Pearl on NBC’s Today Show

Michael Pearl and The Spanking Controversy were featured on NBC’s The Today Show this morning.

If anyone is unable to see the video for whatever reason, this article is pretty much a transcript of the show.

Also see this article from NBC which contains most of the story as well as the video clip.

The Los Angeles Times also reports on this story.

 

Spare the Rod: The Heart of the Matter

Little Hearts Gentle Parenting Resources has a post explaining how we should interpret the 5 Rod verses in Proverbs in light of the New Testament: Spare The Rod: The Heart of the Matter.

Just A Sore Thumb was having similar thoughts when he wrote, Spared Rods.

Responses to Pearl on Anderson

I have yet to watch Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on Anderson other than a few clips.  I hope to someday find it online in its entirely at which time I will certainly link.  By the way, it will be airing in the Los Angeles Area on FOX 11 at 1pm.   Meanwhile, here are some responses from the Blogosphere.

Hannah of Emotional Abuse And Your Faith asks, Do we understand insensitivity?

Cindy of Under Much Grace answers the question, What is Biblical Chastisement?
as well as, Why is the Pearl Method So Insidious and Dangerous?

MamaPsalmist reacts in No More Dead Kids and its followup, And Another Thing.

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.

Pearl Rallies His Followers

I have heard about this letter from various sources and have decided to link to this one because she also includes her well written Amazon Review.

The Heart of the Matter

Rachel Miller, who blogs at A Daughter of The Reformation, discusses her concerns about the Pearls which go far being spanking or use of the rod and to The Heart Of The Matter.

Since the NY Times article about the Pearls, the story has gone all the way Down Under, as this story in The Sydney Morning Herald demonstrates.

Speaking of the NY Times article, here are the Letters To The Editor  about it.

Also, QuicksilverQueen  is still writing her detailed Book Review of To Train Up A Child and how it relates to the deaths.  In this review she freely shares how being raised by these teachings affected her and what she was really feeling when her parents thought that she was joyously submissive. She has reviewed the first 3 chapters.

The National Post Article on The Pearls

Samuel Martin has sent out the following request asking us to check out and respond to this article in the National Post.  He gives a different link to the same story, but my link has photos and lives links.

Dear friends,

Best wishes from Jerusalem.

I would like to ask all of my friends, especially those in Canada, to visit the link in the following article:

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/pastor+striking+advice/5700731/story.html

– read it and then write to the article author –

sboesveld@nationalpost.com

– if you agree that we need to give additional attention and information about the Biblical arguements against corporal punishment.

Her excellent article gives a great deal of attention to Mr. Pearl and his views. I think it appropriate that the same attention be given to alternate views based upon high levels of scholarship held by Christians like Prof. William Webb, Prof. Dawn Devries, Emeritus Prof. I. Howard Marshall, Dr. Randall Heskett and myself as well as Jewish scholars like Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe (of blessed memory)), Rabbi Moses Feinstein (of blessed memory) or others in addition to what was mentioned in the article.

If you agree with that, I would appreciate it if you’d drop the author a message.

Thanks so much.

Samuel Martin

P O Box 21543

Jerusalem 91214 Israel

Website: www.biblechild.com

Email: info@biblechild.com

Blog: www.samuelmartin.blogspot.com

The Pearls Remain In The News

Lisa Belkin of The Huffington Post asks, Can Adoption Lead to Child Abuse?

Elizabeth Esther explains why we should hold the Pearls accountable for their teachings in Are the Pearls to blame for child spanking deaths?

Clay Duda of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange takes a look at the history of corporeal punishment in Spanking at Home and in the Classroom, What’s Right and Wrong?

The story has gone international as this post in the Belfast Telegraph demonstrates.

In fact, the story is so big that even Psychology Today is writing about it.

Oh, and by the way, the NY Times Article and its spawns showed us the happy congregation and their happy children.  Read Dulce De Leche’s explanation of why they look so happy.

 

Discussing Pearl on “The View” and NY Times Story Spawns

ABC News has a story called Child’s Death Raises Questions About Biblical Disciplinary Teachings which includes testimony of someone who was raised under Pearls’ teachings and how it affected her under  a video of the discussion of Pearls’ teachings on the View.

