In the weeks since Josh Duggar was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography, many people who were watching the trial closely have come forward with their own tales of being abused and exploited under similar circumstances.
In the aftermath of the verdict, popular subreddit r/DuggarSnark has emerged as a place for victims to share tales of survival.
Elsewhere on social media, users who have firsthand experience with the Duggars’ culture of abuse and deception are sharing these encounters as evidence that Josh is not the only toxic member of the family.
While others — such as Jim Bob and Michelle — might not have preyed on victims in the way that Josh did, they enabled his behavior and are therefore culpable in a different way.
Usually, Jim Bob receives the majority of the blame for allowing Josh’s misconduct to continue unchecked for so long.
But as a recent Facebook post reminds us, Michelle has a very long history of her own problematic behavior.
The author of the post shared a detailed account of an interaction with the Duggar family that exposes the depth of Michelle’s rank hypocrisy.
“On May 19, 2015, I joined an episode of ’19 Kids and Counting’ with several members of the Duggar family,” this woman wrote.
“I spent the entire day with Michelle, one of her daughters, and the film crew.
“They had come to Timberline Knolls, where I had, years earlier, received treatment for an eating disorder and PTSD,” she continued.
“I was asked to join that episode to talk about my experiences with ED, PTSD, and recovery.”
The author was familiar with the Duggar family and their beliefs, and she says that she says that in the weeks leading up to the episode, she joked with friends about wearing a bikini or a Planned Parenthood shirt for her appearance on 19 Kids.
Ultimately, however, she went with the “solids and neutrals” recommended by the production crew.
“When the day came, I spoke at length with Michelle (both on and off camera) about my history of childhood sexual abuse and how it had contributed to my eating disorder/other mental illnesses,” this woman wrote.
“She was kind, gentle and (I thought) deeply disturbed by what had happened to me,” the user alleged.
“She seemed shocked that such things could be done to children, and was (or at least, seemed) determined to make such things — to use her words, such ‘evil things’ — speakable on her show.”
Just days after that encounter, the world learned that Josh had molested five young girls and was assisted by his parents in covering up his crimes.
Four of the victims were Josh’s sisters, the fifth, a babysitter hired by his parents.
The Duggars went to the police only after they were pressured to do so by a family friend years after the attacks took place.
Josh did not suffer any sort of legal consequences.
“He had a history of doing the ‘evil things’ that had so offended and disturbed his mother when I discussed them with her two days before,” the Facebook poster wrote.
“He had ‘confessed’ to his family and other people in their circle, and had asked for ‘forgiveness’ — and she, Michelle, had given to him.”
At that point, the author of the post vented her profound rage at the system that allowed Josh to get away with so much for so long, writing:
“I want to ask Michelle, ‘What changed?’ What changed in those two short days?
“How could you be so appalled by my experience, so angry at my r*pist, and then, TWO DAYS LATER, so utterly convinced that your son’s similar crimes weren’t crimes? But I know nothing changed except her presentation.
“She is, after all, a TV star. And it turned out that she’s just a better actress than I knew to expect. Acting so sad, concealing so much. A snake.”
“I have spent the years since that interview ignoring news about the family. I have too much: too much anger, too much rage, too much sadness. Too much, in all, to want to know more.
“But I did see that, today, Josh was found guilty of some further charges.
“I didn’t see her response. But knowing the way she so capably and sincerely lied to my face about her desire to expose child sex abuse while holding his sick secrets … I don’t think I want to know how she reacts today.
“She cannot be trusted. None of them can.”
The Facebook user went on to say that her post was not written for Michelle but for those who have been victimized by people like the Duggars.
“I wrote this today for the Duggar women who were assaulted, for the up to 20% of kids who are sexually abused,” she wrote.
The author concluded with words of eloquent outrage directed at Michelle:
“Michelle, I hope you see this. I hope you know how completely and utterly horrifying I find you. I hope you know how much I regret trusting you, of all people, with my story,” she wrote.
“And I hope you know the pain you ‘cared’ about in me is pain you knowingly allowed your daughters to feel.”
“I don’t believe in heaven and I don’t believe in hell — but I know you do. And good god, I’m hoping you wind up in the fire.”
The Duggars are notorious for their firm sense of moral superiority, but we remain hopeful that those words will quite literally put the fear of God into Michelle.