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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-04-09 01:01 AM
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"To Train up a Child"...the alarming discipline methods of Debi and Michael Pearl
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One reviewer in the 90s said that "In folksy, friendly style, 'To Train Up a Child' offers techniques that promise to yield happy and obedient children. This promise is a holy grail to tired, frustrated and often isolated parents, who are told that their anger will be eliminated when they follow techniques that produce 'immediately obedient' children. The book also appeals to parents' concern for their reputation -- happy, obedient children will save Mom and Dad the public embarrassment of having intractable children. It's a tempting promise: perfect domestic peace, a kind of Martha Stewart flawlessness reworked for Christian families."

Well, yes, maybe so...until you read some of their spanking methods. It is shocking to me to recommend treating children that way.

From the Religious Tolerance website:

Pro-spanking positions of the Pearls

The Pearls published the book in 1994. 1 It is frequently used by many conservative and sometime mainline Protestants.

..."The Pearls compare children to stubborn animals: both have the same predictable responses to unpleasant stimuli. The book advocates a consistent behaviorism that involves switching a child's bare skin until the child's will is broken. The result? A model child who is completely compliant: a model parent who is a conqueror."

..."Beth Felker Jones outlines the training techniques:

"The authors advocate tempting an infant by putting an appealing object within reach and compare the object to the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. ... When the child reaches for the object, the parents lash the child. The suggested switch for a four-month-old child is a branch 12 inches long and an eighth of an inch wide. Rulers, belts and tree branches are recommended for older children. In the Pearls' world, crystal bowls, other breakable treasures and even loaded guns can be left around the house because curious toddlers can be trained to 'complete and joyous subjection'."

That is just scary stuff from people who proclaim to have the love of Jesus in their hearts.

There is more:

"The Pearls are evangelical Christians who believe corporal punishment is 'doing it God's way.' With a mailing list of tens of thousands of parents, the Pearls say that the justification for their approach is in scripture: 'He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes'." 4

"Chastening begins early. 'For the under-one-year-old, a little, 10- to 12-inch long, willowy branch (stripped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient,' writes Michael Pearl. With older children he advises: 'After a short explanation about bad attitudes and the need to love, patiently and calmly apply the rod to his backside. Somehow, after eight or 10 licks, the poison is transformed into gushing love and contentment. The world becomes a beautiful place. A brand-new child emerges. It makes an adult stare at the rod in wonder, trying to see what magic is contained therein'."

This reminds me of the tactics of James Dobson, when he often spoke of the strong willed child. I used to tell our school's guidance counselor that there was nothing wrong with a child having a strong will, but she gave out his books freely to parents.

He even punished his little Dachshund named Siggie, beating him.

At eleven o'clock that night, I told Siggie to go get into his bed, which is a permanent enclosure in the family room. For six years I had given him that order at the end of each day, and for six years Siggie had obeyed.
"On this occasion, however, he refused to budge. You see, he was in the bathroom, seated comfortably on the furry lid of the toilet seat. That is his favorite spot in the house, because it allows him to bask in the warmth of a nearby electric heater..."

...""What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!"

That is called zero tolerance for little dogs. Pathetic. Let the dog stay there. Not a real problem. Just move him when someone needs to use the toilet. This is overkill.

From the comments about the discipline methods of the Pearls. These two are stunned, but many comments highly praise these tactics.

"... not often in this current era do I find a text about child-rearing so completely and utterly archaic and ridiculous. The Pearls do not hold any professional qualifications to write child-rearing text or give anyone any advice about how a child should be reared...oh, sorry,...trained (as in a dog or mule?)."

"Parents are instructed to whip their infants daily for no reason to teach them submissiveness from the very start of life. ... They encourage parents to whip their children 10 times several times a day starting at 3 months old. This makes me so sad and sick."

Where is the compassion and love in this "training."

