This entire post is taken from here, unless otherwise noted.
Dear Mama’s and Papa’s,
I’m writing to you tonight in hopes that I will find you in a position of questioning. If you are in such a position, I don’t suppose you’re entirely comfortable at the moment, but let me suggest that you stand in the place now where good, immense good, can be born.
If you’re reading this, you either already know that the teachings of the NGJ clan (or other similar group) cause destruction, or you’re beginning to wonder if all the good is possibly over shadowed in part, or whole, by what just doesn’t sit right with you. Perhaps you fully support this group and their teachings. If that is you, I invite you to contact me directly and substantiate your position. Otherwise, please, keep reading.
I would like to make an appeal to your intellect this evening. I understand that most parents take up the methods and teachings of such groups as NGJ because they believe they are responsible for raising their children the best they can, in the eyes of the world and of God. I commend you for your intention and your concern over your child’s well being. The trouble with the teachings of this particular group is that there is a fundamental struggle at their core for an unholy power. And by unholy, I don’t mean anti-God, I’m using this term in a broader, more general sense, not a religious one.
I would like the chance to literally show you how the messages of this group are intended to torment your children, all the while you are led to believe they are supremely effective in victory, righteousness, unwavering obedience, and love. I would also like to appeal to your dignity and sense of sanity. The authors and developers of the NGJ doctrine are experts at betrayal, seduction, and power. So, in your defense, if you have managed to see this group for the good they actually do teach, and have missed the horrid that each good instruction is laced with, know that you are not alone and you are not incompetent in your parenting skills; these people are masters at capturing their prey.
Also know that there is hope, there is help and support, and there are alternatives that will produce children who respect because they are respected, children who serve because they are served, and children who wholly love because they are wholly and completely loved, not because of action or diligence, not because they have earned that love, but because they simply are.
Please, if you need someone to just talk to, who isn’t going to jump down your throat, send me a comment or message. If I can’t help, or you wish for more assistance on a professional level, I will connect you with those who are ready and able to support you as you make the transition and emmerge out from the hole the NGJ clan has dug for you.
What follows are multiple quotes, and mostly out of order, but all from the same article. The paragraphs have been kept in-tact, you will not find manufactured content here. Notes and comments are found either in line with the quotations or at the end of the article.
My hope with this post is that you, the reader, will begin to see just exactly to what degree the NGJ ministry is misled. Not misled because I say so, or a million others say so, but because they themselves cannot present a solid and consistent message.
Article by Michael Pearl, August 1998
… Funny thing, 1200 men will go all week without one fight. If you get angry at the wrong person in a prison, you may die with a sharpened toothbrush sticking in your throat. Angry little boys never say, “Don’t do that, it only makes me more angry.” Who cares? When no one is listening and no one is impressed, threats are useless.
I would like to note here that we are not intentionally training our children (or at least I hope we’re not) to be successful at staying alive while in prison. And while, admittedly, that is a valuable skill if one should ever find him or herself in such a situation, I do believe that the instinct to survive will cause the prisoner to adapt rapidly enough, that we shouldn’t have to begin teaching this in childhood.
Additionally, “angry little boys” do have a lot to say, often though it comes out in a scream or silence. If we continue to inquisition them, agitate them, or tempt them into more anger we will not gain an understanding of what lies behind the emotional response.
Children who are incapable of managing their emotions, either due to an environment that has taught them it is not safe to feel those emotions openly, or who are otherwise imbalanced chemically (often for the same reason), are not going to be helped by instilling more fear. Mr. Pearl’s assumed victory over the child he write of here is nothing more than tormenting an already tormented child to the point where he has no spirit or resolve left, and his survival instinct has kicked in. If you beat a child like this enough, even he/she will eventually break, for a time. You will likely see the calm, in the eye of the storm, but I warn you, you are destroying more and more with every attempt to get his anger under control and out of him. You have chosen to ignore the source of the problem, likely because it comes from you or others in his close circle. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that you will see the root of the pain this child is suffering unless someone outside that circle assists you.
If you are struggling with an extremely angry child, please don’t add fuel to the flame, don’t beat it out of them. Don’t spank it out of them either. Don’t turn your back and reject them, and don’t rid them of your compassion. Take a moment, little ones at first and then longer, and see the world through this child’s eyes. Be brave enough to see yourself and your close circle of family/friends through his eyes. Learn why he is experiencing anger, why he can’t seem to rid himself of it, and what he is afraid of experiencing instead of anger… it is a defensive response. It is also often a protective response.
See this child through a different color lens and look through his eyes at his world. It will change your life. And his.
I am not calloused to your dilemma. But the big problem is in your own mind. You are not free to be forceful and bold. Your son needs to run smack dab into a big, high, unmoving fence of authority. You, mother, are a pushover, a sucker. Your need is a renewed mind. Now that I have plowed your fallow ground, I will plant the seeds of understanding
Mr. Pearl, how dare you assume you have any place touching any part of my mind, ground, air, or otherwise. You sir, are a pompous idiot that weaves intelligent and loving advice into your horrible torturous methods of submission, supreme power, and ultimate destruction of the soul.
Mothers, you are not weak. It is not simple. This man is an abuser.
