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TW. Abuse, Christian 'discipline', child abuse, ableism

Part 3 of my live-tweet of To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. Do mute this thread if it is going to be picking at scabs that have already healed, give yourself grace, you don't have to go back.

Spoiler warning: The book only gets WORSE. I read ahead last night and had quite a visceral reaction to the content.

Something that I have picked up by sharing and speaking to others, is this:

It was real
It happened
It was systematic
It was wrong
You deserved better
Let's dive right in to Chapter 6:
"When the time comes to apply to rod, take a deep breath, relax, and pray, 'Lord, make this a valuable learning session. Cleanse my child of ill-temper and rebellion. May I properly represent your cause in this matter.'"
The parent (the dad, not the mom), in kinds of Christian Extremism, is thought of as a direct link to God.

Just as a Pastor can be treated as an oracle which must not be questioned, so too is the Dad.

The Dad has responsibility to God and no one else.

Illustraion from online.
This is how that Umbrella is supposed to work, either for a congregation following under a Pastor, or a family following under a Dad.

If you absolutely obey them, you are supposedly safe, and only they will be affected if they are wrong.

Heaven forbid that the wife should question this absolute authority. Obviously a wife only answers to Satan, only the Man can represent God (the woman is supposed to represent her husband, who represents God).

#Exvangelical #ExposeChristianDiscipline
Here's a kiddified 'cute' version. The child here has learned submission and obedience. I'm not a big fan.
The child learns that God gives them pain through an Authority figure, who answers only to God.

Later, when that Authority figure is a Christian school teacher, a Pastor, a Husband, the child has been conditioned to believe they have God given right to cause them pain.
And, to question any of these Authority Figures is to Step Out from Under The Umbrella and expose yourself to Satan and Danger.

🙄🙄🙄 Okay, that sounds like a safe system.


It's absolutely RIPE for abuse.
I'm getting distracted, but can you see how this absolutely feeds into the causes and environment in which the Southern Baptist Church Sexual Abuse, the Catholic Church coverups, the Church School physical abuse, unreported domestic abuse in the Evangelical Church, can happen.
It's not just 'sinful nature' in a few indeviduals breaking the system, it IS a broken system.
So, back to the chapter:

"The child should be able to anticipate the coming rod, by your utterly calm and controlled spirit."

I'm sure it's great for your children to be terrified when you are calm and controlled.
"At this point, in utter panic, he will rush to demonstrate obedience. NEVER REWARD DELAYED OBEDIENCE BY REVERSING THE SENTENCE." They underlined this line. Remember this book is about Conditioning and Breaking the Spirit of the child to future instant, unquestioning obedience.
My dad used to say, 'Delayed obedience is disobedience.'
"Don't drag him to the place of cleansing. Part of his training is to come submissively."

I'll talk bout my experience of this in a bit.

"If...already rebellious...use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay."
"If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate."

#ExposeChristianDiscipline #totrainupachild
"Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and unmoved by his wailing."

"Defeat him totally."

"Accept no conditions for surrender."

"No compromise."

"You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign."

"Your word is final."

Me, driving through this chapter like
I'm sorry but this is not discipline its not even training is abuse. Its abuse. Its bullying. He already made it clear that he doesn't like actual children, only clone robot children, and now he's dragging them, sitting on them and forcing them into 'submission.'
Not to fucking mention that often the signs they would point to of a rebellious child are often the same as those of a child reacting to a workd they don't understand from a non-nuerotypical way. How many struggling kids have been sat on and abused for daring to exist???
This book is just about pure evil.
As much as it's maybe worth dragging out the shocking descriptions they've put in here as advice, I honestly don't know how much I can replicate on my twitter feed, nor how much I should.
However, I DO know that reading it for myself is reminding me of things that DID happen, that WERE wrong and if I hadn't seen it spelt out in black and white I wouldn't believe that such things could have been real.
Have I seen children physically restrained by a leg or an arm over their body while they struggle and wiggle and scream because they 'will not submit', Yes I have.
My sisters were almost always dressed in dresses, and skirts, and one of the things I think about when I think about corporal punishment is dad holding them down (say, a hand on their back), and whacking with a bamboo cane at their bottom region but the skirts getting caught up
Legs kicking. 'Stay still, or I will hit your legs and it will be worse.'

