Character Training for Global Citizenship

by Berit Kjos, 1998

To read the first part of this report, click on 'Sex Ed and Global Values'

Brave New Schools: The International Agenda




"Encourage an understanding of others, a sense of responsibility, empathy and readiness to cooperate. Introduce an international or global perspective in primary schools. .. to be incorporated into, existing curricula, wherever possible." [1]  UNESCO, 1983

"Change the values and take a different course of living, then evolution will continue. Do not forget that from now on you have to be Earth citizens." Robert Muller speaking at the Global Citizenship 2000 Youth Congress

"There are many Americans... who are skeptical about any expert or federal official, including the US Secretary of Education having a role in conforming them how they should mold their children's characters. Yet, they are deeply concerned about characters and ethics." Richard Riley, former Education Secretary, in a 1994 White House speech

Having created the crisis, education leaders have a ready solution. President Clinton summarized it well in his 1997 State of the Union speech: "Character education must be taught in our schools. We must teach our children to be good citizens."

Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? But what kind of character does he have in mind? What kind of citizens are needed for the envisioned global community?

In 1976, NEA leader Harold Shane spoke for a long line of education leaders when he wrote "we will educate our young for planetary service and eventually for some form of world citizenship." Shane had been working with Terrel Bell (who became President Reagan's first Education Secretary) on a NEA committee exploring a change in "the cardinal principles of education."[2]

With support from President Clinton, Richard Riley, William Bennett,[3] Marian Wright Edelman and global ethicists such as Rushmore Kidder who founded the Institute for Global Ethics, "Character Education" has become a smoke screen for teaching global citizenship. Educators simply decide on the values needed for the managed communities of the 21st century, then market them to schools, parents, and community leaders with nice-sounding labels such as "respect" and "responsibility."

It works. Christian parents have always taught their children good character qualities, so the idea appeals to us. We want to believe that the educational establishment still upholds the values that we treasure. And we forget that words take on new meanings when moved from the familiar Christian context into the new global paradigm.

Remember North Carolina School Superintendent Causby's words: "We have learned to put the best spin on things."[4] Character Education, as touted by the educational establishment and the White House, has put the best of spins on a most alarming plan.

Let's see what happens when Christian words are plunged into the New Age context. But first, remember that teaching character began as God's idea. Long after He first told parents to train their children to follow His ways, He gave us this list of godly qualities: diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. (See 2 Peter 1:4-8)

You know what those words mean. The context of the whole Bible makes it clear to us. Only by His life in us, can His character qualities be demonstrated through us. Only by faith in Him and all He has promised us, can we be "partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust"

When globalist leaders use similar words, the focus changes. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD-the curriculum arm of the mighty NEA) has given schools a nice-sounding set of character qualities, but its leaders had no intention of promoting the Christian values they have fought so hard to ban. Their list--justice, altruism, diligence, and respect -- may sound Biblical, but its intent fits the NEA vision of social control.

A broad-based coalition called Character Counts! promotes another impressive list. Its "Six Pillars of Character" include respect, responsibility, justice, trustworthiness, civic virtue, and citizenship. These "consensus ethical values" were chosen in 1992, when a group of psychiatrists, international ethicist, political leaders, school superintendents, and members of state boards of education met in Aspen, Colorado, to share "ideas about character development" and seek "consensus on the ethical values that could be taught at home, in the classroom and at the office."[5]

The Aspen Conference which birthed Character Counts was organized by the Josephson Institute of Ethics. Its chairman is Frances Hesselbein, chief executive of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management.[6] Do you see the link to Total Quality Management (TQM) and the global workplace?

The Council of Advisors for Character Counts includes Hillary Clinton's friend Marian Wright Edelman, head of Children's Defense Funds and a plenary speaker at Mikhail Gorbachev's 1996 State of the World Forum. This is significant, for the CC leaders give us a clue into the values behind the lists of character qualities. They have little to do with God's plan for His people. They has everything to do with a global and political agenda.

New meaning for old words

Take the word respect. Used in a global context, respect--like tolerance--means appreciation for people and lifestyles that fit the globalist plan. Does your child's teacher promote "respect" for paganism and promiscuous lifestyles by commending Planned Parenthood or by organizing "fun" earth-centered rituals in the classroom?