The NY Times story has spawned many blog posts and articles. Most of them are just brief summaries so I will not bother to link, but a number of them are worth a look.

Amy Graff of the San Francisco Chronicle posts Godly spanking turned deadly: Is a Tennessee pastor to blame?

Lorraine Dusky posts on the First Mother forum, Adopted children killed by their parents as they “train” them .

Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. of Baby Center posts Deadly abuse inspired by preacher’s “training” manual?

Koa Beck of Mommyish posts Parents Demand Abusive Childrearing Book Be Pulled From Amazon.

Allison Summers of The Christian Post posts Texas Judge ‘Beating Video,’ Child Rearing Book Spur Debate on Discipline Versus Child Abuse
and to balance it out they also published Evangelical Preacher Defends Child Training Methods Reportedly Linked to Deaths by Luiza Oleszczuk.

Margaret Hartman of Jezebel posts Pastor Still Advocates Using ‘The Rod’ After Third Child Dies

C.L. Dyck of Scita Scienda gives her Thoughts on the New York Times and Mike Pearl.

David Usborne of the New Zealand Herald posts Focus on preacher after children die.

There is an interesting discussion on the NY Times article in the Snopes.com forum.  (If linking to this thread in anyway violates any forum rules, please message me at hermanalinda@whynottrainachild.com)

Tony W. Cartledge of Baptist Today News Journal posts Spare the hose?

The Week.com summarizes the debate using many of the previous links in To Train Up A Child: The book that’s leading parents to kill?

Yep, the news is really going mainstream and people are talking about it, which makes for some Intense Conversations as Leslie in Costa Rica discovered and posted about on her blog, Real Child Development.

 

New York Times on The Pearls

Erik Eckholm of The New York Times has written a well researched and carefully balanced article about the Pearls called Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate.  Unfortunately, in his effort to be balanced, he really didn’t warn against the Pearls’ teachings at all. The comments are many and one of them links to my site, for which I am grateful.

Testimony: Why Pearl’s Methods Are Dangerous

An anonymous writer explains how she used to follow Pearls teachings to the letter and exactly how and why they are dangerous in  Corpses Don’t Rebel: A former follower of Michael Pearl’s “To Train Up A Child” reacts to the death of Hana Williams.

Deb of The Wartburg Watch posts about exposing Pearl’s teachings as well as the Judge who was recently exposed for his child abuse 7 years ago in “Judge” Not Lest Ye Be Judged.

Note: I do not have much to say about the Hillary Adams case, as abuse is beyond the scope of this blog unless it is being justified as Biblical, (in other words, unless God is dragged into it.)  So far I have yet to see that in this case.

Christianity Today Looks at TTUAC

Rachel Stone of Christianity Today takes a close look at To Train Up A Child  in When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse.  I notice that she linked to my blog which I much appreciate.  She obviously read TTUAC with a critical eye and really “gets it.”

Professors and Scholars Speak Out Against Pearl

Megan Graham  of  The Daily Illini (Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Illinois) looks at To Train Up A Child and its influence as well as the issue of Free Speech in Parenting book missing childlike innocence.

Prof. William Webb (Author of the new book Corporal Punishment In The Bible) explains that The Pearls’ Teaching is “Gutter Theology.”

You might also be interested in these reviews of the above mentioned book.

More Thoughts About Hana Williams

C.L. Dyck of Scita Scienda shares her thoughts in Hana Grace Williams and the Myth of My Happiness.

Kathy Cassel of Cassel Crew explains her concerns with To Train Up A Child in (How Not) To Train Up a Child.  Note that she does believe in spanking but more as a last resort than as a first and/or only tool.

Professor Curtis Hutt of the University of Nebraska shares his view concerning the ongoing debate about violence against children on Samuel Martin’s Blog.

The Pearls’ Teachings are Not Biblical

Bible Scholar, Samuel Martin explains why he believes that Amazon should stop selling To Train Up A Child.  Please sign the petition, the link is in my sidebar.

And here are 2 posts about why the Pearls’ teachings are not Biblical:

Laura Ziesel shares an in depth study of Proverbs 22:6 in Train up a Child in Whose Way?

