‘Counting On’: Why 1 Member of the Duggars’ Religious Organization Wasn’t Surprised by Josh Duggar’s Sexual Abuse Scandal

Show Biz Cheat Sheet blog

Dec. 25, 2019

By Julia Mullaney

The Duggar family has been on television since 2008. Their reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, documented the life of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as they raised their nearly-20 children.

However, a disturbing sexual abuse scandal involving Josh Duggar, the oldest Duggar child, was leaked in 2015; the fallout caused the Duggar’s show to be canceled and replaced with Counting On. But one member of the family’s organization says she wasn’t surprised by Josh’s incident. Here’s why.

Back in the early 2000s, Josh Duggar admitted to sexually abusing several girls, most of whom were his own sisters. When Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were made aware of the incidents, Jim Bob consulted with the family’s church about the best option for Josh. Josh was eventually enrolled in a church-related program, which seemed to both help and punish the teenager, as the program consisted of physical labor as well as counseling.

In 2015, several years after the Duggars’ reality show premiered, a police report was obtained by InTouch, which leaked the entire story. That same year, Josh also admitted to having a pornography addiction and to being unfaithful to his wife, Anna.

The Duggars are affiliated with ATI, which is a strict Christian organization. Advance Training Institute, or ATI, is a Christian homeschool organization whose members live all over the United States. Michelle Duggar has used this homeschool program on the kids in the past; the program values religion heavily in terms of education. It’s no secret that Michelle and Jim Bob have raised their children with strict religious beliefs and values, but one former ATI member says that it isn’t a surprise that Josh was sexually abusing young girls — and ATI is the reason it doesn’t come as a shock.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.