What Was That?! Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets

Shiny Happy People is a limited docuseries that not only explores the Duggar family but also explores the program that made them who they are.

That was a lot. Where do I even begin? I’ll start with what I thought I knew before watching the documentary series Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. When the Duggars series first aired on TLC, I was captivated, but it was short-lived, like many others. I watched the equivalent of a season before getting bored and moving on. But I was familiar with the family and 19 Kids and Counting (or 17.. or 18… or whatever). I honestly didn’t give the family a second thought for years until the Josh Duggar scandal made headlines.

Do you know about ILBP?!

I assumed Shiny Happy People would fill in any gaps I had about the TLC series and the Josh scandal, but I had no idea what I was about to witness! I knew the Duggars attended a conservative church, but I was unaware of ILBP (Institute in Basic Life Principles) or its founder, Bill Gothard. Shiny Happy People focuses on the family and the program that helped shape them into who they are.

I understand that docuseries are biased, but after watching Shiny Happy People, it’s hard not to see ILBP as a cult. Participants are told how to dress, what kind of entertainment to consume, what education to receive, what foods to eat, how to punish those who disobey, and who to marry. The program appeared to be based on family values, but in reality, it all served white men in power within the institute. (But, yeah, it’s not a cult…)

Should you watch it?

I don’t agree with a lot of what the Duggars promoted, but after learning more about ILBP, I have a better understanding of why they did some of the things they did. And all of that is just the beginning! Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is definitely worth watching – watch the series trailer below and catch all four episodes now on Amazon Prime.

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is a limited docuseries exposing the truth beneath the wholesome Americana surface of reality tv’s favorite mega-family, The Duggars, and the radical organization behind them: The Institute in Basic Life Principles. 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. Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets premieres June 2 on Prime Video.