We welcome "education's whistle-blower" Beverly Eakman, veteran educator, International Human Rights award winner, and author of books such as Cloning of the American Mind and Walking Targets, who joins us to discuss the ideological manipulation of the US education system by collectivists and globalists. After describing how students are regularly subject to profiling through "assessments" and coerced into changing their worldviews through subversive, dialectical classroom techniques based on peer pressure, Beverly Eakman shares with us how we can all PUSH BACK! through logic, awareness and strength of character to resist the seemingly-inexorable slide towards a New World Order.
Beverly Eakman: It’s my pleasure.
JC: I became aware of your work through Michael Shaw, the President of Freedom Advocates, who joined us last year to talk about the dangers of Agenda 21. He mentioned your name to me as somebody who has been working for many years to empower people to resist the manipulative techniques of so-called consensus-building in public consultation contexts and education contexts. In fact he called you an expert in “consensus-busting”. Having heard you on the Internet, much of what you say is reminiscent of my own experience of ministerial training with the Methodist Church, which I was extremely unhappy about, and I hope to get an opportunity to share some of that with you during the conversation. But first, please tell us a bit more about your background and your work.
BE: I started out as a teacher, and I noticed during my teacher education process in college that all did not seem quite on the up and up. Most of it was educational psychology. Nobody seemed to care whether we knew the value of 'x', or anything about any particular subject, not even our speciality, and that made me wonder. One of the professors who first came into an educational psychology class I was attending walked in and drew some concentric circles on the chalkboard and put a bullseye in the middle. Then he looked at us, tapped all these concentric circles and said: “Family, Religion, Friends, Neighbours, Community – all of that is superfluous.” Then he tapped the bullseye and said: “Ego – that’s the only thing that matters. The first thing you kids need to know is there’s no such thing as common sense.” Well, that started me off. Mind you I was nineteen and away from home for the first time, so all of that seemed very smart to many of my colleagues in the classroom, but since I was majoring in education that didn’t seem particularly smart to me.
JC: You really must have wondered what was going on?
BE: I did.
JC: It seems quite off the wall.
BE: I might have expected it had it been Berkeley, or some place like that; but this was Texas, a place I certainly didn’t expect it to be. So, I thought: “What in the world are they hiring out here?”
I am a native Washingtonian; I was born and raised here. I just went away for a little while to Texas, then to California, and then back again. I went to Houston for a while with the Space Program with my husband, and I became Editor-in-Chief of NASA’s newspaper, among other things, and a scientific writer, which I certainly never expected.
I'd gotten out of the education field real quick when I saw what was going on in the classroom, and then once back in D.C. I started working for Voice of America. I became Chief Speech Writer for the Director there, and then the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, which was chaired by Chief Justice Warren Berger (who had just stepped down from the Court, supposedly to retire). Then I became a writer for the Department of Justice.
All the while I thought I had left education behind, but unfortunately it never left me, so I started looking into it. I also kept getting a lot of mail from people with whom I had shared my experiences, such as the one I mentioned at the top of the show. Then, accidentally, I ran into a colleague on Capitol Hill who had been in the same room as a lady who had dumped a suitcase-full of phony tests on the desk of Senator Arlen Specter. He looked at them and had no idea what they were, but these so-called tests were testing their opinions: there was no right or wrong answer, only preferred or non-preferred answers. He didn't know what to say, so he started writing letters to the State Departments of Education. (These are clones, you might say, of the U.S. Department of Education. Even back in the day of the old Office of Education under Health Education & Welfare, they still had state education agencies, which got money passed through from the Federal Government.) Well, they started blaming each other for this mess. And then a particular parent – she was really on-the-ball - got together a bunch of other parents who were complaining. So I kind of got curious; like a dog with a bone, I wouldn’t let it go.
JC: Was this in the State of Pennsylvania?
BE: Well, those tests were, [but then I] found out that it was all over the place and nobody knew it, including Senator Arlen Specter.
JC: Did you say that profiling of students was also going on?
