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Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: Freidenker ()
Date: September 13, 2008 11:52AM

For some time, I have had an interest in anthroposophy. I have been to their Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland twice before. Though I have never joined, this past week, I had come across some websites attacking the organisation under two alligations. They are:

1. That they have supported Adolf Hitler and the Natiional Socialist cause during that period, and that they are still anti-semetic and hold on to these "Herrenrasse" (master race) views.

2. Homophobia. The second alligation against this organisation is that they are somewhat homophobic or extremely homophobic (My first exposure to anthroposophy was from a gay man in the Boston area in 1985).

Now, again, these are only alligations that I have come across online. I have no information whether to confirm or deny these two issues. This is why I have started this topic, as to get commentary or factual information in this rergard. I don't know whether to pursue my interest any further or not, until I can get some answers to these two very important issues.

Now, interesting, I have sent this past week two E-Mail messages to Dornach, where their Goetheanum is at (world headquarters). One "auf Deutsch" and the other subsequently in English. Thus far I have received no response to these two questions whatsoever. Further, I have sent one more message to a local group here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and once again, I have not received any answer as well. (I had several months met on the public transport of San Francisco (MUNI) a member of a Waldorf School here in this city. He had given me his personal E-Mail contact info, and upon sending him one message, no response had been received from him either).

Now does this seem sort of "cultish"? I don't know, perhaps there is something about Anthroposophy that instructs their followers not to discuss their religion with the general public -- or even to those with prospective interests! Again, does anyone know anything about this?

Attachments: Goetheanum (Klein).JPG (70.5 KB)  
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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: September 13, 2008 10:42PM

Freidenker,

I got this from a quick search of Wikipedia (I know, not the best or most trusted of sources):

The Second World War temporarily hindered the anthroposophical movement in most of Continental Europe, as the Anthroposophical Society and most of its daughter movements (e.g. Steiner/Waldorf education) were banned by the National Socialists (Nazis);[11] virtually no anthroposophists ever joined the National Socialist Party.[12]



It would appear, if correct, this would lay your "Question #1" to rest.

Hope this helps...

btw, the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, is beautiful (from the Wikipedia site).

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 14, 2008 12:13AM

This URL might be worth looking at.

[www.waldorfcritics.org]

One area of concern voiced by parents was that the ideological/religious element underlying Waldorf was downplayed and they wished that W school people had been forthcoming with information about the contents of the Steiner belief sytem and how it is applies in W schools, before the parents had selected W school.

Its a tough situation because by the time parents begin looking for schools, they are usually busy already juggling twenty balls in the air.

So at the hectic pace that constitutes much of parenting today, many concerned and weary parents will not think to do a private-eye Google check on the belief system underlying each of the schools they are considering sending their children to.

This makes parents of small children a vulnerable group.

If parents are not told, *up front and in full* by a school's outreach person what belief system underlies that school's pedagogical methods and what its perspective is on child development, a parent is unlikely to ask, on his or her own initiative, 'Does this school have a belief system?' and ought I do do a Google check, just to make sure what I was given was full disclosure?'

In most cases, the parent will be too busy--and trustful---to imagine doing such a thing.

Or too weary.

Read the parents' stories and see what you think.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2008 12:23AM by corboy.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 17, 2010 10:54PM

How to get a flavor of Steiners lecture style, Steiners material was a very complex mix of Theosophical, masonic and rosicrucian material co-mingled with the volkische movement, some parts of which remained good and some parts of which, unfortunately, did give inspiration to the National Socialists aka Nazis.


[wn.rsarchive.org]

Tiny quote from a very much longer lecture

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Strengthened by and saturated with the Christ impulse, such a person would have to be born on the sixth day of January. Joan of Arc was born on that day. It is her special mystery that she was born on the 6th day of January and had spent the time from Christmas to the day of Epiphany in a peculiar sleep-like state in the womb of her mother where she received her natural initiation. Now consider the profound connections beyond the external developments that we are accustomed to call history. As a rule, the external events that are reconstructed from historical documents are of the least significance. What is of decisive historical significance is the plain date in our calendar indicating that Joan of Arc was sent into this world on the 6th day of January. Thus, supernatural forces become active in the sentient world and we must read the occult signs that present this fact to us. They tell us that the Christ impulse had already streamed into the Maid of Orleans before her physical birth, as if by way of natural initiation.

