Hacked or Hacked Off?

Sometime between late yesterday afternoon and the time of this post, George Claassen’s “Prometheus Unbound” blog disappeared. Did someone, a religious zealot perhaps, hack WordPress and delete the blog out of spite, or was Dr Claassen fed up with the latest furore over religion in schools?

At this stage one can only wonder. Whatever the case may be, it’s a bit of a loss.


Was really disappointed to hear he was backing down. This is even more upsetting. :frowning:

Despite initially suggesting that legal action may be called for against the offending schools, Prof. Claassen has now decided to withdraw from the debate following numerous abusive and threatening calls and emails http://synapses.co.za/religion-education-sa-schools/

I bet they threatened his family.

Can anyone load the Google cache? I keep getting the “Sorry…yadayada…automated requests” bit.

EDIT. Looks like it got copied here:


[b]State schools contravene law on religious instruction[/b] Posted: 2009-09-18 13:32:08 UTC


Laerskool Stellenbosch, just one of many public (state) schools blatantly ignoring the National Policy on Religion in Education by indoctrinating children in religion during general class-time.

Many South African public (state) schools are blatantly flouting the National Policy on Religion in Education (as published in the Government Gazette 25459 of 12 September 2003, notice 1307) by openly using Christian religious indoctrination to influence pliable and vulnerable children in South Africa.

Three schools are examples of this pressure on children to participate in Christian religious ceremonies, but we have countless examples of many others just as guilty of this illegal practice: Stellenbosch Laerskool, Louw Geldenhuys Laerskool in Linden, Johannesburg, and Baysville Spesiale Skool in East London come to mind.

The National Policy on Religion in Education encompasses the following broad principles, and any school and principal or teacher ignoring or contravening these regulations, are guilty of contravening the National Education Act.

* A public (state) school must be secular and may not pursue and force down a religious ethos;
* A school may not practise the religious apartheid of our past but should rather advance integration of the community at large;
* Reading from the Bible (or any other religious holy book) and praying in general class-time is illegal;
* Sectarian teaching of a specific religion is illegal and a majority adherence of one religion may not lead to the exclusion of other religions or a secular world view.

Yet at Stellenbosch Laerskool, Louw Geldenhuys and Baysville, East London, classes and many school ceremonies are opened with readings from the Bible, praying to the Christian god, at the exclusion of children from other religious communities or secular world views getting an equal opportunity to practice their principles.

An example: at Stellenbosch Laer a child asked her teacher why we hold cancer weeks, HIV/Aids week etc. but not a week for Jesus, as her mother pointed out. The next thing the school instituted a Jesus week (17-20 March 2009) in which children would learn about God’s grace in their lives. (Clearly only the Christian God’s grace).

The school told children: “Every learner, teacher and worker will get a yellow ribbon on Monday to wear for the whole week (totally voluntary). The idea is that everyone will shine their light for Jesus.” (Elke leerder, opvoeder en werker kry Maandag ’n geel strikkie om te dra vir die hele week – heeltemal vrywillig. Die gedagte is dat almal jou liggie helder sien skyn vir Jesus.)

On the Wednesday of the week children would have taken part in holy communion during which wine would have been substituted by grape juice or other cool drinks.

And so it goes on. Only because parents from a secular world view complained about this open contravention of the National Policy on Religion in Education, the school cancelled the Jesus Week. With regard to the yellow ribbons being worn voluntary, these protesting parents pointed out the following:

“The yellow naturally reminds one of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Second World War in Nazi Germany so that they could be recognised as the rejects of society, although this time the process is reversed so that the ‘good ones’ among us carry The Mark. Learners, teachers and workers who do not want to wear their religious faith on their sleeves, will, naturally voluntarily, get to bear the consequential disrespect. In contravention of the National Policy on Religion in Education the ‘marked’ will immediately be recognised and will thus NOT be protected against ignorance, stereotyping, caricaturisation, and blackballing.”

Furthermore, these parents correctly emphasised in a letter to the principal, Mr. Hawkie de Villiers, and the school parenting body: “What do we have here: naive Christianity or school-supported fascism? This planned ‘ribbon for Jesus’ activity is in direct conflict with the school’s task to protect young children against religious discrimination and coercion.”


