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.

“To Train Up A Child” in New Zealand News

Eileen Joy and her petition have made the mainstream news in New Zealand after reaching 100,000 signatures.

Here is an article in the New Zealand Herald.

Here is an article from Auckland Now. (Sunday Star Times)

Here is an article from 3 News

There is also debate about this on Facebook.  I found a some on this pages:

The Children’s Bookshop

Here are some Op Ed pieces:

Shelley Bridgeman: ‘Child abuse’ book stays in the New Zealand Herald

ROSEMARY MCLEOD: Parenting wrongs can create a lasting, painful legacy in the Dominion Post

Update: I see in the following piece that the book has been submitted to the censor’s office.
Peter Calder: Classics that fail public taste test in the New Zealand Herald

Petition to Auckland Libraries

Eileen Joy has started a petition at Change.org asking the Auckland Public Library system to remove the newly aquired book, To Train Up A Child from their system.  The library claims that to remove it would be censorship, even though the book advocates for corporal punishment which is illegal in New Zealand.

Discussing the new chapter of TTUAC

The Gentle Christian Mothers are discussing NGJ’s New Addition to “To Train Up a Child.”  It seems that for their 21st anniversary edition, No Greater Joy has added a new chapter to the book which attempts to refute studies which showing spanking to be detrimental to children.  Of course, the moms at Gentle Christian Mothers have found a few flaws in his logic.

If you like this, you might also be interested in this list I complied of Selected posts from The Gentle Christian Mothers Forum.

Book Reviews of “13:24: A Story of Faith and Obsession”

Calulu has a book review of M. Dolon Hickmon’s book 13:24. ****Triggering book**** She  gives the book high marks for being a very enjoyable and gripping mystery story.  Although The Pearls and their book are not mentioned by name in this book, Calulu finds it clear that the story directly relates to his teachings.  She also shares a little about her own encounter with followers of Pearls’ teachings:

I’ve written many a time about my first encounter with Michael Pearl’s ‘To Train Up A Child’ upon joining my old church. My youngest was 4 years old and had been in and out of the hospital with spinal meningitis and idiopathic thrombotic purpura (a bleeding disorder) and she tended to cling to me all the time. People at the new church gave me Pearl’s book and I was told I must physically discipline Laura to make her stop clinging to me. Yes, I was told to beat a child with a rare bleeding disorder to stop her from what I knew was natural behavior in a child that had been in and out of the hospital. That type of cruelty is at the heart of ’13:24′.

 

Also, don’t miss this book review from WND.

*****Warning!  Book very triggering for survivors of abuse *****

World Mag Looks At the Pearls

Kiley Crossland of World Magazine takes a look at the Pearl’s teachings in To Train Up A Pharisee.

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.

Child Abuse in Germany

Jennifer Stahl has been explaining about child abuse going on in German churches on her Blog, Yeshua Hineni. In this post she writes about the Pearl’s book To Train Up A Child which, while not being sold, is available “under the table.”  She Translates and transcribes a video about the concerns one woman has for her brother’s children being raised by this method.

I would also like to mention that Jennifer has been reporting on a very serious abuse case called, The Twelve Tribes in Germany. She has put a lot of work into this, tirelessly translating and transcribing from German, for the English speaking world to read.

Here is what she has so far:  part 1part 2 part 3part 4part 5part 6, part 7part 8part 9,part 10,  part 11part 12, part 13part 14 and part 15.

 

The BBC Looks At The Pearls’ Training Book

Aiden Lewis of The BBC has a well researched article about the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl as well as the controversy which surrounds it.

Amazon Boycott

According to this tweet, Amazon has decided to not stop selling the controversial book, To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Because of that, the petition drive has escalated into a boycott until Amazon removes To Train Up A Child in all formats.

More information can be found at the Facebook group Online retailers – we urge you to stop selling To Train Up A Child and the Twitter Account @BoycottAmazon1.

