Hemlock Society targets teens

Compassion and Choices essay contest promoted by Catholic school

Socrates and the cup of hemlock

For the fourth year, Compassion and Choices of Northern California (and its other chapters around the country) has invited high school students to submit essays on the subject “Matters of Life and Death.” The winning essayist receives a college scholarship in the amount of $1,000. The second-place winner receives $500. Under the name Compassion and Choices the organization may not be familiar to many people. But it is well-known under its previous name—the Hemlock Society.

A 2011 press release from Compassion and Choices of the state of Washington announced that year’s essay contest winners.

The title of the essay of the first-prize winner provides food for thought. It was written by 18-year-old Megan Brennan and was titled “Thinking About Death Is Just for Old People, Right?

Whether or not thinking about death is for old people, encouraging young people to reflect on suicide is a bad idea. According to suicide.org, drawing on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, while suicide as a whole has dropped from 13.2 per 100,000 persons in 1950 to 10.8 in 2003, suicide among those aged 5-14 has tripled from 0.2 to 0.6 per 100,000. In the same time period suicide among those aged 15-19 has more than tripled, rising from 2.7 per 100,000 to 7.3 per 100,000. In 2007, the CDC reported that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for Americans age 10-14, the third leading cause of death for Americans aged 15-24, and the second leading cause of death for Americans aged 25-34.

The same press release also mentioned the second-place winner from Washington, a young man named Davis Kennedy from Gig Harbor. Compassion and Choices made their attitude to suicide clear, writing that Mr. Davis “…earned $500 for his second-place essay which was opposed to the option of Death With Dignity titled ‘Where There Is Life, There Is Hope.’”

Catholic High Schools have been targeted as well, and at least one is playing ball with the former Hemlock Society.   In its February 2010, February 2011, March 2011, and May 2011 College and Career Center webpage, Carondelet High School of Concord, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet included a blurb for the scholarship, as well as a link to the Compassion and Choices website.

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Comments

  1. It sounds like Carondelet High School in Concord, Ca., has fallen even deeper into the darkest abyss and the school is now inviting students to join them. Like the serpent tempting Adam and Eve to taste the forbidden fruit, Compassion and Choices (The Hemlock Society) is dangling a $1,000. and $500. money temptation to impressionable teenagers to write an essay so they can eventually become more comfortable with the idea of perhaps one day choosing to do the same.

    Parents of students who attend Carondelet High School of Concord should remove their children from this school IMMEDIATELY. Any parent who IS aware of this and thinks that this is fine is guilty of parental neglect. If this school was comfortable enough to place this link on their College and Career website, one can’t even begin to fathom the twisted destructive teaching that is being given in the privacy of the classroom. It would be beneficial to know if this high school could be sued for a wrongful death for endangering minors if something terrible happens. This is a deadly unjustifiable assault of evil meant to influence vulnerable teenagers and children. Did Carondelet receive money from Compassion and Choices in exchange for placing the link on their College and Career website? Was this another thirty pieces of silver in exchange for the minds and souls of their students?

    Parents who have teenagers attending this school, listen carefully! Save your child! Save the high tuition payments for poisonous teaching influences! Run and pull your children out of this deadly toxic environment! It is always better to be safe than sorry!

    • Catherine, I agree with everything you wrote except that parents should pull their children from the school. The parents are the employers…it is the parents who vote for school levies, pay teachers’ salaries etc. The people who allowed this atrocity to take place should be fired! Why should parents have to go to all the expense of finding another school, the inconvenience of rescheduling, etc. and paying taxes on something they can’t even use? It’s past time for schools to be accountable to the taxpayer and the parents. They’re allowed to get away with this garbage as long as parents allow permit them to, rather than forming committees, getting smart and finding out how other communities have cleaned house of anti-American, anti-morality, anti=parent so-called educators. If I were a parent, I’d be raising a dust.

    • As fellow Catholics it’s such a shame that the first readers’ comments ignored the language in the article that states “Under the name Compassion and Choices the organization may not be familiar to many people.” and “Catholic High Schools have been targeted as well..”

