The Duggar Book

Information gleaned from "The Duggars: 20 and Counting!"

Odd fact: The Duggars don't believe in "luck," but they seem to believe in the "supernatural." This comes directly from their book -- even the word. Everything they "need" seems to appear out of thin air.

I just finished reading their book (do not ask how I got it -- I certainly didn't pay for it). I never really disliked them before, but I do now. Actually, I'm pretty much disgusted. They talk down to the reader and display a totally holier-than-thou attitude.

The whole book is full of BS. They contradict themselves. For example, JB talks about his garage and where it is sited, but the diagrams of the house that the Duggars built show no garage.

They claim not to be superparents, but everything they "try" works beautifully. They deny it, but their marriage, children, and family dynamics are shown to be perfect. They even discuss the "imperfectness" of some things -- things that are absolutely minor and of little consequence... trying to prove how "normal" they are.

They continually buy stuff, use it (sometimes for years), and then sell it for twice as much as they paid. I don't know if that's smart business tactics or some sort of fraud. They had many, many people help with building the house. People are always "donating" to them -- both time and material things.

They also appear to RENT OUT THEIR HOUSE for various gatherings... such as a "Christian ministry gathering," "70 Romanian mayors," 50 people who show up for church services. I would bet dollars to donuts that they charge for these gatherings even though they don't mention it. I'm sure they pass the collection plate for church services. They also "cater" for these gatherings -- the older girls (NOT Michelle) doing the cooking. That pretty much explains the industrial kitchen.

And when they are not "entertaining," they use the "pretty" kitchen and PAPER PLATES... despite the industrial dishwasher.

They are truly an odd bunch. Odder than I thought before I read the book.


Anonymous said...

I think people mistake the Duggars and J&K Plus 8 as being "different" when in reality, there is not a whole lot of difference other than the Duggars are far more likeable. Michelle has mentioned before that "things just seem to come to them" so that the "Lord provides for them," which in essence means "people keep giving us things, which we accept for free, even though it is compeltely our decision to keep having these kids is completely ours."

I think I read something once that because they use their home for church functions, they are able to deduct some/part of it on their taxes? Not sure about that one, but I feel like I read it somewhere.

SuzanneDeAZ said...

First they do not belieive in just the "supernatural", they believe in God. Supernatural can encompass more than just God. They do not believe that what they need comes from "thin" air. I read the book. They believe that their needs are supplied by God. Many Christians believe this.

I did not see a holier than thou attitude. I think if you read into any type of attitude the attitude comes from the reader and not from them. For some reason, maybe due to a poor self image you have you feel this way. I read the book and certainly did not feel that way. I have read many other reviews and did not see them feel that way either. You are reflecting your OWN feelings.

The garage may not be connected to the house. On what page, as I have the book does he state his garage is actual part of the house? There is a garage door connected to the house but it enters into a pantry not a garage. I really like the lay out of the house.

I think you are reading a lot into the book that is just not there. What makes you think they want to or even feel it is necessary to prove they are "normal"? Define "normal". Yes, Michelle claims they have problems just like every other family and I am sure they do. Giving the example of the "cat" doing his business in the van before a trip and taking hours to get ready is pretty normal to me so I think that is why she shared that story. What is wrong with that? Do you want her to make up some story to appease you or other readers?

What is wrong with buying things second hand and selling them for more. That is called business. People do that all of the time. My brother in law who is quite wealthy who has a business of his own always has enough cash to buy things second hand. He looks for a deal, usually some type of play toy like a machine gun or an airplane or a vehicle, buys it, plays with it and then sells it for a prophet. It is a smart business. It certainly is not fraud. If there is a market for an item and it sells at a market price which is greater than what they paid for it in their orginal purchase then it is smart business. This happens all of the time. It seems you read this book with a "chip" in your attitude as you are making negative comments on things that most people would not even give a thought to.

They themselves spent 3 years on building the house. They admit that they were over their heads in the project and needed to get it finished as the house they lived in was sold and the rental house they moved in between also was sold. As a result they hired professionals to do the things there were not able to do. Yes, in the end many came to their resuce, including the TV show to help them finish it. What is wrong with that? People helping others and as far as the TV show is concerned that also is business, just like the Gosselins or the LIttle People get paid for their shows. The shows sell or otherwise TLC would not give them a contract.

So what if they rent out their house for various gatherings. If they have the space and want to do the work and have groups come so be it. Why sould that bother you? I am sure when they planned the house they made sure they had a huge room to do just this. They for years hosted or taught some type of financial planing seminar in their home. This is American and all that they do are within the Law. Maybe you would not do that but does that make it wrong?

