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  • Summary provided by: thoughtful

     

    The basics:

     

    Michael and Debi Pearl run a ministry called No Greater Joy. Their beliefs seem to be their own brand of Christianity, and their life is one of rigid gender roles and extreme suspicion of The World (basically, anyone outside of their own group). They are KJV only. Women and girls wear skirts, but do not cover their heads.

     

    The façade they present is that of down-home country folk, valuing the disappearing arts of living off the land. However, they make extensive use of the Internet, including Youtube videos and a website: NoGreaterJoy.com.

     

    No Greater Joy (NJG) turns out new materials several times a year, lists over 300 products on the website, and is estimated to bring in 1.5-1.7 million dollars yearly, in contributions and sales. NGJ is registered as a 501©(3) non-profit organization, and the Pearls claim that all money goes back into the ministry.

     

    They urge men to stay at home, as well as women, fully approving only of home businesses. The Pearls warn that "authority figures" (government, media, mainstream churches, medicine, education) are to be rejected and reviled, then set themselves up as the experts to be believed on any subject. As part of this paranoia, they seem to want children to think that pedophiles lurk around every corner.

     

    They decry pornography, but Michael's writing often comes off as salacious, including his descriptions of children being whipped, observations of his own daughter's weddings, and his glee at reminding everyone around him that he and Debi are still sexually active.

     

    They are perhaps best-known for their book To Train Up a Child (TTUAC), which appears to have been mostly written by Michael, with a few sections credited to Debi.

     

    TTUAC encourages parents to apply pain in "training" children, starting in infancy, using various objects. It was found in the homes of Sean Paddock, Lydia Schatz, and Hana Williams, children who died due to abuse from their parents that critics feel could easily have resulted from following Pearl's advice to the letter.

     

    The Pearls adamantly deny that they are advising hitting – for some reason, "hitting" is a horrible word, while spanking, whipping, belting, switching and chastisement are all Pearl-approved. They insist that their way is the only path to keep children from the fires of Hell.

     

    These whippings are to be administered with a calm, cool manner, and much of their advice involves baiting children into making mistakes that will give parents an excuse to whip them.

     

    The Pearls feel that only home-schooling is appropriate, and that the same parents who are tricking children into getting whipped should be warm, loving and totally involved with them before and after. In other words, for a child in the Pearls' world, the only source of shelter, love, comfort, food, entertainment and education is also an unpredictable source of pain.

     

    The entire text of To Train Up a Child can be read here for free (this is maintained by someone who is not a Pearl supporter, so please don't send her hate mail!):

     

    http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/ttuacbook.html

  • In more detail

     

    Michael and Debi Pearl were both raised in Memphis, Tennessee. The Pearls have been married since 1971, and have 5 children and 19 grandchildren.

     

    Michael graduated from Mid-South Bible College in Memphis (now Victory University). He worked with Union Mission in Memphis for 25 years. They moved to rural Tennessee where they held Bible studies in local homes, and in prison.

     

    Their children are:

     

    Rebekah Anast – her partner is Gabe Anast, a web designer who decided to stop working altogether, and just run a now-defunct website, 7XSunday.. They have six children, Joseph Courage, Ryshoni Joy, Hannah Sunshine, Elijah Music, Chaiyah Eve and Alitsia Rin, and live, generally in abject poverty, in New Mexico.

     

    They were sued by the Zuni Tribe, Navajo Nation, over water rights.

    http://www.zunibasin.com/documents/2142.pdf

     

    Rebekah had a blog, Dreaming Awake, on which she detailed bizarre and paranoid dreams that she felt were prophetic. She has written a book called The DaVinci Road. It is unclear what Gabe Anast is doing with his time.

     

    Gabriel Pearl – his partner is Lori, and they are the parents of Jocelyn, Laife and Joshua Gabriel. The NGJ site describes him as a builder, and someone who employs and teaches many men, but is not clear about what he actually does. He does appear to own a business called "That BBQ Man."

