The "Shiny Happy People" Trailer Explores the Duggar Family's Ties to an Alleged Cult

If you weren't living under a rock at the end of the 2000s and the start of the 2010s, you probably couldn't avoid learning about the Duggars. The family was the subject of the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting," which ran for seven years starting in 2008, chronicling the large family's everyday lives. The Duggars were devout Christians who homeschooled all their children and disavowed birth control. Though they appeared to be a mostly happy family, it turned out that what was really happening under the surface may have been much more sinister than it seemed.

Cracks in the Duggars's facade first began to appear when Josh, the family's eldest son, confessed to molesting five girls, leading to the show's cancelation. Josh was never charged, but was arrested in 2021 and charged with receipt and possession of child pornography.

Now, a new documentary alleges even more nefarious forces at work behind the scenes of "19 Kids and Counting." Amazon Prime's "Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets" promises to expose the "radical organization" called the Institute in Basic Life Principles that allegedly was a driver of the family's success. "As details of the family and their scandals unfold, we realize they're part of an insidious, much-larger threat already in motion, with democracy itself in peril," the documentary's official synopsis reads.

Ahead, here's what we know about "Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets."

"Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets" Plot

"Happy Shiny People: Duggar Family Secrets" promises to detail the relationship between the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and the Duggar family. It will feature interviews with Jill Dillard, formerly Jill Duggar, who says her family was "part of IBLP as early as I can remember" and explains that "there's a story that's gonna be told, and I would rather be the one telling it."

In the trailer, one woman claims that the IBLP is "like the epitome of evil," and adds that it "breaks my heart to think about the girls." Another man claims that the organization "raises little predators."

"This is much bigger than the Duggars," another says, before another hints that the IBLP had political aspirations. "They were playing the long game," another source claims, adding, "You give these kids training and political engagement. From there you send them into the halls of Congress, into the White House as interns."

What is the Institute in Basic Life Principles?

The IBLP is a Christian organization founded in 1961 by Bill Gothard. According to the organization's website, it provides "clear institution and training on how to find success by following God's principles found in Scripture." The organization also promotes homeschooling, large families, and female submission, and women are reportedly not allowed to have financial independence or refuse their husbands' affection, to name a few of its more extreme aspects, per The New Republic.

Former members have described the organization as a cult, and it has also been at the center of several sex scandals. Gothard himself resigned from his leadership position in 2014 after he was accused of sexual harassment and failing to review sexual abuse reports from members of his organization, per Chicago Magazine.

"Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets" Release Date

All episodes of "Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets" will premiere on Prime Video on June 2.

"Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets" Trailer

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