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grandmadugger

The Duggar Family A Cult?

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grandmadugger

I've always loved reading about various cults because I'm a nerd. :D Anyway my bedtime reading last night was a breakdown on the steps of what it takes to be a cult. I found it very interesting and while I was reading I started to see the Duggar family. I'm not talking about their religion but the family itself.

 

So the guy broke it down similar to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs or a pyramid starting at the bottom and working it's way up. The first level is shaming. Due to some sort of shame, real or perceived, they feel like they have to earn acceptance (Michelle). Children are usually trying to earn the affection of their parent because they love is conditional and usually includes shaming and overly strong control of the parents. I think that pretty much hits those kids square on the head. In order to earn God's acceptance they usually go the lazy route by just accepting a spiritual leader than doing any real study for themselves.

 

Legalism is the next level. In this level there is a set of do's and don'ts for the acceptance that they are working for that stems from the shame. He described legalism as an attitude instead of a belief system. The first things to die in this level is jof of life, freedom, and personal relationships (he mentions God but he's approaching it from a religious stand point) Guilt also starts to take over with the feeling they'll be rejected by not living up to the list of dos and don'ts.

 

Spiritual Abuse is the next level. He quoted another article, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, to define it as "the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support, or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining, or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment." (JB anyone?)

 

The last is mind control or brainwashing which is giving his or her will to the control of the leader.

 

I found this all interesting in relation to the family. I could see where you could sub God for JB or Michelle depending on what it was talking about.

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SassyPants

IMO, there are plenty of mainstream religions from which to choose. Gothardism is not one of them. As a former Chrsitian, I see no tenets of mainstream Christianity practiced in that home. Christianity is about inclusion and coming together as one (Catholicism in particular) a strong sense of community; 1 bread, 1 body. These folks isolate as much as they can.

I have long thought the Duggars are part of a brainwashed cult.

I know the Duggars are not RC-just using that as an example.

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GeoBQn

I saw someone here make this comment about the Maxwells, and I think it could apply to a lot of these families. They are cults, but instead of recruiting new members, they give birth to them.

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grandmadugger

I find this the scariest part about the family. As was said before they show none of the basic tenets of Christianity. Nothing about them says anything about a personal relationship with God, nothing about fellowshipping with other believers, there's no joyful praising going on in that family either, and the big one they certainly don't buy they being set free from the law. I think 98% of mainstream Christian denominations can all agree on those things but the Duggars scoff.

So here we have a cult that scoffs at the basic foundation of the belief path they claim and are on national TV being touted as a Christian family. I'm thinking about going back and reading the signs of the apocalypse because I think the Duggars may be one of them.

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doggie
I saw someone here make this comment about the Maxwells, and I think it could apply to a lot of these families. They are cults, but instead of recruiting new members, they give birth to them.

that is more efficient get them young and stupid.

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grandmadugger

that is more efficient get them young and stupid.

I wouldn't say the kids are stupid they just don't know any other life. I would say the exception might be Jessa, of the adult children, she seems she might have spit out some of the kool-aid.

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hockeymoo

I dunno, but they're definitely idolatrous (Money - so obsessed with making and saving money! Half their damn book was about money. And let's not forget that an impure or immodest woman is basically human chaff to them - eff what Jesus would say! - and childbearing is next to godliness, etc.... they value all of these things above all else in their brand of religion), and the fact that they isolate themselves and their kids, not just from outsiders but from all other Christians and any kind of church/accountability/variation in biblical teaching, that's pretty emotionally dangerous territory there. Someone could easily be manipulated or abused.

I also think it's creepy how, in their books, they talk about teaching their kids never to keep secrets from them and to run to them right away and share everything that's on their hearts. It's one thing for you to tell that to little kids, but it's just invasive and controlling to be as involved with their older children's emotional lives as they are. So that combined with the fact that they basically isolate themselves from anyone who might say, "Hey, that's not cool," .... well, that's not cool. That's a breeding ground for emotional abuse.

