Quoting Quiverfull: What is Normal Exactly?

Quoting Quiverfull: What is Normal Exactly? November 11, 2014
Removed Neo Nazi Normal Graphic – now here’s a photo of a baby bunny to look at instead…

by Shoshanna Pearl Easling from No Greater Joy – Yes! I Am Normal


Is it true your parents are the same people that wrote the book To Train Up a Child? You seem so nice and normal, and yet after reading a short part of that book I was vomiting! How can anyone with a conscience behave like such monsters?

They are akin to the lowest of low and in my opinion need to be shot. I feel sorry for you and pray you don’t raise your child in the same manner!

It’s true. I am Mike and Debi Pearl’s youngest daughter. My name is Shoshanna Rashell (Pearl) Easling and I am writing this to set the record straight. Over the years many people have commented on how surprised they were at how “normal” my siblings and I are. This makes me laugh!

Some people think because we grew up with parents who spanked us when we misbehaved that we should be emotionally scarred, socially crippled, broken-spirited, withdrawn, and so on. Boy, are they wrong! Me, broken-spirited? HA! No one that has ever known me would think such a thing. Our parents raised us to be spirited, creative, confident, successful, and funny. To top it off, I am a go-getter kind of gal (check out Mom’s Preparing book). My parents did not raise any spiritual clones! And none of us ever went through a time of rebellion against God or our parents.

..and read this little bit if you don’t have the time to read the entire article

When I was 13, I was over helping a young couple by babysitting their kids while they were working on a project. The couple got into a verbal fight and raised their voices. I was blown away. I had no idea couples fought. My dad and mom never raised their voices at each other or at us. I look back at my life in the Pearl house and I thank God I grew up there. I am so blessed to have such amazing parents. The more people I meet, the more I get to know, the more I realize how incredible my childhood was.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, influential bloggers and cultural enforcers 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 and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully

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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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  • Saraquill

    Oh, where to start? First, my desire to smite the person who created that icon for being racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist and other things I don’t have the words for. May that person(s) step barefoot in dog poo.

    Second, I think it’s safe to say that the letter Shoshanna answers is fabricated. The question and answer portions are written in the same style, and I doubt Shoshanna’s lifestyle can be considered “normal.”

    In terms of her parents not fighting, I’d say it’s because dad was an abusive turd who’d become violent at the slightest bruise to his ego, and mom being a passive aggressive manipulator.

    I’ll agree with her that her childhood was “incredible,” though not in the way she means. Beaten from infancy onward, forced to eat cat food and donated animal feed, and tossed into a body of water long enough to inhale fluid are not matters to be celebrated.

  • Trollface McGee

    That letter is weird. If someone told me my parents should be shot, I would not react like “oh, I had such a happy wonderful life *giggle*” I’d be pissed that they were suggesting violence against my family. I guess if we’re going by the hypothesis that the Pearls make their own letters, it doesn’t seem so bad but wow, what a weird response.
    Of course the Pearls don’t yell at each other. They live in a mini-dictatorship. It’s like looking at Saudi Arabia and being impressed by low levels of drug use while ignoring that they behead people for drug offences. And while verbal abuse and excessive fighting in front of kids is bad, parents who occasionally argue(and *gasp* raise voices) is perfectly normal and healthy and teaches kids how to handle conflict.
    And ugh that graphic. How is “white” normal? Does that mean non-white is abnormal, I don’t want to know. But yeesh, not studying things like history, sociology, psychology, never exposing yourself to world cultures, never taking time to contemplate… what a boring life.

  • Where does that graphic come from, though? I didn’t see it on the linked page.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I agree with the dog poo! “Pretend to be awkward”? Is she saying that Asperger’s isn’t real, that people are faking it for the “cool” factor? Please! A childhood and adolescence full of stepping on social land mines (with all the humiliation that entails) is NOT “cool” by any stretch of the imagination!

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    I’m going to pretend that what she means is that she’s not emo or a hipster – mostly because if she actually means to be referring to Asperger’s and people who suffer from major depression, I would probably find myself wanting to hunt her down and shoot her myself because I can only guess what she’d have to say about people with bipolar disorder (like me!)

  • Astrin Ymris

    The intended message COULD be “Christianity cures mood disorders and autistic spectrum conditions. And if doesn’t work for you, then you haven’t submitted to God thoroughly enough!”

    Either way, it’s contemptible.

  • Nea

    Our parents raised us to be spirited, creative, confident, successful, and funny

    Which is why we were whipped with spirit and vigor for going too near water or up stairs as toddlers (much less contradicting Daddy at any point in our lives); don’t create anything original, just repeat our parents’ talking points about marriage, beatings, and gender essentialism; are confident we’re better than anyone else; successfully live in conditions of third-world poverty with careers so threadbare we have to beg for money from our readers; and find our fun sneering, pointing, and laughing at anyone who doesn’t think like us.

    Shoshanna, sweetie, some of us can actually look at your writing/attitude/career and judge you right back.

