A month and a half ago, I wrote about Sean Paddock, a little boy who was killed. His mother is charge with his murder. Now, the writer of the advice book used by his mother is the subject of a news article.
Parenting guru is revered, reviled — Pastor’s advice cited in N.C. child’s death, 30 April 2006, The News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina
In this small, rural community, Pearl tends a modest flock. It’s through a satellite Internet connection and a traveling road show that Pearl captures a following he pegs at more than half a million people. From military bases in Europe to a Pentecostal church in Smithfield, N.C., parents spank their children with rods, “switching” out their bad attitudes, just at Pearl advises. His books on child discipline are sold at home-schooling conferences, delivered to the doorsteps of new moms and passed from pastors to parents in churches across the nation.
In the article the statements are made, “Paddock and Pearl never met. Pearl’s business, No Greater Joy Ministries, can’t even find a record that it shipped her their books.”
That seems like tip-toeing around the situation, given the advice in the copy of To Train Up A Child that I was handed at a homeschool support group meeting, probably in 1996. “It’s Your Turn … If this book has been a blessing to you, why not make it a blessing to other parents? You can do what many are doing. Buy eight copies and give them to your friends.”
That’s a clever marketing strategy, even for a ministry, which is how this distribution method is described. Since it works so well, why doesn’t the company own up to it?