[Imbedded Practitioner of the Dark Arts]
I am really way behind in my reading (which means amount of reading desired and number of books purchased versus number of books I actually have time to read), so one of my resolutions is to schedule more time for catching up on that. But I am also way behind in my movie-viewing, which is sort of a subset of the above problem, so I have made a less-important resolution to schedule more time for that, as well.
Among “the above” is Harry Potter reading (which yes, I consider important); I haven’t had time to go beyond the third book. And last year, I didn’t even manage to go see the latest Harry Potter movie, The Order of the Phoenix (number 5, I think), but during this past Christmas season, I did buy the DVD, and last night I finally watched it.
Now, for reasons that I will explain in this blog, as the story of that movie unfolded, my dropped jaw nearly crashed a hole in the floor of my apartment. And it wasn’t due to Dumbledore’s kick ass battle against Valdemort that made Yoda’s heretofore kick ass fight at the end of Star Wars number III look in comparison like a little girl’s tea party, as wonderful as that scene with Dumbledore was! No, it was the basic PLOT, itself, that blew me away. But let me explain….
For the past couple of decades, I have been reading, first articles and then books, by John Taylor Gatto, and then later I was able to attend a lecture by him in person, and finally, I bought several audio tapes of his other lectures. I greatly admire the man (I’d put him the category of being one of my personal “gurus”) and have found him to be immensely inspirational, not just about children, but about how we all learn.
It was also mostly from John Taylor Gatto that I developed a profound appreciation for our country’s founders (especially Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington) and of their amazing wisdom and self-education, and wish I could emulate their example much more than I manage to. I had an appreciation of these men before, demonstrated right down to the fact that ever since I was in the sixth grade, I have abbreviated my first name in my signature the way that several early American heroes abbreviated that same first name when they signed the Declaration of Independence (a signature is a picture of one’s own image of self), but Gatto greatly deepened my appreciation of them for me.
And from working at a school as I do, I can verify one of the concepts that Mr. Gatto propounds, that children are voracious “learning machines”, you don’t have to “make” them want to learn, and, in fact, what happens in school, instead, is that the children’s energy gets diverted, derailed, imprisoned, and indoctrinated—in other words, seriously messed with until it is nearly destroyed (much less so, and in some cases not at all, in private school, because the Powers That Be realize that they need SOME people to be leaders of the masses). By the time kids are in high school, they hate school, and some even become murderous in that hate. What happened to that sweet, precious, learning-voracious child?
It was from Gatto that I first heard of the idea that state-run public schools were specifically designed to not educate children, but to mold them into docile subjects of that very same state, which had taken control of children away from their parents. This began, of course, in the most liberal and therefore most “big government” state in the union, Massachusetts, but it also quickly occurred in other similar controlling states (such as New York, naturally, where Gatto, himself, rebelliously taught for so long), but, fortunately, much less so in more education-freedom-oriented states.
For those who happen to be interested in this subject, here is where the states stand if you are interested in educational freedom for the parents and students and minimal control by the state (all this data comes from one of the most amazingly brilliant and useful books I have read in the past several years, Strategic Relocation, by Joel M. Skousen--THAT one, when it arrived a couple of weeks ago, I sat down and read from cover to cover at one sitting, and now I am studying it with a fine-tooth comb):
Most free, least educationally-controlling states:
New Jersey (now that is a shock)
Next best are those states that have very little state regulation of education:
California (believe it or not—but that is changing)
Then come those states with a medium amount of regulation (which is too much):
Hawaii (huge hotbed of liberality)
And finally, the educational control Hall of Shame, states where based on this one issue alone, you shouldn’t live if you have school-age children you care about:
Pennsylvania (except for the Amish, who managed to secure a special dispensation)
Seeing Delaware on that list, I had to nod my head in huge “well that certainly fits” agreement, because I have recently learned that in Delaware, that immense level of liberal state control has even moved into college. I read an article about a course (and there are several articles on the Internet about this) required in order to graduate at the University of Delaware that chilled me to the bone. It was about diversity and race relations and the principle it teaches is that white people (and ONLY white people) are inherently racist, and the cause of all the world’s problems stem from the actions and character of white people. At the University of Delaware, they teach this course on a “required outcomes” basis, a concept I also just recently learned about, which means that in order to pass the course (and if you do not, then you have to keep taking it until you do), you have to answer the test questions and write essays indicating your successful acceptance of the state’s approved indoctrination, that (if you are a white person) you accept your racism and historical culpability and present the steps you are taking to atone for and correct those self-deficiencies. Now if that isn’t standing at the threshold of 1984’s room 101, or Harry Potter having to write in his own blood several pages of “I will not tell lies” about something he factually knows is true , I don’t know what is.
