23 Comments

To Train Up A Child…. Abuser (Part 2)

Open Bible

Photo by Ryk Neethling, Creative Commons

This is the second part of a post about the abusive teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up a Child. You can read the first part here.

5.) Faulty Theology – Pearl’s entire “training” system is built on the speculative premise that children must be trained to obey a parent without question until they reach the age of moral accountability. While the age of accountability remains a popular part of Christian mythology, it lacks specific biblical support. If it is true, it is true because of the merciful heart of God and not because a Bible verse explicitly says it is so. But Pearl takes it as a matter of absolute dogma and then constructs his entire system of training on the premise that parents are guardians of a child’s morality until the child reaches the age of accountability—somewhere between the age of five and twenty. Yes, you read that right: according to Pearl, there is a subjective gap of fifteen years during which your child, according to Pearl, might reach the age of moral accountability:

“The child is not a morally viable soul. He is an incomplete moral being. He is not accountable. Morally, the three-year-old is still in the womb. Moral life begins its development sometime after birth, probably in the second or third year, and continues until it matures at about ten to fifteen years of age. Like physical development in the womb, moral development is a slow transition from no moral understanding at birth to complete accountability at some point in the child’s youth. There are vast differences of opinion as to when God holds a child accountable for his own actions and thoughts. From time immemorial, age twelve has been the traditional ‘age of accountability.’ But accountability is not an age; it is a state of consciousness (James 4: 17; Lev. 5: 3). Biblically, it will be sometime before twenty years of age (Deut. 1: 39 with Num. 14: 29-31). Observation seems to suggest that some children may be accountable as early as five, while others may not be fully accountable until nineteen.”

Clear as mud, right? For such a sober responsibility as holding a child’s moral development in your hands, it might be nice to have a clearer biblical standard beyond the so-called wisdom of “time immemorial.” Pearl seems to understand the fuzziness of his argument, so he elaborates:

“God will not condemn a child until he has grown into a state of accountability. However, during this ten or twelve year transition, which generally occurs between the ages of about two and fourteen, the child’s accountability will increase with the growth of his moral awareness. When a child goes against his conscience, however limited and incomplete his understanding may be, he is then guilty. The degree to which his understanding has developed is the degree to which his actions can be called sin. The presence of guilt is a good barometer as to how much his conscience has developed. Again, though the child may feel guilt in some areas, the responsibility for sin is not imputed unto him until his moral soul is fully functional. An unfinished clock, still in the making, may have moving parts, but it will not keep time until every last piece is properly installed.”

This is not biblical theology. It is speculation, based on Pearl’s own personal preferences, suppositions, and biases. But the rest of the book is predicated on its absolute truth:

“Where the child possesses moral understanding, yet disobeys, he should be chastened with the rod. Where he does not understand the moral quality of his actions, he should be trained and conditioned.”

Did you catch that? Either way—whether the child understands or doesn’t understand, you get to beat him. Apparently beating is good for a child’s soul. The reason, Pearl says, is because the parent acts as the “law” for the child in order to bring the child’s flesh into complete subjection:

“Even before a child’s conscience begins to operate, you must train him to practice self-restraint. For if a child is allowed to violate his budding conscience, and continues to do so as he grows to full maturity, he will find himself already fully given over to his flesh long before he begins to develop a sense of duty. Therefore, before moral development even begins (at about two years of age), parents must bring the child’s flesh into complete subjection. By the third year and beyond, that part of the child that is awakened to moral duty should be taught to voluntarily surrender to the rule of law. If you allow the flesh to run its natural course, the child will be possessed of many unruly passions and lusts long before he is cognizant enough to assume responsibility.”

Potter and Clay

Photo by Walt Stoneburner, Creative Commons.

This puts tremendous pressure on the parent who is held responsible for the child’s moral development. Says Pearl: “If God is the potter and your child is the clay, you are the wheel on which the clay is to be turned.” The parent’s role goes even deeper, says Pearl, into the realm of the Holy Spirit: “You can begin the child’s ‘sanctification’ long before his salvation.”

