The barrage of indictments against Josh Duggar—and, by extension, the rest of the Duggar clan—has been unrelenting. After news of Josh’s numerous online dating accounts surfaced (including a membership with Ashley Madison) and a porn actress came forward to allege that she had sex with the disgraced reality star, his parents announced that he’d be entering treatment. But new reports confirm that Josh’s rehab is a “Christian labor camp,” and what’s worse is that his wife Anna, who has already shouldered some of the blame for his infidelity, may not be able to leave him (even if she wants to) due to the strict beliefs she was brought up with.
As Gawker reported yesterday, Josh Duggar has been confirmed to be staying at Reformers Unanimous, a religious “treatment center” that offers no medical facilities, but instead approaches all problems from a spiritual standpoint that relies on both bible study and at least nine hours of hard work each day. While the center’s goal is to strengthen the resolve of men like Duggar, an unintended consequence of the fact that their methods aren’t evidence-based is that Josh may leave hating himself more and not understanding why his actions were wrong, only worried about going to hell after he dies and not recognizing the pain he’s brought upon others in a way that’s not about him.
While Josh is away for the next six months, his wife Anna has to deal with the difficult decision of what she will do next. It’s been suggested by many—including her siblings—that she should run (very far and very quickly), but People reports that this is unlikely to happen due to Anna’s strict upbringing. According to the news outlet, Anna’s religious indoctrination was even more rigorous and unbending than the teachings that Josh and his siblings received.
“Her parents are even a little more extreme,” the source told PEOPLE of the Kellers...
When Anna, now 27, met Josh at a Christian homeschooling convention back in 2006 when she was a teen, she wasn’t allowed to gush about him to her siblings. “That’s not something that’s shared amongst siblings,” says the source. “They always got 15-minute, one-on-one sessions with their mom every week. That was the time to share their feelings, but other than that they had to keep their feelings to themselves.”
Anna, who’s also now tasked with caring for the couple’s four children on her own, has been offered assistance by family members who don’t agree that she should remain married, but has not taken any steps to leave the situation, standing steadfastly by her husband even after he revealed that he molested at least five children, allegedly cheated on her numerous times, and confirmed that he’d been a “hypocrite” who is addicted to pornography. He also made promises to his wife before their marriage that he knew to be absolute lies—such as his vow of purity (which you can see Josh discussing in the video above).
It’s true that many don’t agree with Anna’s current decision to stay in her marriage (including Snooki, whose own husband had an Ashley Madison account), but let’s hope that this choice doesn’t make her the subject of public derision. The things Josh Duggar has done are horrible, but Anna’s decision regarding what to do about her marriage shouldn’t be met with the same scorn that her husband has rightfully earned.
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