Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category
LTRP Note: The following story is written by Lighthouse Trails author and investigative sergeant Patrick Crough. For 11 years, Lighthouse Trails has been tracking the issue of child sexual abuse as part of our attempt to bring to light the things of darkness. Many people don’t want to think about this issue and are sure that their children will never fall victim to sexual abuse – or worse – murder. But as parents, we have a responsibility to protect our children. We have the God-given right as well as responsibility to be the shepherds of our children. But, just like a shepherd watching over a flock of sheep, we must be aware of the dangers if we are going to protect our children. On this Thanksgiving weekend, we want to pay tribute to children, including Kali Ann Poulton and other children who sadly fell victim to predators. May God help us, as Christian parents and grandparents, to protect the children in our care from abuse, harm, and even spiritual deception.
By Patrick Crough
(From his book, Seducers Among Our Children, Lighthouse Trails)
God has blessed mothers with two special gifts: the privilege of bringing new life into the world, and the gift we often call “mother’s intuition” or “woman’s intuition.” A mother can pick her child’s cry out of a crowded room and know whether he is hungry, angry, or hurt. Or without even turning around, she can sense her child is up to something. Doubtless, any mother will tell you that sometimes she gets it wrong. But mothers share a special bond with their children that men sometimes cannot comprehend. Aside from observing the miracle of this gift at work in my wife with our three children, I have never witnessed a more obvious testament to a mother’s intuition than the tragic case of Kali Ann Poulton.
Kali was a beautiful, blond four-year-old, full of life and promise before she was kidnapped and brutally murdered by someone Kali and her mother knew. I share this story with the utmost respect for the woman who lost her beloved child to an undetected child predator.
On the warm spring night of May 23, 1994, Kali begged her mom, Judy Gifford, to allow her to go outside to play on her Big Wheel. The apartment complex, a quaint and well-kept cluster of two-story buildings nestled in a forest of large maple and oak trees, was teeming with activity thanks to the beautiful weather. Judy was placing inserts in magazines she was to deliver that evening. The small amount of money this single mother made from her second job was to pay for a family trip to Disney World the following summer. As Judy put the flyers together, Kali became increasingly anxious to go outside. She was looking forward to going to McDonald’s after the deliveries were completed. Her mom had promised to get her a snack there and allow some time to play in the outdoor children’s play area.
Spring fever was getting the best of both of them, so Judy finally relented and allowed little Kali to go outside and sit on her Big Wheel. She firmly instructed Kali to stay right in front of their apartment door where she could keep a watchful eye on her as she hastily completed her task. Within minutes, Judy was ready to load up the car and begin her deliveries. When she called out to Kali, her daughter did not answer. Judy found no sign of her daughter when she checked outside their apartment. Panic-stricken, Judy immediately began calling out her daughter’s name and carefully scanning the apartment complex grounds. Concerned neighbors began to assist with the frantic search, but still there was no sign of the young child or her Big Wheel.
About twenty minutes into the search, Judy spotted her neighbor Mark, who had moved into the complex approximately six weeks earlier with his girlfriend and their eighteen-month-old son. Mark was carrying his son to the playground area. Judy noticed his high-top sneakers were untied. She asked him if he had seen Kali. Mark responded “no” and continued walking. Soon the police were called, and two nightmares every parent fears crystallized: one, a beloved child was missing, and two, no one had a clue where she was.
Patrol deputies and command officers coordinated a physical search throughout the night for the missing girl while detectives from the Monroe County Sheriff Zone A Substation interviewed the girl’s parents, their friends, and family members for additional information. At 4:00 a.m. the incident was re-classified from a missing person investigation to a kidnapping investigation. This triggered an escalation within the Monroe County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit, which consisted of three investigators: Investigator Thomas Passmore, myself, and our supervisor, Investigator Sergeant Gary Caiola. I remember Sergeant Caiola’s chilling words from his phone call that morning. “A four-year-old girl has been missing all night,” he said. “And it doesn’t look good.”
Shortly after our arrival, Investigator Passmore and I interviewed Kali’s mother. I asked Judy whom she thought we should consider as a potential suspect, but she couldn’t think of anyone. Then I asked her if anyone had recently moved into the apartment complex who had shown an open affection for Kali. “There’s this guy named Mark who just moved in about six weeks ago,” she responded. “He gives me the creeps.” She shared how she and Kali had first met Mark and his son at the apartment complex playground several weeks before. On two or three different occasions, Mark had complimented her on how beautiful Kali was. During one of those encounters, Mark asked Judy if she thought Kali would tell her if someone tried to touch her in an inappropriate way. Judy responded, “Yes” and felt very unsettled by his odd question. Soon after this conversation with Kali’s mother, Investigator Passmore and I made contact with Mark.
Mark Christie had a criminal record, but nothing related to crimes against children. He grew up in the village of Hilton, New York, and as a youth, he was considered to be a bit of a punk who walked around with a chip on his shoulder. Based upon our initial contact with him, that chip was still firmly in place. We interviewed Mark with the assistance of another colleague, Investigator Bill Connell, for several long hours one evening, but he maintained his innocence, denying any involvement with Kali’s disappearance. All three of us were convinced he was lying, but we didn’t want to spook him into seeking an attorney, which would make us lose out on any opportunity for a second interview. A second interview would be critical if Mark had kidnapped or murdered Kali, but a defense attorney would never allow his client to help the police locate a victim’s body unless the prosecution granted very serious concessions or total immunity. It was excruciatingly painful to let Mark Christie walk away from us that day.
