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Duggar Family Shame: Church Members Share Shocking Tales of Abuse

Anyone who’s regularly watched the family’s reality shows knows that the Duggars are a deeply religious lot.

But even the most diehard Duggar fans may not know the details of the belief system that Jim Bob and Michelle have imparted to their children.

The Duggars are Independent Baptists, but they’re also members of the Institute in Basic Life Principles and the Advanced Training Institute, both founded by controversial pastor and former personal guru of the Duggars, Bill Gothard.

Back in 2015, the Josh Duggar sex scandal shined some light on the institute’s teachings and more scandalous practices.

Not only did the organization assist Josh and his parents in evading prosecution, it also justified his misconduct with homeschooling curriculum that places the blame for sexual assault squarely on the victim.

Prior to Gothard resigning in disgrace after being accused of sexual misconduct by more than 50 former employees, he presided over the organization for decades, and – according to many former members – was directly or indirectly involved in countless acts of systemized sexual assault.

Recent revelations about the Duggars and the rise of the #MeToo movement have emboldened several alleged victims to come forward with shocking accounts of the abuse they suffered under Gothard’s watchful eye.

As reported by In Touch Weekly, an anonymous Reddit used was recently at the center of one of the sites “ask me anything” or AMA sessions.

And what she had to say about her time as a member of the IBLP-ATI is likely to shock even the most strident Duggar defenders.

“I was part of a fundamentalist Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP,” the user began.

“Recent scandals have hit the news about the cult leader Bill Gothard when over 50 women came forward with allegations that he sexually harassed them. But that’s only scratching the surface.”

“Let me tell you my scariest experience — and just keep in mind, I’m far from the only one,” she continued.

“First off, throughout my childhood, my father and sisters abused me sexually. Since the cult taught a strict familial hierarchy, with the father being top dog, then mother, then children in order of birth, as the youngest I was bottom of the totem pole.

“My father would twist Bible verses to justify rape, death threats, and more. Because ATI is a homeschool cult, it was really handy to cover up the abuse from any prying eyes.

“My home was a prison for 11 years until he died of a massive heart attack. And that’s not even the scariest experience.”

The user went on to explain how the abuse worsened as a result of her mother’s continued involvement with the IBLP.

“Fast forward two years. I’m 13, with a mother who’s frantically fixated on me being a ‘troubled child’ because 1. I dared resist my father’s advances and argue against the abuse I was suffering, gaining me the reputation of ‘rebellious,’ 2. I’m severely depressed because I’m a freaking rape victim and depression is considered sin, and 3. I asked too many questions as to WHY we believed the things we believed —you don’t ask questions, needless to say.”

She then describes being shipped off to Oklahoma without warning and enrolled in the IBLP’s “Log Cabin” program, which is designed to “retrain” resistant adolescents.

“All I know is I’m about to move to Oklahoma for a while to be fixed by ‘nice counselors’ because I’m a dirty sinner,” she writes.

“For the next two years, I am tortured, brainwashed, starved, sleep-deprived, threatened with a shotgun, punished, humiliated, interrogated, and terrorized.

“I lose 40 pounds in the first month or two. They take me off my medications (believing it is wrong to take them) cold turkey; I exhibit severe symptoms of withdrawal and they go ignored.

“I am worked grueling hours, sent on aimless hikes and marches, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees until my knuckles are cracked and bleeding from the bleach, punished with hard labor until I’m near fainting,” she adds.

“They had fun coming up with new and strange ‘punishments.’”

Through it all, the victim says, she was so brainwashed she didn’t fully realize that those who imprisoned her were engaging in the most egregious forms of abuse.

It wasn’t until years later that she began to become aware that something was deeply wrong with the religion she had been raised in.

“There really wasn’t one concrete ‘oh s–t’ moment,” she explains.

“But the first time I remember thinking ‘this is BS’ was how often people would be ‘sentenced’ to hell for the most trivial reasons. Everything from an impure thought to cursing to sleeping in late.”

Amazingly, despite the high-profile nature of their lives and the zeal with which they discuss their beliefs, the Duggars have managed to avoid commenting on their continued involvement with the IBLP-ATI.

That may prove increasingly difficult as time goes on.

Or the family’s legion of devoted fans may prove willing to continue turning a blind eye to the rampant abuse within the organization.

Watch Counting On online for a closer look at reality TV’s most controversial family.

