Michael Pearl vows to "redouble efforts" in light of Hana Williams tragedy

Excerpt from No Greater Joy Ministries Facebook note, "Hanna Williams’ Death – Official Statement": If, as alleged, Hanna’s parents owned a copy of the book, it is obvious from these quotes and their actions, that they either have not read it or totally ignored its contents. The book repeated warns parents against abuse and emphasizes the parents’ responsibility to love and properly care for their children, which includes training them for success. There are thousands upon thousands of parents (the book has sold over 660,000 copies) who have and are properly applying the philosophy in the book with the joyous results of happy, productive, well-adjusted children in loving successful familie … [Read more...]

Michael Pearl Defends "To Train Up a Child" on CNN

Comments are open below.NLQ Recommended Reading ...'Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment' by Janet Heimlich ‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland ‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce<A HREF="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Ffamiliesthatflou%2F8010%2F3a66ffe9-ddd0-4d6b-8d9b-5eebb6c82db3&Operation=NoScript">Amazon.com Widgets</A>  … [Read more...]

Throwing Out the Moral GPS

by SierraGrowing up in fundamentalism was like living with a moral GPS navigator installed in my head. Every decision was mapped out already; all I needed to do was listen to the voice telling me where to go. Sometimes I could stop and look at the map. Most of the time I was looking ahead, trying to live, listening and following directions as best I could.The GPS gave me directions for living: Read the Bible and pray every day. Obey your parents. Be respectful of elders.Those directions made sense. They were there to help me get where I wanted to go: straight ahead. There were no twists and turns yet.Then the directions got a little stranger: Listen to one of Branham's … [Read more...]

Justice Is No Lady: Chapter 8 ~ Backlash

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyPart Two: The Legal AftermathI fled to the farm where I grew up and spent several weeks just trying to get the fuzz out of my head. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed Abi with failure to thrive. I supplemented her with formula but continued to breastfeed, because for once I had the luxury of breastfeeding by my own lights, and I intended to enjoy it. I moved six kids, 9 years old and under, in with my mom and dad, who were absolute angels about it.  I do not remember either of them complaining even once.What were Tess’s long-term plans? Did I want separation? Divorce? Neither? Was God angry with me … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Waiting

by SierraI loved driving. I'd always known I would. As a child, I collected Hot Wheels cars until they numbered in the hundreds. When I was twelve, my mother decided to teach me to drive in case my father's rage spilled over completely and I needed to escape. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. The car felt huge and seemed to move so much faster when my hands were on the wheel. I crowed with pride as I successfully navigated the winding roads of our rural neighborhood, passing a UPS truck with wide eyes and short breath.As I grew older, I periodically stowed away money for a car. At my bakery job, I thought I might finally have a chance when I amassed $1,000 – a year's savings. A … [Read more...]

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 2: The Little House on the Prairie Fashion Club

by DaisyWhen we were Quiverfull, our family wasn’t nearly so extreme as some regarding dress standards, but we did insist on longish dresses and hair for the girls for several years.This wasn’t all religious nonsense: those Osh Kosh pinnies were tough as hell and could be passed on through all the girls in the family and still look as though they’d hardly been worn. And, despite how my girls remember it, they were actually in fashion at the time. I wasn’t  just sewing our own stuff (although I did that too), Osh Kosh pinnies were bought off the rack in Myer and Target by regular folk as well as fundies like us. However, I’ll admit that we kept it up for longer than was appropriate. And we … [Read more...]

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 1: Work, Work, Work!

by DaisyNote: This post is part one of a series that originally appeared at my now defunct blog A Dragonfly Diary sometime in 2010. It has been updated slightly for publishing here but mostly left as it was. Because of this, this post reflects my attitude at the time of writing when I still felt a strong connection to Christianity. I'd also like to note that I'm not suggesting it is necessary to leave one's husband or faith in order to find happiness. That's just my story.***Work, work, work!Recently I caught the tail-end of the US-made Wife Swap program. The father in one home was a real stick-in-the-mud and a big believer in strictly 'training' his children. How I cringed to watch … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Surveillance

by SierraThick summer haze blended with the spirals of smoke belching from the backyard grill. A teenage girl in a sepia-colored seventies outfit poked at the flames with a stoic face, silently urging them to gulp up more pages from the notebooks she fed them, one after another. The fire surged with joy and then abated, leaving only charred fragments sinking into dust or drifting lazily into the air. The  grill was stuffed, but not for long. Soon the makeshift altar had reduced its sacrifices to embers. The girl sighed with relief, though the anger blazing in her chest had not subsided.Her mother had read her diaries. They had to be burned. Her most private thoughts unmercifully exposed, … [Read more...]

That Evil Feminist Movie, "Tangled"

[Note: For NLQ readers wo have not yet joined the forum, here's a small taste of what you're missing ~ :)]by Tess WilloughbyI found this and just about died. As a woman who escaped from my own abuser and "tower" of extreme fundamentalism, I can't get over this woman's take on the Disney movie "Tangled":Ladies Against Feminism: Mangled Stay-at-Home-Daughters on the Silver Screen.Rapunzel's rebellion, anti-domesticity, and general unwillingness to stay put are decried at length. In the movie, Reims states, "we’re treated to an interesting commentary on homemakers and why these captives to domesticity are setting themselves up for eventual disenchantment."Say what?Even though R … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 6 ~ In Which Nate Takes Up Racquetball

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyI tried to conceal my misery, fatigue, and desperation from the members of our new church. We had not been there very long when people began to notice how spaced-out and jumpy Tess Willoughby was. Our pastor, Mike, and our assistant pastor, Randy, both expressed concern about me.I was pregnant for the seventh time, and I dreaded another pregnancy, birth, and recovery. The clandestine feedings of Matt had delayed this pregnancy—this baby would be two whole years younger than Matt, a personal record. Matt’s birth in 1998 had been in the hospital—my first hospital delivery—because Nate had health insuran … [Read more...]


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