Schatz girl released from hospital

Date: 2010-02-18

PARADISE — An 11-year-old girl who was the alleged victim of ritual "discipline" beatings by her parents has been released from Sutter Memorial Hospital, Paradise police announced Thursday.

Police said the girl, Zariah Schatz, has been placed in local foster care.

Her parents, Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42, face homicide charges stemming from the death of another child, 8-year-old Lydia Schatz, who died Feb. 5 after allegedly being whipped during discipline.

The girls were both adopted.

The couple may also be charged with torturing Zariah, and could face a misdemeanor cruelty charge for allegedly whipping their 10-year-old biological son.

The Schatzes remain in the Butte County Jail in Oroville on bail placed at $2 million. They are expected to enter a plea to the charges later this month.


I want to hear from the

I want to hear from the people defending this couple. There have been many of them in court. Is it really possible this young girl beat herself and her seven year old sister to death? Investigators have made repeated references to the whip marks on their backs and legs from the tubing. Even the children themselves say they've been taught not to lie and have told investigators they were beaten and didn't think it was wrong to be disciplined like that. This is one of the most disturbing stories I've seen. Lord help all their children.

Saving orphans

What bothers me most is the fact that the Schatzes were allowed to adopt in the first place. The problem starts with the fact that several agencies see adoption as the end goal of the orphan crusade. Of course adoption has always had religious interest. Various Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, and Jewish Family Service organizations have been involved in adoption for at least a century. Yet in the last decade, adoption has become a center piece of the evangelical movement. After decades of being anti-gay, anti-women's rights, anti-gambling, anti-pornography, etc., several of the key players in the evangelical movement have agreed that "saving orphans" is a great cause to brush up their negativistic image.

Of course underneath the "positive" message of "saving orphans" lies the same negativistic attitude all of their other causes are infamous for. Orphans are of course the by-product of "deviant sexual behaviour". Orphans of course also need to be saved from either unchristian destitute or from the wrong (ie. non-American) forms of Christianity.

With such evangelical zeal, it is no wonder some "orphans" end up with "good Christian" people, that will beat the crap (ie. the devil) out of their adopted children.

The orphan crusade has already resulted in several abuse cases, many of which related to torture style discipline. I don't think this is accidental. I think for some Christians the "orphans" need not only saving from their parentlessness, but they also need saving from themselves. The devil that runs in their bad blood needs to be beaten out. Top that with serious adjustment problems many adoptees have when entering their adoptive family, and you have a highly combustible situation.

The problem of course is how to prevent this from happening. Adoption ministries are popping up all over the place, urging church members to adopt as part of the orphan crusade. There is very little that can be done against that. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion prevents the state from interfering. The state can also do very little about the start-up of an adoption agency. Anyone can do so, as long as the licensing requirements are fulfilled, which in certain states are rather minimal. Only after trafficking allegation have been substantiated, or when abuse post placement can be attributed to negligence, can an agency be closed.

There is no point in arguing when religious zeal is the motor behind someones actions. No debate has ever prevented anyone from doing wrong in the name of God. So it's very difficult to put the brakes on this orphan crusade movement. The only hope is that third world countries will refuse to let their children be "saved". Liberia, where the Schatz children were coming from, has already done so. Ethiopia is a time bomb ticking, and the only question is whether it will be months or years before inter-country adoption will be stopped.

Of course the orphan crusade movement will seek other countries to quench their "orphan saving" thirst. Ghana and Uganda are already being targeted, and it's most likely the adoption circus will put up their camps in those countries, once Ethiopia has closed.

The international orphan crusade is likely to be an unsustainable effort in the long run. So it's most likely the movement will eventually focus primarily on the children in American foster care. After all there are plenty of inner-city kids that need to be "saved" from themselves.

evangelicals and adoption

You are so right about this statement: "Yet in the last decade, adoption has become a center piece of the evangelical movement. After decades of being anti-gay, anti-women's rights, anti-gambling, anti-pornography, etc., several of the key players in the evangelical movement have agreed that "saving orphans" is a great cause to brush up their negativistic image."

The thing most people overlook is that is was left-wing evangelicals who urged the fauthful to get a cause that involved more than moral purity. Adoption just happened to be the ticket. After that, they left the left-wing behind. It would be interesting to connect with some of these more moderate followers to see how they feel about the situation now. This is just an extreme case. Other issues involve positioning adoption as an obligation, proselytizing, and denial of original heritage (now that you're all born again, it doesn't matter).


re: evangelicals and adoption

As much as I am appalled by the "orphan crusade", I get the feeling there is relatively little that can be done against it. There is no reasoning with people that "know" they are right. Just yesterday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, aired a new episode of their show Foreign Correspondent, with the title U.S.A - Fly Away Home.

In that documentary is an interview with Christian World Adoption's attorney Curtis Bostic, whose line of defense against any accusations, is to blame the death of numerous Ethiopian children on people that oppose their ways of doing business. There is no bigger sin than being anti-adoption, in that world view, and anyone who wants stricter regulation, better oversight, is automatically anti-adoption.

The orphan crusade, will maintain having large numbers of followers, and there is very little the US government will do against it. Even though children are stolen from their parents, even though children are being placed in homes like the Schatz's, not a single politician will dare touch the subject, out of fear of evangelical wrath.

A more left-wing evangelical faction may have started the call for a "positive cause", but by now it is safely embedded in the right wing of the evangelical movement. The orphan crusade as the flip side of the anti-abortion coin, is here to stay.

On a more positive note, sending countries are more and more closing their borders. Ethiopia, the last real stronghold for the harvesting of children, is more and more under attack, and I wouldn't be surprised if  the country closes its borders within two or three years. The more sending countries realize it's impossible to regulate inter-country adoption, when a large number of children are leaving the country, the more inter-country adoption will dwindle. It already is half of what it was only six years ago.