Meanwhile there is also a new petition to the UK Government, asking them to make it illegal to sell the book in the UK.  Of course, this petition may only be signed by British citizens and UK residents.  You can find more petitions at the bottom of this post.

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.

 

Hana and Pearl Are All Over The Internet

There has been a lot of attention being given lately to the Pearls and the part their book, To Train Up A Child, played in the death of Hana Aleumu “Williams.” So much attention in fact, that my blog could not handle the traffic generated by Google searches and was taken offline from the 19th until today as explained here. So, here is a rundown of the posts and articles I missed posting during that time.

It started with this article on Nov 15: Another couple found guilty of murder for parenting by “To Train Up a Child” by Alicia Bayer of the Mankato Attachment Parenting Examiner. [Read more…]

To Train Up A Child Being Pulled?

It looks like Amazon has decided to keep selling the controversial book, To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.  It is being offered as usual on both the USA site and the UK site.

However, Lulastic tells us that some other online retailers have decided to pull the book.  She also discusses her reasons for trying to get the book pulled and gives us some ideas for how to help.

I would like to remind people that this is not a campaign to ban a book.  The book will still be legal to sell.  Any book seller who wishes to is free to sell it.  The public is also free to boycott anyone who chooses to sell it and to put pressure on them to stop.  The book will always be available to buy directly from the publisher, No Greater Joy.  Because of this, I don’t see the point of equating asking Amazon to stop profiting from the sales of a dangerous parenting guide with book banning.

If you would like to sign the petition to Amazon.co.uk, here it is.

Update: here is the latest from @ADadCalledSpen.

Mr. Pearl Responds To British Parliament’s Efforts to Stop Sales Of TTUAC

ITV News reports that Mr. Pearl is Delighted Over Calls to Ban His Parenting Book.

Mr Pearl told the radio station: “I was delighted to hear that Parliament might ban my book, if they do, I will immediately advertise it as ‘the book banned in the UK’ and…we will end up selling another 100,000 books directly to the UK.”

Now, to clarify, the book would only be banned on the Amazon.co.uk website. I have not heard anything about making it illegal to sell the book in the UK. However, if it is banned on a UK website, it is technically “banned in the UK,” at least in one small part of it. Therefore, he apparently does not feel that it would be misleading to promote the book at “banned in the UK.”

@ADadCalledSpen writes More On To Train Up A Child and has some questions. (Disclaimer: some language on that site)

How, can a book sell more if it’s banned from sale? How can you sell something that can’t be sold? That would be illegals[sic].

[Read more…]

British Parliament Wants Amazon to Stop Selling TTUAC

Nadine Dorries, a member of the British Parliament, is insisting that Amazon.co.uk stop selling Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child, according to an article by Jessica Elgot in the Huffington Post.

The story was then picked up by Parentdish who wrote quite a long article about the story as well as the book in question.

Also, there is a new petition on Change.com asking Amazon.co.uk to stop selling To Train Up A Child.   This petition is only about To Train Up A Child, unlike the old petition which asked Amazon to “refuse to carry books which advocate the physical abuse of children,” including, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

On top of that, @ADadCalledSpen has An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and All @Amazon About To Train Up A Child going around Twitter.

Analyzing A Problematic Post by Pearl

Sarah at Field of Vision has started a small series of posts looking at the Pearl’s teachings and specifically their attitude towards children.  This series focuses on one particular article by Michael Pearl called, Emotional Manipulators.

Part 1: Parenting and the Power of Perspective in which she discusses how Michael Pearl assigns negative intent to a 4 year old child and her mother.

Part 2: Michael Pearl and Responding to Attention Seekers in which she discusses Michael Pearl’s diagnosis of the child and his very harsh proposed remedy.

She may post more of this series in the future, in which case I will add them to this post.

Debate with Pearl in The Christian Post

Back in March of 2012, Jan Heimlich debated Michael Pearl in a video which was featured in The Christian Post.  Although, I did mention the debate at the time as well as Samuel Martin’s Rebuttal to one of his statements, I never gave my own rebuttal.

