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May 1, 2021 9:44 a.m.

Perhaps you read it many years ago. But if not, I wanted to flag your attention to this article Sarah Posner wrote for TPM back in 2015. Yesterday we reported that Josh Duggar, one the kids from the Duggar Family of Reality TV fame and himself a one time player in hard right evangelical politics, was arrested for possession of child pornography. This followed an earlier scandal in 2015 when it was revealed that as a teenager a decade earlier he had molested his younger sisters and one other girl of the same age.

This led to the cancellation of the family’s show 19 Kids and Counting. But what was revealed in that story was that in response to the sexual abuse the family sent Josh to be ‘mentored’ by a guy named Bill Gothard at a place he founded called the Institute for Basic Life Principles. Posner calls the IBLP “an insular and authoritarian evangelical homeschooling ministry whose charismatic founder, former followers say, sexually harassed female employees, blamed rape victims for provoking their attackers, and subjected young disciples to grueling physical labor for little or no pay.” It’s a fascinating part of the Duggar backstory. But more than that it is a fascinating look into part of the world of rightwing evangelical politics where a climate of sexual repression and adulation of charismatic leaders creates its own world of sexual abuse and predation. Here’s the piece.

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