Her name was Lydia. She was seven years old. She’s dead because her parents took Michael and Debi Pearl’s No Greater Joy Ministries teachings too far Lydia was disciplined to death. She had deep bruising and scars from beatings on her back, buttocks and legs, injuries which cause organ failure. That is no surprise to anyone who has read and followed Michael and Debi Pearl. Lydia was ‘trained’ for hours for mispronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson.

Her 11 year old sister Zariah was in intensive care week and was released into foster last week .

The other Schatz children interviewed and have reportedly made statements to investigators about the disciplinary philosophy to which their parents adhered. Lydia and Zariah were one of three children adopted from Liberia three years ago. The Schatz have five other children.

The other children told investigators the same instrument was used on all of them, but Ramsey said it was not to the extent of the two girls and except for the Schatz’ bruised 10-year-old son, none of the other children showed signs of abuse.

The Schatz’s have been charged with murder, torture and misdemeanor cruelty.

Police in Paradise California say they found the pipe in the home and have tied it in with other evidence leading to No Greater Joy Ministries run by Michael and Debi Peal in Tennessee. One of the other children taken into care was also injured.

He violently disagrees he teaches religiously motivated child abuse, he says he teaches parents to train their children “which sometimes requires the limited and controlled application of a spanking instrument.” To Debi and Michael Pearl it’s just a biblical principle. 2 foot length of PVC pipe for children over 1 years of age. Children under one year of age get ‘trained’ with a branch, paddle or ruler.

And yes, Michael Pearl is quick to blame Lydia and Zariah and parents with predisposition to abusive habits.

Likewise Ramsey, the prosecutor in the Schatz case, is quick to point out that “No Greater Joy” does not advocate spanking to the point of serious injury. If indeed these parents were abusive, and that has not yet been proven by the courts, it is regretful that our teachings were not able to turn them from their predisposition to abusive habits.

After all his lucrative ‘ministry’ is under scrutiny again. Lydia is not the first child to die at the hands of parents who actually think the Pearls give wisdom. 4 year old Sean was killed by his mother in 2006 after she swallowed the Pearls teaching.

Michael and Debi Pearl whose book do acknowledge that discipline turns to abuse when the “child is broken in spirit, cowed and subdued …”

Debi Pearl has bragged about hitting other peoples children. Control, power, inappropriate boundaries, biblical justification. They bear moral responsibility, I doubt the law can touch No Greater Joy Ministries or shut down the profits from this pathology.

Allthings2all has taken a look at Michael and Debi Pearls theology. There isn’t much biblical about what the Pearls spout. You can’t also read about ‘training’ that the Pearls advocate at Talk2Action.

The law will deal with the Schatz’s. No law will bring Lydia back, heal her sister, or their siblings or shut the Pearls operation down.

However, there is one thing which has to be done immediately. The world has progressed very far and the level of education also. Creating awareness is important here about the dire consequences of abusive disciplining in children. The parents have to understand that their child is not a robot which can be tightened to perform better and the government has to see this practice under the law scanner.

And wives, if your husband beats you the Pearls tell you you can’t leave. You have to submit.
The teachings go against every state and provincial law and they run a million dollar operation.
The Pearls materials are popular among fundamentalist home schoolers.
The Schatz’s home schooled and rarely left their home.
Disciplining to Death from No Longer Quivering
Since Sean’s death To Train a Child has been pulled from Barnes and Noble.
Religion News Blog has information on the Pearl compound, church, earnings and employees.

I’ve written about the Michael and Debi Pearl previously.

About Bene Diction
Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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43 Responses to Michael and Debi Pearls teaching linked to another child abuse death
Quivering Daughters says:
February 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm
Thank you for shining a light and spreading awareness of this horrible and tragic event.

I just want to mention also that there is a link attributed to me that actually has another author and I want her to receive credit for reporting. “Disciplining to Death” is by WanderingOne at No Longer Quivering.

Thanks again for providing this resource. May Lydia’s death not be in vain.

Bene D says:
February 23, 2010 at 2:37 am
Hi, I changed the reference.

I want to thank you for your site, I’ve been reading it and No Longer Quivering for several months, and both are a valuable resource.
We all grieve over the death of a child at a parent’s hand, your efforts to help those trapped in such a closed system is valued.

May Lydia’s death not be in vain.

Blog on!

Charla Hatton says:
February 23, 2010 at 11:02 am
Perhaps the Pearls cannot be prosecuted as accessories to the murder of Lydia Schatz, but I have another approach to suggest. Years ago the Southern Poverty Law Center helped a black grandmother sue the Ku Klux Klan in CIVIL court for damages after the Klan’s teachings prompted two young men to murder her grandson. The grandmother won the suit and ended up with the keys to the national Klan’s property, essentially bankrupting the organization. Given that the Pearls claim to have sold or distributed 1.4 million copies of their odious book, perhaps bankrupting them would go a long way to shutting them down.

The Truth says:
February 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm
Actually,
I have come across numerous biblical citations that liken Michael Pearl’s teachings to that of the anti-christ because they steal up children’s souls with violent dominance before they have a choice or are aware. Remember, the anti-christ fools people into worshipping him as God. Michael Pearl tries to give people the illusion that they can control completely like God and they can be God-like and “sit as God.” I truly believe Michael Pearl is the anti-christ.

rocki says:
February 27, 2010 at 3:50 am
This is very simply brainwashing and torture, not child training. Michael Pearl is the Osama Bin Laden of children. Any crazy moron could think up these methods. They are not intelligent or new. Just insane. The Pearls belong in a mental institution.

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Jane says:
March 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm
I’m submitting a Petition to several groups, about Changing the Immunity Laws for Churches, Ministries, any Hate Speech and under Any Religion, that is making profit, that is creating an environment conducive to child abuse and is advocating child abuse,

and therefore by removing immunity Accessory Charges, Felony Murder, Felony Child Abuse, can be charged and these CRIMINALS be held Liable under the full extent of the law,

we need Petitions, to get Legislation passed.

Any one who has any info [I want to get this on the boards in two to three weeks] that could be used to form this petition,

send me email, janedoethreads7 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I will be contacting my state’s legislature on this…

Sincerely,

Jane

Science Guy says:
March 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm
Hi, I’ve been trying to email you regarding this post – could you please email me when you read this. Thank you 🙂

<a href=”http://www.abstroose.com”>Metaphysics</a>

Bene Diction says:
March 4, 2010 at 10:32 am
Hi Science Guy:

I emailed you, it bounced. Would you like to try to email BDBO again?

Nora says:
March 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm
Barnes and Noble no longer carries the Pearls’ child torture manual. Amazon needs to be petitioned to do the same — along with a nice big media blitz announcing their decision.

Get the Pearls where they’ll care — their income.

These creeps make money teaching people to go to the hardware store to buy piping to beat children from infancy on up.

High time they were stopped.

Write to Amazon, write to any and all booksellers, refuse to tolerate this filthy material for sale anywhere.

This stuff is as bad as anything NAMBLA ever put out, IMO.

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Hopesome says:
March 11, 2010 at 8:48 am
The church has been a place of ‘immunity’. All those that ‘live there seem to ‘for the main part’ remain under the radar systems that normally would have sprung into action on most of these issues long ago in any other ‘realm’ of society. Abuse of children in a ‘religious setting’ goes from ‘mind bending at an early age’ to actual physical sexual abuse, to physical abuse and ‘brain washing’ and bible ‘belt bashing’.

It seems that the so called normal procdures in society somehow don’t or shouldn’t apply to ‘church’ as Jesus would know doub’t be horrified along with the bank balance if it became ‘widespread or known’. The so called tolerance level that christians seem to walk in and the so called place of forgiveness they promote render them blind or passive to not only the truth but whats under their noses. These people need to be taken out of Ministry ‘as they call it!’ and rendered ‘not applicable’ for their duration. Americas ‘army of joels’ are already expressing hate and hell to muslims and two year olds are going into bars with billboards to speak to ‘drinkers’ about Jesus. Britain had a documentary recently on just such a subject)

I was speechless at the haunted looks on some of these kids faces as they were ‘punching the air’ against’ non christians, mulsims and the so called infidels of good christian values. The catholic church has been supposedly dealing with such issues but really the wider church has to face up to some ‘home truths’ and be brought to boot for their laziness and inability to tackle these ‘unseemly problems’! that few are prepared to face and do something about.

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Michelle says:
March 18, 2010 at 5:48 am
The Pearls also admit to hitting animals with the same instrument that was used to beat the little girl that died.

“Even my chickens are laughing . . . well, actually it is more like cackling,because they just laid another organic egg for my breakfast and they know that it was that same piece of ¼ inch plastic supply line that trained the dogs.not to eat chicken”. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=378945952575

Wish Peta(regardless of personal feelings of all of their tactics) and other animal protection groups would know about this.

Here is my petition to ban the physical assault of children
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/america39s-behind–ban-the-physical-assault-of-children

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Heather says:
March 31, 2010 at 9:07 am
Well, it would be good of ALL of you to read their book before you begin spouting off about something that you OBVIOUSLY have not read! You are all a laughing-stock because you are saying that the Pearls condone and teach things that they actually speak out AGAINST in their book!!!! SO, it really makes all of you sound dumb…….speaking about people that you really know nothing about.
If Lydia’s parents had read some other training method, (or worse yet, gone off their own obviously misguided instinct) they still would have ended up abusing their children, because it’s about what is really in you, your character and who you are as a person!!! (and let me tell you, the Pearls actually teach that if you have problems that are causing you to discipline too harshly, and you can’t be joyful in teaching your children, then they actually recommend that you give up trying to discipline your children at all, and practice being joyful and loving to them instead!!!!!) Hmmmmm……oh yeah, doesn’t go at all with what you guys are saying, does it???? BUT THAT’S BECAUSE I’VE READ THEIR LITERATURE AND YOU ALL HAVE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RESEARCH BEFORE YOU SPEAK OUT, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

Valerie says:
April 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Heather~
I would have to say that you believe that none of these people that have posted replies have read any of their literature. Now if I were you, I would ask them first if they have read the literature. I have and I believe with each of the posts that are on here. So make sure you know that each of these replies have read the pearls literature before accusing them please. Thank you! I don’t believe I need to “train” my children into being great children or great adults. They are not animals, they are human beings.

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Ruth says:
June 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Well clearly none of the critics have read the book to gain anything from it, if they’d read it at all.
I use the methods in the book, To Train a Child. It works. You spank less if you train. Read the book for yourself, and abuse your children no longer by withholding training.

You should be ashamed to associate these people with murder. They promote safety and above all, love!

Mary says:
August 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm
It is impossible for a person to carefully read the Pearls’ literature and watch their training videos and write the negative aaccusations that people have written on here because the statements made by the Pearls are completely opposite from what is being said here about them.

Additionally, I specifically remember Michael Pearl saying that if a woman is abused, she is NOT to remain in that household, but to seek SAFETY. They always focus on safety, on love, on joy. If you would like to listen for yourself, just go on youtube.com and write in Michael Pearl and his teachings will come up and you scroll until you find a teaching on wives being abused – it’s there.

I have implemented their teaching myself and one key thing I have learned is to have SELF-CONTROL. If a person is naturally inclined to a quick temper and loss of self control – and lack of WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING -and is instead controlled by emotions, then physical training of the child is NOT for them, because they will abuse. Abuse results also when a parent is NOT consistent, and allows the child to indulge sometimes, and when a moment comes when the parent is serious, and maybe has had an exhausted day, and the child does not obey, the parent just looses it out of frustration to the child’s disobedience which simply resulted because of the parent’s previous permissiveness. The Pearls always stress to NOT discipline in anger. To beat to death is to hit in anger because in anger you lose self-control and you are no longer aware of what you are doing, nor can you stop yourself, because you are blazing with fury. If it was the Pearls’ fault, many more cases like this would be present, but obviously they are scarce and few.

In the name of Christianity, much evil was done also. Who is to blame?

PLEASE do NOT bear false witness, you only bring a curse upon yourselves – according to God’s Word. The Lord bless each of you with HIS love, joy, peace, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment. Shalom.

