People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools (PLANS) is a world-wide network of former Waldorf parents, teachers, students, administrators and trustees who come from a variety of backgrounds with a common goal: to educate the public about the reality behind Waldorf’s facade of progressive, arts-based education. Waldorf is the most visible activity of Anthroposophy, an occultist sect founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925).

Together, we have performed exhaustive research on Waldorf schools and Anthroposophy, the esoteric, occult religion that both guides and inspires Waldorf teachers. PLANS affirms the right of all religious groups to practice and to teach their beliefs. But we expect those groups — including Anthroposophy — to tell the truth about their missionary efforts.

My personal experience with Waldorf was very confusing. Instead of the progressive and liberal alternative school I was led to expect by the school’s promotional materials and staff, I discovered a rigid, authoritarian environment that seemed to be rooted in a medieval dogma that I did not understand. When, in an effort to make sense of things, I asked questions about this, I found Waldorf teachers to be strangely defensive.

I was stunned to arrive at the conclusion that the education of children — at least as I use the term “education” — did not seem to be the school’s most important focus and objective. But what was?

I began to ask questions. What is Anthroposophy? Why don’t teachers allow students in the preschool through the early elementary grades to use black crayons in their drawings? Why do students use the wet-on-wet watercolor painting technique exclusively for so many years? Why is mythology taught as history? Where is the American flag, and why don’t Waldorf schools teach civics lessons in America? In a school system that promotes itself as “education toward freedom,” why do students copy everything from the blackboard? Why do Waldorf teachers talk in high voices and sing-song directions to their classes? Why must the kindergarten room walls be painted “peach blossom”? Why is learning to read before the age of 8 or 9 considered unhealthy? Why do so many Waldorf classes have problems with bullying, and what is the school’s policy for dealing with this? Why are teachers always lighting candles?

What answers I received were not forthright, and the teachers made it clear that my questions were not welcome. They told me, “If you understood Anthroposophy, you wouldn’t be asking that question.” Yet before we enrolled, I was told that the school was non-sectarian and that Anthroposophy was not “in the classroom!” I was eventually invited to leave.

Thanks to PLANS’ dedicated researchers, I now have answers to all of my questions, and many more that I had not even thought of asking! If the information on the PLANS Web site had been available 9 years ago, our family would have passed by Waldorf’s door, knowing that its sectarian, occultist nature was not what we were looking for after all.

My sincere hope is that the information contained in this Web site will help other families avoid a Waldorf disaster. I strongly believe parents have the right to make fully informed decisions about their children’s education. Until Waldorf promoters start being honest, PLANS will be here.

Debra Snell, President

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