Interview Samuel Blumenfeld - Part 1 - EC341

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Interview Samuel Blumenfeld, Part 1
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 39
Length: 0:56:01
TapeCode: ec341
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 341, July the fifth, 1995.

This evening Douglas Murray, Sam Blumenfeld and Andrew Sandlin and I will be interviewing Sam with regard to education generally, home schooling, phonics, whatever he wants to discuss with us. Mark Rushdoony is out of town so he is not with us this evening.

Education, of course, is a very important subject. Education and law are basic to any culture and they reveal the religion of the society, as I have said many times before. It is important, therefore, for us to be interested in education.

Samuel Blumenfeld has been active in furthering phonics and home schooling not only in the United States, but throughout the English speaking world.

Sam, we are glad to have you with us. Is there anything you would like to say by way of a general introduction?

[Blumenfeld] Well, first I just want to thank you, Rush, for making it possible for me to speak with you at this Easy Chair which…I how delighted I am to be here.

Well, a lot has happened, you know, in the ... in the past years as far as home schooling is considered. It has grown considerably. We also have a new Congress that is much more friendly to educational freedom and, as a matter of fact, they are going to get rid of the department of education and perhaps repeal Goals 2000 and HR 6 and all of the other programs that the Clinton administration has, you know, has actually passed. These programs are on the books there.

And I... I was told that their strategy... the strategy of the conservatives is to defund the education department and these education bills so that they will just fall for lack of... of funding. So... so that is very good news to begin with, that at least we are beginning to have the Congress of the United States on our side and ... and so there is... there are greater changes in the offing. You know, they say that there is a revolution going on in... in the United States in the Congress, but so far it is mainly talk. And hopefully, though, that they will be able to carry it out.

[Rushdoony] What do you see happening in the home school movement?

[Blumenfeld] Well, it is growing rapidly. As a matter of fact, this... the next weekend will ... we will see the... probably the largest home school convention in the United States in Anaheim, California. And this has been a steady pattern of growth and it is mainly at a Christian... [00:03:13]

The home school movement, I would say, is ...[edit]

The home school movement, I would say, is 85 percent Christian. There are some secular, you know, and Atheists involved, but they really don’t... they... they really are not the backbone of the movement. The movement is basically Christian. And that is wonderful for ... for not only the families, but also for Christian Reconstruction in this country because they represent such a clean break with the Humanist institutions, these statists institutions. And also it represents a shift in the view of sovereignty. You see, the Christian home schoolers see their family as under God’s sovereignty and that is why they resist state control, even though they generally comply with the state’s laws or... or... or requirements such as, you know, informing the authorities that they are home schooling and that sort of thing. But there are many Christian home schoolers who have simply gone underground. I mean they have just... won’t have anything to do with the authorities. I don’t know what your opinion of... of... of this is, Rush, whether you think this is good or bad, but we know that... that there is a reluctance on the part of many Christian home schoolers to even inform the state of what they are doing. And if they live in remote areas, I guess they can do that.

When I am asked about this, what should they do, I generally prefer people to comply with the basic rules that are... that exist and, of course, as the Home School Legal Defense Association, which handles cases for parents who are having difficulties with the states, and usually just a letter from the Home School Legal Defense Association will get the authorities off their backs, because many of the authorities, these superintendents and people who run school districts are ... are abysmally uninformed about the law. And one thing I am sure that you have found out, Rush, in... in all of your travels and appearances at home school court trials is the abysmal English of the judges.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] ...concerning this. That has been a great revelation as to realize how ignorant these judges are. You... you would assume that they know something about basic constitutional law and they don’t.

But I think the most important point is this shift in view of sovereignty, that the Christian family is... they are ... understands that they are under God’s sovereignty and not the state’s sovereignty and that makes a tremendous difference in how they conduct their family life. And all that... and... and this is all to the good because it has its ramifications in other areas, because once you set your family right with God then you want to set your nation right with God. I mean, that is the next step. And, of course, the secularists and the Atheists in our society are completely baffled by what is going on. [00:06:31]

They really... it is... it is amazing. The other night I was watching C-Span and they were having... they had a review of the ... this... the Nation magazine. You have heard of the Nation magazine.

[Voice] Yeah, Rush, you know, that very left wing magazine.