I do think they charge for the seminars and if they do it is legal. People pay all of the time to these types of gatherings. If they cater for these gatherings and the girls make some money out of it wow, that is great. The girls are now learning about how the free interprise system works without having to even leave their home. Very very smart!

Yes, the industrial kitchen is used for such meetings. The "pretty" kitchen is used for the family. What is wrong with that?

They are odd to most as they have chosen to live a differnt life style. More power to them not to feel they have to follow what you may call "normal".

As far as thinking they get to write the house for a tax write off has never been proven. Just others saying that to make the Duggars look bad. I know they pay $11,000 a year for taxes on that property as the records are public. They do not send their kids to a public school so it appears that they pay more taxes then suck up the taxes others pay by having their kids take advantage of the public school system.

Jill said...

I recently read their book also. First of all, with 20 people to cook for paper plates is just plain logical in spite of their dishwasher. Why rinse, load and unload, when you can just toss in the garbage? Michelle Duggar recognizes they are blessed...I think she is just trying to give the good Lord credit. And yes, God works through others..he doesn't personally come down and hand them things. I admit that I don't understand how they can possibly do all they say they do, but just because I can't, doesn't mean someone else can't.

Anonymous said...

I bought the book & didn't the same impression. I agree with a previous poster that you began reading the book with preconceived notions & nothing would sway you another way. My husband read bits & pieces of it (it was in the bathroom, the only place I have a minute to myself)and he enjoyed it, though he playfully picks at me for my silly watchings of TLC.

Cassandra said...

Check out page 207: "... the addition eventually became a large upstairs bedroom, our GARAGE, a pantry, an office, and the area next to the garage that we call the "good-bye room." That pretty much says to me that the garage is part of the house.

Of course my review reflects my opinions. Isn't that what reviews do? Whose opinion would it reflect?

However, that is no big deal. What is a big deal is your accusing me of having pre-conceived notions. As a matter of fact, the person who gave me the book told me that it was "very good." That is the only reason I bothered to read it. I was truly surprised at how icky the whole thing was. I was not expecting them to be so holier-than-thou -- especially, Michelle!

As for "supernatural," that word comes directly from Michelle. I was surprised myself when I read it. I don't have the time to go through 228 pages to find it, but believe me, I would not come up with that word.

Re the paper plates: 20 people using paper plates, 3 times a day -- talk about WASTEFUL. They must go through an entire forest every week.

And finally, I'm happy to see that Godhardites have found our blog.

Anonymous said...

I just read the book and I was excited about all the cool ideas. I am getting those chore cards for my own kids, and I am also going to do her labeling thing so I know where I've stored stuff. I didn't get the feeling that she was "holier than thou". How can she be so great living in a tiny house with 5 kids on a car lot? That sounds crazy! I'd hate it.

And then did they say they had 15? when they were living in their second house which was just normal size? Yikes, it sounds crowded. Maybe she started using paper plates then for her own sanity?

They seem to be raising great kids, who aren't making stupid choices. Judging by statistics on teenage births, STD's, drop out rates, drug usage etc, I would say that they are doing better than most average american families. They have several adult age children and many other teenage children and none of them are following that pattern. Maybe some posters are just jealous?

MomOfThree said...

I did not read the book yet, so I am not sure how the reference to the "garage" comes into play but perhaps JimBob has a "garage" located elsewhere...not on the property that the house is on?

They have said that when they were first married, JB had a used car business and we know that Josh and John David have this type of business now. If they do their own repairs/rebuilds (JB said that HE used to buy old cars, fix them up and resell them), then it would make sense that they have a large "commercial" garage for the "business" and a "regular" garage at their the two kitchens, the "pretty" one for family use and the "industrial" for large gatherings. I do recall that in the episode where the boys and girls switched jurisdictions for the day, JB and the girls were changing the oil in a large, "gas-station"like garage with "lifts" that the cars were put up on. One of the girls (Jessa, I believe) was underneath the car and when she unscrewed the cap, oil came dripping out onto the camera lens. Also, little Johanna was shown trying to climb up some sort of staircase; the family was telling her to "stay here" and "don't go up there". JB jokingly said something to the effect of, "That's for employees only". This was definately not the sort of "garage" anyone has "at home". It seems to me that it would not have been worth the effort on the part of "Figure Eight" to find, rent and haul "cast" and crew to a "real" garage just to show the girls learning car maintenance; they could have done oil checks and changes in their own driveway at home. However, if it was a garage maintained by the family, access to it and familiarity with it would make sense.

Anyway, I don't know if this helps clarify or further confuses the situation, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Sarah said...

