• Wed, Sep 26 2012

I Really Wanted Jana Duggar To Pull A Breaking Amish And Escape The Duggars On Her Missionary Trip

19 Kids and Counting "A Duggar on Her Own" Jana Duggar Journey of the Heart missionary Jim Bob Michelle Breaking Amish escapeLast night’s 19 Kids and Counting unexpectedly focused on one of the older children who doesn’t get a lot of screen time on her own: 22-year-old Jana Duggar, the eldest girl. Of course, the only reason the cameras were following her around is because she was going to Michigan to do her missionary work for the Journey to the Heart retreat. Let’s never miss an opportunity for the Duggars to bless everyone else’s lives!

Note: This is Jill posing all saucily, not Jana as I had originally thought. It would seem my wishful thinking had me mixing up the two sisters, because as you’ll learn from this recap, Jana doesn’t actually do anything interesting.

But the whole time that we were watching Jana, who had attended this retreat as a camper, act as a counselor to impressionable young girls, I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it would be for her to emulate the kids from TLC‘s other guilty pleasure show Breaking Amish and just peace from the Duggar compound permanently. She’d already won half the battle by actually leaving the house, and not in the Duggarmobile!

The producers of Breaking Amish want you to think that these sheltered young adults have shrugged off the constraints of Amish/Mennonite living along with their bonnets and floor-length dresses, and are now cavorting sinfully around New York City. Of course, a lot of the “conflict” on that show is probably faked, but it’s clear that even the suggestion of sheltered kids getting tempted by alcohol and sex is enough to make people tune in. And since the Breaking Amish kids have been lying to us, I want to see one of the Duggars actually go through this same transformation.

Of course, it doesn’t help matters that Jim Bob and Michelle are so encouraging of Jana spending ten days in Michigan. In perhaps the most awkward and obviously set-up shot so far this season, Jana’s parents sit her down to talk about the retreat. (Jim Bob literally opens with, “Jana, I want to talk to you about Journey to the Heart.”) Never missing an opportunity to exert his control over his daughters, Jim Bob says, ”I’m so happy that these are the activities you want to do.”

“We know you’re very capable at doing what God wants you to do,” Michelle adds, and then it gets really creepy: “We’ve trained you all these years, and it makes Mommy and Daddy very happy to send you out as a missionary for Christ.”

19 Kids and Counting "A Duggar on Her Own" Jana Duggar Journey of the Heart missionary Jim Bob Michelle Breaking Amish escape

All during Jana’s confessionals, I kept searching for hints that she saw this as being freed from the clutches of her God-fearing family. “Going to Journey of the Heart was one of my first times to go, I guess, by myself,” she said. “I knew that I was going to miss my family, but I knew that it was something I would be able to encourage other girls and I think it really ended up working out and it was a blessing.”

Of the actual program, where Jana is counselor to a bunch of girls who come from “troubled homes,” she said that “it’s really getting to those deep heart issues in your life and then working through them step by step.” Creepily, Michelle described this as “a very special time in her life.” I’ll tell you what’s special, the fact that for the first time in 18 years, Jana gets to share a room with only one person. Only one person.

Everyone always assumes that it’ll be Jinger who leaves, especially after she made that comment about how cool it would be to go to the big city. But why couldn’t it be Jana? In my predictions for the Duggar family in ten years, I could easily see Jana playing up her reality TV pedigree to be the next Supernanny or something, but to at least make a life for herself that’s not based on how many babies her vagina can pop out.

Jana Duggar retreat Journey to the Heart 19 Kids and Counting Duggar family

I had hoped that some time away from her folks, and seeing that she has more privacy as a camp counselor than in her own home, would be enough to convince her that she needs to fly the nest already. Not to mention that per Michelle’s homeschooling regimen, Jana didn’t get to go to college; she must be itching for some independence, but all she gets is to train to be a midwife, hooray. Just look at that top photo, where she’s posing all saucily for Jessa—she’s having fun. So where are the camp pranks, trying on forbidden outfits, or even sneaking boys in? I’m very disappointed in Jana after this episode.

A commenter on the Free Jinger forums pointed out that we probably can’t count on the older girls to rebel and will have to wait for the middle ones to get worked up enough to leave. Another suggested that Jana’s trips out of the compound are likely more about finding a suitable husband than in quashing any sort of rebelliousness she might have. At the end of the episode, Jana seemed happy to go home. She reflected that she was so used to seeing her parents all the time that “realizing that they weren’t there and I was the only one here, made me miss them.” LIES.

