Key Posts Category
THE Mail leads with the news that a Ukip member thinks all immigrants should “go home“. She says she was referring to “illegal immigrants”. What is unclear is whether or not the paper agrees with her. How long will it be before Victoria Ayling is being talked about in positive tones by the Mail’s columnists?
ON the Sunday morning of 21 September 1969, a slightly-built Chief Inspector convinced some hippies inside a squat at a large five storey mansion at 144 Piccadilly to lower an improvised wooden drawbridge so doctors could help a seriously ill person inside. The drawbridge came down and Chief Inspector Michael Rowling flung himself bravely across the barricaded opening to establish a bridgehead. Suddenly a police sergeant blew his whistle and shouted “Come on lads – let’s go in!” and a hundred policemen, seemingly from nowhere, charged over the bridge and through the front door.
HUGE swathes of the press are incredibly excited about the Nigella Lawson court case because they’re getting loads of juicy information on her private life without having to rummage around in bins, tap phones or interview a soul!
Perfect for the modern, lazy hack.
However, it seems that no-one on Fleet Street has actually realised what is being revealed – that Nigella is actually very normal and that the life of a celebrity is crushingly similar to most people’s.
TOM Daley is gay. You might have read the news that Olympic diver Tom Daley is gay on the front pages of the national Press, or heard it on the national news bulletins.
Daley made his announcement because the caring Sun was about to out him as being a hypocrite or in denial, or whatever a 19-year-old can be when he’s growing up.
WILLIAM Shatner, for his cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, is usually cited as the cardinal wrongdoer among the long list of actors and actresses taking a spin at a singing career. But I must confess, Shat’s spoken-word rendition has grown on me. His sincerity and hamminess are just freaking adorable. For that matter, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by his Star Trek comrade, Leonard Nimoy, is equally endearing.
No, this list has nothing adorable in it. There’s nothing charming about a single chord on these celebrity records – nothing to latch onto and attach some redeeming quality. These are objectively awful from the first note to the last.
“Rape” by Peter Wyngard (1970)
In France of course, where fun is greedy
The women are a little more seedy
And rape is hardly ever necessary
IN Norway, the owners of a home found a secret room. It appears to have been occupied in World War 2, maybe by a member of the Milorg resistance. With the German invaders in Norway, and the country’s Government in exile in Britain, many thousands of valiant Norwegians refused to follow the Nazi-approved leader Vidkun Quisling and surrender.
SIR Bradley Wiggins has apologised after cracking an unfortunate joke at the Firecracker Ball in aid of Barnado’s.
Wiggo had donated a signed shirt and when his face appeared on the giant screen he turned to auctioneer Jon Hammond, and said: “You’ve got a posh voice, I like posh voices. Suck me off.”
BEFORE launching into the typical “Oh, aren’t those Seventies fashions so terrible” spiel, let’s get one thing out of the way: 70s’ fashions are an easy target because they took chances. Whenever you are bold you run the risk of becoming the butt of jokes. Today’s styles seem to abide by the “best not to make waves” approach – unlikely to cause much ridicule in future decades, but also fatally milquetoast. Not so the 1970s.
Attribute it to millions of emboldened Boomers coming of age or a staggering amount of recreational drug use. Either way the case is the same: 1970s fashions inspire equal parts awe and terror for denizens of the 21st century. Let’s take a look at the top five instances where this inspiring boldness went terribly, terribly wrong.
Are cult members stupid. Brainwashed? Or did they want to belong and made a conscious decision to join and remain?
Photo above: Actress Vanessa Redgrave at a press conference where she announced her intention to stand as a candidate for the Workers Revolutionary Party. Date: 12/02/1974
Aravindan Balakrishnan (Comrade Bala) and his wife, Chanda, 67, created the Workers Institute of Marxism- Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. They are the group’s leading lights. Indeed, given that three members have just left, they could be the group’s only remaining members. New members might want to rework that name.
The Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought declared in 1977. (Via)
When beloved Chairman Mao passed away on September 9, last year, our comrades worked tirelessly to transform our profound grief into great strength. Right in the heart of the revolutionary base area in Brixton we have opened from October 1, 1976, the MAO ZEDONG MEMORIAL CENTRE – a workers’ Centre, Library and Bookshop – the only one of its kind in the world. Thousands of working people have visited the Centre and hundreds of them have participated in the vigorous revolutionary programme (meetings, film shows, etc.) conducted by the Institute. A steady core of them are now attending regularly the Political Evening School and the theoretical study groups which popularise invincible Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought at the Centre.
This new development in Britain, has taken the British fascist state by storm. In its vain attempt to escape the verdict of history it has spared no efforts to intimidate and harass the comrades of the Institute. Arrests, expulsions from jobs, evictions, psychological warfare in various forms, etc. have not in any way restrained our comrades, workers and intellectuals, men and women, young, middle-aged and old, of different nationalities of the world, from being the devoted soldiers of beloved Chairman Mao in the imperialist heartlands. Our comrades have steeled themselves in acute and violent class struggles in the past two years. Fearing neither hardship nor death in upholding the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao and following closely our great, glorious and correct Party, the Party of World Revolution, we are preparing ourselves to greet the greatest event in the history of mankind – the victory of world people’s revolution and the establishment of the International Dictatorship of the Proletariat!
March 31, 1977
He had a great slogan:
Photo: View of the grave of Marxist philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) in Highgate Cemetery East in Highgate, north London.
If it can all be dismissed as a cult, have all Marxists lost their minds?
Photo: Mick Hume, Claire Fox & Helene Guldberg (R) of LM Magazine. On 28/2/00 LM will be defending a libel writ, brought by ITN, for LM’s Publication of an article by Thomas Deichmann which looked at ITN’s coverage of the Trnpolje camp in August 1992. * At the High Court in London. Bosnian-Serb camp. Date: 12/01/2000
Rod Liddle has investigated. He speaks with Anorak’s pal and former cult members Brendan O’Neill and Big Issue founder John Bird, who pretty much nails it:
The Gaffer Tapes
THIS week Sports Minister Helen Grant became the latest politician to execute the self-destructive manoeuvre we shall refer to as ‘live quiz fail’ – the embarrassing failure to correctly answer questions pertaining to one’s own specialist field. Ms Grant, who claims that sport is in her DNA, was asked a series of simple quotations such as ‘Who is the current female Wimbledon champion?’ and ‘Which team won the FA Cup this year?’ A seemingly harder question concerning Maidstone United FC was put to her because the club resides in her parliamentary constituency – although ‘Manchester United because it’s my favourite club’ as she declared in the interview.
ON 21 November 1970, in his usual smooth and professional manner and while “the girls were changing into their extremely expensive evening gowns”, Michael Aspel introduced the judges of that year’s Miss World. In the late Sixties and early Seventies Miss World was a huge television event and the show regularly got over 20 million viewers in the UK alone. Considering the huge worldwide audience Eric Morley, the man in charge of the contest, chose some very odd people to judge the competition.
The first judge on Aspel’s cue card that night was “His excellency — the High Commissioner of Malawi”. He remained nameless but was warmly applauded by the Royal Albert Hall audience that would not have had the slightest idea who he was, let alone the whereabouts of the country he represented. The south-eastern African country Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, had been colonised by the British in 1891. The administrators at the time were given £10,000 per year which was enough to employ ten European civilians, two military officers, seventy Punjab Sikhs and Eight-five Zanzibar porters to administer and police about 1.5 million people.
DAN Liebelson has written an article about what they teach you about abstinence. She focuses on Denver-based Shelly Donahue. She is a tutor of “WAIT Training”. WIT is supported by the State of Colorado. She quotes the Bible right off:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;” – Isaiah 61:1-2
ON November 10, 2013, Louis Eccles had news of the Rogarains, that marauding tribe of ne’er-do-wells heading from Bulgaria and Romania to enslave your kids and nick your granny’s mattress:
“In January, the only thing left will be the goat’: Romanian father-of-seven’s boast as mayor says half the population of his villages are on their way to Britain for the higher salaries and generous benefits”
Why the other half are staying, we weren’t not told but it’s most likely because they fancy the goat, whom they most likely worship with black magick.
