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Prayer

Hymn Between the 12th and 13th Stations of the Cross

The Full Stations of the Cross

(The illustration appears to signify Jesus expelling His dying breath.)

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Anonymous The Sodalist’s Hymnal (1887)
1. Thy life, O Lord, is ebbing fast,
Thine eyes are growing dim at last;
How near to death Thou art!
I hear Thou heave one heavy sigh:
It is the last, the loudest cry
That broke Thy Sacred Heart,
That broke Thy Sacred Heart.
2. The scene, the dreadful scene is o’er–
The wicked men can do no more,
Thy head is on Thy breast;
The thorns, the nails Thou dost not fear,
The cruel scoff, the bitter jeer–
Thy Heart is now at rest,
Thy Heart is now at rest.
3. Thy voice, that made the demons flee,
That waked the dead and calmed the sea,
Itself in death is hushed;
But O, we have this comfort sweet,
Our foes lie prostrate at Thy feet,
The serpent’s head is crushed,
The serpent’s head is crushed.
4. Thy corpse is hanging on the tree,
While mocking crowds in impious glee
The murd’rous act applaud;
But quiv’ring earth and darkened skies,
The crumbling rocks, the dead that rise,
Proclaim Thee to be God,
Proclaim Thee to be God.
5. Yes, Jesus, bruised and marked with blood,
And fastened to the dripping wood,
To me Thou art the same,
As throned on Thabor’s shining mount,
Or in the heav’ns, of bliss the Fount,
In glory and in shame,
In glory and in shame.
6. O, may Thy last, Thy piercing cry,
The Blood that pleaded loud on high,
For me be not in vain!
O, make me treat the world as dross,
And glory only in the Cross,
On which Thou wouldst be slain,
On which Thou wouldst be slain!
Amen.

O Jesus, my Savior! I see You now dead on this cross. You speak no more; You breathe no more; because You have life no longer, having willed to lose it to give life to our souls. You have no longer any blood; for you have shed it all, by dint of torments, to wash away our sins. In one word, You have abandoned Yourself to death through Your love for us. He has loved us, and delivered Himself for us.Ephesians 5:2. “Let us consider,” writes St. Francis de Sales, “this divine Savior stretched upon the cross, as upon His altar of honor, where He is dying of love for us; but a love more painful than that very death. Ah, why, then, do we not in spirit throw ourselves upon Him to die upon the cross with Him, Who has willed to die there for love of us? ‘I will hold Him’, we ought to say, ‘and will never let Him go. I will die with Him, and be burned up in the flames of His love. One and the same fire shall consume this divine Creator and His miserable creature. My Jesus is all mine, and I am all His. I will live and die upon his breast; neither death nor life shall ever separate him from me.'” – St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Passion of Jesus Christ. 2. “The death of Jesus”.

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Prayer Intention: For Someone Who Lost a Baby Through No Fault of Her Own

… and for her mother.

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Chesterton’s ‘Christmas Carol’ (1900) with Praetorius’ ‘Ach Gott vom Himmelreiche’ (1609)

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G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
A Christmas Carol (1900)

 

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
Ach Gott vom Himmelreiche (1609)

 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)
The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

 

 

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What Are Studies of Dumbed-Down Compulsory Universal Schooling?

“…The ground on which eminent public servants urged the claims of popular education, is fear: This country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats.” – Noam Chomsky, citing Ralph Waldo Emerson

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This would merely be a paranoid, conspiratorialist rave–except that the evidence is all in the notes.
WE breed water dogs not to bite game birds, we hood falcons to control them, when race horses run too fast we “handicap” them with heavy sandbags, and when students are in danger of independent learning so that they threaten to evade being conditioned into mindless consumers and docile, unquestioning employees of giant corporations, we subject them to “schooling”.
College graduates today have been denied, by design, a basic liberal-arts education that was freely available to many 1-room schoolhouse, elementary students prior to the imposition of universal forced schooling in the period 1880-1920. It was a result of planned, deliberate intellectual caponization ($25 word for neutering roosters) which long preceded their high school graduation. A vast store of evidence for this assertion, unknown to the general public, is in freely available authors in a tradition of “studies of Deliberate Dumbing Down K-12”:

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Along with lightweight DDD (deliberate dumbing down) raves by Bruce Deitrick Price, there is additional corroboration from Georgetown professor Carroll Quigley, the author of the extremely candid Tragedy and Hope–he didn’t necessarily disagree with the covert methods of the master controllers, he just wanted to publicize them–, Antony Sutton (whistleblower on Wall St. support for the Bolshevik Revolution and the Chinese Communist Long March, ejected from Stanford’s Hoover Institution, died alone, penniless, his notes thrown out), and continued by serious studies of the current world order by Patrick Wood (Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse Of Global Transformation).
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The issue of deliberate dumbing down (DDD), of unimaginably vast scope, centers on the confidential history, never taught in any schools or colleges, that contrasts the rigidly controlled, standard anti-intellectual conditioning children receive today in public schools, with the extreme opposite, self-directed, radical freedom which prevailed in America prior to the railroads (1840).
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America from the Colonial/Revolutionary period, until the mid-19th century, was an outpost of personal independence, granted immunity by geographical isolation, from the restrictive model of Europe’s old-world, highly stratified class system. For instance, it was illegal in 19th century England to teach to lower class children, what Mr. Gatto termed “the active literacies” (writing and public speaking–William Cobbett was a lower class intellectual who criticized secular-saint, William Wilberforce for anti-slavery hypocrisy all the while the Irish, with their wrong religion, were starved in the midst of bumper agricultural exports to England, and the English lower classes were kept at 18 hour work days “to keep them out of trouble”).
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Concurrent with the liberal Protestant biblical studies (“Historical-Critical Method”) of Adolf von Harnack in the late 19th century which “proved” that biblical accounts of miracles were “fantasies”, agnostic or atheist northern German philosophers were instrumental in enlarging on the rationalist foundation of the French Enlightenment until the late 19th century rise of the Fabian Socialist Society (symbol: a wolf in sheep’s clothing) espoused by the high architects of compulsory, universal, dumbed-down schooling. In contrast with the 99% of humanity which has believed in some sort of God, “when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe nothing, they’ll believe anything”.
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“There can’t be a God, nor any Heaven”, (the outlook that “proves one is a ‘scientist’ “), therefore, let’s “create” heaven on earth, “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”, (never to be resurrected into any eternal paradise), continually “improving” humanity, reinventing ourselves, on Darwin’s racist model of human “survival of the fittest”, leading to Hitler’s death factories and ultimately, today, to Bill Gates’ great purge of the “excess” of the majority of humanity.
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A free people would never accept this. Therefore, starting in the mid-19th century, American children had to be wrested out of their family traditions and religions by secretly socialistic, anti-intellectual conditioning, subjecting them, in compulsory, universal, police-enforced, deliberately dumbed-down schooling, beyond the parents’ knowledge and understanding, to the endless drudgery of factory schooling, “at least keeping them off the streets and out of trouble”, precisely from the age when their brains should be furiously, delightfully absorbing everything about the wonderful, fascinating world.
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Because solid learning from ancient times, the Trivium of Grammar (good literature), Logic (how, not what, to think) and Rhetoric (persuading others of the truth, and learning it yourself in greater depth in the process), protected students from exploitation by elite controllers of society, students had to be subjected to the fun-house world familiar in the school institution today.
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This required laying the foundation for schooling, not on the basis of the classics of Western Civilization, the first among equals of nine great world civilizations–the free legacy of each citizen of the world–but upon planned disruption of them and opposition to them–the chimera of cultural appropriation as asserted by people with no appreciable education themselves–by vilification of the great and the good books (Dead White Males), and by an insidious control curriculum to thwart the acquisition of a solid academic foundation, to deliberately “crush the imagination” and stymie development of habits of independent thought immune to elite control.
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Americans of the Colonial-Revolutionary period had a literacy rate in the high 90th percentile, in the absence of European social controls, virtually all Yankees, even indentured servants and slaves, the common people, were able to learn on their own, to understand and debate the sophisticated politics of Thos. Payne’s “Common Sense” (600,000 copies sold to a population of 2.3 million Revolutionary Colonialists), the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers at a depth incomprehensible to today’s mis-educated college students, even to Poli-Sci graduate students.
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This accorded with the Protestant ethic that people must be able to read their Bibles. Americans typically attained solid, basic literacy in a mere 40 hours of phonics, and practical numeracy in only 42 hours of arithmetic study (my grandfather, William Penny Keevers, a grocer, could add a running 3 column total in his head without a mechanical calculator), after which 13 year olds were expected to be pursuing self-employment and could enlarge their own education with such limited resources as were available to them, largely the Bible, Shakespeare and Plutarch’s Lives–not a bad foundation.
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Ariel Durant started a life-long career at 13, collaborating with her husband Will Durant researching and writing best selling history. The Durants were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968 for Rousseau and Revolution, the tenth volume of The Story of Civilization.
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Self-employment and self-reliance were the default life path expectations for young people of the early 19th century, and were closely allied with productive, basic education of the type systematically denied to young people today.
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Despite elaborate anxiety about “child labor”, there are numerous anecdotes about adult-acting 13 year olds like Thos. Edison (publisher of the Grand Trunk Railroad “Herald“), David Farragut (commanded captured British prize ship with prisoners at 12) and John Quincy Adams (the only member who spoke Russian in the early Revolutionary-period, U.S. diplomatic mission to the court of Saint Petersburg, active in diplomatic negotiations, at 14). Names of today’s communities with a continuing, strong ethos of self-employment are the North American Amish and the Spanish Catalan/Basque Mondragon Commune.

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G. Stanley Hall with Freud and Jung
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The rapid, forced industrialization of the American people from 1880-1920 required direct squelching of young people’s vigorous pursuit of their life path. Prussian-trained G. Stanley Hall applied the German-Romantic concept of sturm und drang, “storm and stress”, in his 1904 book Adolescence : its psychology and its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion and education to the labor-oversupply side of industrial capitalism’s chronic overproduction. Hall’s work introducing the novel category adolescence, resulted in the diversion of millions of young people away from the pursuit of a productive, self-directed livelihood, relegating them to the dead end of perpetual adolescence in deliberately dumbed down schools, a principle now to be extended indefinitely into old-age with Life-Long Learning as documented by John Klyczek.
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Mr. Gatto related how by 1880, after the railroad facilitated carnage of the Civil War, Americans were being forcably moved off their own farms — where they did everything — and into millionaire owned factories, where they were just cogs in a machine. The titans of Wall St., Morgan, Carnegie, Astor, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller, regarded the Yankee tradition of auto-didactic, small farmers, mechanics/engineers, inventors and entrepreneurs, as a lethal competition threat to Financial Capitalists’ Wall St. accumulation of investment monies. The elites’ most efficient solution was to undermine this threat by strangling it in the cradle; the effort to control the intellectual uprising of the common people coalesced in the very foundation of universal, compulsory/police-enforced public schooling. The compulsory, universal public school system as we understand it, was never without built-in institutional handicapping of the vast majority of students.
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This calculated, intellectual poisoning was formally predicated on the writings of a Prussian philosopher, Johann Fichte who had written “Addresses to the German Nation” (1808-1818) to the Prussian King, demanding universal, compulsory, deliberately dumbed-down schooling, laying fault for the Prussian defeat by the French in the 1806 Battle of Jena at the feet of Napoleon’s motto “every corporal with a field marshal’s baton in his rucksack”–in other words, amateur soldiers were formally directed to countermand orders from the elite, stratified professional officer class when local battlefield situations change. “The French let their commoners loose with too much independence, that’s why we lost to them” is what Fichte essentially told King Wilhelm. Failed Indiana New Harmony commune leader Robert Owen proposed deliberate dumbing down to the Prussian king around 1830.
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Mr. Gatto charmingly terms the gist, “we have to crush children’s imagination”, to stop lower class people from running amok threatening destabilizing, inventive innovation, disrupting the carefully regulated, top-planned economy, by regimenting all children into universal, compulsory, Deliberately Dumbed-Down (DDD) schooling.
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The rise of the Prussian-model dumbed-down schooling system produced generations of Germans who wouldn’t cause trouble when conscripted into the military or confined to the factory floor. The revamped Prussian social-economy eventually succeeded in beating the French, in 1870, leading to WW 1 & 2. Germany was the incubator of behavioral psychology for control of the masses, that taught that human beings were merely stimulus-responsive animals, a system that was spread in the late 19th century by German-trained, major university, psychology department chairmen to all major world countries, even China and Japan. (Paolo Lioni, “The Leipzig Connection”, free PDF.)
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Horace Mann had 3 years to try deliberate dumbing down on the children of Boston in the 1840s, with whole-word/look-say vs phonics, but a general uproar ensued when literacy rates went down and it was temporarily halted. Dumbed-down early primary literacy conditioning went to Washington D.C. and NY, from 1880-1920 it became the law under sponsorship of the Titans of Wall St., with police enforcement. In 1917 there were riots in New York City against the 1907 Gary Indiana-model school curriculum.
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THE THIRD ROCKEFELLER GENERATION WERE INTELLECTUAL CRIPPLES: The Worm Eateth Its Own Tail (Ouroboros), The Rich Eat Their Own: Fabian Society founding member John Dewey (icon: yellow flag, black wolf dressed in white sheepskin climbing a flagpole, maroon flag with black letters “F.S.” for Fabian Society) was funded for his experimental Lincoln School by John D. Rockefeller II. The Lincoln School was attended by Rockefeller’s 4 younger sons Nelson, Lauarance, David and Winthrop, some of the most powerful men in history who regulated the fates of millions of people.
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With only the exception of the eldest son J.D. Rockefeller III, all four of the other Rockefeller third generation sons emerged from John Dewey’s “whole-word/look-say” Lincoln School as intellectual cripples unable to read a newspaper: they all had dyslexia. Dyslexia expert Dr. Samuel Orton informed university psychology department educationists in 1931 that whole-word/look-see causes deleterious brain changes in Kindergarten-Grade 3.
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Prof. Anthony Esolen has contrasting sets of textbooks covering the crucial divide in purging curricula, the period 1920-1930. The Christian acceptance of the classics of Western Civilization had been the norm, going back into the 1 room school institution where, in contrast with the “professionalization” of the not highly regarded schoolmaster profession, amateur, elder students instructed younger ones and it was far from unknown for students below 6th grade to be pursuing academically advanced studies, in the little 1 room schoolhouse, that most college students today wouldn’t be able to manage. (School boards once local to communities, have been consolidated down from 75,000 to 15,000, the easier to ensure control by federal educrats.)
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Calculated intellectual starvation at the very time children should be learning the most–contrast with John Senior’s 1,000 Good Books
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By 1930, the classic-oriented curriculum with a phonics foundation, had been purged in exchange for Fun With Dick and Jane, whole-word/look-see, early primary literacy, handicapping indoctrination. By the time of Rudolph Flesch’s “Why Johnnie Can’t Read” 1955, no teachers had themselves been trained in classic literature, a prime goal of the atheist/agnostic/messianic secular-humanist founders of universal compulsory schooling from 1880-1920, the easier to ensure elite, top-down control of unruly lower masses in the interests of their tax-exempt non-profit foundation masters, the wealthy pathetic except for their inheritances who endowed the Carnegie, Ford and Rockefeller foundations.
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(The Carnegie Foundation for World Peace and the Rockefeller Foundation funded pensions for “professional”, Normal School trained teachers at the turn of the 19th century…but at a price–if teachers wanted to avoid DDD and instead use initiative and good curricula to help students self-actualize, they would be got rid of.)
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Dr. Seuss was recruited from advertising with a list of 234 words for children to visually memorize without phonic deciphering ability, explicitly on the model of Chinese ideograms which must be “read” as pictures; late in life Theodor Geisel, now a race criminal, expressed regret at the damage he had caused facilitating dyslexia through whole-word/look-see, early primary, anti-literacy conditioning. Students’ usual comment when they are confronted with a new word is “I can’t read that, I’ve never seen it before”.
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They have no chance of discovering marvelous decoding power of unfamiliar words, of the phonetic base literacy, from the ancient Chaldean/Phoenician phonemic-symbolic, sound-symbol alphabet which underlies Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, Cyrillic/Russian and most western alphabet systems, one of the greatest innovations in human intellectual history.
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Mr. Gatto noted that the military tested recruits in WW2 at mid-90 percentile literacy rates, low-80 in Korea, high-60 percentile in Viet Nam, now the military has difficulty getting volunteers who can read a basic newspaper article.
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WE breed water dogs not to bite game birds, we hood falcons to control them, when race horses run too fast we “handicap” them with heavy sandbags, and when students are in danger of independent learning so that they threaten to evade being conditioned into mindless consumers and docile employees of giant corporations, we subject them to “schooling”.

