The Duggar clan has landed themselves in hot water once again. It was just a few months ago that fans were worried Jill and Derick Dillard were using blanket training — a controversial method promoted by No Greater Joy Ministries' pastor Michael Pearl and his wife Debi. Now, fans are lashing out after the Duggars posted a link on their Facebook page encouraging others to join them at Fort Rock Family Camp — a retreat in which the Pearls are also set to attend.
The Pearls have been at the center of controversy since publishing their book To Train Up a Child — Child Training for the 21st Century, in which they encourage the use of corporal punishment to teach children of all ages how to behave.
"This makes me so sad. The Pearls literally promote hitting babies, actual babies," one Facebook user responded. "They are child abusers. Why you would promote their evil and cruel practices is mind boggling." Another pleaded, "Please stop promoting the Pearls! I know your family thinks he's teaching biblical discipline but he's absolutely wrong. Don't let your love of Jesus blind you to this."
(Debi and Michael Pearl. Photo Credit: Facebook)
In the Pearls' guide, they instruct mothers to pull their infant's hair if the baby accidentally bites while breastfeeding; other methods include spanking and withholding food. In 2011, The New York Times reported that three children had died, "allegedly at the hands of parents who kept the Pearls’ book."
"The Pearls are monsters. They are truly evil. No one, no one, in their right minds would ever condone beating a baby. It is appalling and disgusting that you guys endorse the Pearls or utilized their ‘methods’. No one, no one, who loves babies and children would do this to them," another commenter stated. "I can’t even...I mean, just reading excerpts from that monstrosity of a book made me nauseated. I hugged my girls tighter after reading those little bits."
Echoed another Counting On fan, "Why are the Pearls at Fort Rock. I have read their book and many passages detail different ways to whip and beat a child as young as 4 months. They treat children like animals that are abused by an insecure violent parent. This seems totally at odds with how the Duggar's parent. I’ve never seen Michelle raise her voice. Jessa is so sweet with her boys. Children are a blessing! I could never hurt a baby."
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