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Ebenezer Vista — The Big Outing


I’m calling this Ebenezer “Vista” because nothing quite worked out like I anticipated. And after it was over, it seemed like downgrading to an earlier version would be best.

I’ve got to admit. I’d just rather not talk about this. I kinda get ill just thinking about it all. For my friends, if I’ve told you any of this whole story, I haven’t told you about this. But it’s important part of the ominous sense of dread that built up over that final year.

The summer of 2006 I renamed the “Summer of Isaac and Gavin” because for the first time in my life I was a stay-at-home-mom. It was a new and happy thing for us. My sons and I did “Letter of the Week” that summer, and you can read about all our fun in my archives. I saw a different side of the infrastructure of our county (where are the sidewalks?) and a different side to the interior of my refrigerator (Pink and fuzzy guacamole? How long has this been in there? Ew!!).

It all started . . . with Sean Paddock’s death exactly two years and two day ago now. You probably don’t remember him. He died as the result of some very, very bad parenting. Lynn Paddock, his adoptive mom, suffocated the four-year-old by wrapping him too tightly in blankets to keep him in bed. If you keep up with the trends among Evangelical parenting authors, it should come as no surprise that she avidly followed the worst example available: Michael Pearl.

The Pearls capitalize on quaint Amish icons and natural family living ideals. They privilege an homesteading aura that is very appealing in our McWorld. I get that. I even admire it.

But . . . you don’t have to look very deep to find problems in his advice. In the end, it is heretical. Plain and simple, he denies Original Sin and asserts a sin-free perfectionism for those who are as accomplished as he. He believes that young children are so amoral and so ignorant that they are no different from animals, and the parent’s responsibility is no different than a farmer’s to his livestock. Where that leads him is clear in his explanation of Romans 1:21:

Obviously the 2 year old can’t glory, the 1 year old, the idiot and the retard can’t glory in anything. But those who have reached a place of intellectual maturity will glory and are expected to glory in God.

He’s neither saying that children are totally unable to save their full-of-sin selves nor is he saying that children are naturally good. In other words, he’s neither orthodox nor warm-and-fuzzy. And his bad theology pushes him to some really scary conclusions. He reasons that a parent can do whatever s/he needs to do to a child in order to “train” him — not discipline him since he’s not capable of receiving any sort of teaching. No, Pearl emphasizes training. He continually compares children to animals and overtly suggests that you train a child like you would a dog. For instance, what do you do when your dog has a housebreaking accident? You take him out and hose him down. You may respond to your 3-year-old’s potty accidents the same way, according to Michael Pearl. I kid you not. In his characteristic folksy style, he remembers advising a father to do just that in To Train Up a Child:

First, I pointed out that the boy’s mother, busy with the other children, would, several times a day, pick up this big kid, talk sweet to him, lay him on a bed, take off the dirty diaper, wipe him with a warm rag, rub a little lotion on the chaffed spots and then put a fresh, smooth diaper on him. Dumping in his pants was an opportunity to get his mother’s undivided attention. Now, we understand that there is no guilt or blame in this matter, especially on the child’s part, but there is something quite inconvenient–except for the kid who loved the experience and must have found it the highlight of his day.

So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.


There’s more, but I’ll let you research that on your own, if you wish. It only gets more and more sad.

So . . . in the midst of a cyber-mourning for the Paddock family and the heresy that passes for biblical parenting advice, KatieKind stepped it up a notch with a challenge for all the Christian moms participating. She called us all to speak out when we heard Pearl being recommended in our little slices of Christendom.

Sigh. . . . I believe the Holy Spirit made me listen close to her urging. I knew that it was crystal-clear that Pearl was not biblical. I knew that people who supported him just didn’t know the whole story. I promised God that the next time I heard him supported I would say something. I’ve gotta admit — I didn’t think anything would come of it because the guy is a real nut!

Not too long later, I got the flu and was stuck on the couch comforting equally sick boys. So I read. A lot. You know how surfing materializes. That may even be how you settled here.

