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(Possible Child Sexual Abuse Content) Josh and Anna 34: Plea Deal in the Making?


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I can't remember if this has come up here - do we know/suspect whether Josh and Anna are aware of Alan Smith's case? There's a perfect case of a fundie wife who did NOT "stand by her man" and is making it as a single mom of eight. (I just found her FB after not seeing it for a while and noted with interest that while her paintings that she's tried to sell in years past were signed "Katie Smith" the newest one is signed "Katie Morton.") Sadly, Anna may know of another wife (or more than one) who rugswept and kept sweet and stayed with her man when he did horrible things, and she may feel that that's "the fundie way" but Katie would be an example of how it's actually not.

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3 hours ago, Cults-r-us said:

I think Anna was totally starry-eyes thrilled with Josh, totally thrilled with the Duggars and the opportunity to enter into fundie royalty. Anna was all-in on no birth control, eleventy kids, frumpers, home-schooling, the whole shtick. She believed that life was a dream come true. She is not giving up her status without a fight. Josh was probably not thrilled with his punishment of having to get married to curb his horny ways. Their relationship was mbalanced from the start, but Anna did not know that. She did not understand her prince's husband's parents made him get married or that he needed freedom to find his own way.

Anna has done her best to make this sow's ear of a relationship into a TLC silk purse. Josh may love her?and the kids but his problems are too big and he has not shown himself capable of battling through them.

 

Do you think Josh saw marriage as “punishment” — or that it was presented to him as punishment?   That hasn’t been my impression.

I think Josh liked the idea of getting married, “leaving and cleaving” (getting away from parents), and being able to have sex on demand with his spouse.  He may not have been “in love” with Anna, but he liked her and probably liked that she was in love with him (or the person she thought he was). And he sure loved the attention their courtship and marriage got.

Of course his parents pushed the marriage to “solve” what they thought of as a “horniness” problem.  And of course they were wrong—Josh’s problems were much greater and more complicated than simple horniness.  However, I never got the feeling that it was supposed to be a punishment.  I think everyone concerned saw it as a chance for Josh to straighten out and sin no more.

As for Anna, I suspect she has not believed her marriage is “a dream come true” for quite a while. Yes, she is clinging to the role she signed up for and hoping to get some of what she feels she has earned.  And you are right that divorce would seem a greater loss of status to her than putting up with Josh.

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I think Anna genuinely enjoys the public adulation of being the long suffering godly wife. It may not be what she expected when she married into the circus, but she’ll take it. 
Otherwise, why would she put herself out there so publicly? After the 1st scandals Josh stopped using social media and was kept off TV. Anna didn’t - she ramped up her Instagram profile and went on Twitter and Parler. Yes, there may have been ‘haters’ calling her out, but they were outnumbered by the humpers praising her. 
Other siblings have really limited their presence online- such as Josiah and JD. 

I think she was hoping Josh could be reintroduced- but that’s gone now. I hope she stays off SM after his trial or at least keeps the children off it- they are going to need peace and privacy. 

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Anna can’t afford to leave the Duggar compound. She is not interested in raising her seven children in her parent’s trailer. She just isn’t. She loved DC and being notable, but that’s been taken from her. JB will allow her space to elaborately braid her girls’ hair and I’m sure they have family debit cards of some sort for the fancy outfits, and she doesn’t seem willing to give all that up. I don’t blame her for that I guess— at 19, the Duggar parents probably seem just as authentic as her own. Right now I’m sure it’s very strange and sad for all the kids who can’t understand what’s going on (why Josh isn’t at the big house, why the juveniles can’t see him). I don’t know how anyone would approach this with kids. 

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This discussion gives me flashbacks to a short relationship I had. My ex would lie to me frequently, cancel dates and blame it on me etc. He was the victim, never took responsibility. I knew it wasn‘t right what he did but somehow I started to believe what he said. The good times were pure bliss, a piece of heaven and I craved more of that despite feeling miserable the rest of the time. I never had such strong feelings for someone. In the end I exposed his lies and he ghosted me. We texted several times over the next years and I hate to admit that I would have taken him back in a heartbeat. It took me about six years to fully understand the dynamics that played there and that nothing about those times of bliss was healthy.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have done everything to get back together with someone who treats them badly. Those mindgames fuck with your mind and the more rare the good times become the more you crave them. In the end I‘m lucky it ended when it did, that we didn‘t get married and had kids. But lots of women do.

