Monday, June 12, 2023

Did you Watch the Docuseries?

We want to create a space for respectful conversation about the newly released docuseries, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. Did you watch it? Why or why not? If you did, what are your reactions? Thank you in advance for being respectful towards others in your comments.

245 comments:

  1. I though the publishers clipped parts of it to fit their agenda and exaggerate some of the points they were making, so I had a hard time fully trusting it. I felt it got too personal and mean spirited towards the Duggar family, and painted very broad strokes to make homeschooling and "fundamental" Christianity look bad. God's way is forgiveness and restoration for everyone.

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    1. It was toward IBLP, not all Christians.

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    2. "Fundamental Christians" was mentioned several times. That's a pretty broad label.

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    3. @2:33 I don't know how you can tell about anything unusual that happened in the Duggar family and not have it sound as if it was "exaggerated." I would use the word "shocking" instead. The reports in the doc were from people who lived that life, and those people were willing to go on camera to tell their stories. If the stories sounded bad, it's because what happened was indeed bad. If it's linked to fundamentalism and homeschooling, that's because it was.

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    4. I agree. Although IBLP took Biblical principles to the extreme to the point that they were no longer Biblical, the documentary acted like anyone who believed in Creationism, wanted to help in government, wanted to homeschool their kids, etc was part of the IBLP which isn't correct.

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    5. Has the IBLP repented? And all their arms? The Duggars are responsible for their relationship with their children. I don’t think the Duggar parents are safe for most the kids.

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    6. I watched the docuseries, as I feel the topic is important as a citizen who exercises critical thinking (which is imperative, now in the social media era more than ever).
      I think that 90% of the content we already knew, but it needed to be said for two main reasons: first being that it's important to give survivors a voice and to listen to them, and second of all specifically because it's good that some of the Duggars are speaking up.
      Jill is brave and needs support.
      The docuseries is not at a against Christians, it's "against" extremism and findamentalism, which are lies that divide society and deprive people of their rights (these people being the weak subjects in these cults and also those towards whom those cults exte d their actions, like Lgbt people).
      All in all, well done, but this is just the beginning. For sure they just scratched the surface of the matter.

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    7. @729 I completely agree.

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    8. The docuseries was not fair to Christians

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  2. No, I did not watch it. I'm not interested in tell-all's because they only give one side of a story.

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    1. The show was also one side of the story. This is the other side. Really Jill is a perfectly moral Christian when she is getting married and in hospital with a difficult birth but not when she says she had to get a lawyer to try and get paid something for the world able to gawk and her while doing that cause her father got paid and didn’t pay the adult kids? JB considered M and adult at 17. When he married her. It would be very easy to tell the world the kids got a percentage while minors set aside or once 18 or once married and how much that was. Numbers very concrete.

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    2. The Duggars had over 200 episodes of 19 Kids and Counting plus almost 100 episodes of Counting On in which to tell their side of the story, and they most certainly did. They continue to tell their side of the story through their blog and their public appearances. I don't feel as if we've only heard one side of the story after the documentary. Maybe one long overdue powerful side?

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  3. I HAVE WATCHED ALL 4!!!!! THEY ARE ON PRIMEWIRE, CANADIAN'S CAN WATCH IT TOO, I AM FROM ABBOTSFORD BC CANADA!!!!!!

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    1. DO U KNOW WHAT, YEARS AGO, I WAS WRITING SOMETHING SOMETHING NICE ABOUT JOSH, ON MY YOUTUBE PAGE, AND SOMEONE TOLD ME THAT JOSH, WAS FAKE, AND HE DID BAD THINGS, (I am using the nicest language possible, they said terrible things), AND I DID NOT BELIEVE IT!!! I WAS GOING THROUGH SOME OF OLD VIDS GETTING RID OF STUFF, THEN I CAME ABON IT!!!!!! I WAS SHOCKED, I DID NOT REMEMBER THAT!!!!

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    2. Ya gotta believe people when they tell you things like that about the Duggars. What Josh did was known by a bunch of people long before it ever became headline news.

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  4. Yes I watched it. The testimonies of the former IBLP people were compelling and mainly confirmed what was already known. I'm sure there are hundreds of other stories from children (now adults) who suffered through that system and their programs. It was interesting that Jill got hold of the TLC contracts and found that either someone signed for her or else she was deceived into signing. I have a feeling there's more to tell there. The Holts had already told their report on another video and under oath in court, so that was nothing new, except the description of how Jim Bob planned to use the courtship of their daughter to try to manipulate Josh. Jim Bob seems to be the common denominator when people he knew personally tell about the bad things that happened. Bill Gothard seems to be the one who steered IBLP wrong, and Jim Bob was not far behind. All in all, a good series, but not exactly breaking news if you've followed for years. It's good though that they keep exposing these bad things, although the people who really need to hear about them seem not to listen or to deny everything.

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    1. To 3:51,I agree it's good that the truth be told about the IBPL,but worry it won't be heard or read by the people who need to hear it,because of how sheltered those families still living that life,are. They don't watch TV,listen to the radio,read newspapers, so who will tell them? Jim Bob's sister said she would call the family to warn them of imminent bad weather/tornado warnings, because they had no way of knowing.

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    2. 11:11 they had tornado sirens

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  5. I watched it in its entirety. Having grown up in an evangelical/fundamentalist church with similar theology to IBLP, I can relate to it all- especially the indoctrination through fear and intimidation. I have only deep sympathy for the Duggar children who were exploited so ruthlessly on TV. None of what has been brought to light surprises me in the least.

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  6. i did and run as fast as you can from this group. and Jim bod it is awful that you signed your children life away for money. TLc shame on you for signing that contract with him and not letting his children be paid.

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    1. They were minors,the money the dad gets paid would be used to support the whole family,and when they filmed the weddings well didn't that money go towards the wedding cost.

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    2. I have questions. I haven't watched the series yet. I followed the Duggars for years and loved what they stood for in a nation that's moved so far from the Lord. I keep hearing all this talk about them making money off their children. But are not those children today making money off their own chidren with YouTube chanels, instagrams, blogs etc.? How many of you, myself included, have watched, read, or checked in to see who's next to have a baby or get married? What sex will the baby be? Their name? This is the double standard I don't understand. When they were young, TV was the medium of the day. Today, it is social media, so what makes what the kids do today any better than what their parents did? and HOW MANY people have made money by association? (such as this blog). And how many of us have lined the pockets of everyone involved? Are the kids giving back all the money they've made from their fame and book writing(s), advertising, sponsorships and so on that would not exist if it hadn't been for those decisions so many years ago? I'm not convinced the Duggar parents had bad intentions. To raise 19 children to serve the Lord, be self suffient, self accountable, pure til marriage with Biblical priorities, etc. is a feet MOST could never accomplish. No one is perfect, so thank God for forgiveness.

