Education News

Here, we will gather together some of the more interesting education news stories form around the world. With everyday stories of great success and the trials of fighting against an increasingly bureaucratic system there should be something to challenge and stretch every mind. You can also send us your suggestions for stories.

An Introduction To Austrian Economic Theory

posted Mar 12, 2015, 5:58 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 6:21 AM ]

A unique alternative understanding of the principles of political and social economy formed on universal facts about the world and people has been formulated over the last 100 years by The School of Austrian Economics.

'Principles of Economics', which was written in 1871 by Austrian born economist, Carl Menger, was the building block of an initially marginalist revolution in economic analysis. In this book he developed a theory of diminishing marginal utility, explaining that the economic values of goods and services are a factor subject to an individual’s preference which will probably in turn diminish with a growing amount of goods. Menger’s economic concept has had many, in the field of economics, well known followers, such as Eugen Bohm-Bawerk, Gustav Scholler and Friedrich Wieser, all of whom had studied at the University of Vienna.

In 1912, Ludwig von Mises, another famous Austrian economist linked the theory of marginal utility to money with his book ‘The Theory of Money and Credit’. His master-work however, as concluded by many economists, was 'Human Action' written in 1949, which sums up the whole notion of Austrian economics. In this Mises adopted 'praxeology', the study of human action, as the general conceptual foundation of the social sciences and set forth his methodological approach to economics which in turn spurred the Austrian movement forward.

Unlike other conventional economic approaches, the Austrian school does not rely on data and mathematical models but uses the logic of market forces and human desire as a base for the development of an universally applicable economic analysis. A further difference is the determination of the price of an object which consists of a individual’s purchase power and also on the value of alternative uses of scarce resources.

Within this model interest rates are unconventionally calculated by people’s decisions to spend either now or in the future. Furthermore, uneven inflation is the result of a money supply increase not accompanying an increase in the production of goods and services. The Austrian school argues that any government’s attempt to control money causes distortion in interest rates with the outcome of a recession.

This theory understands the market mechanism as a process and not a prescribed result of an economic scheme. This allows independent elements of self regulation to respectfully drive the business models that exist within it. Perhaps this could be viewed as a more accurate measurement of supply and demand than the more commonly adopted Keynesian top down method of dictated control.

The current concept of Austrian economics has been getting more and more recognition since the 1970s. Today, one of the most famous academies for learning Austrian economics is The Mises Institute, named after Ludwig von Mises and founded in 1982 in Alabama, in the USA. Many economists worldwide are critical of the current-day Austrian School and consider its rejection of data analyses to be outside of mainstream economic theory. Likewise, the Austrian economists are the prominent critics of neoclassical economists and the Keynesian approach which they believe has produced an economic system that only solves today's problems by putting future generations in debt even before they are born.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the Austrian school has recently helped to give a valuable insight into various economic issues which the ‘official’ approaches still struggle to resolve. The Austrian model rewards innovative and independent success and punishes failure to assess and judge the ebb and flow of free market forces. These successful premises and a strong liberal minded support base has gradually earned this system a stable position among modern economic theories. The effect of this has been an extraordinary underground revolution in economics based on logic, thoughts and individual liberty.

Written by:
Zuzana Senkova & Graham W. Hendrey

Essential Additional Information:

Carl Menger:

Carl Menger: Concise Encyclopedia

The Mises Institute:

Ludwig von Mises:



Austrian School of Economics Explained: Ron Paul 

YouTube Video

Michael Ruppert: Collapse

YouTube Video

Extra Images of Interest:

A Graphic of Arguments for and against Austrian Economics: 
(Hosted Externally)

A Short History Of Money
(Hosted Externally)

State of Mind: The Psychology of Control

posted Jan 26, 2015, 3:53 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Jan 26, 2015, 4:16 AM ]

Are we living our lives based on our own decisions or does somebody else quietly guide us through subtle systems of manipulation to the conclusions that they would like us to have? We are born into an authority, as early as our childhood, and our survival depends on accepting this authority. This has always been a plan of the ruling elites, to harness our minds for their benefits through psychological techniques.

