In Memory of Lydia Schatz – 4 years

It has been 4 years since we lost Lydia Schatz.  TulipGirl has a moving post about her which she posted 3 years ago.   <3  RIP Lydia

Please pray for her siblings, it must be a very hard day for them.  I know that there is very little sympathy for her parents in this world, but I believe that they are repentant and am also praying for them.

Two Year Anniversary of the Death of Lydia Schatz

Today marks 2 years since the death of Lydia Schatz.  Elizabeth Esther shares a video she made 2 years ago which is still very pertinent.

TulipGirl is also Remembering Lydia.

I would also like to mention that Feb 26 will mark 6 years since the death of Sean Paddock. May their deaths not be in vain.

The Death Of Lydia Schatz on Wikipedia

I just found the Wikipedia article on the Death of Lydia Schatz. It seems to be factual.  Interestingly, they link to this site.  Only, they don’t link to any one post, but to page two of my blog.  That doesn’t seem helpful at all, it must be an error.  They also have an entry for Michael Pearl which mentions both Lydia Schatz and Sean Paddock.  Interesting.

Edited to add:  Libby Anne fixed the error as you can see in her comment below.  🙂

In Memory of Lydia Schatz

Sunday, Feb 6, 2011 was the first anniversary of the death of Lydia Schatz.  Here are the posts I have found in memory of her so far

In memory of Lydia Schatz by ukrainiac in which she gives a brief summary of the story and links to Tulip Girl’s post.

Remembering Lydia Schatz by Tulip Girl who gives an emotional explanation of exactly what happened and how and updates with current trial information. She also reminds us of Sean Paddock who died on Feb 26, 2006.

in memory of lydia schatz by That Mom who gives a short summary and refers us to Tulip Girl and Parenting Freedom.

When Religion Becomes Cult-Like and Deadly from Parenting Freedom which contains 4 quotes from Pearl’s teachings to illustrate the dangers therein.

Remembering Lydia as the Pearls are in the news once again

Tulip Girl has an important post which I must share with you on this 8th anniversary of Lydia’s death.

I have shared these posts on my Facebook page, it’s time to put them here, as well:

Joy-Anna Duggar’s Husband Associated With Child Abuse Scandal from CafeMom

Family Of Joy-Anna Duggar’s Husband Hosting Couple Accused Of Promoting Child Abuse

And at one time, people were asking me for proof that the Duggars used the Pearl methods and/or spanked at all. Here is proof.

Remembering Lydia

This morning when I saw the date, I knew it was an anniversary, but I could not remember of what until Eric Pazdiziora reminded me. It’s been 6 years since we lost Lydia.  😥

Eric Pazdiziora wrote a musical piece in memory of Lydia.

Here is TulipGirl’s memorial tribute to Lydia.

The Schatz Story Going Mainstream

Brad Hirschfield posts in The Washington Post about the Schatz story and To Train Up A Child in a piece called, Beating children in the name of God.  He exhorts us Christians, saying:

Tragically, this is going on, it must be stopped, and it is precisely those of us for whom the Bible is a sacred and life-centering text that must take the lead in stopping it.

As is always the case, it is those closest to a tradition that should bear the greatest responsibility for it when it is being abused. We cannot simply distance ourselves from “those crazy people”, because “those crazy people” are using the same books we hold dear to commit atrocities, so who better than those who turn to (some of) the same books, to take on the responsibility of addressing the abuses committed in their name?

Amen

Jo Ashline of The Orange County Register also reports on the Pearls’ teachings and the recent controversy in Couple Claims God Wants us to Beat our Children.

I would like to respond to this quote:

During the CNN interview, Mr. and Mrs. Pearl also maintain their innocence in the beating death of Lydia and assure viewers that their training method does not promote anger or abuse, but rather a calm, methodical and effective method of spanking a child into submission.

What the Pearls and their followers fail to understand is that Lydia refused to or was unable to submit and they calmly and methodically spanked her for 7 hours until her tissues broke down.  You know how hitting meat makes it tender, right?  Well, if living flesh is hit long enough, even calmly and methodically, it gets tenderized.  The tissues break down and tiny particles of muscle tissue block the kidneys causing rhabdomyolosis. Please check that link for a more detailed explanation from Under Much Grace.  Rhabdomyolosis was the official cause of her death, by the way.

By the way, I have updated my Quotes from TTUAC page with some quotes from the NGJ website because the quotes were so disturbing to me that I thought they needed to be shared.  It is taking a lot of self control to keep myself from ranting and raving about the quotes, so I’m just going to let the quotes speak for themselves.

Zariah Schatz Speaks in Court

Here is a follow up about the Schatzes prison sentence from the Paradise Post. Note the quotes from Lydia’s older sister, Zariah, as well from as Elizabeth Schatz who apparently realized too late that they were on a “foolish path.”  Entire article quoted here for permanence.

Paradise couple gets prison for fatal beating

Father gets two life terms
Posted: 06/10/2011 12:06:11 PM PDT

A Paradise couple convicted of whipping an adopted daughter to death and injuring two other children was sentenced Friday to upper terms in state prison.Butte County Superior Court Judge Kristen Lucena sentenced Kevin Paul Schatz, 48, to serve at least 22 years of two life terms for second-degree murder and torture. Elizabeth Hazel Schatz, 44, was sentenced to serve 13 years, four months for voluntary manslaughter and infliction of unlawful corporal punishment.

