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Friday, November 25, 2011

Control.Halt.Delete Article Comments

I tend to respond to articles praising Waldorf... This article the Colorado Springs Times is one of several praising non-computer use in Waldorf and ignoring the underlying philosophy.  My comment produced an interesting response from the author and a deceitful post from Waldorf teacher and Wikipedia editor Harlan Gilbert.

My initial post:

"But the end results are striking. According to its site, 94 percent of Waldorf graduates attend colleges or universities."

Why is it OK to misrepresent this sort of thing in a "news" article. Getting statistics off their website? Did the reporter look at how many kids actually attend college after Waldorf? Most Waldorf schools stop at the 8th grade. Are they taking credit for their grads going to college?

At Highland Hall Waldorf school, it was reported that 25% of students are withdrawn from the school EACH YEAR. 25% of the parents are dissatisfied enough - EVERY YEAR to abandon their child's education, not to mentions thousands of dollars invested, and simply walk away. Last year they lost closer to 50%. Somebody isn't telling parents everything before they enroll their kids in these schools.

It has been my experience with Waldorf that they are dishonest in representing their schools, their movement and what they actually teach children. There is a reason for this... Waldorf is the missionary arm of Anthroposophy - Rudolf Steiner's quasi-religious philosophy that teaches, among other things, that "the white race is the race of the future". They teach this sort of nonsense in Waldorf as science. People signing up for Waldorf may be getting a whole lot more than they bargained for. Many, many parents find out too late that Waldorf is NOT for them.

Parents, PLEASE research Waldorf more thoroughly than the author of this article before considering this nightmare for your children. Waldorf is not what it appears to be.

Submitted by Pete Karaiskos / former Waldorf parent, Waldorf critic and parent advocate.
Posted by Pete K on November 23, 2011 at 7:05 AM

We've been very, very happy with the education our children (now 6th and 8th grades) are receiving at the Waldorf school near us. We did get much, much more than we bargained for -- in the best sense possible! This is, at least, the school of the future.
Posted by Harlan Gilbert on November 23, 2011 at 10:28 AM
Pete K,
I am aware, of course, of the backlash against Waldorf from yourself and others.
In fact, I was careful to note some of the criticisms against Waldorf in my story, despite the fact that it had little to do with my central theme on technology.
It's true that Waldorf has few high schools, and that I relied on their study to determine how many of their graduates go to college. Since these are private schools, there is no other source for this information. The 94 percent figure has also been used in national publications.
You may have noticed a high attrition rate at a high school near you — I assume you do not live in Colorado, since there are no Colorado Waldorf High Schools — however, we are not basing our information on a single school. Also, no other school that I've heard of, whether public or private, would include attrition in its graduation rate, or college acceptance rate. I see no reason to hold Waldorf to a higher standard.
What's more, while a high attrition rate may look bad, it's not necessarily that telling. We have schools here that serve children of soldiers. The attrition rates are high, but I wouldn't say that's a judgement on their performance. Similarly, I'd note that Waldorf schools are private, and generally quite expensive, so it would seem that there would be many reasons other than the ones you provided for a school to have a high attrition rate.
Your other complaints are more of what I saw on the Web.
It's true that Waldorf uses some of Steiner's philosophy and his focus on a child's spirit in the classroom. To some, who may be rooted in a different religion, or strictly atheist, that could be viewed as offensive.
You also note the race issue, which seems to crop up a lot. Best I could tell, Steiner was a product of his time, and he did hold beliefs that favored whites. However, he was also noted for loudly opposing racism and anti-Semitism, which was rather progressive for the late 1800s and early 1900s. In fact, Waldorf Schools across Europe were shut down by the Germans during World War II.
In short, I found no evidence that the schools taught any racism in the classroom, and it actually appeared that the schools strove to be open to all colors and religions, both in staff and students. It seemed as though the arguments that the school system is racist were based on some of the antiquated beliefs personally held by Steiner a century ago.
By that logic, our Founding Fathers' beliefs shouldn't be shared with school kids, because many of them were slave holders. I think we assume that teachers can show the wisdom of the Constitution while still condemning slavery. Similarly, it would seem that Waldorf teachers can apply Steiner's educational principles without showing any favoritism for whites.
I certainly would not have written anything vaguely positive about a school system that was considered racist. However, I recognize that individual experiences vary. Teaching involves a human element, and teachers and principals can be bad eggs just like anyone else. If you had a bad experience, that's upsetting and I hope you took whatever actions were appropriate.
For our readers, here's what Wikipedia says about Steiner and race (…
"Race and ethnicity
Steiner's work includes both universalist, humanist elements and historically influenced racial assumptions.[80] Due to the contrast and even contradictions between these elements, "whether a given reader interprets Anthroposophy as racist or not depends upon that reader's concerns."[81] Steiner considered that every people, by dint of a shared language and culture, has a unique essence, which he called its soul or spirit,[76] saw race as a physical manifestation of humanity's spiritual evolution and at times seemed to place races into a complex hierarchy largely derived from contemporary theosophical views, yet he consistently and explicitly subordinated the role of hereditary factors, including race and ethnicity, to individual factors in development.[81] The human individuality, for Steiner, is centered in a person's unique spiritual biography (i.e., the vast sum of an individuality's experiences and development not bound by waking hours or a single lifetime), not the body's accidental qualities.[22] More specifically:
Steiner characterized specific races, nations, and ethnicities in ways that have been termed racist by critics[82] including characterizations of various races and ethnic groups as flowering, others as backward or destined to disappear;[81] and hierarchical views of the spiritual evolution of different races,[83] including—at times, and inconsistently—portraying the white race, European culture, or the Germanic culture as representing the high point of human evolution as of the early 20th century, though describing these as destined to be superseded by future cultures.[81] Nevertheless, his views about German culture were not ethnically based; he saw this culture, in particular Goethe and the German transcendentalists, as the source of spiritual ideals that were of central importance both for the immediate region and for the world.[84]
Throughout his life, Steiner consistently emphasized the core spiritual unity of all the world's peoples and sharply criticized racial prejudice. He articulated beliefs that the individual nature of any person stands higher than any racial, ethnic, national or religious affiliation;[7][47] that race and ethnicity are transient and superficial, not essential aspects of the individual;[81] that each individual incarnates among / as part of many different peoples and races over successive lives, thus bearing within him- or herself a range of races and peoples;[81][85] and that race is rapidly losing any remaining significance for humanity.[81]
Above all, Steiner considered "race, folk, ethnicity and gender" to be general, describable categories into which individuals may choose to fit, but from which free human beings can and will liberate themselves.[22]"

J. Adrian Stanley
Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on November 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Hi J. Adrian Stanley,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, Waldorf teacher Harlan Gilbert (who posted above my previous post pretending to be a parent - any wonder his kids are doing great?) wrote a wonderful piece in Wikipedia about Steiner (check the edit pages to find him controlling the article). If you like that one, read his article about Waldorf Education. Unfortunately, all the articles Mr. Gilbert has participated in on Wikipedia are, as one would expect, very biased... and that bias rubs off, again as one would expect, on readers. You say, for example, Waldorf schools were shut down by the Nazis. Do you know they were favored schools by many Nazis and were the very last non-state schools to be shut down? In fact, many Waldorf parents petitioned the Nazis claiming their ideas were in alignment. Peter Staudenmaier PhD is an historian who specializes in this particular area. Here's a link to what *really* happened with regard to the closing of Waldorf schools during the Nazi era... in case you're interested.…

Now, getting back to Harlan Gilbert's Wikipedia piece on Steiner, here's what it boils down to... Steiner believed the "individual" was represented in spiritual form, and that each individual incarnates in multiple lifetimes ever-progressing from the lower races upward until achieving the perfect (for now) form of the white race (although some people or peoples could regress). So, the "individual" is only visiting this incarnation... for karmic reasons. This is what Waldorf teachers are taught - whether they are Anthroposophists or not. Waldorf teacher training reading lists reveal what's on the menu for new Waldorf teachers.

