Another non-PLANS member

“Pete is a fervent representative of the PLANS group.”
This, of course, is an outright LIE. Said by Pete on the

Comments on “Deny, Deny, Deny”
Back in August 2005, Linda wrote two blogs about the odd discrepancy between the description on the PLANS web-site and the actual membership of PLANS.
Lies on the PLANS Web-site and Recap on PLANS membership
Linda wrote:

“People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools (PLANS) is a world-wide network of former Waldorf parents, teachers, students, administrators and trustees who come from a variety of backgrounds.” Really? Who are they? Where are they? Very few I met there over the years would admit to being part of PLANS. In fact, I was scolded and lectured on several occasions for presuming anyone to be so. Besides those individuals (seven) who are identified as members of the board of directors of PLANS, I found just *one* other person willing to admit to actually being a member of this supposed “worldwide network”.

So, now we have it on record. Pete is another person who is absolutely not to be considered as a member of PLANS, much less any sort of representative thereof.
Which leaves me wondering. Why are these folks so vehemently opposed to being publicly connected with this organization?

Deny, deny, deny

Diana Winter posted on AT on May 7, 2006

Did PLANS tell lies to obtain a grant? Is there some reason you might think this? What kind of lie? To who, about what? Is there some evidence for this, or any reason you can think of PLANS would lie to obtain a grant? I can certainly agree that telling a lie is usually unethical, but until you bring this into the realm of something that actually might have happened, and explain why you think so, it is your own behavior that is unethical.

Diana Winter posted on AT on May 8, 2006

Christian fundamentalists are also entitled to religious freedom, which is the basis of the lawsuit. You or I don’t have to like their religion, I don’t like it any more than they like anthroposophy, but they have a right to support, via grant giving, a lawsuit that protects their rights. It was a *good* thing to do – it was not ethically “murky.” Nor did PLANS, in accepting it, do anything ethically “murky.” (It’s a PR disaster, I agree; but not ethically wrong.)

Well, the telling lies in the grant applications turned out to be pretty bad for the fundamentalists, in this particular case, although I think they got what they deserved. No, not for being fundamentalists, nor for funding a case against waldorf in public education. They got what they deserved for skipping out on their responsibilities as grantors and not bothering to do a smidgen of research and some critical reading. Where did these folks get the money to make grants? Obviously, from donors. Donors to a cause deserve fiscally responsible behavior from the people they give their money to. PLANS and their lawyers were a bad investment and this should have been obvious within a couple of days of the receipt of the grant application. Would you give money to a group to pursue a lawsuit if they can’t get their facts straight? If they call something Wicca when it is something else entirely? PLANS and their lawyer have done a pathetic job on this lawsuit (see PLANS Loses Waldorf Court Case, Lies About it in Press Release ) and the clues were there to begin with. It is too bad someone wasn’t paying attention.
Diana Winter posted on May 9, 2006

When confronted, deny, deny, deny

Later that same day I put up a couple of quotes from the grant application.
We didn’t hear from Diana again until May 13. I’ve already quoted her initial (feeble) response on this blog Responses to: A Peculiar Grant Application–Part I

Here, at 9:08 a.m. on May 13 is Diana Winter’s final response (at least on AT).

No, Deborah. This game is finished. You simply make yourself appear desperate when you immediately abandon one accusation the moment it is challenged, and start a new one. The whole question of who accused who of Wicca is not going to be revived here now, at least not with my participation. I’ve gone on record about it several times. Nice try changing the subject though!

The quotes I posted included the Wicca bit, so in what way was I changing the subject? Obviously, by raising a topic Diana wanted to ignore. I presented a package deal, not of accusations, but of direct quotes from an actual PLANS grant application. The question I asked was if these quotes were lies. Diana decided that one item could have been a mistake, rather than a lie. So, until I concede that it could, indeed, have been a mistake, rather than a lie, I’m not allowed to discuss anything else? Odd concept of the rules of online discussion.
So who is desperate? Who ran away to hide back in the cozy WC where it is possible to pretend that everything is okay?

