by Suzanne Titkemeyer
One of the most maddening things about the main stream media coverage of the Duggar family through the years is the proclivity of the press to take a Duggar rumor and elevate it to ‘fact’ status while doing exactly zero fact checking. This has been happening since May over the speculation of the Duggar finances and has reached a crescendo this week. Addicting Information added fuel to that rumor this week reporting on fans that now feel like the Duggars are a scamming bunch of grifters that are playing the fans.
Hold on to your underwear, I’m about to defend (very very slightly) the Duggars. I guess I need to stop and do a shot of whiskey here, or make sure hell isn’t freezing over.
Remember a few weeks ago when I pointed out that Josh Duggar may or may not in Rockford, Illinois at the Reformers Unanimous rehab? So where did the RU rumor come from that has now been accepted as fact by the media? From the speculation of one site, I think it was In Touch, that Josh might be there because his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, had been supporters of RU for a long time now combined with the fact that one of the Duggar planes landed in Rockford. None of the Duggars has confirmed anything beyond the fact that Josh is away at rehab, not which rehab. But now most of the world thinks he’s at RU. I also pointed out to a possible rehab in Paragould, Arkansas that the family recently flew near and now some people over at the website ‘Crooks and Liars’ are claiming Josh is there.
Since it first came out that Josh had molested four of his sisters and an unrelated girl there’s been lots of talk of broke Duggars begging people for money because they are supposedly going broke.
What evidence are the press citing? Two things – the link that appeared only for a day on the You Tube page of Duggar Studios asking for donations. That link went straight to Josiah and/or Jeremiah Duggar, not their parents. Josiah, a Duggar off spring, tried to do a little fundraising so he could keep making You Tube videos for his channel. After fan outrage Josiah pulled down the donation link the very next day. However you can still buy a Duggar Studios tee shirt if you so desire, putting fifty cents or so per shirt into Josiah’s pocket.
The other ‘evidence’ that the press keeps pushing is that Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derick Dillard have a page on their website asking for donations to keep their ministry in El Salvador. People are saying that this is the other proof that the family is hurting for money without realizing that in evangelical culture everyone who goes on international missions trips has to raise the money for the trip. This isn’t unusual at all in the church. You raise as much as you can from fundraising and make up the difference yourself if you fall short. Don’t get me started on the wrongness of mission tourism, but this is a normal way to pay for it and indicates nothing about the finances of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
It didn’t help that Amy Duggar, their cousin, also asked for donations to pay for her large wedding this past weekend. One of the weekly tabloids was there as a guest so it seems likely that Amy sold them exclusive coverage rights to the nuptials. Everyone’s got to get paid.
Seems more like two Duggar offspring following a Jim Sammons-like attempt to raise a little cash for themselves more than a reflection of their parents financial status.
Let’s examine income and assets for the family. Even though Kevin Swanson of Generations Radio has claimed on his show that the Duggars make between 1.2 million to 2.4 million per episode there are more legitimate sources that say that the family is getting closer to 40 thousand per episode. Combined with the speakers fees, book sales, DVD sales and real estate income the more likely yearly income is closer to 25 million total. While that huge hideous monstrosity of a home likely costs a fortune to heat and cool, particularly in the heat of a humid Arkansas summer and just feeding and clothing the brood isn’t cheap it’s unlikely that the family has run through their 25 million per year.
They own rental property, the family compound with the over-sized house, two single-engine air planes, a former minor league team bus, RVs, too many cars to count and other things. All of these are assets that could be turned for cash, making more mincemeat out of the claim that the Duggars are on the edge of being broke.
Their income is down, but with that list of assets and likely invested money they are likely a long way from financial collapse. But if they don’t find another revenue stream and reduce expenses it is possible that the family could suffer financially in the long term.
The grifting nature of the family isn’t new, so the people getting angry over it are merely late to the party. I find it more interesting that Jessa Duggar Seewald immediately posted hundreds of photos from her own wedding online shortly after her cousin Amy’s wedding. Seems like a very passive aggressive move.
Some Duggar ‘unnamed insider’ is claiming that Josh has zero remorse for cheating on his wife. As quoted from Entertainment Tonight –
“No remorse. He is not the person everyone thought they knew.”
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape