Indoctrination Effectiveness Scale

Indoctrination has been on my mind this weekend.  Three situations came up, and if you’re keeping score, you should be pleased that my overall score for Indoctrination Effectiveness is at zero. 

…it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions. Richard Dawkins

My friend Kay and I run a program for children.  Some of the families have been with us from the start, and we’ve grown close to them.  This weekend one of our families asked Kay to be  a witness at the baptism of their two young, adopted daughters.  Though we talk two or three times a day, it is interesting that Kay never mentioned to me that they asked her to be a part of their ceremony.  I don’t know if she just didn’t want to get ‘into it’ with me, or if she thought I would be hurt, since our relationship with the family is mutual.  It’s hard to know, and perhaps not even relevant.  Kay has told me on more than one occasion it upset her that I wasn’t a part of her baptism.  I confess to rolling my eyes whenever she mentions it. 
Indoctrination Effectiveness Scale +2

H had a friend over to spend the night.  Sunday morning her parents picked her up from our house to take her to church.  H asked her friend what church they go to and her friend couldn’t tell her.  She knew what street it was on, but she had no idea what the name of it was.  She said, “I think it’s Christian.”  Interestingly enough, H figured it out from the location because she had gone to preschool there.  Ten years ago. 
Indoctrination Effectiveness Scale -1

I have mentioned my older daughter, M’s friend Barb before.   Barb went through the True Love Waits program at the Big Popular Baptist Church, and took the pledge to remain a virgin until marriage.  Barb has a new boyfriend and he’s taking her to their Senior Prom.  M noticed she is not longer wearing her promise ring.  Barb told her she took it off because she wanted to lose her virginity to her new beau.  I guess for her True Love Waits means only until you get a decent offer. 
Indoctrination Effectiveness Scale -1

Let children learn about different faiths, let them notice their incompatibility, and let them draw their own conclusions about the consequences of that incompatibility. As for whether they are “valid,” let them make up their own minds when they are old enough to do so.”
Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion


About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
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14 Responses to Indoctrination Effectiveness Scale

  1. prosey says:

    True Love Waits…*snorts with laughter* ~ statistical evidence shows some interesting things about this type of chastity pledge program. 1. The time difference between teens who pledge and those who don’t for sexual initiation is (….drum roll, please….) TWO months. 2. The Bush Administration and champions of AOUM redefined “success” to mean “change in attitude”, rather than “change in actual outcomes”, so that they could continue to work toward justification for ever-increasing funding for the program while diverting funding away from Title X. Good stuff, eh? *sigh*

    Indoctrination is a subject of utter fascination for me. Are you familiar with Agent Orange or the Orange Papers? The subject of Alcoholics Anonymous (and other 12-step programs) is one worth looking into, especially when you consider that many in the health care industry, ministry, and even our court systems continue to advocate these programs in the face of disastrous numbers. The success rate? Non-existent, for all real intents and purposes.

    • Brick Window says:

      omg I love having you here in my bloglife, Prosey! TWO MONTHS? Are you kidding me? That is totally ridiculous. And, yea, they don’t tell you that. “Change in Attitude.” Nice, I’m going to have to remember that one next time I find myself losing an argument to facts.

      I have to admit, I have always bought the belief that AA works. I haven’t heard of Orange Papers. Going to click…

      • prosey says:

        To be fair, some estimates state the figure is actually a whopping four months…but yeah, most of the statistical documentation I’ve read estimates the difference to be two whole months. *nod*

        I did, too, at one time…because I had no reason to ever question it, right? Well, a few years ago, I went through a very strange period…was drinking WAY too heavily too frequently, and it scared me. I did two things. First, I set an appointment with a therapist. Second, I went to AA. Landed a sponsor on Day 1. Yay, right? Wrong. I was told to cancel my therapy appointment, because I would get “all the therapy I needed in the rooms” (I did NOT cancel that appointment). I was told that by my sponsor that she would become my very closest confidante – closer to me than my husband (*raised eyebrows*). I was told that I should quit school because it was causing me to “think too much”, which was my “biggest problem” (since you know, my “best thinking got me there”). I put up with that trifling bullshit for two months, while going to therapy (and my therapist urged me to continue with AA, no less)…before I started mentally rebelling against the cognitive dissonance I was experiencing. That was when my real research began…and how I found the Orange Papers. I spent several days poring over Agent Orange’s writings…fact-checking…researching…and with that, dropped AA like yesterday’s news. I had to block people from the rooms from my cell phone, because they started calling constantly. After a while, the calling stopped. I took the *good* suggestions given by my therapist and applied them. I still drink, by the way. Though I learned through application of the tools provided by therapy how to answer the *real* questions of what led me to that strange place where I was spiraling – and now very plainly recognize the signs. Anyone who suggests that people are incapable of controlling their own actions (outside of mentally ill, mind) are liars of the highest order.