“fundamentalist says:
September 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm
A swift execution by our government for the parents who beat their children to death should suffice. This would serve as a warning to all other parents to not beat children. Think of ALL the poor babies who are shaken to death, stomped to death, thrown into highways to be ripped apart by cars, etc. and all the abusive parents/boyfriends of the mom/ girlfriends of the dad/ babysitters, etc. who do NOT follow the Pearl’s teachings and are committing these evil acts towards children.

Swiftly judge/execute people who abuse/murder little children and there will be a decrease in the number of children who are hurt.

I submit that this stems from a serious problem with our society, our lack of love for little children, and our lack of respect for the lives of the innocent.

Jen says:
October 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm
I want to say that I read your article about the incident of Lydia and think it is so sad that the violent, out of control behaviour of her own parents are being blamed on the Pearl’s ministry. How dare you take one or two sentences out of their book, the few that are perhaps the most ‘extreme’ of their views, and seek to present them as ‘illigitmate’ to the American people! Because of their godly teaching and training principles, thousands of kids are showing respect and obeying as they should… if done by the parents, as prescribed, in ultimate joy (a fact you obviously negelected). My children don’t throw tantrums and scream and run away from me like hundreds of other un-trained, disobedient children I see every single day. Why? Because I have loved my children with the teaching of the Pearl’s and ultimately, the Bible. Are the Pearls perfect? Of course not, no one is. But the general idea of child training he presents would be respected years ago, but 2010, we allow our kids to swear at us, to hit us and run away when we call… all in the name of ‘positive parenting’ or ‘friendship parenting’. Hogwash! Most kids are growing up as disrespectful brats (even as young as 1) and it’s unfortunate that all these parents don’t have a copy of the Pearl’s book. If you read it, in an unbiased way, you will truly find the truth in it. I enjoy my kids and miss them when I am gone. After a loving, controlled spanking, my daughter hugs me and says she loves me and wants to obey God. I smile back and we pray together. Tell me, you think that quick, deep hearted resolution like this will EVER be found in the secular, blinded-eyes of the world’s parenting magazines? I doubt it. PLEASE do yourself a favor and read it… actually, READ IT and see the wisdom of their words. The Pearls’ can no more be guilty for the death of any children as you or I could! The Pearl’s teach control. This family’s anger was OUT OF CONTROL. The Pearl’s teach JOY. This family’s joy was absent. The Pearl’s teach that you should train the heart of the child for the BETTER of the child. This family abused and drove their child to FEAR. Can you please tell me how either of these examples even match? They don’t even come CLOSE to eachother! It’s time for you to understand that because one family abused the Pearl’s teaching, does not negate the fact that their teaching is valid, wise and practical only if used the way they prescribe. If you are truly un-biased, then I expect you to please post my message. Thank you.

Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms says:
October 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm
I have recently read the Pearl’s book To Train up a Child and did not walk away with an excuse to beat my child to death- nor anywhere near it. I get their magazine and I’m reading one of Debi’s other books as well.

Anyone can take anything they read or hear and take it too far. The parent’s are responsible for their own actions.

Bene Diction says:
October 31, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Tracy: You are fortunate you have the mental and emotional skills for your self-determination.
Others don’t and are quite vulnerable to behaviorism techniques taught by the Pearls, with serious consequences to their children and families.
If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Dee says:
November 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm
Bene Diction says:

“Tracy: You are fortunate you have the mental and emotional skills for your self-determination.
Others don’t and are quite vulnerable to behaviorism techniques taught by the Pearls, with serious consequences to their children and families.
If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

Well, if that be the case, we have to completely “idiot proof” every law, every instruction manual, and every book written. Or we have to simply not write any books at all – and ban the ones that have been written. I have not read the Pearls’ books at all, but I cannot put the blame for these unfortunate children’s death on the author of a book their parents read. No book should be an excuse for another person’s irresponsible behavior.

Bene Diction says:
November 15, 2010 at 7:03 am
I don’t this this is a free speech/idiot issue, killing your children goes way beyond being an idiot.

This is not the first death where the Pearls philosophy was taken to the unthinkable extreme.