Samuel Martin shares a statement from Prof. William Webb responding to Hana’s death called, The Pearl’s Beatings Are Not Really Biblical which I am posting in its entirety below at his request.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Newsletter of the
“New Foundation for Biblical Research.”
A project of the Century One Foundation, Inc. (www.centuryone.org)
© Samuel Martin
Samuel Martin – Project Director – www.biblechild.com

October 2011

Religious scholars speaking out against the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl
Many of you may have by now heard about Hana-Grace Rose Williams, who died in May at the tender age of 13. See the details of her story here and how Michael and Debi Pearl’s book “To Train Up A Child” is yet again being implicated in this horrifying case. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016361753_hana30m.html
When I saw this, I postponed what I had planned to publish this month and I immediately started writing to a number of religious scholars that I know asking them to speak out on this outrageous, unacceptable and evil publication. Thankfully, my call has immediately been answered by Prof, William Webb of Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada. I know that I will be hearing from other religious scholars very soon and I will be sharing more testimonies and comments from them as I receive them. We need to hear these voices now.
Many of you know that I have strongly endorsed Prof. Webb’s book in this newsletter (July 2011 Newsletter). Today, I am herein once again not only endorsing this book, but I am asking you to support this book to ensure that it obtains the widest possible reading, attention and exposure. Rather than telling you what Prof. Webb told me, I am herein including a written communication from him that I received just this morning. The following is a direct quote from Prof. Webb and is used with his permission.
THE PEARL’S BEATINGS ARE NOT REALLY BIBLICAL
“Although they will tell you it is from the Bible, the Pearl’s version of child discipline is not really biblical.  Not in the truest sense.  Not in the deepest sense of what should shape biblical authority.  Not in a way that honors the Bible’s underlying redemptive spirit.  It is utterly heart breaking to watch “Christian materials” written by Michael and Debi Pearl become part of the murder investigations in three separate cases where so-called Christian parents allegedly abused their children in life-threatening and life-ending ways.  I am stunned and appalled by what I have seen on CNN, King5 News, etc.
Unfortunately, Christians often get stuck in their ability to apply the Bible in today’s world.  It is my hope that my recent book (Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts) will inspire hope and positive dialogue that helps the Christian community move towards something better for our children.  The book outlines how Marilyn (my wife) and I changed our minds about spanking.  Like the Pearls we were severely deluded in thinking that the rod was God’s way.  But over time we learned how to read and understand the Bible differently.  We also learned a truck-load of non-corporal methods of discipline which were far more weighty and effective than the Dobson version (2 smacks max) and certainly better than the abusive Pearl prescription (many beatings with the rod).  Like the slavery texts of Scripture, the answer is not simply in moving towards a better form of slavery.  That only captures part of Scripture’s redemptive spirit.  The Dobson approach is to be commended because they move away from the Pearl-type literalism.  But, that is not where biblical application should stop.  Like the slavery issue of past days, we need to move beyond a gentler, kinder form of slavery/corporal punishment.  Two smacks max is good but it does not reflect an ultimate ethical application of the Bible.  As with slavery, only abolitionism (of the rod) will permit Christians to fully embrace effective non-corporal methods and do the courageous, William Wilberforce action in this hour of time.  I pray that contemporary followers of Jesus might be known as those who want to live out the very highest ethical application of Scripture.  What the Pearls offer is nothing other than “gutter theology”; it is not really the Bible at all . . . well, not if we want to live out Scripture’s redemptive heartbeat.” Dr. William J. Webb is Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada. (Quotation from Prof. Webb ends here.)
Brethren, now is the time for all of us to take action to work to stop what is happening today to children at the hands of dear misguided parents/others who think they are doing God’s will.
First, I am asking you to take this newsletter and the exact comments of Prof. Webb and post them to your blogs, pass them to your networks, put them on your FACEBOOK pages and disseminate his above referenced quotation as far and as wide as you can. For more links, reviews and other information about Professor Webb and his book see: http://redemptivechristianity.com &   http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=2761. Please include these in your posts.
Second, I am asking you to please buy his book. Get your copy here – https://shop.ivpress.com/epages/IVP.storefront/en/addtobasket/0-8308-2761-7
Third, I am asking you to write positive reviews of this book in any forum that you come across including but not limited to Amazon, news sites and other book related sites and blogs.
Fourth, I am also you to join me in applauding and supporting InterVarsity Press (www.ivpress.com) for publishing such courageous and careful scholarship. They need to know that we are watching and supporting Christian publishers who stand up for what is right. Please join me in doing this by writing/emailing them or leaving comments on their site.
I would like to thank Prof. Webb for standing up and letting his voice be heard through this newsletter at this difficult time. His message is an important one. His work is really an inspiration for those of us who are looking for truth. I am reminded of a quotation from a giant of Biblical scholarship who was a friend of my late father and I think it is appropriate to reference it here. “…we must bear in mind that the cause of learning has often been promoted by scholars who are prepared to take a risk and expose their brain-waves to the pitiless criticisms of others” (F.F.Bruce, “Modern Studies on the Judean Scrolls,” CT, I (11):5).
Prof. Webb, thank you for your courage, risk taking, intellectual honesty and standing up and speaking out for the truths of the Holy Scripture. I look forward to supporting you and your work for many years to come.

