Hana and Pearl Are All Over The Internet

There has been a lot of attention being given lately to the Pearls and the part their book, To Train Up A Child, played in the death of Hana Aleumu “Williams.” So much attention in fact, that my blog could not handle the traffic generated by Google searches and was taken offline from the 19th until today as explained here. So, here is a rundown of the posts and articles I missed posting during that time.

It started with this article on Nov 15: Another couple found guilty of murder for parenting by “To Train Up a Child” by Alicia Bayer of the Mankato Attachment Parenting Examiner. [Read more…]

To Train Up A Child Being Pulled?

It looks like Amazon has decided to keep selling the controversial book, To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.  It is being offered as usual on both the USA site and the UK site.

However, Lulastic tells us that some other online retailers have decided to pull the book.  She also discusses her reasons for trying to get the book pulled and gives us some ideas for how to help.

I would like to remind people that this is not a campaign to ban a book.  The book will still be legal to sell.  Any book seller who wishes to is free to sell it.  The public is also free to boycott anyone who chooses to sell it and to put pressure on them to stop.  The book will always be available to buy directly from the publisher, No Greater Joy.  Because of this, I don’t see the point of equating asking Amazon to stop profiting from the sales of a dangerous parenting guide with book banning.

If you would like to sign the petition to Amazon.co.uk, here it is.

Update: here is the latest from @ADadCalledSpen.

Hana’s Story in Slate Magazine

Kathryn Joyce did a long and very thorough investigative report for Slate Magazine on Hana’s entire story.  Her article also looks at adoption reform.  I must warn you that if you are sensitive and/or easily triggered, please do not read this story. Here is what Maureen has to say about the same article.

The above mentioned article is perfect for sharing with any politicians or celebrities who might be willing to put pressure on Amazon.com to remove the book, To Train Up A Child.  If you can’t think of anyone, here is an idea from StopSpanking.org

Please ask Patty Murray to follow Parliamentary Member Nadine Dorrie’s example to demand that Amazon remove “To Train Up a Child” — a book that advocates child abuse and has contributed to the death of Hanna Elemu, murdered by adoptive parents Carri and Larry Williams right here in Skagit County!Call Senator Murray at (866) 481-9186 OR email her at: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Parliamentary Member Nadine Dorrie has agreed to contact Senator Murray to advise her to speak out on behalf of children and parents! Let Senator Murray know that Washingtonians are outraged by this book!

For a sample letter and more information on this issue:

http://fundrazr.com/stories/a5WAOa/tw/61fc72

I should also mention that while Amazon.ca.uk has removed the paperback version of To Train Up A Child, the Kindle version is still available. More info here in this edited and updated post from @ADadCalledSpen.

 

Mr. Pearl Responds To British Parliament’s Efforts to Stop Sales Of TTUAC

ITV News reports that Mr. Pearl is Delighted Over Calls to Ban His Parenting Book.

Mr Pearl told the radio station: “I was delighted to hear that Parliament might ban my book, if they do, I will immediately advertise it as ‘the book banned in the UK’ and…we will end up selling another 100,000 books directly to the UK.”

Now, to clarify, the book would only be banned on the Amazon.co.uk website. I have not heard anything about making it illegal to sell the book in the UK. However, if it is banned on a UK website, it is technically “banned in the UK,” at least in one small part of it. Therefore, he apparently does not feel that it would be misleading to promote the book at “banned in the UK.”

@ADadCalledSpen writes More On To Train Up A Child and has some questions. (Disclaimer: some language on that site)

How, can a book sell more if it’s banned from sale? How can you sell something that can’t be sold? That would be illegals[sic].

[Read more…]

British Parliament Wants Amazon to Stop Selling TTUAC

Nadine Dorries, a member of the British Parliament, is insisting that Amazon.co.uk stop selling Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child, according to an article by Jessica Elgot in the Huffington Post.

The story was then picked up by Parentdish who wrote quite a long article about the story as well as the book in question.

Also, there is a new petition on Change.com asking Amazon.co.uk to stop selling To Train Up A Child.   This petition is only about To Train Up A Child, unlike the old petition which asked Amazon to “refuse to carry books which advocate the physical abuse of children,” including, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

On top of that, @ADadCalledSpen has An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and All @Amazon About To Train Up A Child going around Twitter.