     

    Nathan Pearl – his partner is Zephyr, and they have four children. They own Cane Creek Coffee, but appear to be taking a break from that business, when last checked. He seems to be working for his parents a great deal: nogreaterjoy.org/author/nathan-pearl/

     

    Shalom Brand – her partner is Justin Brand, who is described on NGJ as an auto mechanic and metal artist – they also appear to do a lot of work for the Pearls. In fact, when Justin had a sudden urge to pack up and move, the Pearls were miraculously moved to offer him and Shalom more work, so he would at least be wandering for them:

     

    http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/a-vision/

     

    Their children are Gracie, Laila Truth, Parker Ford and Roland.

     

    http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/author/shalom-brand/

     

    Shoshanna Easling ~ her partner is James Easling, who is described on NGJ as an inventor and builder. They are the owners of The Bulk Herb Store, Shoshanna Gardens, and Well Tell Me. Their children are Jeremiah James and Penelope Jane.

     

    Other info:

    NGJ Youtube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/NGJMinistries

     

    Bekah and Gabe's Youtube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ruLISng/videos?view=0

     

    Debi's best-known work is Created to Be His Helpmeet – an excerpt can be read here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Created-Be-His-He ... hael+pearl

     

    Debi's works also include books intended to teach children about "stranger danger" –

    yellandtellbooks.com/

    Don't miss the coloring pages!

    Mike may have been the illustrator for these, going by this video:

    13RtFyjewtM

     

    Michael is a champion knife-thrower – apparently, there is no dress code for the sport:

    http://i.imgur.com/Z7bqdbc.jpg

     

    Amazon reviews of TTUAC -- whenever the controversy flares up, Mike sends followers there to write positive reviews – many of the positive reviewers have no other review history on Amazon, and are very vague about what they like within the book – only detractors seem compelled to post actual excerpts. Feel free to add your thoughts, if you've read the book:

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Train-Up-Child-Mi ... Descending

     

    Links:

    Wikipedia on Michael Pearl:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pearl

     

    Full list of products from NGJ:

    nogreaterjoy.org/shop/catalog/seo_sitemap/product/

     

    Sites critical of the Pearls:

    http://whynottrainachild.com/

    http://www.tulipgirl.com/index.php/cate ... debipearl/

    http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/tag/michael-pearl/

    http://mommylife.net/archives/mike_and_debi_p/

    http://debrasrandomthoughts.blogspot.co ... e%20Pearls

     

    Mudbrooker videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMudbrook ... hael+pearl

     

    Anderson Cooper videos:

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/15/v ... the-child/

     

     

    The Pearls on various subjects that have been discussed on FJ:

     

    The NGJ article in which Michael recommends using flexible plumbing supply line to whip children:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/questions-answered/

     

    Sitting still in church:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/sitting-still-in-church/

     

    The Pearls advise others that social security numbers are not needed (pg. 12, after lots of discipline and herb talk):

    nogreaterjoy.org/wordpress/f/200002_March-April.pdf

     

    NGJ post in which Pearl says adopted children from Liberia were "well-versed in all the dark arts of eroticism and ghastly perversion":

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/avoiding-vacuums/

     

    Pearl claiming his children will be successful, and the bosses of those who are not raised by his methods:

    pearlchildtraining.blogspot.com/2010/03/michael-pearl-laughs-at-critics.html

     

    Why their children are not legally married, and a creep-tastic description of one of their weddings:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/holy-matrimony/

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/the-wedding/

     

    The Angry Child:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/angry-child/

     

    Michael Pearl is as nasty about animals as he is about children:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/dogs-cats-and-kids/?topic_slug=babies

     

    The “Fruit of Child Training†Webinar that the Pearls did:

     

    A book of Debi's, that was illustrated by Michael – the cover may give some insight into why he changed his major from art to religion:

    michaeldebipearl.blogspot.com/2009/11/debi-pearls-listen-to-my-dream-becomes.html

     

