Bill Gothard Resigns

Religion News Service reports that Bill Gothard has resigned from his position after being put on administrative leave following allegations of abuse.

 For background info about Bill Gothard, please see this post from Cindy, written a few days before his resignation.

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.

The Williams Trial: Day 30 – The Sentence

Tuesday October 29, 2013, the Williams were sentenced to prison for a very long time.  Carri has been sentenced for 37 years and Larry for almost 28 years.

Maureen was there and shares about it here.  You might also find this older post of interest, she wrote it the day before the sentencing.

Cindy Kunsman, of Under Much Grace, responds to Judge Cook’s comment, “I am at a complete loss as to why this happened,” in An Open Message to Judge Susan Cook About the Williams’ Sentencing: The Development of the Perfect Storm, in which she attempts to explain why.

After the sentencing, the Ethiopian Community Center had a graveside service for Hana.  (More about the graveside service.) They are working on getting a proper headstone for her grave.  So far, they have not been successful because the family owns the plot so they are considering making a memorial elsewhere. For more information on that, see the Facebook Group.

I should also mention that this might not be the last we hear of this story as there has been talk of an appeal.

Here are some news stories:

Skagit County couple receives long sentences in fatal abuse case on Kiro TV

Decades in prison for Skagit Co. pair who killed adopted girl on Komo News.

Williamses sentenced in adopted daughter’s death in the Skagit Valley Herald.
Decades in prison for Williams couple also in the Skagit Valley Herald and with more quotes

Skagit County couple sentenced to prison for adopted daughter’s death in the Seattle Times.

Couple given long sentences for death of adopted girl on King 5 News which includes video from the sentencing. In this video we see a family friend speaking on the Williams’ behalf calling them “two of the truest and purest people on this earth.”  I find that statement so flabbergasting that I don’t even know how to respond to it.

Religious Handbook Parents Carri and Larry Williams Given 65 Years for Killing Ethiopian Daughter in the UK Paper, the International Business Times.

How Could They?

Under Much Grace looks at how parents find themselves falling into abusive teachings in A Film that Helps Us Understand Why Pearl Becomes Appealing: How do parents get caught up in extreme practices?

Also of interest, she reflects on the Williams Trial in Homeschooling, Hana Williams and the “Rod of Man.”

 

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…]

Some Looks At The Williams

Cindy Kunsman, from Under Much Grace, looks at the Williams Trial and compares the Williams family with the Schatz family in
Awaiting the Verdicts in the Williams Trial: Another Michael Pearl/To Train Up A Child Associated Death.  She also gives a brief outline of Pearl and his teachings and a lamentation for the devastation they have caused both to Christian families as well as to the lost who observe and turn away in disgust.

Maureen looks at the homeschoolings aspect of the Williams in Homeschooling, Christians, Identity, and Isolation.  (Speaking of Maureen, I just added a (very triggering) link to the 2nd half of Carri’s testimony to last friday’s post.)

Williams Trial – Day (-3): Jury Selection

If you are following along at home, you will want to read Maureen’s Update on the Williamses’ Trial: July 23 in which she describes in impressive detail the narrowing down of the jury pool from over 160 to about 80.  I found this account quite interesting, especially as the potential jurors were asked to discuss how they feel about spanking, when it becomes abuse and their definition of torture.

There is also an article in the Skagit Valley Herald about today’s court session.  I will not be linking to this newspaper much in the near future since they only allow 5 views of their articles per 30 day period and I have already used up 3 of them.  Since Maureen does such a good job of reporting, I see no reason to pay for a subscription.  In the even that Maureen cannot attend, I will get information from other newspapers.

And, in case anyone is wondering why I am covering this, Cindy from Under Much Grace ties it together.

Voddie Baucham and The Sin of Shyness

Did Voddie Baucham really say that a shy child who refuses to obey a parent and say hello to him is sinning? Cindy of Under Much Grace provides the evidence (in the form of a transcribed audio clip) so that you can decide for yourself.

Is It Wrong To Speak Out Against Other Christians?

Cindy of Under Much Grace has posted a sermon by E.L. Bynum called, “IS IT RIGHT: To Judge, To Expose Error, and To Call Names?” I am so glad she did because I, too, have been told that it is wrong of me to speak out against other Christians. When I gently explain that I am only exposing false teachings, they generally have no response. In this sermon, Brother Bynum explains that:

I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment
II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers
III. It Is Right To Name Names

Also check out her  post about Considering the Biblical Model of Examining Behavior to Identify a Spiritual Abuser .