BE: That was the beginning of it. I think I first got wind of it in 1981. (I think it was '82 when she dumped it on his desk.) Then it started going 'great guns' once somebody at Utah’s World Institute of Computer-Assisted Technology figured out how to link federal, state and local computer systems. I found out that an agency called the Council of Chief State School Officers (which was a quasi-agency at the time funded both privately and federally) was tasked by the Federal Government to ensure that all computers at the state and local levels were compatible with the Federal Government’s computers. Well, of course, a lot of those state and local agencies said, “I’m sorry, we can’t afford this,” whereupon they were told, “Oh well, the Federal Government will be happy to loan you some money, or even give you some money.” They said, “Well OK,” and of course soon they were hooked on that money, because strings came with it. Pretty soon they all had to play the same tune, getting personal, family and political data on students, with questions like: “Do you have a ruler, or thesaurus in your house? What magazines do you or your parents subscribe to?” They wanted to know a lot of things. Of course, it was called socio-demographic questioning, and people were told it was “confidential”, which to most people (including parents) means anonymous. It does not; it means need to know in a legal context.
JC: These schools were extracting information from students through things that looked like tests, but which were in fact questionnaires designed to gain information.
BE: That’s exactly right, and it was done very surreptitiously. Pretty soon they were hooked; they had to do it. It wasn’t ten years before it was a necessity to do it if you wanted to keep getting this lovely federal money.
“When it becomes possible via technology to track and legislate private opinions, and even to classify those who don’t conform as having mental illnesses, then we have left the realm of politics and are talking about a type of coercion, psychological coercion. Pragmatism and expediency necessarily become substitutes for independent thought and – presto! - pshycopolitics is a fait accompli.”
BE: Yes that perfectly summarises what has happened, and I've really just expanded upon that quote ever since in all my talks, books and subsequent articles. That is exactly what has happened. Younger people, say, under thirty or thirty-five, don’t see anything wrong with divulging such information. If our parents had had somebody come into their home and say, “Gee, that’s a lovely couch; how much did you pay for it?”, they would have been horrified. That would have been rude and unacceptable, but look at the kinds of information that are being freely shared now through things like Facebook and other social media. Even with teen magazines they're filling out silly questionnaires and sending them in, and saying, “Oh, the results are totally confidential.” What they don’t see on the bottom is a barcode.
JC: Yes, it’s truly astonishing that people give away so much personal information; it's well-known by now that things like Facebook are attached to the security establishment. What you describe as going on in education seems like a foreshadowing of what has been revealed about the NSA.
BE: Exactly; in fact, my most recent book deals with that context, because that’s exactly what happened. In a previous book, Educating for the New World Order, I wrote about a student who told his mother about some of these questions, and who said, “There’s no way I could study for a test like that.” But then everybody hired a computer, and the tests became computerised, so the questions came so fast that the child couldn’t remember them by the time he got home. The result of that, together with the media's fascination with intimate information (such as we find on programmes like Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer or Oprah) got us to the point where no child was bothered by the lack of privacy anymore. Children don't know what is private and what isn't. That’s really the first step towards something like the current NSA situation, because people no longer complain.
JC: Let me also ask you about changes in teaching methods. Here, I’m thinking about learning styles that are very different from the past, with the teacher perhaps no longer functioning like the classical teacher who stood at the front imparting facts. Are the newer styles perhaps more manipulative? Should we be concerned about this?
BE: Well, I'm not concerned about the hands-on approach in principle, which for some students is a good thing, though for others it isn't; that was one of the things that John Dewey came up with that was half-way decent. But what you don’t want is: No transmission of factual knowledge. [Instead of facts] they're transmitting factoids, half-truths that substitute for facts. What they want are a children’s gut reactions, their first impression of things, and that is not what education is about. It’s about transmission of knowledge - a common body of knowledge, if you will - that pulls people together and creates loyalty to values and ideals. This isn’t happening anymore, because now it is about feelings, psychology and the affective domain, which is the technical term for it. So, education has changed in that respect.
JC: Why is this happening? How come these influences have managed to get into the education system? Who is responsible for this?
BE: Well, mainly it's a leftist thing. It started before 1919 and Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution. There have always been people, even in the United States, who never really believed in the individual liberty of men and women. There are those who honestly believe that, unless people are regimented, controlled and scared half out of their wits, they will devolve into mob rule, become a danger to themselves and each other (a phrase I'm sure you've heard) and take down the whole system, and with it, the Elite. That's what the founders of our country came over here to get away from more than anything else.