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    3. @6:53 Josh does not fit your description of how you think those 19 children were raised. Also, I don't consider any of the Duggar daughters to be self-sufficient. To raise boys AND girls and only have the boys able to have jobs, to expect the girls to get married young instead, and to teach against birth control for married women, is not right. Neither is raising that many children and not encouraging them ALL to get some sort of formal education past high school level, not even vocational education that results in a state license. What we saw with the Duggar parenting is a lot of distrust in society, although they and their children are part of society and derive benefits from it in some way like anyone else.

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    4. Well said, 6:53!

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    5. @6:53 I have to question if people really understood "what they stood for." They found an idea of a perfect family in a perfect society, then tied a bow around it and presented it to us. But when you unpack that present, as the events in their family unfolded and now this docuseries exposed, what was inside? We know that answer. One son in prison, two daughters trying desperately to tell us how miserable they were growing up, and all sorts of other dirty social laundry. They were too good to be true. The truth is very far from what was presented to us. I feel pity for all of them.

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  7. I watched it because I miss seeing the Duggars on tv. I hope there’s another season.

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    1. There were no Duggars...only Jill

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    2. There will probably be another season of that documentary.

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    3. Considering the problems that being on TV scaused this family, I wouldn't wish that on them.

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    4. I liked seeing the short videos of theDuggars, interspersed throughout the series. I hope to see more of the Duggars, regardless of their beliefs.

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  8. I did not watch the series though I've seen the trailer. That was enough. Whereas Gothard did teach some wrong things and took truths to the extreme, the documentary was sensationalized and gave a wrong view of Christians who choose to live modestly, to homeschool, to recognize the authority of a father/husband, to have many children and who choose to get involved in politics in some way. The idea of Christian nationalism as this documentary put forth is not biblical nor is it a reality amongst the majority of Christian groups. This documentary has given people the idea that because Christians dress modestly, homeschool etcetera then they are Christian nationalists who are a threat to America. This could not be further from the truth. Most Christians are not out to take over the country. The Bible teaches to seek a better country. We are not of this world. That being said, Christians also don't want to see their country fall into ruin either.

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    1. I am a Christian. I absolutely did mot get those vibes that they said all Christians are like that. I got from it that those brouht up in IBLP think that way. They did not by any means group all conservative, modest Christians all the same. You should watch the entire thing before making a comment like this.

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    2. Thank you! They made Christians sound like terrorists lol... it was a ridiculous documentary.

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    3. @6:08 If you want to see something falling into ruin, watch the news today (Tues. 6/13).

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    4. The docuseries was about the IBLP. Not any other Christain group.

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    5. It is not unlike another other different lifestyle decades ago that the world said would be a threat to culture and democracy and is now acceptable.

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    6. You have a lot to say for having only watched the trailer. It's rather disingenuous to give such dogmatic opinions about something you didn't even take the time to view in its entirety.

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    7. Amen‼️Well said. πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

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    8. @10:35 The world was never threatened by that "different lifestyle" you refer to. However, what the world needs to watch out for is a lifestyle that tries to take basic rights away from other people, based solely on that difference.

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    9. @12:43: πŸ‘ well said

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    10. 10:35 Are you talking about Germany decades ago? I hope that's all you meant. Sure wouldn't want to use that kind of talk about anyone these days.

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    11. My dad was from Germany, born and raised.

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  9. There was very little new info in the docuseries.

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    1. This is true for those of us who have been following for years and keeping up, but I have heard from many people that this was complete news to them. It is good that a wider audience of people now gets to learn of this things as opposed to just a niche group on the internet.

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  10. I watched it. I did not find it entertaining or informative. Miss seeing the Duggars on tv. Wish things would of worked out better. But as a family things will become whole again.

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    1. @6:37 You speak as if "things" were out of the Duggars' control. Quite the contrary. They created their own outcome, a lot of which was the result of trying to have too much control.

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  11. I did watch it all. What surprised me was it seems like this IBLP has little do with faith in God. I realize it may have just been portrayed incorrectly. It seems to me like having tv cameras in your home is not a good idea. I wonder about Jim bobs faith. I feel like he was trying to build a dynasty or something. It makes me respect Gil bates less. I feel bad for the duggars younger kids. I can see that the show was very edited. The money at least in part has driven Jill away. It’s a lot to digest. I can’t imagine what those older kids went through.
    My husband is #2 of seven and for sure they are not all close. It doesn’t look like the Walton’s.

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    1. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but I have read Jinger’s recently published book, Becoming Free Indeed, which does talk about Bill Gothard’s ministry actually not being about faith, but more about fear and legalism (and how that affected Jinger when she was growing up).

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    2. The whole fear -based thing sounds a lot like Catholic

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  12. Yes, I watched it. I feel like we already knew most of what was in it. I’m glad other people got to share their stories as well. I’m sad that there are so many who were led astray by Gothard. I wonder why he added so much of his own opinions instead of just teaching the Bible. And I also wonder why so many people thought he knew so well how husbands and wives should act and how people should parent children when he was never married and didn’t have any children.

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    1. I have also stated that same thought several time how did Gothard get that amount of power I guess to have all these families follow his way of thinking for so long. Scary how it affected so many families and for so long.

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  13. I watched it and really didn't learn anything that I didn't already know except for the Joshua Generation. It's a dangerous cult and I'm happy for the ones that have been able to escape.

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    1. It didn't seem all that dangerous.. the media made it seem like that

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    2. @10:42 It's riddled with factual accounts of child abuse and spousal abuse. Its leader got in trouble. The "wisdom" booklets he wrote can make your blood run cold. Have you read them (I have) and do you realize what this group wanted its followers to do and to believe?

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    3. 9:47- what kind of spousal abuse?? The Duggars and Bates spouses weren't abused!

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    4. 7:12 Watch the documentary. The Duggars and the Bates aren't the only 2 families in IBLP.

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  14. Yes - I was saddened by some of the details that came out about Jim Bob and his apparently caring more about the money and the show and the reputation than he did about his kids. Did not care for the swearing here and there. Did not care for the way they lumped all homeschoolers or all evangelicals together at times.

