Reactions to the Duggar Scandal

My last post was about the tragic news story of Josh Duggar and his abuse of young girls. How should the Church react to something like this? Here are some thoughts on that as well as reactions and analysis.

Barefoot Betsy shares her reactions and opinions. A short quote to whet your appetite:

I believe that the Christian community needs to soundly condemn the adult Duggars’ response as well as the molestations themselves. This kind of chicanery should not be tolerated in the name of Christ. Yes, forgive, but don’t forget. There is no excuse for the adults sweeping this kind of incident under the rug. For years and years.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, explains what the church’s response to abuse should be.  I encourage you to read the whole article.  Here is a small quote:

We should also make clear to the whole congregation the steps we are taking to make sure that children and the vulnerable are safe in our churches from sexual abuse. Tell the congregation why you have background checks, why safeguards for parent pick-up in nursery or Sunday school are in place, and so forth. Moreover, tell the congregation what the leaders will do when there is an allegation of sexual abuse. Make it clear that sexual abusers will not be enabled in your church, and victims will not be blamed or shamed.

Also, Elizabeth Esther has a picture of an ATI counseling worksheet on her Facebook page. She says,

As many of you may know, the Duggars used teachings by Bill Gothard and ATI. Someone just sent me this ATI worksheet that was used for “counseling” victims of sexual abuse. Note the question “Why did God let it happen?” and the subsequent answers which blame the victim for “defrauding” the perpetrator (defrauding is fundy-speak for seducing/tempting a man) through “immodest dress, indecent exposure, being out of the protection of our parents and being with evil friends.” So, it’s the VICTIM’S fault for being sexually abused. Obviously this kind of “counseling” is egregiously WRONG (not to mention unprofessional) and, in fact, causes MORE damage by re-traumatizing the victim. Since the Duggar family used and promoted ATI materials, it’s conceivable that worksheets like these were used in the counseling (although, of course, I don’t know that for sure). Regardless, this kind of “counseling” material serves as an important insight into the kind of environment in which the abuse happened.

There is much more information about ATI style counseling in this article by Libby Anne.

Review of TTUAC on HeraldNet

Jenny Bardsley has a post on HeraldNet honoring Hana Alemu “Williams” and reviewing the Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child.

She speaks more about the book and homeschooling here.

She also discusses their teachings in her review of Elizabeth Esther‘s book.

Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on BBC Radio

Yesterday the BBC had Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on their radio talk show, World Have Your Say.  The segment about Michael Pearl and his teachings begins at 27:16.  They also have a few other guests discussing the teachings after Elizabeth Esther and Michael Pearl have their discussion/debate.

I am encouraged that Mr. Pearl has started back pedaling a bit and even said to stop hitting a 9 month old’s knuckles after 3 strikes with a spatula because it is clearly not working.  Of course, he qualifies it that the parent is not doing something right and must regroup and start over, but I am so thankful that he is starting to admit that it might not be working and that one should stop.   It would be great if he would admit that his method will not work for every child and even better if he would decide that there are better ways of getting the attention of a 9 month old than inflicting physical pain and that conditioning children is very unhealthy for them, but I must rejoice in any improvement.  When Elizabeth pointed out  that he was contradicting his book, he just brushed her off.   Hopefully, he will continue to promote guidelines of when things are not working and make sure that all his followers hear it.

Escaping Abuse

Kathryn Joyce has an article about young adults who were homeschooled by controlling, fundamentalist parents called, The Homeschool Apostates.

Cindy Kunsman shares about how she came to realize that she was involved in an abusive church in, When your Religious Leader Falls Off the Pedestal.

You also might be interested in Cindy’s post about Understanding the Cycle of Spiritually Abusive Groups.

Cindy’s series continues with After the Epiphany Moment: Making Sense of Your History in Light of Spiritual Abuse.

Pearl and Esther on Anderson – The Video

Finally the long awaited video of Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on Anderson:

Part 1 in which Michael Pearl is interviewed and Elizabeth Esther arrives and explains why his teachings are wrong.

Part 2 in which Michael Pearl explains more of his teachings and the audience responds.

Part 3 in which D.A. in the Schatz case, Mike Ramsey, explains why he believes Michael Pearl’s teachings are dangerous.

Part 4 in which Mike & Trisha Fox say that they use Pearl’s teachings, (but not the rod)  and the audience responses some more.

Note:  Ignore the first few seconds of the first video.  😉

Many thanks to VHSScott for uploading these.

Elizabeth Esther Explains the Popularity of TTUAC

Elizabeth Esther explains How “To Train Up A Child” Got So Popular in a video.

Meanwhile, Dulce de Leche considers Defiance and the Thought Police in a very important post.  Are you punishing your children for obeying but with a defiant attitude? Are you expecting them to obey right away with a convincing smile? If so, you are ordering them to pretend to feel something they don’t. You are ordering them to lie and be hypocrites. God does not have a problem with emotional outbursts, but He hates lying and hypocrisy. Dulce also warns,

The child is left with two options: lie convincingly or never question anything internally, not even to understand it better . . .  Over years of practice, both options are exceedingly dangerous. You wind up with a compulsive people pleaser who will lie convincingly without qualm or someone who believes everything and never thinks for himself.

 

The Dangerous Mindset

Elizabeth Esther explains the mindset which causes a lot of the damage in the Pearl’s teachings in If it feels good, it’s sinful.

Cindy at Under Much Grace reminds us, “Barring some other major news event that bumps the story, Michael Pearl is slated to appear on NBC’s Today Show sometime between 8 and 11 AM tomorrow, December 7th, to discuss the controversial child abuse deaths linked to his book, To Train Up a Child.”