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I think Anna’s desires are fairly simple - she wants things “the way they were before”. In the beginning, when she was the first daughter in law, the first wedding special, mother of the first grandchild. When Josh was interested in her because she was the woman he was allowed to fuck. I think after the Ashley Madison stuff she hoped that if only she was ____ enough (obedient, forgiving, sexy, a good cook, prevented the kids from stressing him, stayed close to his family, put covenant eyes on his computer) then his “problems” could be resolved and he could be the man she thought he was again, and everyone else could also forgive him, and she could go back on TV and have the biggest collection of Duggar grandchildren and get her life back. While it’s clear to everyone on the outside, especially after THESE charges, that it was a lie and simply isn’t possible for them to go back, I think that’s what she really wants and is struggling to let go of.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Josh is in jail. On the one hand, she might dig deep into her martyr role and mourn forever. But it’s also possible that away from Josh, she might actually be able to really hear and consider other perspectives (like her brother’s) on the life she had, or experience freedoms she hasn’t been used to, or gradually realise that it WASN’T anything she did that made him “stray”, it was all him. Maybe the scales can finally fall from her eyes. Sadly, there’s still the rest of the cult there to influence her even if Josh can’t, and their whole fucked up theology is that it’s godly for women to be unhappy.

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1 hour ago, Smash! said:

This discussion gives me flashbacks to a short relationship I had. My ex would lie to me frequently, cancel dates and blame it on me etc. He was the victim, never took responsibility. I knew it wasn‘t right what he did but somehow I started to believe what he said. The good times were pure bliss, a piece of heaven and I craved more of that despite feeling miserable the rest of the time. I never had such strong feelings for someone. In the end I exposed his lies and he ghosted me. We texted several times over the next years and I hate to admit that I would have taken him back in a heartbeat. It took me about six years to fully understand the dynamics that played there and that nothing about those times of bliss was healthy.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have done everything to get back together with someone who treats them badly. Those mindgames fuck with your mind and the more rare the good times become the more you crave them. In the end I‘m lucky it ended when it did, that we didn‘t get married and had kids. But lots of women do.

Similar story for me too, just on a very condensed timeline. Thank everything he broke it off after only a month. The amount he managed to screw with my head in that time is insane! Apart from blatantly cheating on me, he violated almost all my relationship standards and I felt guilty about it and blamed myself. Took me months to get angry and stop desperately hoping he would give me a second chance. And this was just barely a month with no pregnancy or postpartum hormones messing me up as well. 

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The 1 thing I tend to forget is that for the Duggars another baby is no big deal. Can you imagine Anna’s life for the last 6 years, particularly the last 4 months, and she has been pregnant FOUR times during those years. For most of us, additional kids would have been a hard no, at best, and an oops would have been labeled an outright disaster! The implications of bringing another being into this situation would be far too great for most people not named Duggar. I just can’t imagine having more kids after the 2015 scandals.m or being PG in Anna’s current situation-

 

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9 hours ago, Cults-r-us said:

I think Anna was totally starry-eyes thrilled with Josh, totally thrilled with the Duggars and the opportunity to enter into fundie royalty. Anna was all-in on no birth control, eleventy kids, frumpers, home-schooling, the whole shtick. She believed that life was a dream come true. She is not giving up her status without a fight. Josh was probably not thrilled with his punishment of having to get married to curb his horny ways. Their relationship was mbalanced from the start, but Anna did not know that. She did not understand her prince's husband's parents made him get married or that he needed freedom to find his own way.

Anna has done her best to make this sow's ear of a relationship into a TLC silk purse. Josh may love her?and the kids but his problems are too big and he has not shown himself capable of battling through them.

 

I think you summed up Anna very well. I completely agree with this. 

