Association Smear Tactics

 

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:19 am
Subject: association smear tactics

One of the first things that lead me to study the WC archives, was a post by D Dugan where he mentions how little nazi boys were pulling up the dresses of the girls in a Waldorf School in NY (I couldn't find the post but I will keep looking). I noticed the association smear tactic right away. Here are just a couple of conversations that I was involved in where the commom association smear tactic is routinely and subtly implied.

ME:

One thing that holds me back from calling Steiner racist is the fact )that he is dead. I cannot walk up to him and look him right in the eye )and ask him.

Peter S:

I think that's a bad reason to withhold judgement on such a question. You don't hold yourself back from calling Hitler a racist, do you?

And D Dugan said to me once:

"I would urge them to reject it because it's wrong. [a POF] Steiner's thesis was universally rejected by other philosophers. That rejection may have been a major cause of his turn inward to the adoration of a cult of ignorant followers to get the adoration that he craved. The parallel with Hitler's rejection as an artist and its effect on his subsequent career is instructive."

Notice the subtleness of these associations, that get repeated over and over and over....[excuse me for a minute while I go to the bathroom and Puke]

These are a minute portion of my personal experience; I'm sure that many others can expound upon this much more eloquently than I. But you know what? If an uneducated fool like me can see and understand this kind of Hate-group behavior, than I'm sure that many others will see it for what it truely is.

Mike

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:53 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] association smear tactics

The WC people do this all the time, all the time. Check this out:

Jan 25, 2004

[long link]

Tarjei:

"If it is important for the PLANS-WC cult to establish that Anthroposophy is a religion and not a science, they should treat Anthroposophy as a religion all the way, in a way that a religion deserves to be treated: With respect and honor. Otherwise, they defeat their own purpose with their utterly despicable and morally bankrupt conduct."

Peter S:

Taking a somewhat different tack from Walden's, I'd say there are several things wrong with this picture. First, on general principles: it is a very bad idea to say that all religions as such deserve to be treated with respect and honor. One obvious example is The Creativity Movement, formerly the World Church of the Creator, which urges its adherents to engage in "Racial Holy War" against Jews and people of color. The doctrines of this religion deserve neither respect nor honor.

Sacreligious greetings to all,

Peter Staudenmaier

 

**************************************************************************
Mon, 07 Mar 2004

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/2949

[from the thread "Kabbala Tuesday"]

Tarjei:

If the arguments of an anthro are racist or anti-racist, it's disturbing nevertheless and makes your skin crawl. Whenever an anthro utters the word "race," it gives you the creeps. That's why you guys keep urging us to discuss race, race, and nothing but race.

Diana W:

No, you're missing it at this point, though you come closer later. It's not because an anthroposophist says it that it bothers me. Anthroposophists are surely not the only ones with odd racial notions or prone to saying questionable things about race mixing, and I do indeed have the same twitchy reactions to hearing these statements in different places. I admit, it is particularly perversely strange among anthroposophists, because anthroposophists believe their views are all progressive. I expect to hear my somewhat red-neck neighbor down the street say dubious things about blacks, for instance; I don't spend much time arguing with him.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Tarjei

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From: winters_diana
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:56 pm
Subject: Re: association smear tactics

Take a day or two off here, and God knows what you people are talking about. I've flagged a few things . . .

Tarjei, you quote the exchange between us below as, apparently, an example of smear tactics. It burns me. You either fail to follow your own logic or else you deliberately bait me, which is it? You attribute statements or attitudes to me removed exponentially from what I said (and strangely our objective historical researcher Daniel says nothing!!!). You stated – I assume rhetorically, in order to get me to deny it – that I only have a skin crawling reaction to things anthros say, whether racist or anti-racist. I replied that (of course) that is not the case, I object to racist remarks wherever I hear them. I was explaining that it is the remarks themselves rather than who is making them. I explained this *to correct your impression that I single out anthroposophists in my disdain for racist remarks*. You set this up for me to correct – I correct it – and then you state that I have made these remarks in order to smear you.

It's absurd, it's bizarre, it's pretzel logic, through the looking glass. Just a comment - aside from no injunction against ad hominem here (which I'm starting to relax into), no one seems to have a problem with posts that are either 1) free of any discernible relevance to list topics or 2) reveal the poster to be fullblown batshit crazy.

Diana

Tarjei:

If the arguments of an anthro are racist or anti-racist, it's disturbing nevertheless and makes your skin crawl. Whenever an anthro utters the word "race," it gives you the creeps. That's why you guys keep urging us to discuss race, race, and nothing but race.