In most schools today, "respect" rules out respect for Christian children and parents who refuse to compromise God's truth and moral standard. The biblical standard simply doesn't fit the new goals. But what the world condemns, God rewards:

"Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud nor such as turn aside to lies." (Ps. 40:4)

Their second Pillar of Character, responsibility, is as misleading as respect. According to the Character Education Partnership, it prepares students to "guard the fundamental rights of all citizens and carry out the obligations of citizenship by working toward a common vision of the common good."[7]

That sounds good until we consider what that "common vision" might be-and what kinds of obligations it might demand-now and in the future. And what does "common good" imply? A socialist state where individual goals must yield to collective interests?

Knowing what strange bedfellows make up the Character Education Partnership gives us another clue. Two of its powerful partners are the NEA and its curriculum branch, the ASCD. Look again their philosophy.

NEA leader Willard Givens summarized it well back in 1934. "all of us, including the 'owners', must be subjected to a large degree of social control. The major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual. It must seek to give him understanding of the transition to a new social order."[8]

The "new social order" would emphasize duties instead of rights. Community or collective rights would count far more than individual rights. That's an old totalitarian idea re-packaged for today. More than fifty years ago, NEA Journal editor J. Elmer Morgan envisioned "a world Bill of Rights and Duties". Today his dream is nearing reality.

Hard to believe? Not for those who are familiar with NEA and UNESCO plans or who have followed President Clinton's speeches. (Read Zero Tolerance For Non-Compliance- Clinton's Ten Steps Toward Lifelong Behavior Modification to see how the evolving global system sacrifices individual justice for "the common good.")

Civic Virtue and Citizenship fit hand-in-glove with Responsibility. All three are open-ended. Compliant citizens must be ready to conform to changing rules and evolving duties. All three imply obedience to a new "civic framework of rights, responsibilities and respect."[9]

Honesty and Cooperation are good Christian qualities. But in the hands of "change agents" they, too, can be used for ungodly purposes. In classroom dialogues led by facilitators trained to draw private information from dutiful children, they persuade children to "be open" and "tell the truth" about church, discipline, and family activities the schools have no right to know or monitor.

Don't forget, most of the character qualities were good when seen from the traditional context of Biblical definitions. But when moved into the global paradigm, they became tools for transformation. Notice how the focus changes with the paradigm shift:





for what God calls good

for everything but expressions of His Truth


 to God first

to the collective community


 from God's perspective

from global/socialist perspective


according to God's plan

according to today's changing rules


obey God's guidelines first

serve and conform to group values


God's love through us to others

Collective community service-learning


honesty, fairness, compensation for wrong, seeking God's will

socialist equality, managed redistribution, don't mention God

Following successful models

Unlike other experimental teaching programs, character education has been tested. It works. Nazi educators traded academics for character education--and created arrogant, tough, and obedient citizens-ready for unquestioning service to the state. As Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:

"The folkish state must not adjust its entire educational work primarily to the inoculation of mere knowledge The training of mental abilities is only secondary. First place must be taken by the development of character, especially promotion of will-power and determination, combined with the training of joy in responsibility.

"A man with little scientific education but with a good, firm character is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling. In the hard struggle of destiny, the man who knows least seldom succumbs."[10] [Emphasis added]

Hitler had been watching Russia, where education was "harnessed to the goals of the Communist party." Schools were "drastically changed Pupils took part in soviets [local appointed councils] which were responsible for running schools and communities. Teachers were told to eradicate all traces of the old philosophies and instill Communist ideas of education."[11]

Factual learning was replaced by ideology, and teachers were trained to modify behavior and build the character required of Soviet youth. Homework and exams were forbidden-until chaos forced a change. Using the same propaganda we hear today, Lenin said, "Our schools must give our youth the foundations of knowledge, of ability to work out themselves the Communist outlook. It must make educated people of them." Yet, only a compliant elite would rise above the working classes, for "free secondary education was allowed only to students of exceptional ability."[12]

From a Christian perspective, character education both in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany was a dismal failure. But to globalist "change agents" it accomplished its purpose: it turned children into compliant citizens and zealous activists for the state. Less than a decade after Hitler showed the true colors of Nazi character, the United Nations and its US partners were writing a similar script for America. Its vision for world education would use both Nazi and Soviet-style behavior modification to mold global citizens with world-class character.

