tv John King USA CNN September 2, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
they call it spiritual spanking, and they believe it's god's will. lydia was beaten to death in the name of god. she allegedly mispronounced a word during the home schooling session. that was her sin. >> we heard the phrase death by a thousand lashes. that's basically what this was. >> her parent pleaded guilty but was sent to prison. but michael pearl is still spreading his gospel through a book he wrote with his wife to train up a children. more than a million companies have been sold. they wrote it as a blueprint. >> it says if you spare the rod, you hate your children. but if you love him, you chase him timely. >> they say they're not to blame, but spare the rod, spoil the child is a message many fundmental christians and preachers embrace.
you'll hear from a woman whose parents followed the teachings. she calls it abuse. >> this is a systemic form of brainwashing of these children. >> our investigation led us to a corner of christian fundamentalism that operates beyond the reach of authorities. they say they build character and help wayward young christians find their path back to god. some describe them as houses of horror. >> they bodily man handled me to the floor, and he hit me with a board as hard as he could. i was shocked. i had been paddled my whole life and never was hit like that. >> i have nightmares about it all the time. like very vivid dreams trapped inside of this house again and can't get out. >> accusations of abuse physical and emotional all inflicted in the name of god.
you'll hear their stories ahead and hear from the pastor that rubs the home. >> a lot of people complain they've been abused at your house. can you give us a comment about that? >> well, i would rather not. >> he wasn't happy to see us, but he answered some questions. that's ahead. we begin with a case that put michael and debbie pearl's popular christian parenting book on the defensive. it's a book familiar to christians to help raise their kids. until now it didn't get much attention outside those circles, but that's changing now that a little girl has died. here's part one of gary tuchman's report. >> reporter: the small town of paradise, california. where these children lived with their parents in a fundamentalist christian home. for the young children life in paradise was anything but. we cover up eight of their faces because they're the survivors a violent form of discipline practiced by their parents.
the one face not cover soldier the 7-year-old adopted daughter lydia. she was killed by her parents. mike ramsey is the district attorney of butte county in northern california. >> we've heard of the phrase "death by a thousand lashes." that's basically what this was. >> this is where the family used to live. the children's sandbox is still here and so is their slide and their treehouse, but the surviving children are now in foster homes and the parents are in prison. >> violated section 273 a. >> they pleaded guilty to killing lydia and seriously injured her 11-year-old sister who almost died. authorities say kevin and elizabeth shots beat their children regularly because they believed god wanted them to do. the district attorney said the shots believed. >> spare the rod will spoil the child. if you can train your hours and dog you can train your children.
>> 7-year-old lydia suffered terribly supposedly in the name of god, but authorities say this was torture and murder by parents who were supposed to love and cher rich their child. inside this house they found important evidence. the so-called biblical rods they had inside. what they were were 15-inch long plumbing supply tubes used to beat the children and also important? a book was found inside. a book that appeared to light the fuse to the deadly brutality. the book is called "to train up a child." it's author is this man on the tractor, michael pearl and his wife, debbie. they consider themself observant christian who run an organization called no greater joy ministries from their tennessee farm. >> well, i'm a preacher, minister of the gospel. >> their book and others they've written stacked in a warehouse on their farm. all of them guided, they say, by the teachings in the bible. >> it says if you spare the rod, you hate your children.
if you love him you chase in him timely. >> a rod according to the pearls' manual can be a tree switch to a spatula. in the book they describe it as a magic wand. god would not command parents to use the rod if it were not good for the child. they say parents should stay in control, but they declare any spanking to effectively reinforce instruction must cause pain. let's say a 7-year-old slugs his sister. >> he would get a -- a 7-year-old would get 10 or 15 licks, and it would be a formal ling. in other words, you maintain your patience and explain to him what he did was violent and that that's not acceptable in society and it's not acceptable in the home. i would take him somewhere like into his bedroom and i would tell him i'd give him 15 licks. >> with what?
