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RE: AW: AW: Racist angels (was: RE: Baandje defending Steiner on race)  Margaret Sachs
 May 22, 2007 19:19 PDT 

--- baandje <ban-@nb.sympatico.ca> wrote:

 Which aspect of this entire Waldorf Critics forum
has something to do
with anything that is NOT related to criticism of
Anthroposophy, Steiner
and Waldorf? It seems to me that if you’re asking
this question, then
you missed the point of my previous post. You and
others continue to
blame Anthroposophy, Steiner and Waldorf for
instances of physical abuse
and sexual abuse that no doubt have taken place in
some schools. And as
I was pointing out, that’s exactly the same as
suggesting that the
reason Catholic priests are sexual abusers is
because they’re Catholic
or Christian.

I think you continue to miss the point here. The
biggest shock to the general public in recent years in
the U.S. about the priests who are sexual abusers is
the Catholic Church's attempts to cover up these
scandals and move the offending priests to other
parishes where they can prey on yet more children.

As for the reason why there are so many cases of
pedophilia in the Catholic priesthood, the reason
isn't necessarily because they are Catholic, although
the celibacy requirement for priests might be a
contributing factor. The fact is that many pedophiles
become priests because it is a way to gain access to
children, just as some pedophiles become teachers
(usually in sports or music) to gain access to
children.

 I just noticed a news article on the net about a
Japanese boy who cut
his mother’s head off (or something – didn’t read
the article). I
suppose then we should blame this on Shinto or
Buddhism.

There would be absolutely no reason to draw this
conclusion unless there were a pattern of such
behavior among those groups.

 And you’re mixing up your arguments here. First you
tie these
physical/sexual abusive encounters to experiences
that take place in
Waldorf schools. Then when I question the logic of
that –
physical/sexual abusive encounters take place in all
walks of life,
after all – you switch and attack teachers who
silently stand by and
allow this to happen. There are two distinct and
different issues here.

1. People – Waldorf or otherwise – who physically
and/or sexually abuse
children, are sick PEOPLE. Their sickness has
nothing to do with the
particular life philosophy they follow.

To suggest that Waldorf teachers are physical
abusers or sexual abusers
is a ridiculous statement, and only exposes the
accuser’s irrational
thought processes along with his/her antipathy
towards all things
Steiner. IMO, half the accusations that take place
in this forum fall
into this category.

2. Waldorf does have a culture of ‘silent support’,
yes I agree. That
circle-the-wagons mentality has been discussed here
many times, and the
reasons for it are obvious to anyone who has spent
any time with a group
of Waldorf teachers. But again, as realistic and
correct as that
observation is, it has nothing to do with inane
generalizations that
‘Waldorf teachers abuse children’.

I think you are misrepresenting Pete K's statements.
As far as I know, he never said that all Waldorf
teachers abuse children or even that many Waldorf
teachers abuse children.

It strikes me, however, that of all the schools that I
attended as a child and all the schools my children
attended, I never heard of a single scandal involving
abuse except at Highland Hall, my children's former
Waldorf school. And at that school it was not just a
single scandal, but a succession of scandals. When my
own daughter was the victim of inappropriate touching
by a Waldorf teacher (with a previous history of
undeniable sexually inappropriate behavior at the
school) and teachers and an administrator broke the
law in what appeared to us to be efforts to cover it
up, the end result was that my daughter and other
girls who had been inappropriately touched by the
teacher were labeled as liars. These girls did not
even know that the teacher had had a long-term sexual
affair with a high school girl some years before, so
what a coincidence it would have been if they had just
made up stories about his inappropriate touching.

I'm not claiming that there's more abuse at Waldorf
schools in general than in other schools. I don't
have any statistics on which to base such a claim.
What I am saying is that the pattern of abuse and
subsequent defense of offending teachers at the
expense of students and their families at our former
Waldorf school was astounding something that needs to
be taken very seriously.   

Other than the issue of cult members protecting other
cult members under any circumstances, I think it would
be interesting to know if and how Anthroposophy plays
into the whole scenario. What this pattern at
Highland Hall taught me about the individual
Anthroposophists we were dealing with and who were in
positions of power at the school at the time is how
out of touch they were with mainstream standards of
honesty, professionalism, and courtesy. In my
opinion, they were the antithesis of "spiritual" in
the current colloquial sense of the word. Quite a
shock for anyone who has bought into Waldorf PR!

Best,
Margaret



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