Perhaps the quintessential ‘feral’ children are twin brothers Romulus and Remus who feature in Rome’s foundation myth. Their mother was Rhea Silvia, daughter to Numitor, king of Alba Longa and the story goes that prior to their conception, Numitor’s brother Amulius seized power, forced Rhea Silvia to become a Vesta Virgin, sworn to chastity and then kills Numitor’s male heirs. However, Rhea Silvia conceived the twins by the god Mars, or by the demi-god Hercules, although once the twins were born, Amulius had them abandoned to die in the river Tiber. Miraculously the babies were rescued from the water by a she-wolf. The she-wolf took care of them until the twins were taken in by a shepherd and his wife who reared them to manhood. Unfortunately, actual cases of human children apparently ‘raised’ by wild animals do not have such a happy ending.
In reality a feral child is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age. Therefore it has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behaviour, and the most apparent, of human language. Some feral children are alleged to have been brought up by animals. Other feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents). More than 100 cases of supposedly feral children are known.
One of the first documented case occurred in France in 1800 when naked and filthy 12-year-old boy was spotted scrabbling for potatoes in fields on the edge of Saint Sernin, a small farming village. This was ‘Victor’ the wild boy of Aveyron. Abbe Pierre-Joseph Bonnaterre described Victor as small for his age, about four and a half feet tall, deeply tanned and covered in scars and scratches. While he could not speak and did not react even if Bonnaterre shouted in his ear, his hearing was acute enough for a walnut cracked across the room to make him twist around with hungry attention. He could also make a full range of expressive noises, such as grunts, laughs, and murmurs. His gait was peculiar. He walked uncertainly and preferred to lollop along in a shuffling run. Occasionally he would revert to all fours as earlier he had been seen to do in the forests. However, it was Victor’s animal blankness and lack of interest in other humans that most unsettled Bonnaterre. Victor appeared to have no other thoughts than for food and sleep. The only time he showed any excitement was when he glimpsed the greenery outdoors and struggled to make an escape. The rest of the time he would spend long hours hunched on the floor, rocking slowly back and forth and staring off into space. In this position, he made a constant dull murmur and occasionally, small spasms and convulsions would twitch across his body and face.
It was Jean Itard, a 26-year-old doctor from Paris’s Deaf-Mute Institute who felt he could see a glimmer of hope in the damaged youngster. He believed the diagnosis of retardation was ridiculous because Victor could not have survived in the wilds so long if he truly was an imbecile. Itard also detected a wily intelligence in the way Victor stole and hid food. Itard devoted five long years to Victor and did make considerable strides, but the boy never became anything near approaching a normal adult and never properly learned to speak. Itard at least managed to bring about a marked change in Victor’s outward demeanour. Victor’s blankness towards his surroundings and other people gradually turned to interest and affection. He appeared to show simple human emotions such as gratitude and remorse. He was trained out of his unsuitable personal habits, learning to sleep in a bed, wear clothes, eat at a table and accept baths. His toilet habits and lack of modesty still could embarrass Itard in public, but generally Victor was brought under ‘control’.
