Freedom's Phoenix – "Uncovering the Secrets and Exposing the Lies"


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"The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto”

By: Cody Hall

It's been almost one year since a community of liberty-minded individuals combined their volition to produce what John Taylor Gatto himself has coined "your birthright".  Thank goodness they took the initiative when they did, to memorialize this incredible man's work; as only a few weeks later, John Taylor Gatto suffered multiple strokes. It is for this reason that I wish to share the story of a series of synchronistic events, incorporated with a relentless drive for objective truth, that culminated into "The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto", and how it’s being leveraged to aid John’s recovery.

“In 1992 when John Taylor Gatto won the New York State and New York City school teacher of the year award; he used the opportunity to expose the fraud of public schooling. In 2001, he published “The Underground History of American Education”, illustrating in chapter 9 how “The Cult of Scientific Management” creates a world where individuality and self-reliance are re-defined to dissolve liberty, and create collectivism. In 2012 John delivers to you a timeless message, presenting you with your birthright and inheritance… to be free, and independent. It’s called “The Ultimate History Lesson”, and it’s a 5-hour message, from John, to You.” " Richard Grove

I’m going to begin this story with the conclusion and call for action, and then I’ll circle back to explain why I feel this is a worthwhile fundraising effort for John Taylor Gatto.

Summary: John suffered multiple strokes in the weeks after finishing "The Ultimate History Lesson".  Since then, he has been hospitalized off and on and is now at home trying to recover. His economic resources have been depleted and he needs our support right now.
Every purchase of "The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto" with the coupon code “FREEDOMSPHOENIX” through this link goes toward supporting John in with funds for medical needs, and personal rehab that his depleted insurance no longer covers.  When you purchase the UHL Gatto Fundraiser pack, you will receive $140 of value for $55; and Tragedy and Hope will make a $15 donation to both John Taylor Gatto and Freedom’s Phoenix.

Here’s the context and background events which led to the creation of “The Ultimate History Lesson”.

This story starts to pick up in May 2011. An independent film producer named Richard Grove has been attempting to make contact with the legendary iconoclast of education, John Taylor Gatto, for over a year and a half; in the hopes of filming an interview with John that could be produced as media of the highest quality. The goal: to examine and map-out the history, root-causes, and consequences of public schooling; then share this media with the world as a public service.

Who is Richard Grove? In 2003, Richard was a Wall Street whistleblower, and as a result of the rude awakening of that journey, he and his fiancée Lisa seized the opportunity to be the change they needed to see in the world. 

On July 4, 2009, they created an online research and self-education community at, and have since published the Peace Revolution podcast, which is ranked #1 in the Higher Education category on podOmatic.  Tragedy and Hope empowers individuals with the tools of intellectual self-defense, as there are many who are searching for cognitive liberty. 

The community is named after the 1966 historical tome "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time" by Carroll Quigley. The Tragedy and Hope Community is a fear free zone of mutual respect, wherein approximately 2000 individuals from all over the world are cooperatively researching, discovering and promoting how to consistently think clearly and how to learn anything for themselves, via a systematic method of critical thinking which can be applied to all subject areas of life. In addition to the community and podcast, Tragedy and Hope creates a variety of independent media which is presented to the public free of charge thanks to the voluntary donations of various community members, who find value in the creation and distribution of their unique brand of educational productions.

After a year and a half of numerous correspondence attempts to John, receiving no reply, an individual within the Tragedy and Hope community offered assistance to Richard and was miraculously able to put Richard in touch directly with John.  Since Tragedy and Hope has a severely limited budget, Richard and Lisa had planned on driving to John's home to record the interview themselves. Well, during the once in a lifetime phone conversation Richard was having with John, Richard discovered that the interview would need to take place at what is now referred to as “Tragedy and Hope Studios” in Connecticut over a two day period. This would entail the purchase of a round trip airplane ticket, the rental of a hotel room, various hospitality costs, and of course, the creation of a studio environment (which by the way, did not yet exist at the time); all of which had not been calculated for initially.

Richard had a huge choice to make. He could succumb to the victim mentality of scarcity, decline the opportunity, and wait until he had enough money (knowing they may never speak again)… or, think like a producer, leverage faith, and discover how to meet and surmount the obstacle of funding by engaging other liberty-minded individuals.

Richard accepted, and the rest, as they say… is History.

At this point they only had a couple weeks to raise the funds, book the flight, reserve the hotel room, gather a production crew, and create a studio environment in their modest rental home.

