Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schools Makes You Nothing?

Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schools Makes You Nothing? May 8, 2014

by Michael Pearl in No Greater Joy Magazine – Who Defines Your Children?

I see the kids coming out of the homes and public schools of our country, their lives predetermined by their self-image. Whether they are eighteen and cool, or twenty-eight and divorced, or thirty-eight, broke and on welfare, voting democratic, hoping to get ahead in life someday, maybe win the lottery, or on drugs—they are all controlled by a belief that they do not amount to much, that they are disadvantaged, or dumb and helpless, unable to do anything about their plight. So they hang out, watch television, eat junk food and dream—less and less, until they dream no more.

When you speak with them, you discover an impenetrable wall of self-imposed limitations. They were defeated by the time they were five years old. Parents and public schools unwittingly imparted that negative image of self until it became a fact supported by the evidence. Politicians take advantage of that state of mind and cultivate it in order to increase their voting block.

I have visited prisons and delinquent boys’ homes well over fifteen hundred times in my life. I have ministered in homeless shelters or rescue missions many more times. I have spoken with thousands of people on the streets, and have discovered that even when one of them becomes “born again” and enjoys the grace of God, the most formidable barrier they must overcome is that self-image by which they have come to define themselves. It drags them down and pulls them back to mediocrity like feet trying to run in stinking mud.

When I must counsel a 45-year-old man fresh out of prison, taking prescription drugs for bi-polar disorder, his former wife and children now nothing more than 15-year-old pictures that will never be updated, and he is “explaining” to me why he can’t keep a job or why “he is like he is,” I just want to go back and relate to him when he was two or three years old. I could “fix” him then—not now. I am not that influential.

Read the complete article at No Greater Joy Ministries

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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  • Nightshade

    But his way of training up a child doesn’t leave the poor kid defeated…nope, not at all.

  • Mikey Boy, you couldn’t fix a loose nail with the biggest hammer in Lowes.

  • KarenH

    Meh. I may have attended public school and maybe my name isn’t famous. But I’ve never had to feed my kid animal food to avoid public assistance.

  • Trollface McGee

    I’ve worked with people in jail – yes, most of them went to public school (of course, that’s true for most people in industrialised countries who aren’t in jail).
    I did see a lot of untreated or poorly treated mental illness. The 45 year old who’s on meds for bipolar – why is that a bad thing? Is it better for him to be off his meds and unstable? Or self-medicating? If you have a chemical imbalance, meds help. Would they chastise a diabetic for taking insulin? Would they recommend beating the insulin resistance out of a three year old? (Ok, so they might).
    The other part that I saw a lot of was abuse – something the Pearls have made their fortune advocating for. Breaking a child’s will until they obey out of fear and learned helplessness seems to impose more barriers and does more damage to self-esteem than our Socio-Marxist-Atheistic-Muslim-gynocracy ever has.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Makes me want to bend him over and whack his fanny with the largest paddle I can find so he can feel what his advice is really like.

  • Nea

    They were defeated by the time they were five years old

    Mikey, dude! Since when did YOU have a problem with adults making sure that little kids’ wills were broken and they were “utterly defeated”? This is *literally* your own advice!

    I just want to go back and relate to him when he was two or three years old. I could “fix” him then—not now

    No matter how often I read this, it keeps coming out “I bet I could beat the bipolar out of that boy.” And wow… a preacher who admits that he can’t fix problems with his beliefs, his Bible, or his preaching. Think about it. That’s some kinda piss-poor preaching if it doesn’t work on an adult, it only works when you can literaly beat it into a little kid.

    I have to say, though, part of me is a tiny bit impressed that when his kids are living in poverty hawking crap on the internet and his own wife is going without medical care because “there’s no money” he still manages to be a contemptuous classist who thinks the sum and total of the entire rest of the country consists completely of the people he meets in jail. Here, let me fix this for the rest of us:

    I see the kids coming out of the homes and public schools of our country, their lives and the lives of others predetermined changed for the better by their self-image as capable, confident, curious, and intelligent people. Whether they are eighteen and cool twelve and inventing a braille printer, fifteen and inventing a cheap, accurate cancer detector, or sixteen and inventing a never-fail flashlight, … voting for or being Democratic local administrators, state governors, Congressional Representatives or Senators, or even Presidents — they are all controlled by a belief that they do not amount to much can and will and HAVE changed the world.

