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Friday, September 22, 2023

Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth Distance Themselves From IBLP in New YouTube Video

Austin and Joy Forsyth sit down for an interview for 'Counting On'

Thanks, I Hate It

The Duggar family’s affiliation with the IBLP is well-known now, but several Duggar kids are stepping away from it. Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth just revealed they never belong to the group as a married couple.

Following the release of Jill Dillard’s book, Counting the Cost, several Duggar family members have returned to social media. It is unclear whether they are trying to deflect attention from the inflammatory memoir or simply cash in on renewed interest in the family. Regardless of the motives, Duggar family followers are getting more information about the family than they have in years. In a recent YouTube upload, Joy-Anna Forsyth and Austin Forsyth revealed they are not members of the Duggar family’s ultra-conservative Christian Ministry, the IBLP, and never have been. 

Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth are not members of the cult-like ministry

In their YouTube video, Austin revealed that he and Joy had discussed moving away from the IBLP even before marriage. The 29-year-old said the couple agreed not to use the IBLP literature in their marriage. He said they began distancing themselves from events hosted by the IBLP as soon as they were married. 

Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth marry during a TLC special
Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth | YouTube/TLC

Joy chimed in, noting that they had decided to have their own “relationship with the lord.” Until now, the couple was fairly tight-lipped about their religious affiliations. The couple’s admission shocked some Duggar family followers. Austin is the only Duggar son-in-law raised in the ultra-conservative Christian ministry so far. 

Jill Dillard married Derick Dillard, who was raised religiously but not in an ultra-conservative Christian ministry. Jeremy Vuolo, who married Jinger Vuolo in 2016, was raised similarly to Derick. Both Jeremy and Derick graduated from secular universities. Ben Seewald, who married Jessa Seewald in 2014, was not a part of the IBLP when he began dating his now-wife. Duggar family followers believe Jessa and Ben now subscribe to the ministry. Neither have confirmed that. 

The Duggar family is closely tied to the IBLP 

The IBLP, or the Institute of Basic Life Principles, is an ultra-conservative Christian ministry. The ministry’s adherents believe in a patriarchal family structure. The ministry suggests women should serve as “helpmeets” to their husbands. The group urges families to have as many children as they can. They also enforces modest dress requirements.

While the Duggar family has belonged to the ministry for decades, little was known about the controversial religious movement’s internal workings until June 2023. In June, Amazon released a docuseries, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. The docuseries exposed the ministry as a “cult-like” movement that was controlled by alleged sexual predator, Bill Gothard. The ministry has since removed Gothard. Jill Dillard, Derick Dillard, Amy Duggar King, and Deanna Duggar appeared in the project.  

The Bates family belongs to the ministry, as well

While the public sees the Duggar family as the face of the IBLP, they are not the only reality TV family with ties to the controversial ministry. The Bates family, famous for their own reality TV show, is heavily entrenched in the ministry. Gil Bates serves on the board of directors for the IBLP. 

The Bates family was first introduced to TV audiences on the Duggar family’s show, 19 Kids and Counting. Later, Gil and his wife, Kelly Jo Bates, landed their own reality TV series. UpTV aired Bringing Up Bates for 10 seasons before it canceled the show. The network filmed footage for season 11, but it has never aired.

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