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    1. 8:06- How did they lump all homeschoolers or evangelicals together? I didn't see that at all. I saw the focus being on IBLP/ATI.

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    2. Exactly O.P.. the swearing did it for me.. if they were part of this 'religion' they would still hold a lot of these principles and morals. The fact that F bombs and others came so easily for some was telling

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    3. Just one example - the comment that one of them could spot a homeschooler a mile away. I've been in the homeschooling community for decades and can't say the same. Homeschoolers don't have a "look." There's a stereotype "look," but that's all that it is.

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    4. I think they meant you could spot an IBLP homeschooler a mile away. Just like you could spot the Warren Jeffs followers. If you were in IBLP, you knew.

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    5. 9:08, sadly, they seem to have rejected God/Christianity altogether. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. In their hurt they reject everything they're taught instead of examining what the Bible actually says compared to what Gothard said or took out of context.

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    6. 9:49, that's not what they said, though

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  15. I did watch the documentary. I think it revealed some important problems with IBLP. But it was over-the-top biased in terms of thinking that fundamentalist Christians want to take over the world. Just because Josh once worked for the Family Research Council and Jed Duggar once ran for office? Last I looked there are two major parties in this country and both of them have every right to exist and put forward candidates that further their point of view. Also the Hitler-esque images of the ALERT camps seemed over-the-top as well.

    I do think the docuseries raised a few concerns about how Jim Bob treated his children. I did not like seeing how Jill and Jessa were made to go on national television and talk about Josh. Jill's presence on the show was a little bit problematic for me. It associates her with some of the more extreme things people were saying against Christian fundamentalists. It also showed her bitterness about not getting money from her father; I'm not sure that should have been aired so publicly. On the other hand it was important to reveal how she was pressured to videotape herself going through labor. Sharing such things publicly is not for everyone and she had every right to say no.

    So I'm glad I watched the docuseries but I think it could have been done without so much sensationalism. I hope everyone negatively impacted by IBLP will find a more supportive community to belong to.

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    1. I think it was fitting that she pointed out how she didn’t get money. It showed just how much control JB had over them. It showed how his following IBLP negatively impacted the entire family.

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    2. 9:34- but they didn't starve and they had a roof over their head. They didn't need welfare, and she signed a contract. Granted, she should have read that contract and Mr. Duggar should have gone over that with both of them. Why did Derrick say they left the show because of his Jazz Jennings comment? Was that a lie?

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    3. Being duped by your father to sign a contract (or have your signature forged, as seems to be the case with several of the names) that is against your best interests is hardly a solid argument in Jimbob’s favor. So he successfully tricked his daughter to steal money from her? Sure that may have won him money but it hardly makes him in the right, a decent person or father, or defensible.

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    4. @9:10 Do you realize how many abused women and children eat and live in a house while the abuse is happening?

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    5. @10:31- then why didn't the little kids say something in the 19 Kids And Counting episodes?? If that was going on, they'd have said something. Can't hide that THAT well!

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  16. I did not watch the series. However I feel that TLC should have insisted on a salary for each person appearing in the show. The minors should have had a financial guardian to protect each child’s interest

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    1. Yes, I agree with you, 8:39 PM.

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    2. Unfortunately that didn't happen. These networks don't follow the AFTRA/SAG rules when it comes to actors on their shows.

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    3. Some states have laws requiring what you describe. Arkansas does not.

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    4. Arkansas is conveniently missing a lot of laws. Everything from homeschooling oversight on up.

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    5. They got beautiful weddings paid for them

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  17. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar never did seem too bright. But, the one thing I'm surprised about is that Gil and Kelly Bates, who are both university educated, got caught up in this IBLP cult as well. How does that happen?

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    1. Their kids can have the choice to go to college. How they got into the IBLP, I don't know but it sounds like their less strict about some things

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    2. Patriarchal cults prey on men’s fragile egos and tell them they can be little mini-gods in their homes. Can you imagine being so insecure that you join a cult that diminishes women and girls so you can feel more important? How pathetic!

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    3. They were never goofy about courting. No issues with their children doing it slightly different from them. Erin left it. But has not been shunned. I suspect a few others from their social media. Just hunches.

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    4. Gil is in the board of the IBLP. If Jim Bob was the cult's main marketung machine, Gil is one of its most powerful men. Makes you think about how good the Bates actually are.

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    5. The Bible says for wives to submit to their husband's. It doesn't mean the right to abuse their wives and children. One might define abuse one way (not getting what they want or agreeing with that person so they claim 'abuse') and another may define it another way. (Beatings, degrading, etc..) one needs to be aware and know what is truly abuse and what is an excuse

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    6. Back in the 80's, homeschooling was not as mainstream and didn't have the curriculum that is offered today. I think for people who wanted to homeschool, and needed support, IBLP offered both. This might be why the Bates also went for it. I would like to hear the Duggar's side of why they have stuck with IBLP. There is so much more to offer now!

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    7. They should make a part 2 with the Bates! They're far more involved with IBLP even at the moment.

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    8. The Bates are good people, as are the Duggars grief people just consider that like 2 kids out of 30 something kids I'm 2 families are complaining πŸ™„

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  18. I will never think of the word "encouragement" the same way again.

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    1. Boy, that's the truth 6:42.

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    2. Don't watch Michael Pearl's discipline videos or read his book. They will haunt you forever.

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  19. Yes, let’s be respectful to everyone in the comments.

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  20. No no desire to see a mean spirited daughter vilify her family.

    The young lady had a roof over her head . Food to eat. And religious teaching. She should be grateful

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    1. Yes! I feel the same way! I think Jill, not having experienced the world got caught up with people who know she would be easily fooled. It's very sad

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    2. She was assaulted by her older brother and all of the responsibilty fell on her and her sisters to forgive him. None of them got the professional help they needed. Females are second class citizens while Josh was the golden boy. How did that turn out? An imprisoned son and their daughter is deemed as dangerous.

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    3. @8:31 Do you think all it takes to raise a happy, grateful child is a roof, food, and religion? Sounds like a hollow life to me. Psychological/emotional abuse doesn't care about those things either.

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    4. First of all Jill is not a "young lady", she is a 32 year old woma and mother of three. Be respectful, please.

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    5. Feeding your kids doesn’t give you a green light to also abuse them.

