When Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges back in April of 2019, the news came as a shock to many fans of his seemingly wholesome family.
But the Duggars themselves were likely not surprised.
After all, Josh had shown signs of deviant behavior since his early youth, and this was not the first time that his sexual perversity got him into trouble with the law.
While still in his teens, Josh molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters.
At first, the Duggars attempted to handle the matter in-house, an approach that seemed to consist of them ignoring the attacks and hoping that they would simply stop on their own.
When word of the abuse reached members of the Duggars’ community, Jim Bob and Michelle appeased their neighbors with a series of half-measures.
At one point they sent Josh to ALERT, a sort of private boot camp which boasts of offering "a fine-tuned combination of Christian discipleship, community service, and career training that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet."
Clearly, the camp did not have its intended effect on Josh, but the Duggars have continued to employ its services as a last resort when one of their boys exhibits persistent behavioral troubles.
Now, 17-year-old Jackson Duggar is attending the academy, a fact that has raised concerns among Duggar critics.
A photo of Jackson at the camp that first appeared on the ALERT Instagram page was later re-shared by journalist Katie Joy of the Without a Crystal Ball vlog.
"The Duggars have sent multiple sons to this camp who have dealt with ‘struggles,’" Joy captioned her post.
"A graduate told me that cadets aren’t allowed to speak for the first 2 weeks," she continued.
"Cadets are forced to go through brutal training to help them gain better spirituality to conquer [these] struggles."
As Joy notes, Jackson and Josh are not the first Duggar boys to attend the ALERT Academy.
Back in July of 2021, the Duggars publicly congratulated Jason and James Duggar for completing the program.
"Their diligence in school, learning of trades and practical skills, and completion of the ALERT program are all amazing accomplishments," Jim Bob and Michelle wrote at the time.
"We love you boys and can’t wait to see what’s next for you both!!"
So the Duggars weren’t secretive about the boys’ enrollment in that case, but it’s interesting to note that they didn’t make any sort of announcement when Jackson joined ALERT.
Some commenters expressed concerns about the boy missing school, but Jackson, like most of his siblings, has been homeschooled since early childhood.
It’s important to note that the fact that he’s enrolled at ALERT does not necessarily mean that Jackson was caught engaging in some sort of aberrant behavior, but the Duggars do have a history of using the academy as a punishment for boys who misbehave.
Coincidentally, Josh Duggar’s sentencing hearing was originally scheduled to take place today, but his attorneys have succeeded in having it postponed.
We’ll have further updates on that developing story as more information becomes available.