CTBHHM: Earning Your Abuser’s Trust

Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 132-133

***trigger warning for domestic violence***

This section is called “Earning His Trust,” and calling it that is messed up on about three million levels, as we shall see. It is the story of a young woman named Sunny.

Years ago I knew a sweet young girl who was really dumb. She had a very tender heart (which she thought was GOd’s love and compassion in her), and she always showed a weakness for guys who “needed” her. Her name was Sunny, and she was as fair and lovely as the Sunshine she was named for. Sunny always picked up hitchhikers to witness to, even thought he older folks told her this practice was not wise. One day she picked up a young man of Arab descent, who looked and talked very romantic. To make a long story short, Sunny married him.

We can’t really know whether this story Debi is telling is actually true or a figment of her imagination. I’ve had my suspicions about some of her stories and letters in the past, and I suppose there is no way to know for sure. But seriously? Making the man who as we shall see is about to turn out to be an abuser Arabic? It’s not that this doesn’t happen, it’s just that Debi’s use of the stereotype of the violent Arab makes me feel that the story is likely more fiction than fact.

She was soon pregnant with their first child, and in a manner of weeks, the violence began. Over the next seven years, Sunny was regularly subjected to his alcoholic rages and beatings, and she endured his flaunted unfaithfulness. She and the children were alone for days at a time, even weeks, as her husband stayed away with “friends.” He returned home to vent his rage and take the few dollars she earned to support their growing family. When Sunny was pregnant with their third baby, Ahmed came home drunk and tried to kill her with a butcher knife. Only the miraculous intervention of Almighty God spared her life.

Okay, so bear this in mind as we go through the rest of Debi’s story: Sunny’s husband flies into rages and beats her, is serially unfaithful to her, and at one point actually literally attempted to kill her.

Every time Ahmed came home raging drunk, Sunny would leave the house with loud, railing accusations and go to her mother’s home and cry out her sorrows. She would get on the phone and call all of her friends and tell them what Ahmed was doing to her. But she did not leave him.

Warning: This is where Debi is setting it up to turn the tables and blame the whole thing on Sunny. Oh yes. Just watch.

One day, I saw her at a church meeting—a huddled, sodden mass of tears and exhaustion. Sunny confessed to plotting her husband’s murder. She said she couldn’t tolerate life any more than it was, but her children needed her. She had decided to kill Ahmed instead. Her murder plan was well thought out and could have succeeded if God had not stopped her.

That Sunny got this far is evidence of just how much Sunny needed to get out.

I spent hours in prayer and counseling with Sunny that evening. I asked her to make a decision, either to leave Ahmed once and for all and put the pieces of her life back together, or to stay with him and begin a campaign of winning his heart and saving their life together. I fully expected her to leave him that night, but I discovered something amazing about her: Sunny really wanted God’s will in her life. She had grasped an eternal vision about life, and she now believed God could save her man.

Note that Debi did not tell Sunny flat out that she needed to leave, in spite of the fact that Sunny’s husband had tried to kill her. She did however hold out leaving as an option, which rather surprises me. But then, it was probably stated like this: “You could leave and live in a dumpy duplex and get a job and leave your children with babysitters who would have their boyfriends over for sex, and become a worn down unloved old hag that even your children would despise, or you could stay and start acting like a proper wife and in time Ahmed will start treating you like a princess. Which will it be, then?” In other words, I doubt it was presented as much of a choice. Indeed, notice that at the end of the paragraph Debi tips her hand—she may claim she gave Sunny a choice, but she clearly believed that God’s will was for Sunny to stay with her abusive and dangerous husband in an effort to win his soul, and there’s no doubt that she made that clear to Sunny.

I knew of Sunny’s weakness to blab everything; she couldn’t keep a secret to save her life. I also knew her husband was a very private man, and that her blabbing his sins kept him in a rage, as it would most lost men. I explained to Sunny that in order to win her husband’s heart, she needed to reverence him. This did not mean she had to see some goodness or worth in him that was not really there, but that she needed to show him esteem for the sake of her children and herself. Sunny already did everything else right. She was obedient, faithful, cheerful, a keeper at home, and a help meet. I encouraged her to go one step further and look for an opportunity to reverence her husband. She was not to speak ill of him again. Her conversations with others, as well as with him, would be only praise and appreciation.

O_o

Every so often I come to a paragraph of Debi’s that is so outrageous that it takes me time to actually find the words to refute it. This is one of those moments.

Debi says of Sunny that “her blabbing of his sins kept him in a rage”—this is, pure and simple, absolutely outrageous victim blaming. Debi already said that Ahmed would get drunk and get in a rage and beat Sunny—we’re seriously supposed to see this as Sunny’s fault for telling others about his abuse of her? This is utterly and completely ludicrous. It’s no one but Ahmed’s fault for beating Sunny, cheating on her, and almost murdering her with a butcher knife. Ahmed’s fault. Not Sunny’s.

Next, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is never a good idea to respond to an abusive husband by reverencing him. Actually, no limb, I’m on solid ground here. For all her supposed understanding of relationships, Debi doesn’t seem to understand how abusers work. Because I’m pretty sure that if you reverence an abuser, his response will be something along the lines of “Hey, look at this, I can get away with murder and she still does whatever I say and doesn’t say a word against me! Sweet!” Not, as Debi seems to suggest, “What could have possessed me to treat this beautiful flower so badly?!”

Finally, in telling her that she must never speak ill of her husband again but must instead only speak good of him no matter what he does, Debi is robbing her of Sunny one way to cry for help. She’s silencing Sunny. She’s dictating Sunny’s words just as she dictated women’s thoughts in the previous section. What if Sunny were to follow this advice and then end up dead six months later, leaving relatives scratching her head and wondering what went wrong when Sunny had clearly told them everything was perfect?

Sunny had a learner’s heart. She took my advice, and the change in her husband was obvious in just one week. It is amazing how vulnerable a man is when a woman treats him with honor. He stopped going off with his drunken friends and got a job so he could help support the family. He came to church occasionally and seemed amazed at the comments people made. “Sunny says you play the saxophone like a genius.” “Sunny told us you were a handsome man.” “We’ve been looking forward to meeting you; Sunny has told us . . . .” Ahmed was shocked, and Sunny continued on her mission. A week or so later, she got an encouraging boost in the form of a dream.

