http://www.waldorfcritics.orgDebra Snell, President 12562 Rough and Ready Highway Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 273-1005 snell gv.net Lisa Ercolano, Vice President 220 Gaywood Road Baltimore, MD 21212-1709 (410) 377-4204 momof2gals mindspring.com Dan Dugan, Secretary 290 Napoleon St. Studio E San Francisco, CA 94124 (415) 821-9776 dan dandugan.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUGUST 9, 2004
OCCULT RELIGIOUS GROUP INTERVENES IN CHURCH-STATE TRIAL
The Anthroposophical Society in America, after many years of saying that Anthroposophy has nothing to do with public Waldorf schools, has spoken up by filing an amicus curiae brief in PLANS' federal lawsuit, PLANS vs. Sacramento Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District.
On June 25, 2004, PLANS filed a motion for summary judgment. PLANS asked the court to recognize that Anthroposophy is, for Establishment Clause purposes, a religious activity. Apparently Anthroposophy isn't willing to have that happen without protest. It's risky for them to do this; historically, occultists have avoided the public eye because secrecy is part of their tradition, and knowledge of their doctrines and activities has often made them more enemies than friends. More information about Anthroposophy can be found at http://www.anthroposophy.org.
In response to the PLANS motion for summary judgment and Anthroposophy's brief, Judge Damrell (Eastern District of California) has postponed the trial which had been scheduled for September 27 indefinitely while he considers the arguments for and against the motion.
PLANS is aware of another recent intervention in public education by the Anthroposophical Society. February 4, 2004, the Society wrote a letter to the school board of Benicia, CA, in response to a PLANS critique of a Waldorf charter school application. In that letter the Society characterized PLANS publications as "hate-group-like tactics" and compared the PLANS web site to the now-defunct site jewwatch.com. The board ultimately rejected the charter for non-compliance with the California educational frameworks.
"It's inconsistent for them to claim that public Waldorf programs have nothing to do with Anthroposophy, and then intervene in our case," said Debra Snell, President of PLANS. "When the public learns more about Anthroposophy, the religious sect behind Waldorf, they will understand why funding Waldorf with tax money is illegal."
Dan Dugan, Secretary of PLANS, said "Anthroposophy's outrage may be based on the revelation by PLANS that they still promulgate racist doctrines from 1920s Germany that helped build the foundation for the holocaust. So far their reaction has been denial and to accuse PLANS of being a hate group." (See http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles.html#Racism)
Four new legal documents are available on the PLANS web site:
May 28, 2004
DECLARATION OF JONATHAN P. HUBER IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION.
The Huber declaration is a way of getting Anthroposophical publications into the record.
June 25, 2004
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
June 25, 2004
PLAINTIFF'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
The two June 25 documents are the substance of PLANS' motion for summary judgment in the case. PLANS suggests that no trial is necessary, given that Anthroposophical publications show that it is a religion, and depositions of Waldorf charter school teachers show that Anthroposophy is in taxpayer-funded teacher training and public school classrooms.
July 15, 2004
AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS
Read the documents at:
PLANS contends that public Waldorf schools are intrinsically and inseparably based upon Anthroposophy, a New Age occultic religion. Curriculum decisions and teacher training in public Waldorf schools are based on Anthroposophy's spiritually-based child development model. Publicly-funded use and reliance upon the doctrines of Anthroposophy impermissibly endorses that religion in violation of the United States and California constitutions.
PLANS filed its federal lawsuit in Sacramento on February 11, 1998, naming as defendants the Sacramento Unified School District, which operates a "Waldorf Method" magnet school, and the Twin Ridges Elementary School District, which has established six "Waldorf-inspired" charter schools.
In May, 2001, Judge Damrell dismissed the PLANS lawsuit against two school districts based on lack of standing. PLANS appealed the decision, and in February, 2003, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed PLANS' right to sue the school districts as taxpayers and reinstated the case.
WHAT IS PLANS?
PLANS was organized in late 1995 by former Waldorf parents and teachers concerned about both private and public Waldorf schools. It became a California non-profit corporation in 1997. PLANS' volunteer board includes two public school teachers, one of whom has received Waldorf teacher training; the former president of a skeptical society; the associate director of a Christian anti-cult ministry, and two former Waldorf parents. PLANS' President, Debra Snell, was a director of a private Waldorf school and helped found a Waldorf charter school. For more information, please see the PLANS web site, http://www.waldorfcritics.org.