The limited series, first announced in December 2021, took a deeper look into the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), the strict religion the famous family follows. In doing so, it revealed how the radical religious organization shaped the TLC brood.
“On the heels of Josh Duggar’s explosive criminal trial, the untitled project will expose shocking connections between some of reality television’s most famous large families and The Institute in Basic Life Principles, a controversial fundamentalist organization and homeschooling empire,” the logline read. “In addition, prominent commentators, writers, and social media voices will explore the broader zeitgeist of reality television, social media, faith, fundamentalism, patriarchy and power.”
IBLP is a non-denominational Christian organization that was founded by Bill Gothard in 1961. The Institution set out to “introduce people to the Lord Jesus Christ” according to the IBLP website and it is widely known that Gothard’s teachings focused on modest dress, male authority and large families.
In 2014, dozens of women came forwards with allegations that Gothard sexually harassed them. After Gothard was put on administrative leave and an investigation was conducted, IBLP released a statement claiming that “no criminal activity” was found. However, they concluded that “Gothard has acted in an inappropriate manner.”
“The institute raises little predators,” one man said in the first look at the doc before the video cut to a news clip from 2015 of the family’s “dark family secret” involving disgraced reality star and eldest son, Josh Duggar.
“There’s a story that’s going to be told, and I would rather be the one telling it,” Jill told a producer while sitting next to Derick. “We were part of IBLP as early as I can remember.”
Keep scrolling to see all the bombshell quotes and revelations from the Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets docuseries.
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