Monday, April 21, 2008

Education Ain't What It Should Be (Part 1)

Stupefying America
The education system of America has been deliberately fashioned to create a docile, easily controlled population
By Alan Caruba Saturday, May 30, 2009
If you have a suspicion that many of your fellow Americans are too stupid to trust with the great affairs of this nation, you might just be right, but you might not know why.
Take a look at the choices television offers. Do you ever wonder why shows featuring stupid people or animated characters are so popular? I cite The Simpsons, Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, et al. Why do we enjoy laughing at stupid people? Does it make us feel smarter?
Does the shallowness of so much that passes for entertainment or even passing itself off as educational actually reflect the lives of those watching? The answer is probably yes and they didn’t get that way by accident. The education system of America has been deliberately fashioned to create a docile, easily controlled population. And that means YOU.
There is a book available that explains why “Every single school day in America, 7,000 students drop out, some confused, some angry, but all are brave…What does it say to us that a million and a quarter young people a year don’t want to be in classrooms, don’t want to be there so much they’re willing to endure scorn, insult, and constant discrimination as the price of escape?”
The book is John Taylor Gatto’s “Weapons of Mass Instruction: A School Teacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling.” ($24.95, New Society Publishers).
“The rigid stupidities of forced schooling, its linear logics, its bell curves, its buzzers and tests and multiple humiliations, its resort to magical spells, fills me with rage these days as an old man,” wrote Gatto, a former acclaimed teacher of the year.
Today’s (and for several generations yesterday’s) schools are factories of boredom. They don’t exist to educate, but to produce students who will obey rules, dutifully move from class to class when the bell rings, and accept nonsense like “fuzzy math” and “global warming.” The No Child Left Behind Act of 2009 includes $500 million for the teaching of ‘Environmental Literacy’ when real literacy rates—the ability to read—have been dropping like a stone in water for decades. They are a national disgrace.
Why can’t our schools teach reading or arithmetic skills when even pre-school toddlers can learn these things if given the opportunity? Why are we spending $10,000 per student, per year, to produce such poor results? Why would anyone willingly spend their youth cooped up in classrooms when they could be out in the “real world” learning real skills of their own choosing, learning from open sources of information?
And why wouldn’t they flee schools where life is dangerous? Since last September, 20 Chicago Public School students have been killed, 18 by gunfire. Last year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death. Nationally, homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 in 2004. Elsewhere in the nation bullying is widespread. School in America is too often a very unpleasant experience dominated by boredom.
The American school system as we know it today was imported from Germany in the 1850s. As America’s industrial base boomed in the years following the end of the Civil War, the need was for millions of immigrants to do the often difficult manual work involved in making steel, building railroads, and manufacturing the first automobiles and countless other inventions that burst on the scene. Industrialists, men like Rockefeller and Carnegie, decided that compulsory education was the best way to produce not just a functional work force, but people conditioned to purchase the bounty of new goods.
The bible of the compulsory educational system was Benjamin Bloom’s two-volume “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.” Gatto describes him as “an academic madman” in whose system “children would be forced to learn ‘proper’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, while ‘improper’ attitudes from home were ‘remediated.’” In other words, schools were to be laboratories of social change designed to serve business and industry.
This has led to schools where students are literally drugged if they show any vitality or curiosity. The more docile are simply on a treadmill, so much human sausage to be processed. Indeed, why should we wonder why drug addiction is such a massive social problem in an America filled with people who were either trained to be cogs in some faceless corporation or told early in life they were failures?
Since you no doubt passed through this process, it may in retrospect become more clear why schools as often fail to educate the students entrusted to them, than not. The excuses for this are many, but the most popular is that less privileged students in urban centers are virtually doomed to failure from birth. This is not true. Given the opportunity to learn in charter or parochial schools, they do as well or better.
The best of our students today are home-schooled. They win the spelling and geography bees. Some of the nation’s great leaders of the past never attended school. They include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. They self-schooled themselves with great success and they did it early in life, often before they reached their teens.
In modern times, the secrets of the Human Genome Map were cracked by a surfer named Craig Venter and a born-again Christian home-schooler named Frances Collins. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and other ventures dropped out of high school. The examples of those who self-schooled themselves to success are numerous and put the lie to the jails, often with on-site police, that we call modern schools.
Our nation’s schools have been failing generations of Americans, particularly since around the 1960s and, despite no mention in the Constitution, education is now totally controlled by the federal government and by the powerful teachers union, the American Education Association.
It is truly no laughing matter when Jay Leno asks simple questions of people in the streets to reveal time and again how little actual knowledge they possess. They are the products of our school system.
The United States is falling behind many other nations in educating its citizens.
Tellingly, China takes schooling and learning seriously. Its students all learn English, knowing they may become part of their nation’s international legion, likely to be the next great world power. While China builds coal-fired plants for energy and locks in deals for oil, our government calls coal “dirty” and refuses to permit exploration of our vast offshore continental shelf for oil and natural gas.
It takes a special kind of stupidity to deny one’s own nation the energy it requires to grow, to force corporations to move overseas, to take control of industries such as banking and automobile manufacturing without having the slightest idea how to run them.
It’s the stupidity that is the result of a nationwide school system that prolongs childhood while making learning an unpleasant chore.
Constitution, Schmonstitution — What Gov’t Wants it Takes Law or NoOur system of miseducation has created an America that simply doesn’t understand the ConstitutionBy Warner Todd Huston
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I propose that “Dueling Banjos” replace our current national anthem. Remember the 1972 movie Deliverance with Burt Reynolds? OK, recall that scene of the goofy looking kid plucking out “Dueling Banjos” on the porch? That kid was supposed to represent a backwards, inbred, and half sentient hillbilly if you’ll recall. Well, that is officially the United States of America today.
No, I am not saying that the country is like a slack-jawed southerner, but is instead like an inbred, uneducated fool. I am not talking about genetic inbreeding here, either. I am saying this country has become like a dumbed-down, socially and historically illiterate, inbred, incurious, fool, one that understands one thing and one thing only: entertainment. We can thank our putrefying “education” establishment for this as well as the coarsening culture about us.
The reason I am drawn to this sad conclusion is the complete ignorance of the people of this country to the rule of law. Not just the ignorance evinced by the self-empowering politicians and the activist judges, but the bulk of the population. The Constitution has at last become a document that has no meaning to the largest number of Americans.
There are many culprits that have brought about this sordid state of affairs. Starting at the very least with the nation’s first education destroyer, John Dewey, and his contemporary Charles Beard, a villain from the field of American historiography, and proceeding through FDR’s socialist revolution, the Warren Court, and LBJ’s “Great Society,” and up to today’s Obamanation. From among these touch stones in time we have seen several generations now of citizens that have no regard for anything in the document that serves as the supreme law of the land.
We’ve seen Eminent Domain warped until it serves as an excuse for theft by any government that so declares its use, unparalleled use of police powers, such abuse of taxing privileges that is startles the mind, and a complete elimination of capitalism. We’ve seen abuse after abuse of our founding principles that has for decades accosted the average citizen. And what have we done as a polity about all this? We’ve continued to elect, over and over again, those that have made no bones about their contempt for our national character and laws.
And why have we done this as a nation? Why have we turned a blind eye to the essentially anti-American political ideals espoused by our judges, our representatives, our educators and media personnel? Why have we stood idly by as the Constitution has been torn up in tiny little pieces and casually thrown to the four winds? That we think we are getting “free stuff” from them is one reason. But another reason is because the bulk of us have no idea that it’s even happening. Most Americans have such little knowledge of the Constitution, its meaning and our traditions and history that they are entirely ignorant at what is being lost.
Sure many “feel” that something isn’t quite right. Many decry the state of things and have a vague feeling, maybe even a certain feeling, that things are off track. But few have the slightest idea why.
This situation has been created on purpose by our schools, of course. Our system of miseducation has created an America that simply doesn’t understand why we should be so upset by the abrogation of this Constitution thingie?
Take a look at Illinois, for instance. In a case perhaps headed to the Supreme Court (no reliable observer of the Constitution itself) a casino owner is suing the State of Illinois for “taking” its property — in tax money levied — for redistribution to another business.
What happened under the estimable Governor Rod Blagojevich is essentially this: Blagojevich, who received large contributions from the horse racing lobby in the state, took thousands of dollars from Illinois casinos via state tax law so that he could give that money to horse racing tracks to prop up the struggling horse racing industry there.
The traditional definition of a “taking” would be that of a government confiscating land from private individuals or companies to redistribute to other individuals. Money has not been considered in the same way as confiscation of land in the past as a definition of a “taking.” But what is the difference in this day and age, really? Especially in an era when money is often a larger segment of a person or company’s holdings than land is? And how is it not like a bill of attainder when a particular industry is taxed for the support of another one?
Now, imagine the new world that will be opened up if the State of Illinois is upheld in its theft of the casino industry’s money to be used as a prop for some other more politically favored industry? Imagine the power that the state will have to steal the earnings of any person or industry or business it doesn’t like to give away to a person or business it does like? Imagine the new level of corruption that will be invented if politicians can levy confiscatory taxes on one specific business so that said taxes will benefit the business of a campaign contributor? Imagine the newest power government will have to destroy any business it doesn’t like from this point forward?
By rights, the people should fear this untrammeled government power. This sort of un-Constitutional, anti-capitalist, statist power would traditionally have been the stuff of tarring and feathering of politicians and state employees. This sort of thing would have seen tax collectors being driven out of their homes by “mysterious” fires and social ostracizing. Barring that sort of traditional outrage, these sort of politicians should at the very least find themselves out of office at the public’s earliest opportunity. But who in Illinois even knows this is going on? A sad few, for sure.
Unfortunately, Americans are completely unconcerned by the 100-year assault on the Constitution. In fact, few are even aware it is going on.
So strike up a chorus of “Dueling Banjos” so that we can all smile blankly into the distance as we are destroyed from within. Let’s enjoy the tune while it lasts because as soon as it’s over, we will trail off into a haze of a self-induced stupor, drooling onto our bib overalls as our nation is allowed to rot around us.
Ding a’ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding….
Twin Crises: Immigration and Education in AmericaBy Frosty Wooldridge
March 26, 2009
Since I started teaching school in 1973, educational excellence and academic standards dropped like a brick falling from an airplane!
I taught two years in the inner city where I discovered that children learn self-loathing, violence, drug use, tattoos and incest as well as verbal and emotional abuse beyond most Middle-Americans’ comprehension. Within two years, my idealism turned to acid. In order to save myself from a form of emotional insanity, I fled the inner city. I taught at a reasonable, middle class school with great success.
However, the principal urged teachers to advance all students whether they passed their tests or not. At the time, I called it ‘affirmative action grading’. Soon, those kids discovered they could get something for nothing. Later, they enjoyed ‘affirmative action’ high school diplomas. That led to ‘affirmative action jobs’ whereby they spent eight hours ‘working’ doing pretty much nothing. The government hired millions of marginally educated graduates. Those jobs included security guards, answering the phone jobs, cab drivers and fast food cashiers.
Later, many attended colleges where they majored in ‘African-American Studies’ and a dozen other non-descript majors that failed to prepare students for a viable job within the American workforce.
From the 70s to the 90s, the US added 100 million people, mostly by immigration. They arrived with little to no education. Today, they arrive in such overwhelming numbers, educational systems falter across the United States. Brian Williams reported in June 2008 that 76 percent of students failed to graduate in Detroit, Michigan high schools. Over 60 percent, mostly immigrants, failed to graduate in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and other major school systems. In my own city of Denver, Colorado, we suffered a 67 percent flunk out/drop out rate two years ago. We tolerate 85 languages and students from over 50 countries.
While we drop our educational standards, our own American children must suffer degraded academics, so much so, over one-third of students that attend college, must take remedial course work to upgrade their minds to college level performance.
Meanwhile, a whole new, functionally illiterate sub-class expands across America. That sub-class cannot read, write or work simple math. They lack critical thinking. They live at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. For example, 31.1 million Americans live on food stamps as of March 2009.
In a sweeping report, Edwin S. Rubenstein, economist, wrote a sobering expose’ of America’s accelerating infrastructure crisis brought on by unending population growth.
“The Twin Crises: Immigration and Infrastructure” by, Volume XIX, No.2, pages 53-57, Winter 2009, by Edwin S. Rubenstein—addresses public school systems.
“More than 49 million elementary and secondary students are educated in 97,000 public schools,” Rubenstein said. “Enrollments are growing, but neither quantity and quality of the school infrastructure has kept pace. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 18 percent of all schools are overcrowded and 37 percent are forced to make do with trailers and other portable classrooms structures. The average age of our country’s school buildings is now more than 40 years; they were built to accommodate teaching practices and the community needs of earlier generations.”
By adding 3.1 million people to this country annually, school systems cannot keep up with added student populations.
“In fiscal years 1990 to 2002, inflation adjusted spending to acquire or construct public school facilities increased from $19.5 billion to $43 billion, a 121 percent increase,” Rubenstein said. “Unfortunately, even after adjusting for inflation, more money does not mean more infrastructure.”
What drives our educational crisis?
“Children of immigrants account for such a large share of the school-age population because a higher proportion of immigrant women are in their child-bearing years,” Rubenstein said. “There are 10.8 million children of immigrants in the school-age population. The fertility rate of foreign-born women is 37 percent higher than the fertility rate of native women. The future offers no demographic relief, as evidenced by the even larger share of immigrants in the preschool populations of most states.”
States with higher legal and illegal migrant populations illustrate this national educational crisis. “Nevada’s school enrollment grew a whopping 54 percent between 1995 and 2004—more than that of any other state and over five times the U.S. average,” Rubenstein said. “Clark county schools are so crowded that students complain that they cannot find available restrooms between classes. Some student-to-teacher ratios stand at 40 to 1.”
California leads the nation in educational chaos. “California schools are the most crowded in the nation, classes often exceed 35 students per teacher, (18 is considered ideal),” Rubenstein said. “The state adds 100,000 new students annually.”
According to in California, that state adds 1,700 legal and illegal migrants daily, net gain. That equals over 600,000 added population annually.
