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[CW: Child Sex Abuse] Josh & Anna 33: Ohhh Honey It Is Already a Disaster.....


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1 hour ago, gustava said:

Yes, leaving Omelas can be challenging.  I am impressed with the reference!

To be fair to me, Omelas was first assigned to me as a reading at age 12, and I didn't understand that it was much more literal until much, much, much later. (The analysis we were prescribed really was assuming it was all speculative, and not a you know...metaphor for how the world was actually handling issues.)

(Please feel free to imagine the hurdle of trying to teach this particular piece of literature to a group of 12 year olds, and speculate with me, about the boldness of that choice from my middle school teacher.)

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2 hours ago, bal maiden said:

Didn't the Duggars get the big house registered as a church (for tax evasion, or something)? Or was that a bit of a myth. It would be SEVERELY ironic if the Arbor Acres house being technically a church meant that Josh couldn't live on the compound.

It's a complete myth.  Although it would be funny if they had and he could never go there again unless they got it removed. 

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5 hours ago, Antimony said:

I think I found where people are doing the estimates. There's a blog here; https://www.federalcriminallawyer.us/2020/11/14/federal-child-pornography/

The relevant part is;

Quote

Offense involved the use of a computer – 2-point enhancement §2G2.2(5); 

 

What has the fact that the offense involved a computer to with anything? Why is that worse than a phone or an iPad or a folder with real physical images? Why is one worse than the others, and gets enhanced points?

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I don't understand why people think Josh isn't a true believer. Looking at CSA doesn't mean he doesn't believe in god. None of his behavior is indicative of an atheist. Being a despicable person who does horrifying things is not indicative of atheism. 

If anything, he probably is a true believe. Being a true believer absolves him of his sins. He doesn't have to fear hell, because he's been saved. He can justify his behavior as not his fault, because Satan is attacking him and he believes all the right things. His sins are no different than anyone else's, and God paid for his soul just like everyone else, so it's all good. 

Fundieism frees Josh from all guilt, so there's no way he's not a believer. 

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39 minutes ago, SorenaJ said:

What has the fact that the offense involved a computer to with anything? Why is that worse than a phone or an iPad or a folder with real physical images? Why is one worse than the others, and gets enhanced points?

That’s what I don’t really understand. Said former friend had a computer, iPad, iPhone etc. Pictures and videos of toddlers and babies. 
He had been a victim when he was a child and he pled guilty, that’s (maybe) why he wasn’t in prison for many years. He even had a kind of tutorial on how to groom children. Extremely fucked up, to be honest.

I think @JenniferJuniper is right with what she said a page back. But that’s just my guess because I’m German and have no clue how y’alls system works.

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1 hour ago, SorenaJ said:

What has the fact that the offense involved a computer to with anything? Why is that worse than a phone or an iPad or a folder with real physical images? Why is one worse than the others, and gets enhanced points?

I suspect that this law was written before computers were ubiquitous and this was added because of a (reasonable) concern about the of ease of distribution. Apparently, the last main edition was written in 2006, and I'm sure this was included. I suspect that legally, iPads and smart phones are computers as well.

Edit: Okay, it's apparently re-published every 6 years but Google told me the "big" change was the 2006 change, I'm no lawyer. I just have a hunch that this was written in at a time when cybercrime was relatively new and has kind of stayed there as a relic of changing ideas about crimes and the age of the Internet.

Edited by Antimony
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4 hours ago, Coconut Flan said:

It's a complete myth.  Although it would be funny if they had and he could never go there again unless they got it removed. 

One could only hope for that kind of schadenfreude. 

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1 hour ago, anjulibai said:

I don't understand why people think Josh isn't a true believer. Looking at CSA doesn't mean he doesn't believe in god. None of his behavior is indicative of an atheist. Being a despicable person who does horrifying things is not indicative of atheism. 

