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New IndoctriNation website in the works!

We released our documentary film almost a year and a half ago and what a ride it has been!

We won Best Documentary and Runner Up to Best of Festival at the 2012 San Antonio Independent Film Festival, have had our DVD picked up by dozens of retailers, have screened the film in numerous conventions, churches, homes and other facilities, we published a 374-page companion book, and have been blessed to read countless emails from people all over the world telling us about the impact our message has had on them. Here’s the most recent:

My husband and I just watched your movie Indoctrination last night and have been overwhelmingly convicted to not send our children to school. We have a 4 year old, 2 year old and a 6 month old so far and we have been agonizing over the decision of where to school our children. Our minds are made up now! We will be home schooling our children. Thank you for making God’s massage so clear as to our responsibility as parents to educate our children ourselves. — Janet, Ontario, Canada

This year, as we get ready to embark on a new season of homeschooling conventions, we are developing a new website for the IndoctriNation Project that will aim at equipping the saints, as it were, to continue to do the work of the ministry. The new site is being built more as a resource for homeschool evangelism (grassroots advocacy), than a movie or book website. Here are some of the exciting features we will be offering:

  • A free, 30-minute web version of the film to share with friends
  • The ability to watch the full-length film online
  • An interactive map with events and screenings
  • An easy way to host a screening or book club
  • Testimonial videos from parents, students, teachers, pastors, and others
  • An Education Manifesto to sign and share with friends and pastors, and
  • An integrated social media platform, among other things.

We think of IndoctriNation as a movement, not merely a movie.

Would you be willing to upload a video of yourself and/or someone in your family, giving testimony of why you are not part of the public school system in 60 seconds or less?

Here’s a sneak-peak at our new design.

IndoctriNation copy 2

First Reviews on Amazon

Our new IndoctriNation book is now on Amazon and the reviews are starting to come in. Here are some of the more interesting comments.

HAROLD (PA): Because of various influences from outside the education system that have taken hold in our nation’s schools such as Humanism, Evolution, Modern Day Psychology, Atheism, and others our nation’s young people are being subjected to teaching that is contrary to what many parents and individuals believe or want their children to be taught. It is said that ignorance is bliss and well most parents are ignorant of what their children are really being taught in their schools which makes ignorance much more than bliss…it makes it dangerous and even deadly. By deadly I mean what is being taught and not being taught in our schools as well as what is happening within our nation’s schools to young people are causing a number of students to either kill themselves or to go to the school to shoot and kill as many people as they possibly can before they kill themselves. And this is a needless and terrible tragedy.

HAELIE (LA): I had a very hard time with this book. Just being honest. Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity is a companion book to the DVD by the same title. I have watched it and it is just as disturbing as the book. Disturbing, however is not bad. In this book and accompanying DVD, the filmmakers and editor have compiled a combination of first-hand interviews and article/book excerpts into one vast resource regarding the history and state of public education in America. Learning more about the history of American public education was quite enlightening to me…and disturbing as well.

TONY (WV): I’m always leery of the book version of a film, especially documentaries and other nonfictional media, mostly because the “novelization” tends to rehash the same ground that I just covered in the movie. But every once in a while, the book proves to be the perfect complement the filmmakers promised. Indoctrination is just such a book: relevant, readable and revealing.

SHAUN (MN): Prior to beginning IndoctriNation, I hadn’t seen the film. Fortunately I had an opportunity to watch the film as I was making my way through the book. While the book is fine as a standalone resource, it’s like trying to drink from a firehose. If you’re going to read the book, I strongly recommend that you watch the film first, so you’ll be better equipped to understand the context of how each chapter relates to the message of the documentary. If you have kids or grandkids, who are currently in the public school system or will be soon, I strongly encourage you to see the film and then read the book. If you are a part of the public education system or have friends and family who are, all of you should strongly consider watching the film and reading the book.

DAVE (ID): Much of what this book shared was new to me in terms of the history of how public education in America came into being, but it should be seriously considered by others because as the authors trace the history of public education they reveal that it has roots not in the Bible but rather in secular thought. Finally this book is important because it not only reveals why American children are having so many issues with learning, but also that what they are learning in schools today is anti-American and against the Judeo-Christian foundations America was founded upon.

When you read the book, please consider writing a short review on Amazon.

The Story of Home Education in Georgia

If you were home educated, or home educate your children, please take a few minutes to listen to the history of how home education became legal in the state of Georgia the early 1980’s. The story is inspiring and is both a testament to God’s providence and to the faithfulness of a Christian father who wanted to educate his children at home, in the love and admonition of the Lord. That man was my father, and by God’s grace He used him in a mighty way to help shape our State’s current education laws to accept home education as a valid right and option for parents. If not for him, and other men and women like him, things may have been much different – both for myself and for you and your children as well. And for that you and I should be deeply grateful.

