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QUESTIONS ABOUT PUMSY

Is Pumsy a religion?

"Pumsy and friend utilize mind control techniques normally associated with hypnotism and other psychologically based treatments. . . . Pumsy and friend as a curriculum embraces and promotes philosophies associated with the New Age Movement. . . . It is our sincere belief that public educators should not be promoting the beliefs which are characteristic of New Age philosophy, lest they find themselves involved in the promotion of religion and in violation of the directives of the law of the land."

Statement by Dallas Baptist Association, November 1990

"Pumsy does not teach a religious faith. Nor does it impose a set of religious beliefs onto children. . . . Pumsy does support the basic values found in the traditional family, in most religions and in our western society. Those include self-worth, honesty, respect for the family unit, responsibility and respect for others. The teaching of religious faith is respectfully left to the choice, wisdom and discretion of parents."

"You've Asked About Pumsy," by Jill Anderson

Does Pumsy bring out the positive?

"It is unreal to expect a child to factor out all negative thoughts and experiences. Pumsy treats negative feelings like something that needs to be avoided and removed from thinking. The fact remains that some negative feelings such as pain and fear are body mechanisms to protect one's self in times of danger. Negative feelings are important reminders of the effect that decisions and actions often have consequences. When we make wrong choices, negative feelings occur. In the normal process of life, our stumbling stones, those negative forces we encounter become our building blocks, our motivation to succeed."

"Pumsy: A Curriculum Review" by Dr. Majel Braden

"Feeling good is risky as the sole measure of self-worth. Drugs, for example, might help a person feel good temporarily, but they are unacceptable as a measure of enduring and valid self-worth. A more dependable and enduring measure is a strong set of mental thinking skills. For that reason, Pumsy emphasizes the value of teaching children to think clearly. This includes the ability to make good choices, manage conflict, understand consequences, deal with loss, be responsible and respect self and others. Pumsy approaches self-esteem as a cognitive skill; the goal is not so much to feel good as to think clearly. It strives for a balance between constructive thinking and constructive actions. A child who has developed these thinking skills has what we call high self-esteem."

"You've Asked About Pumsy," by Jill Anderson

Does Pumsy use hypnosis?

"Most of the Pumsy program is dependent on hypnotic trance induction and hypnotic suggestion. Most of the slogans that are used such as "I can choose how I feel,' "I am me, I am enough,' and "It's good to have a friend,' are all introduced to the child in an altered state of consciousness or a hypnotic state."

"A Psychiatrist's Perspective," by Dr. George Twente

"There is nothing mind-altering, hypnotic or mystical about Pumsy's use of imagery (the imagination) to practice newly acquired skills. . . . No research reveals that this educational tool is in any way harmful. Many of us learned this technique as children. We closed our eyes and imagined writing spelling words or arithmetic facts. Some children can practice these skills with their eyes open. Others get distracted. They concentrate better with their eyes closed. They are not mediating or being hypnotized nor are they entering into a mystical state. They are simply shutting out distractions so they can concentrate better."

"You've Asked About Pumsy," by Jill Anderson

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