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Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth Say They Were ‘Never’ A Part of IBLP: ‘Distanced Ourselves’

Joy-Anna Forsyth (née Duggar) and husband Austin Forsyth claim they were “never” a part of the controversial religious organization that the Duggar family follows, Institute in Basic Life Principles.

In a vlog posted on YouTube on Friday, September 15, Joy-Anna, 25, and Austin, 29, answered their most asked questions from fans, including whether or not the couple followed Bill Gothard’s teachings

“No, we never were, you and I as a couple,” Austin told his wife. “Once we got married, we started distancing ourselves from those functions. We’d always talk about when we were dating that we weren’t gonna use their literature and stuff like that … Just kinda distanced ourselves.”  

Jill emphasized that they followed “Jesus alone,” with Austin adding, “We don’t follow a man.”

Their comments follow Joy-Anna’s older sister Jill Duggar’s recent release of her memoir, Counting the Cost, which revealed her perspective growing up in the Duggar family fame and their involvement in IBLP. In the book, which was released on September 12, Jill also opened up on her older brother, disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar and the aftermath of him confessing to molesting five underaged girls — including sisters Jill and Jessa Duggar

While Jill, 32, is not holding her tongue when it comes to the touchy subjects, the mom of three recently spoke out on which family members have supported her amid the release.

“We have some who are very supportive. Jinger [Vuolo (née Duggar)] and Jeremy [Vuolo] have been very supportive during Derick and I’s journey,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair on September 13. “Other siblings have been privately supportive, and then some have not been quite as supportive — and that’s OK. I also see where they are at and I’m like, ‘I was there not very long ago.’ So I can extend grace.”

Like Jill, Jinger, 29, released her book, Becoming Free Indeed, in January 2023, and she showed her support during an appearance alongside husband Jeremy, 36, on The Tamron Hall Show on the day of the book’s release. 

“Jill’s a brave girl. And I think that her coming out and telling her story … I’m so glad that she’s found her voice and I love and support her,” she said. “I know that is the hardest thing to do.”

The mom of two continued, “Having just gone through that process, even, I don’t know if it would be a smaller scale, maybe. We are sharing our stories in even different ways, but I am just so glad that she is finding her voice and able to communicate what’s been on her heart for so many years.”

Despite Jinger’s support, Jill’s parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, broke their silence on the matter three days before the book’s release. 

“We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love,” Jim Bob, 58, and Michelle, 56, said in a statement to People on September 9. “We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”

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