Warm thanks to Diana W!

Why did Dan Dugan have to write the following explanation for the, um, mistatements in the grant application?
Because of Diana W., of course. Her over-the-top, totally ridiculous response to my mild, light-hearted hint that PLANS just might have lied in a grant application, forced me to actually publish quotes from that grant application. I wouldn’t have cared if she had ignored my remark. Nobody else would have noticed if she had ignored my remark. Within days, everyone would have forgotten that anyone had said anything at all about PLANS lying on a grant application. But Diana, in her attempt to defend PLANS from attack, opened them up to public humiliation and made it necessary for Dan to go out and try to explain the unexplainable and justify the unjustifiable. I just hope Dan appreciates her efforts to protect him.
While I’m at it, I’d like to acknowledge a couple of other achievements from Diana.
One of my favorites is her role in getting Pete kicked off of Mothering. I won’t go into details, but she probably knows what I’m talking about and I’m sure that Pete has figured it out.
Her outstanding ability to present the Waldorf Critics as nutcases and fruits has been very useful over the years and is highly valued by everyone who tries to protect Waldorf education from defamation.
So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to express my warm appreciation of Diana. My favorite Critic and a truly thoughtful and courteous human being. One who can be depended upon to open her mouth and insert not only her foot, but her leg, and beyond.

I dunno…I dunno…I dunno

PLANS is supposed to be made up of people who have developed expert knowledge about waldorf schools and waldorf education. However, whenever anyone asks them an awkward question, they suddenly either disappear or become exceedingly ignorant. Consider, for example, the snippet below, taken off of the the Waldorf Critics discussion list.

The children were also required to say a pledge to the sun
flag, and other Wicca based religious practices.
I don’t know what he was talking about there.
-Dan Dugan

Dan was quoting from the grant application, submitted by PLANS, with the name of PLANS lawyer as author and the name of PLANS president, Deborah Snell listed as responsible person. But Mr. Dan Dugan has no idea what his lawyer could be talking about. No idea where he could have gotten the idea that Waldorf Education and Waldorf Schools could be related to Wicca. Just no idea at all.
However, consider this snippet:

On May 26, 1997, PLANS president Debra Snell responded that while allegations of witchcraft were not part of PLANS’ agenda, she had done nothing to correct them, and she was “happy” that they were made in the media.
Debra Snell: We did not phone the Sacramento Bee to dispute Sac. City Unified School Officials statement that PLANS claims is based on rumor either…
Anyone who knows PLANS’ claims, knows that witchcraft has not been our handle.
[But] We’re frankly happy to see the issue in the news, and it has certainly been there lately.

So PLANS was happy to have false claims of witchcraft associated with waldorf schools and waldorf education, but Dan has no idea, no idea at all, where his lawyer got the idea, just not the slightest bit of comprehension as to why this blatant falsehood turned up in the grant application.
And yes, the lawyer did it.
Now, where have I heard that excuse before?

Responses to: A Peculiar Grant Application

The response has been dismayingly feeble. So, I think I’ll start with some quotes from Diana Winter, berating me in her inimitable manner for implying that PLANS might have lied on their grant application.

You made innuendos that you are refusing to explain. You should explain them, or your own tactics are sleazy, while you wax eloquent that other people are doing things that are supposedly “murky.” You retract the word with your exaggerated politeness, but offer no explanation. Have you no shame? Perceive no irony? Other people are up to dirty tricks, but these tactics you are using, these are honorable? You planted the suggestion here that PLANS lied in a grant application. This is really not costing you a little sleep?

So, I explained, I substantiated, I quoted directly from the PLANS grant application. I’m sure that no one acquainted with Diana Winter will be surprised that she failed to apologize for her abusive remarks. In fact, her behavior was quite murky. First she disappeared from the AT for a few days. Complete and total silence, after she insisted that I had to substantiate my claim, or commit hari-kiri or the online equivalent. Then she returned, offered the feeble explanation that:

The name of the school is wrong on the grant application? I have no idea the meaning of this, but it looks like an error to me. So conspiracy hounds, if they’d written “Yuba River Charter School” on that form instead of “Yuba City,” PJI would have said; “There is no school by that name. The correct name is blah-blah. Funding denied.” LOL.