The Williams Trial – The Aftermath

Maureen has an update on the Williams, just to tie up loose ends.

Hana’s Fund

Maureen tells us about what the Ethiopian Community is working on in regards to Hana Alemu “Williams” in Hana’s Fund, Hana’s Grave Marker.

(By the way, can anyone tell me why my traffic has suddenly spiked in the last few days? Not that I mind, of course, I’m just curious.)

The Williams Trial: Day 30 – The Sentence

Tuesday October 29, 2013, the Williams were sentenced to prison for a very long time.  Carri has been sentenced for 37 years and Larry for almost 28 years.

Maureen was there and shares about it here.  You might also find this older post of interest, she wrote it the day before the sentencing.

Cindy Kunsman, of Under Much Grace, responds to Judge Cook’s comment, “I am at a complete loss as to why this happened,” in An Open Message to Judge Susan Cook About the Williams’ Sentencing: The Development of the Perfect Storm, in which she attempts to explain why.

After the sentencing, the Ethiopian Community Center had a graveside service for Hana.  (More about the graveside service.) They are working on getting a proper headstone for her grave.  So far, they have not been successful because the family owns the plot so they are considering making a memorial elsewhere. For more information on that, see the Facebook Group.

I should also mention that this might not be the last we hear of this story as there has been talk of an appeal.

Here are some news stories:

Skagit County couple receives long sentences in fatal abuse case on Kiro TV

Decades in prison for Skagit Co. pair who killed adopted girl on Komo News.

Williamses sentenced in adopted daughter’s death in the Skagit Valley Herald.
Decades in prison for Williams couple also in the Skagit Valley Herald and with more quotes

Skagit County couple sentenced to prison for adopted daughter’s death in the Seattle Times.

Couple given long sentences for death of adopted girl on King 5 News which includes video from the sentencing. In this video we see a family friend speaking on the Williams’ behalf calling them “two of the truest and purest people on this earth.”  I find that statement so flabbergasting that I don’t even know how to respond to it.

Religious Handbook Parents Carri and Larry Williams Given 65 Years for Killing Ethiopian Daughter in the UK Paper, the International Business Times.

Larry Williams’ Lawyers Still Trying

According to recent news stories, Larry Williams’ Lawyers are trying to get him a new trial and/or  a short sentence.  The sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald which discusses them requesting a new trial. (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Here is the story on Kiro TV which discusses them asking for a sentence of only 5 years (with 2 years credit for time served) because he had no idea what his wife was doing while he was away at work.

Also, Carri’s lawyers want her Manslaughter conviction dropped, since she was charged for the more serious crime, according to this story in the Skagit Valley Herald.  (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Not To Worry, Carri Williams Is Being Kept Safe

In case anyone was worried about how Carri Williams is faring in jail, the Skagit Valley Herald reports that she is being kept safe in one of the Work Release pods.  This was an upgrade from the Solitary Confinement cell she was in before, as they are not healthy to use  for long term use.  It’s nice to know that they are doing their best to be as humane as possible while she is paying the price for accidentally torturing her daughter to death.  Maybe she will start to understand the concept of grace, (unmerited favor.)

Meanwhile, Larry has been in custody for 2 years and the article does not mention what protective measures they have been using to keep him alive, but one must assume that they are in place.

Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29.

Samuel Martin Explains About Biblical Times

Samuel Martin is trying to help people understand the difference in how people thought in Biblical times and now because this is crucial to understanding the Bible.

He discusses Michael’s book, To Train Up A Child in Should we preach? publish?, or proclaim the Gospel – Yes? No? Maybe?

He also has a post on Dara Stoltzfus’ blog about Gender Space in Biblical Times which I believe you will find interesting.

 

Analyzing A Problematic Post by Pearl

Sarah at Field of Vision has started a small series of posts looking at the Pearl’s teachings and specifically their attitude towards children.  This series focuses on one particular article by Michael Pearl called, Emotional Manipulators.

Part 1: Parenting and the Power of Perspective in which she discusses how Michael Pearl assigns negative intent to a 4 year old child and her mother.

Part 2: Michael Pearl and Responding to Attention Seekers in which she discusses Michael Pearl’s diagnosis of the child and his very harsh proposed remedy.

