UPDATE (23 May):
The Christian “treatment facility” to which anti-LGBTQ activist and FRC Action executive director Josh Duggar was sent for molesting his sisters was founded by a man who himself molested teenage girls.
When Duggar’s father discovered the young man had been sexually abusing his own sisters, he sent his son to the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), a Christian counseling center.
The founder of this center, Bill Gothard, a Christian minister and writer, was pressured to leave in a scandal in 2014. An internal investigation found he had sexually harassed numerous women, including teenage girls, and did not report accusations of child abuse. In all, Gothard was accused of harassing or assaulting 34 women.
The center has also come under attack for its methods. In a handout, the IBLP blames victims of sexual abuse for “immodest dress,” no parental protection, and “evil friends.”
The handout strongly emphasizes that victims must blames themselves for any “guilt,” “for disobedience,” and “for not reporting it,” and tells them to “clear guilt by confessing it to God.” The center also tells victims to “forgive [the] offender” and to instead “dedicate your body to God,” to “place yourself on His altar to serve Him.”
ORIGINAL (21 May):
Leading US anti-LGBTQ activist Josh Duggar sexually molested his own sisters, according to police records obtained by In Touch magazine.
Duggar is the executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit and tax-exempt lobbying arm of the anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, Christian fundamentalist Family Research Council (FRC).
The FRC has constantly claimed that LGBTQ people pose a threat to children. Duggar insisted that the passing of an LGBTQ nondiscrimination law in Fayetteville, Arkansas would empower “child predators” and threaten “the safety and innocence of a child.” He made these claims even when he himself had sexually molested several young girls, often while they were asleep.
The Duggar family stars in the television program 19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 Kids and Counting, and then 18 Kids and Counting), a reality show about far-right Christian fundamentalists in the small town of Tontitown, Arkansas who oppose birth control and adamantly uphold principles of so-called “Biblical patriarchy“—a doctrine that holds that God is masculine, that God created particular gender roles and sexual identities, that men are leaders and women must remain subservient, and that deviation from these principles is a sin.
In the wake of the revelations, Duggar resigned from his position with the organization, admitting “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.”
Duggar is also known for his overtly anti-Muslim views. He has publicly claimed that “Islam attacks women.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the leading non-profit organization in the US monitoring hate groups, has characterized the FRC as a hate group, writing “its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”
The FRC has close ties to many Republican politicians, and Duggar is a widely respected right-wing figure.