As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Josh Duggar molested five young girls while he was in his teens, and four of the victims were his sisters.
Astonishingly, Josh avoided jail time, as his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, helped him hide his crimes from the authorities.
It’s the sort of unthinkable atrocities from which most reality TV franchises – especially ones priding themselves on wholesome values – would never recover.
The situation was made worse, of course, when it was revealed that Josh tried to cheat on his wife using the Ashley Madison affair-facilitating website.
At that point, even legions of their devoted fans resigned themselves to the fact that the Duggars’ time as reality stars had come to an end.
Critics reveled in the downfall of a family that had been a source of endless controversy from the time they entered the spotlight.
And yet, somehow, the Duggars made their way back onto TV (TLC renewed Counting On for a new season just this week, in fact).
Might Josh make his way back sooner rather than later?
Sources say that under the terms of their contract following the scandal, Duggars were forced to promise that Josh would never appear.
But that was several seasons ago at this point.
It seems that Josh is eager to repair his reputation … and the network is happy to consider any stunt that will boost Counting On‘s waning ratings.
“Josh will appear on the next season of his sisters’ series,” an insider tells celebrity gossip magazine In Touch Weekly.
“The plan is for him to address everything he’s done. What he has to say will be ratings gold, and TLC – and the Duggars – know it.”
That may be so, in theory. Although if you’re hoping for a public apology from Josh, we don’t recommend holding your breath.
“Josh will cover everything and he will maintain the family line that God has saved his soul and guided him back to the right path,” the source said.
“But one thing you probably won’t hear is that he’s actually sorry, as he believes that external forces were to blame for his behavior.”
Yes, according to one of the tenets of the Duggars’ belief system, men in particular can all too easily fall under the sway of Satan himself.
The Devil has the power to coax them into carrying out actions against their will, and they believe that’s just what happened to Josh.
(Try not to slap your forehead so hard it leaves a mark.)
So why bring the disgraced father of four (soon to be five, in a matter of weeks potentially) on TV if he’s not going to apologize?
Well, apparently Josh "isn’t doing well" at his current gig selling cars, so the family is hoping to give him a second chance at reality stardom.
He may never be fully welcomed back into the fold, but even a cameo would allow him to escape the 9-5 life, for which he’s poorly suited.
Also, Jim Bob is reportedly pissed at TLC for telling him how to run his family’s television empire and this is his way of reasserting his power.
For those of you not familiar with the Bible, wrath, greed, the thirst for power, and effort to make sure your slothful son never has to put in another day of real work are all things Jesus was totally down with.
Right? There’s a passage in there somewhere.
As always, you can watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most dysfunctional fundamentalists through the years.