Just in case somebody is having trouble following this somewhat murky discussion, Diana chose the most extremely minor point in the quote from the grant application, that one of the school names is incorrect. The far less minor point is the claim that the school, still unnamed, was compulsory. There is NO compulsory elementary school and there WAS NEVER a compulsory elementary school. But Diana doesn’t touch on the real point, just says, “Gosh, a boo-boo, but it isn’t important.”
I review grant applications for a foundation. I’ve been reviewing grant applications for over ten years now. If I received a grant application with an obvious error, or with questionable claims, I would call up the grantee and ask some pointed questions about the content of the grant application. I would be irresponsible if I recommended a grant to somebody who was spouting inaccuracies, and way beyond irresponsible if I recommended a grant to someone who included obvious falsehoods in their grant application.
It isn’t okay to lie in a grant application. A grant application is a request for money for a particular purpose. Requesting money using false information is fraud. Certainly, it is possible to make a mistake on a grant application. An HONEST applicant who discovers they have made a mistake, contacts the grantor and submits a correction.
So, even if the lawyer did the whole thing all by himself, as Dan Dugan claims (a most unlikely story), at some point Dan received a copy of the grant materials. At that point he could have corrected the various errors. Ms. Snell, whose name is on the grant application could have corrected the various errors. Neither of them bothered.
I don’t think, at this point, that holding them responsible for the statements that appear on this grant application is particularly harsh.
The folks they submitted the application to? Either incompetent, stupid, or longing to be suckered. They obviously didn’t make the slightest attempt to verify ANY of the information submitted.

Dan’s PLANS Scams

It’s all over now. There’s nothing left to do with PLANS’ seven year long lawsuit except give it a proper burial.
But PLANS has signalled their intention to take the smoldering remains of this case Uptown, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As if they haven’t suffered enough indignity~~
Nearly a decade spent gathering evidence for this case, and yet still somehow PLANS failed to show up with a single piece of qualifying evidence during the trial. You’d think this cold splash of reality would give even the band of loyal merrymen at the Waldorf Critics List at least a moment or two of sober reflection. If so, there are no signs of it so far.
Dan Dugan, ably assisted by co-founder Debra Snell, spent the last several days peddling a PR cover story. It wasn’t a rout, he assured his absurdly gullible followers. No, Dan declared, PLANS actually staged a walk-out. In protest, he suggested, over the judge’s “unfairness” in an earlier ruling to disallow some of the PLANS witnesses. If PLANS couldn’t use those witnesses, it seemed, then by God, PLANS would just dig in their heels and take a principled stand against calling any other witnesses either. So there. Humph!
Dan reassures everyone, PLANS “has plenty of witnesses“. But they simply “opted” not to call any of them. “We quit..”
I must admit, this was a stunningly bold legal tactic, by any measure. It’s time for the opening move of the trial, and the Plaintiff passes? Of course, this daring tactic makes it absolutely assured that the Plaintiff will lose their own case, but hey—it does have one indisputable advantage. It’s probably the only tactic used in over two hundred years of American jurisprudence that has never once triggered a defense attorney’s objection.

PLANS Loses Waldorf Court Case, Lies About it in Press Release

On September 14 th, 2005 PLANS lost its seven-year old lawsuit attempting to have public-methods Waldorf Charter schools in two California school districts declared religious schools and shut down for violating the Constitutional separation of Church and State (known as the Establishment Clause, because it reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".)

The reason for the loss? In seven years, PLANS failed to submit sufficient evidence to substantiate the contention that Anthroposophy is a religion. The trial lasted 31 minutes. [transcript here] The judge, the Honorable Frank C. Damrell, Jr., awarded the case to the school districts under Rule 52(c), meaning that the plaintiff, PLANS, failed to provide enough evidence to prevail. The result is that PLANS lost their lawsuit.

