Sketchy Things Everyone Just Ignores About The Duggars

The Duggar family began generating a lot of international attention in 2008, thanks to the TLC network show, 17 Kids and Counting, which chronicled their lives in northwest Arkansas. The family would keep growing, prompting the show to update its name to 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggars didn't watch TV, they homeschooled their kids, and the ones of-age courted instead of dated.

Seen by the public as different — but also familiar, wholesome and old-school, the Duggars made a cottage industry of themselves, just by being who they are. They had their critics, but many of the comments came in the form of relatively harmless, semi-informed opinions — until scandals forever changed how the public perceived the Duggar family. Still, it seems like there are things about this famous family everyone just ignores.

Why do they keep Josh Duggar hanging around?

Josh Duggar's behavior caused multiple scandals in 2015 that both brought down his family's hit TV show, 19 Kids and Counting, and harmed the Duggar reputation forever. He confessed to sexually molesting five girls multiple times when he was a teenager, including at least two of his sisters, Jessa and Jill, who both confirmed the abuse in a later TV interview.

The revelations prompted some of Josh's younger brothers to say they didn't want to be like him anymore. Advertisers began to ditch the show, Josh stepped down from his job with the Family Research Council and, with wife Anna Duggar about to give birth to their fourth child, TLC canceled the program after seven years on the air.

Soon after, news of hacked accounts at Ashley Madison, a website for men who want to cheat on their wives, revealed Josh to be a client. He admitted to cheating on Anna, and to a porn addiction, which led to a seven-month stint at a spiritual rehab center. And yet, his parents still encourage Josh to be a public part of the family. He even shows up in their family photos every now and then.

In order to keep from showing Josh's image during his sister Jinger's televised wedding on TLC, producers were forced to take extraordinary steps during setup and editing, the Daily Mail reported. Also, People reports that TLC does not have plans for Josh to appear on Jessa and Jill's new show Counting On, a spin-off of 19 Kids.

Unusual ways the Duggars discipline their kids

In the wake of Josh's abhorrent behavior coming to light, the Duggar parents gave interviews in which they promised the public that safeguards were put in place to prevent more sexual molestation incidents from happening in their family. What did they do? In trying to portray themselves as strict disciplinarians, Michelle Duggar said the family banned all of its boys from babysitting, and from playing hide-and-seek with the girls, seemingly in order to remove temptation. Further, little Duggar children were no longer allowed to sit on "big boys laps," except for their dad's.

Jim Bob Duggar said they watched Josh "all of the time," and he even "took him to work." In the same interview, the Duggars downplayed Josh's actions, describing them as "subtle and mild," which prompted mental health officials to say the Duggars should have involved the appropriate authorities sooner. Unpersuaded, Jim Bob claimed the police chief of Springdale, Arkansas, took a bribe, was out to get him before retiring, and trumped up the story in order to finish her career with a flourish.

But during times when the Duggars feel required to get strict, they employ a rod for spanking, according to a police report. The Duggars haven't addressed if or how they might use corporal punishment, but they do admit to using blanket training for toddlers, a controversial method that's said to be dangerous and even deadly.

Jim Bob Duggar's ploy to keep Anna close to Josh

In an effort to keep them together as a couple, and near the family compound in Arkansas, Jim Bob Duggar gifted a $345,000 house for son Josh and his wife, Anna — an offer she reportedly rejected, according to Hollywood Life. Following up, In Touch Weekly (via Redbook) reported that "offering Anna the home is just a ploy to get her to abandon any idea of leaving Josh," and it had the unintended effect of making other Duggar kids envious and angry.

Divorce rumors persist, with several outlets, including The Daily Mail, reporting that Anna has seriously considered it. But the Duggars adhere to narrow principles similar to the Quiverfull movement (though they deny being a part of the group), which frowns upon actions such as divorce. To those who believe as Jim Bob and Michelle do, the scandal of Josh and Anna divorcing would be an even bigger blow to the Duggar family than the previous negative attention brought by Josh.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar take custody of nephew

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have famously raised 19 kids, but many may not know they also brought a 20th into their home, who comes from a troubled background. Tyler Hutchins, an 8-year-old great nephew of Michelle, joined the Duggars in August 2016 after an emergency petition was granted. Custody became permanent just before Thanksgiving, ET Online reported, because Tyler's mother remains incapable of raising him.

Since adding him to the group, the Duggars have appeared, at least on social media, to treat Tyler like one of their own. Taking in the boy seems noble, but the court appeared to ignore the Josh Duggar sexual molestation scandal that opened up Jim Bob and Michelle to criticism about how they handled some of the more challenging aspects of parenting.