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    6. Please be respectful. She’s an adult, it is her choice to share. Sometimes people have to get away from family members that choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle. I myself had to make that choice with one of my family members.

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    7. I agree with @11:26pm. I unfortunately experienced that with one of my family members.

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    8. A lady is an ad ult. So is woman.And 32 is not old.

      That's not disrespectful to this Megan Markle type of individual who disrespects her family in the media.
      I think her parents are wonderful Christians

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  21. My family and I did not think the docuseries was appropriate at all. We think that most of the family members should not have had to put up with this. I don't think it was right at all ever. We would love for the kids to make a good show in the future. Hopefully in time that would be great. Natasha b

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    1. I agree Natasha

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    2. You're right, the family members should not have had to put up with this, if "this" means being raised IBLP.

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  22. I think the documentary made Jim Bob look very selfish. I feel he kept all the money for himself to control his children, to keep them under his thumb. Something Jill said in the documentary really made my ears perk up. She stated Jim Bob offered to pay the children a lump sum, but the catch was they would have to sign another contract. She refused, so I wonder if the reason her siblings have not supported her regarding the documentary or her soon to be released memoir is because her siblings took lump sum payments and had to sign an NDA. The good Lord tells us, "whatever is done in darkness will be brought to light."

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    1. Jim Bob was honest.. she chose not to participate. It doesn't sound like a "catch" at all. Her siblings chose to do it and she didn't. Her choice

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    2. Not participating is not a sign of lack of support.

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    3. What is your definition of “honest” 9:16?

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  23. I thought the series was pretty well done. It really highlights how belief in an ideology clouds judgement. There was something in the IBLP teachings that appealed to the Duggars. They clung to it even after the leader was disgraced and had to resign. In fact they doubled down on it and assumed leadership roles. They never seemed to be aware of the negative impacts it was having not only on their children but on the other family members and friends. I don't see this as an "attack" on Christianity but rather as a warning against extreme forms of belief that warp the teachings of Jesus out shape.

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    1. They didn't make it clear.. I watched it and it made Christianity as a whole sound bad. Not one interviewer stated they believed in Jesus and a few tossed some curse words around..

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    2. @9:25 Good comment.

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    3. Anon 9:18. Interviewers should not insert their personal beliefs into interviews. Makes them appear very biased. If Chiristianity "sounded bad" in the documentary that was because what happened with the Duggars WAS bad.

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    4. The producers of the documentary did not make Christianity as a whole sound bad. That's like saying the people who were arrested Jan. 6 made every R voter look bad. The documentary focused on extreme fundamentalism/evangelicalism, which is pretty hard to make sound good on any given day.

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    5. 10:26- Biden himself said that Republican Conservatives are terrorists! Look it up and wake up! The media very much makes every R voter look bad! If our president can say things like this on TV and get away with it. Then we're ALL in trouble.. this country has no chance

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  24. I did watch it all. I have a number of things I'm displeased about so where to start.
    1. Homeschooling gets a bad rap.
    2. People are listening to a man who has no idea about family life.
    3. It appears the goal is to put Josh in a good light but look down the nose at Jill, Jinger, or anyone else who goes against IBLP and Josh in general. Where is the love for the girls, the victims? I've yet to hear any of them speak up about what they had to endure. What the children in the videos Josh downloaded and watched had to endure. Where's the compassion for them?
    I'm sure there's more but I'm going to stop here. It's been on my mind ever since I watched it and it's crazy. My goal is to pray. Prayer changes things.

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    1. Yes, hopefully many things come to light. I got hacked once and had crazy downloads come on my computer. I was mortified.. I couldn't help but wonder if he got hacked. That doesn't condone what he did to his sisters and Anna but he's claimed he's innocent.

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    2. Anon 9:22. Josh's computer was NOT hacked. The experts at his trial testified that there was no evidence that it was hacked. That argument was laid to rest then, don't dig it up again.

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    3. @9:22 I guess you didn't follow the trial closely enough or read the court transcripts. Experts testified that no hacker could have accessed the partitioned side of the computer remotely, and that Josh was present with the computer during the downloads.

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    4. 9:22 Technology experts would've been able to identify hacking, which did not happen in Josh's case. He was tried, convicted, sentenced and is serving deserved time in prison. I am astonished that you would think he's innocent, considering his history.

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    5. @9:22 Josh's computer did not get hacked like that. Josh accessed the dark web on a Linux partitioned and password protected side of his computer, purposely set up to bypass Covenant Eyes. To use the computer like that, he had to be present at the computer and had to have typed in the password. His phone records showed that he was present at the car lot when the downloads happened. The hacking theory did not hold up in court. An innocent plea makes the prosecution have to prove their case against you, which they did. Josh never took the stand to defend his innocence claim or to explain what happened. So it's time to put the hacking ideas aside.

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    6. Josh didn't accidentally click on something that then invaded his computer. His track record on the computer was so bad that he had to allow his wife to track his moves. Josh then purposely set up a way to get around that. Not the actions of an innocent man.

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    7. It is not good logic to think that Josh—after everything else we know he has done and lied about—not only was “hacked” but also targeted and framed with convincing evidence and also unable to prove via his attorneys and experts in a court of law well enough to convince a jury of ANY reasonable doubt. Remember, it is the jury that convicted him and their burden was to conclude guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means they did not just think he likely did it or probably did it. It means in the course of the trial they saw evidence that there was no reasonable doubt that he wasn’t guilty. A random jury of his peers. His attorneys did argue that someone else did it—their points and evidence did not fly.

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    8. 9:22, Josh was found guilty, given all the evidence. Innocent people can proclaim in court that they're innocent and have a clear conscience that they're telling the truth. Josh didn't do that. He had his lawyers make the feds work for a conviction, which they got. Now the lawyers are scrambling for some sort of technicality for appeal. You know if Josh was innocent, his lawyers would have played that up for the jury and presented some sort of undeniable proof. That didn't happen. They wanted the jury to get confused and have some doubt about the computer, but the evidence against Josh was too strong.

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    9. Come on. Both sides had experts who looked at the computer records. Both sides saw the same thing. No hacker.

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    10. I think even if something with the whole computer situation was off, he deserves the jail time (not by court law, but by God's law) for what he did to his family with his unfaithfulness. I hope he does realize this.