Debi is essentially promising women here that if they reverence their husbands, their husbands will drop bad habits, end any abuse, and get stable jobs. This doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t add up, and besides that, it’s downright wrong. It’s simply another way to victim blame and to goad women into trying to be perfect submissive doormats in pursuit of the elusive hope that if they can just be good enough, their husbands will stop abusing them. It’s also rather demeaning to men, if you ask me, because it suggests that any man is likely to become abusive if his wife doesn’t properly honor and respect him. I personally think better of men than that. Anyway, on to the dream:

She dreamed that a top government official came to the office building where her husband worked on a cleaning crew. The official had a meeting with the manager of the business and told him, “I need to hire a man for a managerial position in my department. The qualifications required are faithfulness, hardworking, honesty, punctuality, and intelligence . . . no special education needed. We can always teach him what he doesn’t know, but we can’t give him work ethics. So do you have anybody who has a good work ethic like that?” The manager answered, “I have one guy who fits that profile, but he is just the clean-up man.” In Sunny’s dream, the government official said, “I don’t care if the guy can’t read or write, if he is a faithful, hardworking guy that I can trust and depend on, then I’ll hire him and double his wages.” In Sunny’s dream, her husband was hired by the government official to fill a managerial position.

When Sunny awoke, she excitedly told her husband the dream. She was sure it was a sign he was destined for greatness. Remember what we learned when we studied Mr. Visionary, how greatness is a state of the soul, not certain accomplishments or the lack of them? Previously, when Sunny called her friends to “tell” them what a creep her husband was, she was reinforcing to him the belief that she thought he was a loser. She publicly shamed him, and he continued to be shameful. Her opinion became his frame of reference. Now Sunny began to publicly exalt him, with miraculous results.

Ahmed thought her dream was silly, but he held his head a little higher when he went to his regular job the next day—on time! Sunny went to her mother’s house and got on the phone. She called all of her friends and told them her dream. This time, Ahmed didn’t mind her blabbing!

This thing about dreams: Debi Pearls’ daughter Rebekah believes her dreams are prophetic, and for a while she kept a blog of them. She took the site down, but it’s been indexed and you can read her dreams and interpretations here. The point is that even as Debi in the next paragraph says she doesn’t think this particular dream was prophetic, Sunny’s belief that it was is not really that off the wall for this community.

To my knowledge, Ahmed is still on a cleaning crew, and Sunny’s dream was just that—a dream. But it expressed her heart toward her husband, and her opinion of him was far more important to him than any job he could ever get. When she dreamed he was a winner and told it around, Ahmed tried to live up to that image. Ahmed found such pleasure and life in his wife’s praise that he became interested in her God. In time, he trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. The last time I saw Ahmed and Sunny, they were growing in the Lord together. As the Scripture says, she won him “without the word” (Bible) but her “conversation” (I Peter 3:1). God’s way works. Who would have ever believed it? Sunny did—but then she didn’t have the disadvantage of “culture studies” and modern Greek “scholars.”

Debi tells this tale as a success story to prove what she has been saying—that women need to stop thinking ill of their husbands, stop speaking bad of their husbands, stop nagging their husbands abut their faults, and instead focus on reverencing their husbands. Reverence, Debi has said previously, “is more than just doing what a man expects or demands. It is an act of the woman’s will to treat him with a high degree of regard and awe.” Note that with this story Debi makes a case that God requires women to treat their husbands “with a high degree of regard and awe” even if their husbands are abusers who beat them, cheat on them, and even threaten their very lives.

It should be noted that Debi seems to be constantly ignoring that there are children in the picture here. Even if a woman chooses to risk her own life and happiness by staying with an abusive husband, her children have no choice. (Yes, I’m aware that often times abused women’s choices are limited, but they’re still less limited than those of their children.) Debi has previously indicated that the children of abused women who respond by submitting and obeying their husbands will grow up to honor their mother for that sacrifice, but the reality is that many of these children will wish their mothers had had the backbone to stand up to abuse or leave, and that many others of those children will grow up to repeat the same unhealthy relationship patterns they saw modeled by their parents. Note that Debi’s concern is not for Sunny’s wellbeing or for the wellbeing of her children, but rather for the salvation of Ahmed’s soul. If she’d actually been concerned for the safety of Sunny and her children, she would have told Sunny that she should take the children and leave.

Additionally, Debi claims to be giving Sunny advice on how to change Ahmed. The thing is, like I pointed out later, complete submission to his every demand and repaying every unkindness with welcoming smiles is actually a very bad way to change an abuser. If a woman is actually interested in changing her abusive husband, leaving him is probably the best thing she can do. In other words, if Debi was really interested in changing Ahmed, she should have told Sunny to make it clear that she would not put up with abuse, to leave Ahmed, and to tell him that if he wants her back there has to be actual evidence that he has changed and truly so. She should tell Sunny to stop letting Ahmed get away with his terrible treatment and to instead require that he treat her well or else lose her, not to bow under his horrific abuse and take it with a smile. That’s not called fixing someone, it’s called being an enabler.

Let me finish by bringing us back to where we started—Debi titled this story about Sunny “Earning His Trust.” And that’s just three million kinds of wrong. In this story, it’s not Sunny who needs to earn Ahmed’s trust, it’s Ahmed who needs to earn Sunny’s trust. Also, earning someone’s trust is not synonymous with reverencing them regardless of their actual qualities and behaviors. Debi, Debi, Debi.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://campuskritik.blogspot.com/ Malte

    You summed up everything that’s wrong with this. One thing to add: isn’t this story a bit racist? That Ahmed is ‘of Arab descent’ is irrelevant but plays into a stereotype of Arab men as violent abusers. Since Debi presumably changes names in these stories, I can’t see why she couldn’t have taken out the superfluous reference to Ahmed’s ethnic origin. (Assuming the whole thing isn’t made up, of course.)

    • ako

      I’m pretty sure Debi would consider it reverse racism and religious persecution if someone made a point of describing an abuser as a white Christian man.

      • Newbie

        Yeah, it occurred to me that making the abusive husband “Arab” is her way of trying not to offend the nice Christian men whose wives/mothers/daughters read the book. Also, up until now part of me wanted to believe that her advice was meant for women whose husbands are not abusive, and she just ignores the fact that her tactics would be disastrous in an abusive marriage. Well, and shred of benefit of the doubt might have is gone – Debi’s advice is just beyond toxic and dangerous

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Odd, because most abusers — at least in the US of A — are… white Christian men.