[Blumenfeld] They had a forum on May first, 1995 in which they reviewed the history of the last 50 years and it was all from that left wing point of view. Now there you had a group of people. You had Molly Ivans, you know, of Texas and Christopher Hitchens who addressed the audience as comrades. Cornell West and the black philosopher at Harvard and a couple of other people, Stunts Turkle, you know, who is just about as red as they can get, you know. And you could just see that these people are so totally atheistic that they are... they are... they are... it is such... and so profoundly atheistic that they have no way of understanding what is happening in America. So they tend to... to label it all Fascism, you know, Fascism.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] So, in other words, Christianity is Fascism to them, because, you know... and it was just amazing to listen to these people rattle off history. For example, on... there was this fellow Lipson, Robert Lipson who was talking about America’s guilt in having dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and thinking about that, I thought to myself, I have just seen a film about what had happened at Okinawa, the slaughter of American soldiers in trying to take Okinawa and the psychology of the Japanese troops that... the suicidal psychology they had. And that the purpose of the... of the bomb was to end the war quickly and to stop any further need to have Americans killed. And yet they are pulling this... this guilt trip on Americans.

So you get this left wing that is {?} in outer space they have no idea what is going on and here are the Christians in this country who are slowly reasserting their world view and the sovereignty of God and this is going to have a... a very wide spread impact in... in the years ahead, I believe. [00:08:59]

[Rushdoony] You mentioned some of the Christian home...[edit]

[Rushdoony] You mentioned some of the Christian home schoolers are refusing to comply even on the most harmless things in states where I know the state gives no trouble to home schoolers. They refuse to notify the state that they are home schooling. Now I think this is a serious mistake and it leads to results comparable to a nation crowd. Having once said we will have nothing to do with the state with regard to home schooling, they go on to taxation and become tax protesters. Then they become open to other extremist groups, not in all cases.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...but enough of them. Groups like the British Israel or identity peoples.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Which puts them in a relationship to the Aryan Nation and other groups.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Rushdoony] So, by their isolationism and their insistence on reading the scenario in the worst possible way, they drift further and further afield and I think they do themselves no little damage.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Well, it is comparable to this notion of ... of churches refusing to incorporate themselves.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] ...because of their fear that this... this means that they are submitting themselves to government control, where as church incorporation preceded...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] ... the so-called corporation laws that, you know, are usually applied to commercial enterprises.

[Rushdoony] Well, yes. It is a recent attempt by the IRS to say that church incorporation is a favor from them.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And we need to work to reestablish the premise that existed from early years in American history up until after World War II.

[Blumenfeld] Now I have gotten letters or I have got recently a letter from a parent who wanted to know whether or not he should apply for social security numbers for his children, because, according to the law if you want to put them on your IRS, on your... deduct them as a dependent on your income tax they have to have social security numbers. And to tell you frankly, Rush, I don’t quite know how to answer. Would you kindly do the job for me?

[Rushdoony] Well, I don’t believe in social security. I think it is an evil. I think it is going to collapse. On the other hand, we have more important things to fight about than that. There are too many people who will fight on every little thing they can, little and big.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And we have to be selective. We can’t war against every thing that Congress has passed in the last 60 years. [00:12:17]

Well, as a result, such people become ineffective...[edit]

Well, as a result, such people become ineffective. They are no good to our side or to our cause.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... because they are wasting their time on trifles.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. What they should do is get involved politically and get the kind of people in Congress that will change the law.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I have had many people tell me how bad things are and when I ask them how much do you contribute to political campaigns the answer is almost invariably nothing.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, how can you change the system if you won’t support those who are working to change it?

[Blumenfeld] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] We have too many people in the Christian camp who are really unwilling to work. They simply want to make a grand stand play, a protest to ... a holier than thou attitude possesses them and it isn’t good.

[Blumenfeld] Well, go ahead, Andrew.

[Voice] I don’t think it should be lost that we are talking here, really, about two separate approaches to the problem. There is the Anabaptist approach which is one of isolation against the reformed approach which is one of transformation.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Very good.

[Voice] As Niebuhr pointed out and while we disagree with his theology he wrote a book Christ in Culture which did have a number of excellent observations along this line. The Anabaptists are constantly trying to isolate themselves. And they are essentially escapists. And so many of them, I know, I have the... I know that they oppose marriage licenses and drivers licenses and all that sort of thing. And in some ways they... they have some sincerity, but the problem is when you ask them, “Well, what are you going to do positively to rebuild culture?”

