Former ACE employee turns whistleblower

For a few months now I have been in contact with a former employee of Christian Education Europe, the UK arm of Accelerated Christian Education. Christine Gregg was fired from CEE following a long period of being thoroughly taken advantage of. She is now keen to expose the inner workings of the company, in particular its abuse of staff, in-fighting, and breach of employment law. Bring it on.

Christine has finally published a detailed expose of Christian Education Europe, and it’s not pretty. The author has been in correspondence with me for a while. She has written to me that, although she knows many damning things about CEE, she was determined only to include things she could prove in this article. I’m confident this information is legit. You should go and read the whole thing.   I’ve noticed, though, that statistically, my readers don’t click on links in anything like the volumes you read my posts (why is that?), so here are the highlights:

CEE broke the law to employ and sack staff

She claims that staff who cross Arthur Roderick have been fired, and this has been made to look like a resignation.

Turnover of staff is extremely high at the company. Mr Roderick doesn’t like anyone with a different opinion to him and if you don’t comply you will be sacked. This sacking may be disguised as resignation in some form or other. In my case I received a letter thanking me for a fictitious resignation during a nervous breakdown and marriage crisis. In the past I have seen people head hunted from all over the UK and indeed the world. They moved to Swindon with their family and then get promptly dropped at the will of Arthur Roderick. He fills his board room with people who will agree with him and if they don’t they get pushed.

Whilst I was there, one person was sacked for a supposedly gay relationship, another we were told wanted to go back to school, which was a total fabrication, another general manager was told his position was redundant and then another person was employed, a young boy pushed for getting together with a non-Christian whom he later married, the list is endless. Probably one of the worse cases was that of Alastair Kirk whom Arthur groomed and mentored to take the CEO position. He was given the job as well as Home-school Manager at a very young age without training or experience. This of course was never going to work and he and his long serving, loyal mother were both pushed out. No one speaks about what happened to them. They are afraid of being kicked out of the local Christian community as I have been. They are also told it is ungodly and not Christian like to criticise.

Meanwhile, in appointing a new CEO, they ignored employment law:

I absolutely pray that the Border Agency will investigate overseas appointees to CEE. Their current CEO was allowed immigration to work and live in the UK. The agency was told the position was advertised in the UK and no one qualified in this specialist area could be found. This is not true. There were many suitable applicants but the directors did not even read the CVS they submitted. This was because Arthur Roderick had wanted this particular person. The position was indeed advertised, but the company had no intention of employing any such applicant. Their employment of overseas students for no salary was stopped and a couple of them deported.

I also pray UCAS will get on board to stop their illegal practises. It is too late for me to report them now as a year has passed. Let’s just hope someone else will be brave enough to stand up and speak out, but I won’t hold my breath. I will however still send a report to ACAS to aid future mis dealings.

Staff are subjected to unethical treatment

[Arthur Roderick] also likes women managers, as they can be kept to rule with twisted scripture and repressed. In some cases I was paid much less than others even though I was a senior management because my husband earned enough to keep me. The hours were long and thankless. It was normality for me to be called at 10pm to complete a PowerPoint or some such presentation for the next morning. Everyone wanted to please Arthur and seemed to vie for his attention. Let me tell you though if you cross him or don’t fulfil his requests you are soon history. The working conditions were bleak at best and illegal at worse. I was often called into directors meetings to be ticked off like a schoolchild no matter how hard I worked. Arthur has this knack of placing his hopes in daft places, whilst others pick up the work but get no credit for it. Usually this was the incompetent men he put over the women managers who did the real work. The atmosphere is far from Christian let me tell you.

Arthur was also my pastor and directly through his interference I lost my marriage, home, “friends” and self-esteem. I was left destitute, had a terrible nervous breakdown and was sent to Coventry… as well as the lies spread defaming my character by this lovely Christian group. At the same time, being told I was loved. They almost sent my son with me. How muddled was my mind. This control freak mind-set became norm to me and I have suffered terribly since leaving. Normally a confident person, I was left a nervous wreck, on benefits with a social worker. This brain washing and control is not dissimilar to the control in its schools. I liken my experience as to being expelled from a cult. There are one or two saints who privately support me. Only one is willingly to publically stand with me just now and she was sacked too.

Curriculum development is by unqualified and incompetent staff

One of my thankless tasks there was to correct curriculum mistakes in the UK PACEs and report mistakes to the US of errors in the American PACEs. UK ones would be corrected, but then mixed in with the older incorrect ones in the warehouse causing further confusion and muddle. American PACEs were reported often, but we knew they wouldn’t be altered until after the massive print run was sold, maybe years on if ever. Many home school calls resulted from this confusion. Help was available from a rather confusing TEACH Principal, Colin Slater or a very part time advisor, Lionel Boulton. The TEACH Administrator Felicity Devine spent hours consoling customers complaints and queries.

If a complaint is ever held, Arthur’s reply would be God knows… He knows we are doing our best. Actually, no you are not. Untrained and teenage staff is rife. Young people do very adult jobs with no proper training, thanks or salary. Discontent is rife. Everyone blames each other. Christian you may ask?

Copyright law has been broken in some PACEs

The curriculum development often is done by unpaid or low paid writers who all squabble with each other. Facts are often wrong and the PACE gets laid out and has to be redone OFTEN, poor layout lady…aka me. When I first arrived in the curriculum department, the young men developers (ex-students) were pinching copyrighted images off Google and rubbing out the copyright symbol! This resulted in a fuss made by me, a sacking and some dumped PACEs which actually got sold in the muddle anyway! The curriculum department was at that time ran by a nineteen year old who was later pushed out. All the early development at CEE was a joke until one day I contacted Brenda Lewis then a head teacher and now a director too. She improved things immensely, as did the formation of ICCE International. The Australia team particularly combined with Brenda’s hard work is improving things.

