It was only by the Grace of God that I didn't become an avowed atheist, and found the One True Church instead. This school was run by the most "Modernist of Modernists." Bergoglio himself would have approved this place. Most of the teachers were ex-nuns and ex-brothers who hated anything that was even remotely Catholic. Having abandoned their vocations after Vatican II, they sought to overthrow in the minds of the young both the true Faith and morals.
None of them prayed before class or spoke of God outside of religion class. It was more hostile to Christ than any public school. There were only two nuns (one Modernist and one traditional-minded who was shunned and made to teach typing). There was one priest (validly ordained in 1964), who "offered mass" on a broken, wooden table and "offered up" sports equipment along with the host and drinking mug (which replaced the Chalice) so that our sports teams could have a winning season.
"Brother Francis" (not his real or religious name---Introibo) taught junior year religion. He was a member of the Society of Mary, having taken his final vows in 1954. He told "jokes" that were so vulgar to a captive audience of 16 year-old boys and girls I cannot and will not reproduce them here. One such "joke" involved the sexual assault of a woman (what's "funny" about that, I'll never understand). I actually repeated that so-called joke to my father. I saw this World War II active combat veteran blush. "He said that to teenagers??" I asked my father if he would complain. He knew it was wrong, but after a long pause he said, "Well...he is a brother..." My father grew up in the pre-Vatican II era when clergy/religious got a pass on things that no one else would. The Modernist clergy used the misplaced and excessive respect to perpetrate their evils, as the molestation scandals clearly show.
Brother Francis once read a vile and blasphemous poem in which it was implied the Virgin Mary and St Joseph had marital relations. All this coming from a man belonging to a religious order dedicated the the Most Immaculate Virgin. Our Lady of Fatima said, "More souls go to Hell for sins of the flesh [sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments] than for any other reason." Even though it is a private revelation, I believe this to be true; especially when you consider approximately 35% of all websites on the Internet are pornographic.
The title of the junior year religion course was "Meeting the Living God." We were told it was meant to show us the reality of God. Naively, I thought we would learn about the Five Proofs of God's Existence by Aquinas, or something apologetic along those lines. Instead, what happened next was a form of emotional child abuse from which I still carry some scars--as do many of my classmates. On the first day, we were told to get our chairs in a circle. Brother Francis joined in the circle. We were told that we had to tell of when we first realized God was real--and it had to be when someone in our immediate family died. I was in shock. What does the death of a family member have to do with knowing God exists? Many people get angry at God or actually question His existence when losing a family member.
I was caught between a rock and a hard place. Br. Francis had quite the temper when he wasn't telling ribald "jokes." I was an only child (as was my mother). Both my parents were alive at the time and my one uncle and aunt were alive. Everyone complied, mostly by describing the death of a grandparent. When it was my turn, I tried to explain my situation, and he snapped at me, "You MUST answer! You CANNOT pass!" Scared and flustered, I lied about seeing my grandfather's death (all my grandparents died before I was born). "Excellent! Excellent!" he responded to my made up story.
In the weeks that followed until the end of the school year, we would listen every class to tapes of a woman who sounded like she just arrived off the boat from Germany. Her name was Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (she is pictured at the top of this post with "saint" Mother Teresa). Kubler-Ross (1926-2004) would tell us, each school day, in her thick German accent, all about terminal patients she visited and what death would be like. Welcome to "Death Education." Introduced into both the Vatican II sect schools, and public schools, it is now well ingrained in our culture---to the detriment of all. This post will focus on Kubler-Ross, Death Education, and the evil consequences it brings.
Kubler-Ross was born in Switzerland, and raised Protestant. She immigrated to the United States and became a psychiatrist. At first she studied and lived in New York City beginning in 1958. Kübler-Ross completed her training in psychiatry in 1963, and then moved to Chicago in 1965. Circa 1962, she began interviewing terminally ill patients of all ages, so that doctors could better understand what they were going through and be more compassionate. What began as a noble and worthwhile goal, soon degenerated into something very different.
The doctor became obsessed with death, and dedicated all her time to interviewing dying patients. The result was the publication of her ground-breaking book On Death and Dying in 1969. It outlined the "Five Stages of Dying" (aka "5 Stages of Grief;" or just "The 5 Stages"), which details the five stages a person allegedly goes through when they are told they have a terminal disease and will die; Denial, Anger, Bargaining (with the "higher power"), Depression, and Acceptance of Death.
Although her foundation, "The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation" (or EKR Foundation), denies that these stages were meant to be strictly interpreted as happening to everyone, it was (and still is) certainly taught that way by most. Br. Francis brought in as a guest speaker a man who nearly died from a heart attack. The speaker denied going through any period of anger (at God or in general). When the man left, one of my classmates told Br. Francis that obviously all stages are not necessarily experienced. By his response, you think she had denied a defined dogma. "Yes he did! He doesn't remember, or he went through it very fast. Don't ever say that!!" (There is now even something called the "Kubler-Ross Change Curve"--See https://www.ekrfoundation.org/5-stages-of-grief/change-curve/).
Kubler-Ross convinced her husband to buy forty acres of land in Escondido, California, near San Diego, where she founded "Shanti Nilaya" ("Home of Peace" hospice). It was there she started getting involved with the occult. Then, by the early 1980s, she was the "Queen of Death and Dying." Her book (and others that followed), workshops, speaking tours, etc., made her quite wealthy. Her foundation does more than a bit of sanitizing her life. The "Five Stages" became like the "Twelve Steps" of AA, and it was the only "moral way" to die. You were to find the "Higher Power" in interacting with the dying. She claimed to have encountered the spirits of the dead. She held seances, and came to the conclusion that death itself is the "sixth stage," where you enter into bliss. Death was "beautiful" and to be welcomed, because death doesn't really exist; it's the next chapter of life where everyone is happy.