    • Mel

      Plus, I suspect the name Ahmed to Debi’s writing audience is synonymous with “Muslim.”

      • Jayn

        That stuck out to me, especially after mentioning that he started coming to church, because I kind of assumed she meant he was Muslim (or at least not christian), but there’s no mention of a conversion.

    • dj_pomegranate

      It’s totally racist. Tall, dark, handsome; romantic talk; violent tendencies, presumably breaking the rules of his own religion (i.e. drinking although Islam forbids it)…won over by anti-intellectual, sweet, earnest “fair and lovely” American Christian woman.

      There’s no reason to include an ethnic origin here, except to conjure up a stereotype in the reader’s mind.

      • wanderer

        Now that you mention that, the fact that she includes “romantic” in the list of characteristics of a dangerous man…. and thinking about how very opposite of this Debi describes her whirlwind engagement…. it’s just interesting to me. Seems like maybe one more of those ways she’s trying to convince herself that she is better off with what she got rather than wishing for someone to actually win/romance her.

      • That Other Jean

        Who knew that Debi was a fan of Rudolph Valentino movies?

      • Mira

        My boyfriend may be Arabic but lemme tell ya under that t-shirt without the sun he’s about as white as me. Which is pretty pale. xD

      • Interrobang

        Not that Debi would know this, but there are lots of Arab Christians. They’re not generally fundamentalist Christians, ergo not the *right kind* of Christian per Debi Pearl, but they are Christians. (Funnily enough, most of the Arab-derived people in my hometown are Christians, not Muslims. The Muslims often aren’t Arabs at all.)

  • wanderer

    excuse me. a week? a WEEK? For real, we’re supposed to believe that in ONE WEEK the wife started being nicer and the abusive jerk quit ALL his bad habits and started coming to church. honestly Debi….. how gullible do you think we are?

    • ZeldasCrown

      Even if the husband did start going to church within a week, I wouldn’t take that as a sign that he’s changed-it’s much more likely he began to realize that people might be onto his true nature, so what other way to make everyone think he’s an amazing, biblical husband other than by going to church? I daresay that the folks at Debi’s church are under the pretense that if somebody shows up every week, they must be a wonderful person. Many of us on this website (myself included) are under no such pretenses-going to church and beating one’s wife are not mutually exclusive.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Yeah, she’s really not a very good bullshit artist.

      • Sophie

        Sometimes I hope that when we get to the final chapter, it’s going to say ‘Gotcha! I would never give advice this vile and abusive. Also duplexes are awesome!’.

    • persephone

      I think it’s pretty obvious that Debi is desperately treading water every moment of her life because she’s living in an abusive relationship, and that this is what she has come to believe is normal–though I think her hyper behavior and ranting at others to follow her lead are the tiniest bit of her brain trying to fight back against her conditioning. Michael has definitely conditioned her. She said she had a crush on him from the age of 13; I’m sure the abuser in him took note, groomed her, then grabbed her once she was legal. And daily, I’m sure, he continues this conditioning.

      • Japooh

        That’s been my thoughts since the beginning of this series. I’d feel sorry for her if she wasn’t attaching her name to a document intended to subject other women to the same treatment. She’s either a victim or she has a kink that she thinks is perfectly normal and the rest of us are the screwed up ones.

        In either case, she’s got what appear to be very serious problems with empathy and good sense. Factor in her lack of real understanding of how the world works for most of us, and it’s clear she has no business writing a letter to the editor, much less a “how to abuse your family for Jesus” manual.

    • Kate Monster

      It’s like a crash diet, you know? 20lbs gone/fully reformed husband in ONE WEEK! (Though I don’t think Debi offers a moneyback guarantee).

    • Alice

      Exactly, if Debi knew anything she would know it was the “honeymoon phase” of the abuse cycle at best and a better cover-up at worst.

      • Sally

        Good point. Not only is it unbelievable that he changed that quickly, that amount of time doesn’t prove anything anyway.

  • ako

    If this story happened in real life, Debi could very well have helped send Sunny back to die at Ahmed’s hands. Abusers don’t abuse because it’s just so haaaaaaard having a menial job, or because alcohol makes them do it, or because criticizing their abusive behavior somehow causes it. They abuse because they find it rewarding. They like it. They enjoy being able to hurt someone who can’t fight back effectively. They enjoy it when no one holds them accountable for anything or demands they do anything difficult because everyone’s afraid of them. They enjoy having a convenient human punching bag to vent their rage on. They enjoy the power, the fear, the ability to get away with it. If the victim turns perfectly obedient and well-behaved, they’re not going to want to give up the pleasure of cruelty. Instead, they’ll lie, change the rules, make the demands impossible, make stuff up, and otherwise create excuses to keep abusing.

    And yeah, from what I’ve heard, the abusers most likely to change are the ones whose victims manage to get away, because abuse suddenly becomes less rewarding, and they have more of a reason to change. Abuse victims can’t make an abuser change by leaving, of course. No one but the abuser can make the abuser behave better. But telling an abuse victim God wants them to go learn how to be the most obedient wife ever and never, ever, criticize the abuser for the beatings and the attempted murder is rewarding them for the abuse. Debi’s rewarding abusers. She might as well be going “You beat your wife? Here, have a cake!”

    • Jayn

      “because abuse suddenly becomes less rewarding, and they have more of a reason to change.”

      That’s what gets me. There’s no benefit to acting better, not drawback to acting worse, for husband married to women who take Debi’s advice. Why the hell would they change? A few people might see their wives as being deserving of more, and change for that reason, but I doubt it’s a high number. And it’s not like she’d advise parents to change their children merely by setting a good example, but instead tell them to beat the sin out of them.

      Your comment about ‘alcohol made me do it’ reminded me of a comment about thinking a person was abusive because he was an alcoholic, then (when he was in AA) realising that nope, he’s an asshole without alcohol too. Sadly, in that case losing both family and career weren’t enough to effect a change :/

      • Sally

        Jayn wrote: “And it’s not like she’d advise parents to change their children merely by setting a good example.”

        I’ve been thinking that too. If she thinks this is how men change, why not use the same technique on badly behaved children? -Maybe especially badly behaved teens who are already “young men” and “young women.” After all, an 18 year old abusive husband and an 18 year old son living under his parents’ roof have the same brain development at that point. And it’s not like Debi thinks about brain development anyway.

