Top Posts

Some of the most interesting or important topics have become less easily accessible because they have slipped off the “recent posts” list.

So here are some of the most read or most commented on posts, and also some that are the most useful.

Laying one’s karmic foundation in one incarnation for the next

A Handbook for Waldorf class teachers unavailable from publishers

Not in so many words

Large headed and small headed children

Inherent racism in Steiner

The Purpose of Autism

My Life among the anthroposophists

How did Steiner schools get state-funding?

Steiner – not compatible with New Zealand’s Education system

Anthroposophical Medicine – Mistletoe, anyone?

A brief encounter with Steiner Education by (MarkH)

Hang a sign on the door

Denying Anthroposophy

What’s the Harm

Habits of the anthroposophists

Steiner Doublespeak

Advent Spiral

A familiar mantra

BHA Evidence for select committee

 

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21 comments

  1. we escaped!

    We removed our child from a steiner school due to the true facts being made clear to us. These institutions are dangerous, damaging and unregulated. Not only that, they lie and and mislead unsuspecting parents, that put their trust in the hands of the school and take them on their word, its so unfortunate that we weren’t aware of such campaigns and survivor groups prior to us enrolling our child into this institution. These places are very clever and manage to dodge bullets and jump through the loop holes. I would not wish our experience on our worst enemies. They are nothing more than a money making cult.
    I wish you luck in your campaign, you need to get this message out to more people, unfortunately your messages only impacts those that have been so badly effected by these institutions, the message needs to go to prospective parents.
    I speak from true experience and I can tell you that all of the what I have read regarding awful experiences are factual and true, because it happened to us. Pro steiner folks will always protest this of course, however we know the truth and believe its only a matter of time until they are found out for what they truly are -its just such pity that children and their families have to suffer in the meantime.
    Steiner institutions should be open and honest and they aren’t, they struggle to answer straight forward questions because they have things to hide. We were stupid enough to pay them to damage our child and cause our family such heartache and distress. If we had understood the truth and nature of anthroposophy we would have run a mile.

    • Helen

      “….because it happened to us”.
      I am very sorry to hear that your family has fallen victim to Steiner, and I appreciate your support for this site.
      Obviously there is a limit to what individuals can or want to say, which does make it harder to communicate the nature of the problems effectively to those who need to know. Your contribution will help.
      Don’t feel stupid – it is a trap many fall into, and none of the victims are stupid. As has been pointed out before, “You don’t expect a school to lie”.
      ” The message needs to go to prospective parents” – indeed, and I hope we are reaching some of them. At least if parents have doubts, they should know about where to look for more information.
      The local press has been an effective means of publicity in our case (the Stroud free school), and those who have not followed Steiner school and kindergarten advice and banned the internet may find their way here or to other critical sites. let’s hope so, and the more the issue is discussed the more facts will emerge.

    • We Believed the Hype

      It needs to be made clear that the “recruitment” process through which parents are enticed to enrol their children at Steiner schools is one of deception and concealment. If, like many parents, you have doubts about the rigidity of the state system it is easy to be drawn into the apparently gentler, child-centred, approach presented by first contact with these schools. But, be in no doubt, “first contact” is an appropriate phrase, you and your children will be entering an alien world.

      During our experience of Steiner education Karma was used to justify and defend bullying in the classroom and playground. Children were taught that mythical figures such as goblins existed. They recited and sang mystical songs for long periods as part of their lessons. It is a mantra of these schools that Anthroposophy is not taught to pupils. In a formal sense this may be true – it does not need to be taught explicitly, the whole structure and content of the teaching is infused with anthroposophical dogma.

      There is also a clear distinction between parents who, either because of their being educated in Steiner schools or having bought into the whole anthroposophical framework, do not question the activities of the school and those newcomers who have chosen Steiner education based on a misguided belief that it offers are better alternative to state provision. The “anthro” parents, together with the school staff, can form a powerful block to questioning the practices of a Steiner school. The willingness to form an unhealthy protective wall around Steiner schools by such groups is positively cult-like in its desire to isolate those who have concerns.

      There is no doubt that experience of Steiner schools can do genuine damage to a wide range of children. Not only does their experiences in the school fill them with unjustified and unfounded beliefs it also means that they are ill-equipped to move to a more normal school environment. Their literacy will be restricted and their expectations of acceptable behaviour will have been distorted.

      We were taken in by our early experience of Steiner- don’t be fooled as we were.

      • Helen

        Hi, “We believed”, and thank you for your valuable testimony. Each time we hear from a family with such an experience it helps to prevent this happening again. We read comments sometimes from people brought up in anthroposophy and clearly Steiner education is just the ticket for them; not so for those expecting just a more gentle, so-called “child centred” education as you did.
        I do not think the schools would survive if they were just run for anthroposophical families, so they need to recruit “outsiders” and there seems to be a conspiracy of silence and denial about the way anthroposophy is used in the schools, in order to attract these recruits.
        The idea of karma to justify bullying sounds preposterous to anyone who doesn’t know about anthroposophy, especially given the way representatives of the movement are wheeled out to say “of course it doesn’t happen” (as in Newsnight on Thursday) But time and again we hear about it happening; not 100 years ago in Steiner’s time, but right now.