Richard created a "chip-in" widget, commonly used to do fundraising on the internet, and placed it in the Tragedy and Hope community (where I happen to be a member), explaining the situation and the opportunity; therein describing the details of how we could successfully carry out the production, so that our community could understand how they could help.  

The response was incredible and humbling, for everyone involved; including me, as that was how I became an Associate Producer on the project.

Within the first two hours, enough money was raised to book John's plane tickets.  Within the first two days, enough money was raised for the hotel room.

Over 200 individuals from all over the world donated to become "Associate Producers" on the Ultimate History Lesson project.  Without the generosity of these individuals funding it all the way through post-production and its subsequent release on DVD and Blu-Ray, there would have been no "Ultimate History Lesson".

Once the plans were set and the necessary services funded, John Taylor Gatto flew to Connecticut to be interviewed at Tragedy and Hope Studios on 4th of July weekend, 2011.

Tragedy and Hope community members travelled from Arizona, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, to voluntarily aid with the camera work, audio work, photography, and cooking.  The result is something unique, full of meaning, and timelessly appropriate for individuals of all ages.

Once the historic weekend came to an end, the immense task of post-production began.  It took Richard over 6 months of diligent work and persistence every day, he patiently refined the raw materials into the finished product.  The herculean task of this project was reduced with the donation of a custom built film editing computer, made possible by T&H community member Tony Myers; who’s now an Executive Producer on the new T&H video series “History… So It Doesn’t Repeat”. 

For anyone who doesn't know much about filmmaking, post-production is where a film is created and it can be a daunting process. Richard Grove strives to create media of the highest quality given his modest means of doing so, and in the "Ultimate History Lesson", his work shines bright - providing HD content both for free online and in beautiful Blu-Ray & DVD packages; with cover art donated by graphic designer and T&H community member Greg Hardesty, in Italy. 

From my perspective, the knowledge that is gained by watching this 5-hour journey into the history of compulsory public school is more valuable than anything I learned at my time in college.

Each hour builds upon the next and once you've reached hour five, John has not only exposed the true objectives of compulsory schooling but also illuminates the natural creative entrepreneurship in children. John would take amazing steps to re-ignite the child's love of learning.

Instead of circumventing the child's volition by deciding what they are to be taught, John asks them what they want to learn.

Some would call this form of teaching radical.

I would call it freedom.

Here is a sample from mid-way through the interview; which illustrates the essence of what I’m communicating:

(Video) “How to Train Fleas?” / John Taylor Gatto, a sample from The Ultimate History Lesson

There’s also this fantastic review by a home-schooling mom, who was educated at Harvard, Stanford Law, and also holds an M.B.A. from Stanford; describing how she watched all 5-hours start-to-finish, in one sitting. She writes “But beyond the general joy of learning I get when I listen to Gatto, I find that his contribution is most relevant to me in two specific ways:  First, Gatto lays out a comprehensive, novel (nowadays anyway) and scrupulously thought-out and tested approach to education.  Second, Gatto explains the history of modern schooling and how and why we moved away from his traditional, intuitive approach to educating our young to what we have today, which he clearly distinguishes as schooling as opposed to education.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, John suffered multiple strokes in the weeks after finishing "The Ultimate History Lesson".  Since then, he has been hospitalized off and on and is now at home trying to recover. His economic resources have been depleted and he needs our support right now.

Every purchase of "The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto" with the coupon code “FREEDOMSPHOENIX” through this link goes toward supporting John in with funds for medical needs, and personal rehab that his depleted insurance no longer covers.  When you purchase the UHL Gatto Fundraiser pack, you will receive $140 of value for $55; and Tragedy and Hope will make a $15 donation to both John Taylor Gatto and Freedom’s Phoenix. It’s a win/win/win situation; You get your Birthright, John gets Help, and Freedom’s Phoenix gets some much-needed funding to continue reigniting the flames of freedom!

Cody Hall is also an Associate Producer of The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto, and is one of the many individuals learning how to achieve Cognitive Liberty in the Tragedy and Hope online community.


Additional related items you might find interesting:
News Link  •  Education: Government Schools
Is School Worth it? | John Taylor Gatto and "Dumbing us Down"
02-26-2021  •  Maxim Smith - 
News Link  •  Education: Government Schools
Peak COVIDiocracy?
02-25-2021  •, by Paul Joseph Watson 
News Link  •  Education: Government Schools
John Taylor Gatto - A Short Angry History Of Modern Schooling
02-24-2021  •  The Academy of Language Therapy & Life Coaching 
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