      • NeaDods

        Yeah, funny how men are changed by submission and love, but children are saved by savage beatings.

      • David Kopp

        I’ve always held the view that alcohol doesn’t change a person. It simply removes the veneers they put on for everyone else. I really have yet to find an exception to that. People simply show their true colors after they’ve been drinking. A chemical inhibition lowering agent does not make you do anything, it simply allows you to behave as you would behave if nobody else held you accountable.

    • wanderer

      Also, let me get this straight: a woman comes to her and confides that she has plotted her husband’s MURDER. Debi….. prays for her? “counsels” her? what about the police????? A licensed therapist stat???? Is she kidding us here? How has Debi not been arrested or sued yet?

      • pick a name

        Plotting a murder doesn’t necessarily mean the person would in any case really do it. Also, as I don’t live in the US I don’t know the legislation there, but I don’t believe that only thinking about killing someone could be a crime anywhere. So the police wouldn’t be interested.

      • wanderer

        Yeah, here counselors are required to report it if someone is intending to do harm to themselves or others.

  • Mel

    Libby Anne, you were surprised that Debi allowed the option that Sunny to leave Ahmed. I wasn’t. Obviously, since he’s ARAB and named AHMED, he must not be Christian. I’m sure Debi is more than happy to let wives leave them heathen husbands. If his name was Tim Bob and he was white, the only acceptable choice for Sunny would be to stay with Tim Bob. And be killed by him. Remember, your husband is Jesus/God. God asked Abraham to kill Issac. If your husband kills you, it’s the same as Jesus killing you. You should be happy about it.

    *Shudders*

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Well, she has said before that women should even stay with unbelieving husbands. The Arab thing might have something to do with it but doesn’t she also say that it can sometimes be advisable to leave but not to divorce and the leaving should not be permanent? Or something?

      • Cathy W

        I recall that being said in one particular circumstance: if he’s sexually abusing the children, you should send his ass to prison and make sure it stays there until the kids are all grown, but you should still welcome him back as your husband (with all respect and reverence and so forth) as soon as he’s out.
        If he’s abusing you, you obviously deserve it, so no dice.

  • ZeldasCrown

    So Debi’s advice is for an abused woman to just start telling everyone that things are wonderful, even if they aren’t. So how, then, is an outsider supposed to know that the situation truly has changed? If things have gotten better, the wife will say that things are wonderful. If things have stayed the same, the wife will say that things are wonderful. So, sure, Debi noticed a change (assuming that this was a real situation, and not just a made-up one) in only a week because Sunny started saying that there was a change, not necessarily because there actually was one.

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      I guess Debi trusts that in any situation, there WILL be a change if the wife’s attitude changes, and that there’s no reason to follow up on the situation. :/

  • Katherine Hompes

    I am actually speechless… I know I shouldn’t at this point be shocked by anything Debi comes out with, and yet, I am. I am honestly shocked that she wrote that.

    Is she even human?

    • persephone

      I think it’s the abusive relationship she’s in, and her general lack of life experience.

      • Japooh

        Don’t overlook Micheal’s rock-solid conviction that he, and he alone, knows everything. He had to approve every line in this book after all. More than once I’ve speculated that he’s the actual author, and the only parts Debi wrote were about their weird relationship with garbage.

    • jo

      I was actually in a womens group that was studying this book once. Everyone else’s books were full of highlighting and notes like “yes” “so true”. Mine was full of crossed out sentences and notes like “no” “so wrong” and “not true”. When we got to this chapter I realized there was no redeeming the message it was just too completely wrong. I quit going and threw my book in the trash. I couldn’t bear to give it away and have someone else read it. This story just made me want to weep.

      • wombat

        Some books deserve a good ritual burning.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        I wish I could upvote this multiple times.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        How did other women respond to this?

  • Abby Normal

    It’s almost like this woman gets all her ideas from Victorian novels (“The Tenant of Windfell Hall” and such.)

    • The_L1985

      I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of hardcore fundamentalists are suspicious of anything written less than 100 years ago unless it has the “Christian” brand-name attached to it.

    • Ibis3

      Well…not The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in any case. [spoilers ahead] Helen does not follow Debi’s advice of being nicer to her abusive husband. She leaves him. And though she returns to nurse him on his death bed out of a sense of duty, he’s never redeemed and she never regrets leaving him. On the other hand, Millicent’s husband only stops being an irresponsible party boy when she stops being so reverent and complacent.

      • Abby Normal

        Thanks for correcting me–unfortunately my literary knowledge is limited to fuzzy memories of “Masterpiece Theatre”. I only remembered enough of high school English to remember that “wife reforms abusive asshole husband through her patience and Christian charity” as being kind of a common theme back then.

      • CarysBirch

        Thanks for pointing that out, I was just coming to comment that Helen leaves her husband and find a man who treats her better. That’s actually a pretty feminist book for its time. Maybe because Anne Bronte was a well educated single woman who had to support herself?

    • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

      The Victorian era in general had some pretty messed up ideas aboout how women and men should behave, but the literature of the time was much more nuanced. (I suspect individuals of the time were more nuanced as well.) Tess of D’Urbervilles is bascially an argument that a fallen woman is still a good person, and that was written by a man. Jane Eyre and Villette are about independent women who are anything but victims – Middlemarch has an array of female characters from all walks of life making their way in the world.
      Yes, I am an English teacher. I also think people like Debi look at a charactiture of the past, not the complexity that it really was.

  • Anon

    Of course, in the real life version of this, Sunny goes back to Ahmed and a week later she’s dead.

    In the wishful thinking version of this, Sunny actually calls Debi out on her bullshit, leaves her husband and becomes an advocate for abuse victims.

    And in the real world, neither of them exist.

  • Melody Jones

    I am sitting here, four shots of vodka later, still unable to process what the flipping hell I just read. Debi Pearl, what are you doing???

    If this story is true, and I pray to any god who will listen that it wasn’t, I hope those children found a therapist once they were old enough to leave their parents house and managed to break that cycle.

    ….the way that Ahmed was framed bothers me a lot too. He was an “Arabic man” who “talked romantic”, but then devolved into an abusive, cheating, thieving, drunk, attempted murder, but was magically saved by her (presumably) white Christian faith? In a week more or less?

    *holds head in hands*

    Make Debi stop please.

