Jinger Duggar is bravely addressing traumatic childhood experiences that left her struggling to fit into the real world.
The TV personality and her family became famous after appearing in a reality TV show, “19 Kids And Counting,” that ran from 2008 to 2015 on TLC. The show featured the Duggar family, who were devout followers of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, founded by minister Bill Gothard.
Duggar has now likened her strict upbringing to that of pop icon Britney Spears‘ conservatorship, which saw the singer placed under involuntary control by her father.
Jinger Duggar Acknowledges Fans And Says She Relates To Britney Spears’ Struggles
Jinger, while speaking up on her family’s ‘cult-like religion’ ahead of her book release, shared that she appreciates her fans for their outpouring of support over her break away from her harsh upbringing.
While chatting with Page Six, the mom of two got extremely candid about her family’s controversial faith and how her struggle to break free from their stronghold reminded her of a particular pop icon, Spears.
Thanking her fans for standing by her with their supportive movements and hashtags that read, #FreeJinger,” she said, “I’m not upset at the ‘Free Jinger’ movement. It was very kind of the people. I’m sure the people who started it had the best intentions in mind and probably still do today.”
She further revealed that she was not bothered by the movement and thought that the intentions of the people to help free her were very commendable. Adding, she said, “I don’t have any hard feelings toward anyone.”
Jinger proceeded to disclose how she spent years submitting to tyrannical authority under the teachings of now-disgraced minister Bill Gothard, the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principle church, where she grew up attending.
Opening a can of worms about the church, she said, “He built his teachings on fear, manipulation, superstition and control … so the way that I viewed God was that he’s waiting to spite me, he’s waiting to get me at any turn.”
“Even if I don’t know what God expects of me, I’m going to be punished because he just is out to me,” she added. The TV personality who finally departed IBLP in 2017 revealed that she was speaking up for other ex-followers who felt voiceless and current parishioners who felt trapped.
The famous author further compared her situation with Spears, who was a perpetual victim of her father’s established conservatorship which saw her estranged father take total control of her personal, medical, and financial support.
In her words, “It’s interesting. I see people who are in the public eye and have stories and I can relate to them at different points, maybe on smaller scales. And I think that’s the beauty of it. You see that so many people have walked through so much pain and hardship and just coming out on the other side, I want to say that we can come out stronger on the other side.”
Moving on with her new life and focusing on greater accomplishments, the 29-year-old encouraged, “Those things don’t have to define us moving forward. So for me, I look at all the stuff in the past and say, ‘Ok, now moving forward, how can I possibly be the best version of myself that I can possibly be'”?
Extending her support to the one-time Grammy award winner, she said, “I would be interested to look into [Britney’s situation] more.”
As earlier reported by The Blast, the TV personality opened up on how her life was consumed by fear because of the “harmful” teachings taught during her upbringing. Sharing her experiences during an exclusive interview, Duggar detailed how the “damaging” teachings of Gothard, who was later disgraced for his sexual harassment scandal, affected her growing up.
She said, “Fear was a huge part of my childhood. I thought I had to wear only skirts and dresses to please God. Music with drums, places I went, or the wrong friendships could all bring harm.”
Giving a clearer context as to how fear had a hold over her life, she added, “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.”
The Arkansas Native Revealed Writing Her Book Was Hard For Her
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ght: 400;”>The “19 kids and Counting” star appears to have documented her experiences and the travails she faced while growing up and hopes to use it to free other people like her.
In November, the former reality star took her fans by surprise after updating them on her channel through a video about a new bombshell memoir she had written, named, “Becoming Free.”
She revealed how her book exposed untold truths about her family’s secrets and how it was the most difficult thing she’s had to do. She said, “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I think it’s the most important. I’ve written a book, it’s called ‘Becoming Free Indeed,’ and it is my story– my journey of detangling faith from fear.”
“Becoming Free” was published on January 31, 2023.