The United Nation’s Global Education Project is founded on Robert Muller’s Core Curriculum for the World. He was a former Assistant Secretary-general of the UN. This generic core curriculum for the world was compiled in 1982 when Dr. Muller was still attached to the UN. He was subsequently appointed chancellor of the University for Peace where he continued to promote his idea of a global education programme.
On an international, UN sponsored education conference in 1989, Muller said: “We need a new education system for the world. Global education, which is the education of learners in the universal home of the global village, is making good progress. But we should proceed beyond this point. We also need cosmic education, which is advocated by religious leaders such as Mary Montessori. We need a holistic educational system in which the relationship between our planet and the universe is taught.”
The Core Curriculum for the World is explicitly aimed at fostering multireligious values. When Dr. Muller and his followers speak about God they do not refer to the Christian God of the Bible but to an impersonal element of divinity that pervades the entire creation. To them, the planetary dispensation is the dispensation of Aquarius (the New Age Movement’s future astrological dispensation of harmony and unity on earth), while the great prophets are the leaders or masters of wisdom of the various world religions. Muller is an evolutionist who believes that humanity is on the verge of evolving into a new species.
With his strong spiritual or cosmic consciousness, humanity will transform the earth into a planet of God. Muller says in his book, New Genesis, that humanity is now, everywhere, endeavouring to unite the divine with a higher form of life. The Hindus call the earth Brahma, or God, since they do not make any distinction between the earth and the divine. This simple truth is slowly taking root among people. When it is fully embraced, the final unfolding of the great human saga will occur as we enter into the cosmic dispensation and become what we were always meant to be: the planet of God.
Muller says that the Hindus are correct when they call the earth God. This premise is also the basis upon which radical environmental movements are founded. An ecological consciousness is the motivating force behind the new approach to education. This view is not only held by Dr. Muller but is also echoed by America 2000 and other education models aimed at realising a new world order.
The modern ecological movement is not a purely scientific approach to the control and management of the earth’s natural resources, but an effort to attain spiritual unity with nature – a united world system in which the individual is part of the cosmic whole. Dr Muller says that in order to achieve the right human relations one needs to tell children what their relationship with the sun, eternity, time, the human family, the planet and all their brothers and sisters should be. He says that this approach will cause a much-needed revolution in education. Universal education should indeed transcend the material, scientific, and intellectual spheres to arrive at its moral and spiritual aspects. Muller says that one-day, our planet will be a spiritual democracy and he is of the opinion that we should now learn from our Hindu brothers to call our planet Brahma – the planet of God.
It is obvious that the basis for global educational reforms is holistic in nature. All life forms on the planet are viewed as interrelated and equally important. This view emanates from the evolution theory and does not amount to secular humanism but cosmic humanism – the belief of a pervading spiritual quality which is the dynamic force behind the process of evolution to higher levels of consciousness.
In his book, Muller further elucidates the vital role of the UN as the matrix where all political and religious ideologies converge. He draws attention to the expansion of the UN’s work because of an increased realisation of its relevance in the emerging global society. His observation is that we are bidding the past farewell in two ways: In the first instance, the achievements of science and technology become integrated to a wider, spiritual reality. Secondly, religious motivation does not come from the different cultures and nations where it originated, but from a central point of the convergence of all human problems, dreams, aspirations and efforts.
Dr. Muller declares his satisfaction with this development as follows: “How glad would the Gautama Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed not have been if they could only have seen the United Nations! That is why Pope Paul VI described his visit to the UN as the end of a journey that started 2000 years ago. For the first time the dream of the Universal (Catholic) Church was fulfilled by the Pope addressing a meeting of all nations on earth. He made an emotional plea for co-operation to all nations. Pope John Paul II also visited the United Nations under great applause. He was deeply stirred by this visit and afterwards, with tears in his eyes, looked back to the building of the UN, saying: ‘God bless the United Nations… God bless the United Nations!’”
The following are the most important ideological premises of the UN’s Global Education Project:
1. An important paradigm shift takes place when nations become involved in a process of increased integration into the international community.
2. The strategies and solutions of the past have mostly become obsolete and therefore not relevant to solve the macro-problems of the present and future world.
3. In the past, it was mainly the responsibility of governments to maintain peace and conserve the natural environment. The time has come that every individual should accept his/her responsibility in the maintenance of peace and ensuring a sustained environment.
4. The biggest unexploited resource on the planet is the potential of the human spirit to make peace and live in harmony with its environment. Children will have to be taught how to use their latent spiritual power for the realisation of these objectives.
5. The present generation of adults will have to teach children to gain the insights, knowledge and ability to create their own future – a future based upon co-operation, interdependence and ecological sensitivity.
6. Implicit in the educational philosophy is the fact that the desired disposition of children will only be fostered and nurtured by a commitment to unselfishness, compassion and love.
7. The realisation of these ideals calls for a new appraisal of the role of education in the community. A new educational mission will have to be formulated, while new methodological approaches will have to be followed to transfer to the children the vision and ability to create a peaceful and viable future.
It is evident that the true objective of the educational reforms which Dr. Muller and like-minded people are promoting is not related to education in the academic sense of the word, but to values education in the philosophic, esoteric and religious sense. The concepts used by him are derived from the writings of Alice A. Bailey. In the Preface to the Robert Muller School World Core Curriculum it is clearly said that, “The underlying philosophy upon which the Robert Muller School is based will be found in the teachings set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher Djwhal Khul and the teachings of M. Morya as given in the Angi Yoga Series books."