I saw Jim Bob and Michelle speak at a local Church, and can say with the up-most certainty that I NEVER got the feeling that Michelle or Jim Bob were "holier-then-thou" (and they did not charge the church for speaking. The church just flew Jim Bob and Michelle out to speak. It will be on an upcoming episode). They are very dedicated to their beliefs, and I think that sometimes that can come across badly.

Writing can especially come off badly, because you can't hear the tone of voice that person is using. I view them as a very loving, and genuine family. Sure, there are things I don't understand, or maybe don't agree with, but I really believe they love all of their children, and are hard workers. I can also say that they seem to be raising good children, that seem to be growing up nicely. It's a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the kids I meet these days!

I don't think the girls are being forced to cook or clean. I was a nanny for a family that had 12 kids (they were Christians, but not like the Duggars at all) the older girls genuinely enjoyed cooking, and helping with their brothers and sisters. The boys did a lot of the yard work, car repair, and the like. Take it or leave it, even in secular society, there is still a difference between genders.

The other side that I don't understand from the critics is the way they make money. If people didn't buy thing, and sell them for more, then where would e-bay be? Of course, if they were on welfare, then people would be angry about that too. As for the garage. Sometimes you have to see a house (in person) in order to understand exactly what someone is saying. I have no issue with people bringing up actual things to critique, but it just seems like you're trying a bit too hard to find fault in them.

Dazzling Rose said...

Yeah, I gotta say it sounds like you're trying too hard to be upset. There are plenty of reasons to not like the Duggars (though I personally don't have much against them) but the points you brought up don't sound particularly angering.

If it helps (regarding the godhardites) I believe there is no god and their views on religion and relationships in general are outrageous, but not much more outrageous than many christian families in general.

And about the paper plates - I don't see a problem with that if they're recycling.

Leene said...

I just got this book from my husband for Christmas and am really enjoying it. I can't really give my opinions/views on it yet but as I said so far I'm liking what I'm reading. I will say practically speaking the idea of using paper plates while not enviormentally pleasing is a smart idea.

Also as a reviewer it is your responsibility to be unbiased so as to give a fair review. You said "They are truly an odd bunch. Odder than I thought before I read the book." I am not sure why your review was posted and will e-mail the person who runs this blog and suggest that the first person to post a comment have their review posted as well.

Cassandra said...

The post was not originally intended to be a "review." It was just intended to be an impression by a reader of the book. It was supposed to start off a discussion of the book -- which it has certainly done.

As to "why" it was posted and contacting "the person who runs this blog," I am one of the blog administrators.

It is totally self-evident that the folks who would bother reading the book are the same people who would be huge Duggar supporters. Those who do not "admire" the Duggars won't bother to read the book. I guess that is why we are not getting any "negative" reviews.

I have absolutely NO reason to be "jealous" of the Duggars... I, too, have raised children who are truly nice people -- and they were once teenagers. I don't "dislike" the Duggars. I just don't "admire" them for producing 18 children.

As for the ridiculous "garage" controversy, I just pointed out that JB leads you to believe that there is a garage attached to the house... and there isn't. So I wonder about other comments that they make. I also can't believe that JB and Michelle go over the kids' assignments every day, for each kid, for every hour of the day. And I can't believe that they all go to sleep at 10 and wake up at 8. That's a lot of sleep.

Just as others are entitled to their opinions, I am also. As I said, the book was given to me (by one of my children!) and I was told that it was a good read, so I expected to enjoy it! I didn't. If anything, the only preconceived notion I had was a positive one. At this point, I'm sorry I bothered reading the book. It's a few hours of my life that I will never get back.

Anonymous said...

What a strange review....usually reviews have positive and negative points. This just seems like a good ol' book bashing. Surely the reviewer found one helpful thing in the book?? HOw can you fault someone for buying, using and selling something for more. Everytime someone turns in a used car to a dealership, they pay you less, and sell it for more. Big Deal. It's how the world works.
THis review his horrible and I haven't even read the book. But I will tell you one thing. It makes me want to read it even more......

Maybe the reviewer is just jealous? They are able to have things given to them, makem oney, etc.

Also, I just don't understand the big deal about the garage??? Who CARES where it is?

Anonymous said...

Re: Garage
I just googled the Duggars, went to their website, looked at their photo's and you can see clearly that there is a garage (looks like 2 large doors) attached to the house. on the left side. There is a clear picture with cars parked in front of it....perhaps he has a "work" garage somewhere else? But there is surely a garage attached to the house.....

5monkeys said...

So I wonder about other comments that they make.

IMO, that's what starts the obsessive nitpicking and assumptions that everything they (the Duggars, heck even the Gosselins) do is laced with conspiracy and deception.