I landed in a big forum for fundamentalist Baptists. I’d read there a lot previously, but I had never joined. I could join — I could agree to the membership agreement and all — But I just hadn’t up to that point. Again I’m not telling you the name because I don’t want to start a war. I’ve seen that happen too often between blogs and large forums. If you’ve got a hunch, go find me in there. It’s not hard to search.

But, as you can guess from the way I’m telling this story, I landed on a glowing endorsement of Michael Pearl there. My stomach began to churn, and I remembered my promise. ::gulp::

Like a good fundamentalist, I kept my promise. I remembered all the sayings I had been reared on: “finish the job,” “the best ability is dependability,” “the test of your character is what it take to stop you.” I reminded myself that this Pearl stuff was wrong, and if anyone on the planet should be able to see that, I thought, it’s a fundamentalist, right? You with me on this?? Isn’t that what we do? Point out error? I thought that’s what I was taught while I read all those sayings above the chalkboards.

I took a deep breath and joined. The policy of that forum is to accept no anonymous members. You must use your real name and actual in-real-life facts about yourself (this policy might seem harmless enough, but in its working out, it’s not a good thing.). I poked around and found a lot of people I knew from junior high, high school, and undergrad. I found tons of my own students. These are my buddies, right? I should feel right at home. . . .

I pointed out the error in the Pearls as best as I could. It was met with a polite but inquiring surprise. They asked me to present my case, and I did. I joined the ladies’ forum and offered some prayer requests. It was a pleasant experience. I posted a few more opinions here and there. I’m pretty experienced with internet communication, so I know how to juggle some of the potential communication breakdowns.

Then it snowballed. Bad. The whole thing makes me too sick to go back there and review exactly when it all went south, but one poster seemed to be trying to “out” my position on punitive parenting. He asked me point-blank. I avoided an answer at first by joking it off. But he wouldn’t let go. And with Grant looking over my shoulder and cheering me on, I explained there publicly exactly what I told you a few posts back: “spanking is not biblically mandated.”

To keep things neat, I started a new thread with that in the title. It was a blood bath. I tried my best to keep things on task. I wouldn’t answer ad hominem attacks about how I was just a woman, illogical, uneducated, and inexperienced. I mean, I’m not perfect, so there’s always something to pick at (I’m happy to tell you those things, so you needn’t look too deep). I wondered where the forum moderators were! In my experience with internet forums, that kind of browbeating would not be tolerated. My blog statcounter jumped sky-high. I saw people googling me and sniffing me out. In the thread, I tried desperately to focus on the argument from Scripture since that was what I was trying to point out. I thought at the time that I did a pretty good job of that, but based on the outcome, I must have failed.

The thread quickly reached the forum’s 20-page limit and was closed. I have never posted again over there. I just can’t bring myself to.

But here’s the real kicker. A few weeks later I get an email from my then-employer that I was “blipping on the radar” because of those threads (see below). His email was good-natured. I said that then and I’ll keep saying that. He did instruct me to never speak of my parenting views in the classroom (and I never did!). But overall he was friendly and fraternal.

Over time, however, the tone didn’t stay that way. Apparently, “several” letters were coming in to the administration about me and those posts. I don’t know if they were from members of the forum or not. I don’t know what was said. Months later I did find a poster bragging about disagreeing with a female faculty member, but I don’t know if he was speaking about me or not. In the end, I’ve never been afforded the opportunity to face those critics. It’s all been completely anonymous and very threatening.

I was told that those letter-writers wanted me fired.

So it seems, spanking is a fundamental.

Update on 8 March 2010 — Here are the threads from Sharper Iron that resulted in a significant professional and personal backlash: The beginning, additional, another, and the biggie.

