There is no end to the horrors of Josh Duggar’s trial.
Between gruesome evidence presented in the courtroom and the man’s sickening history, it’s hard to watch at times.
It must be even harder to testify.
Both Jedidiah and Jill Duggar are on the witness list. Are they there to cover for their disgraced brother, or put him away?
As Josh Duggar’s trial began, the judge read off the witness list.
Arkansas Judge Timothy Brooks included, among others, two very recognizable names:
Jill Dillard and Jedidiah Duggar, two of Josh’s siblings.
Various other Duggars (some by marriage) have appeared in court.
Anna, of course, has been attending her husband’s trial and standing by his side, to the neglect of her children.
On Wednesday, Jill’s husband Derick Dillard was seated in court.
Interestingly, Austin Forsyth was also spotted in the audience, seated near the back.
Eyewitnesses reported him seeming to ignore both his brother-in-law Derick and his sister-in-law, Anna.
Considering that Austin’s wife, Joy-Anna, has come up in such a grim context during this trial, one wonders what was on his mind.
When Josh was a teenager, he molested five young girls (that we know of), four being his own sisters.
Jill was among Josh’s victims, even identified herself as such to the public in 2015.
Alongside Jessa, she was marched out in front of the (Fox News, of course) cameras by Jim Bob to defend their brother.
But a lot has changed in the past six years, especially for Jill.
She has stepped further away from Jim Bob and the cult than any of her siblings.
It’s not just about wearing pants or getting a nose piercing or dyeing her hair blonde, either.
Jill’s husband has directly called out Jim Bob on his shady behavior, especially his dishonesty when it comes to finances.
The couple also plans to enroll their children in public schools, exposing them to the real world instead of cult-approved homeschooling.
There has been real blowback, including Jill being banned from the main Duggar house unless Jim Bob is present.
Derick also shared a couple of years ago that Jill is now in therapy.
Therapy — not religious counseling, not “treatment” that just involves prayer and manual labor — is antithetical to the Duggar cult’s way of doing things.
It could help Jill process the sexual abuse, as well as the physical, emotional, and mental abuse from growing up in that toxic household.
All of this together does not necessarily look like the backstory of someone who is willing to go to bat for a predator.
In 2015, many felt that Josh’s victims did not have a choice when it came to how to frame their feelings on their brother.
Their cult weaponizes ideas like grace and forgiveness, and also considered the exposure of Josh’s crimes in 2015 to be an “attack” by the devil himself.
In other words, to do anything but defend their brother would have been to side with Satan in a spiritual attack.
That sounds unhinged, but you have to remember that they were raised in a fundamentalist cult.
To them, they’re not an extreme group of Christians in a country that is 70% Christian — they see themselves as a tiny minority of “true” Christians in an evil world.
But as we said, a lot has changed for Jill since that time.
Very soon, perhaps mere hours after the publishing of this article, we may learn what Jill has to say six years later.
Sporting her new blonde locks, she could find herself even more on the outs with her extended family — but on the right side of history. Or not.
As for Jedidiah, he married Katey very abruptly just about eight months ago.
Recently, Jed and Katey fled Arkansas as if hoping to avoid the media firestorm and the stigma of Josh’s trial.
But if you’re called as a witness, that’s it — no state line will keep you from being asked to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.
It is possible that Jed is there to lend a voice of support for his brother.
Not all of the Duggars want to see him rot behind bars. In fact, some don’t even see him as a disgrace.
For reasons known only to her, Justin’s wife Claire Spivey was seen actually speaking to Josh. Our stomachs turn at the thought.