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Florida Shooting Student Leader Cameron Kasky Hates the NRA, Respects Its Members

Marjory Stoneman Douglas student leader Cameron Kasky has clearly spent a lot of time over the last 2 weeks thinking about gun violence and how to curb it, because he distinguishes between the NRA and its members. We got Cameron at LAX Friday night…

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Mark Salling Suicide: Glee Stars, Crew Members React

As previously reported, Mark Salling is dead at the age of 35.

The former Glee star, who rose to fame as the character of Noah Puckerman on this Fox comedy, appears to have committed suicide.

His body was found hanging from a tree in the woods near Salling’s home on Tuesday.

According to TMZ, authorities have not tracked down a suicide note, but those familiar with Salling’s situation can imagine why he chose to take his own life:

The actor pleaded guilty in October of 2016 to child pornography charges and was facing many years in prison.

His sentencing was set to take place in March.

It had also been reported that just prior to accepting a deal with prosecutors around that time, Salling tried to slit his wrists.

In response to this tragedy, Salling’s former Glee co-stars and some crew members who worked with him on that popular series have spoken out on what transpired.

Many of them referenced both Salling’s death and the horrible allegations to which he confessed in court.

For example, producer Tim Davis Tweeted the following:

“Today we lost another #Glee cast member.

“Yes, he committed crimes against children. Yes, it’s horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself.

“I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.”

t, davis tweet

Jane Lynch then went ahead and retweeted Davis’ second statement, which reads as follows:

“Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes.

“I’m just saying stop adding to his family’s pain. This was their son. If you’re without sin, feel free to cast stones.”

Matthew Morrison, meanwhile, shared an Instagram photo of himself posing with Salling and Cory Monteith, the latter of whim died in July of 2013 from a drug overdose.

Jenna Ushkowitz commented on the post with a heart emoji.

morrison pic

Widely respected director Paris Barclay also took to Twitter to react to the very unfortunate news.

“It’s a painful loss, again,” he tweeted alongside a picture of Salling and Monteith, adding:

“Two young actors, lost too soon. #RIP #marksalling.”

barclay photo

Iqbal Theba, who portrayed Principal Figgins on the Emmy-winning musical, simply Tweeted: “Oh Mark.”

Cinematographer Joaquin Sedillo Tweeted: “Devistating… Suicide is never the answer.”

Salling starred on Glee from 2009 from 2015, playing a high school student referred to by the nickname “Puck.”

He was best friends with the character played by Monteith, a seemingly tough football player who initially expressed disdain for the glee club, only to eventually reveal a much softer side and an impressive singing voice.

Wrote actor Finneas O’Connell in response to the suicide, taking a somewhat different approach from those who were close to Salling:

“I met Mark Salling Once when we were filming the final episode of Glee together. I didn’t know him at all and I won’t pretend I did.

“It’s been a horrifying thing these past two years finding out about the crimes he’s committed. I don’t feel sorry for him. Only sorry for his fans.”

This is what Salling’s attorney said the public yesterday, shortly after news of Salling’s death went viral:

I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning.

Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment.

He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother.

The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.

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Teen Mom: See All the Cast Members’ Cutest Holiday Photos!

The holidays are just about to wrap up now — and not a moment too soon, right?

Sure, it's fun to spend time with family and sing songs and give gifts, but all that can also be exhausting.

But you know what will never be exhausting? Creeping on the Teen Mom crew and appreciating all their precious families!

Let's get to it!

1. Maci’s Kids!

Macis kids
This insanely cute photo is from last weekend — Maci and Taylor took the kids to Asheville, North Carolina, and they cozied up in a cabin in the mountains.

2. A Visit with Santa!

A visit with santa
Well, they didn’t stay cozied up the whole time — they did head out to see Santa!

3. Christmas at Ryan’s

Christmas at ryans
Though little Bentley obviously had some fun with his mom, he also spent some holiday time with his father, Ryan, and his stepmom, Mackenzie. Who, by the way, is just like 11 years older than him. Weird!

4. Sending Love from Indiana

Sending love from indiana
Amber recently opened up about how her depression kept her from seeing her daughter, Leah, for months, but it looks like they were able to spend some quality time together for Christmas!

5. Meanwhile in Michigan …

Meanwhile in michigan
Catelynn is still in rehab, but Tyler was able to make their daughter’s Christmas special anyway! Although he said that “This is the first Christmas without Cate since I was 14” and that “it’s a little disheartening,” the bright side is that he gets to see “this little cutie open some presents & it instantly puts the spirit right back in me! Merry Christmas everyone!”

6. More Santa!

More santa
Even in the middle of what really appears to be some sort of breakdown, Farrah managed to take Sophia to visit Santa!

View Slideshow
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