What's Where


TABLE OF CONTENTS




Here is a directory to the pages at Waldorf Watch and its associated sites. At the end of the directory, you will find some general explanatory notes, including "A Question of Quotes".

The essays at Waldorf Watch were written over a period of years. There is some overlap, some repetition, and some minor inconsistency among them. I wrote most of these essays, but other critics of Waldorf schooling are also represented — including Dan Dugan, Pete Karaiskos, Grégoire Perra, Ian Robinson, Margaret Sachs, Debra Snell, Peter Staudenmaier, and Diana Winters. Read as much as you like; skim or skip over whatever you find redundant or dull. I think you'll find that, overall, the essays present a clear explanation of Waldorf schooling and the thinking that lies behind it.

— Roger Rawlings




CONTENTS


Home page, with statement of objectives



1. WALDORF EDUCATION: AN OVERVIEW


HERE'S THE ANSWER - What Waldorf schools are all about

THE UPSIDE - Best foot forward

SPIRITUAL AGENDA - Waldorf's goals

SCHOOLS AS CHURCHES - Waldorf's reality

INTO THE WORLD - Does Waldorf Work?

SNEAKING IT IN - How they teach it

CAUTIONARY TALES - Words of warning

OH HUMANITY - The key to Waldorf

THE WALDORF TEACHER'S CONSCIOUSNESS - "Clairvoyance"

INCARNATION - Developing our invisible bodies

SOUL SCHOOL - Trying to seem sensible

GLORY - That Waldorf glow

MY LIFE AMONG THEM, Part 1 - By a former student and teacher

Parts 2, 3, 4-6

SQUARE ONE, Part 1 - From the beginning, again

Parts 2, 3

MANIFESTATIONS - A pictorial overview

TROLLS? - Any here?

◊◊◊

TEMPLATE - Design of the site



2. WALDORF SCHOOLS TODAY


WALDORF NOW - Bringing the inquiry up to date

TODAY - Waldorf schools in the 21st Century

TODAY 2 - What they're saying

TODAY 3 - More

TODAY 4 - What they're reading

TODAY 5 - What they're saying (cont.)

TODAY 6 - Readings (2018...)

TODAY 7 - More, and more, and...

TODAY 8 - Still more, and still more, and...

WALDORF WATCH NEWS - Stop the presses

WEIRD WALDORF - A brief look at purposes

NUTSHELL - A brief summary

SIX FACTS ABOUT STEINER EDUCATION - A guide for students and parents

ANTHROPOPERY - Steiner's theory of everything, briefly

SECRETS - Some of what you aren’t supposed to know

FAILURE - To survive or not, to teach or not

REPORT CARD - Debating and evaluating Waldorf education



3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARENTS


ADVICE FOR PARENTS - For those considering enrolling their kids

CLUES - Detailed pointers on evaluating a Waldorf school

THE WORLD OF WALDORF - Reverence, wonder, and straining for them

OUR BRUSH WITH RUDOLF STEINER - One family's story [external link]

SLAPS - Classroom discipline and...

THE GOOD (?) PARTS - Some positive elements, but also...

HELP! - A parent's cry

HELP 2 - Another

HELP 3 - Court case

HELP 4 - A father asks for guidance

HELP 5 - Looking at a Parent Handbook

HELP 6 - Unjustly assailed

WHO GETS HURT - Inquiring into Waldorf “success”

COMPLAINTS - Reviews and rants

HUMOURESQUE - The “temperaments” in Waldorf schools

NON-WALDORF WALDORFS - Can a Waldorf school cleanse itself?

ACADEMIC STANDARDS AT WALDORF - A problem since the first Waldorf school

SPOTLIGHT ON ANTHROPOSOPHY - An overview [external link]



4. THE WALDORF APPROACH


THE WALDORF CURRICULUM - The standard Waldorf program

METHODS - How they try to do it

CORE PRINCIPLES - Seven of them

TEACHER TRAINING - How they get that way

THINKING CAP - Irrational modes of “thought”

OH MY WORD - English and history

THE GODS - Norse myths

MAGICAL ARTS - And festivals

LESSON BOOKS - Created by students

MYSTIC MATH - Surprising calculations

STEINER'S “SCIENCE" - Antiscientific

IS ANTHROPOSOPHY SCIENCE? - No [external link]

