Harkness Tower at Yale (from here)

The Ivory Tower of Indoctrination

In the first post in this series (see here) we talked about apathy. Instead of talking about trusting our leaders, that post oddly focused upon apathy. Why? What if what we call apathy has another cause? What if we have an education problem? Is it possible that instead of apathy problem, we Americans have an education problem? Instead of not caring about the fate of our country, is it possible that most Americans don’t know how to be good citizens?

Why wouldn’t Americans know how to be good citizens? Is it possible that we were either taught wrong or not taught at all? Let’s look at the word, “indoctrination”. What does it mean?

indoctrinate verb
in·​doc·​tri·​nate | \ in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt \
indoctrinated; indoctrinating
transitive verb

1 : to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : TEACH
2 : to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

Because we are all partisan, the word indoctrination has a bad connotation. Those who fashion themselves as wholly unbiased, or just blind enough to think bias has nothing to do with their own opinion, tend to see instruction in any doctrine except their own as brainwashing. So we have come to associate word “indoctrination” with brainwashing, but brainwashing is far more brutal than just teaching someone doctrine (That, however, is another subject.).

Where do our great leaders to be go to school? Well, for the most part our elites send their children to private schools and the rest of us send our children to public schools. Thus, we have a two-tiered education system.

The two-tiered system continues into college. The elites use to strive to send their children to what we call Ivy League universities.  However, the list of big name universities has changed over the years. These days rich parents consult U.S. News Best Colleges for a list of the best universities.

What is the point of going to those big name schools? Well, that depends on the person, but this excerpt from an editorial by Ben Shapiro probably explains the motives of those cheating to get in (H/T To How Corrupt Elite Colleges and Universities Feed the Administrative State (rushlimbaugh.com)).

In our society, there is an easy way to be perceived as intellectually meritorious: point to your degree. Those with a college degree all-too-often sneer at those without one, as though lack of a college degree were an indicator of innate ability or future lack of success. That simply isn’t true. But for generations, the widespread perception has been that the smartest kids go to college – and that the relative merit of each college confers a similar level of merit on the students. A student who goes to Yale is smarter than one who goes to junior college. This provides a lifelong advantage: employers are willing to take more chances on those who earn a Yale degree than those who went to junior college, for example.

Then there’s social connection. Social institutions in the United States have been fading over time. Churches used to provide us our chief means of social connection. Colleges now do. JD Vance writes in Hillbilly Elegy that admission to Yale Law School granted him social capital: “the networks of people and institutions around us have real economic value.” They also have social value. We often get jobs from friends, or from friends of friends. The social circles in which we travel matter. That’s true for those born rich as well as those born poor. (from here (dailywire.com))

Rush Limbaugh takes Shapiro’s column a step further.

Well, Shapiro went to Harvard. He got into Harvard Law. The story he tells in this piece is incredible, and it confirms much of what I have shared with you in terms of the purpose of the Ivy League. The Ivy League is the feeder network for government people. It’s the feeder network for people who end up in the Washington bureaucracy, the deep state, the administrative state. The Ivy League and elite universities — not just the ivies, ’cause Stanford’s a part of this; USC is a part of this.

But these elite universities are the feeder networks — the training grounds, if you will — the educational camps for training and producing people to fill spots in the administrative state. Now, the administrative state comprises not just bureaucrats. The administrative state is made up of media people. The administrative state is made up of lobbyists. The administrative state, the deep state is made up of lawyers. It’s not just bureaucrats who are making G-14 or G-13 salary. It’s a tremendous number of people who make up the administrative state. (from here (rushlimbaugh.com))

What happens at the big name universities? What educators do. Indoctrination. Don’t we each understand that perception is reality, at least to some extent? When we are indoctrinated, we are taught a version of reality. Doesn’t who we know usually matter more than what we know? When we are indoctrinated, we learn in fellowship with our fellow students. We validate each other.

How many people enter the big name universities under false pretenses or just buy their way in? We can only guess. How many students cheat to stay in, paying others to write their term papers, for example? We don’t know. How have the rich phonies (the pretend brilliant university graduates) changed our society? That, perhaps, is a bit more obvious. They have established a culture where cheating is acceptable, even applauded.

What does a rich phony have to do to maintain his status? Let’s consider examples from the past.

  • The nobility of Europe during the Middle Ages lived off the serfs. They tied the peasants to the land, worked them like animals. Then they sneered at the peasants and applauded their own nobility.
  • The plantation owners of the pre-Civil War American South lived off the labor of their black slaves.  They bought and sold their slaves like valuable livestock, and they deliberately kept them ignorant. These slave owners saw themselves as aristocratic.
  • The robber barons of the late 19th Century built their fortunes, their measure of self-worth, on the work of wage slaves and government connections. Where did the robber barons get the idea that money is the measure of merit? Well, the robber barons made earning money for its own sake less palatable. We have the brutality of these men to thank for the rise of labor unions, and that may explain why today’s rich seem more obsessed with virtue signaling.