The US government may not be able to remove the pressure off the inter-country adoption market, but it should be able to enforce stronger screening and post-placement monitoring requirements. Out of the hundreds of abuse cases in adoptive families we have found, only a handful are in countries other than the US. Adoption being a state issue, remains problematic. Seeking better regulation would require 50 separate campaigns, each facing serious opposition from the adoption industry. Maybe now that the US is a Hague country and has instituted some federal authority over inter-country adoption, there finally is a vehicle to pass legislation for stricter oversight over the placement of children on the federal level.

think about this

The generalities of pinpointing christians as battering maniacs is absurd. It is like saying all homosexuals are child abusers/molesters (who would say that?). Give me a break the call to adopt for the most part is motivated by love. A saving from a life of extreme poverty and danger (if using the example of Liberia) this is motivated in most cases by selflessness. Who spends thousands of their own dollars so that they can abuse a child? How absurd. This is an isolated incident and if you took any time at all to investigate the situation you would see untold stories of grateful children, being brought in to be part of a families that love and care for them as their own. Christians being pinpointed as legalistic abusers is far from the truth and any time taken to investigate the truth would tell you the opposite (overall). But unfortunately people like you already have a bent against Christians in general so I guess though your comments are generalizations and ludicrous for the most part I can't say I'm surprised at them.


The generalities of pinpointing christians as battering maniacs is indeed absurd, I don't know where you read anything like that, so I must assume you are attacking the proverbial straw man.

Unfortunately the Schatz case is not an isolated incident. just check out our abuse case section to see for yourself. Apart from a couple of cases where paedophiles where able to adopt children, there are very few cases where the adoption took place with abuse as its motive, and I don't think the Schatz case falls in that category. However, no matter the motivation, this case demonstrates that the best interest is of children is not served when other interests play a more important role than the safety and well-being of children. The abuse of the Schatz children could have been prevented and there is no room for apologies.


Give me a break

Call to adopt motivated by love? Give me a break! The call to adopt for the most part is motivated by money (for the adoption agencies). The call to adopt for most part is motivated by infertility (for the people spending thousands of their own dollars to adopt a child from a poor family/country).

And if there are untold stories, there are much more untold stories of adoptees abused by their adoptive families. It's easier for the society to hear the stories of grateful adoptees than the stories of ungrateful adoptees.

check the books

Who spends thousands of their own dollars so that they can abuse a child? How absurd

Excluding cash-carrying pedophiles showing an interest in a particular child, I don't know of many cases where an adult spent thousands of dollars so a child can be abused.  But oddly enough (?) I do keep reading over and over again written sob-stories posted on websites and personal blogs requesting prayers and money for wanna-be-adopters needing financial assistance to help meet the exorbitant cost of a single international adoption.

Indeed, it's absurd American people will use other people's money to purchase a foreign child, when so many American foster children could use the same sort of 'local community' help  -- a safe place to live, a trustworthy, reliable family, and financial assistance.

Nevertheless, if not for the generous cash donations coming from supportive readers and encouraging church members, how many American rod/tube-toting couples would be able to adopt a poor foreign child in need of God, family, and disciplined instruction?

Understanding the way in which some children are made available for select orphanages, this breed of solicitation sure gives new meaning to contributing to the future abuse of a child, doesn't it?

I want to hear from the public...

is this considered "an ethical" adoption?

I want to hear from the public....

Good question, in a perfect world children would all have homes and we wouldn't have to have discussions.  But let me give it a try...

I believe, when the adoption is in the best interest of the child and the last resort after all attempts within their family have been exhausted.  It would also be positive for the birth mother to select in an open adoption who will be the adoptive parents and be able to have a healthy relationship with that child.

I only know of 3 cases like this and it is so far working out.  10 years, 19 years and 8 years this may.  the one for 8 years actually witnessed the baby being born because she was a nurse who was selected by a high school teenager who wanted to continue with college. 

Children need MORE

in a perfect world children would all have homes

Correction, and I speak as an abused adoptee, one who has suffered tremendously, silently:  in a perfect world children would all have homes, homes THAT ARE SAFE TO LIVE IN.... homes free from sexual and profound emotional, mental, and physical abuse.

[Does ANYONE know how much such stories kill someone like me???]

Define home...


“A  home for a child”

Webster defines home as “the place where somebody was born or raised in and feels that he or she belongs”   When this is not the case, as for an adoptee who was placed with people who have no concept  of the meaning, unless it pertains to their wants and needs, the word  “home”  has  a completely  different definition. 

A  home is much more than 4 walls and a roof  to live in.  It is but not limited to...

1.       A  soft place to land when you’ve had a rotten day.

2.       A  place that is full of people who love each other and protect each other.

3.       A  place where you are respected and your feelings and needs are met by people who are eager and willing to put their own  needs and wants aside to meet yours if the situation calls for it.

4.       It is a place where a  person is not afraid to go to sleep at night, Where locking the bedroom door is never crosses your mind because the other family members respect you privacy and will not enter unless invited.

5.       A  home is where you can feel  free to just be yourself because no matter what you know your family will never stop loving you.

Just because someone wants to be a parent does not give them the “right” to have one.  Just because they have the means to support one, does not make them good parent material. Just because they go to church every time the doors are open does not make them good Christians, Jew or whatever their faith is.  

Why can’t people  accept the fact that sometimes it only takes a little bit of scratching to unearth the true nature under the façade these “good people” are showing.

It’s a sad fact but so true that until changes are made abuse of adopted and foster children, as well as bio-children will continue because of this ignorance.

"Touched by Adoption, With a Blowtorch!!!"

A house in NOT a home

I saw the house I grew-up in as a prison, with the parental units as the wardens.

I still have nightmares about that place.

On really bad nights, I can still smell the basement floor.... the mold on the rug and pillows.  If I close my eyes, I can still smell the dirt from under the porch... that's where I used to hide, and play, hoping no one would find me or call my name.

