Pearl and his followers are insisting that the Schatzes were not following his teachings. I have been thinking about writing a post which would analyze this, but I think it is best to wait until after the trial for such speculation. Finding an impartial jury will be hard enough. Anyway, I link to plenty of arguments which explain it very well already.
We do need short responses to answer critics in our lives. Here is an example of a counter argument which I just posted in response to Chuck, who left a comment at Awful Library Books saying:
Below is the link to both the District Attorney’s comments and the official statement from No Greater Joy Ministries, Inc regarding the Schatz case which was issued within a couple of days of learning of Lydia Schatz’s death. http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/answers/response-to-schatz-case It is obvious to anyone who cares to examine the facts that it is the rejection of the parenting philosophy espoused by the Pearls and No Greater Joy Ministries, Inc that contributed to this tragedy. Subsequent statements by the District Attorney and media reports continue to point out the fact that what the Schatz’s did was in complete contradiction to what the Pearls and NGJ teach. Those that ignore this reality do so only to perpetuate the lies to sensationalize this tragedy.
Here is my response:
It is not obvious to me at all.
First of all, all the DA did was quote Pearl that one should not cross the line. That line is not defined anywhere in Pearl’s writings.
Secondly, that is not all of the DA’s comments. Here is a longer quote:
Thirdly, how does Pearl know that they were not following his advice? He was not there.
My question is, could the Schatzes have thought they were obeying the Pearls’ teachings? Could they have been calmly chastising her without knowing that they were actually breaking down her tissue?
Michael pearl teaches that his methods work on all children as long as you are 100% consistent. He also teaches that you must spank the child until her defiance turns into a submissive whimper. What if the submissive whimper never comes? Could this kill her? That is the real question.
Update Aug 18, 2011
Since the trial is over, I will work on giving a more precise answer. For now, consider this:
In the recent video on CNN Pearl insists 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.
Update Sept 5, 2011: Here is the the answer as promised.