|August 30, 1989||Volume 1 Number 3|
From The Editorial Staff
Once again our mailbox has been full. We appreciate all your letters because they tell us what in the newsletters is important to you. Recently, we have received several letters from readers who feel we have been too hard on the educational system--that this system is basically good, although in need of some improvement. Some feel we have also been too hard on teachers. These readers say most teachers are good people who are victims of a bad system. Others have concluded that we are against education, and that, since children obviously need to be educated, what we are advocating is ignorance and chaos.
It is to these letters that we wish to respond. We are not against education. But we do not believe that what is now going on in organized public school systems deserves to be called education. Some people think we do not understand that schools were developed because there was a real need to get a large number of people to know how to read and write. We think that teaching children how to read and write and do arithmetic was and still is a wonderful idea. We believe, however, that what began as a wonderful, simple idea has developed into the single most destructive institution ever inflicted on humanity. When the automobile was developed, it was a great idea that gave people mobility and changed the world. Now, this once great idea is filling the air with poison. Because people drive too fast and are careless, this great idea kills and maims millions of people every year. Drugs such as antibiotics were a good idea, but then people began to use drugs for things other than the curing of disease. Now, third and fourth graders are addicted to drugs and eight-year-olds are dying from overdoses. Armies were a good idea--having a few people organized to defend the village is a sound, self-preserving notion. But now these armies, whose duties were to protect the villages, are being ordered to destroy them, as we all saw in the streets of Beijing.
Good ideas like education, automobiles, drugs to cure diseases and armies to protect villages have become so destructive because people have failed to recognize the limitations of their use. The human consciousness, for example, has severe limitations. As soon as people exceed these limitations, they begin to destroy the very thing they are trying to develop. Educators have taken the idea of teaching children too far. Children are starting school at too young an age, and are being asked to do mental things they are not ready to do. Children spend too many hours in school and are subject to too much psychological duress. Educators have introduced too many useless subjects and young adults are forced to stay in school too long. What started out as a simple system to help large groups of people learn to read and write has become a damaging, destructive monster. In our next newsletter, we will describe a proper system for educating children--one that takes into account the limitations of the human consciousness as we understand them to be.
There was a time when childbirth was supervised by midwives and babies were born at home. Then, the doctors, the barber-surgeons, took over. When they did, the maternal and infant death rates increased dramatically. Finally, a physician named Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis discovered that the reason more mothers and babies were dying was that the barber-surgeons were attending births without washing their hands, sometimes after performing autopsies on highly infected bodies. Although Semmelweis was correct, his suggestion that physicians wash their hands before attending births was initially met with great resistance. His own colleagues insisted that he was wrong and that they just needed to work harder at what they were already doing. Semmelweis, for his contribution, was driven out of medicine and into an asylum.
We believe that the people who think the educational system is sound and effective and simply in need of a little improvement are like the doctors who refused to wash their hands. Organized education as it now exists is like a deadly bacteria that destroys the human consciousness. We are saying that we must stop infecting children with this bacteria. People who believe that the educational system just needs a little improvement are saying that all we need to do is work harder at what we are already doing. We just need to bring in more deadly bacteria and introduce it to children at earlier ages and the system will be fine. To those who think we have been too hard on the educational system, we can say only that we believe we have not been condemning enough. We have seen and discovered problems in people that can be traced directly to the current educational system--problems that are too nightmarish and painful to describe in words.
Some readers have complained that we have failed to speak about the positive effects of the current educational system. We do recognize that the educational system has had positive effects. It has, in fact, made it possible for a large number of people in American society to learn to read and write, people who without the current system or some system might have remained illiterate. However, what we are saying is that in this system, in the process of learning to read and write, people are permanently harmed. We are saying that it makes no sense for people to take a journey if, at the end of the journey, they are completely bankrupted by the trip. They may even have some good times along the way. Maybe they have even gotten to shake hands with President Ronnie. But, when they arrive back home, they are so debilitated from the journey through the educational system that they have no hope of ever leading a meaningful, self-directed, satisfying, purposeful life.
