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The fallout. The bombshell documentary Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets has created a schism within the famous TLC family and the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), the non-denominational Christian organization many of the Duggars are associated with, a source tells In Touch exclusively.
“The documentary series is causing a huge rift within the family and their religious community,” the insider reveals, noting that Jill Dillard (née Duggar), husband Derick Dillard and Amy King (née Duggar) are being seen as the documentary participants that have caused the “most damage, not just because they participated in it, but they lived it. They’re speaking from their shared experiences.”
“Everyone is saying how damaging it is to the core of their religious beliefs,” the insider continues. “It’s questioning the unorthodox principles Jim Bob and Michelle (Duggar) used to raise their children, as well as their millions of parishioners.”
Though IBLP was founded by Bill Gothard back in 1961, former friends of Jim Bob, 57, and Michelle, 56, claimed in the documentary that the couple have effectively taken over Gothard’s influential role, impacting thousands with their specific take on religion, which promotes male dominance, female submission and homeschooling among other practices. Gothard, 88, departed the institution in 2014 after more than 30 women accused him of sexual harassment.
“Because Mr. Gothard has been taken out of [IBLP], from what my understanding is, is that Jim Bob and Michelle are now his replacement,” Bobye Holt, who raised her children side-by-side with the Duggars, said in the documentary, adding that she believes Jim Bob is “trying to emulate Bill Gothard.”
She went on to say that the Duggar family’s popularity, no doubt thanks to their TLC hit show 19 Kids and Counting, has allowed Jim Bob and Michelle the opportunity to “encourage people to come to IBLP.”
“They’ve encouraged people to move to Arkansas [as well],” Bobye added. “Which is completely a cult move.”
Bobye’s husband, Jim Holt – who was recently handed a protective order filed by his wife – added, “[Jim Bob] has changed so much, I don’t know if he’s even the same guy that I knew.”
Of the bombshells included in the Amazon Video documentary that dropped on June 1, the Duggar insider further tells In Touch, “The mental and physical abuse, the shattered lives, it’s all coming out.” They continued, “The fallout from the documentary is going to be monumental. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
As for Jim Bob and Michelle, they kept their response to Shiny Happy People brief, releasing a statement just minutes after it was released on the streaming service.
“The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family is sad because in it we see the media and those with ill intentions hurting people we love. Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format,” the couple wrote on their website. “This ‘documentary’ paints so much and so many in a derogatory and sensationalized way because sadly that’s the direction of entertainment these days.”