If anything, he probably is a true believe. Being a true believer absolves him of his sins. He doesn't have to fear hell, because he's been saved. He can justify his behavior as not his fault, because Satan is attacking him and he believes all the right things. His sins are no different than anyone else's, and God paid for his soul just like everyone else, so it's all good. 

Fundieism frees Josh from all guilt, so there's no way he's not a believer. 

I agree. He probably is a believer, still. He'll sin, pray for forgiveness, sin, pray for forgiveness, etc. etc. and on and on. 

I think he does fear hell, because I think ALL fundies do, that's why they're so strict and all strict about different things - they're terrified of hell but think if they check off all the right boxes to make God happy they'll get to go to heaven. But they probably all also have that little niggling doubt hidden in the back of their minds... what if they are checking off items on the wrong list, or miss something, or God just happens to be in a bad mood the day they die? So they double down about how they are right and everyone else is wrong, and aren't satisfied just to believe their own beliefs and follow their own rules, they have to push their beliefs and rules on other people.

But yeah, Josh believes. He'll sin, feel guilty, repent, pray, feel relieved that his sin is washed away... then start all over again. It's not his fault, you see, it's satan getting hold of him, and God's testing him, and if he fails he'll just repent again and again. And of course his wife and parents understand - it's not him, it's satan, he's in a battle, etc...

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13 hours ago, SorenaJ said:

I read an article about  "anti-contact" paedophiles, who was very aware that their urges were wrong, and stayed completely away from children, so you can still be attracted to minors, and fully understand that it is wrong, and never respond to the urge. 

Yes- a friend of a friend is in a program (and that's the max I know about it). Attracted to children, but doesn't want to be so much they became suicidal.

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@nolongerIFBx I remember hearing in the news about a man who had requested medical assistance in dying because he too was attracted to children. He pled guilty to molestation and then after his second offense requested death to ensure that he didn’t reoffend. I believe the case was in Belgium but I could be mistaken. Heartbreaking for the children impacted, the man and all families. We need more research into ways of treating sexual attraction to children! 

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6 hours ago, anjulibai said:

I don't understand why people think Josh isn't a true believer. Looking at CSA doesn't mean he doesn't believe in god. None of his behavior is indicative of an atheist. Being a despicable person who does horrifying things is not indicative of atheism. 

I agree. Plus believing in God and being sexually attracted to youth are not mutually exclusive. All the things can be true. Part of Josh may want to live a righteous life. He may hate that he enjoys child porn, but still  he does it, then wishes he could quit. Nobody gets out of bed in the morning and says, "Oh good, I'm still a monster". But the thing is this: his family gave him an avenue to accountability because he/they learned in Jesus pervert camp relapse was an ever present liklihood. He had resources and family support. We all feel angry and very frustrated with him, and we don't (and hopefully will never) even know him. Imagine how his counselors and family feel!

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1 hour ago, Expectopatronus said:

@nolongerIFBx I remember hearing in the news about a man who had requested medical assistance in dying because he too was attracted to children. He pled guilty to molestation and then after his second offense requested death to ensure that he didn’t reoffend. I believe the case was in Belgium but I could be mistaken. Heartbreaking for the children impacted, the man and all families. We need more research into ways of treating sexual attraction to children! 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for men like this because attraction doesn't equal action. Lots of men are attracted to models, yet they don't go rape them or sexually pursue them because they know they aren't entitled to. The entitlement of pedophile sexual predators boils my blood. You can be attracted to children and not act on it. Why can't they sexually control themselves like the rest of us do every day? We don't all get to touch or have sex with everyone we're attracted to. That's part of being an adult.