Posted by Samuel Martin at 1:31 PM

 

A Closer Look At TTUAC and How It Relates To The Deaths of 3 Children

More bloggers are analyzing the connections between the Pearls’ book, To Train Up A Child and the deaths of 3 children who were being raised by the methods therein.

Free By His Grace tells the story of Hana “Williams” in heart wrenching detail and warns against the teachings of  TTUAC in Hana Williams: “Rebellion” or Reaction to Abuse?

QuicksilverQueen  has started a detailed Book Review of To Train Up A Child and how it relates to the deaths.  In this review she freely shares how being raised by these teachings affected her and what she was really feeling when her parents thought that she was joyously submissive.

Sadie Stein, writing for Jezebel, reports briefly on the Pearls and the deaths linked to their teachings in Another Child “Chastised” To Death.

Kathy Cassel of Cassel Crew explains her concerns with To Train Up A Child in (How Not) To Train Up a Child.  Note that she does believe in spanking but more as a last resort than as a first and/or only tool.

The Disturbing World of The Pearls in which she looks at Doublespeak and Definitions as well as some examples of his abusive teachings.
and The Disturbing World of The Pearls Part 2 in which she takes a look at their heretical Theology.

 

TTUAC linked to Hana Williams’ Death

Fox News has connected the dots and has implicated the book, To Train Up A Child in it’s coverage of Hana Grace’s Death in its article, Book advocating extreme discipline may be connected to deaths of adopted children. (eta: this link has been removed from the Fox News website so I am linking to the Internet Archives.  To see the article, please scroll down past the video which is attempting to load.)

I would like to correct one mistake in the article, Michael Pearl is not Amish.

Now to take on this quote:

In the book, Pearl explains how to use a plumbing tool to switch children starting at age one. Pearl advocates giving cold water baths when potty training, putting children outside in cold weather and having them miss meals, all examples of abuse investigators said Hana endured.

They don’t mention that parents are instructed to use a smaller and lighter switch on children under the age of one.(see question 9)

Now, someone is bound to insist that the rest of this quote is a lie.  Here are quotes from the book, To Train Up A Child which you can read online at http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/ttuacbook.html.

So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.

Now, there are some flavors or textures that we just have an aversion for. Allow each child one or two dislikes, just don’t let their preferences be too limited. If a child doesn’t like what is on the table, let him do without until the next meal. A little fasting is good training. If you get a child who is particularly finicky and only eats a limited diet, then feed him mainly what he doesn’t like until he likes it.

I have said before that the Williams took these teachings way further than Pearl ever intended with their adopted children. Notice that Pearl said that washing the child outside 3 times should be enough. The Williams made it into a lifestyle. Also, I have never seen Pearl mention making the child stand outside without proper clothing as a punishment. However, they did follow the teachings correctly with their biological children. If the investigations mentioned in this article should show that the biological children were being abused, this will have serious implications for the Pearls’ teachings.

The Williams are due back in court on Oct 6.

