The BBC Report on Frome Steiner Academy

 

My criticisms of Steiner Schools have focused mainly on how they avoid telling parents an authorities about the occult nature of their philosophy. Indeed, Rudolf Steiner was very clear to his teachers about how they should mislead and obfuscate when enquiries were made into their beliefs and intentions.

It is therefore illuminating to see BBC South West ask some difficult questions of the new Head Teacher at the state funded Frome Steiner School.

Here is the segment. Within the limitations of a 15 minute slot, I think they have done very well in tackling important issues of the occult underpinnings of their pedagogy (Anthroposphy) and the racism that is embedded within Steiner’s views on reincarnation and karma.

This film sets a number of precedents. Media coverage of Steiner Schools has almost always ducked the most important issues of their inherent absurd philosophy, racist views on human development and occultism.

Most importantly, I have been arguing that Steiner Schools deliberately obscure their anthroposophical roots. It is astonishing to see Head Teacher Trevor Mepham attempt to dodge and weave these questions.

In a remarkable statement, Mepham tells us that he would not say Steiner believed in reincarnation. Let us remember what anthroposophy is:  “spiritual advancement through karma and reincarnation, supplemented by the access to esoteric knowledge available to a privileged few.” If Steiner did not believe in reincarnation he wasted decades writing books and lecturing on a subject he did not really support.

Steiner Schools are keen to obfuscate their anthroposophical aims. The Frome Steiner School says on its web site, “The school, however, will neither promote nor teach the wider philosophy which is known as “anthroposophy.”

But without anthroposophy, Steiner schools are nothing. They are required to follow anthroposophy and are defined by it. But Steiner knew their occult aims might frighten parents  and so warned teachers to be coy. In this video, we see their Head Teacher unable to give a straight answer to a direct question as to whether his school was founded in anthroposophy.

There is still much scope for mainstream media to cover much more detail: their absurd and dangerous health beliefs and the role of anthroposophical doctors within schools; the teaching of barmpot pseudoscience, being two areas.

As I have said, Steiner Schools are a ticking time bomb under the government. Well done to the BBC for starting to expose their secrets.

“We must worm our way through…[I]n order to do what we want to do, at least, it is necessary to talk with the people, not because we want to, but because we have to, and inwardly make fools of them.”

“W]e have to remember that an institution like the Independent Waldorf [Steiner] School with its Anthroposophical character, has goals that, of course, coincide with Anthroposophical desires. At the moment, though, if that connection were made official, people would break the Waldorf School’s neck.”

In choosing your words, never say ‘prayers,’ say ‘words for opening the school day.’ We should not hear the word ‘prayer’ in the mouth of a teacher. Thus you will neutralize to a large extent the prejudice against Anthroposophic matters.”

Rudolf Steiner

 


In conrtast, here is a uch more typical, naive, casually accepting & uncritical recent @BBCLookNorth report on Steiner Schools. (UK only)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nymf4/Look_North_(North_East_and_Cumbria)_23_11_2012/

75 comments for “The BBC Report on Frome Steiner Academy

  1. November 24, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Thanks to a reader of my book for aiming me to this informative blog. During many months of research I was fascinated at the various layers under the initial (and seemingly innocent) first glimpse of Waldorf/Steiner schools. Far too many journalists fall into the soundbite-deadline trap while ostensibly attempting to peel off layers of this interesting onion. It’s refreshing to see the BBC dig a little deeper and not simply accept obvious obfuscation.

    With regards to Anthroposophy, Steiner’s views on education and reincarnation, the Head Teacher is either very confused or is attempting to mislead the public. Neither option bodes well for his school. As Andy points out, “without Anthroposophy Steiner schools are nothing.”

    It’s high time the leaders of this spiritual movement come clean with their motives and their mission.

    • Heather
      March 19, 2013 at 3:15 am

      “It’s high time the leaders of this spiritual movement come clean with their motives and their mission.”

      Yes, I agree, and I wonder why there are not more comments on this site about the foolish thinking expressed on that clip.

      What is being taught to a child when they sing songs crediting a gnome for fire?

      A parent doesn’t have to teach about gnomes to “bring a sense of wonder” to life. It is parents who don’t how they “fit into the world” who gravitate to replacing truth with fantasy and magic.

      Fire is wonderful in and of itself (How many people can explain how fire “works” etc.?), and if it feels impersonal, remember the very personal God, who created it to give physical warmth to people who he created, and who uses the physical world to teach us about Himself and our relationship to Him etc. Fire is amazing and Jesus is wonderful! Not fire gnomes.

      And I don’t think it is ironic to remember that in the Bible, fire is associated with judgement, and eternal suffering. Not gnomes.

      Lastly, we don’t have to “fit into this world”. We first have to fit within our own families. The identity of a child begins to develop as a child learns what it means to be part of a family (not community, institution or world).

      I hope others who find this disturbing as well.

      • Auriel poole-Aitougard
        June 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

        hello Heather . Are you a parent ? or not ? because if you are not then I see little reason why your telling us your silly opinion here. I will agree with you here that a childs first place is to fit into thier family and thier home life here . primary socialisation begins at home. and the secondary socialisation is the school and surrounding community- however having the ‘right ‘ school for a childs whole educational pathway is so important and if child has a good teacher who can inspire them -then they will be a huge asset and gift for thier whole life. like my English teacher was amazing.

        whats better ? if a child learns to appreciate the natural environment here from a love of little ‘flower fiares and knomes here ? or do you also disblieve in the sense of wonder and of angels ? then how can you say your religious ? it goes hand it hand. steiner says ‘ we are not human beings having a spitirual experience here ‘ but we are rather ‘spiritual beings who are living a human life and existence here’ .

        there is beauty and wonder if you choose to open your mind and your eyes and teaching a small child to appreciate a ‘garden knome’ who will look after the house for example if your go on holiday etc – is a really comforting idea for a child.. wouldnt you say so Heather ? .

        this is not fantasy either. we live wiht the reality of parellel spiritual dimensions. better a child learns to think of litle fairies and knomes…then they begin to worship the compute ? which is what is happening to most mainstream schools……and you cannot eat a computer- you cannot hug- it it is a complete concept which take aways from the childs won sense of perception and real ‘learning’ .

        you can learn to type and press buttons at any age…can tyou ?

        it dones t take a genius to write a few intelligent sentences

        but leanring , books and reading and a childs sense of wonder and leanring is so priceless.

        with thanks , ms Auriel m poole-Aitougard here.

