10+ myths about Waldorf education, cultivated by "PLANS Inc."
"Please specify where you find hate. On the PLANS web site? On this mailing list?"
Dan Dugan, secretary of "PLANS Inc.", web master of the PLANS web site, and personal owner of an anti-Waldorf mailing list on July 31, 2001, on his list.

At the PLANS web site, in discussions, and in other different contexts, Mr. Dan Dugan and PLANS have, for many years, cultivated and published not only criticisms of Waldorf education, but a host of false and defamatory myths about Waldorf education, anthroposophy (its philosophical basis) and Rudolf Steiner (its founder).

The systematic way these myths are published and endlessly repeated by PLANS, as their normal course of conduct, rather than in a few isolated instances, puts the PLANS site and mailing list in a category far beyond "reasoned criticism", in our opinion, and approaching demonization and hate speech.

Behind the civil surface that Mr. Dugan tries to cultivate in public discussions on the "Waldorf Critics" mailing list, an objective observer will find there denigration, belittling and hateful reaction to anything remotely positive about Waldorf education, anthroposophy or Rudolf Steiner.

Mr. Dugan wonders where one can find hate. Dear readers, we ask you to be the judge.

For a number of years now, the PLANS home page has stood out as appearing civil and reasonable. In fact, it contains nothing but misinformation and innuendo to denigrate Waldorf education. For an analysis of this page, showing the degree of misinformation it contains, see here.


Some of the myths promoted by PLANS are cultivated in articles at PLANS site. Others have, for the most part, been cultivated on the PLANS mailing list, and then republished as mailing list archives at their web site.

Mr. Dugan uses a favorite method to lure unsuspecting persons to his mailing list, by republishing their private email comments about the PLANS web site to his mailing list, and inviting them to discuss them publicly there. If the person takes the bait, they are drawn, outnumbered, into a discussion with several seasoned critics.

When the newcomer arrives on the list, a favorite pastime is to resurrect a favorite myth (as listed below), to get their reactions of shock and disbelief. It is all the better if the "newbie" is a outright Waldorf supporter and best of all if it is a Waldorf high school student who is trying to defend her Waldorf educational experience.

The seasoned critics then pile on the unsuspecting newbie (gently at first, of course), with shocking Steiner quotations (distorted by removing their context, of course) or stories of abuse, incompetence or malfeasance of Waldorf teachers and administrators (with no chance for verification or rebuttal from the unnamed other side, of course).

Thus, the myths are repeated, over and over, until they begin to take on the character of truth. Any rebuttals from knowledgeable persons in the Waldorf movement are ignored or scoffed at. Thus, the mailing list accumulates endlessly repeated untruths and defamation of Waldorf education, Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy.


The following are the "top ten" myths Mr. Dugan and PLANS cultivate or have supported. They try to tie them to Waldorf education, spreading them on the Internet and in other ways, as "education of the public" about Waldorf education. The PLANS modus operandi is to "throw enough mud at the wall and see what sticks".

The number and character of these myths, we feel, indicate that PLANS has nearly the same character in relation to Waldorf education and anthroposophy, as the leading anti-Semitic group "Jew Watch" has in relation to Judaism and people of Jewish origin and faith, spreading outright lies, distortions and misinformation to foment hate.

  1. "Anthroposophy is a satanic religion" and "Even if 'Waldorfians' do not eat babies, Waldorf schools practice and teach the pupils witchcraft". (More)

  2. "Anthroposophy is a religion" and "Waldorf schools secretly are anthroposophical parochial schools". (More)

  3. "Anthroposophy is a cult" and "Waldorf education is part of that cult". (More)

  4. "Rudolf Steiner was a racist" and "Anthroposophy and Waldorf education are racist". (More)

  5. "Rudolf Steiner was an Aryan supremacist, and anthroposophy and Waldorf education are anti-Semitic". (More)

  6. "The secret agenda of Waldorf education, not told to the parents, is to train the future rulers of the world". (More)

  7. "Waldorf teachers, after school, perform voodoo on wool dolls made by the children". (More)

  8. "Anthroposophy and anthroposophically based activities are right wing oriented". (More)

  9. "Waldorf education is opposed to childhood immunization, exposing children at Waldorf kindergarten and elementary schools to life-threatening dangers in the form of child diseases", and actually, "While 'Waldorfians do not eat babies', 'Anthroposophy and Waldorf schools want children to suffer' ". (More)

  10. "The teaching of science subjects at Waldorf schools is unscientific", and "Waldorf education is not supported by scientific investigations". (More)
At the PLANS mailing list, republished and preserved in the PLANS site archives, you can also "learn" as part of their "education of the public about Waldorf education", that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf education, was a schizophrenic (repeatedly discussed Feb 1997 - Aug 2004 and available in the archives), a megalomaniac (Dec 1995 - April 2002), and a drug addict, and that he probably practiced sex magic (June 1997 - Dec 2001).

In addition, if you have followed the mailing list for the last ten years (Dec 1995 - Jan 2005), you have also been able to "learn" from Mr. Dugan that Steiner, as a central European living 100 years ago, was basically not very different in nature from Adolf Hitler, a comparison repeatedly brought up by Mr. Dugan on the mailing list and then also repeated by other participants on the list. For an actual comparison between Hitler's and Steiner's thought, see here.

For a different treatment of the myths cultivated by PLANS and others about Waldorf education, anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner, see the Waldorf Answers site. For additional treatment of myths about Rudolf Steiner, see the Defending Steiner site, here and here.

For a biography of Rudolf Steiner, see here. For his autobiography, see here.

For an analysis of some of the fabrications developed by self-proclaimed "historical scholar" Peter Staudenmaier, and published by PLANS as part of their anti-Waldorf campaign, see here