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Books advocating child abuse

(23 Posts)
chellstar Wed 31-Aug-11 22:57:47

I was shocked to learn that in one of these books it was recommended that you should hit a baby as young as 8 months old with a nylon wire to condition them, if they cried to be picked up. Horrific.

check out this link and sign the petition if you so feel inclined:

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 01-Sep-11 08:26:58

I think when we get to the stage of banning books we are on a slippery slope. Freedom of speech does not mean we have to agree with what is said. Freedom of choice means we can elect not to buy such rubbish.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 01-Sep-11 08:30:28

Is anyone advocating government bans, though, Cogito? It looks like that first link is about pressuring Amazon to stop carrying this book. Amazon is a private business which has a stated policy not to carry offensive books.

Freedom of expression gives us the right to pressure businesses into not stocking offensive materials, and them to choose whether to do so. Consumer power doesn't start or end with 'choosing not to buy', nor it should.

TheArmadillo Thu 01-Sep-11 08:42:08

I thought amazon had a policy to carry any book regardless of content - i.e. specifically not to ban certain books/restrict freedom of speech.? It used to be one of their selling points.

They also don't restrict or take responsibility for what 3rd party traders are selling (and most of these books that have come up before have been through a third party).

worldgonecrazy Thu 01-Sep-11 08:57:23

I wrote to Amazon about this a while back. Because the book is legal within the UK they said they will continue to stock it. The people we need to pressure are our MPs so that we can get a law enacted to prevent books like this being legal within the UK.

NoWuckingFurries Thu 01-Sep-11 09:04:43

If anyone is stupid enough to actually carry out the suggestions in that book, merely because it says to do so then we really do have something to worry about! I've read too many parenting books and I take everything I read with a pinch of salt, consider myself, my family and my child and then decide if anything in said book is useful/appropriate. I think banning books such as this is censorship and would be the thin edge of the the wedge. The State is already interfering enough. I value freedom of speech. We can't just stop people expressing themselves because some people might choose to act upon the clearly wrong advice.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 01-Sep-11 10:31:35

How should a bookseller decide what constitutes an 'offensive book'? They stock titles such as Mein Kampf, Lolita and Satanic Verses.... far more offensive, surely? If the decision is made on the strength of public opinion - (some kind of popular vote, perhaps?) - I think that's fraught with problems and open to abuse. And the idea that MPs should intervene to get books banned.... no-one see how ridiculous that idea is?

TheArmadillo Thu 01-Sep-11 11:13:48

Books can't make you do something you are dead set against. They can't make you hit a baby when the idea appalls you and I doubt 'I read it in a book' is a legal excuse.

Banning books is an terrifying idea and usually the start of a slippery slope.

Intrinsic Thu 01-Sep-11 21:49:12

This isn't fiction and it isn't a historical piece of writing that people will take light heartily - it is current and is pretty much step by step instruction advocating and encouraging child abuse.
Its great to see that so many Mums on here are strong in their own belief's and that they would not think of doing such things... But what about all those people who are not so strong, or those who are on their own and struggling to cope with a colicy or teething toddler who is "acting up'... Or those brought up in a strict and fundamental situation?

Some people don't have rational people around them or wise parents to guide them... Personally, I find the book (and similar books) sickening. Its really good that everyone is talking about it though - even if they don't think it should be removed.

Lilka Thu 01-Sep-11 22:18:57

They found a copy of 'To train up a child' in a house where a couple beat their 7 year old daughter to death. They beat her for hours plus all their other kids. She and her 11 year old sister hadn't been there long (adopted from Liberia). The 11 year old faced her parents later (in court?) and asked if they adopted her just to kill her. I don't think a book 'makes' anyone do anything, but i'm sure they encourage certain people... sad

And I remember a woman on another forum knew a couple parenting using the methods described in that book. She said they were super obediant and submissive children -but no real life or fun in them at all. Not surprising

But I don't believe in burning books, banning books or the like. It's more a matter of talking about it, and strongly pointing out that certain methods of parenting do not produce good results. I don't think amazon should remove the book - but a lot of extremely negative reviews might make more poeple hesitate before buying, for instance

chellstar Fri 02-Sep-11 21:17:59

"*But what about all those people who are not so strong, or those who are on their own and struggling to cope with a colicy or teething toddler who is "acting up'... Or those brought up in a strict and fundamental situation?

Some people don't have rational people around them or wise parents to guide them...*"

Intrinsic, I quite agree.

What is concerning is that there are people who will be vulnerable to just accepting what is written in this book, due to it's religious nature. There is an old thread on another site, where a Christian lady is asking for others' opinions on whether she should follow Ted Trips advice, as this was the book they would be following in her bible study group. I am glad that she had the courage to think to challenge the material in her group. But the fact that she needed to discuss it in the first place, is in itself worrying. Thankfully most others said she should not follow the book.

"^I don't think a book 'makes' anyone do anything, but i'm sure they encourage certain people...^" Lilka, I agree. Having something in print gives a sense of authority, and can give people permission to follow what is written.

