Grégoire Perra


The following extracts are translations of some of Grégoire Perra’s articles, reproduced here with his kind permission. You are free to link to this page but please credit us and link to this site when publishing extracts elsewhere.



“je trouve votre traduction excellente ! Vous avez su redonner en anglais mon style, et la dynamique de mes idées !”

(I find your translation excellent! You were able to preserve my style and the dynamism of my ideas!)

Grégoire Perra


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Grégoire Perra is the author of an article that’s making a lot of noise in France: The Indoctrination of Students to Anthroposophy in Steiner Waldorf Schools (L'Endoctrinement des élèves à l'anthroposophie dans les Ecoles Steiner Waldorf - June 2011). In it, he demonstrates how this supposed innovative pedagogy is in reality a way of subliminally conditioning the students of those schools to anthroposophy. His conclusion is that even if most students will not be involved in anthroposophy once their schooling is completed, they have nevertheless been subliminally conditioned  to see the world through Rudolf Steiner’s eyes, without realising consciously how limited this view of things is, nor are they conscious of the anthroposophical environment which is the basis of their entire universe in their school. His verdict is clear: this process is a serious breach of the children’s freedom.



(extract from: The Indoctrination of Students to Anthroposophy in Steiner Waldorf Schools - June 2011)


Grégoire Perra is a former student who spent most of his school years in Steiner education. He is also a former teacher at those schools, having done his pedagogical training at the Institut Rudolf Steiner de Chatou, France. He is also a former member of the Anthroposophical Society and collaborated very closely with its Committee Director.


From 1979 to 1989, Grégoire was enrolled at the Steiner-Waldorf de Verrière-le-Buisson et Chatou school, near Paris. He was 9 when his parents, disappointed with the national education, placed him there. Near the end of his secondary education, he took part, within the confines of his school, in various conferences dealing with the concepts of anthroposophy. This is why, from 1990 to 1995, as a young student, he became fascinated with the Société Anthroposophique de Paris’ public conferences and then became member of the society from 1995 to 2009.


Between 1992 and 2004, with a few gaps in between, he also taught at the two Steiner- Waldorf schools in the Paris area.


During that time, until his resignation in 2009, he worked closely with the president of the French Société Anthroposophique, notably being charged with creating/coming up with “anthroposophical training” for young people.


It was therefore necessary, in designing this future training to focus primarily on former Steiner-Waldorf students whose “karmic journey it is to encounter anthroposophy” according to the words of Bodo von Plato, member of the committee of the Directeur de la Société Anthroposophique Universelle, which whom Grégoire was collaborating on that project.


He was therefore an important member of the Société Anthroposophique, giving conferences, setting up projects and writing articles for different publications. He also had a book published on the subject.


He sometimes had the “privilege” of meeting up with members of the Comité Directeur de la Société Anthroposophique Universelle, whose headquarters are based near Bâle, in Switzerland. He was even member of the Ecole de Science de l’Esprit, a special division of anthroposophists who had access to “superior esoteric truths” which aren’t allowed to be divulged, even to the other members of the Société Anthroposophique.


He took part in esoteric lessons - the secret cult of this Ecole de Science de l’Esprit. This cult took place within the Verrière-le-Buisson Steiner school.


Today, looking back, it’s clear to Grégoire that the reason he became an active and eminent member of this cult-like organisation, can be found in the education he received at a Steiner-Waldorf school. His path from the age of 9 was nothing but the logical progression of the effects of the indoctrination he suffered.



What caused you to testify against a group you’d been with for nearly 30 years? (extract from: Why Testify Against the Anthroposophical Movement - May 2012)


That’s a very good question. In fact, there wasn’t a specific event which enabled me to realise what was happening and push me to testify. I am a philosopher by profession and what happened was actually step by step, a long process of reflection.


When one testifies, it is always suspected that this is done to get even, or to pursue some kind or revenge. It is extremely hard to remove those suspicions, especially when such testimonies reveal evidence of painful truths that one has suffered.


In today’s world, profound motivations such as fulfilling your duty towards society, or telling the truth, aren’t highly regarded. But such motivations are well and truly present in every human being and they sometimes become more powerful than selfish desires. They would become more compelling if people took more notice and listened to testimonies of those who have fought all their lives for a just cause.


Therefore, even though my writings sometimes contain stories of sufferings I was subject to by being at the heart of an anthroposophical society for nearly 30 years, I would like the reader to understand that what has motivated me to speak out has to do with what I would call “an inner necessity”.


