The sheer cretinism of Isle of Man Department of Education staff beggars belief sometimes. In particular, their willingness to hand vulnerable kids over to fundamentalist pondlife really is a national disgrace.
Take last week, when according to the Isle of Man Courier, nine and ten year olds from local schools attended Lifepaths, a week of evangelical brainwashing at Rushen Abbey co-organised ( in theory) by the Education Department, Manx Heritage and…Scripture Union Ministries Trust.
Supposedly, the Education Department used Manx Heritage to give the kids a historical experience. Fair enough, even though Manx Heritage’s idea of history is (at best) fact-lite plastic patriotism and (more often) little more than tourist-orientated shite.
So why were SUMT there?
Well, again according to the Courier, to give “perspective on being a younger Christian in the 21st century”. In short, to brainwash kids too small and scared to fight back.
This (see http://www.connect2charity.im/charities/charity_92271.html) is the official line on SUMT. And if you check under ‘events’ you’ll be interested to find that:
“Lifepath is an education day for Year 5 pupils, they will have the opportunity to come and explore the concept of faith, prayer and the lifestyle of a Christ follower, through the life of a Cistercian Monk from the 11th Century.
300 children are coming to join SUMT across the week. With a team of 60 volunteers throughout the week each day will be packed with energy, craft activities, songs, drama, laughter, wigs and a whole lot more!”
So, pure Christofascist brainwashing and nothing to do with objective education then. And so again you have to ask, why were the Education Department letting a dangerous bunch of fundie flat-earthers with form for child-molesting loose with hundreds of local kids?
Because, make no mistake, SUMT are not just harmless sad-acts with an imaginary invisible friend.
Amongst last week's volunteers, to my certain knowledge, were people who in 1998 helped ‘persuade’ the victims of a notorious faith-biased kiddy-fiddler not to give evidence in court. Thankfully, though most caved in to the threats and so the full extent of this perv's actions were never revealed in court, one family stood their ground and he was convicted. His friends (including a protege of James Anderton) 'stood by him' as he went to jail. The brave family who stood up to the evangelical scum left the island soon after to avoid retaliations.
Also amongst last week's SUMT staff was a character who has, several times, been reported to the Dept of Education for harassing under age girls with text messages while, in theory, ‘mentoring’ teenagers at a local school.
Needless to say (at a time when the Education Minister was himself of notoriously fundamentalist views) the Department of Education took no action. Even worse, two Education Ministers later and this sad, middle aged loser is still ‘mentoring’ (i.e. pestering teenage girls whose personal contact details he obtains with the help of schoolteachers who share his sad delusions about imaginary friends).
At least SUMT’s tactics aren’t working at my daughter’s primary school, where she tells me their sad efforts to run a lunchtime Bible club are being outwitted.
In an effort to draw at least a few kids in, SUMT volunteers are reduced to offering handfuls of sweets to anyone who’ll enter the room. So, in response the kids have created a new game called ‘Take the Smarties and run’.
2 years ago