    I can’t take much more of this.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Yeah, the “scary Arab” details are just one reason why I don’t really believe one word of this story. I can’t decide if her cooking it up to serve as some kind of inspirational tale is even more messed up.

      • gimpi1

        I’m with you, Petticoat. Debi should take up writing fiction. Oh wait…

      • tsara

        She should find a Mad Men kinkmeme, is what she should do. At least the people there will be asking for it, in so many words, and aware of the difference between fantasy and reality.

  • dj_pomegranate

    There are so many jaw-droppingly terrible quotes in here that I don’t even know which to focus on. Perhaps, “Sunny did—but then she didn’t have the disadvantage of “culture studies” and modern Greek “scholars.” Hahaha! Take that, bible scholars!

    Or maybe the condescending, “Years ago I knew a sweet young girl who was really dumb…I knew of Sunny’s weakness to blab everything; she couldn’t keep a secret to save her life.”

    I also like, “Only the miraculous intervention of Almighty God spared her life.” Makes you wonder about all those other women in whose lives God didn’t miraculously intervene. Guess they just didn’t submit enough!

  • LostinTranslation

    I’m not going to say whether Debi’s story here is true or not BUT it bears some striking resemblances to the movie “Protocol” starring Goldie Hawn. Hawn’s character in that movie is named “Sunny” and she does attract the attention of an Emir who wishes to marry her… Also, the character of Sunny is a waitress who suddenly finds herself thrust into a job with the U.S. diplomatic corps thanks to a ‘government official’. Yeah, not all the details completely line up but there are enough similarities to make me think perhaps Debi cribbed a bit….

  • Sally

    How does Debi know Ahmed stopped abusing Sunny? According to her own story, Sunny no longer tells if he abuses her.
    The only way Debi could know is if she made up the story.

    • persephone

      Debi is quite the bull$%(- artist. She knows her audience and she plays to them.

    • Semipermeable

      This!
      Debi tells Sunny to either leave (+guilt/shamefailure) or to never speak ill of him. She stays (unsurprising, even well supported abuse victims struggle to leave abusers, much less ones from a community like this…) and suddenly, within a week all anyone hears is good news.

    • AnotherOne

      Well, of course Sunny would confide everything to Debi, so Debi would know. Seriously, based on my experiences with fundamentalist pastors/leaders/authority figures, they always want you to tell them everything so that you’re “held accountable,” but then you’re not supposed to talk to anyone else about it. Telling friends or fellow church members is gossip, and telling police or secular counselors or others in “the world” opens you up to unbiblical advice and gives the church a bad name. It’s part of how fundamentalist leaders get power. They want to know everything about everyone in their sphere, and they want a monopoly on that knowledge so they can control it. .

      • Sally

        OK, I see your point, but my point is that the way the story is told, Debi continues to know information even after she has told Sunny not to “blab” to anyone. Debi doesn’t then explain that she is the one person Sunny is supposed to continue to blab to. So Debi either made this story up (because she tells it from a fiction author’s perspective, knowing things she couldn’t know otherwise- including that Ahmed held his head a little higher after the dream), or she doesn’t even realize the inconsistency of telling Sunny not to blab but expecting Sunny to still blab to her. If she did the latter, she’s doesn’t even realize that leaving out an explanation as to why she continues to know “the truth” helps make her story impossible to believe. But because of all the other problems with the story, I simply don’t believe it at all. That the story puts her in a position of power over Sunny, I do believe you when you say that aspect is realistic.
        (If it’s not clear, I’m using Debi’s word “blab” when in fact the proper term would be “cry out for help.”)

  • Space Blizzard

    The more I hear about them the more convinced I am that the Perls just get off on the idea of people in vulnerable positions being emotionally and physically abused

    • NeaDods

      We know Michael does; he’s talked about the joy of watching a woman “spat the hand of a child a few months old for the sin of reaching out. And Debi, itching to pour out her contempt on everyone else and burning to live up to Michael’s orders will naturally follow.

  • m

    When my marriage turned emotionally abusive, I did keep silent for a while, but it didn’t do a damn thing because I was still constantly accused or blabbing, and talking bad about him behind his back. So yeah, first hand, that doesn’t work, and made things a lot harder for me.

  • Mira

    My boyfriend is of Arabic descent…is he now going to fly into a drunken rage and beat me? He hasn’t in 2.5 years–but does a piece of paper make a difference in the “rage gene” deep in there somewhere? Curious.

    I really have no words for this woman besides “the hell is WRONG with you?”.

  • Ibis3

    Okay, so Sunny’s reverence and public exaltation caused Ahmed to stop being abusive and drunken and unfaithful. That must mean it was her lack of reverence that caused him to begin to be abusive, drunken, and unfaithful, right? Let’s see what horrible act of irreverence the tender-hearted and compassionate Sunny committed to make romantic Ahmed into a violent, murderous asshole.

    One day she picked up a young man of Arab descent, who looked and talked
    very romantic. To make a long story short, Sunny married him. She was soon pregnant with their first child, and in a manner of weeks, the violence began.

    Huh.

    (ETA: I should note that I don’t believe any of Debi’s stories are true. In real life, men can become abusive when their partners are pregnant, but that’s down to that specific man’s choice. In Debi’s world, abuse is always the woman’s fault and submission is always the panacea.)

  • Holly

    “He returned home to vent his rage and take the few dollars she earned to support their growing family.”

    A working mother? There’s her problem right there. She should have stayed at home and had enough faith that she could feed her children on hope and dreams. Also, she took a job from a man. Bad female, bad bad female.

  • Alice

    I was thinking that the sudden flood of compliments could very well make an abuser angry because if the wife is talking about him all the time, then she would be more likely to reveal the abuse accidentally or otherwise. Abusers try to keep their victims as isolated and silent as possible even if it seems unlikely the victim will confide in someone.

    • tsara

      “I was thinking that the sudden flood of compliments could very well make an abuser angry because if the wife is talking about him all the time, then she would be more likely to reveal the abuse accidentally or otherwise.”
      I was thinking that, too. If he’s aware of what he’s doing, the flood of compliments could make him paranoid that everyone knows and is just trying to pretend that they don’t, which could make him think that they’re planning something to get her out of there… which could lead to maiming, or something to either punish her, keep her there, or both. (My mom’s been working a bunch of domestic violence cases recently. Not pretty.)