Well, they don’t feel called to that, you see. And if we have to distinguish between the Anabaptist approach and the reformed approach, our reproach is reformed. We are not just cursing the darkness. We want to provide light. So...

[Voice] Absolutely. That makes all the difference is to try to change things. And ... and the interesting thing about home school is that more and more of them are getting involved in politics, especially the young people now, who are... who have been home schooled realize that they are responsible for their culture and they are responsible for the future of this nation and ... if it is going to be changed, they are going to have to do the changing. So I am... I am optimistic about the future where... where it comes to the home schooling Christians in the United States.

[Voice] I have talked to a couple of legislators and they are eager to get home schooled young people as interns working in their offices and so that they can learn the system from the inside how it works. It is great training. [00:15:04]

[Voice] Yes, yeah...[edit]

[Voice] Yes, yeah. They are... they are very competent people. The beauty of the home schoolers is they are so much better than the kids who come out of, certainly the public schools and ... and also out of Christian schools. There are many fine Christian schools, but on the other hand, there are many that are not all that good. And ... but... but I think the most important feature of home schooling is what it does for the parents.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And the kind of family that it creates, the kind of family life. It is a totally different... a totally different thing. We have really never had it before quite in this way, because it is much more organized. There are many more programs available. Fathers take a greater interest in their children. That is really very important is this re... resurgence of the ... of the paternal responsibility and of the... the paternal interest. And I think that you can’t have a Christian civilization where the fathers are out to lunch.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] There have got to be... They have got to be the leaders of their families. They have got to be the ... the spiritual leaders of their families. And one of the beautiful things about many Christian home school families is they have their devotions and their Bible study and fathers take an active role and that has created a much healthier image of the father than what we see on television, you know. It has been... you know, the usual fare.

[Rushdoony] Well, not too many years ago the universities in states were distrustful of home school students. Now the states have tests...

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] And the home school students can take them. Three of our grandchildren took them recently. One of them age 14, the other two 16. And all three passed the high school equivalency test. And they found the test to be easy.

Well, the states now know they are getting superior students when they get these home schooled students. They are eager to have them.

[Voice] Yes. As a matter of fact, at this conference that I spoke at in... in Florida there were two exhibits from universities, the University of Florida had a table there handing out literature for parents and the University of Nebraska. I don’t know if they were recruiting football players, but ... but they certainly are interested in recruiting home schoolers. And back in Massachusetts the Boston University now has exhibits at home school fairs and I know that Christian... Pensacola Christian College aggressively seeks home school students and Bob Jones University and Hillsdale and others. So the universities are beginning to want these youngsters. And because they are so very good and we have had cases of home schoolers getting scholarships at the academies, you know, like Annapolis and the Air Force Academy. [00:18:32]

So they are doing beautifully academically as well...[edit]

So they are doing beautifully academically as well as socially and... and morally and spiritually. Of course, the social issue is one that is always brought up. You know, what about socialization. And that is a perennial question that is... that is asked by the public schoolers and by people at large. You know, well, what about socialization?

Well, you find the interesting thing in home schooling families, especially if there are a lot of siblings is that the children get to know one another much better. They become good friends of each other. They help one another. And the socialization at home is much healthier than this so-called socialization that takes place in school where you have the older kids associating only with their group of...

[Rushdoony] That is right.

[Voice] And the younger ones associating with their peers. And so they drift apart. The family drifts apart because they begin to establish loyalties and bonds with strangers.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ... out side of the family and, of course, then they begin to have secrets from the family and they develop an entirely... almost an antagonism to the family prying into their private lives, you see.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] Whereas in the home school there is no such thing as privacy.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] The public schools are a {?}.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] They are at war against the family.

[Voice] Yes, very definitely. And... and purposefully, too.

[Rushdoony] The fallacy in this idea of socialization, a very evil fallacy is that socialization is to be with a peer group.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well, they meet their peer group in the neighborhood. They meet them in Sunday school. They meet them in a playground. What the child needs is socialization with adults.

[Voice] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] And this is what we are denying to children.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The important thing is that they learn that it is an adult world and they have to join that adult world. They have got to learn to behave as adults and to appreciate adults.

Well, they go to church and they are siphoned off for children’s church.

[Voice] That is right. That is right.

[Rushdoony] Things like that. And in one way or another today the real needed socialization with the adult world is denied. And then they wonder why these children grow up and act like kids for the rest of their life. [00:21:12]

[Voice] Yeah. This produces a juvenile culture.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] It really does.

