Monday, August 31, 2015

Duggar Wedding this Weekend

In just six days, cousin Amy Duggar will wed Dillon King. Amy is following in the footsteps of her Duggar cousins with a short engagement. In fact, her engagement will be the shortest one yet! Dillon popped the question just over two months ago.

The Duggars celebrate cousin Amy's engagement 
a few days before Meredith Duggar's arrival on July 16th


Photo courtesy of duggarfamily.com

"Breaking the Silence" Recap

Yesterday evening, TLC aired a one hour, commercial-free documentary called Breaking the Silence, which featured Jill, Jessa, and Michelle. Here is the recap:
  • The documentary opens with Erin Merryn sharing her experiences of being sexually abused multiple times as a young child. Now a mom living in Suburban Chicago, Erin is a traveling speaker and advocates for age-appropriate education on child sexual abuse.
  • The show goes on to profile multiple victims of child sexual abuse who had the courage to come forward, including an adult who hid his secret for many years and a girl who found her voice at age eight.
  • A group of adults attend a seminar held by Darkness to Light, an organization that seeks to prevent child sexual abuse, in New York City. Attendees are given five steps to help prevent abuse from occurring in their own families and to handle it if it happens.  
    • 1. Learn the facts
    • 2. Minimize opportunities
    • 3. Talk about child sexual abuse
    • 4. Recognize the signs
    • 5. React responsibly
  • Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, and Michelle Duggar attend this seminar. 
  •  Jessa, who is due with her first child in November, says the seminar helped her to be more aware and to set up boundaries for her family. 
  •  “I feel like this should be a discussion that people are having, even regularly,” shares the expectant mother. “I think that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject, that we should be bringing awareness to child sexual abuse.”
  •  Jill mentions that she also likes the idea of setting up boundaries ahead of time in order to avoid situations where abuse could occur. 
  • “It was amazing to understand that there are so many people that deal with this exact same thing in their own families,” says the mother of one.  
  •  “I was so glad that my girls and I were able to do this together and that we could just be a support and an encouragement...” shares Michelle. 
  •  RAINN (1-800-656-HOPE/RAINN.org), an organization similar to Darkness to Light, provides a free, confidential online chat and phone service for kids dealing with abuse. The trained RAINN staffers give children encouragement, offer resources where they can get help, provide ideas for safety plans, and urge these victims to tell a trusted adult.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tony Perkins Speaks About Josh Duggar

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins joined Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File this week to discuss Donald Trump's candidacy and Josh Duggar's confession of the deep sin he committed against his wife and family.

"This is a painful reminder and warning that living without integrity has destructive effects upon people that you care about and people that you love," shares Tony Perkins in the following video clip.




Reminder: Breaking the Silence, the TLC documentary on child sexual abuse featuring Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, airs on Sunday, August 30th, at 10pm ET/9pm CT.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Duggar #8 Turns 19

Wishing Josiah Duggar a blessed 19th birthday!



Photos courtesy of duggarfamily.com/TLC

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Josh Duggar Begins Long-Term Treatment

This morning, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar updated fans on Josh and Anna's heartbreaking situation via their family website. For the ease of our readers, we have posted their statement below:

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. 

As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. 

Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. 

In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. 

During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.

Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar with Josh & Anna Duggar in 2009

Monday, August 24, 2015

Duggars Appear on PEOPLE Magazine

If you visit your local grocery store this week, you might notice this week's cover of PEOPLE Magazine: 'The Duggars Now: Life After Scandal.' Out of curiosity, you might grab a copy and thumb through it as you wait your turn in the checkout line, but you will quickly discover that the article is nothing like the magazine's past stories featuring the Duggar family. 

This particular article contains no new quotes from either Jim Bob or Michelle Duggar, nor from any of their 19 children, three children-in-law, or five grandchildren. 

Bride-to-be cousin Amy Duggar contributed a few quotes to the article, as did close family-friend Michaela Bates Keilen before her wedding on August 15th. Both ladies expressed their support for the Duggars. 

The article also contains multiple quotes from "family insiders," although without knowing the identities of those individuals, it is difficult to determine the validity of their comments. 

In the past, PEOPLE Magazine has done a commendable job presenting the Duggars' biggest milestones in an unbiased light, and it would be wonderful to see this publication continue to do so, even while the rest of the media world tears the family apart.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Statement from Family Research Council

Josh Duggar worked for the Family Research Council for nearly two years before resigning in May. Yesterday afternoon, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a statement from Josh, in which he explains that he has been unfaithful to Anna Duggar, his wife of almost seven years. 

In an earlier version of the statement, Josh revealed that his actions were the result of a secret pornography addiction. 

In response to Josh's confession, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins posted the following statement to the FRC website.

Last night we learned from online reports about allegations concerning Josh Duggar and then read his confession today. We are grieved by Josh’s conduct and the devastating impact of his pornography addiction and marital unfaithfulness. Our hearts hurt for his family, and all those affected by Josh’s actions. His deceitful behavior harms his family, his friends, his former coworkers, and the cause he has publicly espoused. Those of us who advocate for family values in the public square are held to a higher standard, and Josh’s failures serve as a painful reminder of the destructive effects of not living with integrity. We are praying for the family.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Statement from Josh Duggar

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. 
Psalm 118:8


It grieves us to share the following statements from the Duggar family: 

Statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar:
Please see the statement below from our son Josh regarding recent media stories about him. When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken. As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.

