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.

 

Delaware Bans Spanking?

Delaware’s new anti-abuse law prohibits causing pain to children. Does this effectively ban spanking? Here are a few articles on the subject:

Does a new law in Delaware ban spanking? on CNN’s The Situation Room.

Spanking Ban in Delaware? First State to Pass Law Expanding Child Abuse Definition Sparks Debate on Yahoo’s Shine.

It looks like the bill is not intended to ban spanking, but the language is vague enough that it could be used to. I will be keeping my eye on this story.

Another Abusive School on CNN

Under Much Grace shares the transcripts and video of CNN’s report on Pinehaven Home for Troubled Teens in a 3 part series which starts here.

 

CNN Story on Christian Talk Radio

Jeri, the Owner of Gentle Christian Mothers, just sent me an interesting link.  This is a Talk Radio Show about the CNN coverage of the Schatz Story from Aug 18, 2011.  The half hour show is called, Issues Etc. and the host is Told Wilken.  After playing the audio of the CNN show, he accepts calls and emails from his listeners to discuss the question, “Is Spanking Required in the Bible?”.  His conclusion seems to be that it is not mandated but neither it is prohibited.   The key to him is discipline.

And in the latest news about the Pearls, they just released a new book.  I see that Amazon is not at all concerned about the Petition.

Michael Pearl Quote Selected as QOD on CNN’s Belief Blog

CNN’s Belief Blog chose a quote from Michael Pearl as Quote of The Day for today, Thursday Feb 23, 2012.

Quote of the Day:

It is something that is rooted in the nature of every human being. We see it across the animal kingdom all animals discipline their young they have to if the animals are going to survive. So it stands to reason that if it is wise, good and according to nature, God is going to agree with it because he’s pretty smart too.

A new controversial book titled Train Up A Child, tells parents to spank their children using wooden spoons, spatulas and even plumbing tools. Michael Pearl talks with a reporter from WVNSTV about what he says is the importance of this type of punishment.

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.

AC360 Continues to look at Ungodly Discipline

On Friday Nov 25, Anderson Cooper continued his look at Ungodly Discipline. Here is the video and here is the transcript.

Also, here is more about Spanking in Christian Schools aired on Dec 1, 2011.

‘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.

 

Where Did Pearl Say This?

In this interview in the National Post, Pearl is quoted as saying:

But, I have said many times, when a spanking is not working, stop doing it. There are times when children become so emotionally torn that they have ceased all cognitive activity. Spanking is then counterproductive.

Frankly, I don’t recall him every saying that.  If he has published this sentiment, I would like to know where because this quote needs much exposure.  His followers need to be aware that he says this because this could really make a difference in the life of some children and maybe even save a life.  Although, it is still rather vague, it is a step in the right direction.

Edited to add:  Apparently Pearl was referring to this article where he said

You should not spank beyond your fellowship with the child. If you feel that your spanking is excessive, it is because it is not working. If it is not working to produce happy, creative kids, then you are missing one of the other elements we discussed. You have probably forgotten how to relax and enjoy your children. Or perhaps you have failed to train. The bottom line is that if other things are equal, and you give a child a spanking every time he needs it, the time will soon come when he will not need to be spanked so often, and eventually not at all.

More doublespeak.  In the next breath he accuses them of failing to train properly and promises that if you are consistent things will get better.  He have seen him accuse people of deliberately misunderstanding his meaning, but I really feel that he is vague and expecting people to make mental leaps which not all people are able to make.

Also, if anyone knows where he got these statistics which he quotes, I’d be interested.  Was it from the research study or somewhere else?

Research has shown that the properly trained, nurtured and spanked child scores higher on all positive measures both as a child and as an adult. Spanking as part — a small part — of a comprehensive nurturing process instills self control and disciplined in a child, rendering him more emotionally stable and balanced as an adult. Every child was spanked up until Dr. Spock. Now only about 75% are spanked with no malice aforethought, and another 20% are occasionally spanked or hit by angry out of control parents that profess not to believe in it…

In his interview on AC360 Mr. Pearl mentioned the same research on spanking and Anderson Cooper delves deeper into that in another segment.  Before linking I want to warn you that it opens with the very upsetting video of Judge William Adams beating his daughter.  After that it recaps prior interviews with Michael Pearl and then moves on to Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson talking to Anderson Cooper about the science behind physically disciplining children. In The Science of Spanking, Anderson Cooper asks Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson what they think of the Pearl method and it should come as no surprise that they did not find it healthy in any way, shape or form.

The only problem with this interview is that they make a big point of discussing how spanking in anger is even more damaging.  This will probably cause Pearl and most of his followers to argue that spanking without anger will cause no damage at all.  They are so very wrong.  But then of course, Pearl and his followers tend to discount science except for when it supports their beliefs so it’s probably a moot point.

Responses to Michael Pearl’s Defense on CNN

Here are some responses to Michael Pearl’s Interview on CNN‘s A360.