What follows are notes taken from the documentary film:

State of Mind: The Psychology of Control 

Cybernetics, the term which explains the controlling of nations, was introduced as far back as in Plato’s epic 'The Republic'. So how do they, the establishment, make us, the people, a part of their  overreaching machinery of social planning? Simply said, removing self reliance will make us dependent on a state or a collective mindset. Creating the notion of fear of scarcity with all of the autonomy and self teaching erased will suppress the creativity and individuality inside people. In turn leading to a docile and malleable general public whose opinions and desires could be shaped, with a little planning, at will.

In 1945 the Government of The UK  heavily funded the studying of human behaviour and many other innovations in controlling and shaping the thoughts and behaviour of the population. It was implemented gradually across the country, mainly through advertising and later in public schools and colleges. This is what they did but how did they do it?

The base of modern western education is copied from the 1819 Prussian Educational System of mind control. The Prussian government created it to make soldiers who would blindly obey the authorities. The system of schooling, where the young were forcibly removed from their families, was so successful that Prussia overran the neighbouring countries and grew to become Germany. Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920), a Prussian psychologist, was convinced that individual human beings did not have souls and so they could, and should, be reprogrammed as machines.
Previously, Social Darwinism had drawn the concept of the survival of the fittest, in essence the most adaptable, so the economic policies could be made for the benefit of the richest. This has its basis in Eugenics Theory. Eugenics, in effect the study of how to maintain hereditary power, went after the root foundation of humanity, that is, the ability to speak freely and to ask relevant questions. It may help the reader to see how the movement has altered its name each time the general public has come to understand what it really meant … Genetics → Eugenics → Bio-Ethics → Life Sciences.

B.F. Skinner, (1904-1990) an American psychologist formed Apron Conditioning. This was a study of negative and positive reinforcements and punishments which show transformative and effective results on people who have independent ideas and goals. This was integrated into school systems throughout the western world in the form of credits and tests. Throughout Nazi Germany, there were all types of inhuman mind controlling social experiments performed on human beings, from babies to pregnant women to concentration camp prisoners. After  WW2 countries, mainly America, Russia, England and Canada were fighting over the German scientists and access to the results of their work. A large majority of these scientists were used, through a Vatican sponsored plan called Project Paperclip, to found NASA where German rockets were then used in the US space program. 

One of the most famous mind control programs started in America in 1950s was called MK (Mind Control) Ultra. The Government used many unwitting citizens in their project, including hospital patients and disabled school children. It is also noteworthy that these experiments were not limited to the USA but also were secretly conducted under national security in other countries.

Although many people were involved in these social experiments, in the following few paragraphs we will focus on a few of the key players.

Dr Donald Ewen Cameron (1901-1967), who was deeply involved in MK Ultra, belongs to an elite group of most well known and respected psychiatrists in the 1960s. In his clinic, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, he was performing various inhuman experiments, using electro-shock therapy and other forms of torture, on people mostly against their will. Furthermore, In the 1960’s The CIA opened safe houses where people could take LSD and other drugs while officials were recording them for their studies. The 20th century was also the age of conspicuous consumption which has more recently led to a culture of over-consumption. 

Edward Bernays (1891-1995), was the father of modern propaganda in public relations, and a nephew of Sigmund Freud. He applied psychological techniques, such as indirect suggestion and hidden desire, into modern advertising. He wrote many books and among them one well known called 'Propaganda' where he openly talks about the elite’s ability to control society and that the duty of the intellectual elite is to orchestrate the beliefs and behaviour of the public in order to have a cohesive society. Today's political science is mostly based on Bernay's work.

In 1928 a book was published by long forgotten author Albert Whitman about public relations and public opinions where he states that the public is not inherently irrational but that the establishment can use propaganda and the media to play upon people’s existing irrationalities instead of introducing to them intellectual concepts and clear definitions. Nowadays the distraction of television, (along with films, radio, magazines, newspapers, the internet and endless sporting events) is one of the main factors in keeping the public passive and controlled. Scientists have clearly shown that within 3 minutes of watching television people fall into a very suggestible mode  resembling a zombie state, where the commercials can easily prey upon your subconscious and unconscious mind, your rationality anchors and your inner fears.