[Voice] Well I will tell you one of the most dangerous things that it produces also in the inner cities are... are gangs.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] The gangs are formed in the schools among peers. And one of the reasons why you have these gangs is because many of them are antisocial. They have been badly miseducated in their schools. Many of them can’t read. They are functionally illiterate and they get together and... and they ... they have been involved in anti social behavior, delinquency as we know in Los Angeles, which is a prime example of what can happen to a community where the kids are isolated among themselves and must... it is like prisoners.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I mean, you have got this compulsory school attendance law that says they have got to be together and they... they form these groups. Now each one of these youngsters who has been frustrated by the inability to read is very angry, very angry at the system. Each one of them is like a little walking time bomb. You don’t know when they are going to explode. If you have 100,000 of them in a city like Los Angeles in gangs, you know, perpetrating mayhem, all you need is a spark like the Rodney King incident.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...to just create a social explosion that is just as devastating as the earth quakes that they have there.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Look what happened there. And I believe that all of that was caused by this built up, pent up frustration through mis education because these kids have come out of the schools with no ... with no employable skills. They can’t read. They can’t right. They can’t add. They can’t even speak English anymore. I mean, they speak this new {?}

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] In a sense, there is a greater segregation today than there ever has been because you are getting a different language pattern.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] You are getting a dialect. You are getting something which we never had.

[Voice] And they are working toward that.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Because... so this is something that is being strongly supported. They want their own separate identity.

[Voice] Yeah. Black English.

[Voice] And language is one of those.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] It is {?}.

[Rushdoony] We are creating a culture of immaturity.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And I was reminded today of how different things once were in reading about President Andrew Jackson in a book written by someone who is not on our side, but at one point in the controversy over the US Bank, a large mob with support from members of Congress decided to march on the White House and the Capitol and let their demands be made known. And Andrew Jackson said very calmly to the Congressmen who came to warn him of what was about to happen, “They will be most welcome when they come. I will post the heads of a number of them on the spikes on the fence around the White House and I will hang the others higher than Haman.” And he said, “This government will not be bullied by mobs.” [00:24:46]

Well, that ended the march on Washington, because they...[edit]

Well, that ended the march on Washington, because they knew that Jackson was a man of his word.

Now consider how different that is. He regarded it as an act of colossal arrogance and immaturity and he had only one reaction to that. It was lawlessness, it was rebellion. He would deal with it as such.

Well, it is interesting. The Democrats who regard Jackson as one of their heroes, in fact, their greatest man together with Thomas Jefferson, never cite that episode.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Well, I... I can understand why, you know.

[Voice] Sam, I wanted to ask you a question. One of the things I would think that would be difficult for a home schooled child or a Christian schooled child in the primary grades who goes on to a state run or public high school is that they are going to pull the grade curve up and this, inevitably causes some hostility. There is a lot of hostility, for instance, in universities. White students, for instance, go to University of California have an extremely difficult time because the Asian students who study very hard and work very hard and get top grades, they pull the curve up so high it... it forces A students that in public school get into Cs when they get into college. It makes it very difficult for them... for them.

How would you counsel a youngster who is subjected to that pressure?

[Blumenfeld] Well, all I... I would say, certainly to a home schooler is to do your best. They usually are pretty good. And they are usually very self motivated, because they realize at home that mother isn’t standing over them like a lecturer in a... in a school and so they are... they are... they are quite independent and self motivated. But I think they would very, very well handle that situation. I don't think they would be in any real trouble. I don't see any particular trouble there. [00:27:02]

But it is interesting that the Asians in America are...[edit]

But it is interesting that the Asians in America are doing so well and that is because of... of very strong motivation. And I... I don’t know if it is a matter of natural talents or not. I... I haven’t read The Bell Curve. I don’t know if any of you have read The Bell Curve and what you think of that book, but the one thing that bothers me about The Bell Curve particularly where it relates to blacks is that there is so much miseducation going on that I don’t think you are getting a fair picture of what their intelligence is, because you take ... you take white youngsters who can be just as seriously dumbed down by the methods being used in the schools. So I think it is... it is... it is very unfair to judge today’s young blacks on the basis of today’s education.

