In July 1984, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar got married and started to create for themselves a whole litter of a family. The couple produced so many kids that their family received a plethora of reality television series documenting their offspring.
Ever since 2008, the Baptist family have been documented by TLC and witnessed by millions of people around the world on the shows 17 Kids and Counting, 18 Kids and Counting, and of course, 19 Kids and Counting.
Considering that the couple just gained custody of their 8-year-old nephew back in November, thus expanding their child circle to an even 20, the Duggars are very much still counting as we speak. They seem to be as happy as ever. On the surface,, the portrait of the Duggar household appears to be the ideal family setting… or is it?
For as long as The Duggars have been on television, they have been presented to live a picture perfect lifestyle. However, at the end of the day, every family has issues and secrets hidden beneath the surface behind closed doors.
In more recent years, there have been some dark secrets revealed regarding what goes on in the Duggar household when the cameras stop rolling. Suddenly, the Duggars do not appear as picture perfect and polished as they initially appeared on television.
Here are the 15 Dark Behind The Scenes 19 Kids And Counting Secrets.
15. Josh was a Catfish
We will go in depth later on into the list about the already well documented sex scandals of Josh Duggar. One of the major aspects of his infidelity saw him act as a catfish.
Although he was never featured on or caught on an episode of MTV’s Catfish (boy, what an episode that would have been), he has catfished since 2014. Whenever he was on the prowl in search of inconspicuous encounters with women, he used a Facebook account under a different alias.
The name was Joe Smithson and, oddly enough, he used the picture of Jonathan Blankfein, the son of a Goldman Sachs CEO.
Sure, it worked for Josh and we understand that he couldn’t just use his own profile to cheat on his wife, but surely, there had to be more subtle alternatives than using the son of a CEO of a billion dollar company as his facial scapegoat.
14. Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard Lied About Missionary Work
Considering that the two actually met while Dillard was conducting his own missionary work, Jill Duggar and Derek Dillard have always been portrayed as a couple who prided themselves on the missionary aspects of their faith and relationship.
However, the couple have riled up fans in recent years for allegedly lying about the state of their missionary funds. It all started in 2015 when the couple asked for donations to support their missionary trip to El Salvador.
The two would return mere weeks later and it was revealed that the two were actually kicked out of the missionary due to lack of qualifications, making fans believe that they paid solely for a couple’s three week vacation.
Jill and Derick were forced to refund all profits of their donations to charity, but despite this, they are still collecting donations for a possible return to Central America.
13. Jessa Duggar and Ben Sewald Accused of Scamming Fans
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are not the only couple among the Duggar family to be accused of scamming their fans. Shortly after Jill and Derick received backlash for their own alleged dishonesty, Jessa Duggar and Ben Sewald were been accused of taking part in a similar offense.
While Jessa and Ben were never accused of lying to their fans, they were accused of making unnecessary requests. Back in September 2015, when the couple were preparing to get married, Jessa and Ben posted on the Duggar family blog that they wanted fans to provide “gifts and donations” to them in time for the wedding.
Jessa even provided an address where fans could mail the gifts and donations directly and listed both Target and Walmart as her favorite stores. Considering all of the Duggars are paid a handsome sum for their reality show, fans were rightly outraged that Jessa and Ben had the nerve to ask fans for money.
12. Children’s Homeschool Program Run by Alleged Cult Leader
It is no secret that The Duggars have opted to provide their children with a homeschooling education regiment. One thing that is a secret, though– which the elder Duggars may want to keep hidden– is the fact that their children’s homeschooling program was run by not only an alleged cult leader, but a convicted child molester.
The homeschooling program that the Duggars prescribe to is the Advanced Training Institute, or ATI, which was founded by Bill Gothard. Gothard’s teachings have been likened to that of a cult.
He also has a “Counseling Sexual Abuse” handout, which defends sexual abuse and molestation by suggesting that the victim was abused because they partook in “evil,” “evil friends” or “immodest dress,” among other things.
To make this all the more shady, Gothard went on indefinite administrative leave in 2014 in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment from several female volunteers and employees of his.
11. Family Won’t Allow Jill to Assist in Births for Unmarried Women
Jill Duggar is a midwife. For those who may be unfamiliar with the terminology, a midwife is a person who is trained in and specializes in assisting women during childbirth.
However, it seems that her parents are forbidding Jill from doing her job, at least when it pertains to unmarried pregnant women.
It was reported that due to the religious beliefs of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the couple prevented their daughter from helping a woman named Susanna Keller give birth to her child because Keller was not married.
Because their religious beliefs withhold the belief that a woman should be married prior to being pregnant, the Duggar parents refused to allow their daughter to even fraternize with an unwed mother-to-be.
10. A Crew Member Removed From the Set Because He Was Gay
In light of their religious beliefs, the Duggar family has often been accused of being homophobic. There are several examples that support these rumors. After all, this is the same family who deleted a picture of a gay couple kissing from their Facebook page after asking their fans to post pictures of couples kissing.
Another example is that the family and show rarely feature Michelle Duggar’s sister and never mention that her sister is a lesbian.
Perhaps the family’s most homophobic offense came when Michelle Duggar had a gay crew member removed from the set when she learned about his sexual preferences.
Upon learning the news, Michelle Duggar spoke with her show’s producer off to the side and, within moments, the crew member (named Jimmy) was kicked off the set, fired, and transferred to another production team.
9. Family is Anti Birth Control
Judging by the title, it may be easy to criticize the family for being anti-birth control (especially when it is publicly known that Michelle denies her children from using birth control), but they have a good reason to be so apprehensive about birth control.
When the two first got married, they didn’t want to immediately have children. They chose to wait and opted to use birth control, but three years after being off the pill, Michelle found herself pregnant with Josh Duggar.