Update on 30 July 2016 — Because of an illogical and ad hominem attack on my scholarship, I engaged in a twitter conversation with Don Johnson, pastor of Grace Baptist Church Alberta and BJU B.A. ’79, MDiv. ’83. I stated that Darren Lawson had said that he had received emails over the Sharper Iron thread back in 2006 — emails that were stating I should be fired because I didn’t spank my 18mo and 4mo. And Pastor Johnson admitted that he was the one who sent them ten years ago.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.15.55 AM

He’s incorrect when he states I got fired. I wasn’t fired as a result of his efforts, so that was a failed effort on his part. I was given an ultimatum and I resigned. I’ve made that clear for nine years and have included the documents since the beginning.

But consider the irony of a “pastor” in another country writing his alma mater to get a lady fired because she doesn’t hit her 18mo and that makes her a bad influence . . . and then he says *I* need to get over it. This is Bob Jones University.


30 thoughts on “Ebenezer Vista — The Big Outing

  1. After our first baby was born, we threw out the Ezzo material realizing that it was garbage, but we still had a book by the Pearls that was given to us. Somehow we had never come around to reading it. After your posts on the unnamed blog, we skimmed through it realizing some of the teaching we had been taught for years may have been flawed as well(to put it nicely). Thank you for making those posts. I’m sorry you had to take such a beating from angry fundies. Your posts and your blog (I’ve been a lurker, as my husband says) have really caused us to think about what the Bible really says and not just what we have seen and heard you are supposed to do.

  2. Do you mean that all the changes and difficulties you’ve been through in the past couple of years started over a different in opinion about spanking? I had no idea!

  3. Hi, Camille. I remember your time on the forum of which you speak, and I hope that you will remember me, as well. May I offer a few observations?
    1. I personally believe that your time in exposing the problems with the Pearls was very well spent. As I recall, your questions prompted several of us to do our own research and point out significant problems quite candidly on both the General and the Ladies’ Forum. I personally fielded questions months later (including after I had resigned in protest from the fora) from several who had been warned by those threads or were seeking to warn others.
    2. As to the “spanking” threads, I recall some cogent discussion of positions on both sides. Yes, by some members you undoubtedly felt “savaged,” although it seems to me that your experience was no greater than that which has happened to many of us when arguing for a variety of distinctly unpopular views over there (not that it makes one feel better to have company in nursing the bite marks!). I think it is fair to say that most on that board appear to have minimal training and understanding of the classical principles of argument and spend minimal, if any, time carefully thinking and constructing arguments so as to maximize persuasion and minimize distraction. Rather, in most cases the posts appear to be little more than a “gut reaction” to others’ arguments. None of this excuses ad hominem-type attacks, of course. In hindsight, I wonder if perhaps the moderators might have been more focused on evaluating the truth of your arguments than the validity of your opponents’ arguments. At that time, I was only a moderator on the Ladies’ Forum and not on the General Forum where the spanking discussions took place, so I can’t speak definitively as to the thinking of the moderators there.
    3. Who told you that the forum’s policy was to accept no anonymous members? There are still a couple of anonymous members there, and there were several more at the time you were participating. As of the time of your participation and up to the time of my departure in January 2007 (at which time I was approving new membership requests and thus very acquainted with the rules regarding personal identification), the rule was FEW anonymous members, and those had to be approved by the Forum Director. Anonymous members were required to give a few personal, descriptive details about themselves and to register a valid email address so that they could be contacted by other members. Somebody gave you bad information.

    As I told you back then, I don’t agree with your interpretation of Scripture on the spanking issue. However, I recognize you as a sister in Christ and one who has suffered many hurts. I pray that our Lord will bring healing, grace, and peace to your soul as He continues His life-long maturing process in you to conform you to the image of His Son.

  4. I was recently given two books to read. To Train Up a Child – I made it through the first page, and put it down. You really should see what one of their daughters is writing about potty training infants. I read Created to be his helpmeet and found, though very simply written, insightful on some issues. The Pearls have quite a following in the homeschool movement. I have a story from several years ago, that brought us to our no spanking position. I’ll send it to you sometime.

  5. Lyn —

    I was just remembering you this morning! You were one of the most gracious hostesses on that board. There were several posters who were kind. And you’re right that a few expressed positive comments to me privately.

