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Over the last few days, a picture has begun to emerge which suggests that Josh Duggar hasn’t only participated in extra-marital dalliances, but that at least one in recent years may have bordered on sexual assault. Given the stories we’ve heard about the trouble he got into several years ago, it sounds like we have good reason to believe he’s carrying around a lot more than just a hungry libido.  Something sounds terribly unhealthy and dangerous.
Which is why some will breathe a sigh of relief that his family has arranged for him to receive treatment for his problems.  Just what the doctor ordered, right?
Yeah, except it sounds like no doctors are being involved at any point in this process. In fact, the folks currently helping Josh are quite firmly opposed to receiving help from the medical profession.
We’ve already heard that he’s checking into a “faith-based” recovery program. What we hadn’t heard until now is that the program he checked into is yet another Christian labor camp featuring regular Bible study and preaching sessions (and we know how well faith-based recovery worked for him last time). Gawker has learned that Duggar has checked into the Reformers Unanimous rehab center, a Christian recovery ministry which as far as I can tell employs not one single mental healthcare professional among them. You can check out their website here and see what they’re about.  Here is their promotional video:

YouTube video

If you watch the video, at 6:50 they bring on an actual doctor (he has on a white lab coat so you know he’s totally legit) named George Crabb who proceeds to malign the medical profession and instead assures the viewer that what this faith-based program can do outstrips all other forms of treatment because of course Jesus.

In my medical opinion Reformers Unanimous has been so successful because it deals with the core of the problem in addiction. In medicine today we have dismal success rates unfortunately because most in the medical profession are only dealing with parts of the individual. They are dealing with the physical, they’re dealing with the psychological, but they are forgetting the spiritual.

Yes, let’s malign professional therapeutic models and instead read the Bible more. That will help.

Sounds Like You Need MOAR Bible

This gets at the heart of what’s wrong with the entire culture in which this family lives. Fundamentalism teaches you to treat the Bible as if it is a resource designed to dictate how to live and think about every area of your life.  You need life advice?  Read the Bible. You need marital help?  Read the Bible. Business principles?  Bible again. You need a workout program?  Read the Bible; there’s gotta be one in there somewhere. Sexual dysfunction?  Well, the Bible of course!
And so the unhealthy cycles of abuse continue because at no point will families like this turn to real professionals for help. They don’t trust them because they’ve been taught to believe that those godless secular heathens are being blinded by the Devil.
How can you reason with that?  You can’t. It’s a useless conversation because they’ve been taught to disregard empirical observation and credentialed support. It’s a crisis of trust, and families ensnared in this culture cannot accept outside help because they alone are in God’s design and everyone else is going to perish.
I’ve encountered a measure of this mentality myself, and it’s angering to watch. The only hope for people in their situation is to get out of it. Leave that culture behind and discover a larger world beyond the confines of the religious tradition they inhabit.  It’s never going to get any better if they don’t leave it behind.
Incidentally if you’d like to get an even more detailed picture of life at Reformers Unanimous (what a strange name choice), and you haven’t had enough video, here’s another you can check out:

YouTube video

 [Image source: YouTube]

Neil Carter is a high school teacher, a father of four, and a skeptic living in the Bible Belt. A former church elder with a seminary education, Neil now writes mostly about the struggles of former evangelicals...