What Do You Mean Mind Control?


Quietly Brainwashing Canadian Baby Boomers and Generation X at School

***Updated Tuesday, July 26, 2022 to recognize the term “Indigenous Canadian” is archaic and offensive, which has been made clear to the author. The mistake was made without the assistance of the writer’s professional editor, who provided 2 rounds of word-by-word editing for the forthcoming Canadian Mockingbird: Textbook Censorship and Fraud in the Great White North.


Let me lay some terminological bricks for Canadian Mockingbird to walk on when it debuts later this year. The Collins Canadian English Dictionary & Thesaurus (2011) explains the verb censor as banning or cutting “parts of (a film, book, etc.) considered obscene or other otherwise unacceptable.” The book’s many examples were majority recommended by the government’s own process. Ontario’s Ministry of Education, Canada’s largest and most influential book buyer whose provincial appearance belied its national role, paid subject experts to review books and determine their appropriateness. But then they were censored nonetheless. Hundreds of them. The program sliced up Canadian students’ reality and we were none the wiser.

Panels of six or seven subject experts recommended for or against their listing. These majorities can still be discerned from the archived paperwork associated with each review. Sometimes books had been unanimously recommended. Recommended by government process and then rejected nonetheless by the assigned government officer or their supervisor. Sometimes the Minister was involved.

Another class of books were withheld from panel review after a briefer initial check from the assigned officer. The two different classes of censored books correspond to two Archives of Ontario record groups. RG 2-2-43-4, “Circular 14 files on text books rejected after evaluation,” and RG 2-243-3, “Textbooks rejected as ineligible.” These two types of censored textbooks are termed panel-majority and first-pass censorship in Canadian Mockingbird.

Terms covert and concealment are important terms for the story. Government refused to list hundreds of panel selected textbooks in its Circular 14 textbook catalogue, distributed across Ontario and Canada every year. It disciplined disobedient teachers. Government covered up its censorship.

Unlike film censorship, Canadians could not have learned of Ontario’s textbook censorship program. Information regarding the program itself was concealed. Until Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) became effective in 1988, knowledge of the program was wholly behind closed doors. According to the Archives of Ontario privacy analyst who processed my research applications (and reviewed my manuscripts), the archival fonds remained unused in their bankers boxes until 2007 when I began working with them. Although my inventory of censored textbooks has grown since NO SCHOOL FOR SUCKERS was published, it’s my opinion that what remains is only a fraction of what existed. Maybe ten to twenty percent.

Then there’s the more current outsourcing problem, when once again the censorship program became inaccessible. Since Bob Rae’s New Democrat Party administration, the government of Ontario has been outsourcing textbook evaluation. The transition was mostly completed under Mike Harris’ Progressive Conservative government. After Harris, the Liberals didn’t change course.

While the Ministry of Education’s media contact explained to me that the private contractor was also subject to FIPPA, I found them evasive. After initially agreeing to an interview, they called back to refuse. That contractor, Canadian Curriculum Services, sought to expand its business by redirecting income from its $3,500 textbook evaluations before filing for bankruptcy when publishers determined that fee wasn’t a good use of their money. Some of the contractor’s employees emerged working for new company, Curriculum Matters Inc, with a new government contract. What had become old is new again.

Consider that each English language textbook circulating in Ontario schools, where nearly half of English-speaking Canada goes to school, was not really selected by a panel of subject experts, as the government had long suggested, but instead by government officer or contractor. The experts once provided useful input to the process, and helped with public appearances, but were never empowered. There were always one or two bureaucrats on the panels whose comments were considered more closely than the others.

What about the social and political implications? Officers and contractors were aware of the government’s agenda and sensitivities, if they weren’t in fact working directly from script. During the bygone era up to the 1990s that I studied, if the government officer made the wrong decision it was ok because their boss would be reviewing the decision making. The frontline officer’s decisions would come to resemble their supervisor’s. If not, if the bureaucrat’s moral or political sophistication intruded, that individual may have transitioned out to be replaced by somebody more trainable.

Since Canada’s signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, freedom of thought and freedom of conscience have been a part of the country’s international obligations. Constitutional confirmation came with Canada’s 1960 Bill of Rights and then the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But the Supreme Court was once again explaining the law of the land in Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 in 2002. That was twenty years ago. Now and look at us.


But sir, a global pandemic is no place for debate! The death toll in two years is approaching seven million.

Well, ok. There are about eight billion of us on this earth. And overpopulation according to some. Cancer causes nine million deaths a year. Shall we discuss carcinogens then?

Sir, that’s not funny.


Either Canada has freedoms of thought and conscience and religion and belief or it has propaganda and tyranny. If Canadians believe they have these freedoms but in fact don’t, then what the Ministry of Education has achieved is mind control. That the province’s list of banned books was kept secret, means their ideas were kept far less popular than they would have been.

When Egerton Ryerson was organizing Upper Canadians’ education in the mid nineteenth century, the superintendent found the diverse books that children were bringing from home libraries, under the direction of parents, to be problematic. He borrowed Britain’s solution to indoctrinate its Irish colony, the Irish Readers. The same textbooks also made their way to Australia. Homogenization across the white colonies. Ontario’s texts remained selected by the Ministry of Education for the next century, for white and asian kids, for black kids in negro schools, children from Indigenous nations attending residential and day schools both. Catholics and Protestants both.

Publishers were told in 1951 that as of 1960 they could submit their books for consideration by panels of experts. Toronto’s publishing industry expanded quickly. Before long hundreds of books were being considered each year. Parents and teachers had every reason to believe textbooks had been recommended by Canada’s scholars. And they were, with a wrinkle. The assortment of books that panelists had recommended but government didn’t want were quietly put aside.

The sort of mind control we are discussing is not sessional hypnosis in the psychiatrist’s chair, not Mesmer’s trance. Ontario’s textbook censorship is a long-term multi-generational project that shaped young people against their knowledge but not necessarily against their will. Successful concealment solves resistance. Ontario’s mind control program operated slower. It more closely resembled the CIA’s Project Mockingbird literary conditioning than the agency’s pharmacological MK-ULTRA. Ontario graduated what the economy required. As the economy evolved, the curriculum and the textbooks were adjusted. If business owners didn’t require too many graduates with the deep knowledge to be brilliant in finance or law or government, then school would instead prepare the future workforce for a happy life on the line. Judges and managers, etc., could be recruited from private school graduates, after their tertiary education.

When political drama occurred, books about those events were kept from the classroom. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau relied on the War Measures Act during Quebec’s 1970 October Crisis (following political assassination). But his censorship order was only seven months long. Explaining Quebec to English-speaking kids seemed to always happen without the parts that might lead to citizen empowerment. The same happened with textbooks representing history and social studies, environmental studies, business, biology and health, law and politics, indigenous studies, and even literary criticism. Knowledgeable subject experts were consulted and then they were ignored.