Welcome to the blog of Indian 007

Like a beacon unto the world ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Move to Normalize Pedophilia

Few weeks ago, I posted an article here in this blog titled "Predators with Ph.D.s", which was originally published in AmericanThinker.com and several other blogs. The news in the article was about a move to normalize "pedophilia". The article was written in response to a conference - B4U-ACT that took place in Baltimore, Maryland. On August 17 of this year, the pro-pedophilia group B4U-ACT sponsored an event in Baltimore attended by researchers, professors, mental health professionals, and pedophiles - relabelled as "minor-attracted persons". These kind of news are often seen missing from the establishment media.

I did a little search on the internet to see what the establishment media has to say about the Baltimore conference - B4U-ACT. The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, New York Times etc., had nothing to say about this event, which was purportedly attended by admitted pedophiles, relabelled as -"minor-attracted persons" (MAPs). So, how would you expect a common man to know anything about such events? So I went to their own website.
According to their own website, B4U-ACT was established in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) organization with the following purposes:
  • To publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children and seek such assistance,
  • To educate mental health providers regarding the approaches helpful for such individuals,
  • To develop a pool of providers in Maryland who agree to serve these individuals and abide by B4U-ACT's Principles and Perspectives of Practice, and
  • To educate the citizens of Maryland regarding issues faced by these individuals
Their goal of conducting annual workshops is "to promote communication and mutual understanding, and to raise awareness of various issues related to the attraction to minors." The website also admits that pedophiles (minor-attracted persons) attend their workshops.

Read further into their "Mission", "Vision", "Values" etc., and it's straight on the face that the symposium is all about promoting "tolerance" and "normalization" of pedophilia. It's plain as daylight and doesn't take a genius to figure it out. For those that are careful about the kind of language used in the above website, it's typical of the perverted language that's often used by the establishment to soften up the attitude of public toward pedophiles or such degenerates. One of the attendee described it best: “They used flowery, euphemistic psychobabble to give quasi-scientific cover to a discussion about the worst kind of perversion.” That nails it. Indeed, these are sexually and morally deviant beings disguised as liberal thinkers or progressives to promote perversion of the highest order as a "norm" and of course there are disgusting, degenerate and reprobate minds in high places of academia who are brand ambassadors of pure evil. Dig a little into the history; this group mimics the same tactics and manipulative talking points of the Homosexual Lobby

Several decades ago, homosexuality was also being "studied" by the 'elites' and where are we now? I've heard and read several accounts where elderly Americans said, some 40 or 50 yrs ago, no one dared to talk about homosexuality in public or promoted it as a "normal" thing, let alone think of legalizing it. While homosexuals have been around in all cultures from ancient times, the open and heavy promotion of such deplorable lifestyles, and even worse, to push it down the throats of children as young as 5 and 6 yrs old in public schools is disgusting. No wonder the Public Schools are infested with increasing number of psychopaths because their purpose is to "normalize" what was once considered abnormal. Yesterday's craziness is today's "norm" and likewise today's craziness may become tomorrow's "norm". 

The "highlights" of the conference, was reported by two attendees of the conference - Matt Barber, associate dean of the Liberty University School of Law and Dr. Judith Reisman, visiting law prof. at Liberty University. 

Dr. Reisman herself wrote an article about the Conference on WorldNetDaily (WND). That's again firsthand information from an attendee, in which she says: To eliminate the "stigma" against pedophiles, this growing sexual anarchist lobby wants the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to redefine pedophilia as a normal sexual orientation of "Minor-Attracted Persons." Compare it with what the B4U-ACT website has to say to the Mental Health Professionals (MHPs):
".....We help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma, and fear. That way they can be informed before they work with clients who are attracted to minors, and before they talk about or make public statements about minor-attracted people..."

Looks like this group of eminent personalities at the conference were ambassadors of organizations like NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association)  - a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the US, whose stated goal is to end "the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships." [Wiki]

So, may be not everything about the event (B4U-ACT) is misinformation, as Dr. Fred Berlin of John Hopkins' University would have us believe. Regardless, the silence of mainstream media is overwhelming. 

Perhaps the reason why the news doesn't appear in the mainstream is because this monstrosity is still in its infancy and indigestible to most public. It has to be trickled-down to the public over the years; again through the well-known process of 'gradualism'. Particularly, if what they have to market is insanity, then the norm is somewhat as follows :
      -  first they initiate discussions behind closed-doors
    - get influential people and key organizations (lawyers, health professionals, academia, social work groups) involved in the discussion to give it a 'scientific' appeal
    - start redefining terms to soften-up its appeal to masses (a 'pedophile' becomes 'minor attracted person')
      - get the media to slowly trickle down the news so that the public will be desensitized over the period of time
       - and eventually legitimize it by passing laws.

They have done it before and they will do it again.

The silence of the mainstream and more importantly the info available from the pro-pedophiles' own sources, indicate that these 'highly esteemed' two-legged walking-talking abominable beings are preparing the recipe for yet another disaster. Their track record proves it. Just as 'sodomy' was legalized as a socially accepted "norm", now they seem to be working towards "normalizing" pedophilia. Once they get their way, there's no coming back. And this time, those predators are planning to legitimize the preying on other people's children.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Who Really Controls the World?

By Prof. Dr. MUJAHID KAMRAN, www.newdawnmagazine.com

Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)

So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. 
– Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)

The advent of the industrial revolution, the invention of a banking system based on usury, and scientific and technological advancements during the past three centuries have had three major consequences. These have made the incredible concentration of wealth in a few hands possible, have led to the construction of increasingly deadly weapons culminating in weapons of mass destruction, and have made it possible to mould the minds of vast populations by application of scientific techniques through the media and control of the educational system.

The wealthiest families on planet earth call the shots in every major upheaval that they cause. Their sphere of activity extends over the entire globe, and even beyond, their ambition and greed for wealth and power knows no bounds, and for them, most of mankind is garbage – “human garbage.” It is also their target to depopulate the globe and maintain a much lower population compared to what we have now.

It was Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild (1840-1915) who once said: “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the British Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.” What was true of the British Empire is equally true of the US Empire, controlled remotely by the London based Elite through the Federal Reserve System. Judged by its consequences, the Federal Reserve System is the greatest con job in human history.

It is sad and painful that man’s most beautiful construction, and the source of most power and wealth on earth, viz. scientific knowledge – the most sublime, most powerful and most organised expression of man’s inherent gift of thought, wonder and awe – became a tool for subjugation of humanity, a very dangerous tool in the hands of a tiny group of men. These men “hire” the scientist and take away, as a matter of right, the power the scientist creates through his inventions. This power is then used for their own purposes, at immense human and material cost to mankind. The goal of this handful of men, the members of the wealthiest families on the planet, the Elite, is a New World Order, a One World Government, under their control.

Secrecy and anonymity is integral to the operations of the Elite as is absolute ruthlessness, deep deception and the most sordid spying and blackmail. The Elite pitches nations against each other, and aims at the destruction of religion and other traditional values, creates chaos, deliberately spreads poverty and misery, and then usurps power placing its stooges in place. These families “buy while the blood is still flowing in the streets” (Rothschild dictum). Wars, “revolutions” and assassinations are part of their tactics to destroy traditional civilisation and traditional religions (as in Soviet Russia), amass wealth and power, eliminate opponents, and proceed relentlessly towards their avowed goal, generation after generation. They operate through covert and overt societies and organisations.

