Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: June 30, 2010 01:31AM

Thanks for your continued input to this thread. I will try to answer all your points, but it may take a couple days due to my schedule. Will look at as much as I can right now and address the rest later.

"Shakti I'll have to ask you to clarify your views on a couple of things: I just dont get why the oil companies- who AFAIK have been denying oil shortages mostly- would start ASPO in order to support their interests of more drilling. "

-I don't fully understand myself! However, I will say that it does not appear to uniformly involve the traditional "big names" of oil: Exxon, Aramco, etc. They do not appear to be involved with the ASPO. Yet nearly every contributor to the ASPO seems to be a smaller, mid-size drilling contractor. You have to admit it is very strange for a group of such companies to be supporting a group that is supposedly calling for their industry's demise. In fact, it is unheard of. It also should not be ignored that Petroconsultants which employed Campbell and Laharrere was owned at the time by Thyssen, which was looking to make money in the Coal-to-liquid markets,which have much to gain from a decline in oil use.

However, we should get back to the point that the National Petroleum Council, which represents the oil industry in its relations with the USG, hired Richard Heinberg as one of its experts! So, right there, we see that the notion that the big companies have "stayed away from or denied Peak Oil" isn't entirely true. Now, I wondered myself, "why would these companies who could hire actual oil experts hire a guy whose previous career field was supporting crackpot astronomy and catastrophism?" It's because Heinberg deals in FEAR. He know how to SCARE people. Probably much better than your average, boring, oil exec from Houston.

So, in dealing with ASPO, it is important to not only think about economy and ecology, but the psychology of FEAR. I think there is an element within the "Peak Oil" movement that understands that different groups of people will react differently to their "message".

Group one: activists, hippies, Greens, etc. They will react by calling for meetings, reducing personal use, organize, spread the message. They will be "hopeful and optimistic, yet motivated by realism". This is a small segment, of society, like the Transitioners, who despite their flaws and naivete, actually CARE about other humans and the environment. Like I said "small segment".

Group two: everybody else who hears the message. Humans beaten down by society with little optimism left. They will simply shut down, and cower in fear of the "Great Die-off". They will not oppose wars in the Middle East (remember: Peak Oil propaganda took off in the leadup to the Iraq War), they will simply hope to live out their lives with the same comfort level they currently have, not oppose the oil industry, and support eugenics efforts meant to "cull the herd".

For example, I just recently came across a Mike Ruppert interview on a local radio station, just by chance. Honestly, he sounded just like a cult leader. No other way to describe it. And it was clear what he was selling: FEAR. Not hope, not a plan of action, but FEAR.

"Firstly, I dont see any sign that anything ASPO says does encourage more drilling, even indirectly; they appear to me to be merely warning of near-peak."

-Again, it is not about what they say ON THE SURFACE. It is about their funders, the source of their MONEY. What are they saying? Are the drillers who fund the ASPO out there calling for more restrictions on oil drilling? I have yet to see that be the case.

"Obviously, going full-guns to drill every last drop from ANWR etc would be a very irrational response."

-I agree, and yet, I bet you there isn't a single company funding ASPO who would be opposed to the drilling of ANWR.

"fourthly, I dont see any real connection between ASPO and Transition; it really seems another very big stretch to suggest that the emergence of Transition is in some way a favorable outcome ("useful idiots") for the oil companies, since they are not in any way calling for more drilling and instead are predicting the end of the oil industry."

-Again, it is not necessarily a direct, "conspiratorial" connection. However, it is very clear that TT has used ASPO as a key source and data point for its movement, including referencing it in its primer. And, not to be too argumentative, but you have not articulated WHY you think the ASPO's funders would fund a group OSTENSIBLY organized around the demise of their own industry. Doesn't that seem a little strange to you? Do you really think that it is because "Campbell and others are former oil guys, where else would they go for money"? That simply doesn't cover it for me.