    I would have forgotten the entire thing if it hadn’t been for the whole affair seeping into my real life job with anonymous critiques. I don’t really know much about those letters except that there were “several” and that they expressed that my opinions disqualified me for employment.

    I concluded about the no-anonymity requirement because of the application setup and because of several threads I’ve read over there (I still pop in because my academic interests lie in the rhetoric of fundamentalism, and it’s an excellent source to watch trends.). Mod/admins state that anonymity requires a “special dispensation” and, to be blunt, the consequences to those few who do slip in anonymously are telling. They get excoriated relentlessly and their opinions are labeled irrelevant. And then they quietly slink away.

    The policy would be fine if people didn’t take that openness as an opportunity for in-real-life punishment for those with whom they disagree. That’s not good for facillitating discussion in any forum and that’s not good for the Body.

    Anyway, nice to see you, Lyn!

  6. What IS IT with people and anonymous complaining letters?! Didn’t their mothers ever teach them that if you have an issue with someone, you either address it with them personally or you let it go? Especially within the Body! I mean, we’re all brothers and sisters, right?

    And since when is spanking a fundamental?

    Did you ever get to see those letters? If I were you, I think I’d be terribly interested in what they actually said v. what you were told they said, yk?

  7. WOW! I remember in my home state when they were making spanking in schools illegal. How the teachers and administrators fought! What ended up happening was they eventually discovered they could be very creative without the threat of force!

    Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t make it appropriate for today. We no longer have slave and master relationships today. At some point, men quit having several wives. Some people need to grow up.

    Our pastor quoted the “prophet” Billy Joel on Sunday, “The good old days weren’t always good, tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems.” People evolve. Cultures evolve. Just because my mama spanked doesn’t make it right!

  8. I don’t remember issuing that challenge! I’m so bad at that kind of confrontation myself.

    The Pearls’ weird, sadistic advice should not be tolerated in Christian homes and churches. It is far beyond “spanking” and it always shocks me to find normal, loving parents being taken in by the Pearls’ presentation. The gloss on the surface contains some good, but that good can be found elsewhere, and is no excuse for sticking with a book/system that portrays such strangely sadistic “training” ideas.

    Moving on, how upsetting to realize that the integrity of using your real name on a forum was turned against you by people who were allowed to be anonymous in a different, real life, venue.

    And yet it seems God used it all for good, eventually. I’m thankful for your journey, and I’m glad you’re in a position to speak out!

  9. To keep things neat, I started a new thread with that in the title. It was a blood bath. I tried my best to keep things on task. I wouldn’t answer ad hominem attacks about how I was just a woman, illogical, uneducated, and inexperienced. I mean, I’m not perfect, so there’s always something to pick at (I’m happy to tell you those things, so you needn’t look too deep). I wondered where the forum moderators were! In my experience with internet forums, that kind of browbeating would not be tolerated.

    I didn’t follow that thread at the time, so after reading what you wrote above I found and read through the thread just to find the “attacks about how [you were] just a woman, illogical, uneducated, and inexperienced,” and I don’t see them. About the most ad hominem thing I could find was someone’s asking about your belonging to another forum whose motto was related to the topic. It wasn’t precisely germane, but not exactly what I would call a “blood bath.”

    I know there are plenty of problems with the forum that we’re not naming, but your description seems to be an unfair characterization of that particular discussion.

  10. Hey Austin —

    I appreciate that it didn’t feel like a blood bath to those on the outside of the attack (you were one of the civil, gentlemanly ones who tried to distract the initial “outing.” I remember it vividly!!). But again — I’m talking about how I felt in the middle of it. And I’m not the only one — my husband felt the attacks too. The digs were subtle — about how I hadn’t studied Scripture, about how I only had very young ones, etc. And on and on.

    So “bloodbath” is how it felt to me and to others who apologized and watched on.

    And again, bringing it all into my real-life-employment is way over the top.