    • Auriel poole-Aitougard
      June 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

      ‘play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance’ Joseph chiltern pearce-
      The steiner schools and the steiner commmunity is one of the greatest gifts to humanity . why is this ? I will say that I have been through the waldorf curriculum for my whole entire life- from the early age of 04 yrs old at the steiner kindergarten~ along with my older sister Alana and my father Dominic Poole was a steiner teacher ( also he was ‘normal maths state school teacher for awhile before coming to the steiner school.I grew up near to stroud, south gloucestershire and my old school was called wynstones school. Granted no school on earth is ever perfect- however I will always remember my childhood with my family as a caring loving family life and a good caring education ~ where me and my fellow classmates looked forwards to meeting each other the next day for school and where we were encouraged to stimulate our natural desire for learning within this healthy environment and the gifts of my education are all around me here now ~ . It is in my patience as a full-time mother now myself of my three very special beautiful children here , it is indeed in creating a sense of wonder for new life- of appreciating our natural life round us all here ~ for example without trees and flowers we wouldnt have oxygen to breathe would we ? flowers and trees take in the carbon in the atmosphere and through a natural process they exude oxygen back out into the world ~ so that us ~ us very fortunate human beings can breathe it in,

      do not assume that steiner schools are some kind of ‘hippy ‘ school this idea is incredibly outdated if anyone who is truly interested in finding out something real ‘ knowledge about stiener schools you will see that they are incredibly ‘structured; with a rythme in the day which is both healthy for learning and for a growing child- so for example maths , and physics , geometry , eurythmy sport english language is all taught in a rythme of the day which is really healthy- we did not have ‘sats’ and we never experienced pressure’ for the exams however I have passed all of my 5 GCSE S- (of which I did the national requirements – maths, english language, french , german and drama. and I had no problems with either of them and our teachers were all very qualified and supportive .I have also completed a number of NOCN qualifiations at wynstones- covering levels 2 and 3 in singing, choir and music- and I also had private music lessons on the violin of which I am grade 5 and above- playing in a local orchestra and also in the school orchestra. my sister is grade 8 on the cello- she is the highest level and sometimes she gave concerts and taught other pupils too. and also on the recorder.I was also very good at tennis and basketball- we played nearly all the time and I was on the basketball gilrs team playing on the gloucesershire schools league with wynstones and up until I left the school- age 18yrs old
      after also completing my 2 A levels in English Literature- where I got a high B.and Fine Art- with c. and sociology B A/S level and also History of Art- A s level. Then after school I went on to complete a diploma in Art &Design at the ‘city of bath college’ and then later went on to begin my Fine Art ba degree a britol uwe- which I did not complete as I would of prefered to do a degree in scultpure which is what I was specialising for and however I will probably return to it lter on. I am also going to tod the ‘stiener kindergarten training course’ as it look scomplelty amazing here ~ and I think that any parent who is reading this will agree with me here in saying that a childs young life should be nourished and nurtured in a positive learning environment and this is what the steiner philosophy embodies here. positve leanring outcomes- all my fellow classmates are now really high- achivers in life – becuse they had the chance to explore, to learn at a healthy pace while they were growing up. my best freind is a nurse at manchester royal hospital- my sister did a degree in peace and conflict studies- fowolled by her MA in peace and conflict- she is now published her first -reserch article where she is working for -peace-direct in london and she is in the dr of congo helping to negotiate local dsputes through the peace- direct and fochi- organisation there . I have other frinds who are doctors . and I have many of my closet friends are also qulaified in Fine Art degrees now and practising thier degrees with other design compnays. also my friends from bath have also all completed thier degree and im so so proud of al of my amazing friends !. my friends also from the steiner school are really goo d friends now and they are also my special lile girls here ‘ supporting ‘ friends and god-parents for the m ~ along with some friends from college and beyond.
      Well,, i think I have said enough here ~ however one of my greatest life achivements here ~( after my daughters birth here etc !!.) is moving here to frome also ~ im so so proud to be here ~ already there is a lovely welcoming steiner community here forming and always space for some new faces there too !.:).
      ps did I mention that my father was a colleague of the head teacher of frome here .. by a wonderful coincidence of chance ~ they used to teach together in the Devon steiner school- when I was still quite young so my memory is a little vague ~ and this is the stiener community …where like minded people- meet up and something wonderful can evolve. I am very proud of my education ~ I feel sad to hear so much critism here ~ as all the stiener ex- pupils you will ever meet- and that I can assure you they will also be really mainly postive young indiviudals who are empathetic, caring, intelligent , resourceful and with a love of learning that goes beyond the classroom and out into the outseid world too.
      Rudolf steiner had given a massive gift to humanity ..and to chidlren and to parents and to teachers. dont be too quick to judge please. you should aks around…you may find that quite a larger percentage of nursers and doctor todays….were once a steiner school student.
      or they are supporting intiatives and other care-work organsitions in the world- and also architecture and science and maths- you should look at the result and talk with ex-pupils and see where they are with thier lfie and then you will truly come to understand the gift of steiner education. life is so short. and we are ‘Gods children’ ~ we are all deserving of respect and a good life- if possible and you need to see the results for this amazing doctor of science mr Rudolf stiener- ps why shouldnt these schools be free ? if there were more free stiener schools here there would be more consciously minded and moralistic young people in this world and probably also less crime. because naughty and anti-social behaviour comes from bordom. if a child feels nurtured and important and stimulated with thier learning environment then they will always try to do the best they can do- with thier whole heart and you will see the honest results here.

      the exams results and A levels were always high on the annual statistics. – most other waldorf schools across europe receive funding already and so should we . we have worked so so hard for this kind of recognition here ~ this schools are probably the future saving graces for the world here.

      I hope some of what I have said here is a little bit more enlightening here :). most steiner schools also receive a high ofsted report..have you heard otherwise ? no I dont think so. please appreciate this gift for childhood learning which I completly and fully support and will do for my whole life here. and so will my lovely daughters here also im so sure .

      kind regards,
      finally each parent has the right to choose thier own childs path for thier education and I respect this here. so then if other parents would like to send thier child to a stiener school here- then this should also be respected- and if they are trying to do something nice for thier child and to consciously invest in thier futures. so to speak. .

      finally – if you ever read this to the staff at the new steiner academy of frome ~ keep your heads held high this is an amazing achievement you have our full support always and I feel certain this school will benefit frome and the surrounding areas also with thier good caring philosophsy here.

      With thanks,
      from ms Auriel m Poole-Aitougard
      mum of three :) and wife . and trainee future steiner kindergarten teacher /or assistant here .:) thanks .

      • June 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        No, thank YOU, for a demonstration of what to expect from a Steiner education. So you’ve been immersed in Steiner education since 4 years old, and now aspire to become a Waldorf kindergarten teacher. Amazing! And as a student, I’ll bet you didn’t pick up any Anthroposophy along the way, right?

        I encourage everyone to read Auriel’s posts above, in light of the “Indoctrination” blog and see if the the shoe fits.