Spanking is illegal in many countries. May be that should be the route to go down instead.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 03-Sep-11 11:23:26

The laws in this country already exist that make assault, abuse and cruelty to children illegal. The vast majority of children are well cared for by their parents. The minority that come to harm are the victims of criminals who have not only a disregard for laws but no natural affection for their child either. A criminal that claims they were encouraged to act in a particular way by a book (or a religion or a film or their Auntie Nelly) is still a criminal.

chellstar Sat 03-Sep-11 22:44:07

In the UK it is legal to hit/spank/smack etc, so long as you don't leave a mark.

The above link is interesting - the Pearls book to train up a child is being considered for censorship in NZ.

mathanxiety Sat 03-Sep-11 23:48:50

I think the Pearls (authors of the training up a child) live in fear of the Justice Department and allude to what their probable defence would be if taken to court for advocating child abuse in their 'parenting book'

Sadly, in the huge subsection of American society where the Pearls' ideas are popular, thumbing your nose at the gummint and telling folks that the Feds are after you is considered a sign that your opinions are right and your books are works of great wisdom.

I don't believe in censorship; prefer reason and the rigorous application of the law to parents who do this. Spanking should be completely illegal. Laws can instruct and eventually change culture.

TheMule Sun 04-Sep-11 07:47:04

Hi -
I'm the author of the blog post which is being discussed here, so first and foremost i wanted to say thank you for reading it and sharing your thoughts about it here.
I've updated the post now to reflect some of the points that i've heard here and elsewhere, so you might want to read it again... but if you haven't got time, to summarise -
- this is not a petition to ban books
- i'm hopeful that a response from amazon of any kind will raise awareness of the issue and generate debate, about the books themselves, and the corporal punishment of children in general.
- standing up against the abuse of children is always worth doing, even though sometimes it might feel hopeless.
Thanks again for your input to this

chellstar Sun 04-Sep-11 20:13:24

"Spanking should be completely illegal. Laws can instruct and eventually change culture."

mathanxiety, I agree with you.

Here is a link for a HM e-petition for anyone who would like to see an end to corpral punishment for children in the UK.

mathanxiety Sun 04-Sep-11 22:56:32

Well done for putting the blog in circulation.

'If your 10-month-old is pitching a fit because he wants to be picked up, then you must reinforce your command with a few stinging swats. You are not punishing him; you are causing him to associate his negative behavior with negative consequences. Never reward bad behavior with indifference. Tell the baby “No” and give him a swat. If your response is new, he may be offended and scream louder. But continue your normal activities as if you are unaffected. Wait one minute, and then tell the baby to stop crying. If he doesn’t, again swat him on his bare legs. You don’t need to undress him, turn him over, or make a big deal out of it. Just swat him where any skin is exposed. Continue to act as if you don’t notice the fit. Wait two minutes and repeat. Continue until the baby realizes that this is getting worse not better. Most babies will keep it going for 3 or 4 times and then slide to a sitting position and sob it out. When this happens, it signals a surrender, so give him two minutes to get control and then swoop him up as if the fit never happen and give him a big hug, BUT don't hold him in the manner he was demanding. Now remove yourself from the area so as to remove him from association with the past event.' (Debi Pearl)

More people need to know about the Pearls. I myself believe what they advocate is criminal abuse of children. Sadly and most dangerously, they claim their philosophy and instructions come from the Bible, and use Biblical texts to back up everything they advocate. There are a lot of people willing to go along with whatever is alleged to be biblically inspired.

solidgoldbrass Sun 04-Sep-11 23:01:53

Start with banning the bloody Bible and all religious texts if you are going to start banning books - there is more than enough encouragement in all of them to mistreat women, children, 'infidels', 'others' to advocate their suppression.
As to the authors of this book, surely the best method to deal with them is to ask them if they themselves have actually hit babies, and if so to arrest and prosecute them.

mathanxiety Sun 04-Sep-11 23:03:53

Is it illegal to hit a baby with a 12" cord from a weed whacker?

chellstar Sun 04-Sep-11 23:12:52

mathanxiety, I don't believe that it is illegal, unless you leave a mark, then I think it would be classed as actual bodily harm.

mathanxiety Sun 04-Sep-11 23:23:01


chellstar Sun 04-Sep-11 23:23:54

solidgoldbrass, I hear what you are saying - it would be good to prosecute them, but it is not illegal to hit a baby in many countries and states in USA.

United Kingdom (from Wikipedia)

In the UK, spanking or smacking is legal, but it may not leave a mark on the body, and in Scotland since October 2003 it has been illegal to use any implements when disciplining a child. The total abolition of corporal punishment has been discussed.[15] In a 2004 survey, 71% of the population would support a ban on parents smacking their children.[16] In a 2006 survey, 80% of the population said they believed in smacking, and 73% said that they believed that any ban would cause a sharp deterioration in children's behaviour. Seven out of ten parents said they themselves use corporal punishment.[17]

From what I am gathering it seems as though several children have died in families who were following the pearls teachings.

chellstar Sun 04-Sep-11 23:25:40

mathanxiety, o boy, absolutely. Our culture has a lon long way to go and a lot to learn.

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