Jinger Duggar Vuolo Says The Strict Lifestyle Rules Jim Bob And Michelle Adhere To 'Need To Be Exposed'

Trigger warning: The following article includes mentions of child sexual abuse and assault.

Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) has seemingly become estranged from her ultra-fundamentalist clan in recent years. The family that once starred in TLC's hit reality show "19 Kids and Counting" had a massive fall from grace when one of Jinger's siblings, Josh Duggar, was accused and convicted of receiving and possessing child abuse material in December 2021. 

What we know about Josh Duggar's sentence, aside from the fact that it will keep Duggar in prison for more than 12 years, is that the verdict significantly split the Duggar family. While Jinger and her sister, Jill Dillard (née Duggar), took a strong stance in condemning their brother for his actions and offered their support to survivors of his crimes, not all of their kin have been as vocal in their consternation. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have, in particular, strongly sided with their son while also acknowledging his survivors. Michelle, for example, wrote a letter to the judge in support of Josh's character in May 2022 (via People), advocating for quick release. It was also revealed that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar did not take action when they learned Josh had molested some of his sisters and other girls when he was a teen, per US Weekly.

Now, Jinger is publishing her second memoir, titled "Becoming Free Indeed," where she describes how her relationship with faith, fear, and her family has changed over time. Jinger also gets real about writing "Free Indeed" in our exclusive interview. 

Jinger speaks about abusive upbringing

In an interview on "The Tamron Hall Show," Jinger describes the harm of the religion her parents raised her in, which follows the strict teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, founded by a man named Bill Gothard.  Gothard resigned from his role as a minister in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing more than 30 women and girls, per the Washington Post

Jinger describes the IBLP as though its teachings have brainwashed her parents. "I've sought to have conversations with my parents throughout the years of the differences I've gone through and the changes I've made," she said. But her parents still hold onto the teachings of the IBLP. "And so I hope with this book, it is my goal in writing it, just to be able to tell my own story. And hopefully it will help anyone who is still in that system to see how damaging and how harmful it really is." The teachings are "harmful, damaging, fear-based, manipulation and control," Jinger says. "And so Bill Gothard's teachings, they need to be exposed."

"I would hope anyone in that system can hear through this book, when I tell these stories, when I'm more vulnerable and raw than I've ever been, that they need to come out of this as well, and to have a balanced view of who God really is," Jinger says.