Cindy also discusses the question, Pearl’s Parallels to the Milgram Study.

The Anderson Show has run in all areas of the country and I have yet to find more than clips of it.  The entire show is not much more than the clips, but it would be really nice to have it all in one place and in context.  If anyone recorded the show, please post it on YouTube and send me the link.  I will update this request when I have more info.

 

More about Elizabeth Esther and Michael Pearl

Elizabeth Esther continues to share about her visit on the Anderson Show with Sitting on the couch with Michael Pearl. In this post she shares one clip from the show and shares the rest in the previous post.  We are still hoping to find a video of the entire show which has not yet run in Los Angeles.  I heard that will run in the Los Angeles area Monday, Dec 5 at 4pm on Fox 11, which begs the question, when will the Monday episode run?

 

 

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.

Elizabeth Esther Shares About Pearl

Elizabeth Esther shares about her experience taping Anderson Cooper’s New Daytime Talk Show with Michael Pearl in My thoughts on @Anderson show airing tomorrow: speaking imperfectly is better than remaining silent #NoMoreDeadKids.

She also gives an important reminder:

The show airs on network television (not cable! not CNN!) tomorrow. To check local listings, go here and find out when it’s on in YOUR area.

updated: if you’re in Southern California, the show has been bumped to air on Monday due to Pac-12 coverage. But clips from the show will be available online at www.andersoncooper.com . Since I have to wait until Monday to watch the whole thing, I’ll be relying on all of you to email me/FB/tweet me your feedback. :)

Elizabeth Esther on Anderson

Elizabeth Esther will be appearing on Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show (on FOX) with Michael Pearl this Friday (Dec 2, 2011) and she writes about it here, My appearance on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show airs this Friday, Dec. 2nd #NoMoreDeadKids.  She includes a link to find out where and when you can watch it in your area. And here is a promo for the show.

Here is another recent post where she explains why many people follow Pearls’ teachings: Seductive promise of perfectly happy, obedient children feeds abuse.

Michael Pearl and Anderson Cooper

Michael will appear with Anderson Cooper on Friday Dec 2, 2011.  I assume that this will be the long awaited episode of which Elizabeth Esther spoke.

Meanwhile, Alexandra Ossola has made a petition asking the American Family Association to denounce the book To Train Up a Child as it advocates legitimized abuse.

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.

 

Reactions to Hana Williams story

Here are some reactions to the “Hana Williams” story from around the internet.  All of these links consider the link between To Train Up A Child and Hanna’s death.

Note: I just found out from a friend of her’s from Ethiopia that her real name is Hanna Beck. eta: word from Ethiopia is that her real name is Hana Alemu.

The Short Life of Hana Williams by chucklestravels

Did the Disturbing Philosophy of To Train Up a Child Lead to Hana Williams’ Death? by J. Bryan Lowder on Slate.com

Hana Grace Williams, 1997 – 2011 by Tulipgirl who makes a very good case as to how the Pearls’ emphasis on “defeating totally” a “rebellious” child had a lot to do with how the Williams managed to turn the Pearls’ teachings into an instrument of death.

Controversial book part of adopted girl’s murder investigation from Religion News Blog

Extreme Discipline Book Connected to Adoptees’ Deaths from Adoption Talk

Obviously, I’ve been away for awhile
by Down To Earth Woman

Another Dead Child: Hana Grace-Rose Williams, age 13. (Parents owned book “To Train Up a Child”) and Having flashbacks/Survivor’s Guilt by Elizabeth Esther

Rally has been archiving this entire story in his How Could You? Hall of Shame. This is a clear and concise timeline of sorts with many links. It also contains some details I had not heard elsewhere.

And here is a news story which, while old news, seems to contain a few details I hadn’t yet read.

Case file: Parents starved and beat girl, locked her out in the cold from KVAL.com

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.

Does God Want Us To Break Their Wills?

Elizabeth  Esther has  a post which discusses the idea that Even God Does Not Break Our Will.

Along the same lines, The Wartburg Watch has reposted a letter from Bob Dixon explaining Why He Finally Left Sovereign Grace Ministries After 30 years.

Spanking Infants???

Elizabeth Esther posted about the 20/20 exposé of abuse in some IBF churches and interprets Pastor Brian Fuller’s remarks.  She explains the teaching of first time obedience  and how common the spanking of infants really in these churches. By the way, some of the comments of this blog post seem to have inside information in them.

Also, I want to make it clear that  not all Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches have abusive teachings.  I am a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church which does not.  The pastor often reminds us that salvation is by faith in Jesus and what He did alone and you cannot add anything to that.  He reminds us that saying a prayer or baptism or anything else will not save you, you are saved by believing that what Jesus said and did is true.  They do believe in corporal punishment but I have never heard of anyone there spanking an infant or using an implement.  While they might say that they believe in wifely submission, what I see looks more like mutual submission.   I see no signs of the patriarchal movement, most of the women in that church wear pants.  They also cut and dye their hair and nobody says a word about it.  Women work outside the home and girls are expected to go to college.  On top of that, many in  the congregation uses public schools.  So, I don’t know how extensive the abuse in IFB churches is but I believe that churches need to be considered on a church by church basis.  After all, they are independent.

Why Do People Blame the Pearls?

This post by Elizabeth Esther was written in Feb of 2010 as a response to the Schatz Tragedy.  It is a great post for sharing as it contains a careful explanation of the Pearls’ teachings and how they relate to Lydia’s death as well as her own personal testimony. A link to this post can also be found on In Depth Analysis of Pearl’s Teachings.

total depravity theology

Elizabeth Esther looks at How the “I am a worm”/total depravity theology hurts children. She links this belief with abuse and makes some good points.