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The Ravage of Home Education
Through Exclusion By Religion
© 1998 Raymond
Moore. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission.
The Moore Foundation has requested
that the two following cover letters be published along with
the White Paper.
RAYMOND S. MOORE
Box 1, Camas, WA 98607
SUBJECT: Your phoned request about HR-6, Farris and the religious
ravage of homeschooling
TO: Allison Tucker, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C. &
FROM: Raymond S. Moore (typist's note: Dr. Moore's signature
You ask for clarification of issues related to the Ad Hoc National
Coalition of Home Educators [Coalition] objection to the
HR-6 alarm by Michael Farris, president of the Homes School Legal
Defense Association [HSLDA] who in part generated a favorable
424 to 1 vote. This raises long-standing issues which I will
try to summarize, then give details in reply to many questions
which have been raised by others. One said I may be asked about
sour grapes. We are too blessed to worry about that. My concern
is for families suffering out there. As 25-year Movement pioneers,
information has long gravitated to us. There will be some repetition
here in view of the complexities of the issues. I don't mainly
treat the HR-6 alarm as such, but mostly its relations, effects
Top universities give our students scholarships. Unpaid laymen
work smoothly, warmly and unitedly in helping us and others in
their own states and across state borders, forming coalitions
(not marriages!) that serve families of all faiths. We build
mutual respect with school officials and legislators, as reasoning
educational statesmen rather than as alarmed political hacks--in
a Golden Rule treatment they prefer and most deserve. We show
them which is the best of home education and why it works and
how it becomes a model, a laboratory for better American schools.
But a "Christian" fired from a homeschool job for fraud
began using a statement of faith to split states and obtain a
following, His Protestant exclusivist [PE] move was joined
by lawyer-preacher Mike Farris and Editor Sue Welch of TEACHING
HOME magazine, making money from the move, yet it did not come
from the Christ whose flag they wave. Backed by publisher who
profit by formal, conventional programs, it destroys the historic
unity and quality of the Movement, splitting state groups by
requiring a statement of faith. When we helped him start his
legal defense program, Mike promised when all states made good
laws, he would work himself out of a job. But now into big money,
he has changed his mind and campaigns across the U.S. and Canada
scaring parents into joining. We will show how the HR-6 alarm,
his most notable of many, places the homeschool movement at risk,
particularly when added to the self-serving religious intrusion.
We believe that homeschoolers should capitalize on their peerless
record of achievement, behavior, sociability and entrepreneurial
skills to show themselves friendly to legislators, school officials
and laymen as a positive , altruistic movement instead of one
that is alarmist, defensive, hypercritical and exclusive by religion.
"Radicalizing the right", vitiates the conservative
We tell why, how, and when here, and are prepared to document
all. For answers or information on proven answers for American
schools or balanced, research-based work-study-service, low-stress,
low-cost programs for homeschools' best, send a 52-cent SASE
to me c/o HR-6, Box, 1, Camas, WA 98607.
We don't want to trade on anyone, but for those who feel generous
toward what we are doing here, we would be grateful for financial
sharing in this somewhat costly effort. Please make out any checks
to the not-for-profit, IRS 5-2(c)(3), Moore Foundation, even
though I am sending this out personally. Instead of giving my
regular contribution to the operation of the Foundation, I will
pay for extensive printing and mailing costs. Dorothy and I take
no pay for our work in this Movement. She manages very well.
RAYMOND S. MOORE
Box 1, Camas, Washington 98607
10 October 1994
As the homeschool movement's senior professional, I have tried
for 25 years to provide guidance as needed and as requested.
Eleven years ago Gregg Harris raped our Foundation program in
the crudest, boldest, most dishonest spree ever. Then in Arizona,
he began splitting our hard-won state coalitions we had build
over 15 years by introducing un-American religious discrimination.
You helped bring Gregg to the conciliation table, but he came
in with totally false personal charges which didn't heal the
rape but did end in a crucial agreement: No one was again
to organize in a state that had an established organization without
the counsel and approval of that organization. Then Sue Welch
took over, with not only Gregg's cooperation, but also yours,
as leaders can easily prove.
After you twice stumbled with HSLDA, you and Mike Smith asked
my endorsement, which was then valuable. I also gave you names
of 100-worth homeschool attorneys we had used over the previous
15 years. But first I asked what you would do once we had good
laws in the last few states. "We'll work ourselves out of
a job," you said. But you haven't kept your promise even
though laymen can solve most cases on the phone without legal
help, as we know from long experience. You generally reject custody
suits, but spend unilaterally on a "national center"
in non-defense fields, reject leaders' demand for a representative
center, and seek more members.
Leaders have snowed us with calls, faxes, letters, etc. since
your HR-6 alarm, asking us to do something to show that
homeschools are not inferiority-complexed and defensive. They
build unity and friendships with legislators and school officials,
yet say that you "Pillars" (1) breed fraud, hostility
and weakness by (2) scaring people into joining HSLDA, (3) co-opting
Sue and Sharon Grimes in her journal's drive for more subscriptions
by splitting strong, mostly Christian-led state coalitions coast
to coast, and (4) judge, and tamper with, freedom of religions
you don't even understand.
Mike, you say I am senile, of a false faith. You lividly said
that I am a habitual liar, until you found Sharon had fibbed.
Yet after apologizing, you resurrected the charge. You stand
by Brian Ray's false research. In my 80th year I don't mind this
privately, but I will not honor you while you honor your Pillar
friends whose meetings you lead instead of leading them in honest,
I've counseled with evengelicals, district and federal judges,
even a homeschooling metropolitan city editor, and this is the
only way I know to get to you. I pray that you might somehow
see how bigotry divides and destroys this great Movement.
Raymond S. Moore
typist's note- the following was handwritten across the bottom
of the page:
I will shortly send you a copy of my paper as requested by a
major D.C. foundation.
A White Paper by Raymond
S. Moore, Homeschool Founder
Attorney Michael Farris' homeschooling
alarms in states from Coast to Coast, and federally over the
last four years, and particularly his national alarm on the HR-6
amendment, constitute a serious tactical error if homeschooling
is to be known for its serious contribution to American education
instead of simply another passing educational fancy, and if it
is to be truly respected by legislators instead of pressuring
Homeschools have come of age as America's
most thriving education movement as measured by state studies
of achievement from Alaska to Florida and of sociability in both
state and national studies, and honored by leading university
scholarships. After 1972 reports in Harper's and Reader's Digest
of school-entrance-age studies which we began in 1969, a medley
of parents -- missionaries, world travelers, movie stars, sports
heroes, farmers, wilderness people -- surfaced as home teachers.
School men were first interested more in later school ages than
homeschools. Yet with troubled American schools and help from
radio and TV like Dobson, Maddoux, Moody, Donahue, Winfrey and
wide press, the idea flowered into a movement. Now informed church
and public schools profit from it. It isn't all perfect; one
model may be better than others, but this old idea now scores
Mike Farris is an engaging, energetic,
strong-willed young lawyer with a fine family, ever on the lookout
for brighter prospects. His HSLDA, like Rutherford, NALSAS and
other defenders, has helped many families. But his service is
offset by unilateral initiatives, creating alarm after alarm
that spell catastrophe to the home education movement (Movement)
and arrogance to those who were on the Movement's battle line
helping each other get started, often at great sacrifice, while
he was still in high school. He reminds me, an ex-Army officer,
of a draft-evading president who runs wars without reference
to the Senate, maybe worried that it might disapprove and unaware
that the Golden Rule is still 24 karat.
Yet as a senior professional, key researcher
and founder of the Movement, I must write not only for thousands
of hurting families, but also for key Coalition members who helped
shape this paper. I accept personal accountability for it, fully
aware of the probable diversity of its readers and of likely
repercussions. We hope Mike, his board, staff and all Protestant
exclusivists (PE's) who split other faiths, including Roman Catholic,
Jew, LDS, Muslim, etc., even a Lutheran the other day, from state
or federal home education bodies see their Bible's point that
the greater danger isn't non-Protestants, but mixing with greedy,
- "I have written you...not to associate
with sexually immoral people -- not at all meaning the people
of this world...In that case you would have to leave this world.
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone
who calls himself a brother but who is sexually immoral or greedy,
an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such
a man do not even eat."
- Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:9-11, NIV.
In other words, I deeply wish that they
could truly understand their Christ. Their divisiveness did not
come from His Bible.
If any PE's deny anything of substance
that we say here, they can tell me or take me to court. That
would be a great opportunity to get all out in the open. To write
the worst here would seem so ungodly as to be unbelievable and
make this letter appear absurd. Yet the evidence is prodigious.
PURPOSES OF THIS PAPER
Our main concerns are four: (1) To reunite
state coalitions, (2) to protect vulnerable families, (3) to
propose a representative national homeschool coalition or council,
and (4) to build a strong sense of accountability among homeschools
as family laboratories to help improve our conventional schools.
We are not so personally offended by any of the persons mentioned
here, as at the havoc they are wreaking. For the first 15 years
(about 1969-84), most of us worked without pay until we had decent
laws in most states, and still do. PE has already created havoc.
Indifference to unity is more alarming than the HR-6 vote. Friendliness
and concern for other schools, and setting sound examples, are
homeschooling's best defense.
Outline of this paper
Maybe I am senile as Mike says, but
I still hold out a hope that he will yet make a selfless contribution
to the Movement. I wish him well also on his ambitions to be
a fine governor, senator or judge if he remembers that to be
truly strong is not to be willful, and if he gets his ethics,
money and political ambitions in order and his temper, tongue,
and religious judgmentalism under control. This means that he
must stop his projection of hostility in legislatures, courts
and newsletters. This is crucial to underpin the strong moral
example he wants to project. We are pained at him and his colleagues,
one of whom brags as home education's "Four Pillars",
for trying to control the Movement at the expense of others'
religious freedoms instead of winning laurels ethically. We here
include accounts of Mike's...
1. Losing crucial homeschool friends
by pushing state and federal alarm buttons, alienating state
and federal legislators and officials by treating them as pressure-vulnerable
political hacks instead of befriending them, informing them,
and reasoning with them as statesmen, as we have done for years.
(See civil rights lawyer below.)