Christians pointing out how behaviorism mixed with biblical ‘interpretation’ has severe consequences being thrown into the marketplace is not about blaming.
It’s about being our brothers keeper.

Robin says:
December 7, 2010 at 7:56 pm
This argument appears typical when a lot of people don’t appear to have a life to live. A long bow could be drawn to say people watch motor racing on TV and then go out and do incrdible things to themselves and others. There’s no real movement railing agianst driving cars.
This is essentially a religious and doctrinaire fight. My argument, analysis and thesis is way better than yours!
For me a lot of this time and energy would be far better used to work in a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly, the sick and the poor souls locked in prison.
Selfrighteousness, arrogance and conceit are such respectable characters these days just like sodomy, feminism and the military industrial complex.
Give me a break! You don’t go and accuse Ford, Chrysler and GM as being complicit in death and injury on the roads.
Don’t accuse people of certain corruption because a pack of dummies have such limited personal control.
Caveat emptor!
Get a life Bene.

Essie says:
February 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm
It breaks my heart to hear about any and all forms of child abuse…from the murder of innocent life while still in the womb to the daily abuse of children worldwide from variouse degrees of neglect etc. Being a parent is hard work and in todays society it is even harder because of the lies about parenting that permeate our society. The world is anti-God, so a lot of times when people use Godly methods to discipline their children people are incapable of understanding the love and sacrifice that goes into child rearing from this biblical perspective. The scripture is clear about how a follower of God should raise their children and when done right the outcome is delightful, self-confident, joyful, obediant children who love the Lord and love and respect their parents. God’s word speaks volumes about how much He loves us and that as His children we should long for His correction and guidance because without it it means we don’t belong to Him…I mean think about it…you don’t bother to correct people that you don’t care about…right? You only correct those you love. I have read the Pearls book on child training and while some of it may seem a bit extreem it is certainly coming from a place of true love. These people want nothing more than to encourage parents everywhere to lovingly discipline their children in a safe environment full of mercy, grace, forgivness, and truth. They would never endorse beating your children and say that when discipling it should always be out love and not anger. I am sorry to hear that people are blaming them in regards to these cases because I am sure there hearts are just as broken over these tragedies and loss of life as yours is.

Can I ask do you feel as outraged against abortion…as you do against the Pearls? Is it really the loss of life you abhore or is it just the pearls?

Bene Diction says:
February 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm
Essie:

If spiritualized behavior modification is how you chose to raise your children, there isn’t much we can discuss is there?
I disagree that the Pearls care about much of anything other than their own opinions and the 1.7 million a year they make from the sub-culture they’ve cultivated. Michael Pearl shows a lot of contempt to his critics, what does that tell you?
His daughter Rebekah certainly has problems living above the poverty line, knowing what is healthy and safe in child birth etc.

3 children are still dead.

This is not about abortion outrage, this is about a self-absorbed, irrational, narcissistic, legalistic and shameless ideologue who brooks no input, will not tolerate questioning of his doctrine, and who has set himself up to demand perfectionistic loyalty from parents who love their children and who don’t learn how to differentiate between training and discipline. Behavior modification is not biblical training. It is not discipline.

From Standing on the Promises by Douglas Wilson:

Because discipline seeks to correct, it has accomplished its purpose when the correction has been made. And because children are very different, this means that there will be godly distinctions in the discipline received by various children…

Because the Bible defines discipline as an act of love, it will only function properly in a broad context of love…The manner of the parent in discipline should be to show that the intention is to restore fellowship between parent and child. But if there is no context of love, then there is no real fellowship to restore…

It is not enough to have a context of love surrounding all acts of discipline. The discipline itself is to be done in a loving way. If a parent has the attitude of “Let me at that kid!” and is angry or embarrassed, he is spiritually disqualified to administer the discipline. When the parent is qualified to discipline, he probably does not feel like it, and when he feels like it, he is probably not qualified.

Essie says:
February 4, 2011 at 7:38 am
Bene!