  2. Husq Jons

    Hi there!

    Quote: I wish you luck in your campaign, you need to get this message out to more people, unfortunately your messages only impacts those that have been so badly effected by these institutions, the message needs to go to prospective parents
    . We were stupid enough to pay them to damage our child and cause our family such heartache and distress. If we had understood the truth and nature of anthroposophy we would have run a mile.

    So why don’t you get your own message out instead of relying on this blog? If you feel that your family has been damaged then do something about it. If it was me I would have told the school, which you don’t name, and told them that I would be going to the media. I would have stood in front of a news camera with my ‘damaged family’ and told them the score.What have you got to lose?

    • Jim

      “So why don’t you get your own message out instead of relying on this blog?”
      Oh come on Husq – what do you think the writer is doing? This blog and others like it is just one way of getting the message out. You will notice that it also publishes comments from those supportive of Steiner schools, something I have never seen on a pro-Steiner site.
      As for the wider media, they are not interested unless there is something dramatic such as physical or sexual abuse involved.

      • Husq Jons

        Hi Jim,
        Well maybe the poster can enlighten us to what damage the family has suffered. Which school was it? Because like I said if was me I would be up in arms to get the ‘truth’ out. It’s as simple as that.Like I said, what have they got to lose. The truth is important.

        • Jim

          As Helen set up the site ultimately that is her decision but having seen some of the unpublished comments I can well understand why. It is a sad fact that not all who wish to comment adopt the same reasonable tone you do ( even if I may disagree with you ). A delay in publishing seems a small price to pay to avoid the site degenerating into the kind of abuse we’ve seen elsewhere.

    • we escaped!

      We are doing something about it, the case is currently in the hands of social services, ofsted and DofE. We have spoken to the school, and based on our experience with this particular school if you dare to question them then you are asked to leave or as in other cases at this school the child is expelled.
      Unfortunately because they are an independent school, they aren’t regulated in the same way as mainstream and therefore manage to get away with questionable and worrying techniques.
      I think many people are in the same situation as us and due to the nature of this school and how they deal with complaints, people are just so relieved to get away and want to focus on getting their child the help they need to recover emotionally.
      We are fair people and have given the school ample opportunity to admit their failings (that will never happen), therefore we will await responses from ofsted and DofE and then take it to press. We are following the correct procedures before we contact press as we want to ensure that the public are presented with full facts that are supported with evidence from the correct governing bodies.
      I am not relying on any blogs to get my message out, I simply wanted to acknowledge this blog and Helen and support the fact, that based on our experience she is spot on regarding these institutions.
      You obviously have not experienced what we have, we have been threatened by the school if we dare go to press or talk to anyone about our complaint. We arent bothered by the threats, although we are aware if what these people are capable of and therefore we would rather this be dealt with correctly and via the proper channels.
      Again, I believe that it is only a matter of time until they are found out.

    • Helen

      I mind you asking – this sounds like an important matter and the escapees are wise to go through the proper channels.

      • Husq Jons

        O.k. But there is anonymity here. The school is not known on here, the people making the threats are not known on here.
        I think it’s reasonable to hear what kind of threats have been issued. But that’s just me..

        • we escaped

          I also mind you asking. You are missing the point we are making. Its not about the specifics of any threat real or perceived its the simple fact that, as a family, we have been made to suffer an experience that no-one should have to. We will retain our anonymity regardless of any jibes because we understand the nature of the people we are dealing with. Two years ago we were fully immersed in the Steiner approach, although we were not aware of the ridiculous teachings of anthroposophy , but thankfully our eyes have been opened. We will continue to follow the correct channels in the vain attempt to achieve simple answers to simple questions, and rest assured that when the time comes we will broadcast our story to anyone who will listen although we don’t expect those of a narrow-minded, blinkered and brainwashed variety to be accepting of anything but their own doctrine. I sorely wish that it had lived up to my expectation, but perhaps my standards are too high. Nevertheless, if we can give the unsuspecting population a well rounded understanding of the potential disaster that could await them, then at least it will expose the lies that are shrouded in a well manicured sales package that any parent would want for their child.

          • Helen

            You had high expectations, and why not? The schools promise much. If all the claims they make were true Steiner would indeed be an idyllic environment for children.
            There is so much we are not told and so much positive spin put on what is told, that disappointment is huge when the reality becomes clear.

