The Duggar Family’s Dysfunction Is No Longer a Secret

Derick Dillard insists that he still loves his in-laws, even though he feels like Jim Bob Duggar cheated him out of money and traumatized Jill Duggar. The statement came more than a week after Derick opened up in his Instagram comments about life within the ultra-conservative Christian family. He suggested he and his wife were threatened to continue filming, were never paid for their work, and he even suggested Jim Bob keeps the family home under lock and key. His admissions were dark, and they seem to have offered validation for what many followers have long believed – the Duggar family is dysfunctional. While Derick is the most recent whistleblower, he hasn’t been the first to speak out against the family, and from the looks of it, he may not be the last.

Anonymous tips to hotlines were placed back in 2006

In 2006, an anonymous tip was called into an abuse tip line regarding the Duggar family. While the actual contents of the tip have not been revealed, it was apparently credible enough for the Springdale Police Department to investigate. According to USA Today, the Springdale police called to speak with the Duggar family, but they were out of town at the time. They were interviewed after returning home to Arkansas.

It is not known who called the tip into the abuse hotline, but Oprah Winfrey’s production company apparently received an email outlining the abuse around the same time. According to E! News, Oprah’s team forwarded the email they received to an abuse hotline. It is unknown if Oprah’s tip prompted the investigation or if additional tipsters also called the hotline.

Forum users have been discussing problems within the family for over a decade

Nothing much seemed to come of the investigation, at least initially. The incidents were too far in the past to be prosecuted, apparently. Things were kept pretty low key, thereafter. The family continued on television as if nothing were amiss. Josh, in fact, was featured on several seasons, all while knowledge of the sexual abuse swirled quietly in the Northwest Arkansas region the family lives in. Meanwhile, things were heating up online.

The Duggar family visits 'Extra'
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

In 2007, a blog post comment, which was unearthed by Reddit users, outlined the sexual abuse going on inside the home. It went on to accuse Jim Bob and his wife, Michelle Duggar, of being complicit and of using their children for financial gain. It also went on to accuse Michelle of failing to care for her own children.

There is also allegedly plenty of talk around town about the Duggar family. It would seem that Jim Bob isn’t particularly well-liked. Locals have accused the father of 19 of buying up property in an around their hometown in an attempt to curry favor with politicians in the area. As the Duggar kids aged out of the home, several were accused of shady dealings, too. Josh’s car lot has a questionable track record, and the family’s search and rescue company has been accused of subpar behavior while on a trip to the Bahamas.

It would seem that the Duggar family’s dysfunction has been an open secret, at least within the circles they run in, for several years. The only one willing to speak openly about the issue, however, has been Derick. Duggar family followers are wondering if he is speaking the truth, simply resentful or if he’s trying to expose the family for his own financial gain.

Will more Duggars start speaking out?

It seemed like the family’s deepest secret was made public back in 2015. That is the year that Josh’s inappropriate behavior towards his sisters and a family friend were revealed. The family’s original show 19 Kids and Counting was yanked from TLC’s lineup, only to be rebranded into the family’s current reality TV show, Counting On. It was the family’s biggest scandal, at least until recently. Derick’s suggestion that Jim Bob is hoarding the family’s money was a bombshell, but now fans are awaiting more commentary.

Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson, don’t seem to have anything negative to say about Jim Bob and Michelle, though. The pair called them “amazing people” amid the recent scandal. Jill has kept mostly quiet, too, although she recently opened a P.O Box for fan mail. It would seem like it is only a matter of time before more Duggars drop bombshells, but fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for it. It would seem as though they are in crisis management mode at the moment. Could more information be forthcoming? We will all just need to stay tuned.