Loved the take out from “Standing on the Promise”…oddly enough it sounds a lot like what I have read in To Train up a Child! I would say the two aurthors are on the same page. It also sounds like we are on the same page…discipline should always come from a place of love! I thought I said that a few times in my first comment!?! Anyway, regardless of how you look at it a tragedy has occured..the loss of life is sad. I don’t think you can honestly know how the Pearls feel about it because you are not them. All you know is how you feel…outraged that a teaching such as the Pearls would be a justification for the actions of these parents…plainly put it is not. The parents may blame the Pearls but what happened is that they took an awesome book and twisted it. The Pearls do not teach such violence.

In Peace,

john bowden says:
February 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm
The accusations against the Pearls and the NGJ ministries are silly. I read the ‘Train up a Child’, and can honestly say that anyone who reads this book would never want to harm their child. Their ministry and books should be commended for their sincere and successful efforts to aid godly parents in child rearing.

JBgame says:
March 7, 2011 at 10:35 am
First of all our children are not dogs,so why do we need to “train”them?
we RAISE our children to be well behaved,tolerant,children.
Second I do not like the pearls at all. I put down the created to be his help meet book after a few chapters,I picked it up again hoping maybe i was just in a bad mood that day,but i have to tell you everything that woman says is completly crazy. If my husband molests my children why in the world would I take them to visit him in jail???
I would love for her to even try and spank my children,because then i would write the”How to train the Pearls” book and have it be about beating the living crap out of them.

Bene D says:
March 7, 2011 at 11:44 am
John B:

Do you believe anyone who reads the Pearl’s books would go further and learn the difference between a one-size-fits-all behavior modification approach and informed natural development?

I think it’s unlikely. The Pearl’s target the parent-reader with fear, guilt and conformity through heavy spiritualization,;their sincerity and efforts are about using a religious system to make money for themselves, not about the well-being of families and children. The Pearl’s count on readers to not seek anything other than their authoritarian opinion.

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Terry M. says:
March 27, 2011 at 8:14 am
I work in the justice system and met one of the parents in prison as a result of the death of one of these children. It is horrifying to see how these people’s religious zealotry can ruin lives. The mother in custody seems to me an otherwise well intentioned person who was so warped by these teachings that she stopped distinguishing between discipline and torture. Religious fanatics have the capacity to brainwash the gullible. The punishment in these cases needed to have been shared by the Pearls. There is no one more responsible for these deaths than the Pearls. Children are to be nurtured and guided, not controlled and punished.

Harry says:
July 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm
You completely mis-characterize the Pearls teaching. Either you haven’t read what they teach or you just want to demonize them to promote your view. Either way it’s shameful.

Ronald Tate says:
July 29, 2011 at 8:14 am
When anyone gets to the point where they stop talking – whether to children or else to adults – and start swinging (whether your hand, or an instrument in your hand) … you have lost control of yourself, and are WRONG.

The Bible doesn’t support hitting children … it is a bastardized interpretation of the Old Covenant scriptures (which 95% of the Church doesn’t understand), that is the cause of such abuse.

To paraphrase a famous saying: “The Bible doesn’t kill people … people kill people.”

Caral from SoCal says:
August 17, 2011 at 9:33 am
I have heard the Pearls speak several times, and have read the book in question. While my family is not nearly as conservative in many regards as the Pearls advocate, I must come to their defense against some of the allegations on this site.
#1 – I have specifically heard the Pearls talk about spousal abuse, and that it is a cause for immediate fleeing from the home – mom flee with children to safety.
#2 – the Pearls are always very careful to place any spanking activity within confines of gentle training. They are exceptional humble, gentle people, and most of their ideas about training children center on love and teaching. Training through physical punishment literally is a tiny fraction of their talks, books, etc. That is also the emphasis they give it – tiny fraction, in very careful context. Parent in an attitude of gentle confrontation – always patient and explaining.
#3 – I keep hearing that they want the spankings to cause “pain” – and yes, I have heard them say that – but then they always go on to explain that a “smart” or a “sting” is what they are talking about – they are again both VERY clear that never, never, should a welt occur.
#4 – The Pearls are all about drawing the heart of the child to the parent in respect. While we have not used “their method” – we have trained our children similarly. The fact is that what those people did to their daughter in California bears zero resemblance to what the Pearls’ teach – it is a 180 degree difference. It’s like saying a yellow submarine must be related to a puffer fish – because they are both underwater, yellow, and have similar looking fins. The Pearls wrote a book. This horrible, angry family used a good tool for a horrendous purpose. Period.

