The Nancy Sherman Dilemma: Who is Conning Whom?©
Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson
4 July 2001
Those who defend the new Leadership and Ethics program at the U.S. Naval Academy are acting like politicians. Rather than taking a stand for teaching ethics based on the 'virtue tradition,' as has been historical there, they are trying to convince us that the New Age 'ethics' being taught there is somehow superior. Like unprincipled politicians, they are trying to have it both ways.
On the one hand, Captain Mark N. Clemente, U.S. Navy, the former Chairman of the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department at the Academy writes ('Why We Teach Leadership and Ethics at the Naval Academy,' U.S. Naval Institute 'Proceedings,' pp.86-88, February 2000), "...the Naval Academy does produce leaders of character prepared to serve in the combat arms of the Navy and Marine Corps ... Leadership development is woven into virtually every aspect of a midshipman's four years here. Leadership emphasis permeates the institution ... It exists in places like Memorial Hall, John Paul Jones' Crypt, and the chapel -- places that recall the sacrifices of those Americans who have gone before."
"In their second-class, or junior, year, the midshipmen take an advanced leadership course that examines the leadership process through the dynamic interaction between the 'leader, the follower, and the situation.' Elements of group dynamics and the skills required to motivate organized groups to accomplish a mission are the focus. Case studies include Battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, the Iraqi missile attack on the USS 'Stark' (FFG-31), and the mine strike of the USS 'Samuel B. Roberts' (FFG-58)."
How could anyone object to a Leadership Program based so solidly on the U.S. Navy tradition? Indeed, to Academy alumni of previous eras as well as knowledgeable Americans, this sounds like John Paul Jones' description of an ideal naval officer. That is, someone with "… a liberal education, and the nicest sense of personal honor."
But wait, that is not the totality of the Naval Academy's defense of its new Leadership and Ethics program. In a prominent place in CAPT Clemente's defense of the Academy's New Age 'ethics' program, he writes, "As Dr. Nancy Sherman, the Naval Academy's first Distinguished Chair of Ethics, pointed out in these pages in "Ethics for Those Who Go Down to the Sea in Ships" (see 'Proceedings,' April 1999, pages 87-88), the motivation behind 'why' someone follows the rules, and the accompanying emotions, is what we are trying to tap in to. If the only reason someone avoids crime is fear of punishment, we need to lift their sense of moral responsibility; if the only reason they do something is to please somebody--that is not good enough. We want leaders who have internalized the values we cherish and promote. We fail if they view leadership and professional military ethics as merely legalistic or contractual."
Two things about this defense are significant. Just as the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Jay Johnson's, eulogy honoring ADM Elmo Zumwalt at the latter's funeral at the Academy chapel (C-SPAN, 10 January 2000), contained an embarrassing, obvious pandering as he looked down into the eyes of President Clinton and the First Lady in the front row and lauded the fact that his Navy had opened the way for women to command 'combat' ships (it sounded like, 'what a good boy am I'), CAPT Clemente panders to the New Age 'facilitators' and 'change agent,' civilians who have altered the 'ethics' curriculum in ways that undermine the ability of our future young officers to fight and win America's wars.
Dr. Nancy Sherman was the 'change agent' who introduced this insidious new 'ethics' curriculum into the Academy bloodstream under the cover of high-level political pressure on the then-Superintendent -- ADM Charles Larson. And this curriculum is anything but 'traditional.'
The other significant thing about this defense is that in private conversations with the naval officers who actually are in charge of the new 'ethics' program, as well as in CAPT Clemente's written defense of it, these senior naval officers appear to genuinely ACTUALLY BELIEVE in Dr. Sherman and HER POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION to the 'ethics' curriculum at the Academy.
In a private phone conversation (on 9/1/99) with CAPT Lee J. Geanuleas, USN, the Director of Professional Development at the Academy, he told me that he taught ethics course (NE-203) right alongside Nancy Sherman. He said that I would be surprised at the respect she has for the midshipmen and the U.S. Navy and its tradition. He said that she is really a fine person and wants to help instill ethics into the lives of these fine Mids. He was essentially standing up in defense of Dr. Sherman, Professor Aine Donovan and others who designed and implemented the new 'ethics' program at the Academy during ADM Larson's tenure.
In another private conversation, much shorter than the one above, CAPT Mike Kehoe, USN, the Character Development Officer in charge of the Character Development Seminars at the Academy, similarly defended Dr. Sherman and her contribution to the 'ethics' program there.
Surprisingly, neither CAPT Geanuleas nor CAPT Kehoe claim knowledge of the existence of Dr. Sherman's interview in an article in the Boston Globe ('In wake of scandals, Naval Academy splices ethics into lessons,' Neal Thompson, The Boston Sunday Globe, pp.A31, 8/22/99) in which she essentially implied that the Naval Academy was an 'evil' place before she came with her minions to clean up the moral character of the brigade.