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  -"To Train up a Child"...the alarming discipline methods of Debi and Michael Pearl madfloridian  Dec-04-09 01:01 AM   #0 
  - What they advocate is nothing less than ABUSE.  CaliforniaPeggy   Dec-04-09 01:06 AM   #1 
  - This is what some of the "Yearning from Zion" ranch members said about the place.  SharonAnn   Dec-05-09 08:35 PM   #162 
  - Sounds like a pro-child abuse manifesto.  Fridays Child   Dec-04-09 01:08 AM   #2 
  - The Children of God and the Twelve Tribes also advocate child abuse. n/t  FarLeftFist   Dec-04-09 01:10 AM   #3 
  - I immediately thought of Twelve Tribes  cali   Dec-04-09 03:06 AM   #13 
  - Children of God encourage pedophilia. nt  AnotherMother4Peace   Dec-04-09 07:57 PM   #125 
  - He can't even raise a dog to be obedient without losing his cool.  Quantess   Dec-04-09 01:14 AM   #4 
  - It's clear in his writing of that little anecdote that he thinks it's cute.  Pithlet   Dec-04-09 01:17 PM   #71 
     - "...both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt"  the blues   Dec-04-09 04:48 PM   #106 
  - Sounds like my father's preferred method of child rearing.  PDJane   Dec-04-09 01:17 AM   #5 
  - Yeah, mine, too.  PSzymeczek   Dec-04-09 04:17 PM   #103 
  - Let's see: this method of child rearing is likely to produce...  Kutjara   Dec-04-09 01:22 AM   #6 
  - Or good "Christians" nt  Chemisse   Dec-04-09 04:11 AM   #15 
  - Exactly - it creates blind followers who were broken to obedience as infants  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 01:01 PM   #65 
     - For me, the most chilling phrase of all in the...  Kutjara   Dec-04-09 04:48 PM   #105 
        - They believe infants are born evil. new born babies!!!  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 05:27 PM   #109 
  - Sounds like a typical fundie to me.  Zoeisright   Dec-04-09 01:30 AM   #7 
  - The Cascade, Iowa newspaper actually thinks Dobson is qualified to give advise  47of74   Dec-04-09 01:37 AM   #8 
  - It's a very risky strategy for a family  Trillo   Dec-04-09 01:51 AM   #9 
  - Their kids will grow up to hate them.  girl gone mad   Dec-04-09 02:31 AM   #10 
  - It's worse than that.  surrealAmerican   Dec-04-09 11:13 AM   #30 
     - and a good way to raise modern conservatives. Fear and hate...  krabigirl   Dec-04-09 11:40 AM   #43 
  - This is deliberate saddism.  Cobalt-60   Dec-04-09 02:44 AM   #11 
  - That's often what happens--the kids hit back at the parents when they get big enough  Quantess   Dec-04-09 02:14 PM   #82 
  - I also want to add that I'm sorry to hear that you went through that.  Quantess   Dec-05-09 02:01 AM   #146 
     - thanks but dont sweat it.  Cobalt-60   Dec-05-09 08:12 AM   #149 
  - there is also "wife spanking" that's quite popular with the same sort  KakistocracyHater   Dec-04-09 03:03 AM   #12 
  - Yes, I have read some of their bulletin boards  get the red out   Dec-04-09 12:58 PM   #64 
  - totally agree with you. If anyone finds a way to say no to the God of these  KakistocracyHater   Dec-04-09 07:13 PM   #118 
  - Found an article on that at Salon {{{shudder}}}  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 01:26 PM   #73 
     - at least I am not alone in watching this madness, I'm glad you put a link up  KakistocracyHater   Dec-04-09 07:14 PM   #119 
     - Oh, my, did you follow some of the links from that christian discipline site?  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 09:10 PM   #130 
  - Puts me in mind of fetish and bondage training.  juno jones   Dec-04-09 03:52 AM   #14 
  - They should be kept away from helpless people and animals.  Judi Lynn   Dec-04-09 04:50 AM   #16 
  - Pearl is another pissy little asshat trying to pull off the whole patriarch shtick  mitchum   Dec-04-09 01:37 PM   #74 
  - You're right: he's role-playing, absolutely. He simply looks rigid, and stupid. n/t  Judi Lynn   Dec-05-09 02:17 AM   #148 
  - Thanks, I was looking for a picture of these sick fucks.  arcadian   Dec-04-09 02:50 PM   #91 
     - They were both raised in Memphis, and currently live in rural Tennessee. n/t  Judi Lynn   Dec-05-09 02:14 AM   #147 
