Documenting from Scotland the rise of the One World King; the "masonic" Sun God.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Channel 4 - The Dangerous School For Boys

For those who dont know, Channel 4 runs a series of real life documentaries called Cutting Edge. These are often disturbing.

Our documentary last night revolved around a privately run Catholic boys boarding school which was situated in France although the "owner" (O) and students were English. (O) had a very hand on role within the school and was helped by a Headmaster (H) and a chaplain or priest (C).

The basic story appeared to be that O felt there was no boys boarding school in the UK which placed enough emphasis on the Catholic faith together with a "public school" type education and as such had opened his own, inside a large, crumbling, ruined castle type structure, complete with chapel. O had no actual experience of education other than that as sunday school teacher. However he had thoroughly enjoyed his own schooldays and wished to recreate a similar environment for "his boys". H, the principal, also had no experience of teaching but like O he had deep faith and belief that this role was his God sent destiny. C again believed that this was his destiny but more on that later.

There were other teachers at the school although none had a professional teaching qualification. We did not see too much of the teachers during the programme although a brief interview was held with some. They too appeared to do the job for love and faith in God and as such accepted meagre wages for their endeavors as did H and C.

We saw some of the pupils preparing for school, packing etc, one in particular was called Martin and was aged 11. Martin had been mugged in the park at home recently and so his dad had decided to pack him off to school along with his older brother who had attended for the previous year.

O arranged a variety of unusual educational tasks for his pupils throughout the show. We saw them chopping and pulling down a huge tree with an axe, no sign of any health and safety or helmets etc. They also trained in morris dancing, gregorian chanting, latin etc.

Soon though, O decided to move on to the art of cookery. He had purchased two long eared rabbits in the market and intended to show the boys how to slaughter, butcher and cook the unfortunates. We retired to a concrete room along with the rabbits, O, a dozen or so schoolboys and an axe plus buckets etc.

He put the bunnies down on the floor and they hopped about. One pupil advised he wished no further part in this matter and retired from the killing room. O also retired outside to speak to him and the pupil offered to buy the rabbits from him to avoid their slaughter. O seemed to find this rather amusing and gave a lecture on how the rabbits had no souls and so it did not seem to matter, rather the rabbits had been provided by God for us to eat.

We went back into the room for some horrific scenes. One boy held the rabbit by it's ears and
another boy held it's feet. Yet another swung the back of the axe into its head. This appeared to stun the rabbit slightly; after several attempts so O decided this was the time to cut its throat. He instructed the pupil with the axe to decapitate it, however the pupil did not seem too keen and as such made a half hearted slash at which point the rabbit recovered consciousness and began screaming. O eventually grabbed the axe and chopped the head off. The second rabbit which seemed to have been watching and listening was then executed although this was a speedier process and not as messy.

Quickly we moved on; O and H decided to organise an actual rabbit hunt so the boys could participate. As such, they visited a local huntsman? who showed them round his house, his collection of stuffed trophies, and agreed to go out for the day with the boys and his dogs.

On the day of the hunt, the man showed up as promised with his pack. This consisted of two scruffy terrier type pups and a beagle. Curiously, for a man who believes animals have no souls, O decided to have the hunting pack blessed by Father C . As such, we saw C sprinking holy water on the dogs in the back of the van whilst gregorian chanting. No reference was made as to the purpose of this annointing.

The hunt began although pupil numbers seemed to have deminshed for this outing. The huntsman strolled ahead with the dogs whilst the rest of the party ambled behind, dressed in tee-shirts and talking loudly. Unfortunately, the beagle got whiff of some prey and raced off. The other two pups rolled on top of each other and play fought. O was asked by the reporter if he thought there was any chance of catching anything - he didnt. Eventually the beagle was found, wounded from a bramble thorn and bleeding. The pups were still fighting each other so it seemed time to call it a day and it was all abandoned.