2. Rising addiction in recent years
to use of alarms in states and nation which, while it attracts
heroic attention to him and brings in more HSLDA money and members,
actually destroys home education by turning a positive professional
movement into a defensive one, generating fear that feeds personal
3. Cooperation with, and active participation
in a PE campaign making homeschool state leadership and membership
a test of faith, splitting state coalitions through outlawing
Roman Catholics, Jews, LDS, Muslims, etc. by demanding the signing
of Protestant vows.
4. Inadvertently or deliberately, yet
unilaterally posing as state and national homeschool voice, offensive
to selfless veterans who believe this should be the province
of a representative national body. The HR-6 alarm is only one
symptom of the PE attack, systematically destroying homeschool
unity built against great odds for 15 years before Mike jumped
5. Inclination to use influential people
to build his hero's stage until he needs them no more or until
they question his wisdom.
6. Prejudice agenda much like the Massachusetts
Bay Colony ministers' against Roger Williams.
7. Onion-thin-skin intolerance to any
questioning of his or HSLDA's wisdom, and temper of almost insane
fury, yet reserving the right to judge others without checking
8. HSLDA has become well-to-do and prominent,
yet largely rejects the generally most trying, dismal situations
the custody cases.
9. The doubtful "Four-Pillar"
ethics anger home-schoolers by religious prejudice to divide
and destroy state coalitions.
10. Negative impact on the security
of parents in general who during the Movement's first 15 years
or so were delighted to see any and all who came fully into the
In the remainder of this paper we first
elaborate on its purposes, and include reactions of professionals
and laymen to the issues. Then we flesh out the outline above
and close with vignettes of the other three "Pillars"
to provide a context - some idea of the characters and methods
of his colleagues and, to some extent, reasons for Mike's agenda.
CONCERNED LEADERS SPEAK OUT ON HR-6
Like aftershocks from an 8.0 Richter,
we still receive visits, calls, faxes, letters, and cards on
HR-6. Some made it clear that state officials prefer a single
state organization or at least cooperating state groups to whom
they can go. Legislators agree. A Washington, D.C. federal civil
rights attorney, known for her reserve and femininity, called
and gave me a precise summation of the HR-6 alarm with uncharacteristic
" I was outraged! This presuming
on Dr. Dobson, Gary Bauer, Marlin Maddoux, and others who are
normally well informed, but simply don't have full information
and are led like lambs to the slaughter! If they only knew! There
is a place for alarms. But when we overreact, we lose credibility,
and there is a snow-balling effect I'm afraid we're reaching
the place where people will no longer honor homeschooling. I'm
not a friend of Senator Mitchell's, but he was right: "An
unnecessary solution to a non-existent problem." It's time
for some common sense and sound group judgment which would better
come from a representative national coalition than a unilateral
effort by an obviously ambitious individual.
When I asked if there could be a reason
for the hurry, she added, "There was plenty of time. And
the [Senate/House] Conference Report specified that HR-6 applied
only to public schools." When I asked her idea on a representative
American national homeschool council, she cheered, "Great!
I look forward to that!" I should explain that anyone who
knows Dobson, Bauer, Maddoux, Moody, Limbaugh and others may
be surprised. These are good men. They research their programs
with great care, but don't know Mike. I was surprised, too. I
was warned, but I didn't know Mike either until he was through
Years ago, before I knew his disposition
- one that few of his friends (or family?) ever see - an American
leader well known to all these men warned me to "Be careful
what you give to Mike Farris, if you don't want your movement
destroyed," and told me of his bold bent to take charge.
Not fully understanding, I unwisely set the remark aside. Like
most people, I didn't really know Mike. Dorothy says I'm much
too trusting. A veteran Christian leader labeled his agenda "an
ad hominem attack ('What's good for HSLDA is good for the Movement')
by an ambitious young lawyer who doesn't know that much credit
for early growth of the Movement is deserved by secular leaders.
He's done a masterful job of getting himself in the headlines
as a base for an aspiring political future. He is a masterful
Another call came out of the blue from
a perceptive, articulate Southern mother as I was finishing this
paper: "As Christians," she said, "they (Pillars')
don't seem rational or intelligent about Christ, for He wouldn't
ever cut others off!...He (Farris) is inflammatory, always manipulating
us, playing on our imaginations. I had just miscarried when our
(state Christian organization) called in panic on HR-6. It almost
did me in (sound of tears and an apology). Not only is he giving
a bad name for homeschooling, but also a bad name for my Lord.
The way he is going - the hostility he is creating - I'm afraid
our good laws will crumble."
A homeschooling father, a Roman Catholic,
who is a city editor of a major daily newspaper called us, asking,
"What can I do to help get this truth out?" Then added,
"Every American should be aware.
Public schools should care. Homeschools, properly done, provide
a shining example of how it should be done."
Institutions as we see them now, are
not geared to rear kids. We shouldn't turn all our children over
to them. There is need for national debate. And all should know
the cynical, self-serving, disgusting, arrogant, un-American,
unchristian hypocrisy of those who divide productive, unified
state coalitions. Conservatives need to know the havoc that some
of their own misguided people can do to their agenda.
Jill Boone's Home Education Magazine
letter quoted her friend, a senior Congressional manager who
phoned on HR-6: "Unfortunately the callers left the impression
of an uneducated...alarmed group who had been told to kill the
Bill. They did not demonstrate any understanding of the Bill's
content nor the reasoning behind it." With his scare tactics
coast to coast, and without truth and selfless, unprejudiced
unity, the Movement faces a dark age. We prefer to teach facts
and positive attitudes to families and to develop permanent friends
among officials and lawmakers - who are not as unreasonable as
the alarm suggests.
After watching the development of the
'exclusivism movement' now spilling over into Canada, the abuse
of secular families by "so-called Christian homeschoolers"
and the need for unity which is now crucial, one Canadian leader
asks "how much, if any of the (Canadian) crisis has been
fabricated for that organization's (HSLDA's) financial gain,
and how much of it is real? I find it unfortunate that instead
of working together to solve problems at the community level,
homeschoolers must first decide which of their (homeschool leaders
and) neighbors they can trust."
Farris the man
Some of us helped Mike start HSLDA after
his first two tries went awry. He promised that when the last
few states had good laws, HSLDA would work itself "out of
a job." We helped him whenever possible, even getting into
trouble and out of his graces in Syracuse for doing him a distinct
favor (more later on him and Sharon Grimes). I have often referred
cases to HSLDA, and it has often used me as expert witness, acclaiming
me its best.
But Coalition leaders try to mold their
programs to a larger view. We were more concerned over HR-6,
itself, than in amending it. Its defeat would place us in proper
perspective as a positive, selfless movement, which it largely
is. A leading U.S. Senate source, a homeschool dad whose counsel
has been extremely helpful over the years, said, "You caught
the gnat (amendment), but let an elephant (HR-6) through."
A conservative foundation official added, "You won a battle,
but lost the war." As accountable citizens, HR-6 should
have been our prime target.
ALIENATING OFFICIALS AND
Permanent or transient good? Those who
tell officials how bad the public schools are instead of documenting
the excellence of home education are missing the boat. The HR-6
hysteria did seem to have an instant positive effect of making
the Nation aware that homeschools must be reckoned with. Yet
the nation was already on notice from our victories in 50 states.
HR-6's transient "good" was offset many times by its
residual effect of resentment, anger, and unfriendliness on legislators
it targeted who were forced to operate by pressure instead of
Golden Rule information and reason, as we have successfully done
until PE's began their divisive wasting. There is no real freedom
outside that rule!
Some insane (without reason) history.
Since l964 when I was with the U.S. Office of Education (OE),
HR-6 ancestors have composed our most costly school legislation
in both money and children. If we were selfless, well-informed
people with all the money we spent on the alarm, we may have
defeated HR-6. Instead, it distracted lawmakers from debate on
this very bad bill, and it slipped by for annual costs of over
$10,000,000,000 and inestimable damage to America's children.
Institutional Head Start is an example. There is not a single
replicable study that supports it. The only really successful
program of this general type is the Home Start version that goes
into the home instead of an institution, and helps parents make
a better home to help not only the target child, but all the
family. And this often spills over into the community.
In 1965, after many years of administering
public and parochial school systems, colleges and universities,
I watched from my OE desk as President Johnson's political valets
laid their coats down before HR-6's 1965 grandma, then a debutante
in the "Great Society," so she could tip-toe down a
slippery educational-political path to become, with Head Start,
a Great Society dowager. There wasn't, isn't, nor likely ever
will be replicable research to lift her if she fell. Now she
is so made up by Great Society cosmetics and face lifts that
vested interests fall for her, more in lust than for beauty.
Later, on a university inspection trip west, I also represented
the OE at public school meetings when a grim Fairfield, California
curriculum director told me, "Titles I and II (of old HR-6)
are ruining our kids." When I asked why they took the money,
he said, "If we don't, we'll lose our jobs. The fed intrudes
in our neighborhoods at our expense both in cash and damaged
kids." As a former CA school superintendent, I understood.
Not all legislators were fooled. In
1973, House Education Sub-Committee Chair Edith Green (D-OR)
joined Senator James Buckley's (R-NY) initiative to find money
to continue our research that fathered the homeschool movement.
They had read our reports in Harper's and Reader's Digest. When
I told her of my Fairfield experience, she moaned, "Yes,
Dr. Moore, I know. I did my best to help the President (Johnson)
create his 'Great Society,' but now I'm using every bone in my
body to dismantle it." California Congressman Don Clausen
was there, and I believe Minnesota's Al Quie. I talked with her
again after she quit Congress to be president of Reed College
where she held those convictions even more freely.
The real home educators. To the anguish
of Movement veterans, the HR-6 alarm left some media and lawmakers
with a feeling that home teachers variously are antsy, impetuous,
tasteless, defensive, inferiority-complexed: a clan awash in
mediocrity who prefer to deal in shock and react to fear. This
is uncommonly scary when it happens within an honest and worthy
conservative movement, where the great majority are inspired,
courageous, wise American examples on how to deal with powers-that-be.
True homeschool parents rarely rear delinquents, pretenders,
or reckless offspring. Most are highly reputable, thoughtful,
courageous parents, including attorneys, businessmen and women,
carpenters, judges, homemakers, engineers, linemen, IRS/FBI agents,
farmers, nurses, legislators, builders, publishers, professors,
psychologists, and social workers, among many others. Its largest
professional group consists of public school staffers!
