CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan


CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

In Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (Free Press/August 9, 2011/$26.00 hardcover), Joel Bakan reveals the astonishingly callous and widespread exploitation of children by profit-seeking corporations-and also society’s shameful failure to protect them. The creator of the award-winning film and internationally best-selling book The Corporation, Bakan shows how corporations pump billions of dollars into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from a relentless commercial assault designed solely to exploit their unique needs and vulnerabilities.

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Focusing on the United States in particular, Bakan demonstrates how:

  • Marketers target children with increasingly devious methods to manipulate their vulnerable emotions, cultivate compulsive behavior, and addle their psyches with violence, sex, and obsessive consumerism.

  • More and more children take dangerous psychotropic drugs as pharmaceutical companies commandeer medical science and deploy dubious and often illegal marketing tactics to boost sales.

  • Children’s chronic health problems are rising dramatically as corporations dump thousands of new chemicals, in increasing amounts, into the environment, usually with the blessings of industry-influenced governments.

  • Children as young as six are working illegally on farms, getting injured, becoming ill, and dying on the job, while the legal age for farm work remains a shockingly low 12 years old in the U.S.

  • America’s schools are becoming private-sector markets for profit-seeking companies, harnessing education to the needs of industry and promoting increasingly regimented and standardized learning.

  • And more

“As governments retreat from their previous roles of protecting children from harm at the hands of corporations,” Bakan writes, “we, as a society, increasingly neglect children’s needs, expose them to exploitation, and thus betray what we, as individuals, cherish most in our lives.” Childhood Under Siege is a call to action to reverse these trends, and provides the necessary insights, information, and concrete proposals to do so.

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“Joel Bakan’s powerful, well-documented polemic is just what we need to hear right now, if we are to even begin to reverse the toxic consumerist legacy we are bequeathing to future generations.”
Literary Review of Canada

“The information in Bakan’s book is…stunning….The book sounds alarms about issues that go under most parents’ radar.”
USA Today

“Childhood Under Siege” is an essential read for anyone who works for or cares about children because we simply can’t advocate for and teach them effectively if we don’t know what we are up against. As a mother and a teacher, it was sometimes overwhelming to read this book, but for my own work and parenting I forced myself to keep going. At times it was deeply frightening–and I do media literacy training as part of my work. It’s very simple: If you want to be relevant in a child’s life, you need to read this book.”
Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

“Childhood Under Siege” outlines the powerful strategies at play in the corporate war against children.
This engaging, carefully researched and important book is a call to action to those who believe we have a responsibility to protect all our children with our laws and public policies as well as our hearts.”

Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other and Seeking Peace

“The assault on childhood in our corporate-dominated and profit-driven society, painfully dissected in this penetrating study, is a tragedy not only for the immediate victims but for hopes for a better future. It can be resisted, as Joel Bakan discusses. And it is urgent not to delay.”
Noam Chomsky

“Our new century of unlimited private profits has put an end to the era of publicly protected childhood. Separated by corporate design from their parents, kids have become capitalism’s newest, most lucrative, consumers. Joel Bakan offers an angry but careful analysis of how the market flourishes today by selling our children everything from dangerous drugs, toxic plastics and unhealthy snack foods to violent and addictive video games and for-profit standardized tests. If they read Bakan carefully, once they get over their rage, both parents and policy makers may be ready to lift the corporate siege that is threatening not just our children but childhood itself.”
Benjamin R. Barber, author of Consumed: How Markets Infantilize Adults, Corrupt Children and Swallow Citizens Whole

“Childhood Under Siege” is a compelling call to arms in the covert war for our children’s minds, health, and future. Joel Bakan empowers us all to stop lamenting the destruction of childhood and do something to rescue it.”
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author of Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child’s Learning Problems

To be a child today, even in affluent countries like ours, is no longer a time of innocence, idyll and discovery, as Bakan reveals in “Childhood Under Siege”. Most children today grow up on a planet in which billions of tons of toxic chemicals have been poured into the air, water and soil; in a big city where the opportunity to encounter nature has been replaced by concrete, fast cars, video games and shopping malls; in a world in which childhood represents a marketing challenge and opportunity. Read this important book and then start working for change.”
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, The David Suzuki Foundation

In “Childhood Under Siege”, Joel Bakan documents and depicts a modern disaster-in-the-making as ominous as our society’s assault on the natural environment: the social and economic destruction of the conditions for healthy childhood. An eloquent and prophetic work we need most urgently to heed.
Gabor Maté M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

Bakan offers passionate argument and copious research in this compelling call for parents to stand up for their children.
Vanessa Bush, Booklist, starred Review


The Bomb in the Brain – The Effects of Child Abuse : Information Clearing House – ICH


Originally posted on Children in Prison WHY THEY ARE THERE?:

January 25, 2015September 11, 2015

The Bomb in the Brain – The Effects of Child Abuse   :  Information Clearing House – ICH

and singular videos

The Bomb in the Brain – The Effects of Child Abuse   :  Information Clearing House – ICH.