>> probably a belt with that boy. it would be handy. i might use a wooden spoon or a piece of, like, plumbing supply line, a quarter inch in diameter, flexible. >> something flexible. >> why not use your hand instead of all the material things? >> let me show you something. does that hurt? >> doesn't feel good. >> look what it's doing to your whole body. your hand so something is a karate chop. >> my children never had marks left on them. >> look at the body of zaria, the daughter seriously injured by her parents. these are some of her wounds, other wounds and bruises hour body and on the body of her sister lydia at that died are too graphic to show. lydia was so severely beaten she died with a condition usually associated with earthquakes and bombings. what do you think influences the shotses to beat, terrorize and forment their children by them? >> a book by mr. pearl. there's no doubt about that. what do you think influences the shotses to beat, terrorize and
forment their children by them? >> a book by mr. pearl. there's no doubt about that. >> lydia was beaten for seven continuous hours, interrupted by short prayer breaks on the day she died. the sound of the police siren was recorded by a paradise police officer racing to the house. when he arrived he tried to save lydia with cpr with both of the parents present. >> she's swallowed a lot of vomit. >> she was like really tired and her eyes, her vision was blurry. >> come on, baby. >> listen later in the day to the seriously injured zaria. >> where do you get spanked? just on the arms and your back? >> on my bottom and on my back last night, too. underneath my feet. >> underneath your feet? zariah, i'd like to take you to the hospital, okay? >> i probably need to bring a pot because i might throw up again.
>> at the sentencing hearing zariah had the courage to address her parents in open court about her deceased sister. she said, why did you adopt her? to kill her? it's a heart-breaking story. kevin pleaded guilty to murder and torture and will be in jail for at least 22 years. elizabeth for at least 12. do you think if the shotses did not read the pearls' books there would be a good chance lydia was alive? >> i believe there would be. >> we reviewed the case and we tried to find out what happened to see if there was blame pointed at us so we looked into it. >> has the death caused the pearls to rethink their parenting advice. gary gets a lesson in language. >> i don't use the term hitting. >> what is it? >> spanking. >> is there a difference? >> absolutely. >> ahead gary investigates allegations of brainwashing at a
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report after hearing about a little girl in california beaten to death by her parents. that's the little girl there. that in itself is a horrifying story. the faktd her parentses believed god wanted them to beat their daughter made the story more disturbing. kevin and elizabeth schatz are serving prison sentences. they kept a controversial parenting book in their home, a book that says good wants parents to spank their children with rods and switches and rubber tubing. the couple who wrote the book say they're not to blame for the schatzs it did. the district attorney sees it differently. once again, here's gary tuchman. >> michael pearl is a competitive knife and tomahawk thrower. he never misses the target. but it's just a hobby. his life's work is preaching. he targets what some might call extreme discipline of children. >> i've never met any
well-trained emotionally secure, happy, creative children that weren't spanked. >> pearl is a minister of the gospel, a devout christian. he and his wife are best-selling authors that have written many religiously themed books. but their most popular and most controversial is a book called "to train up a children," in which they write about the need to inflict physical pain. >> i don't use the term hitting. >> what's the word? >> spanking. >> is there a difference? >> absolutely. a hand is hitting. a little switch is spanking. a wooden spoon or a spatula, rubber spatula is spanking. >> in the book the pearls that live in rural tennessee declare the rod as a gift from god, use it as the hand of god to train your children. they say any spanking to effectively reinforce instruction must cause pain. this couple believed in the
pearls, kevin and elizabeth schatz, parents of nine children read their book. as a matter of fact the book was found in their house and put in an evidence bag after the california couple pummeled one of the their daughters for hours. 7-year-old lydia schatz, who was adopted from liberia died after suffering horrific injuries all over her body. mike ramsey is the district attorney in butte county, california. >> what we're talking about and as we charged torture over hours. >> this past spring they pleaded guilty to the killing of their daughter lydia and seriously injuring her older sister, zariah. these are photos of some of the sisters' wounds. many of the images are too gruesome to show. the schatz es said they regularly beat the other children. we're covering the faces of the survivors to protect their private sigh. >> it was there and underlined and underscores. >> there's no question in your mind this book by the pearls influenced the schatzes to beat,
brutalize and tearerize the children? >> none at all. >> no question? >> no question. >> the pearls say their book rejects parents losing control and acting out of anger. you're not accepting any blame? >> absolutely not. there's never been a suggestion by anyone that someone's lost control because of what they read in our book. >> the district attorney clearly disagrees and puts blame on the pearls for the tragedy. he acknowledges that's about as far as he can go. was there ever any consideration at exploring legal charges against the pearls? >> not really, because they have a first amendment right to say awful things. >> the pearls say they feel badly for the girl who died, but are unapologetic. they're not shy about using props and humor. >> i'm going to spank this cnn man. >> to show how they believe god wants parents to spank.
