Cut from the same cloth. Welcome to Plathville’s Olivia Plath‘s sister Lydia Meggs revealed that the controversial non-denominational Christian organization the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) – famously connected to the Duggar family – was a part of her life growing up.
“I have struggled over the years to identify how we grew up,” Olivia, 25, said during an Instagram Live on Tuesday, June 6, joined by Lydia. “I think my parents were hesitant to use the label, but we grew up in that world.”
Lydia, meanwhile, nodded her head and said, “Absolutely,” when her sister asked if they spent their childhoods within the organization founded by Bill Gothard. “We didn’t listen to Bill Gothard, but other people in that world,” Olivia continued, reflecting on the IBLP’s teachings and the bombshell revelations shared in Amazon Video’s documentary, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, that dropped on June 1.
Further sharing that “so many” people pick and choose aspects of Christianity to abide by, Olivia shared that as an adult, “I look back and am like, ‘That’s cherry picking.’” The TLC star went on to share that she could particularly relate to Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and her experiences within the IBLP. Though they differ on religion, the Welcome to Plathville star revealed that she shares common experiences with Jill as related to financial and legal issues. Like the Duggar sister who was featured in the documentary, Olivia has plans to one day write a tell-all book.
The Instagram Live was not the first time that Olivia weighed in on Shiny Happy People, speaking out two days after the documentary dropped.
“Good afternoon to everyone except for Bill Gothard [and] Michael Pearl,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “If you know, you know that’s a rabbit hole. But I bring it up to say a few days ago, a docuseries dropped on Amazon Prime called Shiny Happy People. That was my life up until a few years ago and oh, [it was] a little triggering to watch.”
“That is healing in a way,” she continued, noting that she was encouraged to hear others speak about their own experiences with religion as children. “The realm in which my public life exists, there’s a lot of things I can’t say, there’s a lot of things I want to say about religion, about my past, about the world that I went right back into”
The Welcome to Plathville star has been open about her experiences growing up in “conservative, legalistic church,” and how she has gone through a series of unlearning as an adult. Her husband, Ethan Plath, was similarly raised by parents Barry and Kim Plath in a strict, religious environment. The young couple quickly started fighting with Ethan’s family as Olivia started introducing him to things his parents never allowed.
“Obviously, we’re our own family and we’re gonna do things the way we choose to do ’em and we allow a lot of different things in our home that his parents wouldn’t and that’s just a personal choice,” Olivia said in a joint confessional with Ethan. “When we got married and we moved in here, we had alcohol in the home — that was a big source of tension. We’d want to go out for ice cream and that would create conflict because it would be like, ‘Well, you shouldn’t be eating sugar.’ And we’d be like, ‘Well, we’re adults. We can make that decision ourselves.’”
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