16th February 2007 at 00:00
Never let it be said that The TES's comment writers are fusty and academic.

Take this week's article by Gary Lachman: an informative analysis of the Steiner school approach, written from his perspective as a biographer of Rudolf Steiner, and as a parent.

From it, you might never guess that Mr Lachman used to dabble in the occult and was a founder member of the band Blondie.

The New Jersey-born writer helped set up the band with singer Debbie Harry and her boyfriend, the guitarist Chris Klein, in New York in 1975.

Among the songs Mr Lachman wrote was Blondie's first single, X Offender.

Around this time he was introduced to the occult by Mr Klein. Mr Lachlan said that a psychic experience with his girlfriend inspired him to write Blondie's second hit (I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear.

After leaving the band in 1977, Mr Lachman moved to California, where he joined a group of Aleister Crowley occultists. With them, he took part in "a few interesting rituals, and one hell of a gnostic mass", during which he ate a communion wafer dosed with menstrual blood.

His magick-practising days are now far behind him - but who needs spiritual experiences when you can be exploring approaches to primary literacy teaching?

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