The twisted root of this book is a false theology which puts parents in the sanctifying role of the Holy Spirit, gives their beatings the efficacy of the blood of Christ to remove guilt, and reverses the biblical order of justification and sanctification. Don’t believe me? Read on:

“Christians find release from their guilt through the Savior who suffered the curse of their sins, but their children cannot yet understand that the Creator has been lashed and nailed in their place. Yet, parents need not wait until their children are old enough to understand the vicarious death of Christ to purge their children of guilt. God has provided parents with a tool to cleanse their children of guilt— the rod of correction.”

Just think, parents! You can cleanse your child from guilt by beating them with a wooden rod. This puts you in the role of Jesus Christ, or at least it puts the father in the role of savior:

“Father, as high priest of the family, you can reconcile your child to newness of life. Guilt gives Satan a just calling card and a door of access to your child. In conjunction with teaching, the properly administered spanking is restorative as nothing else can be. A spanking (whipping, paddling, switching, or belting) is indispensable to the removal of guilt in your child. His very conscience (nature) demands punishment.”

You read that right. Pearl believes that parents can expiate the guilt of their children by beating them. This helps to explain why he advocates with such aggressive zeal for beating infants and children.

So what are the consequences of disagreeing with Michael Pearl’s misinterpretation of the Bible and his mistaken theology? Why, to make little Hitlers out of your children, of course! Pearl says: “Fail to use the rod on this child, and you are creating a modern-day ‘Nazi.’”

There’s your choice, parents: either beat your children and save them through their own blood, or refrain and turn them into bantam Hitler youth.

But in reality, To Train Up a Child is not biblical and the choice is not binary. It is just rules taught by men.

6.) Destruction of Personhood – One of the greatest abuses of To Train Up a Child is the destruction of a child’s personhood. The Bible says that all people are created in the image of God, the so-called imago Dei, which theologians have traditionally interpreted to mean that we are created as people, separate from the animals.

Jesus Portrait

Photo courtesy MAMJOHD, Creative Commons

What defines personhood? Three things: intellect, emotion, and will. In the Pearls’ economy, children should be broken in each of these three areas using the same training techniques one would use with animals. This effectively mars the three-fold personhood of children and reduces them to people-like robots. Here’s why:

a.) Destruction of a child’s intellect – Michael Pearl demands that children give instant, unquestioning obedience to their parents (and to all adults):

“I have taught the children to obey first and ask questions later. When they were small and I would put them through paces, they learned to immediately do what I said. If they ever failed to instantly obey a command, I would ‘drill’ them. ‘Sit down,’ I would say. ‘Don’t speak until I tell you to.’ Understand, I was not taking out my frustrations on them. It was all done with utmost pleasantness. ‘Stand up,’ I would command. ‘Now, come here. Go touch the door.’ And, before they could get there, ‘Sit.’ Plop, down they would go. ‘Now, go to your rooms and clean them up.’ Just like little, proud soldiers, off they would go to the task. They thought it was just a fun game. If one of them should fail in his attitude, he would be spanked—without haste or hostility, mind you…. Even today, without looking at the children, I can snap my finger, pointing to the floor, and they all (including the ones over six-feet) immediately sit. I can point to the door, and they all exit…. Teach your children to ‘snap to it.’ They will be better for it, and it will make them more lovable.”

But does the Bible really teach parents to exact instant, unquestioning obedience from their children? Does God want parents to act like martinets, putting their children through ridiculous games designed to program them into mindless obedience? Doesn’t God invite questions from his children?

b.) Destruction of a child’s emotions – Pearl says that he made a commitment not to raise “sissies” or “crybabies.” Instead, he delights to toughen his children like little soldiers who ignore pain, accept mistreatment, and refuse to tell their parents when they have been abused:

“For your children’s own good, teach them to maintain control of their emotions. If you do not want to produce sissies who use adversity as a chance to get attention, then don’t program them that way…. When I was just a young father, I had already determined that I would rear no sissies. If an infant fell and bumped his head, we pretended to ignore it. In the event one of our toddlers took a spill, we let him lie, whimper a second, and then climb back up for another try. Sometimes a toddler would fall out of the wagon or stumble into the dirt; we let him deal with it. When the young ones wrecked their bicycles and skinned their knees, we paid no attention except to say something like, ‘You shouldn’t go so fast until you learn to ride better.’”

