Teacher Educates Youth Using Ruppert,
Peter Dale Scott, Fitts As Sources
by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
[Â© COPYRIGHT 2002, All Rights Reserved, Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. May be copied and distributed for non-profit purposes only.]
"The world as I knew it before this semester no longer exists. It's like a dream, as if I had been living in wonderland, but then I woke up.
“The reality of our society hit me right in the face. Although what I learned in this class has disappointed me, I'm glad to be given the opportunity of looking beyond my own personal life to be given a choice to care for what happens to all of us as a nation. The rule of law may not prevail, but we as individuals still have the freedom to make choices, and those choices can help to weaken those who are still seeking total control."
June 20, 2002, 15:00 PDT (FTW) -- These words were written by one of my U.S. history students in a survey course covering the period of 1865 to current time, after she had viewed Mike Ruppert's video documentary "The Truth & Lies of 9-11." I have designed this course, which explores the events following the Civil War known as Reconstruction, through the end of the 20th century, to culminate in an alternative examination of the events of Sept. 11.
From the beginning of the course, we observed the burgeoning power of corporate Robber Barons in America following the Civil War and their ascendancy to economic and political dominance of the nation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, attended by egregious racism and ethnocentrism among white Americans.
We studied the eugenics movement that was funded and promoted by corporate giants such as Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Kellogg, Harriman and Carnegie. As we explored the 1920s and '30s, we observed the dominant attitude of businessmen and politicians, which was: "The business of America is business." Moreover, it became increasingly obvious that the imperialistic foreign policy of America at the turn of the century was economically essential in order to create markets for American goods produced by shamefully-exploited workers of African-American and European descent.
We examined World War I and Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s and the ensuing attack on Pearl Harbor which ushered in World War II. Many students were completely unfamiliar with the fascism of the Third Reich, and their viewing of "Schindler's List," which many had never seen, was a profoundly wrenching and eye-opening experience. Sociologist, James Loewen, writes, "The glue that makes history stick is emotion." Clearly, these students will not soon shed the emotional impact of viewing then discussing "Schindler's List" and asking themselves if such crimes against humanity could ever happen again or happen in America.
Having never lived through the Red Scare of post-World War II America, it was difficult for my students to grasp anti-Communist hysteria. I tried to explain that in the early 1950s, being, or being suspected of being a Communist in America, was somewhat equivalent to being suspected of being a child molester in the 21st century. Nevertheless, they could not grasp the blatant violations of civil liberties during the '50s by the CIA, FBI and congressional committees investigating Communist activities. Particularly horrifying to them was the History Channel documentary, "Mind Control: America's Secret War," which outlined devastating CIA mind control experiments in the 1950s, done on unsuspecting civilians without their knowledge. Especially difficult for them to understand was the National Security Act of 1947 which created the CIA. Having been taught from grade school that our government is just, fair and that we have a functional balance of power in Washington, they found the CIA's level of power in America and the world, almost incomprehensible. As we examined the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the viewing of Oliver Stone's "JFK" film, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the Vietnam War and Watergate, I watched the innocence drain from their 20-something faces. I told them it would get worse.
When I explained and documented the intricacies of the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s and tied these with the government's illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras with sales of arms and drugs, I watched most of my students metamorphose from childhood to adulthood in front of my very eyes.
Subsequently, they viewed and discussed "Powderburns," a video documentary on the CIA's massive cocaine trafficking operations in the 1980s, narrated by former DEA agent, Celerino Castillo. Together we viewed documentary footage of Gary Webb and explored passages from "Dark Alliance," his extraordinary expose of government cocaine trafficking into South Central Los Angeles which helped fund the Contras. They watched and took copious notes on Mike Ruppert's videos, "Fifty Years of CIA Drug Dealing" and "The CIA, Wall St. and Drugs." The class read and discussed articles by Catherine Austin Fitts on how the money works in the criminal empire that the United States has become. However, nothing had prepared my students for the culmination of the course when we viewed Mike's most recent video presentation, "The Truth & Lies of 9-11." Not one student had a rebuttal, and when I asked them to write their gut-level reactions to the tape, I received comments like:
--"This tape burst my bubble. I was very interested in getting a job with the CIA or an agency like it, but the blinders have been removed. I must now choose another career, and while that is very disturbing, I know I can do it and that I will be happier choosing a career that truly serves people instead of colluding in their destruction."
--"This video helped me solve a huge puzzle of truth. Now I know why so many countries hate the U.S. I no longer trust my government at all."
--"I had assumed that the events of September 11 didn't really affect me directly. Now I know that they affected and still affect everyone in the world."
--"I was born in Mexico, and my family migrated here to escape the corruption in Mexico, but now I see that the U.S. is just as corrupt if not more. Never again will I shake my head in 'pity' for countries that everyone thinks are more corrupt than the U.S."
--"This course has made me realize how ignorant I, and people my age are, about how the money works. The articles we read by Catherine Austin Fitts have made me realize how little I have been taught about money in this country. I came into this course not really knowing for sure what the stock market was. I didn't learn anything about it in high school. Now I want to learn about economics and become educated in how the money in this country works so that I can feel safer economically."