  11. I am no fan of fundys, the blog that has not been named, or anonymous comments. Not having seen the comments, I cannot just which, if any, were personal attacks. But I do wonder if some of the sharpness arose from a misunderstanding of what Camille’s positon actually is.

    Until less than a month ago, I understood her position to be that all spanking was wrong–I understood this both from what others had told me, and from at least two occasions where I asked her how she could argue that all spanking was wrong for all kids at alll times, and I never received an answer. Recently, she clarified her views and told me that’s not what she thinks.

    I never saw the threads in question, but I wonder if some of the readers also misunderstood her views. A close friend of mine (who is not a lawyer, but who is a fellow INTJ and debater) did see the posts, and he said that he understood Camille as saying that all spanking was always wrong. When we talked both he and I said that a “all spanking is always wrong” position is well, let’s just say we vehemently disagreed and could not see how anyone could get that meaning from the text. 🙂 And we both know and like Camille, so if we misunderstood her, perhaps the other bloggers did as well.

    This, of course, is not a defense of anonymous letters. It is simply a possibile explanation for a hostile tone. And as to the merits of spanking, I repeat my longstanding position that my sole interest in any matter of parenting is defending whatever my mom did. She spanked me (and my siblings) on rare occasions of direct defiance; therefore, that’s when spanking is appropriate.

  12. You all bring up valid points.

    Dan — sure. Times have changed. Other things vary too — personalities of the family members, past history for the parents, general circumstances. Lots of things are different not just from 100 years ago to today but from door-to-door.

    And Monica — I’ve wondered the same thing. I mean, I don’t really know what those letters actually said, I just know how they were used and characterized. I don’t really care to actually discover the content, I think. I honestly consider it all a blessing in the long run anyway, but . . . if I had the guts, it would be an interesting study.

    Dave — that’s fair enough. I can imagine a colossal misunderstanding! 🙂 I do think there was some kind of a “feeding frenzy” (a term we’ve been saying a lot around here since the goldfish moved in) or jumping-on-the-bandwagon that added to the confusion. That’s what I was TRYING to do — to keep things on task and focus on the very small argument that *was* the title of the thread: “Is spanking Scripturally required?” I’m sure other things, other posters, etc. added to the mess.

    What’s so interesting to me, however, is the great fear and trepidation I felt within fundamentalism about voicing this conclusion is positively absent outside of fundamentalism. GONE! It was treated as such a scandal — like denying inerrency — and required such a pained struggle for them to tolerate. Now? My fellow Christians say, “The Bible isn’t very specific about parenting styles. That’s between your family and God.” I drop my PDA Bible in astonishment. To so easily express what I was trying so hard to explain for so long? I feel like I’m home!

  13. I’ve worked at BJU, have friends still there.

    BJU a ministry, a church, a business, a cult or a nice place with flowers and some old paintings.

    Depending on your experience with Old jones U, you can come away with a variety of feelings for the place.

    I knew a ton of students, saw many get shipped, heard from them the how’s and whys they were shipped. Heard some hard to believe things about the way some things were handled.

    I can only say this….If your time at BJU had not pitfalls and you had a grand time there…Good for you!

    If your a normal human being who cares for the well being of those around you……don’t work at BJU.

    Your ministry will not be appreciated.

    No Lone Rangers need apply.

    There’s only one Sheriff in that one horse school and if he decides to shoot a deputy the other deputies are to turn to one another and say, “By gum, he musta deserved it!”

    The word hubris comes to mind as I recall some “special” situations that transpared inside the gated community. The Doctors are in need of medicine me thot.

    We of a certain inner circle knew for whom we could trust and for whom to watch out for. We used code names and even trapped a few of the hubris type into chasing down a grey pawn only later to get knighted.

    We learned the game while there and played it well against those whom thot they were the chosen ones.

    For those of you whom were hurt during you time at the flowered cathedral…..know this, though some turned their backs and you and others, yeah friends chided you………….all did not pass without some eyes seeing, ears hearing nor letters unwritten.