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4 hours ago, Mrs Ms said:

Similar story for me too, just on a very condensed timeline. Thank everything he broke it off after only a month. The amount he managed to screw with my head in that time is insane! Apart from blatantly cheating on me, he violated almost all my relationship standards and I felt guilty about it and blamed myself. Took me months to get angry and stop desperately hoping he would give me a second chance. And this was just barely a month with no pregnancy or postpartum hormones messing me up as well. 

You are not alone.  In my early 20s I spent four years in an on-again, off-again relationship with a guy who had more issues than a 5 year TV Guide subscription.  We broke up twice-once due to him cheating (and I caught him) and the other time because he wanted us to attend a NYE party at his friend's house-a friend that was involved with heavy drugs-and I refused to go.  That time I threw him out of my car.   I ended up taking him back twice because as Smash! said, the good times, although few and far between, were bliss and I was willing to put up with mostly bad for the sake of the little scraps of good.  And to make it worse, I lost my virginity to this guy (I was a late bloomer) so in some twisted way I felt it was my "duty" to stay.  And of course I thought I was the only one who could "reform" him.  The end came when he stopped returning my calls and had his dad, who he lived with at that time, run interference.  This was in 1990 so "ghosted" wasn't a term used but that's exactly what it was.  

If you told me at that time that within the next 18 months I would meet someone else the polar opposite of this guy (my husband) and become engaged I would have had you committed.   But that's exactly what happened.   

And guess what happened three weeks before my 1993 wedding-the ex called me. 2.5 years later.  I told him in no uncertain terms to never contact me again and if he did I would slap a restraining order on him so fast his head would spin.  He laughed, said "Nice talking to you" and hung up.  I was living at home at the time and according to my mom, he never called back again.

All I can say is I dodged a bullet.  I shudder to think what my life would have been like if I stayed with him.     

  

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For anyone that hasn't experienced hidden abuse, I suggest you read "The Last Mrs. Parrish" it is a fiction book but I think it is fairly true with abuse that can happen. I am not a survivor/victim of abuse but I have seen enough court cases or heard enough stories to have an idea that most abuse is hidden and extremely hard to get out from under. 

A warning that this book could trigger some people. Summary: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34043643-the-last-mrs-parrish 

Edit to add, this book is about mainstream people. If you read it, think about how it would be if you layer in a submissive, modesty obsessed, patriarchy religion. 

Edited by quiversR4hunting
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I think this post on r/DuggarsSnark that looks at one of the books written by Pa Keller can help us understand how deeply fucked up Anna's entire life has been. If Anna does not "rejoice in her tragedy," then God will punish her. If she does not find some kind of silver lining in her husband being a pedophile and her life being destroyed, then she will only suffer more. Nobody has to feel sorry for Anna, but I think it's important to acknowledge that she is not coming at this situation from any kind of normal perspective, and it's not "victimizing her" or "treating her like a child" to point out how much this cult messes with people's heads.

On a related topic: when people say that Anna's siblings have "broken free," what does that mean? I know that the one son was vocal in his criticisms of Josh, and that there have been kids born out of wedlock and divorces and remarriages and all, but I ask because when I browse r/DuggarsSnark, there's pushback against the idea of Jill leaving the cult because she still holds conservative Christian beliefs. But Jill seems much more estranged from her family, particularly her father, than the Keller kids who flew the coop. So do we know if Anna's siblings are in a similar position to Jill, where they have just gone from fundie to conservative Christian, or are they more radical than that? 

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14 hours ago, fundiewatch said:

Right now I’m sure it’s very strange and sad for all the kids who can’t understand what’s going on (why Josh isn’t at the big house, why the juveniles can’t see him). I don’t know how anyone would approach this with kids. 

That's got to be hard. I'm sure the younger Duggars (of both generations) on the compound haven't been told details. But even if they say "Someone says that Daddy/Uncle Josh did some bad things so he has to go away for a while" they're risking having conversations where if the kids saw/heard anything (let's set aside accusations of  in-person inappropriateness toward any child in the family because I know that speculation is off-limits - let's just say one of the younger siblings happened to see something on the computer at the car lot while visiting and thought it was weird at the time but didn't say anything then) they're now identified as witnesses. And I'm sure JB, Michelle, Anna, and Josh would all prefer that not happen. I don't know whether one's own children can be compelled to testify against their father but even if they can't be, I would imagine siblings don't have the same protection if they're witnesses to criminal activity.

