April 11, 2011 - “spank him until it’s obvious he’s totally broken.” Chilling words from page fifty-nine of Michael Pearl’s controversial parenting guide, ‘To Train Up A Child’. The book was discovered at the home of Kevin and Elizabeth Shatz, along with the battered body of their adopted daughter, Lydia, who died as result of months of abuse. An older daughter required hospitalization for abuse related injuries, but survived.
According to testimony, the Shatz’s were following the written instructions of Tennessee pastor Michael Pearl, when they beat their daughters with a fifteen-inch length of plumbing supply line. Lydia died from a severe beating instigated by her failure to properly pronounce a word. The case marked the second time that Pearl’s book had been linked to a child abuse death in a matter of a few years. A third child was ‘trained’ to death by followers of Michael Pearl a few years later. An online petition to remove the book from Amazon.com currently has tens of thousands of signatures.
Both parents were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to a litany of child abuse charges.
Explore Full Coverage of the Shatz case at Homeschooling’s Invisible Children