  - It's just mean and in some way this method  Are_grits_groceries   Dec-04-09 05:33 AM   #17 
  - It is mean and sadistic.  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 10:51 AM   #26 
  - This is so sad :(  krabigirl   Dec-04-09 11:40 AM   #41 
  - I have become increasingly disturbed, reading political boards,  woo me with science   Dec-04-09 05:36 AM   #18 
  - As an anti-spanking zealot...  redqueen   Dec-04-09 11:33 AM   #35 
  - Do you have children?  gorfle   Dec-04-09 12:46 PM   #57 
     - Two. I take away privileges.  redqueen   Dec-04-09 12:52 PM   #62 
        - Mine are 1 and 3.  gorfle   Dec-04-09 01:38 PM   #75 
           - At that age...  redqueen   Dec-04-09 02:10 PM   #80 
              - I've never spanked my child  mzmolly   Dec-04-09 06:42 PM   #117 
  - +1. But it also is in sync with how they act. They are bullies, warmongers, and hateful.  krabigirl   Dec-04-09 11:39 AM   #40 
  - Three months old??  Starry Messenger   Dec-04-09 05:37 AM   #19 
  - Beating on an infant is not child abuse, it is attempted murder!!!  Harry Monroe   Dec-04-09 01:06 PM   #69 
  - Their methods are not "child rearing", they're animal husbandry  chemenger   Dec-04-09 05:59 AM   #20 
  - not even animal husbandry  cap   Dec-04-09 06:34 AM   #21 
  - They're not even good animal husbandry...  LeftishBrit   Dec-04-09 11:41 AM   #45 
     - Siegfried & Roy are better parents!  elehhhhna   Dec-04-09 12:49 PM   #60 
  - Sicko twistoids always seek legitimate cover for their evil. The US is run by such people.  Echo In Light   Dec-04-09 06:44 AM   #22 
  - The prihcipal, at the Christian school I went to growing up, used an oak paddle.  Jamastiene   Dec-04-09 08:10 AM   #23 
  - At the junior high school I attended...  badgerpup   Dec-04-09 01:09 PM   #70 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Dec-04-09 08:22 AM   #24 
  - OMG! Each and every one of those "parents" should be arested for child abuse.  Odin2005   Dec-04-09 08:36 AM   #25 
  - +1  redqueen   Dec-04-09 11:26 AM   #34 
  - From 2006 Talk to Action's dogemperor tells of a child's death...  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 11:00 AM   #27 
  - see, this is how one can tell that what they are doing is wrong  SemperEadem   Dec-04-09 11:43 AM   #46 
  - "Be careful about using it in front of others -- nosy neighbors might call social workers."  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 11:51 AM   #50 
  - reminds me of mom wielding the frikkin hotwheels track  elehhhhna   Dec-04-09 12:51 PM   #61 
     - I got the belt from my mom.  arcadian   Dec-04-09 03:14 PM   #94 
  - And what diameter should the "switch" that husbands use on their wives be?  undeterred   Dec-04-09 11:05 AM   #28 
  - Their website. Has videos and articles about good and evil.  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 11:05 AM   #29 
  - Is is just me or is a small pet sleeping on the furry cover of a toilet seat NOT that big a deal?  Nikki Stone1   Dec-04-09 11:16 AM   #31 
  - No, it's not just you.  proudohioan   Dec-04-09 11:35 AM   #37 
  - Everything in their life must exactly follow exact rules  TrogL   Dec-04-09 05:13 PM   #108 
  - Dobson had the need to beat the hell out of something  get the red out   Dec-04-09 01:23 PM   #72 
  - I wish the animal curled up on the toilet seat cover  xxqqqzme   Dec-04-09 02:23 PM   #85 
  - My 65 pound dog takes up half my damned bed...  a la izquierda   Dec-04-09 02:33 PM   #89 
  - I know, our dogs thought the beds were theirs as well.  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 07:29 PM   #120 
  - That's because you're not a control freak  varelse   Dec-04-09 07:49 PM   #124 
  - These are sick, SICK people.  Th1onein   Dec-04-09 11:21 AM   #32 
  - guillotines and nooses  BlancheSplanchnik   Dec-05-09 05:08 PM   #159 
  - I have a strong willed daughter and it has not been easy on me  liberal_at_heart   Dec-04-09 11:23 AM   #33 
  - Are you serious???? IS THIS FOR REAL???  proudohioan   Dec-04-09 11:33 AM   #36 
  - Yes, it's real. Their website with articles and videos.  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 11:39 AM   #39 