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Mr. Gatto notes how the structure of schooling is designed to handicap children: timed bells, location controls, switching from 1 disconnected subject to another while not allowing project completion or drawing higher associations between subject areas, continual invasion of privacy and lack of personal time (extended by t.v. prior to the internet on cell-phones with the result that kids are cynical, cruel and disconnected from communities), teacher domineering of the students’ attention agenda, explicit deprivation of self-directed studies and adulthood-oriented learning activities, arbitrary judgment and punishment-reward system for making students dependent on teachers for WHAT to think, not HOW TO LEARN to think for one’s self on the Trivium model.
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Students are taught to fear and envy the upper elites and despise the lower “dumb kids”. Students are age-segregated into ghettos of kids of similar age from whom they can’t receive any assistance discovering their own identities, which they used to get from adopting their parents’ livelihoods and culture as little adults. Disposable networks of limited purpose and duration fostered by schooling malfeasance have pushed out our once vital community involvement; school disrupts the free relationships in which people of all ages used to be able to freely associate with each other in in-depth personal involvement, people of different age categories offering involvement based on their life experience, young people giving the elderly their vigor, elderly people their wisdom and attention. Television pushed this out, now cell-phone based internet, in the future, field-generated connectivity to captivate all the senses so contact with ordinary reality can be continually monitored, regulated and modified by central controllers.
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Childhood which Mr. Gatto declared from the pre-technolocratic past normally to be over by 7, or 11 at the latest, is being indefinitely extended beyond the 20s with “life long learning” conditioning. (I worked with a man who had been in college from just after high school until his mid-50s, who had taken 5 college degrees without attaining any noticeable life accomplishment, college was simply an unreal world in which there was no accountability or self-checking about the results of one’s activity, if there had been some harm to others caused by intellectual experiments upon real-life people, there was no accountability.)
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From the beginning of the Prussian system as devised by behaviorsts like Pavlov’s teacher Wilhelm Wundt, students were socially conditioned to themselves insist on conformity in outlook and ideation, to be their own enforcers of ideological homogeneity, to socially punish rebellious individuality. This conformity drive continues with Queen Bees and Wannabes under the personality corrosion of social media experience designed by experts in fostering addiction.
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As noted by Paolo Lioni (Leipzig Connection), the Prussian behaviorist system which sees humanity as only an aggregate of conditioned animal reactions, was spread by late 19th century psychology dept. chairmen. Pre-adolescent schooling in the Prussian model largely comprised, in effect, extended kindergarten, until age 13, when the students were formally set to fighting one another. In the Prussian model, one in 200 students, the high-elite Alphas in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, were taught to regulate the lower orders through a control hierarchy reposing on a second layer, a sub-elite of 6 in 200 students destined to become Beta administrators. Students by 2nd grade have a confidential federal identifier number indelibly setting their lifelong employment fate, universally accessible through data sharing by corporations, but unknown to parents.
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John Klyczek (School World Order: The Technocratic Globalization of Corporatized Education), a community college adjunct professor, takes this system, now using portable Chromebooks to convey operant conditioning long established in student computer software, into the period 1960-2021, with much background from Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt (The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America).
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Chromebooks are used as the vehicle for the conditioning methodology of B.F. Skinner, only to give students the bare minimum of training destining them for narrow job categories with severely limited upward mobility potential which they are assigned from early K-12. The cookie-cutter system is designed to produce legions of mindless consumers and compliant employees in gigantic corporations.
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Mr. Gatto challenged B.F. Skinner’s method of “operant conditioning” treating human beings as lab rats. “I began to devise guerrilla exercises to allow as many of the kids I taught as possible the raw material people have always used to educate themselves: privacy, choice, freedom from surveillance, and as broad a range of situations and human associations as my limited power and resources could manage … to maneuver them into positions where they would have a chance to be their own teachers and to make themselves the major text of their own education.”