I will forever be indebted to my parents for the faithfulness and courage that they exhibited in embracing their biblical responsibility to train up their children in the instruction of the Lord. The challenges that early home education parents faced were numerous, and my parents were no exception. Parents in those times were often faced with legal challenges, condemned as societal pariah’s, ostracized by family and friends, and yet they remained faithful. They paved the way for a new generation of home educators, like myself, to be able to enjoy the blessing of walking alongside our children as they grow and learn.

So please take a few minutes and learn some Georgia history and how God’s providence reigns supreme, regardless of who is in office. And how faithful men stand up for truth and righteousness.
Isaac Weathers

Impacting Families, One Mom at a Time

It blesses us immensely to hear how our film has impacted your thinking and how God is using it for His own glory in reforming His people.

We recently received an email from Angela, a mother living near Lansing, Michigan, where we had two screenings of IndoctriNation at the INCH homeschool convention this past May. Our guess is that she was loaned a DVD by someone who purchased it there.

Here is part of Angela’s email, published with her permission. May it encourage you to share the film with your own friends and family.

My children were enrolled in a Christian school last year, and while we were unsure how we would meet the financial cost of tuition this year, my husband did not want them in public school. I thought about homeschooling, but honestly, I was a little concerned whether I could or should do it.

My concern and hesitation over homeschooling was getting me to lean towards the idea of public school, thinking, ‘really, it can’t be that bad….they’ll fall into things fairly easily and quickly….no harm, it’s just public school…’ I decided to attend a homeschool group meeting to see what it was all about, where I was loaned a copy of IndoctriNation to watch.

Words cannot express how thankful I am to you for bringing to light the reality of our education system. I will mention your movie to everybody I know, and hopefully they’ll tell their friends and so on.

While I may still have concerns about homeschooling my children, I do know that my children will never be part of the public school system.  EVER.

May God continue to bless you and your family as you continue to spread His message.

In His blessings,

Angela

A Father’s Testimony

The following is from a homeschool dad who watched IndoctriNation during Colin Gunn’s tour of Washington State. We pray his testimony will bless you and your loved ones.

I am a homeschooling father of seven who recently viewed IndoctriNation with my family; it truly confirmed our experience.  We have not always homeschooled our kids, even though we originally set out to do so.  My wife and I homeschooled our children until 2006, the year we placed them in public schools.  My oldest daughter’s first grade in public school was 10th; my youngest entered kindergarten the following year.  We thought we had legitimate reasons for our decision, and thought we could counter any problematic information they received along the way.  We were naïve.

We decided to public school our kids after we bought a new house, having rented for years.  The new home fell within a very well-respected school district, one whose schools ranked among the top 200 nationwide, so we felt very good about the local schools’ academics.  However, I think the greatest factor driving our decision to place our kids in public school was pressure to evangelize.  I worked a full time secular job, but also served a local church as a credentialed part-time Associate Pastor.  As a church, we strongly promoted relationship-based evangelism, and encouraged people to intentionally build relationships with non-believers to whom they could share their faith.  We called it getting out of the ‘church bubble.’   My kids had grown up with faith in Christ, and I was confident in their spiritual preparation and resilience, and I expected them to weather the changes without any problem.

For their part, my kids were excited to try public school.  It never occurred to me how iconic those yellow school buses are until watching IndoctriNation, but until buying our house, we lived right on our neighborhood’s school bus stop.  Public school must have seemed marvelously fun to my kids, seeing all those other neighborhood children getting off their buses and skipping home every afternoon, artwork and projects flapping in the wind.

And to tell the truth, there was a certain amount of selfish relief my wife and I felt after having made our decision.  Our budget was very tight, and we were looking forward to not having the expenses of homeschooling our six-going-on-seven kids.  We expected the time requirements devoted toward our kid’s education to decrease as we moved from driving to supporting roles.  And one child in particular was less interested in learning than the others (translate: lazy!), and we expected to bear less opposition from him in the process, too.

All in all, we were wrong… wrong… wrong… and… wrong.

First off, public school is not ‘free,’ at least not where we live.  Our school district had tons of hidden costs for field trips, special materials, PTA functions, social events, and buying extra classroom pens, pencils, snacks, and facial tissue.  There was even an increase in my kids’ overall lunch costs.  We easily spent twice as much on school-related expenses after public-schooling than we ever did homeschooling.