Now, how does this affect what Waldorf teachers do in the classroom? Well, for one thing, they are guidelines set forth by Steiner about what to expect from children of the various races, how to deal with children with disabilities and why those disabilities are basically karma from a previous lifetime, how to deal with demonic (non-human) children, how to deal with large-headed children differently than small-headed children, when children should be broken of lefthandedness, and so forth. This ridiculous stuff is REQUIRED reading for all Waldorf teacher trainees (it's contained in every published Waldorf teacher training reading list I've seen at least and I've seen many). That, to me, means somebody thinks this stuff is still important - even if you don't.

Steiner advised Waldorf teachers that they have a deeper karmic connection with the children than their own parents. Waldorf teachers I've experienced have tended to take liberties with other people's children. Their karma with the child is stronger after all. And, the child may have SOME karma to experience in this lifetime. No matter what harm comes to the child... it's their karma... This plays well with Waldorf teachers who can shake off the harm they've done to children. One who did immeasurable harm to my daughter went into Waldorf teacher TRAINING. There is something seriously wrong with a system that doesn't admonish but rather promotes the worst teachers.

Attrition is something Waldorf doesn't like to talk about. And I'm sorry, I don't agree their attrition rates are normal. There are many good reasons parents leave any school... but Waldorf has the particular distinction of hiding the underlying philosophy behind it. When parents find out what's really driving Waldorf education (Steiner's Anthroposophy), many pull their kids. Others have kids who don't fit. They may spend a couple years (or many more) bored out of their minds. Parents believe they're doing the best for their kids... and believe me... You won't find many Waldorf schools willing to give up tuition by admitting a child doesn't fit... especially if there are siblings that fit better. Then, it's the child's "karma". Kids that don't fit? Smart kids! Steiner had no use for anything "intellectual". If you have a smart kid, it's Waldorf's job to dumb them down. It really isn't about education, it's about indoctrination. Oh, and they don't care if they get kids or their parents... the more people they can draw in, the better.

Speaking of attrition... lest anyone believes all this problematic stuff is isolated to my local Waldorf school... there is lots of attrition of teachers too! Problematic teachers are passed around from one school to the next. Highland Hall recently lost 22% of teachers and staff to attrition. I won't name the names of the schools Highland Hall's teachers migrated to, but they are all across the country. Were these the good teachers who left a problematic school, or the bad teachers who were forced out? Let's face it... they're the NEW teachers at some other Waldorf schools... maybe in Colorado?

Pete Karaiskos - Former Waldorf parent / Waldorf critic / Activist
Posted by Pete K on November 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Highland Hall Waldorf School - Reviews by Pete

See also: Parent Reviews of Highland Hall
Parent Reviews of Highland Hall - Update

I've gone to considerable effort to warn parents about Highland Hall Waldorf School.  Here are some of the reviews I've posted:

Google Reviews

Please, listen to the reviews of students (poor) and not the reviews of teachers and faculty (like Liz, below). If you read a "parent" review, shouldn't it be from a "parent" who isn't also WORKING THERE? I had Highland Hall forced on my kids (through a difficult divorce). I was there almost 20 years... I know Highland Hall. My kids unanimously agree the place was NOT a good learning institution... just like Anush and Paolo below. A small percentage of kids who graduate (which is a VERY SMALL percentage of kids who attend since most parents pull their children OUT of Highland Hall after a year or two) go on to college - the remainder struggle in "artsy" careers - performing arts, food service, stuff like that. There are NO academics being taught there - and there's a reason. Anthroposophy is Waldorf's silent partner. Anthroposophy (the special religious teacher training Liz talks about below) frowns on intellect. So, the "additional" training Waldorf teachers have is religious indoctrination... not something regarding education. In fact, if you have questions about what Waldorf teachers are taught, have a look at the Waldorf teacher training reading list here: - it's ALL Anthroposophy - all the time. The two student reviews below indicate how silly these people's approach to education is. I'm here to tell you that the education is dangerous as well. First - there is a racist component to the education. Rudolf Steiner, the father of Waldorf education, was himself a racist. The racist things he taught are being taught to students at Highland Hall - WITH the knowledge of the teachers, staff, board, etc. and Second, they cover up abuse when it occurs. Breaking the mandated reporting laws is common for them. This happened frequently to many kids, my own included. Please, read my blog about Highland Hall's abusive behavior toward children and parents. If you still feel like sending your child there, I'll pray for you.

"There is a cowardly and deceitful person that used my daughter's name to write a negative review for this school. " Are you sure it wasn't your son LISA? Meanwhile, speaking of cowardly, you KNEW my daughter was being exposed to a known pedophile on your campus and did NOTHING. You are a MANDATED reporter. Shame on you Lisa - and shame on the conspirators who helped you destroy a child. A huge lawsuit against Highland Hall is forthcoming. Thanks for destroying this school. Parents are best advised to avoid Highland Hall at all costs. There is nothing these people won't don in the name of protecting their school and Anthroposophy! NOTHING!

by a parent
Monday, June 20, 2011

Open QuoteOften considered the most problematic of all Waldorf schools, Highland Hall has had serious problems going back decades. The underpinning philosophy, Anthroposophy, binds all the teachers. This becomes a cult-like environment in a crisis situation - and there is a crisis situation every year or two due to poor governance and no accountability. In such situations, teachers and board members are ruthless in their treatment of offending children or parents. The philosophy, Anthroposophy, is steeped in spiritual and RACIAL hierarchies. Indeed, Anthroposophy IS the curriculum. Highland Hall taught my child that the blood of Europeans is more evolved than the blood of Asians and Africans. When questioned about this, they didn't reprimand the teacher, they DEFENDED the lesson. Obviously, I am a former parent... not so obviously, I've been involved with Highland Hall for over 15 years.