     - OMG I'm truly afraid to watch that one!!!!!  proudohioan   Dec-04-09 11:47 AM   #49 
  - this is a blueprint for child abuse--nothing more, nothing less  SemperEadem   Dec-04-09 11:36 AM   #38 
  - That's sickening  LeftishBrit   Dec-04-09 11:40 AM   #42 
  - Apparently the state of Tennessee's Department of Human Services  Kalyke   Dec-04-09 11:41 AM   #44 
  - I hope they were brought up on charges. I've known about them since my parenting message board days.  Pithlet   Dec-04-09 12:32 PM   #53 
  - Where is Children's Services??? Why aren't they reported to the authorities, and this book  secondwind   Dec-04-09 11:45 AM   #47 
  - so, be the compassionate, loving, and empathic change you want to see (even on DU)  nightrain   Dec-04-09 11:46 AM   #48 
  - this book sounds like kiddie S &M porn  Betty   Dec-04-09 12:05 PM   #51 
  - Isn't this method how serial killers created?  Initech   Dec-04-09 12:09 PM   #52 
  - My thoughts exactly. n/t  gkhouston   Dec-04-09 12:47 PM   #58 
     - I thought Initech was joking... as I'm sure we all know, most kids who are beaten  redqueen   Dec-04-09 01:40 PM   #76 
        - True enough, but the lack of empathy so characteristic of sociopaths often  gkhouston   Dec-04-09 02:08 PM   #78 
        - This is torture, this isn't just simple child-rearing.  Initech   Dec-04-09 07:43 PM   #122 
  - PERVERTS  Matariki   Dec-04-09 12:38 PM   #54 
  - It sounds like the ministry of love from 1984  sasquatch   Dec-04-09 12:41 PM   #55 
  - Some quotes from "pro-spanking" authors:  madfloridian   Dec-04-09 12:46 PM   #56 
  - Sick, sick people.  Odin2005   Dec-04-09 02:50 PM   #92 
  - Even an 18 month old can remember a 'spanking'.  laundry_queen   Dec-05-09 01:27 AM   #144 
  - In the UK James Dobson would be prosecuted for cruelty to animals  jenniferj   Dec-04-09 12:49 PM   #59 
  - At least one child was killed by a parent following the Pearl's teachings - link  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 12:54 PM   #63 
  - More including link to Salon article on the Pearls  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 01:05 PM   #67 
  - These people should not be allowed to "breed" period.  Harry Monroe   Dec-04-09 01:04 PM   #66 
  - This is the mentality we face from the right  get the red out   Dec-04-09 01:06 PM   #68 
  - "Let the child realize that you are simply representing God in the execution of the punishment."  Sapphocrat   Dec-04-09 01:44 PM   #77 
  - May God spare my children from.... their children  Canuckistanian   Dec-04-09 02:09 PM   #79 
  - just further proof that the earth will be better off without the asshole species Homo sapiens  ima_sinnic   Dec-04-09 02:10 PM   #81 
  - Read Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement for more info.  TheMightyFavog   Dec-04-09 02:16 PM   #83 
  - Link it on Google Books & a link to a blog of ex-Quiverfull members  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 02:25 PM   #86 
  - wrong thread. oops  mnhtnbb   Dec-04-09 02:21 PM   #84 
  - Three months old? A 12lb dog?  chatnoir   Dec-04-09 02:26 PM   #87 
  - If one of the Pearls' children flips off and kills them  Commie Pinko Dirtbag   Dec-04-09 02:27 PM   #88 
  - I would  bergie321   Dec-04-09 06:39 PM   #116 
  - This is the 'faith' that wants to write America's laws  FiveGoodMen   Dec-04-09 02:34 PM   #90 
  - They're re-raising the Phelps family  EstimatedProphet   Dec-04-09 02:57 PM   #93 
  - Send them a note people!  arcadian   Dec-04-09 03:28 PM   #95 
  - done and done....  winyanstaz   Dec-04-09 06:32 PM   #114 
  - Is this legal? Seriously? Is this somehow legal?  Danger Mouse   Dec-04-09 03:39 PM   #96 
  - The "it's okay to swat, though" camp makes it harder to enforce child abuse laws.  redqueen   Dec-04-09 03:42 PM   #97 
  - "And if the Child dies during the punishment, IT'S GOD'S WILL!"  amb123   Dec-04-09 03:49 PM   #98 
  - One of these days the Pearls might have to go to a home, and it will be up to the kids, good luck .  Stevenmarc   Dec-04-09 03:54 PM   #99 
  - Horrifying. n/t  MerryBlooms   Dec-04-09 03:59 PM   #100 
