Steiner schools, covert proponents of the nutty mystical philosophy "Anthroposophy" are pressing hard for state funding. As I've already reported on this site
, Steiner schools are private "alternative" schools who were founded by an Austrian mystic, Rudolph Steiner, at the turn of the twentieth century. They present themselves today as trendy, progressive schools who welcome parents with alternative views. However, what they keep well hidden is their loony mystical beliefs. Steiner founded a philosophy called "Anthroposophy", a sort of mystical mish-mash of ideas which includes the concept that the human race are "evolving" through the different races, with black people being "of childhood", Asians "degenerate" and white people, of course, being the apogee of the evolutionary tree. Many Anthroposophists teach at Steiner schools today -- and certainly form the bulk of their teacher trainers -- and greatly admire Steiner.
In its bid to boost the number of "free schools", the government is pretty keen to give state funding to these schools but has clearly indicated to that the Steiner movement must categorically repudiate their founder's racist beliefs. The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education
has now attempted to do this here
The section of this quotation that I would like to analyse is here: "Even though Steiner's ideas are based on a profound respect for the equality, individuality and shared humanity of all people, regardless of race or ethnic origin, his works do contain a small number of quotations that are discriminatory. The SWSF rejects these statements and all racism. However, it should be noted that other great thinkers of his time including Darwin, Schweitzer, Gandhi and Carl Jung also spoke of race in a way that offends modern sensibilities. This does not render them or their work 'racist'." I'm sorry but in my view this doesn't amount to a proper "repudiation" of his racist beliefs at all. What this mealy-mouthed apologia amounts to is actually a defence of Steiner. Now, technically what they say is true: Steiner did make a small number of "discriminatory" quotations, but more importantly, he based a whole philosophy on a racist idea, i.e. that the human races are "evolving" through the different races, thus founding a whole philosophy on racist beliefs. He believed that humans evolve through "reincarnation", starting at the bottom, (ie being black) and then reincarnating until they are "white". There's strong evidence that Steiner schools promote ideas about reincarnation in their schools
Will this repudiation be enough to get them free school funding? They're obviously desperate for the cash -- and the kudos of being approved by the British government.
However, I should point out that there are a number of other problems with Steiner schools, not least their belief that children shouldn't be vaccinated, which I highlighted in an article for the Times
and Professor David Colquhoun has talked about extensively on his website Improbable Science
. The UK Health Agency regards Steiner children as unvaccinated
The pressure on the government to give these schools state funding is intense. Their chief UK spokesperson for Steiner schools, writer Emma Craigie
, author of Chocolate Cake With Hitler
, is the sister of Tory MP, Jacob Rees Mogg, and prominent Tory Annunziatta Rees-Mogg. The whole family, headed by their father, William Rees-Mogg
, former editor of the Times
, are friendly with Michael Gove. Emma Craigie is on the left of the photograph here:
Gove with Annunziatta Rees-Mogg (middle) and Emma Craigie (left)
To find out the full story, please read UK Anthroposophy
where there is an excellent, detailed article on all these issues.