Michael Pearl Defends Book By Using Pragmatism by GraceGirl at Free By His Grace

Christian doctrine doesn’t condone abuse by Emilie Eaton at StatePress.com

And here are some responses to the Williams case:

The Digital Journal looks at the Pearls and the spanking controversy in The debate continues on ‘spanking’ children in the name of God.

Meanwhile,  Christian Book Shop Talk warns about To Train Up A Child in, Selling This Title Could Lead to Huge Legal Costs.

Michael Pearl Interviewed on CNN

Michael Pearl was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on this videoHere is the transcript, it’s about half way down.  His double speak is very obvious here.

In case that link ever is removed, Chucklestravels has posted it http://chucklestravels.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/showdown-on-cnn-anderson-cooper-interviews-michael-pearl-transcript/

Hana “Williams” Story on CNN

Gary Tuchman of CNN covers the case of Hana Alemu (legally Hana Williams as she was adopted by Larry and Carri Williams) on A360 in Ungodly Discipline. They plan to look closer at the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.

The next day they featured an interview with Michael Pearl.   Here is the transcript. The part in question is about half way down.

Also  on CNN, Dr. Drew interviews Michael Pearl about his book, To Train Up A Child, in an episode called, Preaching discipline that can kill?  This video seems to be just an excerpt.  If I find the entire show, I will replace the link.

More Unexpected Effects of Spanking

The Scientific Universalist reacts to CNN’s Ungodly Discipline series and shares her testimony of how “Biblical chastisement” affected her view of God.

Meanwhile, Lisa, of Broken Daughters, shares how “Biblical chastisement” led to her self-destructive behavior in a heart breaking and difficult to read post.

Hephzibah House on CNN

Under Much Grace reports all about CNN’s coverage of Hephzibah House complete with video and links to the transcript.  She highlights outtakes from the transcripts on her blog.

Spiritual Spanking

Clinton Verley at Midly Insightful takes a closer look at the sermon by Pastor Roger Voegtlin which was featured  in the CNN segment on the Pearls.

Responses to the CNN Story

Elizabeth Esther follows up on the CNN coverage of the Pearls’ teachings by explaining how these teachings lead to the sickness of  Cognitive Dissonance which is what “happens when a teacher, pastor or person in authority advocates abusive methods while simultaneously recusing themselves from the actual, direct results of that abuse.”

She also reminds us that Even God Does Not Break Our Wills.

Wanna Walk Along says that  There are No Pearls of Wisdom in the Pearls’ Book on Child Rearing.

Libby Anne explains exactly why she blames the Pearls’ teachings and illustrates it with her own testimony of how these teachings almost killed her brother in Michael Pearl on CNN.  Check out the quotes from TTUAC from in the comments.

Created To Be His shared similar thoughts in CNN Investigates Pearls.

Abigail, from Reflections from Beit-Shalom, posts her warning For all the Living Lydias and Seans & Their Parents…

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.

More Investigation from CNN

CNN continues its investigative report of abuse among fundamental Christians and how it relates to the Pearls’ teachings.  Jocelyn Zichterman, who was raised in this culture and started Freedomfromabuse.net, explains the concept of Breaking The Will and how spankings must continue until the child submits even if it takes several hours. This video seems to cut suddenly, I’m wondering if this series will continue.

Transcript of Pearl on CNN including Cut Scenes

Under Much Grace features not only the CNN video about the Pearls but a link to the transcript on the CNN site.  As the transcript contains some cut scenes, she highlights those in her post.  For anyone who wants to read just the part of the transcript which contains the Pearl/Schatz story, use CTRL F (on a Windows computer) to search the page for the word, “Paradise.”

Elizabeth Esther also posted about the CNN video and got many interesting comments.

Former Pearl Follower, Becky from Created To Be His, also shared the videos and explained why she does not believe that the Schatzes lost control.

CNN Exposes the Pearls’ Teachings

CNN  has done an exposeé on the Pearls’ teachings and has implicated them in the death of Lydia Schatz. This series features a close look at the Lydia Schatz case,an interview with Michael and Debi Pearl as well as an interview with D.A. Mike Ramsey who says that he blames the Pearl’s teachings for Lydia’s death.

Here is Part 1.

Here is Part 2.

Here is Part 3

You can find transcripts here including cut scenes.

They did not really explain why the Pearls’ teachings are implicated because they did not explain what these teachings are.  This goes far beyond a simple spanking debate.  I link to many articles which explain this and have been meaning to put it all together in one post.  I thought I had done it here, but upon taking another look at it, I see that I was waiting until after the  trial to flesh it out.  I’ll put that on my to do list.  Meanwhile, please look at my categories for The Pearls’ Teachings above and the sub categories, especially Counter Arguments.  If you have time, check out posts which dig deeper into the Pearls’ teachings with in depth analysis. I hope that you will also find my tags helpful for narrowing down the information you seek.

Note, here are some quotes from To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl, the book which started the controversy.

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.

And then a Plea Deal Reached in Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz Murder Case.

They were sentenced to prison.

All mentions of the Schatz story can be found under my Schatz tag.