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busdrivingmom

I also think it's creepy how, in their books, they talk about teaching their kids never to keep secrets from them and to run to them right away and share everything that's on their hearts. It's one thing for you to tell that to little kids, but it's just invasive and controlling to be as involved with their older children's emotional lives as they are. So that combined with the fact that they basically isolate themselves from anyone who might say, "Hey, that's not cool," .... well, that's not cool. That's a breeding ground for emotional abuse.

I think this is one of the weirdest things about the Duggars. I have always told my kids they can come to me if they need to talk, but I don't expect them to come to me about everything and anything. There are going to be things they are not comfortable talking to me or their dad about and I understand that. My kids are getting older and they are not going to tell me who they have a crush on.

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SassyPants
I find this the scariest part about the family. As was said before they show none of the basic tenets of Christianity. Nothing about them says anything about a personal relationship with God, nothing about fellowshipping with other believers, there's no joyful praising going on in that family either, and the big one they certainly don't buy they being set free from the law. I think 98% of mainstream Christian denominations can all agree on those things but the Duggars scoff.

So here we have a cult that scoffs at the basic foundation of the belief path they claim and are on national TV being touted as a Christian family. I'm thinking about going back and reading the signs of the apocalypse because I think the Duggars may be one of them.

After using their kids private moments and lives to make easy money (and Jackson-Josie being conceived to keep it going), which I construe as exploitation, the way the Duggars have attached themselves to Christianity and make those references on the show is what bothers me most. Folks, these people are not mainstream, worshipping in a house of faith every week family. They just are not. False advertising, IMO- If they were so connected and entrenched in a faith, they'd belong to a church- and their daughters being the "do as you're told" drones that they are, would have been married in that house of faith...their faith community, and not shopping around for any RELIGIOUS venue. Much like Anna K was married to Josh is HER family's church.

JB= snake oil, used car salesperson.

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Sundaymorning

I would consider them part of a larger cult lead by Gothard and his minions.

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RosyDaisy

They most definitely are a cult. Sure they appear to be following Gothard's rules, but only to a certain extent. I agree with SassyPants. There is no semblance of mainstream or conservative Christianity practiced in that home.

I do think Josh, Anna, and their kids moving to DC was a good thing. I'm hoping they gradually breakaway from Gothardism. I hope Jill/Derick and Jessa/Ben breakaway as well.

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grandmadugger
They most definitely are a cult. Sure they appear to be following Gothard's rules, but only to a certain extent. I agree with SassyPants. There is no semblance of mainstream or conservative Christianity practiced in that home.

I do think Josh, Anna, and their kids moving to DC was a good thing. I'm hoping they gradually breakaway from Gothardism. I hope Jill/Derick and Jessa/Ben breakaway as well.

I hope the same thing happens too. I can only imagine the education Jessa is getting today.

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FloraKitty35

They (the Duggars and Gothardism) fit the standard Merriam Webster definition of a cult.

"a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous"

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SnowShine

This one is a difficult one for me to answer, because I consider much of what they do and how they behave cult-like. That said, I have a minor obsession with cults and I would hate to lessen the meaning of the word by using it for every insular group that comes along when there are groups (such as FLDS) and more than that tragedies (Jonestown, Waco) that I feel present far bigger problems than the Duggars.

Of course, if I wait for every single potential cult to restrict their diet to beans because that's all their leader in prison gets to eat, or to swig some cyanide-laced flavor-aid before I call them a cult, I'm probably part of the problem rather than the solution.

When I first heard of them, I considered them an abnormally large, kinda quirky family with strict beliefs. Back then, the oldest kids were still mid/late teens, and TLC seemed to promote the idea that the kids had career goals. Years later, with none of the kids leaving home except via the altar, I have to wonder what's keeping them there. If they genuinely love and enjoy staying at home and being part of the family, then more power to them. That's weird, but not necessarily a problem. Now if they're staying for another reason (such as fear of shunning or being indoctrinated to think that we're all Godless heathens outside of IBLP), then that would have me thinking cult at best.

