We’ve heard a lot of crazy things about the Duggars over the years — the siblings can’t be alone with their brothers and sisters of the opposite sex, they aren’t allowed to dance, and they can hardly even touch their partners during courting — and those are just the actual rules we know the Duggars live by. Despite their reality TV shows, books, and social media accounts, the Duggars’ unique lifestyle lends itself to a lot of secrecy. Because of that, there are some pretty wild conspiracy theories going around the Internet about this family. Check them out below — and decide for yourself what’s out-of-this-world crazy and what just might have something to it.
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Conspiracy Theory #1: The Duggar Family disowned a daughter.
Jinger Duggar moved to Laredo, TX after marrying her husband Jeremy Vuolo — but some fans think that wasn’t totally by choice. The theory goes that Jinger was actually disowned by the family for her rebellious ways — and she has been the source of plenty of scandals in the Duggar family.
From wearing clothes her family would deem inappropriate to potentially taking birth control pills, both serious scandals in the Duggar world, Jinger’s stirred up more than her fair share of controversy. She even had a mini-feud with her sister, Jill. But according to her and Jeremy, shorts aren’t inappropriate — and now that she’s living with her husband, she can live according to their rules and not her parents’.
“It is your liberty as to whether you dress modestly with a modest pair of pants, or with a skirt, or with a T-shirt, or with a blouse,” Jeremy explained. “It is not your liberty, women, to wear sensual, seductive clothing that is designed to draw the attention of your brothers.” Let’s hope she doesn’t get caught in a tank top any time soon.
Conspiracy Theory #2: Jana Duggar isn’t courting because she’s forced to stay home with the kids.
The oldest daughter, Jana Duggar, is a little behind some of her siblings when it comes to courting, getting married, and settling down to have kids of her own. And at 27, she’s getting up there in age — at least when it comes to the Duggars. For most people, 27 is still a great time to be single. But for the Duggars, being single means still living at home, still helping out with family chores, not having any social media accounts, and taking care of your younger siblings.
With 17 younger siblings, plenty of whom still live at home with her and their parents, there’s a lot for Jana to help out with. Laundry, cooking, cleaning — they’re all pretty typical tasks. But when you have that many people living in one house, chores can pile up quickly. There’s been some speculation that Jana is a lesbian, but even more fans have theorized that she’s being “held prisoner” by her parents.
Jana’s practically like a second mom to her younger siblings, so it makes sense that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar wouldn’t want to give that up — but according to Jana, she just hasn’t met the right guy. “There have been different guys who have come along and asked, but they haven’t been, I don’t know, the right one,” she explained in an episode of Jill and Jessa: Counting On.
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Conspiracy Theory #3: Jim Bob Duggar is a tyrant in his house.
Jim Bob’s rules in his household aren’t just rules — they’re law. According to a report from People, Jim Bob doesn’t just think being the boss is his responsibility, but that he also enjoys it. “[His] favorite word is ‘no,'” said a source close to the family. “Jim Bob calls the shots. Always has and always will.”
The boys in their family are even trained to respond to some one-word commands — like the word, “Nike.” In Growing Up Duggar, a book by Jana, Jill, Jessa Duggar, and Jinger, the girls explained that Nike means that guys need to immediately look down to avoid seeing something — or someone — that might stir their lusty impulses. When someone says Nike, all the boys in the family know to immediately drop their gaze until they’ve walked past.
“They say it, and all the boys look straight down to the floor every time,” said the source. “It’s like an automatic military thing. Things like that blow my mind.”
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Conspiracy Theory #4: Josiah is gay.
After Josiah Duggar and his ex, Marjorie Jackson, called off their courtship, fans started talking. After all, in the Duggar world, courting isn’t just dating — it’s courting someone you think you’d like to marry. It’s basically like being engaged to be engaged. So while breaking off a courtship isn’t as serious as divorce, it’s still pretty unheard of in this circle.
“Marjorie and I had a good time together. We were just trying to follow God’s lead on everything,” Josiah explained at the time. “She didn’t feel that it was the right timing then, so we called it quits for a bit.”
But some fans thought the real reason behind this couple’s split had something to do with Josiah’s sexuality — and that he might not actually be interested in girls at all. Fans have debated it in the Facebook comments and on social media, but there’s never been any official word from the Duggar family.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Conspiracy Theory #5: The Duggars physically abuse their kids.
In 2015, In Touch Weekly exclusively got our hands on a police report about Josh Duggar’s molestation charges. What that report also showed was that Michelle and Jim Bob have a rod they use to spank their kids when they’re misbehaving. The report alleged that they don’t hit their kids hard enough to leave bruises, but fans aren’t buying it.
The Duggars also admitted to using blanket training when their kids are toddlers. No one knows exactly what that means for the Duggars — but according to Gawker, blanket training starts in infancy and includes swatting children as young as babies with a ruler to teach them what not to do.
“It’s not waiting until they do something wrong to correct them, but actually taking moments to train them,” Michelle explained in an interview. “What they’re learning is self-control.”