Professor Carroll Quigley wrote:
The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands to be able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in private meetings and conferences.… The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralisation of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury to all other economic groups.

Winston Churchill, who was eventually “bored by it all,” wrote around 1920:
From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, to those of Trotsky, Bela Kun, Rosa Luxembourg, and Emma Goldman, this world wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played a definitely recognisable role in the tragedy of French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the nineteenth century, and now at last, this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads, and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

The High Cabal Exposed by JFK

It was in the dark days of World War II that Churchill referred to the existence of a “High Cabal” that had brought about unprecedented bloodshed in human history. Churchill is also said to have remarked about the Elite: “They have transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus from Switzerland into Russia…” (quoted by John Coleman in The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Global Publications 2006). Who are ‘they’?

Consider the 1961 statement of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK) before media personnel:
The word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and secret proceedings. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy, that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. It depends on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published, its mistakes are buried, not headlined, and its dissenters are silenced, not praised, no expenditure is questioned, no secret revealed… I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people.”

Secret societies, secret oaths, secret proceedings, infiltration, subversion, intimidation – these are the words used by JFK!

On June 4, 1963, JFK ordered the printing of Treasury dollar bills instead of Federal Reserve notes (Executive Order 11110). He also ordered that once these had been printed, the Federal Reserve notes would be withdrawn, and the Treasury bills put into circulation. A few months later (November 22, 1963) he was killed in broad daylight in front of the whole world – his brains blown out. Upon assumption of power, his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, immediately reversed the order to switch to Treasury bills showing very clearly why JFK was murdered. Another order of JFK, to militarily disengage from the Far East by withdrawing US “advisors” from Vietnam, was also immediately reversed after his death. After the Cuban crisis JFK wanted peaceful non-confrontational coexistence with the Soviet Union and that meant no wars in the world. He knew the next war would be nuclear and there would be no winners.

The defence industry and the banks that make money from war belong to the Elite. The Elite subscribes to a dialectical Hegelian philosophy, as pointed out by Antony Sutton, under which they bring about ‘controlled conflict’. The two world wars were ‘controlled conflicts’! Their arrogance, their ceaseless energy, their focus, their utter disregard for human life, their ability to plan decades in advance, to act on that planning, and their continual success are staggering and faith-shaking.

Statements by men like Disraeli, Wilson, Churchill, JFK and others should not leave any doubt in the mind of the reader about who controls the world. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote in November 1933 to Col. Edward House: “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centres has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson.” It may be recalled that Andrew Jackson, US President from 1829-1837, was so enraged by the tactics of bankers (Rothschilds) that he said: “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”

Interlocking Structure of Elite Control

In his book Big Oil and Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families and Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics and Terror Network, Dean Henderson states: “My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stock ownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on ‘national security’ grounds. This is ironic since many of the bank’s stockholders reside in Europe.” This is, on the face of it, quite astonishing but it goes to show the US government works not for the people but for the Elite. It also shows that secrecy is paramount in Elite affairs. No media outlet will raise this issue because the Elite owns the media. Secrecy is essential for Elite control – if the world finds out the truth about the wealth, thought, ideology and activities of the Elite there would be a worldwide revolt against it. Henderson further states:

The Four Horsemen of Banking (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) own the Four Horsemen of Oil (Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco and Chevron Texaco); in tandem with other European and old money behemoths. But their monopoly over the global economy does not end at the edge of the oil patch. According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stockholders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.

It is well known that in 2009, of the top 100 largest economic entities of the world, 44 were corporations. The wealth of these families, which are among the top 10% shareholders in each of these, is far in excess of national economies. In fact, total global GDP is around 70 trillion dollars. The Rothschild family wealth alone is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. So is the case with the Rockefellers who were helped and provided money all along by the Rothschilds. The US has an annual GDP in the range of 14-15 trillion dollars. This pales into insignificance before the wealth of these trillionaires. With the US government and most European countries in debt to the Elite, there should be absolutely no doubt as to who owns the world and who controls it. To quote Eustace Mullins from his book The World Order:

The Rothschilds rule the US through their Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Federal Reserve System with no serious challenges to their power. Expensive ‘political campaigns’ are routinely conducted, with carefully screened candidates who are pledged to the program of the World Order. Should they deviate from the program, they would have an ‘accident’, be framed on a sex charge, or indicted in some financial irregularity.

The Elite members operate in absolute unison against public benefit, against a better life for mankind in which the individual is free to develop his or her innate creativity, a life free of war and bloodshed. James Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defence of the US, became aware of Elite intrigue and had, according to Jim Marrs, accumulated 3,000 pages of notes to be used for writing a book. He died in mysterious circumstances and was almost certainly murdered. His notes were taken away and a sanitised version made public after one year! Just before he died, almost fifteen months before the outbreak of the Korean War, he had revealed that American soldiers would die in Korea! Marrs quotes Forrestal: “These men are not incompetent or stupid. Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If they were merely stupid, they would occasionally make a mistake in our favour.” The Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the mother of all these, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, are bodies where decisions about the future of mankind are arrived at. Who set these up and control them? The “international bankers” of course.
In his book The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, Col. Fletcher Prouty, who was the briefing officer to the President of the US from 1955-1963, writes about “an inner sanctum of a new religious order.” By the phrase Secret Team he means a group of “security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data.” He states: “The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses.” He further adds: “All true members of the Team remain in the power centre whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.”

Training the Young for Elite Membership

It is very remarkable as to how ‘they’ are able to exercise control and how ‘they’ always find people to carry out the job, and how is it ‘they’ always make the ‘right’ decision at the right time? This can only be possible if there exists a hidden program of inducting and training cadres mentally, ideologically, philosophically, psychologically and ability-wise, over prolonged periods of time and planting them in the centres of power of countries like the US, UK, etc. This training would begin at a young age in general. There must also be a method of continual appraisal, by small groups of very highly skilled men, of developing situations with ‘their’ men who are planted throughout the major power centres of the world so that immediate ‘remedial’ action, action that always favours Elite interests, can be taken. How does that happen?

It is in finding answers to these questions that the role of secret societies and their control of universities, particularly in the US, assumes deeper importance. The work done by men like Antony Sutton, John Coleman, Eustace Mullins and others is ground breaking. Mankind owes a debt to such scholars who suffer for truth but do not give in. Whenever you trace the money source of important initiatives designed to bring about major wars, lay down policies for the future, enhance control of the Elite over mankind, etc., you will invariably find them linked to the so called banking families and their stooges operating out of Foundations.

In April 2008 I was among approximately 200 Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Presidents of universities from Asia, Africa, Europe and the US at a two day Higher Education Summit for Global Development, held at the US State Department in Washington DC. The Summit was addressed by five US Secretaries, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The real emphasis throughout the Summit was only on one thing – that universities in developing countries operate in partnership with foundations so that global problems could be solved! These are private foundations and the only way to understand this emphasis is to realise the US government is owned by those who own these foundations. As an aside the inaugural address was delivered by the war criminal responsible for millions of deaths in Rwanda, trained in US military institutions, and awarded a doctorate – Dr. Paul Kagame! The very first presentation was made by the CEO of the Agha Khan Foundation!