Please read my blog: Quote


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Highland Hall Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents and Students

Parent and Student Reviews of Highland Hall from around the web:
Anush - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
nice campus everthing else lacking ‎
After spending 4+ years there ,I will say this ,first the teachers for the most part lack any formal education ,and yes that means little or no college ,second I saw more drugs and alcohol there than any public school kids sniffing ''dust off'', coming to school high on LSD, stoned students AND often teachers ,drinking off campus at lunch ,etc etc ,subject matter substandard [computers are banned by Waldorf] also don't let them fool you with their college acceptance claims ,yes the students will get accepted but in most cases the drop out after 1 to 2 years ,out of the hundred plus people who graduated over my time there most (I say this with total certainty ) did nothing and often have a list of drug and alcohol related mishaps on their record, DUIs etc ,it is my opinion that it would be best to send you children elsewhere,the damage that can be inflicted can take years to fix ,its a very unhealthy place, outside it seems great, but just ask them about kids who ...
Cam E - 09/06/2009
Hello all! I am currently a senior at HH. I have attended HH my entire life and all I can say is that I feel blessed and fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn in the environment this school provides. I have developed a love and inspiration for the world around me and its endless mysteries that, all "corruption" set aside, is as real and true to me as anything can be. You can't fake a curriculum like ours, or the relationship we have with our teachers. I have seen my share of drama in the community and one thing I have observed every time is that it is almost always instigated by a parent who takes it upon themselves to make everybody feel the repercussions of their less-than-desirable experiences at the school. If anybody reading this forum is considering a Waldorf education for their children, know that I am and accomplished student, artist, and musician, as well as a "lifer" at HH, and I couldn't name anything in my life that I have ever appreciated my parents for more than finding this school and sending me here. Please just come for a tour or our school and talk to some of the "lifers." You will realize that people who have gone to HH are talented, upright, high quality individuals.

PETE NOTES: Cam, unfortunately, didn't graduate Highland Hall - despite being a "lifer".  Only weeks before graduating, Highland Hall, in their typical, unthoughtful manner, expelled Cam.  I'm told Cam is doing well in college.
Tucker H
Our 3 children attended over 12 years and despite the beauty of the campus - the school has no transparent system for problem solving serious issues. Teachers seem defensive and intolerant of parents asking questions. The teachers police each other and there is no advocate for the parents or students who might have a legitimate concern about a teacher's conduct. Students can be expelled, without any warning, if the teacher does not like their parent, even if the student has never done anything wrong. This is not written down anywhere, but it has happened several times in the last few years. Each time a perfectly cooperative child is expelled or not allowed to re-enroll because the teacher didn't like the child's parents, it sends a frightening message to the entire community to not question the teacher's authority or your child will be punished.
A. Scemema
Parents are not allowed to question the teacher's decisions in the elementary grades. Discipline is inconsistent - often the teachers seem excessively punitive. This education appeals to students/families who prefer an anti-intellectual curriculum, with a spiritual agenda inspired by Rudolph Steiner. There is no geniune open forum to express concern about classroom issues, bullying, etc., or to question the unusual methods used to teach.

Margaret Sachs
Our two children attended for a total of about 13 years between them. I was one of those enthusiastic mothers who for many years couldn't say enough good things about the school. Gradually, however, my husband and I began to form the opinion that while the curriculum appeared on paper to be impressive, in practice it neither matched the hype we were hearing nor met the expectations we had for our children's education. Nonetheless, because I still thought the social environment of the school was healthy, I continued to vigorously defend it against criticism by families that left dissatisfied or in anger. That stopped when scandals occurred that, for us, crossed a line. I then began researching Waldorf and Anthroposophy and was stunned to find myself going through a deprogramming process. It finally dawned on me that I had become brainwashed by what I consider to be a slick PR program. I strongly recommend that anyone considering a Waldorf school research the many American and international English language Web sites critical of Waldorf. The documentation at some of those sites is truly enlightening. I recommend you don't accept at face value arguments that Steiner quotations are being taken out of context. Instead, ask how the context affects the meaning of the quotations. I also suggest that if someone tells you that Steiner quotes provided by critics have been mistranslated you have an independent, non-Waldorf German speaker translate some of them for you and compare your translations to those by both Waldorf supporters and critics.

Anush ‎ - Jan 25, 2011
This place is a joke 4 years like bob says unless you start in 1st grade forget it,you will always be an outsider,a bunch of spoiled rich kids who also infuse the place with drugs ,you may be better of at another school ,save your money .

Paolo ‎ - Oct 23, 2010
Bob Went here for 3 years of my life. Unless you're in the Waldorf system from 1st grade up you will not integrate well into their education system. A bogus education belief based on creating your own books, if you're child isn't an artist, or is coming in from public school. Forget it, spend your 14000 somewhere else
Posted September 16, 2010
Waldorf education can be an amazing thing, but Highland Hall is a very poor example of a Waldorf school. There are very real reasons this school is under-enrolled, has no waiting lists, and often turns over 20% of its children a year. There is no functioning leadership. Teacher quality is uneven. Most crucially, Highland Hall lacks integrity, their mission statement a hollow promise gutted by fear and money. Look elsewhere. —Submitted by a parent

My 3 children did not feel they learned any basic curriculum. Knitting, art and woodworking are great, but math, science, english, history are weak. Many of their high school students don't get into college. We left because our children were bored. —Submitted by a parent

My daughter attended HH for a year and enjoyed what they had to offer at the preschool age. However, she would come home and need to run and jump all over the place. Some kids just need to run. I like the Waldorf philosophy but I also feel times are changing and in order to keep a realistic perspective on our world, the media is a huge part of it. And being a psych major, I have learned that children feel safe when they can understand parts of their environment. Not keeping them in a bubble right smack in the middle of a thriving city. Plus parents have an imperialistic attitude at HH. The love and respect for nature and life should be given to all, not just those who can afford it. —Submitted by a parent

My son was there for a year and didn't learn a thing. We changed schools the following year to an more challenging academic setting. He had a lot of remedial work that he had to do the following year just to catch up to his peers. The teachers at Highland Hall are very nurturing and loving, however, the kids need more mental stimulation. I don't agree with their philosophy (actually Rudolf Steiner's) of delaying academics till the late elementary/jr. high years. My feeling is that either you're a Waldorf person or you're not, there's no middle ground. It turned out that my son had dyslexia, which had gone undetected as his class was not performing at grade level in reading or writing. He did benefit however, from having such a caring, wonderful teacher. The campus has an expansive park-like feel to it and is beautiful. —Submitted by a parent

My child loved her kindergarten teachers but by 2nd grade became frustrated with the repetition of form drawing and the weirdness of the eurythmy class. She is now in a charter school that is equally relaxed (no grades, no tests, no homework) but is more academically stimulating and inspiring. At Waldorf, every child works at the same pace, which is usually dictated by the children who struggle the most. —Submitted by a parent

If your child has any learning difficulties, this school is ideal for allowing them to work without enormous pressure. If your child is academically gifted, this school will not be a good fit. There is a strong anti-intellectualism from First thru 12th grade. —Submitted by Anna J., a parent

Adjusting to a traditional school revealed that my child was performing in every area below grade level. It took her a year to catch up, and we regret having not pulled her out before First grade. Although the campus appears serene and attractive, the lack of transparency in the curriculum is a serious problem.
—Submitted by Dorothy, a parent

Excellent kindergarten with our particular teacher; however, we had the very opposite experience in middle school; and we were so unimpressed by the time our child reached 8th grade that our child begged us to allow her to switch to a more traditional high school. —Submitted by Judy, a parent

Three children attended; the oldest had a great experience from k-8; our second child had a series of terrible teachers. The youngest child had a great kindergarten experience. The school has no ability to constructively address parents concerns —Submitted by a parent

In spite of the beautifuyl appearance, it feels like a cult. There are no academics standards. —Submitted by a former student