I would like to respond to some of Mr. Pearl’s statements.  Rather than transcribe his comments myself, I will use the quotes given in the Christian Post article.

… In our book, To Train up a Child, we clearly point out that parents should not spank when it doesn’t work; they should not spank when they’re angry. We point out that they should spank five or ten licks, no more. And we point out that the spanking should be in accordance to the size of the child. We point out they should never leave marks.

I really don’t know where he says not to spank when it doesn’t work. I would appreciate some help with that.  All I can find is him saying that if you are consistent, it will work.  Here is an example from To Train Up A Child (TTUAC)

 Those who are MOSTLY consistent must use the switch too often. Those who are ALWAYS consistent come to almost never need the switch.

[Read more…]

Reflections on the Williams Trial

As I reflect with sorrow and horror at the tragedy which was the Williams Trial, I find myself trying to make sense of what happened and why.

What I see as the root problem is pride. The Bible says that God hates pride.  We know that “pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18).  I believe that very few people would argue with me when I say that Carri Williams had a problem with pride.  I heard her described as a person who had to be always right.  She was said to have perfect children.  People described her as intimidating because her children were so perfect.  I was told that when someone disagreed with her, they had a hard time confronting her because she had a reputation for a very cutting tongue.  So, when people had concerns about how she was raising her children, they just withdrew away from her and left her alone. What else could they do? She would not listen,  and she certainly would not accept help.

I’m not sure how and when she found To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. [Read more…]

The Wartburg Watch Revisits The Pearls’ Teachings

The Wartburg Watch, takes another look at the Pearls’ teachings and The Senseless Death of Hana Williams.  They link to all their previous posts and explain their problems with the teachings.

Also, Maureen has a post about Hana’s Legacy.

Williams Trial – Day 21: Cousin’s Testimony Stricken

In case anyone has noticed the change in my numbering, I thought I should explain.  I started off numbering the first day of Jury Selection as Day 1 but since noticed that all the media was referring to the day of Opening Statements as Day 1.  This causes confusion and I decided to change to reflect the common numeration.  My URLs will continue to reflect my old numbering system to avoid a bunch of redirects.

Monday, August 26, 2013.  The morning started with the last witness for the Prosecution, a pediatrician who specializes on child abuse.  He testified that Hana was not just malnourished, but was starved and explained the cycle of abuse which typically leads to such a condition.  Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald (which is not for the easily triggered.)

After that witness, the jury was dismissed and motions were heard.  The  lawyers for Larry tried to dismiss the charges for various reasons.  One of the reasons was problems with Hana’s biological cousin.  The problems and concerns had enough merit that the judge decided to strike his testimony which basically means that it has been deleted.  The Skagit Valley Herald explains.  You can also find the story on KiroTV.

Maureen is back in the courtroom and provides us with much insight from Monday’s court session.  Of course, the faint of heart will read at their own risk.  I applaud Maureen for her dedication, her fortitude and her excellent writing.

Also, check out this piece in the Seattle Times which brings up the teachings of Michael Pearl in “To Train Up A Child.”

Williams Trial – Day 15: Testimony of Joseph Williams

Today, August 16, 2013,  Joseph Williams (16) took the stand.  He had a really hard time remembering things and got very emotional.  Testifying against their parents is so very hard for these children.   This is where I see a big difference between the Williams parents and the Schatz parents.  The Schatz parents accepted a plea bargain partly in order to spare their children from testifying, according to this article in the Chico Enterprise Record.  The other reason for accepting the plea bargain was to make sure that Mrs. Schatz served a shorter sentence.  The prosecutor believed that the jury would not have found Mrs. Schatz guilty of murder as she was clearly under her husband’s control.  However, in the article, it is clear that Mrs. Schatz is very remorseful. What a contrast with Mr. and Mrs. Williams!  I have seen no remorse from the Williams’, nor compassion for their children.  On top of that, they have different lawyers and do not quite appear to be on the same team.

Here is the story from Kiro TV.  Again, this is hard to watch and is not for the very sensitive.