SPIDERS, DRAGONS AND FOXES - Fearsome technology

OH MY STARS - Astronomy

FACULTY MEETINGS - Among themselves

FOUNDATIONS - Fundamentals, I

UNDERPINNINGS - Fundamentals, II

BASEMENT - Fundamentals. III

DISCUSSIONS - Between Steiner and Waldorf teachers

ADVICE FOR TEACHERS - "Practical" tips from Steiner



5. A FORMER WALDORF STUDENT


I WENT TO WALDORF - A report on life as a Waldorf student

UNENLIGHTENED - A far longer version of "I Went to Waldorf", including:

WALDORF'S PURPOSE - "Unenlightened - Part 2"

LIGHT AND DARK - "Unenlightened - Part 3"

WALDORF'S IMPACT - "Unenlightened - Part 4"

"SPIRITUAL SCIENCE" - "Unenlightened - Part 5"

CLAIRVOYANT VISION - "Unenlightened - Part 6"

COMPASSION AND ITS ABSENCE - "Unenlightened - Part 7"



6. FORMER WALDORF TEACHERS, ET AL


HE WENT TO WALDORF - A student, teacher, believer — who left

EX-TEACHER 2 - Another firsthand account

EX-TEACHER 3 - A third firsthand account

EX-TEACHER 4 - A long, astrological tale — told briefly

EX-TEACHER 5 - Leaving Waldorf, finding something better

EX-TEACHER 6 - The real skinny

EX-TEACHER 7 - The child vs. the cause

SPIRITUAL CANCER - Contamination and corruption

LOOKING INTO IT - Teachers as priests

HIS EDUCATION - A wayward Anthroposophist

DISTRESS - Reeling away from Christchurch

DORM DAD - His reply

DAY AND NIGHT - Focus on Steiner schools

SHE TOOK THE TRAINING - A big year coming

HE TOOK THE TRAINING - A square peg

BIGGEST BETRAYAL - Parent and teacher

HEALTHY HAVEN? - Founding member

SATANIC CULT? - After 10 years...

WHATS YOUR VIEW - Run!

WHY SHE QUIT - You will be lied to...

MISTREATING KIDS LOVINGLY - A chat between friends

FAREWELL, WÜRTTEMBERG - And to its Waldorf school

A TEACHER'S SON - Now a critic

DEEP IN THE HEART - She hits the trail



7. IN THEIR OWN WORDS


SAY WHAT? - Selected quotations; includes "Anthroposophy at Waldorf"

SAY WHAT TOO - More from Steiner

WHO SAYS? - Other than Rudolf

SAYS WHO? - "Who Says" continued

STEINER STATIC - Nonsense in the air

STATIC TOO - More

STEINER’S BILE - Perhaps the worst statements Steiner made

WISE WORDS - More revelations; includes "Last Words" and "Reading Steiner"

TOP TEN JOKES - Some of his silliest statements

WALDORF WISDOM - Not



8. THE WORST SIDE


STEINER’S RACISM - Deep in Anthroposophy

EMBEDDED RACISM - Enduring problems

UNIVERSAL - A lecture that exculpates?

FORBIDDEN - One of Steiner's suppressed lectures

ALSO FORBIDDEN - Another

ATLANTIS AND THE ARYANS - Legends embraced by Steiner

SYMPATHIZERS? - Ties to Nazism? Allegations and denials

EVOLUTION, ANYONE? - Steiner’s strange version

WHITE GUYS - Anthroposophical racism, recapped



9. WALDORF AND RELIGION


IS ANTHROPOSOPHY A RELIGION? - Despite denials, yes

GNOSIS - Anthroposophy and hidden knowledge

WAS HE CHRISTIAN? - Comparing Steiner's teachings with Christ's

STEINER'S FIFTH GOSPEL - The hidden story

ROSY CROSS - Anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism

GOD - Steiner's strange ideas about the Lord

GODDESS - Earth Goddess; Anthropo-Sophia

SERVING THE GODS - What Waldorf faculties aim for

PRAYERS - About those "morning verses"

WALDORF WORSHIP - Teachers as priests

FAITH - The religion of Anthroposophy in the classroom

BEAT - Turning students into disciples

CHOOSING - Why? Or why not?



