Perra's report was originally published by UNADFI, the Union Nationales des Associations de Defenses des Families et de l'Individu Victimes des Sectes, The National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and Individual Victims of Sects. [See http://www.unadfi.org/.]
I do not know Perra and thus cannot independently corroborate his statements about his personal experiences. He says he was a Waldorf student, he became an Anthroposophist, and he worked as a Waldorf teacher. He provides a detailed inside view of the Anthroposophical world he claims to have inhabited for so long. He seems to be reasonably candid, pointing to faults in others but also in himself. And whatever his personal history, his descriptions of Waldorf education are largely consistent with many other reports made by former Waldorf teachers and students. His essay is also generally supported by the research into Waldorf education and Anthroposophy that has become publicly available in recent years. Clearly, the things he has to say are potentially of great significance. Whatever his private reasons for turning against Waldorf and Anthroposophy, he offers us a compelling, well-documented account. He deserves a serious hearing.
[For the experiences of other Waldorf teachers, see "Ex-Teacher 2" and the reports that follow it. Also see "Teacher Training". For the experiences of Waldorf students and their parents, see "I Went to Waldorf", "Slaps", "Our Experience", "Coming Undone", "Moms", and "Pops".]
For this translation, I have relied heavily on the assistance of a Francophone friend who has put in several hours of selfless labor but who wishes to remain anonymous. Guided by her and by M. Perra, I have in some places inserted explanatory phrases that seem necessary to ease comprehension for English speakers. Any errors in the translation are entirely my responsibility. — R.R.
THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL INDOCTRINATION
OF STUDENTS IN STEINER-WALDORF SCHOOLS
By Grégoire Perra
Anthroposophy is the doctrine of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), philosopher, Theosophist, mystic, and teacher of the early twentieth century, from Austria-Hungary. The Anthroposophical Society, an association which has the mission spreading Steiner’s esoteric doctrine, is the result of a split that occurred in 1913 within the Theosophical Society. Rudolf Steiner's doctrine has a large component of Gnostic teachings, with elements as diverse as reincarnation and karma, the solar nature of Christ, the various nonphysical bodies of man, etc. But Steiner’s teachings are not merely theoretical. Rudolf Steiner proposed them as the foundation for new activities, some of which have attained global success: among them are the cosmetics firm Weleda, biodynamic agriculture, and Waldorf education.
On the website of the Federation of Waldorf Schools, or on visitors days at these schools, no one will speak openly about the links between Waldorf education and Anthroposophical beliefs. You will hear about a form of schooling that places the development of the individual at the center of its concerns, taking into account the uniqueness of each human being. Rudolf Steiner is presented as a teacher and philosopher of the last century, while the Steiner-Waldorf schools are described as innovative institutions, comparable to Montessori schools. You will not hear about Anthroposophy as an esoteric doctrine constituting the theoretical foundation of Waldorf teaching, and certainly you will not hear about the human or institutional ties  that directly connect Waldorf schools and the Anthroposophical Society. 
And yet, these links between Steiner-Waldorf schools and the work of Rudolf Steiner, and the ties to the institutions that promote Steiner's work, are quite real. I can testify to this in several ways: as a former student who received most of his schooling from Waldorf schools; as a former teacher at these schools who received "teacher training" at the Rudolf Steiner Institute of Chatou (as it were, the IUFM of Steiner-Waldorf schools in France); and as a former member of the Anthroposophical Society who, for years, worked closely with the directing committee. From 1979 to 1989, I was a student of Steiner-Waldorf schools of Verrières-le-Buisson and Chatou, near Paris. I was nine years old when my parents, disappointed by the schools run by the Ministry of Education, put me in a Waldorf school. At the end of that period, during my years of high school, I attended some lectures on Anthroposophical topics.  This is why, from 1990 to 1995, as a young student, I wanted to regularly attend public lectures at the Anthroposophical Society in Paris, where I became a member from 1995 to 2009. From 1992 to 2004, I was also, with some interruptions, a teacher in both Steiner-Waldorf schools in the Paris region. During that same period, and until my resignation in 2009, I worked closely with the President of the Anthroposophical Society in France, especially on the issue of young people, for whom I had been asked to design "Anthroposophic training." An important part of this work was to contact Waldorf alumni who "have the karma to join Anthroposophy," in the words of Bodo von Plato, a member of the directing committee of the General Anthroposophical Society, with whom I collaborated to this project. So I was an important member of the Anthroposophical Society, giving lectures, leading working groups, illustrating and writing articles in various journals, and co-authoring a book published by one of their in-house presses.  I occasionally had the "privilege" to meet with a member of the directing committee of the central Anthroposophical Society, which is headquartered near Basel, in Switzerland. Within the Anthroposophical Society, I was a member of the School of Spiritual Science — that is to say, I was included in the special category of Anthroposophists having access to higher occult truths that are withheld from regular members of the Anthroposophical Society. I participated in esoteric lessons, which is to say I participated in the secret cult of the School of Spiritual Science.  This cult also held meetings even within the school premises of Steiner Verrières-le-Buisson.