I would also like to share Paul Proctor’s essay about whether we are required to apply Matthew 18 before exposing false teachers.

Another Abusive School on CNN

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

 

Christian child abuse: more works-based carnality

Churchmouse has posted an extensively researched look at Spiritual and Physical Abuse in Christian child abuse: more works-based carnality.  This is a long piece and well worth the time it will take to read it.

Does the Bible Tell Us To Bruise Our Children?

Cindy of Under Much Grace looks at Proverbs 20:30, “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly” and explores What Jesus Said About the “Blueness of the Wound.”

And on a totally unrelated note, I liked what Bob Bixby said about teachers being held accountable for their teachings and not being able to hide behind Matthew 18 when someone speaks out against their teachings.  As far as I know, Michael Pearl has never mentioned Matthew 18 in this context, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone were to read what James MacDonald said and apply it to him.

More from Under Much Grace

I would like to draw your attention to some more interesting posts from Under Much Grace.

What It’s Like to Experience Only the Right Side of the Brain in the Way that Children Do (A Neuroscientist Experiences a Stroke on the Left, Analytical Side of the Brain) which debunks the Pearls’ claim that very young children exercise their diabolical wills to dominate their parents.

More from Janet Heimlich on Problematic and Abusive Corporal Punishment within Evangelical Christianity which debunks the common belief that spanking is non-optional for Christians.

And speaking of the science of children’s brains, you might be interested in How Stress Affects Your Child’s Brain.

The Science Behind Happy And Compliant Children

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains the scientific evidence that shows the damage done to children who suffer harsh punishment from a young age.  Parents who follow Pearls’ advice to punish toddlers for age appropriate behaviors may end up with seemingly happy and compliant children, but at what price?

Understanding Brainwashing and How Children Are Primed for Victimization

Cindy of Under Much Grace takes informative and very technical looks at abusive behavior, analyzing both the victims and the abusers.

She has a new series about brainwashing.  I want to make special note of part 7  in which she ties the information to the Pearls’ teachings. Here is a short summary which she wrote for me:

I think of it in terms of developmental milestones and such, and most all learning is experiential for a child for the first 36 months and is primarily all on the right side of the brain, entirely self-centered and oriented toward felt sense.

Children under the age of two only make Delta waves on EEG, the same brainwave that an adult makes while they sleep. From two to six, they make only theta waves which is what an adult generates just before falling asleep, basically. The plotting that Pearl talks about is a fast brainwave that doesn’t manifest in a child until they approach age twelve.

I would also like to draw your attention to the posts after part X which are about how the mindset of many families prime children for victimization.

Now, on the the entire series:

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part I

A Sychophant for a Sociopath Does Damage Control: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part II

Another Example of Transformed Memory in Response to Psychological Stress and Interpersonal Pressure in a POW Camp: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part III

Lifton on Reaffirming the Myth and How Adults and Children Respond: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part IV

Steven Martin on the Heresy of Mind Control in Christian Churches: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part V

Steven Martin on the Role of Denial in the Altering of Memory: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VI

Altered States of Consciousness Resulting from Trauma and Environmental Factors and Brainwave States Associated with Childhood Growth and Development: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VII

Post Traumatic Stress as a Physical Process and the Inadequacies of Some Types of Biblical Counseling: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VIII

Additional Factors Contributing to Doctrine Over Person Pressures at Hephzibah House: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part IX of X (Summary and Review)

The Effects of Trauma and Abuse at Hephzibah House: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part X of X

She follows up this series with a related series about Understanding the Role of Childhood Emotional Development in Spiritual Abuse.

 

Bill Gothard and His Definition of Grace

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains more about Bill Gothard and his erroneous definition of grace in Merging Justification and Sanctification: More About Gothard’s Thanksgiving Letter and Concerns About Grace

Another Abusive Church

Cindy of Under Much Grace reports on a Lutheran church in La Habra, California which reportedly had a man assigned to the task of disciplining teenaged boys with a metal rod. This is the first time I have heard of a church  Taking The Rod Verses Literally.  Well, maybe not exactly literally, as the rod was too small and made of the wrong substance, but more literal than most.  I suppose they perceive that they are being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. I wonder if they also stone adulteresses and blasphemers. I think that they need to focus more on the message of the New Testament.