In a fascinating study of the Yale secret society Skull and Bones, Antony Sutton uncovered numerous aspects of profound importance about this one society. In his book America’s Secret Establishment – An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, Sutton points out there is a set of “Old Line American Families and New Wealth” that dominates The Order (of Skull & Bones) – the Whitney family, the Stimson family, the Bundy family, the Rockefeller family, the Harriman family, the Taft family, the Bush family, and so on. He also points out that there is a British connection:

The links between the Order and Britain go through Lazard Freres and the private merchant bankers. Notably the British establishment also founded a University – Oxford University, and especially All Souls College at Oxford. The British element is called ‘The Group’. The Group links to the Jewish equivalent through the Rothschilds in Britain (Lord Rothschild was an original member of Rhodes’ ‘inner circle’). The Order in the US links to the Guggenheim, Schiff and Warburg families… There is an Illuminati connection.

Every year 15 young men, and very recently women, have been inducted into The Order from Yale students since 1832. Who selects them? A study of the career trajectories of many of those ‘chosen’ shows how they rise to prominence in American life and how their peers ensure these men penetrate the very fabric of important US institutions. They are always there in key positions during war and peace, manipulating and watching ceaselessly.

The influence of the Elite families on the thought processes of nations is carried out through academic institutions and organisations, as well as the media. Sutton writes:
Among academic associations the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Psychological Association were all started by members of The Order or persons close to The Order. These are key associations for the conditioning of society. The phenomenon of The Order as the FIRST on the scene is found especially among Foundations, although it appears that The Order keeps a continuing presence among Foundation Trustees… The FIRST Chairman of an influential but almost unknown organisation established in 1910 was also a member of The Order. In 1920 Theodore Marburg founded the American Society for the Judicial Settlement of Disputes, but Marburg was only President. The FIRST Chairman was member William Howard Taft. The Society was the forerunner of the League to Enforce Peace, which developed into the League of Nations concept and ultimately the United Nations.

The United Nations is an instrument of the Elite designed to facilitate the setting up of One World Government under Elite control. The UN building stands on Rockefeller property.

Selecting Future Prime Ministers to Serve the New World Order

In his article, ‘Oxford University – The Illuminati Breeding Ground’, David Icke recounts an incident that demonstrates how these secret societies and groups, working for the Elite, select, train and plan to install their men in key positions. In 1940 a young man addressed a “study group” of the Labor Party in a room at University College Oxford. He stressed that he belonged to a secret group without a name which planned a “Marxist takeover” of Britain, Rhodesia and South Africa by infiltrating the British Parliament and Civil Services. Since the British do not like extremists they dismiss their critics as ‘right-wingers’ while themselves posing as ‘moderates’ (this seems like the anti-Semitism charge by ADL, etc. whenever Israel is criticised). The young man stated that he headed the political wing of that secret group and he expected to be made Prime Minister of Britain some day! The young man was Harold Wilson who became Prime Minister of Britain (1964-70, 1974-76)!

All young men studying at Ivy League universities, and at others, must bear in mind they are being continually scrutinised by some of their Professors with the intention of selecting from amongst them, those who will serve the Elite, and become part of a global network of interlocked covert and overt societies and organisations, working for the New World Order. Some of those already selected will be present among them, mingling with them and yet, in their heart, separated from them by a sense of belonging to a brotherhood with a mission that has been going on for a long time. These young men also know they will be rewarded by advancement in career and also that if they falter they could be killed!

Utter secrecy and absolute loyalty is essential to the continued success of this program. This is enforced through fear of murder or bankruptcy and through a cult which probably takes us back to the times of the pyramids and before. Philosophically ‘they’ believe in Hegelian dialectics through which they justify bringing about horrible wars – euphemistically called ‘controlled conflict’. Their political ideology is ‘collectivism’ whereby mankind has to be ‘managed’ by a group of men, ‘them’, organised for the purpose – a hidden ‘dominant minority’. ‘They’ believe that they know better than ordinary mortals. The Illuminati, the Freemasons, members of other known and unknown secret societies, all mesh together under the wealthiest cabal in human history to take a mesmerised, dormant and battered mankind from one abyss to the next. Former MI6 agent John Coleman refers to a “Committee of 300” that controls and guides this vast subterranean human machinery.

In his book Memoirs, published in 2002, David Rockefeller, Sr. stated that his family had been attacked by “ideological extremists” for “more than a century… Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” That’s it!

Prof. Dr. MUJAHID KAMRAN is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan, and is available from www.amazon.co.uk. Prof. Kamran’s website is www.mujahidkamran.com.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Overruled: Government Invasion of your Parental Rights (Official Movie)

Parents all over America are losing their rights and don't even know it. "Overruled" is a shocking 35-minute docudrama that exposes how the rights of parents in America are being eroded and what you can do to turn the tide. The video features the reenactments of 3 real cases: a Medical Case, an Educational Case and a Religious Case. Parental Rights are further threatened or challenged by the international treaty called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) also known simply as the CRC. They are supposedly to protect children but there are parts of the treaty that are very dangerous. This video should come as a wake-up call for all parents across the globe because the UN treaty which overruled the US Federal law, even though US never ratified this treaty, could as well subvert the constitutional laws of every other nation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Tribute to Rudolf Flesch


Let it be noted, this is a melancholy saga, probably beyond what you can imagine. It is addressed to anyone sincerely baffled by the practices of our educators. When I speak of educators, I never mean teachers, I mean the people at the top. Indeed, this report is dedicated to America’s teachers--I always feel they are as much the victims of bad theory as students are.

Rudolf Flesch is our tragic hero. A graduate of Teachers College and an authority on both reading and writing, he was himself an educator and, you might think, an insider. Nonetheless, he spent much of his life in a frustrating quest to persuade his colleagues that they had made a tragic mistake by favoring look-say over phonics. His “Why Johnny Can’t Read” was a national bestseller in 1956. But the education establishment vilified him and ignored him. Flesch waited 25 years and tried again with “Why Johnny Still Can’t Read.” Again it was a bestseller. Again the educational establishment snickered; and his earnest, heartfelt effort could not overcome their hostility. He died believing that the situation might be hopeless. This tribute will consist of trying to answer a question: why did Rudolf Flesch have to waste so much of his life defending the obvious?

I’ve read his books and many others dealing with the same topics and I kept asking: what’s really going on here? Phonics has to be a part of any reading program, right? Isn’t it the simplest way to figure out a word you don’t know? Why do his opponents keep pushing ideas that don’t work? All they have to do is read Rudolf Flesch. Two bestsellers! Surely everyone has heard of these wonderful books.