      It’s the Hemlock Society who’s the culprit here, folks! Before you read this article, was this group’s name unfamiliar to YOU?? If so, you should assume it was also unfamiliar to the schools.

      As fellow Catholics, don’t be so quick to shift blame from a deceptive organization onto schools who are not deliberately misleading anyone.

      It’s too bad that the article didn’t focus on the deceptive name-change as the main issue, rather than making a big leap to assuming that all the Catholic schools even know about that name change!

  2. All of the bishops need to wake up to what is going on in the world, especially in ALL of the schools, as “planned parenthood”, the homosexual agenda and Hemlock Society have been very busy for far too many years and we have reaped the results last week: a truly Godless (the real God) country and the spreading of the worst evil devised by the devil and man: OBAMANISM!! +JMJ+

  3. “There is a divisive strategy at work here, an intentional dividing of the Church; through this strategy, the body of the Church is weakened, and, thus, the Church can be more easily persecuted,” the Papal Nuncio said in a Nov. 4th speech at the University of Norte Dame. A voice in the wilderness–listen carefully Catholics.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      This is normal. The evil one has been at it since the beginning. The reason being, there is really only one thing left for him since his defeat on the cross. Hate for God and all that God loves. That is why he trys to take as many souls with him as possible. His motivation is hate for God and his creation

  4. WOODY GUIDRY says:

    From very personal experience, I can truthfully say that my Catholic conscience encountered a friend planning to murdering himself. This very dear friend requested that I help him end his life-he was too weak to take the action all by himself. He was reading about the Hemlock Society, was very clear-headed, PLUS being pastor of a non-Catholic church. I was able to talk him out of his plans-and certainly said, “No” as a practicing Catholic. He died a natural death and, I believe, a happy one in the Lord.

    • You couldn’t save his life. But you may have saved his soul.

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        He did save his life, Larry – he did. In God’s time, this Protestant pastor went home to Our Lord, having witnessed an important differene between the Catholic way of life and the Protestant (and secular) way of life and death. It is important for us to remember, as Catholics, that being pro-life means from human conception to natural death, and Woody assisted in saving a life, a very Catholic thing to do. It is also not easy, having worked on a suicide hotline myself and having known several friends, Protestants all, who did in fact ultimately take their own lives despite profoundly heartfelt efforts to save them from their most despairing thoughts. We must pray for others as well as offer the most loving help possible when anyone we know or encounter is despairing so profoundly as to be considering “the final solution” to their pain. Woody did just that.

    • Very good, Woody; now pray for me as I try to help save a couple of souls. Thankyou.

  5. Bl John Paul 2 said it so clearly “This is a culture of DEATH” Todays readings from John point out the evil of progressives…(2John:4-9) Lord protect us from the anti-christ. Fortify our bishops,Send us a John the Baptist to lead us in your Devine path, and watch over our dear children. Amen

    • You tell ‘em, John. Of course you know from the NAB footnote under that reading that the “evil of progressives” refers to first century Gnostic heretics that denied the humanity of Jesus. Good try.

  6. This is the full quote from the US Papal Nuncio as reported – -

    ” Archbishop Vigano observed that some influential Catholic public officials and university professors are allied with forces opposed to the Church’s fundamental moral teachings on “critical issues” like abortion, population control, the redefinition of marriage, embryonic stem cell research and “problematic adoptions.”
    He said it is a “grave and major problem” when self-professed Catholic faculty at Catholic institutions are the sources of teachings that conflict with Church teaching on important policy issues rather than defend it. ”

    Now what is each Bishop going to do about it in his own Diocese?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      PETE,

      In the case of most of the “bishops”, I am afraid you already know the answer to that!