Diana W:

No, you're missing it at this point, though you come closer later. It's not because an anthroposophist says it that it bothers me. Anthroposophists are surely not the only ones with odd racial notions or prone to saying questionable things about race mixing, and I do indeed have the same twitchy reactions to hearing these statements in different places. I admit, it is particularly perversely strange among anthroposophists, because anthroposophists believe their views are all progressive. I expect to hear my somewhat red-neck neighbor down the street say dubious things about blacks, for instance; I don't spend much time arguing with him.

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:11 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: association smear tactics

At 03:56 15.03.2004, Diana wrote:

Tarjei, you quote the exchange between us below as, apparently, an example of smear tactics. It burns me. You either fail to follow your own logic or else you deliberately bait me, which is it?

How can I fail to follow my own logic by quoting you verbatim, just like you guys quote Steiner? Do you bait Steiner?

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: at
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:43 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: association smear tactics

Diana,

Sorry that I can't give all the exchanges the same attention that I give Mr. Staudenmaier (I saw my name here as I was skimming through). If I have failed to jump on Tarjei, it is because I was not paying attention, and not because I hold him to different standards. Just wanted to be clear on that....

Daniel

Diana wrote...

<snip>

(and strangely our objective historical researcher Daniel says nothing!!!).

<snip>

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From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:25 pm
Subject: Re: association smear tactics

[from the thread "Polemic and History"]

Daniel wrote:

My point is that polemic in particular tempts human nature, because of what the writer is attempting.

Daniel, I do not think polemic is more "tempting" to dishonesty or distortion (or self-delusion), necessarily, than a false veneer of objectivity or a pedantic insistence on proper research, applied, of course, selectively only in reply to those one disagrees with. (Think Bradford is never tempted to embroider the facts? Think Bradford considers all "complementary material"? Think clairvoyant readings of the Akashic Record are considered sound sources among academic historians, Daniel?)

I asked:

Why would it not be in the interest of someone writing a polemic to consider the objections that might be raised or all complementary material?

You wrote:

For the same reason that a defense attorney does not make the prosecutions case more effectively than the prosecution. If you are trying to win an argument, you want to present your case more strongly that the case against your case.

That would be a poor defense attorney. The defense has to understand and be able to argue the prosecution's case even better than the prosecution, if they hope to win.

By the way. You left one of my questions unanswered too, while peppering Peter S. with multiple requests for follow-ups. Where is the data to back up the claim that Waldorf is the "fastest growing" educational movement in the world?

Diana

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From: at
Date: Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:17 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: association smear tactics

Daniel:

My point is that polemic in particular tempts human nature, because of what the writer is attempting.

Diana:

Daniel, I do not think polemic is more "tempting" to dishonesty or distortion (or self-delusion), necessarily, than a false veneer of objectivity or a pedantic insistence on proper research, applied, of course, selectively only in reply to those one disagrees with. (Think Bradford is never tempted to embroider the facts? Think Bradford considers all "complementary material"? Think clairvoyant readings of the Akashic Record are considered sound sources among academic historians, Daniel?)

Daniel:

We have gotten away from my original post, where I talked a lot about the intentions of authors and how the intention will influence the method or approach. Go back and re-read my origial point and see if you agree or disagree with that. I justified my position in some detail.

Persuing knowledge for its own sake is something entirely different from arguing ones own interpretation, whether or not you understand why you are arguing or how you formed your own interpretation.

Diana:

Why would it not be in the interest of someone writing a polemic to consider the objections that might be raised or all complementary material?

Daniel:

For the same reason that a defense attorney does not make the prosecutions case more effectively than the prosecution. If you are trying to win an argument, you want to present your case more strongly that the case against your case.

Diana:

That would be a poor defense attorney. The defense has to understand and be able to argue the prosecution's case even better than the prosecution, if they hope to win.

Daniel:

For some reason you have missed the point here. It is of course necessary for the defense attorney to understand the prosecution's case as well as the prosecution does, if not better. However, the defense would never actually present the prosecution's case to the jury better than the prosecutor! (Even and especially if the defense were capable of it). The defense is supposed to make the prosecution's case look weak, not make it look strong!

By the way. You left one of my questions unanswered too, while peppering Peter S. with multiple requests for follow-ups. Where is the data to back up the claim that Waldorf is the "fastest growing" educational movement in the world?