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    11. @3:34 Nothing was "off" with the computer situation. The only thing "off" was that Josh, who had been in trouble before for computer porn, strayed too far into very dangerous waters. He knew what he was doing or else he wouldn't have partitioned his computer that way to avoid Covenant Eyes.

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  25. As a non-religious person, I found the documentary quite interesting. There was definitely some broad strokes used and I think they heavily implied some things without saying them outright (eg. the Duggars beating their children). I could definitely see how this doctrine with their authority umbrellas creates a breeding ground for abuse and cuts off the avenues for finding help. I also wondered about the women who are still married. They were raised to obey and follow their husband, submit to their authority and these husbands were picked for them by their authoritarian father. It wasn't far from an arranged marriage and they couldn't have known who these men genuinely were when they married. I wonder is these women are actually empowered to break free or are just following a new authority. It's also sad to think about all the Duggar marriage still entrenched in this ideology (and all the other abusive IBLP families). The documentary left me with many questions and I would love to see more from them.

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    1. Submit can mean many different things. When Paul talked about it it was in Greek. While obedience to authority is the military definition a family isn’t a military unit. Words have different meaning depending on context. Just means to take on one’s burden and voluntarily give in. It does not mean Sir, yes sir. Just let him have his way when you can. It them goes on to talk about love. There is not love in a military unit. Even more reason not to use the military context definition but the others. From the man never married nor parenting in the Bible just like Gothard..

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  26. I watched it and I didn't learn nothing new from it. Everything within that docuseries has already been in the news, published in People Magazine or elsewhere. I just wonder why they haven't included the other families, such as the Bates.

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    1. Exactly!!! The bates should be next.

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    2. To be fair they were less creepy. Just don’t be alone when dating. Mrs. Bates never sat on a 18 year old boy so her daughter could sit in the car with him. Not my 18 year old or at any age is a 40 something woman allowed to sit on my kid for modestly, quite the opposite. I hope she apologized after realizing how silly that was to do. The Bates kids also send their kids to public school in some case, live away, church elsewhere even when living close by and no problems between them like the Duggars. Erin publicly cut ties with the group ages ago, and seemingly no problems. I think Mr Bates failed on that board. He should be off the board.

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  27. I'm so happy that so much of this is coming to the light. It is easier to see how someone like Josh would not have been held accountable in circumstances like these. The Duggars presented their faith as wholesome when it was actually based on following a man's beliefs, rather than Jesus'.

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    1. If Christians ought not follow Gothard over Jesus, they should also be wary not to put Paul above Jesus. This has become the case in much of mainstream Christianity today.

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    2. Between these 4 episodes and reading the Megyn Kelly interview transcript, it's abundantly clear what Jim Bob thought of what Josh did, and why Jim Bob thought that way... It's also clear that he purposely avoided mandatory reporting to protect Josh and himself, even though it meant repeated offenses to the total of 5 girls. Jim Bob saw nothing wrong with what he (himself) did or said. Such a dangerous way to think, with its roots in that ideology.

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    3. 10:49- Catholics put Mary above God it seems..

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    4. I do take issue with the comment about putting Paul above Jesus as Paul's words are a part of the Holy Scriptures which are inspired by God Himself. God gave Paul the words to write.

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    5. You have never met a Catholic nor understand Catholicism.

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  28. I think the series villanizes all modest homeschooling Christians and is propaganda to make people view them with suspicion. I find it interesting that they're trying to say these homeschooled kids are being sent to take over the nation when the Left is blaming "homeschooled Christians" for the so-called "insurrection" on Jan. 6th. Christians of whatever sect have the right to vote for who they want and run for office. That's why people vote, to get people in who share their values. And if the Left doesn't want anti-birth control Christians/conservatives/Republicans outnumbering them at the polls then they need to stop teaching their voters that kids are an "environmental hazard". Furthermore I see no reason why we should rip on families who teach their kids to save themselves for their spouses. Fewer teen pregnancies means fewer abortions. Plus, what is the big deal about chaperones for young people out on dates? Seems a good idea to me. If my cousin had been chaperoned, her boyfriend wouldn't have been able to molest her.

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    1. πŸ’―!!!!!

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    2. To be fair the media is skeptical and questions everything. That is not limited to Christians and homeschooling. I do think we should question IBLP's motivation for having Jed Duggar move into and run for political office in a district that he had never livied in and had no real ties to. Only 30% of the population are active Christians so we need to be careful about the laws that are enacted so that they don't favor Christians over the rest of the population.

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    3. 11:48 completely agree

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  29. After watching the series on Amazon and reading the book Jinger wrote, I feel that the book was much more tasteful. I just can't understand why Jill wanted to do a tell all on tv for money.

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    1. No one was paid for the documentary.

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    2. Jill was not paid for taking part in the docuseries.

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    3. Jill will be getting paid for the book and probably paid by "sympathizers"

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    4. @7:25 Where was that same scorn when Jill and Derick were missionaries and getting funded by "sympathizers"?

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  30. In my opinion, the docuseries took some extreme exceptions and painted them to be the norm in an effort to discredit every person, family or ministry that stands for Biblical morality. IBLP didn’t invent the ideas of purity before marriage, husbands leading the home, or children obeying their parents. You can skew these ideas way out of context and make them look evil, but that doesn’t change the reality that these have a clear foundation in the Bible. (And a proper context and application as well)

    I grew up in and around IBLP circles. I got to know many wonderful people and was personally very blessed and benefited by much of what I learned through those years. I served alongside people that were passionate for the Lord and their Godly influence inspired me. The “teachings” of IBLP pointed me to the Bible, and there I found answers, joy and freedom that have continued to this day.

    My parents weren’t perfect, and they would be the first to say that. But perfection was never the goal. They made mistakes and hurts happened, just like any other family. We can respond to hurts in bitterness, believe the lies Satan tells us and play the blame game, or we can receive the grace of God and chose to forgive and let God work all things together for good. (Consider the example of Joseph in the Bible.)

    People mock the ideas of courtship and honoring your parents, but I will always be grateful for IBLP’s teaching on this. My wife and I got married with the full blessing of our parents, and came into marriage having fully saved ourselves for one another. I realize many might think it’s weird that we saved our first kiss for our wedding day, but my wife and I have absolutely no regrets. For more than ten years we have enjoyed a wonderful marriage, and are now raising a family of our own.