Skinner’s infant daughter Deborah, who wasn’t allowed to be touched, was the first experimental subject decades before computers confined your child’s mind in a portable Skinner box.
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Fascinating self-education in the library corner of the One-Room Schoolhouse: “…the older students sometimes helping the younger with their lessons; the younger overhearing the lessons of their elders and learning them almost before they [the senior students] learned them…Two of the lessons stand out in my mind. Each took up a single sheet of paper. One of them was headed by a couple of verses of devotional poetry. Beneath the verses, the student had parsed every word in the verses, describing what part of speech it was, what grammatical form it bore (case, number, and gender for nouns and adjectives; person, number, tense, mood, and voice for verbs), what function it served in its clause, and what relation it bore to other words. The student’s performance was entirely correct. The other lesson was obviously an introductory one: the student wrote a noun in its singular and plural forms, in the nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative cases. This second student was clearly one of the younger children, as you could tell from an occasional roughness in his printing. The word in question was doulos (δοῦλος): Greek for “servant.” The children were evidently studying koine Greek, so as to be able to read the New Testament in the original tongue.” – Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: The Rebuilding of American Culture. Recollections of the “Anne of Green Gables” One-Room Schoolhouse in Orwell Corner, Prince Edward Island by Nova Scotia, where there was no upper-limit on what children could learn.
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Mr. Gatto notes how a vast economic system irrevocably committed to the current schooling tyranny has an unreleasable deathlock on our children’s future. The arbitrary, capricious schooling policies come down from a vertical pipeline with such ingrained anonymity that school administrators have not the slightest idea from where they originate. School unions, part of the centralized master planning from the turn of the 19th century, constantly diminish the interests of teachers as ever increasing numbers of non-instructional classified personnel, who exercise no direct educational function for students’ benefit, are continually hired, padding school-district employment rolls so that the expense per student continually rises with continually diminishing educational effectiveness, each new hire contributing union dues with no bargaining or interest advantage to the teachers who actually manage children, resulting in continually diminishing compensation. Mr. Gatto calls schooling the largest public works project in history, the largest business in America and probably in the world. Textbook companies, testing companies, schooling paraphernalia and school-lunch suppliers–to diminish the autonomy of families and make the isolated individual dependent on government–educationist universities and the federal government, a gobsmacking breadth of interlocking economic and political interest-sectors, together constitute an immovable, self-interested institutional block to improving the prospects for children. The corporate consumerist and human resources management stakes in schooling have the effect that if children were ever to be taught self-reliance, autonomy and free thinking–public schools and colleges are far more rigidly doctrinaire than parochial-religious schools–if young people were ever to attain independence from the constant requirement of being taught what to think and minute oversight of what they do at all times, in schooling and employment, there would be a terrible crash in the existing, dependency-based economy. Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt asserts that if your children are undergoing standardized testing, whether in public, private, charter schools or even home-schools, they are under the system’s control. The only escape would be to go off the grid, something that is largely impossible under a worldwide control hierarchy that has turned away from enforcing its mandates through conflict to finessing its dictates in the most subtle social control system in human history, by fostering addictive divertissments to keep perpetual children of all ages constantly distracted, the calculated addiction-fostering of the social-media interface now seamlessly integrated with Skinnerian operant conditioning for lifelong cognitive tyranny, delivered with “wrap-around”/”pipeline services” in The Community School.

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Breaking the ‘Education’ Racket

This year, my daughter Jessica has been singing, from our home in New Hampshire, for a choir based in England—the Self-Isolation Choir—composed of singers from all over the world. They perform mostly individually, and then their performances are combined by the wizardry of modern technology for an impressive and beautiful result. A few days ago, we listened to their rendition of Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah, a little over two hours of sacred music, comparable in many ways to Handel’s earlier and much-beloved Messiah.

She sang her part from a cloth-cover edition of the work published by Oliver Ditson and Company in the middle of the 19th century; the book bears no specific date. As was common in those days, the inside covers and the nearby pages carry advertisements: in Ditson’s case, mostly for books of music, along with a goodly library of biographies and appreciations of the great composers. The music ranges from classical (Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart) to what the company bills as “gems” from this or that folk tradition; from symphonies to polkas to “Nellie Gray.”

Publications for home music, self-entertainment, so-called parlor music, prior to the cultural steamroller of the electronic technologies of radio and sound-cinema 1923-1930.

The books are for beginners, serious students, and people advanced in skill; there are singing-books for grammar schools, high schools, and colleges; books for community singing clubs, for all-male choirs, for all-female choirs, and for mixed choirs; books for church organists with the great pipe instrument, and books for churches and for families that have the “melodeon” or reed organ instead.

Of course, in those days, there were no recordings, so the only way you ever heard Bach’s stupendous St. Matthew Passion was to be a singer or a player in a performance, or to be present when it was performed. The whole musical world depended upon innumerable people everywhere, from an opera house in Peoria to Covent Garden in London to the great halls of Vienna, who knew how to play and how to sing. Life, I might say, was more complicated in that time, inasmuch as you had to be skilled in a great many things just to get through the day, let alone to live a life graced with beauty and the good cheer of a human community.

And you did require others: there is no such thing as solo harmony.

Jay Paull/Getty Images

But what does this have to do with freedom? A great deal, I think. I will choose one direction here out of many. Oliver Ditson, the head of the company, graduated from his grammar school in 1823, when he was 11 years old. He went straight to work in the Boston bookstore of Samuel Hale Parker. Colonel Parker was particularly interested in music; he was one of the founders of the Handel and Haydn Society—still very much alive—and he had introduced Americans to Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation. Young Oliver worked in that store through the rest of his boyhood and into young manhood. When a fire destroyed the store in 1834, Colonel Parker and 22-year-old Ditson regrouped and founded a new business: Parker and Ditson, selling music, and selling and mending musical instruments. Oliver Ditson went on to become one of the foremost publishers of music in America.

No one at that time, I suppose, thought it was odd that a mere boy would leave school, go to work, learn a great deal there about literature and the arts, and become, at so young an age, a fully fledged businessman. Again, I do not want to hear about our greater sophistication, requiring so many more years of youth spent within school walls. Consider what you had to know to carry on that business, apart from bookkeeping and the countless skills of a printer, especially a printer of music for which a single sheet for a hornpipe dance requires work of excruciating detail and precision, let alone more than 150 pages of four-part singing accompanied by three-part organ, such as the Elijah.

There is no way that you take two steps in that business if English is your only language. You must be conversant also with German, Italian, and French, at least. Ditson had a large lineup of sacred music for Catholic churches—Masses, requiems, motets; he must have been able to work a bit in Latin, too.