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I realize I'm in the minority here, but I don't think Josh is a believer.  I think his view of fundamentalism is that it's a crock, but he was firmly stuck in Duggarville after TLC arrived and so tried to make the most of D-list celebrity and his Y chromosome.  I believe he's been full of resentment for having to spend much of his teenage years building the TTH and learning Wisdom Booklets with toddlers and isn't thanking JB or Jesus for either one.  Don't know if he'd have had a chance of becoming a lawyer if his education had been better, but would have appreciated the opportunity (then, IMO, flunked out).  I'm pretty sure that he hasn't exactly been thrilled selling used cars, though he strikes me as a stereotypical used car salesman.  If there's any morality living between his ears I believe it's as partitioned and rationalized from the monster as his abominable downloads were from Covenant Eyes.  I see him as a fundie-style Wile E. Coyote...knows he's slick and clever, no one will cause him any real trouble, he can play penitent for a little while if need be, he's "only" looking, then *BOOM*, he's caught, and some time later he's back at it again.  I doubt he finds Jesus of any real use, except maybe to keep his wife and kids subservient and as a tool to try convince others that he's contrite.

Not fact-based, but that's my vibe.

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On 6/22/2021 at 10:14 AM, Antimony said:

To be fair to me, Omelas was first assigned to me as a reading at age 12, and I didn't understand that it was much more literal until much, much, much later. (The analysis we were prescribed really was assuming it was all speculative, and not a you know...metaphor for how the world was actually handling issues.)

(Please feel free to imagine the hurdle of trying to teach this particular piece of literature to a group of 12 year olds, and speculate with me, about the boldness of that choice from my middle school teacher.)

I never taught 12 year olds but could envision teaching Omelas to that age, if done thoughtfully and carefully.  And yes, I admire your middle school teacher for giving it a try.

Edited by gustava
clarity
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19 hours ago, Alisamer said:

I agree. He probably is a believer, still. He'll sin, pray for forgiveness, sin, pray for forgiveness, etc. etc. and on and on. 

I think he does fear hell, because I think ALL fundies do, that's why they're so strict and all strict about different things - they're terrified of hell but think if they check off all the right boxes to make God happy they'll get to go to heaven. But they probably all also have that little niggling doubt hidden in the back of their minds... what if they are checking off items on the wrong list, or miss something, or God just happens to be in a bad mood the day they die? So they double down about how they are right and everyone else is wrong, and aren't satisfied just to believe their own beliefs and follow their own rules, they have to push their beliefs and rules on other people.

But yeah, Josh believes. He'll sin, feel guilty, repent, pray, feel relieved that his sin is washed away... then start all over again. It's not his fault, you see, it's satan getting hold of him, and God's testing him, and if he fails he'll just repent again and again. And of course his wife and parents understand - it's not him, it's satan, he's in a battle, etc...

I think it all depends on the definition and threshold of what we consider "belief". I mean, I don't believe in chakras or auras, but if the yoga instructor on the YouTube tells me to do a bridge pose to open up my heart chakra, I'll be like, "Well, okay" because in the moment, the buy-in to that belief comes with a bunch of other benefits. Any spectator would think that I probably believe in chakras. This could be a similar case for Josh -- he may not "believe" in an internal, deep, rich way, but his buy-in is really high and he's following along. Maybe he believes in the moments of endorphin driven light-high you get from things like group worship or meditation and then goes home and retains none of it.

I think some folks read "belief" and "faith" as being part of a deep inner world, and are skeptical that Josh has that. I am too, but he certainly has all the practice and trappings of that belief. Belief is complicated, bleh. I see the skepticism, though, because if Josh had a meaningful inner world (I think it's just cobwebs and crickets up there, for the most part), other parts of his belief would have gotten in the way before he got to the point of any of these scandals. If I really believed my heart chakra needed to be opened, I'd be doing more about it than a bridge pose on a weekly yoga video. I also think this is all unconscious, I suspect Josh feels that Josh believes, because he's observing himself practicing and preaching. I don't think he's a secret atheist doing everything solely for the grift (though that's part of it), but I don't read his faith as genuine either. It's somewhere between.