Here is the story from the Skagit Valley Herald.   Heartbreaking.  The infractions for which the adopted children were punished is just unbelievable.  The idea of of a child in a family “stealing food” is just foreign to me.

Also, today was the first time a witness had been asked about the book, To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.  Joseph said that they had the book, but he had not read it.

Also, Judge Susan Cook has given up on any predictions for a end to the trial and told the jury to be prepared to be there through the 2nd week of September.

 

Williams Trial – Day 11: Testimony from Hana’s Biological Cousin

Today I would like to reflect on why we are following this trial.  It is because the Williams were Pearl Followers.  Their 7 biological children were all raised by the Pearl method and Carri was very happy and confident in this method being the best for everyone.  I know this from reading on the Remembrance of Hana Williams Facebook Group and from private messages from people who knew the Williams. I have been told that she would recommend To Train Up A Child, by Michael Pearl to everyone, even going so far as to give people the book.  Some have told me that they read the book and threw it away in disgust.   But they were intimidated by how confident she was and how perfect her children appeared and so most did nothing.  Someone did try to confront her about the abuse and was harshly scolded.

This is why this trial is so interesting to me.  When they adopted the children, they apparently expected them to also conform to the teachings and when they did not, they went WAY outside of what the Pearls teach.  I do not want to imply that they were following the Pearls’ teachings in regards to the adopted children.  The only thing they were following was the spirit of always winning, always being consistent and ever admitting defeat.  For more on that, please see my post, “Why Blame The Pearls At All?”.

I also read in the same Facebook group that the girls used to always dress like “Little House On The Prairie” but wore jeans to court when they testified.  This speaks volumes to me.  It took a lot of guts to defy their parents in that way.  They had to know that would upset and displease them.  Changing from a lifetime of all dresses to pants is a big step and can take years.  In a formal setting like court, they would not stand out for wearing dresses.  This makes me suspect that they have lost respect for their parents and their teachings.   Of course, it is also possible that the defense attorneys asked them to wear pants to show the court how normal they are and that they were not damaged by their upbringing.   I have no way of knowing, but I doubt that the Williams approved.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that a Forensic Dentist testified as to Hana’s likely age today and the best he could do was that she was somewhere between 13 and 18 years of age. He testified that she was probably at least 15 but would not be surprised if he were to find out that she was 13.  Hana’s biological cousin also testified today and I already know from his posts in the Facebook Group that she is 13.  If the jury believes the forensic dentist over the cousin, the Williams will be charged with Manslaughter By Domestic Violence instead of Homicide By Abuse.

Here is the story with video from KiroTV. They say that even if the jury were to throw out the charge of Homicide By Abuse, they could still spend decades in jail for manslaughter and assault.

Please note that Maureen has posted  part 2 of her case study.

Also, I added this article to yesterday’s post. It has some new information in it.  (This article is Subscriber Content and will add a cookie to your browser.  You are allowed to read 5 such articles in each 30 day period)

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 7: Testimony of Williams Daughter

Today, Monday, August 5, 2013, two of the Williams’ biological daughters testified according to the Skagit Valley Herald.  One of them testified that the biological children were punished the same way as the adopted children were and that she never saw marks on their bodies from the spankings.  The girls confirmed many of the details from prior witnesses testimonies.  Since these children were trained to always tell the truth and to obey adults, I tend to believe what they say.  Or at least, I believe that they believe everything they say…

The trial adjourned early so one of the jurors could go to the doctor according to the Skagit Valley Herald.

Here the article from KiroTV which has more (disturbing) information and video.  In this report, they mention To Train Up A Child.

Maureen can no longer attend the trial as she is on vacation.   I will miss her insights but I am happy that she is taking a well deserved break from this.

If you want up to the minute Tweets about the trial, you will want to follow Gina Cole of the Skagit Valley Herald.

Rejecting The Pearls

Calulu reflects on how and why she rejected the teachings of “To Train Up A Child,” in Parenting & the Super Religious.