Florida: “In Miami-Dade Country, 41 percent of schools are at least 150 percent over capacity,” Rubenstein said. “In Manatee County, lunch lines are sometimes so long that students do not have time to eat unless they miss class. Pasco County has opened six new schools in the last three years, has three more scheduled to open in the upcoming months. No affordable land is available for further school construction.”
Miami-Dade school superintendent roger Cuevas said, “Our anticipated gains in the number of foreign students alone will require us to build one elementary school a month to keep up.”
New York: “In 2008, a report by the city Comptroller’s office stated that there are too many neighborhoods with overcrowded schools, elementary schools in particular, and no relief for years to come,” Rubenstein said.
What action could the U.S. Congress and President Obama institute to alleviate our horrendous educational crisis?
The simplest, most sane and reasonable action must be engaged immediately:
A Ten Year Moratorium on All Immigration: This would allow our country to regain its collective breath. It would allow us to regain our schools, language, medical facilities, financial balance, ecological viability and order, which is necessary for a first world country to operate for all its citizens.
We must employ a linkage strategy. In other words, we must create a paradigm shift that employs all the following actions to reap a plausible future for humans in America. A former congressman said, “The challenge is enormous and you have to talk about a moratorium. You can’t talk about anything short of a moratorium because, frankly, anything less will never get you one step closer to population stabilization.”
After the 10 year immigration moratorium, a maximum of 100,000 immigrants—with needed skills to our benefit—that speak the English language before they arrive—will be considered for the United States.
We could entertain a farm guest worker program only if it stipulates that male workers enjoy an entry date for three months to a maximum of six months and an exit date. No female or family members allowed. Additionally, no ‘anchor babies’ or ‘instant citizenship’ allowed for foreign nationals’ babies born on U.S. soil.
Yes, we must work with Americans marrying foreign spouses and a few other visa considerations, but we must hold to our limited carrying capacity.
Obama’s Zero to Five Plan Doesn’t Add Upby J. Michael Smith, HSLDA President
To no one’s surprise, President Obama plans to ask Congress to spend billions of dollars on public education. As he stated in his presidential agenda on education, the country cannot afford four more years of neglect and indifference. This neglect and indifference, according to the president, occurred despite the fact that in the last four years, the federal government and the states have spent more money on public education than at any other time in the history of our nation.
What is surprising about Mr. Obama’s education initiative is his priority on early childhood education. His “Zero to Five Plan” targets early care, beginning with infants. States will be given grants to begin moving toward universal preschool.
The presumption by Mr. Obama is that the earlier children start formal education, the better chance they have of being successful in life and being competitive in the global market. Sounds good, but is this policy backed by evidence that government involvement in child rearing from birth actually works?
The answer is “No!” In a 2005 Stanford University/University of California study that focused on children attending preschool, it was confirmed that attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hindered the rate at which young children developed social skills. These findings refuted the assertion by many that for children to develop socially, they must be involved in a classroom setting at a very early age.
The Southwest Policy Institute concluded: “Contrary to common belief, early institutional schooling can harm children emotionally, intellectually and socially, and may later lead to greater peer dependency.”
Child psychologist and author David Elkind, who has researched early childhood education, wrote: “When we instruct children in academic subjects … at too early an age, we miseducate them; we put them at risk for a short-term stress and long-term personality damage. … There is no evidence that such early instruction has lasting benefits, and considerable evidence that it can do lasting harm.”
If the government schools can’t successfully educate children in 10 years (some states’ compulsory attendance laws end at 16, although many states require attendance until age 17), then why do we believe they would be any more successful if we add four or five years?
One group that has seen the benefits of spending more time together as a family is homeschoolers. Most homeschool families have firsthand experience that the research studies are right. The Zero to Five Plan will encourage less parental involvement and much more government involvement, especially if states provide a free preschool experience for every child. Some may say, “But it is not mandatory. Parents that don’t want their children attending preschool don’t have to.” Unfortunately, when the government becomes involved in a voluntary program, too many times it ends up being mandatory.
The proper place for this issue to be discussed and decided is within the state legislatures. When Congress became involved in funding public education, the assumption was that the states were not competent to figure out how to provide an education system for the people in their states. However, since Congress became involved in funding public schools, the quality of education has declined.
Focusing the federal government on its constitutional responsibilities and removing it from education policymaking would do two things. First, it would save taxpayers billions by eliminating the federal education bureaucracy. Second, it would help Congress and the president focus on their constitutionally mandated responsibilities.
Funding the Zero to Five Plan is simply more wasteful spending the country can ill afford.
Judge orders homeschoolers into public district classrooms
Decides children need more 'focus' despite testing above grade levelsPosted: March 11, 2009
By Bob Unruh© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A North Carolina judge has ordered three children to attend public schools this fall because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be "challenged."
The children, however, have tested above their grade levels – by as much as two years.
The decision is raising eyebrows among homeschooling families, and one friend of the mother has launched a website to publicize the issue.
The ruling was made by Judge Ned Mangum of Wake County, who was handling a divorce proceeding for Thomas and Venessa Mills.
A statement released by a publicist working for the mother, whose children now are 10, 11 and 12, said Mangum stripped her of her right to decide what is best for her children's education.
The judge, when contacted by WND, explained his goal in ordering the children to register and attend a public school was to make sure they have a "more well-rounded education."
"I thought Ms. Mills had done a good job [in homeschooling]," he said. "It was great for them to have that access, and [I had] no problems with homeschooling. I said public schooling would be a good complement."
The judge said the husband has not been supportive of his wife's homeschooling, and "it accomplished its purposes. It now was appropriate to have them back in public school."
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Mangum said he made the determination on his guiding principle, "What's in the best interest of the minor children," and conceded it was putting his judgment in place of the mother's.
And he said that while he expressed his opinion from the bench in the court hearing, the final written order had not yet been signed.
However, the practice of a judge replacing a parent's judgment with his own regarding homeschooling was argued recently when a court panel in California ruled that a family would no longer be allowed to homeschool their own children.
WND reported extensively when the ruling was released in February 2008, alarming homeschool advocates nationwide because of its potential ramifications.
Ultimately, the 2nd Appellate District Court in Los Angeles reversed its own order, affirming the rights of California parents to homeschool their children if they choose.
The court, which earlier had opined that only credentialed teachers could properly educate children, was faced with a flood of friend-of-the-court briefs representing individuals and groups, including Congress members.
The conclusion ultimately was that parents, not the state, would decide where children are educated.
The California opinion said state law permits homeschooling "as a species of private school education" but that statutory permission for parents to teach their own children could be "overridden in order to protect the safety of a child who has been declared dependent."
In the North Carolina case, Adam Cothes, a spokesman for the mother, said the children routinely had been testing at up to two years above their grade level, were involved in swim team and other activities and events outside their home and had taken leadership roles in history club events.
On her website, family friend Robyn Williams said Mangum stated his decision was not ideologically or religiously motivated but that ordering the children into public schools would "challenge the ideas you've taught them."
Williams, a homeschool mother of four herself, said, "I have never seen such injustice and such a direct attack against homeschool."
"This judge clearly took personal issue with Venessa's stance on education and faith, even though her children are doing great. If her right to homeschool can be taken away so easily, what will this mean for homeschoolers state wide, or even nationally?" Williams asked.
Williams said she's trying to rally homeschoolers across the nation to defend their rights as Americans and parents to educate their own children.
Williams told WND the public school order was the worst possible outcome for Ms. Mills, who had made it clear she felt it was important to her children that she continue homeschooling.
According to Williams' website, the judge also ordered a mental health evaluation for the mother – but not the father – as part of the divorce proceedings, in what Williams described as an attack on the "mother's conservative Christian beliefs."
According to a proposed but as-yet unsigned order submitted by the father's lawyer to Mangum, "The children have thrived in homeschool for the past four years, but need the broader focus and socialization available to them in public school. The Court finds that it is in the children's best interest to continue their homeschooling through the end of the current school year, but to begin attending public school at the beginning of the 2009-2010 instructional year."
The order proposed by the father's lawyer also conceded the reason for the divorce was the father's "adultery," but it specifically said the father would not pay for homeschooling expenses for his children.
The order also stated, "Defendant believes that plaintiff is a nurturing mother who loves the children. Defendant believes that plaintiff has done a good job with the homeschooling of the children, although he does not believe that continued homeschooling is in the best interest of the children."
The website said the judge also said public school would "prepare these kids for the real world and college" and allow them "socialization."
Williams said the mother originally moved into a homeschool schedule because the children were not doing as well as she hoped at the local public schools.
In last year's dispute in California, the ruling that eventually was released was praised by pro-family organizations.
"We're pleased the appeals court recognized the rights of parents to provide education for their children," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. "This decision reaffirms the constitutional right that's afforded to parents in directing the education of their children. It's an important victory for families who cherish the freedom to ensure that their children receive a high quality education that is inherent in homeschooling."
"Parents have a constitutional right to make educational choices for their children," said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. "Thousands of California families have educated their children successfully through homeschooling. We're pleased with the court's decision, which protects the rights of families and protects an avenue of education that has proven to benefit children time and time again.
The North Carolina ruling also resembles a number of rulings handed down against homeschool parents in Germany, where such instruction has been banned since the years of Adolf Hitler's rule.
As WND reported, Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has commented previously on the issue, contending the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion."
"The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling," said a government letter in response. "... You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. ... In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."
WND also reported recently when a German appeals court tossed out three-month jail terms issued to a mother and father who homeschool their children. But the court also ordered new trials that could leave the parents with similar penalties, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.
The case involves Juergen and Rosemarie Dudek of Archfeldt, Germany, who last summer received formal notices of their three-month sentences.
The 90-day sentences came about when Hesse State Prosecutor Herwig Muller appealed a lower court's determination of fines for the family. The ruling had imposed fines of about 900 euros, or $1,200, for not sending their children to school
Muller, however, told the parents they shouldn't worry about any fines, since he would "send them to jail," the HSLDA reported.
HSLDA spokesman Michael Donnelly warned the homeschooling battle is far from over in Germany.
"There continue to be signs that the German government is cracking down on homeschooling families," he reported. "A recent letter from one family in southern Germany contained threats from local school authorities that unless the family enrolled their children in school, they would seek fines in excess of 50,000 euros (nearly $70,000), jail time and the removal of custody of the children."
HSLDA officials estimate there are some 400 homeschool families in Germany, virtually all of them either forced into hiding or facing court actions.
America the Illiterate
By Chris Hedges

"Truthdig" -- - We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.
There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.
The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia. It is style and story, not content or history or reality, which inform our politics and our lives. We prefer happy illusions. And it works because so much of the American electorate, including those who should know better, blindly cast ballots for slogans, smiles, the cheerful family tableaux, narratives and the perceived sincerity and the attractiveness of candidates. We confuse how we feel with knowledge.
The illiterate and semi-literate, once the campaigns are over, remain powerless. They still cannot protect their children from dysfunctional public schools. They still cannot understand predatory loan deals, the intricacies of mortgage papers, credit card agreements and equity lines of credit that drive them into foreclosures and bankruptcies. They still struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers. They watch helplessly and without comprehension as hundreds of thousands of jobs are shed. They are hostages to brands. Brands come with images and slogans. Images and slogans are all they understand. Many eat at fast food restaurants not only because it is cheap but because they can order from pictures rather than menus. And those who serve them, also semi-literate or illiterate, punch in orders on cash registers whose keys are marked with symbols and pictures. This is our brave new world.
Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent, sincere or honest. They only need to appear to have these qualities. Most of all they need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts. The consistency and emotional appeal of the story are paramount. The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both.
The ability to magnify these simple and childish lies, to repeat them and have surrogates repeat them in endless loops of news cycles, gives these lies the aura of an uncontested truth. We are repeatedly fed words or phrases like yes we can, maverick, change, pro-life, hope or war on terror. It feels good not to think. All we have to do is visualize what we want, believe in ourselves and summon those hidden inner resources, whether divine or national, that make the world conform to our desires. Reality is never an impediment to our advancement.
The Princeton Review analyzed the transcripts of the Gore-Bush debates, the Clinton-Bush-Perot debates of 1992, the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 and the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. It reviewed these transcripts using a standard vocabulary test that indicates the minimum educational standard needed for a reader to grasp the text. During the 2000 debates, George W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.7) and Al Gore at a seventh-grade level (7.6). In the 1992 debates, Bill Clinton spoke at a seventh-grade level (7.6), while George H.W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.8), as did H. Ross Perot (6.3). In the debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the candidates spoke in language used by 10th-graders. In the debates of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas the scores were respectively 11.2 and 12.0. In short, today’s political rhetoric is designed to be comprehensible to a 10-year-old child or an adult with a sixth-grade reading level. It is fitted to this level of comprehension because most Americans speak, think and are entertained at this level. This is why serious film and theater and other serious artistic expression, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of American society. Voltaire was the most famous man of the 18th century.
Today the most famous “person” is Mickey Mouse.
In our post-literate world, because ideas are inaccessible, there is a need for constant stimulus. News, political debate, theater, art and books are judged not on the power of their ideas but on their ability to entertain. Cultural products that force us to examine ourselves and our society are condemned as elitist and impenetrable. Hannah Arendt warned that the marketization of culture leads to its degradation, that this marketization creates a new celebrity class of intellectuals who, although well read and informed themselves, see their role in society as persuading the masses that “Hamlet” can be as entertaining as “The Lion King” and perhaps as educational. “Culture,” she wrote, “is being destroyed in order to yield entertainment.”
“There are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect,” Arendt wrote, “but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say.”
The change from a print-based to an image-based society has transformed our nation. Huge segments of our population, especially those who live in the embrace of the Christian right and the consumer culture, are completely unmoored from reality. They lack the capacity to search for truth and cope rationally with our mounting social and economic ills. They seek clarity, entertainment and order. They are willing to use force to impose this clarity on others, especially those who do not speak as they speak and think as they think. All the traditional tools of democracies, including dispassionate scientific and historical truth, facts, news and rational debate, are useless instruments in a world that lacks the capacity to use them.