Sorry about that. The claim is floating all over - I can send you to a dozen places where it is quoted. I haven't been able to find the original source. You origianlly asked for the source, which I did not have the time to locate (sorry, who first said it is just not that important to me - I am only interested in whether or not it is true). Now you ask for data to back it up. First let's use a little common sense. Do you suspect the claim to be untrue? What independent educational movement do you think is growing faster? If there are any that are close, we can then start a rigorous survey (once we have settled on the definition - What constitutes a bona fide educational movement? How do you measure growth? Students? Schools? Textbooks sold? Number of articles in educational journals?). This will bring us to Mark Twain's "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" namely that we could probably form a survey to back up any view we choose to support just be selecting only those criteria that will show what we want to demonstrate.

Daniel Hindes

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From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:48 pm
Subject: Re: association smear tactics

Daniel:

We have gotten away from my original post,

Yes we have. Funny how that happens in discussions! :) One person posts, then another person posts. It isn't done to offend you, Daniel.

where I talked a lot about the intentions of authors and how the intention will influence the method or approach.

And so you think that a bad intention causes someone to decide to write a polemic, and it must be a good intention that causes them to choose to write sober and proper history? Sorry don't agree.

Daniel:

It is of course necessary for the defense attorney to understand the prosecution's case as well as the prosecution does, if not better. However, the defense would never actually present the prosecution's case to the jury better than the prosecutor! (Even and especially if the defense were capable of it). The defense is supposed to make the prosecution's case look weak, not make it look strong!

You said, if I recall (and if I recall incorrectly I'm sure you will rapidly provide the verbatim passage), that the person writing a polemic would not feel the need to consider the "complementary" material. I think we've established that the opposite is the case.

I ask for:

data to back up the claim that Waldorf is the "fastest growing" educational movement in the world?

Sorry about that. The claim is floating all over - I can send you to a dozen places where it is quoted.

That's okay. That is the reason for my question, yes indeed it floats all over, doesn't it? and always, to my recollection, free of any explanation of the basis of the claim. Perhaps someone here can prove me wrong.

I haven't been able to find the original source. You origianlly asked for the source, which I did not have the time to locate (sorry, who first said it is just not that important to me - I am only interested in whether or not it is true).

Er, yes, that's generally the point of requesting the source. I'm not terribly interested in the individual's name, either, I'm interested in the data that show Waldorf to be the fastest-growing educational movement. (In the world, it often says.)

Now you ask for data to back it up.

You make it sound like I'm becoming more and more demanding and unreasonable :)

First let's use a little common sense. Do you suspect the claim to be untrue?

I have no idea if the claim is true. I doubt there is actually an individual or organization somewhere who knows whether this claim is true. It is a nice little legend.

What independent educational movement do you think is growing faster?

Nice try. The burden is not on me to propose some alternative scenario that would cast doubt on the claim. If this little factoid has no data to back it up, or if no one can remember what drawer they filed this data in, it shouldn't be quoted.

If there are any that are close, we can then start a rigorous survey (once we have settled on the definition - What constitutes a bona fide educational movement?

How interesting that you expect me to define these terms. I am not interested in splitting hairs with you, Daniel. I want the source of this statistic, or rather this claim that probably does not have any statistics to back it up.

How do you measure growth? Students? Schools?

Hon, these are my questions to you, or your movement that is making the claim.

It would certainly present some interesting measurement challenges. I would venture a guess when the mysterious someone originally noted with delight that the movement was growing quickly, and saw the PR value in this, they might have been counting new schools opening. Wonder if they also counted schools that closed in the same time period. And what other "educational movements" they compared Waldorf with, and whether the measures used for comparison were valid, and well, it does all strike me as a bit unlikely that there is anything solid behind the claim.

Textbooks sold? Number of articles in educational journals?). This will bring us to Mark Twain's "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" namely that we could probably form a survey to back up any view we choose to support just be selecting only those criteria that will show what we want to demonstrate.

I rest my case.

At best, "fastest growing" would be a moving target. I'm sure with your conscientious attention to strict honesty, Daniel, you'll be after AWSNA to sort this out.

Diana

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From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:43 pm
Subject: Re: association smear tactics

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, diana.winters wrote:

Nice try. The burden is not on me to propose some alternative scenario that would cast doubt on the claim. If this little factoid has no data to back it up, or if no one can remember what drawer they filed this data in, it shouldn't be quoted.