People saw this big house, and thought I was so lucky.... so lucky to live in such a big beautiful home with such a lovely big yard.  I cannot express how much I hated that place.

A while ago I posted a video/song called "Home" from Three Days Grace.  I posted it because I think it captures a sense of that raw anger I feel when I think about those childhood memories. 

cannot keep attacking every word


with all respects here, I know this is your board.  you asked for some dialogue about when is adoption ethical?

i gave the only example where I felt it was indeed in the best interest of the child and has been.  Only to be attacked because I used the word "Home" 

I am not in the same shoes as you are, I have no understanding why the word "home" triggered such a bad response from you.

Of course, you do understand- my intentions were to convey that all children are entitled to a loving home.  In my mind a house is much different than a home.  Home to me is love, security, safety, happiness, struggles but learning from them, parents who discipline not abuse, parents who praise, parents who protect and guide their children to become happy succesful and well-balanced adults.  




Not attacking

I appreciate your input, but AP's reading my comments have to understand not ALL children chosen to live in adoptive homes ARE given parents who love, parents who praise, parents who protect and guide their children to become happy succesful and well-balanced adults.  Many of us were given much much worse.... much much less.

The Schatz girls are just one more example that force me to ask the almost rhetorical question -- where are the ethics... the moral principles... in adoption?

Remember, an AP's idea of "ethical adoption" may be VERY different from an adoptee's... so when you mentioned the word "home", as a desired given, I admit, I saw black, then red.  [It's not easy admitting these things... especially since so much of my 'home life' was to remain secret.]

Truth is, I would have rather lived in a Children's Home than be adopted by closet lunatics who got away with fooling the public.  At least in a Children's Home I would not have felt so isolated... so alone.

That is not an attack, it is a fact.... and I believe these facts... these unsafe adoptive homes, need to be discussed.  People who know me know I will not attack an AP showing a genuine interest in these adoption issues.

So let's go deeper in discussion.... does this belief that all children deserve a home... "a traditional home"... put children in-care at risk?  It seems to me, the reason so many want to adopt is because they feel children in-care are so poorly treated.... those children deserve so much more and theoretically speaking, only a "traditional home" can provide the stability and care a child needs.  [I know many who would strongly disagree.]

Well, what if children in-care were treated well?  What if they were not moved from abusive home to abusive home, and what if they were given quality care AND a decent education... (like featured in the video found here)... would those "poor orphans" still "need" a family/home outside all that is found in-care?


I didn't see any attack, I saw a personal response to the word "home", one I was glad to read.

All too often the word "home" is used and abused when talking about adoption. Agencies speak of providing "homes" for "orphans", adopters speak of bringing children "home", when they adopt a child. In all of these cases the assumption is made that a home is a loving place.

Our collection of information about abuse in adoptive families shows that "home" is often not a loving place. Even beyond our abuse cases, I have heard so many stories of adoptees telling how horrible the "home" was they grew up in.

For adopters their house is their home, which is very much reflected in the use of the phrase "bringing home a child". For the adoptee, that place is not home to begin with. It starts out as a stranger's place. For better or for worse, It will eventually become a home. When the adoptive family is loving, the word "home" will resonate with positive feelings. When abuse took place within an adoptive family, the word "home" will have the same meaning as "house of horrors".

With the current level of screening and post-adoption monitoring there is no way of knowing if children are offered a loving home. It's devoid of any meaning to say a child deserves a loving home, when there is no way of knowing this is actually done. Sure there are home studies, but we don't know anything about their effectiveness. The ritual of visits, back ground checks is performed, but there is no proof all this really improves the safety of children placed for adoption. For all we know, looking in a crystal ball, could render the same results.

So the statement providing a loving home for children is vacuous, and only covers up the reality that placing children for adoption is like playing Russian roulette. Thanks to cases like the Schatz's and many others, we know there is a bullet in one of the chambers, we just don't know which pull of the trigger will be safe and which will be lethal.

Until we know what works and what doesn't, can we start to make claims of providing homes for children, until that time, it's playing with fire.

home, a triggering word

I once had a house to call our home.

I'm using the word  "our" on purpose because I still remember, when I was still a Korean, using the word our, as in "our mother", "our father", "our home", "our country". I remember my family saying "our Myung-Sook" to talk about me.

Even after moving  twice,  the house where my family and I lived in was our home.  My mother died, then my older siblings moved out to work due to poverty,  but I continued to call the house our home.  Later when my father and I were living in someone else's house, I called it our home.

While I was living at the orphanage, although I missed my father, I felt it was "our home" and "our family" being with my friends.

Long before I went to live at the orphanage,  a couple in a foreign country wanted a child of their own, it didn't work; so they wanted their neighbor's girl, it didn't work either. So they wanted a girl from a poor country. I was matched to that couple, so I was sent me to their home.

They had a nice home, but it was not our home. For about six months, I missed daily everything that I lost : our country, our home, our  family, our friends. While I was getting assimilated, I  continued missing the things I lost: my country, my home, my family and my friends. Following the two years of forced assimilation, I started considering the strangers as my parents; their home as my home; their country as my country, even if outside of what I called my home, I was constantly reminded that I was living in their country.

25 years after the forced assimilation, all my repressed feelings surfaced.
I went back to my country to find my home and my family, only to find that I lost my country, I lost my family, I lost my home, I lost my language, I lost my culture.

"every child deserves a home", says Holt international.

I once had a country that I could call my country; I once had a home that I could call my home; I once had a family that I could call my family.

Thanks to adoption agencies, thanks to the people who wanted to offer  "their home" to someone else's children instead of helping them where they are, there is no country that I call my country; there exists no place that I call my home.
The languages I speak is not my language; it's  their language that results from forced assimiliation.  There is no culture that I can call my culture; the one that I'm forced to live with  results from forced assimilation that made me an outcast of the country that I used to call "our country" and a stranger to the persons that used to make the place where I live "our home".