    • Brick Window says:

      WOW. That is one intense comment. Husband and I were just talking about this before your comment came in, and he, as the son of a raging alcoholic, was saying pretty much what you have said. (He wasn’t under the impression that AA works, and only AA works, like I was.) He said therapy, from a trained professional, helps more, as do coping strategies, including drugs if necessary. Husband is very cognizant of addiction, having lived through it. We drink, yes, but we both think about it and when it looks like it’s getting to be too much, we check ourselves. It has helped having kids old enough to be watching you. We are always aware that they are paying attention.

      Thank you for sharing this personal story. I am very appreciative, and I have learned so much from you. More than just about AA, but you’re teaching me to apply critical thinking to areas I would neglect to do so, like this one.

      • prosey says:

        I don’t mind sharing my story – though I don’t usually bring it up unless the topic rises naturally. 🙂 I’m not in any way ashamed of what I went through – or that even still, I go through periods when I have to check myself. You’re right, too…the older kids are all eyes. I have been very forthright with my kids about the truths the I have delved into, because I believe they are capable of thinking through it all without fear or shame. I never make “promises” about certain things, like this one, because being human means that we’re subject to human frailties. I agree with your husband, too…there are addiction specialists out there who are trained to handle genuine addiction and abuse, who can provide excellent tools for coping, and yes – if needs be, medications. When I really began examining and reflecting, I learned what was at the core – and yes, sometimes those things haunt me even still. When those things surface, though, the *last* thing I do is go swimming in the bottle, because alcohol is a depressant, and I can get bluesy without any help from a substance…LOL 😉

        I would wager that I’m learning just as much from you as I’m sharing with you…*hug* And that’s what rich dialog between people who sincerely care about truth, family, and friends is ALL about. ❤

  2. Jay Walker says:

    I believe it was Prosey who pointed me to the Orange Papers, which I read. Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! show had an excellent episode on 12 step programs that included AA. They pointed out, rightly, that AA is a cult and that the courts should not be referring people to AA for court ordered treatment.

    The quote from Dawkins you end with made me smile. This is exactly what I have done with my children and they have both come to the conclusion that all religions are bullshit. Their main reason for thinking this? They have been exposed to different religions and seen the incompatibilities between them. I have had a hand in this, of course, but they have also seen the different religions of their friends as well. Also, surprisingly given the deep red of the state I live in, the public schools here teach world religions which have helped my kids see the differences there as well. I wish it was like this everywhere.

    • prosey says:

      Probably was me…lol. And the cult that 12-step is patterned after is the Buchmanites. *shudders with revulsion*

      I’m glad that even here in GA, the middle demon seed is learning about world religions, as a component of social studies, and her teacher has been VERY good about pointing out the common ancestry of the big 3 monotheistic religions. *nod*

    • Brick Window says:

      There is a lot to read on Orange Papers. INTENSE. I am still reeling, a few days later, at how I just accepted AA as kosher. Necessary, in fact. Weird how easy it is, even as a skeptic, to just buy the line.

  3. Jay Walker says:

    BTW – My daughter identifies herself as an agnostic and my son identifies himself as an atheist. 🙂

    • Brick Window says:

      Yes, 🙂 I have it opposite. Older one agnostic, younger atheist.
      I don’t think either has had world religions. Figures. Fricking Virginia…

      • prosey says:

        Yep, both of mine are atheist – with the caveat that they’re open enough IF demonstrable and repeatable scientific evidence is presented to persuade them to change their views.

        Wonder who they might have learned that from…? Hmmm. 😉

  4. prosey says:

    Here is a good place as any to start: Frank N. D. Buchman …warning, it gets skin-crawlingly creepy and effing quick.

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