The article first describes the condition of the Naval Academy's perceived public reputation -- supposedly very bad -- at the time: "Newspaper headlines described the moral status of the school this way: 'Midshipman pleads guilty to LSD charges,' 'Current, former Mids indicted; five face federal charges involving car-theft ring,' 'Midshipman held on sex abuse charges.'"
The article then describes who was invited in to clean up this mess, a civilian academic, Dr. Nancy Sherman: "Into that caldron came a group of outsiders, such as Nancy Sherman, a 47-year-old Harvard-trained professor who helped strengthen ethics classes, ethics lectures, and ethics seminars."
The article than quotes Dr. Sherman directly. "It began in 1994 when ADM Charles R. Larson was appointed Superintendent and told to clean up the school in the wake of a scandal in which scores of midshipmen were accused of cheating on an exam. Sherman was invited to help develop an ethics class. The Harvard professor said she found it odd that the school emphasized 'honor, courage, commitment,' words etched into the stone of some buildings, but did not teach ethics."
This is a direct insult to that legion of naval officers who, upon receiving a 'traditional' moral grounding at the Academy -- based on the U.S. Code and Navy Regulations -- graduated, fought, and won the Battle of the Pacific in World War II and helped win the Cold War. It is a direct assault on the system that produced fine naval officers who fought valiantly and victoriously in winning the Cold War, on the battlefields, on the rivers, and in the air over Korea and Vietnam.
These 'warriors' fought and helped win their generations' wars with a moral code and ethical guidelines which came from their family, their church, and the military education at the Academy -- including mandatory chapel -- that is, the 'traditional' grounding in Navy lore and standards of conduct received there. They 'lived' their ethical code. They practiced it. They knew it without formal training other than that received from America's founding institutions.
Dr. Sherman is further quoted in the article. "'It was more assumed and unspoken,' she said. 'The punitive system was in place. The judicial system was in place. But the educational system wasn't in place. By and large, philosophical ethics was not their cup of tea.'"
So what was the problem at the Academy as Dr. Sherman saw it? "Another problem was the mathematical and military atmosphere of the school, where most students major in engineering or aeronautics. People trained to use formulas to reach conclusions considered deep thought and reflection 'soft.'"
Consider this mind set against that of one of the finest Navy officers produced by the Academy, a war-fighting hero of World War II -- ADM Arleigh Burke. "If the equipment doesn't work in battle, it doesn't make much difference how much else the officers know, the battle is lost and so are the people in it -- so it can be right handy to be a good engineer first -- and a brilliant theorist after."
As another World War II warrior tells us in his seminal essay on this subject (The Military and New Age 'Ethics,' RADM C.A. Hill, Jr. USN (Ret.), USNA Class 1944, 15 October 1999, published on this Web Site at Mark Hill’s Corner: "That is the lesson one derives from this episode of the film ['Das Boot']. The Academy's mission is to find, train and send to the fleet such good men. No amount of theoretical, analytical, academic 'ethics' training can do this. No philosophy here. Not Rousseau, not Kant, not Bentham, not Mill."
But Ms. Sherman is oblivious to this real-world, experienced, advice. In the article, she continues, "'Ethics is particularly a newfangled thing at the academy,' Sherman said. But I really think that's what the naval Academy should be fostering: how to lead with vision and how to follow in a way that's not blind,' she said. 'It's not the case that all's fair in love and war.'"
The danger in this silly, supercilious nonsense is not that it was voiced by a former professor at the Academy. And it is not even that such nonsense was forced on the Academy and its military administrators by an idealistic, radical feminist cadre in the Clinton administration. The REAL DANGER is that senior naval officers at the Academy and higher up in the chain of command BUY INTO THIS STUFF, promote it, and wear it on their sleeves.
So what are we to make of CAPT Clemente's written defense of the new 'ethics' program at the Academy? On the one hand, we can buy into his defense of 'traditional' leadership training at the academy -- for which he makes a decent case -- and pooh-pooh his defense of the civilian contribution (he down-plays the civilian influence) to the 'ethics' program. In this case, CAPT Clemente and the host of other naval officers at the Academy are 'conning' the civilian participants, including the civilian overseers in the Navy Department, Department of Defense, and the White House. It is a fact that most, if not all USNA alumni would like to believe this alternative to be true.
This situation does not seem plausible, however. The civilian overseers are not blind. They are not stupid. They have sufficient civilian staff, resident at the Academy, that such a subterfuge would not be possible. Anyone who would attempt such a thing would be found and immediately purged from the grounds, probably from the Navy via an unsatisfactory efficiency report. The heavy hand of the civilian tyrants in the aftermath of the Tailhook '91 scandal is a good example of this probability.
