Of dippoldism, Christian duties and kink

michael and debi pearl
Michael & Debi Pearl

Talking about paraphilias, we all know that the vilest of perversions, the crime against which the whole world is fighting, the one thing even the most hardened kinksters can’t really tolerate is of course… well, no: not the one you are thinking of. As a matter of fact, most people don’t even know such a thing asdippoldism exists.
Andreas Dippold was a private tutor who got hired in 1902 by a German banker and wife to correct the behavior of their two children, aged 12 and 14. The brothers were admittedly problematic, with a history of rejections by several schools and academies. Their gravest fault was however that they masturbated, which was then considered an aberrant behavior and the gateway to consumption and madness. With them, Dippold eagerly applied his own brand of discipline.

Before one year, the older kid was dead. The autopsy – and the medical examination of his brother – revealed that they had been savagely and repeatedly beaten. The tutor admitted he usually hit them until they lost consciousness, and to other horrific abuses like «squeezing their guilty genitals until he drew blood». The consensus was that he found sexual pleasure in these excesses, and the crime formerly known as ‘educatory sadism’ has been conveniently renamed ‘dippoldism’ since.
If you think that such horror can only be an isolated case, think again. A 1982 survey revealed that many married couples considered perfectly normal having passionate sex just after having “chastised” their children – and that these monsters were usually the same people who thought any sort of non-missionary sex a sin.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand what happens with these persons. Since their repressive upbringing demonizes sexuality, they try to vent their frustration rerouting their natural libido through the limited vocabulary they know. Since sex is forbidden, the only remaining option is violence. And since violence towards grown-ups could lead to painful retaliation, they (literally) lash out on defenceless kids. In fact, it is so plain to see that it is doubly baffling whenever such psychotic behavior is not only happily acknowledged, but even socially approved.
Enter Michael and Debi Pearl (pictured), two Christian fundamentalists with a notoriously contemptuous view of humanity and a “mission” to reinstate Old Testament patriarchal relationships, teaching stuff such as «if your violent husband has threatened you with a kitchen knife, stop blabbing about his sins and show more respect». Their greatest achievement is a book titled To train up a child, which literally advises parents to «totally break the child’s will» with methodic, intense beating. How intense? Well, what about hitting a four months old infant with a 15” plastic tube switch until he stops crying? Just be warned that it could take a while, but «up to about 45 minutes is normal».

These lunatics justify themselves using the old magical reason: «hey, it’s god’s will!». Those three letters are apparently powerful enough to sell 670,000 copies of the book (but this is what honest Michael says: for the official Nielsen book market report, it’s just  28,000 worldwide). Even at the lower estimate, this means about thirty thousand severely abused children – so it’s no wonder when cases like Lydia Schatz’s happen.
Lydia died at age 7 for the beating inflicted according to the Pearl’s teaching. She was just one of many victims by proxy of the repressed delusions of two insane persons – but while her parents got 22 years in prison, Michael and Debi prosper. Their ministry official income is well over a million dollar a year.

I’m sorry to have started your week with such depressing news. I admit I did this out of self interest. There are times when I ask myself why do I insist with this thankless job of researching and popularizing unusual sexualities: while it is of course great fun, it also sure doesn’t pay as much as many other occupations; it attracts the hate of so many people, sometimes dangerous ones; others laugh upon it.
Then I remember that helping people to accept their own harmless kinks, to live them in harmony and in a “safe, sane and consensual” way… is what can save them from turning into monsters, from hurting themselves and the people around them. And there, even if I am happily atheist, I feel I am really performing my good Christian duties – or at the least that I can go to sleep with a clear conscience.

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