Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz of Paradise, California, were charged with murder and torture for allegedly beating their two adoptive daughters, causing injuries so severe that one of the two died. The other remains in critical condition.
The Schatz family believed in a religious philosophy that espouses corporal punishment to “train” children to be more obedient to their parents and God, using “the rod” as a corrective tool. In this case, the rod is a quarter-inch thick plastic plumbing line.
Neighbours said the Schatz family seemed to be a prime example of a Christian loving family.
The following video is an interview in the Schatz’s home in 2007, when Kevin spoke about his love of children and their wait on the eighteen-month long adoption process, when they declared to be anxious to expand their family.
The couple had six biological and three adopted children, of which the three later are home-schooled.
Police said the children were disciplined and beaten for not spelling words correctly. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey is prosecuting the case.
The three children were adopted from Liberia in 2007, when Kevin was interviewed by the NBC at the time and declared his love of children, and were subjected to far worse beatings than the Schatz’s biological children. The other children in the home said the same rubber or plastic tube was used on all of them “as a standard method of discipline, but certainly not to the extent of these two girls”.
As reported by the MediaNews Group Northern California,
The Schatzes were arrested Saturday morning after their adopted daughter, Lydia, age 7, stopped breathing. She was subsequentlypronounced dead.
Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah Schatz, remains in critical condition at a Sacramento children’s hospital, though she is showing some signs of recovery. The two were adopted at the same time with an infant girl, now 3, from the same African orphanage about three years ago,
Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to “hours” of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents’ bedroom.
Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.
The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple “whip-like” marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Ramsey.
The Salon News made an interesting report showing how such torture techniques are not only common, but actively taught to parents by Fundamentalist Christian pastors,
Saying no to “timeouts,” some fundamentalist Christians “train up” their children by carefully hitting them with switches, PVC pipes and other “chastening instruments.”
And yes, “training” — as with a puppy or mule — involves asserting one’s dominance, even inflicting small, non-injurious amounts of pain. Pearl is extremely precise in such prescriptions: hitting or spanking must never, ever be done in anger or as punishment, but rather only as a means of calm, consistent, reasoned, loving conditioning. And never with the hand.
“For the under one year old, a little, ten to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (stripped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative.”
The reviews written by readers of this “book” on Amazon.com are a mix of authentic pearls of ignorance,
After only 2 days of applying the principles in your book, our rebellious, miserable, 8 year-old daughter suddenly transformed.
and inflamed reviews by outraged readers,
I am shocked and disgusted that Amazon.com would carry a book which promotes the illegal and immoral torture of children. Every parent who follows the advice presented in this book would be convicted of child abuse in any state in this country — part of the responsibility for this atrocity goes to any corporation which agrees to help disseminate this type of abominable information.
Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz are held on $2 million bail pending entry of plea in two weeks to the murder and torture charges.