"a movement that says the oil is running out is not going to help attract investments (bare in mind there is a 30-40 year delay from discovery to supply)."

-Except that if the perception is out there that we are "quickly running out", the oil then becomes far more valuable than if it is perceived that the world is "awash in oil".

"Why wouldnt the oil companies throw a few quid there way? It might be useful for them to get some data on, you know, when the oil might be running out by. "

-Yes, but they didn't get rich and successful by randomly throwing away their money at groups allegedly committed to their industry's eventual dismantling. They can easily get the same data by hiring their own experts.

" again, if there is still plenty of oil, we wont need to go into ANWR or deep oceans etc.. Peakers have always said, the easy oil is gone."

-Again, I'm not arguing against the ENTIRE notion of oil decline, simply the more radical claims by Peakers to know the exact date, and what it all means in a larger context. However, I do think that people in America, for example, are more likely to SUPPORT opening places that might have easy oil than they are to fight for electrification of transportation, for example. Call me cynical about my fellow man, but there you go....

"Similarly, your argument about the Saudis can also be seen as an indication that we are close to Peak: they are still the swing producers, and we are very vulnerable to their whims, and possible their internal conflicts; so, again the message is move away from oil"

-Not arguing that at all! Like I said I supported "moving away from oil" ten years before I even heard the term "Peak Oil". Most of the "know-it-all Internet keyboard geology expert" Peakers are far behind me in coming to this game. (not including you, you are rational, and respond to arguments with logic, rather than ad hominem attacks, which I appreciate).

Will address other items in your post when I have more time to do so...


Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: Graham S ()
Date: June 30, 2010 06:19AM

Fascinating discussion of Transition and Anthroposophy here:


Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: Nick Nakorn ()
Date: July 01, 2010 12:33AM

Dear all,

I've read most of this long and fascinating thread. Whether or not the Transition Town Movement is a cult is probably open to both semantic and philosophical and political argument depending on the definitions of 'cult' used. But I believe that the TT movement displays many cultish attributes and might be on the cusp of becoming a cult or cult-like entiity.

I took an interest in peak oil in the late 1970s and wrote my degree thesis in the light of the concept (as a mature student in 1986) – so I’m convinced it is either happening or is only one or two decades away. I’m convinced too about the need for localised sustainable agriculture, energy conservation, renewable energy and so on. However, whether correct or not, the science around these technological questions are open to peer review and scrutiny and will undoubtedly be refined as time goes on by all sorts of people; some with ethical motives and some with none. As an energy consultant, I have had to deal with a diverse group of clients and employers and some have turned out not to represent the positions they espouse. But, over the years, I have gradually pulled out of environmental energy consultancy because I was continually asked to massage or falsify the numbers I came up with or the scientific conclusions drawn on behalf of said clients and employers.

I now have decided to write and blog about the politics of local enfranchisement as that is the hard part – the technical stuff is fairly easy if only people would stick to the engineering and solid science in energy, agriculture, climate and so-on. I now earn a living on and off as a handyman.

So my take on all of this is to do with a) secularism, b) accountability, c) transparency and d) democratic enfranchisement. I have always believed that civilisation is an art requiring forethought, mechanisms and practical application. Looking in from the outside, the TT model is sadly lacking in all of those departments:

• its very strong association with Steiner and Anthroposophy blinds the organisation to racism (Rob sees Anthroposophy as “fluffy” while I see it as hateful and fascistic).

• New-age, Steineresque, Goetherian thinking allows it to be taken over by mystics; marginalising minorities and rationality

• the leadership is not accountable to its members or the community and are effectively enshrined for life

• the funding mechanisms, finances and donors are obscure and unexplained

I’ve mentioned a number of other problems in my blog at [] but my pricipal concern is that the TT movement is so closely allied to Anthroposophy. The Anthroposophist are, in my view a network of organisations that together do qualify as a cult because they are very difficult to leave, obscure their real purpose, are not open to change through rational discourse and try to co-opt critics to their own ends. Of course, one could also apply those sets of criteria to Consumerism and Global Capitalism - that is one of the reasons that the oil industry seems so inconsistant in its choice of bedfellows
and has such a large degree of control over all our lives.

