Ireland's Child Care Institutions during the 20th. Century. Fo'T: The most vivid and passionate stories - banished babies, cruel orphanages, old abuses of power - have concerned things that went unnoticed, or at least unarticulated, at the time. News has often had to be redefined, not as the latest sensation but as that which everybody knew all along yet could not say.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Training To Be A Christian Brother (From The Christian Brothers Basic Training Manual)

Start with a cage containing five Christian Brothers novices. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, one of the novices will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the novices with cold water. After a while, another novice makes an attempt with the same result - all the novices are sprayed with cold water. Continue until, when another novice tries to climb the stairs, the other novices try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water.

Now, remove one novice from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new novice sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other novices attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five novices and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original novice with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.

Two of the four novices that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest novice.After replacing the fourth and fifth original novices, all the novices which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no novice ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

"Because that's the way it's always been in the Christian Brothers."