Brace yourselves, folks. This is an upsetting story. Even in the context of the Duggar family.
Jim Bob and Michelle are promoting an ideology even more controversial than their own strict religious beliefs.
And fans are putting the Duggar family on blast.
The Duggars have been plugging an upcoming Marriage Retreat on social media.
“There is still time to register for this amazing marriage retreat! You will not regret it!”
The retreat is to take place as the Forsyth family’s Fort Rock. The problem is that this even will host Michael Pearl and Debi Pearl, authors of the deeply controversial book, To Train Up Your Child.
The book promotes forcing children to eat their least favorite foods until they “like” them, but also depriving your children of food as punishment.
Most significantly, the book encourages parents to hit their children with various objects, including plastic lengths of pipe. This abusive “training” is supposed to begin in infancy.
The methods described are a recipe for breaking a child and doing psychological damage that will last for a person’s entire life.
Except for those victims who die before they even reach adulthood.
As you can imagine, fans were horrified that the Duggars would condone such egregious child-abuse.
Fans on Facebook who are aware of the Pearls and the infamous “methods” that they promote felt crushed and heartbroken when they saw the announcement.
“This makes me so sad,” one wrote. “The Pearls literally promote hitting babies, actual babies.”
That is true. Among other things, the Pearls recommend the cruel “blanket training” that the Duggars practiced with some of their babies.
“They are child abusers. Why you would promote their evil and cruel practices is mind-boggling.”
Another disappointed Duggar fan commented, writing:
“Ahh yes, Fort Rock. Host and supporters of blatant child abusers.”
It’s difficult to argue with these commenters, even if you wanted to.
The “training” that the Pearls espouse to their followers involves using violence and fear to force children into submission.
And yes, it does begin when children are still babies.
The older that the child becomes, the harsher the physical punishments they recommend. Their pernicious book even suggests that parents might wear an object on their person as a constant reminder of the implied threat.
In recent years, police have linked three separate deaths of children to the Pearls, their book, and their ideology.
In each case, the abusive parents were convicted.
And that, of course, barely scratches the surface on the lifelong psychological damage that years of child abuse can inflict.
This isn’t the only time that the Duggars have been linked to abuse, and we don’t just mean hitting their own children or covering things up after Josh molested his sisters.
Member of the Duggar family’s church have shared shocking tales of abuse.
One survivor from the Duggar family church recently revealed that her father molested her as a child, and that the sexual abuse only stopped when he died.
That should have been the end of her suffering, but it was only part of her story.
Naturally, she suffered PTSD symptoms such as depression. Worse, in the eyes of her church and of her religiously devoted mother, she questioned her family’s beliefs.
She says that the church sent her to a “camp” where she was threatened, terrorized, and tortured for months in an effort to force her to fall into line with the church’s beliefs.
Unfortunately, it isn’t a surprise that the Duggars are promoting extreme ideology. Even though the Pearls recommend violence against children, that’s not a foreign concept to the Duggars.
Michelle has used a ruler to punish her very young children. Both producers and at least one of the Duggar children have mentioned that Jim Bob and Michelle keep a rod with which to hit their children.
There are heartbreaking, evil stories behind so many people’s broken childhoods.
The saddest thing of all of this might be that some people who come from these horrible backgrounds go on to repeat this cycle of violence with their own children.