Finally, it should also be pointed out that the TT movement, like many cults, is hoping to popularise its issues and exert political pressure upon the systems and ideologies it finds lacking; but so do we all if we are campaigning for something we think is important. It's vital not to confuse well intentioned political action with cultish behaviour simply because they share some similar properties. The worry is that the TT movement has itself lost the ability to be so discerning.

Best wishes

Nick Nakorn

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: July 01, 2010 12:38AM

Thanks for Nick Akorn link, going to spend some time on it right after I finish my reply.

JD: not going to spend time breaking down what he is or isn't right about. His opinions are his, mine are mine, and they don't all match up. It is not what he says himself with his blog that matters so much to me, as his links to Peakers in their OWN WORDS that is so revealing. JD didn't force guys like Matt Simmons and Campbell to be wildly off by years in terms of their predictions over the years, and put themselves on record about it. He didn't force Campbell to put nazi crap into his ASPO newsletter.

Here's my take on some of these resources you point out:


Here's some brilliance from David Strahan in which he tries to exonerate BP for the oil spill. Sorry, "mates", this isn't going over well with this particular pissed-off American. And, yes, I agree with the notion that Americans themselves have to share the blame. But this is going too far.


"Hollywood loves a villain with an English accent. After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it was inevitable American commentators would deride BP as British Petroleum and its CEO as Tony Wayward. But even as residents of the Gulf Coast despair and BP fumbles from one seat-of-the-pants engineering "solution" to another, Americans should realise the company has done them a huge favour.

It may seem grotesque to suggest an upside given the scale of this human tragedy and unfolding environmental disaster: the 11 dead and their grieving families; the potentially devastated wetlands and the sub-sea plumes of crude and toxic dispersant; the lost livelihoods of Louisiana fishermen; and the $30bn hit to BP shareholders – that's anyone with a pension in this country. But there may be benefits. "


Holmgren, huh? That is interesting, when I read that, I thought, "Wasn't there a crackpot 911 Truther guy who was also into Peak Oil with a name of Holmgren?" Sure enough, his brother is Gerard Holmgren! Small world, eh? Is he really the "Founder of permaculture" or is that a title he gave himself?


Sigh, I don't know how many guys I have like this forwarded to me. "Who better to trust about the price of oil than a strategic investor?" You do realize that there are people who not only make money when oil goes UP, but when it goes down as well? My guess is this guy, like many investors that pop up in the Peak Oil scene is running some kind of game like that. For comparison, I would point out that Goldman Sachs is partly in trouble because they were telling investors to keep buying subprime mortgages, while GS themselves were in the process of dumping them. This stuff is all too common on Wall Street, and oil is certainly no stranger to these games. Again, with Peak Oil, I have always been struck by how little mention of OPEC there is among "analysts", and how little discussion of market manipulation and speculation there is. Haven't people heard of "hedge funds", "shorts", "puts" and all that other stuff?

Here's one of Jeff's "sure things". Oil back at $100 by 5/28/10. Except that it was really around $70. Only off by around 35% or so!


" Jeff Rubin: $100/barrel oil again in a year, for sure.

Economist and author Jeff Rubin predicted in this week's Newsweek that within a year, oil would once again be $100 per barrel or more, pushed up by the initial stages of economic recovery. "It is inevitable," he stated. Happily, this prediction fits into his general skepticism of globalization, as does his solution to his predicted oil boom.

Of course, this prediction flies in the face of most economic pundits I've read (one of whom flatly stated something along the lines of, "predicting $100/barrel oil means you're predicting the Dow Jones 10K+ again"), most of whom tie such a price to a much bigger recovery in fundamentals.