My heart breaks for Josh and Anna's oldest kids who have to remember Daddy "going away" after the molestation/Ashley Madison thing even if they had no concept of why. (Not to mention that 2015 would've been when they moved back to Arkansas from DC.) Now Daddy is gone again and they probably haven't been told the reason this time either. That lack of stability is so traumatic for kids.

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On 8/2/2021 at 9:58 PM, Dandruff said:

I doubt Josh was thrilled about #s3-7 and I don't think he or JB would have any interest in producing or paying for a #8.  More of their children won't, IMO, do a thing for the family finances or their Christian image.  Anna can argue their marriage vows about not limiting family size but might think twice if her allowance and/or helpers thin out.

I agree, it's just a sinking and icky feeling I have. I just really, really hope that Anna doesn't get pregnant again after this. But, sadly, it wouldn't shock me if she ends up pregnant again. Like I said, I really hope #7 is her and Josh's last child together. 

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While I think Anna is a victim of the cult, I'm not sure Josh is abusive towards her. Mainly he seems to want to get away from her, so he can be a pervert without her.

Right now, it's hard to tell what's going with the Duggars, but they seem to be waiting for the trial. It's hard to tell what will happen until the trial occurs.

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11 hours ago, Bluebirdbluebell said:

While I think Anna is a victim of the cult, I'm not sure Josh is abusive towards her. Mainly he seems to want to get away from her, so he can be a pervert without her.

Right now, it's hard to tell what's going with the Duggars, but they seem to be waiting for the trial. It's hard to tell what will happen until the trial occurs.

To the bolded: That's a low standard. Not against you, just jumping off.

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18 hours ago, Anna Bolinas said:

On a related topic: when people say that Anna's siblings have "broken free," what does that mean? I know that the one son was vocal in his criticisms of Josh, and that there have been kids born out of wedlock and divorces and remarriages and all, but I ask because when I browse r/DuggarsSnark, there's pushback against the idea of Jill leaving the cult because she still holds conservative Christian beliefs. But Jill seems much more estranged from her family, particularly her father, than the Keller kids who flew the coop. So do we know if Anna's siblings are in a similar position to Jill, where they have just gone from fundie to conservative Christian, or are they more radical than that? 

I don't visit Reddit much so I can't say what's going on, but I feel like everything is on a spectrum. Some people won't believe someone has "broken free" until they become outspoken atheists. Others consider getting out from under the more legalistic aspects of the cult and becoming a regular garden-variety conservative Christian to be "breaking free". No one can ever please all people, no matter what. 

I don't personally think there really is a "breaking free" moment in most cases, but instead a gradual progression. Baby steps. One at a time. Jill has taken enough of those steps that I would consider her a fairly normal conservative leaning Christian like thousands of others in the US, rather than a member of the legalistic cult-like Christianity she grew up with. And I think she may still be making more and more baby steps. The world is opening up for her and the more she experiences the more she might move away from her parents' teachings. We only see what she chooses to share, so it's hard to truly judge anyway. Is she curating what she releases, trying to balance between being herself and not pissing off her parents more than they already are? Maybe.

I don't know enough about Anna's siblings to say how "free" they are, but they've clearly taken steps away from the legalism if they're having babies outside of marriage.

Who knows what Anna's going to do. Or what Josh will do, for that matter. Josh is likely to be exposed to lots of different people including different religions if he goes to prison. Maybe he'll double down on the Christianity, maybe he won't. Anna is already having to make adjustments with Josh living away from her. They're both probably going to learn and change a lot in the next several years. They might come out better people. They might come out worse people.

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19 hours ago, Anna Bolinas said:

On a related topic: when people say that Anna's siblings have "broken free," what does that mean? I know that the one son was vocal in his criticisms of Josh, and that there have been kids born out of wedlock and divorces and remarriages and all, but I ask because when I browse r/DuggarsSnark, there's pushback against the idea of Jill leaving the cult because she still holds conservative Christian beliefs. But Jill seems much more estranged from her family, particularly her father, than the Keller kids who flew the coop. So do we know if Anna's siblings are in a similar position to Jill, where they have just gone from fundie to conservative Christian, or are they more radical than that? 