The Williams Arrested For The Death of Hana Grace

We have been following the story of Hana Grace Williams who was found dead outside her home last May.  The only reason this story is of interest to this blog is that the Williams were known to be following The Pearls’ teachings with their children before they adopted Hana and her brother in 2008.  Any link between this death and the Pearls’ Teachings is purely speculation and is covered in this post.  To reiterate and clarify, the Pearls’ teachings do not appear to be directly responsible for this death. Pearls’ teachings do not recommend the kind of abuse which is described in the following articles which I  will warn you now are tragic and very disturbing.

The parents, Larry and Carri Williams, have been arrested, charged with abuse leading to her to death ( as well as the abuse of her brother) and are being held on $500,000 bail. Here are links to news stories which report on this:

Couple arrested, charged with abusing child to death from Goskagit.com

Skagit County couple charged with death of adopted child from NWCN.com (which mentions To Train Up A Child and the plumbing line)

Murder charges for parents who left girl outside from The Seattle Times

Adoptive parents Carri and Larry Williams charged with Hana Williams’ death from Quipshots blog

I will remark that if you read the very disturbing sheriff’s report you will note that the Williams speak of rebellious behavior and when the child was clearly in distress they saw her as “pretending that she couldn’t stand or walk.”  The adversarial mindset which they learned from the Pearls is a dangerous one and while a tenuous link indeed, it is still of interest to myself and other readers of this blog.

I would also suggest that the abuse of Hana’s 10 yr old brother does sound very much like what the Pearls teach, except that I doubt that the Pearls would suggest one punish a child for urinary leakage when there is a known medical cause or for not hearing when he is deaf.  If you read that entire report  you will see many of the Pearls’ teachings referenced, however, even I will admit that they took these teachings were taken to extremes which the Pearls did not intend.

Edited to add:
Washington state couple charged in adopted daughter’s death from Fox WXIN

This article contains an interesting quote:

The investigation into the Williams family, including whether the biological children were abused, was continuing, she added, adding that the process can take months.

As far as I could tell, they were following the Pearls’ teachings pretty closely with the biological children so if they should determine that they were abused, this could have serious implications.

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…]

More about Hana Grace Williams

You may recall me posting about Hana Grace Williams earlier this month.  In that post I mentioned that I had heard murmurings on the internet that her parents were Pearl followers.  Well, someone has emailed me to confirm that rumor.  Well, confirm might be too strong a word for a fairly anonymous email, but I don’t see any reason not to believe her.

I don’t know what the Peals teachings have to do with this case, if anything.  Certainly the being consistent and never backing down are a concern, but I have never heard them teaching parents to make children sleep outside without a sleeping bag.  I know that they have teachings which include withholding food for certain offenses, like not eating what was served or not saying Please or Thank You.  That might explain her 30 pound weight loss, but so far we have no evidence.

Here is a News story about the Ethiopian Community’s response to this.

And here is a FB page dedicated to her as well as a FB group.

 

New Zealand Considers Censoring TTUAC

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.

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…

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.

 

 

New Site: “No Greater Joy?”

beatenwithplumbingline has just started a new blog called, No Greater Joy?   The first, and so far only, post shows how the Pearls’ teachings violate Matthew 18:2-6.  (Note, this site has since been deleted)  This post also states the purpose of the new blog which is.

…to warn parents, pastors, and law enforcement of the dangerous and abusive parenting methods of Michael and Debi Pearl, as presented by their webside “No Greater Joy” and espoused in their book To Train Up a Child.  

Another purpose of this website is to preserve the memory of the children who have died at the hands of parents who abused them using Michael and Debi Pearl’s methods.

The blog contains 2 links, one to a news article about the Schatz story and the other to a news article about the death of Hana Grace-Rose Williams. What does her death have to do with the Pearls’ teachings? Probably nothing, but it remains to be seen. I have heard murmurings on the internet that her parents were Pearl followers, but it is all officially hearsay at this point.

Here is another article about Hana Grace-Rose Williams which includes a News Video from KomoNews.com and here is an article from Fox News which mentions that the family homeschooled all their children.

 

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.  🙂

TTUAC and Child Abuse

Robin of Heart of Wisdom has a nice synopsis of the Dangers of the Pearls’ teachings in Pearl’s To Train Up A Child And Child Abuse. This is a good post for sharing as it contains the Action News Report as well as quotes from TTUAC and a lot of links for further study.

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.