"No Greater Joy - Volume 1" by Michael and Debi Pearl

"No Greater Joy," like "To Train Up a Child," is a book  that tries to seduce the reader with talk of consistency, setting a good example for children, quoting the Bible, and insane claims that whipping babies makes them cheerful and gives parents rest.  It is a collection of articles Michael and Debi Pearl have written.  Articles on "training" (whipping babies & children until they instantly obey) are interspersed with advice on homeschooling, marriage, and potty-training newborns by dribbling cold water on their genitals.  In the "training" articles the Pearls call whipping with a belt or tree branch "switching" and "spanking," and whipping once is called a "spat."  They demean babies and children with terms such as "brat, "crybaby," "emotional manipulator," and "selfish."  They call youth "a disease" and proclaim that babies use "terrorist tactics." The Pearls obviously haven't read the words of Jesus, who said not to despise little children!  The Pearls claim their methods are "Christian" yet they have no religious credentials whatsoever, nor do they have any child development credentials.  Their first 2 children are often held up as examples of how baby-whipping "works", but these young people were not subjected to their evil baby-whipping techniques.

This hideous book is being sold at Amazon.com.  Please go to this webpage and click on "Write a Review":  http://www.amazon.com/No-Greater-Joy-One/dp/1892112019/ref=pd_sim_b_img/102-2415837-2654541?ie=UTF8&qid=1188220790&sr=8-1

Quotes from this book to use in your review:

At the beginning of the book (p. 3-4) this story is told:  a 7 year old has a Twinkie that he is trying to eat but his mother doesn’t want him to eat it.  Michael Pearl recommends to “tell him that he will be denied sweets for one week.  Reinforce it with a spanking.  Let him suffer deprivation while the other family members indulge.”  If the boy screams and protests after the parent takes the Twinkie away, the parent is to “Lead him to the place where the ‘magic wand’(switch or "rod") is kept and give him respect for the ‘Powers that be.’”  Pearl calls the boy a “Twinkie Twerp.”

On p. 4 the Pearls write “The rod…can completely check the ‘evil’ manifestations of the heart.”

2 pages later, the Pearls were asked for advice: “My two-year-old will not stay in bed when I put him down. It seems like I am whipping him too much.  No matter how many times I whip him he still gets up.”  This is their recommendation: “If your spankings are too light to gain his respect, an increase in the intensity might be more persuasive.” p.6  “If he gets up, when his feet hit the floor, spring into the room with your little switch and pop him on the bare leg one or two times.”  “Never allow him to get his way.” p.7

If a child screams or cries “Just ignore him.  Don’t be moved by it.  Don’t pick him up.”  If the child says he is hurt give him “a terrible tasting herbal potion.” p.9

The Pearls say this about public schools (presumably about hitting children, or "paddling"):  “(Teachers) will excuse their lack of control in the classroom by pointing to the laws that prevent them from exercising discipline.  For the present, we homeschool parents are still free to discipline.” p.12  How sad that the Pearls believe, and promote, hitting as "discipline" when "discipline" means "to teach!"  And they make homeschooling look bad, because it is a way to continue hitting children in private.

Page 17 I thought was worth looking at in its entirety:  No Greater Joy, p17

On p.19 Michael Pearl jokes about a “tot” getting “half a dozen little spankings a day.”

Michael Pearl praises parents who for a year kept their young son from medical treatment and who “was so sick that when he finally got to a doctor, the doctor expressed amazement that he was still alive.” p.20

To the question “Should a mature ten-year-old be allowed to switch a two-year-old if the mother is unavailable?” Michael Pearl says sure!: “Ten-year-olds ought to be mature enough to discipline a smaller child.  In our house, there was no difference between the parents and the older children in enforcing the rule of law over the younger children.” p.24-25

When a 3 year old screams the Pearls recommend: “without saying a word go straight to the switch.  Spank her where she stands.”  “Never threaten, and never show mercy.  One squeak of a scream gets a switching.” p.26  The Pearls apparently have never read the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus says "Blessed are the merciful!"

Here is some crazy teaching about violence from Michael Pearl:  If a child hits, bites, kicks or shoves he should get “a thorough spanking.  Children must be taught that violence is never an acceptable alternative in personal conflicts.” ??? p.27

When a 4 year old screams “Turn and walk away.  If she were to scream again, turn back and give her a spanking.”  p.30

On p. 33 “A mother describes her dilemma: ‘I get so frustrated with the children.  No matter how many times I tell them or spank them, they just do the same thing again.  We just go around and around.’”  Michael Pearl recommends “meeting every transgression with a swift penalty.”  “They will obey.”

On p. 34 Michael Pearl relates the story of a mother hitting her 11 month old who doesn’t want to eat any more “spinach-squash-mush” and pushes it away.  The mother “picked up her little enforcer (whip), which was lying on the table, and swatted the child’s hand.”  When the baby tries again to push the unwanted food away she “received another spat.” Michael Pearl says about this scenario: “I loved it.  It was beautiful.” (p. 35And then on p. 36 he says “I must encourage those of you with small children, train up your children now.  Don’t want until they are one year old to start training.  Rebellion and self-will should be broken in the six-month-old when it first appears.  Take this young mother’s example and think of ways you can train your child. (smiley face)"

On p. 46 a mother is described as ignoring her crying 3 month old, until the baby “became cheerful.”  The story ends with Michael Pearl’s comment about a teenage girl visiting this mother and baby: “Maybe when this young girl becomes a mother she will have the wisdom to begin training her newborns and not wait until they are three months old.”

On p. 47 a 9 month old is left crying, sitting alone and ignored.  Pearl recommends coming by to pat her on the head every 10 minutes.  This is cruel and neglectful, and dangerous.

On p. 72 Michael Pearl says “switches and rods make many things mighty inconvenient (for the child). (smiley face)"

On p. 85 Michael Pearl recommends giving a little girl who won’t get into her car seat “five licks with a stinging switch.”  If the girl still doesn’t get in the seat “repeat the switching.” If the little girl continues to refuse to get in the seat he says to take the seat into the house and strap the girl in it for “two or three hours.

On p. 96: when one of the Pearls’ children tattled on another child Debi Pearl “spanked both of them regardless of who did the tattling.”

The Pearls' methods have resulted in parents being investigated by Child Protective Services, children being taken away from parents, a restraining order against a father, and even a babysitter going to jail on felony charges! 

Please take a moment to write a review of this horrible book!  Go to this webpage and click on "Write a Review":  http://www.amazon.com/No-Greater-Joy-One/dp/1892112019/ref=pd_sim_b_img/102-2415837-2654541?ie=UTF8&qid=1188220790&sr=8-1

Thank You!  Your reviews will help parents stay away from this harmful book!!  Even circus animals aren't supposed to be treated the way the Pearl's recommend treating little babies!!

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM
Michael and Debi Pearl have recently been investigated by the Department of Human Services in Tennessee, and a detective with the Tennessee government (the Pearls live in Pleasantville, TN).  The Pearls also claim their website has been interfered with.  We at Stop the Rod have not been involved in these efforts.  There are many people who are deeply concerned about the unGodly baby-whipping and child abuse the Pearls promote, and profit from.
 


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