Both Schatzes were also sentenced to six months in county jail for misdemeanor cruelty to a child. They were credited for time served.

Addressing the defendants, Lucena said their punishment for whipping their children for hours with a thin, 15-inch length of plumbing supply line was inappropriate. “No civilized society would tolerate that,” Lucena said.

The sentences were largely known in advance because of a plea bargain April 8. The couple had faced charges of first-degree murder and torture and two possible life sentences. Before the sentence was handed down a surviving adopted daughter, 12, addressed the court. With a soft-spoken voice that was often punctuated with tearful sobs, she said her 7-year-old sister, Lydia, meant the world to her and Lydia’s death really hurt.

“Why did you adopt her? To kill her?” the daughter asked.

The Schatzes were arrested after they called 9-1-1 after Lydia had stopped breathing on Feb. 6, 2010. A follow-up investigation by Paradise Police to the Schatz

residence found the other daughter in the house, limping.As part of a punishment for reportedly mispronouncing words, both girls had been whipped for hours by Kevin Schatz with the supply line. Elizabeth Schatz reportedly assisted. Lydia was whipped for about seven hours on Feb. 5, while her sister was punished for similar period the night before. A 10-year-old biological son was also injured.

The repeated whipping caused a breakdown in muscle tissue that severely damaged the girls’ organs.

Lydia was taken to the hospital but later perished from her injuries. The other daughter was hospitalized for similar injuries, but eventually recovered. The older daughter said she would ultimately forgive the Shatzes, but was confused by the actions and condemned their use of corporal punishment.

“I don’t know what I did to deserve what you did to me,” she said.

As the daughter made her statement, the Schatzes sat facing forward, not looking at the girl. They did sometimes bow their heads and wiped their faces. Earlier in the hearing, Elizabeth Schatz asked for the daughter’s forgiveness. She said Feb. 6, 2010, was the saddest day of her life because their actions killed a daughter, severely injured another and tore their family apart. She said she wished that they had paused to consider the repercussions of their actions.

“We surely would’ve deviated from the foolish path we ended up taking,” Elizabeth Schatz said.

Kevin Schatz apologized for what happened.

“I accept full responsibility for the injury and death of my two daughters,” he said.

Michael Harvey, Kevin Schatz’s attorney, said most people know it’s inappropriate to shake a baby, but few had heard of the medical condition that could be caused by the Schatz’s disciplinary method.

“This is a tragic case. It’s an example of trying to do the right thing in a wrong way,” Harvey said.

Kevin Sears, Elizabeth Schatz’s attorney, said the case was a tragedy and didn’t dispute the death or injury. However, he asserted the probation report wasn’t wholly accurate. In particular, he said the hours of whipping were interrupted with periods of prayer and reflection.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the Schatzes have often characterized their actions as inappropriate discipline, which he said showed a lack of insight. While acknowledging the death and injuries weren’t intentional, he said their actions, including the whippings and other punishments, were over the top.

“This was beating. This was torture. This was inhuman,” he said.

Kevin Schatz is ineligible for good conduct credits due to the murder conviction, meaning he will serve 22 years before being considered for parole. He was given credit for 310 days served in county jail. Elizabeth Schatz was credited for 387 days of jail time served and could earn an additional 670 days’ credit in prison.

Schatz’ sentenced to prison

From the Paradise Post quoted here for permanence.

Schatz’ sentenced to prison

Father gets to life terms
Posted: 06/10/2011 12:06:11 PM PDT

The Paradise couple who were arrested February 2010 in the beating death of one child and severe beating of another, were sentenced to prison this morning.Kevin Schatz was sentenced to two life terms for second-degree murder and torture and will have to serve at 22 years. Elizabeth Schatz was sentenced to 13 years, four months for voluntary manslaughter and infliction of unlawful corporal punishment. They each were given six months in county jail for misdemeanor cruelty to a child but were credited for time served.

The prison terms were part of the plea bargain with prosecutors. Before pleading guilty to amended charges on April 8, the Schatzes were charged with first-degree murder and torture and had faced two life terms in prison.

The charges stem from the Feb. 4 and 5, 2010 whippings of adopted daughters Lydia Schatz, 7, and her then 11-year-old sister. A biological son was also injured. The Schatzes were using a method of discipline that involved whipping the children for hours with a 15-inch length of plumber’s supply line.

Lydia died of her injuries. The older girl required hospitalization but recovered.

In April 2007, the Schatz’ adopted three children from Liberia. At the time of that adoption, the Schatz had six biological children.

Plea Deal Reached in Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz Murder Case

It looks like the Schatz trial is off. There has been a plea bargain.  Here is the story from KHSL-TV:

The Paradise couple accused of beating their adopted daughter to death and critically injuring another will not be going trial after reaching a last minute plea deal with prosecutors. Trial for Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz was to begin Monday, but on Friday afternoon Kevin Schatz agreed to plead guilty to all the charges against him, including first degree murder and torture, in exchange for a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter for his wife.