On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany carrying a letter addressed to the captain of the 4th squadron of the 6th cavalry regiment, Captain von Wessenig. The anonymous author stated that the infant boy was given into his custody on 7 October 1812. A shorter letter enclosed purporting to be from his mother to his prior caretaker stated that his name was Kaspar, that he was born on 30 April 1812 and that his father, a cavalryman of the 6th regiment, was dead. In fact both letters had been written by the same hand. At first it was assumed that the boy had been raised half-wild in forests, but Hauser recalled a different version of his past life. For as long as he could remember he spent his life totally alone in a darkened cell about two metros long, one metre wide and one and a half high with only a straw bed to sleep on and a horse carved out of wood for a toy. He found bread and water next to his bed each morning. Periodically the water would taste bitter and drinking it would cause him to sleep more heavily than usual. On these occasions, when he woke, his straw was changed and his hair and nails had been cut. The first human being with whom Hauser ever had contact was a mysterious man who visited prior to his release and took great care not to reveal his face. This man, Hauser said, taught him to write his name by leading his hand. After learning to stand and walk, he was brought to Nuremberg. This stranger allegedly taught him to say the phrase “I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was” in Bavarian dialect but Hauser claimed that he did not understand what these words meant. Elements of Hauser’s later life and attempts at education in Nuremburg poignantly express a lack of complex reasoning that Friedrich Daumer, Hauser’s host and teacher, expressed through his tutoring. Following demonstrations Hauser revealed his profound inability to understand coincidence, and imbues inanimate objects with intelligence for avoiding obstacles. Indeed although the final report indicated no anomalies Dr. Heidenreich, one of the physicians present at Hauser’s autopsy, claimed that the brain of Kaspar Hauser was notable for small cortical size and few, non-distinct cortical gyri, signalling that he suffered from cortical atrophy.
Amala and Kamala, the so called Wolf Girls of Midnapore, India were thought to be about 3 and 7 years old on their discovery on 17th October 1920. Both little girls could run swiftly on all fours, but were unable to stand up. They could not talk or laugh and their only gestures were those of the wolf pups they had been reared with. Amala only lived a year in ‘captivity’ and although her sister was thought to have been around 16 nine years later when she died she had a mental age of 3.
With Oxana Malaya who was found as an 8-year-old in Ukraine in 1991, having lived most of her life in the company of dogs the issue moves into the area of child abandonment. While she too picked up a number of dog-like habits and found it difficult to master language today, Oxana can speak and many of her behavioural problems have been remedied. The key to this may be the age at which Oxana was evicted from her human home.
It was at three years of age that Oxana’s drug addicted parents exiled her from the family home. Wild dogs roaming the streets and Oxana took refuge in a shed inhabited by these dogs. She was cared for by them and learned their behaviours and mannerisms. She growled, barked, walked on all fours and crouched like a wild dog, sniffed at her food before she ate it, and was found to have acquired extremely acute senses of hearing, smell and sight. When rescued she only used the words “yes” and “no”. It was believed that having been deprived of intellectual and social stimulation, Oxana found it difficult to acquire normal human social and emotional skills. Oxana’s lack of exposure to language in a human social context made it very difficult for her to improve her language skills. Yet that she is now able to use simple grammar suggests that language development had already formulated prior to her abandonment at aged 3.
In the case of Genie, the pseudonym for a feral child who spent nearly all of the first thirteen years of her life locked inside a bedroom strapped to a potty chair, the victim of one of the most severe cases of abuse and neglect, compounded by social isolation, ever documented. Genie was discovered by Los Angeles authorities on November 4, 1970. After her rescue, attempts were made to help her speak and socialise, however, Genie never learned full grammatical English and only went so far as phrases like “Applesauce buy store”.
The reason ‘feral’ children remain such a fascination to psychologists and linguists are because they present such a unique opportunity to study a hotly contested debate about language development. Essentially, this is the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Does genetics or environment play a greater role in the development of language? Nativists believe that the capacity for language is innate, while empiricists suggest that it is environment that plays a key role.
Noam Chomsky Jewish nativist, argued that the acquisition of language could not be fully explained by learning alone. Instead, he proposed that children are born with a language acquisition device (LAD), an innate ability to understand the principles of language. Once exposed to language, the LAD allowed children to learn the language at a remarkable pace.
Eric Lenneberg Jewish linguist proposed that like many other human behaviors, the ability to acquire language is subject to what are known as critical periods. A critical period is a limited span of time during which an organism is sensitive to external stimuli and capable of acquiring certain skills. According to Lenneberg, the critical period for language acquisition lasts until around age 12. After the onset of puberty, he argued, the organization of the brain becomes set and no longer able to learn and utilize language in a fully functional manner. Incidentally it is rather curious that the Jewish tribe are so prevalent in this field of study, but not surprising as here they are well placed to funnel the ground breaking discoveries of ethnic Europeans through the corrupting filter of Jewish Zionism.
