Perhaps the most notable public figure Joshua Generation has produced is now-former congressman Madison Cawthorn, who has also been the subject of sexual misconduct allegations.
Beyond organized efforts to inculcate young people with Gothard’s ideals, social media, through the rise of Christian influencers, has also been pivotal in popularizing IBLP teachings. However, a growing online community of abuse survivors has also begun to speak out against IBLP.
Josh’s conviction even ignited some abuse survivors to seek legal justice against IBLP, with five women suing IBLP and Gothard. However, due to issues with statutes of limitations, the case was dismissed. Gothard countersued, though unsuccessfully.
Interviewees who had been raised in IBLP shared that they have struggled with mental health issues as they have sought to forge a new path apart from the teachings of their childhoods.
“It’s piece by piece, little by little, to do what you need to survive,” Jill said.
Describing the experience of leaving IBLP, one interviewee said, “When you leave, and you’re actually out there, flailing like a new little fish, there are people that catch you.”
Following the release of “Shiny Happy People,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar issued a statement, calling the docuseries “derogatory and sensationalized.” IBLP characterized the series as “misleading and untruthful.”
All four episodes of “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets” are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.