Two parents in Washington state have been found guilty of murder after allegedly following the abusive parenting techniques advocated in the parenting book "To Train Up a Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl.
Larry and Carri Williams received the maximum prison sentences allowable under the law after being found guilty of beating and starving their adopted daughter Hana to death. The methods they used to "discipline" their daughter were advocated in the controversial Christian book.
The New York Times reported:
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.
Some of the discipline techniques the Pearls teach include:
Michael Pearl tells one mother on his website, "I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey."
Despite Pearl's claim that plumbing line is too light to cause damage to muscle or bone, it caused the death of seven year-old Lydia Schatz in 2010. Officials ruled that she died of severe tissue damage.
The Pearls and their ministry, No Greater Joy, make an estimated $1.7 million a year.