As the name states, this is a Waldorf school, which is a very definite thing. For some, it is perfect, for some not such a good fit. That is the first thing a prospective parent needs to research. One distinctive aspect of Waldorf schools is there is not a 'principal'. In the event of a problem, this can be an issue. We often felt we had no one to turn to for action on our concerns. Academically, we found Highland Hall on a very different page than other private schools in the area. Our children left with way above average vocabularies, and below level skills in concrete areas such as spelling and basic math facts. —Submitted by a parent

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pete Goes Toe-to-Toe with Cult Member Bill Grant to Reclaim His Son

This is an email conversation I had with Bill Grant - who is a movie producer or something... His wife, Karen Grant, is the one who ran interference for Merilee Lovell when she taught racist ideas to my older son.   After conspiring to hide my daughter, they snatched up my son when we lost our home.   After getting nowhere with Karen, I sent Bill an email to his office and received an auto-reply with the email addresses of his entire staff.  I decided I'd threaten to share Bill and Karen's beliefs with Bill's staff.  The following is the email exchange:

From: Pete Karaiskos
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 9:14 PM
To: Bill Grant
Subject: They're Your Beliefs

Why are you ashamed of your beliefs?  You're not worried the colorful people in your office might look at you differently if they knew you support a belief system that declares they are inferior... are you?  I'm sure they can't imagine why you would support such a set of beliefs... and yet YOU DO! 

Stop lying to Chris{my son} she knows it because I showed it to her.  24 pages of racist material from your guru.  Just unfortunate he lived in "racist" times... right?  The savior of the world couldn't help himself?  Hey Bill... they teach those exact things in Waldorf teacher training TODAY.  Karen knows this too.  Why Bill?  Why not edit out the racist material for the teacher training?  Is it because it's "important" for teachers to "know" these things about the races... in case they have children of color in their classroom?  Or is it just because nobody dares to edit the words of Steiner.

Don't worry... your co-workers won't confront you... but they WILL KNOW.  But hey - they're your beliefs.  Presumably, you are proud of them... so what harm would it do to let people in on them?  You and Karen are very secretive about these beliefs aren't you?  Why?  They're your beliefs!!!  Make them known.

You and your wife are cult-members and need to distance yourselves from my boy.  What happened to my daughter will not happen again here.  I know how upset {my son} is over this - and I'm still writing you - so YOU need to know how serious I am.  Find a way. 

You've stressed my son needlessly over this by sharing these emails.  You're adding to your bill... Bill.  


I have not answered any of your e-mails because you make absolutely no sense. However since you won’t leave my family alone and are threatening to spread your sick delusional thoughts beyond my household, I guess it is my responsibility to formally tell you to stop bothering us. So stop it Pete. And since your horrible accusations and attacks on me seem to have started because {your son} is staying with us, I’d like to remind you of one simple fact: 
Your 19 year old son is staying at our house because you were evicted and he needed a place to sleep. Since he is a classmate of my daughter,  we accepted him into our home. He eats and sleeps here and he is free to leave whenever he wants. I know he has told you this as well so I’m at a loss as to why you continue bothering us. Talk to your sons, not us.
That’s it.
You should also know that I will not be engaging with you beyond this e-mail and if you persist in threatening or bothering me, my family, or anyone I know, I will take the appropriate action to make you stop.  Do yourself a favor and stop.  I’m not the guy you want to take on.

I'm not the guy you want to take on either Bill... but thanks for growing some nuts finally.  As a courtesy for responding at long last, I won't copy your troop on this one.

My boys and I were evicted because people at Highland Hall conspired to help hide {my daughter} from the police when she was overdosing on drugs and missing.  For THREE MONTHS... while I was looking for my daughter, people at Highland Hall were tearing down Missing Child posters Bill.  Are you kidding me?  You think you and Karen are heroes for taking {my son} in after helping to get us evicted?

THAT'S why we were evicted.  So get off your fucking high horse - OK?  Your wife is partly to blame for the harm that came to my daughter - going back years.  She was on the board and defended Mrs. Leonard... who is now TRAINING TEACHERS at Highland Hall.  If Karen wasn't tearing down Missing Child posters - she could have worked to stop the people who were.  But it gets more personal than that, Bill.  {My son} wanted to call DCFS and Karen made sure he didn't.  BTW, Karen didn't call them either.  She joined Highland Hall in blocking my efforts as
{my daughter} almost died of overdose after overdose... Asshole! 

Take whatever actions you want Bill - I'll take better ones I promise you!  I've told you - you're going to court over this.  You think a judge will restrain me over emails?  Maybe you just shouldn't open them?  You're going to have to trump up charges... What?  You harmed my daughter and have taken my son into your home... and now I'm upset.  Let a judge restrain me... over emails.  I'll have him in front of the Attorney General so fast it will make his head spin.  After what I've been through with YOU?  Remember, YOU are the ones on record as having harmed my children. I have sworn depositions.  I've dealt with this sort of harassment before from Highland Hall.  Let's go Bill...

With regard to your loss at why I keep bothering you Bill - for one... you don't answer... but also, if you will grow the balls to read my emails, I've already explained this to you.  You and Karen are part of a cult.  You can argue this... but then look who would rather threaten me than have his beliefs exposed to his co-workers?  If something I'm saying doesn't make sense, please feel free to ask me to clarify.  Your cult is racist by the way.  Do you get what racist means?  It also places the white race above other races. You get what that makes you... right?

You influence my son - even though he's nineteen... you have had influence over him since he was a minor.  You will see how easy it is for me to prove this in court.  If you don't understand what a cult is, you should look it up - since it apparently doesn't make sense to you when I tell you this.  Highland Hall fits EVERY description of a cult Bill... and MANY people who have been here describe it as one.  Cults tend to do the things Highland Hall does... break the law, cover up wrongdoings, lie to the public and so on. 

Your excuse that {my son} is 19 doesn't hold water.  You've had him in your control for over a decade and that makes you liable under the laws I identified.  So Bill, know that you are a criminal and I will continue to do whatever I need to do in order to remove him from the influence of you, your wife and the cult you both belong to.  I was hoping as a father you would understand this and that we could work out a plan for him to move elsewhere without distressing him too much. If, instead, you want to fight me - take your best shot Bill... I'll take mine.

I haven't broken the law... you have.  Please reconsider trying to fight me.  Let's put aside our differences and open a line of communication and work together to get {my son} to a new location.  Then we can resume whatever it is we need to settle.

I'll give you a day to think about it.

Just so we don't waste a day while you're deciding if you're going to fight me...

If you don't think Highland Hall teaches racism to children... Explain how they conduct the Pentathlon to me Bill.  Do you even KNOW what that's about?

Try to describe it without talking about separating the kids according to their physical attributes.

Get a clue will ya?  You'll need one in order to answer questions.  This might help...

Racism is ugly Bill.  You should consider carefully which institutions you support when you're in the public eye.  When you influence other people's kids... that's VERY ugly.

Please consider not forcing my hand for once.



If you have a lawyer, you may want to verify this with him:

Here's what I have in mind... and I'll be adding to this list - both with people and with charges.  I have documentation and witnesses to support every claim I'm making:

Karen Grant: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, conspiracy to defame.
Bill Grant: Conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278

In case others you know are interested:

Hal Sazzman: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up the violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up two counts of child molestation.  I also have reports Hal took kickbacks of $10,000 for at least one of the building projects (the offices).  I'll be verifying that one further before adding more fraud charges to Hal's dossier.