Whether the rabbit slaughter had affected Martin was not said, however he was expelled for attacking a teacher with a ballpoint pen plus various other violent outbursts. His dad took him home but he came back later.

Other bizarre moments from this programme involved our reporter asking O if he thought the boys masturbated. O said he hoped not and was then asked if he, himself masturbated. No, he replied, as his eyes hit the roof.

Father C expained his robes to a pupil. His dog collar showed he was subservient to God and his chastity belt. Well one can only wonder.

As to the true purpose of this documentary ?



hoi polloi said...

That's incredible, but I guess its in keeping with shows like Jackass which display gross out humor and encourage youthful desensitization to violence and compassion

Anonymous said...

Hi, I know the family of the boy who was mugged. Despite assurances that the whole thing would be treated sensitively the portrayal of Francis (not Martin by the way) was so sketchy it was unfair.

Francis was mugged by an adult in the local park. He was 10 when it happened. The mugger forced him to write down his address and threatened to come round to the house to kill him if he spoke a word about it to anyone. He was petrified and his parents didn't know for months. This mugging event came soon after another incident when he had been terrified because some strangers had tried to coax him into a car.

After he was excluded from the school he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, not because of the school (which he liked) but because of the mugging. His parents were told his violent reactions were normal for a 10 year old who had suffered such a trauma. He returned, settled but only for a while and is now back home with his (very loving) parents. It was scandalous that he just came across in the show as some kind of crazy delinquent. Poor little mite. He now has to walk down the road wondering if people think he's a yob or worse.

As for the school, it is infinitely more rich and amazing and frankly wonderful than the hatchet job tried to imply. Some of the staff ARE qualified teachers, others are not but have produced excellent results.

The programme really skewed impressions. They have a choir at the school. They sing Jerusalem, motets, etc. and also sing Gregorian chant. Had the practicing been shown with them standing like a choir in the chapel it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow but they were in the classroom.

The school is unusual but in a good way, certainly not deranged. It has been badly portrayed in the documentary. The truth is far more pleasant.

I know the priest in question. He was never a monk in his parents' garage. That's total fabrication. This is TV folks, truth is the first casualty!

The hunting stuff and killing the rabbit were done for the cameras and give a ludicrously inaccurate impression of the college. In five years I never heard of a single animal being slaughtered there although a small group of boys (not forced) did attend a local deer hunt. They also fish (and kill the fish as one does when one goes fishing.)

Chavagnes is infinitely richer, saner and special than this hatchet job of a programme managed to imply.

Look at the videos on their website. The place isn't creepy. It's beautiful.

As for that priest, he is a man of great courage and integrity, respected and loved by the boys. Honest!

Newspaceman said...

Hiya, thanks for your comments.

Firstly, apologies for getting Francis' name wrong. I didnt take any notes on this and my head is usually minced after the news which followed.

I am sorry to hear about Francis and the mugger, he didnt to me come across as a delinquent, rather as a wee bit disturbed which is understandable in todays society.

People who criticise and opinionise without knowing the full facts of something are the real "yobs" in terms of us having a caring, loving, human society.

I felt that the whole purpose of the programme was to have a slight dig at the Catholic church. I am not a catholic and maybe I should point that out but it is irrelevant to me.

It was like the producers were insinuating that sexual abuse could/would take place. We saw the ownwer and principal in the evenings, putting the boys to bed. Another scene showed the two them in the evening, discussing the school. The camera focused in and lingered on the very large glass of whisky the owner held.

Are they saying that he is a nice man but maybe after a whisky... Thats the way I saw it but I am a bit cynical.

I will take your word on the qualities of the school and would not judge it, or the staff, on the tv programme alone.

I think that the owner is maybe a bit over enthusiastic at times and obviously the rabbit scene was pretty offensive but channel 4 did dwell on it.

My worry is that television affects and conditions us more than we consider and furthermore that our society has no concept of the danger and influence of television, it is already so well established within our culture.

Thanks again, it is good to have heard some facts.