On the other hand, we may take at face value that all of the naval officers in the program, from the field-grade Executive Department officers to the mid-level Navy officers who teach, all the way up to the Superintendent, BELIEVE IN THE NEW AGE 'ETHICS' PROGRAM as it was set up by Dr. Sherman and her minions. This appears to be what they are saying, publicly and privately. The evidence shows that this is, indeed, the situation at the Academy. This is the real danger of the new 'ethics' program at the Academy -- and it is backed up by evidence that it reaches right to the top, to the Superintendent.
What is the evidence? ADM Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations, hand delivered a copy of RADM 'Mark' Hill's critical essay to VADM John Ryan, the Superintendent, at a formal dinner on Monday, 27 September 1999. This was just ten days after VADM Ryan had presented ADM Moorer the very first Distinguished Alumnus Award at a parade dress ceremony before the Mishipman. He asked Ryan to read it and make sure a copy was made available to the Commandant of Midshipmen. VADM Ryan's reply, in a sense, was interpreted by some senior retired flag-rank officers as arrogant and disrespectful -- completely missing the mark of the criticism.
VADM Ryan wrote, "In his book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw remarks that people of your generation and that of Admiral Hill were raised with an honorable underpinning that made community support and service to others a part of the ethos of society. Today we have a values-neutral society, which I view as values in decline. In response to changing societal values, which are reflected in the make-up of incoming classes, the Naval Academy has taken a 'round turn' in ethics, leadership and moral development to ensure our alma mater produces graduates of character and distinction for the next century. As a result, the Naval academy is not as good as it was when you were a midshipmen, or even when I was ... IT IS BETTER."
And then VADM Ryan goes on to defend the particulars of the new 'ethics' program at the Academy. What further evidence do we need to show that the naval officers at the Academy, from the mid-levels to the top ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN the New Age 'ethics' that have been infused there by the civilian commissariat? This is a very dangerous situation, both for the Academy and for America.
In this case, the Academy officers become 'foot soldiers' for the politically correct commissars who have set out to bring an honored, venerable institution to its knees. For, make no mistake about it, Dr. Sherman is, herself, a counter-culture elite Boomer, a New Age 'foot soldier' of the gurus of the Frankfurt School whom I have described at length in several essays and reports (all available on the Internet on this Web Site. That is, Dr. Nancy Sherman is a typical 'cultural Marxist,' just as are her political icons, Bill and Hillary Clinton. She is one of their 'power elites.'
How do we know this is true? It is simple. Just look at the evidence. CAPT Mark Clemente unwittingly gives it away when, in his defense of the Academy's new 'ethics' program, he refers the reader to Dr. Sherman's article in a previous issue of the 'Proceedings.' "As Dr. Nancy Sherman, the Naval Academy's first Distinguished Chair of Ethics, pointed out in these pages in "Ethics for Those Who Go Down to the Sea in Ships" (see 'Proceedings,' April 1999, pages 87-88)..."
To a trained eye, Dr. Sherman's article is a perfect example of the teaching of the 'cultural Marxist' Frankfurt School. It contains elements of Critical Theory combined with Kurt Lewin's 'sensitivity training' techniques which are aimed at, in this case, 'changing the soul of a 20-year-old.' Aimed at 'changing the behavior' of young midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. Aimed at replacing the 'world view' which accompanied them to the Academy, to one that fits the agenda of the radical feminists, the 'cultural Marxists' who are undermining the last institution in American to fall prey to its influence.
Dr. Sherman's article rails against the 'authoritarian personality,' the primary tract and focus of the Frankfurt School revolutionaries. She lauds the Enlightenment philosophers and those who followed, the thinkers that carved out the Franco-German path to Marxist socialism in our century.
She mentions NOT the moral foundation of America's Constitutional Republic -- Christianity -- as the basic guide to ethical behavior. She gives away her training in 'change agentry,' as has been practiced on nearly all our democratic institutions since the late 1960s. She reveals her deep knowledge of the details of the techniques and power of 'sensitivity training' in rendering an individual personally and emotionally vulnerable to the psychic pressure imposed by a small group under the control of a 'facilitator,' in this case an 'ethics' instructor. A dangerous tool in the hands of a ruthless revolutionary -- a radical feminist with an agenda.
What is the evidence of this? Let's take a look at her 'Proceedings' article (pp.87). "...midshipmen living in a highly rule-and-sanction-enforced system of morality...At some level, each midshipman understands that being a person of character is quite different from being someone who acts out of fear of being hammered for some dereliction. In the day-to-day life of Bancroft Hall, however, home to all Academy midshipmen outside of class, the signs of externally imposed morality and authority are pervasive..."