I want to explain these facts* (Corboy note. These are not 'facts'. These are Steiners own opinions represented to his doting followers as facts.) in order to instill in your souls a feeling for the fact that the external preception must take into account unknown forces and connections beyond what we ordinarily call history. European history has been guided by the Christ impulse since the Mystery of Golgotha, whereas Asia retained a world view that is not vet fully sensitive to the Christ impulse. To be sure, Europeans have been led into considering the wisdom of India as something especially profound. Not only is it characteristic of Hindu thought, if not of all Asian religious perception, however, that its entire attention is directed to the time preceding the appearance of the Christ impulse, but also that the state of religious perception is preserved as it was in those days. If something remains behind in the evolutionary process it can be interpreted to have absorbed something luciferic, and for this reason Asian religious evolution is the carrier of a luciferic element. A glance at the religious development of Asia will inform us that it contains much of what mankind as a whole once possessed but was later forced to abandon. We must in part cleanse Western culture of the luciferic remnants and in part we must elevate them in such a way that the Christ impulse can enter.

A research resource--Geoffrey Ahern's book, Sun at Midnight in a new edition

[forum.culteducation.com]

And a detailed description by a parent who entrusted her child to a Waldorf school and states, clearly that she was not told what was actually being taught there.

This not only had a painful and lingering effect on her daughter, but without realizing it, the author and her family, merely by associating with the school, and its unspoken
agenda, absorbed a distrust of conventional medical care, and this delayed seeking medical care for their daughter, who required hospitalization and a very long period of convalescence.

[steiner.thruhere.net] -Double Speak article. (Click picture to go inside and then go to table of contents.)

This same essay is part of a longer article that can also be read at this website.


Among many other things, the author wrote

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I also asked a teacher what Anthroposophy was and he said, the study of man which really didn’t help my understanding very much. The word Anthroposophy was often used as a simple explanation or answer to a question; for example, a teacher might have responded to a puzzled parents question, In Anthroposophy we do it this way. Sometimes Anthroposophy was explained as Steiner’s philosophy. So for years we struggled along, trying to function in a Waldorf reality without understanding that their worldview is ideologically at odds with ours. There we were, a family of freethinkers, unwittingly striving to usher in Steiner’s esoteric prophesies, initiating our daughter in an Anthroposophic mystery school, volunteering and donating to the cause, all in the name of education.

Volunteerism was required of all parents. My many hours, however, never seemed to satisfy the faculty because I naturally worked from my non-Anthroposophic perspective, oblivious of Steiner’s esoteric doctrine, while Anthroposophists followed the dictates of their world view, because:

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The person in whom anthroposophical wisdom appears must be completely unimportant compared to this wisdom; the person as such does not matter at all. It is only essential that this person has developed so far that his or her personal likes, dislikes, and opinions do not taint the anthroposophical wisdom.
(Steiner, 1990, p. 17).

Only 'Anthroposophical Wisdom' matters.

The human person does not. (Corboys interpretation)

This remarkable article can also be read here.

[www.waldorfcritics.org]

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: May 18, 2010 12:17AM

Please read this thread, it is about Transition Towns, and their possible Waldorf influence. Lots of good Waldorf info.

[forum.culteducation.com]

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 18, 2010 03:42AM

Lombard wrote in her double speak article:

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Lombard continues::The schools booklet that we, as prospective parents, had received in the mail, Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Education, had the mystics name emblazoned in large fiery red Anthro-font on a flaming yellow cover.( We did not know that) among Steiner’s followers, even typeface was prescribed by the master for the movement literature.


Here is how total this Anthroposophy system can get--there are preferred type faces.

A google search on type faces

[www.google.com]

A specific citation, and one item within the citation says something about the sculptural qualities of the Virgo or Sagittarian fonts drawing living forces.

[www.rsarchive.org]

An interesting article and comments are here. (a few quoted excerpts--please read the whole thing)

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Everything in the schools has spiritual significance, from the curved buildings and typefaces, the colours of the walls, songs, rituals and festivals, lack of ball games, karmic reasons for leaving the bully to bully, changing left-handedness, to the choice of myths taught. Most work is copied from a teacher, including art; there are no text books from the outside world, the children are guided towards ‘pictorial’ thinking to encourage clairvoyance.