        • Auriel
          November 25, 2014 at 11:32 pm

          Hi Pete. I fully appreciate that stiener education may not be right, or even appeal to all parents- and as a parent myself I do truly value the choices in our childrens education which are so very important for us all. However, I actually find it more of a compliment…then an insult….or criticsm if you think that I am merely ‘copying; what I learnt as a child etc- when the Turth is my path of Higher education I went to a mainstream college in Bath- which I completly loved and respected my college tutors also. I then went on to begin my Fine Art Honours degree at Uwe. The gift -however of steiner education is actually freedom of choice ! and I have come around now- as a parent myself- and on my own pathway of learning- here to appreciate the simple life-lessons and inate philosophy of learning which is so nourishing for a child through thier whole life~ and while it may not be right for you- or others ! it is most certainly right for myself here and my creative little sweet children here , which is a choice- as thier parent- which is mine to make here and this holds a certain value. doesnt it ?, each to thier own- with best wishes from Auriel here.

          • November 26, 2014 at 5:00 am

            “The gift -however of steiner education is actually freedom of choice !”

            This is nothing but nonsense of course. Waldorf/Steiner institutions go to great lengths to disguise what they are about. They hide the fact that Anthroposophy is the basis for Waldorf education and guides teachers in everything they do. They are dishonest across the board about this. The new Steiner school in Stroud just changed its name to remove the word “Steiner”. More and more Steiner schools are doing this. How can you suggest parents might have a free “choice” when the schools themselves prevent this?

            Parents won’t have a choice until Waldorf and Steiner institutions go against Steiner’s OWN instructions, and become honest and forthcoming about the role of Anthroposophy in Waldorf education. They have Anthropsophical study groups for parents, but nothing like this for prospective parents. Their dishonesty extends to Wikipedia. If Steiner education is so great – why not tell the truth about it?

          • November 26, 2014 at 5:24 am

            Hold On, I think I misunderstood. Are you suggesting – Steiner students who have been indoctrinated into a world where intellectual thinking is frowned upon, where questions aren’t even tolerated until the older grades, where any expression of independence is discouraged, where everyone has to do the same dances, paint the same paintings, and recite the same poems in a throwback to the dark ages of education – might have more “freedom of choice” when they leave their sheltered world? Seriously, are you actually suggesting this and expecting to be taken seriously?

  2. November 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

    The program clearly had fallen for the con stories by Peter Staudenmaier, relentlessly promoted by ThetisMercurio at Twitter. For some comments on the BBC story, see http://www.thebee.se/comments/BadResearchByBBC.html

    • Andy Lewis
      November 24, 2012 at 12:59 am

      How fantastic to get a comment so early on from someone who was paid by the Steiner Waldorf Schools to ‘monitor the web’.

      • November 24, 2012 at 1:22 am

        I monitored the net many years before I – at my own suggestion – was paid to do it part time for some years by the Swedish Federation of Waldorf schools – and continue to do it after I stopped working part time for the Federation at the end of last year.

        What I do has very little to do with if someone pays to do it or not. If someone pays me some money, it’s easier to pay my bills. If nobody pays me to do it, I do what I think is important anyhow, and try to find some way to support myself independently of that specific work.

        Tough life, bit it has worked so far.

        • November 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

          “What I do has very little to do with if someone pays to do it or not.”

          Nonetheless, when they DO pay you to do something, you are representing THEM with your actions. When you bully people on the internet, you are representing SWSF… like it or not Sune. You don’t get to choose which comments are “official” and which aren’t.

  3. November 24, 2012 at 1:14 am

    On a side note, the “access to esoteric knowledge available to a privileged few” as so many stories by Peter Staudenmaier is not true.

    All books and basically all lectures by Rudolf Steiner are published, in printing, and most also on the net, either in German or in English, for free access. For the English versions, see http://www.rsarchive.org/

    For the original versions in German, see http://fvn-rs.net/

    All lectures and conferences with teachers by Rudolf Steiner on Steiner Waldorf education are I think published for free access at http://steinerbooks.org/research/archive.php#waldorf

    All his so called esoteric lectures for members of the School of Spiritual Science – http://www.goetheanum.org/791.html?L=1 – are also published, in German, and possible for anyone to buy since a number of years.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Der-Meditationsweg-Michaelschule-neunzehn-Stufen/dp/3907564790 is one of the latest editions.

    If you’re in doubt about if anything written by Peter Staudenmaier is true or not, the safest choice is not to trust him but check the sources he claims to describe for yourself.

    But then of course, that still does not safeguard you against one of the many word- and mind games he like to play on people – and he likes yo play mind- and word games. To look through them you need to know the subject he claims to describe thoroughly, or have the possibility to do some serious research yourself to be able to judge the actual truthfulness of what he writes.

    For one example, see http://www.thebee.se/comments/PS/OnPS2004Paper.html

    Good luck.

    • November 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Sune, interesting to see that the esoteric lessons are published and made available to the public by Perseus verlag. They’re not part of the ‘mainstream’ anthroposophical movement, as far as I know. When I looked this up some years ago, it was not possible to buy these lessons in German, although they were available for the ‘right kind’ of buyers via an anthroposophical publisher. Then I discovered they were put online, in full text, by a russian website. Now, of course, the lessons are impossible to stop, and the Steiner verlag, et alia, might very well start selling its own edition to anyone who wants it. This, however, is a development that has been forced upon the Anthroposophical society, the movement and its publishing companies. The development did not come about from a genuine desire for openness.

      In case anyone is interested in reading these lessons in English, Frank Thomas Smith has begun publishing his translations of them, here’s his intro, and 7 lessons are published so far:
      http://southerncrossreview.org/79/class-intro.html

      There’s nothing more ‘shocking’ in these lessons than there is in the rest of Steiner’s work.

    • Heather
      March 19, 2013 at 4:22 am

      For all those interested in word and mind games, they can read your article, “The nature and role of the heart of man”. It didn’t make sense. How did you come to the conclusion: “While the statement “the heart is not a pump” may stand out as an oversimplification of the understanding of the heart from a systems biological perspective, from an embryological perspective such a statement stands out as more true to reality than the opposite simplification “the heart is merely a pump”. And how is a “rhythmical regulatory organ” not a “pump”.

  4. November 24, 2012 at 2:36 am

    “The program clearly had fallen for the con stories by Peter Staudenmaier,”

    What does Mr. Staudenmaier have to gain by conning people about Waldorf? You, on the other hand, have lots to gain. As Andy pointed out, you’re paid to monitor the web. You do so pretending to be various personalities including young mothers… in other words, your job involves conning people into thinking you’re someone you’re not! So no you come here to claim someone else is conning people? Any reason we should believe you’re not trying to con US Sune?