As we descend into a devastating economic crisis, one that Barack Obama cannot halt, there will be tens of millions of Americans who will be ruthlessly thrust aside. As their houses are foreclosed, as their jobs are lost, as they are forced to declare bankruptcy and watch their communities collapse, they will retreat even further into irrational fantasy. They will be led toward glittering and self-destructive illusions by our modern Pied Pipers—our corporate advertisers, our charlatan preachers, our television news celebrities, our self-help gurus, our entertainment industry and our political demagogues—who will offer increasingly absurd forms of escapism.
The core values of our open society, the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense indicate something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to understand historical facts, to separate truth from lies, to advocate for change and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable, are dying. Obama used hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds to appeal to and manipulate this illiteracy and irrationalism to his advantage, but these forces will prove to be his most deadly nemesis once they collide with the awful reality that awaits us.
Illiterate America
44 million American men and women are functionally illiterate
By Shashi Tharoor
Newsweek International
September 30, 2002
The young man thrust a paper at me, squinting into the sun. “Hey, man, can you tell me where this is?” I was a visitor to Detroit myself, but one glance at the scribbled address told me the answer to his question. I pointed at the street sign barely 15 feet away. “It’s right there,” I said. “Can’t you see the sign?”
HE LOOKED SHEEPISHLY at me, pulled the paper back and headed toward the corner. And then it hit me. The reason he had had to ask me, a stranger, was not because he hadn’t seen the sign. It was because he couldn’t read it.
He was not alone. An astonishing 47 percent of Detroiters, nearly one out of two adults in this predominantly black city, are functionally illiterate. (By way of comparison, the figure for Vietnam is 6.7 percent and 1.7 percent for Croatia.) Functional illiteracy relates to the inability of an individual to use reading, writing and computational skills in everyday life: filling out a job application, reading traffic signs, figuring out an election ballot, reading a newspaper, understanding a bus schedule or a product label—or an address on a sheet of paper. In the richest country on earth, 23 percent of adult Americans—44 million men and women—cannot do these things.
If anything, the situation is worse than those statistics suggest, because 50 million more Americans cannot read or comprehend above an eighth-grade level. To appreciate what that means: you need ninth-grade comprehension to understand the instructions for an antidote on an ordinary can of cockroach poison in your kitchen, 10th grade to follow a federal income-tax return, 12th-grade competence to read a life-insurance form. All told, a staggering percentage of America’s adults are, in effect, unequipped for life in a modern society.
It’s startling enough for foreigners to realize there is such a thing as American illiteracy. More poignant is that, unlike in the developing world, where illiteracy is predominantly a rural problem, in the United States it occurs overwhelmingly in the inner cities, with a heavy concentration among the poor and those dependent on welfare. I was in Detroit to address a conference on the crisis in America’s cities, and I had stepped out onto the street to get some fresh air and use my cell phone. In the young man in front of me I saw the problem firsthand. Nearly half of Detroit’s citizens between the ages of 16 and 60, I was told, are jobless and not seeking work. Why? It’s a fair guess that most of them do not have the required literacy skills to apply for available jobs, or even to be trained for them.
Kevin, an outspoken civic worker I met, told me that illiteracy and unemployment go hand in hand: 70 percent of functionally illiterate adults have no job or only a part-time job. Those who are employed have it tough. Illiterate adults work an average of 19 weeks a year, compared with 44 weeks a year for literates. Workers without a high-school degree earn four times less than those with a college degree. And they often can’t cope at work. Business losses attributable to literacy deficiencies cost the United States tens of billions of dollars every year in low productivity, industrial accidents, lawsuits and poor product quality.
What’s worse, the standards and requirements for literacy have increased in recent years, as computerization has taken over the world. “You’ve got mail” may be the defining slogan of our age, but it excludes those who can’t decipher their mail, electronic or otherwise. In a world where you can tell the rich from the poor by their Internet connections, the poverty line trips over the high-speed-digital line. The portal to the computer age is the keyboard—but too many Americans literally cannot read the keys.
The cost in terms of lost human potential is devastating. Consider crime. Sixty percent of all juvenile offenders have illiteracy problems; seven out of 10 adult prisoners have low literacy levels, and the current prison population of 2 million represents a dramatic concentration of illiterate Americans. As for that young man in Detroit, he will always have to rely on others for vital information to lead his life; he will always be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by those who wield that one vital skill he doesn’t have. And this in the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy, whose citizenry make (or acquiesce in) decisions that affect the rest of the world.
I ran after the young man and caught up with him at the light. “Here, let me help,” I said, taking the paper from him and reading the address aloud. “That should be that building over there,” I said, pointing at a building half a block away, its name visible in large lettering above the entrance. He looked at me in gratitude, but I just felt helpless. I wished I had a leaflet on me for an adult remedial-education program, but he wouldn’t be able to read that either. “Thanks, man,” he said, a delighted look in his eyes. He headed off—this time, at least, in the right direction.
Illiterate AmericaBy Alan Caruba
February 5, 2001
In October of last year, my friend Jack O'Dwyer ran an article on his website, O'Dwyer's PR Daily, concerning the problems public relations agencies were having with the college graduates they were hiring to begin their careers in that profession.
"About 40 per cent of college grads take no courses in English or American literature and nearly 31 per cent have never taken a math course. More than 56 per cent can't calculate the change from $3 after buying a bowl of soup for 60 cents and a sandwich for $1.95. Many cannot read and understand a simple set of directions." The article referenced "Beer and Circus", a book by English professor Murray Sperber of Indiana University. The book contends that "college kids are being fed a junk diet of alcohol, spectator sports and partying."
Even worse news is that the college school year has shrunk from 210 days to about 160. With parents paying an average $20,000 a year and more to send their children to college, that's an average of $125 a day!
The bottom line is that both the public relations profession and journalism are filled with young people, beginning their professional careers, who haven't a clue about what is newsworthy. They are so ignorant, it is frightening. This does not bode well for the ultimate consumers of news, the public.
This situation reaches into all aspects of life in America and particularly hits small businesses as well as big corporations who hire these college graduates. The small business operators find themselves hiring and firing in a desperate effort to find someone-anyone--who is willing to learn how their company functions and willing to actually do the work. The greatest concerns of today's new hires are about vacation and sick time, plus whatever other perks are being offered.
Training employees is a fulltime process for companies large and small. What makes this difficult is the level of illiteracy among both high school and college graduates (the ability to read, understand, and apply what they have read), coupled with their belief that an employer doesn't really deserve their best efforts.
Literacy is absolutely essential for the success of any society. In America, however, one in five high school graduates cannot read his or her diploma. Fully 85 per cent of unwed mothers are illiterate and 70 per cent of Americans who get arrested are illiterate. An estimated 21 million Americans simply cannot read and the costs of illiteracy are estimated to be $225 billion a year in lost productivity.
According to Empower America, our 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without being about to read at a basic level. Over 20 million have reached their senior year unable to do basic math. Almost 25 million have reached 12th grade without knowing the essentials of U.S. history. (And you wonder why 100 million Americans did not bother to vote in the last election or couldn't figure out how to cast a vote?) By almost any measurement you can name, we have been turning out students at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels who are manifestly unfit to function effectively in society.
If you wanted to sabotage America, you could not find a better way than to have degraded our education system as effectively as the programs promulgated by teachers union in league with those who have been in charge of the federal government's education programs since the 1970's. Across this country, the rising costs for education have driven up the property taxes of millions of Americans with little to show for the investment.
There will be much discussion of the Bush administration initiatives. Serious conservatives have serious reservations about them because, despite President's Bush talk of returning power to the state and local level, they will increase the federal government's control over the curriculums of every school in America.
That does not, however, mitigate the need to produce high school and college graduates who are literate, have a knowledge of U.S. history, have basic arithmetic skills, and an understanding of fundamental science. This is critical to the future of this nation.
We cannot keep importing foreigners who are, quite simply, better educated than our fellow citizens. There aren't enough low-level jobs to employ this growing army of illiterate, ignorant, and ill-prepared American graduates.
They Want to be in MoviesBy Betty Freauf
April 20, 2008
As young children watch the glamorous lifestyles of Hollywood movie stars, it is a rare child indeed who does not secretly wish they could become part of the rich and famous crowd someday. Even with all the negativity that surrounds most of these stars, which most young people prefer to ignore and believe that couldn’t happen to them, they are still enamored with the glitz.
Reality based television programs give many of them an opportunity to show off their talents -- from roughing it in some remote area in some Survivor series to American Idol. But with the advent of cell phone capability to take pictures and put them instantaneously on the Internet, other factors have entered into this equation, i.e. privacy and self-glorification.
Just within the last few days, as I've been drafting this article, we’ve seen teen-on-teen video violence in Florida where six teenage girls brutally attacked another girl while the boys recorded the incident. In Arizona an 8th grader is hit on the head with a chair. In Texas a 16 year old is beaten unconscious and two teens in Massachusetts beat a 15 year old with pipes -- and all of these incidents were captured on film and quickly ended up on the Internet. And this was just about teenagers!
In fact, the violence has become so acute that my local newspaper has a page devoted to “Violence in America.” In one day it highlighted how two were hurt by gunfire along a Virginia highway. The shots brought back memories of the Beltway snipers. Then there was a mother in Kentucky who killed her children and waved a gun at college. The woman was in custody facing two counts of murder. A third article told about a shooting at a hospital in Columbus, Georgia, that killed one and the police wounded another gunman.
Two students were hurt in a dorm shooting in Tyler, Texas and it was a year ago that we had the Virginia Tech massacre. The articles always seem to stop short of the reasons this violence is taking place, but in my personal opinion there seems to be a correlation between the doctors prescribing antidepressant drugs to stressed out and depressed people and all these killings. I heard on the radio on 4/17/08 about a father who killed his five week old twins. Authorities found their beaten bodies under his bed. Seldom do we hear or read about this admission, but it was noted he was on “behavioral medicine.” Check out for pages upon pages of people from all ages and all walks of life who have either been on these drugs or got off them cold turkey and then killed.
What is alarming to most people is the lack of sympathy these young onlookers have for the victims -- and people scratch their heads and wring their hands and ask, “What on earth is happening to these young people?" Perhaps an April 9, 1992 article in the Racine Journal by John Rosemond, a family psychologist in private practice in North Carolina in which he referred to a Newsweek article called “Self Esteem,” (a concept that has been heavily promoted in our culture since the 1960s), as a curse. Dr. Rosemond's article said the curse bullied its way into America’s schools, where the goal of making children feel good about themselves all but replaced the goal of educating them. The curse helped breed the now ubiquitous cult of the victim, wormed its way into our legal system, where criminals argue they shouldn’t be held responsible for their crimes because "low self-esteem made ‘em do it," and spawned book after tedious book on how to become more self-absorbed… By the early '70s, the “experts” had succeeded in convincing America’s parents that installing self-esteem in their children was their ultimate responsibility. This was accomplished, they said, by heaping attention and praise upon the child. The more “warm fuzzies” heaped, the more emotionally healthy the child supposedly became. But many of us should ask these “experts,” how has this been working for us?
Charles Sykes in “Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write or Add” tells about a 1991 teacher training session in the Houston area that taught the evils of red ink and told teachers to pick another color. Red supposedly had a negative impact because red is so symbolic of wrong answers. Duh! Pat Greene, a teacher since 1982, also said grammar and spelling errors should be overlooked so students wouldn’t be discouraged from writing. Don’t damage Junior’s self-esteem -- so we are now graduating illiterates with honors. Kids that get straight A’s all their lives need Kleenex when they get to college and find their skills are lacking. Now we find that people with inflated self-esteem or self-confidence tend to exaggerate their own positive qualities. Bullies and sociopaths often score very high on self-esteem tests and claim they are very happy. And the authors of the book, One Nation Under Therapy [1] write that a growing body of research suggests there is, in fact, no connection between high self-esteem and achievement, kindness, or good personal relationships. On the other hand, unmerited self-esteem is known to be associated with anti-social behavior – even criminality.
Anyone with actual experience in life, or just plain common sense, knows that self-esteem can only come from accomplishment. That means that a child can be told over and over that (s)he is doing a great job, but unless they KNOW it is true, it does not build true self-confidence. If a young student cannot read at grade level and continues to get acceptable grades, (s)he knows it's all a sham. This student will most likely act out his/her frustrations in other ways. Possibly become a liar, after all, the facts have been manipulated by the adults...or possibly become the class clown to divert attention away from his/her actual schoolwork. Some girls will use their bodies for attention, not being able to gain the needed respect and love through their schoolwork/accomplishments. Many will drop out of school, too frustrated and bored to continue the sham; and inevitably, a percentage of those will turn to crime. If a young person doesn't have the ability (self-esteem?) to fill out an application for employment at the local hardware store, let alone feel confident that (s)he can do the job, why not deal drugs in the neighborhood? Why not have a child and receive a monthly check from the givement? Money is money, after all.
The Newsweek articles goes on to say, by contrast, previous generations of American parents concentrated on making sure children developed respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. These “Three R’s of Childrearing” were seen as necessary to both good citizenship as well as the pursuit of happiness – Jefferson’s third inalienable right. The child’s participation in his or her own upbringing was acknowledged and affirmed. Parents were responsible to a conservative point, after which children were held completely accountable for their behavior, school performance, and finding creative ways of occupying their time. Parents were to take interest in what their children did, but not get involved unless absolutely necessary; supervise, but not participate; know where their children were, but rarely be there with them. Children, furthermore, were to pay parents more attention than parents paid them. How, otherwise, could parents set good examples (or, in contemporary terms, be positive role models)? But today some parents send their rebellious teens to Brat Boot Camp or end up on Dr. Phil’s show where he makes all types of resources available to try to turn them around or The Nanny comes in to some homes to show the parents what they are doing wrong with the younger children. They all want to be on television.
In my article, “Would More Woodsheds Reduce Juvenile Delinquency” I write about the lack of work now required of our children in our homes because of all the new technology and how silly labor laws prevented the young people from learning a responsible work ethic. Spankings were replaced by The Nanny’s time-out naughty chair and because parents are being taxed into oblivion and mothers are finding they must work and are encouraged by the radical feminist movement to drop their babies off at an early age at daycare, some children are no longer bonding to their parents as they once did.
