Testimonial of a Former Waldorf Parent

Anonymous #4

June 7, 2007

[Posting from the waldorf-critics list]

I received an off-list e-mail from an ex-waldorf parent whom I have not met but who knows me from a different list from this one. She asked me if I would post the following on her behalf as her e-mail account would reveal her identity. She still has Waldorf connections and wants to stay anonymous for the sake of her children. – Margaret

“Oh I just have to answer this one! After pulling my kids out of a ridiculous waldorf situation years ago, I went online and found this e-mail group. It was a relief to finally get to “connect the dots” – this group, “you folks”, isn’t a club of five concerned ex-parents living in one small town. “us folks” are people from all over the world – exwaldorf parents who have experiences with waldorf schools from ALL OVER the world. we are people who fx were told, in a singsong voice by some smiling Miss, that the children don’t have to be watched too carefully on their playground because they are working out their karma. or that they have guardian angels that will take care of them. (far from addressing the fact that just the year before a girl had cracked her scull while falling on the rocks around the sandbox – and no one had seen it happen, they had just found her unconscious in the sandbox after a while…) – and we went from thinking that the Miss must be crazy to thinking that maybe we were crazy to finally, on this list, find out that that is part of the dogma those poor souls of waldorf teachers are being fed and are regurgitating that is the cause of our strange experiences – we are not making this stuff up. there is something very cultlike in the way the Wschools want more converts but simultaneously foster an attitude of “better than thou” amongst it’s followers, eh i mean community, that pushes people away… there’s a lot of deception going on… both of newly seduced teachers and parents. … so it’s a relief and pretty funny to discover that there are other people out there who made the decision not to kid themselves anymore. i have very dear friends still in our local waldorf school – they are LOVELY people, i like them a lot. but they refuse to question or do any research online. these are intelligent people! one woman, who is married to a famous scientist , actually told me not to believe what i find “on the web”! another woman told me of how she visited the winter light ritual (when the children walk around in a spiral with a candle – i forgot what they call that one ) and she definitely got the feeling that it was a cult. she sat there all day, weighing for and against. they had just relocated from the city, the kids had been to public school and they were flourishing, they loved the community, and ultimately, she figured that if Kate and Bob and Joe and me had our kids in the school, it just COULDN’T be a cult, since we all are such reasonable and nice people… and we’ve all been there – now, after a couple of years of being at the public school i have to say that yes – a lot of things are easier to accept at a waldorf school. aesthetically it is much more pleasing, they don’t send home loads and loads of meaningless worksheets, the kids are outdoors – well, you know the pros.(and i hate to admit this prejudice; the parents are a heck of a lot more interesting than the parents at the public school!)

BUT the secrecy, the “us and them” mentality of the faculty and the “born again anthro parents” – it’s lunacy!! someone here once said that the waldorfgang was the most unintellectual group of people she ever met and I completely agree. i’ve been in studygroups where some old anthro is reinterpreting what steiner said and basically spewing racist ideas and these (mostly) moms just sit there, absorbing it all! when i asked several of the parents that had been to that particular group, if they didn’t feel that the old anthro had said ridiculous and racist things, they agreed but said you just have to take what she says with a grain of salt. how can a school, in todays world, let an old racist hold court in a “studygroup” and when called on it just excuse themselves with that she has to be taken with a grain of salt? when she says that northern europeans are more advanced? that “culture” and most inventions in the world comes from northern europe!?!? and that asian people are wispy and not as grounded as us northern europeans! it’s just so shocking that it’s almost unbelievable! and that is also the problemwith exposing the cult of waldorf – because sincerely, it IS a cult. and it would be completely fine, if they just were open about it. instead there is so much deception and secrecy going on that once you start exposing it, people just don’t want to believe that they had been so gullible. the issue about prayers is a perfect example – are they just verses or are they prayers. you go sit in a classroom where a bunch of four year olds are thanking god for the trees and the blossoms and some of them even saying amen at the end of it and then try to pretend it’s just a verse. and what’s with the completely selfish and immoral practices of these teachers!?!? You couldn’t make this stuff up! would you believe a scenario like this: it’s rumoured that a family has left because the father has or has not had a relationship with his daughters pregnant teacher. Coincidentally, the man’s wife is 9 months pregnant. The parents in the community gossip about it but try to pretend they don’t. Later, a bigger bomb hits – it turns out that another one of the female teachers was having an affair with an employee at the school. with her husbands best friend. the husband is also a teacher at the school. he in turn, ends up having a relationship with the pregnant teacher and he leaves his wife and their brood of kids for the other teacher. you might think this is either unbelievable or immoral or both. but it get’s better – and this is what just cracks me up: a LETTER goes out to the parents in the community stating that some unfortunate events have taken place and the parents are asked not to gossip about it and the school wants everybody to sign the letter, promising that they won’t gossip about it!!!! now try to get your heads around THAT scenario!”