Derick Dillard is resigned to the reality that nothing short of a miracle can restore his relationship with Jim Bob Duggar.
Now, he is explaining the real reason that Jim Bob won’t let him or Jill anywhere near their house.
It’s no secret that Derick and Jill are on the outs with Jim Bob Duggar and, by extension, much of the family.
In Jim Bob’s twisted worldview, his unmarried children — especially his daughters — are his "property."
Even the married children are tethered by financial strings, meaning that they need to at least appear to abide by his will.
Meanwhile, Jill cannot so much as step foot in the family home without Jim Bob’s express permission.
Fans have spent a lot of time speculating about exactly where this ban on Jill originated.
It turns out that we no longer have to wonder what the "final straw" that got Jill banished from the family home may be.
According to Derick’s most recent statements, Jim Bob has one reason in particular for keeping him and Jill at arm’s length.
"I think he’s mainly worried about the influence we might have on his children," Derick recently told The Sun.
What sort of influence might they be on the children — who, one should remember, are Jill’s own siblings?
Well, Jill, like a number of her married siblings, has been able to ditch Jim Bob’s abhorrent dress code to instead wear normal human clothing.
Jill also has a nose ring.
While the Duggars do allow ear piercings, that seems like something to which Michelle and Jim Bob would object.
Perhaps their greatest "transgression" of all, Jill and Derick have enrolled their eldest child, Israel, in public school.
This is a huge blow to the Duggars, who at every turn try to isolate their family from too much regular contact with the outside world.
The Duggars, like many other fundamentalist homeschoolers, believe that it’s dangerous to expose their children to other people and ideas.
They insist upon maintaining strict control over their children’s learning and worldviews in order to sculpt them into the next generation of cultists.
They also allow their children to listen to dance music, rather than purely to Christian music, which flies in the face of Jill’s upbringing.
That said, Derick has insisted that if Jim Bob and Michelle resent them for these choices with their kids, they have yet to say anything.
"We have not personally received any pushback from either our family our our church,” Derick said.
“To my knowledge," he added, "most of the families in our church also have dancing children who listen to music and go to public school."
"Different things work for different families," Derick acknowledged.
"And," he expressed, "each family must determine what works best for their family."
That is true, up to a point.
So what is the influence that Jim Bob fears that Derick and Jill may have over his younger children?
Well, for one thing, rebellion — that’s how Jim Bob might phrase it, anyway.
Derick treats Jim Bob like a person, a person who has wronged people including his own family, rather than like some sort of holy patriarch.
To Jim Bob, that is an unacceptable defiance.
Derick speaking out about their pay being stolen and Jim Bob’s treatment of Jill is not something that he’d want rubbing off on his kids.
Another thought, however, is that Jill is in therapy.
Therapy is generally rejected within the fundamentalist world, as it is a secular approach to problems that they would prefer to resolve with prayer.
But Jill’s traumatic childhood — growing up in an abusive, toxic home coupled with Josh’s heinous sex crimes — need to be addressed.
Any cult knows that real therapy is their enemy, because it encourages people to process trauma and see their life for what it is.
It’s not that we think that Jill is going to suddenly start handing her siblings pamphlets about what the real world is right.
But Jim Bob and Michelle may be afraid that Jill will say something normal, healthy, and informed.
When you put so many years into brainwashing your kids through isolation, faith, and fear, you don’t want to risk it all being undone.
In other words — Jill thinks for herself, which means that Jim Bob wants to be there to supervise any contact that she has with her siblings.