Nor was it only the languages. Ditson required expertise in a wide range of musical traditions, genres, and styles, as his advertisements show, and that included knowledge of musical instruments, what they were made of, how they were constructed, how you should tend them, and how to repair them. That in turn required knowledge of materials: different kinds of wood, metal alloys, catgut for strings, and so forth.

What made it possible for Oliver Ditson to be thus on his way at age 11, reading the Waverley novels by Sir Walter Scott, much loved by the colonel and by Americans who could not wait to order them from him and read them, when our college students find David Copperfield a challenge, let alone the slightly antiquarian Scott of Old Mortality? Our schools have become institutions for protracted and perverted infancy, even imbecility; and that is part of my point, but only part. Why have they become so?

“In itself the radio is a wonderful thing, bringing great music and pleasant entertainment into millions of homes. It also precipitated the decay of music made by people themselves, from printed scores, from folk memories passed down over the centuries, and from sheer quirky inventiveness.… [In a decaying mansion whose current inhabitants have no understanding of their forbearers’ once vivid culture]…there is … a … piano and shelves full of [old] sheet music. The strings of the piano have been left untuned for so long their tension has slowly warped the frame meant to hold them, so that now the instrument is irreparable.… Thousands of pages of music, most of it purchased from music stores and music publishers one song at a time—[therefore, each song was learned, sung, laughed at or cried to by numerous singers other than the ghostly pianist]—lie about collecting dust and dead flies. The … women used to play [the music] all the time. No one can [even] read it now.“ – Anthony Esolen. Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (pp. 3, 7)
 

One of the reasons is that we are disturbed by the freedom that young Oliver enjoyed.

We do not consider it that way, of course; we drive cars, and he had to walk or go on horseback or ride in a carriage. We can buy a ticket to fly to any part of the world and be there within a day. But we have accepted a rather drab narrative for life, despite our attempts to trick it up with the rouge of licentiousness and other dreary and self-enslaving vices.

You go to school, which is mostly dull, and which wastes countless hours just riding the buses. If you are smart you go to college, which is, setting government aside, the most expensive and most egregious racket and swindle in the nation. When you graduate, you are very likely still to be ignorant of almost all the literature, art, and music of your own heritage; you probably are not good with numbers; you will have picked up a few evil and self-destructive habits; you will have plastered on your brain the sociological and political jargon of the day; and you will be over the gables in debt. But you will have the diploma, the ticket, and without that ticket, who is going to hire you?

This narrative is ready to be smashed. Some people say we should assist the poor by financing their college education. In our context, that is to reward the racketeers. How about this instead? Let us work to break the college-employment nexus. Get rid of compulsory schooling; for there is no such thing as compulsory education. Give employers again the permission to hire whomever they please, for whatever reasons they please; let them know that they need no longer turn to colleges as a mind-bogglingly wasteful credentialing service.

By coincidence, in the last several weeks I have come upon one person after another who did not graduate from high school, but who achieved remarkable things, and when they did so, no one thought they were prodigies, no one thought it was even unusual. Life is for everyone. Learning is for everyone. School is not. Colleges—such as they are now—certainly are not.

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In Memoriam

Devonne Kathy DeFrantz Keevers, March 7, 1948–January 9, 2021

Devonne at Left with One of Her Showers on Wheels Moms

(Please leave your greetings in the comment form, below.)

Devonne was born in Stockton, eldest child of a school-teacher, James DeFrantz, born 1920, and a nursing educator, Roberta nee Dennis, born 1922. Devonne had two brothers, Dale (deceased) and Michael. She lived on Los Angeles Street in Stockton. Her dogs were Sisi, Jeanine, Bubbles and Ebony. As a child she and Dale rode on the back of their family pig.

Devonne had five children, Christopher (1969), Jonathan (1982), Heather (1983), Kimberly (1985), and Matthew (1987).

Devonne’s grandchildren are Anthony Sr., Janessa, Hope, Rodrigo, Jacob, Otis and Philomena. Devonne’s great-grandchildren are Elizabeth, Alfons, Alicia, Victoria, and Anthony Jr.

Devonne received a Bachelor degree from CSUS. She studied bacteriology and cello. As a bacteriology student, she was able to solve problems the instructor couldn’t solve. Devonne could produce accurate answers to calculus problems off the top of her head without using calculus, and she was an ace at solving quick math problems. Once Devonne wrote a musicology paper for the department chair, which was at first rejected because it was too insightful and presumed to be plagiarism, until Devonne provided the instructor with the research notes and it was acknowledged that her work was far superior to the standard of undergraduates.

Devonne with her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law

Shortly before her death, Devonne led the musical arrangement of the pre-Victorian poem “The Virgin” by William Wordsworth (1820), which is renowned for the line “our tainted nature’s solitary boast”; Devonne is credited as the arranger, having specified how the musical form would be adapted with more verses than are present in the original metrical index, the number of syllables of the original Old 124th hymn tune, and Devonne decided how the melody would be adapted, where certain rises and falls would occur; the song is at http://www.sing-prayer.org/anthems-of-the-immaculate-virgin-mary-star-of-the-sea#OurTaintedNaturesSolitaryBoast.

Devonne was a school teacher at Immaculate Conception School, Sacramento, in the early 1990s. During Devonne’s first year as teacher, she had 6 ADHD students in a single second-grade class–it would be remarked that what Devonne didn’t know about ADHD wasn’t worth knowing. Mrs. Keevers produced the performance of a student play which she wrote. Devonne was a humble and resolute truth-teller, insisting on the basis of Catholic teaching that the responsibility for conveying “the facts of life” rests with the parents–and paying the price for her witness without complaint. To the end Devonne was a teacher, really sacrificing her life to help ensure her grandchildren got their education. Devonne was a true hero.

Devonne was President of a small, private non-profit charity, Showers on Wheels, which gave baby showers with car seats, blankets (thanks to project Linus), baby clothes and things, and diapers. Devonne gave parties to 275 Moms at Showers on Wheels baby showers from 2008 to 2015.

Devonne interviewed about Showers on Wheels by Bob Dunning on the Bishop’s Radio Hour on May 25, 2015

Devonne was married to William for 39 years.

“I don’t want to hear cute, I want to hear successful …”

They were married in the Catholic Church, at Sacred Heart Parish on J Street in Sacramento.

Memorial Hymn, Hopes for Devonne’s Release From Purgatory and Entrance into the Beatific Vision
Click the Button to sing the prayer, or play the song in a New Window

Unto Her, for whom this Day
Right Reverend Msgr. H.T. Henry Nicola A. Montani
1. Unto her, for whom, this day;
Juste judex ultionis
(Just Judge of Retribution)
We in love and pity pray;
Donum fac remissionis.
(Grant her the gift of release)
(Refrain)
Refrain:
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona ei requiem.
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona ei requiem.