Remus Neda, 37, is heading for the UK to take advantage of state handouts
He makes most of his money by begging on the streets of Paris
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: Dr Who.
YOU spotted a plot hole did you? And you think Stephen Moffatt can’t write women? Yeah. Alright. Take it to your Twitter account. Maybe write a blaaaaag post about how it annoyed you and how the (virtually) free entertainment has offended you. Throw in some of that half-arsed cultural theory you learned at university in there too, that’ll really make it sing.
IT’S obvious that the God of Situational Irony hates America’s Transportation Security Administration almost as much as I do: in late October, only a few days before a TSAgent was gunned down at Los Angeles airport (then died a couple minutes later, after typically heroic cops from the LAPD refused to let medical personnel treat him), an engineer and anti-TSA blogger named Jonathan Corbett received some improperly redacted TSA documents proving that the TSA knows the truth of what its critics have said all along: the agency’s molesty groping policies and porny body-scan photos are completely useless where airline security is concerned, and TSA knows that airplane cockpit doors (strengthened in response to 9/11, since the hijackers were able to force their way in) mean any future hijacking attempts would likely fail anyway.
London Slaves: Statement To Comrade Bala By The Central Committee of the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) – August 1st, 1974
I’M sure you were as shocked as I was at that story of three women being held as slaves in London for 30 years. But the story is now moving from tragedy into proper giggle worthy territory. The suspected slave master has now been named as Aravindan Balakrishnan. Who was also known as Comrade Bala.
Yup, this is about a small Maoist commune that managed to stagger along from the 70s all the way to today. And not only did social services know all about it they were even providing them with the housing they were using.
LONDON Slaves: A look at the three women found living as “slaves” in London. The married couple suspected of holding three women as slaves for more than 30 years are former Maoist activists Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda, reports the BBC.
According to Marxist archives they were leading figures at the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre based in Acre Lane, Brixton, south London, in the 1970s.
JOHNNY Cash made a list of “Things To Do Today”.
Do to-do lists work?
Benjamin Franklin made a list. He tried too hard, say John Tierney and psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. (Via.)
Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. He drew up a list of virtues and wrote a brief goal for each one, like this one for Order: ‘Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.’
When, as a young journeyman printer, he tried to practice Order by drawing up a rigid daily work schedule, he kept getting interrupted by unexpected demands from his clients — and Industry required him to ignore the schedule and meet with them. If he practiced Frugality (‘Waste nothing’) by always mending his own clothes and preparing all his own meals, there’d be less time available for Industry at his job — or for side projects like flying a kite in a thunderstorm or editing the Declaration of Independence. If he promised to spend an evening with his friends but then fell behind his schedule for work, he’d have to make a choice that would violate his virtue of Resolution: ‘Perform without fail what you resolve.’
Franklin wrote his list in 1726, at the age of 20. It’s more of a set of rules than a list. (Source: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Image: Benjamin Franklin, via.)
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Woody Guthrie made lists:
“Wake Up And Fight”
Jonathan Swift made this list in 1699:
Not to marry a young Woman.
Not to keep young Company unless they reely desire it.
Not to be peevish or morose, or suspicious.
Not to scorn present Ways, or Wits, or Fashions, or Men, or War, &c.
Not to be fond of Children, or let them come near me hardly.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People.
Not to be covetous.
Not to neglect decency, or cleenlyness, for fear of falling into Nastyness.
Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses.
Not to be influenced by, or give ear to knavish tatling servants, or others.
Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it.
To desire some good Friends to inform me wch of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, and wherein; and reform accordingly.
Not to talk much, nor of my self.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, &c.
Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman, et eos qui hereditatem captant, odisse ac vitare.
Not to be positive or opiniative.
Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.
The Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pg. 122). The automatic system signals the conscious mind, which may be focused on new goals, that a previous activity was left incomplete. It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance.
