Friday, September 18, 2015

A MUST READ::Inside The Duggars' Deep Ties With A Once-Powerful, Now-Scorned Ministry

By keeping Josh’s confession—and punishment—in a small, closed circle, the Duggars were acting in accordance with the teachings of IBLP’s founder, Bill Gothard, and the Advanced Training Institute, IBLP’s exclusive homeschooling program that provides curricula to parents, holds conferences, and offers missionary and work opportunities. The Duggars have belonged to ATI since 1992, when Josh was four, according to their own accounts on 19 Kids and Counting.

That hugely successful reality television series, which aired from 2008 until May 2015, depicts ATI conferences as wholesome family fun, with Jim Bob describing it as “an old style family camp” and “one of the best things we’ve done for our family.”

But that portrayal obscures a dark reality, about family sexual abuse and more, according to more than a dozen former ATI members who spoke to TPM and The Investigative Fund.

A girl or woman who didn’t dress modestly and “cry out to God” is, in Gothard’s view, just as guilty of rape as the assailant—and any sexual assault within families should be kept within the family and ATI if at all possible. Another former follower, Mark*, who worked at IBLP in the 1990s, said he was not surprised by the revelation of sexual abuse within an ATI family, because he had been made aware of many similar instances during his time there.
About the Duggars, he added: “The only surprising thing was that they knew about this and still decided to do a TV show.”

Gothard’s philosophy on sexual assault is detailed explicitly in his publications, including in the Wisdom Booklets. When a woman is attacked, one booklet reads, “She is to cry out for help. The victim who fails to do this is equally guilty with the attacker.” A document Gothard sent to ATI families, “Lessons from Moral Failures in a Family,” purports to be a teenage boy’s meditation on his sexual assault of his sisters, which he blames in part on his mother, for allowing his sisters to run naked after a bath and for asking him to change his sisters’ diapers, something that would not have occurred if the family “had only applied Levitical law.”

Wisdom Booklet No. 24 contains a section on why “God’s laws on nakedness begin with modesty in the home,” and that “God’s people are commanded not to ‘uncover the nakedness’ of those near of kin.” The Wisdom Booklet also says that “nakedness arouses insatiable lusts,” lusts that are “neither quenchable nor controllable."

Inside The Duggars' Deep Ties With A Once-Powerful, Now-Scorned Ministry

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