It has been revealed that prominent reality television show family, the Duggars, had a close relationship with "Biblical patriarchy" group, Vision Forum, which was recently plunged into the spotlight following an admission from its leader that he had an "inappropriate relationship" with a woman who was not his wife. Doug Phillips has since stepped down from his position, and Vision Forum has announced that it is closing down amid the scandal.
"There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness," Doug Phillips, the former president of Vision Forum Ministries, said in a statement.
Jimbob and Michelle Duggar, whose family stars in the TLC show "19 and Counting," have had a close relationship with Vision Forum's founding couple, Phillips and his wife Beall, and over the years they have appeared in the organization's materials and have spoken at its conferences.
The Vision Forum Inc. website sells DVDs with titles such as "Tea with Michelle Duggar," "Hospitality with Michelle Duggar," and "Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family," a book in which Michelle Duggar wrote the forward.
The Duggars, who have 19 children, and the Phillips, who have eight, have both been linked to following Quiverfull philosophy, which eschews birth control and encourages large families. The Phillips and the Duggars have also been strong proponents on the value of children.
In 2010, Vision Forum named Michelle Duggar "Mother of the Year."
"In the middle of an absolute tragedy of anti-life sentiment, anti-child sentiment, one that has resulted in the fact that you can look around the room here today and one-fourth of the people who should be here are not here because they were aborted...In the midst of a cultural revolution where people have lost their heart for children...God has done something that absolutely has shocked and surprised all of us with His mercy and glory and that is that He's raised up a man and woman and their family to be the face of love to hundreds of millions of people around the world," said Phillips, in his introductory remarks at the ceremony.
After Phillips' publicly acknowledged his relationship, the board announced on Nov. 11 that it would be shutting down Vision Forum's non-profit ministry. Phillips has said that he will maintain control of the for-profit Vision Forum Inc. which he and his wife founded in 1998.
The Christian Post's attempts to reach Michelle and Jimbob Duggar for comment were not returned by press time.