Quoting Quiverfull: Internet/Phone Accountability To Keep Hearts ‘Pure’?

Quoting Quiverfull: Internet/Phone Accountability To Keep Hearts ‘Pure’? November 8, 2014

growing up duggar book coverby Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar from their book “Growing Up Duggar” – page 152

Doesn’t say if this is only for the kids or also for the young adults in the household.


Internet access on our computers and smartphones is controlled by passwords that Mom and we older girls are responsible for. Whenever access is giving to the Internet, we keep it in an open area, usually with at least one person present for accountability. That family guideline was put in place many years ago to protect our family members from accidentally (or even intentionally) browsing to harmful sites that might include pornography or other things that could be detrimental.

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  • MizzKittay

    Another form of control. By the way what’s the point of keeping the “heart” pure (you mean lady bits am-I-right?) if the mind is filthy? Kind of like… having a bath and only washing the parts underwater. My armpits will still stink.

    The Duggars themselves say these urges lead to marriage. I’d have to disagree these urges lead us to sex (if we allow them to). It’s called the sex drive, it’s here to help us perpetuate the species. Not to marry your boyfriend of 2 weeks. That’s just idiotic.

  • Nea

    Small children do need to be guided. Middle kids need to be guided to understand what is or isn’t good and how to handle what isn’t good, because they WILL encounter it. And teens and young adults should have been already raised so that you can trust them.

    And that’s the problem with the whole “we’re more accountable than you” Duggar philosophy. Those supposedly wholesome children who were trained up the way they should go are — according to themselves! — not remotely trustworthy. They can’t handle something outside their sheltered areas. They can’t keep their hands off someone they’re interested in. They can’t talk without a watch dog dogging their every move: they all say so. They “need” to be held “accountable” by others to keep themselves under the most basic of control.

    If Jim Bob wants to show how much better his child rearing methods are, why are the results less trustworthy at 21 than I was at 14?

  • Nea

    The sex drive can be controlled. The Duggars and their fans will never believe this, but there was once a guy I was hot over and he was equally hot over me — and we decided, like adults, that our long term goals in a relationship were incompatilble so we’d rather stay friends than become fighting ex-lovers.

    In Duggarworld that’s inconceivable. Nobody can be trusted to act like a grownup.

  • Anonyme

    “Internet access on our computers and smartphones is controlled by passwords that Mom and we older girls are responsible for.”

    I guess the boys/men can’t be trusted with the password, being uncontrollable sex fiends. It’s always up to the women to keep them from “stumbling”.

    On an unrelated topic, I seethe ad on the right for Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ movie. Seriously? A movie all about the (unfounded) ‘war on Christmas’ is ridiculous enough, but before Thanksgiving? It’s already starting???

  • His followers need a lot of time to save Christmas from its crass commercial uses.

    On a totally unrelated note, I see this movie has been released to theaters, for regular ticket prices, one presumes.

  • *grumble*
    That level of control just… *growl* Momma Bear isn’t happy. The one time I actually started to *pack up my stuff to leave* was the day my husband hid the laptop from me. He SAID it was because he just wanted one day where I wasn’t online all day…

    It didn’t feel like that, though.

  • Mel

    That reminded me of a woman we had come in as a speaker for a young adult group (18-35ish). She was around 40, had one young child, and had been married for a few years. She started telling us how important it was that both spouses have complete access to all communication accounts – cell phone message passwords, access to ALL email accounts – including work ones etc – so neither would be able to have an affair. (This was not AFTER an affair….this was basic operating procedures in their household.)

    I had three thoughts. First: I legally can’t turn over my teacher email access to my husband without potentially running afoul of HIPPA and FERBA. Second: Why would I marry someone who trusted himself and me so very little? Third: What a strange and false sense of security. I could make a new secret email address in 30 seconds. A prepaid disposable phone would take me about a hour to get – including drive time.

    Better to marry someone sensible and adult and simply trust them.

  • Mel

    That explains why it was so important for his girls to see Jessa and Ben’s wedding….

    I wondered what project he was going to promote next.

  • I remember hearing that advice for handing over all passwords and stuff in the name of “accountability” and I just… I was going through hell ANYWAY because of my husband’s condition and the stress involved there and my online relationships were, and still are, my lifeline. The idea that I needed to hand over all sense of *self* and even the *illusion* of free will… that didn’t help the depression setting in.