    Please understand that I don’t share all this to lift up myself. I am simply saying that just because the docuseries attempts to stereotype all conservative Christian homeschooling families connected with IBLP as evil doesn’t make it the truth. What if someone was to create a docuseries to show how driving a blue car makes you a terrible person? I am sure they could find lots of examples of horrendous criminals that drove blue cars, and supplement that with plenty of dashcam footage involving blue cars. Does that mean if you get a blue car it will make you into an evil person? Of course not!

    In no way do I condone sinful choices made by individuals, regardless of their affiliation or connection to anyone or anything. Many of the extreme examples cited in the documentary are either blatant sin in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches, or at best, a major misapplication of truth. You can’t blame IBLP or someone else for that. Each person will give account for his or her own actions before God, and there will be no excuses on that day.

    Let me also hasten to say that just because you have made wrong choices in your life doesn’t mean it’s all over for you. In fact, that is exactly why Jesus died on the cross. His blood paid the price for EVERY sin, and there is no sin too great to find forgiveness in Him! The Bible and history provide many examples of God bringing beauty out of ashes. Satan’s plan is for destruction. God’s plan is for redemption, but you have to be willing to accept that gift.

    When you read the articles covering the interviews with the producers of the series, the purpose is clearly evident. The producers are “very concerned” that Christian families are homeschooling their children outside of the control and indoctrination of our godless humanistic society, and now some of these young people are making a noticeable impact in our culture.

    The world vehemently attacked and vilified Jesus Christ, and He told us that they would do the same thing to us as His followers. Jesus told us to let our light so shine before men, and to rejoice and be exceeding glad when we are reviled…for great is our reward in Heaven. Maybe it’s not so bad to be labeled a “Shiny Happy People”.

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    1. This right here!!! Thank you 😊

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  31. I was never in the IBLP cult, but for decades I allowed myself to be indoctrinated up to my eyeballs with a certain pastor’s teaching. I thought he had amazing insights direct from God, until I finally realized he was really just “embellishing” scripture with a lot of made-up nonsense. And once I saw that, I saw so much more that was wrong or even crazy about what I had been taught and firmly believed. My faith was my everything, and the foundation of my existence. To wake-up from that deluded state has been very, very painful and it has taken years of heartache to face it all. I am doing much better, but I still have flashbacks and can hardly speak about my experiences to anyone. So, I have compassion for the victims in the documentary and I admire their courage in speaking up. My reaction to the documentary showed me that I am more forgiving, accepting and compassionate than I ever was as a judgy, know-it-all “Christian” who thought I had all the answers. I find the comments on this blog from those still are in a place to similar to where I was to be mean, petty and condescending, but I get it. It’s called BRAINWASHING and it ruins people. I regret so much that I was hurtful to people in my life because I thought I had to continually witness my “superior beliefs” to them. Now if I could just forgive myself for being such a fool. It was encouraging to see survivors who are healing from the damage done to them, and I hope many more victims find healing too. I would be thrilled to see more Duggars shed the harmful teachings and recover. They have been so misled.

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    1. @10:46 Amazing comment! Thanks. I hope it reaches the people who need to read it.

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    2. Are you a believer in Jesus still?

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    3. I relate so much to your comment ❤️

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  32. It is a parent's basic responsibility to provide their children with food, clothing and shelter during their lives until they are able to start their own lives...A child should not feel that they have to "kiss their parent's feet" for providing this. When a parent decides to put the family on TV and the kids work on the show, they, too, should be paid for their time, effort and work. Their father, IMO, robbed the children of their wages and a financial start for their lives, whether they be sons or daughters. If the parents can't afford to support so many children, then they should not have had them in the first place. Also, TLC is at fault for not recognizing when the minor children had become adults in their own right. Michelle should have never signed contracts for her adult children, knowing well that they were no longer minors. Somehow, this should have been illegal.

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    1. Their weddings were paid for.

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    2. According to the show and Josh and Anna it was volunteers at Anna’s church that put on their wedding.

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  33. I watched part of it but felt it was untrustworthy and mean spirited.

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    1. The 4th part of the series definitely was.. I don't condone abuse of any kind, but they made Christians look horrible..

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    2. Ditto!!!!!! So agree that things weren't entirely represented truthfully and if we're to reprove anybody it should be done in a spirit of love.

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    3. Did you expect the documentary to be flattering to IBLP or the Duggars? I don't know how that could be, given what happened.

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    4. But do you trust the Duggars?

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    5. @10:05 You just described IBLP so there's that.

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    6. I don't see it that way. There was a lot of wrong doing on the part of JB and Michelle and the leader of the cult was digraced for his conduct.

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  34. I encourage anyone who watched this and was left with questions to read Jinger's book. I haven't seen the series yet but a lot of what I'm reading here dovetails nicely with what the book talks about. She was super respectful of her parents in the book, which was helpful to make it feel less "scandalous" and more factual--she doesn't blame them but seems to feel like her parents got caught up in something that sounded good and had some helpful points, but that they never realized the damage it might be doing. She took a lot of good things from her upbringing but later realized some of IBLP's tenets put her into bad habits or non-biblical, guilt-inducing tendencies. But she did say her parents always pointed her to Christ first when she was struggling with things like body image. Anyway, I found the book's description of the umbrella of authority really helpful to understanding this, and Jinger's (probably real-life) example of how the gendered household roles can become problematic and burdensome for women especially made it very clear why this ideology is a mess. The book wasn't perfect but I think it handled the topic more gracefully than what the documentary sounds like. I'll be interested to see Jill's book for comparison.

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    1. "Pointing someone to Christ" is a way to avoid and deflect away from answering some tough questions, especially when those questions come from kids. It's nothing more than a convenient platitude.

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  35. IBLP and Gothard had problems but this docuseries blew everything way out of proportion. They made a mountain out of a molehill. Taking over the nation? Yeah right. Raising kids to be little predators???? Give me a stinking break!!!! I also guarantee you they were taught math and as far as slut shaming goes...whether they did or didn't, they weren't teaching their kids to be sluts so there's a plus. I think this whole thing was designed to paint conservative Christians with "separation from the world" standards in a bad light. Sensationalism, propaganda. Very disappointed. Its a pity the Duggars were on TV. Otherwise IBLP probably wouldn't have been so well known and this series would never have been filmed. That's the biggest thing i disagree on about the Duggars. They should never have put their family on TV. Now they are ALL stuck with this ridiculous publicity. Documentary? More like Docu-drama! Large families in dresses and taught from homeschool curriculum are not dangerous. Christians just want to save our souls even if some are misguided on how to do that. Is that so bad? Hey I think anybody who wants to save my soul from hell is a pretty good and decent person.

