As New York prepares to ban religious exemptions for vaccinations following recent measles outbreaks in the vaccine-averse Orthodox Jewish communities, the New York Times reports that around 60% of the 300 or so students attending New York’s ultra-liberal Waldorf school are unvaccinated. Of note, a 2014 analysis of CDC data by RealClearScience concluded that “anti-vaxxers are clearly more associated with the political left.”
Founded in the early 20th century by eccentric Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner who invented a metaphysical philosophy known as “anthroposophy,” the pricey Waldorf schools (which can run from $25,000 – $40,000 per year), ban textbooks from the 6th grade, while all forms of technology such as smartphones are prohibited altogether.
Steiner believed that diseases were influenced by “astral bodies,” and that Anthroposophical medicine could “extend the knowledge gained through the methods of the natural sciences of the present age with insights from spiritual science,” such as using mistletoe to treat cancer.
In 1923, Steiner wrote: “Treatment with modified virus vaccine is effective in the case of diphtheria, because the body is thus given a strong impulse to become active, but it has unfavorable after-effects. Particularly if a child is treated with vaccine, it will later suffer a hardening of its organization. One must therefore strive to replace vaccines with bathing treatment, especially in the case of diphtheria.”
Steiner’s beliefs are reflected in the parents of Waldorf students, according to the Times.
The mother of an unvaccinated child here in the New York suburbs says eating papaya helps to combat measles. The father of another child who has not been immunized believes that big pharmaceutical companies are paying millions of dollars to doctors, government officials and even judges to bury the truth about vaccine complications.
Another mother says the souls of her children are on a journey that vaccines would impede. “As a parent, for me, a lot of my job is to just not put extra obstacles in that soul’s way,” she said.
All three parents represent an anti-vaccine fervor on the left that is increasingly worrying health authorities. They often cluster around progressive private schools that are part of the Waldorf educational movement,