Steiner education is an initiation, created to feed anthroposophical notions for the children to use in their next incarnation, anthroposophical legends, songs, colours, rituals. The schools have a greater function, as Steiner made clear when talking about education:

“the Spiritual Movement has a quite definite goal, namely, to mould future humanity in advance” (Rudolf Steiner, The Future of Man from Theosophy of the Rosicrucian)

“The task of Anthroposophy is not simply to replace a false view of the world with a correct one……The task is to raise the spirit-soul into the realm of the spiritual,” (Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, p. 115.)

And for Steiner, the spiritual was directly related to the colour of one’s skin.

So why are these things not in the public domain? Particularly since the first state funded Steiner academy in Hereford was opened in September, apparently the government and Ofsted have been hoodwinked. Many studies and reports turn out to be researched by anthroposophic sympathisers.

The anthroposophists don’t like Steiner’s belief system and work discussed in the public arena; they dislike this so much that they threaten websites with libel and lawsuits to ensure debate is gagged. This behaviour isn’t new: in 2000, following reports about racism and anti-Semitism in Steiner’s work, journalists from Spiegel and Report politics magazine received floods of threatening emails, lawsuits, and verbal abuse.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

Corboy note. Please read the entire article, plus the comments which include
some nightmare descriptions of what has happened in Totnes, UK.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 18, 2010 04:09AM

The article from the Origins of Speciousness website, runs to over 68 pages, if converted to a Word document. For anyone concerned, this is worth reading.

An excerpt from Sharon Lombard and and excerpt from the Origins of Speciousness article.

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We were perpetually congratulated for choosing Waldorf for our daughter?s education, and other schooling systems were put down with regularity. Waldorf was the best education available and all children in the world should have the privilege of attending such schools, so we believed.

Overhearing some Waldorfers discussing the seating arrangement of a class, where dark haired children were to sit by the windows to absorb light, I paused, wondering ?what is going on?? In another surrealistic Waldorf moment there was talk of switching left-handed children over to the right hand. Wasn?t this practice frowned upon now? When I learned that black and brown crayons were not permitted in the kindergartens, I asked my daughters teacher how it would be possible for African Americans to draw themselves. The teacher told me that she would show the child how to smudge their color from an assortment of other colors. I remarked that it seemed racist. What was going on? I later learned from reading Steiner that black is the spiritual image of the lifeless and that dark skin is a sign of spiritual inferiority.


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For reasons I explained last year, however, when we first discussed the memorandum in its original German version, I have many criticisms of the general approach that the memorandum takes toward Steiner’s ideas about race. From a historical perspective, much of the memorandum remains constrained by a series of unexamined and unwarranted assumptions about Steiner and his teachings, as well as misperceptions about the historical and intellectual contexts of these teachings. These assumptions and perceptions, which are widespread among anthroposophists today, present a major obstacle to the otherwise admirable aims of the memorandum itself. I will do my best to summarize here my central concerns.
———————

———————-
To sum up the issues at stake, from my perspective as a non-anthroposophist historian of anthroposophy:

The Frankfurt memorandum gives extensive attention to a series of irrelevant legal matters and simultaneously neglects many central historical matters. From the point of view of public discussion, the pertinent question is not whether some of Steiner’s statements about race are offensive or discriminatory, but whether they are racist. The question is not whether readers today might be offended by some of Steiner’s statements; the question is what Steiner’s statements say about the spiritual significance of race and what these statements have to do with anthroposophy as a whole.

The memorandum authors prevent themselves from even asking this question, however, by positing from the outset that there simply is no racial doctrine to be found in Steiner’s work. This will immediately strike non-anthroposophist observers as preposterous, particularly if they are familiar with the existing scholarship on Steiner’s racial teachings. Nor is this approach likely to help anthroposophists themselves deal with the subject in a meaningful way.

In this regard, against the evident aims of its authors, much of the memorandum represents a case of retrenchment, of circling the wagons, of deflecting external scrutiny and of re-assuring other anthroposophists that the problem has already been dealt with after all. Like the Dutch report that forms its chief frame of reference, the memorandum insists that Steiner’s work contains no racial doctrine and that any racist statements by Steiner are extraneous to anthroposophy as such. The Memorandum also characterizes public discussion of Steiner’s racial theories as “attacks” on anthroposophy, and declines to engage substantively with the various critical analyses of these views that have been put forward by non-anthroposophist scholars. This stance underscores the defensiveness that still characterizes anthroposophist responses to external inquiry, even after years of effort by outsiders to get Steiner’s followers to take his racial teachings seriously.

To end with a few quotes from the old man himself:

CHRIST IN RELATION TO LUCIFER AND AHRIMAN

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(this first is an analysis of how a young boy met with an accident and died.

