The following document was filed by J.S. Cambry (ABD), bioethics student on January 31, 2423
Correspondence: Harriet Lee to Lawrence Keith
From the L. Keith Collection, Record # AND83-A35
To: Lawrence Keith
From: Harriet Lee
Subject: J. Meno Interview
Thank you for getting me in touch with Jayna Meno. As usual, you were right. That interview was the missing piece in my research.
I’m sure I’ll be back in touch once I start writing the article, but I wanted to run something by you. After taking to Jayna, I think the focus of the article needs to shift. Previously, we had discussed focusing on corporate hubris, but there might be a bigger issue here.
At the end of the interview, I asked Jayna what she found the most unsettling during her tenure at WorldEducate. She mentioned the WE Training SOP—a document she gave me prior to the interview. Having looked through it, I didn’t see anything unexpected, so her answer surprised me. Jayna pointed me to a section that emphasized the necessity of maintaining authority over the B children. Below is her direct quote.
“Here’s the thing. When the kids first come into the facility, they’re looking for an authority figure. Plus, if they act out, you can still physically dominate them. So, when I first looked at the SOP for the prelim trainers, I found the emphasis on authority really confusing. Turns out it has more to do with preventing problems for trainers in the future.
The kids grow pretty quickly and by the time they’re ten or eleven, they’re at our height. By the time they’re twelve or thirteen, they’re taller, bigger, heavier than the trainers. If these kids happen to decide that they don’t want to be controlled anymore, they’re not going to be controlled. So, WE decided that if the children could be made to believe that the trainers were the ultimate authority early on, they could circumvent any potential problems or safety hazards. But the kids aren’t anywhere near as stupid as the people on the WE payroll believe. They know they’re bigger. They know they’re stronger. They know that they’re in charge. So, any control the trainers exert over the kids is entirely illusory.”
Does it seem to you that this impulse toward control arises from a need to reassert that As have complete authority and power over a part of our society that carries the potential to be dangerous and uncontrollable?
What better way to show dominance than making kids do stupid tricks (at a trainer’s command) in an arena for show?
I think this should be the focus of the article. What are your thoughts?