The great majority are thinking people
who maintain close touch with local officials, legislators and
informed agencies in D.C., and act in warm collegiality with
experienced colleagues in the certainty that in old-fashioned
home education the shining examples are they that offer balanced
programs of study, creative work and altruistic service (as Harvard
and others appreciate) with strong learning tools, but creatively
centering on the interests of their students instead of being
forced through an extrusion process of canned curricula where
all come out about the same-size sausage. Their offspring excel
in achievement, behavior, and sociability. They develop entrepreneurial
skills and enjoy home and community service. Americans need not
be guilty of our presuming on their children as I have personally
seen in the NEA. For 25 years we've worked to build a homeschool
constituency that doesn't feel it has to be looking over its
shoulder for fear its children may be swallowed by the state.
So it's disheartening for opportunistic interests (some say "greedy")
to intrude and divide a Movement which shares without regard
to race, color, creed, or national origin.
ALARMS: ALIENATING THE MEDIA
Whether or not we agreed with Mike's
tactics to pressure a vote against the HR-6 amendment demanding
teacher certification, we did cooperate, concerned, as media
men may also have been, that there may be hidden legislative
agendas. So we were trapped. Yet to the extent that I co-opted
Mike's alarm, I hurt homeschooling. I wasn't happy either way!
Tongue in cheek, I accepted Jim Warren's invitation to take two
segments on Moody Network's Prime Time America rather than risk
his being left in the dust.
Therein again lies the danger in Mike's
impulsive tactics devoid of perspective. Congressmen and media
persons who are skeptical about the need for an alarm face the
risk of doubtful home folk if they don't vote for a law or promote
it on radios/TV, knowing that uninformed tactics eventually make
enemies. Yet dare they ignore even non-issues lest they be left
in the dust? One of the media folk mentioned by the civil rights
attorney above said he felt the alarm was needed. We doubt that,
but don't argue it. Our case centers on building unity and professionalism.
Another she mentioned said they knew Farris well. These people
are dear to me, and I know their honesty well enough that if
they knew him as well as I, they would be very sad.
THE PROTESTANT EXCLUSIVIST QUEST
To those caught up in the Pillar's "Christian"
PE march, we ask if you can possibly see exclusivism as an inexorable
a form of bigotry as when God three times admonished Peter not
to judge any one "unclean" (Acts 10) or at least as
intolerant and greedy as the ancient Pharisees whom Christ angrily
condemned. Can you arrange your Christian ideals so that you
justify such conduct, judging as you do, often without an iota
of understanding of their beliefs? Are you without prejudice?
Do you see that you will go down and take our Movement with you?
If you as Protestants do believe the Bible, you know the consequences
may be eternal.
We will describe more later under "Gregg
Harris" and "Sue Welch" how PE operates, but it
is important at this point to summarize Mike's involvement: He
(1) is the big Pillar to PE leaders; (2) works very closely with
Sue Welch (and helper Sharon Grimes), the PE cutting edge, chairing
her national meetings, writing regular columns and is so trusted
an advisor that sometimes she will talk only when he is on the
phone; (3) is generally closely identified with PE agencies and
uses PE state people on his National Center for Home Education
(NCHE) Advisory Committee instead of those from original state
coalitions; and (4) his staff directly contributes to the PE
dividing of state coalitions.
FARRIS, THE VOICE OF HOME EDUCATION?
The Coalition views Mike as a relative
latecomer who, as head of one of several legal defense agencies,
perhaps unwittingly, is not satisfied to try for excellence in
his profession, but seeks to be a generic voice, now that HSLDA
is in the money. He co-opts, generates or supports state as well
as federal scares. He may see his efforts as good public relations
for homeschooling, but the Coalition, along with key American
thinkers, much of the media, and lawmakers are badly disappointed,
even angered. They know, as Mike should know, that defense agencies
receive only a small proportion of the legal inquiries. Pressure
votes from legislators offer no assurance of friendship toward
One homeschool leader says, Mike "acts
as if only attorneys understand legal and legislative modes,
and recruits HSLDA members at a time prosecutions have sharply
decreased, in an arrogant pursuit of money and power while rebuffing
the Movement's desperate need for unity." Also, with all
their money, he and HSLDA reject many of the most needy cases
which then have to be picked up, often gratis, by altruistic
defenders. We are glad there have been some exceptions, but,
if you have any doubts, ask for the record. This month I suggested
HSLDA for a non-member, non-custody case in Atlanta, and Attorney
Joseph Kenyon offered free services, but he advised me he did
it on his own, not as HSLDA policy. Others not of HSLDA, including
Steve Graber, John Whitehead and Rutherford (including Shelby
Sharpe), Dan Grimm, Bill Graves, Bill O'Mara, et al are taking
these cases with little or no money, but with distinguished success.
Coalition folk see Farris' NCHE as "on
the record ill-equipped by experience and research to provide
the quality of professional leadership to deal with oft times
hostile agencies." They report his "obtaining exclusive
homeschool rights to certain standardized tests, thus depriving
mothers who were doing a great job of testing as a home industry."
Mike then handed it over to a university, which was likely unaware
of the grief incurred to home industries.
Many ask why he doesn't settle down
to do a better and more complete job of legal defense instead
of intruding into professional areas in which he and his staff
are less than the best. For example Mike writes, "...the
only real defense against burnout for the Christian homeschooling
family is God's mighty power. Academic strategies deserve only
a passing reference in building a defense against burnout"
(sounds like Gregg Harris). I daily trust God's mighty power.
Yet to use an analogy from Mike's profession as he presumes on
mine, I wonder if he would say, "The only real defense against
court action for the Christian homeschooling family is God's
mighty power. Lawyer strategies deserve only a passing reference
in building a defense against an unconstitutional charge."
Mike seems to have little respect for the Movement's basic research
and top homeschool programs as measured by scholarships, behavior,
creativity and character. He knows a lot about homeschool law,
but it should not be below him to grant acknowledgment to professionals
Just as there are occasional homeschool
cases that badly need a lawyer, there are burnout cases badly
in need of academic help, lest they and/or their children lose
their mental, physical or emotional health, i.e. burn out. I
learned not to witness for parents needing a lawyer, but who
decided they didn't need one. Mike here demonstrates his provincial
orientation to homeschooling and quality of "national"
center. As with Colfaxes and many Moore Formula families (one
with seven current scholarship students), a disproportionately
large number of scholarships go to parents who give more than
casual notice to academics by (1) refusing to rush their kids
into formal studies, (2) combining sound tools like grammar and
math with a focus on the child's worthwhile interests, and (3)
balancing student-centered study with work and service. Many
parents were burned out by some of the biggest, most expensive
curricula in home education. Now Mike sets himself up as judge
of their experience with God.
Another is his colleague Brian Ray's
"national" research institute, which has used HSLDA's
Paeonian Springs address and which at best is a "national"
pretense when measured with dozens of mature research programs,
but who gives Mike the satisfaction, however dubious, of considering
HSLDA samplings generic to all U.S. homeschooling, and some of
whose "research" is so far off track as to be obvious
to an elementary school child. (More later.)
In dealing with certain PE leaders -
one for well over 10 years - various of us have tried, perhaps
not always wisely, to counter their damage to the Movement. Some
counseled us to "Let God take care of them" (that could
be good or terrible). Christians believe in the golden rule that
we don't share Christ's grace if we don't claim it for our "enemies."
Yet Ezekiel (33:6-9) balances this with a warning that if we
as watchmen don't warn those who may be hurt, their blood will
be on our heads. Farris knows well that PE dividing of state
coalitions was conceived in proven deceit, but not by him (more
below). Yet he is now a key player. He co-opts as PE speaker,
chairman, and through staff and financial ties is central among
those who ignore others' freedoms and splinter state coalitions
in the name of Christ and religion. If he is blind on this, we
will give him or an appropriate panel, chapter and verse. (More
Mike acts and speaks as though he leads
the homeschool majority, yet HSLDA members loyal to his agenda
likely include less than ten percent of all homeschoolers. Coalition
members and their inclusivist colleagues have a heavy plurality.
Mike isn't alone in this context. PE's, often explicitly led
by "Pillars," are with him hand-in-glove. If he said,
"Stop," they would surely slow down and likely stop.
By going into state after state with alarms and ungodly and un-American
PE doctrines, they systematically splinter veteran coalitions
and destroy the Movement's vital unity which won our good state
laws. HSLDA has enjoyed exclusivist support increasingly in its
recruitment over the last five to ten years. Yet not all HSLDA
members like Mike's agenda. Some of them volunteered documentation
for this paper.
He stated repeatedly as Sue Welch's
national meeting chairman that he rejects a representative national
organization as proposed by Coalitioners. Instead of concentrating
on a defense operation in which he has some expertise, he prefers
to expand his horizons. His unilaterally established NCHE is
a non-defense operation for which there is time and money now
that there are few court cases, and affords broader exposure
and more generous avenues for political ambitions than unpopular
homeschools provide, as he plans to run for U.S. Senate in 1996.
Figures and facts
Mike's numbers game. Note his figures
and words on NCHE or HSLDA, and then the facts. He is right in
writing a Missouri mother, "Please check your facts and
sources and if you want serious answers please get back to me
with actual statements I am alleged to have made." Here
are a few of them:
1. "I do not have either the time
nor inclination to defend myself against random charges which
are not based on specific statements. Suffice it to say for now,
I do not consider myself the 'unelected spokesman for all home
schoolers.' I am the president of an organization of over 40,000
families who have voluntarily joined. When I speak in Congress,
I speak for them. As to the 14 organizations in the Ad-Hoc Coalition,
the question is not why HSLDA did not join with them, the question
is why they refused to join the over 2,000 home school organizations
that stood with us in our coalition against the Miller provision
in H.R. 6?"
Those familiar both with the Congress
and with homeschooling, ask four questions here, apart from addressing
her assumption that he acts as if he were homeschooling's voice:
- Are all HSLDA members in the highest
- Do many or most of them join under
some kind of stress, some, false alarms?
- Is Mike fantasizing or does he really
speak in Congress?
- In comparing 14 Coalition members and
"2,000 homeschool organizations," is he equating apples
with apples or pumpkins with peanuts?
Most or all of the 14 are national agencies,
some of them larger and/or certainly far more experienced and
geographically extensive than HSLDA. Mike's "2,000"
are likely local support groups, including, as we have said,
many who don't agree with him. Some Coalition members like Moore
Foundation and Holt Associates number their support clientele
in hundreds or thousands of support groups. In the U.S. and Canada,
there are estimated to be well over 10,000 support groups of
two or three to several hundred families.
2. Again, to answer with specific statements,
as he demands: On an interview on Maddoux's Point Of View,Mike
- "we have never had a family where
the parents were forced involuntarily to stop homeschooling their
- He added that parents should not wait
to write about HR-6, but call or use overnight mail to the Congress.
- The same lady who sent me the tape,
enclosed the front page of the West Virginia Homeschool Banner
reporting that "...Judge Haden denied HSLDA's request....As
a result Brent Null is back in a public school."
- Nor was a fax or phone or expensive
overnight letter imperative on the Miller Amendment; the final
vote was not due for at least four months. There were other solutions
besides alarms, such as insisting on using in the amendment the
word "public" before "school" or visiting
lawmakers personally, as some of us have been doing.
We don't say there should be no alarms.
One possible example: a recent federal proposal on lobbying.
We do say there should be very few in home education, and they
should be done with counsel by a wide range of veterans with
much more experience than Mike, for he is toying with all of
homeschooling in his state and federal scares. A Tennessee mother
said that virtually every time she receives a call from her state
organization, it is an HSLDA scare.
How PE began among homeschoolers
Most PE's began operating after risks
had diminished some 15 years after the Movement's beginnings,
led by Gregg Harris who styled himself one of the "Four
Pillars of Home Education" along with Farris, editor Sue
Welch and researcher Brian Ray. I see no published disclaimers
from the other three.
Operating as they do from within the
Movement to splinter state coalition unity, PE's pose a greater
threat to homeschools than do many public schools, the National
Education Association (NEA), or the Congress. Mike's actions
and words on coalition clearly show that he rejects the wisdom
of Movement leaders at large. His mix of state and federal alarms
and PE ties also bring him more members, which translates into
prominence, independence and money, now particularly critical
as he develops his new political action committee (PAC).
Farris' false vow
Farris is a driver, but many helped
him put HSLDA together after he stumbled twice, its needed stability
provided by his outstanding Executive VP Attorney Michael Smith.
Not long ago I asked Smith, who has been a dear friend to me,
about their promise when they asked for my endorsement on Farris'
third try to start HSLDA. Having successfully defended families
for 15 years before HSLDA, Dorothy and I knew that all but several
states had good laws and there would be few court cases other
than custody suits - which HSLDA has generally refused. So I
asked them what they would do then. They replied that they would
work themselves out of a job. Instead, Farris accelerated their
membership drive, taking money in many places, we feel, under
false pretenses. Some call it fraud.
I reminded Smith of
- HSLDA's obvious wealth,
- quite good laws in all states,
- relatively few court cases except for
- Farris' campaign for members in states
that have little or no need for "protection," and
- undue financial stress on low-income
Smith replied, "Mike has changed
his mind," i.e. he decided not to keep his word. After substantial
financial and other dealings with Gregg Harris, his sponsors
and others have long labeled him a con-artist, but I didn't expect
anything like this of Farris. Yet he is a user. I would never
have endorsed him if I had any idea that opportunism would void
Some of us told him long ago that NCHE
was not needed for further monitoring of federal government.
We have plenty of D.C. and state phone trees manned by veterans
from Concerned Women For America, Eagle Forum, Family Research
Council, Heritage and Free Congress Foundations, Rutherford and
help from such as American Enterprise Institute and Brookings.
What we do need is unity and ethical, selfless common sense.
On HR-6 alone, Rutherford's staff visited all congressional offices
with facts and sound reasoning. Mike, himself, keeps us continually
scared: Relatively new in D.C., out on a limb setting alarms
without counsel from home education's representative majority,
using Congress and media boldly in what some see primarily as
If he says he is not doing this, that
is all the more scary, for then he would not be aware of the
seriousness of his acts. It reminds me of an elderly laborer
working outside on our Glendale, CA hospital construction job,
who got out on a tree limb on the wrong side of his saw and ended
up inside the hospital. I hope for his sake and ours that does
not happen to Mike.
Background of the issues
recent years Coalition folk have been puzzled, frustrated, and
finally angered at the division of once-unified state groups
and assemblies. Agents of the Teaching Home, HSLDA and/or allies
are usually "invited" by persons or small cliques of
their making. They specifically arrange some of these programs.
Yet exclusivists have disturbed or destroyed state organizations
in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia,
Virginia, Wisconsin et al, not to mention British Columbia and
Alberta and other Canadian provinces where we long ago built
strong relations with the governments, including a minister of
education and a First Nation's (Indian) leader.
Solution here is crucial, for legislators
insist we must rebuild unity if we want to maintain good laws.
Despite state and national showings of homeschooling's consistently
superior averages in achievement, behavior and sociability, the
NEA and its cohorts must be uninformed, misinformed, indifferent
or ignorant to an astonishing degree, refusing as they do to
face truth and make use of the revival of a proven American practice
for centuries, at a time they desperately need it. So they wait
for us just around every legislative and media corner with ill-begotten
slander. Yet PE strategy is just as unprofessional.
Denying religious freedoms
Freedom lets me, a conservative Protestant,
differ in doctrine from others, but it does not license me ethically
to attack or exclude any of them from a family-education movement.
Even worse, Mike accuses sound Christians of being agents of
Satan, of false faiths or as unsaved. He judges freely, forgetting
the injunction of his Bible to "Judge not, that you be not
judged; for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged."
His unsavory indictment of Home Education Magazine editor Mark
Hegener is widely known. He labeled as "unsaved" Sandi
Hall, a model Christian who was then leader of the large Washington
Homeschool Organization (WHO). He derides top Wisconsin leader
Larry Kaseman because he is not a lawyer yet has opinions on
legislation. Do Farris, Harris, Welch, Grimes and other PE's,
believe Christ's order to "Go...and teach all nations?"
St. Paul had this in mind when he wrote to the Romans, "I
am debtor to the Greeks, and (even) to the Barbarians."
Christ set the example with Zaccheus the Publican, Mary the harlot,
the Samaritan woman, and Peter with the Roman Centurion Cornelius:
as well as the vision where God told him not to call others "unclean."
My attempts at solution
I have written, phoned, visited or otherwise
attempted to resolve these matters with PE heads, in line with
Matthew 18, but without success. Their general reason, repeated
and amplified by Mike to me personally is that they are Christians,
my religion is false, and I am senile. I hope it helps to know
that I have taken the counsel of unnumbered leaders, ministers,
lawyers and judges, two of them presiding federal district judges,
both involved in one way or another in homeschooling. It would
be presumptuous for Dorothy and me to think we understand Christ's
cross, yet we do have some understanding of what Machiavelli
wrote in The Prince in 1513:
"There is nothing more difficult
to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous
to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer
has enemies in all who profit by the old order, and only luke-warm
defenders in all those who profit by the new order. This luke-warmness
arises partly from fear of their adversaries, who have law in
their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who
do not truly believe in anything new until they have actual experience
Christ made no allowances for PE rationale
that if they associate with other faiths, their children might
be contaminated. Would that keep them from joining a country
club or political party that includes colleagues of other faiths?
Or how do they deal with children in their own churches who are
less than angels? Or yet with those who sign a faith statement
expediently but not in principle? There is nothing that compels
parents to take children to state or other political meetings.
There is no rule in any home education coalition or support group
that requires a family to hob-nob with others. Do they know how
such exclusion developed after homeschooling was well established
as a worthy movement? Perhaps they should.
It was born in fraud by a man desperate
for his own constituency after he was fired from a homeschool
job he secured under false pretenses. He then lied to state leaders
that his employer was too busy to keep his seminar commitments,
so he would be coming in his employer's place. All of this was
unknown to his employer. Mike knows Gregg Harris well, author
of this deliberate, gross deceit and his destruction of state
coalitions, beginning with Arizona. Yet instead of correcting
him, he works with him and joins him in openly ridiculing others
for their faiths. (See on [sic] Harris below.)
For the Movement's first 15 years (1969-84)
home educators knew nothing like arrogance or greed. Even public
schools did not take the Movement seriously for its first five
or ten years and provided little dissent until the NEA sensed
a threat to its monopoly. At first, approving letters from public
educators far outnumbered disapprovals, including hundreds of
letters from school officials and state university faculties.
We have accepted invitations from more than 30 of them to share
in writing their textbooks. Moreover, leaders like John Holt,
the Colfaxes, and Nancy Plent who made no religious claims, are
largely ignored by PE's although they brought great credit to
the Movement. Three Colfax boys went to Harvard on scholarships,
and a fourth (and second adoptee) is already a gem. They have
been more deeply involved in altruistic missions than most Christians.
Similarly in our Moore Academy curricula religious preference
seems to make no difference in achieving many scholarships from
major universities. One Moore Formula family already has seven
on such scholarships, including post-doctoral fellowships in
physics at Stanford and post-medical in psychiatry at Southern
California. We make no distinction by faith, but to our knowledge,
we have had no college refusals. Yet our highest goals are selfless
character and skill for making a living.
The declining need for legal defense.
In the early homeschool years, we helped all schools. I was expert
witness more often for standard Christian schools - most often
Pentecostal and Baptist - where we won nearly all cases taken
to court. These have benefited by sound homeschool laws, so seldom
go to court any more. They need no special defense program; nor
do homeschools. Alarms are rarely if ever needed. Most panics
are set off by people who are misinformed, disposed to rumor,
need an ego boost or have a vested interest.
Christian and secular compared
In an effort to make allowances for
their behavior, we realize that PE leaders like the "Pillars"
likely know little of early crises in the Movement. Homeschool
families were reported to the authorities as truants more often
by Christian relatives than secular. Lack of information on the
nature and success of homeschooling led to early general rebukes
of homeschoolers by Protestant and Roman Catholic schools that
became supportive as they became informed. We did not blame them
under the circumstances for fearing loss of students. Yet alert
schools grew mightily as umbrellas or mothering schools, many
of them "covering" hundreds of homeschools, and one
of them now "mothers" more than 25,000 homeschool students.
Secular publishers were cooperative
from the first, but we had a problem meeting family demands for
Christian materials: Some major Christian publishers would not
knowingly sell a book to homeschool families, so we had to buy
through other sources. Some top church school officials labeled
homeschools "ridiculous." Such schools at least eventually
saw the potential profit in the Movement, yet Beka Horton of
Abeka still says in print and in practice that she has no use
for the research which formed modern home education's base.