The agreement means the couple’s children will not have to testify in court. Both entered guilty pleas Friday afternoon. Butte County district attorney Mike Ramsey says Kevin Schatz faces two life sentences and will not be eligible for parole for 22 years. Elizabeth Schatz agreed to the maximum sentence of 13 years, four months. The couple is set to be formally sentenced June 10th. There six biological children and two surviving adopted children remain in foster care.

And here is the more in depth story from the Chico E.R. pasted here for permanence.

Couple plead guilty in fatal Paradise child beating

By RYAN OLSON – Staff Writer
Posted: 04/09/2011 12:05:58 AM PDT

OROVILLE — A trial for a Paradise couple facing murder charges for beating one adopted daughter to death and injuring another ended before it began after the pair entered unexpected guilty pleas Friday.

Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz were expected to go to trial Monday in Butte County Superior Court for the Feb. 4 and 5, 2010, beating of adopted daughters Lydia Schatz, 7, and her then 11-year-old sister.

Lydia died of her injuries; the older girl required hospitalization but recovered.

The Schatzes’ defense team and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey had spent Friday with Judge Kristen Lucena discussing final motions before starting jury selection. As Ramsey prepared to leave the courtroom, defense attorneys Michael Harvey and Kevin Sears asked him to stay about a possible plea bargain.

Court was called back into session and Kevin Schatz pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree murder, torture and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. He will serve at least 22 years of a 22-to-life prison sentence.

Elizabeth Schatz pleaded guilty to single counts of voluntary manslaughter, infliction of unlawful corporal punishment on a child and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. She will be sentenced to the maximum 13 years, four months in prison.

Both also face a six-month county jail sentence, and $20,000 fines each.

If the pair had been convicted on the original charges of first-degree murder and torture, they would’ve each faced maximum sentences of two life terms

in prison.

Outside the courtroom, Ramsey said he was satisfied with the verdict and the resolution for the victims — who were reportedly whipped for hours with a length of plumber’s supply line. He remarked that the likely sentences mean the Schatzes would no longer be in control of their children’s lives.

“Now, at least for the children, they can get it behind them,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said he insisted that the couple plead guilty to the charges instead of pleading no contest — where defendants can stand silent while a judge convicts them based on evidence.

The murder and manslaughter charges were for Lydia Schatz’s death. The torture counts applied for her older sister’s injuries. The misdemeanor charges applied for injuries against a son who was 10 at the time.

Ramsey said the prosecution accepted a lesser manslaughter charge for Elizabeth Schatz because there was evidence she was under the control of her husband during and after the incidents. However, he required that Kevin Schatz plead to murder.

Outside of the courtroom, Sears said his client, Elizabeth Schatz, regretted what happened.

“She feels very remorseful over what happened to her children and she was very anxious to accept responsibility,” Sears said.

Had the matter gone to a jury, Sears said he didn’t believe the panel would find Elizabeth Schatz guilty of murder. He said the bargain’s terms were close to a probable jury verdict.

Harvey said his client took the bargain because it will spare his wife from serving a longer sentence. It also eliminated the need for his children to testify in court — most of the Schatzes’ six biological children and the older adopted daughter were listed as possible trial witnesses.

“He felt that was his duty as a father to his family,” Harvey said.

While there has been discussion about the Schatzes’ whippings being based on “biblical chastisements” drawn from the teachings of a fundamentalist religious organization known as No Greater Joy Ministry, Ramsey said he hadn’t planned to focus on the teachings in his prosecution.

He said he had been prepared to address it if it was raised by the defense.

Sentencing will take place on June 10. The couple remain in custody at Butte County Jail.

 

Staff writer Ryan Olson can be reached at 896-7763 or rolson@chicoer.com.

Also, the Mankato Examiner has an article about the case with the same info plus more background. This article is great for sharing.

Analyzing the Schatz Tragedy

Cindy, from Under Much Grace, analyzes what causes people like Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz to harm their children in a new series:
Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz)

An Introduction

Part I: Virtue In Place of Unquestioned Obedience.

Part II: How Dehumanization (and Declaring War Against Family Members) Causes Moral Disengagement

Part III: Defining Aggression as Normal, Acceptable, and Desired Behavior

An Addendum Note About Lydia Schatz and the Correction She Suffered for a Mispronounced Word: Liberian Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Part IV: The Milgram Experiment and the Pressure to Commit Evil for the Common Good

Part V: Pondering the Atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust and its Relationship to the Study of Obedience

Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect

Part VI: The Calm Before the Storm Following the Schatzes’ “Guilty” Pleas

Part VII: The Breaking the “Diabolical Will” of Infants in the IFB – Even at Hephzibah House

Part VIII: There But For Grace

Part IX: Using the Milgram Study to Understand How Pearl Becomes Appealing

Part X: The Schatz Family is Not Unique

Schatz One Year Anniversary

On February 6, 2010, Lydia Schatz died from kidney failure allegedly brought on from corporal punishment. Her parents were arrested and her siblings were questioned. The other children co-operated fully with all adults. They answered questions calmly and completely, explaining how Lydia had been having switching sessions because she would not comply. They explained how they were all chastised with plumbing supply line when they did not obey and how their parents got their parenting advice from the No Greater Joy website.    Sunday marks the first anniversary of this incident. As I do not post on Sundays, I am posting this today.

