FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/10/97
SF STATE HOSTING CULT MEDICAL COURSE
People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools (PLANS), is blowing the whistle on a San Francisco State University course called "Anthroposophical Medicine." "Not only is medical quackery being promoted by a public university," said PLANS President Debra Snell, "but this course violates separation of church and state. Anthroposophy is a cult-like religious sect. The University is being used to give legitimacy to lunatic fringe beliefs."
Anthroposophists follow the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), an Austrian mystic who claimed to be able to make "direct scientific observations" of the "spirit world." Steiner's bizarre doctrines include the assertion that the heart does not pump blood (it moves itself) and that motor nerves don't exist ("the will" acts directly in the limbs). A promotional video for Anthroposophical medicine shows a child being treated for pneumonia with a cottage cheese wrap.
Anthroposophical medicine is well established in Europe, but has been unable to make much progress in the United States due to our stronger consumer protection laws. Medical boards have investigated questionable practices of Anthroposophical doctors in California, North Carolina, New York, and Oregon. In the U.S., Anthroposophy is best known for its school system, Waldorf schools. The Anthroposophical physicians in the United States get most of their business through referrals from Waldorf school teachers.
The largest outbreak of whooping cough in Sonoma County in ten years occurred at the Starchild Waldorf Preschool in April of 1994. Sonoma Public Health Officer Dr. George Flores blamed that epidemic on the Anthroposophical medical policy opposing childhood immunizations and antibiotics.
Debra Snell of PLANS said "We're investigating the possibility of legal action to invalidate the credits for this course." Wallace Sampson, MD, Board Chairman of the National Council Against Health Fraud, states "It is incomprehensible that state boards actually give health professionals continuing education credit for religious indoctrination. I am sure that was not the legislature's intent."
"Anthroposophical Medicine" is a full-credit course in the Department of Holistic Health. It began Friday, October 3 and continues through Sunday, October 12. The course gives three credit units or 45 continuing education units.
For more information, contact PLANS at (415) 821-9776, (916) 273-1005, or the National Council Against Health Fraud, (909) 824-4690.