    • Sally

      I thought the same thing. I think it’s much more realistic that he would misinterpret these complements- even seeing through the nonsense (since at this point it is not very honest feedback and he knows it) and assuming Sunny and these people at church are making fun of him. People who behave like this (anger issues) often have cognitive distortions meaning they misinterpret people’s meanings and motives in the worst light.
      And all this happening after one week, then various visits to church with that many different people saying all those comments, and then a week or so later still, she gets the dream.
      And Debi knows how he feels and that he holds his head higher after hearing the dream he apparently says is silly.

    • onamission5

      And here I was thinking that the abuser might get suspicious when his wife starts praising him all the time– Why are you kissing my ass? What are you up to? You’re cheating on me, aren’t you?
      Because abuse isn’t rational, and there’s no such thing as a right way to behave that won’t set it off.

  • Truthspew

    I’ve known a few women who get involved with Arab men. When they come to the U.S. and STAY here they do so for a very specific reason. A lot of them are gay or bisexual.

    Makes sense – homosexuality is severely penalized in many nations in the Arab and Persian areas of the world.

    • Michael W Busch

      While that could be true, how is it relevant here?

      Also, the terms “Arab world” and “Persian world” are not appropriate here. I have had friends from Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon – they all grew up in very different cultures. Likewise, people I know from Iran grew up in a very different culture from those from Pakistan and those from Armenia. And while it is a very biased sample – mostly scientists and academics, the people I know who have emigrated to the US (regardless of country) have done so mainly for education and for employment.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    Debi has all the compassion of a baseball bat to the face. Sunny is dumb, Sunny is a blabbermouth, Sunny actually believes random dreams will happen. Maybe Debi doesn’t feel the need to protect Sunny from possible death by knife weilding Arab man because Sunny is just a dumb bunny anyway.

  • oywiththepoodles

    Debi makes me physically ill. It is terrifying to realize that there are women who are given her books and told that they are the key to a good marriage, a happy and healthy life, etc. How much damage might she have done so far- how much more will her horrible books allow? Completely sickening.

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    “Note that Debi’s concern is not for Sunny’s wellbeing or for the wellbeing of her children, but rather for the salvation of Ahmed’s soul.”

    Gotta disagree with you there. Debi’s concern is always and only whether Sunny will remain submissive. After the good results supposedly happened, Debi cites Ahmed’s conversion as a nice side effect, but in the heat of the moment when Sunny is making the decision, Debi’s concern is whether Sunny will choose God’s will to stay with the man, or rebel by leaving him. It’s all about whether Sunny stays obedient. It’s like women’s submission is THE most important thing in life. It’s like no priority in human history is higher than women submitting.

    Also, I am 99% sure this story is made up, because I cannot imagine a man who starts spontaneously abusing his wife suddenly having a change of heart just because she stopped telling people about the abuse. Her talking about him was not what made him start the abuse in the first place (since it is first mentioned as her REACTION to the abuse). Here we have a classic stereotypical story of a beautiful white women who is deceitfully wooed by a dark man with a smooth tongue, only to find that he has lived up to his violent middle-eastern heritage, but they have a miraculous healing of the relationship because the woman submits enough, and SURPRISE it ends in conversion. That is just too stereotypical and picture perfect to Debi’s worldview to NOT be made up!

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      And do please note that when I say “lived up to his violent middle-eastern heritage” I am, of course, describing what DEBI thinks and not what I think!

    • David Kopp

      Wait… you mean someone would lie for Jesus? But… the Commandments say not to! Or did I miss the asterisk that allows them to lie as long as it’s for the “greater good”?

  • Kate Monster

    I’ll bet you that Debi met a sweet, happy biracial couple and, confronted with the shocking idea that a MIXED MARRIAGE (!!!) between people two different religions was working out, she came up with her own version of their relationship, where the woman is a flighty idiot and the man is a violent stereotype and Debi is the pretty, pretty princess who saves them from themselves.

    Also, NOTE TO DEBI: telling people that you’re being abused isn’t “blabbing”. Holy fuck.

    • Sally

      I suppose Debi would see an Arab man and a European descended woman as biracial, but they’re actually the same race.

      • tsara

        Yeah, I’m eastern European. My grandfather and one uncle (who works outside a lot) have issues getting through airports; my younger brother has auburn hair and is pretty pale in the winter, but in September he gets people asking where he got his hair dyed. I’m a skin cancer-prone white person. (Granted, my grandmother — same side of the family — was some minor Austro-Hungarian nobility and one of the palest non-albino people I’ve ever seen, but still.)

      • Kate Monster

        I knew it probably wasn’t quite the right term, but “bi-racial” seemed like the best way to convey what I meant.

      • Sally

        Well, not really disagreeing with you, but maybe “unequally yoked” if Sunny was a Christian and he wasn’t. Again, not to disagree that someone like Debi would also consider them a mixed race couple.

    • wanderer

      Debi uses words like this…… “blabbing”. I’m pretty sure the last time I heard anyone use that word was like 3rd grade. She uses words that shock me with her immature and harsh vocabulary. Honestly, she really does sound like she’s a little kid who is telling on girl she doesn’t like.
      I’m shocked at how she talks about Sunny. What if Sunny is reading her book? How would she feel to be called dumb to the entire world?
      Again….agree that these stories cannot be true.

      • David Kopp

        She’s been ensconced in that culture since… forever? Of course she has a juvenile outlook. That’s all she’s ever been allowed to have or do. She’s never been allowed to be an adult.

  • Gillianren

    You know, we talk a lot about how Debi (and man, growing up in California gave me a mental image of that name that isn’t applicable here!) has no problem with badmouthing women, but this may well be one of the most blatant examples so far. I didn’t even get to the “no, really–be Godly and he won’t kill you” bit, or even the Arab bit, before I was mad. Her initial description of Sunny, the very first thing said about her, is that she was dumb? Which I suppose would be the only reason Sunny would go to Debi for help if she were being abused; it couldn’t be because she actually thought Debi would be helpful.

    • NeaDods

      Debi hates everyone but Michael, haven’t you noticed? She insults absolutely EVERYONE she uses as an example. Even I’d she says something nice,there’s still at least one insult in there, usually more than one.

  • Sally

    Debi Pearl wrote: “Sunny already did everything else right. She was obedient, faithful, cheerful, a keeper at home, and a help meet.”

    So she did all that and it still was her fault that her husband abused her. She still had to fix it by hiding the abuse and spreading the good word about her husband instead.