Humberto Ramirez: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278 in connection with drugs.  I have had several reports of Humberto sharing marijuana with students.

Carrie Ashby: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278 with malicious intent - to hide my daughter while she was in medical danger (overdosed and at the ER - with Jim Pedroja and Angela), defamation of character, conspiracy to defame my character (along with Laura Ferris and Aaron Schmidt) with malicious intent.

Aaron Schmidt: Conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, conspiracy to commit fraud and to hide cases of hitchhiking, conspiracy to defame my character, conspiracy to cover up child endangerment.

Ed Eadon: Conspiracy to commit fraud, perjury/providing false testimony to minor's counsel with malicious intent, defamation of character,  conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

Hasib Saliefendic: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, fraud against the state of California with regard to
{my daughter}'s IEP and current health care, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.  I'm going to report Hasib to the IRS for advertising his website on a 501-c3 site.

Andrew Sapin: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278.

Laura Ferris: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, defamation of character, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

Patty McNulty: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

Lisa Profumo: Fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up the violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up at least two counts of child molestation, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

Jim Pedroja: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up the violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up two counts of child molestation, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278, reckless child endangerment.

Jack Bryant: Conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278 - through the use of drugs, conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

Christine Leonard: Several counts of fraud with malicious intent, conspiracy to commit fraud, defamation of character, direct abuse of children including
{my daughter}.  My list for Christine is quite long.

Merrily Lovell: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up the violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up two counts of child molestation, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278.

Rachael Pflugg: Conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to cover up the violation of mandated reporting laws, conspiracy to cover up two counts of child molestation, conspiracy to violate California Penal Code – Section 278.  I'm also going to report her to the IRS for advertising her private - for-profit company on a 501-c3 website all these years.

Have I forgotten anyone?  I'll get to the Waldorf's, the Rubinicks, the Blakes... other board members... our alumni director and any others who have conspired  with you to separate me from my kids. 

You and your cult had motive... it's written in stone by Steiner... it's what you do.  I can prove your motives!  You are part of a sick cult and collectively, you broke the law.  Now you will pay!  My kids will see once and for all - who the real monsters are!!!

Talk with your attorney Bill.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone I've listed.  As my good friend Hal once told me "Enough is enough!"  You've pushed me farther than you should have... now everyone pays!

Feel free to call me any time to apologize for the harm you've done... but only after you truly understand it.


Shortly afterward, my son called to let me know he would be moving out of the Grant's home.   I was able to put both my sons up in their own apartment.

Highland Hall Waldorf School - Conspiracy Efforts

Here's another one of these email exchanges that need to be read from the bottom up to make sense of it.  In summary, Highland Hall's then Business Manager, and live-in boyfriend of my ex, Jim Pedroja, tried to extort money from me that had already been paid... On my ex's request - which he put RIGHT ON THE BILL.  This is an indicator of the kinds of problems I was facing with Highland Hall.  As always, dishonesty and intimidation are the main themes for Jim Pedroja.

Remember to start at the bottom... 

Sorry, high school trip fees are not included in the tuition and haven't been for over 15 years. Please refer to the attached.  Christopher's 9th grade trip fee remains outstanding. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Karaiskos []
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 4:08 PM
To: Jim Pedroja
Subject: Zero Balance...


It appears my memory was correct - that Christopher's trip is paid up and that I don't owe anything.  So, for the moment, it seems I'm completely paid up.  It would appear Angela's request was completely unfounded - as was your bill to me.

Have a great day!

Pete Karaiskos

Email from Class Treasurer...


As I recall, the money for the field trip was in the tuition?  I do remember asking for money for the class fund but we have covered it with the money we made at the May faire - we cleared over 500 dollars


Email to Class Treasurer...

Hi Sarah,

Do I owe the class money for Christopher's field trip this year?  I don't remember whether I paid my share for it or not.  If not, how much was the per-student cost?  Thanks!!!


Dear Pete,

Sorry  that our bill caused you so much concern.  For your information, we regularly split charges between divorced or separated parents, either by amount or by type of charge  for probably 25 or 30  students a year.   You indicate you are accepting responsibility for  at least one of the items billed for which we thank you  and conclude  that the request by Angela was correct and useful in addressing this matter.  As always, if the items we billed to you are not your responsibility or are incorrect for any reason,  then kindly tell us and we will promptly correct the matter.  

We did not intend to bill you for two years trip fees.  However, I see in my file an early draft of the bill  in which the captions mistakenly identified the periods involved as next year and the year following. If that older version was what I sent to you then I apologize, though the  line by line wording on  the charges  identifies the grades involved  which appear correct  to me.  I am attaching the bill  I intended to send you.  As per our tuition contract we send bills to all parents in May and June for the upcoming school year with payment expected in July  unless a monthly payment plan has been arranged. 

Arrangements for the 8th grade trip are made by the teacher and parents of the class including setting and collecting the fee. Please direct your concerns  to the class teacher or room reps . 


Jim Pedroja    

-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Karaiskos []
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:17 PM
Subject: Your letter to me
Hi Jim,

I am in receipt of your recent letter to me dated May 23rd.  I see that it was sent at Angela's request.  While I understand you must be in a difficult position here considering your close relationship with Angela,  I would encourage you to avoid the temptation to support Angela in her ongoing psychotic efforts to intimidate me with this sort of nonsense.  

The reasoning behind your letter isn't clear, and in fact looks pretty shady.  So let's get to the bottom of this and see if we're talking about official school policy or conspiratorial (you and Angela) intimidation, shall we?

We both know it is not school policy for all parents to pay for two years of field trips in advance, so if the school is officially insisting that I alone pay in advance for two years of trips for the kids, please explain the school's reasons for making this request of me. 

Also, please list for me all the other parents in Christopher's and {Daughter}'s classes who have also been contacted recently (or in the past for that matter) with a demand to pay for two years of field trips in advance.

I see from your letter that I'm apparently behind for 1/2 of Christopher's trip (for which I received no notice from the school).  Had the school notified me and told me how much the trip costs were, I certainly would have paid my portion.  This is the first I've heard of the cost of the trip.  I know both room reps well and would have expected a call if I missed a payment.  I'm happy to pay my share of $215. 

If Highland Hall is using this late payment as the reason for the school insisting on two years of field trip money up-front, then please show me how this rule has been evenly applied to other parents who have not paid or paid late.  I think we both know this isn't coming from Highland Hall.

{Daughter} has informed me that she doesn't want to go on her field trip this year - and that she doesn't feel safe around the people there.  Considering some of the things that have happened on other Highland Hall field trips, I certainly can't blame her.  I'm not about to force {Daughter} to go somewhere she doesn't feel safe.  While I'm quite sure Angela will push this issue and try to force {Daughter} to go against her will, I'm not going to pay in advance for a trip she may not attend.  Highland Hall is notorious for not refunding money to parents who pay things in advance (that would be you Jim).  If {Daughter} ends up going, I will, of course, pay my half of the trip.

I've been on well over half a dozen school camping trips.  I'm self employed - with no vacation time - so it costs me a week of income every time I go on one of these trips, Jim.  I've also attended and even organized several school field trips - all at my own expense.  I'm not complaining or looking for a reward or gratitude, but do ya think, taking into consideration how much I've already contributed of my time and money beyond what is expected of me to these types of trips over the years, you could, for a minute, stop supporting Angela's nonsense and treat me with the respect I have earned... maybe?  Geez...