Discussing Tim Challies’ Reviews

Recovering Grace promotes Tim Challies’ review of Created To Be His Help Meet. Also, someone brings up his review of To Train Up A Child in the comments and discussion of the Pearls ensues which might be of interest to my readers.

 

Challies reviews TTUAC

After his review of Created To Be His Help Meet a few days ago, Tim Challies has decided to review To Train Up A Child, which he does in 2 parts:

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 1 in which he looks at training versus discipline, and his concerns with Pearl’s training.

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 2 in which he looks at the innocent child, the redemptive rod, and gives his conclusion.

But They Look So Happy

Home Educating Family Magazine has published an opinion piece about the Duggars and the teachings they follow (Gothard, S. M. Davis and Pearl) called, They Smile, but Do They Laugh?

 

TTUAC Withdrawn by Publisher in Poland

Polish Anti-Spanking Community Książki nie do bicia left a comment on my Facebook page saying,

Hi! We would like to inform you that the publishing of a book “To train up a child” (and one more) has been withdrawn Poland (by the publisher).
There are some other books like that (Fugate, Dobson, Smalley, Barnes) in Poland, but we hope that they will be withdrawn too.
We hope that all this books will be withdrawn everywhere! 🙂

This story is from February 2012, but I had not heard about it so I very much appreciate them sharing the news with us. Here is the news story they linked for me and here is an English translation of it. Of course, the translation is done by computer program, so it is not perfect, but gives us the idea.

This is very good news!  The Polish Anti Spanking community has been working hard and have convinced a publisher to remove two books from circulation! ( the other book is Discipline Them, Love Them by Betty Chase.) I wish that could happen here, but To Train Up A Child in English is self-published by the Pearls.  We are trying to get as many book sellers as possible to stop selling it.  We have convinced quite a few and are still working on Amazon.com.

 

 

Is This Good Christian Parenting?

Ruvin, who blogs at By The Hui, has grave concerns about the Pearls’ teachings. She explains why in This is Christian Parenting?

 

A Look At The Spanking Controversy in Canada

The United Church Observer has published an article called, To Spank Or Not to Spank, by Sarah Boesveld about the spanking controversy in Canada.  While I am glad that the United Church of Canada has taken a public stand against spanking, I do not link to this as Christian arguments, but of interest as a news story.  Canadian Evangelical, C.L. Dyke of Scita Scienda, explains why in a comment  which I will reproduce here.

The greater context to this is that the UCC is a denomination which has thrown out orthodox (I use the word generically, not denominationally) Christian doctrine in favour of unbridled humanism. They actively disavow the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible–scripture is a text to be interpreted by today’s shifting social customs, and filtered for generic principles common to human decency, rather than a narrative deserving of the same respect and scholarly approach as any other ancient text.

The quote in the article about supporting the oppressed lines up to this:

–Support anti-spanking

–Support homosexual advocacy and lobbying

–Support abortion (hmm, an interesting clash of principle occurs here)

–Reject the deity of Jesus Christ and His calling upon humankind to repent of sin and accept personal, substitutionary salvation based on Christ’s atonement; eject pastors who preach it.

Meanwhile, Canadian law is already very pro-child.

In writ, it is illegal to spank under the age of 2 or over the age of 12; it is illegal to leave so much as a red mark; it is illegal to spank with an implement.

In practice, spanking of any kind has the potential to incur social services intervention.

As someone who is anti-Pearl and pro-attached/gentle parenting, but not anti-spanking across the board, I feel the scales are already sufficiently balanced against the principles of individual freedom in our country’s legal system.

While the compassion expressed for Hana Williams’ horrific death is only appropriate, the UCC’s word is pretty tainted to me as a Canadian evangelical. I’m not sure how we are to see the brokenness of humanity healed without Christ.

The UCC’s solution is moral relativism and socialism. Given the (for now) fringe push on the far left to accept pedophilia under the guise of “children’s sexual rights,” that approach doesn’t avail for me as a guarantor of children’s rights and safety in this life, all eternal considerations aside.