In Genie’s case she started putting three words together occasionally as in children going through normal language development. In the normally stimulated child this stage is followed by what is known as a language explosion. Children rapidly acquire new words and begin putting them together in novel ways. Unfortunately, this never happened for Genie and never did for any other ‘feral’ child documented earlier. Her language abilities remained stuck at this stage and she appeared unable to apply grammatical rules and use language in a meaningful way. At this point, her progress levelled off and her acquisition of new language halted. Oxana on the other hand, abandoned at aged 3, has progressed to simple language formation. In this light the linguist Lenneberg may have been far closer to the mark than first realised.
However, the neuro-scientific reality is far more brutal when it comes to the isolation and lack of nurture of a child. Formation of the human brain takes place in early infancy and a normally nurtured brain will formulate the constructs capable of performing complex skills like that of language acquisition. Yet, if a brain is deprived of human stimulation, parental nurturing it will be substantially deformed. It is highly significant that a brain scan of a child who has suffered extreme neglected compared to that of a normal 3 year old is shown to be quite substantially physically smaller and disfigured. What must also be taken into account is how a small injury to the brain can have a dramatic impact on an adult human therefore even a minor reduction in the physical size of the brain in infancy must have intense repercussions for learning acquisition in the child.
It is now known that many capacities thought to be fixed at birth are actually dependent on a sequence of experiences combined with heredity. Both factors are essential for optimum development of the human brain (Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000). It is now known that although genetics predisposes us to develop in certain ways our experiences, including our interactions with other ‘people’ have a significant impact on how our predispositions are expressed.
The process of development occurs from the more primitive towards the more sophisticated sections of the brain (Perry, 2000a). The first areas of the brain to fully develop are the brainstem and midbrain governing the bodily functions necessary for life. Consequently New-borns’ brains allow babies to do many things, including breathe, eat, sleep, see, hear, smell, make noise, feel sensations, and recognize the people close to them. However, the majority of brain growth and development takes place after birth, especially in the higher brain regions involved in regulating emotions, language, and abstract thought. Babies are born with more than 100 billion nerve cell or neurons, the brain’s raw material. During foetal development, neurons migrate to form the various parts of the brain. As neurons migrate, they also differentiate and “specialize” in response to chemical signals (Perry, 2002). Development in the growing baby’s brain is the process of creating, strengthening, and discarding synapses or connections among neurons. Synapsesorganize the brain by forming pathways that connect the parts of the brain and occur at an astounding rate during children’s early years, in response to the young child’s experiences. For example, human brains are “wired” to respond to the sound of speech; when babies hear people speaking, the neural systems in their brains responsible for speech and language receive the necessary stimulation to organize and function (Perry, 2006). The more babies are exposed to people speaking, the stronger their related synapses become. If a young child is deprived of this stimulation it will result in the pruning of synapses (neuronal connections) relevant to that stimulation and the loss of neuronal pathways. As children progress through each developmental stage, they will learn and master each step more easily if their brains have built an efficient network of pathways. If the appropriate exposure does not happen, the pathways developed in anticipation may be discarded and the area of brain abnormal. Therefore, a primary conclusion must be that some stimulation took place in the case of Oxana prior to her neglect to enable her brain to acquire the necessary rudiments to accommodate some language formulation.
Yet consider the very nature of stimulation and nurturing that the infant is supposed to receive from its mother. Primate studies show that a young monkey separated from its mother will choose a soft warm comforter without food over a metal food provider. Furthermore the isolated primate elicited behaviour consistent with one unable to socialise with fellow mates. This is highly reminiscent of human cases of neglect such as Oxana and Genie who will never be fully rehabilitated into human society. This is most relevant as since WWII the period that the young child spends bonding with its mother is becoming shorter and shorter as woman is forced out to work. A side effect of woman’s war-time work Jewish Zionist Governments saw an opportunity to increase profit by introducing woman into the economy on a mass scale. This was achieved by utilising woman’s vanity against her natural instinct to nurture, thus the Jewish Marxist derivative Feminism with its propaganda of ‘equality’ appealed. With this emphasis on the working mother the ‘latch key kid’ became a common feature of the 80’s now schools could be forced to open longer as society shifts towards the institutional care of ever younger children. Not surprisingly this concept was inspired by the British Labour Party whose current leader Ed Miliband’s family connection to Jewish Marxism would explain the desire to retard ethnic European’s.