  • MizzKittay

    I highly doubt they experienced anything remotely close to what you just described. I’m doing some speculation here, though I am trying to follow the clues. Maybe Michelle or Jim Bob felt tarnished for not waiting to kiss at the altar. Or perhaps this is the result of the miscarriage the couple faced early in their marriage by birth control pill. I just get the idea something like that is responsible for the obsessive control behind the Duggars. Like because they “failed” once or twice they would learn from it and make it impossible via house law for the children to be “lead astray”

    I think it’s healthy for kids to be lead astray (just not too far) so they learn to fall down but most importantly pick themselves up again. It -seems- like the Duggar children aren’t given those kinds of opportunities to learn or grow. Why doesn’t it worry them? Do they just assume that all of their children will be successful in every way? Statistically speaking that’s not really realistic. Again, unless dubious amounts of laws and watch doggedness were employed. Though in that world Jana is already getting close to “old maid status” unmarried women by 25. Could that be seen as failure and is this why Jana is out of the spotlight? Jana seems to have a legit excuse though “I’m waiting on Gods timing” Who dares argue with the Almighty in that world?

    Ah, if only more relationships could be like that. You know… mature. Having an honest sit down and just laying the cards on the table. Two adults just talking and seeing if the basics fall into place. Since you had different goals you realized it could be a problem in advance and likely saved you both some grief. Very respectable. Highly intelligent.

    Sorry I kind of wrote an essay. I find the psychology behind these kinds of things to be too irresistible to me.

  • Allison the Great

    I know, I hate this supposed war on Christmas. I still say Happy Holidays to people. I do it because getting mad over a fucking salutation not being what one wants it to be is the most petty thing in the world. I also do it because when I’m talking to Christians, “Happy Holidays” means Christmas and New Years. It must blow their fragile little minds when someone implies that there is more than one holiday that even Christians celebrate during this time. Lawd Almighty!

  • Astrin Ymris

    All the upvotes! The catchphrase USED to be “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will NOT depart from it.” When the first edition of ‘Dare to Discipline’ was released, James Dobson claimed this referred primarily to the preschool years and taking the kids to church every Sunday. Once the kids were properly “imprinted” on Christianity, you didn’t have to worry about anything but the annoyingly-persistent Free Will thing.

    But over time, the Religious Right has evolved in the direction of demanding more and longer control over their children’s intellectual environment, going from just taking your kids to Sunday School, to Christian private schools, to homeschooling, then “home college” and now “Stay At Home Daughters”. Perhaps because they realized that despite what the Bible claimed, their children WERE “leaving the fold” anyway. You’d think this would make them re-consider both 1) the inerrancy of the Bible, and 2) whether their interpretations were the “Truth”.

    When ADULTS’ access to unfettered information and social interaction outside the religious group is infringed, that’s considered one of the signs of a cult. Yet we view the Duggars as an admirable, all-American family. Hmmm….

  • Astrin Ymris

    Speaking of “accountability” how about parenting your own kids, so that they aren’t traumatized when their de facto “mothers” marry and leave the nest?


    This may explain why Jana hasn’t been married off yet. Isn’t the youngest Duggar (Josie) her “buddy”? If even five-year-old Jordyn is having trouble coping with Jessa’s semi-removal, how would four-year-old Josie handle a REAL separation?

  • Mel

    I think the Duggar parents control issues predate their marriage. Earlier in the book, the daughters mention that Michelle has struggled with bulimia which is often way of feeling more in control of your life. From what I remember from 14 kids and counting way back when, Jim Bob has always come in second place his whole life. EVERY time. I think he even counts his marriage as 2nd place since Michelle wasn’t as completely inexperienced sexually as he was.

    Now, they have something they can control – their kids.

    Or they did. The kids are growing up and moving out…the end of their reign as matriarch and patriarch is in sight.

    Which probably terrifies them.

  • SAO

    Just what are those “other things that could be detrimental” that the family guidelines “protect our family members from accidentally (or even intentionally) browsing?”

    Evolution? Truth about birth control? That life exists beyond their claustrophobic bubble?

  • Oh, in his explanation it was because he felt that I “loved the computer more than him”, but to be honest, I get more SUPPORT from the computer than I get from him. He thought that if he took away the computer for a day, I’d go back to being the “barely out of teens” young bride who was dependent on him for everything. That some *magic* would take place to suddenly reverse years of problems up to that point.