This calcification of emotion—hardening against any response to pain and labeling a whole range of emotion the realm of “sissies” and “crybabies”—makes children less than God intended, not superior. Pearl is greatly mistaken to advocate this approach.

c.) Destruction of a child’s will – According to Pearl, the goal of “training” a child is to completely shatter the child’s will: “The child has just one will, which, when it is surrendered to authority on any point, is always a surrendered will.”

Total compliance is the goal:

“If a child shows the least displeasure in response to a command or duty, you should treat it as disobedience. If a child sticks out his lip, you should focus your training on his bad attitude. A wrong slant of the shoulders can reveal a bad frame of mind. Consider this a sign to instruct, train, or discipline. A cheerful, compliant spirit is the norm. Anything else is a sign of trouble.”

To this end, Pearl tells parents to use whatever force is necessary to break a child’s will. Pearl, himself a hulk of a man, sometimes sat on his children in order to beat them:

“Part of [the child’s] training is to come submissively. However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child who runs from discipline, and he is too disturbed to listen, then you must constrain him. If you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he has surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing. Hold the resisting child in a helpless position for several minutes, or until he is totally surrendered. Accept no conditions for surrender— no compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.”

Did you follow all this? In To Train Up a Child, Michael Pearl encourages parents to demand unquestioning obedience (stifling intellect), to toughen them up against pain and abuse (emotionally deadening them), and to completely shatter the child’s will. This effectively removes the personhood of each child and creates impersonal robots who do whatever an adult tells them to do. It effaces the image of God from children. Does this sound like the heart of God?

7.) Encourages Beating Infants and Children – This is the starting point for most of the articles and commentators who have expressed concern about this book. They rightly call such teachings child abuse. But I hope you can see that there is an entire twisted theology that leads up to this point and helps to explain why the Pearls teach people to beat their children.

8.) Examples of Child Abuse by Michael Pearl – While a Christian may come down on a spectrum in terms of whether it is ever appropriate to spank a child, there are several examples of child “training” which Pearl gloatingly gives which are undisputably examples of child endangerment or child abuse.

red hot wood stove

Photo by Tyler Karazewski, Creative Commons

First, Pearl left unguarded guns in full reach of his infants and children. When they toddled toward the gun, he would say “No” and beat them. He brags: “I didn’t child-proof my guns, I gun-proofed my children.” This is irresponsible by almost anyone’s standard.

Second, he practiced “safety-training” with a hot stove:

“We’ve always had a wood-burning stove for cooking and heating. A red-hot stove can seriously burn toddlers. I have seen some awful scars on other children. But we had no fear, knowing the effectiveness of training. When the first fires of fall were lit, I would coax the toddlers over to see the fascinating flames. Of course, they always wanted to touch, so I held them off until the stove got hot enough to inflict pain without deep burning—testing it with my own hand. When the heat was just right, I would open the door long enough for them to be attracted by the flames, and then I would close the door and move away. The child would inevitably run to the stove and touch it. Just as his hand touched the stove, I would say, ‘Hot!’ It usually took just one time, sometimes twice, but they all learned their lessons. Other than during the training session, where not even one blister was raised, we never had a child get burned. It was so effective that, thereafter, if I wanted to see them do a back flip, all I had to do was say, ‘Hot!!’ They would even turn loose of a glass of iced tea.”

Haha! How jolly it is to burn your children and then use that experience to program fear into them. Sick.