This tract could not have been better written from a Frankfurt School point of view. The 'authoritarian personality' was to be attacked, held in contempt, and rendered (by any means necessary) evil. This is a perfect example of such a view. Dr. Sherman is, indeed, a 'cultural Marxist.' Back to her 'Proceedings' article (pp.87). "Those who claim that ethics has no place in a college curriculum -- that everything one needs to know about morality is learned in kindergarten -- either are born saints or are naive concerning the twists and turns of moral development..."
This absurd example of morality, 'learned in kindergarten,' is a typical 'straw man' raised by the author to belittle an opposing view of moral development. At no point in her article does she address the traditional view of Christian morality -- only her absurd 'straw man' reference to it. She doesn't even mention the primary role of the family, churches, primary and secondary schools, and other supporting institutions which give American youngsters a moral compass during their formative years. The truth is that Dr. Sherman, acting as an 'ethics' expert, has set up a situation at the Academy whereby any moral 'world view' developed by these traditional sources will be ridiculed, vilified, reduced to mush by her Critical Theory approach to changing that 'world view' to that of the agenda she wishes to impose. And we know what that multiculturalist agenda is -- the 'feminization' and ‘quota-ing’ of the Navy's combat arms.
Dr. Sherman's application of the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory to the Academy is demonstrated by the Boston Globe article in which she was interviewed. Whether by her or the author of the article, the tack taken to describe the Academy before her reign there was right out of the 'cultural Marxist' doctrine. That is, the theory behind Critical Theory is just that -- to criticize. Not for the purpose of learning from mistakes and improving, but for the purpose of tearing down a person, an institution, or a culture.
Recall, in the Boston Globe article, the Naval Academy was characterized completely negatively. The article first describes the condition of the Naval Academy's perceived public reputation -- supposedly very bad -- at the time: "Newspaper headlines described the moral status of the school this way: 'Midshipman pleads guilty to LSD charges,' 'Current, former Mids indicted; five face federal charges involving car-theft ring,' 'Midshipman held on sex abuse charges.'"
This Critical Theory approach was defended by ADM Leon Edney, USN (Ret.) when he became the first holder of the Distinguished Chair for Leadership at the Academy. Showing the influence of Dr. Sherman and her civilian power elite sponsors, ADM Edney stated ('What mumbo jumbo at the Academy?' The Washington Times, 8/15/99), "...The course in question [NE-230] is two-thirds application of military ethics to real studies (such as My Lai, and Vincennes Shootdown, Bosnia, Somalia and, yes, lessons from Tailhook as well as many others emanating from distant as well as recent incidents)..." Observe that these are all flagrantly NEGATIVE examples. Right out of the pages of Critical Theory, the bible of the 'cultural Marxists' of the Frankfurt School. And this from the pen of a former Vice-Chief of Naval Operations. The bureaucratic power of the 'cultural Marxist' radical feminists, such as Dr. Sherman is, indeed, powerful.
Back to CAPT Clemente's defense of the Academy's 'ethics' program in the 'Proceedings' and his reference to Dr. Sherman's article in the same journal. In her article, Dr. Sherman gives away her role as a 'change agent' (pp.87). "...and more than one midshipman in my class confides to me that he thirsts for a ring that might at least allow some freedom from surveillance, some liberty to see how motivated he would be when assessment of risks and rewards was not a major factor."
"I see the classroom as a place to voice just such a thought. My hope is that there will be a genuine exploration of why certain views and judgments are held and a questioning of views if they are held for reasons that one discovers one can no longer avow or endorse. The point is not to promote skepticism, but to sort out and deepen moral convictions -- to come to know the reason why honesty is so important in a chain-of-command hierarchy, why loyalty may have limitations, why the Geneva Accords give prisoners of war special status."
The Geneva Accords, indeed!
This palaver may seem important to an academic who knows absolutely nothing of the real life situations wherein military men are forced to reach deep into their souls to find the strength, courage, and fortitude to survive under circumstances which most of us cannot even imagine.
An example comes to mind from the Korean War where our GIs, captured by the Chinese, were treated less humanely than animals. Starvation, disease, cold, wounds, and lack of medical attention resulted in a death toll larger than any in our nation's history for captives. The POWs who survived were those who, indeed, did have a loyalty to others and a belief in something larger than themselves. The ethics training at our premiere military academies should be geared to prepare our future officer corps for such trials.