This fall we witnessed in Dornach the death of little seven-year-old Theodor Faiss; his family belonged to the Anthroposophical Society and was employed not far from our building project. The father used to live in Stuttgart before moving to Dornach. He worked as a gardener in the vicinity of the building and lived there with his family. He himself had been drafted soon after the beginning of the war and at the time of the event I would like to relate, he was staying in a military hospital. Little seven-year-old Theodor was really a sunny child — a wonderful, lovely boy. Now, one day the following happened. We just had a lecture that I delivered in Dornach about the work that goes on in the building. After the lecture someone appeared and reported that little Theodor's mother had not seen him since late in the afternoon. It was ten o'clock at night and we could not help thinking that a terrible accident had happened. This afternoon a horse-driven furniture van had been in the vicinity of the so-called canteen; it was seen on a narrow street where it was forced to turn. To my knowledge, no van as huge had reached that spot in decades. Little Theodor had been in the canteen before the van had turned. He had been delayed there, otherwise he would have gone home earlier with the food that he had fetched from the canteen for supper. It so happened that he covered the short distance to his home in such a way that he reached the very spot where at that moment the van turned over and fell on him. Nobody had noticed the accident, not even the coachman because he was tending to his horses when the van turned over and did not know that the child was buried under it. When we were informed that the child was missing we tried to heave the vehicle up again. Friends fetched tools and alerted Swiss soldiers to help us with the task. Naturally the child had been dead since five-thirty in the afternoon. The van had crushed him immediately and he had died of suffocation.

This case can be used as an example of what I have often tried to explain by means of a comparison: causes are mistaken for effects, and vice versa. I have frequently used the following example. A person falls into the river and people hurry to the spot where it happened. When they find a rock, they conjecture that the victim had stumbled over it and this caused him to fall into the river and drown. Thus, they are sure that the man had died because he fell into the river. If one were to conduct an autopsy, however, it might turn out that he had suffered a heart attack and as a result, was already dead when he fell into the water, but he fell into the water because he had died. You will frequently encounter a similar confusion of cause and effect when life situations are assessed, and even more frequently in the general sciences.

The situation with little Theodor was that his karma had expired, so that it is actually possible to say, “He himself ordered the van to the place of the accident.” I have told you this externally tragic case in detail because we are here concerned with a child's ether body, which could have supported his life for decades. This ether body has passed into the spiritual world with all of its unexpended powers, but where is it? What is it doing? Since that day, anyone attuned to occult perception who is working artistically on the building in Dornach or is there simply to pursue his thoughts will know that the entire ether body of the child, with all its powers, is enlarged in the aura of the Dornach building. We must distinguish that the individuality is elsewhere; it goes its own way, but the ether body was separated after a few days and is now present in the building. I will never hesitate to assert that the powers needed for intuition are those of this ether body that was sacrificed for the building. The relationships behind ordinary life are often quite different from what we are able to suspect. This ether body has become one of the protective forces of the building. Something tremendously stupendous lies in such a relationship.

Now let us consider the vast amount of power that ascends to the spiritual world from the unexpended ether bodies of these who are now walling through the gate of death as a result of military events.

The way in which events are connected is different from what people can imagine; the karma in the world takes its course in a different way. It is the task of spiritual science to replace fantastic notions with spiritually true ideas.

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Moving from Asia to the East of Europe, we notice how Russian orthodox Christianity has remained stationary at an earlier stage of Christian development, refusing to advance and thereby keeping something of the luciferic element. In short, we can detect a luciferic remnant in the East, which, I would say, a wise guiding force left behind for the evolution of mankind in general.

Looking to the West and especially to American culture, a different characteristic quality stands out. The characteristic feature of American culture is to explain everything from external appearance. This kind of perception can certainly lead to great and significant achievements, but still, externals are usually expected to provide answers to all questions. Suppose we in Europe, and especially in Central Europe, notice a person who earlier in his life did not yet have an opportunity to dedicate himself to Christ and to the spiritual cosmic forces. If some event in this person's life brought about his conversion, we want to know what had gone on in his soul. We are not interested in learning that there was a leap forward in his development because such a phenomenon could certainly be found everywhere. The most incorrect pronouncement made by the empirical sciences is that nature does not make any leaps (see Note 3). Yet there is a tremendous leap from a green plant leaf to the red petal of a flower, and there is another significant leap from petal to the calyx. This pronouncement is therefore patently false; the truth of all development rests precisely on the fact that leaps occur everywhere. Hence, when a person who for some time was leading an external existence is suddenly induced by something to turn to spiritual things, we are not interested in the fact that it happened. What does interest us is the inner force and power that can bring about such a conversion. We will want to look into the soul of such a person and ascertain what has caused such a reversal. The inner workings of the soul will interest us.