Biblical Chastisement and Hermeneutics

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains More on Biblical Chastisement and ‘Paideia‘: Hermeneutics Effects Everything.

 

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.

 

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.

The Nicest People

What kind of people start (or join) cults? What is their motivation? Do they do it on purpose or by accident? Do they have any idea that they are involved with a cult? If these questions interest you, you will want to read this post by Cindy of Under Much Grace Hank Hanegraaff and the “Nicest People You Could Ever Hope to Meet” (Understanding Unbalanced and Cultic Christianity and Those Attracted to It) .

Along the same line, Cindy also has a new post discussing Vision Forum.

Meanwhile, I have added the transcript and more info to yesterday’s post.

About Cults

The Amish are in the news again and this time not for helping to inspire Michael Pearl’s teachings.  I have mentioned before how susceptible people can be to following false teachers and cult leaders.  Well, now we find an Amish cult leader.  Updated info here.

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains more about how people fall into cult thinking in The Counter-Cult Bias Against the Anti-Cult Perspective: Hank Hanegraaff’s Re-Victimization of Teen Mania Protestors and All Those Who Overcome Spiritual Abuse.

In case you were wondering, Hank Hanegraaff was reacting to a documentary on MSNBC on Nov 6, 2011 about Cult Exit and Cult Recovery.

Speaking of cults, here is another exposure of abuse in the name of God.  When will it end?  *sigh*

 

Hephzibah House on CNN

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

The Schatz Story Going Mainstream

Brad Hirschfield posts in The Washington Post about the Schatz story and To Train Up A Child in a piece called, Beating children in the name of God.  He exhorts us Christians, saying:

Tragically, this is going on, it must be stopped, and it is precisely those of us for whom the Bible is a sacred and life-centering text that must take the lead in stopping it.

As is always the case, it is those closest to a tradition that should bear the greatest responsibility for it when it is being abused. We cannot simply distance ourselves from “those crazy people”, because “those crazy people” are using the same books we hold dear to commit atrocities, so who better than those who turn to (some of) the same books, to take on the responsibility of addressing the abuses committed in their name?

Amen

Jo Ashline of The Orange County Register also reports on the Pearls’ teachings and the recent controversy in Couple Claims God Wants us to Beat our Children.

I would like to respond to this quote:

During the CNN interview, Mr. and Mrs. Pearl also maintain their innocence in the beating death of Lydia and assure viewers that their training method does not promote anger or abuse, but rather a calm, methodical and effective method of spanking a child into submission.

What the Pearls and their followers fail to understand is that Lydia refused to or was unable to submit and they calmly and methodically spanked her for 7 hours until her tissues broke down.  You know how hitting meat makes it tender, right?  Well, if living flesh is hit long enough, even calmly and methodically, it gets tenderized.  The tissues break down and tiny particles of muscle tissue block the kidneys causing rhabdomyolosis. Please check that link for a more detailed explanation from Under Much Grace.  Rhabdomyolosis was the official cause of her death, by the way.

By the way, I have updated my Quotes from TTUAC page with some quotes from the NGJ website because the quotes were so disturbing to me that I thought they needed to be shared.  It is taking a lot of self control to keep myself from ranting and raving about the quotes, so I’m just going to let the quotes speak for themselves.

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.

Pondering the Pearls’ Teachings – Part 10

Under Much Grace has published part 10 of her series Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices:

The Schatz Family is Not Unique: Why People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz) Part X

In this post she focuses on Philip Greven’s book, Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse.

Please be aware that this post is not for the faint of heart and might be triggering.

Pondering the Pearls’ Teachings – Part 9

Under Much Grace has published part 9 of her series Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices:

Using the Milgram Study to Understand How Pearl Becomes Appealing: Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz) Part IX

Ernest Willis Found Guilty

Under Much Grace shares the verdict in the Ernest Willis/Tina Anderson case as well as a summary of the  case and some explaination of the teachings which are infused therein.

Also, here is a  News Story in the Daily Sentinel about the testimonies in the Tina Anderson rape case.

And there is a follow up news story here.

An Update on the Ernest Willis / Tina Anderson Case

Under Much Grace has posted an in depth explanation of the Ernest Willis / Tina Anderson Case.