A study done by Greist-Bousquet and Schiffman (1992) provided evidence for the Zeigarnik Effect. In this paper, the authors stated that there is a tendency or “need” to complete a task once it has been initiated and the lack of closure that stems from an unfinished task promotes some continued task related cognitive effort. The cognitive effort that comes with these intrusive thoughts of the unfinished task is terminated only once the person returns to complete the task.
Tierney and Baumeister address that anew:
[It] turns out that the Zeigarnik effect is not, as was assumed for decades, a reminder that continues unabated until the task gets done. The persistence of distracting thoughts is not an indication that the unconscious is working to finish the task. Nor is it the unconscious nagging the conscious mind to finish the task right away. Instead, the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan. The unconscious mind apparently can’t do this on its own, so it nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders.”
FLASHBACK to Delia Derbyshire (5 May 1937 – 3 July 2001).
Delia Derbyshire is the mathematics and music scholar most famous for creating the whirling intro to Dr Who. She was working at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop in 1963 when she was given Ron Grainer’s score.
* She used concrete sources and sine- and square-wave oscillators, tuning the results, filtering and treating, cutting so that the joins were seamless, combining sound on individual tape recorders, re-recording the results, and repeating the process, over and over again.
THIS is what David Cameron has to say on his crusade to rid the internet of porn:
“I’ve said what I’ve said about Page 3 and the Sun and I haven’t changed my views. But should we do more to try and help parents to protect their children from legal pornography on the internet? Yes I think we should, and again last week we made some big progress on that.
“You can control your children’s access to newspapers and books and magazines. The problem with the internet is that our children are all online and they’re using YouTube and they’re searching for videos and the rest of it and there’s a danger that they can stumble across really quite, sometimes hardcore legal pornography…
How hard is it for the kids to see a newspaper with racy images in it? Not very:
LIAM And Noel Gallagher love a good put-downs. Here are some of there best. It might even be a top ten.
Liam on Pete Doherty
“What does the word Libertine mean? Freedom!. He’s in the corner doing smack with a helmet on his head. There’s nothing free about that. It’s nasty.”
Noel on George Harrison:
“George was always the ‘Quiet Beatle’, maybe he should keep that up”
Noel On Liam:
“I read these interviews with him and I don’t know who the guy is who’s in these interviews, he seems really cool, because the guy I’ve been in a band with for the last 18 years is a fu*king knobhead.”
Noel on Jack White
“Jack White has just done a song for Coca-Cola. End of. He ceases to be in the club. And he looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”
Noel on Madonna
“Six hours! In a gym! You sleep for eight, right – so that’s 14 gone already. What do you do with your one hour off? Do you want to get so supple that you can eventually stick your own head up your arse?”
Liam on Bono (Mr G9)
“Play ‘One,’ shut the fu*k up about Africa.”
Noel (Manchester City fan) on Gary Neville (former Manchester United player)
“If Mr Neville continues to use the holy scriptures of Oasis to communicate with the Cockney massive, I shall be forced to come up to Cheshire in the middle of the night and break into his house. I will then tie him to a chair, make him listen to the ‘Best of Simply Red’ while I pull his tash out one grey hair at a time, with my teeth, liberate those Oasis CD’s and shit in his manbag. You have been warned!”
Noel on Westlife
“There is no God.”
Noel on Victoria Beckham
“WHY IS POSH BECKHAM WRITING A F***ING BOOK OF HER MEMOIRS? SHE CAN’T EVEN CHEW CHEWING GUM AND WALK IN A F***ING STRAIGHT LINE AT THE SAME TIME, LET ALONE WRITE A BOOK.”
Noel on Liam
“Liam got a Rolex. I got a Rolls Royce. Which is brilliant, cos I can’t drive and Liam can’t tell the time.”
Noel on the media and Jay Z
Noel on Liam
“He is Abbott to my Costello, he is Cannon to my Ball, he is Little to my Large”
Noel on Tim Lovejoy
Tim: “It was Liam’s birthday the other day weren’t it?”
Tim:”What did you get him?”
Noel:”(laughs) Nothing, we’re not girls, Tim..”
Noel on Blue
“I wish Blur were dead, John Lennon was alive and the Beatles would reform.”
