Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bring Back the Boycott!


Four years ago the world lost little Sean Paddock after his mother suffocated him.

She followed the Pearls.

When little Sean died, those of us who were already critical of the Pearl's teachings, spoke out.  We joined in a boycott and tried to share the danger with anyone who would listen.

Now we've lost little Lydia Schatz after her parents beat her to death with the plastic tubing the Pearls recommend for child "training".  And after reading this moving blog post at Beauty For Ashes, I don't think we can continue to believe that only those who are naturally prone to abuse could be devastated by the implementation of the teachings in To Train Up a Child.

I am asking that other parents join in another Boycott.  But I think we need to go a bit further than just our blogs.  I think we need to talk to our Pastors and religious leaders, write letters to our Homeschool organizations, write local talk radio hosts who might discuss it, and talk to other parents.  We have to get the word out that these methods don't place the rod of discipline in parents hands, but a loaded gun.  If parents follow these instructions to the letter, it is a manual for child abuse.

Michael Pearl said, in a statement to the press,
We do not teach 'corporal punishment' nor 'hitting' children. We teach parents how to train their children, which sometimes requires the limited and controlled application of a spanking instrument to hold the child's attention on admonition.
This is a semantics game, Mr. Pearl.  Using a spanking instrument during admonition is corporal punishment.  And the instructions that parents should:
“…use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.”
From To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi PearlChapter 6: Applying the Rod
As a community, our desire to be good parents has allowed in a style of parenting that turns our children into the enemy and beats them for their imperfection.  It promises the perfect obedience that even faith has not given us as adults.  And it pushes us to take these methods as far as necessary until our children submit.  At least two children have paid for their parents mistakes with their lives.  So now, can we stop it?

Other Pearl's Posts to read:
Muse Mama: Giving Up On To Train Up A Child
Muse Mama: The Pearl's Are Wrong
White Washed Feminists: To Train Up A Child Review
Water Lily: Spanking In Anger Isn't the Problem
Holy Experience: Perfectionism
Tulip Girl: Vulnerable To Abuse
That Mom: Child Abuse In The Name of Jesus
Quivering Daughters: How Many More Little Girls Need To Die?
No Longer Quivering: Disciplining to Death: No Greater Joy Ministries and Child Abuse
Contending With The Cultrue: Tragedy In A Homeschooling Family
The Home Spun Life: Time To Speak Out, Even If It's Hard

Find my other posts about the Pearls in the sidebar, under the label NGJ
Sign the petition to ask Amazon to remove it from their virtual shelves, here.


  1. Anne, how do I get the Boycott button you have on the right of your page? I'm not blog-smart enough to figure it out on my own, haha. Thanks!

  2. Hi, I followed a link to your blog and noticed you have a child with autism and a child with Asperger's. I have an 11-year-old son with autism. Drop by my blog if you wish!

  3. Miranda, I added a box with the code so you can add it to your own blog. Thanks for asking!

    Allynsalley, I'll be sure to check out your blog, thanks!

  4. Check out "Biblical Parenting, Loving Our Kids on Purpose" by Danny Silk out of Bethel Church in Redding, CA.

    The video series has changed my husband and I's approach to parenting, and is fully worth the price. It teaches parents to change our goal from obedience and conformity to self-control and how to protect the loving connection with our children. It is based on I John 4:18 "There is no fear in love, because love casts out all the fear of punishment."

    I had not heard of TTUAC before today, and I am so saddened to read about Sean Paddock and Lydia Schatz.

  5. I'm posting about this now. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for speaking up. I've linked your site (www.drmomma.org/2010/02/no-greater-joy-ministries-biblical.html), and greatly appreciate the work you are doing to bring awareness to this important issue that cannot continue to be ignored.

  7. Bless you.

    I'd say more, but my two year old wants to help at the moment. :)

    More later...



  8. The awareness of this issue scares me as I have a brother who is a huge proponent of the Pearles and has often recommended those books to me and my other siblings, though I never read them out of laziness. I don't know if I should say something to my brother or not. They way they discipline, as I have seen, is really fully loving. They use quiet calm voices, etc and I've never seen him angry with his kids. But I, as the youngest in the family, was abused, so I know the tendencies are there for us. :/

    1. Did you ever say anything to your brother? Are his children ok? I have not read any of the books, but I see another child has died after parents followed that style of rearing.

  9. How tragic and terrible. I've been reading about the Pearls for some time now, actually...a while back someone sent me an account written by an adult woman who was raised by this method. We are raising an "acquired" very troubled child ourselves, and I can feel the desperation in looking for ways to handle troubled children...there's very little help out there for parents doing that kind of thing. But I just can't believe someone thinks this is an appropriate way to raise children.

  10. I created a facebook page "Ban The Pearls" and am searching for information to help teach other people about the Pearls and their abusive techniques. I shared your blog posts in my links, and would like to know if you could share some comments as well on the homepage ?
    Keep up the good work !