Further to this it is worth noting that in 1964, a Spanish neuroscientist Jose Delgado (1915-2011) implanted radio controlled electrodes in the brain of an aggressive bull in an attempt to control its behaviour in a ring with a matador. With a punch of a button he could stop the bull right away, these tests followed with cats, monkeys and even human subjects. Could this have been the precursor of coming human microchip implants? Anyway, he was not the first to pursue such brutal scientific methods of control. Russian Scientist 'Ivan Pavlov' (1849 - 1936), commonly famous for his behavourist work on dogs, had also experimented with human subjects in an attempt to control human behaviour and reflexes. Some of these experiments involved drilling onto the heads of young children a sad precursor for later more brutal psychiatric experiments throughout the 20th century. 

The book 'Tragedy and Hope' written by the US Professor Carrol Quigley (1910-1977) in 1966 is one of the most credible pieces of evidence that we, as a collective society, are ruled by the Elites that formed secret societies, fraternities and brotherhoods funded by bankers. It covers the development of Western Political Cultures through source documents across the 19th and 20th centuries and gives many insights into who funded our present system into being. One possible outcome of studying this information is the understanding that if the systems of our society are training us to be resources for the global profit of elites, then, by becoming alert and by critically evaluating the information through methods of reasonable logic such as using the Trivium and Quadrivium in education we can act on a personal level and change our society for the better of everyone.

We should also be aware that those personality types that are considered the most disagreeable and anti-social, in general, were the ones that failed the Milgrim Social Conformity Experiment. This was a test conducted in the 1960s where it was discovered that random members of the public would without question inflict pain and even death on fellow humans if an external authority promised to accept responsibility for their actions. Those who did not follow orders directly were considered as socially awkward and non-conformist. An Interesting effect of this being saving lives, albeit theoretically. The effects of this experiment are still being studied today with many similar reconstructions having been carried out and producing the same results. Could it not be that the conformational irrationality of certain systems, Public School, Democracy, Health Care and Financial Institutions are all examples of how a lack of societal logic is used to cloud or fog the mind of individuals making them more susceptible to suggestion?
Whatever the truth is in this matter, giving up any of what little freedom we still have is never a good idea. In order to maintain a healthy mindset we must educate ourselves  to be ever more observant in a world of ever increasing technology which is taking incremental steps in one simple but sure direction.

The price of our personal ability to make choices is eternal vigilance through constant growth of the mind and sharing of resources. Or as Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, and statesman wrote: ''Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety''. This was first written by Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor (11 Nov. 1755) and it is relevant more than ever today if we are to have the possibility of maintaining a healthy state of mind.

Written by

Zuzana Senkova & Graham W. Hendrey

Watch the film:

YouTube Video

Notes for Additional Study:

Key Players:

Carroll Quigley

Wilhelm Wundt

Donald Cameron

B. F. Skinner

Ivan Pavlov

Supporting Material:

Fake Media

Modern Methods of Control

Stop Watching TV

Sex Box

YouTube Video

The Milgram Experiment

The French Bread Experiment



(More links and resources to be added)

George Orwell vs Aldous Huxley

posted Dec 10, 2014, 6:50 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 10, 2014, 7:30 AM ]

In his book “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” the late media critic Neil Postman compares two dystopian futures — one, imagined by George Orwell in his book 1984, in which the government maintains its control by keeping us under constant surveillance; the other, conceived by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, in which citizens are kept happy enough to never put up a fight:

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. 

Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. 

As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

This excerpt has prompted many to ponder the same question that Bill Moyers asked Marty Kaplan on this week’s program: Who’s proving the most successful prophet? Huxley or Orwell? What do you think?