Noel on Liam
“He thinks he’s Abel, for some weird reason. And I thought ‘right, well if you think you’re Abel, that must make me Cain. Didn’t Cain kill Abel?’”
Noel on Lady Gaga
“TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW, WILL WE LISTEN TO LADY GAGA? NO. SHE MIGHT THINK SHE IS MAKING A STAND FOR THE FREAKS AND THE WEIRDOS. BUT THEY’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY DECENT F***ING MUSIC TO PLAY ARE THEY?”
Noel on Liam
“Liam? He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”
Watch this space…
DOES reading and adhering to the book To Train Up a Child by Tennessee-based Christian preachers Michael and Debi Pearl make your a child killer? Larry and Carri Williams have been found guilty of beating and starving their adopted daughter Hana to death. They adopted Hana from Ethiopia in 2008.
The Pearls run a Christian ministry called No Greater Joy.
He looks a bit like Santa. (That’s them in the above photo). Their website states:
No Greater Joy is the ministry of Michael & Debi Pearl under the auspices of No Greater Joy Ministries Inc. Michael has been a pastor, missionary, and evangelist for over 40 years. The Pearls’ five children were all homeschooled, and have grown up to become missionaries and church leaders. Though holding a degree from the Mid-South Bible College (now Victory University), when Michael is asked for his credentials on child training he points to his five children. Read more!
We do read more:
In a section called Is a Child Too Young To Spank? He outlines the plan:
While we can reasonably agree that the small child is too young to be punished, and we can understand that he is too immature to profit from reproof, are we to leave the child to himself until he gets old enough to discuss his fleshly actions and riotous ways? “…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). Too young for corporal punishment and too immature for reproof? What’s left to us is “Training.” “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Biblical training will incorporate the principle of the rod as a reinforcement to parental commands. By the term “rod,” I mean spanking. The Bible never uses the word “spank,” but it is bold in its use of the word “rod” in regard to child training. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Notice, it is a rod of correction, not a rod of punishment. The rod that corrects is the rod that trains.
We have made the point here that children under three (give or take six months or so) cannot profit from corporal punishment, but we have made the point elsewhere that small children do profit from the application of the training rod. How are they different? In both cases, the child is being swatted with an instrument. There is a great deal of difference in both the severity and the number of “licks,” and also in the parents’ expectations and perspective. For that reason, we cannot arbitrarily specify a suitable age and declare that it is fitting to spank a child beginning at that point. Children differ, spankings differ, circumstances differ, and parents differ.
Meet the Pearls.
In the section Dogs Cats And Kids we read:
I just got through feeding the dogs and cats. They are nearly as stupid as humans, controlled by their impulses and prejudices. I scatter dry dog food along the driveway so the two cats and two dogs can eat without being too close to each other. But the two dogs think it is their life’s calling to starve cats to death. One dog, whom I call “Useless,” is the worst cat hater. He will prevent the cats from eating, to his own detriment. I can put a quart of dog food on the driveway and throw a handful under the car where the cats can get to it, and Useless will run around the car, here and there lying on his side, pushing his head up under the car with his tongue stretched to the limit, and scraping up gravel and crushed leaves, all with one purpose: trying to deprive the cat of a single pellet of dog food. Meanwhile, the other dog will be gobbling up all the readily available food assigned to both of them. By the time the cat has eaten and the dog has rescued three or four morsels of food, the other dog will have finished off the first dog’s portion, leaving Stupid Useless with nothing to eat. But, at least the cat knew who was boss!
Now, I have seen kids act the same way, and it makes no sense at all. A child has a room full of toys, and another child comes over to visit. When the visitor picks up a single toy that has not felt the hands of its owner in six months, suddenly it is the very toy Snotty wants to play with. It is disheartening to see your child with no more sense than a useless mutt saved from the dog pound’s gas chamber—unthankful, selfish, self-centered, pouty, and downright mean-spirited. Need I point out that all children are descendents of fallen Adam, born into the world without God, possessed of selfish drives that will most certainly result in sinful attitudes and actions?