Today, with hindsight, it is clear to me that what led me to become an active and prominent member of this sectarian organization began with my enrollment in a Waldorf school at the age of nine years. The rest of my course in life was only the logical result of the indoctrination I had been subjected to.
An Insidious Indoctrination
1. Hiding Anthroposophy in the Subjects Taught
Based on my experience as a former Waldorf student, a teacher at my old school, and an Anthroposophist, I would like to describe the subtlety of indoctrination that students in Waldorf schools are subjected to. In fact, its chief characteristic is its disguised form. I should state that the various ideas of Rudolf Steiner are taught to Waldorf students, but this is done without reference to their origin or their special nature. The teachers associate these ideas with their subjects as if they were objective facts and not part of a prescribed vision of reality. This is why Waldorf students can have the feeling that they are left completely free to form their own ideas. At the most, they may notice certain specific practices (that may seem very odd to some of them), which they may choose to ignore. Nevertheless, Anthroposophical ideas and practices form their psychic, cultural, and intellectual universe for many years, immersing them unconsciously in a worldview that will accompany them throughout life and that they are likely to return to on many occasions.
The invisibility of the indoctrination process depends primarily on the public's ignorance about Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is indeed very complex. Contrary to what one might expect, only a small part of it is what might be called its esoteric doctrines (teachings about the cosmic nature of Christ, reincarnation, the cosmic evolution of the Earth in several successive incarnations, the spiritual hierarchies, etc.). This esotericism is cultivated by Anthroposophists, who are often (but not always) members of the Anthroposophical Society. However, the largest part of the Anthroposophical worldview does not consist of these ideas; instead, it consists of interpretations concerning all ordinary fields of knowledge and the arts.
Thus, there are layered Anthroposophical interpretations of zoology, botany, pedagogy, physics, history, geography, literature, philosophy, diet, mathematics, etc. In art, there are specific Anthroposophical practices in painting, architecture, music, dance, theater, etc. Rudolf Steiner indeed expressed his views in all of these areas. When a teacher works in a Waldorf school, s/he has no need to allude overtly to Rudolf Steiner's esoteric doctrines — and usually s/he does not. S/he just teaches traditional subjects, coloring them lightly as interpreted by Rudolf Steiner or his followers. Because inspectors from the ministry of education do not know these interpretations — they are not the specialists in Anthroposophy — they have difficulty identifying them. To make my point clearer, I will give some examples:
In the fourth grade (CM1), Waldorf students study zoology and tackle the physiology of various animals, like the lion, the cow, and the eagle. At first glance, their class work appears to be an objective study of the behavior of these animals. At least that's what an inspector will see in the students' notebooks. But the teacher will also orally tell the students that the eagle must be understood in relation to the human head, the cow in relation to the human metabolic system and limbs, and the lion in relation to the human rhythmic system (the heart and lungs). Thus, the teacher conveys basic elements of Steiner's creed, namely that man is a tripartite being having within himself, in a latent state, the various animal kingdoms. 
