The long-awaited documentary series Shiny Happy People premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, and as expected, several members of the Duggars are not happy with they’re portrayed the film.
The doc is an exposé focusing on corruption and abuse within the Institute for Basic Life Principles, the cult-like organization that provided the basis for the Duggars’ bizarre belief system.
Already, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have condemned the project and accused the filmmakers of lying in order to create a false narrative, thereby generating a scandal that would help their series attract an audience.
But much to Jim Bob’s chagrin, multiple members of the Duggar family were willing to come forward and share their accounts of the horrors they experienced during their time in the IBLP.
One such whistle-blower is none other than Jim Bob and Michelle’s second-eldest daughter, Jill Duggar.
Jill cut ties with her parents years ago, after her husband, Derick Dillard, alleged that Jim Bob refused to pay his children for the work they performed during their years as reality stars.
Now, the Dillards have doubled down on those claims in interviews with the creators of Shiny Happy People.
In the docu-series, Jill reveals that after 19 Kids and Counting was canceled in the wake of the first Josh Duggar sex scandal, she wanted to retire from reality TV for good.
However, her father convinced her to star in the notorious spin-off series Counting On (originally titled Jill and Jessa: Counting On, a reflection of the show’s focus on Jill, her sister Jessa, and the new generation of Duggars).
Jill says she was so indoctrinated by the IBLP’s concept of “umbrellas of authority” (charts used by the organization show a succession of umbrellas of descending size, the largest belonging to Christ, the next largest held by the patriarch of the household) that she believed saying no to her father would be tantamount to saying no to God.
“I didn’t want to but at the same time I’ve never said no to my family before,” Jill says in Shiny Happy People.
“It’s this whole ‘umbrellas of authority’ thing. That was ingrained in me. I felt like, if I said no, I am not obeying my parents and bad things are gonna happen to me,” she continues, before bashing her father like never before:
“IBLP and the teachings draw in people, like my dad, who want this control. It can foster this cult-like environment. I absolutely think people would be drawn to that.”
Jill says she finally put her foot down when Jim Bob and Counting On producers announced plans to craft a special episode around the birth of one of her children.
When Jill refused to allow a camera crew into the delivery room, producers “compromised” by allowing the family to record her 60 hours of labor with handheld cameras of their own.
“They still got the footage,” she glumly notes in the doc.
As with every other episode of the reality show that bore her name, Jill was never compensated for the birth special.
Jill says she also regrets defending her family in a 2015 interview with Megyn Kelly, after the world first learned that she had been molested by her eldest brother, Josh Duggar.
“In hindsight. I wouldn’t have done the Megyn Kelly stuff,” Jill says in the Amazon series.
“I felt like if I said no, I am not obeying my parents and bad things are gonna happen to me,” she adds.
“I would not call it voluntary,” Derick chimes in.
“Basically being called on to carry out a suicide mission: You’re gonna destroy yourself, but we need you to take the fall so you can carry the show forward because the show cannot fail,” he continues.
“And they were gonna do whatever they could to get the return on their investment.”
Capitalizing on the firestorm of controversy surrounding Shiny Happy People, Jill announced this week that she’s releasing a memoir in which she plans to tell her story in its entirety for the first time.
The book won’t hit stores until January of 2024, but you can be sure that Jim Bob is already preparing a PR campaign with the goal of discrediting his daughter and rescuing the battered remains of his reputation.
In the meantime, those seeking the truth about Jim Bob’s reign of terror can stream all four episodes of Shiny Happy People on Amazon Prime Video.