The physical, emotional and medical effects of child abuse. You cannot understand or oppose the violence of the world without understanding its true source…

By Stefan MolyneuxFrom Freedomain Radio

The Bomb in the Brain

 The True Roots of Human Violence

Part 1

The Bomb in the Brain Part 2

An interview with Dr. Felitti, the director of the Adverse Childhood Experiences project. The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.

The Bomb in the Brain Part 3 –

The Biology of Violence: The Effects of Child Abuse

Why people become violent.

The Bomb in the…

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Let the Press In – Society won’t fix a prison system it can’t see.


Originally posted on

Let the Press In

Society won’t fix a prison system it can’t see.

As commissioner of corrections for the State of Maine, Joseph Ponte allowed a team from PBS Frontline to embed itself in the notorious solitary confinement ward of a maximum-security prison.

This story was produced in collaboration with Vice.

The resulting 2014 documentary, six weeks of access distilled into an excruciating hour of television, is hard to watch. Inmates cut themselves with razor blades and smear blood on the walls and tiny windows of their cells. They send eddies of human waste under the steel doors. The racket of wailing misery and catatonic fury is hellish. It is an in-your-face exposé of conditions unworthy of a civilized society.

And that is pretty much what Ponte, who has spent his career trying to reform our primeval prison system, intended. Transparency, Ponte told me recently, is…

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Vancouver Aboriginal Street Youth Face higher Incarceration Rates, Report says


Vancouver aboriginal street youth face higher incarceration rates, report says

Police have ‘concerns’ with the report’s conclusions

CBC News Posted: Oct 07, 2015 2:02 PM PTLast Updated: Oct 07, 2015 6:06 PM PT

Vancouver's aboriginal street youth are 1.4 times more likely to be incarcerated than their non aboriginal counterparts, a new study says.

Vancouver’s aboriginal street youth are 1.4 times more likely to be incarcerated than their non aboriginal counterparts, a new study says. (CBC)

Aboriginal street youth in Vancouver are 1.4 times more likely to be jailed than their non-aboriginal counterparts, according to a study released Wednesday by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

The report, conducted by the centre’s Urban Health Research Initiative, said one explanation for the higher numbers could be that police may target aboriginal youth, but more research is needed. …

Criminal Justice Bill Could Keep Kids Out of Solitary and Reunite Families


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Criminal Justice Bill Could Keep Kids Out of Solitary and Reunite Families

Posted: 10/02/2015 9:45 am EDT Updated: 10/02/2015 9:59 am EDT

Weldon Angelos is a young father who wouldn’t have been able to be in his two children’s lives until he was 80 and his children were old and grey themselves. Angelos made mistakes and sold some marijuana. Because he also happened to have a gun in his possession, he got a 55 year mandatory minimum sentence. At a Senate press conference this week, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah stood alongside six of his Senate colleagues to roll out a historic criminal justice reform bill. Senator Lee, who worked on this 2004 case, reported that the judge knew it was an unjust sentence, but lamented that he couldn’t do anything about it…only Congress could.

And today, Congress is. The Senate Judiciary Committee started rolling that ball toward a fairer criminal justice system. … Please, read more from this wealth here: thank you!

Catholic priest Paul Clarke charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children


Originally posted on

Catholic priest Paul Clarke charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children

Police said there was no evidence of local children being involved

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Despite positive reputation, Missouri’s juvenile justice system has serious systemic Problems


Despite positive reputation, Missouri’s juvenile justice system has serious systemic Problems

Oct 5, 2015

This July 31, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of a 20-month investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court that sent a jolt through the system.

“The investigation found that the court fails to provide constitutionally required due process to children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against black children, all in violation of the 14th Amendment,” assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a conference call. …