There’s More To This Than Meets The Eye

Perhaps you have heard of Rachel Dolezal, she has been in the media a lot lately. She recently resigned from her posistion as NAACP leader after her parents informed the media that she was white. I had a feeling that there was something behind this all that we didn’t know, so I was not very surprised to find out that her parents trained her using the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. Here is the article from Homeschoolers Anonymous:

THE MEDIA IS DOING EXACTLY WHAT RACHEL DOLEZAL’S ABUSIVE HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS WANT

Speaking of “more than meets the eye,” I have not been posting much and I missed sharing a blog post which discusses a study about the damange corporal punishment does to a child’s brain.

And while I’m sharing things which went out through my Facebook Feed, but not here, some of you might be interested in these Tips for getting toddlers to cooperate while shopping from Purple Puzzle Place.

He Makes Pearl’s Teachings Seem Gentle

R.L. Stollar has an in depth analysis of Voddie Baucham’s teachings in The Child As Viper: How Voddie Baucham’s Theology of Children Promotes Abuse.  In it, Voddie Baucham’s teachings are compared to Michael Pearl’s teachings with this conclusion:

Baucham’s system thus ends up being more authoritarian than Pearl’s, and that is caused by the fact that Baucham not only believes in original sin (as does Pearl), but also total depravity. How Baucham applies his belief in the latter (total depravity) makes Pearl’s child training system appear gentle and weak in comparison.

This is a very long examination of Voddie Baucham’s theology followed by 3 detailed critiques:

Critique #1: Baucham’s Theology of Children is Unbiblical
Critique #2: Baucham’s Theology of Children Encourages Contempt for Children
Critique #3: Baucham’s Theology of Children Promotes Abuse

While long, it is well worth reading all the way through to the conclusion.

The Risk of Unintended Sexual Abuse Through Spanking

Homeschoolers Anonymous is running a series called, “Hurts Me More Than You,” from which I came across this testimony about the very real and tragic risk of unintended sexual abuse through spanking. If there were no other arguments against spanking, this one would be enough.

Some time ago a pastor and some of his flock came to my facebook page to try to convince me of my “error.” We had a long conversation. By the end of the conversation it was just me and one other person who was shocked and disgusted when I finally brought up the topic of the sexual nature of spankings. I was told that my thinking was perverse and the conversation ended soon after. Here is an excerpt from the end of the conversation. The name has been removed out of respect for privacy.  Please click on the image to make it easier to read.
Convo

More About the Old Schoolhouse and Abuse

Homeschoolers Anonymous has a new article about Homeschool Leaders covering up sexual abuse. (*trigger warning*) They focus on Paul and Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, who I have mentioned before.  They are assisted in this story by Eric Novak who used to work for The Old Schoolhouse and was close to the family.

The reason I am interested in this piece is that Paul and Gena Suarez are staunch defenders of the Pearls. This article details some of their abuses and is not for the sensitive.

This piece also exposes that many respected homeschool leaders are aware of this situation yet chose to ignore it and continue to support and promote The Old Schoolhouse.  It is a very disturbing document, indeed.

For more info about this, please see these posts by Eric Novak
Why I Care about the Homeschool & Christian Community
An Open Letter to Heidi St. John
HSLDA & Heidi St. John Refuse to Support Victims of Abuse

The Truth About The Old Schoolhouse

I have warned people about the Old Schoolhouse before, telling them that its founders, Paul and Gena Suarez, promoted the Pearls’ teachings and defended them.  When I visit their Facebook page, I am always surprised to see that some of my friends like that page.  Maybe the fact that they support and defend the Pearls (while old news) is not well known.  

I have discovered that not only do they promote the Pearls, but they are now being accused of horrible abuse.  A family member had written about that, but has since removed the posts.

Update:  Homeschoolers Anonymous has an investigative report on this story here.

 

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.

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.

 

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…]