She may post more of this series in the future, in which case I will add them to this post.

How Could They?

Under Much Grace looks at how parents find themselves falling into abusive teachings in A Film that Helps Us Understand Why Pearl Becomes Appealing: How do parents get caught up in extreme practices?

Also of interest, she reflects on the Williams Trial in Homeschooling, Hana Williams and the “Rod of Man.”

 

The Williams Trial – Update

The Skagit Valley Herald has an article (Subscriber Content) which states that Prosecutors have dropped the charge of  Homicide By Abuse against Larry Williams.  Those who were following the trial may remember that the jury was deadlocked on that charge and were unable to return a verdict for it.  The charge was officially dropped on Sept 23.

Sentencing was originally scheduled for Oct 8, but it has been postponed until Oct 29 at 9:30 AM.

Mareen also writes about this, here.

The Seattle Times also has an article here.

How Many Churches Allow and Even Encourage Abuse

Valerie Tarico looks at the problem of  Christian discipline leading to abuse in “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse in Salon Magazine.  I am seeing non-believers getting more and more concerned with this issue and rightly so.  It breaks my heart that abusive Christians are giving Christianity a bad name.  Of course, it is only natural that they are trying to find a way to stop the abuse.  My only concern with that is that their definition of abuse often includes teaching children that they are sinners in need of salvation, which is the heart of the Gospel.

Because of that article, Pastor Doug Bursch (who was raised in a grace-filled, loving home) discussed the problem with M. Dolon Hickmon on his Christian Talk Radio show, Live from Seattle 820AM.  This conversation is extremely interesting as well as important.  Dolon explains how important it is for Christians to recognize abuse.  Not only do churches fail to notice abuse, they often inadvertently encourage it.  He explains how each person listening to a sermon about spanking has a different definition for the words being used.  Both abused children and their parents assume that the word, “spanking” means exactly what they are currently doing and are being validated that they should continue, even if the pastor preaching means nothing of the sort.  Raising awareness is very important and he has a lot of hope that the book he wrote will go a long way towards that.  You can get information about his book here.  ****Warning!  Book very triggering for survivors of abuse****

 

Turning Loving Parents Into Monsters Since 1994

Forgedimagination explains exactly how the Pearls’ teachings turn  loving parents into monsters in Raised To Be A Monster.

To Break Down A Child – Stories Of Life Under Pearl’s Teachings

Last Week, I mentioned that Homeschoolers Anonymous was collecting stories and testimonies from those who were affected by Pearl’s teachings.   Well, their “Pearl-Style Discipline Week” is over, so I thought I would link to their collection of tragic stories.  This series is not for the sensitive and/or easily triggered. 

I especially want to highlight ExPearlSwine’s testimony in which a former Pearl follower  explains how she followed Pearl’s teachings to the letter  and exactly how and why those teachings are dangerous.

The Pearls’ defenders will say, “Oh, they took it to an extreme and should have known better.” If anyone knows better than to keep inflicting more severe discipline on an intractable child, they can only apply that knowledge by scuttling the Pearls’ sadistic teaching and being more reasonable.

 

Debi Pearl Thinks It’s A Lie

And also important, a book was found inside, a book that appeared to light the fuse to the deadly brutality. The book is called "To Train Up a Child."

“And also important, a book was found inside, a book that appeared to light the fuse to the deadly brutality. The book is called ‘To Train Up a Child.'”

Poor Debi Pearl, she is so confused.  It is so very sad.  She considers our warnings against her and her husband’s teachings to be a lie, akin to the lies Hitler told.   She states in this article that  the parents who killed their children never read their books and that they were not found in their homes.  How can she really believe that when the official documents (*trigger warning*) say that they did find their books*?   Not only that, but many friends of the families have confirmed to me that they were avid Pearl followers who not only recommended their books but even gave them away.  I have explained our problems and concerns with their teachings over and over again and can only assume that they are so sure that they are lies that they don’t even read them.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.

*The link above marked trigger warning is the sheriff’s affidavit of what was found in the Williams house.  The CNN report says that the book To Train Up A Child (shown in my featured image) was found in the Schatz house.

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…]

The Williams Trial – Next Up: Sentencing

Maureen tells us that sentencing will be Oct 8.  She got that information from the Skagit Valley Herald.

