May 27, 2015 11:30 am -


They’re cut from the same mold, with 22,000 kids,and home schooling courtesy of the same fundamentalist cult the Duggars worshipped, whose head had to resign because of sex abuse charges. The Duggars and the Bates seem to be competing for who can have the most kids and be the most pure.

Many fans of Bringing up Bates believe the Bates family is “better” than the Duggars; Kelly Bates genuinely seems to love her 19 children, Gil Bates actively parents (and can also paint glow-in-the-dark eagles at impressive speeds), minimally talented country-singing son Lawsonis more sociable and fun than any Duggar boy, and Erin Paine nee Bates is compelling to watch as she shares everything in her life from makeup tutorials to her struggles with fertility.

But lurking behind the admittedly gorgeous family are the same ugly beliefs that drove the Duggars to keep their child-molesting son hidden from authorities for over a year and in the same house as the sisters he molested for many more. Alongside Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Gil and Kelly Bates share a devotion to God, an affection for TV money, and a strict adherence to the ATI (Advanced Training Institute International) homeschooling curriculum.

It’s not a secret that the Duggars follow the ATI curriculum, an educational program that tells young women to cover up their bodies lest they “defraud” the horny men around them, and an educational program that blames victims of sexual assault. But the Bates family ties to ATI run deeper and present a troubling dynamic in the Duggar molestation scandal: regardless of whether or not Gil Bates knew of Josh Duggar’s actions—an open secret in their shared tight-knit religious community—Gil Bates himself is a driving force in ATI, peddling an actively harmful and scientifically inaccurate curriculum to young men and women, and doing so while making significant amounts of money charming viewers with his family’s full-frontal hugs and exclusive breeding announcements in People.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

71 responses to With Duggars Fading, Meet The Bates Family

  1. lynchie May 27th, 2015 at 11:44 am

    If TLC keeps this up they will be forced to lobby for legalization of pedophilia just to remain profitable.

    • whatthe46 May 27th, 2015 at 12:59 pm


    • ohpaleasegivemeabreak May 27th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      It’s not TLC who have the Bates – it’s UP – one of the phony religious freakazoid channels.

    • KillAllTheRednecks . May 27th, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      TLC: Touch Little Children

  2. Pilotshark May 27th, 2015 at 11:49 am

    well Josh should have to register as a sex offender (child molester) ever where he moves to, just like the rest of them!

    • Dwendt44 May 27th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Except he won’t. Since no case was filed, no court had any reason to mandate his listing.

      • Pilotshark May 27th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        sadly this is true.

    • ohpaleasegivemeabreak May 27th, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Don’t worry – he’s ALREADY registered in The Real World – a world of which his family knows NOTHING.

  3. Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Exactly what are people supposed to be learning from TLC anyway?

    • Suzanne McFly May 27th, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Who not to emulate?

    • arc99 May 27th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Cable channels long ago abandoned whatever their original format was.

      Remember, MTV used to be Music Television. They haven’t played a music video since Bill Clinton was President.

      The Learning Channel used to be PBS with commercials. Now it is just commercials, no PBS and a bunch of strange people living their lives in front of a camera 24×7.

      • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

        Very true. As I have said earlier, TLC used to be The Learning Channel, A&E used to be Arts and Entertainment, now they’re just letters without meaning.

        • KillAllTheRednecks . May 27th, 2015 at 8:06 pm

          And WWE Raw on the SYfY Channel. WTF?

          • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 8:08 pm

            I haven’t watched that channel since they changed the name from SciFi. They have too much horror anyway. Horror is not SciFi.

    • Hirightnow May 27th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      <a href=""That Newt Minnow was right.

      • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 12:40 pm

        Actually it wasn’t all a wasteland back then. With fewer channels, there were some quality shows. There are some quality shows now too, but there would have to be, with so many attempts. I have over 600 channels available, but I have fewer than 20 in my lineup, and I don’t even watch all of those regularly.

        • Hirightnow May 27th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

          Half of my Uverse channels seem to be ads, a third of the remaining are either religious or repeats of other channels.

          • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 1:15 pm

            That’s true, they have an SD and two HD versions of each channel, so the actual number of channels is much lower than it appears. And they still have mostly crap. And don’t forget the shopping channels.

          • Hirightnow May 27th, 2015 at 1:18 pm

            Wasn’t even counting the HD…
            (Hell, how many TBS stations does a man need? Disney? Discovery?)

          • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

            But capitalism gives you choices no?

            Isn’t that why capitalism is so successful?

          • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

            Not when it’s a choice between 600 varieties of crap.

          • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:54 pm

            Larry I agree with you. I am in favor of cable companies offering choice of channels. An ala-carte sort of deal. I would even be in favor of paying more for that option…which is never going to be available as long as the cable companies have this monopoly grasp.

