March 3, 2010 3:47 PM

Michael Pearl laughs at his critics, no apologies for dead children

What an arrogant man!  As a mother of 12, ages 9-41 (all very accomplished and emotionally healthy) and grandmother of 12 (all homeschooled), I laugh at Michael Pearl that he finds the world divided into those raised according to his rigid program and those raised with grace (failures all, in his eyes) .

 But I'm not laughing that so many people have been fooled into believing this is a good Christian leader.  Not a word of remorse about the plumber tubing!  Not a word of remorse about two dead children!

For shame!



(Michael Pearl's title at his blog)

It has come to may attention that a vocal few are decrying our sensible application of the Biblical rod in training up our children. I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love.

Numbered in the millions, these kids become the models of self-control and discipline, highly educated and creative--entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements. When your children finally find an honest mechanic or a trustworthy homebuilder, it will be one of ours.

When your children apply for a job it will be at a company our children founded. When they go to a doctor, it will be one of our Christian children that heals them with cutting edge innovation. When your adult kids go for therapy it will be one of our kids-become-psychologist that directs them to the couch and challenges them to release their self-loathing and embrace hope for a better tomorrow. When your children grow old and realize their mortality and seek to make peace with their Creator, it will be one of our children that shares with them the message of God's love and forgiveness.

Read it all at To Train Up a Child
Well if I had any doubt in my mind about the sort of leader Michael Pearl is, he certainly has filled in the blanks.

Very cultlike, my friends:  Us vs. Them.  We are 100% right, they are 100% wrong. Rigid and unyielding. No humility. 
(See Cult Characteristics and the Pearls)

What comes to mind is the Pharisee and the tax collector.  This is a man whose pride has been unbridled and who clearly has put himself on a pedestal. 

Pride goeth before a fall.

And flashbacks to Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, but here it's children's lives at stake.  I do sincerely hope that more children will not have to die for God to get Michael Pearl's attention.

See all my posts on Mike and Debi Pearl


Posted in Church Issues, Mike and Debi Pearl, Spiritual abuse | Permalink


That makes me sick. I want to cry after reading that. What about the 8 children left behind whose lives have been turned upside down and will never be the same as their mother and father sit in jail? That's nothing to laugh about. My heart was so heavy as I thought of them and prayed for them last night as I went to bed. Compare the arrogance of this man to the sweet humility and tender love of our dear Jesus. Dear God, help us. If anyone can read the statement of that man and still support his work, they had better flee to the Scriptures and ask God how they can support someone who displays such pride and self-righteousness. As Barbara said in an earlier comment, the Christian homeschooling community had better speak up on matters like this.

Posted by: Karen E. | March 3, 2010 4:09 PM

Oh. How rude. He is insufferable.

How wrong to bring up the plastic whip, to relate it to his dogs and chickens, and children.

No remorse. No clarifications. Just arrogance.

But he answers someday, you know!

Posted by: Holly | March 3, 2010 4:57 PM

How ironic that he looks like Santa Claus.

Posted by: Leslie | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM

Thanks for highlighting this. It's one thing to have differences in parenting styles, but what he promotes is abuse, plain and simple.

Posted by: Elizabeth | March 3, 2010 6:25 PM

wow....a lot of laughing at the pearl home....funny, i don't hear the dead children laughing.

Posted by: julie harris | March 3, 2010 11:01 PM

I wish that I could say that this surprises me....Sadly, Michael Pearl's arrogance is all of a piece with the rest of his wickedness....

When Our Lord sees MP on the day of Judgment, and says to him, "Depart from Me, worker of iniquity; I never knew you!"...Then,at last, Michael Pearl will no longer be laughing....

Posted by: Zooey | March 4, 2010 7:44 AM

Barbara, I could be wrong, but I believe that response has been up there before the deaths of the children. But they should have never had it in the first place, and I would think it would have been pulled RIGHT after they heard the connection of Lydia's death to their material.

Ugh...I really try to give the Pearl's the benefit of the doubt, like, hey, they are just trying their best, but this makes it really hard.

Posted by: Debra | March 4, 2010 8:31 AM

Barbara, thank you for continuing to expose those who proclaim to have the answers for Christians while not behaving as Christians.

Certainly laughing at the deaths of children caused by a method he promoted shows that he is very wrong--any normal person would be brokenhearted, trying to understand what went wrong and fix it so that this never happens again.

But there is still a very real need for some sort of discipline or plan in the case of misbehavior. My daughter is a few months short of two and I am sometimes in tears and at my wits' end trying to figure out how to help her learn to do the right thing. Especially frustrating are her destructive behaviors--ripping books and papers (which I honestly think usually starts as an accident and continues because it is fun or interesting), spilling drinks on the floor or spitting her drink down her front, trying to play with remotes, keyboards, and mice (most of which she has her own version of) and most troubling, hitting or throwing things at her baby brother (2 1/2 months). The baby is requiring less of my attention now than earlier, yet my daughter's behavior is not improving. Some of the things--like playing with electronics--I think she does just to press my buttons (so to speak) and because she wants more attention, or attention whenever she wants it--things are definitely worst when her brother is nursing. (Other times she is so nice to him!) Timeouts don't seem to work, and physical punishment seems inappropriate because she is acting out where she has no other way to communicate what she wants, not simply being rebellious and disobedient because of a sinful heart--she is so sweet much of the time, and we rarely have problems when Daddy is home to distract her. I know that I need a plan for when she does the wrong thing, because otherwise I become frustrated, angry out of proportion, and sad.