It became necessary for me to testify, not to satisfy some kind of bitterness, but to find some kind of coherence, to take control of my life again. And to do my duty! In fact, when I decided to reach out to an organisation set up to help victims of cults, in the Summer of 2010, I told them the story of what happened to me. I was mostly looking for people from a civil society who would be able to help me look at my experiences from an outside perspective.


As long as one remains within the confines of a cultish environment, especially when placed there since childhood, one sees the world and ones own life with benchmarks placed there in your mind by that environment. To really cross to the other side, one must be able to see what happened through someone else’s eyes. The eyes of the real world, of normal people.


This is how I met a member of the UNADFI and how this person asked me, after a few meetings, to write a small testimony. It wasn’t supposed to be more than a few pages and it wasn’t intended to be published. However, the complexity and subtle character of the system which binds Steiner-Waldorf schools to anthroposophy quickly made this short testimony insufficient.


As I wrote, I unravelled the web of my life, knotted for so many years, I decoded the tricks of that environment, brought to light its system of underground roots and revealed the nature of this insidious enterprise. I finally started to see clearly. I discovered the pattern in the elements that had comprised my universe, and by this process of thought, I eventually started to find myself outside of it. For many months, I analysed what I had witnessed, connecting the facts, systematically referencing my words, rereading and weighing each of my statements, submitting them to a critical external eye before confirming them. I also questioned many witnesses. The way the parts of the system fit together slowly became obvious. My soul started to breathe again.


Having been a student, then a teacher at the Verrière-le-Buisson Steiner-Waldorf school in Chatou, having been a former anthroposophist as well as a former student of the Institut de Formation Pédagogique Rudolf Steiner de Chatou, I was placed in situations when I observed, suffered and participated in disfunctional events that I describe in my article which was published on the UNADFI website.


Being a philosopher by nature and training, I could attempt to understand the causes, to examine the functions and to expose its mechanisms. Being a citizen aware of my duties, I realised that the disfunctionality would never be sorted on its own, but because it had always been occult, I had to testify.


Quite simply because it leads to human suffering. Civil society must speak about these schools and their pedagogy. And it must be able to do so openly.


The Fédération des Ecoles Steiner-Waldorf de France would gain by recognising the existence of these disfunctional elements, or at the very least, that it is legitimate to expose this pedagogy rather than always waxing lyrical about it and brining out “studies” whose sole function is to condone it. On its own, it is incapable of doing so publicly.


Demonising, condemning those who denounce them merely confirm the problem. This mistake is as disgusting as it is revealing. An institution incapable of receiving honest criticisms about its own practises will inexorably condemn itself. The need to bring these discussions out in the open, and not keep them hidden, is obvious to anyone who is interested in the future of such institutions.


Where does this inability to face reality come from? I believe it’s explained by the way Rudolf Steiner founded the Waldorf pedagogy. In fact, it is according to him a “gift of the gods”, as it is stated quite clearly on the first school’s foundation stone.


I can’t comment on the possibility that a transcendental institution could have presided over the conception of the pedagogical principles, but I know that a pedagogy presented initially as a “revelation” could only be transmitted as a tradition. And defended dogmatically. This would necessarily prevent any evolution, forbid any questioning, and imperatively deny any disfunction when it appeared.


90 years out of its own time! All the 20th Century’s culture passed by these school without affecting them in the slightest! Everything starts from this tragic beginning. The problem originates by this fundamental link between a pedagogy, which could have introduced certain qualities, that was chained from the cradle to a new religion, Anthroposophy, and to a “church” who wants to promote it, the Société Anthroposophique. The bonds that link Steiner-Waldorf schools to anthroposophy are deep.


One could too easily fool oneself into saying that the problems I describe come from the fact that the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy isn’t detached enough from its founder’s esoteric doctrines. Or that it could be possible to imagine a gradual separation, allowing pedagogical innovations and enabling these institutions to become more open to the modern world so as not to “throw away the baby with the bathwater”, if these institutions had the courage to sever their institutional or informal ties to the Société Anthroposophique. However, one of the high ranking directors of the Société Anthroposophique Universelle, Serge Prokofieff, defined the institution he presides over as “the fundamental bearer of the Anthroposophical movement”. In other words, the Société Anthroposophique sees itself as the common base for all institutions that came out of anthroposophy, including obviously schools practising the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy.