Forced Assimilation is crap

Like other forms of bastard treatment, people from the non-majority culture(s) are supposed to be grateful for crap/forced-assimilation, which is always backed up by extreme violence and/or threats of it.

It's an old old old bad habit in white-supremacist, white-first, white-only USA.

It's really sh.tty when it's doubled down on you with language, culture, and looks.

Crappy homes, crappy adoptive parents

I have no understanding why the word "home" triggered such a bad response from you.

Oh, she's not alone. Some of us should be having even worse reactions to the entire concept. "Family" is another one, at least for me.

Crappy "homes" can do that.


Lord help all their children.

The lord is the last thing they need. /bitterhumor

Parents need to keep their lord to themselves. Their lord is a surefire killer.

What other fundamentalist, homeschooling mom says about this...

I feel like I can now post this letter, since this person has now posted most of it on her blog.

Below is a letter from a friend of the Schatz's. This friend went to church with them. She said the "Lydia's smile could have lit a room. Now it reflects the glory of God the Savior for all eternity."

"Paul and I have just returned home from the funeral of a most precious little girl. Lydia's smile could have lit a room. Now it reflects the glory of God the Savior for all eternity.

We've been struggling and praying for appropriate ways to handle what we're dealing with, and when and whether to speak about it. Up until now, for reasons which will become obvious, I've only shared this with a very few trusted friends. I think it may be time for me to fill in the gaps. What we're dealing with is horrible and ugly - about as ugly as it gets. This all happens on the heels of my mother's death, and has now somehow managed to even overshadow that. Mother's death, as difficult as it made sense. She was 87 years old, and hadn't been well in many years. This, on the other hand, is a mess, an unfathomable tragedy, one horror heaped upon another. I haven't wanted to speak of it, because I can barely stand to think of it. But a time comes when, for the sake of love, it is right to stand up and speak. And I think, for me, that time has come.

It is now exactly two weeks since we got a phone call....well, let me back up. Over a year ago a new family began attending our tiny church. A husband and wife with nine kids - six biological, three adopted from Liberia. They were a lovely family, the children polite and well behaved. They home-schooled. That's how they found our church actually. They belonged to the same home-school organization as our pastor. Anyway, the wife was one of the, kindest women I've ever known. Anytime there was a gathering of the church she and I would often find ourselves off somewhere together, talking quietly until it was time to leave. Her warmth was a soothing thing. No two people could be more different than she and I, and yet there was a sweet comfort in our times together. We'd been to their house a few times for church related functions, and once just Paul and I were there, for dinner. We ate shepherd's pie, and the children were a delight. They showed us how to milk their goats. The husband also had always taken time to reach out to Paul, who in person is extremely reserved and tends to be overlooked, and so Paul was fond of him as well.

After about nine months they decided to leave our church. They had just completed our series of membership classes, so their change of heart came as a bit of a shock, and a disappointment. As I understood it, one of the reasons for their leaving was that the husband had a strong disagreement with a doctrinal stance of our church. He insisted that Christians could achieve total sanctification (a state of sinless living) in this lifetime. We heartily disagree. We actually believe that is an un-Biblical and unhealthy teaching which can lead to any number of problems - in particular legalism and perfectionism. When no agreement could be reached, he determined to find a church more in keeping with his position. I was so sad, because I'd grown so fond of my friend, and also her little adopted girls, especially little Lydia, who always looked at me like I was some kind of miracle.

It has been maybe six months since they left, maybe a bit more. I saw them once after that, when we went to their house to pick up a bookshelf they gifted to us, twice if you count the time we chatted with the father and a few of the kids in the parking lot at Costco. Then Saturday night, two weeks ago, we got a phone call. Little Lydia was dead. Her older sister, Zariah, was in the hospital in critical condition. The other seven children had been placed in foster care and both parents were in jail - accused of murder, and child abuse.

I can't tell you how this has shocked and devastated us. We loved this family. We love them still. The first thing we did when we learned of all this, before we had any idea who did what, and still held out hope that it was all some kind of mistake, was to write them letters. Our next instinct was to want to rescue the children, at least one or two of them. But we were told by others who knew them that they would not allow anyone with any connection to the parents to have anything to do with the children (which would become quite understandable later as more details began to surface). So we felt helpless. We then began simply waiting, praying for the best outcome for all involved, and hoping some light would be shed on how such a thing could have happened - and wishing none of it was real. Elizabeth, the mother, is possibly the warmest person I’ve ever known. One of the hardest things for me, has been squaring the soft, meek woman I know with the hard cold fact of a dead child (and another who was at that time critically injured and fighting for her life).

As the days have gone by, more and more information has been uncovered about our friends. It turns out they were following the methods of Michael and Debi Pearl's "ministry" of systematic child "training". My husband and I have spent hours upon hours since this discovery poring over Pearl literature, disgusted. Horrified. I wanted understanding of what could have led to this tragedy, and I got it. The Pearl Method was the missing link. It made “sense” of what made no sense before. From what I've read, and even from some hindsight reflections of what I knew of this family, it appears they were following Pearl teachings very carefully - in doctrine and in practice. If the autopsy reports verify what preliminary findings suggest, it was the form of whipping (using the identical implement recommended in Pearl literature) taught by them which killed Lydia, and nearly killed Zariah.