Text Source:

Further Essential Material to Research:

Brave New World

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Killswitch Infographic: Orwell vs. Huxley

All Art Is Propaganda: Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell

George Orwell: A Life in Pictures ... The Full Documentary

Hitchens: Talking About Orwell

The Ultimate Revolution | by Aldous Huxley

YouTube Video

Read this previous article by NSA:

RE: Visiting The Brave New World

Technological Addiction

posted Dec 8, 2014, 5:48 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 8, 2014, 7:43 AM ]

"Experts," especially those quoted frequently by the media, are constantly warning us of dangers to our kids. What usually grabs our attention and instills fear in our hearts are the case stories they present. Some child, somewhere, was out playing without a parent nearby and was abducted and murdered. Therefore, anyone who allows his or her child to play outside, not closely watched by an adult, is a negligent parent. Some distraught young man in South Korea plays a video game for fifty straight hours without stopping to sleep or eat, goes into cardiac arrest, and dies. Therefore, video games are addictive, dangerous, and we must either ban them or curtail their use so our children don't die like that poor South Korean.

Case stories like these are tragic; and, yes, tragedies do happen, usually in ways that are completely unpredictable. But what we must remember when we hear such stories is that there are approximately 7 billion people in the world. That's 7,000,000,000. That young man in South Korea represents 0.000000014 percent of the world's population. With 7 billion people, some really weird thing is going to happen someplace every day. The fear-mongering "experts" and media will never run out of shocking stories to tell us.

Today, worldwide, hundreds of millions of people play video games. The vast majority of those players are perfectly normal people, meaning that nothing newsworthy ever happens to them, but some small percentage of them are killers, some are extraordinarily depressed, some are suicidal; and every day some video gamer somewhere does something terrible or experiences something terrible. All this is also true of the hundreds of millions of people who don't play video games. This is why case stories, by themselves, are worthless. If we want to know about the consequences of playing video games, or of anything else, we need well-designed research studies and statistics. The emphasis here is on the well-designed.

For many years now, researchers have been trying to prove that video games are bad. Much of the attention has focused on the violent content of some of the games, and many dozens of studies have been done in attempts to prove that playing violent video games causes real-world violence. This past year, the US Supreme Court was faced with the task of evaluating that research, in the case of Brown versus Entertainment Merchants Association. After much testimony and study, the court concluded, "Studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively." 

In 2010, the Australian government--faced with petitions to ban or restrict video games with violent content--reached a similar conclusion after evaluating all of the evidence. And social scientists who have scrutinized the studies and conducted meta-analyses of them have also come to that conclusion.

Read more of Peter Gray's article here:

Additional Essential Research:

Signs of Gaming Addiction in Adults:

Reasons Why Adults Who Play Video Games Are Happier:

Significiant Others Of Excessive Gamers:

Video Game Play May Provide Learning:

Video Game-Related Health Problems:

Video Game Addiction No Fun:

Game & Health Related Reseach Documents:


Mobile Phone Overuse:

Students 'Addicted to Mobile Phones'

Tech-Addicted Kids?

Could We Disconnect For Just A Moment?

Our Obsessive Relationship With Technology

If you have something else that you would like me to add then drop me a link.


The School to Prison Pipeline

posted Oct 23, 2014, 7:49 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Oct 28, 2014, 8:30 AM ]

It begins with deep social and economic inequalities, and has taken root in the historic shortcomings of schooling in the USA. The civil and human rights movements of the 1960s and ’70s spurred an effort to “rethink schools” to make them responsive to the needs of all students, their families, and communities. This rethinking included collaborative learning environments, multicultural curriculum, student-centered, experiential pedagogy—we were aiming for education as liberation. The back-to-basics backlash against that struggle has been more rigid enforcement of ever more alienating curriculum.

The “zero tolerance” policies that today are the most extreme form of this punishment paradigm were originally written for the war on drugs in the early 1980s, and later applied to schools. As Annette Fuentes explains, the resulting extraordinary rates of suspension and expulsion are linked nationally to increasing police presence, checkpoints, and surveillance inside schools.

As police have set up shop in schools across the country, the definition of what is a crime as opposed to a teachable moment has changed in extraordinary ways. In one middle school we’re familiar with, a teacher routinely allowed her students to take single pieces of candy from a big container she kept on her desk. One day, several girls grabbed handfuls. The teacher promptly sent them to the police officer assigned to the school. What formerly would have been an opportunity to have a conversation about a minor transgression instead became a law enforcement issue.

