Classical Conversations, High-Controlling Groups, Deleted Comments, Blocked Commenters, Noble Gibbens, Leigh Bortins
NOTE: This is part of a series that began with these earlier posts:
- Classical Conversations #1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
- Classical Conversations #2: What Led You to Join a Classical Conversations Homeschool Community? #ClassicalConvMadeKnown
- Classical Conversations #3: Leaders Delete Comments and Block Commenters Who Don’t Toe the Line
Sometimes there are comments that come through that I think really need to be seen by a larger audience, not buried in the comment section of an article where people might never see them. Today’s post is one such case. When I saw Maria’s comment, I knew it needed to be read, especially by those who are considering Classical Conversations.
Her comment is information she learned from experience, not from what was given to her when she started in Classical Conversations. This fact should lead us to question:
- Why isn’t this information given to newbies?
- Why does it take so long for people to get information?
- Why aren’t people being given straight answers to their questions?
- Why are parents not allowed to use their critical thinking skills and ask questions, when CC supposedly promotes critical thinking?
- Why is there so much confusion regarding liability issues, contracts, taxes, CC licenses, etc.? These are all legal issues that should have full disclosure.
There are many more questions I can add, but that’s a start. I am still learning about the CC organization and the hierarchical structure. Those with direct involvement in Classical Conversations are the ones who need to have the floor when it comes to sharing experiences, and that is what my blog does – allows you to have a voice, whether that is in the comments or your give me permission to turn your comment into a blog article.
I am grateful for those who have trusted me with their sensitive information and those who have been willing to risk by sharing their personal stories. Having been involved in a high-controlling church environment where communication was squelched, I understand that fear, and that is why this blog exists. We do not need to live in fear. We need to live in truth and expose what goes on in the darkness. ~Julie Anne
Comment by Maria W. (edited only for grammatical clarity and punctuation)
There are definitely “hot topics” that will get you scolded publicly in training, blocked, deleted, blacklisted, or even put on the “grid.” In my over 7 years involvement with Classical Conversations, I’ve experienced all of these various kinds of mental, emotional, verbal, and bordering on spiritual types of abuse because I simply ASKED a QUESTION !!! It’s so confusing to me why they promote the Challenge Levels of learning as a time for the STUDENTS to seek truth by learning to ask great questions (while telling parents in the same breath that they can RECLAIM their OWN education) and then when you want to get more involved as a Director or some other leadership position such as Area Representative or Support Representative you are all of a sudden prohibited from “speaking” by being blocked, deleted or told directly to shut up and STOP ASKING GREAT QUESTIONS !!!! (Isn’t one of Leigh Bortins’ books called THE QUESTION? Maybe I missed a chapter?) Then you’re fed the line, “trust the system”!!! You lost my trust when you didn’t answer my questions honestly with all the knowledge you have and won’t share with those who have signed your wordy contracts and paid you all kinds of fees to own a crumb of your pie!!!
Overarching themes of questions and conversations that are SILENCED almost immediately by the Classical Conversations “Enforcement Officer.” Noble Gibbens (mentioned in the above #3 post), are Director Liability, Classifying Tutors as Independent Contractors vs. Employees, Child Abuse Issues, Contracts, almost ALL questions regarding various Money Issues, and ANYTHING having to do with the “sacred guides.” I saw a post on the CC main page a while back where Mr. Gibbens even asked for ONLY POSITIVE REVIEWS of the new 5th edition Foundations Guide and seemed to have deleted any negative comments. Just this week I am learning on the Let Us Reason for real Facebook page that topics like using the CC materials at home and diversity have been moved OFF the CC Main Facebook page to separate non-CC admin’d pages (probably because admins don’t have time to monitor every.single.post) !!! That alone speaks volumes!!!
If you’re sitting at a FREE Parent practicum right now (which will cost you greatly in the future if you decide to sign on any dotted lines without doing your homework) while they are recruiting uninformed homeschool moms and dads to fill the much needed Classical Conversations Inc. roles of Area Representative, Support Representative, Director, or Tutor, I HIGHLY recommend that you DO take their advice and PAY an attorney to review ANY CONTRACT you are given BEFORE signing it. Directors and upper levels of management are given contracts that are 20-30+ pages long and even most CC employees can’t explain what MOST of it means.
Especially KNOW what YOUR LIABILITY is and ask detailed questions!!!! It didn’t surprise me in the end that Classical Conversations was NOT going to have any single one of their lawyers help me out of a really difficult situation. IT WAS ALL ON ME to deal with it !!! Then PAY an accountant when you clearly understand how much YOUR CC LICENSED BUSINESS will PROFIT so you know HOW to do your TAXES and HOW it will affect your FAMILY INCOME on your tax return forms. (I’m so sorry if you were fed the line that this was a ministry – it’s a business with financial liability as well.)
Have an accountant VERY FAMILIAR with the Classical Conversations business AND structure clearly explain how the IRS will use their own rules, not CC’s, to classify your tutors in case the IRS decides to ever AUDIT your business as a CC Director. Know what to do if CHILD ABUSE is reported in your community, and DON’T let yourself be silenced if CC Leaders tell you the issue has to “go to the top” first. You go DIRECTLY to the AUTHORITIES [i.e., civil/police] FIRST. No questions need to be asked in this serious type of situation!!! Talk to an insurance agent who can explain all the situations you should have coverage for. DON’T get caught off guard when something serious happens. Claiming that Classical Conversations didn’t train you well in the area of LIABILITY will hold no weight in a court of law!!! YOU hold the liability for every parent that pays you money to have their child(ren) participate in your programs. I wish someone had given me this advice YEARS AGO!!!
And if you’re a parent considering filling out an APPLICATION to be ACCEPTED into a community and getting ready to pay your NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT by July 20th to “hold your place,” take a real close look at all the paperwork you’ll be signing, because once you’re IN you’ll surely be given the run-around, or worse yet, silenced, as it appears so many other have been if you decide to ask any of the TOUGH QUESTIONS in search of the TRUTH!!! If you’re silenced before you even drop a dime, then find a different way to enjoy fellowship with other homeschool families. There are LOTS of great options out there!!!
I’ve actually done a complete turn around in just the last few weeks, and rather than blaming God for letting our family get involved with Classical Conversations, I am thanking Him for allowing me to be blacklisted, or whatever way CC edges you out of a leadership role for asking too many direct questions. CC can delete my comments and block me from participating in their censored conversations, but they can’t stop me from teaching my children how NOT to treat others when they get out into the business world, whether they are an employee or business owner. They also can’t stop me from sharing my REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE with other homeschool friends. I hope this blog will help expose some of the bullying techniques and legal tactics that Classical Conversations has used to SILENCE those who seek the truth.
I’m praying that someone at the corporate level will see the error in their ways and do an “about face” before things get worse. There is still time to make this right rather than digging an even deeper bunker to hide in. I pray that CC leaders will clearly see that their effort to silence parents who have learned to ask great questions is setting a poor example for our Challenge-age students. I can tell you that my children don’t learn with blinders on in our homeschool. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that Classical Conversation offers.
I need to go now and have my oldest child proofread my comment since THAT student is the one who has suffered and grieved the MOST in our family. If CC wants the next generation to buy into their products and programs, then they better consider an emergency meeting in the SITUATION ROOM and ASK THEMSELVES, “Is what we’re doing/selling BENEFITING the STUDENTS?” or better yet, “Are we putting the STUDENTS FIRST”?