Was there ever a good time to be a Duggar? No. But from a PR perspective, things are even worse right now.
Josh is in solitary confinement after breaking a major prison rule. Jessa’s life-saving abortion has made her a hypocrite in the eyes of pretty much everyone. Jinger’s tell-all memoir calls the Duggar lifestyle what it is: “Cult-like.”
With that in mind, it is no wonder that Michelle might want to get away from it all.
But why exactly is she in Israel?
A “fan” … so to speak … spotted Michelle Duggar in Israel.
According to a Reddit user by the handle @bakedbaker1989, their best friend’s mother-in-law is in Israel at the moment.
They took to the Duggar Snark forum to share a photo. The comments were, well, you can probably guess.
In case you did not guess, the comments were various users roasting Michelle’s abhorrent sense of style.
Her bangs looked bad in the 1980s, but they were trendy. She is also wearing a skirt over long pants. The name for this style is “frumpy.”
Obviously, how people clothe and style their human bodies is their business, with rare exceptions. But Michelle isn’t making personal choices here — that awful perm is because IBLP’s disgraced founder likes the style. All of this an expression of the cult’s ideology, part of which precludes Michelle from making her own decisions.
But what exactly is Michelle doing in Israel?
We know that far-right Christian evangelical communities and fundamentalists in America believe that Israel is key to their faith’s eschatological beliefs.
Simply put, it is very likely that Michelle sees the political control of Israel as vital to the end of the world. When a place is that important in your mind, you might want to visit.
All three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — have sacred sites in Israel, and they are not the only religions to do so.
So her reasons for visiting could be almost anything, from work with an organization (if anyone would have her) to a pilgrimage of sorts.
It is unlikely that she is doing humanitarian outreach to, for example, victims of the country’s highly scrutinized apartheid.
But it’s conceivable that the Duggar family has connections with other fundamentalist organizations — ties so strong that not even the stigma and horror of their cult and scandals could sever the bond.
There is an alternative explanation, one that has less to do with the religious significance of Israel.
It’s far away. What if she just wanted some “me time” away from her many children and grandchildren and all of the drama?
Remember how we reported on James Duggar’s own trip to Israel? He has gone other places, as well.
And as you can see in the above screenshot from Instagram, it looks like Michelle is boosting his travel vlog.
Having been there, I struggle to imagine a Duggar in Pompeii. There are stone reliefs of penises on the street, each pointing to a nearby brothel. And the brothels themselves have wall mosaics of different sex acts and positions — things that are well outside of the Duggar cult’s wheelhouse.
Michelle has not explained her vacation. And technically, she doesn’t have to.
However, those who have kept a wary eye on this toxic family for a long time fear that the Instagram post and more are ominous signs.
Are the Duggar family planning a post-Josh resurgence? We shudder at the thought.