Since you and Angela are so close, you might ask her when she's going to give up a week of her time to go on one of these trips.  Other teachers make the time to go - as do many other very busy parents.  When is Angela going to pitch in and do her fair share?  

I understand that Angela has serious psychological problems, but they are not my problems Jim - and they shouldn't be your problems either.  I understand that she is behind your letter, but her sense of me is very twisted.  I am an excellent father to my kids and I have always done more than my fair share for Highland Hall - far more than most parents.  Considering how rudely Highland Hall has treated me in return, that in and of itself shows considerable character on my part. 

Conversely, your acquiescence to Angela's ridiculous demand for two years of field trip expenses in advance shows a lack of character on your part.  It also demonstrates your personal proclivity to conspire with her against me.  Be very sure before you put yourself in that position, Jim.

I'll drop off a check for $215 for Christopher's trip before the end of the school year, and unless Angela forces {Daughter} to go on her trip, I don't expect to hear about future field trip costs until next year when those costs are due for everyone else. 

If the school wants to contact me about anything in the future, it would probably be best if they didn't mention that Angela is behind the request.  The school acting on Angela's behalf on divorce issues is highly inappropriate and will be a red flag for anyone looking at this.  I'll save a copy of this letter and your letter - just in case Angela wishes to develop this issue further.

I anticipate, once you have realized you were completely out-of-line issuing Angela's demands in a letter with your name and the school's name on it - an apology from you will be forthcoming.

Warm regards,


Bill from Highland Hall

Monday, June 13, 2011

Souls of Terror - Discovering the truth about Waldorf

Below is an excerpt from the new Anthroposophy-based thriller - Souls of Terror - a New Age Thriller.  In this scene, a terrified father discovers his wife has disappeared with their son and the son's Waldorf teacher.  For people who have experienced the dishonesty at the hands of Waldorf, this is a poignant example of what goes through a parent's mind when the lights suddenly come on.

Reprinted with permission of the author... Anthony P. Norse... Souls of Terror - pp49-54

