Counting On’s Jinger Duggar: Religious Upbringing Was ‘Cult-Like’

A brand new perspective. Jinger Duggar mirrored on discovering “peace” as she started to show away from her strict Christian upbringing.

“I undoubtedly suppose it was cult-like in some ways,” she completely informed Us Weekly forward of the discharge of her ebook Changing into Free Certainly on Tuesday, January 31. “It was constructed on concern, manipulation, management and superstition, so all these issues mixed in how onerous it’s for youths to depart or adults to depart — anybody, actually. … When you hear the teachings, you’re not speculated to depart from these.”

Jinger Duggar
Courtesy of Jeremy Vuolo/Instagram

The previous TLC star, 29, rose to prominence on 19 Children and Counting, which featured her religious household and sometimes mentioned their life-style of purity, modesty and religion. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar raised their 19 kids below the teachings of controversial and ultra-conservative Christian minister Invoice Gothard.

Since forging her personal path with husband Jeremy Vuolo, whom she wed in 2016, the Counting On alum feels extra “free” than ever. “I’ve a lot freedom and … peace with God, actually,” she informed Us. “As a result of I believe I had wrestled with concern for therefore a few years and I wasn’t certain why or what the supply of that concern was. And as soon as I used to be in a position to determine, ‘OK, I believe this educating is making me fearful’ … I do really feel like there was that ‘A-ha’ second.”

Jinger remembered being “gripped with concern” as a baby. “[I’d be] pondering, ‘OK, am I pleasing to God? I don’t know what God expects of me.’ And so I might be so terrified to, like, even go play sports activities with my siblings. [I’d think], ‘Perhaps I’m supposed to remain residence and browse my Bible for hours and hours. I’m unsure.’ In order that sort of concern did cripple me.”

The Arkansas native credit her husband, 35, for serving to her begin to distance herself from the stress she felt. “He had grown up in a distinct setting completely exterior of my world,” she informed Us of the previous soccer participant. “[My] dad informed us, ‘OK, earlier than you guys can transfer ahead in your relationship, hearken to a few of these teachings.’ So Jer was listening to, like, 60-plus hours of Invoice Gothard’s teachings … [and] was kinda like, ‘Huh, that is fascinating.’”

Because the couple continued to debate the seminars collectively, Jinger’s perspective started to shift. “He was simply difficult me, like, [to] suppose by way of this, suppose for your self, and if it’s true, it’ll get up for itself. If it’s not, it’ll simply crumble,” she recalled. “Mainly, I began to see that these teachings weren’t grounded in reality, and that’s actually what introduced me freedom.”

Jinger Duggar Describes Breaking Free From 'Cult-Like' Religious Upbringing: 'It Was Built on Fear'

Jinger Duggar
Courtesy of Jeremy Vuolo/Instagram

In Changing into Free Certainly, Jinger appears to be like again on how her upbringing formed her life — and describes how she’s modified her mindset as she took a step again from the highlight. (The household’s TLC spinoff, Counting On, was canceled in 2021 after Josh Duggar was arrested on baby pornography costs.)

When getting down to write her ebook, Jinger “sought to be open” along with her relations. “I bear in mind initially, like, once I began carrying pants, that was an enormous factor. And so … I felt prefer it was essentially the most loving factor to do, to share [with my family], ‘Hey, this is the reason I see this within the phrase of God in a different way than I used to.’ And so we talked by way of these issues. And [it was] the identical with this ebook,” she informed Us.

The Hope We Maintain coauthor — who shares daughters Felicity, 4, and Evangeline, 2, with Vuolo — hopes sharing her story helps others on their very own journeys of “disentangling” themselves from previous beliefs.

“I believe this journey is constant daily,” Jinger informed Us. “There are days the place fears will come again and attempt to grip me and I’ll simply need to suppose on what’s true. … I believe that I actually now have a extra balanced view of [what faith is].”

Changing into Free Certainly: My Story of Disentangling Religion from Worry is accessible now.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi