On 1981, with a $300,000 grant from Metro Toronto, then Metro chairman Paul Godfrey established the Special Committee on Child Abuse. Its stated goal was to reduce child abuse, especially sexual abuse, “through coordinated action to improve detection, reporting, investigation and treatment.” Children themselves were to be trained to detect and report child abuse, and so a training programme called the “Preventive Education Programme” was drawn up to be implemented in elementary schools.
The Preventative Education programme was piloted in 1983 and since then has been presented in over 350 schools – mostly in the Toronto area – to more than 100,000 children. It entered about 100 schools, in both public and separate systems.
The Executive Director of the staff that runs the programme is Lorna Grant, who has been involved with it since 1982. She has a history of involvement with the pro-abortion movement. She became executive secretary of the Canadian Women’s Coalition to Repeal Abortion Laws when it was formed in 1972. Members of the steering committee included Henry Morgentaler as well as representatives of the Planned Parenthood Association. In 1973, Grant hailed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion in the first three months a private decision between a woman and her doctor as “a significant victory for women’s rights.”
Abortion is the ultimate form of child abuse, and there seems to be a distinct correlation between high rates of abortion and high rates of child abuse. Stemming from a complex attitude which sees children as undesirables, abortion is a sign of grave disrespect for children. There is, therefore, a fundamental incompatibility of philosophies in having an identified pro-abortionist head a child abuse team.
The Preventive Education Programme is for children from kindergarten to Grade 6 (Grade 8 in Separate schools). It consists of a play entitled Journey from AMU (“All Mixed Up”), followed by up to 12 hours, over four to six weeks of classroom reinforcement. Before the programme goes into a school, all the teachers are given a full day’s training and even the secretary and caretaker are trained in how to handle disclosures, as it is fully expected that disclosures of child abuse will follow the programme.
Once approved by the principal, the programme has to be “sold” to the parents. This is done by inviting them to preview the play, followed by a presentation on the importance of the programme given by a programme-staff member. The play is slickly professional, with fast-paced action, catchy tunes, humour and magic. The acting is excellent. At the performance I viewed, the audience clapped enthusiastically after each song and at the end. The play’s main character constantly seeks audience participation in her decisions and the adults responded as predictably as any third-grader.
Strange reading list
We were given a reading list which suggested that the items could be purchased from the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, which specializes in radical-feminist, pro-abortion, lesbian and witch-craft reading materials. One of the suggested books, A Better Safe than Sorry Book, is by Sol Gordon (author of sex comic books and producer of a movie about sex that have been considered obscene).
Parents are led to endorse the programme by the “statistics” mentioned during the question and answer period. We were told that one in four girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18 (the information pamphlet handed out cites the figure of one in three girls); 25 per cent of the children are under the age of seven; abuse commences between the ages of five and nine; 80 to 90 per cent of the abusers are known to the child and half of these are fathers or “father-figures.” The Committee feels that these “statistics” justify pointing the finger at the father in the play and involving kindergarten children in the programme.
On asking for the source of these figures, I was referred to the 1984 Badgley Report on sexual offences against children. However, this Report states unequivocally that information-gathering systems were seriously flawed and that accurate statistics on incidence of child abuse were virtually non-existent. The report noted that “there is no information available at the national level concerning the ages and sexes of victims of sexual offences” and that no studies available to the Committee at that time could be used to “access the reported extent of sexual offences against children.”
It seems that the public is being deceived by false statistics into believing there is an epidemic of child abuse. One therefore, has to wonder: is the Preventive Education Programme promoting a hidden agenda? The answer becomes obvious on analysis of the play and classroom teaching kit. (The teaching kit is not made available to parents).
No warnings given
The play Journey From AMU, from Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis, explores the range of touch, from simple hugs to sexual foundling. The plot revolves around a girl called Merlana, sent from the planet AMU to earth to recover the “gift” of touch that AMU has lost through abuse. On earth, Merlana magically changes into different people in a variety of situations that involve touching. The three scenes that involve potential or actual sexual abuse implicate men as the abuser; a “favourite” uncle who wants a kiss; a recalled childhood incident of a boy who was sexually abused (the term is used), by his father’s friend; and finally, the scene of a father foundling the front of his daughter. The term “sexual abuse” is used a second time and then “private parts” are defined as including “vagina, penis, buttocks and breasts.” Children as young as five are shown this play with no prior warning or explanation of explicit language or scenes.
Emotion not reason
One of the songs is “Trust your feelings, they won’t let you down” and the classroom instruction manual, Teaching Ideas, tells teachers to daily reinforce the idea that judgments can be based on feelings. Now, the younger the child, the more his judgments are based on feelings and so adults help him to maturity by gradually teaching him rational thinking. The toddler is taken from the stage where he needs a nightlight because he feels afraid of the dark, to the stage where he is able to observe and rationally conclude that a dark bedroom cannot hurt him. But the Preventive Education Programme seemingly wants to keep stuck in an immature world of judgments based on feelings. This approach serves the real purposes of this programme very well, as further study shows.
The play and teaching kit tell children whom to approach for help if the mother does not believe the story (as shown in the play): the teacher, principal, social worker, neighbour, doctor, police. No mention is made of priest, minister or rabbi, persons who would probably assess the situation rationally rather than react emotionally as did the neighbour in the play, who immediately called the authorities. Note that the child is encouraged to approach school authorities. I was told that if that happens, the system is all in place for immediate notification of the Children’s Aid Society or police.
According to programme co-ordinator Gail Gould, children rarely lie. Even if that were true, given the emotional nature of the play and the excessive classroom instruction, will not some children become paranoid or overact? Furthermore, psychologists, psychiatrists and child abuse specialists say that when children are pressured by adults to give the affirmative answer being sought, they lose their ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy.
After this programme was introduced to Halton County in 1985, there were 400 reported abuse cases: 91 were investigated, only six of them seriously, but their outcome is not presently known. In 1984, an organization called Victims of Child Abuse Laws (VOCAL), was started in Minneapolis (note that our child abuse programme hails partly form Minneapolis). There are 700,000 false reports annually in the United States and Minnesota has begun a programme to set limited on appropriate questioning of children.
There are nearly 100,000 names recorded in the Ontario Child Abuse Registry. Most of these people were never convicted and some were never even charged but their names will remain on the file for 25 years. One “suspect” is an 11-year-old.
Parents are reassured that the play, its explicit scenes, would go over the heads of children who did not experience abuse. Here are just three examples that cast doubt on this theory.
A five-year-old girl, whilst being bathed by her mother said, “Mummy, you’re not supposed to touch me there, are you?” A nine-year-old friend, after viewing the play, told my daughter, “Your parents can abuse you, you know; it happens sometimes. And your boyfriend can do child abuse on you.” That child had trusted his parents implicitly until that day. Another friend, after the play and two hours of classroom instruction said that her father had gone out with another woman. She considered this to be child abuse and called in the police. It turned out that the “other woman” was a former teacher of her father’s; presumably she was visiting and taken out to dinner. These are three children who didn’t know what abuse was until they encountered the abuse programme.
As if these obvious problems were not enough, the 95-page classroom instruction book, Teaching Ideas, reveals that the programme has a hidden agenda. Referring to an article “Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence,” by James Prescott in April 1975 issue of The Futurist, the teaching manual states: “The author demonstrates a relationship between pleasurable touch and violence…Societies in which there is considerable touching in infancy and conduct; ethics are situational; morals are experimental; and the right to birth control, abortion, divorce, euthanasia and suicide should be recognized.
Prescott, basing his views on a study of 49 primitive cultures and 96 or fewer college students (average age 19), draws the conclusion that the preventive against violence is physical pleasure. Societies that repress sexual affection and female sexuality provide a “depriving environment” for children and are dangerous for world peace. Societies which give infants bodily pleasure exhibit low rates of violence, infant discipline (i.e., punishment) and low religious activity.
Prescott makes it a parent’s duty to allow adolescents premarital sexual pleasure, especially if they were denied physical pleasure during infancy. He advocates extra-marital sex and says monogamy is only found in societies that worship an “aggressive God.” He promotes abortion and women’s “equal right” to having multiple sex partners as well as blaming the Bible for man’s hostility toward women.
The programme’s definition of child sexual abuse seems to be based directly on Prescott’s theory that sexual pleasure for children is a preventive against violence. Parents at the theatrical presentation were told, “Our Programme does not refer to sexual touch as good or bad because, in terms of children’s normal healthy sexual development, we don’t want to label all sexual touch as bad. Instead, we advise children to use their feelings to describe touch.” The co-ordinator then indicated that only unwanted sexual activity is sexual abuse. “One in four girls and one in 10 boys will experience some type of unwanted sexual act before the age of 18.” Further, the teaching manual suggests that teachers use the following definitions of sexual abuse that were drawn up by children who went through a Preventive Programme in Minnesota: “Sexual abuse is when another person touches…or has you touch different parts (of the body) when you do not want to, you are forced to, tricked into, or confused (mixed up) about the touch.” (elementary levels.)
“Sexual assault is when a person is forced into sexual activity in which he/she does not want to be involved…sexual assault is forcing a loved one into an undesired sexual act…(it) includes any type of forced sexual conduct…or manipulation in lieu of force.” (Junior and Senior High levels.)
Talking about consent between adults is one thing; but the above definitions show that children are taught – and end up thinking – that sexual activity between children or between children and adults, is allowed. This principle of allowing consensual activity for children is also endorsed by the Badgley Report.
Attempting to put these definitions into some sort of legal framework, the teaching manual states that the age of consent in Canada is 14 and when there is “sexual contact” under the age of consent, “consent is not an issue.” This is an ambiguous statement at best, containing two definite pieces of misinformation. First, the age of consent in Canada varies from one province to the next. Second, it is wrong to say consent is not an issue, as lack of consent constitutes an assault.
Further misinformation is generated when the manual notes that since “students under Grade 3 find the definition of incest confusing, simply say the offender may be someone you know…or someone you know very well (and/or are related to, if the child knows the meaning of related). Even if the ‘definition’ and exact terms are not employed, the necessary information can be disseminated.” So, a close friend of the family can have the charge of “incest” leveled against him or her!
The confusion engendered in young minds by definitions like these and by the scene in the play of the father fondling his daughter (how many young girls will wonder about the correctness of their father’s hugs?) are in themselves damaging. However, as shown above, defining “confusing” touch as sexual abuse poses a serious threat to the adult. On the one hand, the program engenders confusion, on the other, it labels confusion as abuse. But one thing is evidently clear: if the child has no objection to sexual, or punishing, touch, fine; if he does not like it he can cry, “Abuse!” It all depends on how he feels about it.
Subtly promoting Prescott’s pleasure principle and the pro-abortionists’ slogan is the song, “My Body, My Body Belongs to Me” (the songs are on tape for the classroom use as well). This directly contradicts St. Paul, who said, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for” (1Cor.6:19-20). A Christian has to be chaste because his body does not belong to him as it was created by God and elevated by grace to be the home of the Holy Spirit. Christian tradition sees chastity as a form of temperance, or restraint, with regard to sexual pleasure, which is confined within the divinely-ordained precincts of marriage, where it becomes a sacred enjoyment that God has associated with the responsibilities of Christian marriage.
Any deliberate actions that bring about sexual stimulation or encourage sexual pleasure, whether by touch or the other senses, are the privilege only of married partners. They are forbidden to the unmarried because such conduct would be contrary to the virtue of chastity. Therefore, any sexual touching of children is intrinsically wrong and abusive and so the Preventative Education Program, in promoting such acts, is not only immoral but can be seen as actually promoting child abuse itself!
The program leaves no stone unturned in its bid to destroy family relationships. It also provides children with a list of rights, including the right to shelter, clothes, good nutrition, medical care, love and affection and a “private space.” Parents have to help them take care of their bodies that includes refraining from smoking in children’s bedrooms or at meals (bad for their health), as well as providing them with sleeping space and quiet at bedtime. Children are told that failure to provide these things is neglect and a form of child abuse. In effect, children are given a tool for tyrannizing their parents.
The program also disapproves of the fact that “children are more often expected to be more compliant “ (i.e., obedient) “than encouraged to be assertive.” So “they need to be taught to say ‘no’ in relatively safe situations,” so that they are “able to say ‘no’ in more threatening “ ones. Recognizing that assertiveness training – teaching children “their right to stand up for themselves” – may require extensive behavioral change,” the program says it is only the beginning the process, but the children “will require practice, reinforcement and support over an extended period of time.” Since the school is obviously to provide this practice, the seeds of rebellion at home will be sown under its auspices.
Finally, we find that the classroom instruction includes training in the development of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and one’s sixth sense (these terms are used). Detailed instructions are given for conducting such sessions, also called “guided fantasies.” Children are taken through a step-by-step process in the dark or with a candle, that amounts to nothing less than teacher-induced trance. They progress from visualizing scenes to visualizing people and getting from hostile to friendly, and finally graduate into an exercise called “The House of Perception.”
In this exercise, children visualize a house containing one room for each sense. The rooms are filled with junk, representing old ways in which the senses have been functioning. The child then visualizes cleaning the rooms, so now his senses function in a more aware manner. Then he climbs a spiral staircase to the attic, “the room of one’s sixth sense.” It is filled with cobwebs as it has not been used. In it is a dirty circular window, which, when cleaned, enables him to see a beautiful view with his heightened awareness. This awareness supposedly remains with him when he “returns” to the classroom. These guided fantasies were taken from a book by Maureen Murdock, claaed Spinning Inwards: Using Guided Imagery with Children.
Extra-sensory perception refers to human awareness outside the scope of the five senses, i.e., beyond nature, either supernatural or paranormal. ESP training has been given respectability by being put under the umbrella or parapsychology, which studies everything from tarot cards, to out-of-body experiences, supposedly using the scientific method.
Visualization, the technique taught in the child abuse program, is used by practitioners of the occult arts. The technique has to be mastered if one is to succeed in the occult arts according to Psychic Experience for You by Rodney Marsden. Furthermore, in the trance state one is open to hypnotic suggestion and mind manipulation. Of course, since the child abuse program is tied to the occult-based humanist New Age movement, it is not too surprising to find it involved in occult training.
In conclusion, the Preventive Education Program seems to be a humanist attempt to turn children into pleasure-seeking, rebellious children able to tyrannize parents and other adults under state protection. It opens children to becoming victims of mind manipulation and familiarizes them with occult techniques. An attack on families is also an attack on society, as families are the basic unit of society. We can see the hand of feminists, pro-abortionists and secular humanists in this program which, by manipulating the community’s natural concern about eliminating child abuse, is being used as a vehicle to bring about revolutionary change in our society. We must not allow such a dangerous program to continue unchecked any longer.