    Sune, do you agree with Trevor Mepham, that Steiner didn’t believe in reincarnation? Do you believe Betty Staley never heard of Michaelmas?

    When the truth comes out to play, Sune Nordwall runs away.

    Another great article Andy. Finally, (hopefully) we’ve reached critical mass and more reports like these will begin appearing in the news.

    • Ted Wrinch
      November 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      No so much ‘conning’, I’d say, as deceiving through bias, lack of balance and an underlying political agenda that opposes the three folding social program of anthroposophy (though I have seen him lie online too). He is a member of the Institute for Social Ecology and, though other members don’t necessarily share his ‘staunch anti-anthropososphy’ stance, his most famous polemical articles, and the associated comments, are published under their aegis.

      • Ted Wrinch
        November 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        This was in response to:

        “”What does Mr. Staudenmaier have to gain by conning people about Waldorf?””

      • Andy Lewis
        November 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        There is a massive difference between academic criticism and appraisal and taking a “staunch anti-anthroposophical stance”. In my experience, those trapped in irrational beliefs see all external appraisal as an attack. Professor Staudenmaier is a historian who merely puts anthroposophy in its social and historical context and discusses aspects of the cult that the cultists would prefer he did not talk about, such as their racism, links with Nazi germany and occult beliefs.

        And it is of course imperitive for the Steinerists to try to discredit him by calling him a liar and a poor researcher at all times. The problem, what he writes is easily verifiable.

        • Ted Wrinch
          November 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

          “There is a massive difference between academic criticism and appraisal and taking a “staunch anti-anthroposophical stance”.”

          Since you appear to be animated by this, I’ll respond. You missed the point here in the same way Melanie did, perhaps because you both belong to the same group of ‘rationalist-sceptical-humanists ‘(can we call it a ‘cult’)? If you look back to the sex thread you’ll find my answer (though, somehow, I don’t think you’re really interested). Briefly, the term in quotes is from another academic, with a more neutral perspective than Staudenmaier, who has also made a study of the ‘Steinerist cult’ in Nazi Germany. You appear to be suffering from some of the same sense of ‘attack’ you accuse others of labouring under, but this time when your own favourite comes under ‘external appraisal’.

          “Professor Staudenmaier is a historian who merely puts anthroposophy in its social and historical context…”

          Perhaps the view from your cult?

        • Ted Wrinch
          November 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

          Just want to point out that I have responded to this, and it has gone to moderation. My last comment went there too…and never came out, so who knows what may happen this time. It appears that the anti-spam algorithm is working on comment length – perhaps that could be upped slightly?

          • November 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

            Ted, thank you for keeping track of your comments for us. I, for one, sit in great anticipation of each of your comments and when I don’t see them appear immediately, I become worried. Perhaps you could post a graph or table describing when you submitted each of your comments and when they actually showed up on the blog, so we can get a better feel for how this anti-spam filter conspiracy works.

        • Ted Wrinch
          November 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

          Briefly, the term in quotes is from another academic, with a more neutral perspective than Staudenmaier, who has also made a study of the ‘Steinerist cult’ in Nazi Germany. You appear to be suffering from some of the same sense of ‘attack’ you accuse others of labouring under, but this time when your own favourite comes under ‘external appraisal’.

        • November 27, 2012 at 2:09 am

          That’s what I did 12 years ago and what made me completely lose confidence in anything he has written after that, until I have checked myself what the source tells that he claims to describe, down to the last comma.

          Just one of the many examples of his “scholarship” at the time, before he started his PhD studies, yet liked to play “historical scholar”:

          http://thebee.se/comments/PS/Steiner-on-Heinrich-von-Treitschke.htm

        • Amanda
          November 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

          How do you explain that the first schools which were closed under nazi domination were Steiner Waldorf schools, if they shared the same point of vew?
          And what shows you their racism in facts? I never heard that teachers in Steiner Waldorf schools make any difference between their students, neither between teachers themselves who can be black, brown, red, white….?

          • Andy Lewis
            November 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

            Amanda – not true. Steiner schools survived for quite a while in Nazi Germany. In the end they succumbed after Hess fled, and all competing ideologies to Nazisim were suppressed.

            Anthroposopists might claim that they treat all children the same – all are treated according to the pedagogy of anthroposophy – but anthroposophy is inherently racist. Steiner schools will still teach black kids – but Steiner’s views on non-Aryan people were disgusting. Steiner’s work is riddled with abhorrent racism. The Netherlands had to hold an inquiry into racism in Steiner Schools.

            It is time that the Steiner School movement faced up to this. Was open about and did not try to hide behind untruths and misdirection. Steiner schools may declare they are not racist, but until they are open about the full extend of anthroposophical racism and denounce it completely, we must assume that such views are still acceptable within the anthroposophical community.

            Amanda – do you have any association with Steiner Schools or any other anthroposophical organisation?

          • Amanda
            November 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

            I just live close to a Steiner Waldorf school and many friends of mine have their children in this school. It’s very nice people, and the teachers too. I know some parents are in anthroposophy movement, but it’s a minority.
            Moreover, i studied some of Rudolf Steiner’s conferences, and from what i know, he offently describe the human being with the trilogy: thinking, feeling and willing. Without any superiority of one of this three parts. The fact that he said black people are more linked to willing, the yellow one to feeling, and the white to thinking might not means a superiority of one of this three people.
            I don’t say i agree with that, i just try to understand Steiner’s speech in the right way.

          • Andy Lewis
            November 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm

            That is a classic admission of the racism at the heart of Steiner’s views. That you can even begin to classify people according to their skin colour in behavioural terms is deeply racist. Racism is not just about hatred and violence. It is often mostly about ignorance and paternalism. Such views need to be unequivocally rejected, not excused or explained away.

            Remember, Steiner teachers are taught to assign tasks to children based in a classification given to them – which may include their racial characteristics. Do you not see the deeply troubling aspect of this? That these beliefs may be held by ‘very nice people’ makes no difference. It should be condemned.

        • Heather
          March 19, 2013 at 4:35 am

          Well said.

      • November 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

        “No so much ‘conning’, I’d say”

        Did you read http://thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html ?

