|April 10, 1989||Volume 1 Number 2|
WHAT IS OFFENSIVE
During the early 1900s, a group of American writers emerged who were known as the "muckrakers." Their works included such books as Edwin Markham's Children in Bondage, in which he attacked the atrocities of child labor in America; Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, which exposed the poverty-stricken lives of stockyard workers and the unsanitary conditions in meat packing plants; and Ida Tarbell's History of Standard Oil Company, in which she exposed the corrupt practices used to form an industrial monopoly. Most of these books represented honest appraisals of very negative conditions that existed at that time.
Yet, Theodore Roosevelt pejoratively called these writers "muckrakers" and branded them as villains of a sort. Roosevelt called these writers "muckrakers" because he himself was educated to the point where he was unable to distinguish the difference between someone's saying something offensive and someone's describing something that is inherently offensive. He could not see the difference between Edwin Markham's description of child abuse in the factories and the actual child abuse that was taking place in factories all over America at that time.
Another way of saying this is to notice that there are certain words which the Federal Communications Commission will not allow people to use on television or radio because people generally agree that these words are offensive. George Carlin calls these words the "heavy seven" because they are seven words that people do not want to hear on television or radio. We happen to agree with the FCC, but we do not see anything inherently wrong with these forbidden words. We do recognize that people often use these words in times of hurt and anger. But the actual acts that are described in the "heavy seven" are all normal, biological, human functions. Without these normal acts, an organism would not be able to function or reproduce. So, in this case, the words are offensive, but the actions are not.
Do you find it offensive that we are saying these things, or do you find it offensive that children are being harmed in our society's educational system ?
If we say in these newsletters that mental violence is being inflicted on children each day in schools throughout this society, and you say, "I find that offensive," we ask you, "What do you find offensive?" Do you find it offensive that we are saying these things, or do you find it offensive that children are being harmed in our society's educational system? Some people who have read these newsletters are confused in the same way that Roosevelt was confused. Some readers have been so mentally damaged by the educational system that they cannot tell the difference between saying something that is offensive and describing an offensive act, or in this case, an entire system which is offensive because it is so destructive.
If you have read these newsletters and are "put off" by any of the material presented in them, see if you can find out whether you are "put off" because children in America are being systematically destroyed in schools or because someone has told you about the destruction.
If you have read these newsletters and are "put off' by any of the material presented in them, see if you can find out whether you are "put off' because children in America are being systematically destroyed in schools or because someone has told you about the destruction. If you are put off by the fact that schools are harming children, you will do one thing. You will tell the people who are harming children to stop. If, however, you are put off because someone has told you about the harm that is taking place, you will be angry at the people who have told you. You probably believe that if we rewrote these newsletters and presented this information in a less straight-forward way, the serious problems of modern education would go away.
It was not uncommon in certain cultures for the king or queen to punish or even put to death the royal court servant who was the bearer of bad news. In some societies, no one, for example, would have wanted to tell the king that his son had died unexpectedly, because the bearer of bad news was always punished, no matter how heroic the deed, simply because he was the bearer of bad news. Some royal leaders could not separate the one bearing the bad news from the actual bad news.
This is a normal human trait. Once people establish an internal reality that is distorted, in whatever way that might be done, they are offended by anyone or anything that disrupts that distortion. They are offended because, once a person loses touch with reality, being jolted back into reality is a very unpleasant experience. Having read this newsletter, you can now ask yourself, "What am I NOT going to do?" What has been said in this newsletter has been proven to be true both by our research system and by education's own research system, using completely different models, and both arriving at the same conclusions. What are you not going to do? Some will say, "I'm not going to allow these things to happen to my children or anyone else's children." Others will say, "I'm not going to do anything." So, the question remains, "What is offensive?"