Josh Duggar’s Molestation Scandal Ruined His Family’s Standing in Church Years Before it Toppled Jim Bob’s Media Empire

The entire world became aware of Josh Duggar’s molestation of his siblings and a family friend in 2015. While the revelation brought down Jim Bob’s television show 19 Kids and Counting, it seems there was collateral damage to the family long before the entire world found out what was going on behind closed doors. In an exclusive interview with Radar, one former member of the family’s church shared precisely how the scandal played out in real-time. The anonymous member’s account confirmed what a lot of fans had already surmised; the Duggar family never truly recovered their reputation within the church.

Several meetings happened prior to a public confession

While an anonymous source came forward to Radar, Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray, had a similar source last year. It is not known if the sources are the same person, but many believe they are. During a Q&A with the moderator of the Facebook group, a source claimed that there were several private meetings about Josh’s behavior before the allegations were made public.

The source claims that all of the children were asked to clear out of the house as the adult church members discussed Josh’s indiscretions. There was allegedly chatter between the kids about what was going on before everything was made public.

Joshua was forced to have his head shaved

Anyone who recalls the Duggar family’s first television specials will recall that Josh was used as a spokesperson for the kids. As the oldest, he took on the leadership role, but eagle-eyed fans will probably remember that the young Duggar had a closely cropped military haircut.

According to Radar’s source, the haircut was part of Joshua’s punishment for molesting his siblings and a family friend. His head was shaved in front of the entire church before he was sent off to live with a family friend.

Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar |Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

According to The Washington Post, the family alleged in 2015 that they sent Josh off to a Christian-based counseling center, but the insider seems to think it wasn’t a counseling center at all, rather another member of the church took the then 16-year-old Duggar in.

Church elders threatened his victims

When Duggar initially refused to have his head shaved in public to repent, church elders issued an ultimatum; he could either have his head shaved or one of his victims would be forced to go through the process. The anonymous source alleges that Josh eventually complied and went through with the process.

The victims, however, were publicly threatened with the head shaving, too. Thankfully the elders didn’t add to their trauma by actually doing so, but the concept is still frightening and disturbing for fans. Several fans note that victim blaming is a common theme in the ultra-conservative Christian sect. The threat of shaving the heads of the victims suggest they were expected to shoulder some of the blame. d it’s likely that the victims were expected to shoulder at least some of the blame for what happened to them.

Josh Duggar was separated from other children

While Joshua allegedly received some form of treatment then went on to marry and have several children, it looks like his reputation within the church never recovered. The insider alleges Joshua was kept separate from the other children, and both Jim Bob and Michelle admit they put roadblocks in place to prevent the problem from happening again. Boys and girls, after a certain age, are no longer allowed to play with each other, according to fans who post on the wildly popular Free Jinger forum.

The church insider also alleges that the children within the group were no longer allowed to spend time with Josh, either one-on-one or alone. Some fans have long surmised that the Duggars purposefully married Joshua off young to get him out of the house. While that sure is possible, it seems they still happily accepted him into their home, They even placed him in full view of the TV cameras.

It’s probable that the family thought the situation would never come to light. They were clearly wrong. The Duggars would go on to weather yet another scandal several months after the molestation allegations came to light. Josh admitted to cheating on his wife and was sent to a Christian-based rehab program.