One survivor of that terrible experience tells us ('This Kind of War,' T.R. Fehrenbach, pp.318-320, Brassey's, 1963/1998),
"The disciplines that hold men together in the face of fear, hunger, and danger are not natural. Stresses equal to, and beyond, the stress of fear and panic must be overlaid on men. Some of these stresses are called civilization...In Death Valley, there was no one to bully and chivvy the wretched prisoners but the Chinese, who had no American's welfare at heart. Men did not hold together, but came apart, dissolved into individuals, governed only by their individual consciences. And as fear, cold, sickness, and starvation deepened, conscience shallowed."
"The controls of civilization make men, often against their will, become their brother's keeper. When the controls are taken away, it is but a step to become your brother's killers...The veneer of civilized decency is much thinner than most Americans ... think. Civilization is a fragile discipline, at best...The sick and those with war wounds died first. Then the men without faith began to die, often, seemingly, of nothing at all."
"The youngest men, oddly, died first."
"Schlichter, who never lost his determination to live to return, or his faith in God, believed that most who died didn't have to die..."
"There were men who had grown up with no strong belief in anything; they had received no faith from parents, school, or church. They had no spiritual home or haven. Exposed to horror and misery, when the man with the gun cut the line to home, destroyed every material reason for living, they could not adjust. They no longer wanted to live."
"Schlichter saw men who refused to eat the meager slop he was eating, in his own effort to stay alive. He heard men mumble fantasies, living in a dream world of their own warm, protected past. One boy angrily told him, as he urged the youth to eat, 'My parents never made me do things like this!'"
"Another told him one night, sobbing, 'I know my mother is bringing me a pie tonight -- a pie, Sergeant.'"
"In Charles Schlichter grew a feeling, which he never lost, that some American mothers had given their sons everything in the world, except a belief in themselves, their culture, and their manhood. They had, some of them, sent their sons out into a world with tigers without telling them that there were tigers, and with no MORAL armament."
“And when they were placed in the hands of a brutal, ruthless, barbaric enemy, they had nothing to sustain them -- nothing to prepare them for survival in a land of 'tigers.'"
Dr. Sherman's pitiful attempt to impose an ethical system of behavior on our nation's future officers, which deals with the superficial and elevates the trivial to primacy, only weakens the foundations that are required in a world where 'tigers' abound. For example, in her article (pp.88), she states, "By being emotionally sensitive, we notice who is hurt, whether a remark was more cutting than funny, that a loss affected another more than we might have thought."
For God's sake. This woman is talking about the idea of a man being emotionally sensitive in the current environment of sexual harassment, and a 'hostile work place.' Compare this to the real world environment in which our Korean War POWs found themselves. The triviality of the current 'ethics' program is so obvious that it is embarrassing that our senior naval officers don't recognize it at a glance.
It is more than embarrassing. It is devastatingly destructive to an institution which is supposedly preparing our core combat leadership to kill our enemies, fight and win our future wars. And, if need be, to survive the trepidations of captivity and return home with their honor, their integrity, and their self-respect.
Dr. Sherman's 'Proceedings' article demonstrates clearly that she knows, as a certified 'change agent,' the detailed workings of the psychological techniques of Kurt Lewin's T-group or small-group encounter methods which are so effective in changing a persons behavior and/or world view. The first step, as our Korean War POWs found out at the hands of their Chinese indoctrinators, is to render the individual vulnerable in the peer group. How is this accomplished? By an appeal to the individual's emotions. Read how the first step in this process works. Dr. Sherman tells us (couched in the framework of her 'ethics' course), "One common picture of emotions that emerges from the class is that emotions are the enemy of reason; they are the troublemakers, disrupters, upheavals, and passions that steer one from cool, calm judgment."
"This is far from the total picture, of course, and an important thrust in the NE-203 classroom is to show that emotions can be relevant for response in the very way that the emotion of fear can give the warning signals of danger."
Can't you just feel the way being paved to lure the student into the trap of revealing himself more than is warranted and rendering himself vulnerable to whatever the agenda might be by the 'facilitator' instructor or 'change agent?' This is exactly how 'sensitivity training' is supposed to work -- as discovered by Kurt Lewin, the father of this psychological conditioning process in the U.S.
Dr. Sherman continues, "...part of what we know about emotional well being is that it requires that we acknowledge emotions, not box them up and shove them under the carpet. However much compartmentalization may be a necessary part of the warrior mentality, finding a time and place to de-compartmentalize, to acknowledge grief and mourning, to be honest about longings to be with one's family, to not merely suck up pain but to seek solace is crucial to developing a whole and integrated psyche."
Compare this to an account, derived from the debriefing of 1,000 repatriated Korean War POWs and over 200,000 pages of personal testimony on the nature of the indoctrination program that the Chinese so successfully carried out on them ('Mind Control: The Ultimate Weapon,' speech by Major Wm. E. Mayer, U.S. Army in 1960, on audio cassette produced by G. Edward Griffin, The Reality Zone, 1999).