    A search of Shoshanna's Well Tell Me forum for references to TTUAC, that includes a post from Rebekah Anast about the Pearls having no particular opinion about birth control:

    welltellme.com/discuss/index.php?action=search2

     

    And, just because, a pic of the Pearls as a young couple, in matching bathing suits:

    http://i.imgur.com/6NYCd.jpg

     

    Other snarkees who recommend or defend the Pearls:

    Lori Alexander:

    lorialexander.blogspot.com/2012/03/pray-for-michael-pearl.html

    lorialexander.blogspot.com/2013/11/defending-pearls.html

    tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2013/11/weekend-links-winners-cool-stuff/ (Lori went to bat for the Pearls in the comments – Ken joins in, too!)

     

    Duggars recommending Pearl materials:

    duggarfamily.com/content/amazon_blitz

    http://astore.amazon.com/duggarfamily-2 ... 1892112000

    http://astore.amazon.com/duggarfamily-2 ... F8&node=89

    http://astore.amazon.com/duggarfamily-2 ... 1616440368

    http://astore.amazon.com/duggarfamily-2 ... 1892112019

     

    The Rodrigues family (this link has some pictures of the NGJ warehouse and large house Michael has been building):

    rodriguesfamilyministries.com/main/?p=292

     

    Cheryl Long:

    treasuresfromashoebox.blogspot.com/2010/07/haleys-prayer.html

    treasuresfromashoebox.blogspot.com/2013/09/created-to-be-his-help-meet-12-week.html

     

    Bontragers:

    bontragerfamilysingers.com/Links.html

     

    David and Tim Bayly:

    baylyblog.com/blog/2012/01/ugh-its-christianity-today-again-time-weighing-against-spanking

     

    Sarah at Hearts Desire:

    sarah-heartsdesire.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-train-up-child-book-review-and-my.html

     

    Christian Hskubes:

    hskubes.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-can-i-do-about-my-children.html

     

    Tabby, of plaintorahkeeper – she took her blog post down, but here is the FJ thread about it:

    http://freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9620

     

    Tait and Lauren Zimmerman:

    zimmermanfamilyalaska.blogspot.com/2010/10/parent-training.html

     

    Brenda at The Family Revised:

    familyrevised.blogspot.com/2007/07/just-some-things-before-we-go.html

     

    The Pearls on other snarkees:

    Michael on patriarchy, Vision Form and Bill Gothard:

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/the-balanced-patriarch/

    nogreaterjoy.org/articles/response-from-bill-gothard/

     

    Debi on the Bill Gothard scandal:

    nogreaterjoy.org/2014/04/24/debi-pearl-weighs-iblp-situation/?utm_content=buffer9e226&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Free Jinger's Michael and Debi Pearl Discussions

  • Posts

    • MaryOrMartha

      Posted

      9 hours ago, SassyPants said:

      True story. Back in the 70s, the NICU  I later worked in used to dispense whiskey nipples to all the babies who could tolerate such, at bedtime each evening. By the time I started working there in the early 80s and after research contraindicated the practice, it stopped. All the older time nurses would lament the passing of the practice when we couldn’t get the babies settled at night. 

      Wow, I did not realise it was also used in professional settings! I know my grandma's used it on my parents and their siblings, and recommended it for their children. Even now as my youngest is teething up a storm my grandmother is *still* suggesting a rub of whiskey on her gums for relief.

    • SayonaraLara

      Posted

      2 hours ago, Jb003 said:

      Does anyone know when and why Tedd Anger stepped down as Gwen's right hand man?

      Don’t know. Did he step down or was he removed from that position? I’ve not seen a truly concrete explanation.

      It was after Joe was in the picture. Maybe Gwen didn’t need him in that role, as she was grooming her groom for it. Maybe, and I suspect this might be more accurate, she couldn’t afford him in that role anymore after her costly divorce. Maybe there was some kind of more juicy falling out — after all, the Angers and Days all were dropped from leadership at the same time (the Bakers were too, but they’re back in).

      But … they’re still church members, so it couldn’t have been that bad?