A local attorney and former legislator is circulating initiatives for an upcoming vote to put more less-violent young criminals in prison. Because our local newspaper no longer accepts my letters, my husband wrote a letter suggesting that humiliation of the early childhood/teen criminals by putting them in stocks in the public square would be far more effective than putting them in prison with seasoned criminals who could teach them even more tricks of the trade. His letter got published because the newspaper thought it was a foolish idea and would hurt the child’s self-esteem but letter(s) endorsing his idea were ignored. Only one admiring the plebiscite-writing attorney and praising his overall contribution to Oregon over the years was published. The writer said criminals won’t change until they are ready and then he wants “professionals” in the wings to be able to help them change. Maybe these young folks could call on Barack Obama and he can change them – after all there is always hope! This useful idiot letter writer is another bleeding-heart liberal who hasn’t figured out that we are all born with a sinful nature and are capable of doing the most heinous of things if we aren’t trained properly by our parents. But if the parents don’t do it, then he thinks the government has an answer to all our woes and it sure does keep those employed in the sociology field in gainful employment reminiscent of the “child abuse industry.” The more young people who need “counseling” and in some program, the more money is required by taxpayers to try to “change” them. In my article mentioned above about the woodsheds, I ended with “We need more Grandpas” willing to take Junior to the woodshed. But even grandpas today are afraid to discipline the grandchildren for fear of being accused of some wrongdoing – some ridiculous standard established by the bleeding-heart liberals. Two generations ago there were no juvenile courts and what passed as juvenile delinquency was settled out of court!!! The media today won’t even mention the juvenile’s name if he or she is under 18 unless they will be charged as adults..
Didn’t President Richard Nixon have a highly publicized campaign promising a “war on crime”? It had all the explosive effect of a pop gun because we continued pushing for coddling criminals in our prisons, in the courts, and everywhere else and we face the same dilemma today because Humanism, which rejects a belief in God is a religion being taught in our public schools, thinks everyone is “basically good.” The professionals threw God out and allowed the devil in and now they wonder why we are having so much crime? One does not need a college degree with a bunch of initials behind his or her name to understand what is going on and who is truly to blame.
The Newsweek article continued by saying those parents who paid their children the most attention, doled out the most praise, and spent the most time were supposedly the best parents. This, of course, is usually the mother. So if a child misbehaved, performed poorly in school, had difficulty getting along with peers, or seemed depressed, were suffering from “low self-esteem,” and it was assumed the “primary caregiver” – the mother - had failed in her responsibilities. A time bomb of anxiety and guilt was thus set to explode in the psyches of American women. And explode it has, creating havoc in families, disabling the emotional liberation of both women and children, and scattering the shrapnel of co-dependency throughout our culture. Many young children are on Ritalin and other drugs while many mothers are on anti-depressants. It has been proven that some young children on these prescription drugs later move to the hard drugs.
In conclusion, the article says all this happened because we made the mistake of believing that people who went to graduate school knew more about raising children than did grandma. The curse is the price of our error.
Destroying Public Education in Americaby Stephen Lendman
Global Research, April 7, 2008
Diogenes called education "the foundation of every state." Education reformer and "father of American education" Horace Mann went even further. He said: "The common school (meaning public ones) is the greatest discovery ever made by man." He called it the "great equalizer" that was "common" to all, and as Massachusetts Secretary of Education founded the first board of education and teacher training college in the state where the first (1635) public school was established. Throughout the country today, privatization schemes target them and threaten to end a 373 year tradition.
It's part of Chicago's Renaissance 2010 Turnaround strategy for 100 new "high-performing" elementary and high schools in the city by that date. Under five year contracts, they'll "be held create innovative learning environments" under one of three "governance structures:"
charter schools under the 1996 Illinois Charter Schools Law; they're called
"public schools of choice, selected by students and take
responsible risks and create new, innovative and more flexible ways of educating
children within the public school system;" in 1997, the Illinois General
Assembly approved 60 state charter schools; Chicago was authorized 30, the
suburbs 15 more, and 15 others downstate. The city bends the rules by operating
about 53 charter "campuses" and lots more are planned.
Charter schools aren't magnet ones that require students in some cases to have special skills or pass admissions tests. However, they have specific organizing themes and educational philosophies and may target certain learning problems, development needs, or educational possibilities. In all states, they're legislatively authorized; near-autonomous in their operations; free to choose their students and exclude unwanted ones; and up to now are quasi-public with no religious affiliation. Administration and corporate schemes assure they won't stay that way because that's the sinister plan. More on that below.
George Bush praised these schools last April when he declared April 29 through May 5 National Charter Schools Week. He said they provide more "choice," are a "valuable educational alternative," and he thanked "educational entrepreneurs for supporting" these schools around the country.
Here's what the president praised. Lisa Delpit is executive director of the Center for Urban Education & Innovation. In her capacity, she studies charter school performance and cited evidence from a 2005 Department of Education report. Her conclusion: "charter schools....are less likely than public schools to meet state education goals." Case study examples in five states showed they underperform, and are "less likely than traditional public (ones) to employ teachers meeting state certification standards."
Other underperformance evidence came from an unexpected source - an October 1994 Money magazine report on 70 public and private schools. It concluded that "students who attend the best public schools outperform most private school students, that the best public schools offer a more challenging curriculum than most private schools, and that the private school advantage in test scores is due to their selective admission policies."
Clearly a failing grade on what's spreading across the country en route to total privatization and the triumph of the market over educating the nation's youths.
In 1991, Minnesota passed the first charter school law. California followed in 1992, and it's been off to the races since. By 1995 19 states had them, and in 2007 there were over 4000 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia with more than one million students in them and growing.
Chicago's two other "governance structures" are:
(1) contract (privatized) schools run by "independent nonprofit organizations;"
they operate under a Performance Agreement between the "organization" and the
Board of Education; and
(2) performance schools under Chicago Public Schools
(CPS) management "with freedom and flexibility on many district initiatives and
policies;" unmentioned is the Democrat mayor's close ties to the Bush
administration and their preference for marketplace education; the idea isn't
new, but it accelerated rapidly in recent years.
Another part of the scheme is in play as well, in Chicago and throughout the country. Inner city schools are being closed, remaining ones are neglected and decrepit, classroom sizes are increasing, and children and parents are being sacrificed on the alter of marketplace triumphalism.
Consider recent events under Mayor Richard Daley in Chicago. On February 27, the city's Board of Education unanimously and without discussion voted to close, relocate or otherwise target 19 public schools, fire teachers, and leave students out in the cold. Thousands of parents protested, were ignored and denied access to the Board of Ed meeting where the decision came down pro forma and quick. And it wasn't the first time. For years under the current mayor, Chicago has closed or privatized more schools than anywhere else in the country, and the trend is accelerating. Since July 2001, the city closed 59 elementary and secondary schools and replaced many of them with charter or contract ones.
Parents, 54 Unique Benefits of Homeschooling
By Joel Turtel
April 22, 2008
Parents, is homeschooling the right choice for you and your children? Maybe you think you don’t have the time to homeschool because you work. Perhaps you don’t have confidence in your ability to teach your kids because you never took “teaching” courses.
But consider the alternative. Public schools can destroy your children’s self-esteem, destroy their ability to read, strangle their love of learning, put them in physical and moral danger, and wreck their future.
In contrast, here’s 54 unique benefits homeschooling can give you and your kids, as written and explained by Laura B., a smart, wonderful wife, mother of three, homeschooler, and business owner who works from home and still focuses on her family!
Homeschooling (or low-cost internet private schools), can have the following extraordinary benefits for you and your children:
1. Be with Your Family
2. Set Your Own Schedule
3. Vacation When You Want
4. Choose curriculum that best suits the needs of your child
5. Be totally aware of the state and progress of your child's education
6. Keep your child away from un-necessary peer pressure
7. Keep your child away from the bad influence of other children
8. Love, nurture, and teach your child the character and morals you value most
9. Make learning fun
10. Make learning as "experiential" as you want
11. Don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get your child dressed and fed and off to school where their so tired they don't learn well anyway.
12. Break up the day however you want to fit your child's learning attention span
13. Teach your child without any "assumed limitations". Teach multiple languages, develop one skill or subject--the sky's the limit
14. What you teach an older child naturally filters down to the younger child(ren) making learning must easier and faster for siblings
15. Teach at the pace and developmental stage appropriate for your child
16. Avoid educational "labeling"
17. Keep you child as far away from drugs as possible
18. Never have to worry about bomb scares or mass shootings
19. Allow your child to do think, discuss, and explore in ways not possible in a classroom setting
20. Constant positive reinforcement and gentle correction. No abusive words or actions that scar your child's psyche
21. Don't use the school system as a babysitter. You only need a few hours for learning--the rest of the day is filled with unnecessary "busy work"
22. Develop life skills such as cooking, cleaning, and organizing that are easily learned with the additional time spent at home
23. Spend as much time outdoors as you want to enjoy nature and the world around us
24. Teach the value of responsibility by providing daily jobs
25. To make money management as natural as breathing by allowing even small children to do tasks, earn money, save it, and spend it in an appropriate manner.
26. Never have your child beat up by a bully. Teach self-defense skills that will enable him to deal with any situation but not until he is mature enough to handle the emotional aspects of confrontation
27. No pressure or set "expectations" from teachers on a younger sibling that follows an older sibling in the same school
28. Be around when your child needs to talk
29. Take a break when your child needs a break
30. Bond as a family through family group activities
31. Pass on your religious beliefs and morals to your children and stay away from the "indoctrination" of other school systems
32. Teach sex education when you and how you want
33. Develop your child's imagination and teach diverse problem solving skills instead of one institutionalized method of thinking
34. Unlimited possibilities for extra curricular activities that interest your child having to live up to the expectations or skills of others.
35. Develop the individualism of your child
36. Avoid traditional school "group activities" that may leave one student doing all the work or ruining it for everyone else.
37. Never have your child feel the failure, embarrassment, or teasing from "failing" a grade
38. To keep your children out of the care, custody, and control or people you don't know and who naturally teach their philosophy of life whether they realize it or not
39. No opportunity for your child to "sluff off", "snow-blow", or "just get by" with academics
40. To have your child learn initiative naturally as there's no peer pressure or fear of embarrassing himself
41. Allow your child to have input and say in subject matter and style
42. Allow your child to focus on growth and development--not following the latest fad or being in a certain group
43. So your child will only be surrounded by people who love him, encourage him, and want the best for him.
44. Make sure your child doesn't end up graduating without knowing how to read or knowing other basic skills due to educational failings of your local schools.
45. Keep your child out of private schools that have peer pressure, teacher criticism, durgs, sex, and alcohol that your child never needs to be around
46. Avoid grading scales and testing that gives no positive benefit to your child
47. Not to give the state or federal government control of your child that they assume is theirs
48. To easily pass on your unique heritage or language to your child
49. So your child is not limited by "age" or "grade" to advance or explore academics in which they are interested or gifted
50. To teach your children to enjoy life
51. To allow your children to go to work with Mom or Dad when you all want--not just on the one "go to work with a parent holiday"
52. As many field trips as you want, to places that interest your child
53. To just take a day off when everyone feels like it
54. Flexibility to switch or experiment with different curriculum
Parents, if you are disgusted with public schools and want your children to have the great education they deserve, why not consider homeschooling? Millions of parents now homeschool their kids, and many of these parents are only high-school graduates.

Joel Turtel
How Children are Sexually Corrupted in Public SchoolsBy Joel Turtel
September 7, 2008
One of parents’ most important duties is to protect their children from harmful sexual values and behaviors. Yet many public schools force potentially harmful, sometimes shockingly explicit sex education on their students. Most of the time, parents have no control over the content of these classes. Occasionally, a group of parents finds out about a particularly obnoxious sex education class and protests to the principal or local school board. The class may be dropped, only to be replaced by another class that teaches equally objectionable material, again without parent’s consent. School authorities’ attitude towards parents on this issue shows their anti-parent bias, and their contempt for parent’s rights to control the values their children are taught.
Many school authorities insist that children need comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through high school. They believe parents can't be trusted because they have shameful feelings about sex or have “outdated” moral or sexual values. School authorities, claiming that they know best regarding sex education, usurp parents’ role, allegedly for the “good of the children.” In doing so, they show contempt for parents’ rights, values, and common sense.
Many sex education classes indoctrinate children with sexual values that can cause them irreparable harm. According to Christopher J. Klicka, author of “The Right Choice, Home Schooling,” sex education textbooks used in public schools throughout the country teach that any kind of sex is acceptable, including adultery, homosexuality, masturbation, and premarital sex. In effect, the textbooks preach that it’s OK for kids to engage in any kind of sex that they feel “comfortable” with.
Horror stories about sex education classes and flagrant violations of parents’ rights confront us from around the country. Here are just a few of those stories:
• On March 19, 1996, a public school in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania made 59 sixth-grade girls submit to a genital examination as part of a routine physical. The school did not ask for parental consent. During the exam, school officials blocked the exit doors and refused to let the crying and pleading young girls call their parents.
• In Stephens County, Georgia, parents were shocked to discover that their fourteen and fifteen year old daughters had been driven to a birth control clinic by a public school staff member without their knowledge. The county clinic administered AIDS tests and Pap smears to the girls and gave them birth control pills and condoms. The school denied parents access to the test results and defended its actions on the grounds that the counselor believed that she was doing what was best for the girls.
• The Pacific Justice Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents against the Novato [California] Unified School District for authorizing pro homosexual presentations without any prior notice or consent. According to the Pacific Justice Institute Press Release, “The presentations entitled “Cootie Shots,” exposed elementary school children as young as seven years old with skits containing gay and lesbian overtures. The presentations were followed by question and answer sessions about what constitutes ‘normal’ families and acceptance of those who choose the homosexual lifestyle.”
