Duggar 101 – Understanding the Duggar Family

Duggar 101 – Understanding the Duggar Family July 4, 2016

RedeemingDinahby Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her website Redeeming Dinah

Editor’s note: This is part of a presentation that Cindy Kunsman is giving this weekend in Dallas at the annual meeting of the organization ICSA. Another NLQ featured author, Cindy Foster of Finding Fundamental, is on one of the panels Cindy Kunsman is moderating. We will be sharing Ms. Kunsman’s presentations over the next few weeks.

All images by Cindy Kunsman from Redeeming Dinah and used with permission.

VIEW ENTIRE CLIP Featuring Vyckie Garrison HERE.

To truly understand the motivations and the life of the Duggar Family, one must understand that they are, first and foremost, followers of the elitist Independent Fundamental Baptist minister, Bill Gothard. They not only participate in his homeschooling program, but they also follow his comprehensive lifestyle program. Gothard appeals to the age group and demographic of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (the parents) by offering allegedly foolproof ways of raising Christian families whose children will continue on in the Christian faith. He’s best known for his simple steps and formulas for solving any complex problem in life, throughout life.

To Evangelicals like the Duggars, restoring their church and their culture through the traditiaonal family depends on adherence to extreme patriarchal beliefs and purity standards. Believing that secular society poses grave threats to their efforts, their religious movement soon demanded large family size as a primary strategy. The imperative serves to both advance Christian political causes and demonstrate individual holiness within their subculture.

Please browse through the tabs above (on the site Redeeming Dinah links bar at the top of the site) to better understand the leaders and religious movements to which the Duggar Family ascribes.
As you do, please consider what might have happened to their son if the family had not enjoyed wealth and celebrity status within their religious system. In response to the sex abuse situation in the home, Josh Duggar could have met with a much different fate. His mother’s false reference to a “training center” in the 2006 police investigation suggests that her son could have landed in one of Gothard’s behavior modification facilities/programs or one of the IFB’s Roloff Homes in the Troubled Teen Industry.



Fundamentalism as Kitch

moreRead more from Redeeming Dinah by Cindy Kunsman:

A Virtuous Better Way

Cindy is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network.

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.

She blogs at Under Much Grace and Redeeming Dinah.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • SAO

    When people are not allowed to voice their complaints, oppression always follows. Any parenting instruction that focuses on obedience and enforces it with beatings is abusive. Some of the Pearl’s advice, frankly, sounds like a manual from a Stalinist Gulag.

    In addition, the idea that a woman’s value is in her “purity” encourages abuse, since the girl is punished as “impure” regardless of whether she had any responsibility for the actions that made her “impure,” allowing predators to prey without being denounced.

  • Abigail Smith

    “Hypocrites” sums it up…ironically Jesus used the same word for the Pharisees (the “religious elite” of His day)…the Greek is “hupokrites”, which means “actor”. Funny how this is the same thing playing out with the Duggars and their “reality TV”…I actually respect people who are real actors, because they don’t try to pretend they are actually the part they play in real life…not like the Duggars….

  • megaforte84

    Particularly predators who are in the household or socially close.

    Keep quiet and preserve the chance to marry away later, or speak up and take the risk you may get trapped without a clear way out in adulthood and possibly be faced with continued parentally-enforced contact with the offender?

  • pl1224

    There’s something that I really don’t understand. Ostensibly, the goal of the CPM/QF bunch, with its insistence on large families, is to produce enough of right-thinking fundamentalist Christian adults to effect the replacement of our secular, democratic republic with a theocracy with laws based of Mosaic law. In order for this goal to be realized, the adults in question would have to be reasonably well educated, accomplished, individuals capable of managing all facets of society. Since this cult generally frowns on “worldly” education, doesn’t allow its members to have much association with society in general, and doesn’t allow its young people to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for one to effect change in the world, how do the leaders of this movement realistically expect those “seven mountains” to be climbed?