Another example: In the early grades, Waldorf teachers tell the children a great number of legends or myths. At first glance, this is part of a traditional study of literature and mythology. But the teachers slip in Anthroposophical interpretations — they make subtle allusions to the contents of Anthroposophical books such as MYTHS AND LEGENDS AND THEIR OCCULT TRUTHS  or HIDDEN WISDOM IN GRIMM FAIRY TALES . Most of these works were only recently translated into French (Waldorf teachers having access to them through German connections). National Education inspectors therefore cannot detect the Anthroposophical doctrines slipped in by Waldorf teachers when they tell these legends and myths to the children.
One last example. In the 11th and 12th grades (high school), Waldorf School students study two works of world literature: the romance of PARZIVAL and Goethe's FAUST. An inspector opening the students' notebooks would find at first glance a study, scene by scene or chapter by chapter, of the two works in question, with various interpretations being considered. But if, knowing Anthroposophy, you look carefully at these interpretations, you will find that they encompass many elements of Rudolf Steiner's doctrines. For example, the study of the character of Mephistopheles in FAUST always leads to the conclusion that he is a bipolar character. He thus becomes the representative of the "forces of evil" which, according to Steiner, are divided into the forces of Lucifer and the forces of Ahriman.  The study of a seemingly innocent work thus becomes an opportunity for indoctrination that is difficult [for outsiders] to detect. Indeed, no mention of Rudolf Steiner will usually be made by the teacher. It suffices for the teacher to take (artificially) these interpretations of the work being studied, and then present them as universal and timeless truths (since they are found in other works at other times, as the teacher will then show). The same thing happens with the interpretation of the chapters of the romance PARZIVAL. Each time, the ideas of Rudolf Steiner are presented without mentioning their origin.  But this subtle process is at work in all subjects from kindergarten on! To realize this, it suffices to read Steiner's TEACHING PLAN  or COUNCILS , and then connect what is said by Waldorf teachers with the esoteric teachings of Rudolf Steiner.
The hidden nature of these Anthroposophic ideas — in the form of interpretations presented in all subjects — makes it particularly difficult for students to become aware of what is happening. How indeed can they be aware of ideas that, in their original form, are mixed with traditional teaching, like spice added in a dish, and do not at first sight contradict but extend traditional teaching? I believe that those who undergo indoctrination in creationism are somewhat more fortunate. Probably, at one time or another, the ideas they are taught will clearly clash with the objective data of current science. This is rarely possible with Anthroposophic tenets when they are more or less blended with modern scientific data. Indeed, precepts about science are constantly updated by the Anthroposophical authorities, which then communicate them to teachers in Waldorf schools. 
One can imagine the impact of the Waldorf method when it is routinely used on the intellectual formation of children.
Students thus live with Anthroposophic ideas mixed with objective data in the subjects they are studying. And since the Anthroposophic ideas keep coming back in different forms, they eventually are regarded as objective truths, without their source ever being revealed. Only if you decide to become an Anthroposophist do you encounter these ideas openly expressed, with their origin made clear. But by then, this will not be an issue for you, it will be something you have joined and wish to propagate, since you will have become a disciple of the Master.
2. Subtle Indoctrination of Students in All Subjects
Anthroposophical teachers in these schools thus always transmit their ideas to students in ways that are not easily identifiable. The ideas are almost never presented as those of Rudolf Steiner, but as interpretations of works belonging to the cultural heritage. So there is at first no study of botany that is specific to Steiner-Waldorf schools, but underneath are Steiner's writings about Goethe's botanical theories, which can be injected into a traditional teaching SVT.  There is not, at first sight, a view of world history specific to Steiner-Waldorf schools, but there are Rudolf Steiner's comments about various civilizations.  It is the same for all subjects and disciplines, including artistic education. But only a person who has the vast literature of Anthroposophy at his fingertips will be able to detect this practice. Making this even more difficult is the fact that most works of Steiner were not fully translated into French until recently; previously, they were passed by oral education from Germany. This is why the doctrinaire character of Waldorf schooling had been able to escape notice, thus far, by inspectors of National Education. In some ways, you could say Waldorf schooling has a subliminal character.