>> rubbing the spaghetti all over your head. you shouldn't have done that at 7 years of age. >> okay. >> that hurts, and i'm 50. i mean, i -- >> are there any marks on you? >> no. but you would hit a 5-year-old like that? >> yeah, sure. >> the pearls say you can never be too young for some physical pain. for example, when a baby bites during breast feeding? >> i would gently pull their hair gently but enough to make them let go. >> the spankings with various objects say the pearls are actually done out of love. the pearls appear to be staying prolific with their writings and preachings. they say they're simultaneously writing four new books. there's no indication that any controversy slows them down. why should it say the pearls? they say it worked for their children, and most importantly this is what god wants. >> we don't punish our children,
but we sometimes need to get their attention. >> the eight survives schatz children are all in foster homes. they and their sister, lydia, certainly got our attention. gary tuchman, cnn, paradise, california. >> harsh discipline in the name of god. it's not just happening inside private homes like the schatz and the pearls. just ahead, what we uncovered by a home for troubled teens that operates outside of the oversight of regulators because of its religious affiliation. a woman whose childhood was filled with beating all in the name of god. her father was a pastor. >> they're advocating a systemic form of punishment that outside of their community would be referred to as abuse, inside the community it's called spiritual spanking. comes centrum.
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the case of lydia schatz, a 7-year-old girl beaten to dpet by her parents raises the question whether some parents are using the bible their justify their own bad parenting or misinterpreting things. before the break you heard from michael pearl. his book tells parents that god wants them to spank their children with rods and belts and switches and spank them hard enough to cause pain. many fundamentalist preachers
agree with michael pearl. here's part of an audio recording of a recent serm mon a preacher gave in indiana. >> this evening i'd like to preach on spanking according to the bible. this is not a new subject here at fair haven baptist church. >> he talked about the proper way in his opinion to administer discipline. >> what is a rod? i don't think it's a ball bat or club or whatever the parent can grab at the moment. the rod in scriptures never carefully define, but it's obviously some kind of a stick or a switch, and it's designed to give a sharp, unpleasant pain. if that isn't the result of your spanking, then you're failing. a sharp, unpleasant pain. >> fair haven is part of the
network of independent fundamental baptist churches. i spoke to someone that grew up in the church earlier. what was your upbringing like. you underwent biblical chastisement. what did that mean? >> there are a large network of churches known as the independent fundamental bapist. we use ifb to explain the group. the ifb believes in something called breaking the will of a child. my father was a pastor and currently is and practiced this form of discipline that michael pearl is advocating in his book "to train up his child." that could mean that our spanking sessions and i refer to as beating sessions could last 15 minutes to several hours at a time because basically these pastors believe that a child needs to have no will of their own.