Mark maintained his silence for approximately two and one-half years. Except for Investigator Passmore and me, nearly everyone discounted Mark as a viable suspect because Judy had seen him near the play area with his son so shortly after her daughter went missing. Thousands of calls, none of which I ever considered a workable lead, were investigated by an army-sized task force of detectives and federal agents. Many potential suspects were interviewed. Many were interrogated in vain. Not one witness or lead was ever produced. I never lost hope, believing relentlessly that every case is just one phone call away from being solved, no matter how bleak the circumstances. We knew we just had to be patient and prepare ourselves to recognize and act on a pertinent phone call if one ever, at long last, came in. Investigator Passmore and I maintained a low-key, casual relationship with Mark. Mark knew he was our chief suspect, because we told him we were ready to talk about getting Kali back to her parents whenever he was ready.
Mark and his family eventually moved from that apartment complex to another complex located in Wayne County, which borders Monroe County on the east. On August 9th, 1996, our break came: we learned that during an argument with his wife the night before, Mark had blurted out that he killed Kali. This admission sprung from a desperate attempt to gain sympathy from his wife, who had decided to leave him due to his strange behavior. Thanks be to God, Mark’s wife immediately left with their son and drove to her father’s house, where she promptly called 911. As promising as this lead was, it did not guarantee a conviction at trial that would send Mark to prison. Mark had not given his wife any specific details of what had occurred. Her testimony would be challenged in a pretrial hearing because in New York State such an admission to one’s spouse is considered protected and privileged. It was critical to interview him before an attorney became involved and slammed the door shut on us.
On that particular day, I was working alone. After I learned Mark might still be at his residence, I immediately drove halfway across the county to speak with him. Upon my arrival, Mark’s mother met me at the front door. She was infuriated by my presence, shouting that Mark was going to see his attorney and not going with me. Mark appeared dejected as if he had already resigned himself to his fate. In spite of his mother’s objections, Mark agreed to get a cup of coffee with me, provided I transport him to his attorney’s office afterward. Mark sat in the front seat of my unmarked police car beside me, un-handcuffed. He said he would tell me everything I wanted to know after he spoke with his attorney. I replied that any lawyer worth his weight in salt would not allow him to speak with me about what happened with Kali. “Her parents will never find out exactly what happened to their baby,” I told him. “Or if she suffered.”
“She didn’t suffer.” Mark responded.
“I hope not.” I said.
As we drove back toward Rochester, I suggested we get some lunch. Mark liked that idea, saying he was “starving.” We settled on an Italian restaurant by the name of Roncone’s on Lyell Avenue in the city. Once seated, Mark ordered Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, while I ordered linguine in red sauce with sausage. As we waited for our food to arrive, Mark and I sipped our Cokes and ate freshly baked Italian bread. Something about the casual, comfortable atmosphere of a family style Italian restaurant puts people at ease. The smell of a good pasta sauce and the sharing of fresh bread can make would-be adversaries become friends.
Mark stated how he felt badly about what he had done to Kali. He said he had been living a nightmare ever since, haunted by Kali’s face on missing child posters all over the country. Over the two and one-half years that Kali had been missing, the case had been featured prominently on local and national news and talk shows including America’s Most Wanted and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Knowing Mark to be a person who liked to feel in control, I attempted to appeal to his pride. I told him he had beaten the police, fair and square. Mark opened up to this praise just as I had hoped: he said he didn’t want to sound like he was bragging but thought the way he eluded us by getting rid of the Big Wheel was “pretty ingenious.” I feigned agreement and told him I thought it was indeed an amazing feat. A short time later, he asked me if I wanted to know how he “pulled it off.” His ego was getting the better of him. Keeping a sober tone and a casual expression, I responded, “Sure.”
Mark warned me he would only discuss the Big Wheel and would not talk about what happened to Kali. “You don’t have to share anything with me that you aren’t comfortable sharing,” I reassured him. Mark informed me that the Big Wheel was in his apartment for three days after he killed Kali, and the police had missed it when they searched his apartment. I asked him how that was possible. He explained how he had cut the Big Wheel into tiny pieces and hid it in various places; he knew the police would not have legal grounds to search for such small items. Because time was of the essence to locate the missing little girl, Mark knew the police would attempt to search every apartment under the “exigent circumstances exception” without a search warrant. The exception allowed the police to look for a missing child to preserve the child’s life, but not for evidence of a crime. The search of each apartment thus had to be limited to spaces a child’s body could be concealed in, but nothing smaller. This entailed searching rooms, closets, underneath beds, storage bins, and crawl spaces. Most of the apartment searches were completed with the occupant’s consent. If the occupant was unavailable, the search teams were accompanied by an apartment complex manager.
Mark said he hid the pieces of Kali’s Big Wheel in articles of clothing, which were stored in drawers and cabinets, concealing them so well that even his wife never found a single piece. Remarkably, Mark accomplished this before his wife returned home from work the very same night he murdered Kali. When he needed to sneak the Big Wheel through the police roadblock at the apartment complex entrance, Mark placed the tiny pieces in several small duffel bags and put them in the passenger compartment of his vehicle. Mark said that seven New York State Troopers were at the roadblock when he passed through with Kali’s Big Wheel. He thought his heart was going to jump out of his chest when he handed the keys over to one of the troopers, thinking the police were going to search his entire vehicle and everything in it. However, they never asked to see what was inside the duffel bags. Once through the roadblock, Mark drove to each of the four corners of the county and got rid of the pieces.
Our food was delivered to us, and Mark and I continued to talk as we ate our lunch. It was surreal. Here we were, sitting among sixty other patrons eating their lunch, talking about one of the most brutal crimes anyone could ever commit—the rape and murder of an innocent child.
Mark told me he had read a “big book” on police interrogation and was impressed with Investigator Passmore and me after he read it, since we did everything by the book when we interviewed him the first time. I asked Mark if he was close to confessing to us that first night. He said no, because he had too much to lose with his wife and young son. I noted that we could see his obvious affection for Kali and were surprised he was so open about it at the time. Mark explained that he “owed Kali that much.”
What a warped sense of logic, I incredulously thought to myself. Mark then acknowledged how he felt badly for making the police work so hard over the past few years. Playing along with his attempt to display his sense of honor, I thanked him for having the courage to come forward and relieve us of this enormous burden. I sensed he was emotionally vulnerable that moment, so I asked him if I could propose to him what I thought happened with Kali. He knew my partner and I had always suspected him, but lacked proof. Mark welcomed my theory, so I began:
“Mark, I believe that Kali ended up riding her Big Wheel up to your apartment, probably hoping to play with your son. You must have been outside and happily invited her inside your apartment. While she was inside, something must have happened that wasn’t supposed to happen. So, you grabbed your son and ran outside to collect your thoughts and figure out what to do. While you were in the play area with your son, Judy Gifford found you while she was searching for Kali. The encounter with Judy provided you with a solid alibi. You returned to your apartment and retrieved Kali’s body, placing it in some type of bag or suitcase. You then quietly carried her to your car and drove out of the complex with your son at your side before the first sheriff’s deputy was even on the scene.”
Mark looked across the table at me and smiled faintly as we sat in silence for a moment. “You’re very close,” he acquiesced. I assured Mark that Judy and David, Kali’s father, would be very grateful if he could share at least some details about Kali’s death. I asked him if there was any other person who could provide us with those details, but he said no, he was the only one.
I remarked as to how baffled I was that no one had observed him leaving his apartment with such a big bag or suitcase. Mark explained that a lot of people were around at the time, but he was insignificant to them and had thus gone unnoticed. Appealing to his pride again, I commended Mark for keeping such a low profile and cool head, and for thinking so clearly and quickly under such great pressure. He admitted that Investigator Passmore and I were very close to getting him when we had paid a visit to him that past March at the department store where he worked, but how he then quickly realized we possessed nothing new on him. He shared how he thought about Kali every day and how he had been trying to think of a way to retrieve her body from where he had placed it after the murder—a cooling tank in the building where he worked as a security guard at the time. Mark had feared that Kali’s body would eventually be discovered and the police would be able to immediately connect him to it.
Allowing him to stay in control, I patiently told Mark it was his decision and his alone whether he wanted to tell me what happened. I encouraged him to consider that although he knew he didn’t mean to kill Kali, if he didn’t tell his side of the story, he would be looked upon as a child-killing monster. I led Mark to believe that Kali’s death wasn’t his fault. Yet nothing could be further from the truth; it was simply a technique to make him feel more comfortable talking about his despicable deed. Minimizing a criminal’s culpability is a common interrogation tactic, but sometimes it can come across as patronizing and backfire.
Mark then asked me how much prison time he was looking at. There was no minimizing this aspect, and he knew it. I told him at least twenty-five years, adding that I would be surprised if he was ever released from prison. Mark protested that it was unfair he would have to do a life sentence away from his wife and son. He had been living his own nightmare over the past few years, and he felt that alone should count for something.
I countered that the general public wasn’t going to care about him or his suffering but that ultimately he had to come to terms with himself, his family, and God. He then offered to tell me how he killed Kali if I would arrange for him to see his wife and son. I promised to arrange it. He had finished his lunch by this time, but I was still eating.
Mark started out again by saying that Kali did not suffer. I then proceeded to ask him how he killed her.
“I strangled her,” he answered, “but I didn’t do anything to her.”
“You mean, you didn’t have sex with her?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he answered.
I knew he was lying. All I could think about was how afraid that poor little girl must have been during her last moments on this earth. I found it absolutely astonishing that her killer was upset he wasn’t going to be given special consideration for his perceived “suffering” over the past few years. Though I had lost my appetite, I just kept picking away at my lunch and asking what happened that night, making certain I didn’t appear too eager for his answer. Mark said that Kali rode over to his apartment on her Big Wheel and asked if she could play with his son Alex. Mark knew her mother would not approve of Kali going into his apartment, so he let her in and placed her Big Wheel in the kitchen so that no one would see it next to his apartment door. Mark said that Kali went upstairs with Alex to Alex’s room and started playing with his toys while he went into his bedroom across the hall.
About ten minutes after Kali’s arrival, Mark heard Judy calling out her name. He got nervous, fearing he would get into trouble for having Kali in his apartment. Mark said that Kali walked across the hall into his bedroom at that time. Seeing the little girl in his bedroom, he panicked and strangled her to death. He maintained that he felt like he was dreaming during the entire event.
I personally believe Mark was actually molesting little Kali but got spooked by her mother calling out to her. The sound of Judy’s frantic voice calling out must have cut him like a knife through the open windows of his apartment. I don’t believe he panicked at all. I think he made a cold, calculated decision to kill Kali to keep her from telling her mother what he had done to her. But I knew I wasn’t in a position to push him about the rape while we were in the restaurant. The only way Mark would keep talking to me was if I let him stay in control of the conversation. Many child predators never admit to raping a child because it reveals just how very sick, twisted, and evil they really are. This murderer was attempting to rationalize his despicable actions as a panic response to what Kali’s mother might do if she found her daughter in his apartment. I felt like saying, “Mark, that is an absolute lie, and you know it!” Honestly, I would have said it using far more vulgar and graphic language. But I didn’t. In these types of cases it is imperative to keep one’s emotions locked away in order to achieve the real goal—legal justice.
Mark said he carried Kali’s body downstairs and placed her on the dining room floor. He then went outside with his son to collect his thoughts. While outside, he saw Judy in the playground area as she was searching for her daughter. When the panic-stricken mother asked him if he had seen Kali, he coolly replied, “No.” Knowing he now possessed an airtight alibi from the victim’s own mother, Mark returned to his apartment and realized it wasn’t a dream when he observed Kali’s body lying on the floor. He placed her body in a laundry basket, covered it up with a blanket, carried the basket to his vehicle, and placed it in the trunk. With his young son accompanying him, Mark drove to the Nor-Tel Company on Humboldt Street in Rochester, where he was employed as a security guard. He drove around to the back of the building and placed the laundry basket outside of the rear door to the utility room. He then drove with his son around to the front and went inside the main entrance. Mark told the two security guards on duty he had left something important at work and came back to pick it up.
While carrying his own child, Mark walked to the back of the building and retrieved Kali’s body through the rear exterior door of the utility room. He then climbed to the top of an enclosed 30,000 gallon tank filled with liquid coolant, opened the hatch door and dumped Kali’s body inside the tank. I asked Mark if he had cut Kali’s stomach open to prevent her body from floating to the top of the tank.
“No,” he replied. He explained how he had found a piece of heavy metal equipment in the utility room and tied it to Kali’s body to weigh her down. I asked Mark if he had kept Kali’s clothing or the blanket in which she had been wrapped. He replied that he got rid of everything, including the clothes basket. Mark added that he left Kali’s earrings in her ears.
“It should have never happened. It was a waste,” he offered.
“You’re right, Mark.” I responded. “It should never have happened.”
Mark’s eyes had become glassy. We sat in silence at our table for what seemed like a long time as the other patrons sat around us, oblivious to what had just occurred.
I paid the bill and Mark left a two-dollar tip. Afterward, I drove him to my office. Mark sat in the front seat where he still remained un-handcuffed. I had to maintain that he was neither in my custody, nor under my physical control until we reached my office at headquarters; otherwise, his verbal confession could be ruled inadmissible. Once we arrived in my office, I gave him the phone and he called his attorney. He was arrested that night and charged with the murder of Kali Ann Poulton. A year later, Mark Christie pled guilty to the murder and was given a sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison. He is serving out that life sentence in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections.
Had it not been for Judy Gifford’s gut feeling or intuition, her daughter’s killer might have never been identified and brought to justice. Mark had an airtight alibi so he was not considered a viable suspect by the majority of the thirty-member investigative task force of local, state, and federal investigators. In fact, most of the other investigative teams went so far as to eliminate him as a suspect on the grounds he did not have the means or the time to commit this crime. Had it not been for her mother’s intuition, most likely Investigator Passmore and I would not have placed him in our sights.
When we hear of a disturbing crime such as this, we are shocked and fearful. We may keep a more watchful eye for a while even though we don’t really know exactly what we are looking for. Intuition is a powerful force. However, when we sense a red flag or “get the creeps” about someone, it is easy for our minds to rationalize it away as paranoia, prejudice, or the illogical product of having a bad day. After all, who wants to believe a neighbor, trusted friend, talented coach, gifted teacher, loving family member, or caregiver is not what they appear to be? We quickly become ashamed of ourselves and choose to ignore our gut feelings. Every parent subconsciously weighs the potential risk to his or her children against the benefit of a particular outing, experience, or relationship. However, living in a constant state of paranoia and locking our children away is not the right answer.
(The above story is from Patrick Crough’s book Seducers Among Our Children.)
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
Valerie Jarrett oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls. On Tuesday, she posted a blog entitled A Woman’s Health Care Decisions Should Be in Her Own Hands, Not Her Boss’s on the White House website, which was also cross-posted by the Huffington Post.
Jarrett began by stating that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, served to ensure that a woman could make her own decisions without the input of her employer. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Another example of a contemplative college that changes its views on homosexuality.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
HARRISONBURG, Va. – A Mennonite university in Virginia is considering making a change to its current hiring policy to allow faculty members to be in same-sex relationships.
Eastern Mennonite University issued a news release on the matter last week, noting that it has decided to open up a 60-day listening period “to review current hiring policies and practices with respect to individuals in same-sex relationships.” President Loren Swartzendruber was authorized unanimously by the school board to design and oversee the process, which will begin in January.
“As a Christian university, it is our responsibility to engage in community discussion and discernment over issues that Mennonite congregations—indeed almost all denominations in the United States today—are wrestling with,” he stated at a recent staff forum. “One responsibility of leadership is to help define reality.” Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: If you haven’t read Berit Kjos’ Booklet Tract A “Common Core” For a Global Community, please do so and consider what is happening to children in the public school system. You can read the Booklet Tract in its entirety on this blog. The young man who spoke in this video expressed concern from a students point of view.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court has decided by a narrow margin to reject a request from Planned Parenthood to block a new Texas abortion law that went into effect on October 31st.
As previously reported, last month, a federal judge appointed by then-President George H.W. Bush struck down portions of the law, declaring the regulations an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to have an abortion.
District Judge Lee Yeakel agreed with Planned Parenthood and others who had challenged the requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility, and that they follow the Food and Drug Administration’s original dosage protocol for the pill RU-486.
“The admitting-privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her,” he wrote. “The court will enjoin enforcement of that provision.” Click here to continue reading.
A “Common Core” For a Global Community: What’s In Store For the Education of Today’s Children? written by Berit Kjos is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. This is the fourth to last Booklet Tract we will be presenting before the end of this year. This is number 31.The booklet tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
A “Common Core” For a Global Community: What’s In Store For the Education of Today’s Children?
By Berit Kjos
While preparing this booklet, I came across a headline that illustrates the corrupt values and shameless propaganda behind UNESCO’s Common Core indoctrination. Ponder this assignment: “Students Asked to ‘Argue That Jews Are Evil’ and Prove Nazi Loyalty in Assignment Linked to Common Core.”1 In other words, traditional values are out! Shocking propaganda is in! I hope this booklet will help parents, concerned educators, and our children prepare together for the spiritual battlefields ahead.
The task before UNESCO . . . is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose.2 —Julian Huxley, the first head of UNESCO, 1947
The International Agenda
The goal of education has changed! Our public schools no longer teach the kind of literacy, history, math, and morality we once considered essential to responsible citizenship. The new agenda infiltrating our schools is designed to train a new generation of postmodern “progressive” students to believe whatever might serve a pre-determined “common good.”
If their educators succeed, tomorrow’s students will have neither the facts nor the freedom needed for independent thinking. Their “common core” will be based on a global collective agenda, not on Western democracy or Christian values. Like Nazi youth, they will be taught to react, not think, when nudged to do the unthinkable.
Dr. Thomas Sowell summarized this mind-changing process in a 1993 article titled “Indoctrinating the Children”:
The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children. These include emotional shock and desensitization, psychological isolation from sources of support, stripping away defenses, manipulative cross-examination of the individual’s underlying moral values, and inducing acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.3
What Exactly is “Common Core”?
According to one source, “Common Core” education is:
. . . a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).4
It’s hard to define the actual Common Core standards. Shrouded in positive promises and perplexing assertions, many ordinary readers are left wondering what’s true or false. Faced with open-ended and unfamiliar terminology, concerned parents are confused and discouraged. They may recognize the false marketing and deceptive propaganda, but they don’t know where to find honest answers. For example, the mission statement posted at “Common Core State Standards Initiative” website is anything but clear:
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.5
What does it mean by “robust”? Is it “relevant” to the success of all students or just to those who will embrace the spreading immorality and group thinking?
Those confusing but nice-sounding promises brought rapid enthusiasm among some parents, but skepticism is now growing fast. Just ponder the statements below. How do we interpret words such as “clearer and higher” or “rigorous contents”? What does “rigorous” mean in a classroom where facts are replaced by group speculations and dialectical thinking? How can concerned parents find answers to bewildering slogans such as these:
Fewer, clearer, and higher, to best drive effective policy and practice
Aligned with college and work expectations
Inclusive of rigorous content and applications of knowledge through higher-order skills
Internationally benchmarked, so that all students are prepared for succeeding in our global economy
Research and evidence-based.6
This global agenda is far more intrusive, demanding, and dangerous to Christian families than most of us can imagine. So ponder this important warning:
UNESCO’s efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to influence U.S. school curriculum were unsuccessful. But now UNESCO has found a sugar daddy. On November 17, 2004 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, UNESCO signed a 26-page “Cooperation Agreement” with Microsoft Corporation to develop a “master curriculum (Syllabus)” for teacher training in information technologies based on standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessment techniques. The Agreement states that . . . “UNESCO will explore how to facilitate content development.”
Following the signing of the Agreement, UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura explained it in a speech. One of its goals, he said, is “fostering web-based communities of practice including content development and worldwide curricula reflecting UNESCO values.” No doubt that is agreeable to Bill Gates because the Agreement states that “Microsoft supports the objectives of UNESCO as stipulated in UNESCO’s Constitution.”7
Not long after, Bill Gates (one of the big funders for Common Core) and his UNESCO partners prepared the following “core standards.” Notice that they are much more to the point and threatening than the previous propaganda.
Environmental education will be incorporated in formal education.
Any value or attitude held by anyone globally that stands independent to that of the United Nations’ definition of “sustainable education” must change. Current attitudes are unacceptable.
Education will be belief-and-spirituality based as defined by the global collective.
Environmental education will be integrated into every subject, not just science8
Today’s emphasis on “saving the earth” will surely involve mental manipulation and moral degradation. The earth-centered “new” spirituality will fit well in a culture of promiscuity, propaganda, and paganism. And the seductions of the occult will speed the rising hostility toward biblical truth and values. Everything must change! Make no mistake about it, in a world where the “global collective” determines the outcome, Christianity will not be tolerated! History has proven that.
The Global Roots of “Common Core” Education
Parents beware! A New World Order is rising. The seeds for this transformation were planted long ago, but few saw the warning signs. Now that the evidence is too vast to deny, we need to prepare our children for a different kind of world—a world where an educated and responsible citizenry no longer exists in sufficient numbers to maintain the rule of law and individual freedom.
Today’s education goals were envisioned more than a century ago by socialist American and British elites who steered the process from behind the scenes. Though the labels and faces changed throughout the years, they all served a globalist vision of a totalitarian world equipped to conform young minds to a socialist humanistic system.
Each decade brought us closer to the fulfillment of that anti-Christian agenda. “Common Core” (CC)—also called “Common Core Standards” (CCS) or “Common Core State Standards” (CCSS—is the latest version of an international education plan. These deceptive labels hide the global agenda—at least for the moment.
“Common Core” is the latest extension of previous programs aimed at mind-changing compliance with UNESCO’s evolving guidelines. You may remember some of the past titles: Education for All, Outcome-Based Education, Quality Learning, No Child Left Behind, etc. In the years ahead, new labels and propaganda will surely continue to push this global agenda forward until the purposes of the world’s elite masters are accomplished. In an article titled “The Spiritualization of Science, Technology and Education in a One-World Society,” Dr. Martin Erdmann rightly states:
[Change agent] Aldous Huxley envisioned a future world society totally controlled by an elite group of scientists. His best-known fictional work explicating this dire prospect bore the title Brave New World. Years later he would “revisit” his prognostications only to conclude that he had underestimated the rate of change.9
Aldous, brother of the prominent Julian Huxley who served as the first Director-General of UNESCO, was raised among British socialist/globalist elites (some of whom funded Communism in Russia). He shared their vision and glimpsed their totalitarian goals. Of course, he didn’t know that more than half a century later, the global-minded Bill Gates would use his wealth to help establish that long-term vision:
Gates’ astronomical wealth has persuaded millions that Common Core is the solution to education problems.10
As you scroll down the century-long chronology below, notice the powerful people, the elitist organizations, and the wealthy foundations that have planned, steered, and funded the amoral transformation of our schools, churches, and communities. Their common goal is global socialism: a totalitarian New World Order!
1905. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of the United States Congress. Together with other Carnegie Foundations, it has been a major promoter and funder of socialistic global education projects.11
1908. John Dewey, known as the socialist father of modern (i.e., progressive) education, laid the foundations for a revolutionary transformation of American schools. In “Religion and Our Schools,” he wrote, “Our schools . . . are performing an infinitely significant religious work. They are promoting the social unity out of which in the end genuine religious unity must grow. . . . dogmatic [Christian] beliefs . . . we see . . . disappearing.12
1919. The Institute of International Education was established with a grant from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. . . . John Dewey (socialist) served on its National Advisory Council.13
1933. John Dewey, honorary president of the National Education Association (NEA), co-authored the first Humanist Manifesto, which stated: “Any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today, must be shaped for the needs of this age.”14
1934. In a report presented at the annual NEA meeting, Willard Givens (later NEA executive secretary) wrote: “all of us, including the ‘owners’ [who might they be?] must be subjected to a large degree of social control . . . . [T]he major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual. It must seek to give him understanding of the transition to a new social order.”15 (emphasis added)
1942. The editor of The Journal of the National Education Association, J. Elmer Morgan, wrote an editorial titled “The United Peoples of the World.” In it, he explained that a world government would need an educational branch, a world system of money and credit, a world police force, “a world bill of rights and duties.”16
1946. “The establishment [UNESCO] marks the culmination of a movement for the creation of an international agency of education. . . . Nations that become members of UNESCO accordingly assume an obligation to revise the textbooks used in their schools . . . . Each member nation . . . has a duty to see to it that nothing in its curriculum . . . is contrary to UNESCO’s aims.”17 (emphasis added)
1946. In his NEA editorial, “The Teacher and World Government,” J. Elmer Morgan, wrote, “In the struggle to establish an adequate world government, the teacher . . . can do much to prepare the hearts and minds of children . . . . At the very top of all the agencies which will assure the coming of world government must stand the school, the teacher, and the organized profession.”18
1947. Julian Huxley wrote in UNESCO: “The general philosophy of UNESCO should be a scientific world humanism, global in extent and evolutionary in background . . . In its education program it can . . . familiarize all peoples with the implications of the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world organization. . . . Tasks for the media division of UNESCO [will be] to promote the growth of a common outlook shared by all nations and cultures . . . to help the emergence of a single world culture.”19
1948. The NEA produced a set of international guidelines called Education for International Understanding in American Schools. It included this statement: “The idea has become established that the preservation of international peace and order may require that force be used to compel a nation to conduct its affairs within the framework of an established world system . . . . Many persons believe that enduring peace cannot be achieved so long as the nation-state system continues as at present constituted. It is a system of international anarchy.”20
1968. Professor John Goodlad reported that Professor Benjamin Bloom [called Father of OBE] “was invited by UNESCO in 1968 to submit a proposal for a six to nine week training program which would partially fulfill recommendations made at UNESCO’s Moscow meeting dealing with the formation of national centers for curriculum development and research.”21
1973. The socialist authors of the Humanist Manifesto II wrote: “We deplore the division of human-kind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community.”22
1976. An NEA program titled A Declaration of Interdependence: Education for a Global Community, was made available to schools across the country . . .. The report said, “Educators around the world are in a unique position to help bring about a harmoniously interdependent global community.”23 Note: That “world community” was officially born in 1945, when Alger Hiss served as Secretary General at the founding of the United Nations.
1985. The curriculum arm of the NEA, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), co-sponsored an international curriculum symposium in the Netherlands. According to Education Week, the ASCD executive director, Dr. Gordon Cawelti, urged representatives of other Western nations and Japan to press for the development of a “world-core curriculum” based on knowledge that will ensure “peaceful and cooperative existence among the human species on this planet.”24
1991. On October 30, the U.S. Coalition for Education for All (USCEFA) convened a conference titled Learning for All: Bridging Domestic and International Education with First Lady Barbara Bush as the honorary chair. It would provide a vital link between the UNESCO plan and U.S. implementation. Partners in this venture included UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the NEA, and a long string of organizations involved in education at every level:
The coalition was part of a 156-nation network working to reform education worldwide by bridging the gap between individual nations and UNESCO’s Education for All. Keynote speaker Elena Lenskaya, deputy to the Minister of Education of Russia, spoke on the topic, “Education for a New World Order.”25
1993. “The 240 international affiliates of the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers joined to form Education International (EI).”26
Behind that long historical chronology stood influential elites who supported the global vision. They include bankers, presidents, and politicians as well as members of secret societies such as The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), Skull and Bones, Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. President Obama is surrounded by global-minded counselors such as Joe Biden, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and others.
So Who Will Rule the Global School?
In 2006, a world-changing event took place. It would revolutionize education, families, faith, and basic values in our fading “land of the free.” I’m referring to the “Moscow Declaration” that was officially adopted on June 2, 2006, by the Education Ministers of the United States, the Russian Federation, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The members of this international “Group of Eight” (G-8) have committed their nations to “cooperation in education at all levels in the 21st century.”27
What about America’s “Common Core” standards? How do they fit into the Moscow Declaration?
Marketed to American families as an improved education program, the actual truth about “Common Core” has been hidden. Our government leaders didn’t tell us that we were already committed to a multinational education agenda! But it all makes sense when we consider the century-old movement toward global education and a New World Order!
In one review, a conservative education reporter explained the implication of the “Moscow Declaration”:
Russia’s Science and Education Minister Andrei Fursenko described the declaration as “both a final document of the conference and the document that will be implemented by education ministers of all the world countries and international organizations, including the World Bank, UNESCO, and UN.”28
That certainly sounds like a global education system, doesn’t it? But the American people were kept in the dark! The review continues:
The U.S. Department of Education said the member delegates “pledged to share best practices across borders” to build “education systems that can allow people . . . to live and contribute to a global society.”
What can be expected from the Moscow Declaration? If the historical results of U.S. participation with international reforms continue in the same vein, it is not unreasonable to expect the whole of U.S. education—from preschool, elementary, secondary, and higher education—will encounter further upheaval and decline.29
Today’s sobering realities remind me of the boastful statement made by Nikita Khrushchev back in 1959. Perhaps he was right:
You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.30
Envisioning an Interconnected World
In the global village . . . networks will link students around the world to each other and to a vast body of information and human knowledge.31
That promise was made in 1994 during a trans-Atlantic conference between Washington and Berlin. Education Secretary Richard Riley and Labor Secretary Robert Reich shared strategies for building the Global Village Schools with their German counterparts. They agreed that educational accord will be vital to their goal of “enforcing social transformation.”32
Do you wonder what kind of “social transformation” they planned to enforce? Was personal liberty on their agenda? Or did they seek totalitarian government control as in the French Revolution? What goals and values guided their plans for global education and social transformation? Capitalism? Socialism? Or Communism? Or a new form of totalitarianism?
And where does militant Islam fit into this global power struggle for the collective minds of children? Its ambitious Sharia-minded leaders are unlikely to compromise! And why would they? Corrupt politicians and liberal media masters are bending over backwards to accommodate Islamic “rights.” But Islamic leaders have their own agenda in America as well as in the Middle East, and they will not tolerate our Christian beliefs.
Bombard Children With Mind-Changing Suggestions
A familiar tale told to first-graders in Pennsylvania illustrates both the tactics and the planned transformation of the world. We all know the story of the Little Red Hen who wanted some bread to eat. She asked some of her barnyard friends to help make it. But the cat, the dog, and the goat all said “no.” Finally she did all the work herself. Yet, when the bread was done and its fragrance spread throughout the farm, her unwilling and lazy neighbors were more than willing to help her eat it.
“Won’t you share with us?” they begged.
“No,” she answered. “Since you didn’t help, you don’t get anything.”
In the context of traditional values, the moral of the story might be: you get what you work for. But those who have learned to think and see from the “new” global perspective are led to a different conclusion. Listen to the kinds of questions the first grade teacher asked her class:
Why was the Little Red Hen so stingy? Isn’t it only right that everyone gets to eat? Why wouldn’t she share what she had with some who had none?33
The concerned mother who heard and reported this story asked, “What kinds of values were the children taught?” The new interpretation emphasizes love and sharing, but what is missing? How might it confuse a child’s values?
The answers are obvious. The children were taught socialist values. The new interpretation vilified values that had motivated Americans to be diligent, responsible, and fair. The teacher’s questions were actually strategic suggestions prompting the group to ridicule traditional values, to see reality and society from the new politically correct perspective, and to intimidate and shame anyone who dared to disagree.
A new mental “framework” is vital to the global paradigm shift. But to launch the new system, the old patterns must be blurred, broken, and forgotten. The educational establishment knows that children who are fed a daily diet of biblical truth will resist their plans for change. They also know that students bombarded with strategic suggestions will probably reject Christianity. If schools can build the “right” kind of filter in the minds of young children, the new global beliefs will fit right in.
Focus on Feelings, Not Facts
This shift from factual education to mental manipulation and feeling-based learning began more than seventy years ago. Through the decades, the strategies previously used to manipulate minds in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were developed, first at the Tavistock Clinic near London and later at Germany’s Frankfurt School (originally called Frankfurt Institute for Social Research). Their mind-bending methods soon spread to a rising number of psycho-social research centers in America. They were fine-tuned at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and other American universities, at our regional educational laboratories, and at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies where Elian Gonzales was remediated in preparation for his return to a Communist system.
At the 1989 Governor’s Conference on Education in Kansas, Dr. Shirley McCune, then head of the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory, summarized the policy in her keynote speech:
The revolution… in curriculum is that we no longer are teaching facts to children…. We no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education.34
“What will take the place of logic, fact, and analysis in the coming age?” This rhetorical question was raised by Dr. Donald A. Cowan, president emeritus of the University of Dallas. His revealing answer exposes an important step toward the new consensus:
The central way of thought for this new era will be imagination. . . . Imagination will be the active, creative agent of culture, transforming brute materials to a higher, more knowable state.35
A simple example of this process was exposed by a Christian teacher in Sunnyvale, California. During a public elementary school assembly, the students sang the words of the Peacemakers’ Planetary Anthem to the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner.” This melody, which has symbolized freedom to those who have loved America, now became a tactical trigger used to turn hearts from the old ways to the new vision.
To shape “world-class students” who see reality through a multicultural filter, social engineers keep testing their latest modification strategies on our children. One tactic is managed group thinking (the dialectic process) which prompts them to reject their old home-taught morality and embrace the collective values of their dialoguing classroom group.
The war against Christian values is not going to stop, and our children will remain the greatest target. The signs of complete global transformation are already closer than most people realize. We can no longer count on the American Constitution, which was based on moral and just values, as it is daily being redefined. More often than not, today’s choices are totally contrary to biblical standards that helped in creating America’s founding values.