I realized that if I even chose to stay at such a “university”, I would have understood that what I needed to do would have been to pretend and lie in my answers, the concept of which strongly goes against the grain of my being truthful in all of my communications and my lack of interest in wasting my time on games of mediocre conformity…in other words, my sense of personal integrity would have been seriously compromised.
But how much worse and self-damaging must it be to receive this level of indoctrination day in and day out by elementary school children, some of whom are hardly even old enough to be taken out of the arms of their mothers. And if these innocent babies fail to comply with destroying their individual truth, esteem, and integrity, they are in danger of being declared to have an attention deficit disorder or some such “defect” and prescribed a powerful mind-and-mood-altering drug like Ritalin.
[I accept the slight possibility that there may seriously be in some cases such a malady as ADHD, where drug intervention is required, but without a doubt, this diagnosis is way too frequently misapplied and the result of that more and more is Columbine-type school shooters (acting out) or else young adult suicides (acting in—thank you to Jungian analyst Alice Miller for the insight into these responses), such as the incredibly talented would-be comedian I became friends with when I did film work, who hung himself a couple of years ago and his parents and girlfriend informed us at the memorial we held in his honor that when he was a child, he had been put on a very heavy course of Ritalin medication.]
I watched the documentary, ”Who Controls Our Children” (which currently is posted on Google video, so you can watch it, too, if you are interested), put out by the Pennsylvania Parents Association (Johnstown, Pennsylvania), which explains what “outcomes based education” is and how it works, but not only in Pennsylvania, because it is a federal program (so how about that—instead of the local school board, or individual state controlling your child’s education, now the state can sign on to federal control of it). Well, this really rang a responsive chord within me, which meant that some more dots were connected in my understanding, because John Gatto had written that early industrialists were behind indoctrination-education for their own purposes, and now their foundations (such as the Ford Foundation or Rockefeller Foundation) and the lobbyists working for them are behind it. Gatto said that big steel-maker Carnegie wrote (and here happens to be that Pennsylvania connection) that big industry did not need free and critical thinking entrepreneurs (who would, after all, be competition to the big industrialists), but docile workers comprising a nation-wide hive of labor, and the schools had the power to create this kind of worker and that is now what outcome-based education is seeking to make. Incidentally, a docile populace is also what the state, itself wants, but let’s not forget who is behind the state (which is not a reality in and of itself, but is only a conceptual tool) and uses it for its own ends of police control.
I think there are students today who would even go along with this concept; that if school didn’t help prepare you for a job, what good is it? (This is actually appropriate for a vocational school and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but as a college student, I fell into this, myself, in a university, to my lifelong misfortune.) But the point is that you don’t want a job, you don’t want to be an employee or a wage slave, you want to be the master of your own fate, which is well within your ability if the genius self you were born with was allowed to be recognized, nurtured in its growth, and felt the freedom to manifest its creations in the outer world. This benefits us ALL as a society, by the way; we would have been so far beyond the stars right now if we weren’t hampered by this level of evil control of our spirit.
And make no mistake, it is evil, because it lessens the full majesty of the creation that you are.
And this evil apparently never ever really goes away, but bides its time for a while until the time is ripe for it come out and wreak its havoc on humanity once again, which, in more modern times, seems to happen when the next generation is finally comfortable and has let its guard down. But it is a very, very old and ancient evil…my favorite example of that level of ancient planning is the most recent version of the movie The War of the Worlds (directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise), in which the aliens had buried underground in the earth their tripod killing machines tens of thousands of years before there were even people on the planet in preparation for the eventual invasion of the earth for the purpose of colonizing and exploiting the blood and bodies of those future people. I don’t remember this particular “ancient” concept appearing in the original H.G. Wells novel, but I could be wrong about that. Anyway, it was quite effectively presented in the Spielberg movie.