It appears that phonies learn to organize so they can live ruthlessly off the accomplishments of others. Why? Strangely, it is what they have been indoctrinated to do. They learn to work together to establish aristocracies whose main accomplishment is keeping others beneath them.

Consider those prestigious Ivy League Universities again. All but one of them were founded by Christian churches. To say to that these universities have drifted far from their original purpose would be a laughable understatement. What happened? They drifted. The people who established the universities died. Too many of their successors focused on careerism instead of God.

ca·​reer·​ism | \ kə-ˈrir-ˌi-zəm  \

: the policy or practice of advancing one’s career often at the cost of one’s integrity

What is the correct measure of success? How do we know we are doing the right thing, a good job?

Psalm 108:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

108 O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your mercy is great above the [a]heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
And Your glory above all the earth;
That Your beloved may be delivered,
Save with Your right hand, and [b]hear me.

When we glorify ourselves instead of God, we have lost sight of the big picture. We did not make ourselves. He made us for His glory, not our own. When we glorify Him, He glorifies us for the sake of His glory.

Will the phonies who lead us make an honest effort to fix the problem? Not likely. It is the system that created them, that affirms them. They probably don’t even see the same problem most of us see.  What they see is the incompetence of the fools who got caught.

Additional References



  1. Tom

    I believe most everyone at some time experience in life the meaning of this idiom.

    “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

    This may lead to apathy in business or politics for someone who may have busted their butt to play by the rules to succeed. If they have a weak character, they may become disenchanted when the promotion goes to someone else, who has the right connections even if they are not as qualified.

    The disenchantment may turn to apathy and this next idiom.

    “Why should I play by the rules?”

    This then becomes a personal values issue that relates to character and integrity.
    Hopefully, a person with religious morals to guide him or she will have to be guided with a different set of values to sustain them in life.

    Sadly, the current news, it is an apparent indication of which values are waning in the USA.
    And perhaps creating more apathy of the values our Nation was founded.

    However, hopefully, a person with religious values will have the strength of character within them as described in this proverb.

    “Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel;”(proverb 25:4)

    Or in other words, same as a silversmith produces a fine vessel by removing the dross from the silver, so does the wisdom and love taught by religious faith will produce a man or woman of character and a different set of values in life.

    Unfortunately, the parents paying the bribes are neither fine examples or silversmiths. The dross in their “vessels” will ever shine enough to be admired, trusted, or valued over time, in my opinion.

    Regards and good will blogging.

  2. Really on point post Tom and a little scary. I mean it’s not surprising how corrupt and, as IB says above, how very human our “biggest and brightest can be, but it’s depressing to have so it blatantly pointed out as this latest college scandal does. Talk about feeding the administrative state with a bunch of gullible, brainwashed dummies.

  3. President Nixon tried his hardest to appoint to high office people from all over the country. He was distressed that so many of the nation’s leaders attended Ivy League colleges. Especially when it came to the Supreme Court, he wanted more diversity, not merely including blacks and women, but including southerners and westerners and heartlanders. But it is now 2019, and all nine justices on the Supreme Court graduated from Ivy League colleges. J.

    1. @salvageable

      When Nixon was president, I still did not realize how foolish trusting the news media could be. So I accepted the notion the removing him from office was a good thing. Now I don’t know if it was or not. Never have tried to review the history.

      My guess is that the pool of judges Trump has to select from, the appellate courts, are almost all from the Ivy League schools. Kind of sad.

  4. Indoctrination. The process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
    “I would never subject children to religious indoctrination”
    teaching; instruction.
    “methods that were approved for indoctrination in divinity”

    Indoctrination. The process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
    ‘I would never subject children to religious indoctrination’
    ‘he denounces political indoctrination in the classroom’

    Your meaning misses vital points, you can see indoctrination is about ideologies and doctrines, not education in normal educational fields.

  5. What you right speaks to and can be used as a proof for original sin. No system remains virtuous or pure when men once get ahold of it. Without a constant and intentional submission to God everything man does in his own power breaks and becomes filled with darkness.

  6. Good points, Tom. I’ll never forget this woman who credentialed herself, who said, “I went to Yale and I have a degree!” She was very well off, had never worked a day in her life, and I was just trying to help her get a fork out of the garbage disposal. That thing made a terrible racket, but I offended her by suggesting I could fix it. She went to Yale! The garbage disposal was not impressed. 🙂

    I really enjoy the saying, “Jesus trusted Judas…to be Judas.” He called him friend to the very end. We can totally trust our leaders…to be human.

    I think everyone is going to be indoctrinated and brainwashed to some extent, so the question than becomes, what are we washing our brains with? We actually get to control that part, we can think critically.

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