    What really gets me, though, is that he didn’t discuss this with me ahead of time. He didn’t explain, ahead of time, that it would only be for a day. I actually thought that he’d *gotten rid of* the computer. Maybe I wouldn’t have freaked out like that if it had been arranged in advance, but damn, there was no arranging anything.

    It’s not just him, though. It’s the whole damn family. His grandmother is always going on about how they’re going to “force” me to do this, or “make” me do that, and how they want “old Grizzy” back. The problem is, there’s no going back to the person I was when I was twenty. Too much damage has been done by time and circumstance. I’m never going to BE that ignorant and sheltered again. And they just don’t GET it.

    Now? It’s like I’m the only one who can cook anything. I’m the only one who can do dishes. I’m the only one who can clean. He… does nothing. Sometimes he’ll help. Sometimes he’ll load the dishwasher, but only if I’ve already *unloaded* it. And yet I’m *wrong* when I tell him that I no longer believe that men have automatic leadership of their households.

    I am so damned exhausted all the time.

  • Trollface McGee

    They’re homeschooled… so if one of them has questions about sexuality, or wants to read an unapproved book, or visit a site that isn’t doctrinally approved, or is just curious about that boil on their bum… they’re out of luck.
    If I believed in sin, I would put denying information to people very high on the list.

  • Brennan

    And funny how this happened just as the children of the movement were growing up. Their aging parents no longer had to be terrified of Satanism in preschool and orgies in third grade. A cynical person might suggest that movement leaders needed to create some new terror specific to their teens and twenty-somethings if they were going to get their flocks to continue buying books and paying for seminars on how to keep your children in line.

  • Nea

    Access so all accounts including work ones? What if work accounts are sensitive? Heck, what if they’re classified?

  • Nea

    I have never understood why her first miscarriage was because God hated birth control, but her later ones were just things that happen.

  • Nea

    I seethe ad? Great autocorrect – those ads make me seethe!

  • That’s the viewpoint of Dr. Willard F. Harley, a psychologist who does marriage coaching over the phone and runs the site marriagebuilders.com. (Disclaimer: I got banned from their discussion board, the only such ban I have ever had, but still, keep that in mind in assessing what I say.) Back when I was still posting there, I raised the issue of confidentiality several times (and so did other people), and supporters of his viewpoint either tap danced around the issue or out and out said that if you can’t share work emails with your spouse you should quit that job (although this was in specific cases where there had been infidelity).

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Or all the stuff posted far and wide on the internet about the Duggar family, particularly how their lifestyle and general behavior is viewed by the mainstream.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    If you can’t trust them (your kids) any further than you can throw them, you (the parent) have failed at your job. I know that it’s difficult to let your kids go once they’re adults – you’ve spent all the time leading up to this point raising them and guiding them (hopefully in a positive direction and to be decent adults) but it’s not healthy to keep your adult child in that earlier child state – you have reached the point where they have learned all they’re going to from their parents lessons; what does it say about those lessons when you refuse to let them go out and show they were listening in how they live their adult lives?

    It says that those lessons were crappy.

  • Iris

    You mean the douchebag who answers letters like this:

    “Three weeks ago my husband of 16 years said he wanted to separate. He said he felt that his emotional needs had not been met for a long time and he doesn’t want to fight to have them met. […]”

    with this:

    ” I would guess that the need you do not meet for your husband is sex […]”

    I mean really?! When men say “emotional needs” they automatically mean “sex”?? Guess I must have missed this crucial lesson on Teh Male Brain there… So yeah, not a guy I’ll take advice from thankyouverymuch.

  • Saraquill

    Since when does watching cat videos make a person want to kick baby J*sus?

  • Nea

    Second thought reply:

    It -seems- like the Duggar children aren’t given those kinds of opportunities to learn or grow. Why doesn’t it worry them? Do they just assume that all of their children will be successful in every way?

    Gothard/Phillips/et al has promised them paint-by-numbers perfection. There’s no other growth needed: they’ve been molded to be good little cult members, say what the cult wants them to say, think what the cult wants them to think, preach what the cult told them to preach.

    Growth is anti-religion, according to the famous preachers selling character books and Vision Forum dolls. Learning is anti-religion. Just do what you’re told and you’ll be fine. They *promise.*

    And if something goes wrong, it’s because someone failed the system, because the first rule is the system can’t fail.

  • Mel

    Exactly! All governmental employees I know can’t let your spouse have access to your email and I assume that’s the same for commercial ventures.

