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?
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/26186
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.

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)

PUBLIC WALDORF SCHOOLS CHURCH/STATE TRIAL ABORTED OVER EVIDENCE ISSUE

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. (http://waldorfanswers.org/PretrialConferenceOrder-2005-02-18.pdf ) 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 [http://waldorfanswers.org/BriefAmicus0407091.pdf] 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.

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: http://www.defendingsteiner.com/refutations/index.php
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.

No Progress to Report

I’m delighted to report that PLANS has made no progress at all in correcting the lies on their web-site.
The piece about children having to all embroider the same design has not been modified (as suggested by Dan Dugan) with the word “usually.” The unsubstantiated claims that children “meditate” in school have neither been substantiated nor removed.
My highlighting of the outrageous cutting of Eugene Schwartz’ talk has been ignored. There it still sits, missing over 700 words, kindly represented by 4 sets of dots. Still no link to his complete talk. Still no apology for the blatant misrepresentation of his meaning. No withdrawal of the rumor mongering about the end of Mr. Schwartz’ employment at Sunbridge.
Now, the WC has provided a good explanation of why they don’t have to correct any of the lies we have been pointing out. It is because we aren’t pointing them out on the WC list. Right. Sure. Okay. Who could possibly argue with logic like that?

Is Eurythmy Anthroposophy?

As an example of anthroposophy in a Waldorf classroom, someone recently brought up Eurythmy. Eurythmy is taught in Waldorf schools to the students. Is not Eurythmy a perfect example of anthroposophy in the classroom? I can see how, if you knew nothing about Eurythmy, this idea might seem to have some validity. But a proper understanding of what constitutes Eurythmy will show that this is not so.

Eurythmy is an art, like modern dance or sculpture. In a slightly modified form, it can also be applied therapeutically, similar to the way the painting can be applied as a form of therapy, known as Art Therapy. Eurythmy is not anthroposophy. It is possible to practice Eurythmy while knowing nothing whatsoever of anthroposophy, either as an adult or as a child. Anthroposophy is a path of knowing, a way of looking at the world, or a body of teaching. Anthroposophy is a conscious path, through the exercise of thinking. It involves a working with concepts, and applying rational logic. Eurythmy, on the other hand, is artistic expression, in the form of movement. It presupposes no knowledge, no doctrine, no theory. You simply have to do it. Is it good for you? Of course, and so is painting, and so is sculpture, and so is choral singing. This does not make any of the above into anthroposophy. Only by defining anthroposophy as "that which anthropsophists do" is it possible to consider Eurythmy as "anthroposophy".

While it is true that Eurythmy is primarily found around anthroposophical initiatives, such as Waldorf schools, this fact alone does not change the nature of the art form. I know at least three people who work as consultants teaching Eurythmy to business groups as a form of team building. When you create a Eurythmy form in movement with other people, it is absolutely necessary to know where each other person is in their path through the form, in order for you to create your movements in proper harmony with the whole. Interestingly, this awareness of what other people are doing is something that businesses also find valuable. And I also heard a number of comments by coaches about how well Waldorf basketball teams perform, attributed to their training during Eurythmy in keeping track of the movements of other people in a group. So yes, practicing Eurythmy confers benefits. But this does not make Eurythmy "anthroposophy". A quote from Rudolf Steiner may be elucidating:

Rudolf Steiner:
… But some little time after the founding of the Waldorf School, it was discovered that Eurythmy can serve as a very important means of education; and we are now in a position to recognise the full significance of Eurythmy from the educational point of view. In the Waldorf School, [The original Waldorf School in Stuttgart of which Steiner was educational director] Eurythmy has been made a compulsory subject both for boys and girls, right through the school, from the lowest to the highest class; and it has become apparent that what is thus brought to the children as visible speech and music is accepted and absorbed by them in just as natural a way as they absorb spoken language or song in their very early years. The child feels his way quite naturally into the movements of Eurythmy. … The Waldorf School has already been in existence for some years, and the experience lying behind us justified us in saying that in this school unusual attention is paid to the cultivation of initiative, of will — qualities sorely needed by humanity in the present day. This initiative of the will is developed quite remarkably through Eurythmy, when, as in the Waldorf School, it is used as a means of education. One thing, however, must be made perfectly clear, and that is, that the greatest possible misunderstanding would arise, if for one moment it were to be imagined that Eurythmy could be taught in the schools and looked upon as a valuable asset in education, if, at the same time, as an art it were to be neglected and underestimated. Eurythmy must in the first place be looked upon as an art, and in this it differs in no respect from the other arts. And in the same way that the other arts are taught in the schools, but have an independent artistic existence of their own in the world, so Eurythmy also can only be taught in the schools when it is fully recognised as an art and given its proper place within our modern civilisation.
Lecture of 26th August, 1923 (GA 279)

So the supposition that, "only anthropsophists do it, so it therefore must be anthroposophy" is both factually incorrect and logically in error. Quite a few non-anthroposophists practice Eurythmy. And practicing Eurythmy is not anthroposophy, it is simply art.

