"Value should be attached solely
to the mutual exchange between individuals. It is irrelevant whether someone
is a Jew or a German ... This is so obvious that one feels stupid even
putting it into words. So how stupid must one be to assert the opposite!"
Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf
education, September 1897, in Collected essays 1887-1901 (Collected
works, vol. 31)
For a number of years now, PLANS has focused
an intensive smear campaign against Rudolf Steiner at its site, based on
the following favorite myth. These myths are a central tool in PLANS' anti-Waldorf
"Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy and
Waldorf education are anti-Semitic."
This particular myth, in the words of one casual reader
of the PLANS site, depicts Waldorf schools as a kind of "nazi training
DISTORTED STEINER QUOTES
The "anti-Semitic myth" is introduced
by PLANS with two out-of-context "quotes" from the published works of Rudolf
Steiner, one from 1888 and another from 1922, which when examined more
closely, turn out to be part of arguments for the opposite of what
the quotes seem to imply on first impression.
This is a common practice for PLANS: extract quotations
from Steiner and manipulate them so that the desired implication is achieved,
usually the exact opposite of what Steiner actually said.
For a description and comment in detail on the
two quotes, see quote
one and quote
This myth tries to depict Rudolf Steiner as an
anti-Semitic, pro-Aryan supremacist. PLANS has found that this myth, understandably,
is particularly effective in inciting feelings ranging from strong antipathy
to hatred against anthroposophy and Waldorf education in the Jewish community.
This myth has worked so well that is not very different, somewhat ironically,
from the "Protocols of Zion" forgery which was used a century ago to incite
anger and hatred against Jews, by cultivating the myth of a secret, hidden
"Jewish world conspiracy" to take over the world.
For more on this, see here.
See also our page on PLANS' own "Anthroposophical
world conspiracy" myth (that the secret agenda of Waldorf education,
not divulged to the parents, is to train the future rulers of the world)
for more comments.
PETER STAUDENMAIER'S WRITINGS
In addition to the two Steiner "quotes",
PLANS' "Protocol of Steiner" myth is also based for the most part on the
work of left wing activist, Peter
Staudenmaier, which is published at the PLANS site.
Around December 1999, Mr. Staudenmaier made up
a similar "forgery" about
Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf education, and made it the basis and
introduction to his writings on anthroposophy. Mr. Staudenmaier writes
as though he is an "historical scholar" (he is currently a graduate student)
but repeatedly mixes truths with untruths in his writings.
Mr. Staudenmaier's initial introductory remarks
about Steiner contain a string of untruthful statements and characterizations
about the content of a well-documented and published lecture series held
by Rudolf Steiner in Oslo in 1910. Mr. Staudenmaier uses this false characterization
of Steiner's thought as the introduction to a demonizing article about
anthroposophically based activities, titled "Anthroposophy and ecofascism".
For a detailed analysis and documentation of the
extent of Mr. Staudenmaier's fabrications in this article, see a
study by Daniel Hindes.
Mr. Staudenmaier's fabrications, in his introductory
paragraphs, completely lack support in any part of what he claims Steiner
said, not only in the lecture, but also in the lecture series as a whole.
Yet through his fabrications, Mr. Staudenmaier portrays Steiner in effect
as a proto-Nazi, promoting an Aryan supremacist style ideology. And Mr.
Staudenmaier's article is used by PLANS as their basic introductory "explanation"
When various people have pointed out the untruthfulness
of what he wrote in relation to the actual published lecture, Mr. Staudenmaier
has asserted, both that his description of the lecture actually is well-supported
by the published lecture, and also has indicated that what
he describes is a special lecture, not published
in the lecture series. But at no time has Mr. Staudenmaier produced any
documentation showing that the lecture corresponding to his description
In spite of criticism pointing to the total lack
of documentation regarding the existence of the special "lecture" whose
content he describes in his introduction, Mr. Staudenmaier repeatedly defended
his characterizations with different "flip-flopping"
explanations about the lecture and lecture series, until it has become
evident to all that the introduction constitutes essentially a complete
fabrication by Mr. Staudenmaier.
In discussions, he has told that he made it up,
based on loose reading of journals without reading the actual source, and
that he wrote it "merely" as an “opening device” for the publication of
his article in Norway, which was an especially bad choice, as hte anthroposophists
in Norway during Nazi times in Europe belonged to those that most most
explicitly critizised its racism and anti-Semitism at the time.
PLANS IGNORES CRITICISM OF ITS WEB CONTENT
Despite the fact that the untruthful
characterizations, present even in the introductory paragraphs of Mr. Staudenmaier's
article, were fully demonstrated to Mr. Dugan, PLANS has continued to continue
to publish the article, uncorrected, in its original form at its site for
five years, together with a number of other similarly untruthful articles
by Mr. Staudenmaier.
When Mr. Dugan has been criticized for a number
of untruths published at PLANS' site, Mr. Dugan not only has not corrected
the materials or removed them (other than very marginally), but instead
has added a disclaimer in the articles section at the site:
"PLANS does not necessarily agree with
or vouch for the veracity of everything posted in this section."
This indicates pretty clearly that Mr. Dugan and PLANS
do not care much about the actual truthfulness of what they publish at
their site, as long as it is of use in PLANS' diatribes, not only against
public Waldorf-methods schools, but against Waldorf education in general.
The continued publication, and defense of the publication,
of Mr. Staudenmaier's demonizing material, which has been shown to be untruthful,
is a major reason, we feel, for characterizing the PLANS' web site content
as close to hate speech, despite the veneer of civility at the site.
RECENT STUDY FALSIFIES THE MYTH
academic study of former Waldorf pupils in Sweden demonstrates the
opposite of what Peter Staudenmaier and PLANS contend with their cultivation
of the "Protocol of Steiner" myth.
The study (2002-2005) of several hundred Swedish
Waldorf students, who had attended a Waldorf school for the majority of
the normal (in Sweden) twelve years, comparing them with pupils in the
corresponding grades in municipal (public) schools, showed, among other
things, that the majority of the pupils in both types of school repudiated
Nazism and racism.
However, the proportion of pupils who suggested
anti-Nazi and anti-racist solutions, i.e., solutions that involved counteracting
or stopping Nazism and racism -- in contrast to what Mr. Staudenmaier's
articles on the PLANS site imply (i.e. "nazi training camp") -- was
considerably greater among the Waldorf pupils than among pupils at municipal
PLANS CONTINUES TO PUBLISH THE MYTH
For Mr. Dugan's reasoning while PLANS
continues to publish Mr. Staudenmaier's articles, despite their demonstrated
untruthfulness, see here.
Peter Staudenmaier later was joined for a time
a number of years ago by Peter Zegers in the Netherlands, in other discussions
standing out as a somewhat extreme defender of Zionism, to an extent even
commented on by Noam Chomsky as surpassing absurdity.
When Peter Staudenmaier's forgery has been exposed,
he has said -- in discussions outside the context of PLANS -- that he corrected
it in later translations of his article. When it was pointed out that his
forgery is still found at the PLANS site and the site of the Institute
for Social Ecology, where he works, he answered in personal correspondence:
"I don't take these things nearly as
seriously as you do".
Thus, the "Protocol of Steiner" mythology, cultivated
by PLANS and Mr. Staudenmaier, continues to spread PLANS' deliberate defamations
of Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy and Waldorf education on the Internet.
Go to the overview of myths
cultivated by "PLANS Inc."
Go to the next myth