    Dude. Some of us keep up with the news of the majority of the culture. Mind you, I can see why you avoid that like the plague, Mikey.

  • Mel

    Oh, Mike.

    It must be galling to you to look around and see all of the healthy people who went to public schools and didn’t get the crap beaten out of them by their parents.

    It must really piss you off to realize that the only publicity you get outside of the CP circles is as “that bat-shit crazy dude who wrote that book on how to abuse children.”

    Do you feel good when you see your adult children are dirt-poor? Especially when so many other adults from the same era are successful and living a comfortable life?

    Just remember, Mike, – YOU are reaping what YOU sowed. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  • Layla13

    I just want to go back and relate to him when he was two or three years
    old. I could “fix” him then—not now. I am not that influential.

    Michael Pearl isn’t incredibly full of himself or anything…..

  • bekabot

    Michael Pearl:

    “Public schools defeat kids by the time they’re five years old. I’ve got the solution to that. I say you’ve gotta defeat kids by the time they’re two years old — that’s how you know they’re gonna turn out OK.”

    The problems Michael Pearl notices are real problems, but I don’t think he’s got the solution to them, though he pretends to. I don’t think he has the solution because he talks about having to regress a Problem Dude back to the age of three — heck, didn’t even Ignatius Loyola (was it?) draw the line at seven? Why does Michael Pearl need to get to people before the age of three to fix them, when Loyola could pull the same stunt off with a four-years-older kid? What did Loyola know that Michael Pearl doesn’t? In other words, what’s Michael Pearl doing wrong? (Compared to Loyola, anyway. Remember that the Jesuits — BTW — were pretty much the first pedagogues to talk about the educational advantages of not being too harsh with children. Hm.)

  • Steve Jobs attended a public high school.

    He was “nothing”, apparently.

  • I don’t. You don’t need to “Defeat” children.

  • Jason Pearson

    Few problems have a single solution. Many people are aware that the education system in this country has serious problems. We should definitely be getting more bang for our buck (like they do in Japan and Germany, for example). For the amount of money we spend on public education, we should be leading the world, not lagging behind. But homeschooling is not necessarily the silver bullet solution. As part of that community, I have seen families where homeschooling did more harm than good. Taking an unbalanced, unhealthy approach to any problem will only make it worse. Homeschooled kids are every bit as susceptible to emotional and psychological damage as their public school counterparts. This is something every parent should consider before shouldering this responsibility. A parent can mess their kid up just as badly as anyone else, and some have done so very badly indeed.

  • Will you continue doing it until his will (to sell his book, to hit children) is broken?

  • Nea

    It’s not just him reaping. Debi’s reaping her share, and the kids live in the hell he created for them.

  • gimpi1

    As did Bill Gates, as I recall.
    So did I, my doctor, my rheumatologist, my accountant, my husband, the surgeon who performed my carpal-tunnel surgery, and Carl Sagan.

    All nothing, apparently. Who knew?

  • Edie Moore McGee

    Meh as well. I went to public school and have three degrees, having earned two of the three at “good” universities on scholarship. I went to a top tier law school. I’m not rolling in the dough, but I can support a family pretty well. We own a house in a good school district. We paid for an adoption without grants or fundraisers. We have retirement savings, and we go on nice vacations. And I did some of this back when there actually were artificial limitations on what a woman can accomplish. I don’t wwant to say Michael Pearl isn’t connected to reality — people who minister in prisons see all too much reality — but he’s missing a big segment of the populace:: people who went to public school (or public fool, as Zhuszhanna Anderson derisively calls it, and did just fine. There are lots of us out there. Perhaps he should minister at high school football games in wealthy suburbs or high-end shopping malls instead. Oh, wait. He might see something that conflicts with hhis world view.

    Oh, and I forgot. Mr. Pearl, tell me how getting beaten with plumbling supply line on a rregular basis builds self-esteeem.

  • guest

    “Mr. Pearl, tell me how getting beaten with plumbling supply line on a rregular basis builds self-esteeem.”

    That is exactly what I was thinking. These people condemn the whole idea of a positive self-esteem anyway!

  • guest

    Yes, because he believes very strongly in “leave and cleave”, meaning that once his kid is married, they are out there on their own. Well, sometimes worse, with the spouse that got the M.P seal of approval.

