pk Training: Religious & Secular

Schooling pk Own Training: Religious & Secular
AKA: Indoctrination … Schooling … Brainwashing …

The purpose of the following narratives is biographically thematic more than biographically personal. The point isn’t to say “pk had breakfast,” “pk found a girl friend,” pk went to the movies” … It’s to provide the background for my work. This file in particular introduces the first person in the world to offer networking to the public (as far as I know, the only person ever to endeavor to provide networking for the entire public: the entire world-wide public, that is: no national boundaries. In other words, these files are the biographical adjunct to my deschooling activities.’s deschooling links are a mess temporarily: stuff spun off to my FLEX section (Free Learning Exchange, NYC, 1970), which spun off to, which was getting reposted at the InfoAll Blog, but must here get reorganized as DePro
/ DeSchool [Link to be restored].

Paul Knatz
Biographical Background

Every living thing is unique. Interchangeability is more in the eye of the beholder than in the examinable evidence. Every human is some combination of genetic disposition, cultural inheritance, and individual modification. The latter part varies from person to person: the majority exhibiting little, some more, and some very few manifesting enough modification to frighten the culturally conservative majority.

Ivan Illich identifies school as the reproductive organ of society. For many of us the first school we encounter is Sunday School. A famous bishop said “give me a child till he’s six and he’ll be Catholic note for the rest of his life.”

On its heels comes secular school, public for the majority, with some opting for private or religious alternatives. The state tolerates the latter so long as the churches know that their place in modern societies is second place.



More and more people go on to college. The state can relax as more and more institutions of advanced learning come more and more under state control, bearing less and less resemblance to their institutional forebears. (See History of Universities.) (See also the attached meditation on Brain Washing.) [Link to be restored]

Some colleges maintain, at least in part, their Humanist tradition of liberal education. What’s that? you ask. “Studying the best that’s been thought and said”: with the sometimes explicitly added “for the purpose of determining what constitutes (or would constitute) the good life.”

A tradition cannot be inherited; it has to be earned.

I went to Sunday School. I went to public school. I attended a liberal arts college of the old school: only to discover that the culture at large hasn’t caught on to that last part of the liberal purpose. The schools do represent the culture and the culture is not liberal: has interest in its life, not in “the good life.” The culture at large cannot conceive of any life but its own as being good: and it homeostatically blocks all possible inputs to the contrary (and can defend itself against charges such as mine by pointing out all the “laws” it has that supposedly protect “freedom.”

If you read on, you’ll see not only what I am, but the routes by which I came to be what I am.

Our political liabilities relate to our epistemological flaws.
They in turn stem from fundamental religious and cosmological errors.
I’ve devoted my writing and teaching to correcting them.
That I have had more obstruction than help from our basic institutions
— state, church, media, universities … —
doesn’t bode well for our chances of survival.

Worst, I find the public no better.

Indoctrination: Religious
pk’s Training
HierCon stories
@ K. 1995 September


Catholic for Life: Dyed in the Culture’s Wool, Atheism …

A successful indoctrination means they’ve got you for life: almost. Not all indoctrinations are entirely successful. But all leave marks.

I’ve known atheists of many colors and descriptions. Nearly all had started with Sunday School or its equivalent and still bore that stamp. Catholic
atheists are as distinct from Protestant atheists and Jewish atheists as the latter two are to each other. But even those distinctions are still coarse: your-trained-from-the-cradle atheist won’t recognize or identify with the concerns of your Spanish Catholic atheist.

I have never, for one second, been an atheist. Perhaps I’ve been tempted by agnosticism. Of course I’ve been called both of those names (and many others as well). Even my own son once referred to me as an atheist. How could he possibly have thought that? note Because I’m forever attacking, just as I previously defended, Jehovah?

I once heard a Protestant Minister say: “Well,” referring to some theological specific of a competing sect, “if that‘s what they mean by God, then I‘m
an atheist[Link to be restored].” Perhaps my case is more complicated even than that. I’ve now gotten a couple of steps further than this old note. See and judge for yourself.

links to be added:
Order vs. Magic
gods, God, god
On Atheism

Thought That:

2000 03 01

A new wrinkle occurs to me, a couple of new wrinkles. People who take the concept of god seriously are routinely called blasphemers by the majority of conventional believers. Action is taken on the name-calling by the real atheists: the magicians in priests’ robes, judges gowns … who have to protect the success of their racket from serious criticism. If the Catholic Church really believed in either God or Jesus, could it have done the things it has? But that I point I make at least implicitly throughout my home page: this one is new:

There is something in me that people see accurately (they just mislabel it, getting everything backwards as usual). I am not a believer among believers. But it isn’t god I don’t believe in. What I don’t believe in is their faith, their integrity, their honesty, their honor … What I don’t believe in is our country, our church, our justice … Oh, we have a country, I don’t dispute that. And we have churches. You can see them, walk inside. But is our country what we say it is? Is our religion what we say it is? Is God what we say “He” is? I say not.

I say bring in a non-biased testing system (it would have to be totally alien, at least an AI) and instruct it to compare our descriptions against our realities. Any matches? Not many.


pk Overview

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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