      Viva Cristo Rey!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  7. Linda Maria says:

    The Catholic Church has always taught that suicide is an unacceptable MORTAL SIN!! Obviously, Catholics since Vatican II have no moral and religious training at all– and do not know that when one is under severe pressures, and tempted to commit sin, one has to always turn to God for answers, knowing that Christ also sufferred while on Earth– and He sufferred and died for our eternal Salvation!! One must always turn to God, in all life circumstances, and submit to His Divine Will! Perhaps, tragically, the Devil also plays evilly with sufferring souls, and leads them to death!! What a HORRIBLE thing!! All LIFE is PRECIOUS, and all Catholics must be taught to love and obey God, and TRUST HIM, in all things!! Heaven is waiting — for those who will truly TRUST GOD, and follow Christ’s teachings, no matter how hard they may seem, at times!! The Church MUST HELP sufferring people, teach them their Faith and Morals correctly, and GUIDE THEM in daily life!!

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Linda,

      Most of our “bishops” are too busy with more important things like “the death penalty”, “Illegal immigration”, “socialized medicine”, etc. etc. ad nauseam!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  8. good grief.

    if these poor kids get convinced that suicide is such a great thing, they won’t be able to USE that scholarship for college.

    thanks, CCD, for telling us the henlock society changed its name…i had no idea…

  9. Father Karl says:

    The bishops are like the foxes guarding the hen house. They are too busy about economic issues, and care NOT about REAL moral ones such as suicide. Their meeting is a joke, and because they speak and write about things that are of no value, the world believes them to be silly uncles who speak a lot about everything, but who say nothing of importance. Shame on them for wasting time and money on themes concerning the world, but neglecting moral and spiritual rot that is destroying Christ’s Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.

  10. Juergensen says:

    Satan wants all the young ones burning in hell with him. He achieves this through abortion and, if that fails, homosexuality and suicide. Meanwhile, the bishops fiddle.

    • JUERGENSE, surely you don’t believe babies murdered in the womb go to hell?!?

      when you say the devil wants “all the young ones burning in hell with him,” that’s the impression i got.

      i have never believed that an innocent baby, killed inthe womb, or dying through miscarriage (spontaneous abnortion) goes to hell, and i sure hope you don’t belive such stuff either.

      • Juergensen says:

        No, I have hope that God forgives all those who didn’t have a chance at life. But we don’t know. I do know that death without baptism is what Satan desires, and achieves through abortion.

        • JUERGENSEN, i’m sure that our awesome GOD is bigger than the boundaries we imagine setting up aroundf his love and grace.

          an innocent baby being killed (abortion) or dying (spontaneous abortion) in the womb does not exactly have a long list of sins for which to be forgiven…

          and even without baptism, the church teaches that people can be saved if they DESIRED baptism, etc.

          GOD’s bookkeeeping methods, i suspect, are much more expansive than ours.

      • max, the real answer is that only God knows, and it is His decision alone. Remember that He punished all mankind for the sins of their parents – Adam & Eve.
        We could guess that Jesus gives unborn babies the choice – to love and serve Him or not along with the free will He gave to all, not only humans but the angels.
        Therefore we should pray for the Souls of the unborn.

        CCC: ” 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them.
        Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.
        All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism. “

  11. As fellow Catholics it’s such a shame that the first readers’ comments ignored the language in the article that states “Under the name Compassion and Choices the organization may not be familiar to many people.” and “Catholic High Schools have been targeted as well..”

    It’s the Hemlock Society who’s the culprit here, folks! Before you read this article, was this group’s name unfamiliar to YOU?? If so, you should assume it was also unfamiliar to the schools.

    As fellow Catholics, don’t be so quick to shift blame from a deceptive organization onto schools who are not deliberately misleading anyone.

    It’s too bad that the article didn’t focus on the deceptive name-change as the main issue, rather than making a big leap to assuming that all the Catholic schools even know about that name change!

  12. I have spoken to a very nice lady at the high school and she was
    amazed as many of us, she is DEFINATELY going to look into
    the matter!

    • Let us ALL pray that the “nice lady at the high school” does more than just look into the matter!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  13. “Hemlock Society” changes its name to something that sounds sweet and cuddly, thus misleading countless people.

    This is precisely why our current pastor carefully researches each that wants to come to our parochial school or church, because so many are scams.

    One group calling itself “Food For The Needy” or something similar fooled many good Catholics before we learned where the money really went.

  14. I really appreciate you using the name Hemlock Society instead of what they prefer we use.

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