Video footage and transcripts of Neil Taylor’s talks at the European Home Education Conference 2011.
First talk by Neil Taylor at the European Home Education Conference 2011
“The people never give up their liberty but under some delusion.” [Edmund Burke 1784]
It is the nature and intent of that delusion which I want to explore in this talk in the hope of better enabling us to know what it might be worthwhile to attempt to do to improve conditions for us as home educators, and what might be hopeless action or worse. Please bear with me if what follows does not at first seem to have much to do with home education. I promise I will try to justify its inclusion.
The state is the principle manufactory of mass delusion, and almost everything it does has this quality of appearing to be one thing, but really being another, usually opposite thing. Parliaments are really now reduced to little more than pantomimes, staged to entertain us with the illusion of sovereign government we voted for, as it simply dresses up and puts into place the directives of global governance to which it is signed up and legally committed to. Much of what passes for national policy can be found in the EC Lisbon 10 year strategies (1) and in the UN Agenda21 (2) for example, but these are not the only sources. There is a vast bewildering world of more institutions than it is possible to imagine let alone remember out there, all dedicated to expertly determining for us how we shall all live, and what we will think and believe and even feel about it all. Web surf through this morass sometime if you have never done so, and you will begin to understand your intended place in the totally managed world.
Only the other day I stumbled across the International Union of Local Authorities (3) which has been going for 98 years – pause to take in the possibility of anachronism here! If you have ever wondered how local government in one country can manage to oppress home educators in seemingly identical ways with identical prejudices and modus operandi, then here is a contender for one efficient mechanism for globalising bad practice! Amusingly in attempting to re-source this organisation I fell over another couple in the same field before finding my way back to this one. One of them cheerfully informed me that half the legislation affecting local government came from the EC.
So, even the institutions of local and national government itself as we are taught to understand them are mostly a delusion. The real power and planning happens elsewhere behind the scenes, and national government is reduced now to puppet status the world over. One world government is with us already, and this is no ‘conspiracy theory’. As G. Edward Griffin (4) points out, “Very few major events of the past have occurred in the absence of conspiracies. To think that our modern age must be an exception is not rational.” (5) If we don’t know this, then perhaps our own educations in history have been somewhat lacking?
The use of this term as ridicule of critics of the state is understandable as a good example of how what pass for our own thoughts are handed to us by the state. “Deception is a state of mind, and the mind of the state” (7) wrote James Angleton, Head of Counterintelligence at the CIA from 1954 to 1974 who was in a position to know I think. It is an indefensible and demonstrable nonsense to apply the term ‘conspiracy theory’ to what can be so easily demonstrated to be the case from the very architects themselves. Aldous Huxley knew what he was writing about in Brave New World, because his whole family were world controller class and intelligentsia. His Director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre explains: “at last the child’s mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. And not the child’s mind only. The adult’s mind too-all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides – made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions… Suggestions from the State.” (7)
Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley’s older brother was the first director of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. He wrote its mission statement in 1946 in which he said “in its educational programme it can stress the ultimate need for world political unity and familiarise all peoples with the implications of the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world organisation.” (8) (9)
It is not possible to reconcile this statement with fighting for king and country which was therefore a con, these being slated for obsolescence even as the war was being fought, and indeed long before that. The UN and its various agencies, through its 1,298 treaties (10) that national governments are signed up to implementing in domestic law, is, the global governance, and its founding documents, as above, and other sources reveal that this was always its mission. A not dissimilar ambition to Hitler’s just defeated unification mission also, but such unification was never going to come about through military conquest. War did provide the excuse for implementing much the same agenda through peaceful means, and how we have come to understand the mission of the UN as world peacekeeper and thus feel such affiliation gratitude and reverence for it. It is not too cynical unfortunately to see the two World Wars of the twentieth century as the manufacture of a problem, justifying the solution (the UN), which turns out not to be what it seems at all, but merely similar world conquest ambition in disguise. Indeed the League of Nations formed after WW1 was the prototype of the UN and its ‘International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation’ which doesn’t sound any less totalitarian in its implications was simply rebranded as UNESCO. WW2 therefore served to further advance a pre-existent covert agenda. It was as necessary for the success of the UN and its one world government agenda as 9/11 was necessary for the Patriot Act and the rest of the destruction of civil liberties in America and across the globe since then.