I think the important first step is to break away from some of the things they are taught.  The point about the Keller kids is they did things the parents didn’t approve of and yet the parents didn’t reject them.

The distancing between Jill and her family seems to reflect a power struggle between her husband and her dad.  It’s not just they are doing things differently, it’s they challenged JB’s authority. 

When we talk about examples for Anna, knowing that her family won’t reject her is surely a good thing.  I don’t see her leaving the cult, but if she could put some distance between Josh and herself, if she could look after her kids and make sure they are safe, that would be a step forward.

 

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1 hour ago, Alisamer said:

I don't personally think there really is a "breaking free" moment in most cases, but instead a gradual progression. Baby steps. One at a time. Jill has taken enough of those steps that I would consider her a fairly normal conservative leaning Christian like thousands of others in the US, rather than a member of the legalistic cult-like Christianity she grew up with. And I think she may still be making more and more baby steps. The world is opening up for her and the more she experiences the more she might move away from her parents' teachings. We only see what she chooses to share, so it's hard to truly judge anyway. Is she curating what she releases, trying to balance between being herself and not pissing off her parents more than they already are? Maybe.

I grew up with a lot of the same beliefs as the Duggars, but not to the same extent - yet, even though we dressed fairly "normally" and didn't homeschool all the way through, a lot of the more toxic beliefs found their way into our family and my mind. (Examples: I was verbally sexually harassed when I was in junior high, but I never told my parents, because a brief klutzy moment of unintentional immodesty had precipitated the situation, and I knew they would blame me for "defrauding." Also, the notion that if a child is "wayward," there's a good chance God is going to strike that child dead as punishment. And the overarching principal that once somebody goofs up, it's for good and there's no redemption. Though that's not a Gothard distinctive necessarily - purity culture is full of that.) I've been in therapy for years - a fact my parents do not know - trying to unpack this garbage and get rid of it so I don't poison the next generation. But I'm not on social media broadcasting the conclusions I've arrived at because it's nobody else's business. So Jill may be sitting on a whole lot more mindset changes than she's even let on to publicly, because it's her concern and not anyone else's.

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The agnostic part of my brain would love for Anna / Jill / etc to come “play for our team” and become hippie liberals without a mainstream religion.  The hyper rational part doesn’t think that’s likely though, because the US is full of people on the Christianity spectrum.  And, while I disagree with many ‘Conservative Christian’ beliefs, I also don’t want to be so full of myself to think my beliefs are the “right” way. 

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On 8/3/2021 at 7:47 AM, HeartsAFundie said:

You are not alone.  In my early 20s I spent four years in an on-again, off-again relationship with a guy who had more issues than a 5 year TV Guide subscription.  We broke up twice-once due to him cheating (and I caught him) and the other time because he wanted us to attend a NYE party at his friend's house-a friend that was involved with heavy drugs-and I refused to go.  That time I threw him out of my car.   I ended up taking him back twice because as Smash! said, the good times, although few and far between, were bliss and I was willing to put up with mostly bad for the sake of the little scraps of good.  And to make it worse, I lost my virginity to this guy (I was a late bloomer) so in some twisted way I felt it was my "duty" to stay.  And of course I thought I was the only one who could "reform" him.  The end came when he stopped returning my calls and had his dad, who he lived with at that time, run interference.  This was in 1990 so "ghosted" wasn't a term used but that's exactly what it was. 

Wow - in reading your post and Smee's - a lightbulb went off over my head!  Damn if I wasn't in a similar relationship in my mid 20's to early 30's.  I still don't think of that ex-boyfriend as a bad person, but the relationship was not a healthy, satisfying one for me and I stuck with it way too long, because when it was good (briefly), it was bliss.  He had many issues, including PTSD from being a Vietnam vet, an on-again, off-again drug problem with heroin (which I, being completely naive to what drug using behavior might look like, had zero idea until our final break up), etc.  Sometimes I feel regretful at those years, feeling like I lost out on so many possibilities for a healthier relationship with someone else -- but then it comes down to if I hadn't gone through all that and then got involved in a rebound relationship to "get over it", I wouldn't have ended up pregnant with my son, who is the best thing that has happened in my life.     But this is the first time that I have realized that my brain was chasing after that dopomine fix that the rare good times with this boyfriend caused, and that's why I stuck it out for so long.

