An ambitious project being undertaken by the Temple of THEM and mother and friend of the Temple, JD, is the publication of a children’s book tentatively titled: Welcome to the World.
The philosophy behind the book implies that children are not dullards or simpletons but capable of comprehending reasonably complex concepts, words and symbolism if adequately explained to them by the parental figure. The onus is on the parent to bond with their child and teach them to think harder and more carefully about impending decisions and pressures the world will eventually make on them, stories its residents will tell them and to consider all of the options available under a wider umbrella of competing values.
THEM put forth a number of demands in agreeing to author and co-illustrate a book intended for children.
- That the book be non-denominational
- That it not seek to re-indoctrinate the child into a new religion
- That it not be made banal or overly simple for the child and demand a certain intellectual onus
- That the onus be shared between the child and the parent to foster the responsibility of explaining the ways of the world without mystification.
- That absurdity be highlighted
- That absolute authority be put in question
- That a sense of wonder and excitement about the world permeate the story.
Welcome to the World (WTTW) seeks to teach children to look at all of the competing options vying for their attention, loyalty, time and to think for themselves. To convey an understanding that there are boundless opportunities and opportunists and that their role in the world is to navigate a course through them not to them.
A child’s book that teaches open questioning of authority and established forms at such a young age may be considered ‘satanic’ for its attempt to impart a solid grasp of the world in a mature fashion and foster independence from being defined or controlled by it. Certainly it does not hold Christianity in high regard but neither does it fabricate lies of it and reflects an accurate portrayal of its absurdity and its illogical mechanisms. No book is unbiased and our distaste for faith, for zealotry and irrational choices on which to base life is plain to see but we do not seek to pull the child away from one form only to replace it with another of equal value. Nor do we tolerate the politically correct absurdity of treating all religions or forms as equal and deserving of equal respect: some are outright dangerous and delusional and many openly rob a child or person of their autonomy and are portrayed accordingly.
We may well ask, what is the outcome of teaching a child to put authority in the context of self-discovery and autonomy? It may make unusual demands on the parents whose role may shift from adjudicator of experience to agitator, and such agitation an evolution forward of the autonomous being equipped from an early age with sound logical and philosophical tools to meet the challenges the world makes upon the soul. WTTW has been intended as an inclusion amongst the standard fare that constitutes reading for children, not a replacement.
The Art for WTTW has been a joint collaboration between WR and JB, with WR writing the text: a sample of which is given below.The style of the writing leans toward the meter of Dr Seuss.
WTTW has been intended for a very small print run and a private project designed to equip our members children with books that impart our ideals and values which are to question ideals and values. If however you would like to order a copy for your child you can register your interest with WR at firstname.lastname@example.org
[PS – we managed to rhyme Koran with Satan.]
In a very dark place a long time ago,
before there was fire, before there was snow,
before there were dinosaurs and humans you know,
there was THEM.
No-one knows where they came from,
Or even remembers their names,
Or what they looked like,
but here is the great shame.
In your lifetime as you grow older,
older than 3, older than 4, older than 5
many people will try to tell you things
some that are true and some that are lies.
They will tell you that they know
where you came from and are going,
and about a great man in the sky
surrounded by angels that are glowing,
They’ll tell you the world and all of THEM too,
were created by this man,
and that he wrote a book for you,
a book called a bible, torah or koran,
and they’ll tell you about a monster
who they named Satan.
They will tell you about this sky-man
and make him seem really nice
but religion is well known
for telling big lies.
They will tell these things
not because they are true
but because they believe them,
and say so should you
and you might just want to,
because you are young
and impressionable too.
As you get older than 6, older than 7, older than 8,
You will see many wondrous things
beautiful and great,
and you may wonder,
as others have too,
who or what made them?
and who or what made you?
But if you listen to those stories,
and believe them to be true,
then you may just miss out
on someone telling the truth to you.
I dont know either how all of this came to be,
but I know that for everyone with no exception
it is ultimately a mystery.
The forces of THEM are in the skies and the clouds,
in the seas and the mountains,
in single people and in crowds,
in hearts and in minds
in all things you touch and all that you see,
inside you and your brain
and outside in time, weather and words that we speak,
what are these forces I hear you ask?
Well, they are simply things stronger than us
that put us to task.