    • Auriel
      November 26, 2014 at 12:04 am

      hi pete Steiner wrote quite a few and successfully published books and held lectures in the early 1900’s on the concept of reincarnation-. This concept is in line and in agreement with christianity , there is life after death ? This we can all agree on ,if we would like to identify ourselfs as a True christian follower. The idea -however of reincarnation- similar to Buddhism-and Buddhism is a deriritive form of christian philosophy- is that the each human soul will go on a journey after death- that death is not the end of our life -it can also hold the possibility for a new life after death~with a new life- form also ~ therefore it also holds the special and more moralistic value that everything you do here- now in this present life will perhaps have an effect on your afterlife~. Therefore- if we conduct ourselfs in a way which is respectful and kind to other people- and to respect and to fear God then this is the path way and the soul-preparation for your souls next journey on.Rudolf Stiener was a doctor of philosophy and a ‘seer’ so I think it very possible that as many of his theories have been proven correct time and time again- through the anthroposophical understanding there then~ (Anthroposophy is a greek term for philosophy of the human spirit’.~
      or wisedom~ for the human spirit- my own daughter here is called ‘sophia may ‘:) and sophia means wisedom in Greek also, such a beautiful name too. Do you believe in reincarantion Pete ? It is perhaps , quite a personal debate this one here and about belief systems however I think there really is truth in this and so too in the Bible. Take care ;)

      • November 26, 2014 at 4:41 am

        There is nothing about reincarnation in Christianity. You die and you wait for Christ to come back and save your soul. You don’t reincarnate. So right off the bat, your “truth” is all mixed up, isn’t it? Rudolf Steiner’s ideas are in complete opposition to Christianity. I’m curious – is it Steiner you haven’t read, or the Bible?

  5. Hollywood Tomfortas
    November 24, 2012 at 2:55 am

    First I’d like to thank whoever put the video up on YouTube for us in the USA since we were prevented from watching it on the BBC site.

    Andy,

    I have two follow up assignments for the BBC reporter. Both come out of a 19 second segment in the middle.

    Please start at the 4:59 mark and end at the 5:18 mark. For those 19 seconds, we see onscreen a mysterious diagram of 3 human figures with the labels in German because it comes from a book of lectures by Steiner that he made in Dornach, Switzerland in 1923. Here you may view that same diagram, still in German.
    http://tinyurl.com/ynw9vd
    I will later provide the translation, but first I want to inform you that the German lecture
    being shown to the BBC reporter as an exemplar of Steiner’s racism, was completely bowdlerized, absolutely deleted with no explanation from the English edition of the lecture cycle by the publishers, Rudolf Steiner Press located at that time, 1999, in London, now relocated to Forest Row.

    In the original German lecture cycle, there are 13 lectures, but there are only 12 in the English edition published by RS Press in the UK called “From Limestone to Lucifer”
    http://www.rudolfsteinerpress.com/pages/viewbook.php?isbn_in=9781855840973

    I have nicknamed this lecture the FCL which stands for “Forbidden Colored lecture” because its publication in English was forbidden by the RS Press.

    Assignment #1: Samantha can visit the editorial offices of the RS Press in Forest Row show them the exact German lecture that we see in this video, and ask the editors there why they forbade its publication in English.

    Assignment #2: Re-visit Mr. Mepham at the school and ask him why he thinks the RS Press forbade the publication of this lecture in English.

    The title of the lecture in English is “Color and the Human Races” and it consists of Rudolf Steiner’s decription of the spiritual qualities of the 5 basic races of human beings as differentiated by these colors: white, black, yellow, brown, red.

    There is much to unpack and put on display here. For this comment let me conclude with the translation of the German labels in that diagram I linked to above.

    (I’m not sure how well my attempt at ASCII design and spacing using hyphens will emerge here, but even if the text wraps around, you should be able to follow which label belongs with which figure.)

    Tom Mellett
    Los Angeles, CA, USA

    ==========================================

    NEGRO FIGURE———ASIAN FIGURE———CAUCASIAN FIGURE

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hind-Brain—————Mid-Brain————Fore-Brain

    ——————————————–Thinking Life

    ————————Feeling Life

    Instinctual Life
    (or Willing Life)

    Black———————Yellow——————White

    Copper-Red—————Brown

  6. Hollywood Tomfortas
    November 24, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Roger Rawlings has on his Waldorf Watch website the only extant full English translation of what I have termed the “Forbidden Colored Lecture” of March 3, 1923 that was deleted in its entirety by the editorial board of the Rudolf Steiner Press in London with no explanation given.
    https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/forbidden

  7. Hollywood Tomfortas
    November 24, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Andy,

    What I’d like to do now is explain the 3 figures in the diagram.
    See sketch here: http://tinyurl.com/ynw9vd

    =================================

    NEGRO ———ASIAN ———CAUCASIAN

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hind-Brain——Mid-Brain———-Fore-Brain

    ——————————–Thinking Life

    —————Feeling Life

    Instinctual Life
    (or Willing Life)

    Black————-Yellow————–White

    Copper-Red——-Brown

    ===================================

    The figure on the far right is the representative of the European Caucasian race. Let me go through the German labels on that figure

    Vorderhirn translates literally as “Forebrain,” but more commonly it’s “frontal lobe.”
    In the Caucasian, then, the focus on the greater development of this area of the brain facilitates the Caucasian’s superior thinking process as well as executive leadership function.

    Notice the word sticking out of the Caucasian’s nose: Denkleben. This means “thinking life” or “life of thinking,” which in the Caucasian is emphasized by the development of these frontal lobes.

    Then you see the word weiß = weiss which means “white.”

    Now it is very important to understand that the white space you see below the neck of the Caucasian is NOT , I repeat it is NOT a representation of the outer skin color of white. No, these diagrams are like X-rays of the figures. They are meant to represent internal processes.

    Now let me translate the labels on the Negro figure at the far left.
    Hinterhirn means literally “hind-brain,” more formally called “cerebellum,” more medically called “metencephalon,” but more colloquially called the “lizard brain” or “reptile brain.” Steiner also includes the medulla oblongata and the entire spinal cord as the foundation for the dominance of the rear brain development in the Negro.

    Triebleben means “instinctual life” or “life of instincts” or “life of drives.”
    Schwarz is black
    Kupferrot means “copper red” and indicates the color of the skin of the American Indians (redskins) which I’ll get to later.

    Now because white reflects and black absorbs, then the white space inside the Caucasian organism shows that his white skin has reflected most of the light and warmth coming from the sun, whereas in the Negro figure, his black skin has absorbed a lot more light and heat from the sun, which then “simmers” or “cooks” inside the Negro metabolism, leading the Negro to live more in his instinctual and libidinal life, ruled by his lizard brain, which tends to supersede the executive function of his frontal cortex.

    In the middle we find the Asian figure.
    Mittelhirn means “middle brain” or “mid-brain,” medically: “mesencephalon”
    Gefühlsleben means “feeling life” or “emotional life”
    Gelb is yellow
    Braun is brown.

    As for the red and brown, those colors arise from the black and yellow races, respectively, migrating to places where climate conditions start deteriorating the original pristine skin color.