  - well, i think these methods are proven to achieve their goal-  mopinko   Dec-04-09 04:09 PM   #101 
  - This is mind boggling. There isn't much reasoning with a baby/infant.  Shell Beau   Dec-04-09 04:16 PM   #102 
  - Child abuse for sure  sakabatou   Dec-04-09 04:33 PM   #104 
  - How is it possible that this book is even in print? People here on DU have  kestrel91316   Dec-04-09 04:54 PM   #107 
  - For Your Own Good Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence by Alice Miller  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 05:30 PM   #110 
  - Flogging for God: Violence toward children under the guise of religion  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 05:40 PM   #111 
  - Direct descendants of those who initiated the Inquisition, if you ask me.  BrklynLiberal   Dec-04-09 06:10 PM   #112 
  - This is abuse and torture of babies....  winyanstaz   Dec-04-09 06:23 PM   #113 
  - Absolutely disgusting.  mzmolly   Dec-04-09 06:36 PM   #115 
  - out of the mainstream, it's worsening. I hate "tradition"  KakistocracyHater   Dec-04-09 07:39 PM   #121 
     - Off to  mzmolly   Dec-04-09 08:16 PM   #126 
     - This really needs more exposure  get the red out   Dec-04-09 10:19 PM   #133 
        - agreed, it's why I post excerpts so people can read it  KakistocracyHater   Dec-05-09 07:46 PM   #161 
  - I wonder if the people on THIS board who want to use military force on  Lydia Leftcoast   Dec-04-09 07:46 PM   #123 
  - my daughter is 4 mo. old. any one who takes a switch to a baby for any reason should be jailed.  Devil_Fish   Dec-04-09 08:21 PM   #127 
  - Mommy and Daddy Mengele  jgraz   Dec-04-09 08:38 PM   #128 
  - This goes past "barbarism" and into "inhuman."  BreweryYardRat   Dec-04-09 08:42 PM   #129 
  - Those are some very twisted people  GreenPartyVoter   Dec-04-09 09:18 PM   #131 
  - Why isn't the government investigating these people like they did  MadMaddie   Dec-04-09 10:09 PM   #132 
  - This explains a lot...  DWilliamsamh   Dec-04-09 10:34 PM   #134 
  - madfloridian  Diclotican   Dec-04-09 11:36 PM   #135 
  - "Lisa Welchel (yes, folks, Blair from "The Facts of Life" likes to use Tabasco as a discipline aid"  Shallah Kali   Dec-04-09 11:45 PM   #136 
  - I followed some of those links...very weird indeed.  madfloridian   Dec-05-09 12:23 AM   #137 
  - This is a vitally important subject. Thank you madfloridian.  Papa Boule   Dec-05-09 12:36 AM   #138 
  - Thank you for that link. I was not aware of those writings.  madfloridian   Dec-05-09 12:43 AM   #141 
  - I read 'For Your Own Good' awhile back.  laundry_queen   Dec-05-09 01:38 AM   #145 
  - Alice Miller's "For Your Own Good" is a must read. It can be read free here:  Shallah Kali   Dec-05-09 02:55 PM   #152 
  - Alice Miller's books are about this abuse and the monsters produced.  Manifestor_of_Light   Dec-05-09 12:40 AM   #139 
  - If a child is beaten enough, he might become famous...  nikto   Dec-05-09 12:42 AM   #140 
  - "immediate", "happy", "obedient", "children"...  BlooInBloo   Dec-05-09 12:47 AM   #142 
  - I don't understand  TicketyBoo   Dec-05-09 12:58 AM   #143 
  - Yuk, this must be the follow-up to "Babywise"  fortyfeetunder   Dec-05-09 08:29 AM   #150 
  - Project NoSpank has a section of articles on Ezzo  Shallah Kali   Dec-05-09 03:04 PM   #153 
  - This article upsets me. n/t  adamuu   Dec-05-09 08:30 AM   #151 
  - Yeah, it really triggered me.  lightningandsnow   Dec-05-09 03:09 PM   #154 
     - *hugs*  adamuu   Dec-05-09 04:22 PM   #157 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Dec-05-09 03:11 PM   #155 
  - This is disgusting. It is horrific to think anyone would spank a 3 month old baby.  tandot   Dec-05-09 04:05 PM   #156 
  - So a traumatized child is a good child?  Kitty Herder   Dec-05-09 04:24 PM   #158 
  - "Children are like animals" That's ridiculous....  CanuckAmok   Dec-05-09 06:30 PM   #160 
  - Reporting child abuse  cleverusername   Dec-06-09 01:16 PM   #163 
  - This will make violent adults  Sinti   Dec-06-09 01:27 PM   #164 

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