Why She Quit

You Will Be Lied To...

The following is from the

Waldorf Critics list, March, 2013:

Moderator Dan Dugan posted a letter

from former Waldorf teacher Rachael Colley


I have added a few endnotes.

— Roger Rawlings

This letter went public when it was sent to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, and is posted with the permission of the author. — Dan

To The Parents Desert Sky Community School and the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools:

My name is Rachael Colley and I recently resigned from Desert Sky Community School. [1] I am writing to inform you of the reason for my untimely departure. I resigned from my position as grade 3/4 teacher because I was unaware that I had been employed by what is, in my opinion, a religious cult [2] and cannot in good conscience continue, despite my love of the children and my sincere desire to give them the best education.

I love that Waldorf education has a rhythm [3], that there is a large block in the morning for children to really get into the lesson and that true unstructured play is encouraged. However, I cannot work in a place where lighting candles at a staff meeting and chanting a childs name (without the parents knowledge), as well as reading from the "Calendar of the Soul" [4] is done and is seen as normal, and even called a "child study".

I cannot work in a place where the children are told to walk on the outside of the circle because the director is afraid they will "break the chalice". [5] Or where children say verses (prayers) to "spirit". [6] I am a spiritual person, but it should not be required of children in a publicly funded school. When this was brought up to my superiors, I was told that they "cannot imagine how I think religion is there". [7] Yet I was told that the chicken coop must be built in a certain way because it, "brings the childrens souls to the earth". [8]

If you have not already looked up anthroposophy, please do. It underpins everything that is said and done at Desert Sky. Understand that you will be lied to [9], and some people at Desert Sky believe that they know more about your child and what is best for him/her than you do. [10] Many (parents) are referred to in negative terms behind their backs, and your children are saying prayers with words that they do not know the meaning of.

There are good people at Desert Sky, people who love your children and also want the best for them. However, someone needed to stand up and be the voice of what really happens and what is really expected. Sadly, that task seems to have fallen onto me.

To all of the families, especially those with children in grades three and four I wish you all the best.


Rachael Colley

Footnotes by Roger Rawlings

[1] A "Waldorf-inspired" school in Tucson, Arizona, USA: http://www.desertskycommunityschool.org/.

[2] Waldorf education arises from the religion created by Rudolf Steiner, called Anthroposophy (pronounced an-throw-POS-oh-fee). One of the doctrines of this odd religion is that Anthroposophy is a science, not a religion. But there is nothing scientific about it [see "Is Anthroposophy Science?"], and objective observers clearly identify it as a religion [see "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"].

[3] In Waldorf belief, there are spiritual rhythms in all things, and spirit is invoked by manifesting these rhythms. [See "Methods".]

[4] The CALENDAR OF THE SOUL is a collection of 52 mystic meditations written by Rudolf Steiner and used by his followers as part of their religious observances.

[5] In Anthroposophy, the Holy Grail or Chalice symbolizes occult spiritual knowledge — the hidden knowledge that Anthroposophists seek to acquire through their religious practices.

[6] Waldorf students are usually required to recite prayers written by Rudolf Steiner. [See "Prayers".] The recitation is usually done in unison with teachers. To disguise this practice, the prayers are usually referred to as "morning verses."

[7] One of the chief difficulties in dealing with Steiner's followers is that they often do not realize what they are doing. [See "Here's the Answer".] Even on such elementary matters as whether their practices constitute a religion, they often deceive themselves. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"] The additional difficulty is that when they aren't unwittingly deceiving themselves, they may well be — wittingly or not — trying to deceive you. [See "Secrets".]

[8] Crafts classes are important in Waldorf schools; building objects of various sorts is considered a spiritual discipline. Essentially all activities at Waldorf schools are meant to help children incarnate properly. [See "Incarnation".] The doctrines of reincarnation and karma are central to Anthroposophy. “[T]he purpose of [Waldorf] education is to help the individual fulfill his karma.” — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 52.

[9] Believing that they possess hidden spiritual wisdom, which makes them occult initiates, Anthroposophists conceal many of their beliefs from outsiders. Waldorf schools likewise conceal many of their underlying beliefs, as Rudolf Steiner directed them to do. [See "Secrets".]

[10] Considering themselves to be occult initiates, Anthroposophists think they know more about almost everything than anyone else knows. Rudolf Steiner told Waldorf teachers to compensate for the foolish errors made by students' parents and to take control of the children as much as possible.

◊ "You will have to take over children for their education and instruction — children who will have received already (as you must remember) the education, or mis-education given them by their parents." — Rudolf Steiner, THE STUDY OF MAN (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2004), p. 16.

◊ "[I]t might almost be preferable from a moral viewpoint if children could be taken into one's care soon after birth." — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY, Vol. 2 (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 69.

[Anthroposophic Press, 1982.]

Below are a few specimen

meditations written by Rudolf Steiner

and included in


Fifth Week (May 5-11)

Within the light that out of spirit depths

Weaves germinating power into space

And manifests the gods' creative work:

Within its shine, the soul's true being

Is widened into worldwide life

And resurrected

From narrow selfhood's inner power.

Eighth Week (May 26-June 1)

The senses' might grows strong

United with the gods' creative work;

It presses down my power of thinking

Into a dreamlike dullness.

When godly being

Desires union with my soul,

Must human thinking

In quiet dream-life rest content.

Thirteenth Week (June 30-July 6)

And when I live in senses' heights,

There flames up deep within my soul

Out of the spirit's fiery worlds

The gods' own word of truth:

In spirit sources seek expectantly

To find your spirit kinship.

Fifteenth Week (July 14-20)

I feel enchanted weaving

Of spirit within outer glory.

In dullness of the senses

It has enwrapt my being

In order to bestow the strength

Which in its narrow bounds my I

Is powerless to give itself.

Thirty-Eighth Week (December 22-28)

The spirit child within my soul

I feel freed of enchantment.

In heart-high gladness has

The holy cosmic Word engendered

The heavenly fruit of hope,

Which grows rejoicing into worlds afar

Out of my being's godly roots.

For samples of the sorts of prayers Waldorf students

are required to recite, see "Prayers".

[R.R., 2013]