The EDITORIAL TEAM OF “THE NINE COMMENTARIES ON THE COMMUNIST PARTY”  |  Epoch Times

The Epoch Times is serializing a translation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

Previous Chapter: The Specter of Communism in Western Universities

                               a. Dumbing Down Students

                                b. The Destructive Nature of Progressive Education

                                c. Education: A Means of Spoiling Students

d. Psychological Manipulation

Another major way that students have been morally corrupted is the introduction of significant psychological conditioning in education — injecting students with moral relativism.

In March 1984, hundreds of parents and teachers attended hearings for the amendment of pupil rights protections hosted in seven cities, including Washington, D.C.; Seattle; and Pittsburgh. The testimonies in the hearings run to over 1,300 pages. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly incorporated some of the testimonies in her book Child Abuse in the Classroom, published in August 1984.

Schlafly summed up the issues described in the testimonies, including using “education as therapy.” Unlike traditional education, which aims to impart knowledge, education as therapy focuses on changing students’ emotions and attitudes. This kind of education uses teaching to play psychological games on students. It has them fill out surveys on personal issues and forces children to make decisions like adults, weighing in on issues like suicide and murder, marriage and divorce, abortion and adoption. [30]

In fact, such courses weren’t set up for the students’ psychological health. They were intended to change the values of students through psychological conditioning.

Psychology and Education

Modern education is heavily based on philosophy and psychology. Besides John Dewey’s progressive education, which has had a huge impact on the U.S. education system, there is also Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis and Carl Rogers’s humanistic psychology. The Frankfurt School’s critical theory combines theories from Marx and Freud. Herbert Marcuse, a theorist of the Frankfurt School, called for the removal of all inhibitions so that young people could let loose their natural instincts and indulge their personal whims. [31] It was this thinking that helped accelerate the birth of the counterculture of the 1960s.

Deeply influenced by the above-mentioned schools of thought on psychology, the first director general of the World Health Organization and a Canadian psychologist, Brock Chisholm, said in one of his speeches in 1946:

What basic psychological distortion can be found in every civilization …? It must be a force which discourages the ability to see and acknowledge patent facts … which produces inferiority, guilt, and fear. … The only psychological force capable of producing these perversions is morality, the concept of right and wrong. … [This] artificially imposed inferiority, guilt, and fear, commonly known as “sin,” … produces so much of the social maladjustment and unhappiness in the world. … Freedom from morality means freedom to observe, to think and behave sensibly. … If the race is to be freed of its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility. [32]

Based on false ideas, Chisholm proposed a shocking theory: In order to release an individual from psychological pain, morality and the concept of right and wrong must be neutralized. This psychologist hence waged war on morality. Seemingly influenced by Chisholm, humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers came up with “values clarification” classes, which served the purposes of eradicating traditional values and concepts of right and wrong.

Eventually, Dewey’s moral relativism, the Frankfurt School’s rejection of inhibitions, and Chisholm’s psychological theories worked together to attack and undermine traditional values. They destroyed the moral fortifications of public schools in the United States.

Moral Relativism

Americans who attended schools in the late 1970s should remember an imagined scenario many teachers brought up in class. The story went like this: After a ship sank, the captain, several children, a pregnant woman, and a gay man got on a lifeboat. The lifeboat was overloaded and one person must be let go. The teachers would ask the students to discuss and decide who must get off the lifeboat, meaning give up his or her life. The teacher would not comment or judge the students’ comments.

This story was often used in the values-clarification classes that emerged in the 1970s. Besides being used for values-clarification, the classes were used for decision-making, affective education, the Quest drug-prevention program, and sex education.

William Kilpatrick, author of Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong, described such classes as having “turned classroom discussions into ‘bull sessions’ where opinions go back and forth but conclusions are never reached.” “It has resulted in classrooms where teachers act like talk show hosts, and where the merits of wife swapping, cannibalism, and teaching children to masturbate are recommended topics for debate. For students, it has meant wholesale confusion about moral values: learning to question values they have scarcely acquired, unlearning values taught at home, and concluding that questions of right and wrong are always merely subjective. It has created a generation of moral illiterates: students who know their own feelings but don’t know their culture.” [33]

The scholar Thomas Sowell understood that these sessions utilized the same measures employed in totalitarian countries to brainwash people. They include the following: “Emotional stress, shock, or de-sensitization, to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance; isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of emotional support in resistance; cross-examining pre-existing values, often by manipulating peer pressure; stripping the individual of normal defenses, such as reserve, dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to participate; rewarding acceptance of the new attitudes, values, and beliefs.” [34]