Like the Clintons today, the first UN leaders used "science" to validate a supposed "need" for government control over families. Soon after the UN was founded, its leaders presented "new discoveries" in mental health research "showing" that children must be protected against traditional values. To raise awareness of the dangers and bring public consensus, the 1948 International Congress on Mental Health produced a statement called "Mental Health and World Citizenship." It declared that,

"Social institutions such as family and school impose their imprint early in the personality development of their members, who in turn tend to perpetuate the traditional patterns It is the man and woman in whom these patterns of attitude and behavior have been incorporated who present the immediate resistance to social, economic and political changes. Thus prejudice, hostility, or excessive nationalism may become deeply embedded in the developing personality without awareness on the part of the individual concerned, and often at great human cost." [Emphasis added]

Does that sound familiar? Remember UNESCO's UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. It declared intolerance to be "a global threat." A danger to all humanity!

Tom Hanks used the same argument last April 28, during the President's Summit on America's Future. Perhaps you watched as he moderated "I Am Your Child"-a televised film designed to prepare the public to accept state control over child-raising. He began with a familiar script:

"according to startling new scientific discoveries about brain development, the emotional and intellectual environment [the newborn baby] is exposed to during those critical first three years will have a profound effect on what kind of person he will turn out to be. And the kind of person he turns out to be will impact either positively or negatively every other person in the world. That's right." [Emphasis added]

Sounds like another global crisis, doesn't it? But don't worry. Our government has planned a rescue. With an army of trained mentors, monitors, and parent-teachers, it will direct child-raising along the right path. In fact, early childhood training is simply the first part of "lifelong learning"-another UNESCO idea. This "cradle-to-grave" program must involve young and old in the new "seamless" "human resource" management system based on consensus. Everyone must embrace the right values, demonstrate the right character, and become the right kind of citizen-or lose the social benefits only awarded those who comply.

This new citizen will freely offer his or her time to state-organized "voluntary" service-or "service learning." [This origin and dangers of this program are illustrated and explained in Brave New Schools] During his Summit on America's Future, President Clinton called for thousands of volunteers to participate in the process. With his typical flair for spin control, he announced,

"The era of big government may be over, but the era of big challenges for our country is not. And so we need an era of big citizenship. That's why we're here."[13]

Revive earth-centered values

"Big citizenship" refers to the new "democratic" or "civil government" envisioned by globalist leaders. Political decisions would be made by the bureaucratic "councils" which resemble Lenin's "soviets" and-so we are told-represent the views of an entity called "the people". Since the public will be trained in politically correct citizenship and consensus, they will have learned not to oppose this process.

Few globalists have advanced the new image of citizenship more zealously than Robert Muller, the Chancellor of the University of Peace in Costa Rico. The former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN led the design team for UNESCO's Global Education Project and helped lay the groundwork for lifelong learning.

His own World Core Curriculum-inspired by Alice Bailey's spirit guide "the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul"- became a shining model for teaching values in the US and around the world. Outlining basic assumptions of the global paradigm, it calls for schooling in planetary citizenship long before a child learns his or her national or local identity.

In April 4-6, 1997, Muller hosted a Youth Congress in Vancouver titled "Global Citizenship 2000." Sponsored by the International Foundation of Learning, it challenged 14 teams of student leaders to design Millennium projects that would be used to inspire students, teachers, mentors and politicians everywhere.

Carl Teichrib, publisher of Forcing Change, an amazing online magazine, attended, taped and transcribed the sessions. Later, he described the Millennium Projects proposed by the students. Do you wonder where their ideas came from? Ponder these goals:

A group of young women performed a skit to dramatize the new meaning of citizenship. One member sat on a round table and held pine branches in her hands. "Welcome to the Council of Human Beings," she began. "I represent Mother Earth."

In turn, the other women laid their hands on her and confessed their environmental sins:

"I am guilty of wasting water when I'm brushing my teeth, letting the water run, and having long showers."

"I am guilty of killing animals by buying and wearing leather sandals."

"I am guilty of polluting the environment when I'm fully aware of the oil leak in my dad's car."

"I am guilty of supporting the destruction of East Timor by buying jewelry and blankets made in Indonesia."

Mother Earth (ME) acknowledged each confession with a brief, "I hear you," then posed the next challenge: "How can you heal me?"

"I can stop wasting water by only taking what I need," said the first repentant sinner.

"I forgive you," said ME.

Each woman proved her repentance by sharing her good intentions. One woman wept as she confessed her sin of giving birth to too many children. At the end, the group received a hearty applause.