He talks of The Rod:
When a parent is prepared and willing to use the rod to enforce his word, there is never an occasion when tensions build and tempers flare. The child knows that the parent is going to speak once, and if there is not immediate obedience, the rod will fall. The sure application of the rod will sober a child and cause him to give very serious thought to his conduct and attitude…
Training is done on the spot, without much discussion or hesitation. The rod falls within three seconds of the disobedience. You don’t even break stride. Onlookers hardly notice it, whereas chastisement is more involved and demanding…
The soul of your child needs to be punished. He feels the need to suffer for his misdeeds…
As a rule, do not use your hand. Hands are for loving and helping. If an adult swings his or her hand fast enough to cause pain to the surface of the skin, there is a danger of damaging bones and joints. The most painful nerves are just under the surface of the skin. A swift swat with a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck. You can buy them for under $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line…
A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain.
The Pearls are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But is their advice a call to kill? No. It’s not.
But Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, is no fan:
Pearl’s methods include making children who are challenged with potty training take cold baths, denying food to disobedient children, and whipping them with quarter-inch plumbing line. Pearl sees nothing wrong with applying his techniques to infants. One expert recently denounced Pearl’s techniques as interfering with child development. Most alarming, some children have been seriously abused by adults who were followers of Pearl. Three children have been killed.
She recounts an episode from the couple’s blog:
Pearl recounts riding in the family’s car late at night when the family’s toddler son becomes upset. He was not sitting near his mother and wanted to sit in her lap. The preacher describes the boy as having “a tough hide that at times absolutely resisted all control. He would whine, and whine, and cry, and plead, and demand.” Then Pearl writes,
Mother was reaching for her baby when the father turned to me and asked, “What should I do?” Again I explained the principle: by allowing the child to dictate terms through his whining and crying, you are confirming his habit of whining and consenting to his technique of control. So I told the daddy to tell the boy that he would not be allowed to sit in his mother’s lap, and that he was to stop crying. Of course, according to former protocol, he intensified his crying to express the sincerity of his desires. . . . I told the father to stop the car and without recourse give him three to five licks with a switch. After doing so the child only screamed a louder protest. This is not the time to give in. After two or three minutes driving down the road listening to his background wails, I told the father to COMMAND the child to stop crying. He only cried more loudly.
The crying and stopping the car and spanking continue with Pearl’s approval. “This was repeated for about twenty miles down a lonesome highway at 11:00 on a winter night,” he writes. Meanwhile, no one heeds the concerns of the mother, whom Pearl describes as a woman who had been emotionally and physically abused as a child and who was, as he puts it, “a very ‘sensitive’ person”. She tells the men that the boy “doesn’t understand”. She had also remarked that he was hungry, sleepy, and cold. Pearl then writes:
I told the father to command the boy to stop crying immediately or he would again be spanked. The boy ignored him until Father took his foot off the gas, preparatory to stopping. In the midst of his crying, he understood the issues well enough to understand that the slowing of the car was a response to his crying. The family was relieved to have him stop and the father started to resume his drive.
But, according to Pearl, the child had not yet been properly trained. In his view, the boy’s behavior still required more spanking.
I said “No; you told him he was to stop crying immediately or you would spank him; he waited until you began stopping. He has not obeyed; he is just beginning to show confidence in your resolve. Spank him again and tell him that you will continue to stop and continue to spank until you get instant compliance.” He did. . . . This time, after the spanking, when Daddy gave his command, the boy dried it up like a paper towel. The parents had won, and the boy was the beneficiary.
They don’t advocate killing. But they do support controlled violence.
The New York Times reports on the aforesaid Hana:
Late one night in May this year, the adopted girl, Hana, was found face down, naked and emaciated in the backyard; her death was caused by hypothermia and malnutrition, officials determined. According to the sheriff’s report, the parents had deprived her of food for days at a time and had made her sleep in a cold barn or a closet and shower outside with a hose. And they often whipped her, leaving marks on her legs. The mother had praised the Pearls’ book and given a copy to a friend, the sheriff’s report said. Hana had been beaten the day of her death, the report said, with the 15-inch plastic tube recommended by Mr. Pearl.