How would the American proceed? He would do something quite peculiar. In America, conversions of this sort have been observed frequently. Well, the American would ask the people who have experienced conversions to write letters. He would then gather all these letters into a bundle and say, “I have received these letters from some two hundred people. Fourteen percent of all these souls experienced a conversion out of sudden fear of death or hell: five percent claimed altruistic motives; seventeen percent because they aspired to ethical ideals; fifteen percent had experienced pangs of conscience; ten percent acted in obedience to what they were taught; thirteen percent because they saw that others were converted and imitated them; nineteen percent because they were forced by a good whipping at the appropriate age, and so on.” In this fashion the most extreme souls are isolated, sorted and tallied and the result is claimed to be founded on “scientific data.” The findings are then compiled in books that are sent out and billed as “soul science.” For these people all other evidence is unsound, or as they claim, rests on subjective notions. There you have an example of the externalization of the innermost phenomena, and so it goes with many, many things in America. At a time that cries out for special spiritual deepening, the most external brand of spiritism is rampant in America! Everything there has to be tangible.

That is a materialistic interpretation of spiritual life. We could mention many other instances from which it would be possible to see how the culture of the West is seized by the ahrimanic principle, and what principle causes the pendulum to swing to the other side. In the East we are confronted by the luciferic and in the West by the ahrimanic principle.

In Central Europe we have been assigned the immensely important task of finding the equilibrium between East and West. Therefore, the plastic group in our building in Dornach must represent what we consider the most significant spiritual task of our age, that is, finding the equilibrant relationship between Lucifer and Ahriman. Only then will it be recognized how the Christ impulse was meant to influence evolution on earth, when the Christ is not simply brought to preeminence, but is known in the proper way as exemplary force in balance with Lucifer and Ahriman.


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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 18, 2010 04:28AM

'People nowadays flee the truth, and one cannot give it to them in an unvarnished form, because they would pour scorn and ridicule upon it.'

The incarnation of Ahriman: the embodiment of evil on earth : seven lectures

From Rudolf Steiner Lecture 2(page 18)


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and on page 18 to 19

'The true nature and being of man is essentially the effort to hold the balance between the powers of Lucifer and Ahiriman; the Christ impulse helps contemporary humanity to maintain the balance.

The fact that people reject these things is just one of the means which the Ahirimanic powers can use and which will give Ahiriman the greatest following when he appears in human form on earth. This disregard of the weightiest truths is what will give
Ahiriman the best bridge to the success of his incarnation.

'And nothing will help us adopt the right stance in regard to the part played by Ahiriman in human evolution except an unprejudiced study of the forces by which Ahiriman's influence works...'

Read more on Google books.


This is a very grim and strenuous way of going through life, and yet more expenditure of effort is needed to keep mum when around persons who do not share this belief system.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 18, 2010 04:40AM

Even bread making is included...

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Some foods can only work when given that extra development through warming processes (cooking, baking, warming). Man-made effort can release head-pole sustaining properties in root veg and meat stocks, for example.

Bread is a great alchemical invention which is a real carrier of Mystery.

More challenging by far, than the (fairly molecular/scientific or overly idealistic) raw food diet, are the experiments suggested by Steiner for leavened (!) bread which cuts out yeast and sourdough ferment. It relies exclusively on the life-force properties in really fresh honey and flour, and certain propitious hours for kneading and baking (astral and cosmic influences). .

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 18, 2010 12:24PM

March 15, 2010
Steiner racism & state funding – Tories offer SWSF lessons on spin

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The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF) ‘special pre-election seminar’ mentioned in an earlier post has now taken place and a concise and accurate record of the ‘special’ seminar appears below. It notes comments from top Conservative spokespeople concerning Steiner racism and other Steiner controversies and in how to deal with them. It’s quite clear that the Tories are aware of the issues – one of the Tories present at the seminar even offered the SWSF free media training ‘to prepare them for tackling the PR problems’.

Read the rest of it, and the comments, here

[ukanthroposophy.wordpress.com]

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