Details of Josh Duggar's 'Treatment' for Child Molestation Doesn’t Help His Case

Everyone seems to have an opinion in the wake of the Josh Duggar molestation scandal that broke last week. One thing that has people fired up is whether or not the situation was handled properly, as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar opted to send Josh to a treatment facility, rather than turn him over to the police after he confessed to sexually molesting five younger girls, including his own sisters.


Duggar defenders claim that Josh's parents handled it in the best way that they could, while critics say that no amount of "Christian treatment" can make up for the lack of legal consequences in this case. But what exactly was the treatment that Josh received?

According to the 33-page police report filed in 2006, Michelle Duggar admitted that the training center they sent Josh to wasn't so much a training center, as "a guy they [knew] in Little Rock that [was] remodeling a building." When asked if the guy was a mentor, she responded, "Kind of."

However, PEOPLE magazine is reporting that Josh spent time at the Institute in Basic Life Principles Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. We're not sure if Michelle was confused about where Josh went, or if some creative rebranding took place, but let's assume that he spent time at this institute.

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According to their website, the center exists to "strengthen individuals and families through sound Biblical teachings and character development opportunities and to demonstrate Christ's love through serving."Josh was reportedly treated from March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003.

Side note: That's a full year after the first claims of abuse were made in 2002.

There have been several claims of mistreatment at the institute, but its principal, Rodger Gergeni, has denied all allegations. It should be noted, however, that it has been the subject of a local Child Protective Services Investigation, and its founder, Bill Gothard, 79, was forced to resign his position after being accused of sexually harassing and assaulting 34 women.

We don't know exactly what happened at the center, but the Duggars have alluded to a combination of hard physical labor and lots of prayer and scripture study.

This isn't the Duggars' only connection to Gothard though. They've used curriculum and materials from the Advanced Training Institute to home school their 19 children -- a program once run by Gothard himself.

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One piece of ATI training material is a lesson in how to handle "sexual indiscretions between family members." Titled, "Lessons From Moral Failures in a Family," it teaches first and foremost that modesty must be preserved in the home even by the youngest family members. To the point where it teaches that parents should not let an older brother change his infant sister's diaper, lest he be tempted to lust.

I cannot make this up. After it gets done victim-blaming, there's a short section on what to do "if abused was not at fault." That would be a direct quote. It then says some nonsense about being grateful for "wisdom and understanding," and councils victims to not hold onto bitterness, so that God may protect them like He did Daniel in the lion's den.

My head hurts. We don't know if that was the sort of thing taught to Josh during his treatment, but with how connected his family is with Gothard's teachings, it wouldn't be surprising.

I really hope that whatever Josh went through as a young teen, he's truly over it. And more than that, I hope those five girls he admitted to fondling realize that they were never, ever, not even once, even a tiny bit at fault.

What do you think Josh was taught during his treatment?


Image via Anna Duggar/Instagram

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