This month marks three years since the world learned that Josh Duggar molested five young girls – four of whom were his sisters – while still living with his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle.
Had these revelations come to light in 2018 instead of 2015, they would almost certainly would have brought about the end of the Duggars’ media empire.
As it is, however, the Duggars have been able to rebuild, and while they may never regain the popularity they enjoyed in their heyday, they’ve somehow managed to remain on television in spite of the shocking allegations against Josh and his parents.
Jim Bob and Michelle helped Josh avoid prosecution, and they certainly weren’t the only ones who were aware of his crimes for several years before they became public knowledge.
There were his victims, of course, and there were also several residents of Tontitown, Arkansas, including several city officials who are now being sued by Josh for releasing his police records to In Touch Weekly.
One judge has already ruled that the town was fully within its rights to comply with ITW’s Freedom of Information Act request.
The fact that journalists who requested the information didn’t meet with any pushback jibes with what we’ve been told about the Duggars’ reputation in Tontitown, where – one insider informs us – Josh will “always be known as ‘Josh the molester.'”
Josh, of course, has yet to issue a public statement on the allegations against him.
After the molestation charges went public, Josh was caught trying to cheat on his wife with a fraudulent online dating profile.
He was sent to rehab for sex addiction in Illinois, and upon his return to Arkansas, he was essentially made to live in exile.
These days, Josh works on a used car lot owned by his parents, but he no longer resides in Tontitown, and he reportedly has little contact with his family.
But there’s still a considerable amount of interest in Josh’s crimes, primarily from those who are intent on seeing that the father of five gets held to task for his egregious misdeeds.
Josh will never be prosecuted for the charges against him due to the statute of limitations, but the effort to ensure he’s never permitted to forget about the suffering he inflicted on others remains constant.
In that spirit, ITW has published a forgotten excerpt from the Duggars’ 2014 family memoir, Growing Up Duggar.
“As I became a young man I was constantly tempted to have lots of wrong thoughts and often battled to keep my heart right,” Josh wrote in the book.
Needless to say, he was unable to resist those temptations.
Astonishingly, his lack of self-awareness gets even worse from there:
“One of the greatest things that helped me in my struggles was my parents’ commitment to accountability,” Josh writes.
“They were faithful to talk with each one of us children — if we were willing to share honestly and openly with them — to maintain a clear conscience.
“I learned quickly that great freedom can be achieved by accountability but that deep accountability requires humility and openness,” he added.
“I often had failures in my early teenage years but found that I had a clear conscience only when I was willing to confess my thoughts and temptations quickly to God and to my parents”
Yes, Josh wrote without irony about resisting temptation and the importance of accountability in his household.
He admits to giving in to temptation but says he was able to clear his conscience after confessing to his parents, which … well, frankly that confirms our worst fears about the things children are taught inside the Duggar household.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.