so they continue to administer discipline until a child is completely dossile in a way they show no negative emotion. that's the goal. >> all the pastors say we're not calling for abuse of a child. this can be misused by bad parents out there that who act out in anger and are irresponsible, but that's not what they're calling for? >> michael pearl says he does not advocate anyone spanking a child in anchor or being out of control, and that's difficult to explain to the you said of the ifb. the pastors are not advocating losing control and beating a child to death. these pastors are advocating a very systemic form of punishment that outside of their community would be referred to as abuse, inside the community it's called spiritual spanking. so that's -- it's a matter of semantics. they would say you shouldn't lose your temper. you shouldn't be out of control. when we hear of parents that kill children in our country, we
think of parents that lost control completely, and then it ended in the death of a child. these parents are making a conscious decision to beat a child for several hours at a time because of something that's embedded within their belief system in the ipb. >> you run a website called freedomfromabuse.net where you bring together people that were victims of abuse from the hands of parents who believe they were falling biblical ruling. plenty of parents believe in some form of corporal punishment? >> that's right. when you think of corporal punishment in our country, i think most people would say or i think majority of people at in the point in time would say, at a time or two i swatted my 2 or 3 yerd on the butt when they were running out into the street. that's not what's being promoted within this group. this is a systemic form of brain cashing of these children, to break them completely of a will. we were completely submissive. here's how i would explain it.
when you can imagine a 3 or 4-year-old being spanked, the parent is laying the child down, they're spanking them, and you know, if you're a 3-year-old you're going to squirm during a spanking session like that. that squirm is a revelation to them that the child is exerting their will, and that will needs to be broken. so the parents continue to spank. so in the lydia schatz case i believe they interpreted any bodily movement of lydia's as a willful spirit that they needed to break, and so that's why the session lasted as long as we've heard of seven hours. >> i guess, though, there's clearly abuse, and in the lydia schatz case i don't think anyone -- i don't think anybody in this church would say that was acceptable, they will all say that was horrific. is it fair to be casting aspersions against an entire church organization against individuals that clearly abuse a child.
>> that's where the history of the ifb has come into light now. abc's "20/20" did a documentary on april 8th called shattered faith where they took a whole year to do an investigative jr. stick peets on this culture. the findings were which is what's taught from the pulpits of these pastors. >> i should point out we called the church for a response to talk to the pastor, and did not get a response. we look forward to continuing that discussion. thank you very much. >> sure. thank you. >> we reached out a number of times to request an interview or statement, and he declined and so did the fair haven baptist church. our invitation is still hope. what's really going on inside this fundamentalist baptist home for so-called troubled teens? disturbing allegations from former residents and the special protection the law gives religious group homes. gary tuchman investigates.
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he used a honeybee quartet to promote the home. ♪ the lord wrote us everything ♪ and all of my worry is vein living by faith ♪ >> his home for girls faced allegations of abuse, and now decades later another home that grew out of the same tradition is facing similar allegations. once again, here gary tuchman. >> i'm about to meet a man who i know doesn't want to talk me. we know that because don williams and his father, ron, had already told us in an e-mail they would not comment about abuse that has allegedly happened for many years on the secluded property in the northern indiana town of wynonna lake. it's a bapist boarding school and church for adolescent girls. the allegations are so disturbing, we felt we needed a face-to-face meeting with the father or son in charge.
we've had a lot of people complain. can you give us a comment about that? >> i would rather not. >> our conversation did not end there. but first let us introduce you to susan, who is now 45 but spent two and a half years there starting when she was 15. >> it was going to be gardening and crafts and singing and just a chance to heal. >> that's what your parents thought this school was going to be? >> that's right. >> was it in any way correct? >> no, no. i knew that the minute the door shut behind me. >> on her first day in this house, susan said she was accused of having a bad attitude clean the ceiling. two staff members grabbed her and administered godly discipline. >> bodily man-handled me to the floor, and he hit me with the board as hard as he could.