Sowell notes that the sessions have in common the encouragement of students to rebel against the traditional moral values taught by their parents and society. Classes were conducted in a neutral or a “nonjudgmental” way. In other words, the teacher does not distinguish between right and wrong but searches for what feels good for an individual. They focus on “the feelings of the individual, rather than on the requirements of a functioning society or the requirements of intellectual analysis.” [35]

‘Death Education’ and Drug-Prevention Education

In September 1990, ABC aired a program that had viewers very concerned. A school took students to a morgue as a part of its new program of “death education.” The students viewed and touched corpses. [36]

Common activities of death-education classes include asking the students to write their own epitaphs, select their own coffins, arrange their own funerals, and write their own obituaries. A death-education questionnaire included the following: [37]

“How will you die?”
“When will you die?”
“Have you ever known anyone who died violently?”
“When was the last time you mourned? Was it expressed in tears or silent pain? Did you mourn alone or with someone else?”
“Do you believe in an after-life?”

Obviously, these questions have nothing to do with studying. They are designed to probe the students’ outlook on life, their religious beliefs, and their personalities. Some of the questions are aimed to elicit particular reactions and can have a negative impact on teens.

It is said that death education can help students establish the right attitude in the face of death. However, suicides of teens who were in these classes occurred throughout the country. Although a causal relationship has not been established scientifically, it is certainly reasonable for parents to suspect and fear that by exposing psychologically immature students to information on death and suicide, students may tend to develop depression and hopelessness, which may contribute to reasons for committing suicide.

Drug-prevention education also became very popular in schools. However, in 1976, Dr. Richard Blum of Stanford University conducted a four-year study on a drug-prevention education course called Decide. The group that took the course had a weaker ability to resist drugs than the control group that did not take the course.

Between 1978 and 1985, professor Stephen Jurs conducted a research project comparing the rate of smoking and substance abuse among students who had taken a course called Quest and those who had not. The result showed that those who did not take the course maintained a steady or lowered rate of smoking and substance abuse. [38]

Neither death education nor drug-prevention education generated the expected outcome — so what was the real purpose? The purpose was to pollute children. Children are very curious but have an immature moral foundation. New and strange content stimulates their curiosity and can lead them down a dark path. In the meantime, such education tends to desensitize students, making them view violence, pornography, terror, and moral decadence as simply normal parts of life. Their tolerance of evil increases in turn. The entire exercise is part of an evil use of art, violence, and pornography to bring about moral decline.

Pornographic Sex Education

Traditionally in both the East and the West, sex has been a taboo topic in public. According to both traditions, the divine established that sexual conduct must take place only within marriage. All other forms of sexual conduct are considered promiscuous and sinful, violating the divine standards of morality. This makes sex and marriage inseparable, and sex can’t be a matter of public discussion in a properly functioning society. In traditional society, the youth received only education in physiology, and there was no need for today’s sex education.

The modern concept of sex education was first introduced by Georg Lukács, founder of the Frankfurt School of social theory and philosophy. His purpose was to completely overturn traditional Western values. In 1919, Lukács was the people’s commissar for education and culture in the brief Hungarian Bolshevik regime. He developed a radical sex-education program that taught students “free love, sexual intercourse and how outdated marriage was.” [39]

The sexual revolution of the 1960s annihilated these traditional Western values. Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy began to rise rapidly. In these circumstances, those who wanted to solve such social problems promoted sex education. But in the education system that had already deviated from traditional moral teachings, sex education instead emphasized safety (preventing disease and pregnancy) and was disconnected from marriage — thus following the Lukács model of sex education by ignoring all moral aspects of sex.

This form of education then became a tool for destroying youth. They were also exposed to the extramarital, promiscuous conduct of homosexuality, thus normalizing such behavior. The result of all this has been that the younger generation indulges in what they think is freedom, but what is in reality a path that turns away from divinely ordained standards. This sort of sex education from elementary school onward has already destroyed the traditional values of family, individual responsibility, love, chastity, a sense of shame, self control, loyalty, and more.

John Dewey’s “learning by doing” form of progressive education is a convenient tool for Marxists. The sex-education program Focus on Kids, widely promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends that teachers organize students to compete in a “condom race.” Each student must put a condom on an adult sex toy and then take it off. Whoever finishes fastest wins. [40]

Be Proud! Be Responsible! is another sex-education program endorsed by the CDC and promoted by Planned Parenthood and other educational organizations. The program requires students to role-play — for instance, two female students discussing safer sex. Student-centered instruction is another idea from progressivism. In this program, the teacher is instructed to ask students to brainstorm questions of intimacy with sexual partners. [41] To the majority of people who still have traditional values in their hearts, it is difficult to distinguish this supposed education from child pornography.