Sam says:
August 18, 2011 at 4:31 am
The pearls are the spawn of satan! They encourage child beatings which have lead to eventual death! This is a disgrace Pearls! Hope you rot in hell! Explain this all you Pearl Lovers; why is it that when a user overdoses and dies, is the dealer blamed??? In this case, the Pearls are the dealers and young, helpless toddlers and children have died at the hands of parents who have been “dealt” the Pearl handbook! Open your eyes you child abusers! These youngsters died as a result of beatings by suggestions in the Pearl Handbook! What goes around comes around Michael & Debi! God is watching and you will be punsihed for this and I hope I can be witness to this!!!

Lisa Fretwell says:
August 18, 2011 at 10:47 am
I am once again heart broken and filled with an overwhelming urge to express how I feel about this subject. Most things in life, regarding other people’s actions, beliefs, thoughts, etc… I approach as a conscientious observer. I have long since stepped down from my soap box. But, this subject, I have never been able to ignore. The emotional scars from this type of behavior from my parent, never left me. I refuse to forget what it feels like to be a helpless child being hit by the one person who was supposed to protect me. I find that you need to remember what it felt like, so that you can be the one who breaks the chain, the one who does not hit their children.

Before I comment on the Book written by Michael and Debi Pearl, I will read and STUDY it. I found a used one at Amazon for $.95 and bought it. After I have read it, I will be back to comment on it.

I have seen an interview of them. After having watched Michael and Debi on National T.V. demonstrate hittting someone with a switch from a tree, I am compelled to push back and do all that is in my power to be the Equal and Opposite Light that shines from the side of NEVER hitting your child, under no circumstance.

I am convinced that to possess the ability to hit your child, you MUST have tucked away in the dark corners of your mind the remembrance of what it felt like to be that helpless child. Until, you remember that feeling, there is no hope in changing your mind about hitting children. Children are not born with the desire to grow up and hit their children. They are taught to hit their children. The insidious circle must be broken.

Lisa Fretwell says:
August 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm
MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK ENTITLED “TO TRAIN UP YOUR CHILD” by Michael and Debbie Pearl. For me, the reading of this book was an intense emotional experience. The book is written through the eye’s of an adult. I read the book through the eyes of a child. I wept uncontrollably with rage and sorrow, a lot. This is a “how to” book. It comes complete with intense graphic descriptions, and step-by-step instructions. It teaches you how, when and why. The problem I have with the book is that it teaches you to hit your child and other people’s children. In the U.S. it is illegal to hit your neighbor with a stick, a belt or any other object. It is called battering and it is a criminal and civil offense. However, it is still legal in the U.S. to hit your child. It is not legal to hit children that are not your own. The book describes in graphic detail Debi Pearl hitting children that were not her own. The book attempts to illustrate how you should use Fear Conditioning on your children and on the children of other people. It is clear that the authors of this book are completely aware that the topic of the book is Fear Conditioning Children. They correctly use the term “conditioning” several times in the book. They understand what they are saying. They have substituted the phrase “train up your child”, because it sounds less harsh than the true phrase which is “fear condition your child”. This book has been linked with the deaths of two children. I am convinced that this book was a contributing catalyst to the death of these children. It gives the example of using the technique on a 4 month old baby. The book explicitly demands that you repeatedly hit your child until, “it is obvious he is totally broken” (page 59). I am changed from having experienced this book. During my lifetime of 48 years, I have passively sought peace, empathy, and rights for children. However, now that I know that this book is in circulation, and that people read it and implement the Fear Conditioning described in it onto their vulnerable children I will actively seek peace, empathy, and rights for children. My hope for you and your children is that by reading my review of this book you will reject Fear Conditioning as the philosophy that you use for rearing your children. I implore you to educate yourself regarding other successful methods. Talk with people who have been successful at rearing their children who never needed to hit them.