My First Time With Shakespeare

Guest post by Anaïs Chartschenko, who was home schooled using Accelerated Christian Education. There are days when the enormity of my own ignorance staggers me. I mispronounce a word which is caught by my conversation partner and the rest of the day idiot rings in my head. Sometimes I torture myself by reading author bios, skimming to the part where they list their degrees. Recently I was asked on twitter what I majored in college.Nothing. I know college is not the only place people gain … [Read more...]

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Iowa state bill to allow unaccredited fundamentalist curriculum

The Iowa House is to vote on a bill that would allow a school for troubled teens to use an unaccredited curriculum. House Study Bill 186 would allow Anchor Character Training Center in Fort Dodge to use the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. This curriculum would be provided by nonlicensed teachers.The Des Moines Register reports that an unnamed Iowa legislator (possibly Rep. Matt Windschitl) has claimed that ACE is accredited "in several states". No evidence is supplied f … [Read more...]

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New Christian school whistleblowers speak out about creationism and sexism (UK)

Two former Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) students who have never before spoken publicly have made new allegations about sexist and creationist teaching in the schools.In an article titled "Christian fundamentalist schools teaching girls they must obey men", one of the new whistle-blowers, Cheryl Povey, says: I came across a lot of sexism. I remember as a girl finding it quite shocking. We were taught that if you’re a woman, you should be subservient to men; your husband, your pastor … [Read more...]

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Indoctrination as a wedge strategy: faith schools and foot-in-the-door techniques

My last post on indoctrination, Children are not that gullible, which makes indoctrination even more odious, was an unexpected hit. I had no idea people would be so interested in the psychology of indoctrination. So here's a follow-up, about how the psychology of Foot in the Door techniques helps explain the exaggerated religious commitment you see from some religious school leavers.In 1966, Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser published the results of a psychological experiments that has … [Read more...]

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“Can I introduce you to Jesus?” “NOPE!”

This image of Accelerated Christian Education's arch villain, Ronny Vain, has been doing the rounds on social media after hitting the front page of Reddit (comment thread here).The boy on the left, Ace Virtueson, is ACE's model student. Everything he does is perfect (in ACE's parlance, it 'reflects the character of Christ'). Ronny, on the other hand, never does anything good. None of the ACE characters could be called three dimensional, but Ronny's whole existence consists of (a) rejecting … [Read more...]

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How bad can Christian education get? This bad.

What's worse than an ACE school?A badly run ACE school.I recently bought a pile of second-hand Accelerated Christian Education English workbooks (PACEs—Packets of Accelerated Christian Education) from eBay. At the time, the fact they were used didn't seem particularly relevant—it was just a chance to buy them cheaper. But it turned out that what the students and teachers have written in them—and what they haven't written in them—is even more illuminating.When a school signs up to teac … [Read more...]

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Can you get into university with an ICCE Advanced Certificate?

Are you a student studying the International Certificate of Christian Education? Are you hoping to go to university? If so, I have some bad news for you. It will probably be harder to get into higher education than Christian Education Europe and your school told you. The ICCE claims an extensive list of universities that have accepted the Advanced Certificate for university entrance. After looking through universities' responses to Freedom of Information requests, however, it appears that a … [Read more...]

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A very fundamentalist sex scandal

Previously on Leaving Fundamentalism: Pastor Jack Hyles indulges in immoral sexual activity and covers up abuse.Preacher Bill Gothard receives 34 allegations of sexual harassment and four of rape.There are links between Hyles, Gothard, and Accelerated Christian Education founder Donald Howard.All three are represented by the lawyer David Gibbs Jr, who's made a career cleaning up after preachers.It turns out quite a lot of this sort of thing goes on in fundamentalist Baptist c … [Read more...]

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Faith school whistleblower to speak ahead of Dover ‘ACE’ school expansion

Alright people!I don't normally plug my talks with separate posts (you can see the 'speaking dates' page for the latest), but the next seven days have some good ones lined up:Tomorrow, Wednesday 20th August 2014, I'm appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing, for the first time ever, my autobiographical one-man show, My Escape from Fundamentalism.On Thursday I'm at Merseyside Skeptics.And then next Tuesday I'll be speaking in Dover about Dover School for All Nations, w … [Read more...]

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ACE survivor becomes cultural anthropologist, dismantles curriculum

I am on holiday, so this is a scheduled post. So behave yourself in the comments, because I'm not around to moderate.I recently had this great comment from an ex-ACE student who has since done a PhD in cultural anthropology. Their insights on ACE are lengthy but well worth reading. Unlike many of my guest posters (and me), Kachoukyori picks out positive parts from the ACE experience. This is something I'll probably return to later. In order to understand why people turn to ACE, you need to … [Read more...]

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