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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why Waldorf Permits Bullying and Abuse

Every time I speak with a member of the Highland Hall community who doesn’t get it, I find myself compelled to carry on my letter-writing campaign. This time it was a Highland Hall board member who claimed we will “never agree” on the philosophy. Fair enough… but there’s still one big problem… THE PHILOSOPHY IS ABUSIVE TO CHILDREN… so simply not agreeing with Highland Hall’s philosophy is not acceptable to me – especially while they are abusing children. Those of you who know me know how close to home this particular issue strikes. Highland Hall has abused my kids for decades and that abuse continues.

There is no question that bullying and abuse have occurred regularly at Highland Hall since its inception in 1955. Back then, it was easier to cover up the occasional abuse of students by teachers (and sometimes parents) – and still cases of abuse at Highland Hall were documented throughout the years. Abuse of children is still acceptable today at Highland Hall. I have personally documented many cases of abuse and brought them to the Highland Hall Board’s attention without too much success (It was because of the combined voices of a few brave parents that a couple of the worst teachers finally left voluntarily). But the question remains, why does Highland Hall turn a blind eye to the bullying and abuse of children by its teachers – both on and off campus?

It may not come as a surprise to many who have been reading my previous letters about racism at Highland Hall, that it’s the same hidden philosophy behind Highland Hall and Waldorf – Anthroposophy, the philosophy that permits racism - which also permits Waldorf teachers to stand by while children bully children, and while teachers abuse children (and parents).

Where exactly does Anthroposophy say abuse of children is permitted? Well, first, it helps if one believes some children aren’t really “children” but “demons”.

"Demons are born through man's immoral conduct. Let us look at the difference between the demons that arise through immoral behaviour and the spiritual entities - spiritual in so far as they only achieve a watery existence on Earth - the spiritual forms that are created by moral actions." ...

"The demons created out of immoral actions also have an astral body, an ether body and a physical body, at the watery level of course, but they do not have the basis for developing an ego. They are born headless, as it were. They do not take up the basis for regular evolution to Jupiter existence but reject it. By doing so they condemn themselves to a fate of dropping out of evolution and adding to the hordes of luciferic beings, falling into their power. Unable to progress in a regular way they become parasites. This is what happens to all the spirits who reject normal evolution; they have to attach themselves to others in order to progress. Spirits who arise through immoral actions have a particular tendency to be parasites in human evolution on Earth under Lucifer's leadership, and to seize hold of the evolution of human beings before these make their physical entry into the world. They attack human beings during the embryonic stage and share their existence between conception and birth. Some of these spirits, if they are strong enough, can continue to accompany the human being after birth, creating the phenomena seen in children who are possessed.

"The criminal demons attached as parasite to unborn children cause deterioration in the succession of the generations; this eats into human beings, making them less good than they would be if these demons did not exist. There are various reasons for the decline of families, tribes, people and nations, but one of them is the existence of these criminal demon parasites during the period mentioned.

"These things play an important part in Earth evolution as a whole, and we are here touching on deep secrets of human existence. People often acquire certain prejudices and points of view even before they are born because of this. They are then tormented by doubts and uncertainties in life, and all kinds of other things, because of these demonic parasites.

"These spirits cannot do very much once human beings develop their ego, but they prey on them all the more before they are born or in their earliest years." (from "Future Jupiter Existence" (Dornach, 3 January 1915), reprinted in Angels: Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner; London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996 reprinted 1998). (pp 167-168))

And directly from the Waldorf Teacher Training reading list:

Dr. Steiner: “That little girl L.. in the first grade must have something very wrong inside. There is not much we can do. Such cases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings in relation to their highest I [the highest element of one’s spiritual being]; instead, they are filled with beings that do not belong to the human class. Quite a number of people have been born since the [1890s] without an I, that is, they are not reincarnated, but are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon. There are quite a large number of older people going around who are actually not human beings, but only natural; they are human beings only in regard to their form. We cannot, however, create a school for demons.”

A teacher: “How is that possible?”