Second, I would say we saw absolutely no decrease in our time commitments.  Changing to public school simply back-loaded our day, meaning we spent evenings helping the kids with their learning instead of our previous homeschooling routine of mornings and afternoons.

Third, my child who leaned toward laziness actually was harder to ‘encourage’ toward academic success in public school.  Once he became one of thirty students, in one of several classes for each given teacher, he had much less accountability.  Plus, there is an unavoidable disconnect of information flowing between a teacher and the parent in that circumstance.  His teachers and I emailed frequently; however, there are limitations regarding what I could reasonably expect from his teachers’ attention given that he became one of so many students.

Finally, what about my kids being salt and light?  The basic idea that children should be lights in the world is a legitimate, Biblical concept.  I support my kids being salt and light.  However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I misapplied Biblical instruction meant for adult believers to children who shouldn’t be expected to function at the same level of spiritual hardiness that God expects from adults.  I think a better application for my kids being salt and light is for them to do so under the protection of our family.

Here is a few of the experiences we had through four years of public schooling, a choice that left its mark on each one of my kids.

My oldest daughter gravitated toward “scene” and “thug” culture, and struggled with making healthy social choices.  As with all my kids, she and I would talk at length about her school experiences, and she seemed to voice agreement with my guidance, but her actions away from home were inconsistent with our discussions.  At one point, she became “best friends” with another teen girl who attended church but who clearly had one foot placed firmly in both faith and secular worlds; this other girl’s friendly but non-Christian mother seemed to make it a “trio” of girls hanging out.  There came a time when this other mother had a greater voice with my daughter than my wife and I, simply because she was pleasant and sociable, and her worldly counsel was more to my daughter’s liking.

My second daughter entered public school in ninth grade.  She was an academic whiz, one of our state’s top five percent.  Public school helped her become very pro-gay and a Marxist pro-feminist.  No exaggeration.  She stopped going to church and in the resultant conflict, she actually had teachers helping her find an apartment of her own.

My third child was the less motivated one.  As I mentioned, he was much less accountable, and much more able to fly under the radar.  He experimented with cheating and theft, the opportunity for which he never would have had if we continued homeschooling him.  I understand the root of these behaviors was rebellion, which would have manifested itself at home, too.  However, I think he would have arrived at repentance more quickly if he had a greater level of accountability.

My middle son became incredibly popular in public school, and started thoroughly integrating into pop culture, gravitating to the skateboarder persona.  His popularity gave him pressure to understate his Christianity, which came to something of a crisis when one of the kids he knew at school died in an accident, and my son dealt with guilt over never telling the boy about Christ.  However, his environment was hostile to Christianity.  At one point, my son was sent to detention because he referred to a class of H2O in science class as “Jesus Juice.”  Before getting remanded to detention, he had to sit in a class of his peers as the teacher ranted at him regarding how the classroom was no place for faith, and that our country was founded on principles of separation of church and state.  The dialogue as related to me later by my son suggested the teacher had complete ignorance of the true philosophical origins of our country.

My next daughter is an average student, and even struggles some, especially with Math.  She was pretty well overlooked in public school.  In every school, there is at least one teacher that everyone recognizes as the bad one that no one wants for their children, and that person was my daughter’s math teacher.  This woman would shout at the kids, become angry when they did not grasp a concept, or would ignore requests for assistance because she didn’t have time; consequently, my daughter was stagnant in learning Math. Socially, my daughter’s personality is soft-hearted and non-confrontational.  Her public school experience included frequently suffering from the meanness and drama so often stereotyped among school girls, and she herself picked up some of her peers’ tendencies toward manipulation and drama.

My second youngest was classified as “gifted;” however, schools teach to the average and so he spent a lot of time with nothing to do.  He also had a bladder issue that made him have serious urgency to use the restroom without really much notice.  We explained the issue with his teacher, who was sympathetic, and who told my son that he could dash out whenever he needed to.  She was quite compassionate.  However, my son didn’t like the attention created by his bathroom needs, and so he often waited when he really should have run to the restroom.  This waiting in fact made the issue worse, because it led to bladder spasms.  The result was wet pants, more social attention, and greater hesitance on his part to just run to the bathroom when the urge struck.  It was a vicious cycle of humiliation.

My youngest was also classified as gifted.  As a result she, like her brother, spent substantial time with nothing to do.  Like her older sister, we found her suffering because of social game-playing and little-girl drama.  Her classroom discussions of fire danger and stranger danger led to years of general fearfulness, including frequent nightmares.  She was unable to play in a room alone, or have her parents out of the house.  Most of her teachers were kind and caring, but there was the occasional substitute teacher with horrid classroom management skills.  My wife, who volunteered at the elementary school to be near our kids, happened by this daughter’s classroom once when a sub was teaching, and overheard the sub yelling and threatening to duct-tape the kids’ mouths shut if they weren’t quiet.  The sub was completely unable to control the kids, and right then my wife entered the classroom, removed my daughter, and excused her from school for the rest of the day, following a pointed discussion with the school’s Principle.  What if my wife had not been there?