At the time of the tragedy, I was running a small site where I put all my links on the same page.  I was soon overwhelmed by the quantity of links relating to the tragedy.  On top of that, the server I was using had some problems and kept going down.  A good friend helped me move here by the grace of God.  I figured out how to organize better, but my early work was moved in large chunks.  All that to say that in order to commemorate the first anniversary of the Schatz Tragedy, I am reposting my links regarding it.  Please report any broken links by commenting or you may email me at hermanalinda@whynottrainachild.com

My first collection of news stories.

Reactions in the blogosphere.

More news stories and reactions..

CBS did an investigative report about the Schatz and other child abuse stories.

Newer stories about the Schatz story can be found under my Schatz tag.

Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz were charged with murder and torture. The trial is scheduled to start on Feb 28, 2011 after a trial readiness hearing on Feb 17th.


The Schatz Abuse Story and the Paradise Post

As 2010 winds to a close, I am reflecting on the changes to this website.  I moved to this blog in March during the thick of the Schatz story.  Over the months I found more and more time passing between posts and started filling that time with posts about other controlling groups such as the Patriarchy Movement as well as helpful posts about Gentle Discipline.  I am very thankful to God for how He has been using this blog.  I wish my readers many blessings in 2011.

And now, The Paradise Post has released its Top 10 news stories of 2010 and the Schatz Abuse Story was number one.   I  post an excerpt from their story here for permanence:

Schatz, Smith lead top 10 news

Posted: 12/30/2010 01:00:00 AM PST

Once again the Post staff voted on the Top 10 stories of the Year. This year, the top story is the Schatz family abuse case.

1. Parents arrested in child abuse case

The ugliness of humanity reared its head in Paradise this year when two local parents allegedly beat their adopted daughter to death for mispronouncing a word.

Lydia Schatz, 7, died in February and her parents, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz, are accused of killing her by using controversial disciplinary methods outlined in a religious training book, “To Train Up A Child,” by Michael and Debi Pearl, founders of the No Greater Joy Ministry.

In the aforementioned book, the Pearls recommend using a rubber quarter-inch plumbing supply line for disciplining a child. Elizabeth called emergency crews on Feb. 6 to report that Lydia was not breathing.

A storm prevented the girl from being airlifted to the hospital by the LifeFlight helicopter. Lydia was being rushed by ambulance to Chico Municipal Airport, but died en route. The autopsy of Lydia shows that the girl died of Rhabdomyolysis, a rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury to muscle tissue.

Lydia’s 11-year-old sister was also discovered with injuries and sustained kidney failure. She was not originally expected to survive, but made a full recovery after treatment at Sutter Memorial Hospital.

The Schatzes have six biological children and adopted Lydia, the 11-year-old, and a 3 month-old from the Republic of Libera in Africa.

Police said all the children made statements affirming being disciplined by rubber tubing found in the Schatz home.

The parents were charged with murder and torture, each facing life in prison. Kevin and Elizabeth retained separate lawyers and pled not guilty to the crimes.

The case has not been resolved. The Schatzes are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 28, 2011 for a jury trial.

Schatz Trial Delayed

The Chico ER reports that Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz were in court yesterday, Oct 21, 2010, for a pre-trial hearing. The trial has been delayed until Feb 28, 2011. I am including the article here for permanence.

Trial delayed in alleged torture death of daughter

By KATY SWEENY – Staff Writer

Posted: 10/22/2010 12:00:00 AM PDT

OROVILLE — A judge Thursday continued a trial against a Paradise couple for the alleged murder and torture of their adopted child, so attorneys can read the more than 6,000 pages of evidence, with more coming.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Kristen Lucena vacated the November trial date and set it for Feb. 28 in the case against Elizabeth Schatz, 43, and her husband, Kevin, 47.

The pair allegedly caused the death of their 7-year-old adopted daughter and serious injuries to her 11-year-old sister during separate “biblical chastisements” with a whip-like instrument in February at the family home.

Elizabeth Schatz’s attorney, Dennis Latimer, asked Lucena to continue the trial so the lawyers can read through the large amount of evidence and obtain and review what is still expected.

The husband’s attorney, Michael Harvey, joined in the motion to continue.

Deputy district attorney Kelly Maloy, sitting in for District Attorney Mike Ramsey, who is prosecuting the case, said they had no objection.

The Schatzes are charged with murder, torture involving great bodily injury and misdemeanor child abuse involving one of their six biological children.

The charges carry up to two life terms in prison. The couple pleaded not guilty in June.

Ramsey alleges the ridge couple were influenced by a book found in their home written by a fundamentalist Christian group based in Tennessee, supporting the use of a quarter-inch rubberized or plastic “plumber supply

line” to “train” children to be more obedient to their parents and God.

Prosecution also alleges that Lydia Schatz, 7, one of three children the couple had adopted from an orphanage in Africa three years before, died from a breakdown of muscle tissue following a lengthy discipline session in the parents’ bedroom after mispronouncing a word during a home school reading lesson.

After the child stopped breathing Feb. 5 and the mother dialed 9-1-1, Butte County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the parents.

