“And, the television intoned in order, a cult controls its victims’ time and environment (by this time I was sitting up with pen and pad taking notes), creates fear and dependency, suppresses old customs, instills new beliefs, and allows no criticism. “But, but,” I heard my conscience sputtering, “that’s the perfect formula for a government school.” School was structured to be an expression of cult discipline! School was a cult, not unlike the murder cult Princess Grace ended her days on earth a member of, or the legendary Thuggee in British India which worshipped Kali, the Destroyer!” – John Taylor Gatto, former teacher and one of the greatest critics of the American education system.
Schools are like cults. A cult, by standard definition, is:
“a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object”
Cult beliefs can be often dangerous, extremist, considered non-mainstream, nonsensical, etc. We often hear of notorious cults such as Scientology. However, the United States (and many other countries around the world) have adopted a dangerous cult system, and it’s called the schooling system. If you’re not an anti-schooler, you don’t see it, but if you’re an anti-schooler, one can see the parallels between cults and the schooling system. Here are some of the parallels:
*Both school and cults offer some kind of salvation. Schools offer an education, an opportunity to advance in the world, to save yourself from “flipping burgers in McDonald’s”, even though opportunities and living standards all fall more under current economic conditions rather than education levels (that’s another story for another day). Cults also offer salvation, an alternative to mainstream organized religions, and happiness.
*Both schools and cults encourage hailing to a person. In school, you are taught to obey your teachers and principals and think of them as superiors, better than you. Cults often make you hail some sort of figurehead as some kind of savior who has come to earth to save us all.
*Cults and schools both try to keep victims unaware. Cults try to keep its members unaware of the criticisms and contradictions in its beliefs. Schools try to keep students unaware of the brainwash that is being instilled on them and the blatant abuse of human rights in schools, such as zero tolerance policies and monitoring of students’ social networking.
*Both cults and schools try to suppress old customs and beliefs and instill new ones. In schools, this practice is much more blatant. Schools attempt to instill the beliefs of obedience, being a follower rather than a leader, and learning from superiors rather than for yourself. Schools often try to instill fear upon its students, often in the form of zero tolerance. Teachers may also manipulate students (intentionally or unintentionally) with their political beliefs depending on area.
*Neither schools nor cults allow any criticism. Both schools and cults will often try to rebut any critical attacks. For example, if you ask a teacher the question, “when will I get paid?”, they’ll most likely answer, “you get paid in education” or something similar. But what kind of education, anyway? I can literally get the same stuff on Wikipedia and other sources but with far more detail and can be more easily verified. Wikipedia has often been criticized for its lack of reliability, but in recent years that site has become far more reliable. School textbooks, for example, especially history, may contain errors and misconceptions, perhaps best noted in James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me. Speaking of ideas such as youth rights and freedom of speech at schools will put you in hot water, no matter how impressive your speech may be (though there may be a few sympathetic teachers, look out for them!).
*It should be noted that School Survival (perhaps one of the first sites to appear whose sole mission was to talk about the truth of the schooling system) has often been criticized as operating like a cult, but School Survival lacks any of these qualities. In fact, School Survival started in order to encourage free thinking among students, not suppress it.
Get yourself out of the cult and learn awareness. Educate yourself about the schooling system and the tactics that are often used in order to keep the sheep in their place. Most importantly, help yourself. It’s your mind, not their’s, and you should freely learn whatever you wish to and make your own ideas.