The skirts being smoothed down so that a proper swish of the cane would impact properly. Do you know what that sounds like? You shouldn't, and if you do, I'm sorry.

The cane whistles in the wind.
The book says, "Slowly begin to spank. If you go too fast, you may not allow enough time for the inner transformation to occur."

I'm sorry, what the fuck though, are they going to transform from a pumpkin into a carriage because you are fucking whacking them with a stick?
I'm not using many gifs because I don't want anyone to think its a joke, it's not, it's not funny at all, but the way they speak is beyond a joke. You know what's happening in a kids head when they are being hit? 'How can I make this stop?', 'When will the next switch land?'
'Will it hurt more or less if I flinch, clench or relax?'

At no point is that child going through an inner transformfuckingmation.

#ExposeChristianDiscipline #discipline #childabuse
"Use your own judgement as to at is effective," Michael Pearl goes on, "I find five to ten licks is ususlly sufficient."


Suddenly the one to three that we'd get doesn't sound so fucking bad.
What's amusing right now is that my swearing will have lost me some of the audience. Some readers will be more upset by my using the word 'fuck' as an insult than they will that children (in diapers) are being given five to ten lashings with a stick.
Remember this book I'm reading was on its 11th print in 1999, its been bought and likely implimented to one degree or rather by 650,000 people. 650,000 fuckers fuck you all fuck.

And let's move on
I've made it through four paragraphs of this chapter and Jesus is coming soon, I better get a shift on.
Oh good, the next section is called, "Instruments of Love"
"Make it a point to never use your hand for spanking."

Oh so you DO HAVE some boundaries! That's great. Well done. You've burnt down the house but you've made sure to use bio-fuel not petrol.
I'm joking, that's not actually what's going on at all. Remember this book is about:
Thought out,
Conditioning by use of pain for control.

To use your hand in a moment of human annoyance is not systematic, it's exactly what they are against.
"Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain, but the most pain is on the surface of bare skin, where the nerves are located." - #PearlsPromoteChildAbuse

Me, this book
"Select your instrument according to the child's size." (Systematic, planned, forethought, abuse) "For under one-years-old, a little ten to twelve inch long, wilowy branch about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient."

I don't.... I.........
"For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative."

Give me strength. 🖐️🙄🙄🙄🖐️
I'm about to swing back and give you all an introduction to the three anthropomorphic spanking devises that used to hang in our house.


Oh yes, they all had names:
Meet Sammy Slipper, Colin the Cane and Rodney (don't applaud).
TW. Details of physical abuse ahead
The main stick was a dowell (like one of these), about a foot and a half, maybe two foot, with an eye screwed into one end so that it could hang up on a hook by the office door. About half an inch thick? Slightly less?
Dad had a few, he'd buy a long dowell and saw them into size, add the hook and eye. There were a few hooks in the house. I'll refer to it as the cane, Dad would jokingly call it Colin the Cane, because why wouldn't you joke about stinging children with a stick?
Colin the Cane, swinging from dad's hand, would sometimes be brought to 'sniff out' any mess left after tidying the bedroom. While my older sister and I sat up on the top bunk, dad would puppet it into the corners as if it were sniffing out mess. Mess = a switch.
Haha? I guess? Because the cane should have a personality? Sammy Slipper would sometimes do the same.

I mean.....I don't know what to say about that.
I guess? Haha? Funny gif too illustrate the horror? Very on brand? WTF.
Usually, the cane would be in dad's office (in different houses, sometimes the bedroom). It would be hidden when the Home Schooling Inspectors came to visit.