The girl’s 11-year-old sister also allegedly sustained “whip-like” marks to her back, legs and buttocks during a similar parental chastisement the previous day. She was hospitalized with kidney failure but lived.

Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz will return to court Feb. 17 for a trial readiness conference. They remain in custody at the Butte County Jail with bail set at $2 million apiece.

Staff writer Katy Sweeny can be reached at 896-7760 or ksweeny@chicoer.com.

KRCR Channel 7 has also posted about this.

Schatz couple to stand trial in November

From the Paradise Post reposted here for permanence

By Elizabeth De Alwis

Posted: 06/26/2010 01:00:00 AM PDT

A Paradise couple will stand trial in November for allegedly murdering one adopted child and torturing another during a “biblical chastisement” session.

Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz are charged with an open count of murder for allegedly beating their 7-year-old adopted daughter, Lydia Schatz, to death with a quarter-inch plumbing supply line in February. They are also charged with torture for allegedly beating their 11-year-old adopted daughter in the same manner, causing whip-like marks and internal injuries including kidney damage which required hospitalization.

The couple appeared in court Thursday morning for further arraignment and the setting of their trial date. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges. They have been in custody at the Butte County Jail on $2 million bail each. Last month, they waived their preliminary hearing. The trial is expected to begin Nov. 1 and last for three weeks. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said having three attorneys – one prosecutor and two defense attorneys – often lengthens a trial. He said it may also take a week just to select a fair and impartial jury. If convicted, both defendants face two life terms in state prison.

Defense attorneys Dennis Latimer of Chico (representing Elizabeth Schatz) and Michael Harvey of Oroville (representing Kevin Schatz) are reportedly continuing their investigation of the case. They have also not ruled out the possibility of trying to move the trial to another county where there has been less publicity.

Ramsey said it appears the couple was influenced by a book found in the Schatz’s home, written by a fundamentalist religious group based in Tennessee, called No Greater Joy Ministries. It was founded by Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearls and their organization encourage parents to use a “rod,” a quarter-inch plumbing supply line as a “chastisement” tool to train their children to be more obedient.

The Schatzes have six biological children. Both victims were adopted from an African orphanage along with an infant girl about three years ago. Ramsey said he plans to call the Schatz children as prosecution witnesses during the trial.

According to Ramsey, the autopsy result showed that Lydia died due to a rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injuries to her muscle tissue. The scientific name for the cause of death is Rhabdomyolyis. In Lydia’s case, it was reportedly caused by blunt force trauma. The destruction of muscle leads to the release of damaged muscle cells in the bloodstream, which can harm the kidneys and other vital organs. Ramsey explained that the breakdown of the kidneys can cause an increase in potassium, which is associated with cardiac arrhythmia – a change in the rhythm of the heart, leading to cardiac arrest.

According to authorities, Lydia’s death occurred after hours of discipline for reportedly mispronouncing a word during a home school reading lesson. Her 11-year-old sister had reportedly had a similar discipline session the previous day. Police and emergency personnel arrived at the Crestwood Drive home Feb. 6 after the wife called 9-1-1 to report that her 7-year-old daughter had stopped breathing. They found Lydia in full cardiac arrest.

In addition to murder and torture involving great bodily injury, the Schatz’s face a misdemeanor count of child abuse involving their 10-year-old biological son.

The trial readiness conference is scheduled for Oct. 21, followed by the trial assignment hearing on Oct. 28. The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

***

Terry Vau Dell contributed to this report.

The Schatz Story part 2

If you are not familiar with the Schatz Story or want more info, please look here.

News Stories

Note:  Many old news stories which have been removed by their papers can be found here and here.

Couple plead not guilty to killing their 7-year old daugher from the Paradise Post March 18, 2010 Summerized by Religion News Blog

Paradise couple plead not guilty to killing their 7 year old daughter KHSL TV Channel 12 March 19, 2010

Investigating: Why’s Behind Child Abuse KHSL’s News Investigation of Child Abuse video on TulipGirl’s Blog

Reactions

Lydia’s Birthday, Autopsy Released by TulipGirl

Pleading “Not Guilty” to Murder, Torture, Cruelty by TulipGirl

Michael & Debi Pearl, & Questions of Ministry Credentialing by Pastor Jack from New Covenant Living

A Community’s Agony Over the Schatzes by Pastor Matthew Raley from Tritone Life

Love Never Fails blog asks us to consider if Attachment Disorder could have had anything to do with Lydia Schatz’ death.

A warning for Canadian parents from Desperately Seeking Suzin:  Pearl’s teachings are against the law.

Earlier reactions here.

Reactions to the Schatz Tragedy

March 3, 2010 – Responses to Pearl’s Laughter:

Michael Pearl laughs at his critics, no apolgies for dead children from Barbara @ Mommy Life blog who also asks us to look at Cult characteristics and the Pearls.  Note: This blog has been removed so I am linking to it in the Internet Archives.

The Pearls: Sadly, it has come to this… from The Cappuccino Life Note: This blog has been removed so I am linking to it in the Internet Archives.

michael pearl’s response by Thatmom  Note: there are some very interesting comments in this one

I do not want to write this post from It’s Complicated

In response to the Defense of  Pearl:

In defense of the Pearls…some thoughts from Roscommon Acres A response to a blog defending Pearl

First Reactions:

Heartbroken. Angry. Again. By TulipGirl

This made me cry today… By Rebecca

Beauty for Ashes: in which I discuss the unthinkable Laurie M., who is a friend of the Schatz family, describes  her heartbreak  from what happened to her dear Lydia and her horror at  discovering the Pearls’ teachings.

