With the launch of the four-part Prime Video docuseries Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, some big revelations were shared throughout the episodes.
While it was billed with a heavy focus on the Duggar family, many others came from the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), who shared their experienced.
Many of the stories were similar to what Counting On viewers saw happening within the Duggar family, most notably the homeschooling part of growing up.
Familiar faces also appeared throughout the four-part series, including Jen (the Fundie Fridays host), Jim and Bobye Holt (long-time friends of the Duggars), and of course, Jill Duggar, Derick Dillard, Deanna Duggar, Amy Duggar King, and her husband, Dillon King.
Some revelations were horrendous, including more in-depth discussions about what material was found on Josh Duggar’s laptop when federal agents seized it.
These are the biggest revelations from Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.
Jim Holt met Bobye when she was just 14
Jim and Bobye Holt sat down and participated in the Prime Video docuseries. They were also very outspoken during Josh Duggar’s trial in 2021, even taking the stand because of their knowledge about Josh’s previous behaviors with his sisters.
During their introduction, Jim revealed he was 19 when he met Bobye, who was 14. He said he was told she was older before they met, but her actual age didn’t deter him, and he mentioned she was “very developed,” and their relationship continued. Jim even joked they “marry young in Arkansas.”
The idea that Bobye was just a girl, barely a teen, and involved with an adult was shocking, given the harsh criticism he aimed at the Duggar family.
Jim and Jim Bob Duggar go way back and were buddies, for lack of a better word, for decades. They even had their first children just days apart. The Holts welcomed a little girl named Kaeleigh, while the Duggars welcomed Josh.
Josh and Kaeleigh were to be married until the revelations about what he did to his sisters came out. Jim was present when Jim Bob took Josh to the police station, which was also a part of his testimony in the 2021 trial.
Jill Duggar did fight back when Josh Duggar touched her
For so long, critics and fans have wondered about the validity of the Megyn Kelly interview in 2015. It appeared to be scripted, and it was clear that Jill Duggar was holding back her true emotions.
During the second episode of the Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, the focus was mainly on the chain of command that was taught in the IBLP. The umbrella of authority has weighed heavily among the ex-members.
Jill spoke about the feeling of responsibility to make things go away so that Jim Bob Duggar could hold on to their reality TV show. TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting following the revelation about Josh molesting his sisters. After the Megyn Kelly interview, Jill & Jessa: Counting On was born.
It was apparent that Jill had difficulty talking about the interview and the comments she made during the filming. She was trying to do what was best for her family and following the lead of the umbrella of hierarchy.
She was adamant the girls were asleep, and no one even knew what happened until Josh confessed to Jim Bob and Michelle during that interview.
However, cousin Amy revealed that Jill did fight back and clocked Josh. It was also likely she was the one who told her parents about the happenings, as Josh has hinted about a snitch a time or two.
Child labor and abuse were widely accepted
Several of the camps and organizations within the IBLP were run on child labor.
The training facilities often included 15 or 16-hour workdays for the children. Several of these centers were scattered all over the country. The duties varied from mopping floors to construction labor, as did the children’s ages.
Alert Academy is a program that is a lot like Boot Camp. Several Duggar sons, including Josh, Joseph, Josiah, and Jeremiah have attended the program. Jason and James also completed programs; Jackson was spotted there last year.
Several ex-IBLP members discussed their experiences at the centers, revealing that sexual assault and abuse were happening.
The docuseries touched on blanket training and spanking with a rod taught within the IBLP. They used Michael and Debi Pearl’s book To Train Up a Child. The book has been widely denounced as an abuse manual.
They included a clip of Michelle talking about blanket time with her kids. The blanket training has long been discussed among snarkers and critics.
The details of everything that went on in the training centers, and the training methods at home, were incredibly sad.
Bill Gothard preyed on women at headquarters
Given what Duggar critics and followers know, it shouldn’t be surprising that the cult leader, for lack of a better word, preyed upon women himself.
Bill Gothard would invite some of the young girls around the age of 14 or older to headquarters, which was located in Hinsdale, Illinois.
While the young ladies were there, uncomfortable moments happened between them and him. Some stories were more in-depth than others, and once they started coming forward, Bill Gothard was removed from his position within the church and religion in 2014.
He systematically allowed sexual abuse within the church and the centers, which has remained rampant throughout the IBLP.
However, his teachings are still being used. Jim and Bobye revealed they believe that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are being primed to take over.
Jim Bob Duggar called Jim Holt ‘jealous’
The fourth episode heavily focused on Josh Duggar’s 2021 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to over a decade behind bars in federal prison.
Jim and Bobye Holt were called to testify at the trial about the situation between Josh and the molestation of his sisters. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had told their friends about it, so they were some of the only people in the know from the very beginning.
Bobye told the truth on the stand, which upset Jim Bob, leading him to accuse his once-close friend of being “jealous” of him. Jim said he would never want to be in the position he was in, and that was that.
Following the testimony, followers knew bad blood would be between the Duggars and Holts.
The Joshua Generation
The revelation that there was an entire group called The Joshua Generation is both interesting and scary.
A group of young men were taught to work toward infiltrating the government and getting into positions of power.
The former leader of the Joshua Generation sat down and spoke about the group’s purpose. Examples were given, such as Jedidiah Duggar running for office and Jim Bob Duggar attempting a run in the thick of Josh Duggar’s trial.
Josh Duggar was also a part of this, and his connections to Mike Huckabee and other political figures raised red flags as his misdeeds were beginning to be exposed.
Prime Video opened up a new side of everything related to the IBLP, revealing the control the teachings had over the people who grew up in the environment.
Deconstructing is a huge part of it, and it looks like that is what Jill Duggar has been working on since walking away from Counting On in 2017.
Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is now streaming on Prime Video.