Such behavior is, of course, not new.
I believe most PE's are honest, sincere parents who are unwittingly
led in a vicious crusade, much like the Apostle Paul who at first
had no use for Christ and His love for "gentiles."
He and fellow Pharisees and rabbis pushed Christ to His severest
censure of any churchmen. Christ called them "...hypocrites...whitewashed
tombs...beautiful on the outside but on the inside...full of
dead bones and everything unclean" [Matthew 23].
Working with school systems
We work closely with many public and
parochial school systems. One example is California's Orange
County Schools where homeschool liaison officer Red Balfour works
with close to a thousand families. Yet key California PE leaders
are hostile to the program. For one thing, it doesn't need HSLDA.
Nor do those under the "umbrellas" of church schools,
as we have noted.
Parents tell of being scared into joining
HSLDA. They often laugh when asked if they are loyal members.
Some novice parents do it because PE's say it's the thing to
do or because of transient alarms, even in states like Idaho,
Missouri, Montana, Texas, and Washington, which offer no threats
at all. Defense needs depend largely upon the quality of home-school
programs. Those most often in court are they who use school-at-home
curricula, in contrast with high-performing less formal programs
like Colfax's and Moore's that center on student interests and
balance strong study skills with work and service. Such families
rarely if ever go to court. Nor do such family schools have parent
and child burnout.
Dorothy and I have spent well over twice
as long in homeschool defense as HSLDA, and currently pick up
cases they reject. We believe we understand these needs. In dealing
with D.A.'s, judges and school officials, we use Dorothy's credentials
as an honored Los Angeles County remedial specialist and university
teacher and mine as a former CA city school head (both life-certified)
along with experience as teacher-education dean; college and
university administrator, university consortium leader, and graduate
research and programs officer with the U.S. Office of Education
(OE). As seasoned professionals, we settled over 99% of homeschool
legal problems out of court. Our most successful lawyers agree
that they are seldom needed now. We handled thousands of such
threats in the early years when many state laws were uncertain.
Most court cases now involve (1) custody issues where one spouse
tries to seize children from another by creating homeschool biases
- the stickiest kind, for which we must help for little or nothing,
using such sacrificial lawyers or defense agencies as Vernon
Alger, Steve Graber, Bill Graves, Bill O'Mara, John Whitehead's
Rutherford Institute, Ed Nagel's NALSAS, et al, (2) states that
PE's splinter and disunify, weakening the homeschool fabric and
reputation. States in danger of losing freedoms are generally
PE-dominated locales: The more division, the fewer freedoms.
A pattern of intrusion
We would like to think that those most
involved in fear tactics don't realize what they are doing. They
were not around 10-25 years ago in the tough, tight-money times
when most state laws were developed. In New York, where some
of us worked for years and had the confidence of the vice-chancellor
of the state system (the State Elementary Supervisor Fran Nolan
was our dear friend), we were planning with the legislature,
and Farris came in along with Sue Welch's agent, Sharon Grimes.
They arranged with subordinate NY officials for a policy of Mike's
design which is more restrictive. He was harshly critical of
Linda Dobson and Emily Makepeace, New York mothers who rightly
wanted more freedom than he and his PE's sought, although he
was a relatively inexperienced person in New York matters.
In Connecticut two irate mothers said,
to the shock of lawmakers, "Mr. Farris elbowed us out of
his way when we were listed to speak at state hearings."
"Physically?" we asked. "Yes, physically,"
both replied. Not surprisingly, he says Connecticut is a problem
state. He also certainly knows of current strong displeasure
about HSLDA intrusions into Michigan, of the strong feelings
of Christian leaders against his staffer's approved incursions
into Wisconsin. A top Washington State leader called me as I
write this, fearing a PE-W.A.T.C.H. takeover of our already Christian-led
Washington Homeschool Organization (see below) after W.A.T.C.H.
jettisoned its original but now wiser leader.
Mike's first federal alarm
The case of S.695. In 1990 some of us
worked closely and effectively with S.695's national teacher
certification sponsors, including a member of their board, to
modify parts of the proposed law and to protect non-public schools.
Yet Mike unilaterally rang an alarm, then quickly claimed credit
which legislators and D.C. leaders said should be credited to
others. Four years later, haunted by S.695-and many state panics-after
his HR-6 scare, national homeschool leaders were convinced that
Farris' one-man show was out of hand, and began an ad hoc representative
Inconsistency of PE rationale
While I don't deserve credit for organizing
the Coalition with its mixture of Christians and other faiths
and non-faiths, we joined it because we agree with its agenda
of unity and religious freedom. Coalition members may be of diverse
faiths, but in dealing with the state, their common threads are
parental freedom and the Golden Rule. Already, RC, LDS, Jew,
Muslim and secular tell us that PE interdiction has driven them
into forming their own groups. Nodding to. 2 Cor 6:14, they ask,
"Are we unequally yoked when we seek mutual freedoms?"
To be yoked in marriage, business, or church membership is one
thing, but to participate in a coalition is by definition quite
another. Are homeschoolers any more yoking than Farris' membership
in a national council of mixed faiths that is open to RC, LDS,
et al or a political party which also sponsors family functions?
Would he exclude RC or LDS or Jew from a country club? Or do
it only to worthy parents who are trying to protect their family
freedom? Many wonder if it is because his reasons are vested?
Do "born again" Christians
evangelize by cutting others off? Dr. Robert P. Dugan, Director
of the Washington, D.C. office of the National Association of
Evangelicals, goes straight to the point:
"Simply put, when we enter into
political battle on issues within our range of concerns, we attempt
to build the widest possible coalition of support. The faith,
even non-faith, of other groups is unimportant within the political
context.... It would be extremely shortsighted for evangelicals
to limit their public affairs and political issues coalitions
to those of their own faith." [Letter, Dec. 21, 1990 to
I am asked to clarify my background.
I am a Bible-based Protestant Christian (Seventh-day Adventist)
whose church emerged from Baptist, Congregational and Methodist
communions and has been rated both by cult authority Walter Martin
and by all who know its creed, as conservative Protestant. I
can honestly sign most PE statements of faith, but choose not
to under these circumstances.
I began teaching college introductory
English at 17, so my professional background ranges well over
60 years, including public school teacher, principal, city school
superintendent and church school system head; U.S. Amy officer
(WWII); college/university dean, VP or head; U.S. Office of Education
(OE) graduate research and programs officer; in-house consultant
at the NEA for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher
Education; advanced study university consortium head (Chicago,
Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Tulane, Wisconsin); research foundation
director and White House and Congressional consultant concurrently
for 30 years. During my research years since the OE, I have enjoyed
faculty or research director recognition by such universities
as Andrews, Antioch, Arizona State (Office of Parent Development
International), Colorado (Medical School), Lakeside (Canada),
Nevada (National Council of Juvenile Court and Family Judges),
Stanford et al, and the U.S. National Center for Educational
Although Dorothy and I began homeschooling
in 1944, it was 1969 to 1975 when we built the private- and Congress-sponsored
research base for the Homeschool Movement. Our 1972 pieces in
Harper's and Reader's Digest drew attention from Germany and
Portugal to Australia and Japan, and soon we were bonding with
people of all faiths. Determined lay people and professionals
were allies in principle or method without regard to race or
creed, determined to be so objective, accurate, and patient that
we would win by reason and documentation. The thought of alarms
never entered our minds.
The first 15 of those 25 years local
laymen did the heavy spading, while we professionals served as
needed by instilling confidence through research and results.
Alert leaders helped us catch school officials, district attorneys,
or judges before arrests were made. Assuming the same procedures
and unity now with 50 states relatively free, parents are about
as likely to be arrested as to be struck by lightning. Where
there is unity, there has been no reason for state nor federal
alarms. Legislators at both state and national levels wonder
at the HR-6 turn which demanded that they vote our way under
threat instead of voting for us because we are reasonable and
worthy as they did in the pre-Farris years when they saw us as
a friendly breath of fresh air instead of political-hack pressurizers
of the NEA.
To our knowledge, in 25 years of the
Movement, no Moore Formula homeschool child has gone to court.
So, as Carl Sandburg said, we don't need to fear the future except
as we forget our past. Thousands of Coalition leaders are in
touch with legislators and informed agencies, and act only from
thorough inquiry with experienced colleagues. Panic cries like
HR-6 suggest refusal by homeschoolers to recognize legislators
as ethical professionals who can be reached by logic and facts,
and who have reason to be annoyed. It is a sure way to shoot
our conservative wounded and lose the confidence of state or
federal legislators and officials. When we follow the Golden
Rule, we win. When we don't, we lose. Otherwise, how are we any
more respectable than the NEA?
To school officials, judges, state and
federal legislators, writers, and others unfamiliar with the
Movement (which is really a renaissance): Bear in mind that home
education, however imperfect,
- largely led in U.S. education until
- achieves high functional literacy akin
to the 1800's, and by far the highest behavior and sociability
levels in America,
- is thoroughly research-proven,
- achieved most of our sound state laws
before exclusivists entered the Movement, (5) likely saves taxpayers
$5,000,000,000 or more yearly,
- continues to grow at a double-digit
- has long-term, research-based success
which is closely related in legislatures to Coalition members
who treat officials as reasoning statesmen and see Mike's unilateral
actions destroying far more freedoms and excellence than they
- is welcomed from Harvard to Stanford
when it is carried out in balance with sound study based on student
interests, with creative manual work and altruistic service.
Farris as an authority
It will help Mike if he reflects on
how resentful he acts when any leaders enter what he considers
his legal domainas he has done with Larry Kaseman-yet how blithely
and presumptuously Mike moves into professional areas other than
his own and takes over where pioneers were cutting paths while
he was still in high school. Yet these folks seem less resentful
than concerned with Mike's operation, so destructive as it is
He feels that the political world beckons.
Many who know him well, sense that with millions of dollars in
annual HSLDA income, he feels free to do anything that will advance
ambitions for federal judgeship, lieutenant governor, or now
a fund-raising PAC and 1996 VA run for senator. He ignores the
danger that his expediency often overrides principle. For example,
- his setting ethics aside and defaulting
on his promise to close HSLDA when states have good laws,
- his unilateral, arrogant disdain of
opinions of Coalition pioneers, and
- ill-considered PE where ambition seems
to supersede common sense.
