Over and over this week I have heard bloggers and commenters and people on facebook commend Josh for apologizing and accepting responsibility for his actions. He didn’t try to deny it, they say! He was forthright! He was honest!
Well, no, he wasn’t.
Josh Duggar’s apology is full of twisted half truths and blatant lies. Josh centers himself and his own life and needs and relegates his victims to the sidelines. He also lies, numerous times. Josh’s apology is neither honest nor forthright.
Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.
This may be the only decent sentence in the entire paragraph.
I hurt others, including my family and close friends.
This seems to equate the pain of his parents and friends at what happened with the pain of his victims. This isn’t okay, but pales in comparison to what comes next.
I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.
Actually, Josh confessed three times over the course of more than a year. Further, his acts actually got worse over the course of that year. It was a full year after his first confession when he, at age fifteen, molested a five-year-old girl while holding her on his lap and reading a book to her.
Josh’s phrasing here makes it sound as though this was something that happened once, and was immediately addressed. In fact, it happened at least a dozen times over the course of a year and involved five girls in two families. Indeed, Josh molested girls for at least a year after his parents knew about it. Whatever steps his parents took after finding out, those steps did not stop him from continuing to molest young girls, some as young as five.
We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.
This is not true. First of all, Jim Bob did not take Josh to the authorities until sixteen months after he first found out about Josh’s actions. Second, Jim Bob simply took Josh to talk to a friend who happened to be a state trooper for a talking to, nothing more. Third, it appears that Jim Bob lied about the extent of Josh’s actions, falsely claiming that it was only one instance and involved only one girl (rather than happening at least a dozen times and involving five girls). So no, the authorities were not properly notified.
As for counseling, Josh’s mother admitted in the police report that he was simply sent away for four months to help a family friend with some remodeling, and that he did not receive counseling. There is also nothing there about the girls receiving counseling—and if they’d received counseling from a professional counselor, that person would be a mandatory reporter. It’s possible that there was counseling after the police report, but if so that would mean the counseling did not take place until four years after the incidents.
I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.
Really?! That’s the focus? Josh’s life? Josh displays a glaring lack of concern for his victims here—and it’s not like he didn’t have twelve years to think about how he would word this statement, either. It’s almost like his victims have disappeared from this piece entirely. In fact, they have. Instead, it’s all about Josh, and how he almost ruined his life. Lovely.
I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.
On his website, Josh says he “accepted Christ at the age of seven.” Yet here, Josh claims he was unsaved when this happened, and that it led to him accepting Christ. He is using the language of conversion here—asking Christ to forgive him and “come into” his life. Not come back into his life, mind. Into. This is incredibly deceptive.
I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions.
Why does he wish he could take those actions back? Because of the pain he caused his victims, or because of the public anger he knows is coming? He doesn’t say, and that’s a problem. As I noted, his victims have disappeared.
In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.
And that’s the end. Josh’s victims don’t reappear. Instead, Josh finishes by being glad for what God has done for him. Because that’s what this is all about, right? Josh’s life, Josh’s salvation, Josh’s wellbeing.
Josh’s apology doesn’t read to me as sincere. It reads as damage control. If it were sincere, it would be truthful, but it’s not. Instead it’s riddled with outright lies and twisted half-truths. It centers Josh’s needs and makes hardly any mention of his victims or their wellbeing.
You want to say that Josh apologized, and has been honest and open? Fine, but I’m not joining your happy little praise party.
Note: Several paragraphs in the beginning of this post have been edited to reflect some clarifications provided by less redacted police reports.