       

    • ifosterkittens

      Posted

      3 hours ago, EmCatlyn said:

      You have to wonder what (if anything) Anna is saying privately to Josh.  (Is she saying, “Take it to court, you are not guilty and should trust that the truth will prevail,” or is she saying, “Your lawyers know what they are talking about, and even if you are innocent, my husband, you should plead, so you can come back sooner to your family,” or is she saying something along the lines of, “I can’t believe Satan got you again.  I am praying for you,” and not having an opinion?

      First, I imagine Anna wondered what her (perceived) role in Josh's actions might have been. So often it seems in this culture if the husband has an affair it is partly the wife's fault because she didn't make her husband feel wanted/loved/desired, and wasn't as available as he desired. After Josh's involvement with Ashley Madison came to light I wonder if Anna tried to be more available, make Josh feel more wanted/loved/desired. Clearly there were porn concerns (I'm guessing/hoping they just felt it was adult porn, not CSAM) because Josh had the Covenant Eye's program with Anna as his accountability partner, so I would think Anna would try even harder to be available to Josh so he wouldn't be tempted to view porn.

      I imagine Anna is replaying the times she got a little snippy with Josh, or pretended to (or on purpose) fell asleep with the kids while putting them to bed so she didn't have to go to bed with Josh, or made a meal he didn't really like just because she had enough of his crap. She may be wondering what she could have done differently to prevent Josh from viewing online content. 

      As for Anna's input I would not be surprised is Jim Bob and Michelle made it clear it is not her decision, and they aren't looking for her input. Michelle may have more of the one on one conversations saying we are paying for the attorneys, Jim Bob is praying on the topic and when the Lord tells him how to proceed we will let you know. I imagine Michelle has said if Josh goes to prison you will need us to support you, and we will if you tow the line. Michelle would probably add a lot more Jesus and bible, but the point would be crystal clear, keep your mouth shut. 

      I also wouldn't be surprised if Anna found Josh's actions despicable, but not worthy of criminal scrutiny. If Anna feels CSAM and adult porn are the same in level of sin she may feel her husband is being unjustly targeted for his Christian beliefs. If she feels CSAM and porn are the same she knows plenty of adults view porn and no one is arresting them, ruining their lives. She may concede CSAM is worse, but may feel he was "only" looking at it online, and can get help with rehab, more levels of internet protection, etc. I also wouldn't be surprised if she thinks yes he is guilty of the crimes he is accused of, but he was only found out because is a vocal Christian conservative. 

      By no means am I trying to equate an affair and CSAM, or CSAM and porn. I do wonder if Anna feels they are equal. 

    • Black Aliss

      Posted (edited)

      10 hours ago, thoughtful said:

      But sometimes I think "People, that was an hour of near-constant nonsense! It was  mostly just babbling - how can you want that?"

      Maybe people come to see him for the entertainment value. I mean, his schtick is a curious admixture of Jonathan Edwards (Sinners in the hands of an angry God), Robin Williams at his most manic, and Don Rickles. 

      ETA: also a dash of Henny Youngman

      Edited by Black Aliss
    • thoughtful

      Posted (edited)

      On 9/30, after his scary lecture to someone who he thought might not have been totally entranced by his What Would You Do With Jesus message, Gary read Genesis 5:24 - And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

      "Ahwanna ask ya a question. Enoch took it serious, an' said hey ah believe the for mah children's sake because if you read the whole story there read the whole chapter maybe ya oughta go home an' do that amen? Won't hurtchu to read a chapter of the Bahble today ah read uh 27 today. That make ya say wha? Ah wanna know more about Jesus. Ah didn't just say it, ah put actions on it, amen? You say 'Yeah but you're a preacher, you don't have nothin' else t'do.'"

      He stops for a weird and rather evil-looking smirk and some congregants laugh:

      Spoiler

      image.png.da9d242d8bfa91c24ca61a27970525bc.png

      image.png.4163fad2b67e64b1ea2bc892b42aed8d.png

      Can't you just imagine him explaining to James Bond how the incredibly slow, torturous killing apparatus will work?