In not one instance can I say that my kids were able to make a significant salt-and-light impact in their public schools, regardless of how popular they were.  The truth is, in every case, their own faith and walk with Christ universally suffered from the experience.  The Old Testament is filled with case studies of what happens when God’s people surround themselves with a pagan culture; how was it that I expected something different for my kids whose faith was only developing?

The primary mandate I have for my children comes from Deuteronomy  6:7-9, which tells me to teach my children about their Lord, all day, every day, constantly, without ceasing.  It’s impossible for me to do that if my kids are receiving their education outside the home.  This passage made me realize that my primary error lay in thinking of schooling simply as education.  How I choose to school my kids, though, is really not at all about education, but about discipleship.  Simply stated, when I put my kids in public school, I relinquished the greatest influence I have to disciple them, and I delegated that role to the teachers and students of the public school: I chose to have my kids discipled by Humanists.

We’ve had our kids back home now for two years, and have moved beyond most of the adverse effects caused by public schooling, but it’s been hard work.  Watching home videos recently was painful; we could all see the changes in our family during that time.  My kids will tell you they dislike who they became and it unified my kids as pro-homeschool.

By the grace of God, we have been restored.

The Best $50 you’ll spend this month.

This month we will be uploading tons of great behind-the-scenes material that we shot during our big yellow school bus tour. If you haven’t already, please consider buying a $50 Backstage Pass that will give you access to exclusive interview footage, most of which will never make it into the released film. Your purchase enables us to keep submerged in the post-production of the film without having to come up for air to our day jobs, at least until the end of the year.

In addition to hours of interview footage, your $50 purchase will also get you: 1) A hot-off-the-press first edition of the IndoctriNation DVD, mailed to you before the film release; 2) Full-length online versions of two previous Gunn productions, the award-winning films “The Monstrous Regiment of Women” and “Shaky Town” to watch as many times as you want; and 3) Access to our exclusive Online VIP Premiere of the film, to be shared with friends and family, prior to the nationwide release of “IndoctriNation.”

Also, please visit our Facebook page and click on “Like” to keep up with our progress as we edit this important film. And continue to pray for wisdom and provision, both of which we are trusting the Lord will give abundantly.

The Best $50 you’ll spend this month.

This month we will be uploading tons of great behind-the-scenes material that we shot during our big yellow school bus tour. If you haven’t already, please consider buying a $50 Backstage Pass that will give you access to exclusive interview footage, most of which will never make it into the released film. Your purchase enables us to keep submerged in the post-production of the film without having to come up for air to our day jobs, at least until the end of the year.

In addition to hours of interview footage, your $50 purchase will also get you: 1) A hot-off-the-press first edition of the IndoctriNation DVD, mailed to you before the film release; 2) Full-length online versions of two previous Gunn productions, the award-winning films “The Monstrous Regiment of Women” and “Shaky Town” to watch as many times as you want; and 3) Access to our exclusive Online VIP Premiere of the film, to be shared with friends and family, prior to the nationwide release of “IndoctriNation.”

Also, please visit our Facebook page and click on “Like” to keep up with our progress as we edit this important film. And continue to pray for wisdom and provision, both of which we are trusting the Lord will give abundantly.

The Critics Speak

When producing a controversial film, one can expect detractors. IndoctriNation is no exception. Unfortunately, some detractors resort to name-calling and vulgar language. Others are move civil. Here is one of the comparatively tame comments we’ve received:

I’m not sure whether to be more offended, upset or disturbed. The capacity of Christians to psychologically and emotionally manipulate never ceases to amaze me. How dare you entitle such a piece with the word ‘indoctrination’ after Christianity has strived for so many centuries to indoctrinate humans at their most vulnerable and ignorant, in childhood. To then use this term to describe the efforts of all good humans to keep such dark age and perverse beliefs away from our children is just sick. I appreciate that because your faith is unable to attract members through professing anything of truth or moral gravity you have to turn to cheap rhetoric and reactionary techniques, but by denying history and turning reality on its head – you invite people like me, formerly indifferent agnostics, to dedicate our time to stopping people like you, the enemies of all human goodness and progress. You are a disgrace and do not deserve to carry that Scottish accent.

Very interesting comment indeed.  Feel free to add your own comments below.  Positive feedback is welcome too!