[Rushdoony] Douglas mentioned the remarkable performance of the Asian students. There is an aspect here which I mentioned, oh, about a year ago, that would be important for you to think about. Asian students, whether they come from some part of Asia or from the United States go to the university with the assistance, very often, of aunts and uncles, grand parents, cousins and the like. If they are outstanding as students, they get total support from the family. The family invests in them. They are expected to repay the family in time. If they do an outstanding job and their grades are exceptional, before they graduate they may be given an automobile by an appreciative family.

Now this ties in with something that 15 or more years ago we published in The Chalcedon Report and we hoped it would get quite a reaction. It was by a professor of economics at Cambridge, England who proposed family trusts as a solution to a great many problems. And he said families should set up a treasury. They should begin to take care of their more brilliant students. They should do everything they can to further the education of the students as well as to help those who show evidences of being good entrepreneurs, to get them started. In other words, the family has a duty to the generations coming up. [00:30:10]

Well, sad, but nobody paid attention to that article...[edit]

Well, sad, but nobody paid attention to that article which I regard as one of the most important we ever printed.

Now I think we are going not fall further and further behind until we appreciate superior young people in our families, those who show abilities as entrepreneurs or students or whatever. We are doing nothing to help them. It is sink or swim and in a world where for a student to get an education means a vast sum of money...

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] ... it is devastating of the student to be thrown into that kind of a world.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is like being thrown off a ship into the ocean.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...during a storm. I do believe that Christians should set up family trusts. They should begin to accumulate a treasury. They should begin to assist those in need. If they don’t have enough money to do it at present, they should accumulate it little by little for the future. But they have a duty. And we are told in Scripture that a good man lays up an inheritance for his children’s children.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] That is an excellent idea. As a matter of fact, it is an idea that is worth circulating among home schoolers and I... is it possible to reprint that article, Rush?

[Rushdoony] Oh, I am sure.

[Voice] ... to make it available to...

[Rushdoony] I am sure it is.

[Voice] Because, you know, at these home school conventions they have many workshops and that would make a wonderful subject of a workshop.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...is a family trust.

[Rushdoony] Why... why not reprint it in your newsletter.

[Voice] Yes. If I could have a copy of that.

[Rushdoony] And then make it available to anyone...

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... who wants it.

[Voice] Yeah, that is an excellent idea, because you are absolutely right. It is the family’s job. It is their duty to prepare these young people and to help them achieve the... the very highest levels of their learning and also to foster careers.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] But, you know, another interesting thing is that ... that is happening among home schoolers is the development of family businesses, family enterprises and ... and it is interesting. When you go to these home school conventions and you see what the various families are doing to service the home school community. I know there is one family that ... that manu... that manufactures what they call plain clothes, you know, very simple dresses and clothes for Christians who want to buy them these, you know, frilly kind of things that you find in the ... in the ... your usual retail shops.

Others are doing all sorts of things, publishing newsletters and books and getting involved in nutritional and foods and nutrition. So there are... there are no end of ideas that home schoolers are beginning to respond to. And the family that works together, you know, often learns a lot about economics together. [00:33:43]

And certainly today’s kids have to know about what...[edit]

And certainly today’s kids have to know about what they call the real world, economically, you know, money, how to handle money, what money is all about, which they rarely are... get that kind of information in schools. But they could certainly get it at home.

[Voice] Also, really, a lot of this conducive learning.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] Using that in our family that a child knows that a mother is... or a father is taking out his time to train.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] And there is really that element of affection that impresses the... what is taught on the little heart and mind of the child.

[Voice] Oh, yeah, yeah. That is very important. And but... but I think the most important change that is taking place, of course, is the ... the re ... well, the reinstitution of .... of intensive phonics as the chief way of teaching children to read in America.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Because, as you know, that has fallen by the wayside over the years and the schools have been using... now they use whole language, what they call whole language. And invented spelling where the kids are ... are encouraged to start writing before they know even how to read, before they know how to hold a pen and they are just told to write. And they don’t know how to form the letters. They don’t know now to spell anything. And so the kids are supposed to invent their spellings and my... my answer is, well, why should they invent spelling when they have got the dictionary? The spellings have already been standardized.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] So why have kids go through the... this incredible, stupid process of trying to invent spellings which usually are pretty awful and then expecting them to change all on their own? I mean, the purpose of education is to teach children how to think, do things correctly. And to spend two years doing things incorrectly simply creates such bad habits that are impossible to change after that ... that...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... that period of time. One of the things that I... that I tell parents these days is to teach their children to write cursive to begin with.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Don’t teach them to print. Teach them to write cursive. And, of course, most parents say, “We never heard such a thing.” [00:36:10]

All of us are telling our...[edit]

All of us are telling our... teaching our kids, you know, ball and stick. And I am... I... I remind them that people of my generation all learned cursive first. I mean, it was... and they all say, “Well, can you do both? Can you actually learn to read and write cursive?”