Robert Muller must have been pleased. Young activists around the world are joining his campaign for a global code of ethics based on earth-centered values.

I heard Muller promote the same agenda two years earlier at the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. Founded in San Francisco in 1945 under the leadership of Alger Hiss. (Months earlier, Hiss, a shrewd communist, served as President Roosevelt's adviser at the all-important Yalta conference, where he persuaded Roosevelt to yield Eastern Europe to Stalin.)

Now, fifty years later, Muller had this to say:

"Our spirituality is being reborn. We need a universal Declaration of Ethics.... The first period took up human rights. Now, we must deal with rights of the planet.... We need universal Declarations of Duties and Responsibilities.... I would recommend:

1. A science of ethics. The great religions lead us to discern what is right and what is wrong. We need a science to define what is good and bad. [But he would rule out Biblical Christianity]

2. A strategy of ethics: Teach that all are interconnected from infinitely large to infinitely small.

Muller then suggested the most urgent duties. They dealt with environmental violations such as large families, over-consumption, too much garbage, and religious differences. The World Court would punish violations.

"We must start a debate in the UN for ethical behavior," he announced, then suggested that the UN "create independent commissions" on spirituality ["I told the Dalai Lama to do it"] and on communication ['I told Ted Turner']". He concluded,

"Create a new UN office on ethics -- in duties and responsibilities. The world government [must establish ethics] to condemn people who come up with nuclear weapons. The next millennium must heal what is wrong!"

God's eternal values

From Muller's perspective, the biggest wrong is the Christian view of man and nature. He may never have read the passages in the Bible that shows God's special concern for His creation-trees, flowers, wild and domestic animals It wouldn't matter if he did.

What matters to Muller and other globalists are the deceptive strategies needed to persuade the public to submit to their international system of oppressive rules and laws--a system not unlike the Huxleys' vision of a tightly managed world. You saw it earlier. It would own each child, control each person, and manage every piece of land on this planet. But it would sanction many of the sins God forbids. The Bible gives us a glimpse of what their world will look like:

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

"Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned." (2 Timothy 3:1-7, 12-13)

Are your children ready for the penalties planned for those who refuse to conform? It's time to train our children, not for global citizenship but for God's kingdom and for the persecution Jesus warned us to expect in the world. (John 15:18-21) 

To those who value God's eternal blessings more than the world's temporary favors, God promises all the peace, strength, wisdom, and hope needed for victory. Those who know and follow the Shepherd have no reason to fear. He not only leads and provides, He also forms their character with His own life.

Remember, "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him," but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit." (1 Cor. 2:9-10) Trusting Him, we can sing with David,

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  

My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; 

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;   

So shall I be saved from my enemies. "(Psalm 18:2-3)   

[1] Education for International Co-operation and Peace at the Primary-School Level (Switzerland: UNESCO, 1983), 9.

[2] Harold Shane, “America’s Next 25 Years: Some Implications for Education,“ Phi Delta Kappan (September 1976). Cuddy, 59-60.

[3] While President Clinton obviously knew the deception behind the nice-sounding character education, William Bennet may have been deceived. In a White House speech (July 29, 1994), former Education Secretary Richard Riley said, 

"There is nothing conservative nor liberal about making our schools havens of order and learning, and bastions of good citizenship. When Bill Bennett was U.S. Secretary of Education, he applauded my efforts in South Carolina to improve basic skill performance and student attendance, impose tough rules for academics and sports, and encourage greater student enrollment in difficult and advanced courses. And, now that I am Secretary of Education, I agree with him when he suggests that schools need to emphasize the fundamentals, build character, and create a stronger sense of citizenship among our young people."

[4] Cynthia Weatherly, "The Second Annual Model School Conference," The Christian Conscience (January 1995); 36.

[5]Character Counts! Home page on Internet, “Background,”

[6] Ibid.

[7] Character Education Partnership, Home page on Internet,

[8] Willard Givens presented a report titled "Education for the New America" at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the NEA, held in Washington, D.C. in July 1934. Cuddy, 20.

[9] Charles C. Haynes, “Character Education in the Public Schools,” Character Education Partnership, Internet.

[10] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf  (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1791), 408.

[11] Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 22 (Chicago: William Benton, 1968), 538, 537.

[12] Ibid., 538.

[13] James Bennet, “Presidents Call for Big Citizenship, Not Big Government,” New York Times, April 29, 1997.

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