At dinner/chapel times, it lived above the doorframe for quick access, or sometimes laid in front of dad on the table.
Dinner times/chapel times (morning devotions) were the worst because that's when canings is be public and delivered there and then, for not eating something, food being disorderly, for not praying out loud, or whatever. There wasn't hard and fast rules.
Sometimes, completely peaceful. It depended. The mood could switch quite quick, because dinners were also some of our BEST family times, hilarious, pun-filled, delicious, TOGETHERNESS.
But then there would be an interaction and a child's attitude would be deemed disrespectful, or rebellious, and that was it. Mood changed. Thunderclouds. Us looking at our plates, told to cover our eyes, one child being openly switched. The sound of.
Once, a brother stood up in his chair at the table and was told to sit down.
He got caned, put back on the chair, told to sit down.

He would not.

Caned again.

Would not.

Caned again.


Caned again.

This went on for a very, long, endless, horrendous, scorchingly long time.

He must have been five, maybe?
From the book: "A general rule is to continue the disciplinary action until the child is surrendered."

Remeber, its not about punishing wrong doing, it's surrendering the child to the parents will.

From the book: "Defeat him totally."

Reader, they did not.
That child is my brother, he's grown up now and I'm so proud of him. At various points, I thought they had broken him. He was their biggest fight. They gave him over to Satan at one point (don't get me fucking started), but he's okay, got three kids of his own, and I love him.
Sidenote: I can't go fully into it here, but at one point he was given over to Satan and locked screaming into the utility room. I wanted to go rescue him so much. I don't know why I didn't.

There's obviously no such thing as being given over to Satan, but as a threat as a kid?
Remember these? Satan is what you face if you go outside of those umbrella, kids.

#ExposeChristianDiscipline #exposechristianabuse
My boyfriend's gorgeous cat is keeping me company while I tweet today. He's called Sooty. Do say hello! He says, 'Meow Meow.'
The book now has a quick disclaimer section about NOT going too far, for example, not hitting a child in anger.

Okay but if your NORMAL is that NEVER hitting a child is okay, you are much LESS likely to hit them when the frustration strikes, surely?
If your normal is:
I can stop this child annoying me (by existing) by hitting them with a stick, when frustration strikes, what's going to be the natural inclination?

Stand, spin, reach, whip the cane off the top of the door, and now the parent is in charge.
I can certainly attest that my parents had a System with a full formula (I will go into at some point), but they had these middle years when it was all too much and the slippers and canes were just thrashed around at whoever was screaming the loudest (big family, big noise.)
The System meant that they had canes to hand, the loss of control meant that they used them.....hangonaminute.... I was about to say they used them in the wrong way, as if the other was was better. BOTH ARE TRASH.
And that's a good point, hi, this book is quite persuasive in tone and very confident, it gets in your head, and it's got that white Christian male voice of certainty that makes you doubt your own sanity.
Also it's SO extreme that you go, 'Ahh, well, my parents only hit me with a shoe, not a cane, so that's better,' or, 'They'd never go past three in a good day, so they were kinda lenient.'


I can easily see why Christian Extremists fell for it hook, line and sinker. It's all about "this is The Only Way to Save Your Child!" and, "This is the Biblical Way" and "Hurt them big now to avoid hurting them more in the future". #PearlsPromoteChildAbuse
I'm gunna tune out in a minute, but let's finish on something good.
The next generation are doing SO good. We have access to information and understanding that our parents couldn't have imagined. We have each other. We are learning together.
I'm reminded of the way that the very old churches only had the Bible in Latin, and people assumed what the pastors read and said was true.

Then it was in English and people got to read it for themselves, but very quickly, Leaders told us How to read it.
It's like we're in an era of translating, of bringing into light, of illustrating and opening. Its not Latin into English, or even about the Bible, but its this thing of COMMUNICATING and finding common language and shared truths and understanding openly, we get to have that.
I'll catch you next time. Stay safe.
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