• Carol (last name withheld for privacy), a schoolteacher, couldn’t believe what she was being asked to teach in her sex education class. The curriculum forced her to show second-graders pictures of nude boys and girls and ask them to name body parts. School authorities told Carol and her fellow elementary school teachers that there were no absolute moral rules, so she shouldn’t be concerned about what she had to teach the children.
• In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, parents became furious about a comprehensive survey given to elementary school children in the Gateway School District. The five-to-ten-year-old students were asked questions regarding “forced sex, the torture of animals, the use of guns, and setting fires.” Many of the children were so upset by these questions that they became physically ill, started bed wetting, or began having nightmares. By the time these problems were brought to light, the survey had already been given to over 1,500 children in the Pittsburgh area.
• A Massachusetts Department of Education employee described the pleasures of homosexual sex to a group of high school students at a state sponsored workshop on March 25, [2000] at Tufts [University], this way: “Fisting [forcing one's entire hand into another person's rectum or vagina] often gets a bad rap. . . . [It's] an experience of letting somebody into your body that you want to be that close and intimate with . . . [and] to put you into an exploratory mode.”
• “On March 25, [2000] the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Governor's Commission For Gay and Lesbian Youth, and GLSEN [Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network] co sponsored a statewide conference at Tufts University called ‘Teach Out.’ Among the goals were to build more GSAs [Gay/Straight Alliance clubs] in Massachusetts and expand homosexual teaching into the lower grades. Scores of gay friendly teachers and administrators attended. They received state ‘professional development credits.’ Teenagers and children as young as twelve were encouraged to come from around the state, and many were bused [sic] in from their home districts. Homosexual activists from across the country were also there.”
• A mother was shocked and outraged when she discovered that her son had to read a novel about teenage gay pornography for his English class. The woman had enrolled her son in Newton South High School’s summer program to help prepare him for the English portion of the Massachusetts State Standardized Test. Little did she know that her son's teacher had recently bragged in a Boston Globe newspaper article how he was quietly introducing ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender’ subjects into his academic high school classes. “In this class, the teacher passed out a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky to each child as the class’s required reading assignment, with instructions to write an essay on the book when they finished it.” “The book is aimed at teenagers, and is told from a teenage boy's perspective. The book contains explicit references and discussion regarding: Sexual acts between teenagers, male masturbation, oral-genital sex, a great deal of profanity, male homosexual acts between teenage boys, including kissing, seduction, ‘having a crush,’ and anal sex, illegal drug use, homosexual acts between men and boys, sex between a boy and a dog, female masturbation using an object.”11
• In Newton, Massachusetts, the school forced ninth-grade girls in the health classes to go to a drug store and buy condoms and practice putting them on a banana.When parents who find out about such classes vehemently object, school authorities often arrogantly dismiss parents’ complaints. A Michigan state Senate committee studying the problem of parental consent in public schools, found:
“The treatment of parents with the temerity to object to sex education curricula also reflects a more general attitude toward the role of parents in public education today. “There is a pervasive attitude among many administrators and health educators,” the Michigan Senate committee found, “that they know best what children need. They communicate to parents that they are the professionals and the parents are unschooled amateurs.” Too often, the committee found that parents were treated as if they were an “incidental biological appendage in the raising of their children.”
I apologize to the reader for the long list of graphic horror stories. Unfortunately, the examples I listed barely touch what goes on in sex education classes throughout the country. Parents should exert their rights and make sure their local public schools are not exposing their children to such shocking sex education classes.
Better yet, because arrogant government (public) schools have utter contempt for parents’ rights and routinely disregard parents’ complaints about sex education classes, parents should consider a better alternative for their children’s sake. They should seriously consider taking their children out of public school, permanently, and finding low-cost education alternatives such as Internet private schools, as I describe in my book “Public Schools, Public Menace.”

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Remember the 1960s?

The CIA Created the Drug Culture
By Henry Makow Ph.D.
April 12, 2008
In the 1950's, the CIA experimented with LSD for use in interrogation and as a weapon.
In the 1960's they used this weapon to divert idealistic Americans from the path of social responsibility to one of introspection and self-gratification, i.e. "spiritual liberation."
They neutralized my generation by turning social activists into "flower children" advocating "peace and love."
The mantra of the age was "Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out". The prophet was psychologist, Dr. Timothy Leary (1920-1996).
Was Leary working for the CIA?
Writer Mark Reibling put this question to the aged guru in 1994 after a speech in Gainesville Florida.
"They never gave me a dime," Leary replied with a pained expression, and then avoided his questioner.
In fact, Leary did get money from them but not very much. When I visited him about 1990 he was strained for money. More later.
While not a CIA agent, Reibling makes a convincing case that Leary was their dupe. The CIA promotes people who believe in a cause but are unaware they are advancing the New World Order agenda.
Like most intelligence agencies, the CIA does not represent national interests. It was created by British intelligence and serves the London-based central bankers.
The CIA said they sponsored radicals, liberals and leftists as "an alternative to Communism." This is not true. They did it to introduce a different style of Communism.
Behind the rhetorical facade, Communism is state-monopoly capitalism, controlled by the bankers and administered by the state. The people who own the US Federal reserve also control Russian industry and resources.
Funds and drugs for Leary's research came from the CIA. In his autobiography, "Flashbacks" (1983), Leary credits Cord Meyer, the CIA executive in charge of funding the lib-left and counter culture with "helping me to understand my political cultural role more clearly."
Elsewhere he says the "Liberal CIA" is the "best mafia you can deal with in the Twentieth Century." (These references are from Reibling's groundbreaking must-read article: "Was Leary a CIA agent?" - see below) Leary clearly was working for the CIA but was doing what he wanted-turning on.
Like Leary, we were all dupes.

A Generation of Marionettes

When I was a child I used to lie in bed at night and read TIME and NEWSWEEK from cover to cover. At the age of 12, I helped organize marches for world hunger relief. At 14, the marches were for Negro Civil Rights.
In 1964, while still concerned with the American Negro, I noticed that I was dancing alone. The party had moved to another room. Vietnam was now the cause celebre. It was as if someone (i.e. the CIA-controlled media) had mysteriously blown a whistle.
I participated in a rising crescendo of anti-war activity. In 1968, after the gut-wrenching assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy, LBJ's decision not to seek reelection (his CFR handlers told him to go) and the clubbing of protesters at the Democratic Convention in Chicago deflated the anti-war movement.
Then, acting in unison like a flock of birds, my generation gave up on social change, became "alienated" and "turned inward." Maybe we needed to change ourselves, we reasoned, before we can change the world. Thanks to the CIA, drugs were plentiful and Leary's mantra was echoed in the mass media.
Although it was another ten years before I tried marijuana, I experienced the "Summer of Love" hitchhiking across Canada in 1967. Maybe it was time to "hang loose" and focus on personal things. The 1970's became the "Me Decade."
The protest years weren't a complete waste. Before getting into bed, my first lover made me recount the history of the Vietnam War in detail to make sure I "was serious."
My sister and brother-in-law turned me on to marijuana on my 26th birthday. I saw myself as a choo-choo train ascending a steep grade billowing black smoke. My life was a strain. Marijuana was a revelation. It helped me get "out of myself." I took up yoga.
Although I have never experienced LSD, I embraced the utopian vision of Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley. With considerable justification, they believed that "mind expanding" drugs could provide a genuine visionary experience and release mankind's spiritual potential. In experiments, theology students had life changing revelations; alcoholics were cured. For millennia, many cultures have used drugs to promote spirituality.
In Mexico, Leary took magic mushrooms. The experience convinced him the normal mind was "a static repetitive circuit."
"It was above all and without question the deepest religious experience of my life. I discovered that beauty, revelation, sensuality, the cellular history of the past, God, the devil, all lie inside my body, outside my mind."
This LSD-fueled vision of utopia was put into practice at the highest levels of the US government. In 1963, Cord Meyer's estranged wife Mary Pinchot Meyers was having an affair with President John F. Kennedy who had embraced LSD. Mary approached Leary for supplies and advice. She and her friends were turning on "some of the most powerful men in Washington."
In Dec. 1963, Meyer called Leary and said they killed JFK because "they couldn't control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They've covered everything up. I'm afraid. Be careful." In Oct. 1964, she was murdered.

My Weekend With Timothy Leary

I had a serious case of hero worship when I visited Timothy Leary around 1990. I had contacted him through his publisher and he phoned me. I wanted to meet the guru to see if the utopian vision he represented was still alive.
I was disillusioned. By this time Leary was fixated on the benefits of the "information superhighway." His pantry table was crammed with bottles of alcohol. He told me his "vision of God" was depicted in the last scene in William Gibson's book "Neuromancer."
"At the end of the world, all the information stored in all the computers will rise up into Cyberspace and mingle together." he said. "That's God."
Wonderful, I thought. All those airline reservations mingling together.
At lunch, I tried to remind him of his original vision: using drugs to awaken our spiritual potential and become more God-like in behavior.
"What do you think God is?" he scoffed. "An old man with a beard?"
Prophets sometimes lose their vision. I think this is what happened with Leary. But he was very generous with his time and hospitality. He was a genuine idealist.
I ferried him around Los Angeles in my rented car. He was appearing in a music video made by an obscure band. He was to earn $300. He lived in a nice house but he was not rich. I took him to see his daughter by his first marriage. She lived in public housing in the valley.


The effects of marijuana and LSD vary wildly. Depending on the individual, the setting and quality, people can have positive or negative results. Similarly the drug culture has been a mixed bag. It has given millions the opportunity to escape the suffocating box of modern materialism and discover their spiritual birthright. It has been a gateway to religion. In my case, it confirmed Christ's message that God is Love.
But too many have given up on protest and social change. They feel that "fighting the darkness" just "brings me down."
For me, detachment from the world was a limbo in which I drifted for years. I now believe in the Path of Service. We gain meaning by doing our Creator's work. We become human beings by becoming God's agent in matters large and small.
Our world-view and concerns are totally manipulated by the London-based Masonic bankers through the CIA, mass media and public education. For example, the Iraq War hasn't aroused a protest similar to Vietnam. Why? The answer lies in the treatment in the mass media. The bankers want Iraq to succeed; they wanted Vietnam to fail.
We are marionettes. The environment, fe-manism, diversity, you name it. The bankers are pulling our strings. In the case of the drug culture, they made us self absorbed and quiescent. They didn't expect many of us to find God.
It's time to rediscover social responsibility and uphold the Divine Order against the satanic New World Order.
--------------------------Note: A reader has drawn my attention to an interview in the book "Mass Control" by Jim Keith where Leary admits to being a "witting accomplice" of the CIA.
Note For more information, read "Acid Dreams: The Social History of LSD. CIA, the 60's and Beyond" by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain.
Also: "Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream" by Jay Stevens.
Comments for "The CIA Created the Drug Culture"

James said (May 3, 2005):
Dear Dr. Henry,
Interesting article I think...Have any of us read "Do It" by they late Jerry Rubin? In this book, he states that Marijuana is a communist drug and that his group got "Esso Money"....this should tell us the true intentions of what the bosses of Big Business wants from their customers, or yet what the US wants from its peoples of the different races....
I have for some time believed that the CIA is a group which wants to destroy the rugged make up of the North American people, this won't matter whether what race or group one is a member of. they want to destroy us all.
Tim was only a cog, and FBI agents like G. Gordon Liddy at the time was a person who was a tool of this conspiracy to fool right thinking people into beliveing that the US government was really concerned about the moral decay of it's society, while in fact, the government is sponsoring it's downfall....
Thanks again for another good and insightful article. We must be always watchful...
Kyle said (May 2, 2005):
Hi Henry, I just read your latest article. You wrote "The CIA promotes people who believe in a cause but are unaware they are advancing the New World Order". This reminded me of hearing Dr. Deepak Chopra interviewed on NPR a while ago. He was talking about a program to get people to form peace groups all over the world. I do believe that the more peace and love we have on a planet the better, yet when I put deepak chopra peace groups into a search engine I saw an article about the kick off event for this thing and the keynote speaker was Al (blood drinking) Gore. hmmmmm I passed. You also wrote "...Communism is monopoly capitalism..." which reminded me of this quote (I dont' recall who it is attributed too)---"In Communism man exploits man, in Capitalism its just the opposite". Kyle
Geneva said (May 2, 2005):
Interesting comments. I came to the same conclusion you did about the drugculture. Neuromancer, IMO, was one of the most grim and unreadable sagasever written.
Everything Leary wrote from ExoPsychology onward suggested that his mind hadleft for space migration well in advance of his body. I finally heard himspeak at UVic in 1993. He did okay when narrating the script for his video,but when asked a direct question, he could hardly string two sentencestogether. (Much like our White House resident!) I asked him how globalpoverty figured into his futurestic utopia, and it was clear from his replythat he had never given it a moment's thought.
However, I suspect that by then he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's.He even joked about how senility is like an LSD trip, in that that your mindcan recap the whole process of evolution on your way to the fridge.
Yes, Leary was a great disappointment. But at least Ram Dass is stillkeeping the faith!
Did you see the article about how the FBI engineered the downfall of TheFarm, Stephen Gaskin's commune in Tennessee?
Linda said (May 2, 2005):
Regarding CIA and drugs.. besides defusing protest, drugs also funneled lots of money to black budget CIA doings. See the Gary Webb info.
And it seems to me now that the prevailing message is hate. Red against Blue, keep us fighting against the other political party so we don't see that both are doing the bidding of the ruling class and multinational corporations and the defense-industrial complex. We made the textbooks that trained the jihadists. We make the video games that provide ever more realtraining in killing for our youths. Any school shootings, or planes into towers just bolster the bottom line for the security and defense contracts and allow passage of ever more restrictive laws that reduce or eliminateour Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Corporate rights are always protected [witness judicial nominees], individual rights vanish. All this is good and necessary if you intend to take away the social supports and fear the little people might not approve [if they ever turned off their "reality TV" and looked at the off-screen reality].
Throughout, the question is "who does it serve", or "who benefits" and of course "follow the money".
Tom said (May 2, 2005):
Hello Dr.Makow; Concerning your article "The CIA Created Drug Culture," I found this to be very interesting and clearly reflective of the reams of evidence indicating the way that the CIA operates.
