Pearl’s reaction to the problems the Duggars have faced fits his M.O. perfectly. He continues to give the same advice that the Duggars were already following and insists that it works, in spite of it not working for them. I don’t doubt that in his mind, the fact that it didn’t work is proof that they did not follow it correctly. It appears that he cannot or will not consider the possibility that his methods don’t work.
Tulipgirl reminds us that it has been ten years since we lost Sean.
Coleen G. was nice enough to share her testimony here on my blog. I’m reposting it below so it won’t be missed.
I have seen the fruits of the Pearl’s methods in my own children and at another family that we know.
My friend tried to switch her toddler son until he was crying submissively and brokenly. She was horrified at how many times this needed to be done and each event required welting, bruises because he would not be broken until he no longer could stand the agony. She never switched like that again and never used their methods again. She had been following the techniques as described including the correct “tool”.
I too tried to follow their methods but I could not bring myself to hit that hard. I did not know of my friend’s sessions with her son at the time. That story came out to me years later. I have a temper problem and very strong willed children as well(I know now that is a blessing not a sin issue). While I tried very hard to not let my temper rule me it came out when I had to go through multiple sessions over many days about the same issues with the same child. Their “rebellion” was taken personally and fed my sinful anger problem. I was not seeing results with my young children they mostly just grew out of whatever development stage and corresponding behaviors that I had been taught vis the Pearl’s was disobedience.
God got a hold of me healing the sin-anger and showing me that my parenting methods were causing me to sin against my children even when I was not angry. The switch was chaotic and it took almost two years for relational healing. Yes I was/am a sinner who had a problem but the Pearl’s methods aggravated and intensified that sin issue compounding the damage I was doing. Yes I had the book, all the connected books. I had videos and the magazine subscription so I was well steeped in their methodology.
Having now stepped away from it all and truly studied both the bible and child development I can see that much of what they teach is toxic even for mild even tempered parent of equally tempered children. While bible-y in terminology it is not Christ-like and denies what is normal development as sin that must be punished out of a child for the convenience of the parents and the child’s future salvation.
I have lived with the fruit and it is a sour hellish thing fit only for those who like the Pharisees care more for control and rules than Love and sacrificial living towards the weaker.
Lisa has said very well what I have had neither the time nor energy to write so I am going to give her comments the exposure they deserve.
I read the article, also, and I was appalled. A prayer should not ever need excuses for why it sounds like a prayer for another human being’s death.
What if they had asked God to open their eyes and hearts and show them ‘if there is any hurtful way in them, and lead them in the everlasting way’? What if they had asked God if they had a log in their eyes that they needed to remove in order to see more clearly? What if they had asked God to bless these people?
When Jesus said to pray for our enemies, I think he meant to pray for their good and their welfare. I think that if someone attacks you, the very first thing you should do is examine whether there is any merit to their complaint. After that, humble oneself and depend on God.
I think that to compare any human beings to attacking dogs is a mistake. The Psalms may contain references like this but these are preshadowings of Christ’s affliction. We are not Christ, and we are now in the New Testament and Christ has taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who would despitefully use us. None of the apostles, nor Steven, prayed for the death of their enemies.
Finally, if I had ever written a book that led 1 other person (much less 3) to abuse their child to the point of killing them, I would be devastated beyond description. I would take that book off the market and burn every copy and repent on my face before God. Wouldn’t you?
It would appear that the Pearls are facing legal problems over the damages their teachings have caused. Vyckie Garrison reports on this in an article entitled, “Evangelical couple begs God to strike critics dead over child abuse claims.”
When I saw this article, was surprised. I feel that I know quite a bit about the Pearls and I know that they strive to be good Christians. I disagree with fundamental aspects of their teachings on child rearing to the point that I consider much of it dangerous. However, I do believe that they are sincerely trying to serve the Lord. So, I read the article right away, looking for what Debi Pearl really said.
