Albatross - Berg and TF on Education

From XFamily - Children of God

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Editor's note: Originally posted on, 2002-09-20.

Berg and TF on Education — A review of the original Berg doctrine on education

— by Albatross

Much of what we experienced in our time growing up in the Family can be traced back to early Berg writings. This includes some of the biggest issues we are dealing with at present, namely: the lack of education, the sexual abuse, women as sacrificial providers for men (an all that doctrine’s resulting impact), and child labor.

I think it would be interesting to post some excerpts of Berg's writings on the subjects and perhaps also include what the Family NOW says happened or did not happen. I will try not to editorialize all that much and just let the "word" prove my point.


From "The Education Revolution!" (November 1975; DFO-371)

1. (Maria: how much formal education should we give our children to enable them to live within our communities in our present day society?)

7. We should have a basic educational for our children: reading, writing, arithmetic, the old 3r’s, plus geography, world history, and one years of general science.

9. I don’t think they need any of those advanced math courses.

11. But our children don’t particularly need advanced math of any kind. Most of all what we want them to be is witnesses for the Lord, and newspaper boys on the street don’t have to have an advanced course in mathematics to sell newspapers.

26. Our children need only what is known as a basic education, which used to be the common thing in the old days. All a child needed was about six or eight grades of basic education, and by that time they were 12 or 14 years of age and getting married and/or go to work on the farm.

30. Even a senior high school education is superficial, extraneous and unnecessary for our kids.

46. We don’t need to get into literature except, as each individual person is particularly interested. [...] If they’re interested in poetry or various other kinds of literature you could let them read it if they want to. [Daniel's note: it’s interesting to note that in most cases we were not even allowed to read poetry, or the writings of non-family writers.]

62. Our children shouldn’t have to spend more than six or seven years in school. [Daniel's note: I doubt many of us had anywhere near that amount]

71. ...By the time they reach 12 or 13 years of age their education should be complete.

Daniel: There is a lot more and Berg goes into specific of how we should get our education etc. It seems to me, that as bad as Berg’s limited educational vision for us was, our parents, leaders, and other adult Family members had even less regard for our education. The Family’s statement on education can best be summarized as an argument for religious education over secular education. Religious in this case meaning that the primary areas of study are spiritual and esoteric as apposed to academic, theoretic, or practical.

And now for some excerpts from the family statement on education from June 1992. [Daniel's note: about all I could find on any time of scholastic/academic education was from section 9 in the statement]:

9. Our children receive a scholastic education in addition to their spiritual training. We understand and respect society’s expressed wish to maintain a certain level of literacy and educational in it’s population by setting minimal educational requirements. [Daniel's note: Berg seemed to indicate quite the opposite; a total disregard for societies minimal educational requirements. And we are paying the price.] We also believe that a good standard of literacy and education is imperative. [Daniel's note: do they? They why were we denied one?] Our children follow an orderly, progressive and well-planned curriculum which is continually being updated and expanded upon.... [Daniel's note: I’m sure that many would agree with me that there was no such thing in our education.]

Daniel: There is a lot more, but most of it is religious double-speak.

Suffice to say, there are obvious historical reasons for our lack of education, and the policies were set at the top. The Family owes us greatly for putting in place policies that have caused great damage to our lives and careers. Despite their protestations to the contrary, they did not respect the concept of even a minimal acceptable level of education. This brings up another question, why would they respect the need for only a minimal education? Most loving parents I know want their children to have the best education possible. The Family now tries to take credit for the successes and skills any of us have.

They have argued that if our education was so deficient, why then our success? I have an answer to this. It is because we grew so hungry for knowledge, so hungry for success, so hungry for mental stimulation and intellectual autonomy, we could not be denied. I remember reading “system books” under the covers by flashlight and then burning them so that I would not be caught.

To the Family I say this “every success I have had, every time I put words together in an articulate manner, every time I reason and argue logic, every time I meet with a lawyer and have a conversation about the best way to bring you down, is inspite of your training, and never because of it.”

— Daniel