Teacher Educates Youth Using Ruppert,
Peter Dale Scott, Fitts As Sources
by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
[© COPYRIGHT 2002, All Rights Reserved,
Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications,
www.fromthewilderness.com. May be copied and distributed
for non-profit purposes only.]
"The world as I knew it before this
semester no longer exists. It's like a dream, as if I had
been living in wonderland, but then I woke up.
The reality of our society hit me right in the face. Although
what I learned in this class has disappointed me, I'm glad
to be given the opportunity of looking beyond my own personal
life-to be given a choice to care for what happens to all
of us as a nation. The rule of law may not prevail, but
we as individuals still have the freedom to make choices,
and those choices can help to weaken those who are still
seeking total control."
June 20, 2002, 15:00 PDT (FTW) --
These words were written by one of my U.S. history students
in a survey course covering the period of 1865 to current
time, after she had viewed Mike Ruppert's video documentary
"The Truth & Lies of 9-11." I have designed
this course, which explores the events following the Civil
War known as Reconstruction, through the end of the 20th
century, to culminate in an alternative examination of the
events of Sept. 11.
From the beginning of the course, we observed
the burgeoning power of corporate Robber Barons in America
following the Civil War and their ascendancy to economic
and political dominance of the nation in the late-19th and
early-20th centuries, attended by egregious racism and ethnocentrism
among white Americans.
We studied the eugenics movement that was
funded and promoted by corporate giants such as Rockefeller,
J.P. Morgan, Kellogg, Harriman and Carnegie. As we explored
the 1920s and '30s, we observed the dominant attitude of
businessmen and politicians, which was: "The business
of America is business." Moreover, it became increasingly
obvious that the imperialistic foreign policy of America
at the turn of the century was economically essential in
order to create markets for American goods produced by shamefully-exploited
workers of African-American and European descent.
We examined World War I and Hitler's rise
to power in the 1930s and the ensuing attack on Pearl Harbor
which ushered in World War II. Many students were completely
unfamiliar with the fascism of the Third Reich, and their
viewing of "Schindler's List," which many had
never seen, was a profoundly wrenching and eye-opening experience.
Sociologist, James Loewen, writes, "The glue that makes
history stick is emotion." Clearly, these students
will not soon shed the emotional impact of viewing then
discussing "Schindler's List" and asking themselves
if such crimes against humanity could ever happen again
or happen in America.
Having never lived through the Red Scare
of post-World War II America, it was difficult for my students
to grasp anti-Communist hysteria. I tried to explain that
in the early- 1950s, being, or being suspected of being
a Communist in America, was somewhat equivalent to being
suspected of being a child molester in the 21st century.
Nevertheless, they could not grasp the blatant violations
of civil liberties during the '50s by the CIA, FBI and congressional
committees investigating Communist activities. Particularly
horrifying to them was the History Channel documentary,
"Mind Control: America's Secret War," which outlined
devastating CIA mind control experiments in the 1950s, done
on unsuspecting civilians without their knowledge. Especially
difficult for them to understand was the National Security
Act of 1947 which created the CIA. Having been taught from
grade school that our government is just, fair and that
we have a functional balance of power in Washington, they
found the CIA's level of power in America and the world,
almost incomprehensible. As we examined the assassination
of John F. Kennedy, the viewing of Oliver Stone's "JFK"
film, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and
Robert Kennedy, the Vietnam War and Watergate, I watched
the innocence drain from their 20-something faces. I told
them it would get worse.
When I explained and documented the intricacies
of the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s and tied these
with the government's illegal funding of the Nicaraguan
Contras with sales of arms and drugs, I watched most of
my students metamorphose from childhood to adulthood in
front of my very eyes.
Subsequently, they viewed and discussed
"Powderburns," a video documentary on the CIA's
massive cocaine trafficking operations in the 1980s, narrated
by former DEA agent, Celerino Castillo. Together we viewed
documentary footage of Gary Webb and explored passages from
"Dark Alliance," his extraordinary expose of government
cocaine trafficking into South Central Los Angeles which
helped fund the Contras. They watched and took copious notes
on Mike Ruppert's videos, "Fifty Years of CIA Drug
Dealing" and "The CIA, Wall St. and Drugs."
The class read and discussed articles by Catherine Austin
Fitts on how the money works in the criminal empire that
the United States has become. However, nothing had prepared
my students for the culmination of the course when we viewed
Mike's most recent video presentation, "The Truth &
Lies of 9-11." Not one student had a rebuttal, and
when I asked them to write their gut-level reactions to
the tape, I received comments like:
--"This tape burst my bubble. I was very interested
in getting a job with the CIA
or an agency like it, but the blinders have been removed.
I must now choose
another career, and while that is very disturbing, I know
I can do it and that I will
be happier choosing a career that truly serves people instead
of colluding in their destruction."
--"This video helped me solve a huge
puzzle of truth. Now I know why so many countries hate the
U.S. I no longer trust my government at all."
--"I had assumed that the events of
September 11 didn't really affect me directly. Now I know
that they affected and still affect everyone in the world."
--"I was born in Mexico, and my family
migrated here to escape the corruption in Mexico, but now
I see that the U.S. is just as corrupt if not more. Never
again will I shake my head in 'pity' for countries that
everyone thinks are more corrupt than the U.S."
--"This course has made me realize
how ignorant I, and people my age are, about how the money
works. The articles we read by Catherine Austin Fitts have
made me realize how little I have been taught about money
in this country. I came into this course not really knowing
for sure what the stock market was. I didn't learn anything
about it in high school. Now I want to learn about economics
and become educated in how the money in this country works
so that I can feel safer economically."