Conditions in home schools are frequently poor

A good home school educator on TEACH [CEE’s home schooling plan, based on ACE] needs to supplement their child’s education with debate, other material and trips out. Their children seem quite well socialised. These are not the majority. Often I took calls from tearful mothers and angry fathers that just could not do the work with the children. Many a time on a call, there would be the sound of screaming children, a tearful mum struggling with maths or an incorrect PACE situation and dad shouting in the background. 

Opposing views are crushed

The schools are run similar to CEE offices under the disillusionment of a Godly love way of training which is often cruel. The kids have to set their own goals and pace themselves. Outward appearance is of love. The children believe this is the way God wants them taught etc. It is actually a curriculum designed to further the views of the company and like-minded parents.One ex home school parent recently stated to me in an email, that she believes that the company are inciting hatred with their open anti-gay ramblings, sexual discrimination and twisted scripture. She told me that they are a money making, inferior incompetent group that should be banned from operating.

I would say there is no room for free a thinker in this system which gives a narrow view of the world. Their way is the only their way, fact black and white. If you don’t apply you are either ground down or cast out. The curriculum is all Biblical no matter what the subject. Mastery learning is used for this indoctrination which is probably why it attracted my ex-husband. Mastery learning is not the brain child of ACE. Many modern computer games use a form of mastery learning. Think of the Mario games or Hungry Birds AP for example. You can’t go to the next level until you master the current one. This is how ACE works. Trouble is the content reads like brain washing rather than training your child.

Read the rest here.

Follow Christine Gregg on twitter.

This is a good time. A lot of people are coming together to stand against this unethical organisation, with former students, parents, and staff all speaking out.

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About jonnyscaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on September 10, 2012, in Accelerated Christian Education, Christianity, Creationism, Education, Faith Schools, Fundamentalism, School of Tomorrow and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Hi Christine, sorry to hear what a horrible time you had with your abusive church and employment with CEE. You are right, it is exactly like leaving a cult – they tried to control every aspect of your life and how you where allowed to view yourself – church, home, work. As well as the books you have listed on your web site, I can recommend “Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion” by Marlene Winell. It’s not about leaving your faith, but about leaving your abusive religion, and the process of recognising and healing from the harm it has caused.

  2. I second Matthew’s recommendation of “Leaving the Fold”. You WERE in a cult. The description you give is indicative of one.
    Thank you for exposing the deceit and underhanded tactics of the CEE. Do not worry, yours and Jonny’s work on this matter will come to fruition, as long as you keep plugging away. Keep speaking out!

  3. Christine, it is abhorrent, and I honestly can’t find a stronger word than ‘abhorrent’ except for ‘horrific’ with what you’ve been put through at the hands of those despicable individuals. There are a number of reputable or shall I say gutsy charities, plus the department for education with their clutch of humanistic and atheistic staff who need very little excuse to go on an anti religious rampage, because an inspector who’d visit us anually would openly voice his reserve and concern about religious fuelled education, sometimes the adversary can prove to be a workable ally! There is plenty of artillery out there at your disposal to bring down that nefarious cult-run organization. No matter how long it takes, Christine, just keep burrowing under that organization’s mantle and really give them something to scratch incessantly, I also pray that those who are supporting you stay strong and continue in doing so.

  4. I started following this poet and this poem may help:

    Good luck.

  5. Wow Christine, I can’t imagine the courage it must have taken to speak out about these things. Please don’t be hard on yourself, the fact that you’ve spoken out at all is remarkable after having come out of such a controlling and fear-driven environment. It sounds as though the company embodies values that are the polar opposite of what Christianity is supposed to be about.

  6. Thank you for all these comments and to Jonny for highlighting this here. I have had some positive and unexpected help from a local MP, radio and another ex employee of CEE. I also have had other correspondence with people who are no longer on the ACE programme but are still too afraid to speak out. This is all very pleasing, but I can’t rid myself of the feeling of doom. There is definitely a panic at CEE and who knows what will happen. At least they no longer know where I live!

    You can all help positively by writing letters to your MPs. Don’t think it doesn’t affect where you live as there are also home schools too all over the UK. If the pressure is kept up then I believe this cruel system will be outlawed. I hope others like Jonny will come forward as I know there are many.

  7. Very sad to hear of Christine’s experiences, as a previous ACE family we had an uneasiness about some of the issues referred to. So often these situations are multi factorial and escalate to a point where the end result can be terrible hurt and bitterness and the path to reconciliation and forgiveness is a long way off but this is surely the heart of true Christian faith where supernatural forgiveness manifests, supernatural because it comes from The Lord Jesus, not from us (as detailed by Corrie Ten Boom in her book ‘The Hiding Place’); I hope and pray that this is the path for Christine. A faith that is based on life events and how others treat us is not a true Biblical faith, the Bible says man’s heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and I believe that we have to trust and hold on to The Lord Jesus when all else fails and seems to crumble around us.
    I am in favour of everything being brought out into the light; of all, including those in authority being accountable for their actions. I repeatedly see God’s Word coming true in so many situations, people reap what they sow, often a long time after events.
    Whilst it is healthy for genuine concerns about the ACE curriculum and its administration to be voiced, I believe that as Christians we cannot put our faith and trust in anything or anyone, only the Word of God, we can not be complacent, we have to accept that every man made organistion and system will have its flaws and corruptions and how we negotiate our way through life is truly why the greatest gift of all, after true faith, is Godly wisdom and discernment.

  8. This cultic group should be shut down, and its control freak leader thrown in jail. They are a disgrace to Christianity and scientific endeavour.

  9. seems to have gone away. I hope Christine is all right!

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