We would like to greet him as statesman
rather than unethical politico, and as a master lawyer like Vernon
Alger, William Ball, Wendell Bird, Peter Bradstreet, John Eidsmoe,
Gibbs Craze, Steve Graber, Bill Graves, Tom Guilfoyle, Sam Lanham,
Bill O'Mara, Milt Schulman, Shelby Sharpe, Greg Swoboda, John
Whitehead and Rutherford colleagues who rarely if ever have lost
a homeschool case, and who presume on no one! It could mean unity
and effectiveness in home education. If he makes this change,
the Coalition invites him to join them in developing and organizing
a representative national agency. Then he can freely build sound
freedom-of-choice principles on which he claims to base his actions.
We would be delighted then to support his political ambitions
as a selfless emissary of the Movement.
Coalition characters and HR-6
While none of us is perfect, I have
found most Coalition leaders to be large-minded. Most of them
serve without pay. Since 1969 they have applied necessary pressures
in gentle but firm and well-documented ways, reserving alarms
for genuine emergencies, and dignifying both homeschooler and
lawmaker. They know
- there is no replicated research suggesting
that certification measures teaching skills;
- HR-6 is a bold, NEA-bred or backed
invasion of state rights;
- many school men have for 30 years viewed
HR-6-type laws as grievous legislation, and
- besides saving taxes, creative, balanced,
altruistic homeschools offer models for an American education
During the first 15 pioneer years of
the Movement, Dorothy and I had no reason to anticipate what
is now happening. It was only after the big risks were taken
and most of the state battles were won that the Pillars and their
kind began to take over, to use the Movement as a stepping stone
to stated money goals or political office, and to upset a smoothly-moving
operation without concern for the prized freedoms of the majority,
including Mike's and the PE's...
- Chain of state and federal alarms which
do not dignify the media, legislators, officials or the homeschool
- Actions in a crusade to exclude from
state and national homeschool leadership all faiths who cannot,
or who for reasons of religious freedom will not, sign a prescribed
statement of faith (we tell below who, why, and how this began,
its relation to the alarm, and its current status).
- Use of religion directly or indirectly
to divide and/or destroy productive state coalitions which secured
sound state parent freedom laws largely before they came into
- Rationalization that HSLDA represents
all Christians and therefore the majority of homeschools, endowing
him as policy man.
- Refusal to cooperate with more experienced
national groups which are alert to state and national legislation
and to work closely with legislators, and who have long proposed
both representative state and national coalitions in the interests
of unity before courts, legislatures, school officials, and laymen.
- Unilateral attempt to be the national
centers instead of fostering true centers of home education and
- Indifference and insensitivity to risk
and destruction of the homeschool movement, secured by close
to a $4,000,000 yearly income from 40,000 members who may range
to as much as 10% of all home educators, although not all of
them support his agenda.
- False or exaggerated claims to media,
e.g. West Virginia.
- Failure to keep his promise to original
endorsers to close HSLDA when all recognize home education and
legal threats decline; but instead avidly seeks more members
although certain of his own lawyers have written me that the
few cases can be better and more economically handled by state
or local groups. Some folks say Mike is taking money under false
pretenses, a form of fraud. Some Californians are especially
piqued with few cases and $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more payout
- Explicitly divisive moves in state
coalitions, e.g. in Washington State where he scared laymen and
leaders into thinking their law was in danger when there was
no problem, and highly-cooperative state officials were offended
by "an apparent pattern of misinterpretation, innuendo and
fabrication...totally false allegations." All the reporting
homeschoolers interpreted Farris' statement as a Washington HSLDA
membership drive. He also co-opted the development of the Washington
Association of Teaching Christian Homes (W.A.T.C.H.), a splinter
organization, as speaker and HSLDA booster (more on this under
Harris and Welch below). And similar operations by him and his
associates in other states, e.g. WI.
- His reported selection of his national
advisory board mainly or entirely PE people. (More below.)
- Thin-skinned, intransigent, quick and
bold of tongue in judgment when anyone judges him or HSLDA.
- As chairman of Sue Welch's national
meetings, denied state homeschool leaders petitions to have a
representative national organization.
- By his continuing actions, co-opting
the PE doctrine that divides states as with W.A.T.C.H. and other
groups, and ignoring those who do not sign statements of faith,
yet his joining other organizations that have no creedal restrictions,
as with Republican groups, et at, Mike (1) knew that both major
Washington State coalitions and Wisconsin, et al were Christian-led,
and (2) helped initiate the 1987 Christian Legal Society accord
that provided for no incursions into states by new organizations
without first obtaining the approval of existing state organizations.
HOW EXCLUSIVISM WAS BOTTOM
LINE TO THE HR-6 ALARM
Alarms are a low-cost (to HSLDA) way
of rallying and galvanizing PE's, at a high financial and spiritual
cost to the Movement. Mike claims a million HR-6 calls, faxes,
overnight letters, etc. How much per call? Two to $10 or more?
He may protest this and insist on his born-again status (with
which we will not argue), yet his influence among the "Pillars"
and PE's in general is substantial. Multiply this over many times
with his state scares and all the phone tree calls he generates,
and you are talking big money, time and adrenaline which should
be spent only if necessary. After his WA talk, our state was
flooded with calls. My first was from a scared Kathy Glass, our
SW Washington leader. When I called Dr. Barbara Mertens, state
official homeschool head, she was both offended and relieved:
"So that's the reason for all those calls. A sad day, a
self-serving lie." Mike may be offended at being characterized
as a liar, yet there it was. And all had to agree.
The consensus of state and national
leaders apart from "Pillars" and Sue Welch exclusivist
groups (see under Welch below), is that there are so few court
cases, except for custody problems which HSLDA largely rejects,
that HSLDA has little reason for operating except to intrude
into others' business. When a lone CA leader was starting a California
intra-state defense organization, Mike asked us not to support
him because, he said, "California (with its big membership
and very few HSLDA cases) is our security blanket."
So Mike cooperates intimately with the
head of PE's largest, CHEA of California's president, Phil Troutt,
who with his wife Lavella, told us he is financially accountable
to no one. Mike and Phil have a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours
arrangement whereby CHEA members have to become HSLDA members
even though it has been proven that California's rare defense
needs can easily be handled intra-state at much less expense.
In a highly dubious action which some consider rapacious, Phil
and his cohort, Roy Hanson, with Mike's approval, sent out an
alarm to destroy the lone leader, and almost succeeded. If Phil's
members really knew this sad story, they would be stunned, no
matter his and Roy's excuses.
The Coalition's challenge
Coalition leaders are also certain that
defense needs are now best handled by unified local or state
agencies. The longer we are defense-oriented the longer we seem
immature and defensive to others. But the more we lay in the
hands of state coalitions the responsibility for defending occasional
cases and for publishing their own newsletters, the more muscle
they will build and the more mature will homeschooling be as
a profession. Any who reject this ideology after reading this
paper and proceed at cost to homeschool families are, we believe,
short on understanding or are children of bigotry or greed.
One federal legislative officer cautioned
us, however: He told how Yellowstone grizzlies treat a skunk:
"They resent it, but it's too much fuss to do anything about
it." Then he added, "Unless the skunk goes after her
cubs." We call no one a skunk, but from the way they have
urged me, I doubt that Coalition leaders will be as patient in
the future as they have been over the last 10 years. PE's will
be contested coast to coast in every legitimate way if they continue
to go after the homeschool cubs that we conceived and bore over
25 years. Few, if any, of our media friends know of the tens
of thousands of vulnerable families badly misinformed and hurt.
We offer several brief biographies so that you may see for yourself
the character of Mike's PE-Pillar friends:
Harris, a self-styled hustler, with
Bible in hand, formally started PE's ravaging after our nearly
15 years building of unity from the time the Movement was born.
This was soon after we were forced to dismiss him for lying and
fraud at the insistence of veteran state leaders, all of whom
were conservative Christians. With two years of college training
in hype, Gregg said he longed to practice on us, and talked or
wrote about it for two years. He had imagination and ability
in public presentation. He has a fine wife and has skillfully
hustled his able teen-age son into money making. He could be
great if only he could understand and practice honesty and other
ethics of the Golden Rule and treat those of other faiths as
Christ treated them! I trusted him at first; thought he was kidding
when he said he wanted to "ride piggyback" on us. If
only we had known!
He said ours was his first "regular"
(professional?) job, although he said he had briefly been an
associate pastor somewhere in Texas, and he considered us preeminent
in home education. Wrote in 1981 that he loved the idea of our
research-based Reader's Digest book, Better Late Than Early,
and its call for much later school entrance. Yet, although on
full salary, he did very little work for us, and soon state leaders
told us why: He was undercutting us. When they called from Florida,
Virginia (2), Denver, Seattle et al about final details for promised
seminars, he told them all the same lie: "Dr. Moore has
changed his mind. He is too busy. I will be coming in his place."
I was so busy with seminars and court and legislative witnessing,
that I didn't monitor him closely, but I recall his repeated
requests to do his own seminars (and keep all the profits) after
he had been with us on full salary only a month or two, and one
occasion when he strangely asked for a long weekend to meet a
commitment he had "previously made" for Dayton, OH.
We did not know what was going on until state leaders began calling.
Some time after he left us, we went
across the Columbia River to Gregg's church (that he later left
under unexplained circumstances) for a "conciliation"
meeting where he had thoroughly indoctrinated its board of elders
with his lies. In a later meeting which Dr. John Eidsmoe and
Farris helped arrange with the Christian Legal Society, Gregg
was again at his bold best. He told the panel that he had statements
from state leaders I quoted above denying my report that they
had protested to me over his deceit. This was true Gregg Harris,
assuming no one would check up on him. I saw that his ostensible
retractions by these leaders had their effect on some of the
conciliation panel, and that day I had no time to obtain corrections
from these leaders. Immediately after the meeting I checked with
all of them. All said he lied. Paul Ware, a wealthy Seattle developer,
caught Harris in his fraud, came to my office, rapped his knuckles
on my desk and said, "Dr. Moore, there are givers and there
are takers. This man is a taker. Get rid of him!" When I
phoned him that Harris told the conciliation panel that Ware
denied complaining to me, Paul flew his plane here to give me
his letter verifying what I said.
