"Good Christian" and Child Molester Josh Duggar Shows His Moral Hypocrisy Yet Again

A day after Josh Duggar’s name showed up as one of the 37 million cheating spouses to allegedly have Ashley Madison accounts, he issued the following statement: “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”


Anyone following the moralizers of the Christian Right recognizes that a variation of this statement could have come from the likes of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard or a number of other conservative evangelical Christians who made their fortunes and exalted reputations by espousing so-called traditional family values and vigorously condemning those who didn’t.

Can Josh Duggar possibly play the repentance card again? Will his wife forgive him? Will he get another reality television show?

According Gawker’s Ashley Fleming, Duggar, who played a prominent role in his family’s reality television program 19 Kids and Counting, and whose parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar covered up his teenage sexual molestation of five young girls, including four of his younger sisters, apparently “maintained a paid account on Ashley Madison, a web site created for the express purpose of cheating on your spouse,” while working for the powerful and well-funded Washington, D.C.-based “traditional family values” lobbying outfit headed by Tony Perkins.

After information came out about Josh Duggar’s past, he posted what was supposed to be an expression of deep regret and reassurance to his fans, saying that the sexual molestation issue had been dealt with and that he was now on the right path: “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

Apparently that was enough for his wife, who stood by him in her own-posted statement.

Now, a few months later, according to Gawker’s Ashley Fleming, “Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary — a home that was consistently shown on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child — paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015.”

Fleming pointed out that “In July 2014, he seems to have started a second account that was linked to his home in Oxon Hill, Maryland, where he spent his time lobbying against causes like same-sex marriage. The birthday listed in the data for Duggar’s first account is February 3, 1988, one month off Duggar’s actual birthday of March 3, 1988. The birthday listed for the second account is March 2, 1988.

“The two accounts overlap by a period of a few months. When he launched the second account, Duggar paid an initial fee of $250 that appears to have gone toward the purchase of an ‘affair guarantee’: ‘Customers who buy 1,000 credits for $250 receive a money-back “affair guarantee,” if they don’t have an affair within three months.

Earlier this year, in a story dated June 15, and headlined “The Truth About Josh Duggar’s Sham Cult-Center ‘Counseling,’” Fleming reported that the training center that the Duggar family repeatedly talked about in interviews after the revelations about Josh surfaced “was actually the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP) Little Rock Training Center, one of many scattered throughout the country that were once run by the single, 80-year-old cult leader Bill Gothard, who was forced to formally step down in 2014 in response to a few inconvenient (specifically, 34) charges of sexual abuse.”

Apparently whatever training Josh received – other than the forced construction work his father talked about – is unclear. Fleming noted that “it’s highly likely that Josh Duggar was subjected to IBLP’s special brand of warped, fundamentalist therapy,” from people who “aren’t trained therapists at least not in any widely accepted sense.”

Fleming maintained that “As we’ve seen with their material on counseling victims of sexual abuse, the program is full of the sort of dangerous, backwards logic that places blame in all the wrong places. In other words, it not only has the potential to be highly damaging to those already hurt, but it does little to actually correct the root of the problem in any meaningful way.”

The Duggar Family, quick to vigorously condemn those they don’t agree with has been silent thus far on their son’s latest controversy.

Last August, Michelle Duggar, campaigned against an anti-discrimination bill in Fayetteville, Arkansas, saying: "I don't believe... citizens... would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls."

Duggar poured it on: "I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool's private changing area? I still believe that we are a society that puts women and children first.”

Although Duggar did not admit to using the Ashley Madison connection, he ended his statement by saying: “I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.

“The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.

“As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

“I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.