Flesch discusses British schools, where it is normal for children to learn to read by Christmas of their first grade. Once they grasp the phonetic code, they can read anything, at age seven. Children forced into look-say (or whole word) classes learn English as if each word were a Chinese ideogram. This approach is slow and inefficient. Typically, kids can memorize less than 300 "sight words" a year (many kids have trouble reaching 100 sight-words per year). Even by the sixth grade, so-called A-students could be expected to know only 2500 words. With this limited vocabulary, there is no newspaper or cereal box that they can read even half of, at age twelve. Worse still, children that age have more than 30,000 words buzzing around in their heads. They speak most of these words, and recognize all of them in conversation. They just can’t recognize them in print. Imagine the imprisonment and torture we are describing here. Your ears and your brain know 30,000 words, but your eyes know only 2000. You can get a migraine just thinking about this. By the end of high school an outstanding look-say student might know 10,000 words on sight, but by that time the volume of heard or recognized words has probably grown past 50,000. The victim of this abuse will be semiliterate for life. The victim will not be able to read for pleasure. 

It’s difficult for an adult to identify with what a child goes through in look-say. Here are some simple ways to do this. Go on Google and find some pages in a foreign language you don’t know. Or turn a page of English upside down and look at it in a mirror. Now imagine you are told to memorize all those words by SHAPE alone. (Note that you will eventually need to memorize several shapes for each word: “teaching,” "Teaching," “TEACHING,” and versions in hand writing or odd typefaces.) In all cases, you must NOT break words into letters or syllables. You must NOT sound out the words. Just memorize the shapes-- that is, the design, the look, the appearance. Feeling dyslexic, are you? Feeling depressed and anxious? ADD coming on? Yes, that happens a lot.

Here is the fundamental point. Words learned phonetically will always re-introduce themselves to you, a thousand times if necessary. Each word contains its own speech chip, so to speak. The word talks to you, "Here's how you pronounce me!" But a word learned as an ideogram is static and uncommunicative. Either you have memorized it or you haven't, much like a house, car or other object seen as you drive through a neighborhood. Do you know that house or don't you? The house doesn't say. It's up to you to recall the shape of the roof, the color of the garage, etc. (Imagine the nightmare of trying to memorize thousands of houses by name.) For children caught in look-say, English looks like this: htchfgd fhwtrg dsphw mjl bqv xtpkng... There's thousands upon thousands of small, strange, silent shapes to memorize. And they're coming at you very fast as you try to read across the page.

Only the smartest Chinese can learn more than 20,000 of their ideograms (which have only one shape). Even this amount requires excellent memory, great discipline, and endless practice drawing these symbols. Modern educators routinely condemn practice and memorization; how odd that they selected a reading pedagogy that demands both. English now hurtles toward a total vocabulary of 1,000,000 words. Look-say was never a feasible way to deal with this Niagara of symbols.

Memorizing short, common words (house, stop, good, but, they, what) may not be too bad at first. Children might learn one or two thousand such words and get A’s in third and fourth grade reading. (Provided, of course, they are reading books written in this controlled vocabulary--so the A’s are quite dishonest.) But progress will now come more slowly because the children will have to move on to bigger, more visually cumbersome words (bathroom, apartment, however, television, somewhere). Their brains will struggle to remember the tiny visual differences between, for example, virtue, virtual, visit, vertigo, vision, verse, visible, vista, version, visa, visiting, virgin, visual. (What mnemonic tricks would you use to remember that “virtue” has something to do with morality but “virtual” has something to do with computers? Would those tricks work a month later? Could you transfer those memory tricks to VIRTUE and VIRTUAL?) Still more bad news: Once children learn to sight-read a few thousand words, their brains resist phonics. If these children try to read some words phonetically, well, they can’t, not easily. It hurts. Their brains have become wired for shapes, not sounds. These children will say they hate reading. Teachers will start calling them dyslexic.

According to Flesch, we are wired to talk by age three, write by age five, and read by age seven, roughly speaking. These things happen naturally, with time and encouragement. Learning to talk, he notes, is a far greater intellectual leap than learning to read. But what do you know-- three-year-olds do it. Similarly, seven-year-olds will almost universally learn to read, if you don't put obstacles in their way. An inability to read is rare among humans; you would expect to find actual brain damage. The evil genius of look-say is that it creates the symptoms of brain damage in healthy children. Here’s a grim but probably accurate thought. If our educators were teaching children to talk, we would have a society overflowing with mutes. As it is, we have a society overflowing with "functional illiterates." 
Frank Smith, whom many educators regard as a great expert on reading, did more than anyone else to perpetuate the war against phonics and against Rudolf Flesch. Smith states flatly: “Readers do not need the alphabet.” He ridicules phonics (“the 166 rules and 45 exceptions,” as he puts it). Smith likes to pretend that young children are empty-headed and will be sounding out exotic words they do not know. But that’s a phony set-up. Kids in first grade already know more than 20,000 words. They need help ASAP in recognizing the printed version of all these words. Smith himself gave the game away when he wrote, as a put-down: “Phonics works if you know what a word is likely to be in the first place.” Yes, and that can be a big help--just what the child needs to keep going. Suppose the story is about a farm; there are chickens, mules, ducks, cows, pigs, turkeys, horses and a rooster there. The child knows all those words; with just a hint of the starting sound, the child reads all those words. Call phonics one of the great inventions of human history. Or call it a code-breaker, a crutch, a trick, a cheat sheet. It lets children read all those thousands of fairly complex words they speak in conversation by age five, but with look-say will not be able to read until they are in high school, if ever. Words such as hurricane, internet, digital, vacation, interstate, Mercedes, crocodile, computing, cheerleader, quarterback, aspirin, battery, janitor, detergent, headquarters, electricity, military, Manhattan, athletic, chemistry, understand, groceries, religion, Hollywood, etc., etc. My guess is that children don’t need a lot of phonics to get started. (I say this knowing that Dr. Flesch would disagree. I say this because I somehow graduated from college and became an author without learning even a single phonics rule. I think that what happened was that I was in look-say classes but the teacher was teaching some informal phonics on the side! Fortunately. Indeed, it's one of my favorite theories that a LOT of guerrilla teaching occurred in this country. Otherwise, the look-say disaster would be much worse than it is.) At most (and this is just my impression), young children need one consonant sound plus the long and short vowel sounds. But here’s what they absolutely have to know: the alphabetic concept by which letters can stand for sounds. And it’s this great cultural treasure that look-say was designed to keep forever hidden. Judging by everything I've read, look-say is the worst possible way to teach reading. Whenever it's used, literacy declines. Weird reading problems proliferate. Look-say (or whole word) is arguably a form of child abuse.

What, by the way, is the best way to teach reading? I suspect it’s the same way we teach tying shoelaces, cooking, using a computer, and all the rest. An adult sits by the child and helps the child along. Children love stories and they love repetition. So there's plenty of opportunity to point at letters, syllables and words, to repeat sounds, to enjoy rhyme, and to discuss what a wonderful but sometimes whacky thing the English language is. I also suspect that poetry--anything with rhyme, including nursery rhymes and doggerel--should be central.