BTW, they do have a garage attached to the house. And a detached garage/shop for repairs. It was shown in the boy/girl chore reversal episode.

And I can't believe that they all go to sleep at 10 and wake up at 8. That's a lot of sleep.

My kids have a set time that they have to retire to their rooms for the night. They don't necessarily fall asleep as soon as they are in their bed, or as soon as the clock strikes a certain hour.

And, on weekends, unless there is an urgent need (like bathroom assistance), they should stay in their room until their clock radio alarm goes off at 7am. Weekdays I am up at 5:30 to get everyone off to school.

MomOfThree said...

I am writing this comment to show just how easy it is to contradict ourselves sometimes...knowingly or unknowingly. We ALL do it.

In the original post "The Duggar Book", Cassandra writes that "the whole book is full of BS.......but the diagrams of the house that the Duggars built show no garage".

THEN, in her post "1/07/09 5:02pm", Cassandra tells us to "check out page 207....the addition eventually became a large upstairs bedroom, our GARAGE, our pantry, an office,....." "That pretty much says to me that the garage is part of the house".

YET IN A LATER POST "1/08/09 8:58 am", Cassandra goes on to say, "As for the ridiculous garage "controversy", I just pointed out that JB leads you to believe there is a garage attached to the house...and there isn't".

Well, which is it? IS there a garage or not? It DOESN'T MATTER. I am just pointing out that ALL OF US contradict ourselves at times and here is one example. Please, let's all just cut Cassandra and each other some slack here. If you enjoyed the book, you enjoyed the book. If you didn't, you didn't. We are all entitled to our feelings.

Cassandra said...

The "garage-like" doors that are on the house lead to the pantry, not to a garage. There is a driveway there so they can unload and put stuff away directly to the pantry.

Of course they have a garage -- looks like a commercial garage, lifts and all. But it is not part of the house.

I will repeat: that was NOT intended to be a book review. It was my opinion of the book. Thus, it does not have to have "good" and "bad." Nowhere is the post called a "book review." Anyway, nowhere is a book review "required" to have a good and a bad.

I will also repeat: I have absolutely nothing to be jealous of about the Duggars. As a matter of fact, I'd hate to live in that steel house (I wonder what the echo is like) and have strangers coming in for conferences, etc. Now THAT is something that I would NOT expose my children to. I'd hate to live their life. I'd feel totally trapped. Why do you all believe that the Duggars all have halos?

(I hope you're all happy about YOUR negative comments about ME being posted... LOL I could delete any one of the posts.)

All you see in the book is "good"? The Duggars can do no wrong? Gee -- what kind of book review is that?

P.S. "Anonymous" comments will no longer be posted on this blog.

momof4 said...

"And finally, I'm happy to see that Godhardites have found our blog."

Maybe you meant "Gothardites", because this is the one of the MOST offensive thing that I have read in a long time. My family has a very strong belief in God, but doesn't follow the Gothards.

I really think you have a bone to pick with this family. What is it about them, exactly? That they seem to love each other, that their children are well-mannered and polite, that they save money when they can to keep out of debt, that they seem genuinely happy in their marriage?

Here's the thing I noticed about the Duggars vs. John and Kate. You easily have 300-400 people who don't like the latter, many who live (as I do) in their same neck of the woods. You don't have that with the Duggars. It's almost like there is so few people that don't like them, you have to create a reason within your own head.

Cassandra said...

Thank you for the correction. I honestly did mean "Gothardites." (Talk about a Freudian slip.)

And I do NOT dislike the Duggars. I admit that I cannot bear the Gosselins -- but I find the Duggars to be fascinating.

eiko said...

I too find them "holier-than-thou", but I can't stop watching the show out of morbid fascination. I feel so sorry for the children, and all the socializing and experiences they are missing- but I guess we the viewing public will reap the rewards when one of them snaps and writes an explosive tell-all (My money's on Jinger). That's the price of fame, baby.

mamawama said...

I do not understand exactly what people think the Duggar children are missing out on? Dating? Sex before marriage? R rated movies? Public school?

Could someone elaborate on exactly what they feel the Duggars miss out on?

I personally think that skipping those things is a good thing. You don't have boy/girl crazy kids at 12 yrs old, or deal with pregnancy, STD's, or even bullies. Sounds like they aren't missing out on much, unless I am clueless about something else? Please enlighten me.

SuzanneDeAZ said...

What do you mean the public will reap their rewards? Does one feel rewarded when another falls? It seems like some just can not wait for the day in which a Duggar will go out and do something that may go against the way they are raised. Why is that?

Calanna said...

