Jinger Duggar Vuolo Talks Breaking Free From 'Harmful' Religious Upbringing

The former reality star's new book, 'Becoming Free Indeed,' details how she broke away from the strict teachings of the IBLP.

Jinger Duggar Vuolo is opening up about breaking away from her strict religious upbringing.

In her upcoming book, Becoming Free Indeed, Vuolo details growing up in the spotlight on her family's TLC reality series, 19 Kids and Counting, and the way her relationship with husband Jeremy Vuolo opened her eyes to the reality of her family's values.

"Fear was a huge part of my childhood," Vuolo, 29, tells People ahead of the book's release. "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."

Now a mother of two, Vuolo admitted she was sometimes even afraid to have fun or play sports as a kid, worrying that it was opposing God's will for her. "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," she recalls.

Vuolo's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, raised their family to follow the teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, an organization established by disgraced minister Bill Gothard in 1961.

The IBLP movement preaches subservience in women, insisting female members of the movement live in obedience to their husbands and practice strict modesty -- shunning revealing clothing, dancing, casual dating and other seemingly sinful pop culture influence. Gothard, now 88, led the church until 2014, when more than 30 women accused him of harassment and molestation.

"[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,'" Vuolo notes. "The fear kept me crippled with anxiety. I was terrified of the outside world...There are a lot of cult-like tendencies."

Vuolo writes in her book how meeting her husband and analyzing her faith with him and other Christians outside the IBLP led her to leave the organization for good in 2017. Now, she hopes to help others who may come from a similar background and are eager to explore a life outside the IBLP's "damaging" practices.

"[Gothard's] teachings were so harmful, and I'm seeing more of the effects of that in the lives of my friends and people who grew up in that community with me," she shares. "It was damaging, and there are lasting effects. But I know other people are struggling and people who are still stuck. I want to share my story, and maybe it will help even just one person to be freed."

Vuolo's book, Becoming Free Indeed, is due out Jan. 31.