Well, this debate has been played out in many books and throughout the country. At this date, 20 years after Dr. Flesch passed away, his message largely prevails. The forces of whole word--especially since 1995--are slowly receding, like some dark tide. But we are still left, ever more intriguingly, with the question: why did this bogus technique come into vogue in the first place? To find the answer, we have to peer back at the history of education, all the way to the early part of the 20th century and into the late 19th century. Two entirely new fields were born at that time, Education and Psychology; the same small group dominated both. What were the motives and goals of these willful men, the ones who perpetrated look-say and so many other dubious strategies? For many years I simply could not figure it out. Why were American educators so incurably drawn to bad ideas? I kept hoping there was a benign explanation. Then I began suspecting that these people were either the biggest bunglers in history or huge criminals. But which? And why? For a long time, American educational theory and practice seemed to me like a bizarre mystery story.

For further technical reasons why whole word is a disaster,
see eight ADDENDA at end of piece.


---G. Stanley Hall---John Dewey---Edward Thorndike---
Bunglers or Criminals?


Finally, in 2006, the puzzle came together for me. It’s a tangled story unfolding over many decades, and involving many dozens of major players and institutions. I don’t want us to get lost in the details. (Whole books have been written about pieces of this story; a few of these will be listed at the end.) I'm going to summarize the story as intellectual history. To do this, I compiled about fifteen revealing quotes to show how the main educators were thinking. But it's probably helpful to start with a quick run-down of the ideas and recurring themes swirling through these quotes.

THEME 1) The early leaders in Psychology and Education (circa 1890) were claiming to produce bold new scientific breakthroughs even as they all seemed to suffer from inferiority complexes. Remember, even 50 years later, Psychology was considered little better than palmistry in some circles. The result: no matter how dangerous and unproved an idea, it was promoted with stubborn dogmatism.

THEME 2) Their philosophy tended to be materialistic and mechanistic. One might also add godless and soulless. They believed in conditioned reflexes, Pavlovian training, and behavior modification. They sometimes talked about raising children to new levels but they planned to do this by first treating children as if they were rats in mazes. How far can you raise a rat?

THEME 3) These pioneers talked a great deal about democracy. In reality, they were all socialists and totalitarians of one stripe or another. What really mattered to them was what children did as a group. But it’s even weirder than these words suggest. Most of these people believed in eugenics, selective breeding, sterilization, racism, and the inferiority of many of the races trying to emigrate to America. In a nutshell, white people were the master race, but this master race was in the main so incompetent that an additional master race--these scheming educators--had to preside over it.

THEME 4) These people called themselves educators and continually acted as if they cared about education. But to a man they were anti-intellectual, and thus anti-education as most people understand the term. This is for me the weirdest part. They presumed to know that most people really don’t need that much reading, writing and arithmetic, not to mention history, science and art, so why waste time giving it to them? The correct approach was obvious: keep children busy (so parents don’t complain too much) but in pointless ways (so that future adults won’t be educated beyond their station in life).

THEME 5) Our educators spoke of human fulfillment and liberation but their deepest desires seem focused on control and coercion. Virtually all the early leaders in Psychology and Education were partly educated in Germany--perhaps Teutonic tendencies rubbed off. (The pervasive idea being that the individual is nothing, the community everything.) All these men exhibited a love for massive social planning: a place for everybody and everybody in their place. The smart people (them) would run things, and the dumb people (everybody else) would do the menial jobs. We’re talking here about clearly defined social classes, almost to the point of a caste system.

Even summarizing this weird tangle is difficult. Some of the ideas are extreme (flat-earth extreme). Others are contradictory: can you create a better society by first making the children stupid? Other ideas seem stillborn: just because you declare children to be lumps of clay which can be molded into any shape doesn’t make it true. And finally, the one thing that holds all these ideas and themes together is the real poison: an enormous yearning for power that must be kept hidden and unacknowledged. Look back over the whole litany. Where do all the ideas point? Here it is: these people become the secret masters of your society. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are for them, not you.

One day I remembered where I had seen, several decades before, all these ideas discussed and dissected. But I didn’t grasp the whole picture at the time. In “Brave New World” (published in 1934), Aldous Huxley is making savage fun of something--but most of us don’t know exactly what it is. Now I know: it’s these wannabe dictators. Let us revisit Chapter 1 and walk along with the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning as he briefs some new arrivals...

“And this,” said the Director, “is the Fertilising Room....the operation undergone voluntarily for the good of Society...Can’t you see? Can’t you see?...one of the major instruments of social stability!” He quoted the planetary motto. “Community. Identity. Stability....After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store....” The escalator for the Social Predestination Room....the Decanting Room... “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas, or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or....future world controllers....Nothing like oxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par.” Again he rubbed his hands. What an enormous saving to the Community...“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue--liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.”

So that, I submit, is what our educators thought they were doing--making Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons. Conditioning people to fit in their slots. Huxley was very attuned to these ideas because they were foaming up in more public forms during the 1920’s, in the years just after the Russian Revolution. And oxygen shortage? Do I have to tell you? That’s every gimmick the educators concocted whose true purpose was the dumbing down of students. Quintessentially, that’s look-say (introduced widely about 1930).

Yes, these people saw themselves as Directors of Hatcheries and Conditioning. A new aristocracy; a new order of priests. Note that although Huxley ridicules the Director, the Director himself is absolutely smug and comfortable with his role. He preens. And so did they all, these early educators and psychologists. Who, you may wonder, asked them to do one tiny bit of their monstrous program of reconstruction. Who discussed, who appointed, who voted? They did. Why, it was unanimous. They get to be Alphas, you get to be a Delta. Don’t worry. You’ll like it. Your school will keep you dumb and unreflective. You’ll hardly be able to read your diploma. Being a Delta will seem just the goodest thing there is.

Brave New World

An article from Colliers’ Magazine circa 1954 gives us a look back at the early days of this gospel in action: “Extensive reading-method studies were made in Iowa in 1926-27 by the late neurologist, Dr. Samuel Orton, under a Rockefeller Foundation grant. At that time children who couldn't read were said to have ‘congenital word blindness’--but Orton wanted proof. What he found was quite different. He reported his findings in a scientific paper entitled, ‘The 'Sight Reading' Method of Teaching Reading as a Source of Reading Disability.’” Orton, by the way, was surprised by his findings and uncomfortable with them. He was probably brought in to conclude that Rockefeller was paying for good ideas. Orton is often mentioned as an early warning that look-say didn’t work. He was ignored, of course. But the part of this story I hope you’ll focus on is that Dewey and Company were actually willing to let normal children be categorized as suffering mental retardation. “Congenital word blindness” sounds a lot like Deltaville to me. The current term, of course, is dyslexia. This malady, whatever it is called, is what Rudolf Flesch began to encounter in the late 1940's, in his role as reading tutor. He was dumbfounded that this condition could be so pervasive. His outrage lead to the writing of "Why Johnny Can't Read."

Now, let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s listen to these eager saboteurs as they set demolition charges beneath the foundations of the American experiment and the American Dream. (Please note: the men quoted are not minor figures. These are the Founding Fathers of Education in this country.)

1885: “Total word pictures....These results are important enough to prove those to be wrong who hold with Kant that psychology can never become an exact science.” James McKeen Cattell, discussing theoretical basis for look-say.