Because of these complaints, the religious policy at the school was put on hold until a new governing body was elected at the beginning of 2009. Since then the illegal practice has again been taken up. On the school’s website these clear contraventions of national policy is there for all to see (http://www.lstellen.wcape.school.za/gedragskode.htm). I only want to emphasise a few examples of this blatant disrespect for the laws of the country and the bad example set to young children:

“Die skool sal ‘n Christelike karakter hê en dit sal in alle aktiwiteite uitgeleef word” (my emphasis);

“Laerskool Stellenbosch stel dit ten doel om: Deur woord en daad Christelike lewenswaardes vir leerders te moduleer om sodoende ‘n lewensingesteldheid te kweek” (my emphasis).

This is just one example of daily contraventions of the National Policy on Religion in Education at Stellenbosch Laerskool and where the wishes and warnings of these parents are still being ignored and in fact ridiculed.

In a letter to the school governing body a groups of parents emphasised the following, still being ignored by the continuing religious policy at the school:

Paragraph 6.1 of the National Policy on Religion in Education clearly indicates that school assemblies must reflect the multi-religious nature of the whole of South Africa: “Where a religious observance is organised, as an official part of the school day, it must accommodate and reflect the multi-religious nature of the country in an appropriate manner.”

“It may not ONLY be Christian,” the parents emphasised. “Does the school governing body also understand it in this way? It means that the practicing of religious rituals during class time may not take place in general classes. Please read the national policy on this carefully.”

The parents also quoted from section 6.3 of the National Policy on Religion in Education:

“A school assembly has the potential for affirming and celebrating unity in diversity, and should be used for this purpose. Public schools may not violate the religious freedom of pupils and teachers by imposing religious uniformity on a religiously diverse school population in school assemblies. Where a religious observance is included in a school assembly, pupils may be excused on grounds of conscience from attending a religious observance component, and equitable arrangements must be made for these pupils (my emphasis).

Stellenbosch Laerskool continues to ignore these regulations. Teachers still use class-time to teach Christianity and pray to a Christian creator-god.

At Louw Geldenhuys Laerskool in Linden, Johannesburg, similar contraventions take place. On its website, the principal, Mr. Arrie Genis, writes in a message to parents the following (http://www.llg.co.za/sake.html):


Mr Arrie Genis, principal of Laerskool Louw Geldenhuys, who ignores the National Policy on Religion in Education

“Deur middel van die onderwysproses leer die kind homself ken en ontdek hy talente wat hy in diens van sy Skepper en sy medemens kan aanwend.”

And: “Ons kinders is ons allerkosbaarste vreugde, deur God self aan ons toevertrou.” (my emphasis. One can ask: who is this Skepper – Creator – and God? The Christian God, Muslim God, or the God of any other religion? And how does the child distinguish between these gods?)

Genis recently openly and sarcastically rejected the complaints by parents against Christian religious instruction at the school: Genis used freedom of association as an excuse why he could flout the national religious instruction at school policy.

“Furthermore, I have news for you: all school ceremonies by the Laerskool Louw Geldenhuys are opened by teachers, ministers and even learners by means of ‘lay’ preachings, as approved by the parents and the school’s management body… I am definitely not ashamed of our (religious instruction policy) and will not change that.” (my emphasis: even children are used as religious propaganda- fodder. Again it reminds one of Nazi Germany where the youth were utilised to get the message of the Führer across).

Recently a group of parents at Baysville Spesiale Skool in East London complained to me as director of Sceptic South Africa that regular “altar calls” are held every Friday morning. It is virtually compulsory for children to attend these and Monday and Friday gatherings in the school hall where Christian evangelism is preached to them. Children refusing to attend, are naturally seen as outcasts and treated as such.

Every day the staff meeting is opened with Christian prayers, despite the fact that one of the teachers is a Hindu and some are atheists or secularly inclined.

Some teachers start their classes every day in one hall with a Christian religious ceremony and this leads to the children in their classes only starting with real school subjects at 08:45 or even nine ’o clock: nearly an hour after the school has officially opened.

Just one example of the outrageous things told to the children: “Isn’t it ‘strange’ that most tsunami’s and other natural disasters happen in those countries where ‘they still worship idols’? Well, there might have been a few believers that have perished too, but it’s O.K., because ‘then they’re with God’”.