I said, “Of course.” I mean, you know, we are not smarter than ... than today’s children, yet we are able to do it very nicely and it is interesting how there is such a gap in knowledge that people don't know what happened... the way things were 50 years ago.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I mean, it is as if...

[Voice] Ignorance of history, you know.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] Pervasive.

[Voice] I mean, the educators have done an... an incredible job of destroying the past, of past practice.

[Voice] Quite intentionally, by the way.

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] If I may go back to the matter of the family trust, the usual opinion is that it is something very expensive. However, it is exactly the opposite. In California you can get it for something within the range of 500 dollars. What is happening is that in the past decade, more and more wealthy people have used a variety of devices to avoid probate.

[Voice] Yes, yes.

[Rushdoony] So it is left to the ordinary person of modest means alone to face probate. Well, since the amount of money involved going into probate when someone dies is a rather limited amount, it has become a nuisance for the courts to handle the probate. It is more work than it is worth to the state even though they take a cut.

So they have set up family trusts so that anyone who wants to of modest means can set it up to protect their estate and to hand it on to the next generation.

Now a great many states have done this. It is something that people should investigate in whatever state they live in to see what can be done to protect widows and their children in the time of death from a costly probate that will strip them of most of what they have.

So I do urge all those who are listening to go to a lawyer and investigate the matter of a family trust or whatever is comparable to it in their state.

[Voice] I believe some books have been written on this subject on how to set up trusts.

[Rushdoony] Yes. These are on a national level.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] And every state has its own laws. It doesn’t take much in the way of cost to go to a lawyer and find out what the status is in your state.

[Voice] Yeah. [00:39:16]

[Voice] Well, I think probably one of the reasons why...[edit]

[Voice] Well, I think probably one of the reasons why this hasn’t come up yet among home schoolers is that you are dealing with rather young families.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...with young children and they don’t quite think as far ahead as they should. But... but let’s face it. The years go by, you know, faster than we imagine. And before you know it, you are facing that sort of a problem of how to handle your inheritance.

[Voice] Let’s go back to that phonics discussion. I think...

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] ... that a lot of people don’t recognize that that whole word or whole language method is not merely a different approach, you know, but really is ideologically subversive. So, Sam, what would you say to those who say, “Well, I mean, they are going to read anyway. Let’s just have them read this way. This is only a difference of technique.” What would you say to those who say that?

[Blumenfeld] It isn’t that. It isn’t they are going to read anyway. They are not going to read anyway. That is the problem. You see, because the whole language method of teaching reading produces what we call a holistic reflex. In other words, the children are taught to look at our words, our English words as little pictures.

[Rushdoony] {?}

[Voice] Home configurations and the result is that they develop this... this reflex of looking at all words as whole little pictures and when they develop ... when they acquire this reflex, it prevents them from seeing words in their phonetic form. As a matter of fact, it becomes a block against seeing words phonetically and, therefore, you could say that this holistic reflex causes dyslexia, because that is what dyslexia is, the inability to read out words in their phonetic structure.

[Voice] And doesn’t it, too, really lock them into a specific vocabulary so that they don’t have the ability when they...

[Voice] That is it.

[Voice] ...come upon new words to form.... to... to pronounce them and understand them?

[Voice] Exactly. In other words, they memorize words. For example, I was told about this class that spent the whole day learning the word little, just one word, little, you know, and they spent the whole day on it.

[Voice] And what did they learn? Little.

[Voice] Just... yeah, little and just that one word. Well, you can’t learn to read English that way. First of all, our alphabetic system requires intensive systematic phonics to learn how to read it. It is just... it... it is what it is. I mean, if... if we had an ... an idiographic writing system or even a logographic system like the Chinese, you see, each character in Chinese stands for a word, a specific word. Well, it is still a character, you know, and you have to memorize it. And they have got thousands of those little characters that have to be memorized. Whereas the alphabet which was invented around 3500 years ago is based on a... a remarkable discovery. Someone discovered that all of human language, everything you say is based on... is comprised of a small number of irreducible speech sounds. And so that individual decided that rather than have this ideographic system of writing which required years of study and lots of memorization, easily forgotten, all of these characters and symbols, why not create a small set of symbols to stand for the irreducible speech sounds of the language? And then you will have a very simple means of transcribing the spoken word into written form and an equally simple means of converting the written language back to a spoken form. And so the first alphabet was invented. [00:42:52]