1897: “We violate the child’s nature and render difficult the best ethical results by introducing the child too abruptly to a number of special studies, of reading, writing, geography, etc....The true center of correlation on the school subjects is not science, not literature, nor history, nor geography, but the child’s own social activity.” John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed

1898: “It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child's school-life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language...It does not follow, however, that because this course was once wise it is so any longer...The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.” John Dewey, The Primary-Education Fetich

1899: “The mere absorbing of facts and truths is so exclusively individual an affair that it tends very naturally to pass into selfishness. There is no obvious social motive for the acquirement of mere learning, there is no clear social gain in success thereat.” John Dewey, The School and Society.

[Note the date: 1899. The war against “facts and truths” is officially declared. That war continues to this day. See also #20 on this site: The Quizz.]

1906: “The aim of the teacher is to produce desirable and prevent undesirable changes in human beings by producing and preventing certain responses.” Edward Lee Thorndike, The Principles of Teaching Based on Psychology

1908: “As child nature is being systematically studied, the feeling grows that these golden years of childhood, like the Golden Age of our race, belong naturally to quite other subjects and performances than reading, and to quite other objects than books; and that reading is a ‘Fetich of Primary Education’ which only holds its place by the power of tradition and the stifling of questions asked concerning it....It is not indeed necessary that the child should be able to pronounce correctly or pronounce at all, at first, the new words that appear in his reading, any more than that he should spell or write all the new words that he hears spoken. If he grasps, approximately, the total meaning of the sentence in which the new word stands, he has read the sentence....And even if the child substitutes words of his own for some that are on the page, provided that these express the meaning, it is an encouraging sign that the reading has been real, and recognition of details will come as it is needed. The shock that such a statement will give to many a practical teacher of reading is but an accurate measure of the hold that a false ideal has taken of us, viz., that to read is to say just what is upon the page, instead of to think, each in his own way, the meaning that the page suggests.” Edmund Burke Huey, The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading (Q.E.D.: accurate reading is not required; fuzzy is good enough.)

1911: “The knowledge which illiterates acquire is probably a much larger proportion of it practical. Moreover, they escape much eyestrain and mental excitement, and, other things being equal, are probably more active and less sedentary. It is possible, despite the stigma our bepedagogued age puts upon this disability, for those who are under it not only to lead a useful, happy, virtuous life, but to be really well educated in many other ways. Illiterates escape certain temptations, such as vacuous and vicious reading. Perhaps we are prone to put too high a value both upon the ability required to attain this art and the discipline involved in doing so, as well as the culture value that comes to the citizen with his average of only six grades of schooling by the acquisition of this art.” G. Stanley Hall (Q.E.D.: illiteracy is acceptable and might even be desirable.)

1929: “Artificial exercises, like drills on phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal writing movements are used to a wasteful degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language and history include content that is intrinsically of little value....That the typical school overemphasizes instruction in these formal, academic skills as a means of fostering intellectual resources...is a justifiable criticism.” Edward Thorndike and Arthur Gates, Elementary Principles of Education

Fundamentally, what happened was that a handful of professors decided that the USA was not a melting pot but a boiling pot: too much immigration, growth, industrialization, wealth, individuality, urbanization, upheaval. Everything needed to be slowed down and managed. Dewey uses a similar phrase again and again: what was appropriate once is no longer appropriate--given the new circumstances. For example, an emphasis on literacy was no longer appropriate...What bizarre non-sequiturs. It reminds me of the 1990s when our educators trumpeted invented spelling and fuzzy English exactly as the internet was heating up and precise language would be more important than ever.
Isn’t the continuity amazing? A century ago our so-called educators were already plotting against accuracy, against meaning, against learning, against literacy. This last, of course, is the central part of the juggernaut, the part that Rudolf Flesch encountered. As he explains in the introduction to "Why Johnny Can't Read," mothers brought children to him that the public schools had classed as illiterates. He taught them to read.



The Russian Revolution is a fact of history by 1920. Shock waves spread around the world. Lenin has instructed the Third International to overthrow all capitalist governments, especially the USA. More and more, as you’ll see, our educators are avowed Socialists, etc. They are not so intent on crafting clever new educational theories. They want big changes quickly.

Karl Marx

Marx, Stalin, Depression

1932: "Historic capitalism, with its deification of the principle of selfishness, its reliance upon the forces of competition, its place of property above human rights, and its exaltation of the profit motive, will
either have to be displaced altogether, or so radically changed in form and spirit that its identity will be completely lost." George Counts

1933: “Through the schools of the world we shall disseminate a new conception of government--one that will embrace all the activities of men, one that will postulate the need of scientific control...in the interests of all people.” Harold Rugg, The Great Technology.

1934: "...many drastic changes must be made. A dying laissez-faire must be completely destroyed, and all of us, including the owners, must be subjected to a large degree of social control." Willard Givens (secretary of the National Education Association)

1936: "Let us not think....in terms of specific facts or skills [that children should acquire] but rather in terms of growing." NEA Journal

1936: "Too much emphasis cannot be laid upon the fact that undue premium is put upon the ability to learn to read at a certain chronological age....The entertainment plus information motive for reading conduces much to the habit of solitary self-entertainment." John Dewey

1937: "Only education which seeks the reconstruction of society is [valid]....Teachers should play an active part in securing acceptance by their communities of new social ideas and ideals." NEA Journal

1946: “It might be necessary for us to control our press as the Russian press is controlled.” Progressive Education Magazine

By 1930 hundreds of Communist fronts and agents of influence were in place; then came the Depression, which seemed to confirm their doctrines. At that point, all the pronouncements became more shrill and even smug. Indeed, many people suppose, looking back to 1930, that the Communists must have imported all our bad ideas. But what struck me as I looked back toward 1900 is that the ideas were already in place. The blueprint was agreed upon. There would be a war against religion, against individuality and family influence, against ordinary American values. And that war would be carried out by taking control of the colleges that train teachers, and then using indoctrinated teachers to push the ideas upon the public. All the Communists had to do was aid and abet our homegrown quackery, which they did with great energy. Thus, America got hit by a double whammy. We’re still reeling.

It’s just a guess but I’ll bet those first Russian agents, here to subvert the USA, were astonished to find that our own subversives were already doing the job quite nicely, thank you. Stalin doubtless laughed, “Marx always said, give capitalists enough rope and they’ll hang themselves!” And observe please the supreme irony throughout. Dewey talks about the collective, interdependent society. But these guys are themselves self-appointed egomaniacs, not the least bit interdependent. Just as scary, most of the ideas found in the blueprint are still in play one hundred years later. (Today they have been repackaged as Whole Language.)

We have to pause and wonder: was Rudolf Flesch merely a romantic fool, a Quixote, to imagine he could stop this juggernaut? He supposed that if you tell people what’s true, they’ll prefer it. What more could a man do than to write two best sellers stating the obvious? But the educators were still able to “disappear” him. I suspect Flesch had no idea of the forces arrayed against him. He was focused on reading, but our social engineers were wreaking havoc across a vast front.