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    1. Yes 8:48! I personally know homeschool groups that attend teen Pact (one of the "evil" Christian groups mentioned in the docudrama) and these kids go to learn about politics, how laws and rules are made and they pray for the leaders (lib or conservative). What's wrong with Christians running for office? Well everything according to liberals..

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    2. Great comment!

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  36. I watched it. Overall I thought it was poorly done. They clearly wanted to push their own agenda (homeschooling is bad, fathers being the head of family is bad, Christians are nuts, etc). It could have been so much better if it was at least somewhat balanced.

    Yes, they did make JB look terrible, however if my kids wanted to do a documentary about me, I am sure they could make me look terrible too. No family is perfect. We all have our issues. I hope Jill’s kids don’t want to do a documentary about her and how they were raised one day. Not saying JB is perfect by any stretch, but I don’t think he and Michelle had bad intentions when raising their kids, I think they were trying their best.


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    1. @3:41 They weren't pushing an agenda. They were exposing a system that already exists and giving first-hand accounts from people who know what happens in situations like that. I don't know how you'd "balance" that. I guess you'd have to interview people who love it? But then they'd come across as brainwashed and would have to deny the truth about what happened with their leader, so that still wouldn't work.

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    2. This is like saying the people at Jonestown did not have bad intentions. Sorry you died kids, just trying my best. All ‘religions’ that have extreme demands on the believers are damaging.

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    3. Yeah, @3:41, it did seem to have Leftist propaganda in it. I heard there was to be a convention to discuss ways to ban home-schooling but COVID hit and ended that. The Bible does say that the man is head of the wife, but he's to honor and cherish her and Christians aren't nuts. Some just get mixed up in bad doctrine. It happens. That's why God told His people to periodically examine themselves to see whether they be in the faith. Overall, the documentary was a disappointment. You're right, it was very imbalanced: heavy on condemnation.

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    4. @3:41 I might have been able to believe that the Duggars had good intentions when raising their kids if they had stopped at 2 or 3 and didn't belong to IBLP. But once they bought into that and produced kid after kid after kid.... You really have to question their intentions. Arrows in their quiver, remember that?

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    5. 11:57- very ignorant comment! They believed in God making the decision as to how many kids they have! Not your business! It's their family

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    6. Not true 7:33. There's an agenda behind it. Read about the Quiverful Movement and how/why it's recommended by IBLP, which Jim Bob and Michelle fully embraced. Saying that God makes the decision is the justification for the rest.

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  37. I attended an Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts when I was single and in my twenties. I saw some things that were applicable to life but from the beginning I felt that the teaching was way to legalistic and even began asking others attending where grace and joy could be found. Consequently, my husband and I chose to stay away from any further association. I would question any teaching that suggests having as many children as God would allow but I also would never condone abortion. That is to point out that some of the Duggars teaching choices on many levels, I would disagree with. I also began watching 19 Kids and Counting with my elderly mother years ago and watched Counting On as well. It was a joy to watch a program where children were interacting rather than one where the parents had to bring in a Nanny to tell them how to parent. I believe home schooling can be a good choice for many, also private schools, charter schools, voucher schools, and also the University model, both Christian and secular. My own children went to private Christian school and my granddaughter goes to a University Model Christian school. All these can be alternatives to parents who do not believe public school can do the best job of educating their children. I am a conservative Christian who believes in Biblical teaching on all levels of life and because of this I rejected the then IBYC tenents which then grew to become IBLP. I believe the Duggars and others involved in this group were themselves victims of those teachings, but we should not paint Christianity with such a broad stroke that we begin accusing Christians with the same false teachings described in Shiney Happy People. Because the program seemed to do this by mentioning fundamental Christians, home schoolers, etc. throughout the four episodes, I must question the underlying motives of that production. I read the producer's statement reacting to other's accusations regarding her motives, but her answer seemed more of a reaction to being accused than a reasonable explanation to me. I stand as a Christian and will not back down from this. I pray for all victims of false teaching both in this instance and so many others we find in today's world.

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  38. NO I do not watch hit pieces. Jim Bob and MIchelle are wonderful Christian people and it seems some of the family are trying to cash in and also stay in the public at any cost. I could never do and say some of the things I hear some of the family are saying and then stand before God. The stuff from that cousin Amy is no surprise at all but Jill and Jinger greatly disappoint me! Pray for the truth and for Jim Bob and Michelle. Also pray for the people behind this lie of a story - they too will stand before God and answer for this! God bless Jim Bob and Michelle!

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    1. Jinger was harmed in a very real way and how you can denigrate Jinger and Jill as well as those now young adult who were truly harmed by gothad's teaching is extremely disappointing.

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    2. The only people with tens of millions are the Duggar parent’s. They follow the example of Laban. Not Jacob. Reread that section. The Duggar parent’s God is money. May God have mercy on their souls and may they publicly admit the lies they told publicly and ask forgiveness.

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  39. I watched and enjoyed it. I felt that the former IBLP members were careful to limit their criticism to IBLP and Gothard only, while the "experts" wanted to denigrate all conservative Christianity. All in all, hopefully it will lead people to Jesus Christ for salvation, and Him alone, and away from man-made rules. We have to trust in the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who watched.

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  40. This was an unsettling documentary. I've never been a part of IBLP nor had any clue what Gothard taught until i read Jinger's book, but I"m a Christian who wears skirts/dresses, i was homeschooled and i believe in having as large a family as God allows and now i feel that people are going to be looking at me suspiciously, like I'm some enemy of the nation. I've done nothing to deserve that. Gothard taught some very wrong things but this series really played every thing up to seem like there was a grand conspiracy among conservative Christians to infiltrate Congress. I"m very unhappy about this whole series. There seemed to be a lot of propaganda worked in.

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    1. I don't think you should take this as an attack on Christians and what you believe. Gothard and IBLP has an agenda and THAT was what was being exposed. We need to be aware that groups like IBLP exist and use the banner of Christianity to further their goals.

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    2. Yeah. I don't necessarily feel safe anymore either.

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    3. Fellow Christian here! I don't wear skirts much, but now I will feel fear when non-Christians know that I am one, thanks to this. No protection for us, except keep praying. Pray for the fear to subside and have faith.

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    4. Maybe y'all should show the world who you are by your kind words and deeds, not by what you wear. You won't have to live in fear that way.