What do you all think? Does the answer of who's right depend on whether or not, as many claimed a year ago, that speculation played a major role in oil getting that high? "

The Final Energy Crisis by McKillop and Newman (2005)

Aside from being an obvious jew-hating loon, McKillop is also not that good an analyst. But again, considering market manipulation, that may be the whole point. More essays in the book from the usual suspects, including Colin Campbell (sorry, folks, but at this point, that is an ANTI-endorsement of the book).

Here is some classic McKillip hyperbole.


And Safehaven appears to be a "Goldbug" site, dedicated to pushing up the value of oil and gold, which will rise in value when markets crash. Not that this was a terrible investment strategy a few years back, but in general, this is right-wing Bircheroid stuff.


Also, while looking into McKillop, I found this strange site, which covers the usual PO/TT talking points. Very strange lineup of characters, probably could spend a few days poking around these folks and find all kinds of nuggets. Some stick out, like fascist Pimentel, and Ruppert's former handler Catherine Austin Fitts. But others are unknown to me. Definitely worth researching this group if anyone has the time...



Oh, boy, you hit the motherlode with this one, Graham. Good find. I think this ties a lot of things together, in terms of what is being pushed by Anthros through TT, Tri-folding, "social credit", community currency, etc. In the end, it all winds up National Socialist. Here is a piece celebrated by Richard Douthwaite, co-head of FEASTA, calling for a Nazi economic system. It was written by Ellen Hodgson Brown, ANOTHER right-winger "ecologist"! Surprise, surprise.


How Germany got itself out of the 1930s depression

Emer O'Siochru has drawn my attention to an article by Ellen Hodgson Brown posted at [] which describes how powerful a second national currency can be when the first is disabled by debt and speculation. Brown quotes economist Henry C. K. Liu on Germany’s remarkable transformation:

“The Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, at a time when its economy was in total collapse, with ruinous war-reparation obligations and zero prospects for foreign investment or credit. Yet through an independent monetary policy of sovereign credit and a full-employment public-works program, the Third Reich was able to turn a bankrupt Germany, stripped of overseas colonies it could exploit, into the strongest economy in Europe within four years, even before armament spending began.”

Brown then writes herself " [Hitler] rescued Germany from the throes of a worldwide depression .... through a plan of public works paid for with currency generated by the government itself. Projects were first earmarked for funding, including flood control, repair of public buildings and private residences, and construction of new buildings, roads, bridges, canals, and port facilities. The projected cost of the various programs was fixed at one billion units of the national currency. One billion non-inflationary bills of exchange called Labor Treasury Certificates were then issued against this cost. Millions of people were put to work on these projects, and the workers were paid with the Treasury Certificates. The workers then spent the certificates on goods and services, creating more jobs for more people. These certificates were not actually debt-free but were issued as bonds, and the government paid interest on them to the bearers. But the certificates circulated as money and were renewable indefinitely, making them a de facto currency; and they avoided the need to borrow from international lenders or to pay off international debts.6 The Treasury Certificates did not trade on foreign currency markets, so they were beyond the reach of the currency speculators. They could not be sold short because there was no one to sell them to, so they retained their value.

"Within two years, Germany’s unemployment problem had been solved and the country was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries were still out of work and living on welfare. Germany even managed to restore foreign trade, although it was denied foreign credit and was faced with an economic boycott abroad. It did this by using a barter system: equipment and commodities were exchanged directly with other countries, circumventing the international banks. This system of direct exchange occurred without debt and without trade deficits. Although Germany’s economic experiment was short-lived, it left some lasting monuments to its success, including the famous Autobahn, the world’s first extensive superhighway."

"Chatham" report. Sorry, tried downloading this but it was too small to read. For some reason it didn't prompt the Acrobat reader, so I couldn't resize it.