Speaking Out

I Would Be Remiss… By Clara

Box Bashing by Karen Ehman

Parenting in the Name of God from Scita Scienda

To brainwash a parent From WORLDmag.com

On the death of Lydia Schatz, 8 from Happy As Kings

I am burning all books by the Pearls… and i encourage you to, too! by Sparrow’s Nest Academy Note: This blog has been removed so I am linking to it in the Internet Archives.

Tragedy in a homeschooling family by Rob Shearer, Director of the Francis Schaeffer Study Center

Why do you spank your child? by Miss Roxie

Cause of death from I Must Follow If I can…

And odd thankful Thursday from The Upward Call

Lydia Schatz from Joyful Breath

More Christians Speaking out against the Pearls’ Teachings By Katiekind

Tragic Death of Lydia Schatz From Rutledge6

Michael and Debi Pearls teaching linked to another child abuse death from Bene Diction Blogs On

Even a Child Can Recognize Injustice from Wanna Walk Along?  Things your grandmother should have told you.

Michael and Debi Pearl – sample wisdom by Barbara Curtis @ Mommy Life

3rd Anniversary of Hana’s Passing

Maureen remembers Hana Alemu “Williams” and gives us a small update in Remembering Hana: May 12, 2011.

I should also mention that Feb 6 was the 5th anniversary of the passing of Lydia Schatz and Feb 26 was the 9th anniversary of the passing of Sean Paddock. May they rest in peace.

Parenting in the Name of God E-Book

C.L. Dyck has graciously allowed me to host her free e-book. Her summary text is as follows:

Is the child-training method of homeschool business No Greater Joy Ministries a factor in child deaths? Sean Paddock (2006) and Lydia Schatz (2010) both died at the hands of parents who allegedly followed Michael Pearl’s child training method. But what influence, if any, might Pearl’s teachings have had on the parents’ thinking?

In the wake of intense online debate and controversy in 2010, this project undertook an in-depth review of No Greater Joy Ministries’ doctrinal ideas. It was assembled with the assistance of a 10-member review team who provided theological and editorial guidance for the project.

The e-book is 76 pages, and is available as a free download for the information of the Christian homeschooling community and other interested parties.

—-

Creative Commons License: Parenting in the Name of God by David J. Dyck and C.L. Dyck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

To download, please click here.

Anderson Cooper 360 Takes Another Look At The Pearls

Andersoon Cooper 360 has taken their old footage from the interview Gary Tuchman did with Pearls back in Oct 2011 and the stories they did about the death of Lydia Schatz and remixed it with new footage about Hana “Williams,” in this new episode of Godly Discipline. They then discuss the Pearls’ culpability or lack of it, in the deaths. You will find both parts of this show (in 2 videos) on this page. You will find the transcript here. The segment in question starts about 2/3 of the way down. The easiest way to find it would be to use the find feature and search for “To Train Up A Child.”

Note: Here is more information about the Find Feature.

In case anyone is wondering, I am not in favor of holding the Pearls legally accountable.  The parents are to blame for following man instead of God.  Yes, the Bible does say that teachers bear a greater responsibility and God’s judgement will be fair.  I do believe that the teachings are dangerous and do my best to convince parents not to follow them and bookstores not to sell them. However, I am not trying to get the book banned, nor to harm the Pearls in any way.

 

Unexpected Dangers: Crossfit and Lime Juice

Those who are familiar with this blog know that it is possible to spank a child until s/he is overcome by Rhabdomyolysis. This is exactly what killed Lydia Schatz and almost killed her sister, Zariah.  Well, it  has come to my attention that adults have been known to inflict themselves with Rhabdomyolysis by excessive exercise. *jaw dropping in shock*

This is not just an isolated incident, either. If you perform an internet search on the term, “Crossfit Rhabdomyolysis” you will find quite a few personal testimonies as well as news stories.  I find this very disturbing and something of which people need to be made aware.  Hopefully, this information will encourage those who are in such exercise programs to remember not to overdo it.

Speaking of unexpected danger, I also came across a warning about children getting horrible, blistering burns from the sun due to lime juice.

Debate with Pearl in The Christian Post

Back in March of 2012, Jan Heimlich debated Michael Pearl in a video which was featured in The Christian Post.  Although, I did mention the debate at the time as well as Samuel Martin’s Rebuttal to one of his statements, I never gave my own rebuttal.

I would like to respond to some of Mr. Pearl’s statements.  Rather than transcribe his comments myself, I will use the quotes given in the Christian Post article.

… In our book, To Train up a Child, we clearly point out that parents should not spank when it doesn’t work; they should not spank when they’re angry. We point out that they should spank five or ten licks, no more. And we point out that the spanking should be in accordance to the size of the child. We point out they should never leave marks.