      "You'd be surprahsed. Ah'll tell ya what - bein' that you don't think ah do nothin' else, ah invite you to Miss Stout's house at ten o'clock in the mornin' an' come an' help me load mah stuff up. You'll fahnd out how hard ah work, amen? But walkin' with God. That's an important thing in your life, amen?"

      Oh, I guess we're back to Enoch. He never did ask them a question - guess that was just one of Gary's verbal farts.

      He says there are people today that can walk the walk, but can't talk the talk, and then corrects himself (I wonder if Becky gives him a "flip it around the other way" signal of some sort at those moments).

      He says he doesn't know anything about being in the Army, because he never was, but he's been learning over the last few days - it sounds like he's been having or overhearing conversations with a woman who serves in the Army, who is there in church. He says "she's the leader," and uses her as an example of needing to keep people "walking within the line."

      Well, he was able to acknowledge a woman in the armed forces, and being in charge of others, with no sarcastic comments (so far). Practically miraculous, for Gary.

      He says they have to do the same thing for "the Lord Jesus Crah." He talks about how he didn't like "the footprint" because he didn't understand it, but now he does.

      Reminding them they have to take every opportunity to talk about Jesus, Gary says he's:

      Spoiler

      image.png.141170d57f26cb709854e9f89cb8da06.png

      Aw, Gary names his hats! Isn't that cute?

      Now I want to name my clothes! How about a pair of socks called Fred and Ginger? Ah, but how could I tell which is which? Better do that with a pair of shoes, instead.

      After yelling at them (or maybe just that one person he got pissed off at before - hard to tell) about reading the Bible for a while, he starts in on how the mysterious "they" are going to take away all the Bibles someday.

      He brings up how "they were tryin' to git rid of Dr. Seuss." "What that is is they gotta git you inbrained an' they gotta git you instilled an' they gotta git you sold out for the news media, amen, an' believin' what they're sayin' an' they kin take the Dr. Seusses an' then they come gitcher King James Bahble. If you've got an NIV they prob'ly won't mess withya ya say wha? Heh - there ain't much in there about God amen."

      I love that "ingrained" has turned into "inbrained." It's one of those semi-logical malapropisms.

      Gary does his usual crap about his love affair with the KJV, and admits he doesn't understand all of it. But he seems to have an odd idea of what that means.

      He's "fixin' t'go through Chronicles" next week, "an'  ah'm gonna say 'Joe,' an' 'Bob,' an' 'Sue,' an' th'rest of 'em, ya say wha? Ah'm not gon' be able t'pronounce all them names."

      Gary says he's "not makin' fun" or "makin' laht." But then makes his joke about being thankful his Momma didn't know all of those names when she named him.

      So, not being able to pronounce the names in Chronicles is the only way in which you think you don't understand the Bible, Gary?

      I grant, Chronicles has some long lists of names - I don't think most of them are difficult, but I'm a word nerd and a musician who loves to mimic sounds, and have had the sounds of the original Hebrew that the transliteration is supposed to represent in my head for over 60 years. So I can only try imagine how they look to someone who only knows English, and then to someone who barely reads English, like Gary.

      They might be hard, but why read them at all? When it comes to using the Bible as a guide for life, morality or anything important, all of those name lists in Chronicles are useless. Tom Lehrer's Elements, various Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim songs, Tchaikovsky, that little Mozart ditty about all of the women Don G. has shtupped, and many other catalog songs are much more entertaining, and some are useful!

      Gary, skip the lists of names altogether, unless you really need to know who begat who for some reason.

      Well, looking those songs up was a fun distraction from Gary - let's see what he said next.

      Oh, just more about the KJV, then "Go t'Proverbs chapter fahve. No, Proverbs chapter three."

      I'll meet you there later, Gary. First I need to listen to I Can't Get Started.

      Edited by thoughtful
      clarity, grammar


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