They claim to be a Christian organization, and yet offer no grace and NO mercy. They actually teach parents to show no mercy to their children, and to love them only when they are lovable. ("When they do something lovely, then you can love them.") The whipping is to begin in infancy. It is to be used in "training" - what you might call behavior modification, and in "chastisement" which is actual punishment. They suggest keeping a whipping instrument in every room, and that the plumbing line they recommend is a perfect implement because it is inexpensive, available at Home Depot, and the parent can even drape it around his or her neck, so when the children see the parent, they see the whip*. And it gets worse. They speak as if it's all sweetness and delight, and yet talk about calmly stalking the child if it runs from the spanking, laughing at their frail attempts to escape. And there's so much more**, yet all couched in language of smiles and happy families. There is no Good News to be found there, just legalism, punishment - salvation by "the rod". Listen to the powers Michael Pearl ascribes to the rod - powers I've only heard elsewhere ascribed to Christ and His Cross:
"When a child is bound in self-blame and low self-esteem, parents are not helpless. God has given them the gift of the rod. The rod can bring repentance, but it goes much deeper than that. The rod in the hands of a righteous authority will supply the child’s soul with that moment of judgment that he feels he so deserves. Properly applied, with instruction, it will absolve the child of guilt, cleanse his soul, and give him a fresh start through a confidence that all indebtedness is paid." (Emphasis mine)

It is likely my friend and her husband will spend the rest of their lives in prison. If the news and police reports are true, then this is the penalty their actions call for. Paul and I determined from the outset that regardless what happens we will continue to extend the grace and hope of the Gospel to them there. And with every new horror that I learn, I find I love them no less. They are sinners, and so am I. They need the grace of God, and so do I. I, as a Christian, have been called to the ministry of reconciliation. As a recipient of God's mercy, I am called to extend that same mercy to every sinner I meet - no matter the sin.

So that's what we find ourselves dealing with - and the pain of loving the people misled by this religious system. None of this absolves our friends of the responsibility which they bear, nor am I making excuses for them. But, I believe they are not the only ones who bear responsibility. They were deceived, and were also ensconced in a little sub-community which encouraged them that what they were doing was the best thing, and even the most godly thing. The Pearl's system does not just mold children, it molds well-meaning parents into the kind of people who think they can and should expect perfect obedience and perfect behavior from imperfect and defenseless little creatures. In fact, it teaches them that if they don't succeed in this, they are not fit to be to be parents at all.***

So, that's where we find, waking, and sleeping with this tragedy never far away. It will stay with us in some way for a long time (likely forever). I hope you will pray with us that our friends will come to understanding and repentance, and that they will come to know the mercy and grace of God which their doctrinal system has so carefully hid from them. I hope you will pray for their precious children, the 8 that are left, scattered to the four winds and so confused - that they will be protected and loved wherever they are, placed permanently in loving and caring homes, and come to know the love of the Savior Jesus Christ and His mercy and grace to undeserving sinners. That they will not be poisoned against Him because of the way He has been misrepresented, or continue to think of obedience as a means to grace rather than a product of it and thus either try to earn their way to heaven or lose hope altogether. I hope you will remember us in prayer as well, for wisdom and opportunity to help in any way we can...if there's any way we can...and that somehow, in all of this, that God be glorified."

Kitty In no way to I agree


In no way to I agree with the above letter. This is from someone I went to college with. As I have mentioned on here before, I was adopted into a fundamentalist Baptist preachers home. This home was extremely abusive. It was my foster home until right before I turned 18 so that they could get the paycheck from foster care system as long as possible, yet also be seen as such a good Christian to adopt a girl no one wanted. It is hard to explain to someone who has never lived in such an environment but, fundamentalists tend to do a lot of things so that they look like great Christians.

If you can stomach it, here is the link to the "To Train Up a Child" website where the Pearls distribute their poison. This is what so many "good Christians" do to train their kids. It's something that Michael Pearl so frequently compares raising children to training animals, when he advocates people do things to their children that most of us would NEVER do to our pets. If Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gasey would have co-authored a book on child rearing it couldn't possibly be more shocking, violent and dysfunctional than what Michael and Debbie Pearl teach.

Grab a stiff drink before you read this.

"train their kids"

How many want to live in a house where they "train their kids"?  <Knowing damn well what the hell that means.>

Train/Beat the Crap Out of

<Knowing damn well what the hell that means.>


At least the BDSM community is honest about their terminology.

Methodist/Charismatic PK here

As I have mentioned on here before, I was adopted into a fundamentalist Baptist preachers home. This home was extremely abusive.

Sorry to hear that. Protestant Evangeloid whackjobs are among the worst, most violent offenders.

"Family values"... Their top "value" is control via extreme violence. If it leads to murder, oh well, the kid was a product of sin, a field to be reaped, etc. anyway. Then they cover it all up with Bibles and big toothy smiles.



Uh-huh! To this day, I cannot look at a smiling preacher without thinking about what he is most likely really like. Abusing his wife and kids, screwing the organist, or any woman he can find willing in the church of course.

Caught up in correct belief

The author of the letter seems far more anxious about correct interpretation of dogmatic minutia than about actual people. Typical nutjob christian. No wonder they are antsy about looking like fellow perps.

And people complain about so-called "political correctness", this is where it begins, with conservative christian correct belief. At least in the USA.

Found elsewhere

I was reading in a blog ( ) that  their book,“To Train Up a Child”, has sold over 550,000 copies, has been translated into over 20 foreign languages, AND is currently being sold in Australia, along with a demonstration video.  A demonstation video.

 A.  Demonstration.  Video.  [Can you imagine?!?!?]

Quoted from the blog, warning readers what these parents of non-whining children are preaching:

While spanking your child and she cries and is upset about it, Michael Pearl says this:

“When she screams or flees, calmly follow through by physically subduing her. Sit on her, if you have to, and slowly explain that you will not tolerate this resistance. Explain in a normal tone (She will eventually stop screaming and listen) that you are going to give her, say, five licks for the original offense and an additional two licks for the fit. Slowly apply the five licks, counting out loud. When I say slowly, I mean with a thirty second gap between each lick and a calm explanation to the screaming child that you are not the least impressed except that you are going to spank harder and she still gets the additional two licks plus one more for her ongoing screaming. When you have finally arrived at five well- anticipated and carefully counted licks, say, “OK, your spanking is over; that is the five licks you got for hitting your brother, but now I must give you two more for trying to run away.” Give her one lick and say, “Now, that is one of the licks for running away; you have one more coming.” Give the second lick, and then calmly and slowly explain that all her licks are over now, except for the one additional lick she incurred for continuing to scream during the spanking. After you have finished, tell her that you are going to let her up now, if she stops screaming, otherwise you are going to give her one additional lick. If she stops, or at least makes a great effort to, then you have won. You may never have to go through this horrible time again. But, if she is continuing to scream in defiance, you have the option of continuing to warn and spank, or of ceasing here with a parting warning: “Next time you better not run and throw a fit; for if you do, you will only get more licks and harder ones.”