I find that smoking Marijuana after not having smoked it for at least four days gives me a greater level of intelligence, because I have an enhanced balance between reason and emotion. So for one thing, my memory and my imagination are superior.
However, to continue smoking it day after day, throws me right off balance, and I am then unable to avoid being more emotional than rational, and my greater abilities are gone. This ofcourse would not bother most people because they are smoking it for entertainment, the same reason that alcohol is consumed.
It is sad that for so many people, entertainment is found by the destruction of one's greater and more refined sensitivities. So when I see that I have lost my emotional balance from smoking Marijuana, I stay away from it for four days, and then just have one or two puffs, and that's it for the day.
I have found that the emotions released by this method are decidedly far more spiritual than the regular daily emotions which I would experience without it.
Eric said (May 2, 2005):
Henry,I really enjoy reading your articles. I started in August 2002 to really look at 9-11 for the scam it really was. I had heard that 33% of Germans thought 9-11 was an inside job. I knew that their had to be reason that they all had this same idea. So I decided to investigate these allegaions and my world view changed forever. Thanks for the great articles, although I do not always agree with you 100% I do like to get your perspective on all things related to the NWO. I had the pleasure of watching a debate between G Gordon Liddy and Timothy leary in 1990 at a Massachusetts University. It was enjoyable but not very informative. Liddy came off much better than Leary because Leary could not really follow a thought to completion, he was all over the place. What made me laugh even more was the fact that these two supposed enemies were business partners and travelled around the country together and put on these rehearsed debates. That alone indicates to me that Leary was in the US governemnt camp from the begining. Heck he probably did not even think he was in the government camp but he was just happy to have a traveling partner that would help him to earn decent paychecks for being a spaceshot.
Tom said (May 2, 2005):
You poor guys from the 60s .... I grew up watching you guys as a kid get beaten up by cops in those 60s protests and learned to work withinthe system but to be cynical of it and very wary of it. No idealism, just pragmatism. And so, many thanks to you guys for running thegauntlet for me and springing all the traps safely ahead of me. By the time I was old enough to protest, I knew it was better to subvert from within. You often eventually get what you want, and you get paid allalong for getting it. No jail cell. No legal fees. No missed work.
Win from within.
Jason said (May 2, 2005):
Jim Keith wrote the book Mass Control: Engineering Human Conciousness. In it there is an interview with Timothy Leary that he was connected with the CIA. He was in his words " A witting accomplice." I suggest the book if you have not already read it. His connection with them is pretty clear cut.
Carlos said (May 2, 2005):
think Timothy Leary was performing a crucial organic psychosociological role in advocating a qualitative leap in consciousness. If I buy a motor car is it to be supposed I apply to the nearest general hospital to have my legs amputated? If I sell the car and the buyer stages a bank robbery thereafter am I a facilitator, accomplice? The legacy of the psychic impact of Puritanism is rampant. The heinous, torturous antics of the RC church was bad enough. Other than the Inquisition there was the first Black Death as a result of exterminating cats as agents of the Devil, resulting in rats rampant. Let us remember the rat in democracy.Unfortunately T Leary expired prematurely from prostate cancer. Not nipped in the bud. I suggest the pursuit of the industrial-military complex involvement in proliferating ease of availability of LSD is bootless and fruitless. It is, in the final analysis, squandering invaluable mental resources on subjective trivia. That is one of the reasons so many such sites are allowed to stay in operation. Simply because they promote dissipation on welters of information, some, indeed much of which is fact but which accomplishes in terms of rational objective change in the qualitative nature of the social institutions within which Mankind has its being, negligible change. That, in the final analysis, is it.
Ridge said (May 2, 2005):
just read your article on your meeting with Tim Leary.
Yes, it was sad his infatuation with the cyber godhead. I understand from mutual friends though that later he regretted his endorsement of computers ~ that the technology is ultimately vacuous and a horrible means of control.
I met him briefly once after a disappointing public speech to college students: I expected more but he did say 'Tune in. Turn On, and Take over' Abandoning constructive activity was never really part of the psychedelic philosophy whether ersatz or genuine, nor however ad hoc it was, at least as far as I understood it.
The internet is abuzz with rumours of the Tavistock Institute and the Beatles, mind control and the CIA. Taking it at face value, if 'they' brought us LSD and the Beatles I can only conclude they love us. On the other hand if 'they' brought us the Rolling Stones and crystal meth I am sure they hate us. With all the coke and heroin the CIA traffics it is clear they mean us ill.
Jack said (May 2, 2005):
Just read your article on Rense, thanks! It hit a cord with me. Remember LSD was the drug of choice for the 1st Marine Division, pure Sandoz, in Vietnam. The weathermen got Leary out of the US and he ratten them out. CIA very openly admits that they engineered crack cocain. Sometimes I wonder if anything is as it seems. Thanks for your voice . . .jack
Joe said (May 2, 2005):
From 1996 (maybe before?) till 1999 or 2000 florida was flooded with extremely high quality extacy. Most of the high-level distributors of this were jews or israeilis, coincidentally. It was extremely popular, kids who were not typically hard drug users (pot smokers, drinkers) were doing it. Cops were not really on to it, the law was lax and they didn�t check for it. A drug sniffing dog looked for marijuana, heroin, or cocaine. I don�t remember ever hearing someone being convicted of an x offense during this time.
Then suddenly there is a federal law which is 3rd degree felony (the worst) for handling x, and the quality was horrible, and it was impossible to find. The chemical is pure serotonin, it�s like eating 10000 prozac pills at once. I never had a bad experience but many users crash the next day � not physically like with many drugs, but psychologically. They are so depressed.
I have a theory that this was all a way to promote pharmaceutical legal drugs like prozac and Zoloft, sure it is more complicated than that, but definitely this is an easy way to get a generation hooked on your product. There is little difference between x and prozac except prozac is subtle, less strong, legal, and MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.
The rave culture was not like the flower power culture, comparatively we were quite pathetic, and I think not many noticed that at every rave party there was always some much older male (40�s or 50�s) surrounded by a group of high on x kids listening to him rant about the government.
My questions are: who controls the pharmaceutical companies, and how could they be connected? How were these distributors able to import virtually limitless supplies of an illegal substance and then suddenly STOP? What long term side effects are there for these kids? Etc. etc.
Christine said (May 1, 2005):
Years ago, I heard a tape by Ralph de Toledano, who was an agent for the OSS, the World War II-era precurser of the CIA. He said that during his tenure, half of them were Communists and they had a few Nazis in there, too. You can only imagine what it's like NOW.Joseph Douglass wrote excellent exposes of Communist efforts to use drugs to corrupt and weaken society in his works Red Cocaine and Betrayed. He said that the Reds regard drugs as a form of chemical warfare on the West. Additionally, the Chinese shoved drugs on their own people to soften them up before the Communist revolution there. Seems to be working here, too, doesn't it?
Regards, Christine
Rich said (May 1, 2005):
hi henry, i was wondering what your opinion is on walmart and predatorial capitalism in general? i am a former walmart shopper who was obsessed with driving across town to get the " lowest prices". meanwhile the small busineses in my neighborhood are slowly going under! from now on my money goes to small business! please protest and boycott walmart! death to the new world order!! rich
Tinker, Tailor, Stoner, Spy: Was Timothy Leary a CIA Agent?by Mark Riebling
Timothy Leary, the CIA, and LSD: A Narrative Chronology. Touches on Angleton, JFK, and the mysterious unsolved murder of Mary Meyer.
Summer-bachelor Jack Kennedy stands on the Harry Truman balcony overlooking the rose-garden fountain, a soothing sight before him: prisms of lighted water shooting into darkness, the white spike of the Washington Monument, auto headlights flickering along Executive Avenue. He begins to feel a deep-seated goodness within, centered between his chest and throat. From the bedroom behind him, through white chiffon curtains in open french doors, float the chords of a Sinatra song -- "All I Need is the Girl." With strange clarity, JFK can suddenly make out every note...
Behind the curtains moves the shadow of a tall woman who is not his wife. She is deeply connected to CIA, and has just dispensed to the President of the United States a dose of LSD. In the next few hours she will be "brainwashing" him, and she will be doing so on the directions of a Harvard psychologist, Dr. Timothy Leary, whose colleagues are all taking CIA money, and who has himself designed a personality test used by CIA....
This, or something very much like this, actually happened. To understand how and why it happened requires cruising back a few years, digging through government documents, reading between the lines of Leary's autobiography, Flashbacks. It's a trip through the secret maze of the American pyschedelic underground, a journey that is its own destination, a mystery that must be solved by the reader's own detective work. What follows are the undisputed facts, the clues.
September 1942: The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), wartime precursor to CIA, begins searching for a drug that will force subjects of interrogation, such as captured Nazi U-boat crews, to reveal secrets. As project director Dr. Stanley Lovell will recall, the idea of a "truth drug" is "considered fantastic by the realists, unethical by the moralists, and downright ludicrous by the physicians." But according to OSS records, Lovell goes ahead and tests "mescaline, various barbiturates, scopolamine, benzedrine, cannabis indica (marijuana), etc." The best results are obtained with the marijuana: "A few minutes after administration, the subject gradually becomes relaxed, and experiences a sensation of well-being... thoughts flow with considerable freedom... conversation becomes animated and accelerated. Inhibitions fall away.... [the drug] makes manifest any strong characteristics of the individual.... Whatever the individual is trying to withhold will be forced to the top of his subconscious mind." To "administer" the pot without a subject's knowing it, OSS scientists dissolve marijuana leaves in acetone, then heat the result into a clear, odorless, viscous liquid -- tetrahydrocannabional acetate -- which can be "injected into any type of food, such as mashed potatoes, butter, salad dressing, or in such things as candy."
May 25, 1943: THC acetate is tested on an unknowing subject, Lower East Side mafioso August "Little Augie" Del Gaizo, who has been helping OSS smuggle agents into Nazi-held Sicily. Little Augie is considered an ideal subject because he has secrets he is "most anxious to conceal, the revelation of which might result in his imprisonment"; in fact, he prides himself on having never informed, and has even "been instrumental in killing some persons who have been informants." But after smoking two proffered cigarettes, laced with a total of .14 grams THC, Little Augie becomes "obviously 'high' and extremely garrulous" as he sits in the apartment of OSS officer George White, a former Treasury agent who had arrested him several times in the past. When White turns the subject to law enforcement, Little Augie "with no further encouragement" divulges the identities of city officials on the take; details of the criminal empire run by Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel; "and other information that subject would not give under ordinary circumstances. There is no question but that administration of the drug was responsible for loosening the subject's tongue." Henceforth, OSS refers to the THC acetate simply as "TD," a cryptonym for "Truth Drug."
1944: OSS uses "TD" in secret operations. Lovell reports that "Certain disclosures of the greatest value are in the possession of our military intelligence as a result of this treatment, which it is felt would otherwise not be known. Properly employed... it may be a national asset of incalculable importance." But OSS officials, fearing political backlash if use of the drug is revealed, shut the program down.
April-May 1945: Jack Kennedy, before entering politics, is working as a reporter for the Hearst newspaper chain. While covering the charter conference of the United Nations at San Francisco, he frequently sees an old flame from Choate, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and her husband, Cord Meyer, Jr., who is an assistant to the American delegation. A young Yale graduate and award-winning literary talent, Cord Meyer was badly wounded by a Japanese hand-grenade on Guam and has a glass eye; when he smokes cigarettes, the smoke slowly drifts up and into his open, nerveless, unblinking left eye, curling around the glass orb. The sight so disconcerts JFK that he finds himself rubbing his own left eye in a kind of sympathetic agony.
September 1946: Timothy Leary begins doctoral studies in psychology at Berkeley.
1947: Dr. Werner Stoll, a researcher at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, publishes the first scientific articles on LSD-25, an extract of rye mold, noting that it accelerates thinking and blunts suspicion in schizophrenics.
1947-48: As a graduate student in psychology, Leary attends the first two national conventions of the American Veterans Committee (AVC), a left-wing veterans group, as a California state delegation leader. At the second AVC convention, in Milwaukee, Leary meets Cord Meyer, who is then spearheading an anti-communist purge of the organization. Meyer lectures Leary about communism, and the importance of liberal resistance to it. Leary will later credit Meyer with "helping me understand my political-cultural role more clearly."
Late 1950: Cord Meyer joins CIA and begins working in its International Relations Division, of which he is soon put in charge. The express purpose of this division is to covertly finance, infiltrate, and encourage noncommunist liberal-left movements and institutions, such as labor unions, creative-academic societies, and student groups.
April 13, 1953: CIA launches Operation MK/ULTRA, a major drug and mind-control program. Although THC acetate is studied as an interrogation aid, CIA is more concerned about reports of communist brainwashing experiments on American POWs in Korea, and focuses on stronger, hallucinogenic drugs. "Aside from the offensive potential, the development of a comprehensive capability in this field... gives a thorough knowledge of the enemy's theoretical potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these techniques as we are." Some CIA employees, including perhaps Meyer, volunteer for experiments. Through a front organization called The Society For Human Ecology, CIA begins sponsoring $25 million in research into the effects of mind-altering drugs -- LSD, psilocybin and mescaline -- at Harvard University and at several cites in the San Francisco-Oakland area, including Stanford and Berkeley.
1954-59: Leary is director of clinical research and psychology at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland. He devises a personality test, "The Leary," which is used by CIA to test prospective employees. He has also become a close friend to Frank Barron, a graduate school classmate who has ben working for CIA since at least 1953. Barron works at the Berkeley Institute for Personality Assessment and Research, which Leary will later acknowledge is "funded and staffed by OSS-CIA psychologists."
