Duggar Family Church: Abuse, Mind Control Exposed By Ex-Member
A man has taken to Reddit to share some of the horrors of life in the Duggar family’s church, exposing what goes on behind the scenes.
The Institute in Basic Life Principles and their ATI teachings, both founded by the Rev. Bill Gothard, have always been extremely controversial.
This new account should increase that several-fold.
Celebrity news magazine In Touch Weekly, which many fans forget was the publication that outed Josh Duggar in 2015, has this exclusive.
“I was part of a fundamentalist Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP,” the former church member said on Reddit, as revealed by In Touch.
Despite the horrific accounts of Gothard abusing more than 50 women sexually, the source says this is barely “scratching the surface.”
The church member says he was abused sexually, and “since the cult taught a strict familial hierarchy,” he could do very little about it.
“My father,” he disturbingly writes, “would twist Bible verses to justify rape, death threats, and more,” and he was powerless to stop this.
“Because ATI is a homeschool cult, it was really handy to cover up the abuse from any prying eyes. My home was a prison for 11 years.”
When he was 11, his father died of a heart attack.
This, he said, gave way to a different horror: “Fast forward two years. I’m 13, with a mother [fixated] on me being a ‘troubled child.'”
This was “because 1. I dared resist my father’s advances and argue against the abuse I was suffering, gaining me the reputation of ‘rebellious.'”
“2. I’m severely depressed because I’m a freaking rape victim and depression is considered sin, and 3. I asked too many questions.”
He says he was later placed in a “secretive program called the ‘Log Cabin’ program” for treatment, the likes of which he doesn’t grasp.
“All I know is I’m about to move to Oklahoma for a while to be fixed by ‘nice counselors’ because I’m a dirty sinner,” he laments.
This “treatment” center served as a “residential childcare facility,” meaning that a parent signs over his or her rights to care for the child.
“For the next two years, I am tortured, brainwashed, starved, sleep-deprived, threatened with a shotgun, punished, humiliated,” he writes.
He was “interrogated, and terrorized. I lose 40 pounds in the first month or two. They take me off my medications (believing it is wrong to take them).”
“I exhibit severe symptoms of withdrawal and they go ignored. I am worked grueling hours, sent on aimless hikes and marches.”
“Scrubbing floors on my hands and knees until my knuckles are cracked and bleeding from the bleach, punished with hard labor.”
From the moment they became TLC stars, the massive size of Duggars’ brood and facets of their belief system were called into question.
For the record, no one is suggesting Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were involved with or support the kinds of activities described above.
You would have to be deeply disturbed and cruel to treat anyone that way, and Jim Bob, Michelle and kids are kind, well-meaning people.
That said, the enormity of the family and the particulars of its church members’ worldview are not necessarily unrelated, either.
The Duggars belong to a controversial, non-denominational organization that encourages its followers to do some questionable things.
As long as there are bizarre and often dangerous tales of the Quiverfull movement such as these, don’t expect the criticism to abate.