Wonder how many "licks" it takes to cause death or organ failure.



Sounds familiar

That stuff is even too sadistic for kink. com, which at least has a million disclaimers that their stuff is supposedly consensual and of-age.

Perverts...why aren't they thrown in prison for this crap. Oh wait, they're white whackadoodle christians in america. They can do no wrong/freedom of "religion"/etc.

Fained Shock

Found out yesterday, that this friend, who writes about being horified that the parents would beat little Lydia to death, is nothing but a big hypocrite. A family member of mine who lives in the area, went to visit this church on Sunday, and guess what they found for sale in the church bookstore? The book by Michael and Debbie Pearl, To Train Up A Child!

Wow, she sure did do a good job at faining shock as to how the Schatzs' ever even found such a book.

I Can't believe I survived this crap!

No wonder I have so many issues with my adoptive family. Not only did my adoptive parents use Michael and Debbie Pearls book "To Train Up A Child" as the bible for discipline in their home, 2 our of the 6 of my adoptive siblings are now doing it to their children. I hated my adoptive parents. Four of their biological children are completely estranged from them. It seems to me, my 2 adoptive sibs, would realize that it did not work out to well for their parents. The ones who do practise this crap on their kids are masters at blaming the child for actions of adults.

However, Pearls' website caused me to become physically ill at their parenting "advice". When I read where Michael Pearl advised a mom NOT to contact the authorities regarding a 12 year old sexually molesting a 6 year old because it was "just a phase" and unless the 12 year old had been molested herself, she was not a "true molester", but just "experimenting", I almost vomited. Then, in another post, Michael Pearl tells a family whose 10 year old adopted son has sexually abused their 3 year old biological daughter to either call the country where their adopted son is from and ask them to "take him back", or call the police and let them take him from their home. WHAT?! I don't know if this contradicting "advice" was due to the abuser's gender or not, but I hope and pray the families were able to get TRUE help from someone who is TRULY educated.

Or perhaps, the REAL difference is because one child is a bio child and the other child is "just" an adopted child. Adoptive children who are too much should what, be sent back to the pound like you would a dog? Oh, and adoptive parents would never just say such things as a reason to get rid of an adoptive child, because the "new" has worn off.

Pearl's quote: "I have warned over and over again against adopting children older than any of your children." WTF? How in the world does this even matter?

It does matter

Pearl's quote: "I have warned over and over again against adopting children older than any of your children." WTF? How in the world does this even matter?

It matters a great deal.  Placing an older child with a suspected history of physical and/or sexual abuse into an adoptive family with younger siblings is one of the biggest mistakes a caseworker can make.  It was the reason my daughter's first adoptive placement (age 5) was disrupted.

You might as well keep a loaded gun in the house.


Then don't adopt, at all

Quit being a party to busted-up families.

Other posted reasons

Placing an older child with a suspected history of physical and/or sexual abuse into an adoptive family with younger siblings is one of the biggest mistakes a caseworker can make.  It was the reason my daughter's first adoptive placement (age 5) was disrupted.

You might as well keep a loaded gun in the house.

Yes, I have read quite a few discussions, on a variety of adoption forums, about the horrific problems associated with adopting children who have been sexually abused.  Many AP's complain/warn PAP's the older abused child will abuse younger children in the new home.

But there is another reason why adoption experts say birth order and spacing are important matters to consider.

The adoption experts especially advise, however, against displacing the oldest child. To be the oldest all your life and then be the younger one can cause confusion and resentment.   [From:  Adopting When You Already Have Children: Birth Order and Spacing ]

Insecure children who feel like they were displaced (robbed of entitled attention) could cause serious family problems, in a variety of attention-seeking ways.

In other words, bio-children of AP's can be mean, cruel trouble makers, too. 

But that's ok....all one has to do is blame the adoptee -- we all know how awful we can be.

the eldest

One of my friends was adopted from foster care when he was 10 years old. The eldest bio-kid in the house, was one year younger, and always resented him. Of course all the tension that caused was put squarely on his shoulders. The adoptive parents would always complain how he ruined the family. And the day he turned 18, he was kicked out of the house.

It's sick how much difference there is made between adopted and bio children, and when things go wrong it is always the adoptees fault.

Nicely put

The ones who do practise this crap on their kids are masters at blaming the child for actions of adults.

That, they are.

Oh, and they'll be certain to shriek at everyone in earshot that they are the victims when they kick your rear end out on the street because you could not conform to their impossible standards.

After almost 20 years of complete estrangement, my afather is back in my life, now as a vulnerable adult. I'm still (after 3 years of this) dealing with all the massive lies they told both sides of my afamily because they couldn't deal with the raw, untarnished fact that after all their Bible verses, all their churches, their parochial schools, their straps, their fists, their hate-based repression, their fundofascist indoctrination they STILL raised one of the queers.

I'd say joke's on them but sadly, the joke is on all involved. Reality really doesn't give a crap.

Quiverfull Families...

