The Third Wave

The Third Wave was an experimental demonstration of fascist movement[1][2] undertaken by history teacher Ron Jones with sophomore high school students attending his Contemporary History class[1] as part of a study of Nazi Germany.[3] The experiment took place at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California, during first week of April 1967.[1] Jones, unable to explain to his students why the German citizens allowed the Nazi Party to exterminate millions of Jews and other so-called “undesirables”, decided to show them instead.[3] Jones started a movement called “The Third Wave” and convinced his students that the movement is to eliminate democracy.[1] The fact that democracy emphasizes individuality was considered as a drawback of democracy, and Jones emphasized this main point of the movement in its motto: “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride”.[1]

The experiment was not well documented. Of contemporary sources, the experiment is only mentioned in Cubberley High School student newspaper “The Cubberley Catamount”. It is only briefly mentioned in two issues[4][5], and one more issue of the paper has articles about this experiment, but without much detail.[1] The most detailed account of the experiment is an essay written by Jones himself some six years afterwards.[3] Several other articles about the experiment exist, but all of them were written after a considerable amount of time had passed.[2]

Chronology
Jones writes that he started the first day of the experiment (Monday, April 3 1967[2]) with simple things like proper seating, drilling the students until they were able to move from outside the classroom to their seats and take the proper seating position in less then 5 seconds without making a sound.[3] He then proceeded to strict classroom discipline emerging as an authoritative figure and improving efficiency of the class dramatically.[3]

On the second day he managed to meld his history class into a group with a supreme sense of discipline, community.[3] Jones named the movement “The Third Wave”, after the common belief that the third in a series of ocean waves is last and largest.[3] Jones made up a salute similar to the one of Nazi regime[1] and ordered class members to salute each other even outside the class. They all complied to this command.[3]

The experiment took on a life of its own, with students from all over the school joining in: on the third day the class expanded from initial 30 students to 43 attendees. All of the students showed drastic improvement in their academic skills and tremendous motivation. All of the students were issued a member card and each of them received a special assignment (like designing a Third Wave Banner, stopping non-members from entering the class, etc). Jones instructed the students on how to initiate new members, and by the end of the day the movement had over 200 participants.[3] At this point first Jones was surprised that some of the students started reporting to him other members of the movement who failed to abide by the rules.[3]

On Thursday, the fourth day of the experiment, Jones decided to terminate the movement because it was slipping out of his control. The students became increasingly involved in the project and their discipline and loyalty to the project were astounding. He announced to the participants that this movement is only a part of a nationwide movement and that on the next day a presidential candidate of the movement would publicly announce existence of the movement. Jones ordered students to attend a noon rally on Friday to witness the announcement.[3]

Instead of televised address of their leader, the students were presented with an empty channel. After few minutes of waiting, Jones announced that they have been a part of an experiment in fascism and that they all willingly created a sense of superiority that German citizens had in the period of Nazi Germany. He then played them a film about Nazi regime. That was the end of the experiment.[3]

See also

  • Milgram experiment
  • Stanford prison experiment
  • Peer pressure
  • Jane Elliott brown-eye/blue-eye demonstration
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave

    […]

    A gradual, subtle use of these techniques has been done with the mythical ‘911’ and ‘the war on terror’, ‘staying the course’, ‘flip flopping’ Fox News etc etc. That is how we can explain lines like, “they hate our freedoms”, and all the other bizarre bullshit over the last seven years and more.

    What is so sad is that this experiment was not repeated throughout america….but then, some of those people would probably carry The Third Wave on in private, and then join the Murder Inc Cabal!!!

    Watch the film re-creation of the expeirment.

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