Nobody knows exactly who invented it or where it came...[edit]

Nobody knows exactly who invented it or where it came from. Some people say the Canaanites. Some people say the Phoenicians. Some people say the Israelites. All we know is that the most important work to come out of alphabetic writing is the holy Scripture.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I mean, the... the... the archaeologists who seem all... all of whom seem to be Atheists, always attribute the invention of the alphabet to Phoenician businessmen who wanted to keep commercial records. And they never discuss the fact that the Scripture, the holy Scripture was really the first work, important work to be written alphabetically. And Rush made a point the other day about that ... about the Word, about God’s Word, that we know the Word through the voice, through speech.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And that we had to have an accurate means of putting that speech on paper before the Word of God could be known accurately and precisely. And so it was very important, the alphabet... the invention of the alphabet is very important.

And I always point out to people that Moses, of course, was educated by the Egyptians, his Egyptian princess. And yet when he went up to Mount Sinai and God wrote the tablets with this finger, he wrote them in alphabetic writing, alphabetic script. And I always ask the question: Who taught God the alphabet?

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And it is... it is a mystery, you see.

[Rushdoony] Well, there was a {?} scientist to not too many years ago a paper on speech that it is a learned habit and he felt the same about written language. And he felt that it was traceable back to Adam.

[Voice] Oh, yes. The original language, it probably came from Adam. As a matter of fact...

[Rushdoony] And it. writing.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And the Bible says, “These are the generations of Adam.” And the Hebrew word means these are the family records of Adam. So I think Genesis is a collection of family records. [00:45:30]

Donald J. Wiseman, a particularly brilliant British scholar, wrote a book about that particular thesis some years ago.

[Voice] Well, you know, as a matter of fact, Noah Webster in the introduction to his magnificent dictionary goes into the history of language and he says it very frankly. He says that language was a gift from God and that it was an immediate gift that was given to Adam so that he could communicate with Adam, so that the first purpose of language was for Adam to be able to know God. And then the second purpose, of course, was so that he could know the world objectively, because what did God do? God brought before Adam all of the animals and he told Adam to name the animals.

Well, this turned Adam into a scientist.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... into an observer, an objective observer of reality.

[Rushdoony] To name in the Hebrew means to classify.

[Voice] Right. So there he was not only classifying the animals, but also he was a lexicographer, that he had to invent names of these different animals which... and I suppose he wrote them down.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...in order to remember, you know, in some way or other.

[Voice] {?} the... the... can you talk about the... the rate of reading of people who have been taught this by this whole language method versus phonics?

[Voice] Well, you mean the speed?

[Voice] Speed of reading.

[Voice] Well, I will tell you, the whole... the whole language people if they are reading something simple, can read rather rapidly, but they... they leave out words that are there. They put in words that aren’t there. They skip words. They mutilate words. They {?} words, they substitute words. So their form of reading is very inaccurate and... and what they are doing is ... is editing as they go along. They are trying to, in a sense, figure out what this author says and in a sense they are creating the message, rather than reading the message accurately, because they can’t read accurately.

Now a phonetic reader can read at any speed that he wants. A prolific writer, a reader, say, for example, like Dr. Rushdoony, probably does a lot of scanning when he is going through a very thick book that he wants and he is looking for something that is important. And that is one of the methods of... of speeding up reading when you are trying to go through a huge text. But anything of importance, you are going to read the... at about the same speed in which you speak, because you are going to be... you are going to be reviving the voice of the writer and the writer is going to be speaking to you and he will be speaking to you at a pace that you can understand, you know. It is like music. You can’t speed up a Beethoven symphony, can you? And, then, you know, it has got to be played at that ... at that speed. That doesn’t sound like Beethoven was... and you can’t speed up poetry. You can’t speed up a magnificent Shakespeare soliloquy. You can’t speed it up. The only time you use speed reading is if you are doing a dissertation on garbage collection. Then you might wan to speed it up. [00:48:59]

[Voice] So here is the rub...[edit]

[Voice] So here is the rub. If this whole language method doesn't work, if it has been proven to fail, why is it so popular? Why was it ever employed in the first place? That is where we really get down to where the rubber hits the road.