If you file a lawsuit, you have the burden of proof of supplying evidence to support your complaint. PLANS’ complaint is that the religion of Anthroposophy is being taught in California Charter Schools. The school districts argued in defense that 1.) Anthroposophy is not a religion, and 2.) even if it is a religion, it is not being taught in the Waldorf-methods Charter Schools. The trial examined these two issues, one at a time. In 31 minutes the Judge determined that PLANS had submitted no evidence to support the first contention, while the school districts had offered substantial arguments for why Anthroposophy is not a religion. The judge then ruled in favor of the school districts.

What happened next was interesting. PLANS issued a press release claiming that they had not actually lost, and promised to appeal. (Comments in red)


The trial was not "aborted". The trial concluded successfully, and PLANS lost.

In a move that shocked participants and observers in a Sacramento federal courtroom during the opening of its September 12 trial, People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools (PLANS) refused to present its case without key witnesses and evidence that had been excluded by the the Hon. Frank C. Damrell.

The only people "shocked" were PLANS. The outcome was widely predicted since the Pretrial Conference Order of February 18 th, 2005 was issued. ( ) Given the evidence PLANS had submitted in the timeframe allowed, it was hard to imagine any other outcome.

Judge Damrell said he intends to dismiss the case.

The case will not be dismissed. The case was awarded to the school districts. The districts prevailed. They won. They proved their point, and PLANS did not. The result is not a dismissal.

As a result, PLANS will take its case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

PLANS will appeal the exclusion of two witnesses to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will not decide whether Anthroposophy is a religion or whether Waldorf-methods Charter Schools violate the separation of church and state. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether the exclusion of two witnesses was procedurally incorrect.

Two witnesses–Betty Staley, creator of the Rudolf Steiner College public school teacher training program, and Dr. Crystal Olson, a Steiner College staffer who teaches courses on music education–had been listed as expert witnesses by the defendant school districts, and as percipient witnesses by PLANS. In fact, PLANS’ attorney, Scott Kendall, had taken lengthy depositions from the two in 1999. However, the defense team’s three attorneys changed their minds and withdrew both Staley and Olson’s names from their list of expert witnesses after reading each woman’s testimony. (Presumably, the lawyers recognized that the women’s testimony would do the schools’ case more harm than good.)

The two witnesses mentioned by PLANS were disallowed because PLANS failed to follow proper legal procedure and give copies of the depositions to the school districts within the timeframe required. For this reason they lost the right to use these two witnesses. Their appeal concerns the issue of whether the exclusion was valid. If the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case and rules in favor of PLANS’ (a very unlikely scenario) the case will be retried by the lower court, and the new trial will include the two excluded witnesses. The outcome will likely be the same, because the two excluded witnesses are sympathetic to the school districts, and hostile to PLANS.

The school districts were certain that both Ms. Staley and Dr. Olson would support their side. PLANS took a deposition from both, but when they failed to make copies available to the school districts within the require timeframe, the judge then disallowed Staley and Olson as witnesses for PLANS. They could still be called as witnesses for the school districts, but the districts decided that, with overwhelming amount of other evidence, they did not need the additional testimony of Ms. Staley and Dr. Olson. It makes absolutely no sense for PLANS to object to the exclusion of these two witnesses, since these two witnesses, by their sworn testimony, disagreed with PLANS’ position, and offered testimony to refute it. A new trial that includes these two witnesses will very likely come to exactly the same result, with the school districts prevailing. That is why the appeal makes no sense.

Judge Damrell then accepted an objection from the defense, who alleged that PLANS had not properly disclosed those witnesses according to the federal court rule of "automatic disclosure" (rule 26a). This rule requires parties in lawsuits to give all their information about witnesses and evidence to the opposing party immediately, without being asked. PLANS’ attorney Scott Kendall asserts that the rule does not apply in this case because it was not in effect in this court in 1998, when this case originated.