Alice Bailey was a disciple of Helena P. Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophic Society, from which the New Age Movement developed. Alice was a psychic channeller for an ascended master of wisdom with the name of Djwhal Khul, also known as the Tibetan. From a Christian point of view, she communicated with a demon. That is the working of the spirit of the Antichrist, which is in direct opposition to the Spirit of truth (1 Jn. 4:6). It is evident that an antichristian foundation has been laid for education in the new world order, the ultimate plan being to unite the entire world under one, antichristian leader who is to be worshipped as Saviour and God.
Educational reforms in SA
The principles of Dr. Muller’s Core Curriculum for the Word are also stamping their authority on the present educational reforms in South Africa. Universities and education colleges are already gearing themselves to train teachers in multireligious education. The Department of Science of Religion at the University of South Africa (Unisa) is playing a major role in this regard and has already produced textbooks to promote the multireligious training of teachers. According to Dr. Chrissie Steyn of Unisa, learners should be exposed to multireligious education as early as possible. If not, there will be many things that they will have to unlearn should they only at a later stage be exposed to information on other religions. According to her, learners should also take note of new religions such as the New Age Movement with its pantheism and mysticism. This department has produced the following textbook for the training of teachers in multireligious education: “The Human Search for Meaning. A Multireligious Introduction to the Religions of Mankind”, by J.S. Krüger, G.J.A. Lubbe and H.C. Steyn. The book first appeared in 1996 and its second edition in 2002.
In this book, a positivistic discussion of the most important religions of the world is presented, including the traditional African faith, while various aspects of the Christian religion are placed under a cloud of suspicion – particularly statements on the inerrancy and divine inspiration of the Bible, and also on the virgin birth and Deity of Jesus. At the end of the book, the New Age Movement as an emerging world religion with its mystic and universal nature is strongly recommended as follows: “It is important to realise that the New Age Movement is not only a religious movement. Every aspect of modern life is involved in their philosophy. The widespread interest in ecological conservation by modern society is shared by this movement. Because of their view that God and his creation are one, nature gets a higher status. When nature is threatened by pollution and destruction, then God is also threatened. Nature-conservation is, therefore, not only a pragmatic duty but also a responsibility to God who is the all in everything… In conclusion it should be noted that New Age groups offer a home to many people who are disillusioned by traditional religions in society.”
Another notorious multireligious textbook written by Unisa’s Prof. J.S. (Kobus) Krüger is: “Along Edges. Religion in South Africa: Bushman, Christian and Buddhist.” This book does not merely offer a phenomenological discussion of three different religions, but seeks to indicate their holistic association in the context of global religious thought. It becomes a meeting-point between three worlds: the West (Christianity), the East (Buddhism) and Africa (the Bushman faith). The conclusion of the author is that the secularised and superficial Christian faith can enrich itself considerably by practising the mystical techniques of Buddhism – particularly transcendental meditation as a form of inner enlightenment – while from the Bushmen, a collective disposition and a strong ecological relationship with nature can be taken over to great advantage. Certain elements of a primal religion were lost in the West long ago but are still strongly functioning among the Bushmen. Through the convergence of religious traditions from three worlds modern humanity’s deteriorating religious sense can, according to Prof. Krüger, be invigorated (or rather be further muddled and blinded! – ed.).
Krüger says that all religions render proof of a generic, pan-humanist origin, thereby explaining the many similarities among them. He argues that these common features account for the fact why Hindus, African traditionalists, Jews Taoists, Buddhists and Christians understand one another so well when given the opportunity of dialogue on religious affairs. To him, this is the main reason why the study of other religions is such an enriching experience in a person’s own religious world.
Manilla Soni Amin of the University of Cape Town is also a strong proponent of interfaith education in schools and trains teachers for this purpose. She promoted this idea in various public meetings and also on Television. She wrote a multireligious textbook titled: “Rainbow Religions.” Various children’s and educational programmes on the national television network are also used to convey the message of a multireligious way of life.
Through this approach, the right of ordinary citizens to practise their own religion is jeopardised as their children are exposed to the views and institutions of other religions. The big problem with an approach of this nature is the syncretistic influencing of one religion by another. During multireligious instruction, a particular religion loses its unique character and clear dogmatic foundation since common features with other religions are identified. The objective with the positive and uncritical way in which the non-Christian religions are described in textbooks (everything they say is accepted in good faith) is that the learner should discover that there is something good in every religion. This is a very poor educational method because it is ideologically biased, propagandistic in nature, and does not inculcate the ability of critical and analytical thinking in learners.
The inevitable consequence of interfaith training is that the boundaries between the world’s religions are fading as one religions enriches itself with the knowledge gained from another. In this way, bridges are built between them. Should interfaith textbooks be used to train teachers it will mean the end of Christian education. The new objective will be the educating of multireligious planetary citizens for the new world order. They will worship the “one god of all faiths”, practice a pantheistic worship of nature, and reject all narrow and fundamental views of truth. That is obviously also the objective with South Africa’s new curriculum.
On 31 May 2002 the SA government adopted the national curriculum and on 26 September 2002 parliament empowered Minister Kader Asmal to implement the new curriculum nation-wide. The policy document will force children in various ways to participate in multireligious practices of devotion. It will be in full agreement with the UN’s Core Curriculum for the World, thereby highlighting the strong global nature of South Africa’s new educational policy.
People who thought that the new world order is still in the distant future and do not pose an immediate threat to them or their children, should urgently take note of the most recent developments. Proper steps should be taken to safeguard our children against religious deception which is part of the emerging global ideology and its related institutions.