John D. Rockefeller made billions of dollars by 1890 but became the country’s most hated man. He and his family decided to use philantrophy, especially to education, as a device for redeeming his public image. So far so good. But Rockefeller and his advisors embraced John Dewey’s tragic trifecta: socialism, paternalism, infantilism. The General Education Board was a shadowy trust that Rockefeller financed. The GEB, for one example, funded Teachers College which, by 1912, was the country’s fourth largest graduate school. TC had the job of brainwashing eager young people and sending them back to their small towns as “progressives.” Wave after wave of these people sought to transform America according to the Gospel of Dewey, Thorndike, Huey, Rugg, Counts and so on. That gospel, in practical effect, meant little other than dumbing down the children.

Here’s another huge irony worth savoring. Communists often complain that one of capitalism’s chief sins is that it churns out too much useless junk. To sell this junk, capitalists must create artificial needs and hungers in the people. Marketing, the Communists like to sneer, is the empty essence of capitalism. Surprise. Seems to me that marketing is the one and only thing our progressive educators were truly gifted at. Selling gimmicks that the public never asked for and didn’t want. Here are some of the marketing campaigns used over the decades: look-say, whole word, child-centered education, active learner, cooperative learning, invented spelling, open classroom, self-esteem movement, bilingual education, effective learning, mainstreaming, whole language, alternative assessment techniques, New Math, fuzzy math, new new math, Mathland, Outcome Based Education, higher level thinking, critical thinking, and more I’ve missed. The newest campaign features “creativity.” If you’re simply teaching kids to read and write, you don’t need marketing; if you’re telling children how to add and subtract, you won’t waste time dreaming up cute slogans. My impression is that not one of these campaigns actually led to better education. More frightening still, I don’t sense that any of them was ever intended to do so. All of them are like look-say: an ugly idea with cute bells and whistles, endless promises, and high-pressure salesmanshp. Ten years later, the country’s a billion dollars poorer and everybody’s dumber.

But after all this, can we yet say why Dewey and his comrades chose these destructive ideas? Well, do we ever know why a man chooses a life of crime or of alcoholism? I find a remarkable smilarity between John Dewey and Karl Marx. So different in so many ways, but here’s what they had in common: IQ close to 200, a hostility toward everything that the ordinary person likes, and a wrong answer to every question. Communism has a particular appeal to unhappy, alienated intellectuals. Communism and Socialism say: join us, we will put you in charge, and you can boss your neighbors around. Socialism is a jobs program for precisely the sort of people you don’t want running your life or your schools (people like Dewey and Marx). You know the old joke: if you’re so smart, how come you aren’t rich? Intellectuals hate this joke. (I can vouch for that.) Socialism says, now you can have your revenge; they may be rich in money but you will be rich in power. I asked earlier if Dewey and Friends were bunglers or crooks? Perhaps both, but I suspect the more basic problem is that they were quacks.

That’s as far as I can explain Dewey’s love of what I consider the dark side. Here’s what two others had to say:

A Congressman named Dan Smoot gave this explanation in 1962: “While the hardy individualists, who were the products of traditional American education, were building the nation, the thoughtstreams of the nation were being corrupted in prosperous and settled regions, by some intellectuals who were ill at ease in the daring and manly world of America--and who, therefore, readily responded to the tired, cynical, and sickly socialist philosophy prevalent in Europe.” In other words, Dewey & Co. were twits.

And here’s what Friedrich Neitzsche had to say all the way back in 1901: "What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism...”
In other words, Dewey & Co. were empty and full of darkness; they’ll try to take away our light.


I’m always struck by the moral aspects here. It’s not all right to kill your neighbor’s child. Surely it can’t be all right to kill that child’s prospects. What sort of person would want to? Here’s the thing I find the most repellent: our elite educators actually appear to share an indifference to children, not to mention the more obvious contempt for country. These educators have their agenda, and if children are in the way, too bad for the children.

Let me close with my vision of what education should be concerned with. Simple: pushing and cajoling each child as far as each child can go. It seems to me this approach is better for the children; they’re more likely to be happy, self-fulfilled and earn a higher income. This approach is better for the society, because our human resources are our most important asset. There is no way to know what talent or skill or contribution lies within each child. Why foreclose anything? Why not nurture and encourage all that is there?
Add your content here
PS: I feel I should explain why this tribute to Flesch had to cover so much ground...Of all the things that educators did during the 20th century, none was more central and more destructive than the war against literacy. The primary tactic in this war was the use of a reading pedagogy that does not work (i.e., whole word). Who could believe this?? So my first task was to say, hey, if you really examine this thing, you’ll see for yourself it doesn’t make sense....So, at this point, the average person thinks, well, okay, maybe it doesn’t work, but that was probably just an accident. They meant well. They’re educators, right? They couldn’t be so depraved that they’d try to make people illiterate...That was also my first reaction...So then I had to pull back and discuss the whole story from the broadest possible perspective, and show that, yes, it appears they were that depraved. The evidence is overwhelming....Killing phonics, promoting whole word, reducing literacy, defaming Rudolf Flesch--all were parts of a larger war for the mind and soul of America...Studying the whole conflict lets us see the true significance of the details.

Now I want to mention some of the heroes of American education. Like Rudolf Flesch, they have spent their lives fighting the nonsense served up by our alleged educators. Their pictures should be on our stamps.

Samuel Blumenfeld (second only to Flesch, I believe it’s fair to say, in fighting the good fight)
John Taylor Gatto (author “The Underground History of American Education,” which is on the web)
Charlotte Iserbyt (author of “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” which is downloadable)
Martin Kozloff (a professor of education and a tough critic of his own field; big internet presence)
Charles Sykes (author of several books)
Richard Mitchell (author of several books)

These people have written widely; a huge amount of material is on the net. Rather than list a link or two, I’d rather suggest you explore for yourself. Type the name in Google with an additional word such as reading, phonics, reform, look-say, education or whatever aspect interests you. You’ll find whole pages of valuable citations. Or order their books from Amazon.

If I’ve omitted an important name, let me know. Comments are welcome.

"30: The War Against Reading"
is a newer article that covers much of the same ground
but with more far-reaching conclusions.
"33: How To Help A Non-Reader To Read" is chiefly about treatment but in the process reveals much about how the damage is effected. 


