Episode 208: The Trial of Josh Duggar

In this episode of The Reference Desk, Katie gives up a Duggar family update in the form of an in-depth journey through Josh Duggar’s recent CSAM trial. 

Josh Duggar has a long history of horrific behavior, from admitting to sexual abuse as a teen, to cheating on his wife, Anna, to admitting to a pornography addiction. But through it all, he has remained Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s golden child, the chosen son. In November of 2019, Homeland Security discovered Duggar had been accessing child sexual abuse materials on his work computer, and he has since been charged and convicted on two counts of receiving and possessing CSAM. It appears that the clouds of delusion, may finally be lifting within the Duggar family regarding Josh’s crimes, as evidenced by the stark statements issued by his siblings and parents in the wake of his conviction. We’ll talk about what’s next for Josh Duggar, and give some recommendations for our favorite female-centered, cult-related literature. 

Books recommended on this episode (available in our bookshop): 

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism by Katherine Stewart

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose

Shiner by Amy Jo Burns

We Can Only Save Ourselves by Alison Wisdom

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed


Trial timeline

Jim Bob’s bizarre testimony

Arkansas-based coverage of the trial 

Dillard family’s statement

Jim Bob and Michelle’s statement

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