Skip to Content

The best kept secret

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Boarding Schools Association, known to chosen insiders as “Ye Olde Knights of the True Grit,” there appears this ghastly story, from the bastion of public school values, The Telegraph. I feel torn about reproducing it, but have decided that perhaps only terrible shocks can dislodge the endemic denial that a large part of the British public cling to about how we produce our Wounded Leaders. This is certainly shocking.

Apparently, the unfortunate and misguided young man who slayed 6 innocent people in California and wounded at least 13 other people in a series of shooting episodes because he couldn’t deal with being still a virgin, spoke, on his prepared online manifesto, of having felt rejected at his boarding prep school.

This allegedly was Dorset House School, whose über-confident website proclaims itself the “best kept secret in West Sussex,” and headlines a quotation from The Spectator, that expert publication on child-rearing, asserting that “Children enjoy boarding as much as they like home”!

The Telegraph reports that: “The London-born gunman who killed six people in a rampage in California claimed in his online “manifesto” that his feelings of rejection from society began with his days at a British prep school in the Sussex countryside.”

” I remember panicking and asking strangers for help. It was a terrifying experience for me,”  said Elliot Rodger, 22.

He “chronicled his anger, alienation and murderous plans,” continued the paper, “in a bizarre 141-page screed entitled “My Twisted World” that he e-mailed to family and acquaintances just before embarking on his killing spree … The manifesto makes clear that his sense of entitlement turned into a resentment of all those around him, but most particularly female students.”

Why do people make such awful demonstrations of angry despair? Why do they act out such catastrophic impotence? Because they are personally unhinged, or because no one wants to hear what they have to say?

Could Elliot say that as a child, as tiny as those portrayed in the upbeat Dorset House School video, he had to do without love and touch and parental care, from a very early age, in order to develop “true grit?”

No. Children cannot say these things. Certainly not in the land where we don’t want to hear them. Adults are supposed to know they need the care and love of a family and children are supposed to expect it. Here lies the “basic fault.”

Sometimes, they grow up and become “winners” and lead the nation into another South East housing boom, another traditional widening gap between rich and poor;  sometimes, the they grow up “twisted,” and make a big big noise, and we wish we hadn’t heard it.




Allowed HTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

By submitting a comment you grant Wounded Leaders a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.