It is now revealed why the Duggar family was forced to remove wayward eldest son, Josh Duggar, from the Illinois addiction program he checked into in August. In what can only be seen as a type of emergency evacuation, the Duggar family plane left Rockford, Illinois, and flew to Springdale, Arkansas, under severe weather warnings and high-wind alerts.
Flying under these dangerous weather patterns in a small, single-engine plane is not recommended for amateur pilots. The Duggar family pilot, John David, 25, received his private pilot license less than a year ago and there is no evidence that he has ever flown either of the two family’s planes under similar weather conditions before.
John David and his passengers were photographed on takeoff in Rockford in the Duggar’s 11-year-old Cirrus plane at 2:29 p.m. CST on Wednesday. The plane flew head-on into severe weather with record-breaking wind speeds, which produced at least 15 tornadoes on the ground.
“There were also 105 reports of thunderstorm wind damage, mainly in Iowa, northern Missouri and Illinois, meeting the criteria for a derecho, a widespread, convective windstorm, according to senior meteorologist, Stu Ostro.”
“Peoria, Illinois, clocked a 71-mph wind gust at 7:44 p.m. CST Wednesday, breaking its all-time November wind gust record of 70 mph set during the Nov. 17, 2013, tornado outbreak.”
Buffeted by strong winds, the four-seat Duggar family plane was tracked on an erratic flight path. At no time did the plane reach its maximum cruising speed. At one point the aircraft slowed down to just 85 miles-per-hour, dangerously close to the stall speed of 78 MPH. More than 100 additional miles were logged to the normal course of the flight. The 500 mile flight took over four hours.
As The Inquisitr reported on November 12, Josh Duggar had been staying in Rockford for the past 11 weeks.
“Josh has been in a Christian boarding facility attending a work-therapy program in Rockford since August 25. He left his wife and their four children after confessing to an addiction to pornography and to committing adultery, after it was disclosed that he had at least two accounts on the adultery dating site Ashley Madison.”
“…The program Josh has been attending is Reformers Unanimous Men’s School of Discipleship. The school houses men primarily with drug and alcohol addictions, but it has no licensed therapists or medical professionals. The basic course is a six-month commitment under very strict rules. Admission is voluntary, but if a student violates the rules, he must leave the program.”
The school bills itself as a work-therapy and Bible study program and treats all addiction problems as religious problems. Students are required to work 40 – 50 hours a week without compensation, and to study the Bible at least 10 hours a week. They also must adhere to an exact schedule.
It is clear that Josh Duggar left the program without finishing even half of the minimum six month course. Staff members of Reformers Unanimous answered questions about why people leave the program during chat/comments on its live broadcast Friday night.
“RU’s goals are graduates, not students. We wish that people would stay to finish – but sometimes they chose not to.”
“There are many rules, all of which are necessary to create an environment of spirituality and seeking God. The majority of people who leave just don’t like other people telling them what to do.”
“Others who won’t submit to the rules like no smoking or no drinking can be terminated by the housing director if they are considered harmful to other people’s programs.”
“There are some who come to the program without the intention of following the program or its regulations. Eventually they may choose to leave if they are unwilling to endure the painstaking process.”
In short, students are either kicked out of the School of Discipleship or they simply lose interest in finishing. While at the school, Josh was not allowed to have cash, checks, or credit cards. He had no way of leaving the Rockford facility without assistance. Whether he was kicked out or he just wanted to leave, the school’s policy is to move the student to a local homeless shelter when he is no longer in the program. That was the emergency that sent the Duggar plane on a hazardous flight in inclement weather conditions.
It must be remembered that Josh Duggar didn’t just decide to confess his sins one day and turn his life around. Rather, he was caught like a deer in the headlights when hackers published information about two of his accounts on the adultery dating site, Ashley Madison.
That outing of his deviance from the Duggar family religious practices led to a public condemnation by his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who elicited an apology from Josh, which was published on Michelle’s blog. After Josh was taken to Rockford in the family plane, Michelle wrote that he was in “a long-term treatment center.”
“For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change.”
Michelle, Josh’s mother and Duggar family spokesperson for Josh’s treatment, has made no public statement concerning Josh’s leaving. One news source reports that some Duggar family members have been kept in the dark as well.
The day after Josh left, the Duggar family plane went to Denton, Texas, where it was on the ground overnight, and then it returned to Arkansas on Friday. It is unknown whether or not Josh was aboard that flight, but there is a sex addiction treatment facility seven miles from the Denton airport, Santé Center for Healing.
No new pictures of Josh in Springdale have emerged and no public statements have been made concerning his whereabouts now. With Thanksgiving just a week away, a statement might be expected from the Duggar family if Josh is absent for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
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[Image via TLC]