Wednesday morning, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced that their embattled son, Josh Duggar, had checked into long-term treatment.
In a short statement, the Duggars disclosed that their eldest child is on "a long journey toward wholeness and recovery." The statement does not specify what, specifically, the 27-year-old is seeking treatment for, but in his initial statement after it was revealed that he'd maintained an account on the website Ashley Madison, Duggar admitted to an addiction to pornography, an admission he later retracted.
Here is the Duggars' new statement in full:
"We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son's decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family."
The statement does not specify where Josh is getting treatment, and this is probably for a reason.
More likely than not, Duggar has returned to the Institute in Basic Life Principles' Little Rock Training Center. This is where the Duggars sent their son in 2003, after they learned he'd molested five minor girls, including four of his sisters. The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) was founded and run by Bill Gothard until 2014 when he was forced to step down after 34 women lodged complaints of sexual harassment — four claimed he'd molested them — against Gothard.
But exactly what "treatment" will Duggar receive courtesy of the IBLP? Their texbook Comprehensive Course in Effective Counseling provides some insight. Here is one passage from a section of the book called "How Can the Bondage of Immorality Be Broken?":
"A person who tries to overcome immoral habits with his own willpower is doomed to failure. Even if he achieves a certain measure of success in one area he will then experience new conflicts with pride, self-righteousness, and condemnation of others. The only power capable of breaking this bondage is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ energizing the person from within."
The counseling will be spirituality-based. Nothing necessarily wrong with that. But what are the qualifications of Duggar's counselors? Here's a passage from the booklet's section called "Do You Have the Credentials Necessary for Counseling?":
"If ... you desire to give spiritual counsel, you must have spiritual discernment and a life that is consistent with the counsel that you give."
In short: no credentials necessary. The IBLP anticipates these pesky critiques:
"Thus, when someone asks you for your credentials, realize that he is probably thinking in terms of psychological counseling, which depends upon years of training and earned degrees. Your credentials, however, will be the lives of those who are transformed by the help you give."
Transformed just like Josh Duggar — who sought "treatment" from the IBLP once before — was completely transformed, and never hurt anyone like, say, his wife Anna, ever again.