Children are being branded as criminals at ever-younger ages. Zero Tolerance in Philadelphia, a recent report by Youth United for Change and the Advancement Project, offers an example:

Robert was an 11-year-old in 5th grade who, in his rush to get to school on time, put on a dirty pair of pants from the laundry basket. He did not notice that his Boy Scout pocketknife was in one of the pockets until he got to school. He also did not notice that it fell out when he was running in gym class. When the teacher found it and asked whom it belonged to, Robert volunteered that it was his, only to find himself in police custody minutes later. He was arrested, suspended, and transferred to a disciplinary school.

Early contact with police in schools often sets students on a path of alienation, suspension, expulsion, and arrests. George Galvis, an Oakland, Calif., prison activist and youth organizer, described his first experience with police at his school: “I was 11. There was a fight and I got called to the office. The cop punched me in the face. I looked at my principal and he was just standing there, not saying anything. That totally broke my trust in school as a place that was safe for me.”

Read more at Rethinking Schools:

(Click on the image above to enlarge the statistics)

Further Available Resources:

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline That's Destroying Our Kids

Criminal U: America's Most Successful Institution Educating the Poor

Fact Sheet: How Bad Is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

School-to-Prison Pipeline

Why Many Inner City Schools Function Like Prisons

The School-To-Prison Pipeline Can Start Even Before Kindergarten, Mother Points Out

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

A little video:

YouTube Video

Something to think about:

(Click on the above image to enlarge)

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

posted Sep 3, 2014, 4:04 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 4:11 AM ]

Getting Things Done is a time-management method, described in a book of the same title by productivity consultant David Allen. It is often referred to as GTD. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of on recalling them.

In time management, task priorities play a central role. Allen's approach uses two key elements — control and perspective. He proposes a workflow process to control all the tasks and commitments that one needs or wants to get done. There are six "horizons of focus" to provide a useful perspective.

GTD is based on storing, tracking and retrieving the information related to the things that need to get done. Mental blocks we encounter are caused by insufficient 'front-end' planning. This means thinking in advance, generating a series of actions which can later be undertaken without further planning. The human brain's "reminder system" is inefficient and seldom reminds us of what we need to do at the time and place when we can do it. Consequently, the "next actions" stored by context in the "trusted system" act as an external support which ensures that we are presented with the right reminders at the right time. As GTD relies on external memories, it can be seen as an application of the theories of distributed cognition or the extended mind.

Read more:

More Links to Explore:

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDx

YouTube Video

1. David Allen: Genius Network Interview

2. Time Management Magazine Interview With David Allen

3. GTD Explained in Minutes

4. Accelerated Learning: How To Get Good at Anything in 20 Hours

5. How to Implement Getting Things Done with David Allen

6. How David Allen Gets Things Done

7. How to Get Things Done in The USA

There is a lot more information about this subject online so feel free to search. 

The Philosophy of Law & Liberty

posted Sep 2, 2014, 1:19 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Sep 2, 2014, 1:31 AM ]

Law is, generally, a system of rules which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour, although the term "law" has no universally accepted definition. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that exclude the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions (including canon and socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and common law systems, where judge-made binding precedents are accepted.

Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some religious communities, particularly Jewish, and some countries, particularly Islamic. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law.

The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organisations. These resolutions seek to provide a legal remedy (often monetary damages) to the winning litigant.

Under civil law, the following specialties, among others, exist: Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law regulates the transfer and title of personal property and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security. Tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's property is harmed. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies. International law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to military action.

Read more:

Watch a video:

The Philosophy of LIberty:

YouTube Video

Stossel: What's Happening To Free Speech?:

YouTube Video

Futher Essential Information:

1. What is the rule of Law?

2. Jordan Maxwell on The UCC

3. Jordan Maxwell: The Law Series (Part 1)

4. Noam Chomsky on Corporate Personhood

5. The Corpoation: Full Film

6. The Four Horsemen: Documentary

7. Philosophy of Liberty ... Expanded

8. Common Law vs Civil Law

Social Psychology Video Series

posted Jul 2, 2014, 5:43 AM by Graham William Hendrey

NSA has attempted to raise the standard of social education once again. We have published a series of videos that aim to encourage people to reflect on their own relationships with the people in their environment. This series looks at common problems and suggest possible steps to take to resolve personal conflicts.