  • Nea

    How is “white” normal?

    Yeah, “normal” has a very specific definition there, doesn’t it? And yet whoever wrote it would probably have a fit if they were told they were being blatantly racist.

  • Nea

    I can’t imagine Michael Pearl believing in autism, PTSD from abuse, depression, anxiety, shyness, or introversion. He probably only believes in dyslexia because he and Debi couldn’t beat it out of their own daughter.

  • L’Anne

    I think the graphic is problematic, and there is something … odd about it. I have a hard time picturing the Pearls (among others) knowing what otaku is, for example. I have a hard time picturing US dominionist types that shun college and foreign stuff spelling “colored” as “coloured.”

  • Trollface McGee

    It could be Canadian, or British, or Australian? They’ve got their own nutters over there, just in smaller quantities.

  • katiehippie

    She seems to be over compensating. “We were happy happy HAPPY because mom and dad TOLD us we were HAPPY. Yes siree! We were HAPPY and well adjusted. Nothing wrong here! Nothing to see!”

  • Nea

    Cat food and cabbage are just YUMMY! I honestly enjoy the challenge of living without running water or electricity! It was a thrill to have my untrained husband be my only help during childbirth! I totally respect my husband even when he’s being a wuss by asking for my opinion!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    found it on a random page and while it doesn’t 100% fit what she’s saying it’s pretty close

  • Mermaid Warrior

    The graphic is so weird. It tries to glorify “normality” (whatever that means) but it makes it sound so boring. It kind of makes me think that whoever made it is secretly resentful of living in such a sheltering, restrictive community, and is desperately trying to convince himself/herself that being weird in any way isn’t all that great anyway. Like, sour grapes, dude.

    Also, since when is it normal to be white? Last I checked, a massive portion of the people on this planet weren’t white. Earth-wise, aren’t white people actually a minority?

  • Independent Thinker

    Shoshanna is the golden child of the Pearl family. Rebekah Pearl is the one who lives in a trailer in New Mexico without electricity with her unemployed husband who prefers to spend his days studying the bible instead of actually working at a job with a paycheck.

  • Independent Thinker

    Successful is a big stretch. Nathan just lost his coffee business. Shoshanna sells herbs. Rebekah and her husband don’t work. Shalom is hocking her parents books at homeschooling conventions. I don’t know what Gabriel does for a living but his profile on the No Greater Joy Minstries website is as follows:

    “Gabriel Pearl is the firstborn son of Mike and Debi. He is a leader in the community, a man of integrity, and a fine example to the many young men whom he employs and teaches. Gabriel is a builder, hunter, and “volleyball king” of the community. Lori is right beside him on every project, from the volleyball court to the deer stand. Gabe and Lori are parents of Jocelyn, Laife and their newest addition, Joshua Gabriel.”

  • L’Anne

    I thought of that for the “ou” spelling, but still something is off.

  • Nea

    Shoshanna says “we were raised to be…,” so I have no problems making her defend the “success” and happiness of her siblings as well as her own. And speaking of her own, she certainly blew a gasket of contempt at her own husband:

    he would smile and say, “I don’t care. I want to take you where you want to go. Where would you like to go?” I wanted to be his Help Meet; I did not want him to be mine

    There she doesn’t have any problem talking about unhappiness and struggle in a marriage, and it’s all because she was raised specifically to think that a man who treated a woman like she had anything worth saying about what she did or ate was not being a real man. And that was a big problem for her!

  • Aimee Shulman

    I wonder if that husband, during his “studies,” has ever come across the verse that says that someone who doesn’t provide for the members of their own household is “worse than the pagans.” Or whether Michael “cat food’s good enough for my kids” Pearl himself has ever read that verse.

  • Nea

    “Successful” is a massive denial of observable reality. Those kids act precisely how I would expect of the brainwashed, miseducated children of the violent Debi and Michael Pearl: considering sneers to be spirit, habit to be creativity, self-righteousness to be confidence, not dropping dead of starvation/abuse/medical neglect to be success, and bullying to be funny.

    Sounds like Gabe is picking up part-time work doing building and feeding the family with deer meat. I have no idea what Rebekah is doing if she can’t work along with her deadbeat husband sitting on his ass and giving their money away. “Love donations” from their readership won’t last forever.

  • Nea

    There are so, so, so many verses missing from the Pearl bible. One gets the impression that it’s about 52 pages long.

  • Nea

    PS – how did Nathan lose the coffee company?

  • Astrin Ymris

    Wait… they BEAT a kid for a reading problem? *shudders*

    Did they express ANY contrition for that AFTER they realized that dyslexia was real? Even of the pro forma I’m-sorry-so-forgive-me-already variety?

  • Anonyme

    Maybe you don’t appear that way to outsiders, Shoshanna, but I am guessing you protest too much. You’ve been conditioned from infancy that any little sign of stubbornness, negativity or sadness is “sinful” and an affront to God, and that you need to pack it all away and put on a “happy” mask, or you’re damned for Hell. Literally.

