Why I Won’t Be Watching “Shiny Happy People”

Multiple people have asked me if I’ll be watching the Amazon Prime docuseries that was released at the beginning of this month. It’s called “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets”.

It won’t be informative for me. It will just be triggering. No surprises here.

Frankly, there shouldn’t be any surprises for the rest of you, either.

What details are you missing? What unspoken “secret” about the Duggar family don’t you already know?

The Duggars were connected to, followed, and recommended the IBLP cult. This is not new information.

They had almost 20 children. This was the draw of the TLC show (And its spin-offs)! That’s not new information.

Code terms for abuse don’t make abuse any less abusive. Nobody can say for certain whether the Duggars were physically abusive, hitting their children, because they have carefully avoided those terms in every piece of media. The only reference to this is “blanket training.”

This technique is not exclusive to IBLP, I read about it in Michael and Debi Pearl’s book “To Train Up a Child.” There are worse books, too – the book my partner’s parents followed, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart,” by Tedd Tripp, encourages beating children to break their rebellious spirits. The pure refusal to confirm or deny the existence of physical abuse is profoundly suspicious.

World domination was (and is) the goal. We have been saying this!

TLC is being demonized for making a ton of money off these people’s lives. Correct, they did. What bothers me is that Amazon Prime is another giant in the entertainment industry, and now they are making a ton of money off these people.

The tone is different but the result is the same: money, money, money.

I am not an exception to this phenomenon. I blog because that’s how I grew up interacting with the world. Jill Duggar did an interview in front of cameras because that’s how she grew up interacting with the world. We are both telling our stories, getting our own perspective out there.

My question for those who are reading here – and watching Shiny Happy People – is this: what good are we doing when we “raise awareness” about these situations?

The camera crews that interacted with these families didn’t do anything. The extended family members didn’t do anything. The churches certainly didn’t do anything.

The Duggars protected their pedophile son. Show me where that hasn’t happened. Anywhere. I’ll wait.

The fact is, our entire culture is structured around protecting abusers and silencing victims. Even when there are cameras. Even when there are documentaries exposing everything. You watch in petrified silence, and when a child says “my uncle touched me,” you say, “but he’s so nice!”

What good does it do? We are begging you to INTERVENE instead of just WATCHING.

We know people see what’s going on.

For every one of us taking to podcasts and documentaries and blogs to tell you what’s going on, there are hundreds who do not have platforms.

It’s not about us. It’s about you.