I’m sure many, if not most, of you remember the hoopla about the Michael Pearl Teaching Video and his copyright claim against Everything Is Terrible. Well, I just found a blog post which contains more background info on that story which I thought my readers would find interesting.
While I don’t like to link to sites like this, I really feel that this needs to be shown. I have come across a video (removed by NGJ by Copyright Claim) which was clearly designed to make Michael Pearl look bad. Someone managed to get a recording of the Q & A part of one of Michael Pearl’s teaching sessions which took place in The Church At Cane Creek and edited out everything Mr. Pearl might have said that made sense leaving small clips which appear to be the ravings of a mad man. I am sure that many will insist that the statements and actions in the video were taken out of context and put together in such a way as to make him look bad. I am therefore asking for volunteers to explain to me how these things were manipulated and what the true context really was. If they were jokes, they really do not seem to me jokes becoming for a man of God, especially the part where he grabs the “child” doll and smashes his face onto the desk a few times and chuckles. I could say the same for his apparent arrogance. Here are some other quotes I would like explained:
“If he screams too hard with the first 5… gets hysterical… Wait… You know, a little psychological terror sometime will affect even the pain.” Said while waiving a switch over the rag doll’s behind. He couldn’t possibly be advocating using psychological terror on your child, could he?
“Thumping them on the head? You’re worried about that??? [turns to wife] Give me another question.” I’m trying to figure out how this quote was used in a Biblical context and falling short. I’m sure that someone will have an answer for me.
“If your husband is an angry man, make love to him, make him happy.” This seems to be the advice given to a wife who asks how to deal with a husband who only disciplines in anger. It would seem that he is saying that his anger is his wife’s fault because she is not giving him enough sex. But I must be misunderstanding, because that does not sound Biblical to me.
[switching rag doll] “So I give them 5 more, so now get up” [makes doll sit, it’s showing a frown] “Still got a bad attitude” [whack whack whack] “Get up” [checks again, still frowning] “I’m going to say, ‘You’re still crying… I’m going to give you something to cry about.” This sounds like he’s saying to keep on switching the child until he stops crying. I’m sure he must say at some point when to stop switching because they are making it look like this could go on for a long time. And why would a man of God teach parents that they should punish a child until he pretends to be happy? For the child to force himself to smile and pretend to be happy means that the child must pretend be something he is not, the very definition of hypocrisy. Surely he is not advocating forcing a child to sin! Our Lord, Jesus Christ, reserved His harshest condemnation for hypocrites.
I am trying very hard not to judge unfairly. This video comes from a secular source and was clearly edited to cast Mr. Pearl in a negative light. My purpose here is to provide arguments to counter his teachings, not to slander him. This is clearly a hatchet job, I need to know what his arguments really are in order to counter them. For that reason I linked to the video (removed by NGJ by Copyright Claim) so that someone can explain this to me.
Update: The video which was linked above used to be on YouTube but was removed by NGJ for copyright infringement. I had linked to it on EverythingIsTerrible.com and they had it removed from there as well. I’m still waiting for them to answer my questions.
Update: The Mudracker has posted the video starting at 1:17 of his video, Michael Pearl Censors The Internet. The intro contains some language so if that bothers you, please feel free to skip to minute 1:17.
Update: More info about this here.
The New Zealand Internal Affairs Department’s Censorship Compliance Unit has confirmed that it is investigating To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl after a complaint was made according to an article on Stuff called, ‘Violent’ child training book off to censor. The article says that it has already been removed from Whitcoulls‘ online store but that other leading book sites are still selling it and that, “Censorship Compliance Unit manager Stephen OBrien said the book’s content would be investigated and, if it was found to be objectionable, it could be either banned, restricted or referred to the human rights or childrens commissioners. ”
Channel 3 News covers the story in Child abuse ‘instruction manual’ could be banned.
Update: Whitcoulls’ is still selling the Spanish Version of the book. *doh*
Here is a closer look at the debate regarding the possible banning.