Photos: Duggars Blog and WTF Fundie Families (x2)

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  • samwood

    This is an altogether nasty website.

    • Jenni

      Yeah! Let’s boycott them! I’ll bring the torches, you bring the people.

  • sadiegirl

    The top photo is of Jill. And I’m pretty sure the girl with the camera in that one is not Jessa. The bottom photo – also not Jana. The middle two girls in that one are Jill and Jinger.

  • http://twitter.com/exoticfamiliar Exotic Familiarity

    You’ve got photographs of Jill on the log in the top, and again Jill in the bottom photo 2nd left…. Learn to pin-point which Duggar is which, before adding photos. It just negates an otherwise spot-on article.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1041690054 Natalie Zutter

      Dammit, I tried to shard to get them straight! I’m good at telling Jessa and Jinger apart, but I guess not Jill and Jana. Thanks for pointing that out, and doing so nicely!

  • Mama

    What you write is so negative. You want these girls to get themselves into trouble. That is plain mean. Remember what you put out in this world you get back, it is called Karma.

  • Justine

    Yay! Free Jinger! And Jana while you are at it.

  • Sarah Jay

    I can’t comment on the other article. But the one about Anna and the cake is wrong. The rainbow piece was from the top square. She said she wanted a smash cake. Plus you can see the bowls with all different coloured mixes in them. The icing part is wrong too. When you cover a cake in fondant, you dirty ice with a layer of buttercream icing in order for it to be smooth. In the end they could have had a cake standing to the side but all the parts you’re pointing out are wrong and can be easily explained.

  • Caley Zeigler

    Say your opinion sure, but I don’t think people should be severely hating on the Duggars. Just because they’re an amazing family (very rare that amazing families exist anymore these days) that has managed to do a stunning job of raising their children doesn’t mean they’re worthy of hate. If these Duggar children want to go on to become missionaries, volunteers, “super nannies” then why not? They’d be, heck they already are, much more positive figures of society than most of the world. While some people behind a computer screen are doing nothing but hate on the Duggars, the family may genuinely helping someone in need.
    If these children feel too restricted within their family, then I say go explore the world in a responsible way! But if they truly love doing missionary work etc, then I say leave em be.

  • Carey

    I think that it’s interesting that you are obviously a fan of the show, but you disagree with all that the Duggar family stands for. You look at every thing as negative. Has it occurred to you that they are happy with their lives? Do you realize that some people want the input of their parents, because the like and respect them? Some people want to live their lives as Bible-believing and Bible-obeying Christians. If they were Buddists, would you make fun of them for following the teachings of Budda? All of the Duggar children are intelligent, respectful, pleasant, well-adjusted, and kind. What is wrong with serving others? The Duggar girls, and Anna Duggar too, are obviously loved, cared for, and respected. They get lots of opportunities to expand their life-experiences, many that average people never get, and aren’t “kept at the compound” like you say.

  • HandyMandy

    You are incorrect in claiming that Jana didn’t get to go to college “per Michelle’s homeschooling regimen.” I was homeschooled (as were many of my friends), and I am now working on my second college degree. Almost all of my “weirdo” homeschool friends went to respectable colleges, including Princeton, and many are now in grad school. Homeschooling methods do vary, but the Duggars seem diligent in doing lessons every day (on camera, at least), so I’m guessing their apparent disdain for higher education is religious in nature…

  • Wil

    So you would like to see her leave a loving, well put together family for a horribly scripted reality show? there is something wrong with the 20 and 30 something’s today. You have nothing better to do then sit in front of a TV believing that 10 kids from the Amish community leave and adapt that well to big city life? Hate to burst the bubble you are living in, but it’s fake! That is how these low life producers make the money they do so they can control IDIOTS like you!

    • dancemomtoo131

      all these “reality” shows are fake and scripted…including the Duggars

  • Monica

    Jesus loves you. The Duggars are a great, respected and loved family. Everybody deserves success and love.

  • Sheila Moore

    Do you simply watch this show that you hate in order to speak badly about people? They have their own beliefs. They are raising their children to their own beliefs. Don’t like it? Raise your kids with your beliefs.