Pinedale, Oregon
As he was driving home from the Waldorf School, Chris felt small and
alone. He noticed that his knuckles were white on the steering wheel.
Guilt overwhelmed his senses and caused a flood of questions to flow
through his tired mind.
Why did I not see this coming? What happened to my marriage—to my family?
Sitting with his laptop and a notepad at his kitchen table, Chris sipped on
a hot café latte. He stared pensively at the frothy drink. It was two years ago
at Christmas that his wife had given him a fancy coffee machine, along with a
warm hug and a Christmas kiss. They had been together for fifteen years.
Now she had disappeared with his son. It felt like a bad dream. At least the
coffee smelled and tasted good; he appreciated the caffeine buzz after a
nearly sleepless night.
He wanted to find someone to listen to him scream at the injustice of
what had happened, but he knew his priority needed to be finding his wife
and son. Still, a friend would be helpful. For the past many years, however,
his work and family had replaced his old friends. He tried to think of someone
to contact, someone who might understand, someone to offer advice . . .
or at least a shoulder to cry on.
He came up blank.
The only face that finally came to mind was that of his sister, Kate. But
they barely spoke these days. It would be an understatement to suggest that
Kate and his wife did not get along. The two women despised each other.
Although she lived not far away in Portland, Kate never came to visit. She
thought the world of Mike and would always send gifts on birthdays. But
shortly after Mike started at the Waldorf School, Serena had insisted that
Chris’s sister stay out of the family’s life.
Chris had pleaded with her and tried to get his sister to be more polite.
But when Serena called Kate a boorish tomboy and Kate responded by
calling Serena a spoiled New Age flake, things fell apart completely. That
was during Christmas dinner four years ago. Kate was outspoken and extremely
honest—to the point of finding fault with almost every facet of
Serena’s life. Not that those faults were not present, but Kate did not
understand the concept of “tact.” The two women were polar opposites and
the real victim of their rivalry was Mike.
Chris remembered pre-Waldorf days when Kate would take Mike to the
park and chase him around the playground. Kate-the-Grizzly-Bear and Mike
the helpless little camper fleeing for his life and laughing until he cried when
she caught him. Kate always found those special “tickle spots” under his
Chris smiled at the memory and found himself tapping his sister’s number
into his phone. He desperately needed to talk and Kate seemed to be his
best bet. He left a brief message on her answering machine and then thought
of how he could spend his time wisely.
He was sure Serena and Mike were with Sophia Meyer. He knew that
Miss Meyer was a dedicated Waldorf teacher and he also knew that his wife
had become enamored with everything Waldorf. The founding philosophy of
Waldorf was called Anthroposophy. He’d been told that word simply meant
Wisdom of Man.
He stared at the Google homepage on his laptop. Snippets of conversations
slowly made their way to the forefront of his mind—parent meetings at
the school, things his wife had told him about Miss Meyer, words that were
used to describe Mike’s school work.
He knew that both women believed in the need for Mike to excel at all
Waldorf disciplines. Chris thought he should try to learn more about what his
son had been doing at the school. He typed into his computer’s search
engine: “eurythmy and form drawings and Waldorf education.” The search
yielded over two thousand results. He also knew that Mike had been doing
wet-on-wet paintings for years at Waldorf—a watercolor technique involving
special paints and paper. Google came up with more than eight thousand
results. Clearly, he would need to refine his search. He finished his coffee
and tried a few more searches—with similar results. He clicked on a few
links but soon realized the futility of the exercise.
He thought again of his son. Where had they taken him? On a frustrated
whim, Chris went back to the Google homepage and typed, “Problem with
Waldorf.” He scanned the first few results until he came to a link that
piqued his interest. He read:
Does your child’s Waldorf School seem more like a religious seminary?
Concerned about your child’s Waldorf education? What is
Anthroposophy? Has Waldorf affected your marriage? You are not
alone. Visit one of the Waldorf Critical websites and discover what
lies beneath the surface of Waldorf education.
This sounded interesting—alarmist perhaps, but certainly worth a look.
He clicked around a few different websites. Two hours later Chris sat back
in his chair and felt like the shocked and bitterly disappointed child who has
just discovered that there really is no Santa Claus.
He felt stunned at his ignorance. Chris knew the many wonderful qualities
of Waldorf education—and there were many—but he had been unaware
of the deeply esoteric foundation of his child’s school. He learned that many
people described Waldorf and its founding philosophy as “cult-like.”
In two short hours, Chris discovered that many Waldorf teachers are devout
Anthroposophists who truly believe in their karmic mission to work
with the souls and spirits of children as they incarnate. They accomplish this
task by connecting spiritually with children, who they are convinced, have
chosen them as spiritual guides from a pre-earthly existence. Waldorf teacher
training, he learned, is full of lessons dealing with soul and karma and destiny
and reincarnation. Teachers believe they have a special karmic connection
with the souls of children in their care.
Although Waldorf schools supply parents with plenty of wonderful quotes
by and about Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, Chris now
discovered more pronouncements Steiner had made to the first Waldorf
teachers under his tutelage—quotes still taken as gospel truth by Waldorf
teachers today:
We can accomplish our work only if we do not see it as simply a
matter of intellect or feeling, but in the highest sense, as a moral
spiritual task. Therefore, you will understand why, as we begin this
work today, we first reflect on the connection we wish to create
from the very beginning between our activity and the spiritual
worlds. Thus, we wish to begin our preparation by first reflecting
upon how we connect with the spiritual powers in whose service
and in whose name each one of us must work.
Among the faculty, we must certainly carry within us the knowledge
that we are not here for our own sakes, but to carry out the
divine cosmic plan. We should always remember that when we do
something, we are actually carrying out the intentions of the gods,
that we are, in a certain sense, the means by which that streaming
down from above will go out into the world.
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
Chris learned that although the schools referred to Rudolf Steiner as a
“philosopher,” or a “scientist,” he was more deeply connected to occultism
than philosophy or science. The man had never been a parent, had no formal
teacher training and had spent very little time with children. Surprisingly,
however, Chris discovered that Waldorf teacher training is based almost
entirely on the beliefs of this self-professed clairvoyant. Waldorf teachers in
training had to read Steiner—lots of Steiner. Required reading included
books like Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, Occult Science,
Reincarnation and Karma, Manifestations of Karma, and The Spiritual Hierarchies.
Chris warmed up leftover soup and sat back at his kitchen table, staring at
the laptop. He had known there was a spiritual element to Waldorf education,
but he’d been given very innocent explanations about what that entailed.
Nobody had said anything about reincarnation or spiritual hierarchies.
He realized now that he had always felt uncomfortable with the lack of
books—especially textbooks in the school. He remembered his concerns
about reading and writing being discouraged for younger children. Just what
had his son been learning and why had Serena taken him away?
When Mike was a toddler and Chris and Serena began to think about his
education, the young couple had been excited to discover the gentle Waldorf
Island in the turbulent sea of pop culture, junk food vending machines and
cookie-cutter academics of conventional education. They were told Waldorf
was an arts-based school with lots of wooden toys and crafts and outdoor
playtime for children. They had wanted Mike to learn slowly, naturally, and
Waldorf had seemed like the perfect fit. And in some ways it was a good fit.
Chris finished his soup and stared through the kitchen window at the line
of poplar trees that bordered his property, watching them sway in the cool
September wind. Had he been duped? Had his wife fallen into some sort of
weird cult? Is that why she had left him and taken their son? He remembered
various comments and concerns of other Waldorf parents over the
years. Many families had pulled their children from the school out of frustration
and unanswered questions. But there were always new families arriving.
Chris recalled the excitement of Mike’s first day in grade one. He remembered
meeting Miss Meyer, thinking it odd that Waldorf teachers stay
with the same group of students for eight years, but also feeling grateful that
the woman seemed kind, always shaking hands and smiling and speaking
quietly to the children as they ran and jumped and played in the woods
beside the school.
He remembered betting his wife that Miss Meyer must have lived in a
hippy commune in the seventies or eighties, with her long cotton dresses and
bulky plain blouses, wool socks and sandals. Serena had laughed at the
suggestion and they ordered pizza for dinner that night and ate Haagen Dazs
for dessert and watched hockey on TV. Even Serena had cheered when the
Portland Winter Hawks scored the winning goal in overtime.
Those days had long since passed. He could not remember the last time
they had eaten pizza for dinner, let alone watched anything on TV. Dinners
were good but always very healthy—including certain grains that needed to
be served on certain days of the week, as per “Steiner’s indications.” Chris
had not understood Serena’s strange explanation but he knew it had something
to do with Anthroposophy.
Chris looked down at his laptop. There was an email address on one of
the info-packed Waldorf critical websites, where people could send questions
to volunteers with expertise in Anthroposophy and other “cult-like”
organizations. Questions could be submitted anonymously and would be
kept confidential.
Almost unconsciously, Chris began writing his question, oblivious to the
fact that he was actually spilling his guts in an email to a total stranger. His
anonymous “question” included his feelings of guilt and stupidity for allowing
this situation to happen. He told of the distance between himself and his wife
since she had drifted deeper into Waldorf and Anthroposophy, how frustrated
he had been for a couple of years now and how unable (or unwilling?) he was
to communicate with his wife. He went so far as to write about the complete
lack of intimacy between them for more than a year. Before he could change
his mind he signed it, “Sad Dad” and pushed send.
He sat for twenty minutes, lost in thought, staring at the trees in the wind
until the ping of his laptop told of an email received:
Hi Sad Dad,
I’m sorry to hear of your current dilemma. Although your case is
extreme, we’ve seen many relationship problems where one
spouse falls hard for the spiritual movement and the other feels
confused, angry, and hurt. Unfortunately, Waldorf promoters often
neglect to inform parents of the esoteric foundation of the “philosophy”
and you are certainly not the first parent to feel duped or
confused. The movement’s PR can feel disingenuous and misleading
after the fact and it often takes time for parents to realize the
fit for their families might not be right. Some schools have excellent
teachers, however, and are less Anthroposophic and/or more
open than others.
There is tremendous potential for Waldorf education but parents
are often concerned when their children seem to drift away
from reality. This is not what they signed up and paid for. If the
movement is to truly “move” in a positive direction, the leadership
will need to clearly explain the esoteric foundation to parents and
learn to resolve the obvious problems associated with spiritual and
racial hierarchies. I’ll attach a list of reading material and websites
that might help you understand the foundation of Anthroposophy
and Waldorf education. Best of luck.
Chris opened the attachment and counted references to seventeen books
and twenty-three websites. Spiritual and racial hierarchies? He walked to the
living room and stretched out on the couch. He could not remember the last
time he’d cried. It was probably years ago when his parents had died. The car
crash had happened when his wife was pregnant with Mike.
He thought again of his son. Tears flowed. The pent-up frustration and
resentment from the past couple of years exploded with every heavy heartbeat.
He felt sad, alone and completely helpless.


You can purchase Souls of Terror HERE.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Email - Leonard Abuse


I know many of you who have been following this drama are not parents of the 5th grade so you probably didn't receive the letter below from Highland Hall's Evaluation Committee.  I include it below so that some closure can be realized for those of us who are as concerned about the actions of the school as the actions of Mrs. Leonard.  I also have included my commentary after the letter because *true* closure will not occur until the people who have been intentionally and regularly exposing our children to harm in order to cover up the activities of one of their own have been held accountable for their actions.  Here is Highland Hall's letter:


April 7, 2004

Dear Parents of the Fifth Grade,

In the school’s last communication to you, we welcomed Christine Leonard as the continuing class teacher for your students.  Since then, some continued events including a questionable for Main Lesson, have caused us some concerns about Christine’s recent choices for the class.  Therefore, after careful consideration and extensive discussion, the Evaluation Committee with the concurrence of the College, has decided to put Christine on a paid leave of absence for an as-yet undetermined period of time.

We appreciate the many gifts Christine brings to the Fifth grade class as their teacher and greatly value the positive work and heartfelt care she brings to both her class and the school as a whole.   It is our goal to use this time to work with Christine to arrive at the best decision for her and the Fifth grade class.