    Thus when Negroes migrated from Africa to the West and came to the Americas, the colder conditions there made the black skin devolve into the copper-red color of the Amerindians. Similarly the noble yellow skin color was characteristic of the Mongols, the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc., but when some of these yellow people moved south in Asia, to become Hindus in India, Malays, Vietnamese, etc. then their yellow skin color degenerated to brown.

    There’s a lot more in this lecture, including the reason that Negroes have a “sly, shifty-eyed gaze,” but I’ll save that for a future comment.

    Tom

  8. November 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

    How interesting that you don’t publish a comment I made before Tom, demonstrating how untrue the description by Peter Staudenmaier of anthroposophy is, that you quote with: “Let us remember what anthroposophy is: “spiritual advancement through karma and reincarnation, supplemented by the access to esoteric knowledge available to a privileged few.””.

    For a few moments in between, I have actually thought that you were at least somewhat serious. Until you do, I consider myself disproven.

    • November 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      P1: Unless you publish every comment of mine, you are not serious
      P2: You have not published every comment of mine
      C: Therefore you are not serious.

      Yeah, got it.

      *rolls eyes*

  9. November 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Once again, I think your analysis is a little crude at times.

    You write:
    ‘Steiner Schools are keen to obfuscate their anthroposophical aims. The Frome Steiner School says on its web site, “The school, however, will neither promote nor teach the wider philosophy which is known as “anthroposophy.”’

    If they _did_ promote anthroposophy then you would probably accuse them of indoctrination. They are saying they don’t. If you have evidence that they do then you should cite it. It is impossible for a teacher not to have a belief system (even if they are humanist), but a good teacher should encourage students to see all sides of a question. That is the question at issue.

    (For what it’s worth, I am not an anthroposophist and I find the views on race attributed to them by Tom above utterly ludicrous and repugnant. I have degrees in physiology and medicine.)

    • Andy Lewis
      November 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

      We can all at least agree that schools do not explicitly teach anthroposophy. But this is an answer to a question that is not being asked. The charge is that Steiner schools teach according to anthroposophic principles. To this question, schools almost universally misdirect by answering a question that was never asked.

  10. November 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

    In a space of under a minute the head dismissed anthroposophy as being just the term for the teachings of Steiner, then said that the school was committed to the principles of Steiner, and then said that school does not teach anthroposophy.

    Unfortunately the tensions between Steiner principles and the National Curriculum were not addressed. Steiner principles do not allow the teaching of reading or mathematics before the age of six, and do not introduce computers at all until secondary school. As a former governor of a primary school, I know that this would have failed OFSTED. DFES tell me that the school is being inspected by OFSTED but you say otherwise, do you have proof that they will be using an alternative to OFSTED? If they are then the Minster has lied to my MP and to me.

  11. November 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “If they _did_ promote anthroposophy then you would probably accuse them of indoctrination. They are saying they don’t. If you have evidence that they do then you should cite it.”

    The evidence is abundant. My website is filled with complaints from parents who discovered Anthroposophy being taught to their children, not as a “subject” of course, but as a “method”. Do you have evidence (other than they say so) that they *don’t* teach Anthroposophy – something all teachers are required to study? Waldorf schools are LYING about not teaching Anthroposophy. What else is new?

  12. Ted Wrinch
    November 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Interesting, Pete: your comment has no ‘reply’ button by it; maybe it’s in moderation? Mine’s still sitting in the same – can you see it? Anyway, Andy said comments don’t all go through straight away, to prevent spam  (the conspiracy angle and sarcasm are all yours, however).

    • November 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Really? You don’t remember writing this: “I suspected as much: my mini-conspiracy theory had already been overthrown when my short post ‘randomly’ leapfrogged my longer post, that was being held in moderation. ”

      Sounds like you’re the one who brought up the conspiracy angle on another thread, Ted. Or do you reincarnate with every thread?

      • Ted Wrinch
        November 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

        That was irony, Pete (something you don’t seem to understand as well as sarcasm; here’s the difference: irony is not intended to hurt the recipient). It was in response to Andy’s:

        “Ted – I have moderation rules intended to catch spam and other issues early. There will be plenty of false positives – the filters have to deal with hundreds and thousands of spam attacks per week.”

        and I was laughing at my own earlier confusion. Why are you taking a position on this anyway?

    • Andy Lewis
      November 25, 2012 at 1:08 am

      Can we stick to the subject of the blog post rather than conspiracies about how comments work on this site. There is a limit to the level of nesting allowed. You have been on the web before, no?

      • Ted Wrinch
        November 25, 2012 at 1:34 am

        [edited: posts comments are for discussing my post. No other reason.]

  13. Badly Shaved Monkey
    November 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Having watched that YouTube clip, I hypothesise that the GROLIES fraction of the Steiner school parent population approaches unity.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3159813.stm

    • Hollywood Tomfortas
      November 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Good one, BSM, but I have it on clairvoyant authority that your karmically allotted cadre of gnomes all consider you to be “pumpkin positive” and howl in laughter at your vacuity.

      • Ted Wrinch
        November 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

        :)

  14. Andy Lewis
    November 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    OK. New rules. I am rather fed up with pro Steiner supporters and others merely wishing to link to other sites designed to attack individuals, defame them or try to discredit them.

    So, from now on, these people are still free to comment on this post and others, but will not be allowed to link to sites used to attack individuals. In addition, their comments will be limited to two paragraphs. If you have a point that takes more than this, then publication will be at my discretion.

    I would much prefer it if these comments were used to be constructive, critical, funny or insightful. I see little of that from some quarters.

  15. November 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    The German Waldorf Schools were prohibited from taking on new students in March 1936. Hess only fled Germany in 1941.

    For a description of the situation in Holland that you mention, see http://www.thebee.se/comments/Holland/

  16. November 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I don’t quite think you do the situation for the Waldorf schools in Holland justice either in your description:

    http://www.thebee.se/comments/Holland/

    • November 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      I’m glad you mentioned Holland. The story of the van Baarda report takes an interesting twist that you (and most other Anthroposophical commentators) neglect to mention.

      Soon after it was published, the magazine De Groene Amsterdammer published a commentary focussing on the 16 most serious and discriminatory of Steiner’s references to race as listed in the van Baarda report. The magazine, unsurprisingly, came to the opposite conclusion from van Baarda. The Dutch Anthroposophical Society took offense at this “selective indignation” and sued De Groene Amsterdammer. The Anthroposophists lost the case.

      • November 28, 2012 at 12:14 am

        Anthroposophists learn to understand that suing is not the solution. (For those who don’t know this yet, anthroposophists are currently suing a former student, teacher and fellow anthroposophist in France. This for expressing his views on the movement and talking about his experiences within it.)

        Interestingly, the court case you refer to, Mark H, is never mentioned by anthroposophists.