Later while Dorothy was ill and risking
death from this grave pressure, someone urged Gregg to visit
her in the hospital. When she asked him about his report that
we were cultists and his lies about our seminars, he laughed
and chided, "You don't know the half of it!" Astonished
at this brazen response, she asked why he would do such a thing
to us. He grinned, "I had to hustle to make a living."
A well-known Christian clinical psychologist said, "He has
to be a sociopath, misapplying his Bible as he does to convince
vulnerable parents and lie without a conscience." This is
the clever man whom reputable schools like Bob Jones University
and publishers like Abeka invite as a key speaker or join in
endorsing Brian Ray's false research critiques, and has cleverly
deceived tens of thousands. (See Brian Ray also below.)
How Harris started the PE march
Lacking a constituency after he left
us, Gregg devised an insidiously clever plan to build one of
his own, and a wealthy future, fast. Our staff found in our waste
baskets copies of xeroxed leaders lists and records he copied
and stole while we were gone to church on Saturday mornings.
Waving his Bible to give him credibility, he passed the word
that we not only were cultists, but that Protestant Christians
should not mix socially with other faiths. The cultist lie was
highly effective among his target Protestant audience which forms
the largest segment of homeschoolers, including Farris, Sue Welch,
and Brian Ray, his "Four Pillars of Home Education."
When Dorothy learned of this after more than 45 years of homeschooling
and then over 18 years of building the Movement, her tears were
not from what he did to us but for his educational and spiritual
damage to good families. Now Gregg has realized oft-stated dreams
of wealth from the Movement.
There were lighter moments. I listened
in on the phone at the invitation of our West Palm Beach Youth
for Christ hostess Jeannie Hochstettler as Gregg, unaware that
we went down for her seminar after all, told her how much better
his workshop was than ours. Others were not so well-informed
as Jeannie, and to many of those whom he passed he became a hero.
He then began breaking up state coalitions
which we had built over 15 years. He told his Arizona workshop
that evangelicals should stay on "our side of the fence"
and LDS, RC, et al should stay on their own side; evangelical
children should not play with Mormons (there were many LDS there).
He said you know if you are an evangelical if you enjoy the MOODY
MONTHLY (inadvertently confirming us as legitimate evangelicals,
for Dwight Moody is one of my heroes, the MOODY MONTHLY has written
well about us, asked us to write for them, and we have done dozens
of local or national Moody radio and TV programs). It took Gregg
only a few minutes that day to break up one of the finest, most
unified of all state coalitions, and our AZ work of 18 years,
contributing to side effects that later cost Arizona a fine school
entrance law. Arizona is still fragmented. This is the kind of
disunity deplored by my friends, the National Association of
Evangelical's Bob Dugan, and the late Francis Schaeffer (and
we were given word from his heir-apparent Jerrum Barr.) Such
disunity makes business for HSLDA.
Harris, still a divider
GREGG HAD SIGNED (WITH US AND WITH
MIKE's CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE) AN AGREEMENT, FRAMED BY LAW PROFESSOR
AND PROMINENT CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHOR DR. JOHN EIDSMOE OF THE CONCILIATION
PANEL WHICH PROVIDED THAT WE WOULD SET AN EXAMPLE TO ALL IN HOME
EDUCATION TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO INSURE THAN NO ONE WOULD
EVER ATTEMPT TO SET UP A NEW STATE ORGANIZATION OR OTHER ENTITY
WITHOUT CONFERRING WITH AND OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF THE ORIGINAL
AGENCY OR COALITION.
He reportedly says we have broken that
vow. If he said that, it would be still another total lie.
Despite his conciliation vow, he veils
his divisive work in collaboration with the "Pillars."
When he approached Sandi Hall. then head of WHO, to do a Washington
State workshop, she said, "No." When he touted the
four pillars, and boasted that all his people would become WHO
members if he told them to, she refused twice again. It is this
Sandi Hall that Mike demeaned as "unsaved," yet she
was a Protestant who had an unusually touching Christian experience.
Soon Harris and Farris were cooperating with Sue Welch in establishing
the new W.A.T.C.H., a TEACHING HOME "baby," said its
charter director at the time another Michael Smith, a National
Science Foundation scholar who was shelved when he disagreed
with some of their policies. It was another HSLDA habitat in
a state that needs no defense agency. Smith eventually saw through
this design and resigned (or was shelved by Sue's entourage).
Using leader lists he had stolen from
us, Harris made workshop appointments of his own, posing as a
former pastor of "several evangelical churches" but
refusing to provide references and a resume, nor revealing who
ordained him, where he pastored, nor the size of his pastorates.
A Baptist seminary professor asked Harris which churches he pastored
and who ordained him, but received no answers. I wonder if the
family court judge whom he deceived and who is now on the HSLDA
Board has ever checked carefully on Gregg's credentials. Turned
down by Gothard because his staff said Gothard's "spirit
told him" not to get involved, yet Harris copied the Gothard
model. A primary difference: Harris writes that he is for-profit.
He writes that he gave us his not-for-profit status (not verified
that he ever obtained it) as not Biblical. Where does that leave
Dobson, Maddoux, Bauer et al who are not for profit. Someone
left a letter with us from Gregg's lawyer inferring that he could
not get him nonprofit status. He fired his accountant who suggested
a CPA audit: his sponsors report weekend grosses have been in
high five figures.
PE's Sue Welch and her spreading cancer
TEACHING HOME Editor Sue Welch and her
agent, Sharon Grimes, spearhead the exclusivist crusade. Both
have long and close relations with Farris and Harris, although
Sue told me some time ago she wanted her name no longer mentioned
in the same sentence with Gregg's. Yet she said she would only
talk with me when Mike is on the phone. Over the last five or
six years he has clearly become the king of the audacious (some
say "rapacious" ) PE march. Yet I think there is hope
here. I am convinced personally that if Mike sensed how PE misrepresents
Christ and His Golden Rule, and if he said the word or closed
HSLDA as he promised he would when we had good state laws across
America, homeschools would become unified and again secure.
Sue was among the first to embrace Harris'
gospel. We were good friends, involved in a food co-op and helping
her in several ways until Harris poisoned her against us. We
did not know at first of his contagion, but had gently opposed
her goal of trying to get all state organizations to publish
their newsletters as inserts in her TH. She did not have the
capital to build a subscriber list the conventional way, so took
a shortcut which we were certain would vitiate the state organizations
we had been building for 15 years. Some of them, such as Alabama,
Missouri, and Rhode Island, were already publishing superb newsletters
or journals, fine examples to other states. And there was a direct
relationship between strength of a state's organization and its
publication quality. We also knew if they followed Sue's plan
there would likely be (1) at least a six- or eight-week delay
in getting out news, (2) a dampening of creativity potential
for each state, and (3) a certain subserviency for the insert
state when an out-of-state editor is in control.
What we did not anticipate was Sue's
move beyond these three to take upon herself the censoring of
parts of state inserts when she thought they might reflect credit
on other than her PE philosophy. She blocks out in state inserts,
announcements of state meetings if she doesn't like the speakers.
Soon we sensed an indifference, then occasional hostility; finally
a visitor whom Gregg had drawn into his flock, but who saw through
him and came to tell us about Gregg's false cult report and Sue's
new fascination with Harris contagion. Reflecting at the time
a very close relationship with Gregg, she set up a statement
of faith requisite for those associated with her magazine. No
Roman Catholic, Jew, LDS, or other non-Protestant can write or
advertise in TH, although, depending on a number of factors,
she has not always been careful to check them out.
When our book, Homeschool Burnout, came
out (now rewritten and published by Thomas Nelson as The Successful
Homeschool Family Handbook), Sue wrote to her state representatives
and urged blacklisting-for its Chapter 3 warnings of homeschooling's
"Fifth Column." Now she uses Mike's friend Sharon Grimes
to induce new or uncertain state coalition members to form splinter
groups and get her subscriptions as they have recently done in
Missouri where we had one of the strongest state organizations
in the U.S. and outstanding state homeschool laws, yet where
HSLDA reportedly co-opts Sue's membership promotion as if the
state were in trouble. Such PE campaigns totally violate the
Christian Legal Society conciliation agreement; splitting state
coalitions on the basis of creed, they destroy the unity which
legislators and officials insist is so crucial to understanding
and progress of the Movement. Sue denies the very freedom of
choice which God and our Nation grants them: a common element
to Mike and PE's, most of whom are tied closely by financial
and other agreements with him.
Sue advertised a "national"
meeting in Portland, OR in the TEACHING HOME that gave the impression
that it was for all. Yet attenders found that Sue's and Mike's
true plan was for those who signed a statement of faith. When
some protested that they had traveled far to help form a representative
national homeschool agency or coalition, Farris turned from them,
although most were Christians, advising that homeschoolers didn't
need such an organization. He offered a similar opinion at Leesburg,
VA a year later where he was hailed by Gregg Harris as one of
homeschools' "Four Pillars." He then set up his private
"National Center for Home Education" and assisted in
financing a new research center, manned by a freshman researcher.
We do feel especially sorry for Sue,
although we are sad also for the others. She wasn't an aggressor
in the early deceit. She does not seem to be a secure, happy
woman these days. Yet she judges too, perhaps unaware that she
is being judged by Someone much higher. Worse is the danger when
a Christian editor does not check her facts. We pray that she
will turn from this "holy war," and with Grimes and
the other "Pillars," respect Christ's methods of "drawing
all unto Him." It may be hard to accept at this time, but
if they use the Bible as Christ's Word and Him as their model,
I am confident that many PE's will change. What a day that would
Sue's PE Agent
As for Sharon Grimes, ask her why she
told Mike a lie about a matter she did not even witness, and
when she came in from the back hall to our seminar question and
answer session, many members of the audience told her she was
wrong, even later proved by a tape. But never an apology, only
more lies. As a result, Dorothy and I experienced the wildest
tantrum we have ever known in our 56 married years. It was a
few weeks after the Syracuse meeting when Sharon's out-of-mind
yarns reached Farris (despite recordings to the contrary) when
Mike wildly, falsely called to accuse me of slighting HSLDA when
I had in fact been defending it. We always gave HSLDA a free
exhibit table as we had at that meeting, something we neither
give nor charge to anyone else except libraries or charitable
organizations. He called me "a liar, a habitual liar"
in the face of clear evidence otherwise. Later he apologized
when faced with a tape of the occasion, yet resurrected the accusation
in a letter to a state leader whose phone calls and letters verify
it. Both Sharon's and Mike's words and actions were insanely
irrational, yet Sharon is Sue's blade on PE's cutting edge. She
was directly and dishonestly the instigator of Mike's tantrum.
