The Duggar Scandal, is it The Tip of the Iceberg?
At this point, it has become common knowledge the Josh Duggar, the oldest of the Clan’s children, had molested 5 younger girls, 4 of them his siblings. From news reports, it has become clear that the 4 abused within the family where the youngest daughters at the time, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna.
However, while this is awful in its own right, I am further disturbed by the links the family has that lead to similar issues.
The most obvious one is the police officer who came by, who had been expressly contacted by church elders to talk to Josh. Joseph T. Hutchens was arrested in 2007 for Child Porn Charges. He was released on parole, but was caught again in 2010, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, with a possibility of Parole in 2020. It should also be noted that the former officer never followed up, and never reported this to higher-ups in the department. In fact, they would not learn about this until Hutchens was arrested in 2007, after the statute of limitations expired, which prevented any action.
But, the man that the Duggar’s rely on ideologically (or, at least one of them., Bill Gothard, was himself forced out of his ministry last year, as a result of allegations of sexual abuse by at least 34 women, including a teenager who was just 16 when the event occurred. I should note that I have not seen that he was prosecuted, which is just a bit disturbing. He is also the man that “counseled ” Josh after what Josh did as well.
As a final punchline, Michelle Duggar received an award from the Quiverfull movement found in 2013. Within a year, he would confess to cheating on his wife. In addition, the woman he was having an affair with has called him heavily abusive.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of Phillips in the small world of extreme fundamentalists. His father is one of the most critical founding fathers of the Christian right movement generally, and Doug extended his work by largely building this culture of the far Christian right as we know it, especially if you watch 19 Kids & Counting. The Duggar family are friends and acolytes of Phillips, and Vision Forum, in turn, has used Michelle Duggar in their efforts to demonize contraception, including giving her an award for “Mother of the Year” for having so many children.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that there may be more to this entire scandal than the typical minister-caught-cheating story. The woman with whom Phillips confessed to an “inappropriate” relationship, named Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, filed suit in Bexar County, Texas, accusing the powerful Christian right leader of pushing her into a multi-year abusive relationship that allegedly featured frequent sexual assault. While the complaint never mentions sexual intercourse, it does claim that he repeatedly groped and masturbated on her while she protested. The plaintiff alleges she was basically moved into Phillips’ house with his wife and children, taken on many family vacations, and given work as a caretaker for the family, all while secretly being bullied into sexual encounters without consent. She even claims that Phillips told her that they would marry soon, as he believed that his wife was about to die.
I do believe there is a major child sexual abuse problem among the Quiverfull crowd, and think there should be a major investigation into this, It seems the more you pull at this story, some other atrocity comes out. Most disturbing is how the church knew about it, but attempted to keep it out of the police’s hands. When they did go to one, they went to one willing to not follow up, and inform others.
And for all our talking about Josh, what about the poor girls? As evident from the picture below, women are not treated as fulling functioning humans, but as cattle.
This makes me very upset. Because women can be just as powerful, smart, and awesome as men. The Muslim Women I know are all geniuses, and tend to out-perform their male peers. And I wouldn’t have made it this far, if not for the care and protectiveness of women I have had as friends in trying to get me to be more competent socially, and shielding me from bullying that often occurred at because of people, predominantly males, picking on me for various deficiencies I have had through my life. Girls and women need to thrive, and persue their dreams, and these Taliban-like pieces of rabid, rotten flesh are, to be pretty close to the definition of absolute evil.
This has however, softened my view of Colorado Springs. Because I never met any nuts like this there.