While the United States was spared the brunt of Hurricane Dorian's impact after a close call, the storm brought utter devastation to the Bahamas, which may never fully recover from the impact.
As a result, many who were loaded up and ready to assist in the clean-up efforts in Florida (or Alabama, if you went by President Donald John Trump's forecast), decided to set out for the Bahamas instead.
Among those who made the trip were several members of the Duggar family, the controversial TLC reality stars turned humanitarians.
And while assisting with hurricane relief efforts is generally a rather admirable pursuit, just about every project the Duggars undertake is motivated by their endless pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Now, an investigation by some of their critics say their Bahamas trip was no different - and they may have done more harm than good during their time in the ravaged nation.
Take a look:
Jason, James, John David, and Jana Duggar all made the trip, along with their brother-in-law Austin Forsyth. As you can see, the oft-maligned Jana Duggar didn't make the cut for the group photo.
Odd Woman Out
Many fans were upset that the Duggars seemed to be downplaying the contributions of the only female volunteer - especially since this particular female seems to spend all her time supporting her family members while getting none of the attention or credit. But those Jana-related complaints soon gave way to even more troubling concerns.
Typically, something like volunteering as part of a hurricane relief effort is something that the Duggars would go on crowing about for months - admirable, and positive PR for a family that needs it.
All Is Not Well
But if you follow them on social media, you've likely noticed that they're strangely quiet aboug their time in the Bahamas. It's like they were never there. Why is this, you ask?
Austin Comes Home
Joy-Anna Duggar posted this picture to celebrate Austin's return just a few days after he left for the Bahamas, and as far as we can tell, the trip was never mentioned again by her or anyone else.
Helping or Hurting?
The reason for this unexpected silence is not that the Duggars decided, for once, to be humble about their "humanitarian" efforts. Rather, the lack of discussion about it appears to be prompted by the fact that, by all accounts, their time in the Bahamas was a disaster.
The trouble began when several fans noticed that the Duggars did not volunteer with an established organization, such as the Red Cross.
Corps Belief System
Rather, the band of Arkansans launched their own "disaster relief" organization, which they call Medic Corps.
A Cynical Maneuver
The venture immediately attracted widespread criticism, and not only because it appeared to be yet another branding effort bythe Duggars.
More Harm Than Good?
Turning a devastating natural disaster into a PR stunt is bad enough on its own, but to make matters worse, insiders say the Duggars were woefully unqualified to offer assistance.
Yes, it seems Medic Corps is misleadingly-named in a very significant way. There's very little medical assistance being offered.
Joy's husband Austin Forsyth underwent EMT training several years ago, but none of the other volunteers along for the trip had any medical training at all.
Then, Austin left the area several days ahead of schedule, leaving his unqualified in-laws behind to "help" ... as you may have expected, their efforts were not highly appreciated by the trained volunteers who actually knew what they were doing on the scene.
It Gets Worse
But all of that pales in comparison to the new allegations made against the Duggars and their fellow reality TV evangelicals, the Bates family of Bringing Up Bates fame.
In screenshots first published by Patheos, the Duggars and Bates stand accused of strutting around the island with badges and .40 millimeter handguns, behaving as self-appointed law enforcement officials in their interactions with both residents and fellow volunteers.
According to witnesses, the Duggars "commandeered" food, vehicles, and other supplies, so that they became the sole domain of Medic Corps., and could not be used by other organizations.
In perhaps the most appalling display of entitlement, the Duggars allegedly denied residents and volunteers - residents of a hurricane-ravaged nation, and the volunteers giving up their time and effort to help them - access to basic necessities.
Oh yes, we're not even done yet. For many, the most appalling instance of Duggar selfishness seems to be the alleged instance in which they allegedly denied an elderly woman access to an air-conditioned room so that they could make use of it themselves.
Swept Under the Rug
Needless to say, if this laundry list of allegations is even half true, it would be easy to see why the Duggars have been eager to bury this whole ugly incident and pivot back to the usual baby bump photos and such on Instagram.
Jim Bob: Master of PR
The sad thing is, they'll probably be successful in their efforts to do exactly that, because if there's a man who knows how to contort his way out of a scandal, it's JBD.
Yet many critics of the family, the incident won't soon be forgotten, as it isn't the first of its kind. It brings to mind Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard's "missionary work" in El Salvador.
By most accounts, Jill and Derick Dillard offered little in the way of humanitarian assistance to the impoverished residents of the village they selected as their temporary home.
Instead, they focused their efforts on converting the mostly-Catholic residents to their own brand of Protestantism - on a trip funded by fan donations they asked for on a routine basis no less.
It was also around this time that Jill Duggar began working as a midwife to make ends meet - this despite a lack of proper training.
An Unfortunate Habit
Needless to say, the Duggars have a history of offering unsolicited "help" in situations where they are no qualified to do so, and perhaps not with the purest of intentions, either. Unfortunately, it seems the efforts to take them to task for this tendency have mostly been for naught up until now, but with the scrutiny of the Internet in 2019, this may finally change.