The Duggar family is known, among other things, for homeschooling their many offspring. One organization from which they source curriculum has just lost membership in a group that accredits Christian nonprofits. However, the organization wasn’t dumped for its curriculum standards, or for the victim-blaming sex ed program. Instead, it seems that scandal has rocked the Duggar (and associated groups’) world yet again.
According to Radar Online, the Duggar family began homeschooling in the ’90s, using a program sold by Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles. According to the Duggar Family Blog, the materials Michelle and Jim Bob use for their offspring have since grown to include more than a dozen providers, but ATI (Advanced Training Institute, the branch of IBLP that produces the homeschool curriculum) is still on the list all these years later.
IBLP and founder Bill Gothard have been through some difficulties in the days since the Duggar family started following their teachings, however. Gothard, for one, has been accused of sexually abusing a number of females who attended his program. He has resigned from his position with IBLP. He has also been renounced by other reality TV stars whose Duggar-sized families previously endorsed him.
Religion News Service describes the EFCA as an institution which “gives accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations.”
The EFCA lists IBLP among “former members” as of March 11 — citing the reason as “Terminated for failure to comply with Standard 2: Governance.”
What do they mean by “governance”? Well, here‘s a snippet from EFCA’s page on that.
“When a ministry encounters failure—or even worse, scandal—its difficulties can almost always be traced to a breakdown in governance.”
The description goes on to include regulations such as minimum size of governing board and frequency of meetings, but “scandal” may be the key word, with Gothard facing accusations of misdeed, and one of the program’s most well-known graduates in the news for sexual assault of minors, presence on an extramarital affair website, and a lawsuit (now dropped) by a woman who said he paid her for sex, which was described as rough and abusive, all in the course of a single year.
According to Talking Points Memo, the family’s membership in IBLP may have contributed to the mindset that led to Josh Duggar’s behaviors, to his parents and sisters (his victims) keeping the crimes quiet, and to the sisters feeling that forgiving Josh was their only option. Among other things, lessons reportedly teach that males are unable to control their sexual urges, that it is a female’s duty to help males make responsible choices by dressing modestly, and that it is a female’s responsibility to submit.
Taken together, these are a strong lesson in accountability — or rather, in the idea that a female is accountable for the actions of a male who sexually assaults her.
Of course, homeschooling isn’t the Duggar family’s only connection to IBLP. According to People, it’s also where Josh was sent for counseling in 2003, after confessing to his parents that he had molested five underage females.
Several of the Duggar daughters, including Jill, Jana, and Jinger, have also attended Journey to the Heart retreats — another IBLP program. The Duggar Family Blog has photos of the daughters attending one of these retreats.
In short, the Duggar family has been connected to ATI and IBLP since 1992, in myriad ways. Now, it seems that in the past two years, both IBLP and the Duggar family have been embroiled in a constant series of scandals, criminal allegations, and accusations and admissions of moral failings.
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]