  3. We Believed the Hype

    Having been off the site for several weeks we were interested to read Arne’s views. They reveal a great deal that parents thinking of consigning their children to the mystical pantomime that is Steiner education should be aware of. There are many wonderful ways to inspire awe of the natural world in children. The wonders of the universe and the incredible truth of evolution are just two examples. However, this is not the way of Steiner schools. The “awe” that Arne writes about is rooted in a mysticism that has no basis other than in the minds of those who have been inculcated in what should really be described as a cult.

    The further we are distant from our own experience of Steiner education the more furious we become at the deceptions inherent in the approach taken by the school. Arne, at least, makes fairly explicit the quasi-religious nature of the anthroposophical basis of the Steiner environment.

  4. we escaped!

    Just read that Lord Winston has criticised MP David Tredinnicks support for Homeopathic medicine. Shame the article didn’t mention that this MP supports Anthroposophy too!

  5. We Believed the Hype

    There have been a wide range of issues raised on this site over the last couple of months, almost all of which could provoke detailed response. There are, however, two continuing themes that I believe could do with a little further exploration:
    (I) that the large majority of pupils at Steiner schools leave with no, or little, knowledge of Anthroposophy – so no harm is done.
    (ii) that the Steiner community do a lot of good in their efforts to construct an alternative approach to such things as educational practice and business ethics.

    The first claim strikes me as astonishingly damning for the Steiner enterprise as a whole. As the inspiration for the entire educational approach is the work of a man who devoted his entire adult life to the development of Anthroposophy and as the fundamental practices of the schools that carry his name are built around that philosophy- why do pupils learn so little about it? There could be a number of answers. Perhaps there is a real underlying embarrassment that so many of the principles so powerfully espoused by Steiner are mystical, anti-scientific, racist nonsense that could not be safely exposed to a bright 10 year old without challenge. Alternatively, and this is my view, anthroposophy is only explicitly introduced to individuals, pupils and parents, who have already demonstrated some predisposition to believe the mystical and/or the mythic. Whatever the reason, any educational institution based upon detail philosophical and pedagogic principles that does not openly communicate them – in fact regularly states that it does not communicate them to it’s pupils – should be distrusted.

    On the second set of issues there are some potentially positive things to say about some Steiner followers. Offering an alternative to the badly-funded, over-regulated and under-performing mainstream education system seems only good. Similarly, adopting business principles and practices that are different from those dominating the largely exploitative and environmentally damaging economic framework that is current should be praiseworthy. Not all things, however, are to be praised simply because they differ from that which currently dominates. Anthroposophy does not offer a coherent alternative to any of the educational, social or economic issues which worry so many of us. It is a “comfort zone” for those wishing to escape from having to confront the really difficult questions of how to provide real alternatives to systems that are increasingly being seen as not working in the interests of the overwhelming majority. Mysticism of all types, and certainly of the type which Steiner developed, will not improve the prospects of the millions of young people who need our help, neither will it convince those with economic control to change their approach. Karma, goblins and planting crops according to lunar cycles do not make for an alternative society.

    • Helen

      Thanks for this “We believed the Hype”
      On the point about pupils leaving school with little or no knowledge of anthroposophy, they often say that Steiner himself did not see this as the aim of the schools. I think there is a general view to making children receptive to so-called “spiritual” – occult – ideas, and in the process of working on their spiritual development, ( with the rhythm, the repetition of verses, and the nature worship etc) the teachers benefit spiritually themselves; in their warped worldview they are working towards a future where all humans will have knowledge of higher worlds. After the “Age of Michael”.
      It is not necessary for the children to become anthroposophists, or for families to become involved, although the more support the movement can gather from interested parties with, as you say, a predisposition to believe the mystical, the better.

      On the second point, yes, I agree with your view that Steiner purports to be an “alternative” for people who are frustrated with mainstream. It is worrying that some parents like Matt (commenting on “Acknowledging the scale of the problem”) are willing to accept the mumbo jumbo in place of genuine educational reforms. An absence of science GcSEs at Hereford has been overlooked and instead a Btec in countryside and environment is supposed to do for those children.
      No, mysticism is not going to solve any problems. Science will if anything can, but the problem-solvers are not going to come from Steiner schools.

    • Helen

      “…adopting business principles and practices that are different from those dominating the largely exploitative and environmentally damaging economic framework that is current should be praiseworthy”

      – yes, it should, but the Steiner movement does not favour openness and egalitarian principles in its methods; it would be very hard to trust any organisation “working out of anthroposophy” as they describe themselves.
      I am remembering christopher Houghton Budd who commented here in December 2013 and seemed to think it was not necessary to tell business associates that his “Associative Economics” is anthroposophical.
      As “We believed the Hype” says – there seems to be embarrassment about anthroposophy. I’m not surprised.

  6. LAR

    Hi Helen I am an ex Ruskin mill student and what you have written on this site is so true. I regonise alot of what your saying from my time at Ruskin

    LAR

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