During October 1919, the Jewish Bolshevik mass murderer Lenin secretly visited the laboratory of I. P. Pavlov, an ethnic European physiologist known chiefly for the concept of the conditioned reflex. Pavlov is best known for training hungry dogs to associate the sound of a bell with food salivating at the sound even in the absence of food. Lenin was intent on discovering if conditional reflexes of the brain would help the Bolsheviks control European behaviour. “I want the masses of Russia to follow a Communistic pattern of thinking and reacting,” Pavlov was appalled for Lenin had suggested that he do for ethnic Europeans what he had already done for dogs. “Do you mean that you would like to standardise the population of Russia? Make them all behave in the same way?” he asked. “Exactly” Lenin replied. “Man can be corrected. Man can be made what we want him to be.”… As a consequence Pavlov became an outspoken opponent of the Communist government publically stating that “If that which the Jewish Bolsheviks are doing with Russia is an experiment, for such an experiment I should regret giving even a frog.” As such a credible argument can be expressed that current methods of teaching are intentionally meant to under develop the child’s intellectual capacity. Primatologist Winthrop Kellogg, convinced nurture was the dominant role in development, introduced a baby chimpanzee into his family. Whilst the chimp did copy many human characteristics Kellogg was shocked to discover that his son was displaying the barks and yelps of the chimp rather than beginning to learn the rudiments of human speech. Almost by accident Kellogg had exposed the vulnerability of childhood and how the smallest change can have a lasting effect. Plasticity is the term now used to describe the brain’s ability to change in response to repeated stimulation. The extent of a brain’s plasticity is dependent on the stage of development and the particular brain system or region affected (Perry, 2006). For instance, the lower parts of the brain, which control basic functions such as breathing and heart rate, are far less flexible than the higher functioning cortex, which controls thoughts and feelings. This places the infant in a very vulnerable position as more and more parents leave their young for the work environment and institutions become the prime carer and the television is the ultimate stimulation. This is the construct the Frankfurt School desired as it provides a forum for Cultural Marxism to infiltrate the media and deconstruct its natural order with degradation.
The early years of children’s programming may have been somewhat crude but the likes of Watch with Mother did contain the rudiments of number and musical stimulation, plus the key was in the title. This was meant as an ideas forum for a stay at home mum. By 1968 children’s TV had become much more educationally savvy feeding teaching ideas into the fabric of the cartoon. However, as the effect of cultural Marxist doctrine began to filter into the mix the education value slipped. Most popular children’s TV characters today fail even to use proper words or articulate the vocabulary of any particular language. Speaking gibberish is highly reminiscent of Kellogg’s young son picking up the barks and yelps of the chimp he spent so much time with. This begs the question are human beings a global experiment reminiscent of that proposed by Lenin. Uniformity is the common factor of Communist Marxism loosely concealed under a quest for utopian ‘equality’. Lenin’s desire to ‘standardise the behaviour of the European people’ only highlights this. Of course equality is not a natural phenomenon and a perfect example of this lies with the creation of the sexes. Meant to complement one another Feminism’s Marxist propagation of ‘equality’ only negates the natural differences between the sexes. Frankly the only way to implement ‘equality’ is to eradicate difference, and that means an end to sexual, racial and cultural identity. Therefore, typical Marxist levelling sees Whites who now live in Black communities ‘encouraged’, like the child with the monkey or dog, to take on Negroid characteristics because the easiest way to impose uniformity is to reduce to the lowest common denominator.
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