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Child Abuse, Fundamentalism, Michael and Debi Pearl

Michael Pearl defends book by using pragmatism

It never ceases to amaze me how arrogantly Michael Pearl talks when he is being questioned about his child abuse discipline methods.

He was interviewed on CNN’s Dr. Drew, which aired on October 25, 2011. (Click here to see a portion of that video called Preaching discipline that can kill?). He was also interviewed about the Lydia Schatz tragedy, a portion of which was re-aired on October 20, 2011, on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, which talked about the recent Hana Williams tragedy. (Click here to see that video called Punishing kids in the name of religion).

I don’t know which is worse, backing up his book by saying, “it’s in the Bible,” or his usual pragmatic response, attributing credibility to the number of people who write him telling him that his method “works.” (Pragmatism is commonly thought of as “The end justifies the means.” The end in this case is the “happy, emotionally-healthy children” Pearl says results from his methods, not abused children. The means is his methods.) This is the same man who refuses to take a hint of responsibility in the recent deaths of three children whose parents also used his methods. He clearly does not think the abuse occurred because of his book. He feels that the parents ignored his book, because in his mind, if they had, abuse would not have been the result.

I am glad that Michael Pearl is still being scrutinized. I highly doubt he will change anything about his book; if anything, this constant attention, I’m sure, is being viewed as “persecution.” However, it is good for those parents who might begin to question his methods.

**Note: I became aware of this interview through ChucklesTravels’ blog. I watched the interview, but at the time of this posting, I was unable to view it again. Just to let you know, in case you have similar problems.

Related Posts:

Hana Williams: “Rebellion” or Reaction to Abuse?

Michael Pearl is no longer laughing

Why I no longer “train up” my children



6 thoughts on “Michael Pearl defends book by using pragmatism

  1. The pragmatic defense is the least logical for Pearl. . . Pragmatically, his teachings have been linked with abuse which has led to death.

    Posted by TulipGirl | October 28, 2011, 1:14 am
    • TulipGirl, I totally understand what you’re saying and I agree with you. However, Michael Pearl does not think his teachings are linked with abuse. He sees them as linked with happy, obedient children. I have added to my post to communicate that better.

      Posted by GraceGirl | October 28, 2011, 6:46 am
      • I totally agree with you. . . He is blind to (or chooses to be blind to) the abuse. . .abuse that happens even in loving, well-intentioned Christian homes being careful not to “train” in anger. . . It’s not just the extreme end of abuse (death) which we DO hear about that concerns me (and you, I’m sure), but the abuse that comes from being “consistent” with “training” with the rod and multiple “spanks” until the child gives in.

        I’ve known many mothers who would have once written letters to Michael Pearl praising his materials. . . but over time saw just how much harm they were causing — if not outright physical abuse (which was the case at times) then at the minimal contributing to an antagonistic parent-child relationship (in spite of the lovely “tying heartstrings” stories Pearl tells.)

        Posted by tulipgrrl | October 28, 2011, 3:12 pm
  2. Then Yahweh said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Jeremiah 14 10-16 ….

    This … tends to what I feel about the Pearls. ‘Delusions of their own minds’ ….

    This man is an unkind man, full of fear and lies. Shame … he could have helped children around the world instead of spreading his own pain [his childhood upbringing] and twisted beliefs.

    Posted by TealRose | November 1, 2011, 2:49 pm


  1. Pingback: Responses to Michael Pearl’s Defense on CNN | Why Not Train A Child? - November 1, 2011

  2. Pingback: The Age of Blasphemy - November 7, 2011

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