More on Dan’s evidence for soggy meditations (wet-on-wet)

Or is it soggy evidence? I’m beginning to think that Dan’s reasoning is all wet.
Last night I chatted with my sister, who spent, if I remember correctly, four years in a waldorf school. I asked her if she thought that wet-on-wet painting was a form of meditation exercise. She was just as incredulous as my brother. What makes this response amusing is my sister’s religious orientation: she is an extremely devout and devoted born-again Christian. She doesn’t approve of anthroposophy, although she tolerates me and I tolerate her (this is an achievement for both of us). But she is quite positive about waldorf education, is pleased that her great niece and nephew will be attending a waldorf school and has good memories of her years at the waldorf school.
So, do waldorf schools produce anthroposophists? This is one of the assertions that has been made on the WC.
In my family:
I attended waldorf two years as a teenager – several years later I started studying anthroposophy – mostly through the influence of my aunt who was a long-time anthroposophist
my sister was at a waldorf school for about 4 years (5th – 8th?) and became a born again Christian
my brother was at a waldorf school for about 6 years (3rd – 8th?) and is, as far as I can tell, cheerfully agnostic
my daughter was at two waldorf schools for a total of 13 years (nursery through 7th, 10th-12th) and eventually decided to study anthroposophy. She was at least 28 or older when she decided to take it seriously. Considering that she had a great-aunt who was a totally dedicated anthroposophist, a mother who was and still is very involved in anthroposophy it doesn’t seem likely that her “exposure” at school was a deciding factor. On the other hand, the fact that she liked her education is definitely the deciding factor in her choice of school for her children.
I’ll have to ask my daughter about her recent high school reunion. How many of her former classmates are involved with anthroposophy, I wonder?
DK

The RULES according to the WC and PLANS

THE BASIC RULE: Only negative stuff counts when it comes to waldorf
education.
In practice this means:
Positive newspaper stories are automatically the result of
deception, etc., but a negative newspaper story is the result of a
penetrating and thoughtful investigation.
Positive waldorf anecdotes are always isolated stories, but negative
waldorf anecdotes can be combined into a convincing narrative of
horrors that prove how awful waldorf is.
And so on…
ADDITIONAL RULE: Critics are capable of objectivity about waldorf
due to the strong emotions arising from the terrible experiences
suffered by their children, but waldorf supporters are totally
subjective due to the strong emotions arising from the wonderful
experiences of their children.
Please add additional rules that occur to you…I’m sure I haven’t covered all the possible variations!
Deborah

Why have this blog?

The description of the WC-Watch blog is as follows:

A lot of nonsense gets repeated on the WC list (that’s "Waldorf Critics") as simple fact. Yet those who challenge these erroneous statements are frequently banned on the flimsiest of pretexts. This blog will examine the facts in an unrestricted forum.

Now I’m sure that some people are scratching their heads. I mean, the Waldorf Critics list is an unmoderated list, right? They have listed themselves as an unmoderated list over at Topioca. (List Type: Unmoderated discussion). The site description sounds rather liberal:

A free-speech public forum operated by PLANS, Inc., as an information resource for anyone interested in Waldorf education who wants to hear views from outside the cult of Rudolf Steiner. Subscription is open to the public, and postings are not reviewed in advance. Not for the overly sensitive.

Wow. Public. Free-speech. I mean, what how can this cause any sorts of problems? Well, there are rules (on a “free-speech” list).

No ad hominem arguments. This means that you speak freely about the topics, but not about the other subscribers. … Violation of either of these rules will result in immediate suspension of subscription privileges for a week, and repeat offenders may be permanently banned.

This is where the peculiar interpretation of "ad hominem" comes in. The fancy Latin describes a type of argument based on the premise that the speaker can’t be trusted, a kind of "don’t listen to what he says, just look who he is". In classical logic, this was considered a fallacy. On the Waldorf Critics list, it is grounds for dismissal. Except that Dan Dugan interprets "ad hominem" slightly differently. To Dugan, an "ad hominem" argument is one that shows a rabid Waldorf Critic to be in error. Saying "you’re wrong" is an "ad hominem" to Dugan. Of course, you have to say it more directly, for example, try saying "Peter Staudenmaier is a liar." This will get you banned. It doesn’t matter if you have just proven that very point, with quotes, citations and references. Once you come to the logical conclusion, you have just committed a Dan Dugan "ad hominem": you have demonstrated a Waldorf Critic to be in error, to know that they are in error, and then to claim not to know that they are in error. For that, you are banned, from a "free speech" forum!

Additionally, I should point out the basic illogic of having any rules at all on a "free-speech" forum. Either it is free-speech, or it has rules. It can’t be both. But that is how PLANS works: not through logic, but by propaganda – using attention-getting words in close proximity (just look at how many times Hitler’s name comes up in proximity with Rudolf Steiner on the flimsiest pretexts).

So that is why this Blog is necessary. Over at PLANS’ moderated "unmoderated", censored "free-speech" Waldorf Critics mail-list, they can’t handle the truth.