When I received Waldorf teacher training, especially that given at the Institute of Chatou, I could ascertain that this practice is highly organized. Indeed, already at that time I was struck by the gap between the rhetoric of our trainers — constantly stating that the teacher should be creative and never apply prescribed formulas — and the training that taught us decades-old methods that had not changed since the founding of the first Waldorf school in 1919. In fact, having taken this training for two years, I can testify that it is essentially doctrinal training, it is not aimed at developing teaching skills. We were taught how to instill, at each stage of child development, certain ideas and Anthroposophical concepts by surreptitiously combining them with traditional teaching (of course it was not described this way), and to see how in each of the disciplines taught, the ideas of Rudolf Steiner can be indicated. 
For example, the trainer specializing in the teaching of history taught us to identify, in the course of historical events, the polarity between Ahrimanic and Luciferic forces, and to teach history to students from this angle. Thus, the French Revolution was to be taught in terms of the polarity between Danton and Robespierre, one being the representative of Luciferic forces (Danton), the other representing Ahrimanic forces (Robespierre). Or the trainer specializing in chemistry taught us how to describe each of the elements of Mendeleyev's periodic table as singular expressions of cosmic principles. Thus nitrogen and oxygen became, in our eyes, cosmological entities endowed with a kind of "temperament." We were taught what chemistry experiments could be arranged in the laboratory to demonstrate to students the evidence of such temperaments in the periodic elements. I could give many more examples of how we were taught to teach students specific elements of Rudolf Steiner's belief system — or rather to present reality in the light of this belief system — without telling the students that we were presenting a biased view. In fact, the training of Waldorf teachers consists of learning how to lead the students, without their knowledge, to see the world through the eyes of Rudolf Steiner!
At the time I was very surprised that nobody had written textbooks for Waldorf trainees, since Waldorf methods looked so old and firmly established. On reflection, I now understand that it is not possible for Waldorf practices to be written down, because this would run the risk of exposing the systematic nature of such indoctrination. The claim that Waldorf methods should be kept alive, not freezing them in writing, is in reality only an alibi used to assist concealment. However, in reality there are many Waldorf texts that are neither published nor distributed publicly. I remember that sometimes the trainers made mention of one or another of these works to the most reliable trainees, making copies for their personal use. But the key information was given orally. One of these secret books was given to me when I was a teacher. On the first few pages one finds: "This document is the property of the Educational Section of the Free University of Science of the Spirit, entrusted to this college...[and] given until the end of teaching activity..."  The secret nature of the transmission of such material makes clear the shameful link between the esotericism of Rudolf Steiner and the education provided in Steiner-Waldorf schools. Such documents should obviously never be made public and should be returned to the Goetheanum  by their owners if they stop teaching.
The methods of instilling Anthroposophic references in the traditional teaching of students were introduced by Rudolf Steiner himself at the founding of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, in the 1920s, and have recently been published. Little known among Waldorf teachers, this large volume — dense, difficult to read — is a kind of dogmatic set of references touching on almost all areas of practical life in a Steiner school: repetition, internal rules, decisions to be made concerning left- and right-handedness, methods of teaching geography at different grade levels, ties displayed between Anthroposophy and Steiner pedagogy, etc. [In English, such books as FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, PRACTICAL ADVICE TO TEACHERS, and DISCUSSIONS WITH TEACHERS present such material. They have been published by the Anthroposophic Press. — RR]
One finds there significant questions and answers, for example:
• A teacher asks, "How can we, in the teaching of geology, link geology and the Akasha Chronicle?" [This is a celestial storehouse of wisdom accessible through clairvoyance. — RR] Concerning what Anthroposophy says about glacial periods, Rudolf Steiner answers: "...We must not be afraid to talk to the children about Atlantis. We should not omit that. We can even present it in a historical context. But then you have to disavow standard geology ... The ice age is the Atlantean catastrophe. The ancient glacial period, and recent average conditions in Europe, are nothing other than what has happened since Atlantis sank. " (p. 99-100)
• To a teacher who asks the question, "How can we draw parallels between what science says and the point of view of spiritual science [i.e., Anthroposophy] concerning the glacial period?" Rudolf Steiner replies: "You may well draw a parallel. You can of course identify the Quaternary period with Atlantis and the Tertiary with what I describe as Lemuria [a lost continent that preceded Atlantis], if you do not fix things too precisely." (p. 101)
• A teacher asks, "How should we treat the natural history of man? How should I begin this study in fourth grade?" Rudolf Steiner replies: "For man, you will find almost everything scattered throughout my lecture cycles in one way or another ... Just fit [my teachings] to the school ... So rely on what you know through Anthroposophy." (p. 125)
(ADVICE; MEETINGS WITH TEACHERS AT THE WALDORF SCHOOL IN STUTTGART (The Federation of Steiner Schools-Waldorf, October 2005. [The English-language edition is titled FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER. — R.R.])