It also acts as a brief introduction to social philosophy and the fundamental ideas of universally preferable behaviour (UPB) as an accurate moral standard for our modern western society.

More videos will be added in the near future so please return regularly to our You Tube channel to keep up to date with all of the latest developments.


You might also find these links useful:

Universally Preferable Behaviour:

Universally Preferable Behaviour:

The Pathology of Pooh

posted Dec 6, 2013, 5:51 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 1:13 AM ]

Abstract: Somewhere at the top of the Hundred Acre Wood a little boy and his bear play. On the surface it is nocent world, but on closer examination by our group of experts we find a forest where neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems go unrecognized and untreated.

On the surface it is an innocent world: Christopher Robin, living in a beautiful forest surrounded by his loyal animal friends. Generations of readers of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories have enjoyed these seemingly benign tales. However, perspectives change with time, and it is clear to our group of modern neurodevelopmentalists that these are in fact stories of Seriously Troubled Individuals, many of whom meet DSM-IV3 criteria for significant disorders. We have done an exhaustive review of the works of A.A. Milne and offer our conclusions about the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood in hopes that our observations will help the medical community understand that there is a Dark Underside to this world.

We begin with Pooh. This unfortunate bear embodies the concept of comorbidity. Most striking is his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), inattentive subtype. As clinicians, we had some debate about whether Pooh might also demonstrate significant impulsivity, as witnessed, for example, by his poorly thought out attempt to get honey by disguising himself as a rain cloud. We concluded, however, that this reflected more on his comorbid cognitive impairment, further aggravated by an obsessive fixation on honey. The latter, of course, has also contributed to his significant obesity. Pooh's perseveration on food and his repetitive counting behaviours raise the diagnostic possibility of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Given his coexisting ADHD and OCD, we question whether Pooh may over time present with Tourette's syndrome. Pooh is also clearly described as having Very Little Brain. We could not confidently diagnose microcephaly, however, as we do not know whether standards exist for the head circumference of the brown bear. The cause of Pooh's poor brain growth may be found in the stories themselves. Early on we see Pooh being dragged downstairs bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head. Could his later cognitive struggles be the result of a type of Shaken Bear Syndrome?

Pooh needs intervention. We feel drugs are in order. We cannot but wonder how much richer Pooh's life might be were he to have a trial of low-dose stimulant medication. With the right supports, including methylphenidate, Pooh might be fitter and more functional and perhaps produce (and remember) more poems.

Read more:
Canadian Medical Association Journal

Additional Supporting articles:

The Mental Disorders of Winnie-the-Pooh Characters

Winnie the Pooh Mental Disorders & Reading Between the Lines

Background Reading:

A. A. Milne

Pooh celebrates his 80th birthday

Made-up words in Winnie the Pooh and Harry Potter 'help children learn English'
The Original Language of Winnie-the-Pooh

Teen Suicide & Education for Life

posted Oct 24, 2013, 5:43 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Nov 20, 2013, 11:12 PM ]

By all accounts, American teenagers should be the happiest people in the world. They live in a 
virtual Disney universe, with delectable Big Macs, fantastic new cars, parents who buy them video games and cater to their every need, music that appeals to their adolescent tastes, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all sorts of magical gadgets and computers. They are citizens of the greatest, richest, most advanced nation in history, the beneficiaries of its freedoms and beauty. So, why has life become so unbearable for so many of them?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that 60 percent of high school students claim that they have thought about committing suicide, and around nine percent of them say that they have tried killing themselves at least once. Indeed, the CDC reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death for Americans aged 15 to 24. The only two phenomena that cause more death among teenagers are car accidents and homicide.