    • Hollywood Tomfortas
      November 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

      Sune,

      The Dutch commission was commissioned by the Anthroposophical Society in Holland so there’s an obvious conflict of interest. Of course they would find Steiner not to be discriminatory on the basis of race. And the admission of the 16 quotes was necessary for them to avoid prosecution under Dutch law prohibiting racial discrimination. Hence they were “covering their asses” legally.

      But what they failed to acknowledge is the extent to which Steiner was espousing racism without it necessarily being racial discrimination. There’s a big difference and I am going to quote what Professor Peter Staudenmaier had to say about the commission in two excerpts from the WC list.

      Excerpt from 2009:

      The Dutch Commission report does not pursue a historical examination, and instead assesses Steiner’s racial statements (some of them, anyway; they entirely skip over quite a few others) according to Dutch discrimination law as it existed in the 1990s. From a historical perspective, this makes no sense whatsoever. For our current purposes, it doesn’t provide a standard of racist ideas, but instead applies a legal standard for discrimination.

      Excerpt from 2008:

      Even when a commission of committed anthroposophists, not in Germany but in the Netherlands, not just last month but a decade ago, examined a relatively small cross-section of Steiner’s published statements on race, and assessed them not according to historically meaningful criteria but according to current legal standards, they came to the conclusion that 16 of these statements would be cause for prosecution if uttered today.

      Aside from the 67 further statements from Steiner concerning race that the commission dubbed potentially misunderstandable, and the 79 additional passages that they considered unobjectionable, there are many Steiner passages that do not appear in the Dutch report at all.

      For example, the published version of the report does not contain any of Steiner’s statements about Jews, or any of his teachings about root-races, or the passages about the coming violent struggle between white mankind and colored humankind, and so forth.

      In other words, even the most ambitious anthroposophist undertaking to date, in attempting to come to terms with Steiner’s racial teachings, is conspicuously incomplete and in bad need of critical re-appraisal.

  17. November 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Sorry, I intended to post a comment on the situation for Waldorf in Germany during Nazi times, but by mistake (again) posted one on the situation in Holland instead.

    http://waldorfanswers.org/AnthroposophyDuringNaziTimes.htm

    • Melanie Byng
      November 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Sune Nordwall/Thebee – why have you changed the name you’re commenting under in the middle of this comment thread?

      • Melanie Byng
        November 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

        Peter Staudenmaier (the much mentioned historian of modern European history) comments on the BBC Steiner report:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/25414

        I trust he won’t mind if I highlight this observation:

        “Some of the more insightful comments in the BBC report, in my view, came from Daisy Powell. […] One of her prominent remarks, however, is significantly mistaken. Referring to Steiner’s racial doctrines, Daisy said: “there is a fraction of his work that could be construed as promoting the idea of a kind of hierarchical evolution through the races.” This is not merely a fraction of Steiner’s work. It is a central strand in his teachings, and it runs throughout dozens of his published texts and lectures. It is one of the core ideas around which Steiner’s conception of spiritual advancement is built. It is crucial to his theory of reincarnation in successively higher forms, to his overarching framework of cosmic evolution, and to his essential contrast between spiritually progressing and spiritually stagnating souls.”

  18. Janet
    January 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Did you know that the Queen uses homeopathy. There are many false remedies on line. Just because you can buy them on line it does not mean that they are suitable. As a visit to a doctor is important to main stream medicine so a visit to a Homeopath is important to homeopathic medicine.

    • January 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Janet said:

      Did you know that the Queen uses homeopathy.

      There are certainly rumours to that effect, but did you know that her husband was taken to hospital to receive proper treatment for a bladder infection some months ago?

      There are many false remedies on line.

      They are all false.

      Just because you can buy them on line it does not mean that they are suitable.

      Very true. Same applies to articles on homeopathy: there are many extolling the virtues of sugar pills, but homeopathy isn’t a suitable treatment for any condition.

      As a visit to a doctor is important to main stream medicine so a visit to a Homeopath is important to homeopathic medicine.

      A visit to a doctor is certainly essential to get medical advice, but a visit to a homeopath is only important to a homeopath.

  19. Strangestfruit
    February 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    My children go to a fantastic Steiner school in Australia. My daughters best friend is black and is adored by their teacher, she is the most talented and clever child I have ever met, able to turn her hand to anything. Anthroposphists are a strange breed but honestly, I am grateful everyday that my children spend at their school. They are becoming the most amazing individuals…and yes they begin each day with a “verse” much like the Catholic schools encourage their “prayers” I imagine…

    • February 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      “My children go to a fantastic Steiner school in Australia.”

      Really, which one? I’ve heard there are serious problems with every single Waldorf school in Australia – so this comes as a blessing. Which Australian Waldorf school is “fantastic”? Seriously, if they’re doing such a great job, we should highlight what they’re doing right here.

    • Heather
      March 19, 2013 at 1:17 am

      “Anthroposphists are a strange breed but honestly, I’m grateful everyday that my children spend at their school.”

      What do you think is strange? What is your hope for your children?

  20. February 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    “My daughters best friend is black and is adored by their teacher”

    What possible difference could this make? Do you know how the teacher thinks? Do you think Waldorf teachers should hate black children? Do you think that’s what critics think? The teacher may “adore” the black child, but the teacher has been trained to interact differently with the black child than the white child. The teacher has been trained that the black child is less spiritually developed than the white child – as evidenced by the color of her skin. Adoration doesn’t mean the teacher thinks of the two children equality. People “adore” their pets too.

    • strangestfruit
      February 7, 2013 at 2:43 am

      I worked for an Anthroposophical Mental Health Service here in Sydney (I am NOT an Anthropop myself) and I can assure you that at no time did the colour of individuals skin come into our conversations about how “spiritually developed” they were. Spiritual awareness is seen to be very individual and you can have many individuals with white skin whom are less spiritually developed than that of other races. Many believe the Nazi’s actually poisoned Rudolf Steiner by the way.

      Anthroposophy essentially means “human wisdom” and believes we all bring important lessons and certain wisdom to humanity. Just because some individuals perceive “white” man as better than other wisdom only goes to highlight the fact that he is perhaps more arrogant than other races and therefore probably not more highly developed. I don’t believe Steiner truly thought himself “better” than other races, just “different.”

      In response to the gentleman who asked which school, I can only speak for my own experience and I appreciate the education my children are receiving from Lorien Novalis in Glenhaven, NSW. Do I find aspects of the Steiner system frustrating, yes. Do I find aspects of our School frustrating, yes. Sadly, I have heard it said that there isn’t a Steiner school worldwide which could truly say they are offering a pure “Steiner education” at this point in time but I can say I do believe Lorien is doing their best. I hope this helps.

      • Andy Lewis
        February 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

        You display precisely the questionable thinking about race that people like me are concerned about. And you are obviously unable to see it.

