Joy-Anna Duggar, Husband Austin Forsyth Promoting Couple Linked to Child Abuse Scandal

Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, have been linked to controversial authors who encourage parents to physically discipline their children.

Forsyth's parents, Terry and Roxanne Forsyth, own the Fort Rock Family Camp in Combs, Arkansas. One of the special events at the camp in June is a visit from Michael and Debi Pearl. The couple will be at the camp from June 7-10 and October 4-7.

According to Radar Online, the Pearls' speaking engagement at the Forsyths' camp was picked up by the Facebook blog "Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray."

The Forsyths call the Pearls "nationally renowned 'practical family-living' teachers." They run the No Greater Joy Ministries and have home-schooled all five of their children.

"This dynamic couple has dedicated their lives to educating families on basic principals of cultivating Godly relationships within the family so that their relationships with God and others can be infinitely more fruitful," reads the camp's website.

In 2011, the New York Times profiled the Pearls, pointing out their support for physical discipline to keep a child from behaving badly. On their website, Pearl suggests that young children can "profit from the application of the training rod."

The Pearls told the Times that they cannot be blamed for a few cases of parents who misuse their methods. In 2011, there were three cases of child deaths, where the parents had a copy of the Pearls' book, To Train Up A Child.

"If you find a 12-step book in an alcoholic’s house, you wouldn’t blame the book," Pearl told the Times in 2011.

The Duggars themselves are members of the controversial Institute of Biblical Life Principals church. It was previously led by Bill Gothard, who was accused of sexual harassment and molestation before he resigned in 2014. Amy Duggar, a cousin of the family, spoke out against the church last month.

The 20-year-old Joy-Anna married Forsyth in May 2017 and she announced her pregnancy on Aug. 30. There has been speculation about her pregnancy, with some wondering if the couple had sex before marriage. Friends of the family have defended the baby bump, suggesting that she is just carrying her baby differently.

That did not stop fans from trying to do the math. In a Jan. 19 Instagram video, Joy-Anna tried to put the rumors to rest by telling her fans she is still pregnant.

The Duggar family, which became famous through TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, are now featured in Counting On. New episodes will begin on TLC on Monday, Feb. 26.

Photo Credit: Instagram / @Austin & Joy Forsyth