Michael Pearl has issued a scornful brush-off of critic’s charge that No Greater Joy Ministry’s “child-training” advice incited Kevin and Elizabeth Statz to beat their 9-year-old daughter, Lydia to death using quarter-inch plumbing supply line.
“It has come to my attention that a vocal few are decrying our sensible application of the Biblical rod in training up our children. I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love.”
A vocal few? Who Is Speaking Out Against Abuse? ~ I’d say there are more than a few “caustic critics” who are outraged over the “application of the Biblical rod” which lead to the death of Lydia Shatz.
“Numbered in the millions, these kids become the models of self-control and discipline, highly educated and creative-entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements. When your children finally find an honest mechanic or a trustworthy homebuilder, it will be one of ours. When your children apply for a job it will be at a company our children founded. When they go to a doctor, it will be one of our Christian children that heals them with cutting edge innovation. When your adult kids go for therapy it will be one of our kids-become-psychologist that directs them to the couch and challenges them to release their self-loathing and embrace hope for a better tomorrow.”
Numbered in the millions ~ that’s a terrifying thought ~ but it is true that No Greater Joy Ministries is a 1.5 million dollar a year business. If no one was buying, reading, and implementing the Pearl’s potentially-deadly child training advice, we could laugh right back at him ~ but as it stands, this is no laughing matter.
Models of self-control and discipline? Yes ~ undoubtedly, children trained by Pearl’s methods will have extraordinary self-control and self-discipline ~ anyone whose ever survived the terrorism of physical and emotional abuse as a child will testify to their ingrained ability to tow the line ~ to jump when the abuser yells, Jump! and to never dare let go and just be a carefree, happy, inquisitive child uninhibited by the abusive parent’s seemingly-omniscient watchfulness and omnipotent control.
So far as Michael Pearl’s boast regarding the superiority of NGJ-trained kids ~ it is doubtful that children whose natural inquisitiveness has been stifled by their parents’ expectation of “instant, joyful obedience” will retain the sort of creative, flexible, risk-taking personalities which characterize entrepreneurs and successful business professionals.
I well remember paging through my copy of To Train Up A Child as a dreamy-eyed young mother desperately seeking the very best, most godly way to raise my children.
In his book, Michael Pearl suggests tempting a child with a bite of their favorite food ~ placing a morsel within the child’s reach ~ and when said child instinctively reaches out for the food ~ Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, ‘No.’ Repeat as many times as necessary until the child is trained not to automatically grab for whatever he or she wants ~ but rather, to automatically look to the parent for permission before reaching out to take the desired food.
Even in my Quiverfull-induced stupor ~ I recognized the cruelty of such parenting advice ~ to deliberately tempt your child and then smack them when they take the bait?!! I remember thinking, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray “lead us not into temptation”? If it’s not okay for our Heavenly Father to lead us into temptation ~ how can it be right for earthly parents to do this to their children? I did not bother to finish reading the book.
Thankfully, I joined the local Le Leche League group for breastfeeding support and was introduced to Dr. William Sear’s “attachment” approach to parenting which jived with my natural inclination for gentle mothering. Admittedly, I still did occasionally spank my children ~ but thankfully, I stopped short of purchasing the quarter-inch plumbing supply line in my quest to have happily obedient children.
“When your children grow old and realize their mortality and seek to make peace with their Creator, it will be one of our children that shares with them the message of God’s love and forgiveness.”
Holy shit! ~ I am having difficulty finding words to express the anger ~ the fury ~ which I felt rising up within me as I read Pearl’s utterly preposterous claim that children raised according to his methods will be sharing the message of God’s love. Pardon my French, but ~ WTF?!!
Since the No Longer Quivering website was started almost a year ago, former Quiverers and their children have taken the opportunity to share their heart-wrenching stories of spiritual abuse ~ and the sheer horror of it all is so overwhelming that readers are sickened and often need to take a break ~ it’s just too much to bear!
Sadly, many of us ~ myself included ~ cannot hear the words “God” and “love” in the same sentence without a roll of the eyes or the need of a barf pail.
“My five grown children are laughing at your foolish, uninformed criticism of God’s method of child training, for their kids-my 17 grandkids-are laughing . . . because that is what they do most of the time. They laugh when Daddy is coming home. They laugh when it is time to do more homeschooling. They laugh when it is time to practice the violin and piano. They laugh when they see their Big Papa coming (that’s me) because Big Papa is laughing and they don’t care why just as long as he laughs with them.”
God’s method of child training. Need I say it? This man is delusional!
“My granddaughters laugh with joy after giving their baby dolls a spanking for ‘being naughty’ because they know their dolls will grow up to be the best mamas and daddies in the world-just like them.”
Not to mention sick and twisted.
“People all around the world, in places like Russia, China, Germany, New Zealand, Guatemala, Peru, Africa, and fifty other countries are laughing with joy because after applying the Biblical principles found in our books they finally have happy and obedient children.”
Take note people: parents around the world are laughing with joy because after beating their children into unquestioning submission, their kids no longer have the will to resist the extinguishing of their personhood and the murder of their very souls.
Do you think that Michael Pearl’s lunatic ranting cannot possibly get any worse? Think again:
“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.”
Shameless and unrepentant, Michael Pearl shows not an ounce of remorse or regret ~ not even an inkling of pity for Lydia Shatz or her parents who are living the nightmare of knowing they killed their child for the glory of God.
Revolting as Michael Pearl’s mockery is ~ the response of his followers is all the more disturbing:
“Laughing with you Mike and Debi!!! LOL”
“Strangers and friends alike, are always asking why our kids are so happy! Thank you, Pearls, for your consistent encouragement over the years.”
“The world needs more laughter, of the wholesome kind!”