Michael Pearl confronts the issue:
Hana Williams’ parents were given the maximum prison sentences. Articles are appearing in blogs and newspapers across the country that are full of fabrications, lies and misstatements about To Train Up a Child. It should not be taken as fact just because it is written somewhere.
Oh, the irony from a man who cites the Bible as reason for hitting children. Go on:
It is alleged that Hana’s parents owned a copy of the book; they either did not read it or totally ignored the content. The book repeatedly warns parents against abuse, and emphasizes the parents’ responsibility to love and properly care for their children. There are hundreds of thousands of parents who have and are properly applying the philosophy of the book with the joyous results of happy, productive, and well-adjusted children.
The proper application of the book could have corrected their poor parenting and prevented the abuse and death of Hana Williams.
What else has been written about them?
“The Schatzes followed, to a “t”, a system of child rearing which came from Michael and Debi Pearl… The Pearls are not professionally trained or educated in child development. They came up with this darkness out of the abundance of their hearts… It is one of the most hate-filled, wicked and evil systems I’ve encountered in my life, all with a sheen of ‘Christian’ and ‘happy families.’”
Mathers told Salon.com:
“I would love to see the people rise up and say no to the Pearls, that this will not stand. I would love to see the Pearl system become anathema, disgusting, and shunned by the world. I would love to see the Pearls out of a job. Before another child dies.”
There there was the death of 4-year-old Sean Paddock of North Carolina.
Lynn Paddock surfed the Internet, said her attorney, Michael Reece. She found literature by an evangelical minister and his wife who recommended using plumbing supply lines to spank misbehaving children. Paddock ordered Michael and Debi Pearl’s books and started spanking her adopted children as suggested. After Sean, the youngest of Paddock’s six adopted children, died last month, his older sister and brother told investigators about Paddock’s spankings.Sean’s 9-year-old brother was beaten so badly he limped, a prosecutor said. Bruises marred Sean’s backside, too, doctors found.
Sean died after being wrapped so tightly in blankets he suffocated. That, too, was a form of punishment, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.
In 2011, the Seattle Times added:
Sean Paddock suffocated when he was wrapped too tightly in blankets.
Lydia Schatz died after being spanked for several hours.
And Hana Grace-Rose Williams, of Sedro-Woolley, was left out in the cold, where she died naked, face down in the mud.
The deaths of the three children occurred in different parts of the country — North Carolina, California and Washington — but each allegedly happened at the hands of their parents, all of whom were charged with murder.
The parents had several things in common: They adopted children, home-schooled them and lashed them with quarter-inch-diameter plastic tubes. They also used the child-rearing teachings of a Tennessee evangelist, Michael Pearl, and his wife, Debi.
The Pearls, however, issue a warning to parents: Never spank in anger. And they say many people have “misconstrued” their words.
Critics claim the couple’s advice amounts to a prescription for child abuse.
“It’s truly an evil book,” said Michael Ramsey, the district attorney for Butte County, Calif.
Michael Pearl is far from media ignorant: He noted in 2010:
You may have noticed No Greater Joy and Michael Pearl receiving a lot of negative press lately over advocating corporal discipline as part of a comprehensive child training program. Television reporters came out to the office. We were in newspapers from coast to coast. Even CBS, after running an uninformed criticism of us, offered to fly us to New York to answer their unfounded charges on The Morning Show. I was eager to answer, and readily agreed. Those of you on our email list were immediately informed and many of you prayed for the will of God to be done. CBS called for a pre-interview and then canceled the afternoon before the show. I think they discovered in the pre-interview that I was not the Bible-thumping caricature they had hoped. One news outlet reviewed our website and gave a very positive review, saying there was nothing in our material that would ever lead to child abuse. On the bright side, our sales skyrocketed this month. Even before this recent publicity, one out of every 75 Americans have been introduced to our ministry.
It’s free speech. The Pearls are breaking no laws. They cannot be held accountable of any children’s deaths. But anyone who reads their books and thinks hitting a child with a length of pipe a good idea is, in our opinion, a nutcase who has lost the plot. And if that’s not good enough for you to eschew the Pearls, then why not take God’s advice?