  • Why does Pearl fear self esteem, positive self-image and individuality?

  • Nea

    People with those qualities will neither buy his advice nor treat him as a wise, commanding elder. They’re far more likely to expose his lack of logic and cruelty and laugh or sneer at him.

    Your choice as to which is more intolerable, the threat to his business or his ego.

  • Nea

    Those kids were crushed by him and Debi so they can’t cut it outside the cult, the women can’t stand up to the men (Rebeka’s husband decided to study the bible full time and make the whole family live off what she can eke out with no education or means) and Daddy told them not to get licenses so they have few legal rights, assuming they don’t still carry his disdain/terror of the government.

    They may have left and cleft, but they’re still mired in the world and mindset he instilled.

  • Nea

    Also nothings are the teenaged inventors I listed in my reply, Neil deGrass Tyson (I would love to see NLQ or LJF tackling the fundamentalist side of Cosmos), all board-certified doctors, nurses, paramedics, the various inventors of DARPANET, Tim Berners-Lee…

    The Internet that Pearl uses was invented 100% by “nothings” not the manual laborers that Pearl finds morally superior. Does this thought ever even cross his mind?

  • Hannah

    “Whether they are eighteen and cool, or twenty-eight and divorced, or thirty-eight, broke and on welfare, voting democratic, hoping to get ahead in life someday, maybe win the lottery, or on drugs—they are all controlled by a belief that they do not amount to much, that they are disadvantaged, or dumb and helpless, unable to do anything about their plight.”

    I find the “broke on welfare voting democrat” part to be actually ironic. Rather, the higher educated one becomes, statistically speaking, the more likely they will become financially stable if not upper middle or upper class, and the more likely to vote democratic. Poorer communities tend to be more religious and more conservative politically. Granted this is a broad generalization, but overall holds true nationwide.

  • Nea

    What’s ironic is knowing that his own children, his supposed successes, are all dirt-floor poor and even his wife is begging for donations on their website. So who’s in poverty begging for a handout? Not this publicly educated Democrat!

  • Allison the Great

    Of course Michael would consider every single one of these people to be “nothings” because they’re secularists and education has always been highly suspect among guys like Pearl. Smarter people who have been well educated are easier to control. They are capable of thinking critically, while the people who are in this cult are not. Intelligent people ask questions, Pearl and his ilk discourage asking questions.

  • B.A.

    Hi,I’m new.I love this site. It’s very enlightening and I always learn something. But the people who post can be quite entertaining. I wasn’t spiritually abused,thank goodness,but I live in the Bible Belt (southeast) and my grandmother,before she came to the U.S.,was denied a college education because her father was very Orthodox. (We’re Jewish.) She was glad that my sister and I had more opportunities than she did.

  • B.A.

    My grandfather went to public school and later got a PHD! Like your comment.

  • B.A.

    I would think smarter people are harder to control. It’s people who cannot think for themselves or think critically,as you said,that are easier to control.

  • My biggest problem with the guy, and I’ve been ruminating on this for a while, looking for the best way to explain just WHY his words set my teeth on edge, is the unspoken attitude that mental illness doesn’t *really* exist and that people aren’t *really* impaired by it to the point that they cannot hold conventional employment.

    When he puts the quotes around the word explain… as if to say that the man was really “making excuses for his laziness” or something similarly arrogant and such… as someone who has mental illness (depression and mild ADD and possibly other undiagnosed conditions) I find that extremely distasteful. Mental illness is not laziness and the problems it causes with maintaining conventional employment are very, very real, not the least because of attitudes like this one, which is not, I’m afraid, limited to the Idiot Fringe.

    What bothers me is that people might chalk up these horrific attitudes to “Broken Clock Phenomena”, where even the most backwards and horrible villains can get get it right sometimes.

  • Nea

    Well, yes, but the irony of the Pearls using the technology invented by the people they disdain should be pointed out at all opportunities, IMO.

  • Karen Burch

    Good to hear that attending public school all my life has put me on the road to welfare and prison…I guess my voting Democratic is just a sign of my impending, public-school created doom.

  • Allison the Great

    Of course, just like the anti-science people are always using technology that wouldn’t have been created if not for science.

  • Hattie

    That “impenetrable wall of self-imposed limitations” was, rather ironically, homeschooling’s gift to me.

    Maybe public schools would work better for some… Michael.