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: July 01, 2010 12:50AM

Graham S
Fascinating discussion of Transition and Anthroposophy here:


Simply incredible work by Nick, thanks for posting it, Graham. Kind of puts Rob's "TT has nothing to do with Steiner" line into the dustbin, doesn't it?

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: July 01, 2010 01:37AM

Nick Nakorn
Dear all,

I've read most of this long and fascinating thread. Whether or not the Transition Town Movement is a cult is probably open to both semantic and philosophical and political argument depending on the definitions of 'cult' used. But I believe that the TT movement displays many cultish attributes and might be on the cusp of becoming a cult or cult-like entiity.

Thanks for your terrific work on this topic, Nick, appreciate it. And thanks for coming in here to discuss. I caught this in your 2nd piece. Turns out that the college Rob got his degree from is ALSO connected to anthro. What a surprise! So let's recap: Rob went to a Waldorf high school, went to a Anthro-backing university, and then just randomly came up with the "Head Hearts Hands" Steiner saying for his webpage on his own! What an amazing synchronicity.

from Nick:

"The legitimacy of Anthroposophy is also enhanced locally by the University of Plymouth.

BA (Hons) Steiner Waldorf Education
Course summary

This unique and innovative course enables you to study an alternative approach to education. The Steiner Waldorf Schools movement follows a distinctive international curriculum. Our degree course studies this while making a comparison with current educational thinking and practice in Britain.

From: []

As the only UK university to offer such a course, one wonders about the ways in which the university policy makers square their support for the doctrine with their equality policies. This might not be a problem if their promotional material did not emphasize support as opposed to critical analysis:

What the students say

“I went to a Steiner school myself so I was aware of Steiner teaching, but it wasn’t until I was working as a volunteer in East Africa that I decided I wanted to teach. I enjoyed all of the course but what particularly appealed to me was the international aspect of the teaching: looking at different approaches to education and studying issues in a global context. I was able to carry out my Teaching Practice in Kenya and Tanzania. I am keeping my options open at the moment, but may take a teaching job in Kenya or America.” Hazel Jarman, BA (Hons) Steiner Waldorf Education graduate

From: []

Hazel Jarman’s support for the international aspects of the course and her experiences in Africa, when combined with the Anthroposophical view that “The white race is the race of the future, the spiritually creative race.” make one shudder. If Hazel Jarman and the university are unaware of the racism being supported, it does not say much for the academic professionalism of the university or the depth of Hazel Jarman’s studies, particularly as Anthroposophical pedagogy is in the syllabus:

Year 1

* A foundation for developing an understanding of Waldorf pedagogy, the main teaching focus being the 7-14 age range
* The philosophical/Anthroposophical approach that underpins the education is a core element
* Opportunities to develop an initial perspective by artistic work and visits to Steiner Waldorf and mainstream schools

From: []

The power, poignancy and horror of the university’s commitment to Anthroposophy does much to explain my own experiences as a student (on an entirely different course I hasten to add) at Plymouth in which my commitment to rational discourse was not met with enthusiasm by many of my teachers or my peers. "

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: Graham S ()
Date: July 01, 2010 03:13AM

All I read from you is smoking guns smoking guns smoking guns but no real evidence.
You havnt explained why you think ASPO need be anything other than what it claims to be- a think tank studying Peak Oil and gas. Sorry, but I dont see anything strange about oil geologists funding each other.
What we need to know is, how much is ASPO funded by the oil companies? For example, did they just put their name to the conference brochures to pay lip-service to exploring the idea of oil depletion and pay for the biscuits? Dont you think we might actually need some real evidence rather than just reading names of the back of a brochure?
You ask why are the oil companies funding ASPO, and Im asking you the same question! If the oil companies want to scare us, they have much more effective ways of doing it. I just do not see ASPO as being in any way a significant organisation with any great influence over world affairs. Few people have even heard of it, and I doubt it much sway in investments either.
Let's face it Shakti: the only people who are really scared about PO are the small doomer crowd you deride so much. For the Silent Majority it's just a yawn- isnt even on the radar. The mainstream media are not covering it on a daily basis, we are being told the economy will soon be "turning a corner" etc..
You find something to dislike in all the references, and you may well have a point in some respects, but I posted them to show there are other sources than just those doomers.
Yes, that is Holmgren's brother, and yes David is indeed the co-originator of Permaculture. And maybe he too was suckered in to 9-11 conspiracy theories- as I confess was I at one stage. In fact I didnt really get over that until I read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and then "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright (highly recommended).
So partly to exonerate myself, I would say this: conspiracy theories are sometimes true; maybe even the one you are proposing- not so much less extreme than the Truth Movement- has some merit to it. But what is needed is evidence, and a willingness to change opinions accordingly.
You dismiss Strahan because of his comments on BP- but what about his analysis of PO? You dont even mention it.
Re Feasta:

"Oh, boy, you hit the motherlode with this one, Graham. Good find. I think this ties a lot of things together, in terms of what is being pushed by Anthros through TT, Tri-folding, "social credit", community currency, etc. In the end, it all winds up National Socialist. "

Does it? Why? Surely these were just tools which could be used by anyone; the Nazis are not the only ones to have used community currencies, eg.
many local currencies emerged after Argentina's freefall. Seems to me, if you have hyper-inflation, you are going to need an alternative currency of some sort whether or not you are a Nazi.
So I'm not convinced Shakti- in fact seems to me you have your own ideological agenda and you are damn well going to justify it whatever the evidence.
Once again I remind you- the only difference between you and the "Nazis" who you claim are the only "near-peakers" is timing. If, as you claim, we have another 20 years then that means the work of Transition (assuming we can rid it of its Anthro influence) is all the more urgent;
if we are at peak now, there may be little we can do. So all the oil companies are doing with ASPO if your "thesis" is correct is getting us to act a little earlier than we might otherwise, and that to me seems no bad thing either.

Nick above has tried to put some sanity on the discussion which I think you should take note of:

"It's vital not to confuse well intentioned political action with cultish behaviour simply because they share some similar properties."

Maybe to help understand your position better it would be good if you could outline some positive steps that you would like to see happen.

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: July 01, 2010 04:43AM

You know, racism is always fascinating when it is promoted by people who think they are not racist. I thought the Waldorf people in the Great Barrington area were conscious of the racism because it was so obviously embedded in the material, but they explained it to themselves in all kinds of other ways. In a small community it is easy to believe you are excluding only individuals and not categories of people.

I think their attitude there blended with the intrinsic racism of the puritan heritage, and the people in that area also are nostalgic for the Shakers. In fact, there is a revived Shaker community up there that I think is still active.

Do the Transition Towns hearken back to the Shakers at all?

The Waldorf ideas blend with a number of related Unitarian ideas in that New England & upstate New York culture and since they have a school as well as the widespread respect for the "heritage" of the somewhat-related Shaker history, that lends them even more apparent legitimacy in the eyes of young people growing up.

What is important about this is the effect it has on everyone. My daughter and her friends gave up on education because the community college up there actually had a physics teacher teaching "pyramid" energy and "invisibility" levels that seem like Steiner stuff, and the high school allowed teachers to use new-age pseudonyms and teach goddess religion. Our kids were heart-broken because they knew they were being cut off from education and the death-culture was being imposed on all of them through this nameless but easily recognized group of people who seemed all to use the same elitist tactics.

It would be interesting to do a study of various kinds of culture-affecting projects and see which ones featured Steinerists, because quite a few of the projects I observed while I was up there were genocidally motivated. They were moving these propaganda projects into the high schools to sell the death-art and the end-times environmentalism, and this was in the early nineties.