Thomas Jefferson even wrote that if you give the common man the facts, he will act wisely, which was completely at odds with what many people thought. There was a lot of argument when the Constitution was being thrashed out, with Benjamin Franklin warning, “Well, you have a Republic if you can keep it.” Some people thought a king was needed, and then there were Jeffersonians that argued: “No, people can govern themselves if there's a form government that lends itself to that and looks at the best in human in nature, not the worst.” Well, now we’ve got the opposite back again; we're looking at the worst in human nature, and all the domestic policy is focused on the worst things people do, instead of the best things people do.
JC: So, your concern is that this is all essentially a totalitarian in impulse.
JC: Dean Gotcher, who was on this programme some time ago, said that a major vehicle for this totalitarian impulse was the social theory of the Frankfurt School, with people like Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm. He maintains that their neo-Marxist ideas very much influenced the US education system.
BE: Yes, I would agree with that one hundred percent; the Frankfurt School was very influential in forming our current education system. People don’t understand that Nazism and Communism are really two sides of the same coin; it's a mistake to say 'right-wing' and 'left-wing' as the liberal press likes to do.
BE: They're two sides of the same coin: the Nazis might have lined you up and shot you, but the Communists wanted to infiltrate. They each came at it from a slightly different angle, but the end result was the same.
JC: Often people forget that Nazi stands for National Socialist, though no doubt the Communists would say they are socialists par excellence. In fact, we’ve talked about this quite a few times on the Podcast, and really it’s all summed up by the doctrine of Collectivism: the idea that the Individual is subordinate to the State, or the Community in some way.
BE: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” We are actually assimilating that in the United States. The redistribution of wealth is what the education system, and the political system, are mainly trying to purvey these days. People don't [actually] say, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”, in fact many people don’t realise Karl Marx said it, but that is what they are now focusing on; that is how they are thinking and behaving.
BE: Yes, to an extent. A lot of the things you listed are methods of de-culturalisation, a process perfected by Stalin. So, all the 'antis' you named are really methods of changing the ideals that seem to be American, even ideals of freedom anywhere in the free world. They want to break those down first, so then they can reconstitute and build a new ideal, which is very Stalinesque.
JC: You talk about “The Five Steps of Indoctrination” in your lectures and interviews, and you say that these are regularly used in school systems to try and bring about change in a student's worldview. The first step is to sweep away the student's normal support base, such things as the family or the authority figure of the Church Minister. Could you talk us through those five steps?
BE: Yes, as you say, first is to sweep away the person's, or child's, support base; that’s the person’s intellectual and emotional life raft. Every child needs one of those, and if you sweep it away then he or she is left in no man’s land. Undermining parents is a favourite method of yanking the rug out from under children, and then you bombard the person’s senses with a steady diet of conflicting, contradictory and confusing images and words. The major TV news media does this spectacularly in order to discourage reflection, so when you keep seeing six-minute segments interrupted by umpteen commercials, this is a way of making sure that people cannot sustain a train of thought. Then they become unaccustomed to thinking anything through, and of course that’s what they want. The result is a vacuum where the belief system used to be. Then the child is vulnerable and impressionable – (the technical term for that is ‘willing to receive stimuli’, and you’ll see that in professional papers). At that point the person can be steered towards desired ideas, concepts and beliefs via trained intermediaries such as facilitators, clinicians, change agents, agitators, and marketing gimmicks. For example, when you listen to the TV now, the commercials don’t say ‘husband and wife’, they say ‘partner’. That’s just a small example.
JC: Yes indeed, we have the ridiculous situation here in the UK that the present Government is messing around with exactly those terms: ‘husband and wife’.
BE: That’s right. That exemplifies Point One: sweeping away the intellectual and emotional life raft that most children depend on, or most people depend on. In other words: “Your home is your castle”, or “It’s where you hang your hat”, it’s known, it’s stable; but these people don’t want stability.
