Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Homeschooling in Brazil: Where Is it Headed?


Homeschooling in Brazil: Where Is it Headed?

Religious Trends and Esoteric Detours

By Julio Severo
A prominent Presbyterian blog in Brazil published, on February 5, 2016, an article about homeschooling trends in Brazil. Even though I disagree with them on conservative issues (they consider themselves conservatives, but their Mackenzie Presbyterian University, the largest Protestant university in Brazil, hires pro-abortion and Marxist professors), they were honest enough to mention me as one of the known homeschooling examples in Brazil. Another two homeschooler names mentioned, Josué Bueno and Cleber Nunes, were also reported by me back in 2008 in articles that made international headlines:
Solano Portela, the author of the Presbyterian article on homeschooling, had no trouble gathering names and homeschool cases in Brazil, because they are easily found in a mere Google search, which usually delivers my name and other names as results.
Yet, according to ANED, a new Brazilian group claiming to be prominent in the homeschooling movement in Brazil, only ANED and its members deserve notability in Brazilian homeschooling. Dr. Alexandre Magno, ANED’s lawyer, said on his Facebook page earlier February:
“Brazilian homeschooling emerged from almost complete obscurity a few years ago to acquire virtually unanimous social acceptance. Largely responsible for this were Rick Dias, the president of ANED, and the couple Camila Hochmüller Abadie and Gustavo Abadie, of the website Encontrando Alegria. The contribution these three people made for the Brazilian education cannot be underestimated.”
To this overstatement, my public answer was: “Alexandre, if obscurity is to be a focus of a long and major report in Veja (the Brazilian counterpart of Time magazine), then I do not know what obscurity is. In 2001, Rev. Rinaldo Belisario (a Baptist minister) was, together with other families, interviewed by Veja and also by several TV stations. Subject: homeschooling. This does not look like obscurity.”
Gustavo Abadie’s homeschooling experience totals only a few years, while Rev. Belisario’s homeschool experience amounts to more than 18 years. Additionally, Abadie was a Protestant minister who, along with his wife, chose to convert officially to Catholicism in 2014.
Many young Brazilian evangelicals have gone through a process of “Catholic” conversion after studying a philosophy course offered by Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho, who has several published books on astrology (occultism) in Brazil. They begin the course looking for a solid anti-Marxist stance and end as “Catholics.” Abadie’s case was not different: Before their conversion, he and his wife were attending “philosophy classes” offered by Carvalho.
In October 2013, when Carvalho began to revile me because I disagreed with his pro-Inquisition herd think, Abadie criticized on his Facebook another man allegedly reviling Carvalho and immediately added that his criticism also applied to me. Abadie said:
“A man saying that he is a Christian and who not much time ago called another man of his friend, now when he calls him scoundrel and hypocrite, certainly he is not a devote Christian, but resembles the filthiest sewer rat.”
Someone then asked him if he meant Julio Severo. To this Abadie retorted on his Facebook: “Originally, this was not aimed at him, but it is equally applicable to him.” (A copy of this Facebook post has been saved for documentation.)
After his gross comment against me, he blocked me on Facebook. I had never reviled him or called him names. On the contrary, before his conversion, I had published two articles in 2012 by the then evangelical minister Gustavo Abadie critical of Marxism.
Apparently, he thought that the issue between me and Carvalho about the Inquisition qualifies me as the “filthiest sewer rat,” just because I disagreed with his “master” — adherents and followers of Carvalho usually call him “master.” A major transformation: a self-identified evangelical minister siding with a radical Catholic who, using the foulest of language, habitually defends the Inquisition and habitually reviles dissenters. Any wonder that in a very short time he was converted?
Yet, regardless of this uncivility, Alexandre Magno and his ANED insist that homeschooling in Brazil has once been “obscure,” but that a former Protestant minister and today a Catholic militant has made it well-known. If this is not a gross overstatement, then what is it? If this is not self-worship, then what is it?
A Google search for “Gustavo Abadie” delivers no more than 3,000 hits. See: http://archive.is/w9whV (In these results, the only more visible homeschooling position for him is his role as a speaker at the “Global Home Education Conference 2016,” which is a prominent event because of its main sponsor, the Home School Legal Defense Association.)
My name, which in Magno’s assessment would be “obscure,” delivers over 200,000 hits.
Abadie’s Twitter account has 114 followers (see: http://archive.is/wQNdz). Mine, which is supposedly “obscure,” has over 10,000 followers (see: https://twitter.com/juliosevero).
It is with this real obscurity that Abadie has been propelled to a prominence over homeschool pioneers in Brazil.
What would inspire Magno to misrepresent the Brazilian reality? A few days ago he said in his Facebook page:
“Once I was accused of being, as a student in the philosophical course of Olavo de Carvalho, influenced by him. I confess it was funny: what kind of philosophy professor would he be if he did not influence (more precisely, teach) his students? Then they called a course where a professor teaches and students learn a cult. In the mind of some, the contrary should be normal…”
My public answer:
Regarding cults, this would be applicable if Olavo had experience and connection with cults. Wait — he has several books on astrology (occultism). He was the person mainly responsible for the propaganda and visibility in Brazil of René Guénon, an Islamic sorcerer. After this heavy involvement with occultism, he chooses philosophy. But can you separate the occultist from the philosopher? I had an experience in 2013, where in a kind and discreet way I criticized the Inquisition AFTER people connected to Olavo began to defend this killing machine, even saying that we evangelicals are modern Cathars (if you remember History, Cathars were decimated by the Inquisition). The answer from Olavo, and his pro-Inquisition followers, was to hurl fire and excrements at me: reviling, slandering, etc. When Olavo published an offensive post against me just because I had a different view, his followers “liked” this on Facebook. I did an experiment then by asking some of the “likers” why they would like an offensive comment: some individuals came to their senses, apologized and said that they were used to “liking” Olavo’s posts just for the sake liking… This is herd mentality, typical of cults. If it were not for Olavo’s occultist past, we would think that all of this is mere coincidence. But past and present are parts of a puzzle, where all the pieces fit together. Speaking of the Inquisition, Dr. Michael Farris, the founder of Home School Legal Defense Association, has a book exposing the evils of the Inquisition. Sincerely, I would like to see Olavo and his irrational herd attacking Dr. Farris. I have published some excerpts from Farris books here: http://lastdayswatchman.blogspot.com/2016/01/bible-ignorance-clergy-corruption-and.html
Years ago, a pro-family leader met Magno, who promptly said that he and all ANED activists were students in Carvalho’s philosophy course, where dissent is not tolerated, but slander and ridicule of differing views is encouraged. 
When questioned on issues such as the Inquisition, which he publicly says is an invention of U.S. Protestants, Carvalho typically ridicules and reviles dissenters, calling them obscene names. Magno has publicly “liked” Carvalho’s Facebook offensive comments against me regarding the Inquisition. (A copy of this Facebook post has been saved for documentation.)
Submissive and non-dissenting attitudes are a hallmark of cults and cultic fanaticism and lead to conversions.
Such conversions can lead the victims to any religiously and politically-correct “paradise” chosen by the proselytizer. If by studying so-called “philosophy courses,” students or disciples can be led to Catholicism, what if the philosophy professor (or “master”) leads them to the Islamic occultist René Guénon and other sorcerers?
I can coexist with Catholics in pro-life and pro-family unions. In fact, I have coexisted with such benevolent Catholics for 30 years, and not one of them were involved in the cause of advocating or excusing the Inquisition. They were — including my good late friend Fr. Paul Marx — involved in pro-life causes. But now, there are foul-mouthed individuals who self-declare as pro-lifers, but defend the Inquisition and revile dissenters. Can a union at the expense of civility portend harmony, especially by excusing the Inquisition, which was hardly a pro-life institution? Can such a union, under the “philosophical” influence of a proselytizer, promote a healthy homeschooling movement?
To obliterate major homeschooling reports (the prominent 2001 Veja report is an example) as “obscure” because they do not fit the agenda of a group is not real homeschooling.
To propel, exalt and propagandize individuals of a group over more experienced people outside this group is not ethical, particularly because the “Global Home Education Conference 2016,” to be held in Brazil March 2016 and largely funded by the Home School Legal Defense Association, should be represented by the best and most original homeschool leaders in Brazil. But this is not happening.
To ignore and treat as “obscure” Rev. Rinaldo Belisario and his homeschool experience (he now has four adult homeschooled children) over a former evangelical minister who has minimal homeschool experience is not correct.
If you can be prominent and come out of “obscurity” only by joining a group where everyone is basically influenced by a proselyting philosophy and you can become a Catholic or esoteric or an esoteric Catholic, then this is not healthy homeschooling. This resembles a cult.
In this sense, I do not know where the Brazilian homeschool movement is headed, and I am worried about its religious trends and esoteric detours. I am also worried about how the “Global Home Education Conference 2016” could empower and propel into prominence Brazilian individuals who, to advance their “philosophical” cult, want to make real pioneering, original homeschooling experiences in Brazil as obscure as possible.
Portuguese version of this article: Homeschooling no Brasil: para onde está indo?
Recommended Reading on Homeschooling:
Recommended Reading on the Inquisition:

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