  • Mel

    In case of an affair, I would want to work with a psychologist for individual and couples counseling. I can understand needing access to personal accounts, then. But that still won’t let you get access to confidential work email accounts. You could set up a Mutually Assured Destruction clause in lieu of access- if you cheat again and use your work email for it, I will notify your job of the breach of professional IT requirements.

  • Nea

    The reign won’t end if they can keep the kids close to home while they have their own babies. And so far, that’s exactly what the Duggar parents have done – the opposite of leave and cleave. Keep and keep on the leash.

  • Nea

    Government workers, police, doctors, nurses, psychologists, law enforcement *(just off the top of my head) – sharing any of those emails would be illegal.

    ETA: For that matter, just discussing the job at home is illegal. Violation of privacy at best.

  • Nea

    or out and out said that if you can’t share work emails with your spouse you should quit that job

    Because new jobs are so easy to get. Especially when you are currently unemployed and the answer to “Why did you leave your last job?” is “I could not share company emails with someone outside the company.”

    Yeah, people are going to be in a real rush to hire that person!

  • katiehippie

    I HAVE DEPARTED! And I’m much happier for it.

  • I believe in the concept of sin and I think you and I are in agreement on that. Denying people information/education is sinful to my mind. It’s part of that whole concept of loving those around you as you love yourself. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

  • We need another category. We’ve already got “Damn you, Autocorrect!” now we need “Kudos, Autocorrect!” or something similar, ’cause sometimes it’s just brilliant.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Unless you have an internet filter, having another person around won’t necessarily stop you from coming across porn on accident. Are you guys familiar with “rule 34”?

    Anyway. I get supervising younger kids, but teens and young adults, that’s kind of ridiculous unless you already know they’re doing something messed up on the internet. I dunno, what’s funny to me about it is that these people often talk about how their kids are so much better than other kids, yet they apparently can’t be trusted to be on the internet unsupervised.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    LOL, yeah, if you have to know everything your spouse is doing at any given time, you probably don’t have a good relationship, ha ha.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Or get used to seeing things outside of their bubble. I mean, once they get out of the house and end up in a life where they aren’t being constantly shielded from stuff. I think this kind of stuff isn’t much different from raising a kid and never teaching him/her how to clean and cook. Whatever your reasons for doing it, you’re still preventing the kid from learning stuff they’re going to learn eventually. Not teaching them earlier just puts them at a disadvantage.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    My mom flips out over the word “holiday” in general, even when I’m not referring to Christmas. Like when we’re at a store and I say “let’s go to the holiday section”. Most stores have a specific area to put seasonal items in, but my mom gets mad when I say it.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Christmas shit always comes early. I hate it. Maybe we should REALLY declare war on Christmas.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    … That’s pretty sad.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Do people still believe cats are Satanic? (I think my oldest cat is Satanic, but I don’t think ALL cats are Satanic)

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That’s one thing that has just bothered me even when I was part of it. When do kids get to actually BE kids? Never.

  • Trollface McGee

    I remember my first tour in the War on Christmas. I arrived green… covered in fir and mistletoe and I had no idea what to expect… and it was awful! Awful! I managed to take down the store cashier wishing me “Happy Holidays” with my M-16 but behind her, were a bunch of carollers wishing tidings of joy and peace! I thought the end was near but my buddy Billy Bob dragged me, bleeding tinsel all over the ground over to our weaponised Christmas tractor where I was surrounded by at least six nativities wrapped in American flags.

  • *salute*

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Makes the whole thing seem rather futile, really, if they’re just going to stray the minute they don’t have someone watching them. It kind of reminds me of kids who never get taught how to cook or clean; unless the parents come to their homes constantly to do that stuff for them, they’re at a loss. They usually figure it out eventually, but not being taught earlier still put them at a disadvantage.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Congratulations! ;-D

  • Astrin Ymris

    An even more cynical person might wonder if the under-education of the kids is intended to keep the kids financially dependent on their parents for life. What employment options do they have other than “helping” in the family business? And how can they leave later on if the family patriarch refuses to give them a reference, or even verification of employment?

  • Mermaid Warrior

    I’m wondering if the kids who grew up with such childhoods still ended up “straying” (even just a little) as they got older, so the people who run these things decided that something had to be done to control the older kids, otherwise their methods wouldn’t be considered successful. I read a blog post a while back that tried to speculate on why the Satanism scare of the 1980’s died, and one person suggested that the kids who grew up during it realized that the things their parents warned them against weren’t actually evil.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Man, that’s rough. It sounds like what they really want is for you to lie to yourself, or just accept your life situation and make the best of it instead of doing what they might perceive as wallowing in unhappiness. After all, it’s not like people can unlearn what they know, or forget their experiences. It’s like you’ve left the allegorical cave. Hope things get better for ya.