[Voice] Well, of course, when you... when you look at the whole picture of the... the way that reading instruction has been changing in the United States, you have to really go back to John Dewey and the early part of this century and the late part of the last century. And, of course the... Dewey and his colleagues were very much interested in changing America from a Capitalist, Individualist believing nation into a Socialist, Atheist and Humanist society. And they were determined to use the school system in which to do that.

The interesting thing about these gentlemen, these progressives, is that they all came from good Christian families and they were determined to bring about Socialism because they wanted to prove that they were right and that the Bible was wrong and they felt that by bringing about Socialism they could prove that man was basically good, that there was on such thing as, you know, innate depravity or original sin or any of that, you know, the whole story of the Garden of Eden was... was completely fiction, was... was myth. And so they embarked on this messianic mission to change America through the school system, beaus they knew that American adults were not about to give up their... their, you know, their free enterprises and their religion and all of that. And ... and Rush points out in his... in his great book, The Messianic Character of American Education that there was this strong messianic motivation because they were determined to prove that the Bible was wrong and that they were right, because they knew that if they were... if they were wrong and the Bible was right, they knew where they would be going. I mean, they... they knew... they came from Christian families. [00:51:05]

So they were quite acquainted with the consequences...[edit]

So they were quite acquainted with the consequences of such ... of such heresy.

In any case, John Dewey did an analysis of the education system and he came to the conclusion that high literacy was the culprit behind religion, behind orthodoxy, behind Capitalism and Individualism, that high literacy produced people who can think for themselves, stand on their own two feet and think for themselves and did not need the collective. In other words, they can work as individuals. They can learn as individuals.

Now they wanted to create a collective society. So they said, “We have got to change the way reading is taught and create a lower level of literacy.”

[Voice] A dependent society.

[Voice] Yes. And we have got to stress socialization. So they shifted the emphasis from phonetic reading which produces this high literacy to this look say method which produces a lower level of literacy and the emphasis is put on team work and on socialization and on group think and group activity and, of course, that is what we have in the schools today.

So that is the origin of this shift. It... it was a... based on Socialist philosophy and today it is... it is very distinctly a political thing.

[Voice] So it is... it was a consciously subversive work.

[Voice] It wasn’t necessarily merely a matter of, well, let’s prefer this method over...’

[Voice] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It was deliberate.

[Voice] Corporate... corporate cultures bought in to this idea, too. You have got loan committees in banks. There is... there is no individual in the bank anymore that seems to be smart enough to be able to figure out whether the bank wants to loan you money or not. They have to have a committee. And in a major corporations, everything is done by consensus of a... of a large group. This corporate think thing seems to have carried over into the business world.

[Voice] It may very well have and you have to understand also that out of this progressive movement developed what they call group dynamics, which was invented basically by Kurt Lewan, a psychologist who came out of German and emigrated to the United States in the mid 30s. And he was the one who invented sensitivity training and which is ... was considered by Carl Rogers as the greatest invention of the ... in the psychology of the 20th century, because that is the basis of the whole encounter movement, you know, est and all of that was the sensitivity training and what... what is the other thing? Values clarification, values clarification. These are the two tools that have been used by the educators to ... to change the ... the minds of the children and... and Benjamin Bloom wanted the schools to ... to... to create a total reorganization of the child’s mind, in other words, a Christian child was considered not insane or neurotic, but undesirable. Let’s put it that way. [00:54:21]

[Voice] Did you read about this fellow who the federal...[edit]

[Voice] Did you read about this fellow who the federal government hired to... to instill these devices that you are talking about into the FAA? Here recently they had a ... one of the magazine programs on television was talking about this guy who was conducting these sensitivity training...

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] And...

[Voice] Well, they use them in large corporations, sensitivity training. I have heard of airline pilots who have had to sit through these things. And some of them have been very ... very opposed to that.

[Rushdoony] Salesmen, as well.

[Voice] Yeah, salesman, you know. So these techniques are group dynamic techniques now permeate our society. And incidentally, it was the National Education Association which sponsored Kurt Lewan’s national training laboratory at... in Bethel, Maine which in the late 40s began getting loads of teachers and administrators coming for their sensitivity training sessions. And they have all these clarification sessions. So you are now dealing with several generations of administrators and corporate executives who have been through all of this.

[Voice] This is simply sipmlisticated brain washing.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Our time is up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.