TTUAC linked to Hana Williams’ Death

Fox News has connected the dots and has implicated the book, To Train Up A Child in it’s coverage of Hana Grace’s Death in its article, Book advocating extreme discipline may be connected to deaths of adopted children. (eta: this link has been removed from the Fox News website so I am linking to the Internet Archives.  To see the article, please scroll down past the video which is attempting to load.)

I would like to correct one mistake in the article, Michael Pearl is not Amish.

Now to take on this quote:

In the book, Pearl explains how to use a plumbing tool to switch children starting at age one. Pearl advocates giving cold water baths when potty training, putting children outside in cold weather and having them miss meals, all examples of abuse investigators said Hana endured.

They don’t mention that parents are instructed to use a smaller and lighter switch on children under the age of one.(see question 9)

Now, someone is bound to insist that the rest of this quote is a lie.  Here are quotes from the book, To Train Up A Child which you can read online at

So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.

Now, there are some flavors or textures that we just have an aversion for. Allow each child one or two dislikes, just don’t let their preferences be too limited. If a child doesn’t like what is on the table, let him do without until the next meal. A little fasting is good training. If you get a child who is particularly finicky and only eats a limited diet, then feed him mainly what he doesn’t like until he likes it.

I have said before that the Williams took these teachings way further than Pearl ever intended with their adopted children. Notice that Pearl said that washing the child outside 3 times should be enough. The Williams made it into a lifestyle. Also, I have never seen Pearl mention making the child stand outside without proper clothing as a punishment. However, they did follow the teachings correctly with their biological children. If the investigations mentioned in this article should show that the biological children were being abused, this will have serious implications for the Pearls’ teachings.

The Williams are due back in court on Oct 6.


  1. Cusanus on October 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    So glad to hear that you know Jesus, Linda. Actually, I don’t approve even of the Pearl methods. Somebody showed me how to do it when the time came, and I did it, I didn’t need to be switched or sprayed with a hose, and if a child doesn’t want to eat something, it’s probably because the child knows it isn’t the right food, though I found it necessary with my first son to coax him a great deal to eat or he’d starve himself. That and other serious behavioral difficulties in my three children turned out to be due to poisoning from vaccines and amalgams, but I wasn’t able to fix that 100% for another 25 years by which time two of us had been badly damaged and two others so badly that they were unable to recover and are now 100% disabled. The fruits of the spirit are long suffering and patience and kindness, not routine punishment. After I first met Jesus in 1981, I was asked to teach in a Christian school, where the pastor demonstrated how to punish the children for trivial errors such as failing an exam. They were told to place their hands on the desk while bending over, and then were struck with a flexible bat made of very heavy meter sticks taped together. The idea was to make a full swing like in baseball, so that their heels came up off the floor from the force of each of 2-3 blows. After he demonstrated this, I went along a few times until I realized that his real intent was that the children be brutally assaulted, but that I later take the blame for such cruelty. After that, I tried to alert the board but failed, and when I explained it to the parents I was fired on the spot with 1 month left of the school year and my wife then pregnant with our third child, having already been forced to run up credit cards to get enough food on the table. I really believe that this pastor, and the board perhaps, should have been charged with child abuse/assault and imprisoned for at least a year, and myself perhaps for not going directly to the police. I should mention that this and more horrors against the name of Christ took place in Mt. Vernon, Washington. These many years later I have a good church and am surrounded by spirit filled Christians who aren’t hiding a knife or embezzling money, but I now have one eye open all the time. All glory to God.

    • Hermana Linda on October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Thank you for sharing your testimony. All glory to God.

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