I do not understand exactly what people think the Duggar children are missing out on? Dating? Sex before marriage? R rated movies? Public school?

Could someone elaborate on exactly what they feel the Duggars miss out on?

It's not like there are only two choices -- either raise a cult or raise a bunch of sluts? Please. My children are being raised in a far wider world and guess what? They aren't pregnant and they have guidelines for appropriate movies. They attend excellent public schools and receive top-notch educations.

Well-mannered children are overrated. In fact they can be creepy and sad. I'd prefer authentic children who need to learn life's lessons not intellectually, but for real -- by making mistakes.

I want them to track mud in when they are distracted, eager to show me a frog or a butterfly they found while exploring the backyard.

I want them to giggle once in a while because even though it's mindless, they love it when Bugs Bunny outwits Daffy Duck.

I want them to lose something or break something and have it be a major pain for them when they have to work to earn the money to replace it.

I want them to experience at least once intense Halloween, where they loved the thrill of being a little scared, and they threw up from eating too much candy.

I want them to get detention a few times in their school career because they have spread their wings and experimented with asserting themselves and rebelling a little.

I want them to get an F on their report card at least once, to learn that they don't know it all. And then the next quarter, to learn that a B they really had to work for can mean as much to them as an A they didn't have to work for at all.

I want them to do disobey, lie, or steal every now and then so they can learn the humility of apologizing, the power of repentance, and the gift of being forgiven.

I want them to feel the sting of being teased once in a while so they can learn the healing capacity of compassion.

I want them to call home at 1:00 a.m. from their first sleepover, because they were sure they could handle it but it turned out to be a bit overwhelming. Then I want them to experience the pride when they try it again and they are able to stay all night. The next morning, I want them to taste how someone else makes pancakes.

I want real kids, not kids that only exist to reflect well on me.

SuzanneDeAZ said...

Many of the things above you mentioned I am sure the Duggars childen are experiencing likewise. You can be well mannered and still be real and experience real things.

Once again are you limited to either being "well mannered" or "real". Can you not be both?

Calanna said...

Once again are you limited to either being "well mannered" or "real".

Of course not... my point was not well-made.

I often see people defending the Duggars with a comment such as, "They may be odd, but you can't deny their kids are well-mannered." or something in that vein. As if the fact that kids are "well-mannered" trumps every other point... as if the ends justify the means.

My point was that I look at the whole picture and am not particularly dazzled by politeness if I know that other areas are suspect.

mamawama said...

I am sure that the Duggar children do all of the things you mentioned. The show where they were buying shoes shows that they are not always perfectly mannered. I'm sure the parents have to work with them and teach them constantly.

I thought the Duggars were missing out on something big. The things you mentioned are not exclusive to non-Duggar children. Even in homeschool, children can make an F and have to do the work over again to make a better grade.

I am not sure why you feel the Duggar children are creepy and sad? I see happy children.

I don't think the children exist only to reflect well on the Duggar parents. Who can tell what that new baby might do someday to totally turn your world upside down? The Duggars took a chance that if they raise them well with morals and consequences, they would be a blessing to them, and it seems to be working.

I see authentic children. I see children who have lots of opportunities. How many get to learn by building their own house? Get to learn patience by teaching and helping younger kids? Their life is one big slumber party! The Duggar children keep saying how much fun it is, but it seems that no one believes them?

Cassandra said...

Thank you for your thoughts Calanna. Your point was beautifully made and I totally agree.

Lisa said...

The Duggars claim their "building" as a church in order to reap tax breaks. Because they do this, they are required to allow the public into their building for a minimum amount of time (each state is different of the time requirement). They must also have a regularly schedule worship service available and posted in order to qualify as a church.

I learned about this tax deduction/write off clause because I live in Kansas in Fred Phelps territory and one of the papers detailed how the law worked. The Phelps scheduled their worship service at liek 2:00am on a Wednesday or something - they were just after the tax break.

So the duggars don't live in a home they live in a church, for tax purposes.

Cassandra said...

On a second reading of this thread, I find that I have contradicted myself.

I do not dislike the Duggars. I thought their book makes them out to be dislikable. However, they do fascinate me. I'm pretty much amazed by their life style.

Get a clue said...

Lisa, that is an old internet rumor that has been debunked repeatedly. They occasionally have friends over for Sunday worship. They do not claim the house as any kind of religious deduction for tax purposes. If you'll check the property tax records, you can see this for yourself.

Sharla said...

After discussions with the author of the post, we've decided to close this one to further comments. As noted above a book review will be coming out in a few days and that will be open for discussion. The author never intended for this to be taken as a review of the book, but some personal impressions. Thanks for your patience.