Counting On stars Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, are linked to a child abuse scandal, thanks to his parents. According to Fort Rock Family Camp and Retreat Center's website, Michael and Debi Pearl are scheduled to speak from June 7-10 and from October 4-7.
"Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries are nationally renowned 'practical family-living' teachers and authors of books such as To Train Up a Child, Created to Be His Help-Meet, and Jumping Ship," the description read. "This dynamic couple has dedicated their lives to educating families on basic principals of cultivating Godly relationships within the family so that their relationships with God and others can be infinitely more fruitful."
In 2011, The New York Times reported that their book To Train Up a Child encouraged parents to use a switch and other devices on children as young as six months old to discourage bad behavior. According to Radar Online, the book was found in the homes of three children who died from child abuse.
Recently, an email chain between an annonymous (and concerned) reader and Austin's father, Terry, was posted to the Facebook page, Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray. In it, Terry defends the Pearls' teachings — even admitting that he used their practices on his children.
"We did use the child training book and gleaned some great ideas from it. We were growing in the LORD and maily used the Bible as our guide. I believe the Bible about child training. My dad, like so many, disciplined out of anger. We were and are committed to live by biblical principles." He continued, "We do not believe everything the Pearls believe but have enough discernment to throw out the bones, if you know what I mean. Mr. Pearl is a world-class knife/tomahawk thrower, as you can see by the theme of our camp that fits right in."
Counting On returns Monday, Feb. 26 on TLC.
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