BE: Yes, exactly. Technically what you are referring to is called cognitive dissonance. What it does, to children anyway, is to make them feel more knowledgeable than they really are; it's an ego booster. Remember that psychology professor who said, “Ego is the centre of the universe”? It strokes the ego to say to a ten-year-old, “Well, you know, your parents are from a different generation; you can make up your own mind.” Who, then, is the new authority figure? Not the child. The child's peers. So you have a bunch of ten-year-olds who are authority figures for other ten-year-olds. You remember William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies?
JC: Yes, a very disturbing piece of writing, but with truth to it. I find it interesting that there's very little logic to this. Just because parents are of a different generation says absolutely nothing about the truth or falsity of what they believe. So, it’s all very specious.
BE: It’s very specious. Then the children have fewer qualms about divulging information about their parents, or reporting on their parents. “Do your parents drink wine?” Well, so what! But maybe they will write down, “...wine with every meal...”, or something like that. Then, if you get a particular kind of behavioural analyst, they might decide that this indicates a drunkard.
JC: Let's move on to Point Two: confusing images and concepts. I want to share with you something that I experienced during ministerial training. I did a couple of years of that, but chucked it in because I couldn’t bear the may we were being manipulated anymore. One of the things we were told was: “There are no facts; there are just interpretations.”
JC: The lecturer sourced this idea to Immanual Kant, and brought up Kant's famous distinction between phenomena and noumena: phenomena being things as we perceive them, and noumena being things as they are in themselves. Of course, we don't have access to things as they are in themselves, we just have things as we perceive them. So he was saying: “Well, there are no facts then; we’re all just individuals perceiving things in different ways. Therefore we can’t judge anybody else’s views on everything; we have to accept everybody’s views as right.” That was basically the message that was coming over. Now, as soon as you talked about confusing images and confusing concepts, I thought that’s very similar to what was going on in that college class, because it was very confusing.
BE: Well, that’s it exactly. In fact, there is a whole course of study, or a profession, called Perception Management, and you can find it on the US Department of Defense’s website [external PDF]. I’m not kidding!
JC: So this is a psychological warfare technique?
BE: Right, this is a technique of PSYWAR or part of political psychology. There's now a course of study at George Washington University, here in Washington D.C., called Psycho-politics; plenty of colleges and universities have such a degree programme. So, things have changed in that not enough people are baulking at this sort of thing; they’re taking it in their stride. The idea is you accept everybody’s opinions or perceptions, because everything is about perception. As it happens, I have a funny quote from atheist author Richard Dawkins: “We must be non-judgemental, but not so non-judgemental that we let our brains drop out.”
JC: Yes. I think this kind of technique can easily change reason and thought into perceived bigotry. For example: You’re sitting there and you think, “Well, I don’t agree with such and such. I really do think that A is A, and that A is not non-A. This is so.” Then, of course, you’re looked upon by everybody else in the group as somebody who is unwilling to accept the opinions of others, even though you may well have considered other people’s opinions and reached a different conclusion. No, that’s not good enough, you’re not accepting and therefore you’re a bigot. The process has made reason look like bigotry.
JC: This is actually one of the criticisms against the social theorists that we were talking about earlier, that they tended to accuse people of mental illness when they didn’t agree with them.
BE: That’s right. That’s what the Soviets did, and we know what the result of that was.
JC: You also mention repetitious exposure to what the course organisers want children to believe, and repetition across the curriculum as well. Would that mean that similar messages are reinforced in, say, maths, English and history lessons, etc.?
BE: Yes, it’s interspersing and identifying things across the spectrum in every course. In other words, give it as many formats as possible and pretty soon children will believe it, because they’ve seen it in so many different formats. And you redefine terms. For example, the public misinterprets terms like ‘modifying behaviour’, ‘targeting attitudes’ and ‘outcomes’. Most people assume that behaviour means conduct, that attitude means temperament, that outcomes means results. Well they don't. The jargon of psychology says that ‘modifying behaviour’ means ‘altering beliefs’, ‘attitude’ means ‘viewpoint’, and ‘outcomes’ are the politically-reliable, engrained gut reactions that are supposed to become second nature by the time the child leaves school.