he's a very big man. i was shocked. i had been paddled my whole life and never hilt like that. >> michelle dowling is 20 years old and just got out of the house a few years ago. her parents thought it would make her a better baptist. >> they told me it would be good for me, and i'd make good life changing decisions. >> michelle was only 12 and brand-new in the house when she says two staff women told her to take off her cloths and forced her into a closet where a man would give a medical examination. >> they hold both my legs and arms down and let him do this to me. stuck a speculum inside of me, and i was scared. i was screaming. i didn't want him to touch me. there was nothing i could do. >> both women talk about being forced to eat a lot of food, sometimes not being given any food, being forced to drink a lot of water. susan says 28 girls shared three
bedrooms on the upper floor of this house. there was one toilet. but -- >> if i stood up to go to the bathroom, no, you can only go to the bathroom when you're told. >> these are girls you were with? >> right. >> what would happen if you went to the bathroom without asking? >> you would be paddled. >> i wet the bed every single night i was there. they made a spectacle of you. i ended up having to wear pull-ups every night. would watch me put it on every night, and they'd make me show it to them when i would take it off in the morning. >> it's been open a long time, lots of people have complained about getting beaten, emotionally tormented in the name of religion. we don't believe in having people wear drinks and making them drink and eat things they don't want to. i want to know why you do that? >> i prefer not to decline. >> why can't you comment if you believe in what you do? this is your chance to tell viewers. >> i understand that, but i prefer not to. >> if you could tell me why?
>> i'm respectfully declining. >> don williams is also the pastor at the church on the grounds. a former church-goer gave cnn a cd sold by the church in which williams is preaching his views about who is to blame when a male whistles at a females. >> if you girls are walking down the sidewalk and some fellows drive by and they whistle, you better stop and think about that. what drew that whistle? was it the way i was walking? or maybe the way i was dressed or whatever? did i do something to defraud those men? >> it shows pictures of girls that attended and claims there are no spankings or any out of the ordinary punishments. this facility has been around for about four decades. it seems to be a thriving enterprise. the people in charge don't particularly want to answer my questions.
we're not alone. they don't really answer government either. in indiana group homes operated by churches and religious ministries are exempt from licensure. so nobody in the government even knows what's going on behind the closed doors. the women say their parents also had no idea what was going on there. in the 15 months you were in this house, how many times did you leave the grounds to go somewhere else? >> never. >> zero? >> zero. >> the indiana governor's office says there's nothing it can do. the attorney general's office says it doesn't have jurisdiction and the same thing with the independent department of education. the indiana department of child services said it could investigate providing there was a current complaint and not from someone out of door. we talked to a dozen women victimized at the house, and they said they could never make any private phone calls or send unsensored letters while on the inside. it's not the only facility of itself kind. across the country victim advocates say there are an unknown but large number of
similar programs. >> i have nightmares of it all the time. like very vivid dreams like i'm trapped inside this house again and can't get out. the only thing i want is to run out a door, and for some reason i can't. >> i think i fantasize about suicide those first years out. >> we wanted to give williams one last chance to answer the allegations. is it true or is it not -- this is a yes or no question? >> it's not true. >> so they're lying to us? >> i'm -- see, that's where you're trying to get me backed into a corner. it's their word against mine. >> we were not permitted to take video on the property, but we did walk up the front steps and ring the bell. we saw a girl hustle back inside the home. we saw girls through the windows, but nobody would answer the door. gary joins us now. why would the school use food and water as discipline?
>> authorities at these institutions, they have a laser-like focus on discipline. they feel it's very important to make the children who attend these schools submissive and then they're disciplined. >> they're saying these are problem kids coming there, and you can't deal with them through regular means? >> not all kids are problem kids. a lot of parents are problem parents. >> is indiana really powerless to do an investigation of the school? >> no. this particular school has been open for 40 years. if any of the governors over the last 40 years wanted to make this a cause or attorney general, they could lobby the legislature. there seems to be no incentive to do anything about it. >> is there any rule of the federal government getting involved? >> yes, there is. three years ago a bill went to congress that would put more oversight over private boarding schools to help prevent child abuse. it passed the house and died in a senate committee and never came back. >> gary, thanks.