"Beautiful system. It worked. Worked like a charm. Along with this went something called self-criticism...This is almost in the nature of a religious ritual, this self-criticism thing. They [the Chinese] get you together in groups of ten or twelve again. And this is an ideal size group. And they use what is really a corruption of group psychotherapy. In this corruption, each man was required to get up and confess. Not to the Chinese, but to ten of his peers -- of his fellow prisoners -- fellow students. How he was falling down. How selfish he was. The things he had done that he had ought not to have done. And the things he had left undone that he ought to have done. It was very much like church. It was very moralistic sounding."
"And at first the soldiers undertook this in a rather facetious vein. They talked about their crimes against humanity back in their past when they had 18 servants and they used to whip 'em every morning. And everybody snickered and it was just kind of a joke. And it continued to be a joke until about almost, oh, I'd say ten days. And all of a sudden it wasn't a joke anymore. And they, like you, or me or anyone began to run out of the facetious constructions to talk about. And they began, genuinely, to talk about themselves. Hesitantly, at first. But more and more as time went on. And very soon, they developed the feeling that they didn't like this -- that it was dangerous to do this, but that they didn't dare stop. Not because the Communists were threatening, but because their last vestige of social approval and group acceptance was their participation in this self-criticism kind of meeting."
"And so it was that the soldier came home from this and said, 'That was a strange thing, you know. At first, we thought we'd do it because it kept the Chinese off your back and because it didn't seem to do any harm. And because well, we were all friends and we weren't talking about much else anyway.'"
"'But after a while, I got the feeling like I was sort of naked standing there in front of the others, like I was undressed, like they could see all of me -- like they could even tell what I was thinking about.'"
If you don't see the similarity between these techniques used by the Chinese in Korea on our POWs and those being used, now, at the U.S. Naval Academy, then you should go to the back of the class and stand in the corner. The environment is different. The actors are different. But the process is the same -- render the individual vulnerable to his emotions in a process that breaks his resistance to the facilitator's agenda. That is, the indoctrinator or 'facilitator' attempts to change a person's world view -- to render him, at a minimum, passive using peer group pressure.
The psychological techniques used in the 'ethics' classroom at the U.S. Naval Academy are exactly the same as those which the Chinese used on our Korean War POWs to render 80 percent of them completely 'passive' to their captors' will.
Do you still believe that these New Age initiatives, undertaken at our premiere military academies are benign? Do you still believe that Dr. Sherman and her minions are as respectful and full of admiration for the Academy as their uniformed officer protectors claim?
So, just who is Dr. Nancy Sherman? Dr. Sherman is a member of the New Age academic elite. The Harvard-trained scholar is also a radical feminist, a 'change agent,' from the Boomer generation who carried her political correctness to fruition while at the Academy. She is a Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and held the first Visiting Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy.
But Dr. Sherman is much more than that. What she stands for, personally and professionally, can readily be ascertained from a television program, 'Religion & Ethics,' WNET-TV, PBS, on which she appeared on 29 May 1998. A transcript of this program is presented below:
SHOW: Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly
DATE: May 29, 1998
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor:
Now, PERSPECTIVES. Should unmarried couples living together, heterosexual or homosexual, have the same legal rights as husbands and wives? Early in June, New York City council takes up a so-called domestic partner proposal which would establish just such rights. New York's Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor denounces the proposal, charging it would devalue marriage. But domestic partner laws are spreading. Hawaii, San Francisco and Philadelphia have them. And IBM, Disney and other corporations have begun providing health-care benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian employees.
To consider all this, in New York, Maggie Gallagher is a syndicated columnist and scholar with the Institute of American Values. In Washington, Nancy Sherman is an ethicist and professor of philosophy at Georgetown University and the US Naval Academy.
Welcome to you both.
Ms. NANCY SHERMAN (Professor, Georgetown University): Thank you.
ABERNETHY: Professor Sherman, what's the problem? Why do you think new laws are needed?
Ms. SHERMAN: I think the issue is democratic institutions have responsibilities to distribute equitably and with equal respect to its citizens the rights and benefits of its--of its goods and couples living together in enduring relationships --say, you have a couple that's been together 10 years, a homosexual couple, can't get married because religiously and civilly, it's a proceeding that's not respected, but are caring for each other--medical benefits, death benefits, housing contracts are their entitlement.
ABERNETHY: So, for you, it's basically a question of individual rights.
Ms. SHERMAN: Rights and equity, yeah.
ABERNETHY: Ms. Gallagher, why should domestic partners not have such rights?
Ms. MAGGIE GALLAGHER (Institute for American Values): Well, I think it's very odd to say that it's unfair to give people--and we're not just talking about homosexual couples, we're also talking about heterosexual couples who live together and choose not to get married, to say, `Well, you don't want the ben--the responsibilities of marriage, but somehow you're entitled to the rights of marriage,' and I think that's actually unfair to married couples whohave assumed a public and legal responsibility to extend the same benefits to people who are just shacking up together.