      • February 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        “Many believe the Nazi’s actually poisoned Rudolf Steiner by the way.”

        You mean the time he ordered up pitcher after pitcher of milk to help counter-act the poison? LMAO! Yes, many Anthroposophists like to spread that story. The Nazi party, in its infancy at the time, didn’t care about Steiner in the least. Did you know that it’s equally suspected that Anthroposophists tried to poison him?

        “Just because some individuals perceive “white” man as better than other wisdom”

        What an odd thing to say. Who told you that?

  21. Steve
    March 23, 2013 at 2:19 am

    A report by the BBC, which is now far worse than Russia ever was in terms of its propaganda during the Communist era. It villifies certain nations daily; it gives crude reports on science which omit the painful and ethically dubious facts.

    Did any reports outline the horrendous racism in the primary schools and secondary schools of England during the 1980s, racism which still persists today to a horrendous degree, for instance, in North East England? Remember that Steiner was decades before this.
    Nobody ever questions the pseudo-science which is taught in schools and universities across the globe, where children are taught in science, “Well, it is not quite like this, but you will learn more about that later” (the tomorrow which never comes).

    Reincarnation is always spoken of as a crackpot belief by BBC, even though millions of people profess to it (from Glenn Hoddle to the current scandal, the BBC never avoids the chance to belittle this core religous belief). Aspects like evolution and the big bang are touted as uncritical facts, even though this week’s BBC report featured a grudging admittance that they might find data from *before* the big bang, and despite the many conflicting facts related to evolutionary theory, and even fabricated evolutionary data of previous generations, used to hold up something that they must believe religiously. Shows are fronted by crude pseudo-scientists such as Brian Cox.

    The schools want to teach people what to think, even though people should have a real critical factor of thought (this is something outlined by Professor Stephen Heppell as a huge failure in contemporary schools). Are we really advised to turn to BBC Look North – the most patronising and naive programme on television.
    Individuals comment in ways, for example, which centre on beliefs that only their view of Jesus and the world should be imposed on people. I have seen the same accusations of racism levelled at Theosophy’s Aryanism, which is radically different to Hitler’s notions of Aryanism – bear in mind that Nazism saw Steiner’s school as an ostensible threat.

    As someone who has experienced the educational system in the UK fully, I can tell you that it is a breeding ground for brutish people, it hampers creative thought, breeding the type of people who abuse the fragile in care homes, who watch television and think that it is ok to cause devastation to Middle Eastern countries in the name of “freedom”, never questioning what they watch, even when it is leaked that news footage has been taken from video games.

    Did anyone stop to consider that to teach children fact after fact parrot fashion, has nothing to do with learning. That to teach children highbrow anthroposophical information is not useful, and that is why Steiner schools concentrate their attention in other areas?

    As a product of the BBC propaganda machine and the UK education system, I can tell you that in no way would I allow my children to be subject to the torture of that system, and whilst I disagree with many things Steiner may have said, I can see that the Waldorf system is far more conducive to creating humane people who can think creatively and innovatively about the almost insurmountable problems of the environment (such as those regarding the new nuclear power station which the BBC likes to sweep under the carpet as, I suppose, “crackpot concerns”).

    How can someone say, for instance, that “homeopathy isn’t a suitable treatment for any condition.” This same black-or-white thinking that has marked East against West, West against the Middle East, science against religion, etc, etc. Are people aware that pharmaceutical companies cannot use simple remedies because they would have a problem during patenting? The ignorance of this country, and the list of things that people would rather sweep under the carpet, which grow daily, never ceases to amaze me.

    • March 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      ‘That to teach children highbrow anthroposophical information is not useful, and that is why Steiner schools concentrate their attention in other areas?’

      Exactly. There are more efficient ways to open children up to certain ways of thinking, feeling and perceiving the world and man than to teach them directly what to believe in a crude fashion. This is especially if your work concerns their immortal spirits and when what you manage to instill in them will affect not just this life but those to come.

  22. Badly Shaved Monkey
    March 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Steve

    “whilst I disagree with many things Steiner may have said”. On what basis do you cherry-pick the things you do agree with? How do Steiner schools perform that same task? How do we know they have done so?

    Specify some “highbrow anthroposophical information” which is useful. Is it the gnomes? Give us an example.

    “How can someone say, for instance, that “homeopathy isn’t a suitable treatment for any condition.” This same black-or-white thinking that has marked East against West, West against the Middle East, science against religion, etc, etc”

    1. Easily. Do you have evidence that homeopathy can treat any condition?
    2. This has nothing to do with East vs West. Hahnemann was a German.

    “Aspects like evolution and the big bang are touted as uncritical facts, even though this week’s BBC report featured a grudging admittance that they might find data from *before* the big bang”

    Grudging admittance? Argument from personal incredulity does not carry much weight. Pick up a popular account of modern cosmology and read it. Ideas about the “pre-“Big Bang universe is an active and exciting area of investigation. I’ll be interested to hear your alternative theory of cosmogenesis and your specific proposal that presents an explanation of speciation without the process of evolution.

  23. teve
    March 24, 2013 at 12:36 am

    It’s quite clear from your response that you haven’t actually read my omments properly. My post is not about homeopathy. It’s very easy to list a bunch of (cherry picked) reactive comments to a post without bothering to consider or take any of it in. It does not matter where Hahneman was from, that bears no relationship whatsoever to my comments. There are plenty of studies and tests with positive results relating to homeopathy, though I am not an advocate of homeopathy. Again, all of these comments are irrelevant, and show no comprehension of what I have written.
    The comment about “personal incredulity” does not make any sense, as it was the BBC who reported in an incredulous manner.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      March 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

      teve

      “It’s very easy to list a bunch of (cherry picked) reactive comments to a post without bothering to consider or take any of it in”

      It shouldn’t be.

      You have responded to none of the questions I gave you about Steinerism. Here they are again. In bold.

      On what basis do you cherry-pick the things you do agree with? How do Steiner schools perform that same task? How do we know they have done so?

      Specify some “highbrow anthroposophical information” which is useful. Is it the gnomes? Give us an example.

      You’ve already said that you don’t agree with all of Steiner’s views, so the first questions should be really easy for you. I’m fascinated that you have chosen not to answer.

      You, not me, not anyone else, introduced the subject of homeopathy in the context of some kind of East-West philosophical contrast that you wanted to make. Hahnemann’s nationality is quite relevant when criticising that.

      “There are plenty of studies and tests with positive results relating to homeopathy, ”

      Cite some. Let’s examine them. Name one condition for which homeopathy is an effective treatment.

      I’ll let my comment about your argument from personal incredulity stand. I suspect other readers got the point even if you did not.

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