they reached out and put us in touch with another former student that will talk about her time in the facility. her name is lucinda penningstone. you went to this house in 1988 when you were 15. you say you liked it there. why? >> i did. i felt safe and secure there. it was a place for me to be able to get back on track. >> you came from an abusive family situation, and they were very supportive? >> yes, very supportive. they helped me get out of the situation i was in and helped me in taking care of what needed to be taken care of. >> were you ever beaten? >> no, i was never beaten. i did receive a spanking, but never beaten. >> what sort of a spanking did you receive?
>> i had cheated on a test, and even though it had been several days, they had to wait and get contact with my parents first before they could spank me. they took me upstairs, explained to me how it was done. i had to lay down on the floor. they held my hands and my feet and put a chair across my back. i don't remember anything sitting on it. granted, this was 23 years ago. i got three swats, and i was let up. >> swats with what? >> i think it was just a regular paddle. then i was let up and sat on the couch, and we prayed and talked about, you know, i shouldn't be cheating. cheating is lying. and then i -- within the three years i only received two spankings, so it wasn't like, you know, i got them all the time or anything like that. >> we've heard from other girls who were there who obviously describe what they call -- refer
to as abusive situations. they refer to like having to drink a lot of water and the not being allowed to go to the bathroom, being made to wear diapers. did you see that? did that happen to you? why would that happen? >> no. in the three years that i was there, there was only one girl that was made to wear a diaper. the situation was she had just gotten there. hadn't been there maybe a day, and these girls were not angels that arrived there. this girl was determined that nobody was going to tell her what to do, when to go to the bathroom. because we did things on a timetable, on a schedule, especially during school hours, we would have breaks and recess. she said, you're not going to tell me when to go to the bathroom. she refused to use the bathroom. a few minutes later she asked to use the bathroom. they said no, you had the opportunity to use the bathroom. when they told her that she
needed to go when all the groups went, she said well i'm going to stand here and pee in my pants. they said, that's fine. if you do because you don't go to the bathroom when you're supposed to, you'll wear a diaper for a day. she said i don't care. she did it out of rebellion and spite. when they followed through with what they told her what would happen, it only took one day that she actually wore the diaper because the next day she did what she was supposed to. >> why do you think so many girls are giving strikingly similar accounts of being abused, if that's not what really happened? do you think they're lying? >> i think for them some of the things were traumatic for them because they had never been in a situation where they had been told what to do. so for them to be told when to eat, when to sleep, you know,
not have the freedom to do as they pleased, yes, they think they were abused, i guess you could say. do i agree with that? no. i came from a situation where i knew the difference between a spanking and beating. if someone's never been spanked, then, yes, somebody may say, yes, i was beat. >> i appreciate you being on and giving your perspective. thank you so much. >> all right. >> still ahead, when faith and law collide. if your religion tells you that god demands you spank your child, who is to tell you otherwise? under the law where is that line between spanking and abuse? we'll be right back. now, when you want powerful wifi, you've got it. with a verizon mobile hotspot, you can connect up to 5 wifi devices to the internet with lightning-fast verizon 4g lte speed. a gaming device. ereader. mp3 player.
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today we show you how faith and family collide. within their own homes parents set the latitude in how they discipline kids. when does it legally become abuse, and what about outside the family? before we break we showed you the faith-based homes for troubled teens but because of their religious affiliation, they have no legal oversight.