PLANS is asking the appeals court to rule that, if you take a deposition in 1999, but you filed the lawsuit in 1998, then the 1999 rule does not apply to you. Judge Damrell disagrees, and is unlikely to be overruled by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the 9th Circuit does overrule Judge Damrell, then the case will be retried with the two witnesses hostile to PLANS, and PLANS will in all probability lose again.

"PLANS was unable to put on its case because of the court’s evidentiary rulings, which we believe to be both erroneous and prejudicial," Kendall stated. "Therefore, PLANS is taking this case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals."

PLANS did put on its case. It filed the suit, put on its case, the case was heard, and PLANS was found not to have any evidence to support its contentions. The two excluded witnesses are not materially relevant, since their testimony was hostile to PLANS anyway.

Debra Snell, President of PLANS, said "After seven and a half years of dealing with legal technicalities, we expected that we’d finally be able to have a trial of the real issues in court. We are disappointed, but also more determined than ever to continue to press our case, no matter what we have to overcome. Steiner’s books—which form the foundation of Waldorf education and the basis for Waldorf school teacher training–are shelved in the spirituality section of the bookstores, not the philosophy section! We have plenty of evidence that Steiner’s doctrines leak into the public Waldorf schools that citizens pay taxes to support. If that’s not a breach of the Establishment Clause, I don’t know what is."

Debra Snell does not appear to know what a breach of the Establishment Clause is. Nor does she have much understanding of Steiner’s philosophy. PLANS has blathered a lot of illogical nonsense over the years. The difference here is that in a court case, the rules of evidence are strict and fair. Under these rules, PLANS was completely unable to offer any evidence that Anthroposophy is a religion. Snell and Dugan may one day realize that the US Court system functions differently from the Internet. On the Internet you can make all sorts of wild allegations, and then insist that the people you slander bear the burden of proof in defending themselves. In court, such wild allegations must be substantiated by the person filing the suit, or they lose the case. PLANS lost.

The Administrative Director of the Anthroposophical Society in America, Jean W. Yeager, attended the trial, despite the fact that public Waldorf schools claim they have no connection with Anthroposophy whatsoever. On February 4, 2004, Yeager intervened in a Waldorf charter school application by writing to the Benecia, California, school board, and the Anthroposophical Society submitted an amicus curiae brief in the PLANS lawsuit.

Jean Yeager attended the court case. Upon consideration it should be obvious that the Anthroposophical Society has a strong interest in not being misclassified as a religion.

When a court is asked to decide whether or not Anthroposophy is a religion, the Anthroposophical Society has an interest in the outcome. In this particular case the Anthroposophical Society filed an Amicus Curiae Brief [] explaining why Anthroposophy is not a religion. An Amicus Curiae Brief can be filed when a person or group who is not party to the lawsuit nevertheless has an interest in the outcome.

Jean Yeager’s presence has nothing to do with Waldorf education, and everything to do with the fact that the court was being asked to determine the status of Anthroposophy, something the Anthroposophical Society has an interest in. The Anthroposophical Society will likely always be involved when the material status of Anthroposophy is a point of contention, such as was the case in the Benecia Charter application. The Anthroposophical Society became involved in Benecia in order to set the record straight when PLANS mischaracterized the nature of Anthroposophy. Otherwise it has no interest in Charter schools, Waldorf-methods or otherwise.

Both the court case and the reaction by PLANS are typical. The court case revealed PLANS to be a fanatical, disorganized group with no clear arguments, and the press release following PLANS’ stinging defeat showed an organization partially out of touch with reality. In actual fact, Anthroposophy is not a religion, a position that the court agreed with, based on the evidence presented. The individual members of PLANS (all 10 of them) may feel differently, but they had their day in court, and utterly failed to prove otherwise.

PLANS often complains, without substantiation, that Waldorf-methods Charter Schools harm children. PLANS frivolous lawsuit has cost the school districts over $300,000 in legal fees, money that could have gone towards educating children. Twin Ridges School District Superintendent Stan Miller is "…outraged at the amount of taxpayer dollars it’s taken to defend this case that could have been spent on student programs." The irony is that by filing this baseless suit, PLANS has done substantial harm to children of California, and the Twin Ridges Waldorf-methods Charter School has not.