    Some outside the gates have been forwarned not to enter and many have thus heeded that call.

    The Squire, retires for now.

  14. Never forget: BJU stands without apology. (period)

    No apology for slandering people…..oh they call it chastising do they?

    No apology for errors of judgement against an individual that was ganged up on by those stout hearted men whom must get to the bottom of another individuals heart…..but never their own.

    No apology for being sinners (saved by grace?)that also made (in the flesh) decisions to go after someone whom they thought offended the great honor of their precious school.

    Those scribes needed to get a taste of their own medicene and me thinks it was dished out fully by the media circus about 2000 during the Bush visit.

    Did the Jones, BJU and yes even students come under attack by those in the media?…yes. Were some things said that were not true?…yes. Did the media jump on the bandwagon and ridicule without getting all the facts?…..yes.

    Did BJU and Bob III get in measure what they had poured out on others?……Absolutly!!

    It was a hosing down of Dr.Bob outside in the cold with well water and the whole world watching in as he cried and pleaded for understanding on late night TV shows with Larry King.

    Ohhhhhhhh, the students cried Dr. Bob. Ohhhhhh my, the school and all the great things it has done.

    Ridiculed and hauled before a judgmental tribune of networks whom saw the evil in the matter and would not be presuaded otherwise.

    Sound familiar to some of you BJU students, X students, staff and faculity???

    Tell me now? When does God sleep?

    Whom does not God control??

    Whom gets away with sinning w/o the spirit knowing when it’s been quenched.

    Who is above being taking outside and hosed down by God?

    Beware lest ye fall into this hubris spirit that tends to breed other hubris spirits in a compound in Greenville, SC.
    Beware of other hubris satelite churches like those in and about the city run by men whom owe allegiances to mother hubris.

    Watch and Wait,
    the Squire

  15. Dr. Lewis,

    I just googled trying to find the infamous forum fingered above, and came across some abstracts of your work in the KB journal. I had no idea you were a Kenneth Burke junkie! I’ve done a bit of work using his writings in tropology (Rhetoric of Motives) – applying it to music historiography. Good stuff. Good to see another Burke-head out there. Are you still writing using Burke’s theories/categories or was this just for your dissertation? (I’m assuming the work published out of Baylor was distilled at least in part from your dissertation)


  16. P.S. I just read the preface to your book thanks to googlebooks. I hadn’t considered this until then, but considering fundamentalism with Edward Said’s Orientalism in hand (in terms of defining, containing, purifying, etc. the Other) would probably be full of possibility!

  17. Now we have two more horrific cases associated with Pearls teaching that occurred within days of each other.
    The above girls “sins” to deserve such punishment was according to her sicko parents, she cheated on a homeschool test, and, wait for it……stole food because they only fed her every other day!

    The second incident a 7 year old girl died and her sister is in critical condition. The seven year old was beaten because she mis-pronounced a word during home schooling class.

    I try to stay level headed with things like this. However, our system is broken. Both of these homes had been visited by CPS. The first case Andrea Bass had a record from California for domestic assault and child abuse. I can speak with some experience here, because I also was one kid who “fell through the cracks.” IMO, Police/CPS workers go into homes of Christians and do not see drug paraphalia, they check the fridge and there is plenty of food. The kids are quiet and well behaved. Certainly such a well ordered home and such “nice” people would not abuse their child. Police/CPS do not for a moment think, these children are so quiet and well behaved because if they make any noise the hell will be rained down on them.
    I will not go into my whole story, but, I lived in a fundamentalist foster home. It was clean, orderly and we all smelled great, looked sharp. My “bedroom” was in the basement next to the wood stove. They did not even give me a screen or any partition to shield myself. I had a single bed, lamp, and bedside table. When my social worker came, she was shown one of their daughters rooms and passed it off as mine. She would gush about how wonderful foster parents they were….leave. I was treated much like furniture, except when their paycheck came, then THEY would go out to eat, go shopping for themselves and their bio kids.
    I hope the below video makes you all think.