Statement from Josh Duggar:
I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.

Josh Duggar

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Photos: Bridesmaid Jana Duggar

Michaela (Bates) and Brandon Keilen have been newlyweds for four days! Check out these pictures of their beautiful wedding, which was officiated by Gil Bates. Tune in to UP tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT to watch Michaela choose her bridal gown.

Jana Duggar, who is only 11 days older than Michaela, was one of eight bridesmaids. Visit our Bates blog for more photos. The rest of the Duggar clan also attended the wedding, including Jill and Derick Dillard, who were in the States for the weekend taking care of a few business matters.

 The Bridesmaids!
Left to right: Angie Keilen, Alyssa Bates Webster, Tori Bates, Erin Bates Paine, Michaela Bates Keilen, Kelly Jo Bates, Jana Duggar, Becky Keilen, Christy Keilen


 The ceremony

Jana Duggar and Michaela Bates Keilen

 The Bates-Keilen wedding party

The bride and groom


Photos courtesy of UP

Monday, August 17, 2015

Duggar Update

This weekend, the Duggar clan (including Josh and Anna, Jessa and Ben, and Jill and Derick) gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee, to watch Michael Bates tie the knot with Brandon Keilen. Jana, who is just 11 days older than Michael, was a bridesmaid.

Many of the Duggars are still in Knoxville fellowshipping with Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 kids, as well as with other families who traveled to Tennessee for the wedding.

Jill and Derick Dillard, with four-month-old Israel Dillard in tow, flew in from Central America late last week and met up with Michelle Duggar and Jessa and Ben Seewald in New York City to take care of a few business matters. They then made their way to Knoxville, where they met up with the rest of the Duggar family.

The Dillards headed back to Central America yesterday afternoon, along with Joy-Anna Duggar and Carlin Bates, both 17 years old. Last month, the Dillards traveled around the region and worked with various mission teams, but during August, they are focusing on learning Spanish.

The Dillards travel back to Central America, accompanied by Joy Duggar and Carlin Bates


Photo courtesy of duggarfamily.com

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Duggars Reunite

This afternoon, Michael Bates will marry Brandon Keilen at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Jill and Derick Dillard flew in from Central America for the weekend. They met up with Jessa and Ben Seewald and Michelle Duggar in New York City to take care of a few business matters. Jill and Jessa will be featured in Breaking the Silence, a TLC documentary about child sexual abuse, on August 30th. (Click here for details).

Michelle was thrilled to see her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson for the first time in more than five weeks.

Michelle Duggar greets Jill and Israel Dillard at the airport

The crew took advantage of their trip to NYC by doing some sightseeing.

Jessa and Ben Seewald pose in front of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Yesterday afternoon, Jim Bob Duggar and the rest of the kids headed to Knoxville for the wedding.

Jinger Duggar drives the family's bus

Combined, the Duggars and Bates have eight grandchildren (and at least one more on the way), which includes five born in the past ten months. 

Erin Paine and Jill Dillard have a mommy-to-mommy chat leading up to Michael's wedding


Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com and the Bates family

Friday, August 14, 2015

Date Set for TLC Documentary


The day TLC announced that 19 Kids and Counting was officially canceled, the network also revealed its plan to air a commercial-free, one-hour documentary on child sexual abuse. The Duggars shared that they would work closely with TLC in the production of the show.

The documentary, Breaking the Silence, will air Sunday, August 30th, at 10pm ET/9pm CT and will feature Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald, among other individuals.

Erin Merryn, a vicim of child sexual abuse who is now a traveling speaker on the topic, will also be part of the special. Before the news of the Duggars' "scandal" broke in May, Jim Bob and Michelle had met Erin at an event in Arkansas and invited her into their home to talk with a handful of their kids about sexual abuse and the importance of speaking up. In June, TLC invited Erin to appear in the documentary.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Exposing the Tabloids

Since May, when the tabloids published the Duggars' private records detailing a family matter that had been dealt with years ago, these publications have been desperately trying to dig up more "dirt" to "expose" the stars of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, which was recently canceled.

We would like to take a few moments to demonstrate the pitfalls of the methods these publications--and many others--use to find their information.

The latest tabloid headlines claim that Michelle Duggar frequently breaks down from the stress of the "scandal" and the strain of having 19 children. They credit a note she wrote to encourage mothers and attempt to use it to prove that the Duggars cannot handle their large family.

Michelle's note starts with the following story about a time when she had five children under the age of five:

One night I was up late, probably around 1:00am, folding laundry with tears streaming down my face. Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, "Lord, I need Your help! I feel so inadequate! I can't do it all--the diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kids, correction..." My list seemed to go on and on. Then it was as if a still, small voice said, "Michelle, it's easy to praise Me when things are going well, but are you willing to praise Me now?"

Michelle goes on to share how the kids' piano teacher, whom the family calls Nana, offered to help with laundry. The mom of many closes with this message: Remember, moms, where God guides, He provides!

Now for the facts. Michelle wrote that note to connect with mamas of young children and reassure them that God is their strength. Not only has it been on the Duggars' website for a few years, but it also appears on page 82 of the family's first book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting, published in 2008.

See how words can become twisted? We encourage you to exercise caution when reading any form of news, whether it be about the Duggars or another subject.

Have you signed the petition on SupportTheDuggars.com? Readers outside the United States who would like to show their support can leave the "state" field blank.


Photos courtesy of duggarfamily.com