From the moment Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges in 2021, the media and longtime fans of the family have obsessed over the same two questions:
Did his family know about his crimes and, if so, why didn’t they take any action to stop him?
It now seems almost impossible that the family didn’t at least suspect that Josh was involved in criminal sexual activity.
We may never know why they continued to enable it, but we do know that the result was catastrophic.
Earlier this week, an anonymous Reddit user who claimed to know the Duggars hosted an AMA (“ask me anything”) session on the r/DuggarsSnark subreddit.
Reddit confirmed the user’s claims that they were casual acquaintances of Josh and knew Anna well enough to be invited to the couple’s wedding.
Not surprisingly, one of the first questions was about the extent to which Josh cheats on his family.
“Does the family/community at large really accept the ‘Josh is innocent’ lie?” one user asked.
“He’s a creep and if you spent 20 minutes with him you knew it,” replied the presenter.
“I think there are a couple of brothers that maybe think he might be innocent, but for the most part it’s widely accepted that he’s not innocent.”
That revelation follows on the heels of a bizarre claim by Josh’s attorneys who alleged in his appeal filing that Josh was framed by an old family friend named Caleb Williams.
Williams is also a convicted sex offender (there seem to be plenty of them in the Duggar circle), and attorneys claim he downloaded the offending materials while freelancing in Josh’s office.
However, it has already been established that Caleb was in Illinois on the day in question, not Arkansas.
Elsewhere in the thread, a different user claimed that they also knew Josh and also felt “creepy vibes” after spending time with him “several times at his house or various places.”
This person went on to claim that Josh was flirty with her when he was just 13 years old.
“I met him by chance and I can confirm it. Over the course of a few years I was around him several times at his house or various places and I definitely got the creepy vibes,” this user wrote.
“I remember being 13 years old and feeling like he was flirting with me (I was like 19 or 20 at the time),” they continued.
“I told my parents and of course they didn’t believe me.”
Sadly, stories like this are not uncommon in insular religious communities like the one the Duggars live in.
Too often, victims are met with skepticism, and law enforcement and other outsiders are viewed with intense mistrust.
It is this set of circumstances that allows perpetrators like Josh to operate for years without suspicion.
And once their crimes are exposed, these predators benefit from their neighbors’ wariness of outside influences.
The community tries to handle the matter internally, allowing men like Josh to avoid prosecution.
When Josh flirted with a 13-year-old girl, his parents didn’t believe him.
When he abused his own sisters, his parents helped him cover up his crimes.
In this way, the family and the community in which Josh grew up collaborated in the creation of a monster.