    It’s really not OK to make these examples up. I’m guessing Debi has justified it somehow by deciding that God is giving her these stories and that her success with the sales of this book are confirmation that it was OK. But it’s not OK. This isn’t how life works and it’s not OK to make up stories as if they’re true in order to prove that her teachings “work.”

    I have no doubt that people will believe these stories because they wouldn’t believe that a Christian would lie like this.

    • Amtep

      Even Debi’s idealized scenario doesn’t make sense. If Sunny did everything else right, then how did the abuse _start_? Did he hit her because he was angry that she would in the future tell people that he had hit her?

  • alwr

    Oh. My. God. This also plays into the belief that I’ve heard so many abused women state: “If I can just love him enough he’ll be better”.

    • NeaDods

      Debi pretty much outright says that.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Hard to believe I once bought into that.

  • NeaDods

    Like everyone else, I keyed instantly on the implicit racism in making the violent husband from the Middle East and not a good white Christian boy like Sunny should have married. This isn’t just a nasty, victim-blaming essay about sucking up dirt like a good little doormat, it’s a morality story about no matter how romantic and fun it is to look outside your own, just LOOK at what happens to a girl who strays from her own kind! And notice how he redeems himself – if he doesn’t change his skin, he certainly washes his soul white with the blood of Christ.

    Also, the fiction of the letter explains why the children only appear as a random footnote; they aren’t real, they’re just there as windowdressing to show that 1) Sunny is being a good little girl by continuing to sleep with him and breed like God wants and 2) a pregnant Sunny is that much more vulnerable, so doesn’t it seem that much more magnificent that the fairy tale ends up happily?

    And that’s not even going into the notion that all those people that Sunny “blabs” to don’t pick up the phone and call the cops – or even pick up Sunny and get her gone. Debi’s little tale requires not just Sunny but everyone around her to act in an unlikely, inhuman manner. Even if the people in her church are willing to believe that hubby is the Bestest Person Since Ever (as described by a bruised and bandaged woman), it stretches credulity past endurance that her mother would give her shelter to cry and not shelter and a way out, *period.*

    But then, as Libby Anne point sout, this isn’t about the children or Sunny at all. It’s about Ahmed’s heathen soul and how it was won for God. Like the amazing disappearing children, Sunny is actually incidental to her own story. (Wow, that’s pretty meta, isn’t it? It’s the way Debi treats all women, really.)

    it suggests that any man is likely to become abusive if his wife doesn’t properly honor and respect him.

    *inserts obligatory “… just like Michael” comment.* (Although… assuming the tale is true, isn’t it HILARIOUS that Debi would recognize an iron-clad, guaranteed no-fail spousal murder plot? Someone else sometimes thinks about getting away with it, but for the grace of God, hmmmm?)

    She’s silencing Sunny

    Yes, of course she is. Sunny’s just some dumb broad, isn’t she, and we all know the status of women in the Pearl universe. It’s not like she has a right to life or anything. (/sarcasm, just in case no one notices it sleeting off these words)

    I think Debi wrote herself into a corner here, actually. Usually she’s pouring her usual contempt for everyone in the world in the most nasty adjectives that come to mind, but she can’t trash Sunny and still use her as an object lesson (heavy emphasis on “object.”) Well, she can’t trash Sunny very much. She still gets in “really dumb,” turns Sunny’s compassion into both a moral failing and a misplaced interpretation of God’s will, and tangentially mentions that she disobeys the elders in her witnessing, not to mention her “weakness to blab everything” about her own misery and mortal danger. But other than all that, it’ll just ruin her little morality play if Sunny lines up three brain cells and hits the road, even though Debi herself presents it as the logical choice, or if Sunny is presented as too repellant to emulate. So praise God, Debi finally found one woman on the face of the Earth even more submissive than she is — and isn’t it just wonderful that this person still needs Debi’s advice? And takes it? (/sarcasm again. Lots and lots of /sarcasm again…)

    Did anyone else catch that Debi directly says that talking about being hunted with knife by a drunken maniac should have been kept private? Not just that it exposes hubby’s sins, but because he’s a “very private man.” Of course, most “lost men” will behave in just the same way, ladies, so remember ! Debi says “The moral of this story is to stay the heck at home and not look for greener pastures where a secular man might treat you better! It’s a trap! And don’t listen to those educated elitist Christians; us simple ones are so much closer to God, like Sunny. And ME. Most especially ME. After all… I’m sleeping with God. Michael said so.”

    As for that dream… jobs don’t work that way Debi Sunny. They never do. Not even Horatio Alger could come up with that blather. (Also, isn’t it interesting that Debi dismisses Sunny’s interpretation of her own compassion to the needful, but praises Sunny’s mistaken interpretation of that dream? Inconsistent much?)

    (If there are odd breaks in this comment, it’s because it was emailed and then cut and pasted. I wish Discus had a comment-by-mail option; I can see some comments while at work breaks but I cannot respond since the switch.)

  • LizBert

    What a dangerous fantasy to promote. Abusers almost never change, they don’t stop hitting you because you suddenly reverence them. Adults do not take out the frustrations on other people, especially not in a violent way. Too many abuse victims think that they can change the man who beats them if they just love him enough or act the right way. You cannot and for the sake of your life and that of your children, you must get out. It’s hard, I’m not saying it’s not, but you have got to leave right now.

  • sceptinurse

    Having been in that situation, more or less, alcohol and verbal abuse I can say in my case that this is utter bollocks.

    I went a christian “friend” of mine who counseled me just like this, and I ignored it. (Largely because that was what I had been doing and it hadn’t changed a thing) My gut said he has to stop drinking or I’m out of here, with 3 kids under the age of 5. He later told me that what made him go for treatment was knowing that I meant it and he wouldn’t have his family if he didn’t change.

    I agree this is a made up story, the time lines are all wrong and the stereotypes are rampant. If someone had insisted I use this book as a guide for my marriage I would have burned it.

    • Sally

      Sceptinurse wrote: “He later told me that what made him go for treatment was knowing that I meant it and he wouldn’t have his family if he didn’t change.”
      I’m impressed you did the tough thing and so glad to hear he got the message!

