Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar have 19 children in their family. (They wanted more.) One reason may have been religious beliefs. But, leaving that aside, their squeaky-clean reputation has taken a few well-deserved knocks in the past few years. From Joshua's creepy sex offenses against little girls, including his sisters, to how Mama and Papa Duggar handled the aftermath, there's lots to ponder.
Then there's the "oopsie" that took place when someone named Duggar left a loaded rifle on the ground. That's not gun safety. Not by a long stretch.
Then there's the "mistruths" that they have spread through media. Having starred in "__ Kids and Counting" for so many years, it's understandable that the family would know its way around the media. But, when they spread deliberate lies that have the potential to hurt others, that's just wrong. It's even worse when they use their religion as a reason for doing so.
The people they pal around with have issues and have put a bit of their own tarnish on the Duggar reputation. One of them was the leader of a group that supposedly helped teens with issues like Josh's. Then there are the little inconsistencies that just niggle.
12 The Family Left A Rifle In Front Of A Five-Year-Old
Yikes! Yes, the Duggars fully embrace the Second Amendment as they are free to do. But there's supporting it and learning appropriate gun safety. Then there's embracing it like an octopus and allowing someone to just leave a loaded rifle on the ground where one of the younger Duggars can pick it up and shoot themselves or someone else.
This incident took place when little Josie, the youngest Duggar, was five years old. The family was out on a sporting and fishing day. Guns were taken along and someone in the family just put a loaded shotgun on the ground. Did Josie try to pick the rifle up? Does it even matter? It was the responsibility of someone who has supposedly taken a gun safety course to properly secure that weapon.
11 Michelle Duggar Actually Used Birth Control
In the early years of their marriage, Jim-Bob and Michelle used birth control. I know, shocker! Jim admitted that after he and Michelle got married, they decided to use birth control since they wanted to wait before having kids. However, Michelle got pregnant anyways, but she ended up having a miscarriage.
Michelle and papa Duggar believed that their miscarriage took place because they had chosen to use birth control. Hmmm, maybe she miscarried because the baby had deformities? Or there was a complication?
It was at this point that they began believing that God was the only one who would dictate when and how many children the couple had. This all feels like it was just way too convenient an explanation. Maybe they truly believed it was okay. But. . . the questions!
10 Jim Duggar "Arranged" His Daughters' Marriages
Ol' Jim-Bob arranged the courtships and marriages of Josh and Anna, Jessa and Ben, and Jill and Derek. Ewwww, this just screams "control freak." Here's a switch: Why not let your own grown kids make their own decisions for once? Let them see who's out there and choose their own romantic partners and spouses?
After all, papa and mama supposedly did everything they could to rear their children loving God and obeying the Bible. Do they not trust the work they did? Maybe the married Duggar kids have grown to love their spouses. Anna may have had her feelings for Josh pretty badly shaken when everything he did came out.
This all screams of control and even indoctrination. When a loving parent controls their child's life to such an extent, it's no wonder the family is so messed up.
9 Jessa Duggar Begged Fans For Money And Gifts
Imagine being able to net between $25,00 and $45,000 per show. Even with 21 members in the family, that's still a tidy haul. Next imagine the yearly gross. That's about a tidy million annually.
Despite all these riches, when Jessa and Ben Seewald found that Jessa was expecting their first, they actually had the gall to solicit money and gift contributions from their fans! Knowing that fans who faithfully watched their show were probably struggling with rent, utilities and other bills, they still asked. Even though the Duggar mama and papa had all this money salted away in bank accounts.
How about this: If, instead of leaning on fans who are struggling financially, members of this family earn money of their own or use what they have? As it was, the Seewalds were accused of being frauds after putting that on the Duggar blog.
8 Josh Duggar Was Accused Of Sexual Abuse
Yep. This was probably the biggest, most explosive and shameful secret that the Duggars hoped to keep completely dark. But it came out. Tabloid shows and publications were screaming about what happened.
In 2002, when Josh was then fourteen and fifteen, he fondled a babysitter and four—FOUR—of his younger sisters. Worse, mama and papa knew about it and they did nothing that would have really helped.
Instead, they sent him off with a family friend who had similar religious beliefs. For counseling. And good, hard physical work. Because we all know that'll deal with those nasty, ol' urges. Hint: that won't work.
Fast forward twelve or thirteen years. The nasty facts become public knowledge. NOW Josh puts out a public statement, proclaiming sorrow and shame for touching his own sisters where he had no business doing so.
7 His Wife, Anna Duggar, Knew All About It
Before they walked down the aisle, Anna knew about his inappropriate touching of girls. She still married him. Maybe she didn't understand the implications and dangers for their own children.
