Josh and Anna Duggar have announced that they’re having a baby, and that they’ve brought “joy from the ashes” as they’ve worked to rebuild their marriage. However, even as the Duggar family announces that the two-year saga surrounding Josh Duggar’s sex scandals — including the release of police reports describing the molestation of underage girls and the revelation of accounts on a website devoted to extramarital affairs — they’ve returned to promoting a certain religious organization that is equally riddled with scandal.
The Institute for Basic Life Principles, commonly shortened to IBLP, is a religious leadership founded by Bill Gothard in 1961 (then under the name Campus Teams) and it serves as an umbrella organization for several programs or ministries.
The Duggar family’s connections to IBLP began when Josh was small, and they have promoted IBLP principles, events, and literature through their website all along. Furthermore, People determined that when Josh initially admitted to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar that he had been molesting young girls, the counseling that the family sent him to was through IBLP.
This matters because Josh Duggar isn’t the only IBLP member to be caught up in a sex scandal in recent years. More specifically, the eldest Duggar son isn’t the only IBLP-connected individual to be accused of molesting multiple underaged girls.
A post shared by Anna Duggar (@annaduggar) on
In 2014, IBLP announced that founder Bill Gothard would be stepping down from his position, due to allegations that he had taken inappropriate sexual liberties with minors in his care.
However, the scandal surrounding the Duggar family’s religious leadership didn’t end there — the lawsuits began.
In late 2015, while Josh Duggar’s scandals were still becoming public, five women sued IBLP, alleging, according to the Washington Post, that in addition to Gothard’s sexual harassment, they had faced the organization’s board covering up the matter, and caused them additional harm by concealing the crimes. By the summer of 2016, Radar Online obtained documents showing that not only were there now 18 plaintiffs alleging abuse and cover-up by Gothard and IBLP, but one plaintiff was Gothard’s driver, Daniel Dorsett, who says he witnessed the man sexually molesting or harassing more than 150 young women and girls.
It might seem that, with Josh Duggar again edging back into the spotlight — first seen at his sister’s wedding, despite viewers’ expectation he would be kept off-camera, and now making public announcements about his life events — the Duggar family would avoid any overt public connection to the religious organization that hasn’t yet escaped their own round of scandal. This is especially so when the scandals bear so many parallels, and Josh Duggar spent time at IBLP between his molestation scandal and his extramarital affair scandal.
The Duggar family, however, is not choosing to keep quiet and distant from the organization while they wait to see if the proverbial dust settles when all lawsuits come to a close and Josh’s new baby brings him back into the public eye.
Announcing the arrival of Meredith Grace Duggar! 7lbs 14 ozs, 20-1/2in -- Anna and Meredith are resting & doing well! pic.twitter.com/HfnuoZcSN7— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) July 19, 2015
Instead, they have returned to openly promoting IBLP events. The Duggar Family Facebook page and blog both invite Duggar fans to next month’s Big Sandy Conference, operated by the Institute for Basic Life Principles.
On the Duggar Family Facebook page, audiences are skeptical.
“No. This is a Bill Gothard camp.”
“I see it’s worked well for your family!! NOT!!”
“This Big Sandy Family Conference, is it going to be for sex perverts only or can anyone join? When does the Child molestation 101 class start?”
Though the Duggar family never disavowed Bill Gothard or the IBLP, they have not been outspoken in defending or denying the allegations against the organization and its former leader, either. Now they appear to be openly linking themselves to, and publicly endorsing, the religious leadership again.
[Featured Image by Josh Duggar/Twitter]