We have the tape and witnesses on both.
The Fourth Pillar, Researcher Brian
In some ways here is the greatest enigma
of all. This young man approached me in the middle l980s, asking
for help on his doctoral study. I gave him material for a literature
search which could save him months on his doctorate. The next
contact I recall was at a WHO meeting in or near Seattle where
he seemed nervous, insecure and asked me how he did in his presentation.
I was frankly disappointed with his excessive use of big statistical
terms, typical of new researchers. Yet I answered hopefully.
Then I found that he was in trouble at SPU where he had been
assistant professor, and later lost his job.
The next word I had was a galley already
in press, of Richard Fugate's book, Will Early Education Ruin
Your Child? As graduate research and programs officer (M.A.s
and Ph.D.s) for the U.S. Office of Education, the White House
and the Congress, I learned to appreciate critiques of my research.
I would also welcome Will Early Education Ruin Your Child? if
it even remotely tested our work. But Fugate, another Farris
fan and a reported financial source, got the critique he bargained
for-a badly soiled, unpatchable cloth by Farris' protege', Brian
Ray, who uses Farris' address for his "national" research
On its first page Fugate said, "...every
child should be taught to read...by at least four or five years
of age." He said that if my research proved him wrong, he
would have to change Alpha Omega curricula. But instead of being
a research critique, the book was a vicious personal attack,
suggesting that I was a humanist, evolutionist and universalist,
of doubtful Christianity, if any-a furtive, clever ploy to destroy
me with conservative Christians who composed the Movement's majority.
He had made no in-depth check on my background or he would have
found my book, Science Discovers God, which would prove his attacks
totally false. John Holt, also hit by Fugate, clearly turned
against evolution before he died. I have his correspondence on
Brian Ray's research critique closed
the book. I have no brief with Fugate's high school education;
but he simply was in over his head. I expected better of Ray,
and of the A-O board, to have a part in publishing a book so
catastrophically false. He had selected two studies out of thousands
that we analyzed. He said of them, "That the source was
excellent, but that it did not support the Moores' general thesis,
and that theirs [Moores'] was not a legitimate paraphrase."
Here are the two studies and a third item. Please tell me if
you feel we are in any way at fault. Our report was originally
checked by top researchers in their fields.
- D. W. Dyer and E. R. Harcum, who concluded
that "Perceptual mechanisms of children at the age at which
they start school do not wholly duplicate adult mechanisms."
Our analysis of the study was that "...when most children
enter school, the visual-perceptive mechanisms are still incomplete,
compared to the development of adult mechanisms," i.e. almost
exactly the same.
- Francis A. Young, National Academy
of Science researcher from Washington State University, as interpreted
by us: "So myopia [abnormal nearsightedness] is frequently
the result of prolonged looking at near objects at an early age."
I rechecked with Dr. Young who told me that his recent scientific
studies actually provide increasing (not less) support to our
- Ray also attacked our report on findings
of the American Optometric Association Clinical Care Center.
So I rechecked with Dr. Stephen C. Miller whom Ray was supposed
to have quoted (the book suggests the possibility that some of
Ray's work may have been by telephone). I sent Dr. Miller a copy
of my letter from his mentor of 20 years before, Dr. George M.
Milkie, and used it in our report. Dr. Miller wrote me on 26
June, 1992 completely vindicating us. Brian added a smattering
of percentages which actually had no relationship and made no
sense in terms of the goals or bottom-line accuracy of our research.
He had scant grasp of our research.
After I began to wonder about Ray's
basic honesty, we had a rash of phone calls from homeschoolers
asking if we weren't Christians, as we had heard earlier from
Harris, Farris and Welch (although Farris was open enough to
tell to our faces that we had a "false religion" and
that I was senile). When we said we were, they reported statements
from Ray that we were not. When I called him and named names
(with their permission), he admitted that he had so reported
us. So I asked him if he knew anything about our religion. He
said, "Not much." That apparently was also his standard
for researchers-to make slanderous statements on key facts he
did not know.
I tried repeatedly to arrange a meeting
with Brian, as Christians are admonished to do in Matthew 18.
But he showed no willingness. So I finally went through William
Russell of the American Educational Research Association (AERA),
who contacted Ray. Brian's response was to give Russell the impression
that he had been trying for three years to work things out with
me. A total lie. He alluded to his willingness to let me replicate
his work, which, if he did, would border on the absurd. Later,
on her own, a researcher from the U.S. Department of Education
came to our home and office and offered to try to get Ray to
meet with me. But Brian refused to cooperate with her. It was
clear that his ethics were Pillared.
A Way Out
Organizations that are vulnerable to
charges of vested interests (i.e. profiting greedily by homeschool
business) must be especially careful. At present there is no
representative national homeschool center. It is time to design
one. In order to protect the Movement-and them-we believe it
would be wise to establish an agency that would be acceptable
to the great majority of home educators and be so staffed as
to enjoy the respect of educators, legislators, judges, and laymen
alike. This could be financed by grants, small annual lay fees
and commercial member assessments. The consensus and plea of
the overwhelming majority of homeschool parents, lawyers, and
legislators is that Michael Farris would do his greatest service
to home education if he would join just such a center.
Our bottom line here is that whoever
gets any important news first-whether Farris or Coalition members-should
take wide counsel before taking irreversible action in legislatures.
Apart from the general media, a phone tree can quickly cover
such veteran leaders as Concerned Women For America, Eagle Forum,
Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Growing Without
Schooling, HSLDA, Moore Foundation, NALSAS, National Homeschool
Association, Rutherford Institute and the major homeschool journals.
If our nation-wide effort had done this we may have defeated
the entire HR-6 entitlement law. We are not educational statesmen,
nor will we be secure until we live out a concern for all children
and all schools.
In closing, I appeal to legislators,
officials and homeschoolers:
- That legislators and school officials
recognize the voice of replicable research and reject educational
proposals which have no such base. That they appreciate the pioneer
efforts of professional people to rebuild the great American
institution of home education, with its sterling record of educating
American leaders, along with America's highest record of achievement,
behavior, and sociability, and acceptance by leading universities
from coast to coast.
- That Coalition members move forward
in unity to establish a comprehensive, truly representative agency,
with no restrictions of race, color, creed or national origin,
and build unity and strength through the formation by each state
of its own defense plan as we did from 1969 to 1984. And in this
process that Farris and his associates join the now ad hoc Coalition
and form an authentic national representative agency along the
lines of an American homeschooling council.
- That in the event this is not acceptable
to Farris, et al, that we get this word out widely soonest, for
lay PE's need to know who is using them. I believe that they
will take things in hand if they know the truth. If some conjecture
that this is sour grapes, let them look into our highly blessed
operation, and they will know differently.
And to Mike
A Canadian leader told me the other
day that his charge of senility has swept across Canada, but
I really don't take exception, for senility has its advantage:
You don't know enough to worry about it! But for young men and
women, religious bigotry, false witness, soiled ethics and judging
remain problems between them and their God, as long as they don't
use it on our "cubs," for then it also takes away our
freedom and becomes un-American!
From: email@example.com (Moore Foundation)
Hi: Dr Moore asked me to reply to you. You DO have permission
to put the White Paper on the web. We do have printed copies
available to pass out. You need to contact Treon Goossen in Colorado.
Address: PO Box 547, Florissant, CO 80816. She will be able to
help you. He also says: "We thank God for you. We feel less
lonesome under fire."
Thank you much,
to feature: Exclusion By Religion, by Dr. Raymond S. Moore
- Recommended books to help you Homeschool
- First Year of Homeschooling Your Child:
- Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start
- by Linda Dobson
- Many of today's families are opting to teach their children at home. The first hurdle these families face is getting started.
- kindle edition
- The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas:
- 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
- by Linda Dobson
- Kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more for your homeschooling needs.
- kindle edition
- The Unschooling Handbook:
- How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
- by Mary Griffith
- Unschooling is a homeschooling method based on the belief that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their natural curiosities and interests.
- kindle edition
- Home Learning Year by Year:
How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School
- by Rebecca Rupp
- A structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school.
- kindle edition
- Homeschooling for Dummies
- by Jennifer Kaufeld
- If, like many parents, you're wondering whether homeschooling can be the solution you're looking for, then you'll be happy to know that the answer is yes.
- kindle edition
- Making the Grade
- Everything Your 1st Grader Needs to Know
- by Laura B. Tyle
- A combination manual and advice book for home schoolers, with guiding principles for teaching reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. Other grades on this link, too.
- Home Schooling Children with Special Needs
- (3rd Edition)
- by Sharon Hensley
- This book would be very helpful to any homeschooling parent with a "high needs" child, whether or not the child has a disability label.
- Homeschooling: The Teen Years:
- Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- To 18-Year Old
- by Cafi Cohen
- This book reveals the adventure and rewards as well as the special challenges of working with this age group.
- kindle edition
- Detective Science
- 40 Crime-Solving, Case-Breaking, Crook-Catching Activities for Kids
- by Pam Walker, Elaine Wood
- Like real-life forensic scientists, students observe carefully, organize and record data, think critically, and conduct simple test to solve crimes ranging from theft and dog-napping to vandalism and water pollution.
- Homeschooling the Child with Autism:
- Answers to the Top Questions Parents and Professionals Ask
- by Patricia Schetter, et al
- This practical, highly accessible guide answers parents' and professionals' questions about teaching children with autism spectrum disorders at home.
- Crime Scene Investigations
- Real-Life Science Activities for the Elementary Grades
- by Pam Walker, Elaine Wood
- Like real-life forensic scientists, students observe carefully, organize and record data, think critically, and conduct simple test to solve crimes ranging from theft and dog-napping to vandalism and water pollution.
- Creative Home Schooling:
- A Resource Guide for Smart Families
- by Lisa Rivero
- Features interviews and tips from many homeschool parents as well as long lists of resources.
- 100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum:
- Choosing The Right Curriculum And Approach For Your Child's Learning Style
- by Cathy Duffy
- Christian. Widely-recognized curriculum expert Cathy Duffy walks you through the curriculum selection process.
- Free Range Learning
- How Homeschooling Changes Everything
- by Laura Grace Weldon
- Eye-opening data about the meaning and importance of natural learning.
- kindle edition