(Holy Lord Jesus
Grant her rest.)
2. When at Judgement she shall stand,
Rex tremendae majestatis,
(Immensely Majestic King)
Grant her what Thy love hath planned,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis.
(Who freely saves the needy)
(Refrain)
3. She hath fought the gallant fight
Inter oves locum praesta,
(Provide her a place among Your lambs)
Lead her on to Heaven’s light
Statuens in parte dextra.
(Send her to Your right hand.)
(Refrain)
Devonne crying while processing into the wedding of her daughter, Heather.


Hymns for the Release From Purgatory of the Holy Souls

Devonne’s Ring – with five fruits of her body

All Ready to Fly
To Get Her New, Best Dog.

Devonne says she loves you.

Devonne, “we saw a meteor shower last night. It was AWESOME! I saw two meteors! Ooh!”

Devonne’s funeral will be held at
St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, 65th and Fruitridge, Sacramento
Tuesday February 23, 2021
9:00 Visitation
10:00 Mass
11:00 Burial
Marian Altar (TLM)
(The Holy Family Shrine is in front of the only terra-cotta, sloped roof, all others are flat.) The burial area is named after the martyr, St. Andrew Kim Taegon.
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The Four Levels of the Resurgent Tower of Babel

I don’t use this image because it is “great art”, although the composition bears some resemblance to some great art. (But it does seem to be fine folk art, perhaps of the Primitive genre.) I use it because conceptually, we can recognize four levels of the modern resurgence of the Tower of Babel.

Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us. — Ecclesiastes 1:10

A recent work of speculative fiction, reasonably predicts a voyage to our nearest star about a century hence. Upon arrival after years of travel, it is discovered that this latest voyage was preceded by 10,000s of years by travelers from earth from a now unknown civilization previously dominant across the earth, a scenario easily imaginable considering the great contrast between how little is known of the details, and yet the great extent of undeniably existing archeological ruins of the Indus Valley, Harappan civilization of Mohenjo-Daro, nearly as old as Sumeria. (In the story, the Alpha-Centauri, early voyagers’ elites worshiped a three-eyed snake-man god to which child sacrifices were made that would make those the the Canaanite god Moloch look like the work of rank amateurs.)

Given how we presently live on a hazardous technological edge while knowing so little about the lives even of our near ancestors 100 years ago–much less about what a normal way of life should aspire to look like–it’s worthwhile trying to get a view from far off afield, of the developments of civilization since the fall of the middle ages and the rise of the modern period. We could speculate on four distinct divisions of technological development:

  1. Agricultural Revolution – Starvation Policy
  2. Manufacturing Revolution – Keeping workers too poor to buy their own products
  3. Information Revolution – Flooding common people with low quality, disinformation, from the irrelevant to the factually inaccurate
  4. Un-named Revolution, possibly, Algorithmic Revolution – technology emulates human consciousness with the result of enslaving it.

Two characteristics of the Tower of Babel, are that 1) its fall greatly increased human confusion and 2) that fall was occasioned by humans trying to assert their own self-originated autonomy against the Providence of God.

The Agricultural Revolution is concerned with food. When satan tempted Jesus with the offer to turn stones into bread, Jesus cited the book of Deuteronomy, 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The people of Jesus’ day wanted to make Him a secular king, not only to expel the Romans, but to give them bread, after He multiplied the loaves and fishes. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” John 6:26 But His offer of Himself as the bread that comes down from heaven, they didn’t want, instead they were scandalized, and many of His disciples no longer walked with Him.

The issue of world hunger is a political playing piece, a carom that is zoomed all around the playing board of the self-avowed masters of the universe. Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me.” Matthew 26:11. The issue of ending starvation, which was the main plot theme of the 1968 movie The Shoes of the Fisherman, revealed this continuing, strange anxiety about, not only feeding ourselves, but elaborate concern about the political economics of need while failing actually to feed the poor. Fifty years after the movie which influenced even the selection of Popes, no Pope himself has proposed to systematically eliminate world hunger, no American presidential ally of the Papacy has ever formulated a policy of using American military aircraft to food-bomb with excess American agricultural production, areas where deliberate starvation is used by local warlords as a political half-nelson against vulnerable populations.

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The Three Kings

ThreeKingsBanner-StStephenTheFirstMartyr
Click the Button to Hear the Song, or Play the Song in a New Window

Stressed syllables are highlighted because the original poem is not within a metrical index.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Sir John Stainer
1) Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.
2) The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere,
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.
3) Three caskets of they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk with rows
Of bells, pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.
4) And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of the night, over hill & dell,
& sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.
5) “Of the child that is born,” said Baltasar,
“Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews.”
6) And the people answered, “You ask in vain;
We know of no King but Herod the Great!”
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, who cannot wait.
7) And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, “Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king.”
8) So they rode away; and the star stood still,
The only one in the grey of morn;
Yes, it stopped—it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David, where Christ was born.
9) And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.
10) And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.
11) His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.
12) They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.
13) And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone,
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David’s throne.
14) Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.

THE WISE MEN

G.K. Chesterton

Step softly, under snow or rain,
To find the place where men can pray;
The way is all so very plain
That we may lose the way.

Oh, we have learnt to peer and pore
On tortured puzzles from our youth,
We know all the labyrinthine lore,
We are the three wise men of yore,
And we know all things but truth.

We have gone round and round the hill
And lost the wood among the trees,
And learnt long names for every ill,
And serve the made gods, naming still
The furies the Eumenides.

The gods of violence took the veil
Of vision and philosophy,
The Serpent that brought all men bale,
He bites his own accursed tail,
And calls himself Eternity.

Go humbly … it has hailed and snowed…
With voices low and lanterns lit;
So very simple is the road,
That we may stray from it.

The world grows terrible and white,
And blinding white the breaking day;
We walk bewildered in the light,
For something is too large for sight,
And something much too plain to say.

The Child that was ere worlds begun
(… We need but walk a little way,
We need but see a latch undone…)
The Child that played with moon and sun
Is playing with a little hay.

The house from which the heavens are fed,
The old strange house that is our own,
Where trick of words are never said,
And Mercy is as plain as bread,
And Honour is as hard as stone.

Go humbly, humble are the skies,
And low and large and fierce the Star;
So very near the Manger lies
That we may travel far.

Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes
To roar to the resounding plain.
And the whole heaven shouts and shakes,
For God Himself is born again,
And we are little children walking
Through the snow and rain.

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Rembert Weakland Promoted Hootenany Masses to Undercut the Catholic Priesthood

Accurate account of an indisputable history documented in black & white, of planned cultural, intellectual and spiritual destruction, on the part of hidden elite forces.

The arenas are disparate, the one, Catholic liturgical music, the other, the curricula of public schools. The essential similarity is that powerful hidden interests have successfully acted to destroy the common weal.

We know why Catholic Liturgical Music was deliberately made ugly in the 1960s, deprecating the fine, vigorous, traditional Catholic choral tradition, breaching the walls of the ancient cultural edifice with the calculated philistinism of guitar Masses. It was an essential strategy of the movement to attack and destroy the Catholic Mass. This is documented history in the case of Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a highly educated and talented musician who knew exactly what he was doing fostering “Hootenany” Masses in the mid-1960s.