  • Decent Human Being

    Jana went to college, you idiot. Try getting your facts straight before you go all Duggar-hater in your column. You “forgot” to mention that she’s 22 and still single, that her parents didn’t arrange a marriage for her, and that she’s very much a young career woman — in other words, the ultimate feminist, without being a heathen whore. The girl respects her parents and herself…I feel sorry for you, since you obviously didn’t come from the sort of family that taught you self-respect. For all of their talk, the girls aren’t in any rush to get married and start having children, obviously — they’re leaving the child-bearing to MTV’s Teen Moms. Is that show more in line with the morals you were raised with?

    • justcheckingitout

      Decent human beings don’t call others idiot despite disagreeing. Jesus loves you.

    • dancemomtoo131

      Jana did not go to college. She was home schooled and got a GED like the rest of the kids…but hey that’s her life

  • no

    They can not escape, they simply don’t have the means.

  • Joan Bartholomew

    Natalie Zutter, I totally disagree with what you said about Jana Duggar. You are so blind! You see the young people in the world–do they read the Bible? Do they pray and talk about God? Do they pay attention to other people? All of these the answer is no. Most people worry big about little things. They are very very big on materialistic things. They blame God for every wrong they make. But not the Duggars. They pray not only on Sundays but every single day. No matter what life gives them, they remember and thank God daily. They see and help people way more and way better than the people in the world who cannot live without phones, ipad, laptops, etc. I don’t see peer pressure in the Duggar family. They are very respectful, responsible, and mature people. They listen to God rather than people who would rather have them change fashion styles. They don’t need to follow the “normal things” a lot of people do…such as sneaking out at night to see boys! How dare you!!! You would rather girls be in trouble and rebel against their parents–just to taste the experience? I’m ashamed of you!!! How dare you use the word (a female private part)!!! I wish the Duggar family remove you from their blogs. You are not a good author and a bad influence to young girls who admire the Duggar girls who save their bodies for their husbands!!! I am deaf and I learn a lot from the Duggar family. My only regret is I wished I knew about them a long time ago. They are very inspirational people and I praise God for having put them on earth to show the people in the world that it IS possible to be clean and trouble-free. Get out, Natalie Zutter!

    • pana2

      Right on Joan! Natalie is definitely with secret envy issues.

  • Megan

    I love the duggars and look up to them. My life was and is nothing like theirs. I love their innocence but it is a little worrying at the same time of being so sheltered. I hope my kids are as modest and respectable as they are. I wish I could see there kids act out though! I feel like I’m doing something wrong when my 15 month old acts out cause all there kids no matter the age always seem so obedient!
    On a funny note: you can see Jill’s knees in the top pic!

  • texassa

    Awe, leave her alone. Besides a spiritual retreat is not the same as a secular summer camp full of pranks and mischief. I agree about the parents’ control over their kids, but it’s hardly the kids’ fault.

  • Fefe428

    Personally, I happen to agree with you. I think that despite the facade we see on their show, there is something exceedingly unnatural about parents who are basically holding their children hostage and refusing to allow them to experience the world on their own for fear they might develop their own views or realize that perhaps their parents’ views are too narrow. They claim that they don’t want to cram their beliefs down the throat of others, but their actions are in direct conflict with that statement. I am absolutely dying to see what happens when one if their children actually rebels and tries to think for themselves. I am willing to bet that those sweet and calm faces the two of them put on for the world go flying out the window and we see just how controlling they really are. I think we’ve already seen hints of it when Jinger indicated that she was interested in living in New York. Since when does an adult need her parents’ permission to leave home? These people in my opinion are the worst kind of dangerous, because they’re the type that can find any excuse to disregard anything that opposes or is in contrast to what they want to believe no matter how far fetched they might be, and they have a public platform which allows others who don’t want to face the harsh realities of our times to go right on burying their heads in the sand because the “the Duggar’s basically say it’s Ok”. Case in point, the issue of the world’s overcrowding, which has been scientifically proven how many times over by how many different scientists? But Michelle Duggar simply comes out publicly to say that she doesn’t believe it exists in order to justify her family’s stance on birth control and abortion. This is a woman with no expertise or education on the topic coming out against scientists who have spent their lives becoming experts on the subject, but there are simple minded people out there who will believe her because she has a TV program, and that’s what makes these people horribly dangerous.

  • david glen sartison

    its probably not going to happen. jana duggar is so dedicated to her beliefs and kinding a man that her parents approve of that she will not stray from her upbringing. she’s a lovely woman and I wish her all the best on her future plans.

  • dancemomtoo131

    Michele and Jim Bob grew up and got to experience life before they married and they turned out to be great people, but their children will never get that experience. They control every aspect of their children’s lives.