Oliver SmithThird, Pearl allowed his infant children [seven months to one-year-old] to play on the edge of a pond on the family property. He would let each child fall in; let them stay underwater until it registered that they couldn’t breathe; and only then rescue them from beneath the water. “It only took one time for each of them to learn respect for the water,” Pearl writes. “And it sure made life easier for us.” The only exception was his highly coordinated seven-month-old daughter Shalom, who just wouldn’t fall into the water on her own. So—you guessed it—Pearl pushed her in with his foot so that she felt that she was drowning. Nothing else would accomplish Pearl’s purposes of instilling terror of the water so Shalom wouldn’t play near the pond. I have included a picture of my almost seven-month-old son, Oliver, so you can see what age Shalom was when Pearl kicked her into the pond. Is this something God would approve of, do you think? Yet Pearl provides it as a shining example of child “training.”

Finally, Pearl wanted his small children to experience the dark side of life: “Expose them to death—the death of a pet or an accident victim… One or two examples to a three-year-old are enough.” Because a three-year-old clearly has the capacity to process carnage in a healthy manner, right?

9.) Fosters an Environment Which Enables AbuseBesides cultivating child abuse, the Pearls’ system of training children also creates an environment in which children are discouraged from reporting abuse and where parents are told to take the side of the abuser. Mothers who believe that their husbands are too harsh with the children have only one option:

“Mother, if you think your husband is too forceful in his discipline, there is something you can do. While he is away, demand, expect, train for, and discipline the children to give you instant and complete obedience. When Father comes home, the house will be peaceful and well-ordered. The children will always obey their father, giving him no need to discipline them.”

Michael Pearl expresses his disgust with children who “whine” or tell adults when they have been mistreated: “I can still remember when I was young, looking on with disgust as some swaggering brat sneered out of one side of his mouth and threatened to tell his mother [after he had been hurt by a bigger boy].”

don't talk rule

Keijo Knutas, Creative Commons

Instead of telling adults when you have been hurt or abused, says Pearl, children should keep silent. And parents should not become angry when someone mistreats their child. Instead, parents should believe adults who accuse their children of wrongdoing, considering that children will often use deceit and threats to manipulate any social relationship. This is a perfect recipe to enable child abuse to occur and to re-victimize victims. Lest the reader have any doubt as to Pearl’s position on this, he makes it explicit:

“It is not going to harm your child to be falsely accused a few times (that’s life). He will have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. When he is accused, if you have doubts about his guilt, patiently search out the matter. If you determine that he has been falsely accused, tell him, and then quietly drop the matter. Don’t let him see your defensiveness on his behalf. If he is roughed-up by his peers, rejoice; he is learning early about the real world. Don’t make a sissy out of him. If you jump to his defense every time another child takes away a toy, pushes your child down, or even pops him in the nose, you will rear a social crybaby. When you demand that your child be treated fairly, you are protecting him from reality. The younger they are, the easier it is for them to learn that they deserve no special treatment. Your reactions are not going to make life any less unfair for your child, but there is a danger of stirring up a feel-sorry-for-myself attitude in him. If you are tough, he will be tough.”

This is an abuser’s dream: to encounter children whose parents won’t listen to them, who have told them to suck it up and accept mistreatment, and who themselves have already beaten their children into submission. What a nightmare.

10.) Homeschooling Agenda and Reason for the Book’s SuccessThe reason the book has enjoyed such disproportionate success is because the Pearls are part of an evangelical subculture known as the Christian Homeschooling Movement. Let me hasten to say that this is not a monolithic entity: its expression varies widely. But there are hundreds of thousands of families (judging from book sales of To Train Up a Child) who fall on the fundamentalist, separatist side of the spectrum. These families eschew modern psychology (Pearl calls folks who believe in modern psychology a coven of “Sodomites” and “socialists”) and often isolate themselves from culture.

