Saturday, 6 February 2016


Tiffany Jenkins begins her exploration of the value of secrecy by recalling the children`s novel The Secret Garden.
"It’s an enchanting story that gave me great comfort as a child. I loved the idea of having a secret place that I could share with one special friend. And I had plenty of opportunities to indulge this fantasy, because children’s literature is full of secret gangs, covert missions, secrets codes, hidden forests, passageways and compartments all of them portals, like the wardrobe in the Narnia series that introduce the young to the feel and functions of secrecy, its allure, value and dangers..."
"The Secret Garden was published in 1911. In today’s world, in which transparency rules, secrecy doesn’t command the same respectful treatment even on the pages of children’s books. States, institutions and individuals who keep secrets are seen as having something to hide, which is by default suspicious; and whistle-blowers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are hailed as popular heroes. Transparency in business and government is the new mantra, backed by a popular culture whose thrust is towards revelation and openness."

She does not differentiate between the public and private spheres. Perhaps transparency in the public sphere is not such a bad thing.

For the individual, she concludes, being able to keep secrets sets one apart from the crowd; it is the beginning of individuation; sharing secrets is the basis of trust and intimate relationships. Parents should bear in mind that children need their little secrets in order to grow and develop into autonomous human beings.



  1. The very basic,s of Childhood exsploited for Adult corrupt gain is surley another deadly SIN Guitly Party the Invention and using THE NAMED PERSON SHCEME .WHAT UNTESTED ADULT DO THEY HOPE TO CREATE .

  2. There`s a lot more to tease out of the Jenkins article, I think. For instance, she does go into the toxic nature of some childhood secrets. Those would be the kind that the child should be rescued from by the Named Person, perhaps ?

    On the other hand, the little secrets of ordinary childhood are nobody`s business. What is it going to be like for children when their every conversation is `listened into` and reported on and kept in a `secret` file?

    Then again, what untested adult do they want to create ?

    I think the `secret` lies in the word `individuation` - becoming an individual. That is why group work and collaborative learning is being encouraged in school. They want to foster the herd instinct, collectivism, consensus, for easier management. Individuals, who are unpredictable, are a threat to their world order.