10. CLAIRVOYANCE AND DELUSION


CLAIRVOYANCE - The missing basis

INSIDE SCOOP - Occult initiation in Anthroposophy

WHY? - Oh why? Oh why? Oh why?

FOOLING - Ourselves

DOPAMINE - Getting happy

EXACTLY - "Exact" clairvoyance

ESP - Case closed?

JVH - Delusional or fraudulent?

DECEPTION - Being fooled



11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW


EVERYTHING - Steiner’s central text

PREHISTORY 101 - His sci-fi-like narrative; continued in:

ORIPHIEL

EVIL

SIXTH EPOCH

LUCKY SEVENTH

PAST AND FUTURE

MATTERS OF FORM

STAGES

ALMOST THE END

THE END

KNOWING THE WORLDS - How to, he said

LOVE AND THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN - Promoting love, sort of

BAD, BADDER, BADDEST - Terrible trio

VIOLENCE - Turmoil in a "kindly" vision

THE GOOD WARS - America, Germany, and Waldorf

THE ANCIENTS - Mistaking ignorance for wisdom

DOUBLE TROUBLE - Occult conspiracy theories

THE WHITE LODGE - Back-room maneuvers



12. DANGEROUS DISCONNECTIONS


STEINER’S BLUNDERS - Errors, fallacies, falsehoods...

STEINER’S QUACKERY - Anthroposophical medicine

WHAT WE'RE MADE OF - Human nature, he said

THE CENTER- Macrocosms, microcosms; big and small

NEUTERED NATURE - Waldorf's view of the natural world

BIODYNAMICS - Quack agriculture: astrology and magic

OH MAN - Laying it out clearly

OVERHEAD - Vulcan, the Zodiac, Mars, etc.

THE PLANETS - our solar system or "universe"

FANTASY FLIGHTS - Waldorf escapism



13. RUDOLF STEINER


WHAT A GUY - Steiner through his followers’ eyes

GURU - Steiner as leader

THROUGH HIS EYES - Steiner's visions

STEINER'S SPECIFIC - What he prescribed, and why (?)

STEINER AND THE WARLORD - Embracing of an architect of destruction

ENEMIES - Steiner and his followers, beleaguered

ALL V. ALL - The coming, epoch-ending war

GALLERY - What he might have done



14. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER


SUMMING UP - A look back, plus

TRUTH - Mystical thinking, realistic thinking; continued in:

OCCULTISM

POWER WORDS

AKASHA

ALTOGETHER

BEST

POLYTHEISM

BEINGS

LECTURE

KARMA

REINCARNATION

MOST SIGNIFICANT

TEMPERAMENTS

FREEDOM

INDOCTRINATION

COMMON SENSE

WALDORF ASTROLOGY

SPIRIT

MISSION

MATERIALISM U.

OUT IN THE OPEN

OUR EXPERIENCE - Reports and advices

COMING UNDONE - More

MOMS - Talking it over

POPS - Had enough?

EXTREMITY - Crossing many lines

THE WALDORF SCANDAL - The near-collapse of a Waldorf school

MY SAD, SAD STORY - Deprogramming myself after Waldorf

YOURS TRULY - Who the heck am I?

HORROR AND HOPE - Doom and deliverance

CONCLUSION - Short and sweet

SO? - Can you trust me?



15. SUPPLEMENTAL PAGES


To see a listing of the supplemental pages,

click on this link:

Contents Continued


The overall design of Waldorf Watch

is presented at

Template.


For concise, direct answers to questions about Waldorf schools,

see

Waldorf Straight Talk.









An attempt to simulate a characteristic style of Anthroposophical art,

a style often seen in Waldorf schools. Artwork in the schools

is often far superior to this, but aesthetics are largely beside the point.

Anthroposophical art is meant to evoke and embody spiritual powers and beings —

it is not art for art's sake, but art for occultism's sake.

[R.R.]






ADDITIONAL NOTES


◊ While I take Rudolf Steiner seriously, I often laugh at his doctrines. Much of what he taught is preposterous. But be forewarned: Some of his doctrines are quite hateful and thus not at all laughable. And the harm Steiner's educational doctrines can inflict on innocent young children is serious indeed.