ABERNETHY: The idea out there is that--that to extend these benefits would somehow diminish the importance of marriage. Why?
Ms. GALLAGHER: Well, if--you give special rights attached to marriage, because when people marry, they're undertaking a really kind of awesome responsibility, and it's not just personal and private, and it's not based just on their intimate feelings, you have a public and legal responsibility to take care of your spouse and of any children that result from the relationship. And if you
give the same rights to people who have not made the same commitment, you do, in fact, cheapens what it means to be married. You also fail--you send a message that these are marriage-like relationships...
Ms. SHERMAN: Let me take issue with that.
Ms. GALLAGHER: ...in fact, they're not. People who are living together, as an example, are at a vastly increased risk of domestic violence over people who are married.
Ms. SHERMAN: If I could just say...
ABERNETHY: Let me interrupt here. Let me interrupt here. Go ahead.
Ms. SHERMAN: Yeah. The point I want to make is...
Ms. GALLAGHER: These are not stable, committed relationships necessarily.
Ms. SHERMAN: The point I want to make about, in New York, at least, about 47 percent of those who would be helped by the domestic partnership law are, in fact, homosexuals, and so, the issues of marriage for them are not as transparent as those of heterosexual couples. They are publicly affirmed relationships; they're not necessarily one by fly-by-night flings.
ABERNETHY: But wouldn't they accomplish the same thing with contracts between them?
Ms. SHERMAN: Well, there are issues of contracts, but I think we've seen in the medical industry, especially, the medical health-care business with issues of surrogacy and living wills and the like, how difficult it is to enforce certain kinds of private contracts without public backing and legal backing to them. They get contested in court regularly.
ABERNETHY: Maggie Gallagher, why not have two tracks, the civil track for those who want that and marriage and those...
Ms. GALLAGHER: Well, there is a civil track. You know, I happen to believe personally that marriage is a religious sacrament, but I don't require that you believe that. You can trot down to civil hall and have a civil track which is called a civil marriage. If what you want is to have a domestic partnership legislation as an alternative for people who are not allowed to marry, I think
that's a different issue, but that's not the direction we're going in. You're saying there's all kinds of intimate relationships, and we should put them all in an equal pot even though they're not equal.
Ms. SHERMAN: Let me respond to some of that, and I think some of--an argument out there is that marriage is--according to natural law, this is an argument that the church often uses, but it's certainly an argument that's been around since ancient times of stoics and onward. This is a difficult argument that's faced lots of lively criticism. It's not clear that nature's ever naked. We
interpret it, we socially construct it, we bring a lot of historical construction through its see-through lens, and so, there's lots of different ways in which people can responsibly and with commitment raise children, as well as take care of each other.
ABERNETHY: Is that...
Ms. GALLAGHER: We've had a vast--we've had a vast social experiment to see whether or not that's true, and I think the results are in. There really isn't anything like public, legal marriage as a place for raising children and children who are raised in alternate venues are at a disadvantage. I think the public wants to move away...
Ms. SHERMAN: We're about to engage in another such experiment with...
ABERNETHY: Just a second. Is that the heart of it? What happens to children and the care of children, the raising of children? Is that the heart of this?
Ms. SHERMAN: I think that's a very important part, but I think within marriage, outside of marriages, we need to find ways to have enduring commitments and enduring relationships to children as well, and it's not clear to me, given the abuse that we see within marriages, that simply having that vow is an answer to taking care of children.
Ms. GALLAGHER: Well, it's not the only answer, but people who don't take that vow are much more likely to become violent and are at risk in other ways.
ABERNETHY: We've got to stop there.
Maggie Gallagher in New York, Nancy Sherman in Washington, many thanks.
Ms. SHERMAN: Thanks so much, Bob.
Ms. GALLAGHER: Thank you.
Ms. SHERMAN: Thank you.
If it isn't clear to you now that Ms. Sherman is a committed extremist radical, a far-left activist who is in the forefront of urging political measures that are destructive of the family, destructive of religion, destructive of our American civilization, then go to the back of the room and stand in the corner -- you are part of the problem.
How the U.S. Naval Academy could allow such a person to come in and completely redesign an 'ethics' curriculum to fit the agenda of the radical feminists in the Clinton administration and their allies in Congress is beyond me. How anyone, from CAPT Clemente all the way up to the Superintendent could defend Ms. Sherman's contribution to the new 'ethics' curriculum is beyond belief.