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  41. I am so proud of you Jill! I am so proud of you Amy! And for all of the other women and men who had the courage to be interviewed and to speak about their absolutely traumatizing and horrendous experiences - thank you. The series was just the beginning of many people's healing journey and I pray for each and every one of you that healing will be found. My heart goes out to each and every victim of religious trauma - those wounds can take a lifetime to heal from. It is scary to think how many families are still embracing IBLP principals and using their warped controlling ideas to raise children and youth into full submission of pure evil.

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  42. After seeing this, this is my assessment of the IBLP/Gothard teachings: Gothard took Biblical truths to the extreme then taught them using a wrong foundation for why these truths should be followed. That is Bill Gothard, and because of teaching truths in an extremist and false way, conservative Christianity, as a whole, in whatever sect it is in, is now condemned as false Christianity. The documentary went out of its way to point out error but never told us why it was error Scripturally nor told us what "real" Christianity was according to the Bible. Everything in moderation, but Gothard was not moderate and this documentary did not show us what true Biblical moderation of these truths was. It did fine exposing the extremism but it failed to point out the true way. I feel sorry for the whole Duggar family, from the parents who were taken in by a false teacher on down to the children who are now dealing with all this heart wrenching publicity . They should have never put their family on TV. I wish from the bottom of my heart Bill Gothard had never had a chance to teach these things to anybody.

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    1. For the most part I agree with you. However, I don't think the documentary had any obligation to preach the gospel or tell us what "true" Christianity is supposed to be.

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    2. 11:04 They weren't "taken in" per se. They willingly joined and stayed. Nobody forced them in. They made their own mistake.

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  43. While I do not agree with Mr. Gothard's law-based approach to the Bible, some of what he taught was biblical, and I think the kids overall benefited, and benefited significantly, from that teaching. All, except for Josh and the younger ones (and Jana) have, as far as we know, happy and successful marriages (and Josh would, too, had he not done the things he has done), and have escaped the perils of sex outside of marriage with multiple partners and all that that can bring - STDs, abortion, etc. They did not enter into wrong marriages, and they are leading happy and successful lives. Ditto for the Bates. There have been some bad things happen in the organization, and I am not meaning to diminish the seriousness of those things, but to say that the benefits they have gained are worthy of consideration.

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    1. No kid needs the Bible running their young lives to the point where they can't wear certain things, their hair needs to be a certain way, they can't listen to certain music, and so on and so on. They don't need to be shown that their brothers can do whatever they want with few consequences, and that their worth as a woman will be measured by how many children they produce, not what their minds are capable of achieving. As far as dating, you're making it sound as if you're either chaste and pure or running amok. You can certainly date and not develop an STD or need an abortion. We don't know if these kids have entered into "wrong" marriages. We don't know if they're "happy" or not. Take Anna for example. She's happily (?) stuck in a very wrong marriage. A wise parent sees what they're doing wrong when raising children. The Duggars could not or would not see that. It was their strict Biblical way, period. And then you get put on TV to show the world that "superior" system and call it a "ministry."

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    2. I agree. Well said.

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    3. Anon 3:58. You nailed it. Totally agree with you.

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    4. 12:21 Face it, the Duggars way of raising children did not work as planned. How much more proof do you need. One kid learned to be super sneaky to get the excitement he wanted. Two kids feel so hurt that they had to write books or enter therapy. What are the other kids suffering in silence? Jim Bob and Michelle should have had to grow up by their own strict rules. Maybe then they would understand what harm they're doing and not make their kids live like that.

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    5. They benefited significantly? That's like throwing someone into a lake and if they end up swimming and saving themselves, then they "benefited significantly."

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  44. We did not watch the show. Just wondering why once the children were of age,why didn't they leave the show? It is obvious things were not so great in the Duggar household. The entire situation is sad to say the least.

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    1. Well it's not easy to "just leave" your source of income so they stayed. Look what happened when Jill and Derrick left. Caused a "rift". Perhaps the rest didn't want that to happen to them.

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    2. @4:59 They couldn't leave the show. Jim Bob had everyone sign contracts to stay. Jill explained this in the documentary. What she was signing wasn't fully explained and also her name had been signed by her mom on one contract even though she wasn't a minor child.

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  45. I watched it and rather than give my opinion about it, I decided to give some biblical truths about authority. God put an authority system in place after the golden calf incident at Sinai. BUT that authority system was destroyed when Jerusalem was destroyed. That is why the new covenant says no longer will you need a teacher but God Himself (through His Spirit) will be your teacher.


    We see in the New Testament that Jesus forbids us to set up a system of authority "like the gentiles" and He specifically says we are not to "lord over." Now if we are forbidden from lording over, then there is no exception clause for a husband to be allowed to lord over his wife. In fact, he has not a single scripture instructing him to take control or take authority over his wife. He is instructed to love his wife and wash her with the water of the word. The wife is instructed to surrender her will to her husbands (if there is conflict). That is why we are to not be unequally yoked. The husband and wife are a team. A team yoked together cannot pull in separate directions. Therefore, the wife is told to go the way of her husband. This is totally up to her; her husband does not make it happen. If he loves her the way the bible says, she will willingly go his way without a bit in her mouth, I might add.

    As far as an authority system in the church, it is also forbidden. Paul likens it to covering your head and says NOT to do so or it dishonors our Father. He even says not to give or take titles of authority/position and the reason why we are not to do so, explains everything. "You are all brothers" ...EQUAL....with no authority structure, position or title. This is the nicolaitan system that God hates and forbids.

    So when groups ignore the word of God and a charismatic leader puts himself in charge, the whole thing goes awry and destroys families! God expects repentance (stopping all of it) of this type of system.

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  46. Here's hoping that Jill & Derick are enjoying their 9th Anniversary!!!!!!!! (Posted by Here's Hoping.)

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  47. With all due respect to all involved, the Bible does instruct us to Honor our Parents and it does not say to honor them only if they are perfect. Another verse instructs us to go to the person we have an issue with and speak with them privately not plaster it for the world to see. God Bless the Duggars, if only the majority of our world were like them how much better off our world would be. Praying for all of them.

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    1. I disagree. Jim Bob and Michelle are not the shining example I would want as parents. Not only did they have more children than they could support, they engaged in tactics like "blanket training" and instilled fear in their children. They also covered up for Josh. So I think the world is better off because two of their children have spoken out.

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  48. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts, Ellie.

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