What Finally Stopped Josh Duggar

We need to go with what actually works to protect people from predators.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Hi and welcome back! The news today finally has a gift for us as 2021 comes to a close: Josh Duggar has been found guilty of both counts of possession and receipt of child pornography. Today, let us quickly look at what finally stopped this smirky spud’s decade-long rampage of child abuse. Hint: It sure wasn’t his flavor of Christianity!

(Jana Shnipelson.) Credit: Jana Shnipelson / Unsplash

What Didn’t Stop Josh Duggar: Part One.

We’ve known Josh Duggar had some seriously perverted and predatory desires since about 2015, when the news blew wide open about his past. For years, he’d molested any little girls he could find in his large family.

However, fundagelicals rallied around the scion of their favorite fundie-homeschooling parents. Yes, they defended this absolute piece of trash.

At that time, we learned that his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, had learned about his behavior years many earlier — around 2002 or 2003. Instead of reporting him to the authorities and letting them fully handle an investigation, his father took care of everything. He sent his son to some weird Christian fake-rehab camp to do construction work and only told a law enforcement officer the bare minimum to get Josh out of trouble.

After all that, he declared the lad cured of all molestin’ desires. Hooray Team Jesus!

During Josh Duggar’s recent trial, we also learned that he’d confessed to the mother of one of his girlfriends. He told her that he’d molested his sisters. In fact, he confessed to her three times, according to that link, all between 2002-2005. One confession involved her, her husband, and his own parents all getting together to hear him talk about it.

So plenty of people knew perfectly well that Josh was a perverted creep who preyed on little girls.

Thus, we can definitively say that Josh Duggar’s fundagelical beliefs, his group, his family, and his god did absolutely nothing to stop him from victimizing little girls when he was younger.

What Didn’t Stop Josh Duggar: Part Two.

After that 2015 blowup finally blew over, Josh Duggar emerged a free man — but diminished, greatly, in potential. He lost his cushy Family Research Council job. After that, his dad gave him pity jobs at his businesses around the family home. Josh’s family moved into a big bleak warehouse on his dad’s property.

Then, we found out about his secret accounts on infidelity and dating sites. And then, we found out about his meetups with sex workers for extremely rough sex. That’s about when his tribe finally abandoned him. They might be totes okay with diddling little girls, who are after all not people and will never be people to fundagelicals. But cheating on his wife? Oh, it is ON!

Overall, though, he muddled through. He kept his head down and got through his days somehow. All these years, he had evaded actual charges for his predation. Now, it seemed like he was now in the clear — even if his reputation was in absolute tatters.

This past spring, we found out that Josh Duggar had gotten arrested on mysterious charges. And then, we found out that the charges involved child pornography found on his work computer. Later, we found out it was the most disgusting child pornography imaginable, even by child porn standards.

So we can definitively say that once again, Josh Duggar was not stopped by his family’s strict rules, his faith community, his stated beliefs, or his god. All these forces accomplished was inspiring him to find sneakier ways to get his rocks off.

What Finally Stopped Josh Duggar.

When authorities arrested Josh Duggar in April, his smirking, florid-faced mugshot ricocheted all across the internet.

I can get out of this, that face proclaimed. My dad will come through, like always. No big deal.

Indeed, he soon got released on bail and returned home — with rules nobody expected him to follow. His new hosts were fellow fundagelicals, after all. They were also church friends with his parents and possibly had deeper connections to the Duggars.

We’ve already established that his church community, family, and circle of peers and authority figures had done absolutely nothing to stop Josh Duggar from hurting little girls. They had, in fact, failed in every conceivable way for many years by then.

The only time he’d ever faced any real pushback was from Family Research Council, of all places. And that whole situation had spiraled from a leak to the Oprah Winfrey show. So, what might the chances be that his hosts would finally crack down on him and force him to follow any rules?

We agonized through the summer and fall, wondering if this would perhaps be the time when Josh Duggar got stopped for good.

Finally, finally, finally, today Josh Duggar faced his first serious real-world smackdown from an authority source he couldn’t ignore, sidestep, or get Daddy to fix for him. A jury found him guilty of both of the arrest charges from April.

The Alternative to Real-World Repercussions.

Had we left the Duggars to their own business all this time, Josh Duggar would still be molesting little girls and consuming child pornography so horrific that one veteran investigator called it “the top five of the worst I have ever had to examine.” (Source.)

That much is crystal-clear.

Rather than reform him, Josh’s parents did every single thing they possibly could to shield their precious scion from any real-world consequences for his choices. They didn’t seem to care that they were, in the process, leaving a bunch of innocent girls largely defenseless against an out-and-out predator.

In fact, Jim Bob and Michelle unwittingly revealed all their sickening rationales during a lengthy interview. That interview also gave us quite an interesting gif of his mom’s wild-eyed stares pinballing around the room as she struggled to explain how hard she and her husband had worked to protect Josh, and why they’d decided to do so.

wow she really is a wacko ain't she
Just try to mimic this expression and movement without quickly feeling crazypants.

It took outsiders to expose Josh Duggar and investigate his actions. His parents worked overtime to prevent that exposure and subsequent investigation. They delayed and denied all attempts they could to hold their son accountable.

The Duggars’ church did nothing to persuade these two parents to do anything else. And its members certainly did absolutely nothing either, as we know from those family friends’ admissions in court.

No, it took legal authorities to clamp down on him in April, then put him in front of a judge and jury. Without these outsiders, Josh Duggar would still be going strong.

When we talk about theocracies being hellholes of cruelty and evil, this is why.

Why We Can’t Trust Christians To Run ANYTHING.

If theocracies actually worked as advertised, we wouldn’t see nonstop scandals erupting out of them. There’d be no reason to rein in these systems, because they’d be functional and harmonious.

But that’s not how things go in Reality-Land, now, is it? The two biggest social theocracies in our midst — American evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism — both face absolutely huge and completely pervasive scandals involving sex abuse. And they face those scandals for the exact same reasons.

In a world run by zealots, there are no real-world repercussions for wrongdoing — at least, not for the powerful people in that world. There are no unavoidable rules that powerful people must follow, and there’s no accountability whatsoever for anyone in a ruling caste. Fellow leaders protect each other to the hilt — as long as the people being protected are still useful.

Hell, these groups lack even any reliable ways to identify abusers, much less stop abusers from reaching positions of power. And once they get there, the members of these groups are powerless to stop abusers from abusing more people.

Without someone forcing Christians to behave, they don’t.

It’s as simple as that.

Why Josh Duggar Has Finally Faced Consequences He Couldn’t Avoid.

At last, though, good news! Someone’s finally forced Josh Duggar to stop abusing little girls!

The judge wiped that smirk right off his face!

And this time, this pushback has an excellent chance of succeeding — precisely because Josh Duggar, his daddy and mommy, his church, and his fellow Christians can’t do a thing to stop him from facing real consequences.

Oh, and do I need to say this next thing?

Yes, I think I do:

All these years, Jesus did absolutely nothing to protect all those children Josh Duggar abused. I reckon the god of the universe was just way too busy curing acne, growing hair on bald Christians’ heads, and finding great parking spots for busy believers who couldn’t be arsed to leave their houses a few minutes earlier.

Compared to these urgent needs, I mean, gosh, y’all! How can Jesus possibly help all the children abused in sickening ways by people they trust? He’s so busy!

Hey, it’s a good thing we have real-world authorities willing to help those kids — as long as TRUE CHRISTIANS™ don’t shield their abusers, anyway.

NEXT UP: Why things keep going hideously wrong in Christian groups. See you tomorrow!

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...