MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Steiner (Waldorf) schools, like anthroposophical medicine, are the inventions of Rudolf Steiner. His followers have often been associated with rampant anti-vax sentiments. Yet, officially such beliefs are usually denied.

A few days ago, I came across this tweet:

Der Dachverband der anthroposophischen Medizin begrüßt Corona-Impfungen… & distanziert sich von Querdenken und Co. Steiner war selbst gegen Pocken geimpft und ließ impfen. 

As it is in German, allow me to translate it for you:

The umbrella organization of anthroposophical medicine welcomes corona vaccinations… & distances itself from lateral thinking and co. Steiner himself was vaccinated against smallpox and had it vaccinated.

Almost simultaneously, it was reported that, after the Corona outbreak at a Freiburg Steiner school with more than 100 people infected, it is now certain: the certificates presented to the school for exemption from wearing masks were invalid.

During circus performances at the Steiner school in Freiburg, more than 100 people had become infected with the coronavirus in October: among them pupils, teachers, and contact persons. Therefore, the school inspectorate of the Freiburg Regional Council examined the certificates that freed people from the obligation to wear masks at school for health reasons. Heike Spannagel, a spokeswoman for the Freiburg Regional Council, called the results surprising. There were 55 certificates, 52 from pupils and three from teachers – and all of them were invalid. Heike Spannagel added that the school will no longer recognize any of the certificates. Those who cannot present new certificates that are more convincing will therefore have to wear the mask, Spannagel said.

It was noticeable that many certificates came from (far remote) private clinics in Bavaria or Berlin. In addition, a Freiburg doctor had exempted pupils from the obligation to wear a mask with identical justifications. According to the regional council, however, justifications must be individually tailored. In the meantime, the public prosecutor’s office in Freiburg has requested documents from the regional council in order to initiate an investigation.

So, what has been going on?

To me, it looks like the Steiner school was tolerating or even encouraging the use of dodgy certificates. This contrasts somewhat with the tweet cited above. And, in turn, this seems to indicate that proponents of anthroposophy say one thing about COVID and then do something entirely different. This suspicion was strengthened by a tweet that appeared a little while later as a response to the tweet cited above:

Alle Anhänger der Anthroposophie, die ich kenne, sind nicht geimpft. Es ist ja schön, wenn diese Verbände das öffentlich so verkünden. Die Praxis sieht leider anders aus.

Allow me to translate again:

All the followers of anthroposophy that I know are not vaccinated. It is nice when these associations proclaim this publicly. Unfortunately, the practice looks different.

6 Responses to More reasons to be concerned about Steiner schools

  • Dear Edzard,

    at the village I live is a home for the aged belonging to anthroposophs. My daughter learns violin from an old lady living there. I know they had vaccination and we had to wait with lessons till the second vaccination became active. I can’t say if anybody is vaccinated there – but my impression is, that at least most of them are.

    Just as a little note into the practice of the organisation. I would trust them as organisation that they support vaccination – at least for Corona vaccinations. What single people standing close to that organisation think, may be different. However, they are free to decide whitin the rules defined by law and as long as the organisation does not support anti-vax, I see no major problem.

    If you would see what is going on regarding spreading of Corona in Germany at the moment, I could imagine that situations like that in Freiburg could happen also anywhere else. It’s extreme and I do hope for mild disease for all of them.

    • there are plenty of data to show that your trust is misplaced.

    • In my experience, a good proportion of Anthroposophists take criticism seriously. However, such people tend to focus more on presenting their own views to the outside world as the norm, rather than engaging with the similarly large proportion of loons, fanatics and racists in the movement.

      …So I hope you are also advocating in favour of vaccination and in opposition to quackery among your Anthroposophist friends!

  • From my (brief) time as a teacher in Waldorf Schools in Australia, I can report my own experience, that teachers all opposed vaccination, and parents encouraged to “consider the alternatives” (ie homeopathy). Teachers believed not only that vaccination disturbs the “etheric body”, and that any illness that it prevents will inevitably return to the child in a more serious form in adulthood. Illnesses are all a result of karma from previous incarnations, so it’s better and more natural for them to be suffered in childhood.

    Deaths from childhood illnesses are seen as the inevitable result of karma, leading to a better future incarnation, and not as negligent homicide.

    • I will ad, that although I read a LOT of Steiner’s books and lectures, was a member of the Anthroposophical Society for about 7 years, and knew many other Anthroposophists, and knew a lot of the more secretive esoteric stuff, I never heard that he had been vaccinated or advocated it. Interesting that to me, that no one ever talked about that.

  • As a former Waldorf school parent who has since researched anthroposophic beliefs and activities, I would no longer trust anything said by anthroposophists. Rudolf Steiner, the long-dead charlatan they so admire, encouraged them to deceive outsiders. Considering their horrifying beliefs about the karmic necessity of allowing children to be infected by dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases, the rampant use of fake mask-exemption certificates at a Waldorf school comes as no surprise. Over the years, news reports about schools’ vaccination rates in various different US states frequently show Waldorf schools having the lowest vaccination rates or close to the lowest vaccination rates. When California implemented a new law in 2015 eliminating exemptions from childhood vaccinations other than for medical reasons, an anthroposophic doctor was subsequently caught offering to sell vaccine exemption certificates to parents. (https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/medical-exemptions-to-vaccine-mandates-for-sale-after-sb277-get-em-before-theyre-gone/).

    Thank you, Edzard, for bringing attention to this most recent Waldorf school scandal. It’s important to keep exposing the dangers posed by Rudolf Steiner’s followers.

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