And there it sits-

My previous blog on the “Big Lie” [] hasn’t brought forward any attempts to verify the quote from Peter Staudenmaier.
I do believe that I could offer the Waldorf Critics and PLANS a thousand dollars, ten thousand dollars or even a million dollars and the quote would remain – unverified.
“Please point out any falsehoods you find on the PLANS site, so they might be corrected.” Posted by Dan Dugan on Waldorf Critics a month ago. I guess “might” is the operative word.
Did Steiner say it? Put up the quote or remove the article!

The Big Lie from PLANS

Yes, the web-site of PLANS includes a lot of lies. This quote is a particularly glaring example. The untruth of this particular example has been pointed out over and over and over again. It has been pointed out on the Waldorf Critics discussion list. It has been pointed out on Anthroposophy Tomorrow. Daniel Hindes provided a detailed analysis of the first half of this article, coming up with 66 pages worth of paragraph by paragraph analysis of the problems with the article. But the article is still up on PLANS site. [Link to Daniel’s article can be found starting from his page of Refutations:
This example of something that Steiner supposedly “said” has been up on the PLANS web-site for years. It is the first paragraph of an article by Peter Staudenmaier entitled: Anthroposophy and Ecofascism.

In June, 1910, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, began a speaking tour of Norway with a lecture to a large and attentive audience in Oslo. The lecture series was titled “The Mission of National Souls in Relation to Nordic-Germanic Mythology.” In the Oslo lectures Steiner presented his theory of “national souls” (Volksseelen in German, Steiner’s native tongue) and paid particular attention to the mysterious wonders of the “Nordic spirit.” The “national souls” of Northern and Central Europe belonged, Steiner explained, to the “germanic-nordic” peoples, the world’s most spiritually advanced ethnic group, which was in turn the vanguard of the highest of five historical “root races.” This superior fifth root race, Steiner told his Oslo audience, was naturally the “Aryan” race. [1]

I would like to challenge the Waldorf Critics to verify this quote by providing:
1)The full quote.
2)The date and title of the lecture in question.
3)The GA number of the volume wherein it was published.
I will personally donate $50 to PLANS for their court case if anyone can verify this quote. Since I am a very poorly paid public librarian, $50 represents a lot of money. I am putting up this offer to show that I am quite serious about the claim that PLANS and the WC publish lies.
A few ground rules – the lecture proffered must have been given in Norway. The quote needs to be translated into English, but it would be best if it could also be provided in German. If the quote provided includes ellipses, the amount of skipped text must be identified in brackets. I have ten days after a quote is offered to research the quote and confirm that it is indeed an accurate reflection of Steiner’s spoken words. The sample quotes need to be offered as comments on this blog. Any irrelevant quotes (attempts to prove that Steiner was indeed a racist by quoting other stuff, not connected with the example above) will result in $5 being subtracted from the proposed donation each time such a quote is put forward. And, to be even meaner, I will only publish the citation for such quotes, not the quote themselves.
I’m waiting…I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a very, very long time.

Returning to Pt 1, “Lies on waldorf critics website”