            But …Larry…do you have netflix?

            I ask because Netflix has the best documentary selection I have seen so far.

          • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

            I’m trying to figure out a way to dump cable that doesn’t involve satellite. I’ll probably have to keep cable for internet, because nothing else comes close. FIOS isn’t available where I live.

          • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

            Larry, you could dump cable and satellite and go to broadcast.

            And then get 4g on your ipad. And get one of those devices that hook your TV to your ipad.

            Whatever you decide to do Larry….DO NOT LEAVE LIBERLAND!

            I would miss you too much.

          • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 3:32 pm

            I have 4g on my tablet now, and that’s not good enough for internet. I will probably keep cable for internet, it would still save me a bunch of money, and go with a combination of broadcast and internet tv.

          • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 4:17 pm

            What are you interested in watching Larry?

            I watch everything from (I have the time now that I am retired) “Car 54 Where are you”and “Amos and Andy” reruns on youtube ….to
            WWII documentaries on Netflix. Pretty much I can watch anything for $220/month.

            It seems no matter which way you go….you are getting overcharged.

            My original internet connection was a “dial up” for 10 cents a call.

            I could stay online forever with that call.

            Blah…blah blahhhhhhh

            Anyway…..I love your post Larry. I laugh out loud.

          • ecotoper May 27th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

            I did it almost 2 years ago, and my tv watching is much improved … spend whatever it now costs to get ROKU (should be less than $100) … subscribe to Netflix ( @ $10per month) … get a good interior tv antenna, which will get you the main networks, fox, and maybe 6-7 other channels … use your home computer in tandem with your big screen to stream sports events (there is a learning curve to this, but you will get it eventually) … Netflix alone will make you forget about cable very quickly … no more nuisance ads interrupting programs, no more repulsive channels selling Chinese crap all day and night … cable tv will go the route of blockbuster video within the next 5-8 years, and it’s their own fault … they turned a good idea into a wasteland of expensive, unwanted crap …

          • Dwendt44 May 28th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

            The cable and satellite companies make a good deal of money from the channels that pay just to be on their systems. That’s the many religious channels and the shopping channels that few would ‘opt in’ on per channel basis.

          • Dwendt44 May 27th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

            OR shopping channels.

          • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:14 pm

            that you are paying for, thanks to the cable monopoly that this country allows.

        • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

          My house part of an experiment with HBO or so called “pay tv”back in the day. This was back in the 70’s I think.

          It was a 3 month offer to hook up a box to our telephone line and we got 2 movie channels and a news channel…..and this was the kicker…with no commercials. It was a teaser …but the monthly after the 3 months was $15. Just like a drug pusher with free samples.

          By the way, I know a guy that still uses broadcast tv. He never taken down his antenna. And he get 17 different channels…all for free.

          • StoneyCurtisll May 28th, 2015 at 9:40 am

            When cable first came out it was billed as “commercial free” TV because we were paying to watch…
            That didn’t last long..

          • Dwendt44 May 28th, 2015 at 1:08 pm

            Sirius and XM are similar. Not so many commercials until you count the ‘self promotions’.

          • Jimmy Fleck May 28th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

            I only have broadcast TV. I have an antenna in my attic and I get about 15 channels. I rarely watch live TV though. I do have a Netflix streaming account. That is what I watch most of the time.

      • StoneyCurtisll May 28th, 2015 at 9:34 am

        High Five to that~!

    • allison1050 May 27th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      How to whore the entire family out for a buck.

  4. Suzanne McFly May 27th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    If they were really “God fearing” wouldn’t they refuse money for their services?

    • allison1050 May 27th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      One would think so.

    • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Jesus of Nazareth was not a Peak Performance Strategist as the prosperity preachers would have it. Nor was he an foreigner-hating patriot as the Tea Party would argue.

      • Suzanne McFly May 27th, 2015 at 1:35 pm

        The right has to accept they have nothing in common with Jesus.

        • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:12 pm

          Righties think that Jesus was sampling a loaves and fishes franchise when he fed the multitudes.

      • Dwendt44 May 27th, 2015 at 1:38 pm

        ‘Course, jesus wasn’t a christian.

        • anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          It seems “christians” are anti-socialists.

          • Suzanne McFly May 28th, 2015 at 6:54 am

            Until you read the Bible and you will see we are required to take care of one another, but it seems those parts of the Bible are sometimes ignored.

  5. Jeffrey Samuels May 27th, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    They’re not seriously considering putting another bunch of sociopaths on a tv program again???

    • KillAllTheRednecks . May 27th, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      TV execs hate us and want to make us stupid and miserable. OF COURSE they’re going to shove this new herd of freaks down our throats!