  18. Camille, I have been wanting to post a comment on a particular aspect of this controversial topic for a long time, of, ‘conservative parenting movement’, and its dreadful effects on parents who ‘go down his thorny/ weedy path, to the detriment of their precious children’s lives, and sometimes unto the tragedy of actual death. Who blindly follow this path without realizing where it may may be dangerously , destructively ‘taking them’. Several months ago, I ‘thought’ I was ‘winding down’ to finish, a research topic on the Internet. And I sure wish I ‘had’. I happened on the ‘weight loss’ guru’s punitive parenting preaching / teaching style methods, which she dishes out from her stranger than fiction ‘church’? pulpit ( it would be considered a fringe church by any sane person who has a brain that was functioning normally!!!) …. their dreadful, direct, literal effects, on a church member couple’s 8 year old son’s life, and how the parents got 30 years to life for murdering their precious little boy. The sick minded, severely abusive discipline, prior to his being beaten to death, had all been advised by this pastor, who of course denied she ever told them any such thing to do. All according to their misguided weight loss guru self-appointed preacher / child- discipline expert! How denying the basic physical necessities of life, food and water, to a small child, could possibly have ‘anything’ to do with discipline, quite frankly is ‘beyond’ belief. The tragedy of hat happened to that precious little boy, is well covered on Wiki under heading of Georgia vs. Smith” When I accidentally happened upon this weigh down guru’s strange church ‘site’ , which has been flagged by several credible cult watcher sites, as an overtly and obvious to the wise and discerning, as a CULT, a description to which I would add ‘lunatic fringe’!!! and read about what members of her own ‘self-made’fellowship had done to their 8 year old son…. that night I had a hard time getting to sleep! And what person’would’nt’ have trouble sleeping, if they had any human feelings,love, compassion, normal human sensitivity, and respect for the human dignity, of precious children in their heart? If they ‘had’ what could be called, a normal human sense of ‘natural affection’ for the humanity of people! Who ‘wouldn’t’ have trouble getting to sleep, after reading about such a human tragedy! I used to believe it was only misguided un churched unbelievers, who were a menace to their children! People who becoming parents, had undiagnosed mental conditions, or who had who had ‘criminal minds’,or who were plain and simple, bad and evil! People who had an evil pathological strain, in their DNA! But now I had to realize that, ‘that’ was a ‘false belief’ based on my own stupidity, ignorance and gullibility. But this couple, coming under the strange and negative influence, of a toxic, cultic environment, didn’t
    need monster Pearl’s horrible false teaching, to twist their minds to ‘do’ what they did to their precious little boy, from reading his ‘toxically’ evil books! All that was needed, for them to end up violating their son’s human dignity, first by starving him in isolation, like a convicted prisoner in ‘the hole’,then by murdering him… was for them to come under the evil influence from a toxic pulpit, in their minds , thinking and belief system,to believe dreadful falsehoods and lies, about their role and responsibilities as parents! To believe an outrageously evil lie, that parenting was ‘all about power’, all about ‘power ‘ over children, ‘all about total control!’ Weak, vulnerable helpless children,were not there to be nurtured, protected, and loved! They were there to be ‘ruled over’ like human chattel, and ultimately treated like animals!! Under the evil influence of a toxic pulpit in a strange, sickly toxic and fringe church, they blindly saw children under their cover, as somehow ‘needing to be ‘ground into the asphalt’ so as to ‘learn’ to ‘not’ be a nuisance, via cruelly imposed discipline, that was ‘not’ real discipline at all. But that was inhumane , brutal deprivation of human love and affection and basic human needs a totally dependent child relied on his parents to provide him with! Something that was not discipline at all, but punishment on a level of torture, came into their minds from a sick and toxic pulpit, as ‘truth’ necessary to apply. Any child put through what that precious little boy was put through in his family home,ruled over by primary care givers who had eventually became ‘out of control’ monsters, who had ‘no control over their by then toxic emotions emotions or their behaviour’, for that precious little boy, something of ‘a toxic environment’ bordering on dreadful environment which could be described as, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, a ‘concentration camp’ not fit for human habitation, was what he suffered in! It’s not a simple matter of thinking that, such a misguided couple were capable of being good or evil, simply because they were free will agents, who one day, ‘made a wrong decision!’ They had been listening to this self-appointed expert’s ‘lunatic fringe preaching, for some time, while being members of her ‘strange’ fellowship! After reading what I read, of course, out the window went, that sacred cow that only unchurched unbelievers did that sort of thing! A previous assumption based on ignorance of what I obviously ‘knew nothing about.’ It is not only unbelievers , un churched, criminally minded people, who abuse, punish, and beat their children to death! This shocking infanticide trial and murder conviction, revealed that, the terrible advice for what they had done to their child, had not come directly or indirectly from that religious monster ‘Pearle’. It had come ‘directly’ from the monster pulpit of a ‘self-appointed’ religious- control monster, from the pulpit in their strange fellowship. From a self-appointed pastor with ‘no ministerial training’ whatsoever, who had taken it upon herself, to ‘wield unlawful an illegal power’ over the disciplinary methods of the parents in her church. By the way, it’s a church where ‘glue sticks’ can be seen protruding from diaper bags! Yes, they spank babies there too! An 8 year old little boy, locked up in his bedroom cupboard, for three days without food or water,with nothing but a Bible! Which was what preceded his tragic demise, when he threw a tantrum during an via speaker phone so called ‘religious service,’ and his parents spanked him to death, for disturbing their ‘service’! Yes, this pastor actually controls her members from afar over speaker phone relayed services ! Electronic tentacles of tyranny! The self-appointed pastor’s advice given to the parents, , re the isolation in cupboard with no food and water, was of course completely denied by her! In Canada, such a pastor, would ‘never’ get away with that! In Canada, it is ‘against the law’, for pastors to say, preach or teach things, from the pulpit, that suggest in any way, physical discipline, which tends toward ‘abuse’. ‘ Counselling to abuse,’brings a pastor ‘right into the courts’ to be directly called to account for ‘breaking the law.’ A case was in the news a few years back, which exposed what some expecting mothers in same church, actually believed about their unborn babies. What they believed was, that when their babies moved in the womb, that these ‘expecting mothers’ could ‘feel’ their babies’ rebellion! And how they would be ‘disciplining them after they were born! Unbelievable deception, or what! American authorities, really do need to wake up to reality, and start making legislation and laws, with real teeth in them, to protect precious children from religious abuse being taught directly from the pulpit, that is then dangerously practiced by the parents who hear and blindly practice it. Sorry for the length of this comment. I just had to get this off my chest. I sure feel better for having said it. I so highly respect all mothers of little ones and not so little ones, who have been able to come out of this’ terrible fog’ of false teaching, and acknowledge that, God’s way, the way of ‘real’ love, nurturing and protection, is and has always been the best way. I so admire the honesty of all you wonderful mothers who were humble and truthful to say, you were wrong’ to have listened to, believed for a shirt time, and started to follow , fortunately only for a very short time, , that bad teaching that you now know ‘never came from God’! And could never be supported by the Bible, properly interpreted. God Bless all of you, for speaking up about this, and telling the truth to others who ‘need to hear this.’ God can trust you so much more now, because of your honesty an humility. God bless you all.

  19. Let me see if I can get this straight. You are using Doug Wilson of patriarchal/authoritarian fame to affirm that the wacked out Michael Pearl is wrong? Wouldn’t that be like quoting Osama bin Laden to affirm your stance on George Bush?

    Sheesh! Are you also not familiar with Doug Wilsons Black and Tan or Slavery As It Was?

    Very confusing. Me thinks you have traded one tyrant for another.

    1. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      I wrote this in 2008 before Wilson’s terrible had been vetted by me and others. I have traded no tyrants, but you’re free to conclude what you wish.

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