May God show us how we can best equip our children to stand firm in Christ in the midst of the coming battles. Let us remember that our Lord still reigns! In the midst of this spiritual war, He will surely provide His strength, wisdom, and His comforting nearness to all who choose to trust and follow Him!
O our God . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee. (2 Chronicles 20:12)
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. (Psalm 18:2)
But God said: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
1. Tiffany Gabay, “Students Asked to ‘Argue That Jews Are Evil’ and Prove Nazi Loyalty in Assignment Linked to Common Core” (The Blaze, April 12, 2013 “http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/12/students-asked-to-argue-that-jews-are-evil-and-prove-nazi-loyalty-in-assignment-linked-to-common-core).
2. Julian Huxley—see http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/julian-huxley.htm.
3. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
7. Phyllis Schlafly, “Bill Gates Teams Up With UNESCO” (Eagle Forum, November 30, 2005, http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2005/nov05/05-11-30.html).
9. Martin Erdmann, “The Spiritualization of Science, Technology and Education in a One-World Society” (European Journal of Nanomedicine, January 2009, Volume 2, http://www.clinam.org/images/stories/pdf/volume2.1.pdf), p. 31.
10. “Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform: #5 – Bill Gates” (August 2013, http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/top-ten-scariest-people-in-education-reform-5-bill-gates).
12. John Dewey, “Religion and our Schools” (July 6, 2006. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0141620980200202#preview).
13. Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D., Chronology of Education With Quotable Quotes (Highland City, FL: Pro Family Forum, Inc., 1993), p. 18. Many of the quotes in my chronological list on pages 8-11 are from Dr. Cuddy’s Quotable Quotes book; used with permission.
14. The Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933) was the first public declaration of the views and objectives of humanism. It rejected God and His values but affirmed humanist faith in the power and evolution of man. http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I.
15. Willard Givens presented a report titled “Education for the New America” at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the NEA, held in Washington, D.C. in July 1934.
16. Joy Elmer Morgan, “The United Peoples of the World” (The Journal of the National Education Association, December 1942), p.261.
17. I.L. Kandel, “National Education in an International World” (The Journal of the National Education Association , Vol. 35, 1946), p. 191.
18. J. Elmer Morgan, “The Teacher and World Government” (The Journal of the National Education Association, January 1946), p.1.
19. Julian Huxley (Washington DC: Public Affairs Press, 1947). See http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/julian-huxley.htm.
20. Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D., “The Grab for Power: A Chronology of the NEA” (Marlborough NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1993); p. 8.
21. John I. Goodlad & Associates, Curriculum Inquiry—the Study of Curriculum Practice (NY: McGraw Hill, 1979), p. 261.
22. Humanist Manifesto II, Tenet #12. http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II .
23. The NEA promotes “A Declaration of Interdependence: Education for a Global Community” (September, 1976. Cuddy, Chronology of Education, p. 59).
24. Susan Hooper, “Educator Proposes a Global ‘Core Curriculum’” (Education Week, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/1985/11/27/06110023.h05.html).
25. The Conference on “Learning for All: Bridging Domestic and International Education” with Barbara Bush (Honorary Chair) and a Russian keynote speaker, Elena Lenskaya, October 30-November 1, 1991.
26. Dennis Cuddy, Chronology of Education With Quotable Quotes, op. cit., p. 100.
27. “Moscow Declaration” Adopted by G-8: Education Ministers—Secretary Spellings Commits U.S., Eagle Forum, U.S. Dept. of Education, June 2, 2006. http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/june06/moscow.html.
30. Nikita Khrushchev, “Dark Predictions of a KGB Defector,” 1959 at http://frontpagemag.com/2010/10/19/dark-predictions-of-a-kgb-defector/print.
31. From a publicity flier announcing the trans-Atlantic conference held April 10-13, 1994.
33. This story was included in the first grade curriculum in New Pittsburgh, PA. The story was also told–using the new paradigm context—at a parents’ meeting explaining Character Education. Anita Hoge, formerly a Pennsylvania mother and researcher, reported the story to me.
34. At the time of her 1989 keynote speech, Shirley McCune presided over the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL). The Regional Educational Laboratories are private, non-profit corporations which are funded, in whole or in part, under Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
35. Spoken at a 1988 forum address at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. This address formed the nucleus for his book, Unbinding Prometheus: Education for the Coming Age.
To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
LTRP Note: Christian Parents in North America should know that as the world moves closer and closer toward a globally-run, three-legged stool (thank you Rick Warren!), one-world government, their rights to homeschool their children will evaporate. In order to bring about this “utopian” society where all is one, the God-given right to influence our children with biblical values must be removed.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
STOCKHOLM – Christians around the world are being asked to help plead for the release of an 11-year-old boy who was abducted by government officials because his parents chose to homeschool the child.
As previously reported, Domenic Johansson was seized by the Swedish government in 2009 as he and his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, were boarding a plane to move to Annie’s homeland of India. He was only seven years old at the time, and social services state that they removed the child because he was being homeschooled by his parents.
The Johanssons were only allowed to see their son for one hour every five weeks. He was placed in foster care and forced to attend public school. The following year, the government cut off all parental visitations to Domenic.
In June 2012, a district court ruled that it could not ignore the fact that everyone who had testified about the Johansson’s care of Domenic proved that the family was doing just fine before the boy was removed from the home. However, the decision was later overturned on appeal and the Johanssons were again barred from seeing their son.
Since the ruling, the Johanssons have been struggling to face the reality of life without their son. The Virginia-based Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) states that the ordeal has been particularly difficult for Domenic’s mother. Click here to continue reading.
Below, a special report about the case.
“Jonas Himmelstrand (Homeschool leader in Sweden) Speaks of Domenic During this Interview”