I’m always leery of the book version of a film, especially documentaries and other nonfictional media, mostly because the “novelization” tends to rehash the same ground that I just covered in the movie. But every once in a while, the book proves to be the perfect complement the filmmakers promised. Indoctrination is just such a book: relevant, readable and revealing.
I should begin by noting that I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary itself. I never got around to reviewing it, but I found it both disturbing and compelling. How could our public schools be this bad? The ineffectiveness of public education has been well-documented in other films such as Waiting for Superman, but Indoctrination gets to the root of the issue of why public education undermines our children’s religious worldview… and we find out that it’s quite on purpose!
The companion book to this award-winning documentary by Colin Gunn and Joaquin Fernandez includes contributions by R.C. Sproul, Jr., Ken Ham, Voddie Bacham, Jr., John Taylor Gatto, Israel Wayne, Doug Phillips and many more. It even includes an article by fellow West Virginian Karl Priest concerning Kanawha County’s 1974 Textbook War. Rather than simply regurgitating the documentary, this material expands the information presented previously. It’s impossible to cover the material presented in 23 essays and 5 appendices, but I would like to share some of the things that struck me.
In the Introduction by Brian Rohrbough, who lost his son at the Columbine High Massacre, he notes that “If you place your children in public school, within a few years, you will find division growing between you and them. Will you tell yourself that this separation is normal and that it is just part of your children growing up? Do you really believe hatred between parents and children is normal?” [pp.22-23] This mirrors comments made by David & Kim d’Escoto on page 300:
“And then they turn five… and we are expected to cut the apron strings and turn them over to the state to continue their education… The detachment process begins, and almost unknowingly, the gap between child and home widens. Bonds are loosened, and the foundation of trust crumbles. Children who once looked to their parents for leadership now turn to their teachers for knowledge, their peers for wisdom, and their music and televisions for entertainment.”
The detachment syndrome they describe is similar to that experienced by children who are taken from their parents and placed in foster homes.
The reason for this division between parent and child is because, as Michael Metarko aptly puts it, “America is Troy; our public education system is the Trojan Horse… [p.25] In opening up that Trojan horse, I was stunned and appalled. I not only realized what the horse was but saw the deceivers’ plans. In a phrase, what I found was indoctrination in an anti-Christian worldview called humanism… [p. 27] With 90 percent of Christians still sending their children into this statist educational system, I need to be brutally direct. According to current research, if you send your child to public school, you WILL most likely lose your child to the secular humanistic worldview [p.36].”
Or as Voddie Baucham, Jr. notes:
“The correlation is clear: If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education, we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.” [p.263]
He further points out that “Ninety pe rcent [of American Christians] make the exact same educational choice and nobody can point to book, chapter, and verse to justify it.” [p.263] Later in his plea for a return to a Biblical worldview, he directs our attention to the latest PEERS test results from the Nehemiah Institute, which tests worldviews and gives them a scalar rank from “Socialism” to “Biblical Theism.” 70 to 100 is “Biblical Theism,” 30 to 69 is “Moderate Christian,” 0 to 29 is “Secular Humanism,” and any negative score is “Socialism.” Homeschool students averaged 48.6, right in the middle of a Christian worldview. Christian students in public school averaged only 7.9, “the low end of secular humanism, falling into Marxist socialism.” [p.273]. Christian school students scored 27.8. Commenting on this, Voddie Baucham, Jr., states:
“This is below the moderate Christian worldview, seeping into the secular humanist worldview. I believe the problem here is that Christian schools actually brag about the fact that they have certified teachers. Certified by whom? The state; Caesar.” [p.273]
Israel wayne makes the same point:
“Nearly every school, everywhere, is being influenced by secularism – even Christian schools. Where do most Christian schools get their teaching degrees? From secular colleges, of course. Do we think they can somehow avoid being influenced by their teachers?” [p. 315]. If we do, we stand in defiance of Luke 6:40, in which Jesus Himself warned that “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”
For those who suppose their children are to be sent into public schools as “salt and light,” Israel Wayne makes the following observation:
“Do you have any religious cults in your neighborhood? If so, do you send your children to their services every Sunday morning? Shouldn’t they be there being ‘salt and light’ to the cult members? …Do you have bars and nightclubs nearby? …Perhaps you should have them join a street gang so they can witness to their peers.” [p. 312]
His argumentem ad absurdum makes this common misapplication of the Similitudes evident. RC Sproul gives us the bottom line:
“Thinking that education is something different than from discipling our children is a sure sign that we have been ‘educated’ by the state. Education is discipleship.” [p. 336]
Documenting a program of social engineering through behaviorism, evolutionary thinking, radical environmentalism, dumbed-down curricula, drugging our children and… well, more than I have the stomach to comment upon at the moment, the contributors to the book companion to Indoctrination make a solid case for Christian homeschooling, while masterfully challenging those parents who are still deceived by the public school system.
This is an excellent resource for parents and teachers, a thoughtful and gracious argument against the humanistic public education system, the humanistic-influenced Christian school, and for Biblical home education. I recommend that anyone wishing to make an informed decision on the matter of whether they send their children to be educated by Caesar read this book – or at least watch the documentary.
-Tony Breeden, from the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Leaf Publishing Group Book Bible Defender’s Review Team <http://www.creationconversations.com/group/bible-defenders>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”