Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are trying to stop the younger kids of the Duggar clan from seeing Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. The four-part exposé, released on Amazon, has raised concerns over what goes on behind-the-scenes in the Duggar family household. Reality TV fans through the late 2000’s to early 2010’s watched Jim Bob and Michelle raise their startling number of children on 19 Kids and Counting. At the time, the Duggar parents wowed with their ability to head such a seemingly put-together family, especially considering their family size. Their religion and strict conservative lifestyle were apparent–just not to the extent that was revealed in the docuseries.
An InTouch insider revealed the Duggar family is struggling as Amazon documentary Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets goes viral. A source close to the family said Jim Bob and Michelle “don’t want” their kids seeing the documentary. Understandable of the Duggar parents, however, the source quickly noted it’s likely unachievable. Supposedly, a number of the kids “refuse” to watch it on their own, but they added there are some who “watch it in secret.” If the younger, impressionable Duggar kids see what’s exposed of their family and religion they live by, it will worsen what the insider described as a familial downfall. “Their family dynamic is literally collapsing,” they added.
Shiny Happy People Has IBLP Members Questioning Their Beliefs
Much of Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets focused on a larger, though directly related, concern–the Institute in Basic Life Principles, or “IBLP.” The IBLP is the nondenominational organization that the Duggars’ strict family customs derived from. The link between the two adequately unearthed the serious harm the organization, or cult, has inflicted, and the InTouch insider revealed the impact on current IBLP members. “Everyone is saying how damaging it is to the core of their religious beliefs,” they said. The source further explained the “rift” within the community, as millions of IBLP followers’ beliefs are brought into question.
IBLP and founder Bill Gothard were exposed in Shine Happy People on several fronts. Gothard’s biblical teachings and various programs were explained by former members themselves and experts to be linked to alleged sexual abuse, misogyny, and dangerous power dynamics. The documentary showed how the teachings of the IBLP affected the Duggar family and exactly what that looked like in every role. Jim Bob, Michelle, and the rest of the Duggars have had issues surrounding the children’s upbringing, and their family members taking this stand will understandably make it worse. But because of the dangers rooted from the IBLP, the docuseries is impacting far beyond the former reality show family.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had this coming, and uncovering the IBLP and the family has already proven to be impactful. Former victims of Gothard’s teachings were given a platform in the documentary, which helped many others find the courage to tell their stories. The Duggar children deserved better, and regardless of where all 19 of them stand, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets proved the harm imposed on them by their parents and the IBLP. Jim Bob and Michelle can try to hide the truth from their kids, but when they lose that control, they will have to go through the ruin all over again.