The Duggar Family’s Religion: All About the Controversial Church IBLP

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The Duggar family gave the world a look into their strict Christian household throughout 10 seasons of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. The series, which aired from 2008 to 2015, highlighted many of the family’s ultra-conservative ways — including modest dressing, supervised courtships and abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

But the seemingly wholesome family was not without its own scandals, and their religion — known as the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) — was also controversial. And now, a Prime Video docuseries called Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets promises to expose them both.

The Duggars first came under fire in 2015 when it was revealed that their eldest son Josh had been accused of molesting underage girls as a teen. The same year, he was also caught in a cheating scandal and admitted to having a pornography addiction. (TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting as a result of Josh’s actions.) In May 2022, Josh was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography. The content, which a Homeland Security officer called “the worst of the worst” and involved minor children aged 18 months to 12, was described by a judge as “horrific and sick.”

But the producers of Shiny Happy People refer to Josh’s experience as just “the tip of the iceberg” regarding the IBLP and its leaders. The explosive four-part documentary reveals the dark side of the radical religious organization — and how it shaped and negatively impacted the once-beloved Duggar brood.

Here’s everything to know about the Duggars’ controversial church, the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

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