First and foremost, our primary concern is to ensure that the children of the Fifth grade are cared for and able to continue their education with the support of the whole school.   If your children have questions about this matter, we strongly remind you that the information we share here is meant for you, as adults.  Please use caution and restraint in what you share with your child; words can be very powerful in the images they convey.  We suggest that you share with your child that Ms. Leonard has been given this time off and that this is not a “punishment”.  A faculty member will greet them on Monday morning to speak about this change and introduce their substitute teacher.  All of the teachers will continue to carry the class and we will let you know as soon as possible who their substitute teacher will be during this time. 

Many of you may be aware of the recent email campaign criticizing Christine and the school.  Please be assured that our decision has not been shaped by these actions, but was made to support both the students and the class teacher.

Because of vacation planning and holidays, it is not feasible to hold a parent meeting during spring break.  We expect to hold one shortly after school resumes.  To minimize any disruption to the class’ rhythms and plans during this time, we are working closely with Christine and will contact you as more information is finalized.   If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lori Gardner on behalf of the Evaluation Committee.


The Evaluation Committee
Noah Williams, Merrily Lovell, Humberto Ramirez, Joan Newton, Lori Gardner


I would first like to thank Highland Hall for not dragging this out through the end of the semester and for finally taking appropriate action.  I am also grateful for the obvious learning experience that has transpired on the part of Highland Hall as evidenced by their statement above "words can be very powerful in the images they convey."  This is, of course taken out of context and the complete sentence is "Please use caution and restraint in what you share with your child; words can be very powerful in the images they convey."  It is unfortunate that the powerful images conveyed to our children by Mrs. Leonard's words of rape, incest, battery and mutilation were not immediately taken seriously by the very same people who now advise us as we are speaking to our child of Mrs. Leonard's leave of absence, that we had better watch what we say. 

I hope Highland Hall's Evaluation Committee does not take offense when I choose not to accept their advice regarding communication with my children as experts on communication they certainly are not.  I have no trouble communicating honestly with my daughter and I will simply suggest that Mrs. Leonard may have been a sick person who was very good at disguising her illness through deceit and now has the opportunity to rest and get help.  In fact, I will only have to confirm this as  my daughter already has come to this conclusion on her own.  I will, however, avoid confirming to my child that Highland Hall, having been made aware of her illness continued to support Mrs. Leonard - but she knows this too.  I hope I will not be forced to explain that many people at Highland Hall suffer to some degree from a similar illness and, perhaps, that's why Mrs. Leonard's illness may have seemed normal to them.  Maybe this illness is genetic - let's ask Rudolf Steiner:

"The girl L.K. in class one of those cases that are occurring more and more frequently where children are born and human forms exist which actually, with regard to the highest member the ego, are not human at all but are inhabited by beings who do not belong to the human race...They are very different from human beings where spiritual matters are concerned. For instance they can never memorise sentences, only words. I do not like speaking about these things, as there is considerable opposition about this. Just imagine what people would say if they heard that we are talking about human beings who are not human beings. Nevertheless these are facts. Furthermore, there would not be such a decline of culture if there were a strong enough feeling for the fact that some people, the ones who are particularly ruthless, are not human beings at all but demons in human form.
"But do not let us broadcast this. There is enough opposition already. Things like this give people a terrible shock. People were frightfully shocked when I had to say that a quite famous university professor with a great reputation had had a very short period between death and re-birth and was a re-incarnated negro scientist.
"But don"t let us publicise these things."
(Rudolf Steiner, 1923, from Conversations with Teachers-4 pp. 36-37)

It is not in the nature of Anthroposophy to be truthful - and it is not in the nature of Highland Hall to be truthful.  If you truly believe that the email campaign by myself and other parents publicizing Mrs. Leonard's actions had nothing to do with Highland Hall's decision to remove Mrs. Leonard from her class, then you must be extremely naive.  Highland Hall needs people who will stand up to dishonesty and fearlessly point to the truth, despite overwhelming opposition, condemnation, threats and slander.  Highland Hall has many, many faculty and administrative staff members who are truthful and honorable - yet perhaps remain complacent when issues like these are exposed.  Please, join me in holding Highland Hall accountable for their actions and decisions.  If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  Hopefully, we will never have to go through this again.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

It was early one morning in the month of May


Many 5th grade parents have, by now, received an ominous phone call from someone on the Crisis committee letting us know that Mrs. Leonard will not be in on Thursday and Friday.  Some of us got no explanation, others got the explanation that Mrs. Leonard is perhaps exhausted or tired and needed a rest.  For some of us, the fact that the Crisis committee was making the call was a sign that something was amiss.  Indeed, something was.

As this mailing is going out to some people who didn't receive my mailing last night, I will reprint the song Mrs. Leonard's handed out to the children in her class at the end of this letter.  At least one parent contacted Mrs. Leonard and asked her to please collect this song from the children as it seemed inappropriate.  In last night's email, I distributed the song to other parents of the class so that they might be aware of the material that was given to their children and make their own decision about its appropriateness.  I also directed the letter to Ed Eadon, some faculty members, college members and board members.

It turns out that today, Mrs. Leonard chose to SING the song to the children in her class.  I can't imagine what would compel her to do this - defiance, perhaps, or another case of poor judgement on her part, but in any case, clearly she had yet another opportunity to pause before exposing our children to this material and chose not to, this time after having received objections from some of the parents.  I believe she willfully and arrogantly exposed our children to this material. 

I try to have an open mind about most things but I find the contents and tone of the song below disturbing especially in light of the recent issues involving Mrs. Leonard's reading of other inappropriate material to the children of her class.  While these types of songs were, perhaps, acceptable in the 19th century, they certainly don't have a place in schools of today.  This particular song introduces themes of male dominance over women through violence and murder and the mutilation and dismemberment of a woman's body.  I find it distressing that these are similar themes to the ones contained in the material for which Mrs. Leonard was supposedly reprimanded recently.

Highland Hall has had ample and repeated opportunities to take action regarding this issue.  Instead they continue to characterize Mrs. Leonard's regular behavior as "atypical".  The only thing that would be "atypical" in this case would be if Highland Hall admitted openly that they have made a mistake and terminated Mrs. Leonard.  For that would be the right thing to do, and for Highland Hall, doing the right thing, the thing that puts the children above all else, is behavior that, sadly, is "atypical".  

I pray for Mrs. Leonard and hope she gets the help she so desperately needs.

Pete Karaiskos

Here are the lyrics to the song Mrs. Leonard sang to our children today:

It was early one morning in the month of May
Oh the wind and the rain
Two lovers went walking on a hot summer's day
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He said to the lady "won't you marry me"
Oh the wind and the rain
"And my little wife you'll always be"
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

Then he knocked her down and he kicked her around
Oh the wind and the rain
Then he knocked her down and he kicked her around
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He hit her in the head with a battering ram
Oh the wind and the rain
He hit her in the head with a battering ram
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He threw her in the river to drown
Oh the wind and the rain
He threw her in the river to drown
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He watched her as she floated down
Oh the wind and the rain
He watched her as she floated down
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

She floated on down to the miller's millstream
Oh the wind and the rain
He watched her as she floated down
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

The miller fished her out with a long fishing pole
Oh the wind and the rain
The miller fished her out with a long fishing pole
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Oh the wind and the rain
He made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He made a fiddle bow of her long curly hair
Oh the wind and the rain
He made a fiddle bow of her long curly hair
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

The only tune that fiddle would play was
Oh the wind and the rain
The only tune that fiddle would play was
A crying the dreadful wind and rain