  • Astrin Ymris

    I think they expect only the wealthy sons of celebrity preachers to go about climbing those “seven mountains”. The role of the hoi polloi is to “pray, pay, and obey”. Especially the second; how else can those preachers become wealthy?

    That, or their blindness to internal contradiction keeps them from from seeing the logic gap in front of their eyes.

  • SAO

    I don’t think political leaders need to be all that educated. Plenty of countries have powerful groups with a big influence on or control of policy based on their expansive knowledge of their holy book, rather than the modern world. Iran and Afghanistan leap to mind. The Rabbis have a fair amount of say in Israel on certain questions. The Catholic church has a lot of influence on social policy in some countries.

    You might think Iran is not a shining example of a well-run country, but plenty of people are willing to believe that religious leaders are ordained by God and if God ran the country, it would be well run, rather than a hell where purity police harass women for showing a millimeter too much bare skin.

  • RetroPam

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that some in the Reformed theonomic (a subset of Dominionist) group look highly upon the study of philosophy and law, that is, when they’re not pursuing a real life version of the Parable of the Ten Minas, becoming investment experts and all that. (The parable ends in a very dominionist way, too.)

    But the end objective of each is the ultimate acquisition of power. They learn to use philosophy as a shield to defend their own fundamentalism and as a sword to attack the beliefs of others. (They’re the ones who had a hand in turning “worldview” into a household word for many people.) They study law, particularly Constitutional law, for the express purpose of weakening its protections of minority groups and minority rights.

    It’s not learning for learning’s sake, but for the purpose of weaponizing that knowledge in their quest to conquer.

  • pl1224

    Thank you Pam, I understand a bit better now.

  • Eve

    It is a lie that these people insist on larger families to “take over the world” rather they denounce contraception something the Catholic Chruch has done as well for centuries. In fact up until the 1930s or so almost every Christian denomination denouced the use of contraception with the argument that it usurped God’s authority as the creater of life and that it twisted the purpose and nature of the sex act making it primarily about personal pleasure rather than unity between spouses. And there is a rational to that for it is by contraception that sex outside of marriage is justified, with the creation of modern contraception sexual morality has changed from, “wait until you are married” to “practice safe sex”, with “unsafe sex” merely being natural sex.

    There are still Christians today such as the Amish and Mennonites as well as Jews, the Orthdox and Hassidic who oppose contraception except for health purposes where pregnancy could be very dangerous for the wife. This is why these cultures still believe that sex outside of marriage is very wrong when you think about it our former “puritanical” attitudes towards sex were not without merit, they made a lot of sense in a time where std testing and treatment did not exist and where pregnancy was not so easily avoidable while having sex.

    There is a difference between demanding larger families and not using contraception. The confusion comes from the ubiquitousness of contraceptive use which makes peoe think it is “abnormal” or even “immoral” to exclusives enagage in natural sex that results in conception.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    He molested his sisters! That is much worse than the average fundamentalist (and yes, statistics bear out that there are higher divorce rates and porn usage in religious communities than among unbelievers) reading a Playboy or watching a little porn. When you inflict damage on others it’s worse.

    However we have rules here about keeping a community safe for those recovering from the worst of QF. Please read our special rules for Duggar supporting commenters before posting again as you are skirting dangerously close to violating our comment polices. Your comments have been flagged as inappropriate by our readers. – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/duggar-fans-comment-policy/

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh please! I have heard the outbreed the unbelievers sermons from the pulpit of my old QF church and seen it repeated many times. Nancy Campbell has stated on her blog repeatedly that she encourages women to practice QF to outbreed the Muslims and take over the government and world. It’s a fact.

    Don’t want to use birth control? Fine, do not use it. But don’t insist everyone else follow the same belief. There is no confusion here, many of our readers and all of our writers have come out of Quiverfull situations and families.

  • The tale of two Cindys!

  • Yup. From the section subtitled “Evangelism through Reproduction.” Social Darwinism in action.

  • Butter my buns, and call me a biscuit. Or just… Pee on my shoe, and tell me it’s raining.