This is a very important concept, because people today wonder why it would be that industrialists would set up a program generations ago that would not benefit them personally, and that their heirs step by step continue with this work even thought it might not yet benefit THEM personally. And since this doesn't make sense, the average person rejects it as impossible.
Of course, in the Christian religion, this evil existed prior to God’s creation of the earth and the effort against humanity has been going on since the beginning of people.
War of the Worlds is cool, because it ends up that “God’s eternal plan” is greater than evil’s ancient plan.
After reading Joel Skousen’s book, there is a sense of “evil returning” once again in the form of Communism (now deeply infiltrated into the governments of the United States and Europe), which, according to the studies of Joel, never really went away anyway; that the “fall of the Soviet Union” was a planned ruse that successfully caused the American people to let its guard down. And, of course, it never even pretended to go away in China, despite how apparently “capitalist” they have become, the Communist party never let go of its totalitarian control. Of course, please realize that the yoke of socialistic principles is never for the rulers, anyway, or for their perverted puppets and lackeys, only for the bulk of the people (the “hive”). However, like all other all forms of evil, the dice are loaded against it…however, real people suffer terribly meanwhile. As an example, the Third Reich lasted only twelve years instead of the thousand years that it thought it would last, yet how many people suffered and died world-wide because of it?
I’ve always liked the Harry Potter books, because it is my belief that it resonates with children’s internal awareness of their own genius, not yet buried away or destroyed. While reading those books, they recognize that they are, themselves, “Wizards” in the midst of a society of Muggles, and maybe for a while this understanding will survive and maybe, just maybe NEVER fully go away. One can only hope that it will work this way, and I am very, very sure that it will, for some (there are those whose spirits somehow manage to get through this process at least somewhat intact).
So now we come to that amazing fifth movie in the series, The Order of the Phoenix, that I saw last night. Harry already KNOWS that the great evil of Lord Voldemort has returned, because Harry has seen him during the battle he had in the previous book and movie, and now also continues to experience him in his dream state and in his mind (which instead of demonstrating insanity, actually is a deeper level of knowledge). Harry’s friends believe him, because they trust in him, but also the great wizard, Dumbledore, Headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, understands that Voldemort has returned. However, the Ministry of Magic, which is the government of the Wizards, has instigated a campaign against Harry and Dumbledore, setting them up as the cognate of our present-day “Conspiracy Theorists” to be ridiculed and rejected out of hand, just as you reading this blog branded me the minute you saw me say that the Soviet Union never fell and that Communism had infiltrated our federal government. When I first heard of this myself, I didn’t doubt it, but saw, instead, how much it explained what was going on--suddenly the pieces began to come together. (If you want to pursue this further, you might want to investigate how President Clinton signed a presidential directive to the military that states that the U.S. will no longer launch nuclear missiles on the warning that Russia has launched theirs, but will absorb Russia’s first strike, and this directive has not been cancelled or rescinded by the Bush administration. Clinton’s directive ONLY applies to the former Soviet Union, not other nations. We apparently do reserve the right to launch a pre-emptive strike on, say, Iran.)
How incredible it was to see in this film that the Ministry not only created a constant media blitz to discredit those who knew the truth, but also set to work taking over Hogwarts school and sent there an Inquisitor whose mission was to get rid of all the free-thinking teachers and administrators, and who turned the school into an outcomes based institution, indoctrinating the students into the Ministry’s desired form of docility in the face of great and destructive evil. I hated that Inquisitor with every fiber of my being; it was fascinating how the actress’s portrayal of that character was so right on that it made my skin crawl right off my bones.
The Order of the Phoenix could not have done a better job of presenting a model of what is actually going on in the world today, to the extent that I almost think that J.K. Rowling, herself, is initiated into the true facts of what really is happening in the world--but to believe that is to at the same time minimize her artistic creation. I can only say with assurance that this is an outstanding example of how when one does enter into the artistic and creative realm, they truly are in touch with deep wisdom and truth. Which is why these books resonate so powerfully with so many children and open-minded adults. Spiritual truth is so much more powerful and compelling than temporary lies.