A recent survey of high-school students found that almost one in five had seriously considered suicide; more than one in six had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than one in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year.

But this is not a new situation. Education Week (10/31/84) reported that there were 18 teenage suicides a day in the United States, or about 6,570 per year. According to the Boston Herald(3/5/86), a half million teenagers tried to kill themselves in 1985. There is no reason to believe that this morbid death-wish has abated among teenagers in 2012. Indeed, teen suicide is now so common that only the most spectacular tragedies get national attention.

One such tragedy occurred in April 1990 in Sheridan, Arkansas, where three high school students committed suicide within 24 hours of each other. This rural community of 3,200 people is about 40 miles south of Little Rock. According to Facts on File (5/18/90):

The suicides began April 30, when a 17-year-old student, Thomas Smith, walked to the front on his American history class at Sheridan High School, told one of the girls in the class he loved her and then shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber pistol as his classmates watched.

Later that evening, a friend of Smith’s, Thomas M. Chidester, 19, was found shot to death at his home with a .45 caliber pistol, leaving a note that read, “I can’t go on any longer.” The next day, another Sheridan High student, Jerry Paul McCool, 17, was found shot to death at his home with a .22 caliber pistol. Police labeled the death a suicide, although McCool’s parents insisted it had been an accident. The three deaths occurred in the wake of another suicide in Sheridan, by 17-year-old Raymond Dale Wilkinson, who had shot himself to death on March 28. Police said there appeared to be no link among the killings, other than the friendship between Smith and Chidester, and that none of the youths had been in trouble with the police.

We are now all too familiar with these bizarre cluster suicides that have shocked and baffled communities all across America:

Jefferson County, Colorado: At least 14, possibly 17, teenagers committed suicide between January 1985 and April 1986. A study showed that “few of the victims had taken drugs or alcohol before killing themselves. Some had problems at school or with the law, but others were model students who participated in sports and had high grades.” (Rocky Mountain News, 4/10/86)

Fairfax County, Virginia: Three Annandale High School seniors committed suicide between September 17 and October 26, 1987. According to the Fairfax Journal of 10/29/87, Annandale students are a “very ordinary bunch of American kids. ... Nobody really knows what specific troubles the Annandale youths who killed themselves may have been facing.”

Omaha, Nebraska: Three teenagers attending Bryan High School committed suicide and two attempted suicide within a two-week period in February 1986. According to Education Week(2/19/86), the students were “normal kids, not really involved with drugs or anything.”

Leominster, Mass.: On March 27, 1986, George Henderson, 14, a Leominister High School honor student, shot himself to death with a 12-gauge shotgun in his bedroom. He was the sixth teen suicide in Leominster in two years, the third in that school year. According to the Worcester Telegram of 3/28/86: “Here was a boy not identified as being a child at risk. ... There was no indication something was wrong ... he was a good student, an athlete from a relatively normal family.”

Bergenfield, New Jersey: In March 1987, four teenagers — two boys and two girls — committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in a car idling in a closed garage. They had made a suicide pact.

Alsip, Illinois: Nancy Grannan, 19, and Karen Logan, 17, described as best friends and classmates, committed suicide in March 1986 by carbon monoxide poisoning in a closed garage.

School officials and parents expressed bafflement when trying to figure out why these young people killed themselves. Some psychologists suggested that it may have had something to do with low self-esteem. But many of these suicide victims were good students, good athletes, well-loved by their families. So why did they put an end to their promising young lives?

Is it possible that death education is an important contributing cause? Most people, including parents, haven’t the faintest idea what death education is. A graphic description of death education was given in the Winslow Sentinel of 4/9/90. Winslow, a town of about 5,500 inhabitants, is in central Maine where people assume that weird subjects like death and dying are not part of the school curriculum. You’ll assume differently after reading this account:

Death, dying, funerals, wills and organ donations — pretty morbid stuff, but not for a group of Winslow High School seniors.

They wrote their own obituaries and epitaphs, filled out organ-donation cards, visited a funeral home and talked about such issues as mercy killing. They wrote instructions for their own funerals.