This form of teaching has been meant, from the beginning, to convey Anthroposophy to students, mingling it with traditional teaching and presenting Steiner's assertions as facts, by no means as hypotheses. The fact that this book is published today by the Federation without any critical distance, either in the notes or in the foreword, shows that the teachers in Waldorf schools are not meant to ponder these things! For them, Anthroposophy represents the truth, and being necessary to the human soul, it must be communicated to children from an early age. Speaking to students about Atlantis or Lemuria is a "moral necessity" for a Steiner teacher. It is just a matter of not getting caught in the act of openly teaching Anthroposophy.
3. Making Cultural Works Sacred
I would now like to describe another aspect of the insidious indoctrination of students. It is to produce in the mind a sacralization of certain cultural works, as if they were printed in vibrant red. It is always the same, regardless of the ages of these works or the countries where they originated: FAUST, the TREATMENT OF COLORS, and the METAMORPHOSIS OF PLANTS, by Goethe , PARZIVAL, by Wolfram von Eschenbach , THE ENIGMA OF KASPER HAUSER , LETTERS FOR THE ESTHETIC EDUCATION OF HUMANITY, by Schiller, and the Isenheim Altarpiece. Also included are a few minor markers such as the story of Gilgamesh, Manichaeism (the doctrine of Manes), the myth of Atlantis, etc. It is thus that during their university years, so many Waldorf graduates choose to address one or the other of these works as subjects for dissertations. Such works represent for them a kind of unsurpassable cultural horizon of leitmotifs to which they keep coming back unendingly.
But what is the purpose for making such works sacred? By making Anthroposophical references "sacred" to the students, it is easy to attract them to the Anthroposophical Society. Simply offer them a chance, after graduation, to attend a conference on Goethe, or Kaspar Hauser, for example. When you know the Anthroposophical Society from the inside, you see that it is organized around a few charismatic figures who appear as specialists on various cultural works. Within the Society, there is always a specialist on FAUST, another on PARZIVAL, one on the Isenheim Altarpiece, etc. And these positions are held dear. These specialists are in a way intermediaries between the normal cultural world and that of Anthroposophy. This clever strategy was instituted by Rudolf Steiner himself. Indeed, Anthroposophic ideas are often presented under the guise of a study of certain works. The name "Goetheanum" for the seat of the General Anthroposophical Society is an illustration. Those interested in Goethe will be conducted through Steiner's commentaries on scientific or poetic works of this great German writer, and thereby they will be introduced to Anthroposophy. The process is even more effective with alumni of Steiner-Waldorf schools, for whom these references were presented during Waldorf schooling as if they were absolute standards of excellence. Waldorf students are indeed introduced to these works at specific ages, as if their study were a sort of initiation ritual. Not having studied the "period of Faust" can thus feel tragic to certain other students of Anthroposophy, so they spend a holiday in a German Waldorf school to fill this abominable gap. These works are a kind of common cultural heritage that is holy to Waldorf students everywhere. Obviously, this contributes to actually closing the intellect, since the same works are returned to over and over, with the same comments (those of Steiner) being repeated from a bygone century. During my studies, I chose as the subject of my thesis the design of nature in Goethe's FAUST, and I remember it was not easy for my thesis director to persuade me to study another author. I saw the same thing happen with other classmates from our Waldorf school. One did his thesis on the philosophy of Goethe's METAMORPHOSIS OF PLANTS, another did his literature DEA on Wolfram von Eschenbach's PARZIVAL, and so forth. Getting beyond this circle of restricted and sanctified references is not easy for a Waldorf student! It is not that he will have no interest in anything other than FAUST or PARZIVAL, but in his eyes no other works will convey the same literary or scientific benefits; these special works are not simply references, for him, but objects of devotion. Throughout the world, Steiner-Waldorf schools shape the mind of their students around a small number of cultural works that will pave the way for them to Anthroposophy.