"It is odd, actually, that the public knows so little about Waldorf schools, because they've been operating in this country since 1928 and have collected quite a few famous followers (Waldorf parents have included Paul Newman, Joe Namath, John DeLorean, and Mikhail Baryshnikov; graduates include Victor Navasky, the publisher of The Nation, and Ken Chenault, the president of American Express). During the past twenty-five years in particular, Waldorf schools have proliferated vigorously; roughly 130 now operate in the United States, and 700 worldwide. Waldorf schools are quite possibly the world's fastest-growing independent school system; David Alsop, the chairman of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, calls them the world's "best-kept education secret."

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From: at
Date: Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:37 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: association smear tactics

Daniel:

We have gotten away from my original post,

Diana:

Yes we have. Funny how that happens in discussions! :) One person posts, then another person posts. It isn't done to offend you, Daniel.

Daniel:

It doesn't offend me, but when I find myself going in circles, I start to wonder what the point is.

Daniel:

where I talked a lot about the intentions of authors and how the intention will influence the method or approach.

Diana:

And so you think that a bad intention causes someone to decide to write a polemic, and it must be a good intention that causes them to choose to write sober and proper history? Sorry don't agree.

Daniel:

Not exactly. Read the original.

Daniel:

It is of course necessary for the defense attorney to understand the prosecution's case as well as the prosecution does, if not better. However, the defense would never actually present the prosecution's case to the jury better than the prosecutor! (Even and especially if the defense were capable of it). The defense is supposed to make the prosecution's case look weak, not make it look strong!

Diana:

You said, if I recall (and if I recall incorrectly I'm sure you will rapidly provide the verbatim passage), that the person writing a polemic would not feel the need to consider the "complementary" material. I think we've established that the opposite is the case.

Daniel:

I said that I wouldn't trust a polemical writer to present counter-arguments fairly. Not that they would not consider the counter arguments themselves, only that they would not likely be fair in the presentation of such counter-arguments.

Daniel:

First let's use a little common sense. Do you suspect the claim to be untrue?

Diana:

I have no idea if the claim is true. I doubt there is actually an individual or organization somewhere who knows whether this claim is true. It is a nice little legend.

Daniel:

I repeat it because I think it is likely true. You call it a "legend" without any factual basis. I say it is likely true because I know the growth curve for the number of new Waldorf schools internationally over the last 30 years. I am also somewhat familiar with other "alternative" educational movements. None are growing as fast. I don't have this as absolute fact with exact numbers, but it is close enough for the relative importance of the issue.

Daniel:

What independent educational movement do you think is growing faster?

Diana:

Nice try. The burden is not on me to propose some alternative scenario that would cast doubt on the claim. If this little factoid has no data to back it up, or if no one can remember what drawer they filed this data in, it shouldn't be quoted.

Daniel:

I stand by the claim. The Waldorf Movement is the fastest growing educational movement worldwide. Period. If you mean to disprove me, go ahead. Otherwise you may point out that this statement merely constitutes my opinion, but doing so does not disprove it.

Daniel:

If there are any that are close, we can then start a rigorous survey (once we have settled on the definition - What constitutes a bona fide educational movement?

Diana:

How interesting that you expect me to define these terms. I am not interested in splitting hairs with you, Daniel. I want the source of this statistic, or rather this claim that probably does not have any statistics to back it up.

Daniel:

I am merely anticipating your possible objections should I "prove" the claim using statistics. Of course you must define the terms, otherwise we will be disagreeing about the the proof. You seem remarkably naive about what can be "proven" with statistics.

Daniel:

How do you measure growth? Students? Schools?

Diana:

Hon, these are my questions to you, or your movement that is making the claim.

It would certainly present some interesting measurement challenges. I would venture a guess when the mysterious someone originally noted with delight that the movement was growing quickly, and saw the PR value in this, they might have been counting new schools opening. Wonder if they also counted schools that closed in the same time period. And what other "educational movements" they compared Waldorf with, and whether the measures used for comparison were valid, and well, it does all strike me as a bit unlikely that there is anything solid behind the claim.

Daniel:

Are you aware of how many Waldorf Schools have closed? What school movement in the second half of the 20th Century has seen anywhere close to the growth that Waldorf has?

Daniel:

Textbooks sold? Number of articles in educational journals?). This will bring us to Mark Twain's "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" namely that we could probably form a survey to back up any view we choose to support just be selecting only those criteria that will show what we want to demonstrate.

Diana:

I rest my case.

Daniel:

What case? Not the one I just made for you, I hope. You seem to have missed the point I was trying to make: that I can prove whatever I want with statistics. You need to be a little more specific about what you are contesting.

Diana:

At best, "fastest growing" would be a moving target. I'm sure with your conscientious attention to strict honesty, Daniel, you'll be after AWSNA to sort this out.

