CNN Exposes the Pearls’ Teachings

CNN  has done an exposeé on the Pearls’ teachings and has implicated them in the death of Lydia Schatz. This series features a close look at the Lydia Schatz case,an interview with Michael and Debi Pearl as well as an interview with D.A. Mike Ramsey who says that he blames the Pearl’s teachings for Lydia’s death.

Here is Part 1.

Here is Part 2.

Here is Part 3

You can find transcripts here including cut scenes.

They did not really explain why the Pearls’ teachings are implicated because they did not explain what these teachings are.  This goes far beyond a simple spanking debate.  I link to many articles which explain this and have been meaning to put it all together in one post.  I thought I had done it here, but upon taking another look at it, I see that I was waiting until after the  trial to flesh it out.  I’ll put that on my to do list.  Meanwhile, please look at my categories for The Pearls’ Teachings above and the sub categories, especially Counter Arguments.  If you have time, check out posts which dig deeper into the Pearls’ teachings with in depth analysis. I hope that you will also find my tags helpful for narrowing down the information you seek.

Note, here are some quotes from To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl, the book which started the controversy.

My first collection of news stories.

Reactions in the blogosphere.

More news stories and reactions..

CBS did an investigative report about the Schatz and other child abuse stories.

And then a Plea Deal Reached in Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz Murder Case.

They were sentenced to prison.

All mentions of the Schatz story can be found under my Schatz tag.




  1. Rosemary Cortes on October 27, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Joanne: I fail to understand why you are defending the advocates of child abuse. Of course you do not beat babies for being grouchy, with plastic tubing or anything else. Since you are such a keen proponent of common sense, I would have thought you could work this out for yourself. This is a horrible book, and I question what drives the Pearls to believe they need to ‘break their children’s spirits.’ They would I suppose claim to be following God’s will. In reality, it seems that they are acting God themselves within the family. I urge anyone who cares about child welfare not to buy this book. At best, it is dangerous. In the hands of the wrong people it has proven lethal. Let’s stop this now.

  2. Joanne on September 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I think your fear and utter disgust with this book is totally unfounded.
    Firstly, this news story fully fails to link a 7 hour BEATING and MURDER to a book that has a goal of not even having to spank your child at all when the training is finished. One thing I have learned however is that people like you and others who try to blame things like books and tv shows for people’s selfish and criminal behavior, will go to the grave blaming everything but the parents.

    When your parental anger and lack of common sense make you a parent who enjoys beating your children or leads to you killing your children, that has nothing to do with ANY book. That has to do with lack of self control, personal issues, lack of common sense, and a violent and criminal mind. Blaming a book for this kind of behavior is absurd, it’s taking the responsibility off the parents and giving it to information that is based on someone’s strategies or opinions, totally disregarding a parent’s place and position in their childrens’ life. It’s like my children being obese and I blame McDonalds, yet I’m the one taking them everyday.

    When a parent opens this book, Michael and Debi don’t pop out of it holding a gun to their heads trying to coerce them to beat the living daylights out of their children. To go to the extents that you’re going to to stop the sale and distribution of this book is pretty much implying that they are holding a gun to your head and making you do horrible things to your children. NOWHERE in this book did I read anything similar to what was done to the little girl in the CNN episode.

    Being a parent takes COMMON SENSE and self control. If you lack either of these.. it doesn’t matter what book you read, you’re going to beat your kids.. and if you have a criminal mind, then you’ll end up killing them while you’re at it. You are putting the blame on the wrong party.

    • Hermana Linda on September 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      I do not believe that anyone is taking the blame off of the parents by saying that they followed the teachings of the book. Of course they are to blame for following the teachings. My goal is to warn other parents not to make the same mistake. Let’s look at that 7 hour chastisement. Apparently, the child did not submit. They kept switching her and taking breaks to pray. In spite of that, she continued to refuse to submit. According to the teachings in that book, for them to stop would be for her to win. Now, any sane person would think after an hour, “Wow, this is not working. It’s time to try something else.” But these parents had been using the advice in that book on their other children and it worked fine. They were convinced that it would work, they just had to be consistent. Of course, they are to blame. But to not warn that the teachings are dangerous is to risk it happening again..

      It is true that the goal of the book is to not have to spank your children. But at what cost? By teaching them to obey without thinking. Truly a dangerous thinking. And the methods for achieving this goal are Mind Control steeped in Behaviorism. The methods taught are abusive no matter how I look at them.

  3. Young Mom on August 16, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Will there be a part 2?

    • Hermana Linda on August 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

      It looks like Part 2 will air tonight.

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