As part of a week-long seminar on death and dying, the 60 seniors learned to feel more comfortable about the issue of death — what to do if someone dies, what to say to family members of a deceased loved-one, how to prepare for the inevitable.

“It’s the first time I’d ever been exposed to anything like this. Families don’t talk about death,” said Jennifer Erickson, who took the seminar as part of her psychology class. “Because of this course, I’ll talk to my own kids about death,” she said.

Jeffrey Charland attended the seminar as part of his sociology elective. “A lot of people don’t have experience with going to funerals,” he said. “It helped us to feel more comfortable about being around someone who has lost someone.”

Guidance Counselor Cathleen Clement taught the seminar. She came up with the idea for the course when she was in graduate school, looking at different areas in which students need exposure. ... “I wanted to (conduct the seminar) in a positive, upbeat way, even though the topic is morbid,” she said.

How anyone can be upbeat about death is a bit of a stretch. Ms. Clement could have taught a seminar on the Constitution, or some interesting aspect of American history, but she chose death education which she learned about in graduate school. High school seniors, concerned with making productive lives for themselves after 12 years of politically-correct schooling, ought to be given a positive outlook which will help them deal with living instead of dying. But as the Rev. R. J. Rushdoony has written: “Humanistic education is the institutionalized love of death.” The article continues:

Activities for the course included role-playing, in which students pretended someone had died. They went through the motions of dialing 911, making funeral arrangements, and either going through stages of grieving themselves, or helping another person through those stages.

In the process, they learned about the cost of being embalmed and buried in a coffin, as opposed to being cremated, and about the choices they have. “We got a price list on everything, and it’s expensive to die,” said Erickson.

Charland said that while taking the course he has made the decision to be cremated when he passes on. “I want to be cremated because of environmental reasons. It saves land and is a lot cheaper,” he said.

The trip to Gallant Funeral Home Inc. in Waterville was neat, according to Charland. Although the students did not see any bodies there, they did see the equipment and tools used for preparing them for burial. ... The students saw the make-up, and learned that a hairstylist comes in to fix the corpse’s hair. ...

Clement said the students never stopped asking questions at the funeral home. ...

Erickson said she wants to teach, probably high school sociology, and Charland wants to work in the field of psychology. Clement said some students initially felt uncomfortable with the seminar, but eventually became less afraid.

There is no indication in the newspaper article that parents were consulted about the seminar or were asked for their approval. Also, not all students react to death education as calmly as the two interviewed by the reporter. Some get quite upset. Death educator Nina Rebak Rosenthal, in an article entitled “Death Education: Help or Hurt?” (The Clearing House, Jan. 1980) wrote:

Death arouses emotions. Some students may get depressed; others may get angry; many will ask questions or make statements that can cause concern for the instructor. ... Students may discuss the fact that they are having nightmares or that the course is making them depressed or feeling morbid. ... Others may have no reactions or feel a great sense of relief that someone finally is talking about the things they often felt they could not say. Others may become frightened. In fact, Bailis and Kennedy report that secondary students increased their fear of death and dying as a result of participating in a death education program.

Depression, fear, anger, nightmares, morbidity. These are the negative emotions and reactions stirred up in students by death education. Is this what parents want their children to experience? Is this what they send their children to school for? However, according to Ms. Rosenthal, simply because death education can cause such emotional turmoil and anxiety is no reason not to teach it. “Since death has been such a taboo topic, open and honest communication is essential. Such communication,” she writes, “helps to desensitize students to anxiety-arousing items.”

Thus, the purpose of death education is to “desensitize” children to death — to remove or reduce that reasonable, rational, and useful antipathy toward death that helps us preserve our lives. Maybe that’s why it’s a taboo subject. But it is when children begin to see death as “friendly” and unthreatening that they begin to be drawn into death’s orbit and lured to self-destruction. It’s a phenomenon that might be called “death seduction,” in which an individual is drawn irresistibly into a fascination and then obsession with death. The individual, with the usual adolescent problems, begins to reject life and love death.

(To be continued.)

Written by  Sam Blumenfeld 



Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?

Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?

Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?


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