Indeed, Michael Pearl says that any school outside of the home will destroy your children:

“Never even consider sending your children to private Christian schools, much less the public, automaton factories. Whether a classroom is based completely on Christian education or on secular principles is not the issue…. God didn’t make teenage boys and girls to sit together in a classroom every day while real life outside passes them by. The world’s system digs a pit and then creates a myriad of industries to reclaim the tragic lives that fall into it. Classroom education for the young is a real pit. The psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, Planned Parenthood, policemen, social manipulators, juvenile courts, drug dealers, penal institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and medical doctors all stand at the edge of the pit competing for the business generated by the shovels of the National Education Association.”

He adds (a little hysterically):

“If you want a child who will easily integrate into the New World Order, waiting his turn in line for condoms, a government-funded abortion, sexually-transmitted disease treatment, psychological evaluation, and a mark on the forehead, then follow the popular guidelines in today’s education, entertainment, and discipline. But if you want a son or daughter of God, you will have to do it God’s way and in God’s choice of location – the home.”

So either you send your child to school and let them get the mark of the Beast, or you home school them and save their souls. This is crucial to Pearl’s whole system of child “training.” He knows that the methods he espouses wouldn’t be accepted for a moment in public schools or any institution with accountability. The only place you can beat an infant without getting put in jail is—where?—that’s right, the home. Pearl makes this clear: “Only in a controlled environment, where the threat of force is real, can a rebel be brought to bay.”

This is why this book has sold over 500,000 copies: because there is a large minority of modern evangelicals who are ready and willing to embrace its principles which seem to guarantee total obedience from their children. And its premise—that beating children is good for the soul—can only express itself in one place: the home.

Conclusion

Pearl has written his book with the sublime self-assurance of a prophet and the calm demeanor of a sociopath. And he has been rewarded with enormous book sales and an adoring group of adherents.

Perhaps he should consider his own favorite line, told again and again to his children when they fought: “If everyone is not having fun,” [he would say], “then it is not fun at all. Son, you know Hitler and his men had fun when others were suffering. They laughed while boys and girls cried in pain. Do you want to grow up to be like Hitler?”

That’s a great question, Michael. What about you? Do you laugh while boys and girls cry in pain?

And for my readers, what about you?

I don’t want to Train Up a Child. Not if it makes me a child abuser.

Let’s all work together to make this book go away. I plan to write to Amazon.com and ask them to stop selling this book which teaches parents to abuse their children. Will you join me?

23 comments on “To Train Up A Child…. Abuser (Part 2)

  1. And we wonder why people have a fear of God when it comes to behavior expectation or have block total transparency with Him. Thanks for getting this important truth out, Steve. I literally SHIVERED as I read this…..and I’m a parent!

  2. Oh, man, I LOATHE this book and the lies the Pearl’s propagate about family life. Thanks for shining the spotlight on this particularly un-Christian, disrespectful view of children.

    I also find the more mainstream Christian parenting advice that expects obedience right-away and teaches spanking-as-biblical-mandate to be sightly more palatable versions of the same mistaken ideas. I wish there were more forums for new parents to investigate the ideas behind culturally Christian parenting. I remember as a new mom how grateful I was to stumble across Clay Clarkson’s HEARTFELT DISCIPLINE, where he takes an exegetical look at the scanty “biblical” arguments for spanking and debunks it as Christian imperative.

    I particularly resonate with #6 – how tragic to for parents to be won over to this idea of convenient parenting, and, in the process, trample down the sacredness of a child’s personhood! It seems magnified by the fact that this book is often peddled in communities that claim children are a blessing and a gift.

  3. I’ll join you, Steve! I’ll contact Amazon and ask if they really want to be spreading unlawful info on how to abuse your kids. Thanks for enduring the horrible book to get your facts straight…

  4. and to think the Church of Wells promotes this book as well as Born in Zion.

  5. I finally plucked up courage and read the rest of this two-part comment.

    The authors of this book are clearly very unwell indeed, and perhaps can be excused their rantings. But the publishers are culpable. They have knowingly published this disgusting filth for the purposes of making profit. Sure, people don’t have to buy it. But, just as it is illegal to package and sell cyanide to the general public, so it should be illegal to package and publish this dangerous rot.

