Re: Henson on the Nazi meme

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Sun 27 Mar 2005 - 17:07:45 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Henson on the Nazi meme"

    Dear Keith,

    > The paragraph below where you quoted has a more definite example of
    > the Nazi meme spreading in more recent setting though it did not
    > result in gunfire.
    > "A fascinating footnote to the horrors of the German experience with
    > Nazism happened in 1969 when Ron Jones, a teacher in Palo Alto,
    > exposed a high school history class to an intensive, five-day
    > experience with the ideas that made up the Nazi meme. The experience
    > of that week was originally published as "Take as Directed" in the
    > CoEvolution Quarterly (CQ #9, p.152), and a few years ago was made
    > into a TV movie, The Wave. Over four days, Jones introduced and
    > drilled his students in concepts of Strength through Discipline,
    > Community, Action, and Pride. (The fifth day was devoted to showing
    > them how easily they had started to slip into the abyss.) The
    > enthusiasm which most of the class adopted the memes and spread them
    > to their friends, swelling a 40 student class to 200 in five days,
    > made it one of the most frightening events the teacher had ever
    > experienced. Given the track record of the Nazi meme, the mini-social
    > movement his experiment set off is no more surprising in retrospect
    > than the medical effects would have been if the teacher had sprayed
    > smallpox virus on the class."
    > If you want to read Ron Jones' excellent story:

    See also and .

    Like Lyle Burkhead (the geniebusters guy), I did not think that Ron Jones's account rang true. I think he embellished, to say the least.
    (Burkhead has some axes to grind, too.) The accounts of students and the reports in the school newspaper help provide some perspective. The whole story, from the classroom to the stage and beyond, looks like it would provide a fascinating --pun not intended-- case study.

    Happy Easter!


    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun 27 Mar 2005 - 17:22:52 GMT