    I’ve cited the ‘Simpsons’ episode, ‘Moaning Lisa’, on NLQ before, but want to leave this here again–it sounds so much like what the Pearls and Campbells and all the Superfundies advocate.

    MARGE: Now Lisa, listen to me, this is important. I want you to smile

    LISA: But I don’t feel like smiling.

    MARGE: Well it doesn’t matter how you feel inside, you know? It’s what
    shows up on the surface that counts. That’s what my mother
    taught me.
    However, as the episode develops, Marge realizes how toxic her mother’s advice was, and actually notices what it can do to Lisa.

  • Evelyn

    I’d bet a chunk of change that her dad gave her a whole bunch of “licks” after he pulled out that half-swallowed 2 foot long piece of hair she had inadvertently baked into his biscuit.

  • Independent Thinker

    They have a You Tube channel with a pretty poor following and they wrote a book called The Da Vinci Road. Again with lackluster sales. I guess the premise of the book is you don’t need textbooks to learn. You can stare at stuff around you to learning. If you are looking you are learning. It’s about homeschooling over public schooling. Some one should review it. Frankly, I don’t think I could stomach the whole book.


    Rebekah is an extremely paranoid person. It’s evident in almost everything she writes.

  • Independent Thinker

    I don’t know how he lost the business but the website they used to sell their coffee has been down for months. If you go to the No Greater Joy Ministries website they are still claiming Nathan is in business but when you follow the link they provide the website has clearly gone back to the dominion owner. http://nogreaterjoy.org/2011/07/29/our-favorite-coffee/

  • Trollface McGee

    I found the same image on google image search, it goes back to a rather nasty Neo-Nazi site.
    It’s not the same pic as on Shoshana’s site or if it was, they changed it.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Whooops! I didn’t look to see what type of site I was using this from, just was looking for a chart with at least a few of the distinctives of the Pearl belief system…better go change it out.

  • Trollface McGee

    Not that I think the Pearls wouldn’t agree with that statement but baby bunnies make Pearl-logic much more palatable.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    … It’s like the episode of Futurama where Leela dates a guy who is obsessed with being normal.

  • Aimee Shulman

    With a hearty helping of creative reinterpretation as well.

  • L’Anne

    The only place I saw it was on pinterest, obviously pinned by someone who ridiculed it.

  • Nea

    They never admitted that they beat her – Debi patted herself on the back for becoming an “expert” on dyslexia by reading a handful of books and teaching her daughter. But frankly, every bit of advice both Michael and Debi gives suggests that the slightest slowness or imperfection in a child MUST BE due to rebellion and seeking to take control, both of which require instant, persistent, whipping.

    So it doesn’t take a lot of thought to realize that before Debi discovered that dyslexia was a thing, that girl inevitably came in for punishment for “deliberately” messing up her lessons. The question is… how many beatings did it take?

  • Nea

    It’s not hard to realize that someone who came in for physical abuse every time she wasn’t perfect/broke an unspoken rule/her insecure father needed to shore up his ego/has to “reverence” the man who dragged her into desperate poverty and denied her medical care would end up massively paranoid about where the next slice of hell on earth will show up.

  • For the record, I like the bunny better. “Normal” is some scary shit, lemme tell ya. “Normal” is how they describe serial killers. I don’t EVER want to be considered to be “normal”.

  • Baby bunnies make EVERYTHING much more palatable. And baby kittens and baby puppies.

  • Trollface McGee

    Yep, I followed the link from there. It’s not obvious, and definitely not as offensive as the other pics and articles on the original – defo something to mock.

  • Nea

    If someone told me my parents should be shot, I would not react like “oh, I had such a happy wonderful life *giggle*

    I’ve been thinking. Michael Pearl’s first response to being told he was a contributing factor in child murder was to ignore it and post an “I laugh at you, my family laughs at you, my grandchildren laugh while they act out beatings, even the chickens are laughing” essay. Shoshanna’s reaction is pretty much the same; she skips straight past consequences and talks about how hilarious/horrible other people are.

    The fruit did not fall far from the tree at all.

  • At this point all I can say is thank heavens I’m NOT normal!

  • Melody

    John Bradshaw has this theory on shame in families, including familiy patterns with golden girl/boy and black sheep. The way she responds does suggest that she may not be able to face the truth about her childhood, therefore believing in the myth about it instead. Parents who never fight and always, as in always, agree with each other also have a place in the theory as it is a way of appearing intimate while not actually being so, called conflating. Anyway, I have recently encountered these ideas and think it is all very interesting…

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, I’ll share something I’m VERY VERY thankful for; growing up in a home with parents who had insurance and believed in going to a doctor whose practice was dedicated to psychiatry when my symptoms were going in full swing and I told them I needed to see someone because I knew that I was not alright – rather than dragging me into a church to pray over me or try casting out my demons.