Posted by vyckie at 9:54 am
February 25, 2010

They were trafficking Liberian children for the glory of God’s kingdom. And, they were preying upon highly Conservative, Patriarchal, Evangelical and often Quiverful families  … These children adopted from Liberia are survivors. They do NOT ’submit’. They fake it, but they don’t mean it in their hearts. And, Pearl flat-out says to BEAT THEM AGAIN, make their heart reflect submission. Hit them over and over and over again until their heart complies to what you want, or you will condemn them to the pits of Hell if you don’t.

by “Jo” ~ this post comes from the No Longer Quivering discussion forums.

He (Michael Pearl) insisted that Christians could achieve total sanctification (a state of sinless living) in this lifetime. We heartily disagree. We actually believe that is an un-Biblical and unhealthy teaching which can lead to any number of problems – in particular legalism and perfectionism.

The is the HEART of Micheal Pearl’s teachings. Its a STRONG belief in QF/P circles in general. But, its paramount to Pearl.

If you take these traumatized children and you decide that the only way you can parent them is to force them into a SINLESS life, its a death sentence.

Those who don’t lose their lives often lose their souls. The Reactive Attachment Disorder this creates is often insurmountable. But, for a few, it is so much worse because it becomes literal, physical death.

And, what Micheal Pearl is NOT putting in his latest press release is quite simple. His theology and parenting philosophy taken to its logical conclusion is an acceptance that these children are better off DEAD than not having attained the sinless life that is required of them.

In Micheal Pearl’s world, Lydia is better dead than spelling that word wrong. Plain and simple. Read his site (with a BIG bowl to puke in) and its everywhere. He is very MUCH responsible for this child’s death and the threat to the others. And, the sickening fact is that wackadoo’s sphere of influence is GROWING and infilitrating the non-Quiverfull/non-P Evangelical community at large.

I know what its like to parent these children from the war ravaged regions of W. Africa. My son is one of those children. He’s one of the FEW who has fully resolved his PTSD through intensive and specialized trauma therapy. His former therapist still consults with families whose children have been adopted from the region because the success rate of helping these children heal is SOO low.

My son is so very resilient and lucky. But, for most of these kids, its that resiliency that can then backfire. My son actually trained his brain to maintain a sleep-dream state of conciousness at all times. He had to re-train his brain to have a concious alert state because the coping mechanism was not necessary anymore. So, even wide awake, he was slow to respond, showed NO emotions (again a coping mechanism to keep you alive when you are in the precense of true evil) and was really retreated into himself…except when his PTSD would get triggered and he wasn’t there at all but was raging against the monsters and the demons that weren’t there. I was there. I took the brunt of those monster and demons. I got his siblings to safety and restrained him to keep him safe until they passed for YEARS.

I really and truly get what its like to parent these kids.

I also am fully, FULLY aware of what the 2 main facilitators who were placing children from Liberia were doing at the time this particular family adopted their children. I personally reported one of those facilitators to the US Embassy. And, I got into some bitter disputes with the personnel of the other facilitator.

They were trafficking, one for cash and the for the glory of God’s kingdom. And, they were preying upon highly Conservative, Patriarchal, Evangelical and often Quiverful families for the cash the needed to continue their ‘work’ (and hefty paychecks but that’s not to be discussed). Most adoption agencies don’t work with Quiverfull families for the simple fact that you cannot get pregnant in the process of adopting. You cannot adopt within 6-12 months of having a baby (depending on the agency and the country). And, you cannot continue with an adoption if you get pregnant.

During our international adoptions were actually the only time in our QF years when we were deliberately using birth control. It turned out I had health issues which left me with secondary inferitlity. But, we were using birth control so we COULD adopt.

Liberia attracted a lot of QF/P adoptive families because these 2 faciltiators targetted those families. The ‘godly’ facilitator was heavily marketed via Above Rubies. Though, I’m sure they never declared to that sect they were not a true adoption agency and had been cited by the state they were in repeatedly for lying about it.

Both groups were actually stealing children from families in Liberia and selling them. It was AWFUL and the QF/P movement contributed wholly to the situation. The only dvelopment in adoption that made me happier than seeing Liberia closed to international adoptions was the day Charles Taylor was captured and transported to Sierra Leone to face his victims. On both days, I actually danced for joy to read the news.

So, the situation when this family brought these girls was AWFUL. The Liberian children were in HORRIBLE conditions. The UN had snuck into the grounds of one facilitator’s compound with Liberaian officials and tried to get them closed down. The children were traumatized, often stolen from their families, treated like second rate citizens and shipped off to do-gooder Americans as bounty.

And, into the hands of those Americans, these facilitators encouraged the writings of Micheal Pearl. Now, to be fair, most of these families were already avid followers of the nut job. Most of them were well versed in their plumbing tubing and had raised their armies will great success for years already.

But, they brought traumatized children into a situation where strangers were beating them…in much the same manner their ‘rescuers’ in Liberia had done. They knew how to survive, but they most definitely did NOT know these people were family, parents, protectors. And, when these people acted like foe, these children respond in the same fashion.

When you put Micheal Pearl’s work into the hands of families with these traumatized children, its a recipe for disaster. Four years ago, a little boy came out of the foster system traumatized and into the hands of a woman who was die-hard adovate for Pearl. Sean Pollock lost his life for that mistake. Lynn Pollock could NOT distinquish where a ‘line’ was when she disciplined Sean. And, the reason she couldn’t find the LINE is because if you strictly follow Pearl’s teachings, there is NO LINE. The LINE is when the child submits, with a cheerful spirit, and nothing less. These children are survivors. They do NOT ’submit’. They fake it, but they don’t mean it in their hearts. And, Pearl flat-out says to BEAT THEM AGAIN, make their heart reflect submission. Hit them over and over and over again until their heart complies to what you want, or you will condemn them to the pits of Hell if you don’t.

Micheal Pearl’s teachings are death to a child who is not attached to his parents. Because, its NOT Pearl that establishes a line that keeps children alive. Read his work. Go to his website. Its very quick easy to realize that there is NO line for Pearl. The real LINE is the small voice in the back of a mother’s heart that says, this is wrong, I must stop, I will do damage if I push through any further.