  • sylvia_rachel

    The story told in this letter strikes me as a second-order idiot plot. Debi, you’re asking us to believe that everyone Sunny knows has been hearing about her husband’s constant abuse, infidelity, and general shiftlessness for SEVEN YEARS and NOT ONE of them has called the police or Children’s Aid? Not even her mother? … yeah, no. Not even suspension-bridge-quality steel cable is sufficient to suspend my disbelief on this one. If she wants people to think her letters and stories are about real people she really needs to make them act more like actual human beings.

    Also: Worst. Advice. Ever.

  • grindstone

    I know the dictionary says reverence is also a verb but the less awkward verb is revere. Revere, revere, revere….not the more commonly used as noun “reverence”.

    Aaggghhh, just had to get that out. In other news, Debi’s book gets no better the farther we slog into it, does it? Dreadful advice.

    • UWIR

      In a similar vein, the language is Arabic. The people are Arab.

    • Sally

      Drives me crazy, too. I think the Pearls like using archaic terms like reverence as a very and help meet because it’s like their secret, insider language. And you’re the lucky reader being let in on the secret.

  • TLC

    I came here earlier today, in the middle of a stressful day, at the end of a VERY stressful week. And I’m scrolling right along, blood pressure rising directly in proportion to Debi’s increasing stupidity. Until I got to the part where Sunny started reverencing Ahmed, and he changed in one week. Then I busted out laughing and giggled for at least five minutes. Thanks for the laugh!

    I divorced a sex addict 14 years ago because he didn’t think he had a problem that needed treatment. Over the years, I have treated him with dignity and respect, never spoke badly about him in front of our son, and could count on one hand the number of disagreements we had in the first 12 years. Then he tried to sue me to get a “refund” of half the child support he’d paid over 13 years (he lost and ended up owing me +$14,000). So it’s been a little more tense in the past year and a half.

    But did it make a difference how I treated him? NO! It didn’t matter how well we got along, how flexible we were, or anything else. Because he is an UNTREATED addict, he is lost in his disease. If I forgave his debt and wiped it out, he still wouldn’t pay child support unless I garnished his wages.

    So Debi, NOTHING will change the way an abuser treats a woman unless he 1) actually desires to change and 2) gets therapy. “Reverencing” him may make things better for a tiny bit if there’s less conflict, but it won’t change an abuser. And certainly not in a week’s time! And without intervention, this woman will surely be killed.

  • j.lup

    Debi should have titled this chapter, “In which a woman confides in me that her husband tried to kill her and I didn’t think her life was worth enough to report it to the police.”

  • Hal

    Totally bullshit story

  • lollardheretic

    You know what’s weird about this? Buried here is some decent advice. Badmouthing your husband (in a non abuse case) can be a bad idea. If you wander around telling everyone what a tool your partner is, it reinforces negativity. I praise my SO because I think he’s awesome. I do discuss with a good friend when we fight when I need a perspective. But the fundamental “be positive about your partner” is good advice and can save a relationship. IF it goes both ways AND it doesn’t cover/condone abuse. Both things Debi ignores, of course. It’s just, well, again, weird, how she takes what might, at base, be some pretty solid advice, and twists it to horror.

  • Mary C

    Speaking as someone who, as a young child, repeatedly witnessed her father physically abusing and threatening to kill her mother, I’d respectfully suggest that a trigger warning at the top of this post would be helpful. I’ve followed along the CTBHHM posts, and probably should’ve known better than to read this one, but I honestly couldn’t imagine it would be as bad as it was. I underestimated Debi Pearl.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Thank you for your suggestion, and you are right, I should have. I’m so sorry! I will add the trigger warning and will try to remember to do so in the future, if warranted, so that you can continue reading the series.

  • Lucreza Borgia

    How do people justify any part of this book? There is one commenter here who was in a whole group study of it and she can’t have been the only one. How can anyone think that this book is a good thing??? I would really like to see an exploration of that angle.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Stockholm Syndrome?

      It’s the only reasonable explanation I can think of. The alternatives are… disturbing.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        If I recall correctly, I do believe there has been discussion in the past of “taking the wheat from the chaff”, yet there really are no redeeming qualities in this book.

      • Sally

        That’s the thing, though. There are some redeeming qualities. There is good advice. But it’s like bait and switch. Debi gives some good advice (like don’t kill your husband’s ambition by nagging him), and then when she’s got you with that good advice (which rings true), she “teaches” you some twisted stuff that’s really messed up. If you can’t think critically, you are taken in by the first part and then think you’re getting the special, secret, Godly stuff you didn’t already know about with the “switch.” IMO, it’s actually much more persuasive and potentially damaging because it does have redeeming qualities.
        That said, I don’t disagree with you in that because of the “switch,” the whole thing is in a sense unredeemable.

    • Sally

      I think you have to come into already predisposed to this kind of thinking. You either have been raised in a patriarchal household and have been taught to think somewhat this way already, or you’re otherwise vulnerable. I think some first generation patriarchal families are made up of parents who didn’t fit into society very well for various reasons and they are finding that they can make their own society. The men are getting their own tribe/fiefdom and the women are, to some degree, doing the same. The women can also avoid trying to function in the job market. They create (literally) their own schoolroom of pupils and busy themselves with all that that lifestyle entails.

      So my theory is that people who are somewhat “broken” emotionally find “healing” in this model in that they fit in. My guess is that this works out better in some situations than others. Maybe in some situations where it’s not working out so well, people try to fix it by digging in deeper. Or at least at the point where someone gathers a group of women and they study this book together, they’re already thinking enough this way, are isolated enough from the outside world, and they have so little scholarly understanding of the Bible that they’re easily fooled by the quasi-biblical approach this book contains.

      I will say that the folks who participate at the Christian homeschooling forum I frequent do not promote the Pearls. If someone recommends any of their books, there’s always quite a reaction complaining about their methods and their theology. In fact, that’s how I found this blog. Someone recommended this series as a way to see why to avoid the Help meet book (not to me; I was following the thread). So the people who are taken in by these materials, imo, are quite isolated and looking to find the secret to fitting in to something “better” than the world they don’t fit into.

  • Itsrealfunnythat

    So basically its a womans fault her husband is beating her because shes not a good enough wife… And even if he beats her she shouldnt complain because it will make him feel bad as a person and we wouldnt want that.

  • KyukiYoshida

    I fear for how many women within the christian religion are still being savagely abused and beaten because the church and it’s members tell these people, that it’s their fault. “Get a divorce and you’ll go to hell” is what I’ve heard some women be told.


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