1960-61: Barron founds the Harvard Pyschedelic Drug Research Center. Leary follows Barron to Harvard and becomes a lecturer in psychology. After Barron administers to him some CIA-supplied psilocybin and LSD, Leary begins tripping regularly. He also studies the effects of psycheledics on others in controlled experiments. He later admits to knowing, at the time, that "some powerful people in Washington have sponsored all this drug research." In addition to Barron, Leary's associates and assistants during this period include former OSS chief pyschologist Harry Murray, who had montiored military experiments on Truth-Drug brainwashing and interrogation, and Martin Orne, a researcher receiving funds from CIA. Leary also consults British philosopher Aldous Huxley, author of the psychedelic manifesto, The Doors of Perception (from which Jim Morrision would later take name his band). Huxley, who is at Harvard on a visiting professorship, urges Leary to form a secret order of LSD-Illuminati, to launch and lead a psychedelic conspiracy to brainwash influential people for the purposes human betterment. "That's how everything of culture and beauty and philosophic freedom has been passed on," Huxley tells him. "Initiate artists, writers, poets, jazz musicians, elegant courtesans. And they'll educate the intelligent rich."
Spring 1962: Mary Meyer, recently divorced from her CIA husband, visits Leary at Harvard. She leans against the door post, hip tilted provocatively, studying him with green-blue eyes. Leary will later recall here as "amused, arrogant, aristocratic." She tells him she has a "friend who's a very important man, who wants to try LSD for himself." At the time, though Leary does not know this, Mary is having an affair with President Kennedy, which will include more than thirty visits to the White House (later confirmed by Presidential Secretary Kenneth O'Donnell). Mary tells Leary that the government is studying ways to "use drugs for warfare, for espionage, for brainwashing." She asks him to "teach us how to run [LSD] sessions, use drugs to do good." Leary agrees. He provides her with drug samples and "session" reports, and is in touch with her every few weeks, advising her on how to be a "brainwasher." She swears him to secrecy.
Late July, 1962: While the First Lady is away at the Kennedy summer home in Hyannisport, Mary calls on JFK at the White House. She records the visit in her diary, and later describes it to her close friend James Truitt of the Washington Post. She and the President of the United States smoke two joints of marijuana, reportedly prompting the leader of the free world to say, "This isn't at all like cocaine. I'll get you some of that." Once he is suitably "loosened up" -- Leary has emphasized the need to put subjects in a "benevolent state" before turning them on -- Mary dispenses to Jack a dose of LSD. As it starts to "kick in," he goes out and stands on Harry Truman's balcony overlooking the rose-garden fountain, a soothing sight before him....
Fall 1962: Leary meets Mary Meyer in a room at Boston's Ritz Hotel. She alludes to her "hush-hush love affair," and tells him that "top people in Washington are turning on." According to Leary's recounting, she also says: "Do you remember the American Veterans Committee, that liberal veterans group you belonged to after the war? The CIA started that." She explains to him that "CIA creates the radical journals and student organizations and runs them with deep-cover agents.... dissident organizations in academia are also controlled." When Leary asks her how she knows all this, she explains: "I knocked you with those facts to get your attention. It's a standard intelligence trick." She confides that CIA has not only been running left-wing groups as fronts, but has been sponsoring more psychedelic research than he will ever know. "You are doing exploratory work the CIA tried to do in the 1950s. So they're more than happy to have you do their research for them. Since drug research is of vital importance to the intelligence agencies of this country, you'll be allowed to go on with your experiments as long as you keep it quiet," she advises.Spring 1963: Leary again meets Mary Meyer at the Ritz. She says that her love affair has been exposed, although no publicity has resulted. "I don't trust the phones or the mail," she warns. He is to make no contact with her until further notice. May-June 1963: Mary warns Leary, who is conducting a psychedelic summer camp in Mexico, that their "sessions" are "in jeopardy" because he is attracting "too much publicity."
September 1963: Mary drives up to see Leary, now conducting experiments at a large private estate in Milbrook, New York. She gives him, for his experiments, a bottle of "the best LSD in the world," from the National Institute of Mental Health. She takes countersurveillance precautions, and says: "We had eight intelligent women turning on the most powerful men in Washington. And then we got found out.... I made a mistake in recruitment. A wife snitched on us... I've gotten mixed up in some dangerous matters."
December 1, 1963: Around this time Mary calls Leary, who had been "expecting a phone call from [her]... ever since the Kennedy assassination." According to Leary, she says: "They couldn't control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They've covered everything up.... I'm afraid. Be careful."
October 12, 1964: Mary Meyer is shot to death, execution-style, at 12:45 p.m., on a park towpath by the Georgetown Canal in Washington, D.C. Her body is identified by Ben Bradlee, Cord Meyer's brother-in-law, editor of the Washington Post. CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton confiscates and later burns the diary in which Mary has recorded her liaisons with JFK. A black laborer with a wife and five children, 26-year old Raymond Crump, Jr., is arrested on suspicion of murdering Mary in a robbery attempt, but she had not been carrying a purse, and there is no credible eyewitness testimony placing Crump at the site.
July 20, 1965. A jury deliberates only eleven hours before acquitting Crump in Mary Meyer's death. The murder weapon is never found; the crime is never solved.
1965-66: FBI agents openly surveil Leary's drug experimentation compound at Milbrook. Leary, intimidated, considers relocating to Mexico. For jurisdictional reasons, the Bureau turns the case over to former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy, now a county prosecutor, who later says: "The word was that at Leary's lair the panties were dropping as fast as the acid." Liddy leads a raid by sheriffs in March 1966. Leary is charged with possession of illegal drugs, but the case is dropped on technicalities after the Supreme Court's Miranda decision in June. This series of events imprints on Leary a deep distrust of the FBI and of "cops" generally.
January-August 1967: Ramparts, a radical magazine, exposes CIA sponsorship of the National Student Association, a Cord Meyer project. Meyer's best friend, James Angleton, assigns CIA officer Richard Ober to begin a leak investigation into the Ramparts story. Ober's probe is soon expanded into a spy program on the countercultural and student-protests movements, code named CHAOS.]
September 1967: Just as CHAOS is launched, Leary moves from the isolation of upstate New York, where he has been philosophically contemplating the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and becomes a gregarious, media-hounding fixture of the Southern California countercultural scene, telling young people to "Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out."]1968: While other New-Left leaders preach violent overthrow of the U.S. Government and creation of a Marxist dictatorship, Leary urges instead a nonviolent, drug-oriented "hippie capitalism," an artsy-craftsy, decentralized, libertarian sort of entrepeneurship that will also soon find its expression in the culture of the Grateful Dead. While Leary's position does constitute a rejection of the corporate world, it also embraces private property and the profit motive. Because of this, the Marxist Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) denounces Leary and his noncommunist followers for "limiting the revolution." The Progressive Labor Party (PLP), a Maoist "Old Left" group, goes so far as to claim that Leary is a CIA agent. But the PLP is accusing everyone it disgarees with of being CIA.
1969: Leary critics will eventually point with suspicion to his close connections during this time to an international LSD-smuggling cartel, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, which is rumored to be a CIA front. The Brotherhood is controlled by Ronald Stark, whom an Italian High Court will later conclude has been a CIA agent since 1960, and the Brotherhood's funds are channeled through Castle Bank in the Bahamas, a known CIA "proprietary." For two years Leary lives at Brotherhood headquarters, located on a ranch in Laguna Beach. During this period, the Brotherhood corners the U.S. market on LSD and begins distributing only one variety of the drug, "Orange Sunshine." Stark says he plans to distribute the product to CIA-backed guerillas fighting Chinese occupation; he reportedly knows a high-placed Tibetan close to the Dalai Lama, and wants to provide enough LSD to dose all Chinese troops in Tibet. In the U.S., meanwhile, Stark provides enough Orange Sunshine to dose the hippie culture and radical left many times over. This is the "bad acid" on which Charles Manson's followers murder Sharon Tate, and on which Hell's Angels stab to death a black man during a concert by the Rolling Stones. The Summer of Love has been supplanted by a Season of Hate. Because of this, many countercultural insiders -- including William S. Burroughs, White Panther leader John Sinclair, and Merry Prankster Ken Kesey -- will eventually entertain the theory that Stark, Leary, and Orange Sunshine are all part of CIA plot to discredit and neutralize the radical left. According to former radicals Martin Lee and Bruce Shalin, widespread use of Orange Sunshine "contributed significantly to the demise of the New Left, for it heightened the metabolism of the body politic and accelerated all the changes going on... In its hyped-up condition, the New Left burned itself out."
Fall 1969: According to declassified government documents, CIA now has a CHAOS agent with "particularly good entree into the highest levels of the domestic radical community," who is providing "extremely personal data." It is decided to send this agent to infiltrate the overseas headquarters of the Black Panthers, but this will not be accomplished for many months. In the meantime, CIA will debrief him for purely domestic information about his associates, in part because he does not "wish to deal with the FBI." This description perfectly fits Leary. No one has better "entree" than Leary, who has recently been helicoptered in as the guest of honor at Woodstock. Few have more "personal" data on radical figures than the man who is personally turning them on. The overall pattern of Leary's career, his continual links to people who are linked to CIA, is certainly suggestive. So is the fact that, like CIA's "star agent," his willingness to mix with CIA-types does not extend to the FBI, which Leary has disliked since Liddy's raid on Milbrook.
1970: In February, Leary is convicted of marijuana possession and jailed at Lompoc, California. This seems clear evidence that he is not, after all, a CIA asset or government informant. Yet CIA has at times employed agents or infomrants who are later prosecuted for activities unrelated to their government work. For instance, Johnny Rosselli, and other Mafiosi hired by CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro in the early 1960s, are eventually taken down by the FBI, though over CIA protest. If then, Leary is working for CIA, this may complicate, but ultimately not preclude, his prosecution for other "crimes." In any case, Leary is not exactly chained to the wall in a dark cellar. Lompoc is a minimum-security, white-collar "joint," the plushest in the United States, and Leary is still able to get acid. His movements, moreoover, soon keep him in a position to provide valuable intelligence to the U.S. government.
September 12, 1970: Leary is "liberated" from Lompoc by members of the Weather Underground, an SDS offshoot named after Bob Dylan's lyric, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." The Weathermen have launched a Marxist guerilla struggle in the United States, and Leary pledges his solidarity in a a "POW Statement." It reads, in part: "Listen Americans! Your government is an instrument of totally lethal evil. Resist actively, sabotage, jam the computer... hijack planes, trash every lethal machine in the land.... To shoot a genocidal robot policeman in the defense of life is a sacred act.... Total war is upon us.... WARNING: I am armed and should be considered dangerous!" This especially provocative and hyperbolic communique has two main effects. It re-establishes Leary's bona fides in the radical underground, and it turns American opinion farther against the New Left.
October 1970: According to Angleton's deputy, Scott Miler, CIA is at this time trying quite hard to the answer the question: "What was Eldridge Cleaver doing in Algeria?" As it happens, Leary now flies to Algiers and joins up with Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver. Leary's travels, and the operation to spring him from jail, have been financed by Stark and the Brotherhood.
October 21, 1970: A CIA memo records that its prized CHAOS source -- Leary? -- is now overseas.
November 1970 -- May 1971: Cleaver grows suspicious of Leary, searches Leary's apartment "for documents proving that we [Leary and his wife] were CIA operatives," and imprisons him in the Panthers' Algerian compound as "white slaves."
February 12, 1971: A CIA document reports that "Eldridge Cleaver and his Algiers contingent have apparently become disenchanted with the antics of Tim Leary.... Electing to call their action protective custody, Cleaver and company, on their own authority, have put Tim and Rosemary under house arrest." Since Leary's condition is not publicly known, this report can only have come from penetration of Cleaver's entourage. Unless CIA has recruited black militants -- a sociologically unlikely scenario -- the information has most probably come from electronic surveillance on the Panther compound, or from secret communications by Leary or his wife. May 1971: Leary and his wife escape to Switzerland with the assistance, according to Leary, of an "Algerian bureaucrat named Ali," who "made no bones about his connection to the CIA." "Are you sure you can trust him?" Leary's wife asks him. "He's liberal CIA," Leary says, "and that's the best mafia you can deal with in the twentieth century." The escape operation is financed by the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, though checks drawn on CIA's Castle Bank.
June 18-19, 1972: G. Gordon Liddy, now working for Republicans' Campaign to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), oversees a break-in of the Democratic National Committe at Watergate. The burglars are caught and Liddy is arrested. The next day, top CIA officials meet secretly to discuss the burglary, in which Liddy has used some ex-CIA agents working for ex-CIA officer Howard Hunt at the White House. CIA director Richard Helms orders his deputies to carry out a "damage control" strategy, to deflect suspicion away from the Agency and toward the President's Men. This is exactly what is accomplished by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's key "intelligence community" source in the case, Deep Throat, who begins providing tips to Woodward this very day, a few hours after CIA's damage control meeting. The coincidence of timing suggests that Throat is someone who is at the CIA conference and who has close connections to the Post. Cord Meyer, now #2 man in CIA's Operations Directorate, is at the meeting, and is still close with his in-law Bradlee, the Post's editor. He also fits perfectly the many clues Woodward later drops as to Throat's identity, including chain smoking, a knowledge of literature (Meyer was an award-winning fiction writer before joining CIA) and a battle-scarred face (Meyer had a glass eye).
1973-78: After two years of "jet-setting" in Switzerland, Leary returns to the U.S. By his own account, this has occured through the machinations of CIA; Leary says they have "kidnapped" him. He is convicted on drug charges, and begins doing hard time at Folsom Prison. This seems clear evidence, again, that suspicions about his ultimate loyalties are merely left-wing paranoia. But after a few months out of public view, Leary comes into the open as a government informant. Under the code-name CHARLIE THRUSH, he turns State's evidence against the Weather Underground. Freed from prison, he is taken into custody for fear that radical revolutionaries have marked him for execution. His former colleagues in the movement form a group calling itself People Investigating Leary's Lies (PILL). Abbie Hoffmann declares that "Timothy Leary is a name worse than Benedict Arnold." Allen Ginsburg says that Leary is "like Zabbath Zvi, false Messiah, accepted by millions of Jews centuries ago."