4. Disguised Anthroposophic Rituals
Another element of the pedagogical practice of Steiner-Waldorf schools contributing to this insidious indoctrination is pervasive worship and religious practice. At first glance, this resembles traditional Christian ritual observance. Almost all Christian holidays are celebrated at these schools: The festival of Saint Michel, the festival of Saint Antoine, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, the festival of St. John, etc. The schools' leaders know and, if necessary, make use of Christian terminology — but behind ceremonies that superficially seem akin to traditional forms, in fact we find disguised Anthroposophic rituals "adapted" for children.  Indeed, Anthroposophy contains, in addition to many Oriental references, what might be called "Christian esotericism." The Archangel Michael is deemed to be a cosmic entity, the god Christ is said to have been connected to the Sun and later he became the Spirit of the Earth, etc. Anthroposophists celebrate Christian holidays, but within these rituals are hidden Anthroposophic beliefs. In Waldorf schools, Anthroposophic rituals and esoteric teachings in the form of traditional rituals are carefully modified to reflect in the end the Anthroposophic interpretation of their content.
For example, students celebrate — every year, in late September — the victory of Michael over the Dragon. They enact the legend of St. George rescuing a princess. Little by little, through connections only students immersed in Waldorf education are likely to make, they come to understand that the Dragon is an allegory of the materialism of the modern era, and Michael is the spiritual force that can confront it, delivering the human soul (the princess) who was about to be devoured by the monster. This is in fact an implicit reference to a key element of the doctrine of Rudolf Steiner, which is that a spiritual battle took place in 1879 between the forces of darkness and the forces of light embodied by the Archangel Michael. Thus, this small pageant condenses doctrinal elements that Steiner describes at length in his books.  It is the same for all so-called Christian festivals celebrated in these schools: in fact, esoteric Anthroposophic teachings are presented in allegorical and symbolic form during ritual ceremonies integrated into school life.
In these schools, the number of rituals corresponds to the many Christian festivals and the observance of the seasons of the year. But we must also count prayers and meditations used in Waldorf schools, as well as "rites of passage." In form and in content, these are even more specifically related to Anthroposophy. Indeed, at different times of the day, students recite words (according to their different ages) that are actually meditation texts written by Rudolf Steiner himself or by his disciples.  There are prayers for morning classes, for the afternoon before meals (a kind of grace), for the beginning of the week, for the beginning of the year, for the first grade upon entering the school, for leaving school upon graduation, etc. On each of these occasions, these readings or chorused recitations give rise to small ceremonies that are an integral part of Waldorf education. It even happens that teachers often advise parents of the words they should read to their children at different times of the day. Again, the teachers never say explicitly that these words are from Rudolf Steiner — these are just words to be recited because of tradition. We should note in passing how cunningly teachers avoid using the words "prayers" or "mantras" around the students. Indeed, by designating these activities as merely cultural practices, awareness of their real nature is avoided. This trick comes from Rudolf Steiner himself, who in an interview with the first teachers of the school in Stuttgart said:
"In choosing your words, never say 'prayers,' say 'words for opening the school day.' We should not hear the word 'prayer' in the mouth of a teacher. Thus you will neutralize to a large extent the prejudice against Anthroposophic matters." 
