During a 2015 interview on Fox News, Jim Bob Duggar told Megyn Kelly that he and Michelle “did the best we could under the circumstances.” Josh was “still a juvenile at the time,” he said, and had a “tender conscience.” Jim Bob added, “This was not rape. He just touched them over their clothes—and in a couple of instances, under their clothes, but it was only, like, a few seconds.”
Jill Duggar Dillard Calls IBLP a Fear-Driven ‘Cult’
Dillard also is opening up about IBLP, the conservative organization her parents still belong to. “A lot of it is fear-driven,” she said, comparing the group to a cult. Dillard said she strongly disagreed when her father told her, “You owe your life to Mr. Gothard,” referencing IBLP founder Bill Gothard.
Speaking to People magazine, Derick Dillard said the religious organization takes Bible verses out of context and manipulates them to control people. “It’s attractive to people who are vulnerable to looking for a fix to their problems,” he added about IBLP. “However, in the long run, it can be really harmful.”
Although Gothard resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal in 2014, Jill Duggar Dillard said, “A lot of the same values and principles are still being taught, so it doesn’t fix the problem.” Teachings include submission of women to men as well as strict guidelines about media usage, dating, and dress codes.
The recent docuseries “Shiny Happy People” explores the IBLP and the Duggars’ involvement with it. In the series from Amazon Prime Video, former family friends claim that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are now leading IBLP.
Dillard, who has been dressing less conservatively now that she isn’t involved with IBLP, reportedly faced her father’s wrath for wearing leggings to a park. A source said Jim Bob gave his daughter a book about the need to dress modestly, leaving Jill “embarrassed” and “humiliated.”
In other revelations from “Counting the Cost,” Dillard said her dad tricked her into signing a TV contract, she refused to let camera crews document her honeymoon and her first son’s birth, she nearly died while giving birth to son Samuel, her children attend public school, and her dad threatened to lower her inheritance if she “continued to attack” him and her mother.
In a statement to People, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said they love their children and have “aimed to deal honorably” with them. The couple declined to further address family matters “in a public forum.”
On its website, IBLP states that it’s “neither a church nor a religion but rather a nondenominational Christian ministry that desires to introduce individuals to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to help them apply Christian principles found in God’s Word.” IBLP calls the docuseries misleading, untruthful, mocking, and sensationalized.