I really don’t know where he says not to spank when it doesn’t work. I would appreciate some help with that.  All I can find is him saying that if you are consistent, it will work.  Here is an example from To Train Up A Child (TTUAC)

 Those who are MOSTLY consistent must use the switch too often. Those who are ALWAYS consistent come to almost never need the switch.

[Read more…]

Considering Adoption Reform

Whatcom Mom had an interesting comment which I would like to highlight.

I’m hoping the readers here will have some ideas about improving adoption home study practice, based on what we have learned from the deaths of Hana Williams and Lydia Schatz and injuries to their siblings.

So you know where I’m coming from. I’m an adoptive parent of now adult daughters, one adopted as an infant from a local nonprofit agency, the other as a toddler through state foster care. I’ve been active in pre-adoptive education and post-adoption support and have had plenty of occasion to reflect on issues that arise in transracial, special needs, and international and open adoptions. I have long been concerned about adoption agencies that place especially needy and difficult children with naïve, unprepared (and maybe overconfident) families and then fail to follow up with oversight and support.

I followed the Williams trial especially closely because the family lives in my area and because I know people who have worked for, and adopted from, the agency that placed Hana and her brother Immanuel. [Read more…]

Reflections on the Williams Trial

As I reflect with sorrow and horror at the tragedy which was the Williams Trial, I find myself trying to make sense of what happened and why.

What I see as the root problem is pride. The Bible says that God hates pride.  We know that “pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18).  I believe that very few people would argue with me when I say that Carri Williams had a problem with pride.  I heard her described as a person who had to be always right.  She was said to have perfect children.  People described her as intimidating because her children were so perfect.  I was told that when someone disagreed with her, they had a hard time confronting her because she had a reputation for a very cutting tongue.  So, when people had concerns about how she was raising her children, they just withdrew away from her and left her alone. What else could they do? She would not listen,  and she certainly would not accept help.

I’m not sure how and when she found To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. [Read more…]

It’s Not Just About Spanking Children, It’s About Breaking Children

Former Pearl follower Becky, from Created To Be His, shares a letter she wrote explaining her concerns with the Pearls and their teachings.  In this letter she also explains what these teachings have to do with the death of Lydia Schatz and includes quotes from the book.

Christianity Today Article on Corporal Punishment

Christianity Today Magazine has an article about Corporal Punishment in their January 2012 Issue which you might want to purchase.  When and if they post it online, I will post a link to it.  This article mentions Hana Alemu “Williams”,  Lydia Schatz and Sean Paddock and the influence of To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.  It then goes on to discuss the spanking controversy and Professor William Webb’s book, Corporal Punishment In The Bible.

There is a discussion of the article on the Gentle Christian Mothers forum which contains a small quote.

Update:  It has been posted here.

An Interview with Elizabeth Esther

BlogHer Network Interviews Elizabeth Esther about her appearance with Michael Pearl on Anderson Cooper’s daytime Talk Show today (Monday for Los Angeles Viewers).

Many bloggers are promoting this episode:

Elizabeth Esther Faces Michael Pearl On Anderson by Free By His Grace

Keeping Up with Michael Pearl: Interview on Anderson (Cooper’s) Talk Show TODAY (and Pearl’s appearance on Dr. Drew And AC360 and in the NYT….) by Under Much Grace.  (I am grateful for her kind words about this site).

Also, Under Much Grace shares about another Anderson 360 episode from CNN which aired on October 25 which I seem to have missed.  Anyway, the transcript she shares has things in it I had not seen, namely an update about the Willams.

Here is CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s Interview with Michael Pearl (Part II: August 2011)

and here is Michael Pearl’s Interview with Dr. Drew on CNN October 2011 both by Under Much Grace

Speaking of Under Much Grace, she has posted an index to her Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Michael Pearl and Lydia Schatz) series.

‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts Defend Michael Pearl’s Teachings.

An article in The Christian Post reports that ‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts, Rev.  Mike Fox and his wife, Trisha, have been using the Pearls’ teachings to raise their daughter and are scheduled to appear on CNN to defend Michael Pearl.

Because Christians did not stand up and condemn the dangerous teachings of the Pearls, they ended up in the public eye.  I had always had a policy of keeping them a secret from non-believers and focusing on Christians, but once the third child died, the proverbial cat was out of the bag.  I do not make a habit of linking what the non-believers say about Pearl since they do not make arguments which are relevant to Christians, however, when the Washington Post reports on the Pearls I figure that is of interest as it is part of mainstream news.  I see many more in smaller papers to which I do not link, but a simple Google search will find if you are interested.  Some search terms to use would be, “Pearl Controversial book” or “Lydia Schatz Pearl”

Update:  The ‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts have a new article on The Christian Post about their appearance on Anderson (aired Dec 2, 2011).  The comments on this article are very interesting.  I agree with many of the commenters that it is very unusual for a pro-spanker to quote someone from the Christian Domestic Discipline movement to give credibility to their arguments.

 

Why Blame The Pearls At All? – Part 2

Yesterday I looked at the question of what the Pearls’ teachings had to do with the death of Lydia Schatz. Today I will look at the deaths of Sean Paddock and Hana Williams.  Lydia died as a direct result of her parents  following the Pearls’ teachings, but that was not the case with Sean and Hana.