◊ My primary focus is on Waldorf schools. Many people find these schools attractive, at least initially. Waldorfs are often small, cozy, and beautiful. They can seem like safe refuges in a fearful world. However, any schools that abide by Steiner’s teachings are necessarily devoted to occultism, specifically Anthroposophy — although they often disguise this devotion. Understanding what goes on in such schools requires peering beneath the surface. Waldorf Watch aims to enable such peering.

◊ Especially important passages crop up in more than one essay. I don't expect anyone to read every essay here, so to make sure that various pivotal items reach as many readers as possible, I have stated some arguments, and cited some quotations, in multiple places on the site. If you come upon something you’ve read before, please just skip ahead.

◊ Throughout, I provide links to other sources of information. As time passes, some of these links may become outdated. I will update them if I can, but if you try to use a link that proves to be a dud, searching the Internet by keyword may take you where you want to go.

◊ Here and there, I have included sketches I have made. Many of these are renderings of illustrations found in Anthroposophical books. Some photographs I've taken over the years are also scattered around the site. I apologize for my poor artistic efforts (all of which are identified by my initials, R.R.) — I use my own sketches and photographs only when no other, better works are available for reproduction here.



TYPOS

Please excuse any typos at this site. I hope they are few and insignificant. I’ll correct them all when I find them.



A QUESTION OF QUOTES

When quoting Steiner and others, I often omit extraneous and repetitive phrases, which I replace with ellipsis marks. I take care, however, not to alter any author's meaning. The best way to check me is to consult the texts from which I quote. I almost always provide citations.

Here is an example. In my long essay "Unenlightened", I use the following quotation to show that Steiner differentiated between the soul and the spirit: “The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions ... The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments....” [Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 96.]

Here is a more complete version of the same passage, in which I include all words I previously omitted, and for context I include the sentences that appear immediately before and after the passage:

“The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs are impelled to nothing that is not in the service of the soul and spirit. The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions which are antagonistic to pure and noble thought. The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments; the soul must rather learn to follow these laws and duties out of its own free inclination. The student must not feel duty to be an oppressive power to which he unwillingly submits, but rather something which he performs out of love.”

Remember that my purpose was to establish that Steiner differentiates between the soul and the spirit. Including the additional sentences and phrases does not alter that differentiation; it merely makes the quotation longer while raising extraneous issues. That Steiner speaks of love, for instance, may be to his credit, but it does not change the distinction between spirit and soul. Thus, the clipped form of the quotation is accurate and more to the point.

The issue of context is complex. The passage I’ve quoted comes from within a long paragraph. The only way to absolutely avoid taking such passages out of context would be to reprint entire paragraphs or perhaps entire chapters. But clearly that would be impractical and — in some cases — illegal due to copyright laws. The test you should apply is whether a quotation would mean something fundamentally different if taken within a larger context. In the example I've given, neither the omission of some words nor the absence of the larger context alters the point at issue, which is that Steiner distinguished between spirit and soul.

Another note on this topic: In omitting phrases and sentences, I may seem to be ducking some issues. You can check me on this, as well. I can’t deal with every issue simultaneously, but I do not intentionally ignore any subjects that are important to an understanding of Waldorf education or Anthroposophy. Thus, I deal with Steinerian “love” in the such essays as "Love and the Universal Human", “Underpinnings”, and “Was He Christian?” Similarly, I deal with Steiner’s conception of thought (a subject introduced by the phrase “pure and noble thought”) in various essays including "Thinking", “Thinking Cap”, and “Steiner’s Specific”. For a discussion of Steiner’s doctrines about the human constitution (“the body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs...”), see “Steiner’s Quackery”, “What We’re Made Of”, and "Our Parts". For more on Steiner’s conception of freedom (which boils down to voluntary acceptance of laws and commandments), see "Freedom", “Nutshell”, and “Steiner Static”.

I should also explain, briefly, that I generally format all quotations, long and short, alike. I place them within quotation marks. This violates a common practice, which is to omit quotation marks from long quotations, indenting these passages instead, and setting the indented material in smaller type. My purpose has been to ensure that all quotations are immediately recognizable as such, and that they are readily legible on computer screens.

— Roger Rawlings





For a detailed examination of one of Steiner's lectures

— helpful in deciding whether I twist Steiner's meaning

by quoting him out of context —

please see "Lecture".