Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Glencraig 'Steiner' and Camphill Communities

I find it appalling that the Glencraig 'Curative' School in Holywood, has children who attend there, fully funded by the Education and Library Boards in Northern Ireland yet we do not have an autism specific school for our children.
I would hazard a guess that a placement of a primary aged pupil's attendance there would cost anywhere between £35 and £50,000 per annum depending on services put in place and possibly a lot more. 


Link to the Holywood Steiner School:

The outcomes for children attending this school are next to impossible to find. Like some of Northern Ireland's "special schools" (aka dumping grounds) it seems Glencraig/Camphill is basically a long term residential care home  for children and adults with intellectual and other disabilities, including some who also have autism, but with a deeply worrying twist, one that is ignored perhaps due to the inability of the inmates to have their voices heard. 

Has anyone in Northern Ireland actually bothered to look into the teachings of Rudolph Steiner or Dr Karl Königlink

Your local ELB will stand back in horror should you ask for funding for an ABA program for your child  but, if they think your child is a  'no-hoper' you might get a paid-for placement at the Steiner School. If ABA has little peer reviewed research backing it up, Steiner has absolutely none -  yet it continues to receive funded places. Maybe the Glencraig school is cheaper than full-time residential care and in the long run saves the Department of Education and the Department of Health money?

Who submits their child to the teachings of these lunatics? How did Steiner's Anthroposophic ideals find their way to Northern Ireland, much find favour with the education/library boards which fund it?

Maybe their endorsement of the Glencraig/Steiner school was based on Steiner's twisted affinity for Ireland.  Perhaps the school took advantage of Northern Ireland's political troubles hoping they would mask the madness of Steiner and Anthroposophy.  In a land where people were murdering each other every day due to hatred and power mongering, perhaps the Steiner School was deemed a welcome haven for the families whose loved ones had no where else to go. 

If you google Rudolph Steiner or Waldorf School together with eco-fascist, screwball and brainwashing/cult, you will be offered links to read, many of which are disturbing and worrying experiences of people who have survived these schools.

Many parents are unable to get an OT to pay for a child's pencil grip yet children are being funded by ELB's, year after year to attend these very expensive facilities.

Here is an account of a Rudolph Steiner School in Wisconson USA. Sounds like a cult to me. As I said, Google throws up countless and similar stories.

Here is a thread of messages (over 1000) from UK based 'Mumsnet' from parents outraged by what the Steiner Schools have to 'offer' - pay particular attention to what one mother has said regarding Steiner's beliefs about children with development difficulties.

Additionally, here are some Rudolf Steiner quotes:

• “[A]n island like Great Britain swims in the sea and is held fast by the forces of the stars. In actuality, such islands do not sit directly upon a foundation; they swim and are held fast from outside.” [Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, p. 607.]

• “[I]t is not that the planets move around the Sun, but these three, Mercury, Venus, and the Earth, follow the Sun, and these three, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, precede it.” [Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner., pp. 30-31.]

• “If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense.... Blond hair actually bestows intelligence. In the case of fair people, less nourishment is driven into the eyes and hair; it remains instead in the brain and endows it with intelligence. Brown- and dark-haired people drive the substances into their eyes and hair that the fair people retain in their brains.” [Health and Illness, Vol. 1, pp. 85-86.]

• “[Science] sees the heart as a pump that pumps blood through the body. Now there is nothing more absurd than believing this, for the heart has nothing to do with pumping the blood.” Freud, Jung, and Spiritual Psychology, pp. 124-125.]

• “There are beings that can be seen with clairvoyant vision at many spots in the depths of the earth...Many names have been given to them, such as goblins, gnomes and so forth...Their nature prompts them to play all sorts of tricks on man....” [Nature Spirits, pp. 62-3.]

• “[T]he brain and nerve system have nothing at all to do with actual cognition....” [The Foundations of Human Experience, p. 60.]

• “In the course of its development, the good portion of humankind will learn to use the Moon forces to transform the evil part [of mankind] so that it can participate in further evolution as a distinct earthly kingdom.” [An Outline of Esoteric Science, p. 393.]

• “The use of the French language quite certainly corrupts the soul.” [Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, pp. 558.]

 All surreal!

Glencraig School in County Antrim will no doubt be quick to shuffle off any suggestion that their practices or beliefs mirror the worst beliefs of Rudolph Steiner or the murkier practices of the Waldorf School. Yet, a tour of the school and facilities coupled with a few pertinent questions to the staff about their beliefs should raise alarm bells.

The problem is, for most parents considering this school, it's the last choice for their beloved child not their first one. No one walking the grounds of this school would even consider it if their child had other options. In Northern Ireland, educational opportunities  for children, particularly those with intellectual disabilities are few. I am quite sure that for many, Glencraig is the last stop, before even worse involuntary decisions are imposed upon a parent and their child.

In Northern Ireland after your child completes the primary/secondary Steiner School,and enters adulthood after years of being cloistered away from real society and a real life (and is fully brainwashed, probably along with you as well) she or he can then be moved on to the Camphill adult wing and live there forever (if you can pay for it). Your child will be given duties of mucking out barns, growing vegetables or cooking. They will celebrate occultism, harvest moons and will be forced to suffer an unending turnover of staff, many of whom are students from abroad. They won't be using computers and other technology, their access to the outside world will be on the school's terms, not theirs and their psyches will face an unending assault of Steinerism (aka dangerous bunkum).In addition, their health will be treated with anthroposophical "medicine" (look it up, it's not pretty) and eurythmy "therapy" (link) which explains a lot of the dress code favoured by some of the staff.

If your ELB questions your decision to use evidence based teaching models to educate your children, ask them why they continue to fund the evidence free Glencraig School. Ask them why your decision on how to educate your child is ignored while they fund expensive places for children to attend Glencraig where the individual has no choice but to submit to the ideations of Steiner groupies.

Muckamore Hospital is closing so I guess you could call Glencraig/Camphill the new "mental" hospital - with grass.