So, how does the death of Hana Williams relate to the Pearls’ teachings? It has been confirmed that her parents were following the Pearls’ teachings by someone who has emailed me anonymously. I have also seen a quote from an email list which then got posted (without permission as far as I can tell) on a message board. I then saw it in the comments here and here.  This person confirmed that the family were following the Pearls’ teachings as well.  S/he also gave some clues that I find interesting.

The Pearls do not teach that parents should leave their children outside all night.  The only real problem is that they teach that parents must always win, as I explained yesterday.  Of course, the Williams were way out of line in making Hana sleep outside without so much as a sleeping bag.  Why would they do that?  I can only speculate.  It is commonly reported that Hana had suffered a significant weight loss (I read 30 pounds somewhere).  The comments mention that she was refusing to eat and then stealing food.  That is a very odd accusation.  If you want your child to eat, why would they have to steal food from you?  How could they steal food from their own parents?  Isn’t all the food everyone’s?

Here is a quote from Michael Pearl’s Article, The Angry Child:

If he doesn’t like what is on the table and he is rude, send him away from the table and do not let him eat until the next meal. Do not feed him snacks between meals, and let him get good and hungry. He will then eat baby food spinach and love it.

Now, I can only speculate, I have no proof that is what they were doing. She could have had Anorexia or some other eating issue due to RAD which caused her to refuse to eat. (Edited to clarify: when I wrote this it was speculations before the trial. Now that the trial is over, I can clearly state that there is absolutely NO reason to suspect any kind of eating disorder or RAD whatsoever.)

But, IF they were withholding food to make her eat what they wanted her to and she was stealing food in the night, they would probably end up locking up the food.  If she were somehow managing to get it anyway, and IF it were true that she was peeing on the rug, it might make sense for someone who has been pushed over the edge to make her stay outside.

Another interesting and possibly pertinent quote is found on the No Greater Joy website and is from the article, Rodless Training

“There will be times when a spanking is appropriate. But you are prevented! Then use your power as the caretaker and dispenser of all privileges and responsibilities to make his actions totally counterproductive. If you can’t spank the flesh, starve it with an embargo. Stand your ground and do not let the little fellow find satisfaction in his pursuits. Stay on duty, demanding obedience until he surrenders his will to your persistence. If there is a way to deny him access to some means of indulgence that relates to the offense, then by all means as governor of the island on which he lives deny him normal privileges until he complies.”

So, this is what I’m seeing.  A family who was in way over their head, dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and trying to make the Pearls’ teachings work in a situation for which they were not designed.  My thoughts are that they lost control of reality.  They needed help and did not seek it.  It’s a real tragedy.  They probably didn’t think that it was cold enough outside to kill her.  But with her body weakened by lack of food, she succumbed. (Edited to add now that the trial is over: there is no reason to suspect RAD whatsoever.)

I do not know much about the death of Sean Paddock. All I know is that he was wrapped tightly in order to keep him in his bed and he suffocated. Again, the Pearls do not teach parents to do that. His mother might have been trying so hard to win that she did not consider the consequences of her actions, but I can’t really blame the Pearls’ teachings directly for his death.

So far, all 3 cases of children dying at the hands of followers of the Pearls’ methods have been adopted.  It is apparent that these teachings are particularly dangerous when applied on adopted children.   It is very important that the organizations which oversee adoptions are made aware of this connection.

Update: April 6, 2012

I have recently learned of the teachings of Nancy Campbell of, Above Rubies, regarding using international  adoptions as a way to “rescue” the heathen children and “evangelize” them.  I learned this in a public thread on  Gentle Christian Mothers (starting with post 9).  Of course, I can’t know for sure, but IF the Williams were influenced by this mindset, it would explain a lot.

Update: Sept 9, 2013

I have learned during the trial that everything was fine with Hana until about a year after the adoption when she went through puberty.  Apparently she got a drop of blood on the toilet seat according to some, yet Carri claims that she was smearing her pad on the walls.  At that time, they started describing her as “opositional” and “rebellious.” It would appear that Carri got unreasonably strict and/or she started standing up for herself. That was when things started going very bad. Witnesses claim that Carri said that she was expecting a little girl and they sent her a woman. Carri has also been described as a germophobe and Hana was a carrier of Hepatitis B which obviously scared Carri.

Please see my follow up post on the Williams Trial here.

Why Blame The Pearls At All?

 

Many people question why anyone could possibly blame the Pearls at all for the death of Lydia Schatz. I totally understand the question. No matter what the Pearls teach, they did not actually hit the child. And they insist that the Schatz family did not follow their instructions properly.  So, did they? Well, we can’t really know for sure. I would like to explain here how I  believe that the Schatz parents could have been following the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl to the letter and still killed Lydia Schatz.

First of all, let’s look at who Lydia Schatz was. This post explains her background. She was adopted from Liberia at the age of 4. She did not learn to obey at an early age, she learned to be stoic in an orphanage where showing weakness could be fatal. She might even have had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).  It is important to note that all the children who have died at the hands of parents who were following the Pearls’ teachings have been adopted.

Now, let’s look at the Pearls’ teachings.  Pearl teaches that the parent must be 100% consistent. Here is a rather long quote from the book, To Train Up A Child to show this teaching in context: [Read more…]