Jinger Duggar Vuolo: I Was ‘Terrified’ of the outside world since I Was Reared in a Cult-like Religion

Jinger Duggar Vuolo said that her family’s solid religious convictions left her “crippled with anxiety” as a child. What she had to say about the “cult-like tendencies” she now sees is as follows. Jinger Duggar Vuolo is opening up about her religious convictions.

The star of “Counting On,” who was raised in a home where the teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles were prioritized, recently opened up about her current perspective on the controversial Christian group founded by Minister Bill Gothard.

In a People interview published on January 18, Jinger said she is “seeing more of the effects of that” among her friends and people who grew up in the same community. “Cultish tendencies” are prevalent.

The 29-year-old, whose family became famous thanks to the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting, said that as a child, she was taught to obey God by doing things like not wearing pants. Nonetheless, she reiterated how frequently she had to explain the rules for what was and was not acceptable.

She explained that “[Gothard’s] teachings, in a nutshell, are based on fear and superstition and leave you in a place where you feel like, ‘I don’t know what God expects of me.'” “I was paralyzed by anxiety because of my constant fear. I had a severe fear of going outside.”

When Jinger recalls a family outing to a broomball game, she is reminded of her apprehension. She explained to the media outlet, “I thought I could be killed in a car accident on the way because I didn’t know if God wanted me to stay home and read my Bible instead.”

Jinger Duggar Vuolo
Jinger Duggar Vuolo

According to the media, Jinger began doubting her faith in 2017. She is still a Christian, but now she practices her faith distinctively from IBLP. However, E! News’ request for comment to Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles has gone unanswered. E-News also attempted to get word from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, but they declined.

Gothard resigned from the IBLP board of directors in 2014 after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him, including molestation and sexual harassment of women in the organization. Gothard responded to the claims in a now-removed statement on his website, saying, “My actions of holding hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong.”

IBLP conducted an internal investigation and concluded that Gothard “had misbehaved,” resulting in his dismissal. But IBLP said they saw no evidence of wrongdoing in his behavior.

Jinger discussed her decision to leave the IBLP community two years ago. Jinger explains how she began going IBLP in her 2021 book The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God, which she wrote with her husband, Jeremy Vuolo.

“I wanted to find out if the beliefs I’d held my whole life were correct,” she wrote. “I was curious about the foundations of my faith and whether or not they found scriptural support. My previous beliefs began shifting as I reexamined them and compared them to the Bible.”

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