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…]

Williams Trial – Day 29: The Verdict

Monday, September 9, 2013 the jury returned the verdict. Carri Williams was found guilty of homicide by abuse and
first-degree assault of a child. Larry Williams was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child. There was no verdict on homicide by abuse charge for Larry.  The jury was unable to agree and/or the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.  Sentencing  is up to the judge and I heard that it would be in mid-October.

Here is the story in the Seattle Times.

Certainly, there will be many articles written on this story. In an effort to get this breaking news to you right away, I will post this now and add in a few links to the best articles as I find them.

Here is Maureen’s report.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the preliminary story in the Skagit Valley Herald, and here is the complete story.

Here is the story on Komo News.  In this story I found out that Larry’s Defense plans to file an appeal.

Here is the story in the US edition of The Guardian which appears to be an overseas paper.

Here is Janet Heimlich’s report of the story on her blog, Religious Child Maltreatment.

The Wartburg Watch Revisits The Pearls’ Teachings

The Wartburg Watch, takes another look at the Pearls’ teachings and The Senseless Death of Hana Williams.  They link to all their previous posts and explain their problems with the teachings.

Also, Maureen has a post about Hana’s Legacy.

The Williams Trial – Day 28: Jury Deliberation Issues

I totally did not expect any more drama in this trial until the verdict was reached but I was wrong.  One of the jurors disclosed that his wife works for the Prosecutor’s office during Jury Selection and both attorneys were fine with it then and accepted him.  Today, he was asked to be Presiding Juror and he declined, saying that it made him uncomfortable.  Then the Defense decided that they no longer wanted him on the jury and he was asked to leave. A new juror has been selected from the alternates and the 2.5 hours they had deliberated is now lost, as they need to start all over with the new juror.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald. The jury then asked to hear the 911 call and interview again.

Here is the story on King 5.

Maureen explains how to follow the trial in real time on Twitter.

At 4:30 PDT, the jurors were sent home for the weekend.

The Williams Trial – Day 27: Closing Arguments End, Jury Deliberation Starts

Thursday, September 5, 2013, saw Carri Williams defense team giving closing arguments and the Prosecution’s rebuttal.  Then the jury was sent out for deliberation and the No Contact Order for Larry, Carri and their 2 adult sons was lifted.

According to a tweet by Gina Cole, Dependency court will decide on dissolution of or limits on no-contact orders with the minor biological children.  I hope that means that there is no risk of them gaining access to Immanuel.  Here is her article in the Skagit Valley Herald about the Closing Arguments by Carri’s Public Defender.  As always, all stories have potential triggers and are not for the sensitive.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is the story on KiroTV in which they interview our own Maureen.

Here is a quick update from Maureen who promised more later.  And here is the promised follow up post which goes into great detail.

I would also like to thank Cindy at Under Much Grace for her kind words. All the glory to God.  I am grateful that He has chosen to use me in this small way.  I also thank Maureen for her kind words.  I am very thankful for her excellent reporting and am more than happy to promote it as the best source of information on this trial.

 

The Williams Trial – Day 26: Closing Arguments Start

Today, Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013 the Prosecutor and Defense for Larry Williams gave their closing arguments.  As always, anything to do with this trial has a serious *trigger warning* and the closing arguments are no exception.  In fact, I can’t stress enough how disturbing this whole thing is.  I am having a hard time figuring out how to summarize without triggers.  All I can say is that the jury was told how the charges work and given instructions on their options of what they can determine. By factoring in different degrees of the charges, they have over a dozen options.  The closing arguments are a summary of what was shown and what each attorney wants the jury to decide.  One of the Prosecutor’s remarks was that they wanted to kill Hana’s spirit and her pride.  Very, very true.

Here is an article about the Prosecutor’s closing arguments in the Skagit Valley Herald.

And here is a more in depth article in the Skagit Valley Herald which covers the whole day.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is Maurine’s report on the instructions to the jury and closing remarks by the Prosecutor.  Here is a quote from it:

Mr. Weyrich discussed the various experts who have commented on Hana’s age, noting that most put her at 15 years old, via teeth and bone analysis. (The jury needs to believe she was under 16 for the more serious charge of homicide by abuse to stand.)