BE: Well, it isn’t called a test anymore, because that was getting them into trouble. Ralph Tyler, who died in 1994, was the guru of this sort of testing that incorporated psychological concepts, viewpoints, personal questions, and so on. He, and several others, were the real pioneers in that field. What they did was change the word ‘test’ to ‘assessment, so now you always hear about State Assessment Tests. Sometimes they’ll say tests, but usually they’ll leave the term ‘test’ off; they'll just say ‘assessment’, and most people don’t realise the implications of that. But if you look it up on the National Centre for Education Statistics, which is probably the most important sub-agency within the US Department of Education, there's a very good overview that proves that those in Government circles know what the difference between an assessment and a test is.
BE: Absolutely, and in the newest version, which is a closed-loop interactive mode on the computer - (and remember every classroom is now being outfitted with tablets and computers for every child) - parents are prevented from seeing what the child is seeing. So, these days they can assess how a child believed in Fifth Grade in relation to his or her parents' viewpoints, and compare that with how he or she now believes in Eleventh Grade. And if certain things that they consider important politically haven’t changed enough, then they bring in a harder hitting curriculum to change those attitudes.
JC: So you go back through the five steps all over again, but in a different way.
BE: That’s right.
JC: I’d like to ask you about an educational strategy you often mention, which is normally associated with adult education, but which seems to be finding its way into child education, and that's the strategy of the group situation plus facilitator, or moderator. This facilitator, who you also call the provocateur, enters the classroom, not as the classical teacher, but as somebody who is deliberately exploiting the peer pressure within the group. Could you explain how that works and how we can recognise it?
BE: Well, there are giveaway lines that a manipulator usually uses. [But] when it’s with children, it’s not so easily seen, because you’re supposed to more-or-less obey the teacher. The teacher’s your pal, your mentor, your coach; many times they put it that way: ‘coaching’ the students instead of teaching them. They don’t call it instructing the student anymore; rather, they try to create a we’re-all-in-this-together mentality. And if we’re all in this together, then everybody helps each other, such that nobody excels and nobody flunks; nobody fails, but nobody succeeds. That lays the groundwork for a whole different approach than we had under a liberty mindset.
JC: So what does the facilitator do with the group? What kind of persona do they adopt?
BE: Well, they start out by being everybody’s ‘pal’ and ‘buddy’, but they're taught quickly to assess where everybody is on the spectrum of ideas. In other words, this person is hired by somebody for the purposes of manipulation and attitude change. Pretty soon the facilitator learns how everybody is thinking: Is this person in my camp, or not? Does the child think independently? How are they motivated: from within themselves, or needing input from parents and friends? Will the child conform to group goals? And they use little things like discussion questions that they give out to the class. What they try to do is to turn members of the group against each other. They try to intimidate the child by letting the group do the dirty work. That’s the first thing everybody has to remember: it’s easier to control a group than to control a single individual. That seems very opposite to reality, but it’s not; even Sun Tzu in The Art of War back in 476 BC knew that was true.
JC: Yes, and as I said before, I did experience that on the course I was talking about. They used various peer-pressure techniques very powerfully. They didn’t succeed in changing my mind, which is why I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I did have a very difficult time; I felt ostracised. In fact, I was ridiculed at times. If I said I believe such-and-such, there would be raised eyebrows and mutterings, which was very difficult to deal with. In the end, I just shut up, so I suppose the system had that much effect upon me. But it was all based upon peer pressure, which, looking back on it, seemed deliberately controlled to create a consensus. But is that true consensus?
BE: Well, what happens is: if you establish a ‘we’re-all-in-this-together’ mentality, eventually people band together to save themselves the embarrassment of being rejected. This is especially true in America, because here we have been raised to think that popularity and status are the most important things. It’s more important than anything else, and even Karl Marx's theory of alienation said that people will do just about anything to avoid ostracism and ridicule. He was right.
JC: Yes, it’s more important for us to be liked, than to be right.
BE: Yes, and when the teenage years kick in, of course, it becomes even more difficult to endure raised eyebrows, so they will simply distance themselves from a person who is outspoken. Now consider, in the '60s you had conscientious objectors, hippies and protestors; all that has changed. Now nobody wants to stand out. I'm not saying hippies and protestors all had good ideas - in fact I took issue with much of that - but the point is the mindset has changed from that to a we-all-must-think-alike mindset.
