Saturday, 5 January 2013

What does he mean, high profile home educators? What constitutes bizarre beliefs?




It was perhaps inevitable that as soon as I mentioned ‘high profile home educators’, a contrapuntal murmur should rise in the comments here, to the effect that nobody had ever heard of any high profile home educators. It was similarly predictable then when I mentioned mad belief systems, I would be accused of imposing my own standards upon others. After all, where do I get off calling other people’s worldviews barking mad? The easiest way of dealing with this is to give one or two real-life examples, being careful not to identify the individuals concerned.

Whenever home education, particularly the autonomous strand, is put forward as a successful alternative to school; two examples are sure to be cited. One of these is a boy from Leytonstone in East London who was home educated and then gained a place at Oxford University and the other is a young man in the north of England who studied bio-chemistry at Manchester. It is at the second of these two cases that I wish to look.

The mother of the boy who went to Manchester is one of those I have mentioned before, who spent years patrolling the internet to defend home education against sceptics.  She has appeared in a national magazine under her own name as well as many provincial newspapers. She has also been interviewed on the wireless. I think it fair to say that she is a high profile home educator. She is also one of the mother/daughter pairs that I mentioned a few days ago, where the mother develops an unidentifiable neurological problem and the daughter duly follows suit at puberty.

This is one instance of what I meant when I talked of high profile home educators; a woman and her son of whom most of the people commenting here are likely to have heard.

As regards bizarre belief systems, I am by no means the most conventional of men myself. It takes a lot for me to view somebody else’s beliefs as barking mad, but I have my limits. One of those who helped Alison Sauer produce her famous guidelines was also one of those nine people who were barred by the Department of Children, Schools and Families from making any further Freedom of Information requests. Her name appeared on every internet list to do with home education and she also commented constantly on the online versions of newspaper articles about home education. Another one who could well be described as a high profile home educator. She also happens to be a follower of David Icke. A well respected man whose initials are NT, one of the most well known figures on the British home education scene, is a devout believer in the New World Order. When I meet people who believe that the royal family are really lizards or that the Jews are taking over the world, I have no hesitation in calling their beliefs barking mad.

I have given a few examples here of both high profile home educators and also made beliefs. I hope that readers now understand what I mean by both phrases.

34 comments:

  1. "one of those nine people who were barred by the Department of Children, Schools and Families from making any further Freedom of Information requests."

    What point are you trying to make here? DCSF have no business barring people from requesting information; if they can't cope with the volume of requests then they should simply make documents available by default.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "one of those nine people who were barred by the Department of Children, Schools and Families from making any further Freedom of Information requests."

    What point are you trying to make here? DCSF have no business barring people from requesting information'

    I was making the point that this was both a high profile home educator and also somebody with beliefs that mark her out as being on the borderline of sanity. I mentioned that she was one of the infamous nine, to indicate that she was well known to most of those reading this blog and also to many who are not home edcuators but have an interest in the subject. I intended neither to condemn nor condone the DCSF's decision to refuse further FoI requests.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "this was both a high profile home educator and also somebody with beliefs that mark her out as being on the borderline of sanity"

    Are you qualified to make that judgement?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but the Remote Diagnoser is. Where is he, by the way?

      Delete
  4. I don't know what 'nine' you are talking about but the Dept of Ed has a very bad track record of answering FOI requests and that is now well known:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20809641

    ReplyDelete
  5. '"this was both a high profile home educator and also somebody with beliefs that mark her out as being on the borderline of sanity"

    Are you qualified to make that judgement?'

    I suppose that depends whether you think that a belief that the queen is a lizard is a perfectly sound position to hold or if, like me, you believe it to be verging on lunacy.


    ReplyDelete
  6. "I suppose that depends whether you think that a belief that the queen is a lizard"

    You should explain the context of that; was it a firm, clearly expressed belief or are you taking literally something that they said?

    ReplyDelete


  7. I can see that you are not up-to-date with your David Icke! The person about whom I was talking raved on enthusiastically about how David Icke was the only man who knows the truth about what is going on in this country. This led to discussion of various conspiracy theories, some touching upon home education, and then returned to David Icke and his world view. A cnertal tenet of this is that the British royal family are shape shifting lizards. here is Icke talking about this in one of his books:

    To be honest, the Royal Family hasn’t died for a long time, they have just metamorphosised. It’s sort of cloning, but in a different way. They take pieces of flesh and rebuild the body from one little bit. Because it’s lizard, because it’s cold-blooded, it’s much easier for them to do Frankenstein shit than it is for us. The different bodies are just different electrical vibrations and they have got that secret, they’ve got the secret of the micro-currents, it’s so micro, so specific, these radio waves that actually create the bodies. These are the energies I work with when I’m healing.

    They know the vibration of life and because they are cold-blooded, they are reptiles,


    Simon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 'The person about whom I was talking raved on enthusiastically about how David Icke was the only man who knows the truth about what is going on in this country.'

    Let us see the evidence, then.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 'Let us see the evidence, then.'

    I do not habitually record the telephone conversations which I have. What sort of evidence did you have in mind?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oooooohhhhhh...TELEPHONE conversations. How convenient.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had a telephone conversation with the Queen once who admitted to me that she was a shape-shifting lizard. There you have it. Incontravertible.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 'Oooooohhhhhh...TELEPHONE conversations. How convenient.'

    The situation would have been little better had we been talking face to face, because I do not generally try to gather evidence of my personal conversations under those circumstances either. As it was, since I live in Essex and she in the West Country, telephone seemed to be the logical way to communicate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did the other party in your telephone conversation explicitly state a belief that the members of the royal family are lizards?

      Delete
    2. Just in case you missed this:

      Did the other party in your telephone conversation explicitly state a belief that the members of the royal family are lizards?

      Delete
  13. Hmm, someone who usually bangs on about the conspiracy of prominent home educators now bangs on about ... conspiracy theorists. Somewhat ironic.

    ReplyDelete
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