This is why it’s also necessary to describe the Anthroposophical movement, of which the Société Anthroposophique is the centre of gravity. Because as long as this society isn’t known, by that I mean not brought into the light of day, its intellectual universe, its operations, its practises, then the origins of the disfunctionality I have described will not be understood, nor will it be possible to grasp that these are not merely incidents that happen along the way.



Conclusion

(extract from: The Pressures of the Anthroposophical Environment - May 2012)


I would like to finish this article by considering more current events. Over the last few years, voices have been raising a little bit everywhere around the world to denounce anthroposophy and the institutions that derive from it. Voices like Dan Dugan’s, Roger Rawlings’, Lydie Baumann-Bay’s, etc. We may be at the start of an inevitable process which will only grow stronger. Because of their malfunctions and ambiguities, Steiner-Waldorf schools are in the line of fire.


Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy has now existed for nearly a century. Why has it never been possible for it to discern and sort out all the fundamental contradictions it is mired in, by itself? Does such an inability explain a desire to preserve a system that produces the perverted effects described in these articles?


This persistence in remaining wrong, which leads to considerable human damage, is finally what comes out as most suspect and seems to confirm the theory that this is a cult. In fact, if anthroposophy and the Steiner-Waldorf schools aren’t a sect, why have they kept for so long ways of working and positioning that force them to adopt strategies of concealment and create destructive pressures of a sectarian type?


This is the reason why civil society and the government now have the moral obligation to intervene, because this pedagogy’s constitutional problems appear to be too deep to be fixed internally. This is also the reason for my testimony.


The dark clouds that appear over Steiner-Waldorf schools are completely legitimate. However, Steiner-Waldorf schools and their representative institutions, including sympathisers of the anthroposophic movement, who refused to do the necessary work to clarify the situation despite the many warning signs, will see was needs to happen as an “attack”. And they will respond as if they were attacked.


Until now, anthroposophy and all institutions that originate from it, were content to have a place on the outskirts of society, remaining as discrete as possible, trying to avoid the attention of the government. They were happy to exist, relying on their slow and progressive growth, living in hope of a what they feel will be an inevitable general decadence or a global catastrophe which will position them one day as the solution to all of society’s ills.


But if this kind of outlook disappeared, if anthroposophical institutions’ existence suddenly felt threatened, how would anthroposophists and their supporters’ react?


Will they be content to keep their influence on those happy to remain in their circle, as they have done up to now? Or will they be capable of more extreme action? I have shown in three articles published on my blog (Who Are the Anthroposophists, Explaining the Elements of Mental Imprisonment Caused by Anthroposophy, and Anthroposophy and the True Self) how the anthroposophical doctrine, built on what I believe is a fundamentally insincere notion of thought, (a division between scientific pretension and a religious nature), end up by causing important mental disorders.


It’s now more than a century since anthroposophy and its institutions have been existing in a unmanageable contradiction which throws them into lies and a type of madness. One of the highest leaders of the Société Antrhoposophique Universelle used the term “potty” to describe the people around him. This is a highly worrying label in the current context.


What will be the reaction of these “potty” people, who believe that their universe and their reason for being will be threatened, if the lie at the root of it is brought into the light of day? Since the publication of my article on UNADFI, this question has been weighing on my mind. I don’t live in fear, as he who does what he feels is right and according to his conscience does not feel fear. But concern, yes, I feel that.



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Grégoire’s testimony has been published since June 2011 on the UNADFI site - The National Union of Groups in Defense of Families and Individuals Victims of Sects, whose role is recognised by the state. The UNADFI granted the Fédération des Écoles Steiner-Waldorf en France a right to respond to Mr. Perra’s testimony, which they took. But despite that, they have now threatened him and UNADFI with legal action. The UNADFI is courageously supporting Grégoire’s testimony and keeping it on their site, believing it to be of quality, authentic and sincere.


Further, the MIVILUDES, an official organisation of the French government, responsible for observing sects, and a part of the Prime Minister’s cabinet, has written to Mr Perra to thank him for his testimony, which answered many questions that they had been asking themselves for years concerning these schools and its pedagogy.



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Translated by Angel Garden and Steve Paris.

You are free to link to this page but please credit us and link to this site when publishing extracts elsewhere.

 
1861-2011 : 150 years of Rudolf Steiner

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