Organized education as it now exists is like a deadly bacteria that destroys the human consciousness. We are saying that we must stop infecting children with this bacteria.
We believe we have gathered a valid body of research data, and that what we have discovered has already been verified in prior studies. However, we consider our project to be a failure. We know we have not said anything new, and that many people have said or written these same things about schools. Yet, like all the others before us, we see that no one is listening. Modern education is so effective and has so perfectly done its work that people are too damaged to perceive the truth. Even when they can perceive the truth about education, they are too debilitated by what happened to them in school to do anything to stop the same thing from happening to their own children. Existing research already indicates that children who are homeschooled far surpass their publicly schooled counterparts in every academic, social and developmental arena. Yet, because education has been so effective at destroying human beings, this body of research will remain unrecognized.
We are not against education. We are against legalized child abuse, which is what is happening in this society's schools. It would have been much better and easier for Hitler and his followers if he had been able to talk the Jews into going off to concentration camps and walking into the ovens of Auschwitz and Dachau without force. It would have been even better if Hitler had been able to Set on the air and, in a few radio broadcasts, talk the Jews into committing suicide. But, he could not, so to accomplish his goals, he had to make being a Jew a state crime punishable by death.
And so it is with education. Educators would find it much easier to get children to conform to the mental and spiritual death camps called schools by talking them into conforming without having to use physical and psychological intimidation or having to rely on the law to keep children in school. But, because human beings do not naturally submit to self-destructive situations, educators, like Hitler, have had to resort to using the law. They have had to make it a law for children to go to school when they are too young and remain in school long after they are ready to enter adult society. They have had to force parents, under fear of legal action, to betray their children and subject them to an abusive, self-destructive system.
While this metaphor is too strong and too vivid, we use it only as a way of demonstrating the universality of a principle. People always feel better when they can coax another person into self-destructive actions and behavior patterns. But, when they cannot, people easily resort to the law, so that the laws enforce the infliction of harm and, in this case, force children to conform to an abusive system in which permanent harm is done.
We are not against education and we are not against educators. We recognize that educators did not invent the current system and that they, too, have been so personally destroyed by the educational system that all they can do is go along with it. We see that teachers are either automated, mindless vegetable-like creatures or extreme traitors who have completely betrayed themselves.
We are against the self-destruction that is offered to children in the name of education because this system defies the healthy limitations of the human consciousness, and causes irreparable, permanent harm. We are against having children go to school before they are at least eight-and-a-half to nine years old. We are against schooling children for more than three or four years. We are against subjecting children to psychological threat and public humiliation. We are against denying children and young adults the opportunity to take their high school equivalency tests when they are ready.
We are against schooling children for more than three hours a day, in classes larger than five students per teacher. We are against teaching any subject that is not presented in its proper context. (See feature article for more details.) We are as much against the 50-minute class as we are the 50-minute psychotherapy session, and we marvel at the fact that two witless, useless institutions have managed to establish themselves using the same time parameters.
We are against sports in the context of school. We are not against physical education, nor are we against sports. Among us there are avid basketball, baseball, pro football, tennis, auto racing, golf and hockey fans, to name just a few. We are against sports in school because educators have introduced grading and competition into schools in order to coax children into self-destructive patterns of behavior tie. the memorization of witless, disassociated facts, that will not take them anywhere, in order to achieve the almighty "A") If educators left grading completely out of the learning process, and confined the competition only to sports, then our view in this particular area would change.
We have not published these newsletters with any hope of improving, changing, challenging, dismantling or altering the current educational system in any way. Our research has taught us that it is too late for any of that because too much harm has already been done. People have been so destroyed by the educational system that they no longer have the wherewithal or the resources to change it.