    I assume that the authors of this book must have taken “The Stepford Wives” as a textbook. Their attitude toward any child being able to freely express their desires, hopes, dreams and fears is loathsomely negative. Honesty and openness between parent and child, and even sibling with sibling, is portrayed as weakness, failing and unholiness. If this teaching is prevalent in America, then your future as a nation of Christian believers is bleak indeed.

    Picture for a moment a parent (possibly single, maybe not) striving to be the best possible guardian of his or her child. If that child has any behavioural problems caused by who knows what (earlier trauma, dietary intolerances, lack of sleep or just plain old hormone imbalance), having these teaching applied by their carer will likely cause them lifelong harm. Seriously, this is just a short step away from the dreadful cases among some African communities, where children are accused of being witches or of being possessed, and their ‘wickedness’ is beaten out of them to the accompaniment of Bible verses being shouted and the name of Jesus being shrieked in their faces. There are many infant deaths each year, even today, amongst communities who practice this behaviour to children.

    Please, let’s get back to the best Teacher we will ever have, and look at how He responded to children. He healed them, he blessed them, he listened to them. He told us to be LIKE them!

    The writings of this couple are, I truly believe, evil. Why do people buy it? We have a saying over here, in this little, overcrowded island…”only in America”. People do something strange? “Only in America”, and we shake our heads wisely. This book would just not be on sale in any mainstream bookstore here…I hope enough of you true followers of Jesus can band together and get it removed from general sale where you live.

    • I hope so, too, Jon. I hope enough of us can speak up and say “This is not okay,” so that even a huge, soulless corporation like Amazon.com will take note and draw a line on behalf of children. Thanks, as always, for your wonderful perspective.

  6. Thanks Marissa- I signed it also. I am not fond of censoring, but when there is a book that promotes a view that is harmful to the vulnerable, I am in.

  7. I read a bit more of this writing today…it’s available on the web as a pdf document. When read in context, it is not so shocking because it leads you gently along a path. Funny, but only when taken individually does the toxic nature of this man’s thinking become clear.

    Additionally confusing is the constant quoting of Scripture – although I was struck by how much of it comes from the book of Proverbs. In fact, most of the quotes are from Proverbs. Extensive reference to the word “rod” is employed. But there is no interpretation of that word, and no explanation about how it is used in the Bible. The word is simply assumed to mean a stick. And so the Psalmist saying how “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”, is actually supposed to be thanking God for his use of discipline in the Psalmists life. So, we can see the author of this book interpreting the word “Rod” to mean generic discipline and guidance…in this one case. In every other case, he takes it to mean an item that can be used to beat people.

    Anyway, let’s see what happens with Amazon and this petition.

    God bless you all – in fact, He HAS blessed you all; it is my prayer for you that you enter into a new, deeper experience of His blessing upon your lives.

    Jon x

  8. Jon thank you for your prayer of blessing on us :)!

    You are right about “leading gently down the path”- some of the most toxic poison can come in “gentler” potions. You are led along a path the you “think” is taking you to a well-groomed and manicure garden and when you look at it from afar it does look great, but the weeds are hidden from your view. These types of books (for I went through Growing Gods Way at one time) promise a life of unburden ease from the daily struggles and rebellions of “wayward” child; they promise that you will not have to deal with the heartache of children “turning to the world”. Yet, what I find extremely interesting is that we are now hearing about the countless stories of children from legalistic homes doing the exact thing they preached against.
    The thing I had to come to conclusion was that my children were NOT adults yet we were expecting them to act and behave like people who went through years of experience already. How stupid is that kind of thinking? If you took a look back at your own early years, What were you- a fully functioning adult? Do not adults cry and whine and act in the same ways a child does but in an adult body? Yet with all our faults we can easily excuse and justify them; and have numerous amount of venues to be able to escape to. Children have no where to escape; they are stuck. They can’t pick up their car keys and walk out that door.
    That conclusion made me realize what I was doing; I had to change in the way that I dealt with them. Now, they have parents who get it, finally……..(gosh, I wish we would have grasped it sooner) :(.
    Now my daughter is 19 and there were mistakes, but we have a good relationship because first I acknowledged my wrongdoing, told her I loved her and would stand behind her no matter what- (even though she does make stupid mistakes at times- did we not all make those mistakes at 19!!??)