I also think that the Duggar belief system, and most Fundamentalists, value performativism over anything else. In this sense, Josh and all the children have been trained to perform their faith, rather than...actually have it. Jill Rod is a great example of this, blatantly taking photos during prayer. We know she believes, but she's really put more points into performing it for show than actually having faith. I also suspect that because of his childhood actions, Josh had to learn to perform more than the other siblings did. 

Anyway, that was a lot of rambling. 

53 minutes ago, gustava said:

I never taught 12 year olds but could envision teaching Omelas to that age, if done thoughtfully and carefully.  And yes, I admire your middle school teacher for giving it a try.

My issue with the way that it was taught was that it was paired with Bradbury's The Veldt and something from Vonnegut...might have been 2 B R 0 2 B or, more likely, Harrison Bergeron. To me, both of these land really clearly in "speculative science fiction" in that they're about *could* happen if certain ideas are taken to their most extreme conclusions. On the other hand, as an adult I don't read Omelas as a speculative fiction but closer to an allegory/metaphor. I think questions like, "Do you think a society like Omelas could ever exist?" are better replaced with questions "What parts of our society rely on similar beliefs as Omelas?" and "Where is Omelas reflected in our systems?" but maybe those are too complex. If I had to re-pair Omelas with something from Bradbury, I think it would suit better with All Summer in a Day because, while also sci-fi, ASIAD is something that could actually happen and, essentially, does happen, similar to Omelas. 

FWIW, it's clear from my discussion here that I have a lot of opinions on the prison system, so it will shock nobody that I have incarcerated pen-pals. One of the first stories I printed off and mailed to one was Omelas, and the response was essentially, "...oh my god, this belongs in prison commentary...". (I print off a lot for this -- it's the only reason I actually bought a printer. Primo Levi makes the cut sometimes, news articles to supplement the trickle of news (especially about COVID), and then, last night, printed off some pages from a foreign language textbook.)

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9 minutes ago, Antimony said:

I also think that the Duggar belief system, and most Fundamentalists, value performativism over anything else. In this sense, Josh and all the children have been trained to perform their faith, rather than...actually have it. Jill Rod is a great example of this, blatantly taking photos during prayer. We know she believes, but she's really put more points into performing it for show than actually having faith. I also suspect that because of his childhood actions, Josh had to learn to perform more than the other siblings did. 

I agree - they all believe, but it's a shallow sort of belief. There's no real deep thinking going on with Josh at all. He parrots the words he's supposed to say. He "repents" by saying he repents. 

Almost none of the fundies we follow here actually SHOW their faith. They perform it and talk about it, but none of them really walk the walk. They're not out actually helping people in need, other than maybe tossing some junk in a shoebox for Franklin Graham's people to ship off to kids in other countries who enjoy it for a few hours and then forget about it. Some of them are barely feeding and clothing their own spawn, and nearly all of them actively campaign and vote against helping people in need on a national level.

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1 hour ago, Alisamer said:

Almost none of the fundies we follow here actually SHOW their faith. They perform it and talk about it, but none of them really walk the walk. They're not out actually helping people in need, other than maybe tossing some junk in a shoebox for Franklin Graham's people to ship off to kids in other countries who enjoy it for a few hours and then forget about it. Some of them are barely feeding and clothing their own spawn, and nearly all of them actively campaign and vote against helping people in need on a national level.

That reminds me of the message a church near my parents' had on their sign one week. It said "We're looking for followers of Christ, not just fans." Seems like a dig at people like the Duggars who claim to love Jesus but don't actually live the way he instructed. 

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2 hours ago, Antimony said:

I also think that the Duggar belief system, and most Fundamentalists, value performativism over anything else. In this sense, Josh and all the children have been trained to perform their faith, rather than...actually have it. Jill Rod is a great example of this, blatantly taking photos during prayer. We know she believes, but she's really put more points into performing it for show than actually having faith. I also suspect that because of his childhood actions, Josh had to learn to perform more than the other siblings did.