She starts out describing a time when Mr. Pearl was brutally attacked by dogs while serving the Lord. She explains how this was really a satanic attack. She then likens it to this new legal attack. She decries her attackers which she explains are also led by the forces of darkness. She then tells of a time when the Lord delivered them by destroying their attacker. She did not say that someone died, but it is easy to come to that conclusion. She exhorts her followers and ends by asking for prayer, giving her followers a sample prayer. Here the excerpt in question:
…we ask that you step in and bring down the evil that is set against Michael Pearl’s family. Bring to an end all those that testify in lies and deceit.
Now, I can totally see where people would interpret that to mean that they are asking for people’s death, but I also suspect that they would be shocked and offended at that interpretation. I suspect that are asking for an end to the evil and that a change of heart would cause there to be no more people testifying against them. Of course, I can’t speak for them, but that is how I read their words.
Either way, the prayer is appalling. One of my commenters expressed why very well here.
In a recent post, I shared discussion of an addition to To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. There is an exerpt from the chapter on the No Greater Joy website. In this article, Michael Pearl refutes studies which have shown spanking children to be harmful and shares the results of some other studies which he claims show the opposite. Of course, there are flaws in his logic. Here is an example. He states:
Child psychologist Elizabeth Owens, scientist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study. She concluded, “If you look at the causally relevant evidence, it’s not scientifically defensible to say that spanking is always a horrible thing. I don’t think mild, occasional spankings in an otherwise supportive, loving family will do any long-term harm.”
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.
To download, please click here.
Maureen shares an update of the Barbour case, in which Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6-12 months for pleading no contest to the felony charge of endangering her 2 adopted Ethiopian children. What I find most surprising is that she will be allowed to go home and take care of her children for 40 hours per week. This is all explained in this article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Update: More about the Barbour case in this article: Franklin Park child abuse case draws protest, counter-protest.
She then goes on to tell us about Carri Williams and the 59 page appeal brief she has filed, which she has on her site for us to read. This is a lot to read, but I’ll try to summarize what I can understand. They argue that it was not proven that Hana was under 16 nor that Immanuel’s scars were caused by Carri, that the terms “torture” and “extreme indifference to human life” were unconstitutionally vague and that she was deprived of a necessary witness. They bring up the witness who claimed to be Hana’s uncle and testified to her age being 13 and then fled instead of returning to Ethiopia. It later came out that the State had paid him for his testimony. His testimony was stricken from the case, but the jury had heard it. They also show where the prosecuting atty gave opinions and was instructed by the judge to stop more than once. For these reasons, they believe that it should have been ruled a mistrial.
For more on the Williams case, please see my Hana Alemu “Williams” tag.
Maureen, at Light Of Day Stories, remembers the verdict one year ago today.
Maureen has a follow up to the Hana Story which I found interesting.
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.
If you do not want to read the whole book, you can see a preview on Google Reads. There is a search function for if you wish to find the part where the Pearls are mentioned.
On a side note, the review I linked above mentions Scientology. That reminds me of a very interesting video I saw lately in which the great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard exposes the family secrets about the beginning of Scientology.
Today the International Business Times featured an article about the pressure being put upon Amazon to stop selling the Pearls’ book, To Train Up A Child. This is a very good article except for a small confusion about the children who have been killed. Sean “Paddock” was killed in 2006, Lydia “Schatz” in 2010 and Hana “Williams” in 2011. For more information about what the Pearls’ teachings had to do with the death of Lydia, please see my post, Why Blame The Pearls At All and for more information about what the Pearls’ teachings had to do with the deaths of Sean and Hana, please see Why Blame The Pearls At All Part 2.
Michael Pearl says that his teachings are Biblical. Lee Woofenden does not agree and he explains why in his post, To Train Up A Child, or: Spare the Rod? What Rod? This is a long article and worth the read. He points out, among other things, that Mr. Pearl is actually teaching parents to condition their children which is not Biblical.