JC: That's related to something we've talked about a lot on this programme: the misuse of the term ‘conspiracy theorist’, which has become a put-down that scares people away from thinking about certain subjects. But, we must remain free to think about such things, because of course there are conspiracies in the real world, and it’s up to us to consider those on a case-by-case basis, and investigate the justification for believing such things. We mustn't respond out of fear of being labelled in such a way. I think that’s a very powerful tool that’s out there in the public space, and I think we need to be very much aware of that.
One of the things I found fascinating about my own experience of being ostracised by the group, was that, occasionally over coffee after the session, someone would say to me: “Actually, I did agree with you.” So, the consensus was clearly fake.
BE: Yes, I call it phony consensus. I can’t tell you how many times I have received a phone call from some anonymous person who says: “I've just realised I was victimised in this committee meeting. I voted for the very thing I came to vote against. I don’t see how that could have happened.” Then, maybe just an hour, or perhaps a day, later they realise they were had. This is happening all over the country, and it doesn’t matter what the subject is; it can be anything from climate change to carbon taxes.
JC: Yes, it’s incredibly powerful and pervasive. You also mention various techniques, such as distraction, labelling people, and the use of buzz words. I remember distraction, again from my training experience. In one case, we were being told some slightly odd things, and simultaneously little pieces of paper were handed out around the room, and we were told to write something or other on these pieces of paper at the same time. Looking back on it now, it seems very strange, but judging by your lectures that might well have been a deliberate technique to distract our critical faculties away from what was being taught at that moment, so that it might sink in subliminally.
BE: That’s right. Most people can't think while they're writing. When people go to some meetings, they're asked something like: “What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say 'x,?” (And, of course, 'x' is some politically-incorrect stereotype or other.) So, people write something down, or call something out, because they want to participate and be co-operative. Well, I say: “Why must you participate? Who told you that you had to participate?” That’s another thing: everybody wants to seem upbeat and involved. You don’t want to be seen as a person that sits there with their arms folded and doesn’t participate. That’s a sociopath, right?
JC: Yes. All this is the misuse of people's good motives, not wanting to upset each other, and wanting to cooperate; but it’s all being terribly misused.
BE: Yes, absolutely.
JC: As for labelling, which you mentioned, that's also something that happened at that very theologically-liberal institution I attended. The word ‘evangelical’ was used negatively for no apparent reason. For example, a lecturer might ask: “What what would you do as the Minister of a church, when, after a sermon, an evangelical comes up to you and complains?” And I thought to myself, “Why are you assuming it’s an evangelical who complains?” That seems to do two things: one, it says that none of us in this room is an evangelical, we’re all liberals; and two, it’s the evangelicals who are irrational and cause the trouble. Just one little label can do all that.
BE: Yes, and what I do is to throw it back it their face and say, “Oh, you mean stereotyping, which is what you’re doing right now.”
JC: I wish you'd been there at the time!
BE: Well, you see they hate the word stereotyping. Stereotyping is terrible. But labelling? Well, that’s OK. It makes no sense, but people don’t stop to think about it; they’re caught off-guard.
JC: Absolutely, and they have a piece of paper going around the room at the same time that you have to write on... yes, indeed.
You mentioned Sun Tzu and his psychological warfare techniques. You also mention Confucian techniques, and something called the ‘abandonment of etiquette’, which I thought was fascinating.
BE: Yes, we are past the point now where etiquette can be used on our opposition. I mean, wars are not based on etiquette, and we’re in a war. We may not realise it, but we are in a war right now, and wars are not won based on the rules of etiquette.
JC: Right, so we have to learn to be - not influenced morally by that which we oppose – but we need to be hard-nosed about it.
BE: Exactly. When you catch your facilitator in an oversimplification, a smear, giving a false analogy, making a hasty generalisation, using a straw-man argument, appealing to fear or popularity, you should call them on it.