Jill Duggar Dillard's midwife crisis

Derick Dillard proudly announced in September 2015 that his wife, Jill Dillard, had become a certified professional midwife (via Us Weekly). Not everyone is impressed, however, and one professional says Jill took a dangerous short cut. Dr. Amy Tuteur, an obstetrician gynecologist who studied at Harvard and publishes a blog called The Skeptical OB, says Dillard's midwife credentials are more for personal vanity than a profession. Dr. Tuteur notes that becoming a CPM does not require the same rigorous education and training as does a CNM (certified nurse midwife), and says those with such flimsy credentials "are not recognized by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada or Australia because they don't meet the international standards for midwifery education and training." CPM should stand for "counterfeit professional midwife," she adds. Harsh!

The Dillards' awkward missionary position

Derick and Jill Dillard established themselves as missionaries, started the Dillard Family Ministry and moved to El Salvador in order to spread the word in July 2015. However, they also created confusion and even suspicion, partly because of frequent vacation travel back to the United States that prompted questions about how monies from donations they solicited were being spent. The couple later offered refunds, Inquisitir reported (via Radar Online), to anyone who wanted one.

Further, the very legitimacy of their missionary work came into question when it was reported that the Southern Baptist Convention, of which the Dillard's home church belongs, does not consider either missionaries. In order to qualify as a missionary for the SBC, one must meet rigorous education requirements, including a bachelor's degree and a certain amount of pertinent graduate courses — preaching and evangelism, for example. While he has an accounting degree from Oklahoma State, Derick Dillard has never taken a college-level religion course, Inquisitir reports. Like most of her siblings, Jill has not attended college. Further complicating a return to Central America (the Dillards have been in the US since October 2016) is their second pregnancy. With another baby due in July 2017 and El Salvador urging people to avoid pregnancies until 2018 at the earliest, the Dillards going back now would seem foolish. Strangely, this did not stop Derick from joking about Zika on Instagram.

Duggar kids seem dissuaded from attending college

The Duggar family consistently have demonstrated a belief in homeschooling their 19 kids, to the point that only one of their 11 children who is college-aged (Joseph, born in 1995), actually has attended college. He went to Crown College of the Bible in Tennessee to complete a year-long program, and returned home in 2016 to work for his dad while intending to earn his real estate and CDL licenses.

What about the other Duggar children, such as Josh (born in 1988), or Jana (born in 1990)? Why have some of the Duggar kids sampled online courses, but none have gone to a brick-and-mortar school? Not only has Jim Bob Duggar railed against the "worldly" and other un-Christian influences and dangers, but Michelle Duggar has used the family's policy of staying debt free as a deterrent for anyone considering taking on, say, student-loan responsibilities. And sending all of the Duggars to college would be expensive; perhaps costing as much as $3.4 million, Bustle calculated.

Being the oldest female, Jana has seen much scrutiny from fans who wonder if her parents are holding her back from enriching her life through higher education. For much of her time on TV, Jana has been seen performing duties of the house, or being something of a nanny to her siblings' kids. She has taken a conservative approach to courting — she hasn't taken part, saying on Counting On: "I'm not just out to get married to the first [suitor] that comes along."

Jim Bob Duggar accused of lying in civil case

On TV, the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar advertise themselves as virtuous people, trying to follow God's law. Radar Online, however, uncovered documents that allege Jim Bob and his oldest son, Josh, lied under oath at least three times in 2013 for a civil court case related to an insurance deal and damaged used cars at a Duggar-owned dealership. The three denials: That neither had a criminal record; that neither ever had exchanged official communications with local, county or state police; and that neither ever had filed a civil suit. As for the first two denials, as both Duggar men later confessed, Josh was investigated in 2006 for criminally for sexually molesting his younger sisters as a teenager. Police at all levels were involved, albeit belatedly. Further, it also was untrue that Jim Bob had ever filed a civil suit; he had, as a landlord against a former tenant, in 2003. Even though Jim Bob and Josh were never taken to task by authorities for making the contradictory statements in the insurance case (the statute of limitations had run out by the time charges could have been pressed), they lost the case anyway.

Michelle Duggar records anti-trans robocall

In the year before her oldest son confessed to being a predator, the Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar literally lent her voice to a cause in Fayetteville, Arkansas, opposed to full rights for transgender people, a group she finds hypothetically dangerous. An alderman there was trying to protect residents who felt "discriminated against during housing transactions, employment decisions, and other public accommodations" such as using a restroom, the Fayetteville Flyer reported in 2014. In her monologue Duggar said, in part: "I don't believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls."

Despite Duggar's efforts, voters approved the civil rights measure, which also has survived numerous court challenges. Duggar defended her opinions and actions during interview with Fox News in 2015 about Josh's molestation scandal, where she also downplayed her son's actions.