    By the way Stephen your little boy is so precious! What a beautiful child!

  9. What a gross misinterpretation of scripture. First, rod and staff can be used interchangeably. A rod or staff was often a symbol of leadership or authority. The leader of a tribe or clan would often walk with an ornamental staff as a sign of his position. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” simply means that a parent should be a leader, a proper authority figure in a child’s life. When the Psalmist said “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”, he was talking about protection not correction. You will not find any reference in the bible where a shepherd used his staff to beat his sheep. It was, however, used to fight of predators and wild animals. The crook on the end was used to gently pull sheep back from cliffs and away from danger.

  10. This man is truly a sick individual and deserves our pity. I would not treat a stray dog the way he says to treat your own children! Completely disgusting. I feel like I need to take a bath after reading some of his quotes. Worst of all, he uses the Name of God to push his warped ideas. I want to say more, but I am so angry I know I will say something inappropriate. This nonsense in the name of God has to stop. No wonder the world thinks most Christians are nuts.

  11. The willingness of people to suspend their common sense and disbelief to follow one who presents himself as an authority on a difficult matter will never cease to amaze me. Sit on a child if needed to beat him? Put a baby on a towel on the floor, tempt him with a toy out of reach, then strike him when he tries to crawl toward it in order to teach him to stay put? Teach children not to come to the parent with problems? Who in their right mind would follow such harmful advice?

    I have no doubt that, even with all the love in the world, this method results in a seriously broken individual with terrifying trust issues and a serious misperception of God.

    Thanks for your work to expose this man.

  12. […] real Christianity is. One of the leading advocates of ‘Biblical’ child raising – Michael Pearl, has corrupted the Bible to the point where innocence goes to die. Michael Pearl seems to think […]

  13. This sounds a whole lot like a dumbed down version of a sinister mind control program known as Operation Monarch, part of Project MK-ULTRA.

    Here is an overview of Monarch Programming: http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/operatio.htm

    Notice anything similar?

  14. Do you by chance know if the Pearl’s are associated with the JesusLifeTogether.com website? Someone recently gave me a parenting book that was a good “tool” and “resource” from a body of believers…. she failed to give me anything specific of who they were. There was no name/author or association to any one person. I asked her where she got the book and she told me from the JesusLifeTogether website. I’ve read through some of the topics/pages of the book and some red flags were raised at some of the topics.
    Here is the link:

    http://books.jesuslifetogether.com/Children-In-Life-Meetings-Our-Hearts

    I’d love to know if you have any experience or insight into they are.

    Thanks
    Meagan

    • I cannot answer your specific question about who or what this organisation is, but I must confess that, after reading just one chapter, I have concerns and unease about anybody parenting via a methodology – however ‘Godly’ or ‘Scriptural’ these methods may be. At the end of the day, their parenting seems to be all about the benefits it will bring to them, the parents. THEY want to see their children come to make a confession of faith, THEY need to know that their child will be ‘saved’, THEY want to raise children that other people will view with envy, admiration and wonder. Awful stuff, but beautifully disguised as Godliness and holiness. Yuck!

    • Beats me. I’d never heard of them until you mentioned it. I Googled them but seem unable to find out much about them. It seems to be a website started by Mike Peters, a man who has started other websites and groups and who some people claim is manipulative and controlling. His name crops up on several cult forums. I know that any time I visit a website (such as JesusLifeTogether.com) and can’t find clear information about beliefs, leaders, etc., it is a huge red flag. I would steer clear of this group and whatever they are peddling. My two cents.

      • Thank so you both for your replies. It confirms what I had also had felt. I just wanted to do my due diligence in researching them before I spoke with my friend who gave me their material.

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