Trouble in Paradise

– from ‘tamerlane’

The recent arrest in Haiti of christian missionaries for child trafficking has alerted the world to the largely hidden but widespread practice of fringe religious groups adopting children — often through suspect channels — who are then subjected to forced conversion.

Now comes this shocking news from the quiet town of Paradise, CA.  Last Saturday, CPS removed eight children from the home of fundamentalist christians Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz, after their seven year-old sister, Lydia, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest following a severe beating.  Eleven year-old Zariah, who had also stopped breathing, was revived, but remains in critical condition with extensive injuries, including renal failure.

The Schatz’, held on $2 million bail, face charges of murder and torture.

Lydia and Zariah, who were adopted by the Schatz’ from an African orphanage, had allegedly been flogged with a 1/4-inch rubber hose for hours last Thursday and Friday.  The DA is investigating a possible link to a fundamentalist christian web site which gives instructions on using rubber tubing to train children “to be more obedient to God and their parents.”

Police allege that Lydia was punished for for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-schooling lesson.  “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….”

Through their attorney, Kevin & Elizabeth Schatz have asked the community to pray for the reunion of their family.


Placed in the public domain by ‘tamerlane’ to encourage people to spread the word.

5 Responses to Trouble in Paradise

  1. Liberal in Paradise says:

    Thank you for posting this story on your blog. It is very disturbing for me to live in the small town of Paradise and know that children are being beat and tortured to the point of death and hospitalization. It brings to light that there are children all over this country who live in homes where they are home schooled and are isolated from interacting with the outside world. Many of these children could be victims of violence and no one knows until something this horrific happens. Most of the reports of abuse made to child protective services (CPS) are made by school staff and other community members that come in contact with children. If children are home schooled and isolated from the world outside of the home, then this type of horrendous behavior is bound to happen and go undetected. What is most disturbing is that this is all under the guise of religion, that God wants children to be obedient so they must be beat into submission. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about how long this abuse was going on in this home before these children were removed. I do not blame CPS, they can only protect children that they know need protecting.

  2. tamerlane says:

    I live in a rural area, too, and I’ve had chance encounters with home schooled children who, although not physically abused, had emotional &/or developmental issues that were not being addressed.

    Home schooling is usually chosen by parents who, because of extreme religious or cultural tenets, wish to avoid mainstream society. Even if not abused, home schooled children are deprived of socialization, and essentially trained to be misfits.

  3. Jay Floyd says:

    I’m not at all what one would call a ‘Christian’, but the actions of these people (and the scores of people like them) have nothing at all in common with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  4. tamerlane says:

    Jay, it’s ironic that these so-called christians are obsessed with the Old Testament, especially the most brutal parts of it.

    The group accused of inciting this torture, No Greater Joy Ministries , has an article on its web site “In Defense of Biblical Chastisement”:

    They also relate a “lesson” where a young boy who wouldn’t stop crying in the car was spanked every few minutes for twenty miles.

    These people are monsters.

  5. littleisis says:

    My gods. That is sick.

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