Still on the subject of state deception, and on a truly audacious scale scarcely grasped today, is the export to Britain and I expect other countries as well, I don’t know, please tell me, of the American ‘charter school’ model of pretended local control over education. Charlotte Iserbyt, a one-time federal education department insider turned whistle blower is who you need to read in order to understand this new con. She has written a book entitled ‘The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America’ in which she accesses her impressive archive of documents she herself sneaked out the department in which the real agendas are revealed. This is online also. (11)
Localism in all its forms in fact, not just in education is a con, masking its opposite, stronger centralised control. In England legislation is and has been going through at speed to put in place a new possibility amongst other things for dealing with the problem of people like us escaping. There is currently an intention to set up government-funded, free, private online courses aimed at home educators under this charter school movement. It has had the cheek to steal the name of the free schools it suppressed to give them that fake credential. It is to be hoped they would not get away with such an insult to Spain but how well do you know your own history? So while our government is distracting some of us, continuing the facade of pretending to be our friends and tinkering with guidelines documents, this runaway train is heading for us and set to take most of us out.
If you are not familiar with the story of the wild, free and fierce Okefenokee swamp pigs, which were lured by free grain as a fence was very slowly constructed around them that they were free to come and go through until they weren’t, and were all taken to market, then this is easy to find online, and is a good metaphor I think for how the problem of Britain’s escapees are to be rounded up, the easier to then persecute a much smaller number of refuseniks, and especially at a time when the government is robbing us and impoverishing us to an extent likely to make us hungry enough to go for their free grain.
To take another incredible example, a 2006 statutory instrument regulating school registration preserved the wording of the earlier instrument verbatim where it described the act of deregistration in such a way as lawyers understand it to mean that deregistration is immediate upon proper parental written notification of educating ‘otherwise’. They added a section requiring the school to notify the LEA no later than the act of deregistration itself, in other words immediately, but then they stated in the accompanying guidance that a delay in deregistration was permissible in order to allow time for a letter to be sent to the LEA. This was at a time when a secure intranet was being set up between schools and the LEA so this was clearly an opportunistic nonsense, intended to give the LEA an opportunity to ‘change the minds’ of the intending home educator, but also to incrementally advance the principle of parental responsibility override, and there is no more fundamental principle to hang on to than the primacy of parental responsibility for education.
Through an additional and confusing addition to the original regulation that seemed to allow for the possibility of a delay, and the clear statement in guidance that this was indeed how it was to be understood, a lay understanding, and that means an LEA officers understanding also, was introduced which contradicted a barristers understanding of the new instrument, that deregistration remained as it was, immediate upon proper notification. The point I want to make is that the legislative body itself will not shrink from lying about what the law is, and the biggest lie about education throughout the world is that school is compulsory when mostly it is education that is. These duplicitous acts should be born in mind, if contemplating seeking legislation from government. If you can’t do what Orwell called doublethink yourself, in order to anticipate what government will get out of what you want from it, then you had better not be talking to them at all for everyone’s sake.
Only the other day I read a journalist commenting in the thoughtful online ‘Scottish Review’ that he had personally witnessed “civil servants exquisitely craft sentences that have at least seven different meanings, ambiguity at its highest. And why do they do it? In order to keep as many interests on board as possible.” (12) I can certainly recognise that this is the way our government writes, although I may still be missing something in not being able to count as high as seven usually. Home educators in Britain are familiar with government guidelines documents and even statute itself which is written in this way to be all things to all people despite the unavoidability of embodying impossible contradictions in order to do so: ‘doublethink’.
The global education system turns out to be designed from its inception to prevent true education, or at least bias it so grossly as to effectively rob us all of our own minds, through kindergarten to PhD. (13)
The institution of state compulsion schooling was born in its current form in the 18thcentury absolutist monarchies of Prussia and Austria to serve those totalitarian regimes which were failing in their control over the hearts and minds and bodies of its subject people largely through failing to successfully suppress literacy. (14, 15) The model it created was so successful that the world flocked to Prussia and brought it back to their own countries.
In Spain 100 years later at the turn of the 19th and twentieth centuries there was civil unrest in which the Catholic church schools which could be quite brutal, and the monarchy were equally hated, and precipitating revolt. Just as in Prussia and Austria a century earlier where ‘the lower orders’ were turning their backs on official schooling which did not teach literacy, and favouring instead their own ‘back street schools’ which did, so there was revolt in Spain against the 50 to 70 percent illiteracy then. Francisco Ferrer founded the first ‘free school’ which despite his own incarceration for a year without trial, and subsequent state murder without trial by firing squad, spawned a school movement that finds its few unsuppressed remnants today in the Sudbury Valley Schools in America, in Summerhill in England which our government recently unsuccessfully tried to shut down, and a handful of others dotted around the world.