Sceptic South Africa is considering laying criminal charges against these schools unless these policies are immediately halted and the schools adhere to the National Policy on Religion in Education. We are not living in Nazi Germany or the apartheid state anymore.

Is that the right one?

Not sure about the blog post, but the above looks roughly the same as the article here:


I spotted it a while back and left the first reply, one of the few friendly ones. Amazing what nut jobs come out of, who knows where? One of them actually seems to believe that this is all a plot to start teaching children to commune with the dead. Instead of cold-reading though, I think he believes they will be summoning demons. ::slight_smile:

If it’s protection George and his family needs, we should find a way to get it for them.

Here’s the Google cache, along with 275 comments. Some are really weird.

Thanks very much, Peter.

Wow! Nutjobs galore, as you say. Some are really loopy. I must read it through a bit later, but am consoling myself for now with the concept of the “Holly Spirit” - christmas is around the corner. ;D ;D


You can do it, You can do it … ;D

Christmas around the corner …Speaking of which, this would be the first Xmas for me
not being a questioner, sceptic or agnostic but full Atheist. Receiving all those sms’s
and only about 5 people know my situation ??? Maybe we should start a new threat on
peoples previous experiences on the xmas issue ::slight_smile:

Thanx for the link Peter,

One of them actually seems to believe that this is all a plot to start teaching children to commune with the dead. Instead of cold-reading though, I think he believes they will be summoning demons.

Well in my eyes there is actually no difference, an Indian ritual dancing to their dead spirits, a Roman Catholic, a Xtian or a Xtian also believing he can talk to the dead! What exactly is the difference? The fact that those people cant see the resemblance in behaviour or believes amaze me!

I just find it amazing how followers of one type of woo vehemently deny another type of woo, then use their own woo to try to explain it, but in an even more implausible way. :smiley:

Read through the Google cache I uploaded and was disappointed to see that it only managed to grab 192 of the comments. Would really like to read the rest. Anyone still got a cached copy in their browser? Just click File > Work Offline and click the link below to check:


If you do please save a copy and upload it here. Thanks.

Cool, now you too can celebrate Newton Day instead. :slight_smile:

This dropped into my inbox this morning… The taste is American though, so its most likely not relevant. What I find amusing is the detailed instructions on how to forward the message…

For those of you who don't know how to add your name - hit forward first and then just add your name at the bottom and then forward it on to your friends. So many people do not know this and are forwarding it without their names added.

… i never know how real these things are…but i feel comfortable doing something [15 seconds] than doing nothing…

Read the below all the way through, please…

Pastor Removal from Television

Removal of Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah and other pastors from the airwaves.
An organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in , .

Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of … They got 287,000 signatures to back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped.

This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools! You, as a Christian, can help!

We are praying for at least 1 million signatures. This would defeat their effort and show that there are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country… As Christians, we must unite on this.

Please don’t take this lightly. We ignored one lady once and lost prayer in our schools and in offices across the nation. Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard. Together we can make a difference in our country while creating an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord.

Please, if you don’t wish to participate, return this email to whoever sent it to you so they can at least keep this email going or forward it to someone you know who will wish to participate. Dr. Dobson is going on CNBC to urge every Christian to get involved. I hope you will sign and forward to all your family and friends. Please press forward, CLEAN UP THE MESSAGE, and forward this to everyone you think should read this…

Now, please sign your name at the bottom (you can only add your name after you have pressed ‘Forward’ or you have copied and pasted the text).

Don’t delete any other names, just go to the next number and type your name. Please do not sign jointly, such as Mr. & Mrs., each person should sign his/her own name. Please defeat this organization and keep the light of our freedom of religion.

Please, if you don't wish to participate, return this email to whoever sent it to you so they can at least keep this email going…
“Return the email so that the sender can keep it going,” eh? One can but marvel at the, um, intellectual prowess, analytical acumen and colossal knowledge behind this request.

On the upside, George Claassen is back with a new blog.


These guys are too dumb to know the emails are hoaxes. I got one a while ago and investigated:-


Now it’s gone too! :frowning:

This article cheered me up a little though:

Stop missionary work in schools - Times LIVE
‘Conservatives are hijacking state schools and using tax money to fund religious agendas’