It is about time that some hard-headed USNA alumni find the courage, will, and balls to challenge this monstrosity that the Navy leadership has allowed to infect the Academy -- one of America's most venerable and hallowed institutions.
And Dr. Nancy Sherman and her New Age 'ethics' curriculum aren't half the story. There is, in addition, a Masters Degree program at the Academy for young Navy Lieutenants and Marine Captains, assigned to the Executive Department. This program is conducted on the grounds of the Academy in Annapolis and directed by a professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. The degree is awarded in Human Behavioral Science. That's right. Uniformed 'facilitators' are being trained in the same techniques and disciplines that Dr. Nancy Sherman brought to the Academy. When the work of the civilians is finished, they will have implemented and cemented a corps of uniformed, career officers at the Academy to assure that what has been started will be carried on for decades.
By then we will not see uniformed military officers 'protecting' the civilian 'cultural Marxists' in their midst at the Academy. We will see a uniformed brigade of 'cultural Marxists' carrying out the same degenerate 'ethics' curriculum.
And this whole enterprise, has sitting at the top, a Center for the Study of Professional and Military Ethics at the Naval Academy. The director, at present Dr. Al Pierce, reports only to the Superintendent. He is thus in a position to be the real power behind the scenes at the Academy (he not only has the ear of the Superintendent but has the power of his civilian political overlords in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government to 'dictate' policy -- and keep a watchful eye on the Superintendent for his civilian superiors).
All of this structure in the new 'ethics' program is so compartmentalized that the officers in charge of one aspect know very little of what is going on in the other domains. For example, if you ask CAPT Geanuleas, the Director of Professional Development, responsible for the NE-203 ethics course, about some related aspect of the Character Development Seminars, he can tell you little of substance. He will refer you to CAPT Kehoe who has responsibility there. And vice versa. CAPT Kehoe knows little or nothing of the details of the Masters Degree program for Executive Department officers. He does not know why the degree is given in Behavioral Science. Nor does he know the name of the person who administers this program from afar -- at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
This compartmentalization appears purposeful. If there is someone, a military officer, at the Academy who knows the details of all of these parts of the 'ethics' program, he has not been identified. Of course, the Superintendent has overall responsibility. But it would appear that the civilian at the top, the director of the Center for the Study of Professional and Military Ethics, is in a position of such dominance that he can coordinate this entire conglomerate at the dictates of his civilian superiors in the Pentagon and/or the White House. Indeed, the 'change agent,' Dr. Nancy Sherman, has done her work well.
Compartmentalization on a scale this vast has a place in the Intelligence community, including the CIA and the National Security Agency and elsewhere. But it has no place at the Naval Academy -- especially in a program which is so politically inspired and mandated.
A stated 'goal' of Dr. Pierce's Center for the Study of Professional and Military Ethics, according to Dr. Sherman in her 'Proceedings' article, "...is outreach, to infuse ethics into the fleet and Marine Corps in the way that we have begun here [at the Academy]."
That's right. Undermine the moral foundation of the Navy's future core combat leadership. And then go after the fleet.
This 'cultural Marxist' goal is being achieved for our Navy. It is being pursued in our other military services as well. We fail to recognize this socialist revolution in our land at our nation's peril!
Why are Naval officers at the Academy acting like politicians? Are they trying to play both sides against the middle? That is, are they playing lip service to their civilian overseers in the teaching of 'ethics' to our future naval officers -- and teaching leadership and 'ethics' based on the 'virtue tradition' of Christianity, as they claim?
Or are they, instead, conning the USNA alumni and the American people by actually BEIEVING IN and ACTIVELY PROMOTING the corrupt New Age 'ethics' curriculum imposed on the Academy by civilians in the political power elite of the Clinton administration?
Public and private statements, verbal and written, tend toward the latter possibility. Given this situation, the only way that outsiders will ever find out what is actually going on is to sit-in on 'ethics' classes and seminars and listen to the discourse carried out there. This includes the ethics course taught by civilians as well as the Character Development Seminars.
Those who participate in this external 'audit' will have to be made aware of what they are looking for in order to ascertain the truth. If you know nothing of the subject matter presented in this essay, you would be useless in this 'audit' enterprise. Unless you have read extensively on the subject, you will have no idea of what to look for in evaluating the curriculum as it is presently being taught.
One thing is certain, however. Without such an 'audit,' carried out by a large cadre of retired naval officer alumni of the Academy and other knowledgeable professionals, we will never know the truth in this matter.
Too much is on the line for active duty officers, currently involved in the 'ethics program, to 'come clean.' Their careers are on the line. And if Tailhook '91 is any example, they would be summarily purged if they told the truth and the truth is as suggested here.
It is as a result of this latter reasoning that I suggest an external 'audit' be conducted of the 'ethics' training program at the U.S. Naval Academy.