They continued to use birth control after Josh was born, but somehow still got pregnant. This time, she had a miscarriage and, according to their doctor, a possible abortive pill could have been the reason. Knowing the circumstances, it’s understandable about why the family is so adamant about not using birth control.
8. Michelle Thinks Wives Should Always Be “Joyfully Available” to Husbands at Night
During an interview with the Today Show, Michelle Duggar tried to give some marriage advice for newlyweds. Her pep talk was highlighted by an excerpt where she said that a wife must always be “joyfully available” to her husband whenever he wants to have sex, no matter the time or place.
This bit of advice saw a lot of backlash from fans. Many were outraged by Michelle’s misogynistic and old fashioned view of marriage– to do something solely to please the husband completely disregards what sex and relationships are all about.
In today’s society relationships and sex are focused on the strong bonds between two people. Going by Michelle’s advice, these bonds would be completely torn apart and the relationship would be completely one sided.
7. Ben Seewald Bashing of Evolution & Catholicism
It’s funny to think that one of the most controversial members of the Duggar family household is a man who married into the family rather than a blood-related member. Of course, for all of the entries attributed to him on this list, Josh Duggar is without a doubt the most controversial member of the Duggar family.
However, Jessa Duggar’s husband Ben Seewald has caught plenty of flack of his own for making some ludicrous statements over the years.
For example, Ben Seewald has claimed that he believes evolution and racism essentially go hand in hand because the scientific study that “some people are more evolved” translated itself into racist belief systems.
Seewald has also badmouthed the Catholic faith after expressing his support of an anti-Catholic book written by James R. White, and has preached White’s rhetoric as gospel.
6. Jill Duggar’s Husband Hit a Cat
As if it’s not already obvious in this day and age, people need to be more conscious as to what they should and should not post to social media.
However, Jill Duggar’s husband Derick Dillard experienced this the hard way. Derick posted a video of himself online, where he is seen sledding in the snow on a baking pan aimed directly at a cat. He, of course, runs the cat over.
Since he clearly didn’t think about the repercussions of posting a video where a cat is harmed, he immediately received backlash from animal lovers. He particularly received backlash from PETA, who demanded an apology from him.
Dillard never responded, but on a radio show, his wife clarified that the cat actually jumped out of the way of camera, though no one believed her.
5. Josh Duggar on Ashley Madison
As the oldest son of the Duggar family, Josh Duggar has often been at the center of a plethora of sexual scandals.
The scandal that started it all was the one concerning Ashley Madison, which originated on August 20th, 2015 in the wake of the website’s massive data breach that outed many of its users. There were countless records of card transactions made under Josh Duggar’s name and the man had no choice but to admit that he had been using the website to repeatedly cheat on his wife in the most inconspicuous way possible.
Shortly after, he checked himself into a sex rehab. This would prove to be the first of many scandals revolving around Josh Duggar, which eventually led to the downfall and cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting.
4. Josh Duggar Sued for Assaulting Porn Star
Among the many terrible allegations that Josh Duggar was accused of in 2015, he was also accused of sexually assaulting a porn star.
The adult film actress in question was Danica Dillon (or Ashley Stamm-Northup). She claimed that Josh had paid hundreds of dollars for her services on more than one occasion. She filed a $500,000 lawsuit because the encounters were so passionless and rough that she felt like she had been sexually assaulted.
She was eventually forced to drop the suit and never refile after Josh Duggar provided proof stating that she had lied about any assault occurring. However, she continued to lambaste him on social media stating that “just because something was dropped doesn’t mean it was a lie.”
3. Josh Duggar Molested His Sisters
In what is easily the biggest controversy to arrive at the Duggar family doorstep, it was revealed on May 19th, 2015 that Josh Duggar had a history with child molestation.
With reports dating back to 2002, when Josh Duggar was just 14 years old, Josh Duggar was accused of molesting a total of five underaged girls when he was between the ages of 14 and 15.
One woman was a babysitter and four of the other women were his own younger sisters. He sexual assault the girls when they were both sleeping and awake. At a young age, he came clean to his parents about the inappropriate fondling he was doing, and the matter was actually reported to police.
His parents handled the situation by having Josh sent away for treatment and counseling. When it appeared that he had recovered and would never commit such actions again, the family made sure to keep these matters hidden from the public by any means necessary.
2. His Wife Knew and Supported Him
Although both Josh Duggar and his family were sure to keep the fact that he had sexually assaulted several girls out of the public’s eye for as long as they could, Josh has always been rather open about his past with other family members.
Even when he first started courting with his future wife, Josh volunteered to come clean to both her and her family upfront about his previous actions. Not only did she still accept him for who he was (or rather despite of who he was), but her parents were also still willing to give him their blessing to marry their daughter.
Some fans have argued that his wife Anna never fully comprehended the full extent of what Josh did or may have felt pressured by her religious community to be with Josh regardless of how she felt about his actions.
1. State Trooper Who Let Josh Walk Away was arrested for possession of child pornography
When a young Josh Duggar first came forward to his parents about how he molested his sisters and a babysitter, the Duggars reported the crime to a state trooper by the name of Joseph T. Hutchens.
The trooper reportedly let Josh Duggar walk away scot-free, but years later, his own record became dirtier then the Duggars would have hoped. It was reported that Hutchens allegedly spoke to the Duggars about Josh’s offenses back in 2005. However, in 2007, Hutchens was arrested and convicted on charges of owning child pornography.
Joseph spent some time in jail, but was out on parole in 2010. Shortly afterward, he was arrested again on four counts of distribution and possession of child pornography. Hutchens is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole until 2020.
Do you know of any other behind-the-scenes secrets and scandals about the cast of 19 Kids and Counting? Let us know in the comments!
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