--"Until I took U.S. History to 1865,
I had only a vague idea what my civil liberties were, and
I had no idea that they were not a gift from the government.
Because of the material we studied in that course, I now
know that our Founding Fathers believed that those rights
are our inalienable, divine rights. They are not gifts from
anyone. It scares me that so few Americans understand this
and that these rights are now so much in jeopardy."
The last comment was written by a student who took a course
with me on the first half of U.S. history last fall. In
that class, we watched together the horrific attacks on
the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11. Also,
in that course, many students learned for the first time
that the philosophical foundation on which our government
was based at its origin was the social contract. The social
contract was a notion of the English philosopher, Thomas
Hobbes, in his famous "Leviathan," which proposed
that people form governments because of their need for safety
and protection. In exchange for protection, the people give
up some rights, most notably, the right to rebel against
But the Founding Fathers amplified Hobbes'
analysis with the work of John Locke and his writings on
natural rights. Locke embraced the social contract theory,
but went further to assert that the social contract could
be dissolved if the government did not fulfill its obligation
in securing the peoples' natural rights. Further embellishing
the ideas of Hobbes and Locke, the Founding Fathers relied
on the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau who presented
the idea of the "consent of the governed" which
means that the government is only viable if it is established
by the consent of those governed. Therefore, it is essential
that the people governed assure that the leaders are maintaining
their part of the social contract. The ideas of Hobbes,
Locke and Rousseau not only influenced the framing of the
Constitution, but laid the philosophical groundwork for
the American Revolution, which incidentally, the Founding
Fathers perceived as another inalienable, divine right.
While I spent a great deal of time teaching the ideas of
the Founding Fathers to my students before Sept. 11, I have
intentionally belabored that topic since, knowing irrevocably
that legislative horrors such as the Patriot Act and the
Model Emergency Health Powers Act would, were they still
with us, have instantly emboldened our Founding Fathers
to mobilize a Second American Revolution.
In a page-one USA Today story from May
10 headlined, "Kids Get 'Abysmal' Grade In History,"
writer Tamara Henry reports that in a federally-mandated
test administered to 29,000 fourth, eighth and 12th-graders
at 1,110 public and private schools, 57 percent of high
school seniors could not perform at the basic level. The
scores remain virtually as deplorable as they were in 1994
when the test was first administered. My experience in the
college classroom is frighteningly congruent with Henry's
report. As noted above, students may enter college without
having heard of the stock market, and in my experience,
can state only about half the time, the correct decade (sometimes
century) of World War II. Why is this?
In the USA Today report, Diane Ravitch,
historian and education professor at New York University
says "Our ability to defend -- intelligently and thoughtfully
-- what we as a nation hold dear depends on our knowledge
and understanding of what we hold dear.That can only
be achieved through learning history."
But how can we hold dear or defend what
we don't know about? Much has been written about the "dumbing
down" of American public schools, and unfortunately,
my experience is congruent with most of it. The majority
of students leave my classes in wide-eyed disbelief of what
they were not taught in high school and how overwhelmingly
unaware of history they had remained throughout their twelve
grades. It used to be that students were given only what
I call the "Disneyland" view of history -- America
the virtuous, defender of freedom everywhere, savior of
the world. More recently, I'm finding that students are
increasingly being given no history at all.
In reading the description of my history
courses above, some colleagues may accuse me of undermining
my students' trust in the American government. Curiously,
I am regularly asked by students at the beginning of my
history courses if I trust the government. My reply? I remind
my students that the people in all of history who were the
most distrustful of the American government, besides the
Native Americans and slaves who were butchered and betrayed
by it, were the Founding Fathers themselves. Jefferson,
in particular, warned citizens not to trust their government
because like his contemporaries, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau,
he believed that governments are inherently tyrannical and
will invariably attempt to usurp the rights of their citizens.
In fact, he once wrote that he would like to see a revolution
every 20 years -- not of course, a violent revolution of
guns and bullets, but a revolution of the mind, a revolution
of consciousness. Nor was Jefferson troubled by resistance
to government. In a letter to Abigail Adams he wrote, "The
spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain
occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will
often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to
be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.
It is like a storm in the atmosphere."
In an interview with Mike Ruppert on "The
Truth & Lies of 9-11" video, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas,
asks the question: How did we get to this point in history
-- the point where the government is willing to sacrifice
the civil liberties of its citizens to put the country on
a permanent military, economic and political war footing?
I would add to congressman Paul's question my own: How did
we get to the point in history where children are not taught
The most valuable and workable image I
have found for giving students an authentic map for understanding
U.S. history and the world in which they live is the image
of the five-headed monster in which corporations, the stock
market, the intelligence community, organized crime and
government function not as separate entities, but as one
predatory organism which devours and does not sustain either
humanity or the Earth. One of my beloved mentors of history,
professor Peter Dale Scott, refers to what I have named
the five-headed monster as "deep politics," that
is to say, a "process which habitually resorts to decision-making
and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those
publicly sanctioned by law and society."
"The Truth & Lies of 9-11" video by Mike Ruppert
is an extraordinary journey into the history of the last
40 years. It is intentionally shocking, as it should be
in a time when ignorance of history is only one component
of the soporific seduction of this society by business and
Beltway thugs who are hellbent on establishing a perpetual
militaristic plutocracy at the expense of the U.S. Constitution.
But shock is not the only motivation for speaking truth
to power. Ultimately, as Mike states in the video, in order
to save itself, America must confront all that it has denied
during the past four decades. Or as professor Scott reminds
us, "psychologists explore shadows, not because they
prefer darkness, but because they believe that healing can
come from an enlargement of insight."
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., is a community college
professor of U.S. History and former psychotherapist, living
in Texas. She may be contacted at: email@example.com.