Daniel:

With my strict conscientious attention to honesty, I will continue to make the claim until I come across information that suggests that it is incorrect. I have not found any with some basic research. Should some expert such as yourself care to prove me wrong, I will adjust my opinion accordingly. I cannot spend three months verifying beyond any doubt something that I have every reason to believe will prove true. If I had the slightest suspicion that it were possibly untrue, I might consider spending the time to find out for sure.

Daniel Hindes

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From: winters_diana
Date: Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:29 am
Subject: Re: association smear tactics

re: Waldorf as "fastest growing educational movement"

Daniel:

You call it a "legend" without any factual basis.

LOL! You got that right, though I don't think you meant to. I call it a legend because it is without any (demonstrable) factual basis. Prove me wrong.

I say it is likely true because I know the growth curve for the number of new Waldorf schools internationally over the last 30 years.

Oh! Well, then we're getting somewhere. What is the growth curve for the number of new Waldorf schools internationally over the last 30 yeras? (versus other types of schools, that is). I thought you were saying you had no such solid information, now you suggest you do. Just post it here then.

I stand by the claim. The Waldorf Movement is the fastest growing educational movement worldwide. Period. If you mean to disprove me, go ahead.

What a bunch of baloney. You've just admitted there is no substance to the claim and you don't care. I know there are anthroposphic higher-ups on this list, I'd love it if one of them will prove me wrong and post these numbers (with an explanation of how they were collected).

Otherwise you may point out that this statement merely constitutes my opinion, but doing so does not disprove it.

Of course not. The one making claims needs to prove them, not challenge everyone else that they can't disprove it. Moon, green cheese . . . same way you claimed I was supposed to show that "science" "disproves" any usefulness to switching left-handers, rather than asking Waldorf educators to show any effectiveness or rationale for their own programs and policies. Other people should find the data to back up your claims?

Once again, "proper research" doesn't interest you unless it's going to somehow back up Steiner/Waldorf. If it doesn't, just sneer at all questions.

Of course you must define the terms, otherwise we will be disagreeing about the the proof.

No, love, you make a claim, you explain the terms, the measures, etc. Then we look at whether the claim is supported given those terms, those measures etc. We haven't even gotten the ball in the air yet here.

If you'd like a few suggestions, though, look back at your own post. I'll take data on any of the measures you suggested. In this post you suggest it might have to do with "number of new schools internationally over 30 years." You seem pretty confident about that one. What are those numbers? Or give me students/schools/journal articles published, whatever you've got.

You seem remarkably naive about what can be "proven" with statistics.

LOL! What statistics? You tell me I'm naive about how to read the statistics after you've provided some, okay?

Daniel:

With my strict conscientious attention to honesty, I will continue to make the claim until I come across information that suggests that it is incorrect.

Fascinating! So much for "proper research." You think researchers should make any claim they like until they come across information suggesting it to be incorrect?

I have not found any with some basic research.

No kidding? You didn't find anything to support your claim, and you're actually acting as if that makes you feel more in the right than ever.

Diana

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From: at
Date: Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:14 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: association smear tactics

Diana,

You are getting quite shrill.

In 1974 there were roughly 30 Waldorf schools in the US. Today there are close to 150 (it really depends on how you define it). That is roughly a 500% growth rate (and includes the 6 or so schools that have closed in those 30 years). Internationally the growth rate has been similar - from about 200 to about 1000 in the same time period (source: a number of people who have been involved in Waldorf long enough to remember).

Montessori currently numbers about 4000 schools in the US and 7000 worldwide (but they are not sure of the exact number number). http://www.montessori.edu/FAQ.html The reason for the uncertainty is that anyone can open a Montessori school whether or not they use the methods, so determining how a school qualifies is tricky. To have had the same growth rate, there would have had to have been less than 800 Montessori schools in the US and less than 1400 worldwide in 1974. However, Montessori became popular more rapidly than Waldorf, so this is unlikely.

No other independent pedagogical movement has thousands of schools.

Diana, I am sorry, but I am not going to do a doctoral dissertation on the growth of 20th Century independent school movements just to establish that this statement that is likely true really is true, especially since you have offered no evidence to suggest it might not be true. Also, as I pointed out earlier, if I really wanted to, I could "prove" it with a study, but then you could just dispute the claim stating that I played games with the criteria to prove the hypothesis. The whole exercise would get us no closer to the truth than when we started, and would be a waste of my time. If this strikes you as inconsistent, then you might consider examining the circumstances.

Daniel Hindes
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