We have not published these newsletters with any hope of having invented the wheel. In fact, everything we have said in these newsletters has been said before, so all we have done is reinvent the wheel. We decided to limit the information in these newsletters to data that already exists out in the world and can be found by anyone willing to take the time to review existing educational, psychological and medical research studies. We did discover some things that have not yet been documented in existing research, and that are even more devastating than what we have printed here. However, we felt it was unnecessary to publish this data--if you have a rat in the neighborhood who is biting children and poisoning them in the process, it is necessary to shoot the rat only a couple of times, not 600 times. And so, what we have reported on in these newsletters is a minimal amount of information, all of which can be verified in existing research.
We have written these newsletters primarily for homebirthers. We believe that homebirthers are good candidates for homeschooling because the same reasons that led them to birth their children at home might easily lead them to school their children at home. Although neither homebirthing parents nor homeschooling parents can ever recover from what was done to them in school, they can cut their losses. They can prevent their children and their children's children from incurring the same harm. We are only sorry that it is too late to undo what has been done.
Finally, we must mention a recent discovery that we found both interesting and baffling. Since we began publishing these newsletters, we have received an abundance of mail. Most of our mail is extremely positive and most of our positive letters come from homeschooling parents. However, we have also received some very critical, negative letters. Frankly, we expected to receive more negative mail than we have. However, the interesting and baffling thing about the negative letters we have received is that the majority of those letters have come from "leaders" in the homeschooling movement--people who have become important or famous as a result of the homeschooling movement.
We must say that we wonder about these people who are supposed to be soldiers in the trenches, battling in the war themselves. We believe that our newsletters contain armament. They contain information that would clearly be helpful in many of the legal and political battles that homeschoolers now must face. If you are a general, captain or lieutenant in the homeschooling movement, one would think that, as an officer, you would readily accept the armament needed to win the war. Yet, many officers have refused the weapons. They have refused to load their own guns, or to allow their followers to gain access to the arms. They would rather run around pointing their index fingers and yelling "Bang, Bang! " because then they can be sure that their personal importance in the homeschooling movement will not be challenged or threatened.
We have come to believe that some of you officers in the homeschooling war do not want the war to be over. If this war ends and the battles are won, then you will not be important or special anymore. Your letters have helped us identify the real enemy. We realize now that you are angered and frightened when you receive real weapons. You would rather stand around pointing your index finger at school board members and yelling "Bang! Bang!" than take up real arms. We imagine that you have made educators and school administrators, with their stockpiles of powerful weapons, laugh at your silly little effort.
We are not trying to make educators laugh. We are also not part of the homeschooling movement and we have no interest in competing with homeschooling "experts" or anyone else. We are interested in getting this information to ordinary, unimportant people who just want to have a little more control over what happens to their children.
Many of the negative letters we have received from homeschooling "leaders" and "experts" criticize our research and tell us what we should say and how we should say it. We do not mind critical analysis of our work. However, we are researchers. We are interested only in criticisms and challenges that are backed up by legitimate, documented research. We are not interested in undocumented, personal points of view.
If you are a leader in the homeschooling movement or anyone else and you do not like what we have said, then spell out what you did not like and send us the research and documentation you have which proves that what we have said is not true, if you have no research or documentation, and all you have are your own undocumented opinions, then call your mother. She will never ask you for your research. She will just say, "That's right, Sonny. You're right, Sonny." Your mother will not care how unconscious or non-reality oriented your personal opinions may be.
It is not that people should not have undocumented personal points of view, because in fact they are quite normal to have. We are merely trying to find out if your personal view comes out of the conditioned existence of school, or if your personal view is based in reality. Occasionally, people have an idea which both comes out of their conditioned existence and is based in reality. They are among the few people in your church group or support group who appear to be leading happy lives, but do not know why.
We have neither the time nor the inclination to respond to undocumented personal points of view. Our motto is, "Research talks and B.S. walks." So remember, if you have disagreements with what we have said, back up your disagreements with research data. We will publish any legitimate research study that contradicts anything we have said. If you have no research, call your mother. She would love to hear from you.