In the fall of 1972 a small group of students in an introduction to educational psychology class at a Midwestern university saved every single soul in the lifeboat.
The professor became agitated. “No! Go back and do the exercise again. Follow the instructions.”
The students, products of the radical 1960s culture, expected this to be a small group assignment in creativity and ingenuity. They had worked out an intricate plan whereby everyone in the lifeboat could survive. When the professor persisted, the students resisted— and ultimately refused to do the exercise. Chalk up a victory to the human spirit.
However, it was a short-lived victory. This overloaded “lifeboat in crisis” represented a dramatic shift in education The exercise—in which students were compelled to choose which humans were expendable and, therefore, should be cast off into the water—became a mainstay in classrooms across the country. Creative solutions? Not allowed. Instructions? Strictly adhered to. In truth, there is to be only one correct answer to the lifeboat drama: death.
Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistle-blower. The writer describes her own personal experiences as a school board director and as senior policy advisor in the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement—form which emanated most of the dumbing down programs described in this book.
The United States is engaged in a war. People write important books about war. Books documenting the battles fought, the names of the generals involved, the names of those who fired the first shot. This book is simply a history book about another kind of war:
One fought using psychological methods
A one-hundred year war
A different, more deadly war than any in which our country has ever been involved
A war about which the average American hasn’t the foggiest idea.
The reason Americans do not understand this war is because it has been fought in secret—in the schools of our nation, targeting our children who are captive in classrooms. The wagers of this war are using very sophisticated and effective tools:
Hegelian Dialectic (common ground, consensus and compromise)
Gradualism (2 steps forward; one step backward)
Semantic deception (redefining terms to get agreement without understanding).
The Hegelian dialectic is a process formulated by the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) and used by Karl Marx in codifying revolutionary communism as dialectical materialism. As Sam Blumenfeld points out, Hegel believed that the State was “God” walking on earth, the evidence of which can be found in his dialectic. This process can be illustrated as:
The "Thesis" represents either an established practice or point of view which is pitted against the "Antithesis"—usually a crisis of opposition fabricated or created by change agents—causing the "Thesis" to compromise itself, incorporating some part of the "Antithesis" to produce the "Synthesis"—sometimes called consensus. This is the primary tool in the bag of tricks used by change agents who are trained to direct this process all over the country, much like the in-service training I received. A good example of this concept was voiced by T.H. Bell when he was US Secretary of Education; “[we] need to create a crisis to get consensus in order to bring about change.” (The reader might be reminded that it was under T.H Bell’s direction that the US Department of Education implemented the changes “suggested” by A Nation AT Risk—the alarm that was sounded in the early 1980’s to announce the “Risk” in education.)
Since we have been, as a nation, so relentlessly exposed to this Hegelian Dialectic process (which is essential to the smooth operation of the "system") under the guise of "reaching consensus" in our involvement in parent-teacher organizations, on school boards, in legislatures, and even in goal setting in community service organizations and groups—including our churches—I want to explain clearly how it works in a practical application. A good example with which most of us can identify involves property taxes for local schools. Let us consider an example from Michigan—the internationalist change agents must abolish local control (the "Thesis") in order to restructure our schools from academics to global workforce training (the "Synthesis"). Funding of education with the property tax allows local control, but it also enables the change agents and teachers’ unions to create higher and higher school budgets paid for with higher taxes, thus infuriating homeowners. Eventually, property owners accept the change agents’ radical proposal (the "Anti-thesis") to reduce their property taxes by transferring education funding from the local property tax to the state income tax. Thus, the change agents accomplish their ultimate goal: the transfer of funding of education from the local level to the state level. When this transfer occurs it increases state/federal control and funding, leading to the federal/in-ternationalist goal of implementing global workforce training through the schools (the ("Synthesis").
In the instance of "semantic deception"—do you remember your kindly principal telling you that the new decision-making program would help your child make better decisions? What good parent wouldn’t want his or her child to learn how to make "good" decisions? As I’ve said before, the wagers of this intellectual social war have employed very effective weapons to implement their changes.
This war has, in fact, become the war to end all wars. If citizens on this planet can be brainwashed or robotized, using dumbed-down Pavlovian/Skinnerian education, to accept what those in control want, there will be no more wars. If there are no rights or wrongs, there will be no one wanting to "right" a "wrong". Robots have no conscience. The only permissible conscience will be the United Nations or a global conscience. Whether an action is good or bad will be decided by a "Global Government’s Global Conscience," as recommended by Dr. Brock Chisholm, in 1947—and later in 1996 by current United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
You may protest, "But no one has died in this war." Is that the only criteria we have with which to measure whether war is war? Didn’t Aristotle say it well when he said, "Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead"? To withhold the tools of education can kill a person’s spirit just as surely as a bullet his body. The tragedy is that many Americans have died in other wars to protect the freedoms being taken away in this one. This war which produces the death of intellect and freedom is not waged by a foreign enemy but by the silent enemy in the ivory towers, in our own government, and in tax-exempt foundations— the enemy whose every move I have tried to document in this book, usually in his/her/its own words.
For over a twenty-five year period the research used in this chronology has been collected from many sources: the United States Department of Education; international agencies; state agencies; the media; concerned educators; parents; legislators, and talented researchers with whom I have worked. In the process of gathering this information two beliefs that most Americans hold in common became clear:
1) If a child can read, write and compute at a reasonably proficient level, he will be able to do just about anything he wishes, enabling him to control his destiny to the extent that God allows (remain free); 2) Providing such basic educational proficiencies is not and should not be an expensive proposition.
Since most American’s believe the second premise— that providing basic educational proficiencies is not and should not be an expensive proposition—it becomes obvious that it is only a radical agenda, the purpose of which is to change values and attitudes (brainwash), that is the costly agenda. In other words, brainwashing by our schools and universities is what is bankrupting our nation and our children’s minds.
This book, or collection of research in book form, was put together primarily to satisfy my own need to see the various components which led to the dumbing down of the United States of America assembled in chronological order—in writing. Even I, who had observed these weird activities taking place at all levels of government, was reluctant to accept a malicious intent behind each individual, chronological activity or innovation, unless I could connect it with other, similar activities taking place at other times. This book, which makes such connections, has provided for me a much-needed sense of closure.
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America is also a book for my children, grandchildren, and greatgrand- children. I want them to know that there were thousands of Americans who may not have died or been shot at in overseas wars, but were shot at in small-town "wars" at school board meetings, at state legislative hearings on education, and, most importantly, in the media. I want my progeny to know that whatever intellectual and spiritual freedoms to which they may still lay claim were fought for—are a result of—the courageous work of incredible people who dared to tell the truth against all odds.
I want them to know that there will always be hope for freedom if they follow in these people’s footsteps; if they cherish the concept of "free will"; if they believe that human beings are special, not animals, and that they have intellects, souls, and consciences. I want them to know that if the gov-ernment schools are allowed to teach children K-12 using Pavlovian/ Skinnerian animal training methods—which provide tangible rewards only for correct answers—there can be no freedom.
Why? People "trained"—not educated by such educational techniques will be fearful of taking principled, sometimes controversial, stands when called for because these people will have been programmed to speak up only if a positive reward or response is forthcoming. The price of freedom has often been paid with pain and loneliness.
…In order to win a battle one must know who the "real"enemy is. Otherwise, one is shooting in the dark and often hitting those not the least bit responsible for the mayhem. This book, hopefully, identifies the "real" enemy and provides Americans involved in this war—be they plain, ordinary citizens, elected officials, or traditional teachers—with the ammunition to fight to obtain victory.