And we know why a similar process was planned and implemented in the period of 1880 to 1918, at the founding of mandatory, universal public education–with an unannounced agenda of propagating students’ educational failure–a design calculated to “crush the imagination” of school children at the behest of the better classes, natural supervisors of the lives of the great, unwashed masses. The complete set of base institutional features of public education–bells, attendance, location controls, intentional fostering of dependency rather than initiative, disorienting memorization of random, disconnected facts irrelevant to any vocational path but only as fodder for standardized testing itself a self-justifying dead-end, conscious disruption of students’ coherent attainment of authentic accomplishments in any specific field, fostering indifference, an arbitrary regime granting conditional esteem for those rated in the middle to fear elite rankers and despise the “dumb kids”–were all designed from the outset simply to regiment children for institutional efficiency, and precisely not to foster their individual development.

(Nineteenth century common people were oriented toward self-employment, guarantor with property ownership of independence from forced industrialization, as the Amish and the Catalan, Mondragon commune still do today. They generally enjoyed a fine, modest, middlebrow culture with high aspirations. Ordinary, common people often with little formal, institutional education, commonly only a few grades in school, were nevertheless possessed of a surprisingly high average culture level, based on primary education that looked for its model to the Christian acceptance of the classics of Western civilization, the good if not the great books prior to programmed curriculum deprecation 1915-1930. Their basic educational needs could easily be met in homeschools, and their extension in local community-controlled one-room schools, by an approximation of a mere 40 hours literacy instruction and 42 hours for basic numeracy. The common aspiration was to treat kids from 13 on under the expectation of self-reliant little adults rather than perpetually dependent children into middle age.)

It was for the purposes of handicapping the ordinary populations of Europe and America, to render them helpless, to ensure easy control, to regiment them for mass military service and factory employment, to eliminate small innovators’ perceived competition to financial capitalists for the accumulation of investment money, competition posed to the great financial families by average farmers, practical engineers and small entrepreneurs.

John Taylor Gatto documents this very long term process of deprecating curricula–colloquially termed “dumbing-down“–advocated and planned over an unimaginably long stretch of time, hundreds, indeed, thousands of years, beginning with of philosophical writings of Plato, Baruch Spinoza and the Kantian, Prussian philosopher, Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

Queue to 1:09:42 – Napoleon remarked that “each corporal has a field marshal’s baton tucked in his rucksack”; that is, his explicit expectations were that, against the institutional inertia of the upper military officer hierarchy, small squads of line soldiers isolated on the battlefield were expected to violate orders and seize the situational initiative. This policy was credited by Fichte with causing the institutionally top-heavy Prussians’ defeat by the French in the Battle of Jena, 1806, and served as the philosophical basis for the total revolutionizing of the Prussian state, the retrenchment of institutional hierarchization over all lower classes, and Prussia’s remarkable rise dominance from 1870 until 1920. It would be difficult to overemphasize the far-reaching influence of the Prussian model on the educational planing of all nations of the world during the period of industrialization 1880-1930.


The Barbed Dagger in the Heart of Harmony

A similar process of deliberate spiritual and intellectual destruction was implemented another in wave in the 1960s, targeted against dedicated Catholic religious culture. Bismarck’s 19th century, atheist-Protestant kulturkampf against the Catholic Church had failed because Catholics stuck together; the enemy of souls’ solution was to attack the Church from within. Without the capitulation of the Church, the horrible wars of the 20th century would not have been possible.

“All the trouble in the world is caused by things people know aren’t true.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen spoke about a man converted on his death-bed, a man named William whose face was half-eaten away with cancer. William’s sister related his life history, that he delighted in deliberately corrupting young people, writing and distributing to them, pamphlets of poisonous ideas.

DolosApate
Dolos, daemon of trickery.
Apate, personification of deceit.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland, heresiarch of the decimation of culture, was centrally placed in this position, perfect to corrupt Catholic Liturgical music, as an expert in Gregorian plainchant, never-the-less, implacably opposed to its use in the Divine Liturgy. It requires someone who most precisely knows the truth, to most effectively devise and propagate lies which will be unknowingly repeated by the unwitting. And an essential element in this highly articulated, planned corruption, is that the proto-dolos, this founding Apate, personification of deceit, be able to find hidden weaknesses in the uninformed, weak places in their flesh with which to hook them.
Weakland

One of the motives in telling his story, Weakland wrote [in his 2009 biography A Pilgrim in A Pilgrim Church], is that he is concerned about “revisionism,” and wants to tell the true story about his amazing career, where he was front and center at some of the most important events in the life of the Church in the latter half of the 20th century. He was most disastrously part of the liturgical “reform” that followed Vatican II.

Weakland’s admission that he is, and has been since his teenage years, a homosexual, is yet another indication that homosexual liturgical revolutionaries were the driving force behind the demolition of the Roman Rite of the Mass.

PaulMarcoux
Paul Marcoux, recipient of a $450,000 payment from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on behalf of Archbishop Rembert Weakland

That process began more than five years before the revised Missal of Pope Paul VI, the Novus Ordo.

ChronicleOfReformTHUMBNAIL

The late Msgr. Richard Schuler of St. Agnes Church in St. Paul, Minn., had the misfortune of observing Weakland closely as he led the liturgical wrecking crew that had commandeered the newly formed Church Music Association of America in 1964. Msgr. Schuler wrote in A Chronicle of the Reform: Catholic Music in the 20th Century (Sacred Music: 1990) that Weakland and his co-conspirators around the world were united in their opposition to the liturgical renewal called for by Vatican II. They routinely ignored appeals from the Holy See to stop their “useless and harmful” innovations. They carried on a massive public relations and propaganda campaign in both the secular and Catholic press, as well as in deceptive, official- sounding communications to priests and religious, distorting what the Church desired in terms of sacred art and music.

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The false prophet of the Apocalypse

The first beast of the Apocalypse, which represents freemasonry, is personified in the antichrist, and the second, which represents ecclesiastical freemasonry, in the false prophet.

