Update: Fixed some grammar in my second to last paragraph.
I posted this review of Seeds of Deception nearly a month ago. I was as honest as I could be about Preskar's work. When checking Stacy Harp's Mind and Media review list, I noticed that Ms. Preskar had replied to my review. Continuing the trend of highlighting reader comments for everyone on the blog, I will post it here in full. In order to make my replies clearer, I will simply respond after each relevant point.
Thank you for your heated review of my Book. Both David and you became very upset while reviewing my Book. When a Book stirs up such emotions, it draws attention to it. Obviously everyone does not like the same kind of book. For the very reasons you did not like my Book, others did. I did not actually get "upset" at the book, nor would I call my review "heated." Rather, I affirmed your position on a number of points, and then pointed out what I thought the basic problem of your work: it's a conspiracy theory and the evidence is personal testimony. You don't inspire trust in the reader, and consequently your argument suffers.
It is a story. Itis a journey and meant to tell the journey and not just the facts. Of course you sound like a man who would not enjoy the journey of discovery. It is interesting that other men have written positives about the Book; it was my concern that perhaps men would not enjoy it. I have found you and David and one other to be the only ones not to enjoy it. May I simply suggest that you read the recent discussion on Tom Bombadil? Do think twice before suggesting that someone doesn't "enjoy the journey of discovery." I'm not upset--it's so off the mark that it's quite laughable. As for making it a "story," it seemed that the "story" detracted more from the book than enhanced it. But that's merely a stylistic point.
As for the ideas of the Book, it is rather obvious that my discovery is the Marxist Dialectic that is permeating our society through programs such as SEED. Understanding the "compromise" brought my ideas of mind control to reality, and now I see for myself what is happening in our country. I certainly gave credit to Dean Gotcher throughout the Chapters, as I did to all of my resources. Well, that's just where we disagree. I actually don't find it obvious that "Marxist Dialectic" is at work in society any more than "Platonic Dialectic." When you start identifying the use of "circles" in classrooms with "Marxist Dialectic" and "witchcraft," your position, well, loses credibility. I happen to have attended a solid Christian university that uses "circles" in the classroom and teaches in a "discussion" format--of course, that may mean we're all Marxists, but if you run around saying that, people will laugh at you. Really.
I did use many footnotes and told when I found my sources in other sources. That did not mean that I did not check them out for myself. I refuse to write a Book that does not credit every thought or idea from other people, or books, or websites. I would never cheat anyone of the respect due them for their thoughts or knowledge on subject matter. I would also not cheat anyone of the ackowlegment that I found a source in their book. I am proud of my research and will debate anyone about its authenticity and value in writing my Book. Again, I never suggested that you didn't cite appropriately. I merely mentioned that I am suspicious of the sources that you use. Why, for instance, should we trust books like "The Pink Swastika"? That's my only question. If you are reacting to my statement that I wanted to "inquire for myself from the original sources," that should make you happy. It means I want to look into the credibility of your argument. As it is, your analysis depends upon secondary works that may or may not be credible. I'm simply not sure.
As for using Purpose Driven Church material, it is a part of the whole picture of brainwashing. Eugene Peterson's Book, The Message, changes the words of God in the Bible. I am not going to hide this fact and it is just the way it is. Warren used it in his Book; I did not! I am not calling Warren a bad person or what he has accomplished as bad, only the way he got there. I do not believe that the end justifies the means. Again, I did not suggest that you called Warren a bad person. However, I will ask for arguments. What makes you think that Warren is attempting to "brainwash" America? You assert it in the book, but frankly, it seems preposterous. I always tell my students to make arguments, not assertions. I would simply ask you to do the same.
In January I put out a new edition; unfortunately I sent old copies to Mind and Media and these went to you. My new edition has many of the editing errors corrected, plus more information in the Purpose Chapter. It also includes information on a teacher who went through SEED and is willing to testify against it. Hoorah!
