Thanksgiving Photos Reveal Josh Duggar’s Past — And Safeguards — Are No Longer Part Of His Family’s Life

In 2015, the world learned of a police report describing multiple acts of molestation by Josh Duggar upon several of his sisters as well as another underage girl. The family released statements on social media and blogs, then did a taped interview with Megyn Kelly, then a reporter on Fox News, in which they described the safeguards they had put into place to protect their daughters. Then, it was revealed that Josh had also, more recently, held a subscription to a website that promised a secret extramarital affair. He went to rehab for sex addiction, and the Duggar family spoke on their new reality show about how they were all dealing with this.

Now Josh is back. He’s reportedly out of rehab, and he and his wife, Anna, have welcomed their fifth child. All indications point to Josh being welcomed fully back into the fold of his family, and there have been rumors that Jim Bob Duggar hopes to return Josh to the family’s reality show. The family released an album of Thanksgiving photos this week, and two photos stand out.

The photo of the family gathered together is one of them. A few family members are missing — Joy Duggar Forsyth and her husband Austin are nowhere to be seen, and Josiah Duggar is missing as well. However, Josh Duggar is included, and his posture in the photo, leaning forward toward his wife Anna, appears to indicate that he, at least, is confident in his renewed marriage.

Compared to some family photos over the past few years (see below), Josh isn’t, in this newest one, relegated to the farthest background. However, the posture of those around him is interesting — note how Jeremy Vuolo’s arm forms a barrier between his wife, Jinger, and her brother Josh. Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald both are seated at a distance from Josh, with his wife Anna as the only female sitting close enough for direct contact.

The other image that has a bearing on Josh Duggar’s past and how the family dealt with it is the second one shown here. In it, Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo pose for the camera, with Josie Duggar, the youngest child of Michelle and Jim Bob, in Jeremy’s lap in an affectionate hug.

This is noteworthy as a display of trust in Jeremy, since, after Josh’s police report was released, one of the rules the family say they implemented was preventing little girls from sitting on the laps of any male except their father. From the Fox News transcript of the interview, Michelle Duggar is quoted as saying,

“…you know, little ones don’t sit on big boys’ laps or people that you don’t know or even family members, unless it’s your daddy.”

Though viewers have dug up photos since that show the younger Duggar daughters on the laps of male family members — including Josh — this one being displayed prominently in the Duggar family Thanksgiving album appears to either indicate that the lap-sitting rule is definitely a thing of the past, or that Jeremy Vuolo has earned the family’s trust enough to be an open exception.

Duggar family friends have confirmed that certain individuals are edited out of the reality show footage for legal reasons, and Derick Dillard has joined Josh Duggar on TLC’s “not to be featured” list. However, this doesn’t prevent the family from including Josh and Derick on the social media pages they use to promote the show, and Josh Duggar’s central position in the latest image appears to indicate they intend to continue doing so.

[Featured Image by FOX News Channel/Getty Images]