I know that no one method works all the time for all children--but could you point me toward something you could recommend?

Posted by: YCW | March 4, 2010 11:44 AM

You've got to be kidding me! The ONLY good citizens, the only good employers, the only good anybodies will be those trained by the Pearl method?

Arrogance indeed. It would be pitiful if it weren't so deadly in its application. Because his arrogant confidence is what makes so many insecure parents believe he must be right.

Posted by: Betsy Markman | March 4, 2010 11:57 AM

Sorry, Barbara, I totally misunderstood. I guess a similar version of this was on their website from before, but then they just released this on Facebook on Monday? GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

To YCW, I'm by no means an experienced mother as my first is the same age as yours, but I can offer up to you what I did, and maybe it will work for you?

I had one really, really babyproofed room for my daughter. There wasn't really much she could get into that was off limits. Then, when I was ready, I gradually introduced things that were no's. There is a floor lamp that I don't want her messing with. When I brought that into the room and she went to touch it, I said a firm no and redirected her. This took 10-20 times but in the end she rarely touches the lamp.

We do this for other areas of the house now too. I have stuff in the bathroom I don't want her to touch. If she touches the toilet paper on the roll then when we were in the learning stage I would say a firm "no" and move her away from the toilet paper. Now, because I know she knows it's off limits, if she gets into the bathroom door gets shut and she can't get in there. This drives my girl nuts. I only keep it shut for 10 minutes or so but it seems to work.

So in summary, can you baby proof more so that you only have to focus on a few no's at a time, then when those are learned, gradually introduce other off limit items?

It may not work, but for our family it's been great. She rarely gets into the items she's not supposed to and if she does there is a pre-determined consquence that not only is effective for her but also ensures that for that period of time she can't touch the item.

Sorry this is so long! I just wanted to offer that to you in case it took Barbara awhile to answer you!

Posted by: Debra | March 4, 2010 5:29 PM

May God have mercy on his soul.

Posted by: Elizabeth Esther | March 4, 2010 7:22 PM

I gave the Pearls the benefit of the doubt for a looong time. Even defended them at times, or at least asked their critics to use honest arguments rather than high-emotion words.

A good bit of my attraction was indeed their apparently happy, thriving children, who also wrote for them but without their father's arrogance.

But no more. An earlier poster used the word "insufferable", and I think that fits perfectly.

Posted by: Margaret | March 4, 2010 10:27 PM

I didn't see if anyone else picked up on this, but did you notice his book plug at the end of that blog entry? What I found disturbing was his wording (and I don't know if he's used it previously). It says "Get your own copy of TO TRAIN UP A CHILD
and find out what all the squawking is about."

Posted by: Michelle | March 5, 2010 3:41 PM

The more I read about this story the more my heart breaks. This is so awful. I just want to cry every time I read something new.
I am glad more and more people are speaking out about this.
I just wanted to point everyone to an excellent response to Pearl’s awful “laughter” that Vyckie Garrison at No Longer Quivering has written.

Posted by: Wang | March 5, 2010 4:01 PM

The christian fundamentalist homeschooling community is SCARY. It should be of deep concern to our society that this is a growing movement. Also, these crazy radical Christians should NEVER be allowed to adopt children, period.

Chy, the Christian fundamentalist homeschooling movement probably has over a million families, many of whom are readers here.

What I find scary is a person who makes sweeping judgments based on one family's dysfunction. When two gay "dads" were responsible for the torture of their adopted son, did you conclude that the radical gay movement was scary and they should not be allowed to adopt?

What's crazy is liberals who think they're tolerant and broad-minded when their roots are in Nazism.

Posted by: Chy | March 14, 2010 1:07 AM

I am very interested in reading the article, "Cult Characteristics and the Pearls."

I would like to share my research about Michael Pearl's teachings if I may:

No Greater Joy Ministries: Occult Markings

Posted by: Lisa Ruby | March 26, 2010 1:24 AM

ignorance. what he said makes me sad. love and acceptance is all our babies need:) thanks for sharing.


Posted by: heidi | March 27, 2010 12:25 AM

How will these children grow up to be doctors and therapists when the Pearls are against college education? And when they have been trained like dogs instead of taught to make their decisions in a rational and analytical way?

Posted by: Emily | March 30, 2010 10:34 PM

I just read the "Meet the Pearls" website that shows up when you google them and I would like to point out the "careers" of Pearl's five children/spouses:
web designer
builder, hunter, and "volleyball king"
auto mechanic/metal artist
hmmmm....doctors using cutting edge innovation? psychologists? I don't think so!

Posted by: lynn scammon | May 19, 2010 8:10 AM

I just wrote about the Pearls' book To Train Up a Child, and linked back to you.

Thank you for standing up!!

Posted by: Wendy @ Living Creatively | August 17, 2010 7:47 PM

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