This is a good point and Jill Rod is a good example, it has already struck me how many fundies we discuss here do a lot to "show off' their faith.    I got the same feeling back when I went to a conservative Christian college and while not mostly fundie, it was the first time I saw how much importance was attached to "showing" as proof of one's faith.   Do the right things, say the right things, make a big display, say the proper "key" words, wear the right clothes, etc. etc.   It was....so superficial.   Of course, there are show-offs in every church/denomination, I certainly knew a few but this was on a much larger scale.

That's not to say there were people who were genuine, there were, but they didn't make a show, just quietly carried on. 

I think Joshley does believe in the sense that he thinks he has faith but it is around doing and saying the right things including when he gets caught.    It's not something that is internalized to the point that it really guides his actions or causes any real remorse when he does make mistakes.  He sees things as "sin" but doesn't truly grasp it as something to to feel sorry about or repent of.    It's something that can be wiped away by doing or saying the expected things. 

ETA:  I think, and this is strictly my opinion, that Joshley is dealing with a huge disconnect between his performative faith and what it requires versus what he really wants and what he really needs.  One of those needs, IMHO, is that he needed serious help when he was younger.  Perhaps if he got real help back then with qualified professionals, not the "church discipline" and advice at the hands of a troubled state trooper, he might not be in the place he is now.   And his wife and kids would not be suffering for it.   And his family might not be taking a serious hit to their reputation though I am more concerned about the Duggar kids, not JB or J'chelle here.    Those two are complicit as hell and deserve every bit that's coming to them.  It's their children who are forced to deal with it that I feel sorry for.

 

Edited by nokidsmom
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Someone on Reddit posted that David Keller (Anna’s brother) is courting the daughter of the Rebers. 

[Removed image from private Instagram account]

 

Edited by hoipolloi
Redacted image from private social media account
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Well that answers a lot of questions. What a clusterfuck. 

 

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I hope Hannah Reber wasn't used as a bargaining chip.  As in allowing her to court David in exchange for the Rebers being Josh's guardians.🙁

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15 hours ago, FrumpyAtheist said:

I don't have a lot of sympathy for men like this because attraction doesn't equal action. Lots of men are attracted to models, yet they don't go rape them or sexually pursue them because they know they aren't entitled to. The entitlement of pedophile sexual predators boils my blood. You can be attracted to children and not act on it. Why can't they sexually control themselves like the rest of us do every day? We don't all get to touch or have sex with everyone we're attracted to. That's part of being an adult.

Well lets add that every good brothel and escort service has girls who just turned 18 and look 12. Even in the male prostitute corner you have this ( very well earning niche) with consenting adults even. 

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2 hours ago, Alisamer said:

I agree - they all believe, but it's a shallow sort of belief. There's no real deep thinking going on with Josh at all. He parrots the words he's supposed to say. He "repents" by saying he repents. 

Almost none of the fundies we follow here actually SHOW their faith. They perform it and talk about it, but none of them really walk the walk. They're not out actually helping people in need, other than maybe tossing some junk in a shoebox for Franklin Graham's people to ship off to kids in other countries who enjoy it for a few hours and then forget about it. Some of them are barely feeding and clothing their own spawn, and nearly all of them actively campaign and vote against helping people in need on a national level.

That's especially true when fundies in general refused to do something for others such as wearing masks or social distancing during this pandemic. I don't think too many fundies are getting the vaccine because it allows them to show their faith as they tend to be anti-science in general.

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29 minutes ago, RosyDaisy said:

I hope Hannah Reber wasn't used as a bargaining chip.  As in allowing her to court David in exchange for the Rebers being Josh's guardians.🙁

 

We don't know what came first. It's possible (but not likely) that Anna introduced her brother to Hanna Reber after she got to know them better. She probably hangs out there more or less every day. But honestly I think we just found out why they took Josh in. It's not just about doing the Duggars a huge favour, it's about their relationship with the Keller family. 

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