Suffering the “Summer Lazies”, I didn’t get much further than Paragraph One in Dan Dugan’s challenge to “expose any lies” on the PLANS website. I do still intend to return to it.
However, there is some unfinished business remaining on the analysis of the lies on Paragraph One. Dan has formed a response of sorts to the issues, and I would like to take this opportunity to explore that response. I’m happy to report he wasn’t in wholesale disagreement with me on each of the issues I raised. He agreed with at least one of them, my assertion that the waldorf critics are but a “motley handful” of people. Well! That’s a good start!
But we’ve still a long way to go. My original argument can be found here . Unfortunately, Dan’s response won’t be there. Dan’s response was not written to me directly, but instead to a third individual who had read my remarks and commented upon them, adding to them some of his own thoughts as well.
The PLANS website claims itself to be a “worldwide network” of former Waldorf parents, teachers, administrators, etc.
In my piece, I pointed out that despite concerted efforts on my part, I couldn’t find but a single individual who would admit to being a member of this “worldwide network” besides board members, and quipped that six of the seven board of directors live “close enough they could lunch together”. Dan pointedly disagreed, and insisted but just five were living close by.
I hate being wrong. Am I? No, I don’t think so. Count them again, Dan. Not too hard, since only ONE of the board of directors lives outside an only mildly extravagant “Let’s Do Lunch” geographical perimeter. Though I didn’t count them in my original tally, all from PLANS “Supporting Advisory” board could easily join them as well, all except one-“The Amazing Randi”-who calls Florida his home.
So Dan?!?! Come on………..! Ten of the twelve live within just hours of you. Why won’t you concede my point on this?
Moving to the next contention. I claimed that PLANS has a lawyer who “has been funded by a religious organization which was deceived into believing that Waldorf schools engage in witchcraft”. Dan takes issue, saying his lawyer “would be very pleased to be funded”, and attempts to discredit my comment by suggesting that there were just “two small grants” from Pacific Justice Institute (which IS a religious organization btw).
Dan, since these “two small grants” represent the lion’s share of the moneys paid thus far (as publicly disclosed, anyway), attempts to minimize it seem a little silly. In 1999, PLANS reports the first of the grants as an “earmarked” asset in their disclosure of financial resources to the IRS. The amount indicated in the first funding was $15000 (cost reimbursable grant), and a copy of the grant application was included. Media later reported that $18000 in grant money had been provided.
Dan also tries to downplay the role the witchcraft allegations played in this application, and once again offers his public the disingenuous denial, “I don’t know where this impression came from”. I say “disingenuous”, because this isn’t some new, outta the blue, issue. This is a very, very old story, reaching all the way back to PLANS very earliest days as leaflet passing, media-microphone blabbing, poster waving rabble-rousers, and he fully well knows the issue is still ‘out there’ because it continues to be raised in the media.
As evident in this initial grant application, PJI was explicitly told that the involved students were “required to fold their arms and chant, say a pledge to the sun flag, and other Wicca-based religious practices.” PLANS had organized demonstrations at the Waldorf methods school in one of the districts being sued, and subsequent to these demonstrations, the media widely reported the witchcraft allegations. One local paper reported, “By 1997, administrators had to fend off claims that the school was teaching witchcraft. Dan Dugan, a Bay Area activist with a goal to rid public schools of all such Waldorf teachings, led the protest then and now.”
Dan attempts to deflect from PLANS any measure of responsibility for the witchcraft allegations with a personal abstention: he didn’t make the allegations, and he doesn’t believe them himself. However, there is no question that in the grant application for the lawsuit, and in PR both then and ever since, Dan has benefitted PLANS by playing this both ways. He will assert PLANS represents those individuals who believed it, including those who made the allegations to TV and print reporters. This fact too was a representation made on behalf of PLANS in the grant application. Both he and others on the PLANS board stood right alongside those making the allegations, and in some measure, coordinated with them in the organized demonstrations. PLANS milked this nonsense charge for every drop it afforded, as the PLANS president, Debra Snell acknowledged at least once on the WC list. The “witchcraft” accusations brought PLANS much-sought media attention. They bought PLANS at least $15000 to apply toward legal expenses. And for the upcoming trial itself, PLANS added one of the most prominent individuals to have made the witchcraft allegations to their own WITNESS LIST!!
But gee, Dan…………..”I don’t know where this impression came from”??????????????? Cut it out, already, before your nose grows so long it attracts woodpeckers.
I haven’t finished all the remaining ‘unfinished business’ from Paragraph One. The rest will have to wait. But before I sign off on this installment, I thought I’d comment that the WC list continues to roast an unidentified “Board Chair” of a private Waldorf school someplace for her failure to be currently and accurately informed on the status of the PLANS lawsuit. After all, list members argue, it’s “her job” to be informed of issues which pertain to the Waldorf movement.
Ironically, it’s clear PLANS founding board member Dan Dugan is demonstrating a few key knowledge “gaps” of his own regarding his own organization.