JC: I was thinking of what Jesus said in Matthew 10.16: “Look I’m sending you out into the middle of a pack of wolves, therefore be cunning like serpents but as harmless as doves.” This isn't the stereotypical, “meek and mild” Christianity, this is making sure that you’re still morally upright, while being cunning in a positive sense.
BE: You don’t have to be nasty, but you do have to respond. Jesus certainly responded. I mean, when they gave him the coin and said, “Who does this coin belong to?”, he replied, “Well, that coin has Caesar’s picture on it, so render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things that are God's.” This is not nasty.
JC: No, it’s clever.
BE: Very clever.
JC: Let me ask you about this dimension of the New World Order. In your presentations you mention the philosopher Georg Hegel, someone who previous guests on this programme Dean Gotcher and Niki Raapana also talked about.
I see Hegel as important both to the process of change in education - the techniques of bringing about change in people’s thinking - and also influential with respect to the ultimate goals that this kind of process could be directed towards. Now, in Hegel’s time, that would have been “the end of history” as he called it, no doubt as expressed in the perfect Prussian State. But if we extrapolate from that in the modern context, we could easily see that as the World State. So, do you see Hegel’s thought as influential both on the way education itself has changed in the classroom, and also influential in terms of these big goals towards which those people who are manipulating the system want to take the world?
BE: Yes, he laid the groundwork; there’s no doubt about it. He talks about Thesis and Antithesis. I say that when we go into a meeting, the very first thing to realise is that the advertised reason for the meeting might be bogus. But assuming that you know what the topic is going to be, you need to remind yourself constantly what your opinion is on that topic. Even with all the distracting chatter around you, you need to stick to your thesis. Now, what your opposition is going to do is to try to get the group to tell them what the antithesis is: in other words, the opposite viewpoint. Then the manipulator has two things to work with. He or she will try to form a consensus out of that by creating a synthesis of the two: the thesis and the antithesis. The manipulator will try to find a supposed middle ground. It won’t really be a middle ground; it will be whatever the employers, those who did the hiring, want it to be. Then, the pressure will be on for the group to accept the synthesis of two opposing viewpoints, which will then be called “what the community - committee, focus group, or task force - really wants.” That will then be presented to the supervisors, employers, or maybe Senate or Congress (or Parliament in your case) as 'what the community really wants', even though it may not be at all; it may be engineered.
JC: Indeed. You use the word ‘community’ in such a way as fits hand-in-glove with what Niki Raapana and Michael Shaw said about communitarian ideas They described how those can be manipulated with the goal - certainly with Agenda 21 - of bringing in some form of universal government in which the supposed desires of the community are used to bring in authoritarian rule, and to override what people think on the local level.
BE: Right. Remember, they’re not thinking for themselves anyway; they’re thinking we’re all in this together. They have already been moved to a group mindset. As individuals, they may be thinking: “I have brought my child up to be a moral agent and a critical thinker.” But they have succumbed to the pressure that says: You’re not supposed to think what you teach your child anymore; you’re supposed to think in a group setting. So now, they believe they have to subordinate their views to those of the 'community', which includes people from across town they've never had any interaction with; and all that operates on a hypothetical level, which helps this phony consensus along. Hegel understood that.
JC: You’ve already said something about how we can PUSH BACK on this – the title of your book – but how do we finally resist this phony consensus that is being built all around us. You describe your new book as something of a text book containing much information and many of your thoughts over the years, so could you summarise how we can deal with this situation?
BE: Well, first you have to learn to recognise the lead-in lines that the agitator/provocateur uses. For example: “Everyone here knows why you are against such a thing”; “everyone knows you're a fundamentalist.” Ok, that’s a smear. “Even fundamentalists like you”; “even evangelicals like you would know blah, blah.” I give several lead-in lines in the book. You need to memorise some of those, and they should be a red flag when you hear them. Then I give ways to counter this, such as: Qualifying your argument; noticing that cause and effect are out of sync; spotting that a conclusion doesn't logically follow from the hypothesis or theory in question; or just that the reasoning is out of whack. The book helps you to learn a little bit of logic. You know, people used to take a course in logic in high school; they don’t anymore.
JC: That's a great loss.
