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How the Duggar Docuseries Changed Beth Moore’s Perspective on Bill Gothard’s Teachings

How the Duggar Docuseries Changed Beth Moore’s Perspective on Bill Gothard’s Teachings

Beth Moore has revealed that Amazon Prime’s Shiny Happy People, a new docuseries on the dark side of the Duggar family, has opened her eyes to the impact of the teachings of Bill Gothard.

“I didn’t realize how much influence that whole Gothard movement had on my church and on my social circles until watching those couple of episodes,” Moore said in a Twitter thread. “I didn’t realize that’s where the umbrella talk all came from. I didn’t realize that’s where saying parenting stuff like ‘first time every time’ came from.”

The Duggar family was part of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a movement started by Bill Gothard. The IBLP has been criticized for its legalistic rulings, strict teachings and numerous widespread sexual abuse allegations.

Moore said that although she had never formally been part of the IBLP or participated in any IBLP events, her church was heavily influenced by Gothard’s movement and teachings. In particular, she shared that much of the “tangled up mess of toxic guilt and good discernment” she’s struggled with throughout her life was in part brought about by the shameful teachings of the IBLP that became so widespread in the church.

Moore said that because she felt that while she viewed those with a a stronger fundamentalist belief as “godlier,” they also made her feel more guilt.

“But as I look back, my gut was often (not always!) right but because those who held a more fundamentalist view were what I perceived as godlier, holier, better or more righteous than I and had a FAR better track record, I felt like all they’d bring out in me was more guilt,” she said. 
Shiny Happy People explores how the Duggar family promoted IBLP through their TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting. The documentary also details the string of scandals surrounding eldest son Josh, who had molested five girls and was later convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.

Moore, who revealed in her own memoir, All My Knotted Up Life, that she was sexually abused by her father as a child, said that the “toxic guilt” she felt from her own childhood left her conflicted with IBLP teachings compelling. She ultimately knew she could not join them because of a “tangled up mess of toxic guilt and good discernment.”

Read Moore’s full thread here.

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