  • I hate to say this, but if I had kids, I’d be doing the same thing. I’d probably be doing it with teens, also. Too many bad things can happen to innocent kids. After what happened to me as a child, I would err on the side of being far too over-protective.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I also wonder if Michelle doesn’t want to take over the challenge of raising the reportedly somewhat strong-willed and (relatively) indulged Josie in the full glare of the television cameras. They’re being watched very closely now, so being caught “training up” a child using Michael Pearl’s methods would severely damage their brand.

    I also get the impression that Josie wouldn’t take the loss of HER mother-figure with a few telegenic tears. Even if she escaped major brain damage from her premature birth, she may have experienced more subtle damage to executive function and emotional regulation that makes her more of a handful than the previous Duggar kids whom Michelle has played “Mom” to for the cameras.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Take it from someone who grew up like this: The more you try and control your kids the more they’re going to rebel and do exactly what you don’t want them to. Teenagers need trust and privacy. Sticking internet filters on their computers are just going to make them go elsewhere to see what you’re blocking.

    Your kids won’t trust you if you don’t trust them. If they don’t trust you, you’re not going to know when they have issues you really should be helping with. Raise your kids right and let them grow up. You won’t have issues you can’t handle.

  • I grew up with constant stalking and death threats from the pedophile who molested me. Once I was grown, engaged in a high-profile job, the death threats began, again. Then the stalker. I’ve been on the other side of hell. There’s nothing wrong with keeping an eye on a child. You explain why. My mother never did, until I was grown, had moved away, and was living back on the property – when the death threats began, again. As a teen and in college I resented every minute of the restrictions. Then, when I learned the reason, and experienced the horror of the guy trying to get into the house, I had no problem admitting she was right.

  • Situations like that, and situations like high-profile kids who are prone to being followed by the media… yeah, I can see being more than a little overcautious. But it’s overcaution with *explanation*. The thing is, with the Duggars they aren’t isolating their *adult* children because they’re trying to keep the perverts from them, they’re isolating them because they’re trying to keep their *adult children* from questioning their teachings.

    So yeah, I can definitely see being cautious, especially in your case, and I can see the case for explaining to the child WHY you’re being cautious. But there’s only so much you can do.

    Hell, if I wouldn’t rebel so fast it’d make his head spin, I dare say my *husband* would try to put a website filter on the computer to keep me from THESE sites. He’s already *stated* that he’d rather I stopped reading here because, to quote him, it’s making me act like he’s my enemy and he’s NOT my enemy. For which read, I’m learning things he has no control over and starting to question HIM and HIS positions. Which goes back to the real reason the Duggars are controlling the Internet in their household.

  • Baby_Raptor

    A teenager is not a “child.” Further, internet filters and accountability buddies are not “keeping an eye on” someone.

    What happened to you was hell. I’m not arguing that. But if you smother your kids you’re just going to end up pushing them to those people and they won’t trust you enough to tell you about it.

  • Exactly. You use your brain. Kids need to be taught how to be safe. That’s one of the most important aspects of protecting them. There is smothering and there is being cautious. What I went through left me scarred. I’ll admit that. You spend a good 10 years living with a stalker, not knowing who it is, but at least having the local sheriff realize that there was a very real stalker. It does things to a person. You live in a state of siege. it took years for me to unwind, after I was forced to move cross country to get away from who ever it was. I still don’t know. Any one can be a victim.

  • There is a difference between smothering and common sense. For about 7 years I was in charge of our youth group at church. I was also the leader of our Junior Daughters of the King. I had about 15 girls in the group. When they started with me, they were anywhere from 9-11. They grew up in that group. One of the things I did, with their parents’ permission, was teach self-defense, awareness of one’s surroundings, about stalkers, rape, pedophiles, and how to protect one’s self. We brought in cops, a Navy SEAL, psychologist, anyone who could teach the girls how to live in a changing world. That’s one way you do it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Teaching kids self-defense while at the same time teaching them about how they should totally love and worship the god who claims that all of humanity was screwed over by a woman and ordered his female followers to marry their rapists, among a myriad of other sexist things.

    Am I the only person who sees the problem here?

    Also, that stuff is all well and good but it’s not what we were discussing.