For these children and their detached parents, that voice doesn’t exist. These mother’s hearts are NOT turned to their babies to protect them because their hearts don’t recognize those as their babies anymore than these children recognize them as mother. The danger is in flat-out in following these teachings at all with adopted children, especially traumatized adoptees.

Good, reputable adoption agencies would NEVER promote anything close to Micheal Pearl. The few adoption agencies that were working in Liberia had specific stances against all spanking for these children. Even the largest Christian adoption agency in this country, Bethany, has a policy against spanking adoptees. While agencies cannot screen out every die-hard, they do know to watch for it and to not place children where they truly suspect it exists.

This safety was not in place in Liberia with these facilitators. They encouraged Micheal Pearl, Garry Ezzo and Ted Tripp. They facilitated everything about their adoptions as a Christian duty to rescue these heathen children. And, they firmly espoused that those children had to be trained by the rod to be rescued from their heathen ways.

No, Micheal Pearl didn’t kill this child again. But, he put a gun in her volatile mother’s hand and told her to only use it to intimidate the child.

White fundofascist bigots beating African children to death

Hm, where have I heard about things like that before in US history.


[Michael Pearl's] theology and parenting philosophy taken to its logical conclusion is an acceptance that these children are better off DEAD than not having attained the sinless life that is required of them.

I'm not defending Michael Pearl in any way, obviously, but let's not make one man into a scapegoat/martyr for an entire 100x-years-old cultural norm that thinks "spare the rod" and every other instance of murder, sibling-killing, wife-killing, daughter-dismembering, death on crosses, and other violence is supposed to be taken literally.

The Pearls just make websites about it and have been doing so for years. Others are not so candid, at least not to the public's face.

No wonder trash like Pat Robertson was diddling around in Liberia. Gold, diamonds, human traffic/aka Black Gold.

Same old white christian bigots, different millineum.

"Doing them a favor" (more of the same)

The Liberian children were in HORRIBLE conditions. The UN had snuck into the grounds of one facilitator’s compound with Liberaian officials and tried to get them closed down. The children were traumatized, often stolen from their families, treated like second rate citizens and shipped off to do-gooder Americans as bounty.

Such a common theme.  Even better, is how many see no reason to offer an apology when the removed children are abused.  Behold how the past meets the present:

In the 1860s, evangelical reformers like Annie Macpherson, who volunteered among the poor in London's East End, conceived the idea of sending impoverished children to Canada. Apprenticeships on farms and in respectable homes would provide an alternative to living in slums where the life expectancy was about 35, she reasoned. 

Charitable organizations like the Barnardo Homes and the Salvation Army soon joined the movement to ship poor children off to Canada. 

While the children were called orphans, two-thirds had parents, most simply too poor to keep them. Most were between age nine and 14 but some were much younger. 

Of at least 100,000 home children sent to Canada, some 70,000 went to Ontario and 12,000 to Quebec. The children were bound by contract to work for their room and board until age 18. 

Critics say the lack of oversight made the children easy targets for abuse and that they were exploited as cheap labour. 

A backlash orchestrated by trade unions branded the children as unwanted guttersnipes, and the stigma lingered. 

However, advocates for home children note that most did well for themselves and had better lives than they would have in Industrial Revolution-era Britain  

 [From:  British PM to apologize for controversial legacy of Canada's home children, February 24, 2010 ]

Religious charity workers were doing the government a favor by removing the poor and unwanted, and placing them in good God-fearing homes.... homes where children would be given all the right lessons on how to work and behave like a respectable human being.  [How much in child placement has changed since the 1800's?]
Still, over and over it is written:  lack of oversight (and secrecy) make poor/unwanted children easy targets... targets that get used and abused. 
What's interesting is how many don't believe an apology for atrocious care is needed... too many still think the poor and the unwanted are lucky to be given the grand favor of a second chance in an institution or a home where father is king, and rules come with a whip.

Must be grateful for abuse

After all, they're better off dead.

Some days I wonder if these people aren't right about that -- I'd rather be dead than endure the sh.t they have to dish out based on their religious hangups.

Can't argue

Some days I wonder if these people aren't right about that -- I'd rather be dead than endure the sh.t

I can't count how many times I thought the same.  Thought that since I was 9 or 10. 

Here's one for the Pro-Lifers to consider --  I often thought abortion would have been more humane.


"we were chosen","special children", "we were adopted"

I lost count yrs ago how many times I heard those words. I forgot a long time ago when those words didn't make me feel sick inside, because I knew the truth. When I look back on how :"ungrateful" I was to those "wonderful, unselfish people" who "saved me" from living in poverty, who gave me such a "wonderful  life" "that woman" could never do. Words spoken at me for the sole purpose of making me feel guilty for just being "imperfect me"

Even then I wanted to say back, "I would gladly hand over every dime, every item of expensive wardrobe or furniture and all the toys and beautiful houses I was given to live in for the life I had been given by birth. I would have turned my back on it all to live with in the home of my birth.It may have consisted of nothing more then a cardboard box in a filthy ally but it would have been more if a home to me then the one my adopters gave me.


"Touched by Adoption, With a Blowtorch!!!"

I am waiting with bated

I am waiting with bated breath for the trial of these monsters. I am waiting for Zariah to KNOW that they will never hurt her again (although the residual hurt of their terror is glaringly evident in her countless doctor visits, in her emotional state, in her constant on-edge demeanor.) I am waiting for this horror to be behind her. I am waiting for her to know it is done. I am waiting for her to have a glimmer of normalcy. I am waiting because she is my hero and I want her to see the only "justice" she will know.

I disagree with the good Christian neighbor who is convinced that the Schatzs can seek and receive absolution. Zariah has a place in Heaven and no God would allow those vile beings to invade it.

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