someone who had a history of sexual abuse. She has had most of the important, intimate, and personal moments of her life monetized for the good of her in-laws - including laboring and delivering her children on television! (I cannot imagine that. I felt so vulnerable when I was naked on an OR table as the anesthesiologist placed the epidural before the c-section. I'd have lost my mind with a camera crew there.) When her husband cheated on her, though, her mother-in-law made no secret of the fact that she blamed Anna for not being sexually available enough for Josh. Class-act, that one is. Anna handled that fiasco with a level of class that made me respect her more - while living in the 'girls' bedroom of her inlaws' house with her four small children including a newborn. Meanwhile her twerp of a husband was doing his repentance act for a new audience free of any distraction like children or making an income for his family. And now she's got 6 children - pregnant with the seventh - and a husband who is literally worthless. The bar for being found guilty of possession of child sexual abuse images is low - and that makes sense. A person either has the image or does not. He might be able to figure out a plea deal that minimizes the time he spends in prison and the fines he has to pay - but he'll still be unemployable.

      My only hope is that he's not been abusing his daughters, sons, nieces, nephews or younger siblings - but I don't have much hope of that. If he is, prison is the safest place for him to be to keep him away from more victims. After all, nothing else has worked.

  4. It's all pretty crazy. I feel for Anna and the kids.

    Sometimes, I read the Maxwells' blog, and parts of it feel idyllic. My family is small, and while my younger brother and I are close, we both have a difficult relationship with our parents. So the idea of a large family where everyone loves one another and gets along well seems very nice.

    But then you have stories like this that really pull back the curtain on what it's like.

    1. Right? I feel that way too at times. On one hand, the Maxwells seem pretty happy in their own little world where everything is the same from year to year.

      And then I read a bit where Steve Maxwell makes it clear the main thing he cares about for a guy interested in his daughters is that the guy is self-employed and owns his own home. Which means he's not really doing any kind of due diligence towards making sure the guy isn't a serial predator.

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