Students are thus led to repeat texts containing Anthroposophic ideas in simplified form, but without being able to identify their origin and without open acknowledgment of the Master who wrote them. These texts soak deeply into the mind by force of being recited continually. Take for example the morning verse that students from all Steiner schools recite in unison with their teacher from the 9th to the 12th grade (high school years):
I recited these words almost every morning for four years. It was only by reading the work of Rudolf Steiner called THEOSOPHY  that I came to understand that this is a digest of Anthroposophical precepts about the relationship between humans and the universe. Indeed, the first stanza shows the relationship between the four kingdoms of nature (mineral, vegetable, animal, and human) that Steiner connects with the four cosmic substances (the physical, the etheric, astral, and spiritual). The second stanza establishes an implicit parallel between God and the Sun, which Rudolf Steiner describes in OCCULT SCIENCE  asserting that Christ is the Sun God who descended to the earth at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The last stanza is an allusion to the strength of the Holy Spirit, the immeasurable cosmic entity that Steiner evokes by example in THE MEANING OF LIFE  and other books. I could also give the example of words we had to recite at the beginning of meals:
Again, far from being a simple poetic text on nature, this prayer condenses key elements of Anthroposophical doctrine concerning the relationship of the human soul with the different elements. For example, there is the belief about human temperaments [phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, melancholic], each associated with an element [earth, air, fire, water].  Or, likewise, the relationship between the components of the human soul and the elements. 
A final example: At the beginning of each afternoon, our class teacher made us recite the following words:
Years later, I discovered that this poem was actually an adaptation of a mantra that Rudolf Steiner gave to his disciples in one of his esoteric lessons:
This shows how skillfully, under innocent appearances, Rudolf Steiner condensed and concealed his esoteric teachings in the words that students should recite in Steiner-Waldorf schools.
5. Some Effects Caused by the Artistic-Mythical-Religious
Atmosphere in Waldorf Schools
The pervasive ritual practices in Waldorf schools are meant, I believe, to immerse students in a kind of permanent religious atmosphere that will fit in their psyches as an addiction. I remember having felt, as a teenager, that I was living in a kind of monastery, punctuated by daily rituals and recitations. But this religious atmosphere was consistently associated with pervasive artistic practices as well as the frequent recounting of legends, folk tales, and myths — it was an artistic environment generating a mythical-religious feeling, which in my opinion is not without consequences and perverse effects:
• At an age when they should be awakening, learning to reason and think critically, the children are mothballed instead — they develop a pronounced tendency to rely on emotion and imagination, which later may encourage credulity and impulsive behavior;
• Some alumni develop psychological blockages against facing psychological reality. I have often observed among them a propensity to hide and forget what could be disturbing, as if it had never existed. In particular, when they became aware of certain realities relating to the sectarianism of the Anthroposophical community, everything was as if their brains suddenly refused to integrate such disturbing information. I found this ability to play "ostrich" to be even greater among Anthroposophists and Waldorf teachers. I remember well the dysfunctional administrative operation of these schools, which were run collectively : Often essential information did not circulate, urgent decisions did not get made, and essential tasks simply passed into oblivion — for example, steps that needed to be taken to assist students to enroll for baccalaureate programs! But teachers and leaders simply let things slip as the drama had not yet ended;
• Waldorf graduates feel a need to reproduce the ceremonies in which they were immersed throughout their schooling. They want to celebrate holidays as Rudolf Steiner led Anthroposophists to do, and to practice many Anthroposophical meditative exercises  as well as to meditate using numerous mantras . Upon becoming a parent, one of my former classmates said about ten prayers to his children every evening, one after the other;
• There is a kind of inhibition and misuse of sexuality in adolescents. As a teacher of these schools, I often heard my colleagues say it was important to provide adolescents with a "strong spiritual content" and make them work hard to divert the powerful forces of sexuality into which they might "fall." I believe this inhibition and this diversion promoted adhesion to the religiosity of the school, and later to that of Anthroposophists;
• There is an overemphasis on the ego and exaggerated exaltation of the mystic realm. Indeed, Steiner-Waldorf teachers place the highest possible value on dreamy and mystical attitudes. As a student, I indeed could see how our teachers showed the highest esteem for those who retained longest the attitudes of gullible children transported by imaginative stories. The student who seemed to be in a dreaming state was placed on a virtual pedestal in comparison to his peers. Later, as a teacher, I often heard teachers in faculty meetings praising the receptive qualities of students who were dreamy, naive, and enthusiastic. It was said of such students that they knew how to keep the soul intact and pure. We often even said that in principle a good Waldorf education should slow the maturation of students' intellectual faculties as far as possible. In addition, teachers flattered and lavished praise on students for abilities they didn't really possess, trying to keep them as long as possible in a sort of "floating" disconnection from reality. This is why the egos of students leaving Waldorf schools are so developed. At first sight, these students seem to have a self-confidence that could be considered a good quality. But looking more closely, we very often see that this colossal self-assurance is based on nothing but empty air. Quite often these students have done virtually no academic work for years: Rituals, religious chants, and preparing for holidays take up so much time in Waldorf schooling that the time devoted to actual school work is literally reduced to a trickle.