The main proponent of the program, Planned Parenthood, is the biggest provider of sex education and books in the United States. It has branches in twelve countries. It also promotes abortion rights. The group was formerly known as the American Birth Control League. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a progressive socialist who worshiped Stalin’s Russia and traveled there to pay her respects. She was also a strong proponent of the sexual liberation movement. She is on record as saying that extramarital affairs “really set me free.” [42] She holds the idea that females have the right to become single mothers, and even wrote to her 16-year-old granddaughter about sexual intercourse, saying “three times a day was about right.” [43] She established the Birth Control League because her promiscuous lifestyle required it. In the modern sex-education courses created by this organization, it is not difficult to see that sexual liberation finds its origins in communism.

It May Be ‘Perfectly Normal,’ But It’s Also Frequently Banned is a sex-education textbook that has been translated into thirty different languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. The book used close to one hundred cartoons of nudes to describe various normal and abnormal movements, feelings, and physical sensations of masturbation between opposite sexes and homosexuals, as well as birth control methods and abortion. The author claimed that children have the right to know all such information. [44] The main theme of the book is that this variety of sexual behavior is all “normal,” and that none should be subject to moral judgment.

In a widely used high school sex-education textbook, the author tells children that some religions believe that sex outside of marriage is sinful and says: “You will have to decide for yourself how important these messages are for you.” [45] To summarize in one sentence, this worldview basically says that all values are relative, and right or wrong is for children to decide for themselves.

Today’s American public schools have two basic types of sex-education classes. One type that’s strongly promoted by educational organizations was described earlier: the complete sex-education curriculum, which includes education on sexual behavior, birth control, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and the like. The other type teaches young people to control their sexual desire, does not discuss birth control, and encourages the delay of sexual behavior until after marriage.

It is undeniable that social morality, especially general attitudes toward sex, have in general deviated far from traditional, faith-based morality. The media and the internet are flooded with pornographic content, all of which drags children to toward the edge of the abyss.

In today’s educational field controlled by atheism, most public schools that follow “value neutrality” don’t want or don’t dare to teach children that sex outside of marriage is disgraceful and immoral, nor do they teach children right from wrong based on traditional moral principles.

Sexual education is still a hot topic in society today. There are numerous arguments in different sectors of society around the issue of safety in sexual activity, which focuses on the teenage pregnancy rate and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. However, the fact that schools are publicly teaching teenagers about sexual behavior will obviously increase sex outside of marriage, which violates traditional sexual morality. Even if there are no teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases, does that mean everything is fine when teenagers are promiscuous?

In Europe, where the sexual culture is even laxer than in the United States, the teenage pregnancy rate is half that of United States., due to “effective” sex education. Some people are delighted about this, while others are very worried. Regardless of these figures, with a decadent attitude toward sexual conduct in ascendence, communism will have achieved its goal of destroying human morality.

Self-Esteem and Egocentrism

Since the 1960s, a new dogma has been heavily promoted in the field of U.S. education, and it is responsible for a major downward slide in educational quality: This is the cult of “self-esteem.”

On its surface, self-esteem should refer to a feeling of confidence and self-respect that arises from one’s own abilities and accomplishments. However, the self-esteem promoted in U.S. schools is something completely different. In her book The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem, Maureen Stout, Ph.D., writes about a very common phenomenon in current American schools: Students care about their grades but don’t care about what they learned or how much effort they put in. To satisfy the students’ demands for better grades, teachers are forced to reduce the difficulty of exams and demands on students. But this only results in underperforming students putting in even less effort. The author’s colleagues seem accustomed to the phenomenon and are even of the belief that school should be like the womb — isolated from the outside world so students can gain emotional comfort but not intellectual development or resilience. The focus seems to be on students’ feelings, not in their overall growth. [46]

As many commentators have pointed out, the dogma of self-esteem confuses cause and effect. Self-esteem is the outcome of effort, not a precondition for success. In other words, feeling good does not lead to success, but one feels good after becoming successful.

This misconception of self-esteem is the by-product of the psychotherapeutic style of education ascendent since the 1960s. Psychotherapeutic education ended up indoctrinating a large number of young people with a sense of entitlement and victimhood. Dr. Stout delineates the common mindset in everyday language: “I want to do what I want, how I want and when I want, and nothing and no one is going to stop me.”

American education exaggerates the ideas of freedom and self-centeredness in the name of sentimental self-esteem. This style of education produces a generation of young people who don’t value morality and don’t assume responsibility. They care only about their own feelings rather than other people’s feelings. They pursue enjoyment but try to avoid effort, sacrifice, and suffering. This has wrought havoc on the morality of American society.

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