Ferrer’s free schools were schools in which children’s own agendas were not banished, in which there was no compulsion, where the pupils and staff democratically ran the school, and if you punished a pupil it earned you permanent dismissal. In one account I read, I don’t know if it was reliable, it was claimed that at their peak in the early twentieth century more children attended the free schools than the state schools.
All the above is by way of trying to paint a picture from history which might usefully inform us about now, because like 18th century Prussia and 19th century Spain, or England which maintained a paper tax known at the time as a knowledge tax, long after the introduction of state schooling, power was in trouble, and in danger of losing its grip fatally for it, and it is again today largely due to the ICT revolution rendering its old factory schooling system obsolete and an anachronism. The growing numbers of home educators discovering and exercising their suppressed freedoms is a symptom of that and a dangerous one potentially for power. This is why we are suddenly such an obsession for governments the world over.
As I understand it in Spain as in Britain, education is compulsory, but school is not, and the law in both countries does not thus limit how education is to happen, therefore this is our liberty, our freedom to choose, and this is also supposedly guaranteed in human rights legislation.
What we can see around the world in nearly every country, are basically one of two strategies operating to deal with this threat to absolutism – outright suppression, and integration. Both spell death to the self-owned and directed life where the learner is in charge of their own learning, and they are employed on a ‘whatever works’ basis depending on how established and assertive home educators are in a country. Integration of home education into the state education system is another form of death because as Gatto rhetorically asks in a question which formed the title of one of his early essays “Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?” (16)
Clearly it is impossible.
5. “There is nothing about my work that merits being classified as a conspiracy theory. In modern context, it is customary to associate the phrase “conspiracy theory” with those who are intellectually handicapped or ill informed. Using emotionally loaded words and phrases to discredit the work of others is to be rejected. If I am to be called a conspiracy theorist, then Flaherty cannot object if I were to call him a conspiracy poo-pooist. The later group is a ridiculous bunch, indeed, in view of the fact that conspiracies are so common throughout history. Very few major events of the past have occurred in the absence of conspiracies. To think that our modern age must be an exception is not rational. Facts are either true or false. If we disagree with a fact, our job is to explain why, not to use emotionally-loaded labels to discredit those who disagree with us.” MEET EDWARD FLAHERTY, CONSPIRACY POO-POOIST: A Response to a critic of The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin 2004 http://www.freedomforceinternational.org/freedomcontent.cfm?fuseaction=meetflaherty&refpage=issues
6. Quoted in the book, DECEPTION by Edward Jay Epstein (Simon & Schuster, April 1989) ISBN: 06714154330-06-092987-1
7. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley; Perennial, Reprint edition, 1 September 1998; ISBN
9. James Warburg: “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.” (Feb. 17, 1950, to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations)
13. I came across a PHd thesis about home education and home educators the other day written by a non home educator who I had earlier locked horns with, which shocked me, and in which critics like me of government and the conscious or unconscious complicit meddling of academia were described in the words of Maggie Thatcher as ‘the enemy within’! The thesis is not in the public domain so I can’t give you a reference to it unfortunately, but it does illustrate how it is possible to get stabbed in the back by someone calling themselves a friend of home education in response to robust criticism of this person’s work which was as unwanted to them as their interest in me was to me. I have never been called anything like that by any home educator, however strongly some have disagreed with me, and I have been known to a few hundred over many years. So beware of academia, it is part of the system whether those making their careers in it realise what they are part of or not, and it is clear from some of their writings that some are absolutely clueless of the part they are playing in the machine. Even the friendly ones may be bad news for us, and can act as a conduit by means of which our language may be harvested and debased by power in order to reinvent and pervert what we are about until it can be safely integrated into the system. It can be a true parrallel universe, when it comes to talking about who we are and what we do – the incomprehension and scholarly wrong assumptions simply staggering. If you haven’t encountered Daniel Monk or Rob Reich they are prime examples of what I am talking about. Their projections of the faults of the system onto its victims are staggering to read. Academia is not a neutral institution. there are no neutral institutions and at best it is a two edged sword, be very careful how you use this part of the system.
14. The Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto, Odysseus Group, Nov 2000 ISBN 0945700040
15. Absolutism and the Eighteenth-Century Origins of Compulsory Schooling in Prussia and Austria, James Van Horn Melton, Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 13 Nov 2003, ISBN-10: 0521528569