Thu Dec 10, 2020 – 8:38 am EST

December 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — There is a prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi in an authentic and renowned source, in which he speaks of the appearance of an apostatic antipope in the time of tribulation (“futurae tribulationis”).[1]

It says “that someone who is not canonically elected and is infected with heretical wickedness, at the turning point of that tribulation raised to the papacy, would make a refined effort to give many the death of his error to drink” (“quod aliquis, non canonice electus et haeretica pravitate infectus, in articulo tribulationis illius ad papatum assumptus, multis mortem sui erroris sagaciter propinare moliretur”).[2] St. Francis of Assisi predicted that this figure “tyrannically usurps the papacy” (“papatum usurpare tyrannice”).[3]

It is in this sense that in our time St. Padre Pio has entrusted to his spiritual son, the famous exorcist Don Gabriele Amorth, the following dramatic words: “It is satan who has entered the womb of the Church, and within a short while, he will rule over a false church.”[4]

The well-known Spanish journalist José María Zavala asked Don Gabriele Amorth about it in more detail, and summarized the conclusion of the dialog as follows: “There were two recurring and interrelated themes: the great apostasy in the Church from its apex — in accordance with the testimony of Cardinal Ciappi — and the introduction of the devil to the head of the Church by means of a pope under the control of satan.”[6]
In this context, Zavala referred to the exact correspondence of these words to the statement of Frère Michel, a great expert on the message of Fatima and author of a trilogy on the subject. He stated: “It will be the time of the decisive battle between the Virgin and the devil. A flood of diabolical confusion will spread throughout the world. Satan will penetrate the highest levels of the Church. This will be the great apostasy announced for the last days, […] the ‘false prophet’ who betrays the Church in favor of the ‘beast,’ according to the prophecy of the Apocalypse.”[7]

In fact, as Sr. Lucia herself pointed out[8], the secret is revealed in the last book of Holy Scripture.

In that book, there is talk of the fiery red dragon (cf. Apoc 12:3), which is manifest in atheistic communism, and of the black beast (cf. Apoc 13:1-2), which represents freemasonry.

Then it says: “Another beast came up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the power of the first beast before its eyes. It made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast” (Apoc 13:11-12).

The beast, which looks like a lamb, represents the ecclesiastical freemasonry that has penetrated into the interior of the temple — especially into the hierarchy. Its goal is to overcome the Catholic Church from within. It wants and achieves for a short time the creation of an idol — a false christ and a false church.[9]

The reference to the hierarchy of the Church is crucial, in which the mitre — with two horns — indicates the fullness of the priesthood. The beast that comes up out of the earth looks like a servant of Christ, the Lamb, but is a servant of satan, the dragon.

Thus, if the second beast is ecclesiastical freemasonry, it is personified and literally elevated to the summit in the false prophet at its head[10], who is expressly designated as such in three passages of the Apocalypse (Apoc 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).

He is the pseudo-religious leader of the anti-church. Through grave heresies and despicable sacrileges he advances the great apostasy from the top. He deceives and cheats the inhabitants of the earth (cf. Apoc 13:14) and wants to lead people to worship the antichrist, whose direct forerunner he is (cf. Apoc 13:12).

The former Bishop of Fulda, the exegete of the New Testament Prof. Dr. Eduard Schick, has also pointed out this dimension in his work on the Apocalypse: “The second beast’s mission is the unlimited seizure of power by the first; for this purpose it is ordered and equipped by the first; it is to lead people to recognize the first as what it claims to be, namely God himself. All his propaganda aims at this in words and deeds […] It is a matter of religiously transfiguring the world power of the antichrist and getting mankind to pay him cultic veneration in turn.”

Bischof Dr. Eduard Schick

Bishop Schick accordingly speaks of a satanic trinity. It consists of the dragon and the two beasts.

The first beast, which represents freemasonry, is personified in the antichrist, and the second, which represents ecclesiastical freemasonry, in the false prophet.[12] Their goal is the unrestricted rule of the world, the kingdom of the devil on earth.

“The rulers of the world, who had placed themselves in the service of the ‘satanic trinity,’ believe that the favorable opportunity has come to lead together the final destructive strike against the Church of Christ on earth. The satanic triad doubles its propaganda for this purpose.”[13]

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen made it clear in this context that this agenda is marked by the establishment of a counter-church: “It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. There will be a mystical body of the antichrist, which will resemble in all its externals the Mystical Body of Christ.”[14] Accordingly, an anti-church at its head necessarily needs an anti-pope, who is the false prophet of the Apocalypse.

The hostile aspiration wants to seduce people to “accept a new religion without the cross, a liturgy without the hereafter, a religion to destroy religion, or a politics that is a religion.”[15]

Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerich, the great German mystic, has seen and described the rise of the pernicious anti-church. She “saw how […] another dark church arose in Rome.”[16] In doing so, she used a drastic term that clearly demonstrates the apocalyptic extent of the event: “But the whole house was dark and black, and all that happened in it was darkness and gloom […] I also saw how very bad the consequences of this after-church would be. I saw it grow, I saw many heretics of all ranks go to the city.”[17]

Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerich saw the closure of the churches and the great distress of the Catholic communities everywhere.[18] She described the spread of the “dark after-church” as an implementation of the antichristian decisive struggle: “The sect receives its signature from the apocalyptic beast which, risen from the sea, dwells with it and drives it to fight against the flock of Christ.”[19]

Against the background of this apocalyptic period, the famous message of La Salette echoes like a loud and insistent warning: “Rome will lose faith and become the seat of the antichrist”[20].

November 30, 2020
St. Andrew, Apostle, brother of St. Peter
Fr. Frank Unterhalt

[1] Bartolomeo da Pisa, De conformitate vitae Beati Francisci ad vitam Domini Iesu, Liber II, Fruct. VI, Pars II, 3, in: Analecta Franciscana sive Chronica aliaque varia documenta ad historiam Fratrum Minorum spectantia, Edita a Patribus Collegii S. Bonaventurae, Romae 1912, Tomus V, p. 167.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] José María Zavala, El secreto mejor guardado de Fátima, Spanish edition, Planeta Publishing 2017, p. 231.

[5] Cf. ibid., p. 20.

[6] Ibid., p. 267.

[7] Ibid., pp. 83–84.

[8] Cf. ibid., p. 271.

[9] Cf. also Rudolf Graber, Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit [St. Athanasius and the Church of Our Time], Abensberg 1987 (11th ed.), p. 38.

[10] Cf. also Augustin Arndt (ed.), Die Heilige Schrift des Alten und Neuen Testamentes. Mit dem Texte der Vulgata [The Holy Scripture of the Old and the New Testament. With the Texts of the Vulgata], Regensburg. Rom & New York 1901, 3. vol., p. 979, footnote 18.

[11] Eduard Schick, Geistliche Schriftlesung. Die Apokalypse [A Spiritual Reading of Scripture: the Apocalypse], Düsseldorf 1971, pp. 149–150.

[12] Cf. also ibid., pp. 141–142.148–149.

[13] Ibid., p. 175.

[14] Fulton J. Sheen, Der Kommunismus und das Gewissen der westlichen Welt [Communism and the Conscience of the West], Berlin 1950, p. 12.

[15] Ibid., S. 11.

[16] Karl Erhard Schmöger, Das Leben der gottseligen Anna Katharina Emmerich, 2. vol., Freiburg im Breisgau 1870, p. 492.

[17] Ibid., p. 493.

[18] Cf. ibid., p. 494.

[19] Ibid., p. 501.

[20] Johannes Maria Höcht, Die Große Botschaft von La Salette [The Great Message of La Salette], Stein am Rhein 2004 (8th ed.), p. 161.