Step back, squat down, remain silent and still, and begin to see your child’s world through his/her eyes. The answers will come, and if they don’t, get help from a professional who is trained to spot signs of difficulty in children. The human mind is not so complex from a scientific point of view. There is nothing new under the sun… in most cases, if your child is struggling, there is an identifiable cause, if only you are willing to accept it and change what needs to be changed so that they can again become stable and secure.
Righteous anger is anger directed at injustice, selfishness. To be righteously angry toward someone is to impute blame to them. It is to hold them in contempt for not acting as they should have. Righteous anger seeks goodness. It is the guardian of love. It is moral choice expressed in the emotions.
Mr. Pearl, where is your righteous anger then concerning the death of a child whose parents follow you? Where is your anger at all the children who are beaten and tormented in the name of unwavering obedience and joy?
Where is your righteous anger for the parents of the child that was beaten to death, the child that was beaten almost to death, and the millions (your number, not mine) of children that are routinely destroyed in body and spirit daily because of teachings such as yours and others who are as insidious.
If I am to hold my child, or another person, in contempt for not acting as they should have, then by what measure am I to declare myself the omnipotent judge? On this earth, we do our best to control one another in the name of peace and goodness. I see something else happening, but that is for another blog. Perhaps, Mr. Pearl, our Big Papa, you are indeed the judge and last word that we should all be required to acknowledge and submit to. Lord knows, THE LORD – and the rest of this planet – knows that you have forced this of your wife, your children, and their children.
Almighty Mr. Pearl, has God ordained you, and we just don’t know it yet?
Righteous anger is agreeing with the innate dictates of common law. It is taking your place on the jury to condemn and then recommend sentencing to the guilty.
What law? The law of David? The law of Moses? The law of the United States, your country, which you denounce (no, not directly, you are to crafty for that, you know better too well how doing so would explode in your face)? You decide – you’re in charge here – you know everything about every family, and every child. (If you think I’m being a bit too harsh here, keep reading.) You, dear sir, are above all and are capable of forcing any child into submission of your sovereignty, to use your preferred term. But I do wonder whether I would not be able to subdue you just the same given the right circumstances and weapons. You see sir, power is indeed an intoxicating and wondrous thing. Just ask Aladdin and his Genie, ask God, heh – ask yourself..
But anger at not getting one’s way is something else entirely. Selfish anger is manipulative and unreasonable. It assumes that ultimate good is the gratification of self. It judges all events according to how they personally gratify. To thus be angry toward others, the individual must assume that others exist to fulfill his impulses. To him, right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and everyone does evil by depriving me of what I want.
Mr. Pearl, you believe in your words. That’s a good thing to do if you intend to sell them. You state here that to be angry toward others, the individual must assume that others exist to fulfill his impulses. To him, right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and every does evil by depriving me of what I want.
Well said. You know your doctrine well. What was it you said, about supreme sovereignty? Here, let me find a few of your words to quote…
“On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship.” Because he valued food and calm, and had a distinct desire to avoid hate, fear, and torture.
“On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen.”
He is in his shell… where he believes is the only place he is even slightly safe.
“On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.” If I were you, I’d sleep with one eye open.
Like an army Sargent, state your will and accept nothing less. If he doesn’t like what is on the table and he is rude, send him away from the table and do not let him eat until the next meal. Do not feed him snacks between meals, and let him get good and hungry. He will then eat baby food spinach and love it. If you think it is appropriate and you spank him make sure that it is not a token spanking. Light, swatting spankings, done in anger without courtroom dignity will make children mad because they sense that they have been bullied by an antagonists. A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain. If he should tell you that the spanking makes him madder, spank him again. If he is still mad…. He desperately needs an unswayable authority, a cold rock of justice. Keep in mind that if you are angry you are wasting your time trying to spank his anger away.I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey. On the fourth day I would treat him with respect and he would respond in kind. On the fifth day the fear would go away and he would relax because he would have judged that as long as he responds correctly there is nothing to fear. On the sixth day he would like himself better and enjoy his new relationship to authority. On the seventh day I would fellowship with him in some activity that he enjoyed. On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship. On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen. On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.
Your words, Mr. Pearl, demonstrate your dire addiction to power, complete and unquestioned power. I think you have said it best, “To him (should it maybe read, to me?) right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and everyone does evil by depriving me of what I want.”
You are, if anything, most accurate in your assessment of yourself.
Now, to those of you who need an alternative to this method, I implore you to listen to my heart and the experience that it speaks from. It is not complicated, does not require a high level education, medicine, or other complicated tactics to regain the “happiness” in your child. It requires you do something that some of you will be able to do and others will not. It requires a humility, a denial of pride, and a ton of courage because what you will learn will likely cause you to weep with guilt and sorrow before you are able to begin correcting what needs to be corrected.
If you are in this position, your child is constantly at odds with you, and you are ready to change, all you must do is stop yourself long enough to experience the world as your child experiences it. But be warned, you may not like what you see because children are huge mirrors and very often reflect back what their parents demonstrate. The younger the child, the more this is true, but it is not limited to age, but is unique to each child.
Tomorrow I will write about the latest things I have learned while experiencing our world as my two year old does. Now, however, I’m going to lie down and just watch her, comfort her, and give her the security and sense of love that comes from being close, because today was tough for her and me, and we both just need some time to be still.