And here is Maurine’s report on the closing arguments from the defense team of Larry Williams.  I will summarize it with this one quote:

Larry just didn’t know all that was going on, Ms. Forde said several times. “The evidence is overwhelming,” she said, that “Carri Williams designed, planned, and implemented” all that happened in their home.

And here is a quote which I find very interesting:

Why did this happen? Because Larry and Carri were unprepared, said Ms. Forde. They were both naive. They thought Hana and Immanuel would respond to the same disciplinary tactics that their other children had, and they didn’t foresee the mental health problems of older, internationally adopted children.

This ties in with what I suspected from the moment I found out that they were following Pearl’s teachings.  My only quibble is that the adopted children did not have mental health problems.  Quite the contrary.  It was the biological children who were raised to accept the abuse and had been mentally broken down with Stockholm Syndrome.  The adopted children were sane enough to recognize abuse and resist it.

Some Looks At The Williams

Cindy Kunsman, from Under Much Grace, looks at the Williams Trial and compares the Williams family with the Schatz family in
Awaiting the Verdicts in the Williams Trial: Another Michael Pearl/To Train Up A Child Associated Death.  She also gives a brief outline of Pearl and his teachings and a lamentation for the devastation they have caused both to Christian families as well as to the lost who observe and turn away in disgust.

Maureen looks at the homeschoolings aspect of the Williams in Homeschooling, Christians, Identity, and Isolation.  (Speaking of Maureen, I just added a (very triggering) link to the 2nd half of Carri’s testimony to last friday’s post.)

Williams Trial – Day 25: Testimony of Carri Williams (3rd Day)

Friday, August 30, 2013 was disturbing for me.  *Those easily triggered should stop reading now*.  Carri’s testimony was about Hana’s last night alive.

Carri Williams actually said that she  believes that Hana unintentionally killed herself.  I know that I am not the only one who is disturbed by this.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald.  It boggles my mind that Carri says that she couldn’t stand to watch Hana stumbling around, throwing herself to the ground so she turned away.  Apparently it never crossed her mind to go outside and bring her in by force.  Nor did it ever cross her mind to call paramedics, as she claims that she had done things like this before.  Bear in mind that none of the family had seen a doctor since 2009 and Hana died in 2011.

Here is the  story on King5 which contains some of Carri’s testimony.  Carri actually accused the prosecuting attorney of ripping her family  apart. She clearly does not accept any responsibility, let alone guilt, in the matter at all.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is Maureen’s detailed report.

Here is the 2nd part of Maureen’s report.

Carri was the last witness, Defense rests.  Court will rest for the long weekend and closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

As always, if I find more stories from this day, they will be added to this post.

Edited to add:  There is quite a bit of  video footage of Carri’s testimony mixed into this tribute video.

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 24: Testimony of Carri Williams (2nd Day)

Thursday August 30, 2013 saw yet another expert witness testifying that Hana had to be at around 15.  This time it was a radiologist who analyzed xrays of Hana’s bones, according to this article from King 5.

Then Carri Williams returned to the stand to be cross examined.  She testified that Larry never ordered her to stop spanking the children and that if he had, she would have stopped because she believes in “Biblical gender roles,” according to this article in the Skagit Valley Herald.

According to this article from KiroTV, she admitted to reading the controversial book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl but said, “That doesn’t mean I followed that book as the Bible. I got a couple ideas from it, is all.”   Upon reading that,  an acquaintance Carri Wiliams made the following statement in the Facebook Group, Remembrance of Hanna Williams:

LIES LIES LIES!!! She said she only used a few suggestions from the book. All lies!!! She had EVERY stinking Pearl book they had from No Greater Joy ministries. She followed it to a T!! She always bragged about it. She talked us all into reading this book. She is lying through her teeth!!!! I Guess what can I excpect? Just irritates me so bad that she is so big on telling the truth when she is so full of lies herself!! This made me shake in my boots and wanna scream to the rooftop that she is soooo lying!

Also in this story is discussion of the application they filled out when they applied to adopt Hana and Immanuel.  The Prosecuting Atty said that they did not put in the application that they spank, although Carri said that they did.  It was not found on the application.

Maureen has a very detailed report again for which I am very thankful.  It goes without saying that this is not for the faint of heart as pretty much nothing in this trial is.

They did not finish the cross examination before the day ended.