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I mentioned it in the last thread, but anyone looking for book recommendations, Jess Hill’s “See What You Made Me Do” is a truly excellent nonfiction book about domestic abuse, with research, competing theories, psychology, evidence etc as well as individual stories and anecdotes from survivors and perpetrators. She looks at both “why women stay” and perhaps more importantly, “why men abuse” which is more complex than a sadistic desire for power. 

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On 8/2/2021 at 8:39 PM, Idlewild said:

I think Anna genuinely enjoys the public adulation of being the long suffering godly wife. It may not be what she expected when she married into the circus, but she’ll take it. 
Otherwise, why would she put herself out there so publicly? After the 1st scandals Josh stopped using social media and was kept off TV. Anna didn’t - she ramped up her Instagram profile and went on Twitter and Parler. Yes, there may have been ‘haters’ calling her out, but they were outnumbered by the humpers praising her. 
Other siblings have really limited their presence online- such as Josiah and JD. 

I think she was hoping Josh could be reintroduced- but that’s gone now. I hope she stays off SM after his trial or at least keeps the children off it- they are going to need peace and privacy. 

I get what you’re saying and I do think it’d probably be better for her to get off SM, but I can see how someone with as bleak a life and as few available coping mechanisms as her might get addicted to SM. From what I understand, she can’t go to a proper therapist, distract herself with secular music/novels/binge Netflix, drink a few glasses of wine, get positive feedback from an employer, or stop “keeping sweet” and really vent to a friend who won’t try to apply IBLP doctrine to the situation, etc. I’m sure she gets some happiness in her children, but she’s with them in that windowless barn nearly 24/7, and I can’t imagine many other sources of dopamine in her life right now. To her it might seem like posting on her SM is the one thing she can really control right now that gives her positive feedback. I’m definitely not saying that’s a healthy situation, just that it makes some kind of sense that it’d be something she’d hang on to.

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4 hours ago, indianabones said:

The Sun has posted an article claiming that Anna is staying with Josh and the Rebers while her family members (Pris and Pecan are name dropped) care for her children.

Like most people in Merseyside I consider the Sun to be the lowest form of life.

I can see the children going to stay with family for a break but I doubt any family would take in 6 extra children on a semi permanent basis. I really hope this is another of the Sun’s lies as if it’s true it shows Anna putting her and Josh’s comfort before the children. There are plenty of people to watch the kids in Arkansas.

@Strawbernana I think you’re right in respect of her Instagram account - it’s her fantasy - posed pictures of beautifully dressed children.

However her Twitter account ( and probably her Parler account, but I don’t have access to that) is more overtly political. It’s Anna spreading her opinions about politics. 

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      Saw this and remembered that you are also an MST3K fan:
       
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    • 47of74

      47of74

      This place is much nicer when there aren’t drunk douche nozzles trying to start WWIII with my sister. 

      Last time I was here I brought my sister. There was a drunk douche cannon holding court here. He and my sister took mutual exeception to each other. Well he first then my sister responded.
      We got out of there before he got even dumber since there’s another brewery across the street.  Drunk fucker didn’t follow us and I think some flashing lights a few minutes later were for him. 
      · 0 replies
    • PinkGreyBrown

      PinkGreyBrown

      On the one hand, my mother did her best to raise my sibling & I secular & liberal/leftish, but on the other hand she regularly shipped me off to stay with her fundie farmwife mother for months at a time. I prolly spent at least a coupla years of my childhood out on that farm where my grandmother did her darnedest to convert me to all the regressive things (hilariously, all it did was push me further into the peacenik thing). I've got a lot more to say about my maternal grama, fwiw.
      · 1 reply
    • PinkGreyBrown

      PinkGreyBrown

      I have nowhere else to say things like this but, I hate shiplap.
      · 4 replies
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