Kept in a thorough artistic-mythical-religious atmosphere and expanding their egos, these students are accustomed to a state of laziness that will make them social misfits, unable to escape except through bluster and seduction. Because don't people often replicate what they themselves have experienced? Having been in some way seduced by their teachers, these students may try to proceed through seduction. That is why their results for the baccalaureate exams in writing are so pathetic, although the same students can be tremendously good at oral presentations. Thus, in the school where I worked and tried to prepare students for the baccalaureate, hardly 40% of students were successful, and even they succeeded mostly due to the oral portion of the process. Of course, extension of the dream state greatly facilitates the ability to later become a Anthroposophist, as this mystical doctrine overwhelms those who plunge, as I did, into abstruse metaphysical speculations. Anthroposophical mysticism is a kind of natural extension of the dream state that is overdeveloped in Steiner-Waldorf institutions. Overdevelopment of the ego aids individuals who tend to rise in life by lecturing or even becoming gurus. Later they may find, in the context of the Anthroposophical Society, the roles of spiritual guides, the roles they are in fact familiar with from their childhood. It is therefore common to find students in Steiner-Waldorf schools who systematically and blindly trust their own feelings, or hunches, sometimes up to the level of considering themselves apprentice mediums.
A System Closed on Itself
1. Forcing Students to Adhere to Different Benchmarks,
Practices, and Terminology
2. Concealment Vis-à-Vis Institutions
3. Questionable Closeness Between Students and Teachers
4. A Confusion of Roles
The "Anthroposophical Movement" and Its Institutions
1. Anthroposophic institutions
2. The School of Spiritual Science
and Its Sprawling Network of Professional Sections
Waldorf Schools and Anthroposophy:
A System that Perpetuates
1. Paradox of a Pedagogy of
Enlightenment and Indoctrination
2. Anthroposophy, a System Protected by
Respect for Tradition, Isolation, and Intellectual Jargon
• Intellectual saturation inherent in Anthroposophy
• Respect for tradition
• A Pedagogy Intermingled with a Universe of Beliefs
• Using a Wooden Language
3. The Indoctrination of Parents
4. The Indoctrination of Teachers
Each teacher is also encouraged to take an interest in some aspect of the doctrine of Rudolf Steiner: The Botany teacher will be invited to read relevant writings of Steiner or THE METAMORPHOSIS OF PLANTS by Goethe, the SVT teacher will be prompted to read Steiner on the zoological works of Goethe, etc. The teacher of economics and sociology will be directed to examine Rudolf Steiner's teachings concerning the threefold division of society , the teacher of mathematics is invited to read THE FOURTH DIMENSION, MATHEMATICS AND REALITY . The teacher of physics and chemistry is directed to read LIGHT AND MATTER , etc. The class teacher will, in turn, be urged to attend the Teacher Training Institute  (often at his own expense). However, during this "training," the talk gradually shifts to the esoteric ideas of Rudolf Steiner; the group begins to practice mediation or prayer; they read books such as THEOSOPHY, which contains the Master's teachings on reincarnation and karma, etc.
Teachers are also encouraged to participate in study groups from the Anthroposophical Society to cultivate the foundations of their discipline or their teaching skills.
5. Progressive Involvement Outside Teaching
By Grégoire Perra