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Josieandtheduggarcats

Do Josh and Anna attend a church in D.C.?

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TXGirlInAMaterialWorld

i think the Duggars are more of a personality cult than a religious cult. Kind of like an Amway family on crack, but for Gothardism instead. They are all about the image and not really about reach souls for Christ.

As others have stated, I really do not see anything that shows they have any sort of deep seated spiritual experiences. The way they treat religion is a lot like how most people treat healthy eating- it's something we all talk about, read about, think about, etc. but at the end of the day our actions are showing more McDonald's than Whole Foods. No matter how much they scream from the rooftops that Jesus is THE most important thing in their family- i just don't see it.

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16strong

I see the Duggars as being part of a larger cult (ATI/IBLP), but also part of a sub-cult (the family unit). I really think that they have bought into their TV personas and have become such caricatures of themselves to the point that they essentially worship their own images and hold their viewers' expectations of them to the highest degree. As TXGirl has said, they are a personality cult, bound by what the general public requires of them.

Their viewers are the lifeblood of the money and attention they get, so they've sort of hit the tipping point where they're going to have to alter themselves to avoid criticism, or take the hits, which could possibly mean less interest and money. In a way, they are (at this point) keeping their beliefs only out of the expectations their viewers have of them, but at the same time, it's those radical beliefs that will come under fire and cause them to essentially strangle themselves. They can't dump their beliefs to get better reception by the public, as the public depends on their radical ways for the novelty factor, but keeping them means that they are holding a ticking time bomb. Thinking about it this way, the Duggars are essentially screwed from every direction.

Now I don't think they would have dumped their beliefs if they weren't on TV, but I do think that TV has cornered them and afforded them (in some ways) less choices and options. There are some things that people don't like having their rights revoked to, even if they would never do it themselves, or even call for having those same things banned for other people. They want to maintain the illusion that they choose this lifestyle, not the other way around.

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Rainytown

I wonder how long they could have maintained their "lifestyle" and their disciplinary methods if their children were in public school or they were part of a traditional church body. Mandatory reporters don't play.

And yes, they're part of a cult and their insistence on sealing their children off from any outside influence is worrisome at best.

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MatthewDuggar
Do Josh and Anna attend a church in D.C.?

They probably do their own "church" at home with friends, just like at the TTH. The Duggars don't attend brick and mortar churches unless they are VIP invited guests. :roll:

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Happy
Coconut Flan

I'm not so sure about that. I think Michelle told Josh to find a good "Bible believing" church when they moved. Michael talked about/fussed about going to nursery.

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fabkiwi06

Jill and Derek are attending a brick and mortar church, right? I thought I had read that somewhere. I feel like Josh and Anna have found one too based on events. (I hope so... at least so those kids can socialize and Anna can meet some other Moms).

It seems to me that there is a very fine line between many of these fringe religions and cults. Adding in that same culture within a family structure is just terrifying.

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Nishi621

Yeah, I think I read a post somewhere where Jill had said they were either going to church or had just returned from church, something like that.

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Seven Severn

It's pretty safe to say that they belong to a cult (Gothardism), but have become a kind of sub-cult all their own. I say this because we know of a family that moved to their area just to be closer to the Duggars and for all we know there could be others who have done the same. If the Duggars vanished tomorrow the majority of the leghumpers would be on to someone else by the end of January, but a small percentage would continue with their worship and wouldn't be dissuaded.

The Duggars do attend their own warehouse/garage church (there are pics on FJ and elsewhere) and a person has to be approved to attend, iirc. There are black curtains blocking the windows so the unapproved rabble can't see in.

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grandmadugger

The Duggars do attend their own warehouse/garage church (there are pics on FJ and elsewhere) and a person has to be approved to attend, iirc. There are black curtains blocking the windows so the unapproved rabble can't see in.

This boggles my mind. I would guess the person I'm thinking of is more widely known than the Duggars but I could walk into the church he and his wife attend any Sunday I want to. I don't have to send in a request to attend. I guess they don't understand the "Spread the good word" thing.

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