Dr. Steiner: “Cosmic error is certainly not impossible. The relationships of individuals coming into earthly existence have long been determined. There are also generations in which individuals have no desire to come into earthly existence and be connected with physicality, or immediately leave at the very beginning. In such cases, other beings that are not quite suited step in.... They are also quite different from human beings in regard to everything spiritual. They can, for example, never remember such things as sentences; they have a memory only for words, not for sentences....

“I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts. Our culture would not be in such a decline if people felt more strongly that a number of people are going around who, because they are completely ruthless, have become something that is not human, but instead are demons in human form.

“Nevertheless, we do not want to shout that to the world. Our opposition is already large enough. Such things are really shocking to people. I caused enough shock when I needed to say that a very famous university professor, after a very short time between death and rebirth, was reincarnated as a black scientist. We do not want to shout such things out into the world.” (Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, Anthroposophical Press, 1998, pp. 649-650.)

Note that in the last two paragraphs, Steiner makes it clear to Waldorf teachers that this “demon” stuff is to be kept secret from “the world”. Nonetheless, demons can appear in the form of children, according to Steiner.

So if children may be demons, who decides if they are demons? Well, that would have to be the best trained people for this – Waldorf teachers. Do some Waldorf teachers really think children’s bodies can be inhabited by demons? YES, they REALLY DO! By some unfortunate stroke of bad luck, Waldorf teacher (and now teacher trainer at Highland Hall) Christine Leonard announced my own daughter was demonically possessed when she was 10 years old. To exercise these demons, apparently exercise (running laps) was a good thing. So was cleaning toilets, having her belongings searched, labeled as a liar (for revealing what she saw), endless verbal abuse and being singled out as a… well… a demon – to the whole class. My daughter started on a path of self-destruction from that time on. Mrs. Leonard’s diagnosis has taken its toll on my daughter over the years – despite the therapy she has required. Some Waldorf teachers may believe Mrs. Leonard was right about her diagnosis of my daughter. They definitely believe Steiner when he says demons exist in children. If you ask me… there are demons at work at Waldorf – but they are not in our children. Not YET…

But what does it say about the role models we are providing for our kids when they are known to be dishonest? We know many teachers at Highland Hall have lied to the parents. We know this because under pressure, they have had to admit it. Nonetheless, we allow them to be our children’s role models. Dishonest people don’t make very good role models… in fact DISHONEST PEOPLE MAKE LOUSY ROLE MODELS.

And why are Waldorf teachers dishonest? Because Steiner TOLD THEM they should be. Again, from the paragraph above:

“I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts. Our culture would not be in such a decline if people felt more strongly that a number of people are going around who, because they are completely ruthless, have become something that is not human, but instead are demons in human form.”

Steiner instructed Waldorf teachers to keep their knowledge from the outside world. Does that mean parents too? On page 10 of Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner:

“However, there is something else that I would ask you to be aware of. That is, that we, as the faculty—what others do with the children is a separate thing—do not attempt to bring out into the public things that really concern only our school. I have been back only a few hours, and I have heard so much gossip about who got a slap and so forth. All of that gossip is going beyond all bounds, and I really found it very disturbing. We do not really need to concern ourselves when things seep out the cracks. We certainly have thick enough skins for that. But on the other hand, we clearly do not need to help it along. We should be quiet about how we handle things in the school, that is, we should maintain a kind of school confidentiality. We should not speak to people outside the school, except for the parents who come to us with questions, and in that case, only about their children, so that gossip has no opportunity to arise.”

So secrecy is the name of the game with Waldorf. Parents aren’t given a truthful story when abuse happens… not because some teacher made bad choices during a crisis, but because that’s what Waldorf teachers are TRAINED to do. And THAT is why when they are finally fired for their bad behavior, they simply transfer to another school. They haven’t done anything wrong in Waldorf/Steiner’s view. Lying to parents and covering up bad behavior is part of Waldorf. If you have any doubts, read FACULTY MEETINGS with RUDOLF STEINER – starting at page 377. Read how, when an incident involving Waldorf students happened, Steiner himself worked with teachers to hide the truth from the public.

This is why Waldorf teachers are deceptive. They are TAUGHT to be deceptive. It’s part of Waldorf education to be deceptive… to lie to parents… even about their own children. Why? Because according to Steiner, the Waldorf teacher is more important to the spiritual development of the child than the parents are.