What does amaze me about you and David is that there is no concern shown throughout your entire review about the children and what is happening to them because of the brainwashing that is consistently being used in the schools. There is no review of the incredible evidence of the horrors of the homosexual lifestyle and what it does to their mind, body and spirit. At first the desire to be respected permeated the homsexual agenda, but now it is our children and marriage they seek. As for the White Privilege, if you did not get this part, I am not sure why? I can't help you with this one. I am concerned about students educations for more reasons than their simply being brainwashed. I teach in a program designed for home-school students--I know all the problems of public schools, and I am deeply opposed to the worldview often promulgated there (note: read The Abolition of Man for an explanation of my complaints). On the other hand, my brother is an educator in a public school and works extremely hard to provide solid education for his students (and is quite successful, judging both from his debate teams and his student's blogs). So I am concerned, but I will not call for the destruction of public schools (to use the hyperbole you seem to be fond of!) without more evidence and better reasoning. You must convince this soldier before he will go to war.
Regarding homosexuality, I did not think it important to rehearse the horrors of the lifestyle. My job was to review the book, not repeat it. Frankly, there was nothing in the book about the lifestyle that wasn't available somewhere else. As for my own position on the issue, though I've never posted on it, the general tenor of this blog will make it unsurprising that I am against the legalization of homosexual marriage and against the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in the public square.
Regarding what you said about "White Privilege," your question makes me think you didn't actually read my review. I never suggested I didn't "get it."
David of course believes all my material is made up nonsense. He calls it hateful and uses the outdated rhetoric of people who truly are brainwashed.
And my complaint is simply that you use the "outdated rhetoric of people who truly are brainwashed." That's not quite my complaint, but it's close. The problem with "brainwashing" arguments are that they cut both ways. How do we know you aren't in the same camp as the people you criticize (namely, "brainwashed")?
He is upset because I suggest keeping children away from homsexuals because of influences on them or perhaps even their attentions on them.
Now this makes sense, since all studies indicate many children are homosexual because of adult child molestations by family members. The statistcs are high amongst homosexuals that molest children. I am NOT saying that all homosexuals molest children as David so ridiculously has said on his review. That is a blatant lie! Amazing he is more concerned about the homosexuals then our children and their loss of innocence. This deals with David's review, not mine. I don't know the statistics, and if I did, I probably wouldn't trust them anyway.
I do not believe that either of you have the ability to understand what I was saying in the Book and it has nothing to do with the material or how it was written, for even with the first edition mistakes, I still have people telling me how much they enjoyed it. It has to do with a mind set that refuses to see what is clearly happening in our world of today. I would simply invite you to stick around Mere-Orthodoxy and read for a while. Inquire for yourself whether your statement that I lack the "ability to understand what [you were] saying" is true. It is a heavy charge you make, and you should not make it lightly. Regardless, it is not a very effective way of winning people to your side or making friends--especially since I gave your book a charitable review. I suggest you read it again. For other readers, I'll simply quote my own words: "However, if Preskar is right about SEED, then she is right to be concerned," and "If this is what SEED promulgates, then Preskar and I agree," and "From the language of the website, this actually seems a tenable claim to make." The complaint I had with your book was simply that your argument did not lead to your conclusions.
I do thank you for reviewing the Book.
Georgiana Preskar Author
You are always welcome to comment at Mere-O. If you read, you may find writers who are closer to being your friends than your enemies. However, we are the sort of friends who above all honor the Truth and attempt for clarity and care in our thinking. We are interested in transforming our culture, and of seeing the cause of Christ triumph, but we will not sacrifice intellectual integrity to make this happen.
Thank you for joining us at Mere-O. I hope you find the dialogue informative and pleasant. I harbor no hard feelings toward you for your comments--I would simply encourage you to be more guarded before you attack those who criticize either your positions or your books. If you want your message heard, then being a winsome proponent of it will simply sell more books.
Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.