  11. I am sick after reading about these. I have a friend who is a rabid supporter of the Pearls and gives away all of their books to people. I have always had a problem with the teachings, but was always made to feel like I was not a good enough mother or was somehow "doing it wrong" because I wasn't raising my children in this way. This just makes me sick!

  12. I only have one question, Did anyone READ the book??? I'm just curious, I myself have not so at this point I can not say one way or the other. I am against corporal punishment and child abuse. I just know from personal experience that things can be taken out of context or turned around. I am debating whether I want to buy the kindle edition, just to be informed. As for the two children who died, my heart is sad, unfortunately this is not the first abused child, let's not loose sight that it is child abuse and that's the reason these babies are dead. Parents make decisions, say for instance your church decides that beating kids is good for them, should you follow, no because you know it's wrong, YOU made that decision. These where just REALLY bad parents that needed to have there child taken away.

  13. I can't speak for those who've commented on this post, but I have not only read To Train Up A Child, but the entire No Greater Joy series. If you click on the NGJ link under "labels" in my sidebar, you'll see other posts I've written about these books, including how they were introduced to me and what they did to my parenting.

  14. I've read the book. Several women have gifted the book to me over the years. It is intensely disgusting, and the worst thing about it is that it is compellingly written. I can see how desperate parents might be drawn in. Yuck.

  15. Shocking! Thanks for the enlightenment.

  16. That is absolutely terrible and horrible. I am a behavior analyst and I need for you to know that behavior analysis and even behavior modification have absolutely nothing to do with what those crazies are cooking up over there. What we do is about positive reinforcement/praise, and teaching alternative behaviors. Thank you so much for speaking out against these terrible folks. Keep up the good work.

  17. Hello Muse Mama
    I just found this post, I know it is 'old', but i just wanted to let you know that I am leading a campaign to ask Amazon not to stock these books, we have over 2500 signatures so far, and I am working via my blog and facebook and the petition to raise awareness of the books.
    Do get in touch if you want to be involved in any way?
    Thanks, Milli x

  18. I've had your blog banner against TTUAC on my blog for years now, and I wrote about Lydia's death quite a bit in my parenting column back when that happened. There is now another set of parents who have been convicted of murdering their child following this evil book. http://www.examiner.com/article/another-couple-found-guilty-of-murder-for-parenting-by-to-train-up-a-child People still need to speak up about these monsters. :(

  19. shared via blog, tumblr, twitter, and facebook. Thank you.

  20. This needs to stop now

  21. I understand mainstream parenting doesn't work...but this kind of parenting (if that's what you want to refer to it as) is UNGODLY and UNJUSTIFIABLE...it's CRUEL! These two should be charged for the murders of the children who died...in part due to their "teaching" and "directing" others to do these awful things. Period.

  22. To "The Mule" and Muse Mama
    Here I am, over a year after your post, to tell you I just found out about this today. I signed the petition for Amazon to remove the book, and I shared it with my friends. I don't understand how I didn't hear about this until today. It literally makes me sick to my stomach.

  23. I think the pearls will answer for this but lets have a voice against them now. The Lord will take care of the rest this couple will not get away with this.

  24. This is very sick ...im in tears...I have 7 children an im only 31 an no matter how mad they may make I cud never.....we live in a cold world an it really scares me anymore.....God bless all those children that suffered....im gonna go hug my children an tell them how much I love them.....plz get these books off the shelf....gud luck ladys im on yall side.....so sad

  25. I learned about this book yesterday and just wrote a blog post about it. I will also put your banner on my blog.


  26. Michael and Debi Pearl should be treated EXACTLY the way they advocate people to treat their children...In this case they should be starved to death and put out in the yard to freeze...then charge EVERY parent who bought the piece of crap book with child abuse...And, I'll still won't be satisfied...I just hate this!!

  27. I'm truly revolted and outraged with this situation.
    How could any parent read those "rules" and say "oh, this is a nice way of parenting". Seriously? How could they.
    And the Pearl's...do they really call themselves Christians? Because, I believe that they are ways far from Heaven and really close to Hell right now. I'm disgusted with them. How could amazon sell the book? How can the authorities do nothing about them? For those who are going to advocate the "freedom of speech", I'm sorry, but for abusers there is no space for that.

    I wish I could meet them so I could teach them a few things. If there is something I'm not is afraid of them. They are not worth of that.

    I hope that we can stop them. Every single book should be confiscated and burn (or recycled to help the Environment !)
    I can't express my anger about people like them. You think fear is the most powerful thing? I'm sorry, but Hope - along with other positive things - is way more powerful.

    Maybe powerful enough to stop them from commercializing that thing that they want to call a book.

    Oh, and children are not dogs to be trained, for God's Sake.

  28. I put a link to your post and signed the Amazon petition. Thank you for getting the word out.


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