In the weeks since Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges, his family has attempted to go about their business as though nothing were amiss.
But the reality of the situation is that the Duggars are running scared, and their world is tumbling down around them.
If you’ve been following the family for any length of time, you know that Jim Bob has devoted a lot of time, money, and effort to establishing himself as some sort of big shot in the Arkansas evangelical community.
And now, it seems even Jim Bob’s children and in-laws want nothing to do with him.
According to sources in the area, the Duggars have become persona non-grata nearly overnight.
That claim is corroborated by some interesting social media activity that fans recently took note of.
Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell’s son Garrett turned three earlier this week, and of course, the couple marked the occasion with an Instagram post.
Joe and Kendra posted a photo of Garrett spending time with his maternal grandparents, Paul and Christina Caldwell.
They notably did not post a similar photo of Garrett hanging out with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
Not only that, several members of Kendra’s family and friend group commented on the photo — but not a single Duggar posted a comment.
Under normal circumstances, that slight might have gone unnoticed.
But these days, the entire extended Duggar clan is under greater scrutiny than ever before.
"Happy 3rd Birthday to our sweet Garrett! We love you so much," Kendra captioned the post.
Not only did her parents wish the boy a happy birthday, but her sister and several other relatives joined in, as well.
Normally, the comments section would have been peppered with birthday wishes from individual members of the Duggar clan, as well as the Duggars’ "official" Instagram account, which is operated by Michelle.
But this time, the Duggars were silent, and fans are taking that as an indication of bad blood between the two families.
And the Caldwells are far more than just relatives by marriage.
For starters, Paul Caldwell is the pastor at the Duggars’ church and insiders have described him as a sort of "spiritual mentor" to Jim Bob.
On top of that, the Caldwells factor into Jim Bob’s plans for the future in a big way.
There have been persistent rumors that Paul and Jim Bob arranged Joe and Kendra’s marriage.
And it seems that they planned to do the same with Paul’s younger daughter and one of the Duggar boys.
There have been rumors of Lauren Caldwell being courted by James Duggar, and she’s also been erroneously linked to several other Duggar boys.
Kendra was engaged at one point, but she broke things off suddenly, allegedly because her father insisted that she marry a Duggar.
So you can see why — with all of these entanglements — it’s more than a little strange that the Duggars and Caldwells appear to be at odds.
And if Joe is forced to take sides, there’s no guarantee that he’ll ally himself with his father.
By all accounts, Josh’s arrest has rocked the Tontitown/Springdale community, and many residents feel that the Duggars cannot be trusted.
There are concerns about Josh, obviously, but there are also concerns about Jim Bob and Michelle who appear to have enabled his predatory behavior by helping him to escape consequences.
Most recently, Jim Bob helped secure Josh’s release from jail pending his trial by securing a household for him to live in.
(For obvious reasons, Josh is not legally allowed to co-habit with any minors.)
Now, the greatest scourge the community has ever known is once again loose, and it’s all Jim Bob’s fault.
No wonder he’s experiencing a precipitous drop in his popularity!