What are the Steiner attitudes about gay sexuality? The families I knew who went to the Steiner school seemed all earth-mothery and the men were noticeably silent around women. I would usually be visiting a house in the company of another single mother in relation to our kids all playing together, so it was easy for the men to have "other" things to do, but there was definitely that "wall" between men and women's worlds. It seemed humorless, too. I am remembering about three different household I visited during the time they were trying to recruit my daughter for their school.

The reason I ask about gay sexuality is that these death-art projects were coming out of the Unitarian gay-oriented kind of crowd but the visual projects seemed to mesh with the Steiner new-age philosopy in the propaganda, and the visible speakers were not the gay artists, but were these married couples out of that elitist crowd.

It is easy to jump on a cult when the end-times apocoplyptic stuff is overt and everyone can see the members moving towards a drastic end like in Heaven's Gate or Jonestown, but what about when a cult is able to inject its racism into larger social movements? The gay interest in death-art was sometimes motivated by the then-recent emergence of AIDS, and there was also a strong element of "let's shock the Christian conservatives" (and there still is) but that shock-art usually has some humour and rowdiness in it as well as a reference to the culture it is trying to shock, thus in fact it is part of the audience culture and not foreign to it. The death-art that invaded Berkshire County in the nineties was self-consciously serious, something like hellfire preaching with none of the religious content or wrath-of-God, etc., just very depressing stuff, and very alien, but I can see how a lot of it was also imbued with that dry spirituality that characterizes Steiner & anthroposophy.

I'd love to see a chart of those projects and who handled the grants for them, for directing that flow. But that is probably not available anymore.

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: Maple ()
Date: July 03, 2010 08:29AM

Since the discussion has turned to finances, I wanted to make note of another thread that appears to be woven into TTN in the U.S. An important theme is developing local currencies. On the face of it, this seems a constructive thing to do in a collapsing economy and I would certainly be in favor of it, TTN or no. There is also the idea of "slow money" another idea that I like theoretically.

However, the model that is being touted at the TTN training I attended and in the group locally as well puts a heavy reliance on a model developed in the Berkshires (in Massachusetts), with the local currency there being BerkShares. The E.F. Schumacher society was at the center of this effort. I got curious and a search turned up a connection to Steiner, again.

Here's a link:

Witt, who was born in Hartford, is the administrator of BerkShares Inc., the private, nonprofit group formed last February. The group created and paid for the currency with a $100,000 grant - in U.S. dollars, that is - from private individuals and the Rudolf Steiner Foundation.

It appears that there are many interwoven threads between Steiner and TTN.

Re: Transition Town Movement
Posted by: Maple ()
Date: July 03, 2010 08:51AM

Ok, I'm finding some other links, but I'm not sure if my previous post disappeared. I'm still looking at the EF Schumacher Society in the Berkshires and that they are held up as a model for the TTN in the TTN training I attended and in the local TTN presentations of "slow money."

I've been looking at the E.F. Schumacher website and here is a posting from their April calendar of events, led by Susan Witt, the director of BerkShares. Berkshares was partially funded by a Rudolph Steiner organization.


Here's a description of the event:

Susan Witt. Friday, April 11th 7:30 pm at The First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, MA. Susan Witt, Executive Director of the E. F. Schumacher Society, will give a talk entitled Conscious Economics: The Intimacy and Complexity of Local Production and Exchange for Think OutWord Think OutWord is a peer-led training in social entrepreneurship for young adults loosely situated in the northeastern United States. It is grounded in, though not limited to, an understanding of the threefold nature of the human being and of society, primarily as it was articulated by the early 20th century philosopher, Rudolf Steiner.

For me, this is all fitting together. I was on the fence about whether to attend some of the events, etc.

I'm not a particularly mainstream person. I think some of these ideas, like strengthening local communities, permaculture, local currencies, etc. have quite a lot of value. I really hate to see them co-opted by a cult.

So now my question is what is the connection between permaculture (which I tend to like) and biodynamics (which I tend not to like) if Holmgren (he is one of the two founders of permaculture) has a brother who is associated with the Steiner stuff, etc.

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