ADDENDUM I: Dr. Seuss Condemned Look-Say
In 1981 Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said: "[People] think I did it in twenty minutes. That damned Cat in the Hat took nine months until I was satisfied. I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to the Dewey revolt in the Twenties, in which they threw out phonic reading and went to word recognition, as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds of different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country. Anyway, they had it all worked out that a healthy child at the age of four can learn so many words in a week and that's all. So there were two hundred and twenty-three words to use in this book. I read the list three times and I almost went out of my head. I said, I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme that’ll be the title of my book. (That’s genius at work.) I found “cat” and “hat” and I said. “The title will be The Cat in the Hat.”
ADDENDUM II: Whole Word Drives Out French, Spanish, etc.
A local paper held a contest for a Big Idea we must have right away. The winning proposal called for an institute to promote the study of foreign languages. The proposal mentioned that American schools study foreign languages almost entirely in high school, if at all, even though children learn more quickly when younger. Hmm, isn’t that curious? On the web I find a similar proposal (very long and detailed) by Leon Panetta, a Clinton Administration official, stating that our neglect of foreign languages is “scandalous.” Wouldn’t you think modern educators would dote on foreign languages? What’s more multicultural?... Then I got it. Imagine a room of fourth graders studying French in the traditional, rational, phonetic way. Then imagine those same children turning to the study of English in the whole word manner....Even the kids would see the chasm. The parents would see it. They’d be screaming, “That’s what we’re talking about. Teach English the way you teach French!” Educators must know this. Ergo, no foreign languages for kids. This matter needs investigation. But I’m guessing now that if you want children studying foreign languages, you first have to banish whole word.
ADDENDUM III: On Reading "Backwards"
For fluent readers, one of the more mysterious things about so-called "dyslexia" is that children flip words and try, as it were, to read backwards. You might think, "Oh, there really must be some kind of cognitive problem."
Not so! This behavior is easy to understand. When we memorize a Chinese ideogram or any object such as a face, car or house, we do not see it as starting on the left and reading to the right. We don't see it as having top or bottom. Our brains will fix on the distinctive features that catch our attention, wherever they are. A "sight-reader," looking at "xtpkng," might find the "ng" just as helpful as the "xt" in memorizing this shape. Suppose the symbol is next to a picture of a wave--wouldn't it be quite natural to see the curve of the wave in the "g" but not the "x"? At that instant the child starts to flip words and is well started toward so-called "dyslexia."
(This condition has been described as being not "cognitively impaired" but "pedagogically impaired.")

ADDENDUM IV: The Difficulties of Look-Say
One device used by look-say enthusiasts to explain their strategy was to say: "Think about a STOP sign. You don't sound it out. You read it as an ideogram, a single object." Yes, you think, that seems to be the case....
Never mind that we've seen these signs a thousand times and this familiarity makes STOP a special case.
The real problem is never mentioned or explored. Even with a simple four-letter word like STOP, the struggles for a look-say reader are just beginning. Look at these four incarnations. They hardly seem to be the same word.
Basically, our alphabet is lean and effective when used phonetically. Used ideogrammatically, however, our alphabet is a grotesque failure. You wouldn't wish it on an enemy. All the weird little shapes are too similar to start with, and they come in too many variations.


ADDENDUM V: Cut Off From Names They Know
Keep in mind that MANY THOUSANDS of words that even a six-year-old knows and uses are proper names--of places, people, products. Names such as Canada, Vermont, Mississippi, Atlantic Ocean, Chicago, George Washington, Rolling Stones, Wendy's, Martin Luther King Boulevard, Cape Canaveral, Venus, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Macintosh, Jay Leno, Aunt Agnes...Think of all the movies, TV programs, commercials and conversations these kids have heard. Their brains are like sponges, picking up many new words every day...Now think of those measly little 400 sight-words they will learn in first grade, and another 400 in second grade, and another 400 or so in third grade...Do you suppose that any of these proper names are on those little lists? Of course not. So note how, with whole word, the children are systematcally cut off from things they know and care about. They are rendered helpless before maps ...With a little phonics, with even the slightest ability to sound out words, they would be able to figure out many words for themselves...That's the glorious idiocy of whole word--when a child's brain is hyperactive, when the child is eager to engage with the world and learn at a frantic pace, teachers are saying: memorize these few shapes, don't sound out, stay as illiterate as you are now....

ADDENDUM VI: Guessing Games????
Frank Smith and Ken Goodman said reading is not a matter of reading what words say but of guessing the meaning from clues, cues and context. Goodman is famous for his phrase “a psycholinguistic guessing game.” All right, consider the last sentence in a news story: “At the end of the meeting, Arab leaders decided to nestotl the treaty.” What is nestotl? Accept? Reject? Rewrite? Ignore? Study? You’ll never know from the context. I’ve seen pages of instructions, labels on pill bottles, etc. where a single word was unknown and no matter how much I played with it, I couldn’t deduce a certain meaning. The point is that even educated, fluent readers can experience dead-ends. Now imagine a nine-year-old stumbling from one such dead-end to another, not allowed to sound out the word or to use the alphabet to look it up. The teacher in whole word is trained to say: “What do you think it means?...Guess...Look at the pictures...Think about the context...Just keep going...” It has to be very frustrating for the child. Instead of being a precise, factual, logical, even scientific enterprise where you know things for sure, reading become soft, mushy and fog-bound. The child is going to be made to feel stupid, sort of the way I felt in college calculus. Not surprsingly, a lot of children just give up on reading.

ADDENDUM VII: The National Tragedy of Dyslexia
All the points made so far add up to this: whole word can't work (except perhaps in the case of people with extremely retentive and agile memories).
Additionally, whole word would almost invariably cause precisely the reading problems that are lumped under the heading "dyslexia." This condition is not synonymous with illiteracy; it's worse! Dyslexia is a cognitive impairment, a sort of minor brain damage, that makes literacy more difficult to achieve.
That a country's educators would perpetrate this practice for 75 years is, I have come to feel, one of the great crimes of American history. We are talking about a sort of non-surgical lobotomy inflicted on more than 50,000,000 people. In effect, people with an IQ of 110 end up with an effective IQ of 105 or 100 or 95, because they can't read instructions, they can't communicate above a rudimentary level.
The bizarre part is that John Dewey's ideas are called "progressive." In reality, this dumbing down is regressive. It's a war against the whole culture waged one brain at a time. And don't miss an important aspect: children from better-off families escape to private schools and gifted programs. Whole word mainly cripples the most defenseless: kids from middle and lower-economic families.

April '07--I've just read over the first part of Flesch's first book. It's even more remarkable than I remembered. A perfect time capsule ca. 1950--a bleak era when America's educators had successfully routed phonics. You can feel Flesch's frustration on the page: "Come on, people, this isn't complicated. English is phonetic so you've got to study it phonetically." He quotes a dozen top experts who say the opposite: "Phonics is obsolete and dangerous. We have a new, modern way." I've had interesting conversations with people who say that my analysis pushes too far toward the conspiratorial and Machiavellian. Folks, we're talking decades here. Tens of millions of children were damaged. Can all this be just incompetence and carelessness? Can it be lust for book sales? Name your own explanation. Sure, a year or two might be explained by any theory you put forward. Even a decade. But not 70 years! Finally, you have to come back to the most obvious, most devastating point: they HAD to know whole word didn't work, but they kept it going anyway. How can you explain that away? How can you forgive that? I'm satisfied there was, at the very least, reckless social engineering. Here's what I think is a pretty parallel. When a woman loses one husband to food poisoning, we think, Oh, bad luck. When she loses two, we think, Well, she certainly is careless in the kitchen. But when she loses three husbands, everybody thinks the same thing, UH OH. Please, if you have not done so, read Chapter 1 of Why Johnny Can't Read. You'll see how brilliantly Flesch spells it out. Only heads of stone could argue against Flesch. And hearts of stone.


"37: Whole Word versus Phonics"

Also see: "40: Sight Words--The Big Stupid"

"42: Reading Resources"

and others

Also see "Phonics vs. Whole Word"--a graphic video. Click link:

"Phonics vs. Whole Word"--video on YouTube
(Once there, see "More From: BruceDeitrickPrice")