Guess Who's Mixed Up In Duggar Family Sex Crimes Now? Hobby Lobby, Of Course!

According to the official police report, after Josh Duggar's parents found out he was molesting his sisters, and they spent a year doing NOTHING about it, Jim Bob Duggar sent his son for counseling with a "family friend" who was renovating a building in Little Rock, Arkansas. It turns out the program Josh went to was the Basic Life Principles Training Center, led by none other than Duggar family BFF Bill Gothard, the creepy man who, as your Wonkette reported Sunday, "coincidentally has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by more than 30 teenage girls." Gothard's Advanced Training Institute (ATI), the homeschooling cult the Duggars love so much, teaches, among other things, that little girls who get sexually abused probably share some of the blame, for being gross and naked sometimes.

But here's a fun fact! Arkansas courts ALSO sent juvenile offenders to Gothard's programs, housed in an old VA hospital in Little Rock, donated by some other good friends, the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby. Yes, THAT Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts store that has very sincere religious beliefs about sex and how ladies shouldn't do it, except for when they are married, to make babies for Jesus. Sound familiar? But Hobby Lobby also believes, apparently, that if boys do sex to girls, it is because the girls tempted them to do it, so the boys should have a special place to go to learn how to not be tempted to diddle their sisters. So Hobby Lobby gave Gothard this nice building where he could teach that kind of thing:

Shortly after the institute acquired the building, Gothard began renovating the space, saying it would be used for the Little Rock Training Center, which would house "court-referred youthful offenders in the organization's Bible-based rehabilitation program," according to an April 2000 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Gothard resigned as president of the institute on March 6, 2014, after being accused of sexual harassment of female employees.

Huh! Wonder how somebody as gross and creepy as Bill Gothard got all that official endorsement from the state, and how theoretically non-religious courts might think it's okay to send juvenile offenders to a guy who thinks when little boys change little girl babies' diapers, that the girls share responsibility for any subsequent abuse that happens, because they have VAGINAS and they're RIGHT THERE. If you are thinking "Hmmm, I wonder if Mike Huckabee has anything to do with this," you are wearing your thinking pants correctly! It turns out that, as Arkansas governor, Huckabee thought it would be great to use Gothard's teachings and programs for ... just about everything!

Most Americans never heard of Chicago-based teacher Bill Gothard until newspapers wrote about Colorado church shooter Matthew Murray's 2006 Internet rant about growing up under strict homeschool teaching developed as part of Gothard's Institute in Basic Life Principles.

That piqued attention to a photo of Huckabee and Gothard together at a Houston fund-raiser posted to a family blog of a Gothard disciple.

The Cincinnati Beacon described Huckabee as a "long-time admirer" of Gothard. The former Arkansas governor wrote a letter used by Gothard to promote a program aimed at infiltrating city governments with core principles of the ministry stripped of overt religious references.

But Huckabee's not just a Gothard "admirer." He actually seems to be a membership-dues-paid-in-full member of the cult:

"As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people," Huckabee wrote in a letter promoting Gothard's prison ministry. Arkansas prisons had been using Gothard seminars and materials since 1996.

That is going back a long way! How comforting to think that ex-cons, prisoners, rapists, Josh Duggar, AND all kinds of other offenders got "rehabilitated" by the same gross, likely rapey cult leader. That gives us a hell of a lot of faith in Arkansas state government! Let's be fair to Mike Huckabee, though, as it seems he is not the only idiot to hand the keys to Bill Gothard; there are allegations of abuse stemming from Gothard's programs in LOTS of states.

Ethics Daily also reports that Huckabee was interested in Gothard's "Character Cities" program, which sought to "merge his institute's teachings with government programs." If that's not theocracy, then words no longer have meanings.

Maybe this is why Huckabee was so quick to jump in and defend Josh Duggar. Maybe Huckabee knew that Jim Bob and Michelle had sent Josh to their mutual buddy and mentor Bill Gothard, therefore everything is All Better Now. So what if Gothard may have sexually abused or harassed 30 girls? What's important is that they've all been redeemed, by Jesus, therefore their sins might as well have never happened.

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[Washington Post / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Ethics Daily / Gawker]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.


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