  6. ecotoper May 27th, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Here we go again … now we will get more posters saying things like , ” if they can afford to have 20 kids, and don’t tap into welfare, then it’s just a wonderful and godly thing ” … maybe that’s what people said in India and China as those countries bloated themselves to over a billion people each ( @ 1/3 of the planet’s total population ) … if most americans acted like these 2 families of religious rabbits, our nation would be clogged with overpopulation in just 2 or 3 generations … no one has the right to over breed, even if they are filthy rich … it just hogs the earth’s resources and causes more poverty elsewhere … these morons should have been neutered years ago … the only reason they draw an audience on tv is because they are freak shows featuring a platoon instead of a responsible family …

    • Dwendt44 May 27th, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      And in most cases, they don’t pay any income taxes either. At least they aren’t costing the school district (I hope) anything.

      • Hirightnow May 28th, 2015 at 8:01 am

        Arkansas has vouchers…so I’d say that they are.

        • Dwendt44 May 28th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

          True enough. but IIRC these cults prefer home schooling. That way the little grubbers aren’t polluted with real science and other kinds of real education.

    • Jimmy Fleck May 28th, 2015 at 9:53 am

      So forced sterilization is an option in your opinion? What basis would you use to select those to be sterilized? Is it anyone that has had say 2 kids?

      • Dwendt44 May 28th, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        We could limit the number of deductions on their income taxes to say 4. At least that way some of these wackos would at least pay some income taxes.

        • Jimmy Fleck May 28th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

          I could support a limit on the tax deduction. That seems reasonable.

      • ecotoper May 28th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

        fleck … don’t expect you have ever taken the time, but you might consider looking at what Thomas Malthus proposed over 200 years ago … it has to do with how “geometric progression” applies to world population and agricultural output … it still is a valid theory today, and has 2 centuries of real time proof to back it up … in 1947, when India became independent of Britain, their population was @ 325 million, about the size of the US today … within 40 years, it reached over 1 billion, and now is pressing to 1.5 billion, and this does not count the huge populations of what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh, which total over 500 million … of course, these countries are now plagued with childhood disease and death, wretched poverty, polluted water, low employment, fermenting terrorist groups, and a majority of people who want to flee this hellish life and flood into other countries which cannot afford to take them … “sterilization” you ask ? … not what I would recommend, but if China did not invoke a hard law years ago limiting the supposed “right” of multiple childbirth, that country would now have nearly 3 billion people, and would certainly be, like India, swamped by the weight of its own population … the Duggars and Bates are examples of selfish, ignorant people who, in the name of religion, simply defy the plight of the world’s delicate balance and breed like rodents … tax penalties are not likely to stop them, so yes, perhaps the possibility of sterilization would wake them out of their ignorant stupor … the real solution would be that widespread education be utilized to wake people up regarding the crisis of over population on the planet …

    • uzza May 28th, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      That’s what gets me. We just passed 7 billion population in the Duggars’ lifetime. If everyone reproduced like them we’d be at 500 billion.

      And they keep pumping them out, like CO2 molecules . . .

  7. anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Can’t we stop making stupid people rich?

    I am talking to you too Sarah.

  8. CityZen May 27th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    “an educational program that tells young women to cover up their bodies lest they “defraud” the horny men around them”.

    That sounds like what group the regressives are all railing against?
    Fundie christian cults are the same as the Taliban and ISIS.

    • Larry Schmitt May 27th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Exactly. They just have different versions of the same god talking inside their pointy little heads.

  9. rg9rts May 27th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    If they are too good to be true,,,,,they are too good to be true… dad probably has a kiddie porn ring using his kids

  10. bpollen May 27th, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Paeans to fecundity. Whee.

  11. CgntvDssdnt May 27th, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Important lesson about human nature:
    those pointing the finger the loudest do so because they have something to hide.

  12. Budda May 27th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I See at least 6 master Bates in the picture.

  13. anothertoothpick May 27th, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Why I don’t see any black kids?

    Or Asian….or Chinese…or Mexican…or Downs kids………I see just white people.

    I wonder why?

  14. BigDumbWhiteGuy May 27th, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Holy hell, wear a rubber here and there. I hear they’re doing amazing things with those lately.

    • Hirightnow May 28th, 2015 at 7:58 am

      I’ve been doing amazing things with them for some time now….

  15. KillAllTheRednecks . May 27th, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Oh FFS! These Fundie freaks are like a herpes strain!

  16. booker25 May 28th, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I don’t want to see this TLC, I am tired of seeing stupid stuff on this channel, it used to be the learning channel, I am tired of learning about stupid people.

  17. StoneyCurtisll May 28th, 2015 at 11:04 am

    it’s the Duggers 2.0..

  18. William May 28th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hopefully these goobers will be more thoroughly vetted.

  19. uzza May 28th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Who wants to bet on how long it’ll be till the abuse scandal around this mob?