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May 24th, 2015

Told You (Unnecessarily)

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Memo to the Duggars: YEAH/ I FIGURED.

Ten years ago, back when the nineteen kids and counting had just become sixteen kids and counting, I told you the Duggers were fucked up. You didn't need me to tell you the Duggars were fucked up. They'd just had their sixteenth kid. Fucked up was a given.

I'm just glad the news that elder son Josh Duggar, now 27, molested five underage girls, including four of his sisters, when he was 14, broke on Friday. I was sick all last week, but I'd have made fun of this from my goddamned deathbed. Because in addition to being awful because MOLESTING YOUR SISTERS, it's also awful in all the ways things like this are awful these days.

You know why liberals and atheists are on guard against theocracies? Because, essentially, the Duggars lived in something very close to one. When the Duggars found out about what Josh was doing to their other children, he didn't go to the police. Not for over a year. Instead, he went to "church elders". The church elders decided Josh needed counseling, so they sent him to a shadowy church counseling center, the "Institute of Basic Life Principles Training Center".

Apparently, that's where they send you when one of the basic life principles that fails to "take" during your upbringing is "don't fingerblast your sister in her sleep". The founder of the BLP Institute, Bill Gothard, stepped down after he was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting 34 women. Those are Cosby numbers. So you're starting to see the problem here. Fucked up people turn to other fucked up people for help when they're a little too fucked up for their fucked-up culture.

When they finally go to the police, they go to one Cpl. Joseph Hutchins of the Arkansas State Troopers. Hutchins did not press charges, but gave Josh Duggar a very stern talk (actual police report phrase). A talk that was probably substandard in several key areas, given that Hutchins is currently serving a 50+ year sentence for possession of child pornography.

So the Duggar scion molests his sisters, is helped with that molestation by a serial sexual criminal and a child pornography enthusiast, and as a result, the family is "closer to God", Josh is all better now, and his wife and Mike Huckabee both think we should all stop being mean to him for his teenage misadventures.

Meanwhile, Josh has been forced to resign from the Family Research Council, where he worked towards the FRC's goal of forcing all Americans to live by their own views of what is, and is not, acceptable when it comes to human sexuality. And bring about the same kind of theocracy that protected Josh Duggar from either receiving justice or legitimate help for whatever is twisted inside his brain.

Oh, and in further "friends in high places" news, shortly after the story broke, an Arkansas judge ordered all the records regarding the case destroyed. Because that doesn't sound suspicious at all. If half the conspiracy theorists convinced that Hillary's private server is the new Watergate turned their attention to this potential corruption... well, nothing would happen there either because they're all idiots. But you get what I mean.

The point is, there's a whole structure in this country dedicated to supporting and protecting freaks and nutjobs like the Duggars. From elders and cops to private fake counseling centers to lobbying organizations to give them cushy jobs to presidential candidates receiving a shockingly tiny amount of political blowback for supporting a teenage child molester. And when religious people say their religion is under attack, it's (at best) this parallel structure that's under attack. As well it should be.