BE: It is. There are other things also, such as hasty generalisations and smears. Pay special attention to the smear: “Even a child would see that seat time in a classroom doesn’t equate to proficiency in subject matter.” OK, the second half of that is fine, but “even a child would see” is the bit to recognise: that's a smear! They have called you child-like. Unfortunately, people are not getting this; they don’t understand how they’re being manipulated, because they haven’t learned the techniques of logic.
JC: Yes, it would be really helpful for people to know some basic things like the ad hominem fallacy - exactly that kind of thing, “Oh, you only say that because you’re a such-and-such” (whatever that might be) - which is of course irrational because your argument might be very good. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an evangelical, a theological liberal, a Marxist, or whatever you are, it’s the argument itself that matters. We could list many others. The argument ad populum, “Oh well, most people think so and so.” Well, so what? It doesn’t prove it’s right! I agree with you, many people don’t know these basic, logical fallacies, but when they do, it’s very powerful knowledge.
BE: It is powerful. In fact, forty years ago you didn’t hear the term evangelical much, if you think about it. What happened was that during the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy, the word ‘fundamentalist’ got to the forefront in the context of Islamic fundamentalist. So then they thought, “Hey, you know what? That’s a good idea: we could start calling Christians fundamentalists,” and that would imply they’ve got a brain cell loose somewhere. So, slogans are effective ways to smear people.
JC: I agree. Instead of the word fundamentalist meaning someone-who-believes-in-the-fundamentals (of whatever belief system), or someone of that 1920s theological movement called fundamentalism, it now means 'extremist'. There’s been a change of meaning.
JC: To people who have not experienced this type of thing, I expect this will sound somewhat fanciful: “Surely this kind of thing can’t be going on in the real world.” But I’m sitting here today and speaking to you as somebody who actually experienced this about five years ago or so, and it was very disturbing. I did find my personality being stepped on, I did find myself not being accepted as part of the group, and eventually I came out of that situation as I explained earlier. It was very painful. It really is going on. As it happens, that was in the context of the Methodist Church, and I know exactly why it was happening there. It was done for reasons of political correctness: a technique to keep a 'broad church' (as it's called) together, which is all about stability for the organisation. You see, there are liberals and evangelicals (with many incompatible views), but the desire is to keep everyone together. The only way to achieve that is by encouraging this communitarian spirit where truth is not discussed and everybody hides what they really think, so we can all shake hands and keep along together. And, in the end, I think it won't work. I think it’s just going to lead to a complete watering down of the preaching of the Gospel in the Methodist Church (and anywhere else this technique is used). So I’m saying I have experienced it; I connect very much with what you’re saying, and I think your advice to people is fantastic. I’m very glad you’re doing what you’re doing and writing this material. Could you tell us how we can get hold of your book?
BE: Well, it’s available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, but also through the Skyhorse Publishing Company (skyhorsepublishing.com). Also, if you go to my website (beverlyeakman.com), you'll see rolling covers of my books at the bottom of the page, so you can click on those to order.
JC: I really do think that it is something that we should read. I haven’t read it myself, but I intend to, because it's applicable to so many areas of life. The New World Order is being constructed around us, and we must not allow that to happen. Your writing, I think, gives us a very good set of techniques with which to resist what's happening in so many areas of life. Thank you, Beverly Eakman, for coming on and sharing with us from all your research and all your advice. It’s been great to speak with you.
BE: Well, you’re a great interviewer and I thank you too. (By the way, I saw this used in the church too. I saw it in the Presbyterian Church USA. There was a meeting with two thousand people – I won’t say what it was about – and I watched four people work over that two thousand-member congregation and get them on their side, when probably none of the people that walked in there were on their side to begin with.)
BE: Isn’t that amazing?
JC: It is amazing, but I’m not surprised now.
BE: I was so taken with that, I had to investigate.
JC: Absolutely, if we think for a moment that those people who have an authoritarian attitude to life don’t know this and realise the power of this tool, then we are fools.
BE: Well, thank you very much. I enjoyed being on your show.
JC: Thank you ever so much for coming on. It’s been wonderful to speak to you.
BE: Ok, good to speak to you too. Bye-bye now.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by Beverly Eakman in this interview are her responsibility alone; they do not necessarily reflect those of The Mind Renewed.