1978-93: After his last offical contacts with security agencies, in 1978, Leary distances himself both from the government and the "movement" that no longer really exists. Out in the cold, he becomes a sophist in the true sense, a wise-man for rent or hire. Early in the Reagan years he "debates" G. Gordon Liddy, the Watergate burglar who once busted him at Milbrook, on a nationwide tour. Former sixties radicals disgustedly describe the event as "bogus," and say it is proof that Leary is "in with the fuzz." At the very least, Leary seems to the Left a lightweight, a one-man Madison Avenue scam, a functional part of the Establishment he once swore to subvert. He hangs out at Helena's, the trendy restaurant in which Jack Nicholson has an interest, and he occasionally philosophizes for a fee at Carlos and Charlie's, a local restaurant that also headlines Joan Rivers. He defends his New Style by saying, quite earnestly: "If Aristotle were alive today, he'd have a talk show." He also publishes Flashbacks: An Autobiography, recounting obliquely his dealings with Cord and Mary Meyer and his work as a government informant, touching only in passing on CIA's funding of LSD resarch. He designs computer software and hails the coming of the Information Superhighway. Though lacking family wealth, or any gainful employment since 1962, he has nevertheless managed to become a rich man. He lives in Benedict Canyon, only a doors away from the house where Manson's followers, and Orange Sunshine, did their worst. From his yard he can survey the whole City of Light, and he likes the symbolism of that.
April 14, 1994:
Leary, aged 73, visits Gainesville, Florida. He has come to present a multi-media lecture demonstration of electronic mind expansion, "How To Operate Your Brain." Three thousand people sit down to see him. He wears white Adidas, black polyester pants, and a psychedelic vest with a '93 Lollapalooza Guest Pass stuck on it.
In his warm-up remarks, he describes looking out the window of his plane on the way in, and comments that "the clouds in Gainseville have been constructed by George Lucas." He complains that it's hard to buy marijuana anymore, and says that pot causes short-term memory loss, but also "long-term memory gain." He says he will be trying to "brainwash" the audience, "not to resist or fight authority, but to engage it in a dialogue to force progressive change."
The lights go down, and some electronic funk comes on. Leary serves as narrator-guide while colors and words flicker and flash on a screen. He quotes Socrates and Ralph Waldo Emerson. People should think for themselves and question authority. Also, "Divinity resides within."
After the lights come on, Leary opens the gig up for questions -- but only after warning us, "You're not supposed to believe anything I say." People start queueing up for questions at two microphones, and I'm about fifth in line at one of them. I'm planning to ask him about his rumored connections to CIA. Most of the "questions" before mine are pretty uncool. A lot are from NORML activists: "If you wanna come over to my place afterward..." Then some crazy-eyed man says, "The state of Florida is shaped like a gun, and Gainesveille is the trigger -- look at a map. Anyway, I'm a schizophrenic and I think I'm Jesus Christ. So Dr. Leary, am I Jesus Christ?" He is serious. Leary dispenses with him by saying, "Just don't get yourself crucified."
Finally it's my turn. I step up to the mike. Leary looks at me, looks at his watch. "Sorry, no more time for questions." A fist-faced steroidal security guard gets between me and the mike. Leary disappears behind the curtain.
As fans mill about afterward, I hear there's some kind of VIP reception for Leary in a side-room, guarded by more fat-necks in blue blazers. I scam my way in: My girlfriend is a professor at the Univeristy, and she talks to some guy who talks to some guy. The side room is one of those harshly lit holding tanks, like where a record company's PR girl puts you when she doesn't know you're "with the band." People nibble nervously on peanut-butter cookies until Leary enters. There's an initial crush forward, but then everyone sort of hestitates, afraid to get too close to "the man," unsure what to say. He sits down at the far side of the room. What the hell, I go for mine -- I sit down right next to him.
He inscribes to me a copy of FLASHBACKS. I notice that his hands are weird in the way old people's hands are, with these corroding purple spots. He seems tired and distracted, so I try the standard espionage trick: Knock him with some facts to get his attention. "You know, my stepmother used to work for Cord Meyer." Which is true; she was for some years a secretary at CIA.
Leary's reaction is physical: He jerks, as if jolted by some alternating current for which he has no adapter. His eyes are bright with memory. "Cord Meyer was a pretty intense guy," he says, smiling. I ask a couple other questions, tacking around. Then I put it to Leary like this. "You say in your book that a lot of the LSD experiments at Harvard and Berkeley were, like, paid for by CIA. So I was wondering -- I mean, what were your connections with the Agency?"
Suddenly he seems tight and defensive, finds the adapter and plugs it in. "They never gave me a dime," he says.
I look into his eyes, the way you do when you try to tell if someone is lying. I don't see deception, exactly; only pain. He doesn't say anything to me after this, so I awkwardly say goodbye and leave.
Driving home, in the dark, I feel some journalistic guilt for having bothered this good-hearted sage, whose views on life are mostly right. Maybe he has actually told me the truth. The pain in his eyes was probably injured innocence, the kind I'd feel if I'd done a great life's work and some punk kid asked me, at the end of it, if I'd been funded all along by the KGB. On the other hand, if he did collaborate with CIA, he'd hardly be at liberty to say so, would he? Might he not also feel just a bit guilty; thus the pain? And if the Agency never gave him any money, how did they get the rights to use the personality test that bears his name?
I come to a red light. Flashing in my mind is a subliminal message from Leary's "brainwashing" session: "Think for yourself -- question authority." And then I remember his warning to us, before the question & answer period: "You're not supposed to believe anything I say."
An impossible transition is required here. Questions hang, uanswered, like bats on the ceiling of a cave. Was Timothy Leary CIA, or what? What was Mary Meyer trying to "brainwash" JFK to do, and why did both die such untimely, mysterious deaths? Was Orange Sunshine really part of a government-orchstrated plot? Is Leary's Online Tip a new way to free the mind, or merely the final phase of his one-man plot to hijack the history of the world?
Damn if I know. The secret world of intelligence and espionage has been called a "wilderness of mirrors," and rightly. You can spend a lot of time saying, "On the one hand.... On the other hand," especially if you are on Truth Drug....
Hip 60s Filmmaker Threatens Illuminati Investigator
By Mel Cameron
‘RADIC AL filmmaker’ Robert Carl Cohen is freaking out over Dave McGowan’s exposure of the Hollywood-hyped hippie revolution of the 60s.
Cohen, a social psychologist who went to China, Cuba and East Germany in the late 50s and early 60s to film the effects of the communist revolutions, has been sending McGowan nasty emails threatening lawsuits.
McGowan, on his website Centre for an Informed America, isn’t saying what Cohen’s specific problem is, but Dave makes it clear he’s not taking the threats seriously.
Cohen appears to be upset by McGowan’s series The Strange But Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Rise of the Hippie Generation (Dave wins Long Title of the Year Award). Now why would that be so? The series exposes the amazing links between US military intelligence, super wealthy families and all those ‘anti-establishment’ hippy rock heroes of the Canyon.
Like many of the characters in McGowan’s investigation, Cohen has former military intelligence connections but that’s purely coincidental. Perhaps he’s upset because so many of the characters of his 1967 documentary called Mondo Hollywood, which he filmed and produced, are the same key players identified in the strange and frequently fatal activities of the Laurel Canyon set?
You can view the trailer and excerpts of Mondo Hollywood on YouTube. It’s a grab-bag of go-go girls, celebrities, homosexuals, drug users and various ‘freaks’ doing hip and naughty things – like wow, way out and groovy man, join the revolution, kill the pigs, peace, love and LSD.
McGowan hasn’t stated it explicitly, but his series strongly implies that the hippie thing was almost entirely a social experiment run from above. Given the revelations by the Church Committee in 1975 about the large-scale experiment with LSD on the minds of young westerners through Project MK Ultra, the Laurel Canyon revelations fall right in line.
Cohen, in a 2006 interview with Don Wrege of Radical Films (posted on YouTube), insists Mondo Hollywood was just film of diverse people who approached him to be filmed ‘saying what they wanted to say and doing what they wanted to be filmed doing’. Groovy, it’s like a doing-your- own-thing-in-your-own-time kinda movie. It’s all very hip, groovy, cool and spaced out.
Speaking of drugs and the like, the movie, coincidentally, also features a roomful of folk at Topanga Canyon – Steve McQueen among them – being lectured by one Dr Richard Alpert about LSD.
Cohen admits to asking Alpert, an associate of Dr Timothy Leary in the MK Ultra project, if he would like to be in the movie, unlike all the other characters who ‘approached him’.
He explains that he researched the acid scene as part of the movie . “I observed that certain elements in the US government primarily were using drugs to try to compromise the protest movement,’’ says Cohen, adding that the acid culture was ‘an inherent part of the Hollywood scene’ anyway.
Cohen’s intriguing filmmaking career starts with him as a ‘US soldier’ stationed just outside of Paris at the end of WWII with the NATO supreme headquarters, which he notes, was driven out of France by Charles de Gaulle. (What did Mr de Gaulle know about NATO?) This smart young soldier Cohen also attended the Sorbonne in Paris where he would gain his doctorate in social psychology. During the 50s he would also gain a Master of Cinematography from the UCLA.
He says he was ‘separated’ from the military in 1956, then in 1957 attended the World Youth Festival in Moscow from where he was commissioned by the NBC to travel to China to film his first documentary Inside Red China. Fertile ground indeed for the social psychologist, although the film credits portray Cohen as ‘the first reporter inside China’.
The film, incidentally, is a propaganda-laced travelogue obviously filmed with full co-operation from the communist authorities. Cohen says not one frame of his film was censored. That’s hardly surprising as there was nothing to censor and his commentary, which contained only a few mildly critical comments about the Maoist regime, was no doubt added later.
Cohen visits the Great Wall reconstruction where happy workers ‘are paid more if they carry more bricks’, a children’s hospital which he dangerously admits is not typical of most other Chinese hospitals and the Peking Opera ‘where the crowd buys popsicles to eat during the performance’ in contrast to its performances in London and Paris ‘where people wear diamonds and furs’.
He also films a gathering of China’s scientific and political elite including Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En Lai and Tsien Shu Fen, a former rocket scientist from the California Institute of Technology who makes the apparently seamless transfer to director of Red China’s Institute of Mechanics. Curiously, the faces of other westerners clearly show up at the various gatherings. One even sips drinks with Chou.
A Wikipedia contributor makes the interesting observation: “The greatest period of collaboration between sociologists and psychologists was during the years immediately following World War II.” We can safely assume the reason for this was that WWII disrupted entire nations and fostered revolutions that put many people in a state of shock – fertile ground, of course, for the social engineers.
Fast forward to the revolutionary years of the mid to late sixties and 1968 in particular, when, Cohen relates, Mondo Hollywood was banned by the French Government ‘as a danger to mental health’ – a badge of honor for sure, for the ‘radical moviemaker’ of the era.
“So,” Cohen tells Wrege, “it seemed quite logical for me, as part of this continuum of filming in China, East Germany and Cuba … I was working my way back home, to my home in Hollywood and friends said to me, ‘you’ve made these documentaries in these various forbidden and non-forbidden communist countries, why don’t you make a documentary in Hollywood?”
Hollywood in the mid-60s, explains Cohen, was rather like Paris at the end of the 19th Century – ‘a magnet for creative people… not just for people who wanted to make film but for people to live in a Hollywood lifestyle’. Cohen, who was raised in LA, also says he came to understand that it was ‘the centre of illusion’ – a keen observation indeed, Mr Cohen.
Mondo Hollywood’s collection of weirdos, freaks and oddities, coincidentally, includes ‘Gypsy Boots’, a middle-aged natural foods advocate. Cohen just happened to meet Gypsy Boots who asks to be in the movie because ‘I’m freaky man’. Cohen then ‘discovers’ Gypsy Boots lived in a cave in Griffith Park with Eden Ahbez, the 1940s Hollywood mystic who wrote Nature Boy for Matt Monroe in 1948 and was reputed to be an inspiration for the hippie movement.
There’s no end to the strange coincidences that came Cohen’s way.
Then there’s a wealthy woman who practices yoga. Cohen tells Wrege that he ‘doesn’t put these things in the film, I just filmed what the people were doing’. He then confesses to practicing yoga himself 20 years earlier, in the late 40s, a young soldier connected with NATO and studying social psychology.
You’ve got to give it to Cohen, he’s some guy, decades ahead of his time. You might say the true mark of an illuminated human being.
And then there was the eccentric millionaire Louis Marvin III who lived in a strange house on the top of a hill near Malibu. Marvin, coincidentally, was another one of the audience listening to LSD guru Alpert’s lecture in Topanga Canyon the day Cohen was there filming.
Again, says Cohen, Marvin approaches him and says ‘why don’t you put me in your movie?’ There’s no doubt about these extroverted Hollywood types.
Cohen’s list of stars goes on to hairpiece expert Jay Sebring, later to become a victim of Charlie Manson’s gang. And let’s not forget singer Bobby Beausoleil, filmed briefly shooting a little arrow. This follower of Pan (the God of the Illuminati) later joined the Manson gang.
Then there’s Vito Paulekas and Carl O. Franzoni, of the ‘freak troupe’ who wandered Laurel Canyon and Sunset strip and were considered ‘the first hippies’ (apart from Eden Ahbez). McGowan cites author Barry Miles, in his book Hippie: “Calling themselves Freaks, they lived a semi-communal life and engaged in sex orgies and free-form dancing whenever they could.”
Let’s not forget Frank Zappa also, yet another Hollywood ‘personality’ to pop up in Mondo Hollywood among his band The Mothers, who coincidentally, were offered by a friend of Cohen to perform at a Cohen party. Hey, rock history in the making, but Cohen insists it’s all mere observation on his part.
“I grew up with Hollywood musicals,’’ says Cohen, “people dancing and singing in the streets and doing all kinds of stuff and I say it’s nice, it’s fun. It makes you feel good to watch it, you feel like you’re singing and dancing along with it and as it turned out the people I was filming on Mondo Hollywood, some of them had written music, some of them played music, they were involved with music…’’
As it turned out, says Cohen, there were 12 original numbers in Mondo Hollywood, songs like Marie Schwimmer’s The Great God Pan … I came down from Mt Olympus! Funny how that Pan guy keeps popping up.
I’ll leave it to Dave McGowan to reveal the finer details of this strange and mostly true story of one obscure Hollywood filmmaker and the rise of the hippie generation.

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