--"Until I took U.S. History to 1865, I had only a vague idea what my civil liberties were, and I had no idea that they were not a gift from the government. Because of the material we studied in that course, I now know that our Founding Fathers believed that those rights are our inalienable, divine rights. They are not gifts from anyone. It scares me that so few Americans understand this and that these rights are now so much in jeopardy."
The last comment was written by a student who took a course with me on the first half of U.S. history last fall. In that class, we watched together the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11. Also, in that course, many students learned for the first time that the philosophical foundation on which our government was based at its origin was the social contract. The social contract was a notion of the English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, in his famous "Leviathan," which proposed that people form governments because of their need for safety and protection. In exchange for protection, the people give up some rights, most notably, the right to rebel against the government.
But the Founding Fathers amplified Hobbes' analysis with the work of John Locke and his writings on natural rights. Locke embraced the social contract theory, but went further to assert that the social contract could be dissolved if the government did not fulfill its obligation in securing the peoples' natural rights. Further embellishing the ideas of Hobbes and Locke, the Founding Fathers relied on the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau who presented the idea of the "consent of the governed" which means that the government is only viable if it is established by the consent of those governed. Therefore, it is essential that the people governed assure that the leaders are maintaining their part of the social contract. The ideas of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau not only influenced the framing of the Constitution, but laid the philosophical groundwork for the American Revolution, which incidentally, the Founding Fathers perceived as another inalienable, divine right. While I spent a great deal of time teaching the ideas of the Founding Fathers to my students before Sept. 11, I have intentionally belabored that topic since, knowing irrevocably that legislative horrors such as the Patriot Act and the Model Emergency Health Powers Act would, were they still with us, have instantly emboldened our Founding Fathers to mobilize a Second American Revolution.
In a page-one USA Today story from May 10 headlined, "Kids Get 'Abysmal' Grade In History," writer Tamara Henry reports that in a federally-mandated test administered to 29,000 fourth, eighth and 12th-graders at 1,110 public and private schools, 57 percent of high school seniors could not perform at the basic level. The scores remain virtually as deplorable as they were in 1994 when the test was first administered. My experience in the college classroom is frighteningly congruent with Henry's report. As noted above, students may enter college without having heard of the stock market, and in my experience, can state only about half the time, the correct decade (sometimes century) of World War II. Why is this?
In the USA Today report, Diane Ravitch, historian and education professor at New York University says "Our ability to defend -- intelligently and thoughtfully -- what we as a nation hold dear depends on our knowledge and understanding of what we hold dear. That can only be achieved through learning history."
But how can we hold dear or defend what we don't know about? Much has been written about the "dumbing down" of American public schools, and unfortunately, my experience is congruent with most of it. The majority of students leave my classes in wide-eyed disbelief of what they were not taught in high school and how overwhelmingly unaware of history they had remained throughout their twelve grades. It used to be that students were given only what I call the "Disneyland" view of history -- America the virtuous, defender of freedom everywhere, savior of the world. More recently, I'm finding that students are increasingly being given no history at all.
In reading the description of my history courses above, some colleagues may accuse me of undermining my students' trust in the American government. Curiously, I am regularly asked by students at the beginning of my history courses if I trust the government. My reply? I remind my students that the people in all of history who were the most distrustful of the American government, besides the Native Americans and slaves who were butchered and betrayed by it, were the Founding Fathers themselves. Jefferson, in particular, warned citizens not to trust their government because like his contemporaries, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, he believed that governments are inherently tyrannical and will invariably attempt to usurp the rights of their citizens. In fact, he once wrote that he would like to see a revolution every 20 years -- not of course, a violent revolution of guns and bullets, but a revolution of the mind, a revolution of consciousness. Nor was Jefferson troubled by resistance to government. In a letter to Abigail Adams he wrote, "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere."
In an interview with Mike Ruppert on "The Truth & Lies of 9-11" video, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, asks the question: How did we get to this point in history -- the point where the government is willing to sacrifice the civil liberties of its citizens to put the country on a permanent military, economic and political war footing? I would add to congressman Paul's question my own: How did we get to the point in history where children are not taught history?
The most valuable and workable image I have found for giving students an authentic map for understanding U.S. history and the world in which they live is the image of the five-headed monster in which corporations, the stock market, the intelligence community, organized crime and government function not as separate entities, but as one predatory organism which devours and does not sustain either humanity or the Earth. One of my beloved mentors of history, professor Peter Dale Scott, refers to what I have named the five-headed monster as "deep politics," that is to say, a "process which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society."
"The Truth & Lies of 9-11" video by Mike Ruppert is an extraordinary journey into the history of the last 40 years. It is intentionally shocking, as it should be in a time when ignorance of history is only one component of the soporific seduction of this society by business and Beltway thugs who are hellbent on establishing a perpetual militaristic plutocracy at the expense of the U.S. Constitution. But shock is not the only motivation for speaking truth to power. Ultimately, as Mike states in the video, in order to save itself, America must confront all that it has denied during the past four decades. Or as professor Scott reminds us, "psychologists explore shadows, not because they prefer darkness, but because they believe that healing can come from an enlargement of insight."
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., is a community college professor of U.S. History and former psychotherapist, living in Texas. She may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nature of the True American
Is to be Distrustful of Government
The article by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D
Posted on the Independent Media on 8 November 2002. Ref: www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=215765&group=webcast
Back to the America vs. Pentagonica Menu for The Two Major Areas Sabotaging the Nation