She came to this epiphany by way of an "out of body experience" whereby she met "spirit entities." She wrote that “I saw myself lifted out of my physical body. … [I]t was as if a whole lot of loving beings were taking all the tired parts out of me, similar to car mechanics in a car repair shop. … I had an incredible sense that once all the parts were replaced I would be a young and fresh and energetic as I had been prior to the rather exhausting, draining workshop. "After several trips to the auto repair shop and a lot of heart to hearts with the heavenly mechanics, she began to speak about death as the fountain of youth: “People after death become complete again. The blind can see, the deaf can hear, cripples are no longer crippled after all their vital signs have ceased to exist.” The emphasis had shifted from a spiritual renewal while still alive, albeit dying, to the physical renewal awaiting one after death. It made death seem all too sweetly attractive (especially at a time when there were deep-rooted problems in the medical establishment’s handling of dying patients). Some might say it made suicide seductive to the physically and mentally troubled. Death, in her new view, was a kind of Lourdes-cum-plastic-surgery spa. (See https://slate.com/culture/2004/09/the-treacly-legacy-of-kubler-ross.html; Emphasis mine).
A scandal erupted when it was revealed that she was conducting a workshop for grieving widows. She invited a "spirit-channeler,"Jay Barham, a former sharecropper and aircraft worker, who founded the Church of the Facet of Divinity to contact the deceased husbands. They were in the dark, and Barham encouraged the women to engage in sex with the spirits of their husbands. “How is it,” one asked, “that an entity, a pure spirit, has cigarette breath?” Once, when the lights were snapped on, they claim to have seen him clearly, naked except for a turban...Kübler-Ross has been unshakable in her support of Barham. “He has so much integrity,” she says. “The truth does not need to be defended.” (See https://people.com/archive/sex-visitors-from-the-grave-psychic-healing-kubler-ross-is-a-public-storm-center-again-vol-12-no-18/). This is the founder of "Death Education."
Death Education = Deadly Consequences
At Columbine High School, the site of the infamous school shooting of April 20, 1999, Death Education was implemented in the 1980s. What Kubler-Ross initiated with her book and which took off in the 1970s, was in most public and Vatican II sect schools to one degree or another. In 1990, nine years before Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris would begin shooting the school up, a former Columbine student, Tara Becker, gave a speech at a pro-life conference warning about the dangers of Death Education.
Tara explained that the subject of death was integrated into many of her courses in high school. She said that death was made to look glamourous, that living was hard, and that reincarnation would solve their problems. Students were told that they would always return to the "oversoul" and become like God. After one of the students at her school committed suicide, a "suicide talking day" was held and every class was to talk about death. Class assignments were for students to write their own obituaries and suicide notes. They were told to trust their own judgement in choosing whether to live or die. (See Tom Rose, "Hidden Faces of the Littleton Tragedy," Christian Statesman, September-October 1999). Tara considered suicide, but Deo gratias, decided against it. It was only after graduation that she realized how her emotions and ideas had been manipulated.
Death Education has become so big, there's even the Association for Death and Education Counseling, that offers certification in Thanatology (i.e., the study of death, so named after Thanatos, the Greek god of death; See https://www.adec.org/page/Earn_Certification). The EKR Foundation gives citations to dozens of references to the "5 stages" in popular culture, ranging from TV, to movies, to music, and plays. (See https://www.ekrfoundation.org/5-stages-of-grief/5-stages-in-popular-media/).
Hopefully the dangers of Death Education are apparent. The correct view on death, as the Church teaches, is that death is a consequence of sin. We should remember death so as to never lose sight of our destination of Heaven. However, we must not morbidly dwell on it so as not to live our life as God wants us to do. Death is to be feared insofar as we must do all we can to take reasonable good care of our bodies and live our lives well so we can avoid Hell.
Death Education destroys this teaching:
- It portrays death as "beautiful" and not to be feared because everyone goes to a "happy place" or is reincarnated. In the Vatican II sect version there is universal salvation. Thus it implicitly promotes suicide as a way out of life's problems
- It causes depression to dwell on the topic, which in turn promotes unhealthy anxiety about death. (I became depressed, and if not for Fr. DePauw, I don't know how I would have handled it)
- It promotes ecumenism and universalism (which explains, in part, why Kubler-Ross admired Mother Teresa)
- It is connected with pagan ideas, such as reincarnation, and can lead to occult practices, such as trying to contact the dead (necromancy)
- It leads people to believe the truth about God's existence is to be found in studying those who die around them. God is to be discovered based on emotions, not reason, and subjective experiences, like Modernists teach (according to vital immanence, religion arises purely from within man himself, deriving all its credibility and force from man's own personal experience as its source)
- It makes people feel like there's something "wrong" with them, if they don't agree with all that it teaches; especially if they don't see death as "beautiful," but still naturally fear it
Br. Francis went to Judgement a few years back. I hate to think of his experience now, which is most likely anything but beautiful. The depression from Death Education turned to anxiety for me, and affected many in my high school. Someone I know from those days became a hypochondriac, becoming worried that every cold he had, or pain he felt, might be something serious that could kill him. I still get slightly anxious when the subject of death comes up. My mind races back to Kubler-Ross giving us talks about watching terminally ill patients slowly dying--and subjected to it for 40 minutes every school day for a whole year. I remember talking about our deceased relatives, and how this all allegedly brings us (ironically) to "Meeting the Living God." No faith or morals required, it's all going to be happy, happy, joy, joy.
In this time of COVID be especially vigilant as to what your children are being told about death in school. Information to stay safe is fine, but Death Education is dead wrong.