bruce, i think the idea of corral punishment for kids is probably a lot more common among evangelical christians than a lot of people realize? >> they're about 15% of the country right now. i'm actually in georgia right now, and i spent last weekend at a christian marriage seminar in nashville where 1,000 people spent six and a half hours inside a church on a saturday afternoon listening to the biblical point of view on marriage, on family, on parenting, on sex. what was striking to me about this conference is for many people in this country, many parents who are anxious about how to discipline their children, what's too much, what's not enough, they turn to what? they turn to science. they turn to studies and therapy, things like this. for a lot of people in this country, particularly evangelical biblical based protestants, they turnt to the bible. on this matter the bible is not particularly vague. several times in pro verb it says very clearly if you spare
the rod, you hate your children. if you want to discipline your children, you would be aggressive. i think for these people there is comfort in the bible and, of course, what we know in america is sometimes the people that put their faith in the bible come in conflict with people that put their faith in science or, of course, the law. >> how far does the discipline go and how do you define it? gary tuchman detailed alleged abuses, girls denied going to the bathrooms for hours and hours, force-fed and starved, abusive-sounding stuff. if it's true, how can they be justified? >> it's hard to justify based on religion. let's put it that way. these are extreme people cutting themselves off taking an extreme view of religion. for most people who do support corporal punishment and as jeff knows far better than i, almost half the states in the country it's still legal at noint in nim in american history.
most of the people like focus on the family, which is a very conservative evangelical group they say do it rarely and gently. even the people that support it go nowhere near these extreme cases we've heard in your reporting tonight. there is a difference between what is occasional discipline of some kind and this clear open crossing the line into abuse and in some cases murder. >> jeff, it's an interesting legal issue. there are folks that say this is part of my religious relief and what i read in the bible. where does the law stand on, you know, hitting your child or hitting a student in a school? >> unfortunately, the law is very easy at the extremes. no one is going to be get arrested for a spanking. if god tells you to rob a bank, you can't rob a bank. when you get to these -- the corporal punishment that is more than a spanking but less than a broken arm, the police struggle with these cases and the laws vary by state.
most of the time the police don't get involved in these, even though -- the sad truth is most victims of murder, children who are victims of murder are children that are killed by their family members. >> bruce, you make the point that the bible mentions a lot of things that aren't accepted anymore? >> in the 19th century i wrote about this in the book i wrote about the influence of the bible in america's history, the bible openly supports slavery, and many people in the south used a biblical defense saying moses had slaves and jesus did nothing to stop slavery. on the matters of family, the bible is not a parenting textbook. it's not the dr. spock of the ancient world, and these attempts to take biblical passages and apply them are very dangerous. most mainstream protestant group, the methodist church have
openly rejected this idea. my personal opinion about this is if you're going to argue with people who are using the bible as a defense, you can't use the law in a lot of ways. you can't use mainstream society or science don't reject this. you're better off making a biblical argument, which is to say this is a very fringe idea in the bible. it's mentioned a few days in the book of proverbs, which is vague, poetic language. the larger theme of the bible, the first thing god says is have children and multiply. many have argued against this say this is against the idea of the bible. it's against the teaching of jesus, which is to be sensitive to those vulnerable in society and who is more vulnerable than children? it's not the law. it's to say this is against the main theme of the bible. >> and let's be clear. there is no such thing in an american courtroom as a biblical defense.
you can make persuade a police officer not to arrest you, but once you're in a courtroom, no judge is going to say, well, it's okay if you bible says it's okay. >> as gary pointed out, it seems like there's very little regulation or oversight of homes or schools in indiana. >> no, very little. again, it varies by states. private schools in general are outside the supervision of the state. that's why you have a private school as opposed to a public school, but they still have to maintain a certain minimum standards. you still have to have sprinklers for fire safety and a certain number of hours a week for instruction if you're a private or pa roqual school. how many those rules are enforced varies a lot, and a lot of times religiously oriented schools have political power. they use that power to keep government supervision to a minimum. >> interesting. jeff toobin, appreciate it, bruce, always good to talk to you.
>> my pleasure. >> that's it for our special "ungodly discipline." thanks for joining us. as a manager, my team counts on me to stay focused. so i take one a day men's 50+ advantage. it's the only complete multivitamin with ginkgo to support memory and concentration. plus it supports heart health. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit. one a day men's. excuse me? my grandfather was born in this village. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language.