Jinger Duggar Speaks Out on Brother Josh, Birth Control & Breaking Free from Family's Religion

Jinger Duggar Vuolo, one of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s many children, continues to speak out against the religious beliefs she was raised under and her shift in perspective in recent years.

The entire “19 Kids and Counting” family were brought up as followers of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a devout Christian organization started by Bill Gothard. Its teachings say men are superior to women, who should be subservient and devote their lives to becoming wives and mothers. Followers aren’t allowed to dance or drink alcohol and women are prohibited from wearing makeup, high heels or anything shorter than ankle-length dresses.

“I would say it has a lot of characteristics of … some would say it’s a cult … it has a lot of similarities because it’s so hard to leave,” Jinger told “Good Morning America” on Monday, ahead of the release of her new book “Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear.”

“I thought it was all true, all these teachings from this man I had followed, it was a teacher that I grew up thinking was teaching me the Bible and I thought his words were the words of God,” she continued.

“It wasn’t until I got older I stopped and started to examine his teachings.”

Calling Gothard a “false prophet” and “false teacher,” Duggar explained that she started to really examine the Bible’s teachings in recent years and started to question a lot of what she was raised to believed.

One of the things she seems to have changed her opinion on is birth control.

“Just because kids are a blessing from God, doesn’t mean to have to have as many as possible,” Jinger — who has 18 siblings — told GMA. She also told People, “I always thought that was totally wrong,” she said. “I just no longer see it as that. I definitely have changed.”

During news interviews with both ABC and Fox News, she was also asked about her brother Josh Duggar, who is currently in a federal prison serving a 12.5 year sentence after he was found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.

“It’s hard to talk about … I know that that’s a whole other thing. It is difficult to talk about,” she said, getting choked up on GMA. “I talk a little bit about that in the book and how my heart just breaks for the victims and their families and also for all the trail of pain that’s been left behind.”

She added that she hasn’t spoken with him at all. “I think the best thing I can do is just pray for him,” she said.

Duggar echoed that sentiment with Fox News, saying, “That’s something that is still just so difficult for me to talk about. And my heart breaks for the victims and their families. And at the same time, I’m just so grateful for the justice system. I’m grateful that justice is being served. It’s just so heartbreaking.”

Per the Amazon listing, in her latest book Duggar “recounts how she began to question the unhealthy ideology of her youth and learned to embrace true freedom in Christ.” The memoir will be released January 31.

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