Her mother and father may have pushed her to marry Josh after he popped the big question. For what reason? Who knows? Did they care about any future grandchildren Anna and Josh may have given to them?
This all has the stench of a revelation that was given to the poor woman in teeny little bits so that she couldn't take all the facts, weigh them and make her own independent decision. In this entire, sorry scandal, she has come out as, truly, an innocent party. I was a CPS social worker back in the day. This screams wrong. CPS and law enforcement would rightfully move to protect innocent children.
6 Jill Duggar's Husband Was Accused Of Animal Abuse
This one is bad. Derek (or Derick) Dillard, Jill Duggar's husband, went sledding on a cold winter day with the family. That part is fine. . . it's what he did while they were sledding that got animal rights organization PETA and so many people outraged.
While Derek was sledding, he filmed a short video as he did so. At the bottom of that hill was a cat. He ran right into that cat. . . and filmed himself doing so.
Then, he posted the video to his Instagram account, and promptly got into a world of heated trouble. It took Sarah Withrow, PETA's director of Christian outreach, to point out what he'd done wrong. She reminded him that "doing unto others what you want done unto you" includes every single one of His creatures, including cats.
5 Michelle Duggar Leaves Her Baby To Go Protest
Mama Duggar developed preeclampsia while she was pregnant with Josie Duggar. The only reliable cure is childbirth, so the baby was born premature in 2009. Josie, weighing a mere 1 pound and six ounces at birth, was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit for further observation.
Despite this, Michelle decided, days later, to leave the hospital and go protest against EZ Mart's request for a beer license. People were outraged about it and slammed mama Duggar for leaving her premature baby in the hospital because she was angry about beer.
Duggar, who was reportedly in tears, stated that she did not want alcohol in her town. "Personally, I don’t think alcohol needs to be convenient. I think it needs to be placed in a place where adults can get to it and they will have a choice to get it. But our children should not be bombarded with that. It’s so close to home.”
4 Josh Duggar Caught Using Ashley Madison
In July 2015, Ashley Madison, a website for married people looking to secretly cheat on their spouses, was hacked. The website's user data was stolen and then later released for the public's eyes.
The list revealed a number of cheaters, from celebs, politicians and even religious figures, whose name will now be known around the world. But guess who else was on that list... You're right! The infamous Josh Duggar.
His name was not just on the list once but two times. Josh paid $986.76 a month for two different accounts from February 2013 to May 2015. According to Gawker, Josh was paying the Ashley Madison subscriptions in order to find an extrmarital partner for acts such as
According to the data, Josh Duggar was paying Ashley Madison in order to find an extramarital partner for the following acts: "experimenting with sex toys," "one night stands," and "bubble bath for 2."
3 Jill Duggar Lies About Her Trip
Jill Duggar and her husband Derick Dillard told fans on their family blog that they were going on a missionary trip to Central America. The couple requested fans to send money to help fund the trip.
It didn't take long before people began accusing the couple of exploiting their fans. Jill told everyone the trip was going to be long-term, yet they returned home after only two months away. Sketchy? I think so.
It was also revealed that the couple never completed the necessary classes to be missionaries. This caused outrage and fans were even demanded their donation back. The couple (at least) issued back refunds.
2 No Private Conversation Allowed
How much trust does this really proclaim? Mama and papa Duggar have to be copied on group texts any time one of their brood begins to date someone. Ick. Creep factor!
"idk. We may go to the bowling alley. Or to the ice cream shoppe. For sure, we'll be home by 11 tonight."
Come on. We get wanting to know your progeny are safe and not breaking the law. But copying mom and dad on group texts? Who's to say that one of the kids didn't "accidentally" lose or misplace their phone if they wanted to misbehave? What? Do they have the phones' cameras remotely activated or something? Again, this is way, way too much "hover parenting" or even "smother mother." How the heck are mama and papa going to know their kiddos can handle life when they, oh, move out?
1 The Strict Clothing Ban
There's a long list of rules the Duggar kids are allowed, and not allowed, to wear. The girls, for example, are not allowed skirts above the knee. Moreover, the Duggars avoided beaches because they girls are not allowed to wear bikinis. Jim and Michelle didn't want their girls to show any skin.
Truly. The risk of tempting the men in the family, let alone any other man at the pool or beach is just too high. This is honestly what Jim-Bob believes. If he and his family go to a beach or public pool, seeing women in one-piece bathing suits, tankinis or bikinis would just stir up too much lust in their hearts.
Sources: buzzaura.com, thetalkco.com, famefocus.com, Extra, NY Daily News, Realitytvworld.com, Radar Online, Huffington Post, The Inquisitr, gospelherald.com, salon.com, Alloy, littlethings.com, Sarcasm, PopSugar, Duggar Family Blog, magazineaisle.com